Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010: Year in Review

I kicked off 2010 in Denver, which, ironically, is where I turn to for a new beginning in 2011. This is the biggest decision I have made thus far in my life. Relocating was something I have had in my head for quite some time although I officially decided to start moving forward with a move to Denver after my trip in July. So for all of you who think I am nuts for moving to Denver in the middle of January - come see me in July and find out why I fell in love. So no matter what else happened in 2010 (and there was a lot) - I hope to look back on this year as "the year that I made the best decision of my life."

Moving means leaving my job. But I am a strong believer in going out with a bang - which I certainly did this year. I ran the department as VP of Public Relations for the first 3 months of the year while the rest of my team was out having (adorable) babies. I built Facebook pages, attended (and hosted) a number of Tweet-Ups which were all the rage for about 3 months of this year. Stacy and I put together the launch of the My M&M's Experience at M&M'S World on the Strip - with help from Mr. Gabe Ortiz, we turned the Welcome to Las Vegas sign into an edible spectacle made out of over half a million bite-sized candies. I got a new client, Tivoli Village, which has been a great project to brainstorm for and I can't wait for Vegas to see it all come to life come Spring 2011. And, of course, spent the year falling in love with a local through my Ethel M client. From Lover's Lane to an Art Walk benefiting Opportunity Village to over $310,000 in media coverage for the Holiday Cactus Garden in 3-D (inspired by this trip) - it's been the best year of my career yet.

Social media, as mentioned above, became even more all consuming than it was in 2009. I became obsessed with "checking-in" and gaining Mayorships all over town. If you were with me somewhere at some time in 2010, everyone knew it as I was busy tagging you and letting the world know where we were and what we were doing. I grabbed on to quite a few Mayorships that I was proud of, had a free grilled cheese thanks to FourSquare and continue to receive a discount at H&M thanks to Facebook Places.

I had some great trips this year - both in and out of town. A staycation with Chloe in March brought a lifetime of memories for the both of us and brought us even closer than we were before. That single trip narrowed the space between New Hampshire and Vegas and I will always fondly look back on that week knowing that, even if we tried, we could never recreate the amount of fun that was had. I was in Denver quite a bit - from a trip to surprise The Wiz for her birthday to a week in July spent imaging what life would be like when and if I did move to the Mile High. There were quite a few reunions thanks to visits from Lisa G, Linzi and Josh, PY, Ann and even one with my B.F.F. from 5th grade, Miss Lizzie Erickson. It was a year with a lot of girlfriends which always bring me a lot of laughter and plenty of photos in my back pocket so thank you, to each and every one of you, for taking the trip or generously hosting me. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Speaking of friendships....Benneton was made official in 2010 with the launch of our Facebook page and a blog that truly does us justice, thanks to X. Since she always says/writes it better than I, I suggest a brief intermission for you here. Just know that these two women are my older sisters and if we have crossed-paths and if you ever, somehow, crossed me...these were the girls to tell me what to do and how to handle it. B.F.F. Benneton Fucking Forever.

I used the f word on my blog for the first time ever here, and now again just above. My apologies, mom and dad.

30 blogs in 30 days - twice. Thanks to 30 days of happy in June and the traditional 30 in 30 in September and October. I hope that 2011 provides enough material to top that with 30 blogs in 30 days 3+ times.

I blushed as I was named one of the Hottest Singles in Vegas by VEGAS Magazine.

And quite a year of a single girl it was. I started it off with Spadoni and for those of you who know, you know. And for those of you who do not, let's just say that dating a musician really is everything they say it is. But I did get to listen/watch a few songs come together and that was an experience like none other. I got my groove back with a brief encounter with Harry Watson, who looked like he had just walked off the set of Gossip Girl and into my life. I had breakfast with Superchump which led to many a cordial nights down on Fremont East which have reminded me that I am a bigger person than I ever thought possible. I reunited with Chad which took me to 40 hours in Flagstaff where somewhere between healing crystals and miniature beers, we lost ourselves and unfortunately, realized that it will never be again what it once was. There were a number of Mikes but the Grossest one is the one who was my favorite but ultimately, the one who put shame on me as I allowed him to let me down not once, but twice. I had a boyfriend. For 3 weeks. Jeffrey James, I am sorry for whatever it is that I did for you cut me off in the way that you did. I never meant you any harm and only did what I felt was right for me. You know that I wish you the world and hope that one day, when I run in to you in the city we will soon share once again, that you allow me to buy you a beer and catch me up on your new beginning. I robbed the cradle with Joey, the sweetest thing, who can only be described in two syllables A-DORBS. I am ending the year back in contact with Bear whom I had fiercely missed in 2010.

I finished another semester in my Master's in Elementary Education. Gordie got sick which put me in a bit of debt but as most of you know, you cannot put a price tag on the kind of love I get from my dog. Gordon is my son, and as my mom rolls her eyes from how much I spill over him on a daily basis - I thank my lucky stars that he is healthy and as happy as ever. I burst into tears on the treadmill as I found out that I will be Auntie Knochers with the birth of Renee's son, Mr. Max Losey, come this February.

I joined a kickball league where I became a 2 time champ to then switched to a team where we never won a single game. The teams were equally fulfilling and after meeting so many great friends and toasting so many cold beers, I definitely plan to join a team come summer in Denver.

Short notes. Picnics. Hair Therapy at Globe. A whole lot of wine. LOST and still not really understanding. A White Trash Bash. Martini Mondays. A shaved Sienna. Loving Vegas. Introduced the world to Club Monster Curtis and Baby Bruce. Nights with Kid Sister. My Telenovela. Discovered gummy vitamins. Meeting and loving Pie. The L.A.P.D. Experience. Turned 27, which was not-so-serious after all. San Diego with Lo. Yelping. Karaoke at Dino's. 1,000 movies. Hats on a Doodle. Boots. Moving home. Concerts. Kings of Leon. Phoenix. Twice. Passion Pit. Band of Horses. Fictionist shows. The Get Back. LV and Denver editions. Ponchos. #36 Bikram Yoga. Bundt Cakes. Bonnie Springs. R.I.P. Kobe. Sunrises. Sunsets. Tapas and Sangria.

Most important thing I learned this year? You have the right to choose to be happy. I choose to be happy in 2011. I hope you do the same.

Happy New Year w/ Love,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All of the Lights

A few weekends ago, my friend James had us over for a housewarming party at his new place at Panorama Towers.

The view from his private balcony was well - this....

I've already volunteered him to host a New Year's Eve party. I can't think of a better view for a toast of champagne to one of my last nights in Vegas.

And this song would be the soundtrack.

A Happy New Year, indeed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Denver Bound

On Saturday, January 8, I am packing up the Jeep with a few of my belongings (including warm clothes and a snowboard), Gordon and Sienna and am heading for the Mile High city of Denver, CO.

This move has been in the process for a few months. I hit a point in my career when I knew that it was probably time to make a move. When I started thinking of my options, I realized that they were endless. Here I was (am) a single, 27-year-old girl, with the world in her hands. I took a good look around at my life, knew myself to be very blessed but found myself idling.

I've been in Vegas for 20 years, I have never lived anywhere as an adult (I hardly count that semester in Reno when Linz and I were 18 and rarely left our rooms thanks to Captain Morgan and Dominos) and I was ready for a major change.

I'd been looking for something to jump start my life for awhile now. School had filled that void but thanks to Sir Gordon's vet bills and life in general, that plan is on hold for now.

I considered my options - I love the beach and California, but a little too expensive. Manhattan is a beautiful fantasy but knew that the reality would be much different. Austin? Could I roll the die on a place I'd never even visited even though I had always been told I'd love it? Even looked at an agency in San Francisco...

Then, there was Denver - a city I had had a crush on for a number of years. The benefits: Linz and Josh, Andy and Angela, Tracy and Devin, the whole Granquist clan, a 2 hour flight home to Vegas that has never cost me over $200, culture, seasons, the outdoors (including Copper Mountain) and even a piece of home at The Get Back on Third Fridays. Not to mention that Cory shared with me that he was out to lunch with a few girl friend's a few months back who lovingly referred to the place as MENver due to the guy to girl ratio (not to mention the beards). The drawback? Leaving my family and friends - although that wasn't specific to Denver - and learning to drive in the snow.

I decided that the pros outweighed the cons and started applying for jobs in the Denver area. I found the neighborhood I wanted to live in, I fell in love with an agency, I spruced up my resume - wrote a ton of cover letters and even made it to the second round at a few places. What it ultimately came down to was the fact that I wasn't living there. Someone with an 80203 was way more likely to get the gig than myself with my 89117.

So, I committed to my plan 100% to relocate and moved home to save up some money to put my plan in to place. That was back in October. Earlier this month, I gave notice to my job and I continue to buy boots and sweaters and waterproof items (you'd think I was moving to the North Pole the way I am preparing). I talk quite often on the phone to Linz, both of us getting excited to reunite - I text with Andy, making sure we get a number of trips up to the mountain in and I feel myself getting more and more anxious as January 8 approaches.

I am moving without a job. Plan to stay with the Wicklers until I get on my feet (and a HUGE thanks to them for opening their beautiful home to me - the photo above will be my view come January 9). For the first time in my life, I am taking a leap and hoping that the net will appear.

And it feels really, really fucking good.

Though all bittersweet as it was an incredible difficult decision for me to make. Vegas is, and always will be, my home. The people I have met here have changed my life (and most of them, for the better). This city has given me so many opportunities and has shaped me into the person that I (proudly) am today.

Thank you, Vegas. It's been a extraordinary 20 years. Know that I plan to carry your eternal glow with me - everywhere I go, I will shine for you.

Monday, December 13, 2010


For post 300...I give you 300 words about Vegas.

Neon. A big small city. Opportunity. Family. Fremont East. Drinks. Best Friends. Yogurtland. Globe Salon. Club Monsters. Love. Shine. Girl's Nights Out. Joe's Stone Crab. Local. SK+G. Bliss. UNLV. Experiences. Memories. Growing up. The Huntridge. Smoke Ranch. Modern Holiday. Town Square. Don't Tell Mama. Celebrity Sightings. The Griffin. Mountains. Cocktails. Cimarron Memorial High School. McCarren Airport. Slots. The Golden Palm. Gloss. PT's. Villa Pizza. The Get Back. Brinley Middle School. Lost. The Strip. Cactus Lighting. Hard Rock Hotel. Lee Canyon. Art Bar. Suites at the Palms. VMAs. Roulette. Learning lessons. Body English. Paymon's Hookah Lounge. Hills Park. Beauty Bar. Metro Pizza. Firefly. Glamour. Fake Eyelashes. Spearmint Rhino. Party. Happiness. Fong Elementary School. Exhilarating. Free parking. Downtown Cocktail Room. Staycations. Rehab. Afternoons by the pool. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Bagel Mondays. Goodbye parties. Baby showers. Weddings. Receptions. Lounge. Photobooths. Eating caviar with Mr. Trump. Table Dancing. Jet. First apartment. Beauty. Deception. Attraction. The Arts District. Glow. First Friday. Macayo's. Intense. Optimistic. Mixer's Juice Co. Patios. Sequins. Mist Karaoke Mondays. Citycenter. Dino's Lounge - Vegas' last neighborhood bar. Cosmopolitan. Hotcats. Risque. Ex-boyfriends. Magoo's. The Fashion Show. DJ AM (RIP). Getting attacked at Pure Nightclub by someone 9 x my size. All of the lights. Coolio + McNuggets. The Venetian (the restaurant, not the casino). Studio 21 Tattoo. Champagne. Opportunity Village. Island Brook Dr. Happy Hours at Blue Martini. Sammy's Woodfired Pizza. Birthday hikes at Red Rock. The Lodge at Mt. Charleston. Champagne's Cafe. Sparkle. West Flamingo Animal Hospital. Red Bull + Vodka. SSFS. Heartbreak. Heartbreaker. Benneton lunches and movies. World's Largest Gift Shop. Chicago Brewing Company. Big Buck Hunter. Game Nights. Pinball Hall of Fame. VEGAS Magazine Parties. Shower cube. Playboy Club. Austin's Christmas Eve parties. The Peppermill. Charm. Home. Vegas, I love you, but I am leaving you. January 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Heart Shaped Cut-Outs of Cookies

After one helluva fun weekend that involved everything from Panorama Strip views to a Modern Holiday to the Playboy Club to PJ Bunch at Simon's - I spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking my favorite holiday cookies with Pep.

Nothing says MERRY quite like little pieces of crisp, sugary goodness.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Glow Party at Passion Pit

Last night, one of my favorite bands, Passion Pit, performed at House of Blues. I had heard mixed reviews about his performance at Cochella last spring but this was one dance party I couldn't pass up.

Arlene picked up the glow action for us, I got the tickets, and the date was set. Have you ever heard the one about the Wide Mouth Frog? If not, ask Pep to tell you it the next time you see her.

Michael, the lead singer, has a mouth SO LARGE that the only thing I could think of every time he opened his wide mouth was that damn joke! But I digress....Michael was hitting high notes that would make Mariah Carey quit her day job and become a full-time mom.

And the party just did. not. stop. I am EXHAUSTED from my hands being in the air like I just didn't care for the entire performance (and from holding that tall can of Bud Light prior to).

Oh and did I mention that the most-adorable-ever-on-the-planet Michael Cera was in the opening band last night? Yeah, he plays bass for Mister Heavenly. Look 'em up, they were actually really good! Although all of his adorableness was rather distracting, especially when he busted out a disposable camera.

But again...back to the dance party....Passion Pit = GOOD TIMES. Just be sure to wear your dancing shoes. And glow glasses.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's On Your Mind?

...Apparently FOOD.

Thanks to Facebook's application of the moment, I compiled some of my status updates over the past year from Facebook.

And also thanks to this application, I am now super self-conscious about posting about food constantly. You can click the photo to enlarge and read more easily to see what I mean.

Katie Snacks A Lot

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Day Filled With Magic

I quit my job and went to Disneyland.

More info on the former coming soon but let's get to the happy/latter now - should we?

Lisa, Sam, Pep and myself arrived to the Disneyland gates around 9:30 this past Friday morning. I'd been counting down to this trip since July so my happiness was just bursting at the seams. As Pep pointed out, there was a new Disneyland Director in town and it happened to be yours truly.

I made the executive decision to start by getting Fast Passes at Indiana Jones and then hitting up Peter Pan's Flight before Fantasyland got too busy. I hadn't been on that ride in years as I could actually feel myself aging by just looking at the corkscrew line in years past. As "I'm flying!" played over the speakers, I felt a little like Tinkerbell and knew that the rest of the day would bring just as much joy.

We did a Park Hopper Pass so we spent the day between Disneyland and California Adventure and it went something like this...

Peter Pan's Flight. Matterhorn. Indiana Jones. Pirates of the Caribbean. Big Thunder Mountain. Break for beers at Downtown Disney. Soarin' Over California. Tower of Terror. California Screamin'. Ice Cream. Esmeralda's Prophesies. Wrapped with Captain EO. Really wrapped with vino.

There were a couple of favorites missing from that list (i.e. Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion) but that was due to the INSANE AMOUNT OF CROWDS that came around 6 p.m.

You know what made up for missing some of that action though? Watching a boy propose to his girl at the Happiest Place on Earth.

As we were walking out of Pirates, we passed the caricature area and I noticed that the artist was drawing the couple and out of the boy's mouth on the illustration were the words, "Will you marry me?" with the girl's speech bubble left blank. OMG OMG I turn to Lisa - this boy is about to propose! The artist has up a sign that reads "Shhhhh....please don't spoil the surprise!" So we stand watching, trying to contain our smiles. The father of the groom is there to videotape the entire process. As the artist finishes the photo - she turns it around to show the couple and the boy gets down on one knee. I DIE. The girl dies. Hands over the mouth, tears steaming down the face (all of ours) as she says yes.

So, so magical. Even though I do not know them, I was so happy to be a part of their engagement as the crowd started clapping and father of the groom was there to capture all of us celebrating the moment with them. As we walked passed, I wished them congratulations although I wanted to say more. I wanted to say that they reminded of how blissful true love can be and that I can't wait to be there, basking in its glory, like they were that day - and forever more.

In the meantime, I'll take a day at Disneyland.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Guess where we just returned from....

Annual post coming soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hats on a Doodle

I came home the other night and Sir Gordon was rather sleepy. I looked at him, calmly lying on my bed, and decided to put a hat on him.

And so it began.

Sir Gordon: Winter 2010 Collection

I'll be posting a series of Sir Gordon: Hat Model over the next few days. Or weeks. Depending on how many hats I can find.

And cookies for his patient self.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Lighting of the Cacti

Otherwise known as Katie's Crazy Cactus

For the past 5 years, I have been proud to be part of an annual Vegas holiday tradition...the Ethel M Cactus Lighting Event. This year, the event took place on a magical little Tuesday (the 16th) and was covered by what was that? Oh yes, all 4 of the local TV stations in Vegas.

So it was pretty much the biggest thing that went down in town this week (if you ask me). I am so lucky to work with such a great team, both here at SK+G and over at Ethel M.

If you get a chance - you should definitely go check the Holiday Cactus Garden out over at Ethel M (2 Cactus Garden Drive in Henderson at the corner of Sunset and Mountain Vista). It is now open to the public through January 1 and this year it's in - wait for it, wait for it.....3-D!!! I know - that just blew your mind.

You can thank yours truly for that one after I visited the Denver Botanic Gardens last year, I came back to share the idea with Ethel M and BAM -in the words of Arlene Bordinhao- we made it happen.

For all of us believers, Santa is out there every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening with local choirs performing on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the season. The lights go on at dusk and stay on until 10 pm nightly.

And in case THAT didn't sell you....there's Peppermint Bark.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dance, Dance Little Man!

I just can't stay away from you now, HSCOOC. And in order to keep the posts alive, I figured I would share this video with all of you. Arlene showed it to me last night after BINGO and I was crying I was laughing so hard.

You can't beat this kind of happiness.

I think we should all cut-loose and let go this weekend just like this little guy does to some Florence and the Machine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

POC 30: A Photo of Yourself Today + 3 Good Things That Have Happened in the Last 30 Days

+ 3 good things:

1. I threw a successful baby shower (with some help from friends) for one of my dearests, Mrs. Renee Losey

2. I finished my move from my condo to back home at Pep's (I am choosing to ignore the giant pile in the back of my car)

3. I got a new client at work, Tivoli Village, set to open Spring 2011

4. I discovered Blood Orange with Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips at Yogurtland

5. I got back into the gym routine

6. King's of Leon's new album released

7. I reconnected with Ann Westlake

8. Red Velvet Pancakes entered my life

9. Kanye's G.O.O.D. Friday Mixes

10. I completed 30 blogs in 30 days

Oh, whoops - was that more than 3? Well, I guess it has just been a successful 30 days. Thanks for playing, HSCOOC'ers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

POC 28: Your Favorite Thing Right Now

My favorite thing right now? Ok, always.

This face:

His favorite thing right now?

This position:

Monday, November 8, 2010

POC 27: Press Shuffle on your iPod - First 10 Songs

1. Jack Johnson : Fortunate Fool

2. Jay-Z : Money Ain't A Thing

3. The Veronicas : Untouched

4. The Get Up Kids : Second Place

5. Kanye West (feat. Justin Bieber and Raekwon) : Runaway Love Remix

6. Sublime : Scarlet Begonias

7. The xx : Fantasy

8. Phoenix : Consolation Prizes

9. Regina Spektrum : Lady

10. Florence and the Machine : Addicted to Love

Friday, November 5, 2010

POC 24: What Would You Do With $10,000

$1,000 = Buy Tom's Shoes for my top 20 favorite people (good pts for shoeing children in need)

$200 = Buy the other 4 pairs of Tom's currently on my wishlist (shoeing another 4 children)

$500 = Treat myself, my family and a few friends, to dinner at Joe's Stone Crab with a bottle of Fairhill Down Sauvignon Blanc

$400 = Season Pass for snowboarding in CO

$2,000 = Pay off Gordon's surgery

$1,000 = Shopping spree at H&M

$1,000 = Donate to NSPCA

$3,000 = Invest

$900 = Purchase iPads for me and Pep


Wow. That went fast!
Oh and I would buy you a cup of my new favorite flavor at Yogurtland, Snowflake Mint.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

POC 22: Your Favorite Musican

My favorite musician happens to come in a 4-pack.

I know this is going to come as a surprise to all of you. Not.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

POC 21: 15 Facts About Yourself

1. I am fiercely loyal

2. Ice cream makes me cough

3. I am the proud mother of Sir Gordie and Sienna Miller

4. I am legally blind

5. I rarely turn down a glass of wine

6. I believe ballerinas are making a comeback

7. I've lived in Vegas for 20 years

8. I picked the NY Giants as my football team based on their "outfits" - they won the Superbowl that year

9. I now consider myself a good luck charm

10. I see at least 4 movies in the theater a month

11. I am in a long distance relationship with another city

12. I think Grapples are delicious and I don't care that it's not natural

13. I am 1/3 of the Benneton Club

14. My giggle can be a tad on the obnoxious side

15. I believe that the pinky swear is still the highest level of secrecy

Monday, November 1, 2010

POC 20: Something you crave

I've got a new something to crave -

Red. Velvet. Pancakes.

Yeah, that's right and I just happened to Yelp about it this a.m. so I am sharing that post with you here. But you get a special photo because you are HSCOOC, after all.

Babycakes Cafe

Category: Breakfast & Brunch
Neighborhood: Summerlin

My friends Austin and Andi had mentioned that they checked out this breakfast place called Babycakes that had RED VELVET PANCAKES. I immediately called my best friend Lauren and made a date for the following Sunday morning.

Ok, let me just pause to tell you here, just now, I was thinking about the menu and my MOUTH-WATERED. IRL. JUST HAPPENED. Ok, so not only do they have Red Velvet Pancakes that are served with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Crumbles and CREAM CHEESE SYRUP (more like a not so think icing) but they also have S'MORE Pancakes, Peanut Butter and (Jelly, Banana, Chocolate...you pick) Pancakes and one of my personal favorites, Bacon Pancakes (aka: a one stop shop).

They also offer a variety of traditional breakfast options, as well. We wanted to try the Red Velvet Pancakes but knew that it would be sweet overload so we opted to also get the bacon and eggs breakfast. Their seasoned potatoes need a little more seasoning but other than that, delicious. A great savory balance to our sweetest ever breakfast.

The place is totally CHARMING with high-top tables, flowers and a GREAT waitstaff. I spilled my drink all over our table (in typical Katie fashion) and we had 2-3 staff members come over to help us clean it up.

The best part was as we were wrapping up (our $20 bill....bang for your breakfast buck!), Andi and Austin, who recommended the place to me, walked in the door. Andi said she had woken up saying "Pumpkin Pankcakes...." and they headed out the door.

I'll be heading out the door every weekend to my new favorite breakfast place.

So, when are we doing breakfast?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

POC 19: A photo you took

Well in honor of Halloween - how about a bunch of photos I took over one helluva haunted weekend?! And yes, there are quite a few that others took as well but what is a Halloween post without everyone's costumes?!


A couple of notes: Victor as Russell Brand definitely won me over for best costume. Although his wife (Arlene as Katy Perry) was a damn close second. Yes, Kid Sister had multiple costumes for the weekend. Yes, Lauren was a vagina. Which made for great entertainment on her behalf all weekend long.

Hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine.

Lots of treats to you-