A Las Vegas Getaway

English: The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign
English: The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sights and sounds of the Las Vegas strip – thousands of people milling about, smoke in the air, the ping ping of the slot machines, a whiff of some chef’s tasty food, the pungent taste of tequila at the bottom of my margarita, a warm hot wind that does not cool you down, the slap of flip flops down the street, a sense of peace sitting by the pool, the rush of euphoria when you see that magic word ‘sale’ at Victoria Secret. These are all sensations I have come to admire for the week I get to spend in Las Vegas every couple years. Sensations by the end of the week I am sick of, but at the beginning and middle I crave. I love Las Vegas despite its tawdry side, there is a kind of excitement in Vegas different from anywhere else.

This particular trip to Vegas I spent exploring the strip with my parents. We stayed at Treasure Island, had transfers to and from the airport and hotel, and had suprisingly affordable food around us due to coupons and Half Price Ticket Booth deals. This is trip number four for me to Las Vegas and although I liked Treasure Island, its relative size, and location on the strip well enough, for a Vegas hotel it’s nothing special. But the bed’s were comfy, the rooms were clean, the view was nice, and we did not have to walk a mile through the hotel to get to our room (such as in the Venetian). The Venetian has much more laviciously decorated and spacious hotel rooms, but all in all – I was happy at Treasure Island. It was what I expected – and close to the Fashion Show Mall, The Forum Shops at Caesar’s, and the shops in the Venetian, all vital shopping areas for any Las Vegas tourist. And yes I did save money so I could go all out shopping in Las Vegas. My mom and I spent a portion of 4 out of 5 days in the above mentioned shopping areas and we never even made it to the Premium Outlets which are also a great place to shop. There were a lot of sales going on at this time of year and my mom and I found a variety of sale and regular priced items in Banana Republic, Anne Taylor, Loft, Ninewest, Clarks, Victoria Secret, Lululemon, and some other athletic footwear company. My favorite purchase was a clip from a little booth that will hold all my thick blond hair up in a french twist – an amazing feat my hair is really hard to pin up. My second favorite purchase were bras at Victoria Secret because you see they actually carry my size in the US locations, as opposed to the Canadian locations. My favorite purchase my mom made was this cream peplum lacey top from Banana Republic, she looks gorgeous in it.

Other than the shopping, which I obviously enjoyed to much, we saw the show Love, a Cirque de Soleil show at the Mirage that expressed the Beatles music. It was amazing, the lights, the dancers, the acrobats, the props, and the way they worked conversations from the real Beatles into the performance was fantastic. There were lights, smoke, dry ice, and an amazing scene with a large floating white fabric. Now that I have arrived home I went on Itunes and downloaded some of my favorite Beatles songs on to Itunes including – All You Need is Love, Hey Jude, I Want to Hold Your Hand, and Help. I was of course inspired by the show and highly recommend this Cirque de Soleil production. As not of high of quality, but still quite funny was the dinner theatre Tony and Tina’s Wedding. The italian mean was decent. the actors hilarious, the story a little weak, but still a good time. Not as good as the first time I saw it 6 years ago but still fun. On a sad note, to all you Vegas travellers, October I believe is the last month for the Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian. I have seen it twice there and it is amazing, had I had more time I would have loved to see it again, but I can’t wait to see what amazing show they replace The Phantom with.

The rest of the time my parents and I spent walking around the strip, relaxing in our rooms and in the morning by the pool, playing the slots, and attending some of the other things going on the strip including The Pirate Show at Treasure Island – which by the way, is no longer child appropriate due to the “Siren’s” or strippers large role in the show, this didn’t used to be. But we also saw a Claude Monet expedition at the Belagio as well as this other artist who sculpts Cirque de Soleil actors. The only thing I missed doing which I suppose would be next time I go with friends was a visit to to one or two of the clubs in some of the Hotels. Particularly, one I liked was Tryst at the Wynn, an expensive and Oriental themed hotel, which has a waterfall feature right in the club. I would also like to stay at the Wynn it was nice and quiet but of course expensive.

A trip to Vegas cost us around $600.00 including flight, and hopefully in a couple years I will be back. It is a great place to go with the girls or guys, family, or just ducking out of some work conference. So I invite you to visit and visit soon. It’s not too hot right now remember “It’s a dry heat…”


Summer Is Before Me

(My mother and I in Las Vegas, two years ago at the Mirage).

I feel my shoulders relax, my neck untense, my eyes close briefly; my last project for Interior Design Studies this year, is done. No more drawing little tables and chairs, elevating windows, researching flooring options, or any of that, atleast not until September. Since I am unable to work right now, and only go to Interior Design school, this means that a free wide open summer is before me. I will soon have all this time before me to spend however, I want. Having this kind of freedom is a good thing and bad thing.

First, of all I am a bit worried not to have a routine of school and homework to keep me grounded. Since I am on disability really I have a lot of time that some people would consider ‘open’ or ‘free’ time but I have found that it is  important  for me to maintain a routine (as I have stated before in past blogs). Going to school and doing homework serves as my job, what I am able to do as a job, usually so now what? Now what do I do? You know how it feels after a certain amount of time where you are no longer enjoying free time but ‘killing’ it? Finding anything, whatever you can think of to fill time, well that can happen to me and has happened before. The other challenge I have before me as has been the case since I had my depressive episode three years ago, I simply do not have the energy to do all that I want to do or could do. This is a difficult thing to explain to people who go go go until they sleep but for me it feels sometimes that I am I am both mentally and physically fatigued even before I get and do anything. I am able to push myself and sometimes just go for maybe 4 or 5 hours on a good day and then whatever it is anyone else has that just allows them to keep doing what they have to do, well that just runs out in me. I become sleepy, my mind becomes foggy, I physically slow down, and if I have left it to long I may not be able to make it home. At this point, I just need to lay down, zone out, and watch TV or listen to music and recover. I don’t know why this happens and I hope all the fine doctors helping me out will be able to help me get past this, but I don’t know.It is a physical thing as much as it is a mental thing. Getting back to my main point, however, what I am saying is not having energy prevents me from having a productive day sometimes.

So what I endevor to do this summer, is as always to create a routein but with options. I have improved my yoga skills over the years and am going to be going twice a week to the YMCA for a yoga class at lunch and if I am not too tired out after the Yoga class I will go on the elliptical for 10-20 minutes. My goal is to get into better shape, to strengthen my body and lose some of the weight that medications associated with depression often cause. That will be my routein, but what I am most excited about is the free time I wil have to go to summer events and work on projects around the house.

My mom has a great many ideas on how to redecorate and reorganize the house. We are looking at doing our living room, kitchen, and downstairs TV area. Now we will see which projects actually get done but I am really hoping to start using some of my interior design skills to help plan and see through some of these mini residential designs. If nothing else I am excited to work on my own room which I have been slowly redecorating as budget and time allows. My main summer project is to repaint my dressers, mirror,  and side table a slightly brown but more grey color called seal, it’s really quite nice and since the rest of my room is soft blue and white I think these pieces will really make a statement. Plus, I have to go searching for some nice handles maybe at Restoration Hardware or Home Depot if nothing else. I also need to find a bit more fabric to do some scarves for my dressers. So this will fill my time for awhile.

Secondly, I am an avid scrapbooker. I have plenty of pictures from past vacations and good times with friends that I need to geet printed up or have printed up and will cut paper, add doodads, sparkles, ribbon, whatever to make photo albums that are interesting and beautiful to look back on. I would also like to make some home made cards. We have so much stamping and card making supplies that we have hardly used in my house, and having nice home made cards (just as pretty as the one’s you can find at the store) are always a good thing to have on hand. So this will get me through July.

As for the rest of time I have friends and relatives to visit, books to read, blogs to write,  walks to take, wedding events, and I think I will get Netflix and watch Madmen from the beginning. I have just started to get into it this past season and have a lot of catching up to do. Not to mention, the regular doctors appointments and weeks dedicated to my boyfriend (since he is only here one week a month) because of work. Most excidetly, I will be taking my forth trip to Las Vegas this coming week in June and I dare anyone not to have fun in Vegas. There are so many things to do, places to go, and things to see.

So, there you have it, summer is before me, and I have not even begun to mention all the festivals that take place in Edmonton that I hope to be a part of. So I hope you all have a great summer and look forward to hearing about what you do in your vacation time in the summer? What’s your favorite way to relax or to stay busy?

Shopaholic – 5 Places I have Shopped Online this Spring/Summer and maybe Should Not Have

Image representing ModCloth as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Recently, I have been a bit of a well err, shopaholic. I am not sure why this is, there is just something about spring and summer fashion, the flexibility of what you can wear that makes me want to shop.Flexibility because of the nice weather. Not to mention that you can still get some great deals from early spring sales that will be perfect for fall weather. Another factor for me seems to be the frustration of not receiving the packages I have ordered in a timely manner. I have ordered a few things off of www.modcloth.com and www.eberjey.com and have yet to receive anything; in turn, this makes me want to order more for some reason from other sites that will send my purchases on time. My last purchase has been off of http://www.gapcanada.com , a pair of jeans (straight and longer so I can wear some new heels with them and a cardigan in bright blue) and that was today. But I have decided this has to stop. There will always be sales, and 20 %, 30 %, even 40 % off. There will be things I absolutely love that I cannot buy because you cannot spend all your money on shoes, clothing, jewelry, and makeup. Not to mention I am going to Las Vegas in a month which means, yes, more shopping. So my goals are 1) Do not shop anymore until Las Vegas 2) In Las Vegas I can only spend $300.00 at the very most shopping. Goal number 1) will be difficult given my boredom lately and love of online shopping, there is just such variety out there, and if you know how it is going to fit already…. And number 2) I think $300.00 (and it’s what I saved up for Vegas shopping) should be more than a sufficient amount to spend for 5 days – although I have found that once you start shopping in Vegas and find all those unique Vegas deals and items it can be hard to stop. But realistically, I will probably find one dress I like and a couple t-shirts. Usually I find it is better to shop at home ( in Edmonton we have first class shopping at West Edmonton Mall, online, and several of are smaller malls) so I do not regret my rash of shopping this past couple months. But I do strive to maintain some more self control when it comes to shopping the rest of this summer. After Las Vegas, I am good until September, that will give me a chance to replenish my savings too.

All this being said, I wanted to share with you some of the items I have purchased over the past couple months.Here they are as follows, and please do not judge:

1. Eberjey – Giovanna Fashion Collection/India Collection – This is not exactly what I bought. I got a Cami in the same color and some shorts to wear to bed, as well as some lingerie that looked just like this but in black.

Giovanna Bralet

2. Modcloth – I have gone a little modcloth crazy and have bought a pair of heels, a bathing suit for my trip, a dress, and a summer top. The shoes match the dress which has some ivory knit lace on the back and the bathing suit does have matching bottoms.

image of Privilege to Look Lovely Heel in Ivory

image of Litho to the Music Swimsuit Top

image of Where the Breeze Begins Dress

3.Banana Republic Canada – After taking back one BR dress, I settled on another. It is great, can be strapless and has sticky plastic tape inside the bra so the top stays up; at 25% off.

4. Etsy Jewelry – I got a lovely blue peacock colored stone necklace, a pearl bracelet, and a matching pearl necklace to that bracelet.

5. Gap Canada – A pair of Real Straight Jeans and Dolmen Sleeve pocket sweater; both at 20% off.

So here ends my shopping frenzy. I am strictly on a diet of budget only spending for the summer (with the exception of Vegas) so wish me luck! And maybe, you will like a few items I found to compliment my spring/summer wardrobe and wisely spend a few dollars on one or two. Do not go all out crazy like me. Enjoy!