What happens in Vegas….ends up on my blog!

Travel goal #1: America Travel- Las Vegas!

So i went to Las Vegas for a conference last week, and amidst all the learning, applauding, schmoozing, and buffet-eating managed to fit in quite a bit of fun! Both at the conference and on my one day off.  So here is my Las Vegas 2012 Top 10 List:

1. Exotic Car Road Course Extravaganza: Drove a Lamborghini Gallardo 3 laps around a road course with a professional driver telling me what to do. Coolest/scariest thing ever.

check out the sexy helmet

2. David Copperfield: He made 13 people from the audience disappear!

3. Jaleo– Spanish Tapas restaurant in The Cosmopolitan. Fantastic food.  if you go, get the cucumber cocktail, endive salad, and shrimp tapas.  Delicious.

4. Peepshow: Burlesque show with Holly Madison (Hef’s old GF), the one racy thing i did in Vegas!

5. Charlie Daniels Band: He was awesome! Entertainment at conference night event, and he still totally rocks a fiddle!

6. The Cosmopolitan: New hotel next to the Bellagio, super pretty and fancy, has a giant Chandalier bar in the middle! Had a massage in their spa and the tables were heated, soooo relaxing.

view from my room: MGM, Aria, New York New York, Monte Carlo, and Mandalay Bay.

7. The Social House: spicy tuna roll- great, waiter- fantastic, wasabi bloody mary- blew my head off. and not in a good way…

8. Slot Machines: This was my preferred gambling this trip.  I mainly played the Fish game and the Egypt game cause they had the best bonuses.  which i hit several times! and at times i was up $40 or $60 from my original $20.  But then i kept playing cause i REALLY wanted to hit the lightning bolt bonus on Egypt. and lost it all. i love slots though.

9. Fake gambling: My FAVORITE type of gambling.  at the evening even for my conference (where we did the car racing and Charlie Daniels played) they also had fake tables set up where you played with fake money. and of course since it wasn’t real money, i ROCKED it.  was totally playing blackjack with $500 (fake) chips cause i won so much.  and hit like all my numbers on roulette.

10. The Weather: 72* and sunny every day! any hotter and i would have wasted too much time slothing by the pools 🙂

Honorable Mentions: People watching, the hotels (!), the spa at the Cosmo, Bond bar, the Sugar Factory and Cabo Wabo.

Running.

aka: Non-Measurable goal #3: Walk the lake more

Remember how i said i wanted to start running this year? well i did. yesterday. and it was AWESOME.  I ran/walked around the lake yesterday cause it was so nice AND i was out of work early.  40* and sunny.  so i tackled the 3 and a half miles with my ipod like so: run for 3 songs, walk for 3 songs, run for 2 songs, walk for 2 songs, run for 2 songs, walk / stretch for 2 songs, and DONE.  i am not a great runner, so i was surprised at how good i felt throughout the whole workout.  maybe i had a “runners high”. or endorphins.  or maybe i just felt so good to be outside in my cool running outfit with good music.  or maybe all the time at the gym is actually paying off.  probs all of the above.  but i will say this: running outside in the winter makes you feel BADASS. even running super slow and walking half the time.  maybe this running thing will actually stick! i am going to try for one or two mornings a week once it warms up a little, and in the meantime going to try for at least once a week (probs on weekends until daylight savings hits).

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Are you wearing pink or red?

On monday i tackled:

Non Measurable Goal #5: Learn to like red wine.

There was a fancy event at State Street and my friend linds and i signed right up. 5 course dinner and wine tasting? Happy Valentines day to us!

Per usual we were the youngest people by about 20 years (unless its the summer, State Street draws an older crowd) we were also the only party of 2 (who knew that fancy wine tasting events were done in groups?).  As a consequence, we got the delux, super cozy, half circle booth at the back of the room.

as a consequence of that, most of the people at the even assumed we were a couple.  one lady even said “such a cute couple! and don’t worry, we’re ok with it!” um, ok. we didn’t even bother to correct her, let her go tell her friends that she went to a wine tasting with lesbians. oooo, so daring… probs made her whole night.  i was going to title this post “my night as a lesbian” but figured people would get the wrong idea…..

anywho, Sherwood, Party of 2:

who needs a man when you have this:

so i think i can say i am well on my way to liking red wine! i enjoyed both of the reds they offered (altho i still like the white and the champers better) and clearly am now a wine aficionado.  plus it was nice to have a happy valentines day outing with a good friend. today will be less cheery as i am going to a viewing for a friend who died much too young.  You will be missed jay.

You are Invited to an Awesome Shower

Showers

So i went to a baby shower this weekend in NYC (visit NYC more, checkity check) and it was delightful. And this is coming from a girl who hates showers. I really do. it’s genetic. as a 30 year old woman i have probs been to 30+ showers in the last 10 years, not to mention around 30 weddings. thats a lot of presents to buy and games to play. and while i L.O.V.E. game night games, i hate shower games. i mean does anyone truly like them? (besides my cousin Dina, man was she in the wrong car, she LOVES showers.) this shower only had one game and it had low audience participation (good) but made me extremely nervous (odd feeling at a shower). it was a tiny plastic baby frozen into an ice cube, and when your ice cube melted and revealed the tiny baby you got to shout “my water broke” and won a prize.  like i said low participation and you could easily ignore the game altogether (my kind of shower game). but then you were left with a tiny floating baby in your mimosa. a baby that either floated face up or, worse, face down. a charming little game that took a very dark turn.  but as always, it was great to see my 20+ female cousins (and a few of the men before they fled to brooklyn for pizza, lucky jerks) and there were some adorable kiddos running about which i always like. and i got to theme my nails for the shower / valentines day

i honestly think one of my problems with showers is the presents.  there are none for me.  and i like to open presents.  i like to buy presents too, but i like more of an equal distribution. you know, give a gift: get a gift.  clearly what i need to do is have my own shower.

“An Awesome Shower: This year I am getting Awesomer!”

“I’m Expecting…. Awesomeness!”

“Help Maria Celebrate: Being Awesome!”

“Awesome Proposed and I Said Yes!”

gifts welcome.

Superbowl

I lost our betting pool by one point.  I bet 39…. and almost won $90.  i consoled myself with a GIANT (pun!) spread of superbowl food, wine, and my nephew in his football jammies with the football on the butt and little feet that looked like cleats. These footie pajamas with the themed feet slay me, they are hilarious.  The commercials were pretty good too. Madonna was just “meh” in my opinion.

Random

Pretty sure the vending machine at work is trying to help me eat better.  it jammed the pop-tarts button so i couldn’t get one this AM and had to settle for a strawberry special K bar. which is not nearly as tasty as brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts, but probs wise after the aforementioned superbowl spread.  well played vending machine.

The Voice is back! i don’t watch Idol, or Xfactor, but i really like The Voice! i think cause the judges are so entertaining and the beginning is clearly the best part where people have to sing their hearts out and pray one of the chairs turns around.  Cee-Lo is crazy weird, Xtina is just crazy. and a HUGE (annoying) attention hog. and def had to be told by producers that the contestant used to be on the mickey mouse club with her, no way she remembered him. she also needs to learn how to better dress her boobs.  Blake Shelton is actually quite lovely and endearing, and this show made me like Adam Levine. He’s so tiny and tattooed and seems super invested in his team doing awesome.

Goal updates

– Went to another hockey game on Friday, and saw 3 mini fights! Mohegan Sun is still against fighting it would seem.  But we saw the start of 3 pretty good ones.  so Yay. we also saw Viggo Mortensen in disguise as a janitor with a scraggly long gray wig. Nice try Viggo, we know it’s you. Probs researching for a role as a stadium janitor obviously.

– Walking across the frozen lake: pretty sure not gonna happen.  during our biggest cold spell i only saw two ice fisherman. before i walk across a frozen lake i need to see: dozens of fisherman, huts, tables, chairs, small children and at least one quad or snowmobile.  not looking good unless we get a freakishly cold feb.

– Snowshoeing: no snow. not looking good. ditto for skiing cause i don’t like to ski on rocks.  but we may get enough snow for these two, holding out hope.

– Read better books: Think we are going to start our own book club! a chance to read a good book, eat fancy snacks and drink wine once a month? yes please.

Healthier Eating

Non-Measurable Goal #8: Eat more fruits and vegetables

I suppose this was a goal this year, so here you go.  I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately.  One big thing with me is i automatically assume if i make it myself, then it’s healthier.  Which is true in a processed food/salt sort of way in most cases. But my main problems are portion control and snacks. mainly portion control with snacks if i’m being honest. so i’m working on incorporating grapes and carrots into my “get home from work/gym/yoga and stuff everything available into my face cause i’m dying of hunger” routine.  also smoothies cause that is the bestest way for me to get a power pack of fruits into my life. (yogurt, oj, pom juice, frozen strawberries and peaches, Blend.)  But my absolute new obsessesion is weighing me down a bit:

pita chips: baked twice for healthy goodness! unless you eat an entire bag every 2 or 3 days.  seriously.  i can easily buy these twice a week. i once ate a whole bag in one day!  but i offset my unhealthy healthiness by trying to eat better dinners. one of my new faves is tofu! and i’m not even a vegetarian… BUT i don’t eat a whole lot of meat (mostly cause i’m too lazy to cook it) and tofu is a good source of protein and other vitamin type things. and is technically a veg! (i think. i mean it’s made from soybeans right?)  The only way i know how to make it, i learned from Mama Pea:

http://peasandthankyou.com/2012/01/15/the-best-of-pty-tofu-dippers/

and what do you dip it in? have no fear, she covers that too:

http://peasandthankyou.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6000743

this stuff is addictive. plus it has chickpeas which count as a new veg for me!  it has a nutty, cheesy, creamy, tangy deliciousness. i have thus far used it to dip my tofu, veggies, and of course my beloved pita chips.  The tofu is good, the broiling helps fix the weird texture problem tofu has, and the extreme marinating makes it super flavorful.  plus you can sort of burn it so it’s a little crispy which is nice.  *note: i do broil it almost twice as long as the recipe says to get it to look like the pic.  maybe her oven is way hotter than mine?  i am super tempted to make the tofu and dip for the superbowl and tell the guys it’s fried cheese or something.  then laugh when they love it and i say it’s tofu. bazinga!

TV obsessions lately

Still Chopped. also Pretty Little Liars, Revenge, Vampire Diaries and Real World/Road Rules challenges.  It’s like i’m a 15 year old girl. who cooks.  oh and Big Bang Theory STILL. (see Bazinga! above).

Exciting stuff coming up

FINALLY signed up for the Go Dirty Girl Mud Run.  i would attach a link, but the security block on my work computer would probs think it was a porn site.  ok i lied. actually it blocks it for “Sports and Recreation”.  Phew, thank god they are blocking that smut from my computer! i would hate to think people were looking up sports info online! stupid blocks.  godirtygirl.com if you want to check it out.   i will save the super cool map of obstacles and other photos for the actual event.

what else?

i am big into sending mail right now.  to make up for my lack of christmas cards (um, i was too busy…?) i’m sending valentines cards! i even bought Love stamps AND red glitter stickers.  oh my loved ones are indeed lucky.  also, sending invites for my moms b-day dinner.  to all 6 addresses. 3 of which are my family.  but hey! getting mail is fun and invites make things fancier.