Monday, March 29, 2010

Kid Sister Bakes a Cake

This past Friday, I was invited over to Casa de Kristin and Frank's for some doggy playtime (their dog, Lucy, is Gordon's girlfriend) and to help Kid Sister bake a cake from scratch. Kid Sister has got her very own list of things to do and make a cake from scratch was one of them.

Frank turned to me halfway through the process and said, "You're really being a big help here, Katie." I explained to him that I was there to DOCUMENT this important day, not to impose on someone else's dreams and ambitions. Plus, I was doing a really good job at helping Kid Sister finish this bottle of wine...

The cake was a Chocolate Spongecake that she layered with Cream Cheese frosting in the middle and on top. All made from scratch. It was absolutely delicious. Frank and Kid Sister enjoyed toasted coconut on theirs, I opted for plain (shocking, I know). We decided that next time, we (and by we, I mean Kristin and Frank) would add chocolate chips in the mix for a little texture. Don't worry, I'll be there to document - and taste test :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sir Gordon's Throne

I took this photo the other night at the house and then used my new favorite app, TiltShift Generator to edit it. I figured it would be a way to remind all of you that there is still TIME TO VOTE!

And yes, that is his summer haircut.

I know you are going to find this hard to believe but Sir Gordon is not in the top 15. We are keeping the faith though and believe we could still OWN this competition.

Speaking of competition, this is one of those weekends where I booked myself to be at six different places this Saturday night. Thankfully, Lauren and I are going shopping tomorrow (and pool time if weather permits since March is so finicky in Vegas). So I may be running around but in a fabulous new dress and if we're lucky GTL.

HSCOOC wishes you a safe, happy and full-of-good-toasts kind of weekend :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Open to Jay-Z and Beyonce

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Carter,

I would like to put in a formal request for you two to be my Godparents.

Jay, you may remember me from your concert here two years ago on your Heart of the City Tour with Mary J. I was seated next to your friend, Rev Run. I was on my feet the entire time with my ROC sign in the air.

Beyonce, we've been girls since Destiny's Child. Bug-a-boo? CLASSIC. And as much as I loved being a Wild Thing for Halloween, I still regret not going for the Single Ladies leotard idea.

I really feel like you guys would be there for me when I have 99 problems, even if a boy is one and the three of us, we could be young forever.

I've seen Fade to Black too many times to count and I just checked out your NY-Z documentary where John Mayer described Mr. Carter as "indefinitely curious." Do you know how inspiring that is? The two of you have officially replaced SJP and Matthew Broderick as my favorite power couple. You are unstoppable and I cannot wait for your next collaboration. Perhaps a '13 Bonnie and Clyde?

I also officially volunteer to keep Kanye in check at all award shows. We go way back, too. And a majority of the time, I've got an Empire State of Mind.

...And I just did just hear that the Mrs. might be expecting. I make an excellent babysitter :)

So, let's make it official and call me Kay-Z because you can't Knoch this hustle. I'll meet you outside the Pearl after the show Saturday night and we can head over to Tao to pop some bubbly to celebrate - but of course, no Cristal.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Note to The Island

Dear Lost,

How I am so glad that I have stuck with you. Over the past six seasons, you have taken us on quite a ride. From polar bears to smoke monsters to Flocke....I've been lost, I've been pissed, I've been concerned. How are you ever going to pull this off??

I've spent hours discussing theories with friends (Eener and Chloe), days trying to make sure that Pep was following everything and years with your friend Jeff Jensen over at - reading his recaps for clarity to make sure I got everything I was supposed to.

And last night's episode proved to me that you really are going to come through for us in the end.

I had been hearing that episodes 9 and 15 were the most explosive of the Final Season (next to the series finale, of course). Number 9, "Ab Aeterno", translating to 'from the beginning of time' really put you on the ingenious map.

I hardly even care anymore if Jack ends up with Kate. Not after THE CORK THEORY was presented to us.

So, without getting ahead of ourselves here, let me thank you, for last night's episode was one of the greatest hours of television I have ever watched. And this girl watched 10 years of 90210.

Yours forever,

Kate (+ Jack...still make it happen, kthxbai!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Birthday Surprise

We pulled it off!

Two weeks ago, Mr. Wiz called to ask me what I was doing the following weekend. I had plans to go to Utah with Eener for her birthday. He goes on to explain to me that his wife had been a little down in the dumps lately, she wasn't really looking forward to turning 27 and was missing her besties like crazy. He then offered to fly me to Denver for the ultimate birthday surprise.

I, of course, accepted.

I arrived to DIA late Thursday night. Lauren's flight was delayed because of the HOLY TORNADO out of NOWHERE in Vegas that hit Thursday evening. I killed some hours poking around on Facebook (shocking) and catching up on some reading. Josh came to pick us up and we were just giddy with excitement. He had told Linzi that his friend Cory had an overnight layover in Denver and would be staying with them that night. This guy went as far as creating a fake email account and then reading the email aloud to his wife, as well as putting Lauren and I under Cory's name in his phone. We were so sneaky!! The Wizzes live up in the mountains now so it takes a little bit of time to get up there. Around 2:30 a.m., we got to the house, and Josh went in to wake Linzi to tell her that "Cory" wanted to say hello. "Babe. It's 2:30 in the morning. I don't have a bra on." He told her, "Come on." After realizing it would be rude not to come out and say hello, she did.


She was soooo happy she cried herself to sleep that night (sorry Wiz, it's just so touching!). That was the start of the best birthday surprise weekend ever.

And of course, on Friday, Denver got over a foot on snow. What do you do on a snow day? Hit up the bars, OBV. It took us an hour to get about 20 miles from her house but we arrived in Morrison and our first stop was The Holiday Bar because they have a Big Buck Hunter. As soon as we arrived to that bar, we heard that 285 S...our way home, was closed. Maybe it's because it looked like this outside.

I could definitely think of worst places and worst people to be stranded with so we made the best out of the afternoon. We ate at the Morrison Inn for some delicious Mexican fare and then went to an old favorite, Vinny's where the SHOTSKI happened. That's right. Shotski and I'm not even being cute right now. They put four shots in a ski, you tip back and take it all down at once. As you can see below, it was not the best tasting shot I'd ever had.

Saturday, we slept in and then started prepping to entertain. A few of our nearest and dearest came over to ring in the festivities. Linzi's cousin, Erin, brought the party with a SpongeBob pinata that was half the size and weight of the largest guy at the party. This thing was so massive, we couldn't even hang it from the ceiling so we decided that a LAUNCH meeting a ski pole would definitely be the way to get this thing done. Here is what happened when SpongeBob met Lauren.

Sunday was spent recovering. Oh wait, no, we woke up and started drinking because the sun actually decided to come out and it was the actual big 2-7 day which seemed like two VERY GOOD reasons to start drinking red wine at noon. After a few hours of soaking up the sun on The Wizzes porch, we headed over to Evergreen to visit the Granquists. This was the first time in many years that I was in the same room as my complete second family. Jim, Cheri, Amy, Michael, Linzi + AND MORE. Not to mention the latest (and cutest, sorry Michael) addition to the clan, Mr. Henry James, son of Amy and Ben.

It was a fun-filled weekend fulls of lots of love and laughter. A special thank you from the bottom of my heart to Josh Wickler, for winning Husband of the Year award and bringing the three of us together for this unforgettable weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Call for Action

So you know that HSCOOC loves you, right? And if you needed something, HSCOOC would totally be there for you.

Now it's time to return the favor.

I try not to be a Stage Mom, HOWEVER, having the cutest Goldendoodle in the whole wide world makes that difficult sometimes. Sir Gordon and I will just be lounging around or playing fetch at the park and I'll look at him and think "GOD! I should TOTALLY be using you more for your looks." Hey, people, I'm just being honest here.

And when we work hard at something, we usually get it. Take the Daily Puppy for example. One of my proudest moments and it only took me six months and 5,487 submissions to get us there. A few weeks ago, it was brought to my attention (via Kristin aka Lil' Roo) that The View News was launching a contest for the pups.

The Polished Pooch (worst name ever but that's besides the point) Contest would earn Gordie a spot at the Human Society's Annual Wag-a-Tail Walk-a-Thon but really, he's just looking for the bragging rights. We've just got to get him in the top 15 so he can be featured in the April 6 editions of the View News.

This is the only thing I have been able to get to distract him from his Bieber Fever so please, please, take the two minutes for us and visit this link, go to page 7 and cast your vote for Sir Gordon Snacks A Lot. And you can vote once a day. And from different computers. Including your phone. Just sayin'.

We thank you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wishing You a Pot -O-Gold!

This photo was taken on my favorite St. Patrick's Day ever spent in Chicago three years ago. That's the only way to do it another city, starting at 10 a.m. without a care (but lots of luck) in the world.

HSCOOC wishes you and all of your leprechauns the luck of the Irish today (and the rest of the year long).


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Staycation Alert!

So this whole running the PR department thing has got me on a tight leash here in Vegas until April 5 (at which time I am tempted to take the whole week off...) so when I found out that Chloe was coming to visit, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for a staycation. They are all the rage now.

Chloe is one of my nearest and dearest. I met her through Panda (Arlene) here at SK+G. The two of them quickly adopted me into their lunch hours and it's been a beautiful, blossoming friendship ever since. About a year ago, Chloe's world got turned upside down and she made the decision to take the opportunity to move back home to New Hampshire and go to Nursing School. Truly following her dreams and her heart for the first time in her life.

This was her first trip back to Vegas and her first trip ever here as a girl without a ring on it. We made a list of all the places we had to go, things we had to eat and all the drinks in-between. Needless to say, I think I'm going to need a vacation from my staycation after all of this!

Friday night kicked off with HALLELUJAH the first baseball game of the season. It's tradition that Renee goes to Major League Weekend here for her birthday every year with her family and this was my second year tagging along. The Cubbies won this year and so did the beer.

Saturday Chloe arrived! We started the evening at Downtown Firefly which prompted a post on my Facebook explaining that if Downtown LV is my home away from home then Don't Tell Mama is my living room, The Griffin is my basement, Firefly is my kitchen and Globe Salon is my dressing room. Especially since it feels like I've spent more time at these places over the past year than I have in my own little cozy abode. So yes, we enjoyed several hours of tapas and sangria at Firefly....

.....followed by a trip to Don't Tell Mama where Panda treated us to her singing talents. You should have seen the crowd the moment she opened her mouth. She gets up like "I want to sing a song" and then BAM R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And respect she earned. That girls got cords for days.

And you know what we had? Shots for days. When we got our tab from the beautiful Bianca, my jaw hit the floor. But WTH, I'm on staycation. We then headed two doors over to The Griffin. Which, after several hours of more drinks and conversation, eventually led to pancakes with Superchump (you read that right) at the El Cortez which led to Chloe and I getting back to The Palms just in time to catch the sunrise over CityCenter from the view out our room.

It was one of the most surreal nights of my life.

And yes, I needed the entire next time to recover but alas, we had a tattoo appointment to get to. Chloe decided that what happens in Vegas, doesn't always have to stay in Vegas and got herself her first tattoo. It is so perfect, three stars...past, present and future. The past and the present stars are filled in with the future wide open. I just love love love the meaning of it and she's really happy with it (probably because it's not a giant fairy tattooed above her ass).

The rest of Sunday was spent recovering with meals from In-N-Out and a trip to Golden Spoon (the necessities, you know).

Monday evening brought the 2nd Annual Happy Birthday Pung You Hike out at Red Rock with Audrey, Mousse, Gordie and myself.

Gordon of course found the first stream of water, splashed all the way through it, rolled in red dirt and basically ran amuck. Look how happy the boy was!

Last night was Tiki Tiki Tiki Time over at Frankie's and catching some of our favorite local talent at The Brass Lounge.

And tonight brings a final trip (at least for this staycation) to Downtown Freemont East. I have so so SO enjoyed my time with Chloe since she has been here and it breaks my heart that I don't get her like this every day anymore but we have certainly made the best out of this first trip and I know there will be many, many more to come. I am so happy to see the person that she has blossomed into during her adventure of this past year and am blessed to be able to call her one of my closest friends. Love you, Chloe.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vegas Sunrise

This weekend was one for the books. I am still gathering all of my thoughts (and photos) on it - any maybe still sobering up a little bit - let's be honest.

In the meantime, the photo above was a result of seeing the sunrise Sunday morning from the Fantasy Tour at The Palms.

Intrigued? I thought you might be. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Katie Knoch : Sommelier

A few summers ago I visited Napa Valley with Pep and Aunt Karen. I had JUST started crossing over from White Zin (I know, I know....we all gotta start somewhere though) to white wines. So I was excited - not like I would be now - but still, excited.

We checked out a couple little wineries before we headed to V. Sattui Winery where my lush of a mother (gotta get it from someone) is a member of their 'exclusive' wine club. Meaning, we got the V.I.P. treatment with a private wine tasting down in their cellar. We got this GREAT sommelier who explained that he would be walking us through the tasting. We would start with whites and then....

"Oh no, no, sir. I would JUST like to try the whites. I do not like red." (My 26 year-old-self cannot believe I just typed those words...)

"Oh, no, my're trying them all. I will get you there. Trust me, by the time we reach the reds, you'll be ready."

Who am I to argue? This guy OBV knows what he is talking about. And, let's be honest, I've never been as picky with alcohol as I am with food.

So the 'tasting' begins. I put tasting in quotations because there was nothing tasting-size about these samples. We are talking half glasses of wine. And like 12 of them. In two hours. Standing up. Pre-lunch. By glass 7, I was stuffing pretzels in my face like they were cheese. And sure enough, the whites came and went, the rose wine came and went and before I knew folks, I was drinking red wine.

And it's been a serious love affair ever since.

But I digress. The guy, I can't remember his name, so we'll just call him Oscar. Oscar was REAL good about telling me what he thought I would like, what I could expect my taste-buds to experience, what cheese would go well with such and such wine (again, love this man) and I might not like this one as much, but this will be the one you will want to take home with you, etc. etc.

So needless to say, we are PRETTY SAUCY by the end of this whole thing. And let me tell you, I am a PRO at tasting wine. I am swirling it in my glass, slightly sniffing for a preview, taking in the aroma. Then Oscar, my new B.F.F. at this point, tells me that THIS THIS RIGHT HERE will FOR SURE be the one you want to purchase. "I saved the best for last," he tells me. BRING IT ON OSCAR, BRING IT ON!

I take a sip and BY GOLLY it truly is the most delicious thing in the mouth EVER.

"Oscar! Holy SHIT! (hey, I was drunk). THIS IS DELICIOUS. I'll TAKE 4!!"

Oscar starts to crack a smile as he shows me the bottle of their exclusive, bottled-on-site...

Oh yeah, that one really got my mother and aunt rolling. Here I was, age 23, thinking I had just taken the most sophisticated glass in wine tasting EVER to be fooled. But I did learn an important thing that day.

I love red wine. All day. Every day. And Forever.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Celebration

If you know me, you know I don't need a reason to celebrate on a Friday night. Just the fact that it is Friday seems like a fine enough reason for me to put on a dress and hit the town. However, this past Friday called for not one but TWO occasions to celebrate so you can imagine how excited I was.

The birth and return of Miss Anika Jones.

You know Anika, she is the one I make bad decisions with on a school night. I've known Anika for YEARS, over a decade (as I am lucky to have known most of my friends for that long). We had photo class together in high school and then were lucky enough to reconnect (thank you Facebook) and reunite at Don't Tell Mama over the summer. And what a summer it was. We were inseparable! She was my Plus One and I was hers. We ran this town on The Strip, Downtown Freemont East, at the Hard Rock Concert Series, Britney Spears, UNLV Football games and the infamous Zappos party but the nights we enjoyed most were sitting on my patio, sipping cocktails and running our mouths away. After all, we had a lot of catching up to do. And then one night, in walked The Germ and love happened.

And then she went to live in the NYC with him for what felt like eternity, but winter does that to a girl sometimes.

Then came early March and just like Springtime, FUN arrived. Chris and Anika are back and for good if I have anything to say about it. So we celebrated. Anika turning 27 and having not one, but now two, friends back in my life.