Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Being Happy

As June comes to an end, I'm thinking my own little Happiness Project should not. Although making sure I blogged every day was more difficult than I expected, this whole month of posts has been very rewarding. It made me really take a look at my daily life to figure out "What makes me happy?"

I knew the basics, my family and friends but it was fun to discover the little things that put a smile on my face every day.

When my friends are down in the dumps, I remind them that you've got the right to choose to be happy. It's a choice. Every day. You can wake up and choose to be miserable or choose to be happy. And yes, sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

So, I vow to continue the happy posts. Random as they may be, they are just as therapeutic. Perhaps not every day but enough to keep the happy going.

And let's hope that July is 1/2 the happy that June was.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Free Cheese

So, obv, you are all well aware of my love of cheese but free cheese - well takes the cheese.

Last Thursday night, when the girls and I hit Gaslamp for a night out in SD, we just had to go to the Bitter End, the bar I spent my 25th birthday. Except it's no longer the Bitter End, it is now the Tipsy Crow.

If we hang out, you know I'm into a little thing called FourSquare. I am sure most of you are tired of hearing me say, "Wait, wait, I gotta check in." Well, as I checked into the Tipsy Crow, I noticed this particular glorious bar offered a special for FourSquare'ers.

"Special here....the Mayor (what happens when you check in to a place the most) gets 50% off his/her tab at all times. Show the bartender that you checked in with us, and we will give you a free appetizer."

So after looking over the Drink Exchange - wait, I gotta tell you about this. They have a Drink Exchange, set up just like the Stock Exchange, and depending on the popularity of the drink that night, is how much that drinks costs. So I drank a goblet of Widmer for $3.75 and when we first got there, our SluttyCrowns (Slutty Red Heads with Crown instead of Jagger), were $6 but by the time we ordered our second (hey, I said it was girl's night out), they were down to $4.75. Such an awesome idea.

But I digress, I show the bartender that I checked in and she says, "Grilled Cheese or Pretzel Bites?"

What? What? You're telling me that I get a free grilled cheese just for checking in here?

The Tipsy Crow/Bitter End was already my favorite bar in America by comping me a bottle of Champagne on my 25th but now - it just took that title to a whole new level. Tispy Crow, you are now my favorite bar on the planet.

And thank you, FourSquare. I love you, too.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fresh Tunes

I love when I get one of these beauties as a present. It means I get to spend hours poking around on iTunes finding the next soundtrack to my summer.

This one bought Sleigh Bells and Yeasayer. So far, my favorite Sleigh Bells is Tell 'Em, which you can listen to here - just be sure to turn it up - loud. And my #1 Yeasayer is ONE, thanks to my music guru - Tiffanie. And it's so great that I insist that you watch the video.

Those moves! Are ya kiddin' me?? I've got to learn them by Friday to be able to bust them out at the Get Back in time.

I've got $5.01 left....any suggestions, lovies?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

San Diego

Every year, Lauren and I set aside a week for some quality +more time. This time must have a few qualifications, OK....just one. A beach.

This year, we looked into going to Tulum, Mexico but after some research and tightening of budgets, we decided to visit one of our favorite places and a classic standard....San Diego, California.

We headed out late afternoon last Sunday. After a stop at Sonic for some Happy Hour Vanilla Cokes, we hit the I-15 and headed south for the week.

Thanks to Lauren's diligent research and dedication, we stayed at the Hotel Solamar, located on 6th and J in the Gaslamp District. 4 stars but lacked free wifi and a coffee maker but made it for it with the animal print robes....making us just too sexy every time we put them on.

Monday we woke up and hit the beach. And we did the same on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

And I got some much-needed juicy reading done.

Since we were staying in Gaslamp, we had plenty of options for our nights spent in SD. We had to hit Fred's for some Mexican but apparently totally screwed up by going on Monday night and therefore blowing our Taco Tuesday. We did check out this awesome bar called Neighborhood, where they look down upon ketchup. Luckily, we were just there to drink.

We saved our big night out for Thursday though when our dear friends Lisa and Amy were able to come down for a cocktail or 12. Or 7. And pizza. And a noise complaint but we'll get to that. To start our evening our right, Lauren and I made reservations at Cucina Urbana. Everything was farm-fresh, definitely worth the trip if you're in the area. The drinks were all made from fresh ingredients and were to die for (plus mine came with a flower so :) )

After dinner, the party got started with the arrival of Lisa and Amy. The night brought great conversation, drinks and a new best friend, Michael, our pedi-cab driver who had a killer system and got our party started off right - and got us home safe when we called him at last call for a ride back to the hotel.

And then came that noise complaint. Lisa was crashing with Lauren and I back at the hotel and we, of course, had to stop at Gaslamp Pizza (with Michael) for a 2 a.m. snack. We got back to the room, ate a large pizza and then the giggles came. Around 3 a.m., we get a knock on the door and they had sent their two best men to come and settle us girls down. Which, no surprise here, just set us off for another good 20 minutes or so. Here we are, at 27, getting a noise complaint and the fact that they sent not one but two guys to handle the situation really got us rolling. Some things never change though, and when the three of us get together, and gigglefest 2010 is bound to happen. Lock up your children!

Friday morning, we managed to pull ourselves out of bed and head back to Vegas as Lisa headed off to work. It was the quintessential vacation. Relaxation, good eats, better company and lots and lots of memories.

San Diego, I miss you already. Thank you for being you - in all of your gloriously perfect 75 degree beach weather and endless nights.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Summer Dresses

I have had a serious love affair with my summer dresses for years now. As soon as April rolls around, it's dresses every day until October.

Benefits of the dress: Throw it on and outfit complete - style done easy. It's too hot in Vegas to really wear anything other than dresses. Feel girly - fun and flirty.

For these reasons (and my love of shopping), in my opinion, a girl can never have too many summer dresses.

Now the only dilemma, which one to wear tonight?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Best of Both Worlds

We all know my love of red wine.

But a red wine named Cupcake?


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Animal Print

We are staying in a super classy place located on 6th and J at the Gaslamp District in San Diego.

Wanna know how we know it's classy? Because they provided us with animal print robes to lounge around in - in style.

After a few drinks out the other night, we had a full on photoshoot. And lots and lots of giggles.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Smoothie Love

I don't know if you know this about me, but I spent the majority of my teenage years making smoothies.
If you've ever worked in a smoothie shop, you know that between blends - you get pretty creative trying to create your own unique drink.

At age 16, I nailed it. Working at Mixers Juice Co., I came up with the most delicious concoction one could imagine.
The unfortunate thing is, one of the key ingredients is Watermelon juice - which most smoothie shops do not stock. Mixers closed when I was 17 - a sad day for myself, my friends and my family who were all getting over their daily dose of vitamins thanks to stops into my work. And no, Ma, I did not put them out of business with my free shots of Wheat Grass and Dreamsicle Smoothies for Lauren.

There is one place, one glorious chain in California, that carries Watermelon juice. JUICE IT UP. Lisa takes me there every visit and Lauren was patient enough yesterday (as always) to drive around with me until we found one in Point Loma. If you have one in your area, write down this recipe, take it in and request this blend up of happiness:

1/2 Watermelon Juice

1/2 Mango Juice

Orange Sherbet


1/2 Banana

Vita Boost (take those vitamins!)

Your taste buds will thank HSCOOC. And P.S. if you know of a smoothie shop in Vegas that happens to carry Watermelon juice, please let me know. I promise to keep them in business single handily.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

VEGAS Magazine Party

A (major) perk to my job is that a few times a year, I get invited to some swanky million dollar party hosted by a magazine or up-and-coming company.

My favorite one of these events all year long is the Vegas Magazine Anniversary Party, held every June.

To celebrate the occassion, Kid Sister and I spent the day primping and prepping. We got new dresses from Express and got our make-up done at MAC. Hey, a girl deserves to feel like a million bucks at a million dollar party.

The 7th Anniversary was celebrated this past Saturday night at Surrender at the Encore. Surrender has to be one of the most beautiful places in all of Vegas. It is outside at Encore Beach Club, surrounded by thousand dollar cabanas. The weather on Saturday night in Vegas was just perfect. The music kept us on our feet - and the hosted bar helped out with that, too.

Did I enjoy this party just a little bit more because I happened to be featured in the magazine this month? Maybe :)

Happy Anniversary, VEGAS. Thanks for celebrating #7 with us in style.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Beach

If you know me, you know that nothing makes me happier than feeling the sand between my toes and taking in the ocean view.

This is exactly where you can find me for the next 5 days.

Pacific Beach, San Diego, California.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

California Sunset

+ More and I are officially in San Diego.

I, with a cold. And it took us 7 hours to get here but this sunset (along with some In-N-Out and the best company) got us through it.

Happy California.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Nights

I love and live Friday nights with a passion. And last night was a perfect example of why.

With 3 of my nearest and dearest, I headed to Dona Maria's downtown for some Mexican fare (ok, a cheese quesadilla) and Margaritas.

We then headed to Beauty Bar to catch Fictionist, a great band out of Salt Lake City that I never miss when they come through Vegas.

And what was that? $5 shot and beer? Photobooths? Dance party? Waking up still in my dress at 8:30 a.m.?

All totally worth this wicked hangover I am suffering through today.

BTW.....I am officially on vacation (although not from HSCOOC)- Lauren and I head to San Diego for the week tomorrow. That is, after the VEGAS Magazine party tonight. Here we go, round two.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tiki Time

Is happy time. Any time (but especially on Thursdays).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday Nights

Thanks to a childhood playground game, Wednesday nights have become one of my favorite nights of the week.

Come 7 p.m., I pack up my bag with water, most times wine, tie my shoes, and head out the door to Desert Breeze park.

We play - and very well - I might add, and then head over to Shuck's to celebrate with new friends and cold beer.

Last night was the playoffs and we took gold in both the games. I would like to contribute (some of) it to our team mascot, Sir Gordon Snacks a Lot, and his team spirit.

Although I will be in San Diego (!!!) for the final game of our Spring season next week, I know that Kickin' It Old School will be the CHAMPIONS.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

She Sure Did

Thanks, Chloe, for my newest notebook. It couldn't be more true.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A few years ago, I became absolutely obsessed with a little game called Bingo.

"You're telling me that for $6, I can go play a game, where I have the chance to win money, kill an hour, play with some markers AND get free drinks all while doing so?"

Sold. Sign me up.

And sign up I did, at least once a week for a year or so. Then it got harder and harder to convince my friends to come along. "C'mon! We love Bingo!" "Katie, we never win." "So? We get free drinks and we get to DAUB!"

The craze died out and I had almost forgotten about how much I love Bingo. Until last night.

Jim, Payton and I headed down to the Gold Coast to get our Monday night daubing on. After running to the Bingo hall and pulling out cash to play, we get settled in our seats.

B-6, O-71, I-22...

A few minutes later, someone yells BINGO! And we all sigh and Payton is talking to me and I'm nodding my head but starring at my card. Wait. Wait. This can't" HAVE F*CKING BINGO!" Sorry, I curse when I get really excited. "Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!" And let me tell you, I was THAT obnoxious. I couldn't contain myself. I was screaming and laughing and, even right now, I can't help but smile like really really big. You guys, I don't know if I have ever felt pure joy like that (that I knew wouldn't come attached with a later consequence), in my entire life. The lady who is trying to check my card is cracking up in the microphone because I just can't get ahold of myself.

Keep in mind, at this point, I don't even know how much I've won. All I know is that I finally won at Bingo. After coming here 1,000 times, never even expecting to win....I've finally hit it big.

It may have only been $50 but it felt like a million bucks.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sienna!

Once upon a time, a kitten was born in the backyard at Pep's place. That kitten grew up to be Miss Sienna Miller, a cat who walks to her own tune by not pooping in the litter box.

For those of you that know Sienna, you know that she is very vocal - especially if there is food involved. She is absolutely hysterical about treats. All you have to do is shake the jar and you'll immediately hear her come running thanks to the little bell she wears around her collar.

In true kitten fashion, she would never let you know how much she loves you. When I pick her up, she immediately squirms to be put down but every night, she makes sure that I am sound asleep and curls up right next to me and sleeps sounds there all night long.

Or until she decides to get up and start hitting the blinds with her mittens.

She loves to have little chicken hats put on her head. Oh, wait, not at all.

She loves her brother. Oh, wait, that's not so true either.

But I know what is much I love her. Sienna, happy 5th birthday my love. I look forward to picking up your poop up off the bath mat for the next 15 years.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

27 - Not So Serious After All

Last Friday night, I celebrated my 27th birthday with some of my favorite people. There were certainly a few key players missing due to distance but to be honest, I don't know if there could have been one more ounce of fun in this party.

We packed a punch with this one.

Kicked it off with dinner at Downtown Firefly. With a party of 18 or so, the sangria and tapas were non-stop for 3 hours.

The party then made a quick stop in the room to drop off my presents (my friends spoiled me and I cannot thank them enough), and continued down Fremont to the Beauty Bar for The Get Back. Shots were taken, beers were consumed and everyone was on their feet. It was a non-stop dance party until nearly 4 a.m. (!!!).

And the party didn't end there. After Beauty, we walked over to Don't Tell Mama where Dre serenaded me with a sexy rendition of Happy Birthday. And yes, I may have been falling in love with her at this moment.

The lights came on in Mama's and it was time to head back to the Nugget. I am feeling pretty tipsy at this point (more like really, really drunk) and all I want is a Happy Meal. I announce this to the group and on our trek back up Fremont, there, like a mirage, was a 24-hour McDonald's. Chicken McNuggets at 5 a.m. - a dream come true I tell you.

The next day (or more accurately, a few hours later), we crawled out of bed around 10 a.m. to get ourselves down to the pool. I officially got 3 hours of sleep the night before. I am getting to old for this! But The Tank and slide made it totally worth it. As previously mentioned, I wish I had more photos to share with you (because the 19 in this post already is not enough!) - but this is officially the last picture that was taken with my camera before the drop:

Luckily, I was never a fan of this Sony camera and I have a new Canon en route to me now. I've got to have a camera to document this next year - I have a feeling it's going to be the best one yet.

Welcome, 27 and thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with me.