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.