Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Snapshots of Las Vegas // Pancakes & J.Lo // August 2016

In August KC and I headed to Vegas with his parents, his sister, and her (then) boyfriend, (now) fiance. :) We planned a mixture of together and "on our own" time, and were able to fit in so many cool places and things.

On day 4, we started with a family breakfast. My in laws were flying back home, and the rest of us were staying for the J.Lo. show. We didn't do a ton on this day, but I wanted to do a short post anyhow. :) 

My SIL's fiance... laughing at me taking food photos ^^ hahah

Even though Britney wasn't there... I needed a photo with her too. :P 
Eat: We ate at a great breakfast place in Mirage called Pantry. RUN THERE FOR PANCAKES! So so good! :)  We had Shake Shack... again.... and it was still awesome. We stopped for an ice cream at one point, it was just ok. It was outside Mirage and called BLVD Creamery. We had Mexican food for dinner. I don't remember the name of the place (it was in NY, NY)... but it wasn't very good. : / 
    See: The Strip and Shops, and J.Lo. 

    Shop: Most of the shopping in Vegas is reminiscent of mall shopping elsewhere in the US. Those shops that do not resemble it are likely ultra high-end shops. Think Valentino, etc. Not my jam, but cool to see if it is yours! :) Here are a few shops that I enjoyed for my typical (post card, souvenir, quirky or unique items, boutique type shops) shopping. 
    • Houdini's Magic Shop - New York, New York - a fun shop of magic and prank items. The shop workers double as magicians. 
    Shows: Vegas is known for many things, but one I'm particularly interested in, is the insane amount of shows available! We saw three shows while we were there, and enjoyed all of them. There were handfuls of others that sounded great as well. Here's a quick review of the ones we saw!
    • J.Lo.'s "All I Have" - Planet Hollywood - We knew we wanted to see a big pop star while we were in Vegas. Most think of Celine or Elton John, but neither of them were there during our stay. We also thought of Britney (who shares this theater with J.Lo.), but J.Lo. was the one in town, so we decided to see her. She puts on a great show, there is a good review of her hits from the '90's to now, but the real treat is to see her and her back up dancers pull off all of that amazing choreography! It was incredible. Read more about this show, if you are interested, here.
    • I'm going to be honest... on this day we went to check out Luxor, walked a bit, and then proceeded to pack and sleep before the concert. We would have stayed one less day, but J.Lo. only performed on that night of all our dates.
    Favorites: Pantry, Shake Shack (again!), and J.Lo.

    New Experiences: Going to a magic shop, seeing a Vegas residency show, seeing J.Lo. at all.

    Have you been to a pop concert? Have you been to one in Vegas?

    What is your favorite Vegas casino? -if you've been

    If not, what do you most want to see in Vegas?

    Happy Travels!



    Monday, November 28, 2016

    Oh, Baby! // Jess's Second Baby Shower!

    Hi Everyone!

    I hope that you had a great weekend, and & a great holiday to my American friends. :) 

    Ours was very busy with family Thanksgivings, Gilmore Gilrs, baby shower prep, and Jess's second baby shower! We even met up with friends in from out of town for brunch! It was busy, but so worth it!! :)

    After the last shower, I tried to take a lot more photos this time! So here we go! :)

    The theme of the shower was Sprinkled with Love. It seemed easy and fun!

    The invitations were some of my favorites so far, I don't have a photo right now... ha, but they were cute and had little rainbow sprinkles in the background. I made matching signs for the various games, etc. so it was all pretty cohesive. 

    I was so grateful that so many family members and family of family were able to make it! It was great to see so many faces that we haven't seen in quite a while. I'm sure that she felt so loved. :) 

    I can't believe how many gifts she got! Insanely generous, and she just loved everything people picked out for her. The nursery is grey and white with elephants. Oh my goodness, everyone must have latched on to the elephant thing... she got so many cute elephants and other zoo animals and is very excited about it all! :) 

    We had several games and we basically did the same games as the previous shower. Baby Moore Guessing Game, What's In Your Purse?, Name Suggestions, Writing on Diapers, and we tried a bingo... but there were not enough variations on the cards... and pretty much everyone won! hahaha Whoops!

    My aunts hosted the party and they brought lots of yummy food and fun decorations. My cousins were (almost!) all there and able to help with the set up and bring lots of laughter to the room. It was nice to have so many of our family members together.

    Jess even got some baby holding practice in as a cousin's child was there. :) 

    Anyway, I would call the whole weekend a success, I am so happy for Jess!! :) 

    Did you do anything fun this weekend?

    How was your holiday? 

    Did you watch Gilmore Girls?



    Wednesday, November 23, 2016

    12 Things I Am Grateful For // Happy Thanksgiving! // 2016

    Hello everyone! I hope you are having a nice week, and that your week is a short one too!

    As we go off into the holidays, I decided to skip the big travel post for today and just share a few things that I am grateful for.*

    Overall this year, I have made so much progress on really important things like self-care, personal goals, etc. but I haven't done the best job of focusing on gratitude and happiness. It's certainly a "baby steps" type thing, and I can't begin to do it all at once (no one can), but I am hoping to make some good progress back in that direction for 2017.

    Here we go!

    1) I'm grateful for KC. 

    He's been my best friend for almost 10 years, and my husband for almost 5. He's the most selfless, most caring, funniest, smartest guy I know. He works so hard in all things, and I truly appreciate all of his efforts. -this doesn't even begin to cover it... I mean who else would bring me my whale mug while singing, "BALEEN! BALEEN! BALEEN! BALEEEEEEEN! I'M BEGGING OF YOU, PLEASE DON'T EAT MY KRILL!" - LOL (inspired by the White Stripes cover, as much as we both love Dolly!)

    2) I'm grateful for Gilmore Girls

    Oh, Gilmore Girls! You have such a big chunk of my heart. I "grew up" watching this show... meaning I watched it through High School and college, when I did a lot of my "growing up". I've seen it so many times and it doesn't fail to make me laugh, smile, ugly cry, etc. We have been working through the series with a close group of friends. We're not even close to done... but it's been so nice to start watching it through again. When they announced the revival I couldn't believe it was really going to happen... and I cry every time I watch the trailers (no judging!!). To say I'm excited is an understatement.We have a second Thanksgiving on Friday, when it comes out, so we plan to get up and start watching at 6am (with coffee #obvs), powering through until noon. We should still be able to make our 1:00 plans! People keep asking if I am nervous, or stating that they are. But I think 1) this will be so satisfying after so many years, 2) it's a separate thing in my mind... so I think I can keep them separate if need-be. 3) (the musical is the only thing I'm not sure about so far...), and 4) season 7 wasn't great anyway. It's got to be better than that! (though I did like that love rocket episode)

    3) I'm grateful that my parents taught my sisters and I to be kind, compassionate, and understanding. They taught us to think for ourselves, which is one of the most valuable things a parent can teach. 

    Ignore OE's super scared looking face. I promise this is my sister and not a captive child.

    Even if they may not agree with my thinking, I'm grateful that I never have to question whether I believe something because it's my truth vs. because it's what everyone else is thinking.

    4) I'm grateful for kittens, even when they're wiley.

    I'm extra grateful when it's cold outside... because they're extra cuddly. (less grateful when they destroy my couch (see pic), and pull part of our IKEA collapsible drying rack out of the laundry room wall...) <--- nbsp="" p="" stories.="" true="">
    5) I'm grateful for good books, and friends who pass along their recommendations.

    Even though I haven't read much in the past month, reading again has had an immensely satisfying and therapeutic place in my life within the past 1.5 years, and I am so grateful for that. (less grateful for the goodreads addiction that immediately followed.. but pros and cons, folks!)

    6) I'm grateful for the diversity of the world and the ability to travel to see it.

    I know that travel is not a possibility for everyone, and that I will never take it for granted. This year alone we have seen so many beautiful and inspiring places... I can't wait to see more. I'm glad that this is currently possible for us! (& that KC kept his promise that we would travel! :P )

    7) I'm grateful for family, a pretty big one at that, and what they all bring to the table.

    uncles, amiright? :P 

    Growing up with such a huge extended family was such a treat. I had friends in my cousins, I had so many adults to look up to and get to know. I'm the oldest of 7 girls on my dad's side! On my mom's I'm the oldest of 6 girls and 1 boy.

    Now I also have KC's family to call my own. Did I share this photo last Christmas...? I can't remember... My MIL made these shirts! Oh to have crafty fabric skills! It's fun to appreciate both of our families close and extended to compare and contrast. They are very different, but they all bring something to the table. I'm grateful that they're there when I need them, that they teach us things we may not have seen otherwise.

    8) I'm grateful that my sister has become a really good friend.

    As you get older, life undoubtedly gets more difficult and complex. Jess and I fought like cats and dogs when we were kids, about everything, but I'm so glad we are friends now. She's one of the sweetest, kindest, most easy-going people I know. We still get caught in giggle fits late in the evening, all we have to do is look at each other and we completely lose it. She's helped me navigate adulthood, and also the challenge of being far from our parents and OE. We even have a code word for if things get too stressful. It's good to know I can talk to her about anything, anytime. Um, and also she's making me an aunt! SO excited for that as well. :) :)

    9) I'm grateful for clementines.

    Yup, those small oranges. They're my favorite.... and 'tis the season!

    10) I'm grateful for planners.

    Investing in planning and organization in 2016 has been a life-saver for me in so many ways. It's helped me juggle a hefty schedule, practice self-care, and take back a little bit of control during my often chaotic weeks. The more I use it, the more I love it, the more I am benefiting from it.... I'm so grateful for this evolved way of planning and organization.

    11) I'm grateful for snail mail and my stationery business.

    This has been my second year of running Simply Alexandra Stationery. I love working with brides, new parents, families, etc. etc. to create small pieces of memorabilia for their life milestones. I love being creative, and sharing in special moments of people's lives. I can't wait to continue in 2017! And of course I am grateful for snail mail because it makes my day, other others' days when they receive it. I mean, any day that it's not all junk mail and bills is a great mail day! I also love that it allows me to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. :)

    12) I'm grateful for other creative pursuits...

    a) This year I've begun project life and photo documenting. I get so much satisfaction from creating these albums, and working with my hands. I can't wait to share some of these videos with you soon!

    b) I'm also grateful for cooking and baking more again. It's been so fun and therapeutic. :)

    c) I'm so grateful for the outlet that this blog creates! For the friends that I have met through blogging! You guys are the greatest, and I am so lucky to know you via our little online world. Thank you so much for your reading, comments, posts, etc. this year. It's been so lovely to get to know you better!

    So there you have it, 12 things I am grateful for, and that's a lot to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

    What are you grateful for? Big or small, I'd love to hear!

    What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

    We'll be prepping pies, cranberries, and watching the t-giving episode of Gilmore Girls...

    ... and then some of the New Girl ones. KC dies laughing when Nick digs that hole in the one where they go camping. BAHAHA

    Other Posts on Gratitude: Gratitude Journaling Year Round, That Year I Was Quarantined for Thanksgiving..., Love is An Icy Tumbler.



    *Thanksgiving is a bit of a questionable holiday in it's roots, and there are still some things that I am pretty concerned and grumbly about... but focusing on gratitude is really important to self-care and happiness... so this post was born.

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    2016 Planner Tour & Review // Video

    Hello Everyone! I hope that you had a great weekend! Ours was busy, but full of celebrating with friends. :) And we got to see Fantastic Beasts... which was fantastic. #obvs (anyone else want to live in that 1920's apartment?! Adorable!!)

    You may have seen my poll about Youtube videos a few posts ago... well, I decided to go ahead and re-film them. I just thought of a way to do overhead videos quickly... and I ran with it! Thank you for the feedback if you gave it. :) I filmed several planner related videos, and several Project Life / photo album videos that I can't wait to share with you guys!

    Keep in mind, I'm new to video, and often my cats are trying to topple everything that I'm using to film. #catprobs - LOL So if you hear meowing, collar jingling, spray bottle spraying... that's just life for me.. hehe The volume is best on a device that has a large volume range. I am a quiet talker... so you'll need the volume up a bit. It works best on my phone and my laptop. Also, these videos are detailed. Mostly because I like the detail when I am watching videos like this... but feel free to skip around! :)

    Anyhow, the first video here is a tour/review of my ECLP. If you love planners, even if you have read my previous posts, this video will give you an in depth (~25 min) look at my current planner, as well as some of the accessories, and how I am liking it.

    If you would like to check out any of my written reviews of this planner, check out my 3 Month Review, and my 6 Month Review.

    What did you think?

    What do you want to know, or see related to planners?

    Any other visual people/learners out there?

    Anybody else have #catprobs ?

    I will likely post more videos on this blog, but if you'd like to follow me on youtube I'd love it! :)



    Friday, November 18, 2016

    Have You Heard? // The Heydaze - "Hurt Like Hell"

    Happy Friday Friends! I hope that you had a nice week. :)

    This song came out a little while back, and it's really catchy. Seemed like a good Friday tune to share after a long week!

    Other Posts This Week: Oh, Baby! // Jess's First Baby Shower! & Snapshots of Downtown Las Vegas.

    What have you been listening to? Christmas music already?!

    What do you have planned this weekend?!

    This weekend I hope we make it to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We'll see how it goes! :) 

    Next week I'll be posting my first youtube video!! Eep! :) 



    Wednesday, November 16, 2016

    Snapshots of Downtown Vegas & Another Show // August 2016

    In August KC and I headed to Vegas with his parents, his sister, and her (then) boyfriend, (now) fiance. :) We planned a mixture of together and "on our own" time, and were able to fit in so many cool places and things.

    On day 3, we rented a car, and we all headed out to the Hoover Dam (see that post here) While we had the car we also ventured out to Downtown Las Vegas. It's a little gritter than the strip, and it also had some cool arts areas that KC and I wanted to see. We finished the night back on the strip, and took in dinner and another show.

    Eat: Since we spent the beginning of this day in Boulder City, we ate there. We were downtown during the middle of the we didn't really eat there. We had dinner at Chin Chin at New York New York. It was lovely. :)
    See: Downtown (Fremont Street Experience), Old Neon Downtown, Emergency Arts Center, Burlesque Museum & Hall of Fame, and Container Park. We also visited the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, which is not near these things. 

    Shop: Most of the shopping in Vegas is reminiscent of mall shopping elsewhere in the US. Those shops that do not resemble it are likely ultra high-end shops. Think Valentino, etc. Not my jam, but cool to see if it is yours! :) Here are a few shops that I enjoyed for my typical (post card, souvenir, quirky or unique items, boutique type shops) shopping. 
    • Burlesque Museum Gift Shop - Downtown - This museum is teeny and a donation type entry. I'll talk more about it later, but they also had some really cute post cards, stickers, t-shirts, etc. Along with some unmentionables in a little case. - Cheeky!
    • The Downtown Container Park - Downtown - these boutiques are made out of old shipping crates! So cool. Boutiques range from unique restaurants to toy stores. It's a cool enclosed area with a playground in the middle, there is so much to see there! The toy store was our favorite!!
    Shows: Vegas is known for many things, but one I'm particularly interested in, is the insane amount of shows available! We saw three shows while we were there, and enjoyed all of them. There were handfuls of others that sounded great as well. Here's a quick review of the ones we saw!
    • Cirque du Soleil - "KA" - MGM Grand - This Cirque du Soleil show is a bit different than most because it follows a plot. It's about twin warriors who are separated as children, and evolves as they come of age. This theater is much larger than the one at Treasure Island, so it was a bit harder to see everything that was happening, but overall this show has a lot of amazing effects. It is known for having it's rotating stage that at times tips, turns into a cliff, a mountain, etc. It's incredible to watch the performers interact with such amazing technology. 
    • Walk the Freemont Street Experience and take in the difference between downtown and the strip. Walk even further to the arts area and container park. Old Neon, Sculptures, and Street Art abound out there!
    • Visit the Burlesque Museum - Downtown - This is a two-room gem of a museum currently residing in the Emergency Arts (Center?). You can chose a donation amount upon entry or exit, there is no set fee to visit this museum. The exhibit changes from time-to-time. When we went it was a timeline of burlesque. They have a collection ranging from photographs, costumes, etc. etc. Though the museum was small, it was very "Vegas" and very fun to see.
    Favorites: Container Park, The Burlesque Museum, Seeing a bit of art in Vegas.

    New Experiences: Learning about Burlesque, shopping in a shipping container, seeing downtown Vegas.

    Have you been to Downtown Las Vegas? What did you think?

    Have you ever been inside of a shipping container? - I think this trend is so cool!

    Would you go to a Burlesque Museum?

    Other Nevada Posts: Vegas Day 1 - The Strip, Vegas Day 2 - Museums & The High Roller (my favorite day!!), The Hoover Dam & Boulder City, NVand Vegas Strip - Day 4.

    Happy Travels!