vegas baby!

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Whew, I’m finally getting around to recapping our big Vegas weekend!

A few weekends ago, E surprised me with a much needed mini-vacation. In fact, he didn’t even tell me where we were going until a week or so before we left! He knew how much I love Cirque de Soleil and the Beatles, so he orchestrated this whole trip around seeing Beatles LOVE at the Mirage! The trip was truly a blast and we loved taking in the sights and the sun with Chris and Meredith.

The first of three days we were there was spent in the sun. Yes, pretty much the whole day. Cue the *whomp whomp* and bring on the aloe. I don’t think I’ve ever been that burned. That’s what you get when you’re already a few mojitos in at noon I guess!

That night we had a great dinner at Bouchon in the Venetian. The chef is Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and it was truly yummy French food. I’ve never had chicken cooked as perfectly as we did there. And after dinner, the show began!

LOVE was really wonderful and unlike any of the other Cirque shows I’ve seen. While it was shorter and had fewer of the more “cirque-y” acts like the crazy people who stand on each others heads, the music told a story that was captivating and real. The songs were mixed together so while you may have been ostensibly listening to “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” you also heard “Helter Skelter’s” discordant chaos and beats of “I Want You.” I believe there may have also been a few songs we thought would have been enhanced by some of the substances they enjoyed. Can’t confirm or deny. Highlights for me included the “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun” numbers…they were simply breathtaking and moving.

After the show we headed to the Cosmopolitan, Vegas’ newest casino and hotel. The interior is a designer’s dream. It boasts a huge collection of modern art and contemporary art installations, as well as beautifully designed bars. We hung out at Vesper and I wanted every single piece of furniture for my house. Not surprising; it was gray and yellow. One of the other spaces was built around a giant chandelier and housed a bar around it, in it, and over it. We also hit the casino floor, but at $50 Blackjack tables, we didn’t stay long…

Saturday was pretty much full of shopping because none of us could even imagine exposing our skin to the sun. Trying on clothes was excruciating enough. I am actually really proud of E, my horrible tightwad of a husband. For someone who really hates to buy clothes, and hasn’t for over a year, he bought basically a whole new wardrobe! I also bought quite a few pieces for myself…

Dinner this night was our sort of “main event” for the weekend. We headed over to the Palms for dinner at N9ne Steakhouse. I honestly think this was the best dining experience of my life. The food was incredible and the wine pairing was perfection and everything was divine. Scallops, lobster, homemade gnocchi, lamb, filet…oh my! Not to mention champagne with strawberry ice cubes and flourless chocolate cake…

Oh, and we met Troy Polamalu. And I embarrassed myself by asking one of the richest men in Vegas (the OWNER OF THE PALMS) to take our picture. No biggie. Troy is very nice and polite holds doors for strangers. Just in case you wanted to know.

Please ignore my scariness in that last picture.

Anyway, After dinner we went up to the Playboy Club and the nightclub basically on the roof called Rain. The Playboy Club was actually much more fun than I expected and we spent about 20 minutes gambling away our budget for the night. Seriously, it goes fast. I did feel really cool there though. I kinda was hoping Holly, Bridget and Kendra would show up…but I guess they’re kinda out of the bunny loop now. Rain was also pretty fun, great dancing and the outdoor area looks out to the strip and is really beautiful all lit up.

Our last day was spent sort of in recovery…sleeping in was necessary! We went over to Old Vegas for lunch and to gamble a bit in the casinos where you don’t lose so much so quickly. $5 bets go further than $25 for sure. But alas, no winners for us. We rounded out the trip with a great dinner at the Paris-they have a great restaurant that has an outdoor area just like the cafes on the street of Paris.

Luckily, we got the prime table and watched the Bellagio fountains for a few hours. There was also some French onion soup. And chocolate mousse. It was the perfect end to a great trip!

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book club: american wife

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think I’m a little behind the bandwagon on this book, but I don’t care. I’m going to rec it anyway.

I’m not going to lie, I was hesitant to read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. It is loosely based on the life of Laura Bush, who in all honesty, has never been someone I particularly liked or had a great deal of respect for. But I also didn’t know anything about her except that her name was Laura and she was the First Lady and sort of always looked a little drugged. Sorry if that offended anyone, it was just my very uninformed opinion.

This book was beautiful. I really enjoyed the characterization and the tone of the author. One problem I had is that, like I said before, I know close to nothing about Laura Bush and that made it difficult to judge what was real and what was the imagination of the author. American Wife deals with some pretty serious issues: addiction, abortion, homosexuality, family dynamics…but it manages t do it in a completely relatable way. The character of Alice is a thoughtful and diplomatic woman, able to see many sides of every issue and then form as good a conclusion or decision as possible with the information available.

For me, the most relatable aspect of her character was Alice’s love of reading and her avid consumption of novels. There’s a line in the book about how each novel gives her a temporary filter or new vantage point on her life. I love that idea and see it in myself and my thought processes. When I’m immersed in any fictitious world, I see the real world as a different place and love imagining the world full of whatever characters I’m reading about.

In many reviews I’ve read, people find the ending a bit unsatisfactory. I really liked the ending. I thought it was a complete and thoughtful, and maybe just a little bit sad, description of a woman who didn’t necessarily want the life that was presented before her, but accepted what she could. It may not be a very feminist notion to “hitch yourself” to the life of another, but that’s what marriage is about, no? Joining together and helping each other follow dreams, compromising along the way. Though the supporting the presidency is a pretty big compromise I should think!

Verdict: American Wife is a wonderfully written story and I definitely recommend it!

kt inspiration: colorful kitchen

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I always thought that I wanted a white and gray kitchen. Every picture in my inspiration files is white and gray. The kitchens I save from HGTV on my dvr are white and gray. Clearly, I love them and can’t wait to redo my nastiness of an 80’s kitchen.

But then I saw this today:

{source: collected}

Love the mix of teal and wood here. It actually reminds me of the jaw-dropping kitchen in The Proposal. Well every room in The Proposal house is jaw-dropping. But you catch my drift here. The black backsplash (say that three times fast!) is unexpected and dramatic, and by keeping the cabinets flat or in the classic Shaker-style, it looks modern and elegant…not over the top or kitschy.

I’m not sure we’d ever be brave enough to try this (or give up my dream of the perfect white and dove gray kitchen) but it might be a nice look for a butcher-block countered island!

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