Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cutie Award!

The sweet Nicole over at Simply Chic awarded me the Cute Blogger Award. I love this one and appreciate it very much. Her blog is great! She talks about everything from photography, to recipes to decorating.

Speaking of awards, I started this blog as a fun hobby and to chronicle daily happenings and things I find interesting. It is amazing to me how wonderful the blogging community is and how supportive I find everyone I "meet". I would like you all to know that I appreciate you reading my blog and love reading your comments and learning about all of you as well!
I would like to pass this award onto the following ladies:

Bonnie @ The Browns

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shecky’s Girls Night Out

My friend Krystie and I went to an event tonight in Philadelphia at The Crystal Tea Room called Shecky’s Girls Night Out. It’s an event that’s held in several cities about two times per year and such a good time. This is our second time going. Basically you pay $12.50 and that gets you into the event (my friend got comp tickets, so it was free). It's a night full of shopping and complimentary cocktails. With your admission you also get a “goodie bag” filled with fun things.

Whoever thought of the idea is a genius. Cocktails + shopping = $$ made. They have everything from jewelry, clothing and handbags to spa centers and home goods. I was good and only bought a necklace and cupcakes. I adore the building that the event is held in. It’s the old Wanamaker building where the movie Mannequin was filmed. I loved that movie growing up. Here are some pics from the night.

Yummy cupcakes from a shop near hubby's job. Chocolate Mint, Chocolate, Vanilla and Cappuccino mini cupcakes.

Leaf necklace dipped in rose gold. I love the natural look of it.

Shecky's "goodie bag"

Contents of "goodie bag". There was a ton inside!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday!

Happy Mardi Gras! In celebration of the holiday, I have a fun story that I thought I would share. Four years ago on this day (or whatever date it fell on then), I was supposed to be in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras with my friend, Katie. When our travel agent booked the trip, she made a tiny mistake and got the week wrong. We were booked for the week after! Can you believe that? Needless to say, we went right back to our agent and complained. In the end it all worked out. We were upgraded to a first class flight to and from, given a better hotel room at The Sheraton and given a free dinner at the Commander’s Palace. In all honestly, I think it would have been too out of control for me the week of Mardi Gras and it was probably a blessing in disguise.

We had a wonderful time when we did get there and the city of New Orleans is a beautiful place. It is rich with culture and history and there was a ton to do. We went to Bourbon St. most nights and met some really cool people. During the day, we went to places like St. Louis Cathedral, the aquarium, Saks, etc.

It was a beautiful place and I would love to visit again one day.

Us at Pat O'Brien's

Monday, February 23, 2009

Weekend recap

Overall, we had a fairly low key weekend. Friday I stayed home, caught up on blogs/tv and relaxed. It was kind of nice, since I haven’t had a night like that in awhile.

Saturday, I taught skating. At the rink, we’re planning an ice show for the students to perform in and there is a lot of stress with getting everything right. I know it will all come together, but I just want everything to look the best it can. It’s the perfectionist in me!

Saturday night, we decided to go see the remake of “Friday the 13th”. It was good and scary just like I expected. We all know how these movies end, but I feel that we got our $10.50 out of it. We drove to a theater way out of the way so we wouldn’t have to deal with the nonsense that happens at the theater close to our home. The last time we went there it was an ordeal and we vowed not to go back, especially when it’s a horror movie. After the movie, we went to dinner at Olive Garden. I can’t resist the breadsticks!

Sunday, my mom came over and we went to Subway for some lunch and then came back and watched some movies and then the Oscar’s.

What did everyone else do this past weekend?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar night

The time has come again and it is Oscar night in Hollywood. All of the stars are out and looking lovely as always. Here are my favorites of the night from what I have seen so far:

Kate Winslet - she is on a roll with her award show wardrobe choices this year. Kate is glowing and looks gorgeous.

Anne Hathaway – she looks very classy and that gown fits her perfectly. My only complaint is that she looks a little on the (too) skinny side.

Sarah Jessica Parker – she looks so dreamy and angelic. This is a fantastic gown on her.

Miley Cyrus – for being so young, she looks so mature and grown-up this evening. I think her gown fits her personality and looks great on her. I love the belt on it. It looks so antique and classic.

Jessica Biel – girlfriend’s hair and makeup is a hot mess, but I love her gown. I'm a fan of bows.

Robert Pattinson – ahhh, Edward. I had to post of pic of him just because. He looks so handsome.

Hugh Jackman is adorable and is doing a great job of hosting so far. That accent gets me every time.

Jennifer Aniston - looked beautiful when she presented two awards with Jack Black. Her gold gown was stunning.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tagged again!

Thank you BLC at The Company She Keeps for sending red rover my way with this tag!

Here goes…seven things you didn’t know about me:

1. My real name is Juliana and my parents named me after the Queen of the Netherlands. While I hated my name growing up, I grew to love it as a teenager.

2. I cannot stand when people drive slowly in the fast lane on the highway. Move over!

3. My favorite season is fall when the air is brisk and the leaves start to change.

4. I love to dress up for social events and outings, but love coming home and changing into sweats and slippers!

5. I have slight OCD when it comes to how things are organized. I have a system and can tell when things are out of place.

6. When I go to a vacation spot I really like, I tend to keep going back instead of trying a new place. I want to start seeing more places and not doing the same thing all of the time. The one place I will always go back to however is Cancun.

7. I was on dance team in high school and had some of my best school memories during that time. I've shared an old school pic of it below. Look at those bangs...yikes!

I now tag anyone that wants to share some fun tidbits about their life!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bag Tag!

I was tagged by the lovely Andrea at My Chihuahua Bites for the fun purse game. She is wonderful and you must run right over to check her blog out. Andrea has great stories, beauty tips and recipes.

Here are the rules:

1. Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying today. Don't change bags. No cheating!
2. Tell us how much it cost. This is a no-judgement zone. Also, how did you obtain it?
3. Tag some fellow bloggers.

This bag is not so fabulous, but I’m not cheating on this game. I purchased it at New York & Company a few months back and it has been a good everyday bag to throw whatever I need into it. I believe I paid no more than $30 for this purse.

My bag contains the following: My giant "mom" wallet that holds money, credit cards, discount cards, coupons, etc. (everyone laughs at this), gum, keys, key card for work, hairbrush, hand lotion, tissues, address book w/more coupons, chapstick, blackberry, Coach mini-skinny, lip gloss, Advil, business card case and mirror.

I now tag anyone that would like to play along!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hostess 100 Calorie Pack – Strawberry Cupcakes

I’m a sucker for 100 Calorie Packs. So perfect and portion controlled. One of my favorites is Hostess 100 Calorie Packs – Strawberry Cupcakes. These have been out for awhile, but they’re a staple for me and I never get sick of them. If you’ve never tried them, they come 3 to a pack and are strawberry mini cakes with cream cheese icing. They’re delish and so satisfying when that sweet tooth starts to kick in. The stats on these are: 100 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber. For weight watchers, that’s 2 points per pack.

They come in these other flavors: Chocolate Cupcakes, Carrot Cake, Cinnamon Coffee Cakes, Banana Muffins and Twinkie Bites.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vegas Trip – Day 4 – Valentine’s Day

Geof finished work early today and we met with his co-workers for brunch at The Bellagio. It was a champagne brunch and probably had more food than I have ever seen at a buffet. They had everything from made to order omelets to sushi. It was unbelievable. The champagne was decent for being complimentary and I ended up getting a nice tall glass of orange juice to make mimosas! After we were done eating, we stayed and chatted with his boss and his wife for awhile. We had a nice time.

After brunch, we went to Caesar’s again for slots and shopping. I got to pick out my Valentine’s Day present and I chose the Damier Azur Speedy 30 from Louis Vuitton. I love this bag and am very grateful for this gift. This will definitely be the last big purchase for some time.

We came back to the hotel and took a nap before it was time to get ready to go out for our Valentine’s Day date night. We got ready and headed to Prime for our 5:30pm reservation. This restaurant is simply beautiful and so elegant. The décor was chocolate brown and tiffany blue. The view out the windows was of the fountains and Lake Bellagio. It was so nice to see the fountain show from the ground level. Dinner was fantastic! We started with cream of tomato soup and got spicy macaroni and cheese as a side. For dinner, I had the 8oz. filet mignon and Geof had the bone-in rib eye. For sides we ordered truffle mashed potatoes and gratin potatoes. Our meal ranks up there with one of the 5 best I have ever had. Even the bread was amazing. They gave us an assortment of pretzel rolls, sourdough and cinnamon with dark walnuts.

After dinner, we went to see “O” the Cirque du Soleil show. It was phenomenal. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen. It was over a large pool of water and the performers were fabulous. It was a combination of synchronized swimming, diving, aerial acts and contortionists. We were seated in the 2nd row and could see everything. We even got splashed a few times. I give the performers so much credit. They work hard and are extremely talented. It was beautiful and a great way to end the night.

I’m blogging from the airport and it’s now day 5. We are on our way back home to Philadelphia shortly. All in all it was a great trip and I can’t wait to come back. There is so much to do in Vegas and we really enjoyed ourselves. I do miss the dogs and cannot wait to get home and see them!

*I’ve been home since Sunday and I’m finally getting around to posting

Me after shopping at Caesar’s

Valentine's Day dinner at Prime

Cream of tomato soup

Macaroni and cheese

8oz. Filet mignon

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vegas - Day 3

Today I slept in and was able to meet up with Geof for lunch. We went to a casual Asian restaurant in The Bellagio called Noodles. It was crowded so we sat at the counter. We started with some Dim Sum (everything on the cart looked delicious). I got traditional Pad Thai with chicken and it was good. For dessert, we shared mango sticky rice. I loved it! After lunch I played some slots and lost some dough. Now I am back to where I started. I seem to always break even. I feel like that “Even Steven” episode of Seinfeld.

I came back to the room to relax for awhile and take it easy. I finally got internet access and was able to do the posts from Day 1 and Day 2. I watched a lot of news, which was depressing with nothing but talks of the horrible plane crash and the bailout bill. It’s all so sad and I pray for the families and victims of the plane crash.

Geof got finished with work and we got ready to meet up with his co-workers and head towards the opposite end of the strip. They had tickets to Ka so we split up from them and went to New York, New York. It was nice and had a cool vibe. It was rainy and cold last night so that derailed my plans to go on the roller coaster they have at the hotel.

We made a last minute decision to see Zumanity the Cirque du Soleil show. I had heard about this back home on E! and was very curious. We ended up with front row tickets (they had that or really bad seats left) and got our own little red loveseat. It was nice. They did about a 15-minute pre-show and joked with many members of the audience. In the back of my mind, I was begging them not to pick me and thank goodness they didn’t. The show started and it was unbelievable. There was one act where two women swim in this giant champagne glass and stretch their bodies in ways I didn’t think were possible. Some parts of the show were crude and offensive, while others were tasteful and beautiful. Overall I really enjoyed myself and thought it was all in good fun – especially when one of the cast members threw me a beautiful red rose. More on that below.

After the show we met back up with his co-workers at NY, NY and waited in line for this Italian Restaurant. There was an older couple in line ahead of us and saw that I had a rose (the one I caught at Zumanity) and asked where they could get one. I told them where I got it and that I saw a girl walking around selling them as well. I thought about it a second later and then gave the gentleman my rose to give to his wife. You should have seen the look on their faces. It looked as if it made their night. It really does feel good to do something nice for other people even if it’s something small.

We decided that the wait was way too long at the Italian Restaurant, so we ate at a restaurant called America. It was your typical generic restaurant, but the food was surprisingly good. We split chili cheese fries and then I had mac ‘n cheese. The four of us split this brownie sundae for dessert. It was so good. The brownie was soft and tasted like batter. Mmmm!

Once we finished dinner, we came back to the hotel and called it a night.

Pad Thai at Noodles

View of the fountains from our room - you can see the rain moving in over the mountains

Geof and I at New York, New York

View from our room at night

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vegas Trip - Day 2

Geof had to work most of the day, so I went out on my own for awhile. First, I went to breakfast at Café Bellagio. I had a delicious mimosa and Huevos Rancheros for the first time. It was very good. I then went across to The Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood casino. They had a ton of stores. I went into the Gap and saw the cover-up I was eyeing last week. I got it in black. Once I was done shopping, I came back to The Bellagio for my manicure appointment. They did a nice job, but it was way overpriced and if I had to do it again, I would have passed. After all of that, I came back to the room and took an afternoon nap. The time difference has really thrown me off.

Geof finished work for the day, I got up and we went out. He said he wanted to take me to The Venetian for a ride on the Gondolas. I’ve always wanted to do this, so I was excited. We walked down to The Venetian which looked close, but in reality was a lot further than I expected. It was chilly out so we stopped in some of the shops at The Venetian and I got a sweater on sale at Banana Republic. Thanks goodness for that or I would have been freezing all night. We went to the gondolas and purchased our tickets. We were able to get a ride with just the two of us and it was very nice and romantic. Our gondolier was actually from Italy. He serenaded us with two songs and it was very sweet.

After that, we went and had dinner in The Venetian at a Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Canonita. We were seated right by where the gondolas go by. We had a delicious queso dip and I had a chicken burrito. It was very filling. After dinner, we decided to walk around and ended up stopping at an oxygen bar. I’ve seen these before but have never checked it out. We tried it and it was pretty cool (weird at first). We got hooked up to oxygen with aromatherapy and then we were given a back and scalp massage. It was so relaxing.

On the way out, we decided to go to Madame Tussauds (we’re such tourists) to see the celebrities and famous people made into wax. Once we got inside, I was completely creeped out (at first) because they look so real. The movie House of Wax might have also been a factor into why I was afraid (this is what I get for watching scary movies). Their teeth, eyes and everything else looked very real. Everyone from Elvis to Obama were inside. We got some funny pictures and all in all it was worth it. They had one part that was like a haunted house and there are wax people and then real people that jump out at you. I didn’t like that too much.

We left The Venetian and walked across the way to The Mirage because we wanted to see the volcano erupt. We waited about a half hour and at 10pm, it finally did. I was worried it was going to be silly and hokey, but it was actually pretty cool. They use a combo of fire and water with this dramatic music. I liked it.

Lastly, we walked to The Forum at Caesar’s and the stores were insane. They had Marc Jacobs, Harry Winston, Anthropologie…everything (that I can’t afford). Caesar’s was huge and we ended up in an entirely new shopping area. I don’t even know it was still considered The Forum. We finally got into the casino at Caesar’s and played slots for a little. Once we were done, we walked around the casino some more and there were a ton of cool bars. If we weren’t so tired, we would have gone to one. We walked back to The Bellagio and called it a day.

The Fountain Show at The Bellagio

Geof & I outside The Belllagio

Me "having a chat" with Seacrest


The volcano eruption at The Mirage

Vegas Trip - Day 1

We got up at 5:00 am to get ready and go to the airport. Everything went smoothly until we got on the plane. We sat on the runway for over an hour. First there was a problem with the communication system and then we needed to go back to the gate and get more fuel. Let’s just say that I get antsy and don’t do so well on long plane rides, especially when the passenger in the seat in front of me has their seat back the entire time. I had no room and I was so annoyed. I’ve never been so happy to get off of a plane in my life. I got to see some great views of the Rocky Mountains and some canyons, so that was a plus.

We met up with Geof’s boss and arrived at The Bellagio. We were given a room in the Spa Tower which overlooks the front of the hotel and you can see The Fountains, Paris, Bally’s and Planet Hollywood. The view is very beautiful. Our room is also much nicer than I expected. The bathroom is huge and we have a nice glass shower and Jacuzzi tub. Nice!

Geof had some work things to do, so I took a little nap. The time zone change affected me more than I thought it would. I feel so off. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little easier. Geof and I met up with his co-workers for a light lunch/dinner at Café Bellagio. It wasn’t anything fancy, but the food was decent. After dinner Geof and I split up again and I explored the hotel.

First, I took some pics inside of the botanical gardens, lobby and gelato spot. I then decided I’d try my luck with the slots and I won $30 and stopped. I’m not one to press my luck. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be a little more daring. I then went to the shops and visited Fendi, Hermes, Gucci and Chanel. It was heavenly and depressing all in one. The sales associates were very friendly and not what I expected at all. Sometimes you go into shops like that and they don’t treat you very nice. Last, I went to the spa and scheduled an appointment for a manicure tomorrow. I’m excited for that.

Geof, his co-worker and I met at Café Gelato because we were dying to try one. I had a mixture of dulce de leche and chocolate…so good! They had so many mouth watering pastries. We then visited the gift shop and now I’m in my room feeling like its 12:30am when it’s really only 9:30am. Wow!

The view from our room

The Botanical Gardens in The Bellagio

The ceiling of the lobby in The Bellagio

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Work field trip

Yesterday at work our boss took us to Atlantic City for the day as a belated Holiday celebration. We went to The Continental for lunch and had some delicious food. This is where we went for my Bachelorette party and I love it there. We had these really good buffalo chicken meatballs, roasted red pepper and feta dip with pita for appetizers and I had mini Kobe beef burgers for lunch. It was so good. We then hit up a few casinos (Caesar’s, Bally’s and Trump Plaza). I lost some on the slots, but that is just my luck. Hopefully I’ll do better in Vegas (I leave tomorrow!!).

Some of the girls and I went to the Pier at Caesar’s after the casinos. They have a ton of high-end shops and it’s very nice. We went to BCBG Max Azria and I got the cutest clutch on clearance. It was originally $198 and I got it for $59.40. It is called the Abigail and I got it in Plum. We also went to Lush and I got some great body lotion and a face mask. I have never tried their products before, but I have heard good things. After shopping , we were craving something sweet and went to “It’s Sugar”. They have every candy you can imagine. I got a chocolate covered Devil Dog and it was sinful!

Here's the clutch:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weekend recap

I’m finally winding down after a fairly busy weekend. Friday, Geof and I went out for restaurant week in the city. They extended it an extra week to draw more patrons. We went to a place called Downey’s. It’s your typical Irish bar and I never even knew they served food. We had a five-course meal for $35 each. I had stuffed portabella mushrooms, Irish potato soup, Downey’s salad, filet mignon and Irish whiskey cake. Everything was delicious and was a great value for the money we spent. We were so full when we left, so we walked around South Street for a little while.

Saturday, I taught skating and it was a very busy day. Saturday night, Geof and Donald went to the Sixers game and Colleen and I went out for pizza and a movie. We saw, “Taken” and it was a lot better than I expected. Good story, suspenseful and lots of action. We got there a little late and had to sit in the front row. I hate when that happens, but my eyes eventually adjusted.

Today, I slept in (so nice) and my friend Kelly came over. We decided that we both wanted to see, “He’s Just Not That Into You” so we did. I love going to the movies and have no problem seeing two in the same weekend. The movie does give some guys a bad name, but the book did the same so I wasn’t surprised. I liked the movie a lot and it did have some good messages. Some of the things were a little harsh, but I definitely give it two thumbs up!

And the winner of my giveaway is...

...Jennifer @ The Pink Chick! Thank you to everyone who entered and for reading my blog. I used this website to pick the winner and The Pink Chick was it. Congratulations and I cannot wait to send you the prizes!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dinner at Brio

Last night my girlfriends (Colleen and Alison) and I went to dinner at Brio. Colleen and I see each other at work on a daily basis and Alison used to work with us. We’ve stayed in touch and it’s always nice to catch up and see how the other is doing. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year we were talking about our upcoming weddings (we all got married within 4 months of one another) and now we’re talking about who wants to have a baby when. The time really does fly.

It’s nice to have friends at the same stage of life as you. Conversation is easy and is relatable. Since I’m an only child, I hold my friends very near and dear to my heart. They mean so much to me and I’m lucky to have some good ladies in my life.

Onto dinner, Brio is a newer restaurant near our job and it appears to be a chain restaurant. Here is what I had: Brio Chopped Salad - chopped greens with tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumber, Gorgonzola cheese and red wine vinaigrette dressing. Pasta Alla Vodka – handmade pasta filled with Ricotta cheese, tossed with crispy prosciutto, garlic, basil and a tomato parmesan cream sauce. Crème Brulee Trio – brown sugar, caramel and peanut butter chocolate crème brulee served in espresso cups. Everything was tasty!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Right now I’m loving…

...Breyer’s Overload Waffle Cone Ice Cream

So creamy and delicious. It only has 130 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving. For all you WW out there – that’s 2 points per half cup.

Cover Girl Exact Eyelights Mascara in Black Sapphire

I love this mascara. It’s great and really highlights your natural eye color. It isn’t very dramatic, so it is nice for everyday.

Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You

Kelly is back, looks great and her new song is so upbeat and catchy

Gap Hooded Tunic in Electric Jade

This looks like a great cover-up for the pool/beach

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

100th Post & Giveaway

Wow…I cannot believe that I’ve made it to 100 posts already. The time has flown by and it has been fun. I have met so many nice people and love the friendships I have formed with many of you. The blog community is an amazing thing and I’m glad to be a part of it.

I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway for my 100th post. I wanted to do a Pink/Valentine’s Day theme. Here is what I will give to one lucky winner:

Coach Mini Skinny – leather, wine colored and great for holding spare change

Victoria’s Secret PINK Spa Wrap – size M/L, pink & white striped and very cute

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Lip Lacquer in Pink Slip – this is such a nice shade of pink

Target Pink & White Damask Frame – 4x6 picture frame

You can win 3 ways:

1. Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered 1 time.
2. Become a follower (or if you are already a follower) on my blog and leave a comment on this post letting me know and you will be entered 2 times.
3. Create a blog post about this giveaway, link back to this post, and leave me a comment letting me know you created a post and you will be entered 3 times.

I will pick a winner on Sunday, February 8th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snowy night

The weather forecasters were wrong again. They said we would get a “light dusting” of snow today into the evening and we have about 3 inches and it is still coming down. We took the dogs out and poor Chase can hardly walk in it. They love it though. If it wasn’t so cold, we would have stayed out longer.

Tomorrow will be my 100th post. I cannot believe how quickly I got here. Be on the lookout for my giveaway. It is my first and I’m excited!

Here are some pictures of the snow: