A Few of My Favourite Things (and Some Not So Much) November 2017

Good afternoon, everyone! The Favourites List is something I've been doing for most of my life. Starting back in grade school I would send lists of my favourite colour, season, song, actor, TV show, etc., to pen pals, and receive their lists back, excited to see what things we had in common (and silently judging their juvenile taste in pop music or cute little boy actors because I was WAY more "mature" and basically a big, fat snob!). So, I noticed a while ago some folks online were doing Favourites Lists on their blogs and YouTube channels sharing what books, movies, cosmetics products, or special moments they've enjoyed over the preceding month.  Periodically I've done my version here on my blog, but like most things with my blog, I've let it slide. Well, it's back for Holidailies, at least! So without further ado, here are a few of my favourite things for the month of November 2017. Enjoy!

The best part of November was over the Veteran's Day Holiday when I took an awesome trip to Las Vegas to hang out with some of the coolest people on the planet. Obviously seeing some of my favourite people in the whole, wide world is the biggest, bestest part of the whole thing, but just to sweeten the pot, here's 5 favourite moments from the weekend:

This amazing vegan grilled cheese and pesto panini sandwich from Simply Pure. Honestly, I don't know how you make not-cheese taste like cheese, but this stuff really tasted like cheese!


This fabulous Sigma Derby casino game. In the end I totally lost on this game, but it's addictively fun to watch and play.


This hilarious statue of "Manneken Pis" outside the D Hotel.  The original is in Belgium, and is from the 1600s (or something like that), but apparently the owners of the hotel were on vacation, and loved it so much, they bought a replica to put in the fountain in front of their hotel.


The fascinating Mob Museum.  Seriously, you guys, this was SO cool! There's tons of displays, films, interactive experiences, and more! You really need to set aside several hours to really experience it! I'm totally planning to go back when they've completed the Speak Easy in the basement!


And, the super fun karaoke. Loved the intimate, private room!


Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my mom and I refinished our kitchen cabinets. Now, we didn't go all out and take the doors off, and sand them down and re-stain them or anything nuts like that. We purchased some McFate's Restorz It wood finishing, and cleaned and degreased the cabinets (with a McFate's cleaning product), then gave them several coats of the wood finishing. Now, our cabinets are clean and glowing! All that's left to do in the kitchen now is get some new tile!

Okay, so those are all the things I liked, now, here's a couple things I didn't like so much:

The D Hotel where I stayed in Las Vegas didn't have a coffee maker in the room. While this is a really minor thing - the room itself was very nice, and the hotel itself is nice, too - it was annoying. Every morning I had to get dressed and go down to the lobby to buy a cup of coffee from the kiosk (delicious coffee, btw), when I would have preferred to just have a cup of coffee in my room in a bathrobe whilst getting ready for the day. Also annoying was the fact that my room was right above one of the stages on Fremont Street, and the bands played until nearly 2AM. Now, I know it's Vegas, and I'm an elderly woman, and all that, but, dang, can't you kids keep quiet after midnight?!?

So, that's it - lots to love about November, and really not that much I didn't like! Here's hoping December is just as much fun! Cheers! 

2010 Christmas Card & Letter

In an effort to make my Christmas easy and stress-free this year, I ordered photo Christmas cards though picnik.com and QOOP.com. I chose a beachy California shot from our vacation to Pismo Beach this past September and used the "Ortonish" effect to make it all soft and dreamy, then went step-by-step though picnik + QOOP's  greeting card maker to create & order the cards. It was super easy and FAST; I got the box of cards in about three days! I did just a brief Christmas letter this year incorporating photos from my trips to Green Bay, Vegas, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay as well as a before and after shot of the newly landscaped back yard (using picnik.com's "Vignette" effect which is one of my favourites!). My new printer did a great job on them even though it's not specifically made for photos, and the whole thing was simply a piece of cake! Now I'm all done and can just sit back and relax! Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday Thirteen: Vegas Rap-up

  1. First things first, because I'm sure you're ALL wondering: No, I did NOT get a tattoo in Vegas. I don't know why, really, I just didn't know exactly what I wanted, and didn't want to get new ink just for the sake of getting new ink.
  2. I saw the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and was only mildly impressed. It might've been the dim lighting which made photography nearly impossible, or the throngs of screaming children. Or both.
  3. I also toured the Bodies display and was VERY impressed by that! Unfortunately they didn't allow photography in the display, so I can't share any pictures of human organs or eyeballs or blood vessels or anything, but it was amazing and I highly recommend it! 
  4. I walked a thousand miles in Vegas, I swear! I wish I'd taken a pedometer to prove it, but I walked all over the dang place and I'm sure it added up to some impressive number! 
  5. I didn't go on any rides (unless you count the Mandalay Bay to Excalibur tram or the Vegas strip monorail, which I don't). The NYNY roller coaster never look like it was working - I never heard it running or any people screaming - until sometime Saturday afternoon, and frankly, I think it might've been too hot to ride a coaster anyway - and the gondola ride at the Venetian was just too open (as you can see from the photo below, people are able to just stand around and stare at you in the boat and/or take pictures or video).
  6. I also didn't make it to Minus5 - the ice bar - which is about the only thing I'm disappointed about. I walked by it several times, but I was either on my way to meet people/go see something or just too tired and needed a nap. 
  7. I played the penny slots a couple times and lost a total of $8.00. This might not seem like much to most people, but it was more than enough for me!
  8. Krave was AWESOME!! We stayed till 4:15 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. (I forget), had a VERY memorable and hilarious ride back to our respective hotels. By the time I was settled in my own room around 5:30 a.m., I was wondering if I should even bother trying to go to sleep, or just shower, change clothes and head back out into Vegasland. In the end I opted for sleep and got about four hours worth before venturing out into the world.
  9. A couple other things I didn't manage to get to or see were the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and Casino, the Fashion Show Mall, the Stratosphere, Viva Las Vegastamps, the Fountains at Bellagio and the fancy-pants shops at the Cesar's Palace casino.
  10. I also didn't see any shows - no Tom Jones, Cirque de Soliel, Lion King, Barry Manilow or Thunder from Down Under. Didn't really have time and I didn't really care.
  11. I didn't take as many pictures as  I'd planned. Mostly it was just too dang hot to be outside doing much of anything, and inside was always dimly lit and therefore hard to get a good shot. I got a few, however, like this one:


but most of them just didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.

12.  I ate a lot of fantastic food! My lunch at the Border Grill was really yummy and our group dinner at the Bouchon Bistro was THE BEST! I actually didn't go to any buffets because they all looked super expensive (especially for one person!*), but there were several little food shops around where you could get something pretty good to go.

13.  Next time I go to Vegas I am definitely staying at Mandalay Bay. Their pool area alone is amazing and their shops and restaurants are, in my opinion, better than Excalibur.

* One could argue that I spent WAY more for my 2 meals at Bouchon and Border Grill than I would have at a buffet, but I would argue that the food was WAY better at Bouchon and Border Grill than it probably is at a buffet. So there.



Miss Universe Contestants

Miss universe

Here are some contestants from the Miss Universe Pageant which is being held at the Mandalay Bay hotel later this month. I'm not sure what countries these girls represent, but I did hear a group of Chinese tourists cheering as one girl went by in front of this group, so apparently Miss China was in the house!


More Cowbell!


During our dinner at the Haufbrauhaus in Vegas, we were entertained by a great band, hilarious (but annoying drunk frat boys), and waitresses who enjoyed giving spankings! This gentleman, the "German Fabio" (as we called him), was all decked out in authentic lederhosen and played the cowbells, the accordion and the pan flute!


Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay


Today I went to the Shark Reef exhibit at the Mandalay Bay hotel here in Vegas. It was okay, but not as awesome as I expected.  It was dark, so not many of my pictures came out, and the sharks were too fast for me to get any good shots of them. And there werer dozens of screaming, yelling, running, crying children which made the whole experience not quite as serene as I had expected.  

I also went to the Bodies exhibit at the Luxor hotel. THAT was very interesting! Photography was not allowed, so I don't have any pictures, but you probably wouldn't want to see pictures of preserved human bodies and/or body parts anyway!