Thursday, May 11, 2017

Family Fun Weekend

I'm not the best organizer but I managed to plan a family trip to Vegas! It all began with the trip to Utah that I took with the kids. They talked about Vegas as we drove through it reminiscing about the last time they were there. So when we got home I began searching for airfare and hotel since the kids have a 3 day weekend that wasn't on the official President's Day weekend. Score!!

I was able to save on airfare since we left early Saturday morning so we took off from Long Beach airport which is another little gem for its ease and small size. Check in online and just breeze through. Seriously if I can fly out of LB for a good price, I will.

We had a 9am flight that somehow got delayed about 30 minutes because the flight manifest did not match the actual number of passengers. Weird, like really weird of by about 20 people. That took a while to get straightened out. Quick flight to Vegas and out to car rental shuttle since we just had carry on bags (no wait). The longest wait was for the car rental and the guy was trying really really hard to sell the extra insurance with horror stories and scare tactics. Ugh.

Also super fast check in at Circus Circus too. From there, we just saw our kids mostly at meals. They took off to have lunch on their own and explore leaving Hector and I to enjoy a nice meal at Tatuado. I have memories of Circus Circus from when I was 9 years old (long long time ago) and some things are still the same. I remember the midway with all games and circus acts. I even tried a couple of games since we had 2 for 1 coupons but I didn't win.

Saturday night we had dinner reservations at The Steakhouse which is tucked away along the major walkway just down from the buffet. It has a history going back to the mob days so that was kind of cool. Everything was great. We've had many years of eating at high end steak places and we were very happy. The dinner is a complete meal so it was good because it pushed the kids to try new things. Tyler had the French onion soup while Josh tried the black bean soup. Both were delicious, I had to taste them. Everyone enjoyed their steak choices and I took half of mine back to the room for later. We were discussing whether or not to have dessert but the choices were too good to pass up. The first choice was NY cheesecake...naturally Tyler wanted that. 2nd choice was creme brûlée so I wanted that and the 3rd choice was a chocolate mousse cake. Josh loves chocolate but never tried a mousse cake before so Hector ordered it so Josh could try it. Turns out he loved it and ate most of it. Both kids tried my creme brûlée and like it too. Overall, a very successful and enjoyable dinner!

Hector and I then headed downtown to go dancing at Gold Diggers at the Golden Nugget. I had a nice buzz going on there so I hung out chatting with all sorts of people. I don't know what it was but the guys were extra friendly...maybe cuz it was Vegas. Harmless guys just wanting to have fun. One guy kept telling me to dance with Hector who was already out there. Look I don't need anyone to tell me to dance with my husband, he's having a good time and I'll dance when I'm ready. :)


Sunday was laid back..the kids got up early, had breakfast and took off exploring. I stayed in bed keeping track of their progress.They walked to Stratosphere and went up to the observation deck. By this time, Hector and I were up and having our breakfast. The kids texted that they were walking to the mall. Hector and I took a nice walk down the Strip choking out the Wynn and Encore. Hector hadn't seen these newer casinos so it was nice to walk around and see the Chinese New Year decorations. We saw the kids walking on the other side of the street heading back to our hotel. They seemed to have a great time walking around, doing their own thing. 

Hector and I had several drinks along our walk, starting at the Wynn. I tried a Moscow Mule variation with whiskey & H had a Bloody Mary. It was sort of funny because H finished his drink so I said we can leave and H pointed out that I hadn't finished my drink. That's okay,  I can get a to-go cup and H looks at me strangely. He didn't know that in Vegas they transfer your drink to a plastic cup so you can take it on the street with you. Haha. It was amusing to me that H didn't know that but then I realized, why would he know, he isn't a slow drinker. But it was still funny to me.

For dinner Sunday night, I scored 2 for 1 dinner buffet tickets so that was the kids' first Vegas buffet experience. It was nice that they're old enough to go on their own and get their own food. I remember those younger years when I had to balance 2 or more plates and help them etc. Both of them really enjoyed it and it was nice to see that Tyler chose to try some fish. 

After dinner we headed over to the Luxor for our show to the Blue Man group at 9:30pm. We got there early so the kids took off again to explore. We had about 90 minutes to kill so they took the tram to Excalibur and New York New York to look around. 

The show was really cool. We didn't really know what to expect. I got the cheaper tickets that were off to the side in the back and since it wasn't sold out, the ushers began moving everyone to the middle section so that was nice. That's a little tip from me to you. If you happen to buy show tickets while on a budget, buy the cheaper seats if you're going on weeknight because most likely the show will not sell out. They will move people up to the better sections. That's happened twice to me with the LOVE show and the Michael Jackson One shows. We were moved up to better sections that cost significantly more. it's not guaranteed but it is very nice to get upgraded.

The show is hard to describe but very entertaining and interactive. We enjoyed it very much! The blue men are very talented in pantomiming in a modern way with music, dance and pure entertainment!

Overall, we had a wonderful weekend and I already planned another trip with the kids after school gets out! 


Springtime

I know it was a while since I last posted but I didn't realize it was that long. I have been putting more effort and time in my skincare biz so some things always have to be set aside and the blog is the first to go. That being said, I really do enjoy blogging/vlogging and it's important for everyone to have a hobby. Unfortunately, I have several...knitting, cooking and photography to name a few. The cooking part has taken over a bit since we all need to eat. 

Another factor is the LA Kings not making the playoffs this year. That frees up a lot of time and money for other things. Knitting has been fun, as usual but my wrist flares up so that can't always work. 

I do have spring break vacation stuff to share but I need edit a lot. 

But this post will focus on my baking. I used to be in a sock yarn club so every 2 months, I'd receive  yarn, 2 sock patterns by the designer Cookie A. Since her name is Cookie she would also include 2 cookie recipes. That really challenged me to try new things plus I could always hand them over to Hector to bring to work. As a result, the people at Hector's work started looking forward to my cookies. So it was a nice system...I baked new cookie recipes and the hospital staff would eat them.

I also bought a cookie recipe book so that gives me many more options in the future and recently I printed out my favorite cookie recipes from the club to re-visit. 

Last week I made Nanaimo bars. I believe it's a Pacific Northwest cookie and it's a decadent layered cookie bar of chocolate, vanilla and crust of graham crackers, coconut and chopped almonds. 



A post shared by Debbie T (@moodybq) on

Next up is a video I put together and kind of cookie related. I have a recipe that calls for lemon curd. I remember trying to make it on the stove but it came out runny which wasn't great as a filling for a cookie. Buying lemon curd in the store it expensive so that recipe sat on the back burner. 

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a microwave lemon curd recipe and I had lots of lemons in the fridge so I tried it while recording it.

This recipe is a keeper and much easier than the one I tried previously. I planned on making the cookie to actually use the lemon curd but that didn't happen. turns out lemon curd tastes pretty good on its own! 



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Utah

Happy New Year!!!

So much going on...I was actually trying to upload my video to edit and for whatever reason, I can't see it on my computer but I can see it on my camera viewer. I'll blame it on my Mac newbie status for now. I'll try uploading it onto a PC and go from there.

Meanwhile, you can make do with some photos.





I took the kids to Brian Head, Utah to to meet up with some friends that have a cabin up there. The weather was great which made the drive nice and uncomplicated.  Our friends' cabin is up a steep hill which is luckily plowed in for the last 5 years otherwise we'd have to park at the bottom and snowmobile all our stuff & us up to the cabin. 

The cabin is comfortable yet rustic. There are solar panels which power a bank of golf cart batteries to provide our necessary electricity in addition to a generator for emergencies.  More on that later. There are also gas lamps for night time use. No wifi. Our heat came from a wood stove. A 7 gallon water heater so showers were speedy.

It was a big adjustment for all of us but overall, it was a good experience. Once our phones/devices died, we had to entertain ourselves with books and board games!! Gasp!
It was a nice change of pace and I got a lot of knitting done. 






 One day the kids went tubing and another day was spent skiing. We put the kids to work helping stock the wood pile, shovel the deck and install new golf cart batteries. The batteries had to be replaced since the previous ones were probably over 15 years old and having issues holding  a charge. Plus I think all our electronics really made it more apparent. The kids were good sports, playing Yahtzee and building Legos. 

We had plenty of room for all of us and pretty much all the comforts of home. I'll need to get going on the video so enjoy this for now...