I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you the very best Christmas! I hope you get the opportunity to chill and enjoy these next few days with your loved ones.
Oh my goodness the weeks leading up to the holidays are insane! I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves, why???
I decided that the weeks leading up to Christmas would be the perfect time to move from the US back to Canada; here I am! Eh!
Like many this time of year, I may have underestimated the time it would take or the energy needed to get everything on my list done. One casualty was my annual Christmas card.
I put a lot of thought into my Christmas Card theme each year. I try to make them as ridiculous and funny as possible. Last year’s was just so so, so I needed to nail this year’s.
I had an awesome idea, but it was a total funny fail! We did laugh our butts off trying to pull it off, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
My idea was to show that living in Las Vegas hadn’t changed me a bit. I would of course be dressed up as a show girl, but instead of feathers I would have pine branches. These costumes were my inspiration.
The plan was to have a headpiece and tail made of greenery that looked like these lovely ladies above.
I recruited my brother and my nephew Jack to help me. My brother builds and fixes things so I thought he would be up for the task.
Well…let’s just say that I overestimated our costume abilities. I also discovered that duct tape can’t fix everything…oh and that it can easily cut off your circulation if too tight!
Instead of looking like a NB showgirl, I looked like a green angel who got punched in the nose in a bar fight.
Not one to give up that easily, I decided to change locations. So I gracefully climbed to the other side of the wall.
Ok, maybe gracefully is a bit of a stretch?? Lol.
After ditching my wings, we did manage to get some cool shots. The life lesson here is to always have a plan b and to laugh your way through your fails when possible.
I was going to get my friend to photoshop the cut on my nose, but I decided to keep it as is, because it shows that nothing is perfect. Shit happens, life is messy, you can roll with it or hide away. I choose to roll with it, 99% of the time anyway.
With the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out.
You’re giving so much to others, how about you treat yourself to something fun for you?? It’s not being selfish, it’s taking care of your heart and soul so you can be there for others.
Now this idea will vary depending on where you live, but it works anywhere and everywhere! The basic idea is to escape from your daily grind for 12 to 24 hours; with all the time that you spend doing laborious tasks, you deserve some time to yourself this month.
It’s easy and doesn’t have to be too expensive.
Step 1 – Find a holiday activity and book it!
Every city, large or small have holiday things to do. Look it up and buy tickets for you and your mate, friend or mom; whoever you want to share your Staycation with, just be sure it’s someone you like, lol.
If you don’t like concerts, go see a movie or find a craft show, just make certain it’s an activity that you enjoy.
I staycationed last night in Las Vegas; and yes, this city has a lot of options, but I couldn’t help but notice all the concerts people back home in my little hometown of Moncton are posting on social media. So you don’t have to live in a big city.
Seeing Mariah Carey perform her Christmas concert has been on my bucket list since I moved here three years ago. I missed her last year, her Christmas concerts were too close to Christmas, I was already back home for my Christmas vacation.
But not this year!! I asked two of my close friends if they were interested and they said yes!! We bought our tickets in August.
Step 2 – Get a room!
Now you maybe thinking, why would I get a room in the city that I live in? It’s a waste of money. First of all, no it isn’t a waste! It’s part of your “you need a break” staycation.
So get a room, have a romantic night with your partner or have a pajama party with your BFF.
Here’s a helpful hint, if your schedule is flexible, pick a night that the hotel isn’t busy. Sunday nights are usually the best nights to get the best rate. Also, ask if they have a locals rate? Or ask them what night in the next few nights could they offer you the best rate? Call the hotel directly and tell them you are planning a special night and that you live in the city, they will help you, I promise!
My friends and I have booked a hotel room on the strip, because if you live here going to the strip is sort of a pain in the ass. The traffic, the people, the parking, the people, the walking…
But, if you have a room on the strip, you can have a few drinks without having to drive home; instead of dreading all the crazy party people who invade the city, you become part of the party.
Step 3 – Make a night of it!
So you have your show tickets, you booked your hotel room; now get dressed up and go out to dinner. Think of it as your very own Christmas party and make it special.
For our night on the strip, we booked a fancy restaurant and got dressed up in our shiniest outfits; Shondra out shined, as she should, because she is fabulous!
If you are parents of small kids, maybe your staycation is getting a hotel room, ordering room service and watching Christmas movies in bed? Hey, do you! Whatever you need to recharge your batteries.
Step 4 – Gifts!!
This is a bonus step; ask your staycation partner or partners if they want to exchange gifts? I mean it is Christmas!!
My friends and I did a « our favorite things » gift exchange. Turns out all of our favorite things include fuzzy slippers, candles and luxurious face masks and lotions!
As we packed up and left Caesar’s Palace this morning, Shondra mentioned that it felt like we had been there for the whole weekend; which was exactly the point. We spent a solid 12 hours away from our regular lives; we laughed and made great memories that we will treasure for years to come. Moving forward, Mariah Carey’s, All I Want For Christmas, will make me think of my awesome friends in Las Vegas.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you are planning or could use your own Holiday Staycation!
For more pictures, videos and holiday gift ideas, follow me on Instagram and Facebook at: @oui-liette
One of my many talents is shopping, lol. I can seriously shop anywhere; it’s hereditary, I come from a long line of great shoppers!
I’ve never admitted this publicly before, but I love airport shopping. And not the cute designer boutiques, no, I like the touristy shops. Hudson News and similar stores are my jam!
Is my love for tacky touristy shops due to the fact that I spend far too much time in airports? Perhaps? But I’ve found some seriously cool things over the years.
Las Vegas, Terminal 3’s Hudson News rocks!! Where else can you find Elton John’s new book, alien t-shirts that are so tacky they’re actually cool; super cute keychains, vinyl records, yes you heard me, records! Gummy bears, funky artsy greeting cards, water for your flight and a cheese & crackers??? Where??? Nowhere!
Some may be thinking, who needs a glow in the dark Area 51 alien t-shirt? It’s silly and frivolous; yup, that’s true? But I am going to buy it for my 17 year old nephew on my return trip. I’ll add it to a new pair of jeans and new Converse sneakers and bam!! I can cross him off my Christmas list!! Nerdy, quirky t-shirts are in at the moment, BTW.
You see, I think my airport shopping is really a great demonstration of my ability to multi-task and it also shows off my awesome time management skills!
The average person sees something interesting and thinks, oh cute, and walks away. But an expert shopper thinks, oh that would be a cool stocking stuffer or that would be perfect for so and so’s birthday…. in 11 months.
Now do I usually end up buying myself one of everything that I buy for others? Like last Easter when I bought my mother and cousin the softest pajamas ever made? Well yes, I do, but in my defense, I think it would have been unfair for them to have cute new matching PJs and for me to be forced to wear older, none matching, ones.
What I love about buying fun, odd things, throughout the year is that my Christmas shopping gets done early and the cost is spread out over several months. So far, I’ve avoided being that person; you know that person who ends up racking their brain trying to think of what to buy everyone on their list.
If you’re thinking of adopting my airport/touristy shopping gift strategy, here’s some advice on how to avoid a big rookie mistake. In your excitement, you will be tempted to hand out gifts to loved ones upon your arrival back home. But resist and put them away, save them for Christmas!
Think about it, what if a few weeks before Christmas, you take inventory of what you have hidden away and you realize that all your kids stocking stuffers are bought. Hmm, my love for airport shopping might not seem so silly then??
My great find today were super hero keychains. Are they silly? Yes, but they are fun, unique and are actually great quality; don’t buy anything that looks cheap or flimsy.
I bought them for a few of my girlfriends. Any girl who grew up watching Linda Carter wanted to be Wonder Women (Linda Carter played Wonder Woman on TV in the 70’s and she was fabulous!!). I’ll add them to their Christmas gifts. (Update, on my way back home, my carry on was searched and the Calgary security lady freaked out when she saw these! She wanted to know where I got them, I think she wanted me to give her one.)
I picked this moon night light up in the San Francisco airport; I think it’s super pretty! I had a two hour layover there on my way back from this last trip, just enough time to explore the shops!
Here are a few Airport Shopping Tips…from a professional.
– as mentioned above, don’t buy anything that looks cheaply made. And skip the snow globes and magnets, unless you know someone who collects them.
– airport shops have great greeting cards and honestly, when in your busy life do you have time to pleasantly browse through greeting cards? It’s amazing how easy it is to find that perfect one when you aren’t pressed for time. Like when you’re at the card store rushing through the racks for a nice engagement card, because you’re already 30 min late for the party. I buy in bulk, I think of who’s birthday coming up.
– look for items that have that “strange” factor; either it’s a strange item, in general, or it’s strange that, said item, is being sold in an airport, next to the chips. Lol, Maybe unique would be a better word? Life can be hard and at times depressing; if you find something that no one actually needs, but is fun and makes you smile, buy it!
– don’t limit yourself to airport gift shops, check out hotel and casino gift shops too, you will find the most uniquely quirky items. I was recently on a road trip and we stopped at the biggest touristy shop I’ve ever seen. It was on an Indian reservation and they had everything! My friends and I browsed around, they didn’t buy anything, but I bought the oddest thing ever. It’s a large bullet casing that’s been turned into a bottle opener. It was $6 and no tax (reservations don’t charge tax). My brother will think it’s cool! It’s a perfect stocking stuffer. This is also the sort of quirky gift that makes an awesome and memorable host or hostess gift. Buy a six pack of beer or anything that requires a bottle opener, add the bullet bottle opener and I guarantee that your host will be super excited he invited you to his party!!!
– don’t forget about your sports fan! Airports have so many team branded items to choose from; socks, hats and underwear are perfect stocking stuffers!
– To Duty Free or not Duty Free? Sooo, I have to say that besides booze, I haven’t seen any great deals at duty free. Yes, you’re saving on the tax, but items are usually at full price. I am not a fan.
Thanks for reading!! My next posts will be all about that holidays!!! Then in January, I will be sharing the results of my weight loss challenge. I started the last week in June, my goal was to lose 30 pounds by Christmas! I am soooo close to my goal and it’s only first week of November!!
It’s not exactly a secret that I love Halloween, I also love entertaining and spending time with my friends. I used to host a big Halloween Party every year, but for the last few years I’ve hosted smaller dinner parties.
Last year I hosted a Haunted Dinner Party in my best friends backyard. I bought cheap black rabbit masks for my bunny friends; we hung out, ate cake and laughed our bunny tails off!
This year I am hosting a Haunted Garden Party! Full disclosure, it won’t take place in a garden. New Brunswick in late October isn’t exactly garden party weather, but that’s my theme and I am sticking with it!!
The idea for this years party was inspired from a few of my past costumes. My friends will be asked to create a nature inspired headpiece. I know I am weird, but this is what happens when I get bored. I like being creative; a trip to Michaels can be dangerous for me.
For this years fête, I created a Facebook Event, I like that I can share pictures and we can chat as a group on there.
Not wanting to compete with Halloween parties the weekend before Halloween, I decided that our soirée will take place on a Sunday evening. And who are we kidding, we’ll be done and back home before midnight…ok, probably by 10!! Lol
I sent a few guideline to help my friends get their ideas flowing. It’s funny, I know my friends well enough to know who is going to go all out and who is going to struggle.
A lot of people get stressed out trying to come up with costume ideas, blah!!!! You know your friends, if they aren’t Halloween people, then buy a bunch of masks or matching wigs and have them dress up onsite.
I’ve already told one of my friends, who will remain nameless, that I will have something for her; she just needs to show up. The point of any party is to have fun and spend quality time together and not to be stressed.
I’ll also bring a few bunny masks from last year for anyone who needs last minute help.
My original Haunted Garden Party costume idea was a dark, moody, crow inspired vibe, but turns out one of my friends had a similar idea.
After a little bit of Pinteresting for inspiration, I have a new direction!
I will now be a funky Vegas showgirl flamingo!! Which I think will be way cooler than my original crow vibe…and it’s pink, so there’s that.
Some of you maybe thinking what the hell does a flamingo have to do with a garden party? Well, in my imaginary garden, there are lots of flamingos! My sympathies if you don’t have any flamingos in your imaginary garden, lol.
It doesn’t have to be a real thing, I want people to use their imagination. It’s just supposed to be fun!!
For my headpiece, I hot glue gunned pink feathers on a headband; I think it’s going to look pretty cool!!
I was supposed to be packing for a 10 day work trip, but instead I was playing with makeup tonight and testing things out.
My eye makeup was cool, but then I added a pair of pink feather eyelashes, and they pretty much hide my eyeshadow; they were also super uncomfortable. They aren’t going to make the final cut. I may end up with a dark black smokey eye?? I mean it is Halloween, I need to look a bit scarier or at least bitchier! We’ll see, lol.
This is my table setting inspiration, I am thinking white or black pumpkins with maybe some creepy crawling bugs or snakes? It’s a haunted garden party after all.
I am going to share a super helpful hint from a professional events expert with you, so listen up! Lighting can make or break your event!! Nothing ruins a party vibe like bad lighting.
Add candles and/or fairy lights and turn off any harsh or bright lighting. This is especially important for Halloween parties.
I also believe that, you don’t have to spend the day in the kitchen to be a great hostess. A great hostess or host, is relaxed and present. We are ordering in for our event, so easy, peasy.
I hope this post inspires you to invite some of your favorite people over; make memories, be silly and have fun!!! Halloween gives you the perfect excuse to break out of your normal routine. Some of us don’t need an excuse to be weird, lol, but whatever.
Enjoy Halloween!!! I will post some pics from our party shortly!!
I love October!!! I will be spending most of it in the desert and even though you can’t really tell it’s fall here, I will be doing fun fall things. I will be in Eastern Canada the last week of October; I hope that I can catch the tail end of the fall foliage.
The goal of this post is to coax you into getting out there to do a few fun fall things with your loved ones. Please just do it while you can; make silly memories, you’ll never regret the time you spend with friends and family.
Not to put a damper on things, but it’s been 4 months since my dad passed and I get great comfort remembering all the things that we did together. I like to think that I have inherited his zest for life! I share a few family Halloween stories at the end of this post.
I am challenging all of you to do a version of each of these October activities!! There are only 3 things on this list so completely doable!
This one is super easy, get your pumpkin grove on!! That’s a thing right?? No? Well it should be. Lol
– Pick a Pumpkin
If you don’t have access to a pumpkin patch, then pick one up at the grocery store, there’s no excuse, they are literally everywhere. And not to put any pressure on you, but I found a pumpkin patch in the middle of the desert, so don’t be lame, lol.
So I have a confession to make…actually, I have two confessions; the first is that this was my first pumpkin picking experience. I’ve been apple picking, but never pumpkin picking, it was so fun and pretty. My second confession is that I got a bit ahead of my list and picked my pumpkins the last weekend of September. But crossing off my October list…check!!
– Carve Your Pumpkin
For all you busy parents out there, this is one activity that your children will remember from their childhood, so make a night or afternoon out of it. Growing up, my dad was the pumpkin carver; and apparently, my mom just took pictures of us while we carved, lol. Note to the moms, get in at least one of the pictures.
Pumpkin carving isn’t just for kids; my family and I started a new tradition a few years ago, we have a pumpkin carving night. When done we vote on who has the best one. Everyone gets really into it, we get pretty competitive.
We have our date picked out for this years Great Pumpkin Carve Off, ok, that’s not what we call it…yet!! My brother is hosting this year and he is the one to beat, so I need to take him down! Wish me luck.
Haunted, Frightful Fun!
I am going to give you a few options for this one, so again no excuse! Google haunted things to do in your area or scary things to do; even if you live in a smaller community, something will pop up.
It’s so easy to get stuck in your routine and not explore what’s happening in your community, pretend you are a tourist and look things up.
For those in the Moncton area, I googled for you, here’s what came up…you’re welcome!
I am certain there are haunted corn mazes all over the US and Canada. This is a great activity for smaller kids, make sure to check the scardy cat level; traumatizing your kids isn’t exactly the kind of memories I was talking about.
For older brats…I mean teenagers, a haunted house tour is super fun. The Keillor House Museum in Dorchester, NB is ligit crazy scary!
It’s located down the road from an old castle looking maximum security prison. On a scary cat scale, it starts off at a 9.9 level. This is also one of their major fund raising activities, so scaring the shit out of yourself and your kids will be for a great cause.
I volunteered to help decorate a few years ago and I am pretty sure I captured a ghost in one of my pictures. See my pic below, that’s totally a ghost or something right? Look in the middle left of the pic. There’s a white blur, see it? Do you think it’s a ghost?? Let me know, I think it’s something.
Most cities also have haunted walking tours. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and soak in a bit of creepy history. Or…pick up a hot chocolate and add a shot of fireball, the chocolate and cinnamon is a yummy combo.
Those are three things to do in and around Moncton; I am sure there are more.
There are lots of options in Las Vegas! I have tickets for Scare Vegas this week, see below, I am liking the third activity, selfies and cocktails, I am in!!
Last year, I visited the Zac Bagan’s Haunted Museum, he’s on Discovery Channel’s Ghost Adventure, it was eerie. I would give it 4 scardy cats; it’s more creepy than screaming scary.
I considered this Blackout At The Asylum this year, for all of three seconds, lol. It’s a real old mental asylum! Ya…no! I will stick with the Wicked Selfies and cocktails, lol.
From big to small cities, you can find something frightful to do!
Ghoulish Friends Gathering
October is the perfect time to have fun with your Freaky Friends!
If you’re looking for a shortcut and want to “kill two birds with one stone”, you could invite your friends over to watch a scary movie with you; you really shouldn’t be watching a scary movie alone anyway. A scary movie gathering will cross off the Ghoulish Friends Gathering and the Haunted, Frightful Fun off your list; check and check!!
I love Halloween parties, if you are invited to one, you should go! While in Moncton, the week before Halloween, I am going to host a Haunted Garden Dinner Party. Last year, I hosted a Wickedly Haunted Dinner Party. Dinner parties are less work than a full on party and smaller gatherings allow me to catch up with my fellow witches. Please note that any dinner party held in October automatically becomes a haunted dinner party; I am fairly certain it’s a rule.
See that wasn’t too bad right? Feel free to share your October activity plans and seriously, do you think that’s a ghost or spirit in my Keillor House pic???
I am going to share a few Halloween family stories before I sign off, just because. My father’s side of the family are real tricksters; they are game for anything, I aspire to keep this tradition alive.
My grandmother was a fan of dressing up for Halloween, she was an amazing seamstress. One year, she and one of her sisters dressed up and entered their village parade and won best costume! First of all, yay, Nanny!! Apparently no one recognized them and even though people tried to guess who they were, they never revealed their identities; they went home, took off their costumes and never let on it was them. I should add that at the time she was a mother of 9 and a grandmother of a few.
In my second story, I am probably 8ish, I just finished trick or treating and was answering the door and handing out candy. The doorbell rings so I go down to answer. There are two small teenagers at the door, their faces are covered, so I can’t see if they are boys or girls. I give them candy and instead of taking the candy and leaving, they just stand there, staring at me. Before I go any further, this story takes place around 1978, keep in mind that the ’70’s were a different time, apparently freaking out young children was still socially acceptable.
So they stand there for a very awkward period of time, so much so that I yell out DAD!! He peeks down and starts to laugh, he knew immediately who the two teenagers were. It was my my grandmother and one of my aunts! So I grew up seeing that you are never too old to have fun.
My last story is from last Halloween. I was home for a visit because my dad wasn’t well. But that day was a good day so I asked him if he wanted to dress up and go visit his sisters to try and trick them, he laughed and said, let’s do it! My mother though we were crazy, she’s not like us, lol. I had bought these big black crow heads, just because I thought they were funny.
We pull up to one of my aunts house. My father wanted me to park down the street, but I knew it would be too much for him if I made him walk too far. We quietly got out of the car and put our crows heads on. As we walk to the house, we were laughing thinking that we were so clever, that she was never going to know who we are. Man were we wrong; she saw us get out of the car and put our heads on. She was laughing before we even got to her door.
The reason for sharing these stories is that, in my opinion, the sillier or dumber the activity, the better the memories are. Life is short, you are never too old or too important to put a big black furry crow head on and go trick or treating!
On our agenda today is a Viva Vintage Vegas tour. We’ll shop, get a makeover, eat then visit an outdoor museum for old neon signs.
The “old” downtown area is in the process of a fabulous transformation. The Art District or 18b, because it encompasses 18 blocks, is a very cool and hip place with art galleries, vintage shops and funky restaurants. It’s way more authentic than than the strip and if you visit you may run into some real live Las Vegas locals! Don’t worry, they won’t bite, they are super nice people.
First things first, let’s shop! All the shops below are found on Main Street. (If you don’t get the opportunity to visit Vegas, then please venture out to your local vintage and antique shops! Also, I always check out how shop owners show off their stuff. It can inspire you to consider different color pallets.)
Patina offers vintage furniture, home decor and a huge collection of unique vintage clothing.
I was served by Katie, who is one of the owners of Patina. She explained that the boutique started off more focused on vintage furniture, but the clothing section has taken on a life of its own; with regulars coming to Vegas expressly to shop in her store.
She and her partner hand pick each item, they were getting ready to head out on a buying spree in a few weeks. How fun would that be?
Their vintage clothing is mostly from the 60’s, lets just say the colors were so vibrant I didn’t need to use a filter. I bought three things.
They also have beautiful glassware, vintage luggage, furniture and much more, check them out!
I tried to convince myself that I had room for this hot pink chair in my bedroom, but I don’t…booo! I love how they are showing pink with yellow accents, it’s not a combo that I would have thought that I would like. It’s brave, beautiful and inspiring.
Antique Alley Market
I love this store!! It’s huge so it’s almost impossible to see everything and they seem to have everything.
I must admit that I past by it several times without going in, because the facade doesn’t have a lot of flash. But I’m happy I finally did because it’s got some great stuff and prices are reasonable.
I collect vintage Murano glass candy dishes, ok I only have 4, so it’s not a huge collection, lol. It reminds me of my grandmother. She had this beautiful big green dish on her coffee table that we used to spin around, we were kind of bratty. I don’t think we ever broke it, which is a miracle. I have no idea where it went, but I would love to find it.
I have a pink dish from my mother’s cousin, I found another in the same color, so had to have it. And now I think I am starting a pink collection, but the other colors are all so pretty…sorry, all this talk about vintage candy dishes may not be as interesting to others as it is to me, lol.
Ok, just take a look at this picture of my budding collection and I will stop talking about candy dishes, lol.
Ok, I so I lied, but look how pretty they are. My new one is the one on the left…ok done, moving on.
Main Street is littered with cool funky places. Vintage Vegas is a smaller boutique, but jam packed full of cool stuff. The signage: Dead People’s Junk ans Cool Crap, caught my eye; I had to go in!
I love these vintage Pyrex bowls!! My bff and I, back in Canada, are always on the lookout for vintage Pyrex. Yup, we’re nerds, but stylish ones!!
When I moved to Vegas this was the first vintage shop I visited, the pink caught my attention, naturally. They have beautifully painted flamingos on the side of their building perfect for photos!
They have tones of modern mid-century furniture, which is my all time favorite; along with stuff from the 60’s and 70’s. I am really starting to feel the 70’s vibe these days too.
The price point here is a bit more expensive, but they have high quality pieces.
I love this kitchen vignette! And look, they are pairing pink and yellow. Mmm, could this be a new trend? This is giving me some cool ideas.
And as I am writing, I just noticed that my pink candy dishes have yellow in the center! I guess I am already on trend.
After you’ve shopped stop in at Atomic Lounge for a retro makeover. I went for the Va Va Voom hair and makeup package; they also have a package where they pick you up in a pink Cadillac, it doesn’t get more fab than that!
This was so fun! It would be the perfect activity for a girls trip. They do lots of weddings as well.
This was a lot of makeup!! Definitely meant for nighttime. I have to admit I felt like my grandmother with my hair in pin curls, but it all came together. This look called for a lot of hairspray!! I am not a big hair product person so it felt really funny and stiff. She told me to leave it for an hour and then I could brush it out for a softer look. It looked more modern with just a hint of retro vibe once I brushed it out.
My stylist was awesome! Ask for Becki. The lounge decor was funky and cool, just like you’d expect it to be. And look, more yellow! I love these chairs.
There are a bunch of cool hip restaurants nearby and this is where you will meet actual Las Vegas locals. These restaurants are also a lot less expensive than on the strip.
I recommend trying Carson Kitchen, it has super interesting small plates that you can share. It’s urban neighborhood dining at it’s finest.
The Boneyard Museum
After dinner when the sun goes down, head to the Boneyard Neon Museum. It’s the perfect way to send your Viva Vintage Vegas Day!
Tours are $50, $35 for locals. You have to buy your tickets ahead of time, I have been on the day tour, but need to go on the night tour when the signs are on.
This isn’t your ordinary boring museum, first of all it’s outside and second of all, it’s full of neon. The museum is saving and honoring Vegas history for generations to come.
You will have lots and lots of picture opportunities, selfies are welcomed!
Since you sat through my candy dish fetish, I will let you know that The Arts District also has the most Instagramable graffiti walls in Vegas!
The streets between Main and Commerce have cool alleys. The best one is on the corner of W 50-70 Imperial Ave and Imperial Ave. Do be careful and travel in packs, don’t go down dark alleys; you will run into some colorful characters if you venture too far. You can also rent bikes and cycle around.
Just a few of the murals you will see. Try to venture off the strip next time you are in town and check out the Art District. Be nice! And have fun!
So technically, I didn’t, I don’t…I mean I haven’t ever said I do; but what’s that expression? Those who can’t do teach?
Here’s why I am qualified to give wedding planning advice:
I’ve been a real live party/events planner for the past 15 years; and a wedding is basically a big event.
Before that, I was a hotel convention sales manager and dealt with many brides; but the job that most qualifies me to give wedding advice was my four year stint as a banquet waitress, while in University.
I seriously must have I worked hundreds and hundreds of weddings! And if I hear the song, “I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, one more time, I am going to lose my freaking mind!…oh and I was a bridesmaid twice; both friends are no longer married, but I hardly think I can be blamed for that?? (and they did result is some pretty amazing children!)
Here are my top 5 expert tips
What’s your vibe?
You need to decide what vibe you’re going for? Here’s a hint, if your DJ plays, “ I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll”, you have failed in creating a cool vibe, lol.
But seriously, before you start planning you need to do a bit of soul searching on what you and your mate want your wedding to be?
You’ll be surprised by how many decisions you’ll need to make and you’ll be shocked at how quickly things can snowball out of control, so you need a plan.
In order to help you figure out what’s your vibe, you need to decide what kind of bride you want to be? Are you a Princess Bride, a Hippie Bride, a Shy Bride or a Party Bride? Ok, I just made those up, but they are brilliant!
The Princess Bride wants to be…well a princess, obviously. She wants a full ballgown with 8 to 10 bridesmaids. If you want a Princess wedding, then don’t look at beachfront locations. Ballgowns and beach balls don’t mix.
Now if you’re a Hippie Bride a beach wedding with a flowy dress and flip flops are a perfect fit!
The photos below are of a Princess Bride in all her glory! The horse drawn carriage, the adorable flower girl and the castle.
The bride in the picture above is definitely a Party Bride. The most important thing to a her is to have fun. Her dress is fun, her shoes are fun; she’s literally dancing in the streets.
One of my cousins is a Shy Bride, she knows her vibe and is owning it. She doesn’t want to be on display or be gawked at, which is the princess bride’s dream.
Knowing this she has planned a super small fall wedding in a rustic cabin. No head table and no fussiness, oh and she is bringing her dog and I am pretty sure she and her dog will have a matching dresses, lol.
Adding your own quirkiness to your big day is endearing. The trick is to know your vibe and keep it consistent.
I absolutely love this picture above of my friend Stacey on her wedding day getting her glam on. I love it because, this is Stacey’s vibe. She’s always calm cool and collected. There’s no need for a big entourage and no drama. FYI, she is still happily married; I wasn’t a bridesmaid.
Show me the money honey!
Weddings are expensive!! So before you start making plans and spending money, you need a plan. You need to list out what’s important to you and what’s not.
Here’s an idea, right off the bat. What if you could take an extra few thousand dollars from your wedding and spend it on your engagement ring? Since it’s something that you will wear everyday and have forever; as opposed to something that will be over in a day?? Just a thought.
Now if you’re a Princess Bride, there is nothing I can say to you that will sway you away from all the bells and whistles; and if that’s what you want, then go for it!
For those who are more budget conscious, you need to list out your priorities. If I was planning my own wedding, I would spend money on my dress and the photographer. I would skimp on other things in order to stay within my budget.
There are things that I would skip altogether, like wedding favors and the grooms cake; and here’s why. Now, full disclosure, when I throw parties, I always have a party favor, but, and this is a big but, I host small gathering so I buy nice favors. If yo can’t afford a nice favor, maybe just skip it? Also a lot of wedding parties make their own favors, which is very sweet, but depending on what it is, you may want to focus your energy on other things?
While working as a banquet waitress, I will tell you that more than 50% of your party favors end up being left behind and thrown out; same thing with the grooms cake?
Let’s just say that a grooms cake is out of fashion anyway and move on. If you have your heart set on having a wedding favor, go with a bottles of wine or home made jams or something like that. I am going to be harsh here, but the only people who want something with your face or your initials on it is your mother and your crazy aunt Carol.
You may also want to revisit your wedding cake. I would get an amazing looking cake, but it would be a small cake for you to cut in the photos and take home with you. If you are doing a full meal, your guests are going to be too full for cake by the time it’s served.
Or do cupcakes or donuts, something a bit different that people will remember. If you do want to serve cake, get a big slab and have the venue serve your guests.
Fun fact; did you know that some wedding cakes are fake?? Those big fancy cakes that you see couples cutting, some are just one layer of real cake and the others are foam covered with icing. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a fake cake?
Another great way to save money is to select an amazing looking venue so that you don’t have to spend lots of money on decorations. And here’s a question to ask yourself when deciding if you should spend the money or skip it? Will your aunt Carol remember it in a year?
If budget wasn’t a concern you could have huge overflowing flowery centerpieces on each table a la Kardashian. But just modest flowers on every table in a large wedding is going to cost you thousands of dollars without making a huge impact. Now let’s ask the question; will aunt Carol be able to remember what type of flowers were at her table in a year? The answer is no! So why not boost up and spend a bit more money on your bouquet and skip the table flowers? Candles are less expensive and create a cozy mood.
It’s also worth exploring a different kind of wedding. A former coworker of mine has opened an amazingly brilliant business. They do pop up weddings, elopements and engagements and they are spectacular!! You need to check out their website: https://www.thehytch.com/ and follow them on Facebook, (The Hytch) and Insta, (thehytch).
The locations are breathtaking, the pictures are soooooo pretty! They currently offer pop up weddings, renewals and engagements in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Denver.
Be prepared to be blown away by crazy beautiful wedding photos, all provided by The Hytch. These are real couples and real weddings. I feel like I need to add that because they are so Instagrammable, they look staged.
I am going to show the picture above to my cousin Brigitte, she is going to love this idea.
This is definitely the kind of wedding I would want. I would want a winter wedding…maybe I should book it for 2020? Yeah, that should give me enough time to find the perfect man right??!!
I think it’s possible to have an amazing chic wedding on a limited budget, you made need to think outside of the box? And maybe as you get older your priorities change? But a small intimate wedding seems like are a better choice then spending a down payment on a house on a wedding; but that’s just me, you do you!
Know your limitations
Do you get stressed out hosting a dinner party for 8? If so, you might not have what it takes to execute the perfect wedding by yourself? And that’s ok; know your strengths and be real about your limitations.
Get a wedding planner or recruit your friends and family. If you are asking friends and family members to help you, give them specific tasks and don’t overload one person, spread it out! If you aren’t paying them, you need to be nice and thankful!!
You can also lean on your venue manager to help with centerpieces and a few other tasks…within reason.
One thing you should never do is be setting up your own reception in your wedding dress! If you can’t get in your venue the day before, delegate, delegate, delegate! I have seen brides blowing up balloons for an arch while all made up and in their dresses. Don’t do it!!!
By show up, I mean, be present. It’s a big day with lots going on. You will be running on excitement, nerves and adrenaline. You have been working on this day for months and have spent a lot of money; you need to make a conscious effort to stop and enjoy your day.
You also need to eat and stay hydrated, plan ahead and have healthy snacks, or chocolate…either or, on hand when getting ready.
And when at the reception, pace yourself with the champagne, a puky bride is never cute!!
Let It Go!
So it’s your big day and you are present; now let it go!
I have witnessed so many bridezillas, in the early nineties, before that was a thing, we just called them crazy brides.
Here is the best advice that anyone will ever give you on your wedding day; let things go!! I have witnessed so many crazy brides sabotage their own wedding receptions, it was hard to pick just one crazy bride story.
But here’s a good one; this one bride poked her head into the ballroom before we opened the doors to see how the room looked. It looked beautiful, btw, but she proceeded to freak out because the salmon colored napkins, looked more peach than salmon. Freaked out may be an understatement, because she had a full blown, stage 5 meltdown over salmon napkins, minutes before her guests arrived. May I add that the lights were dimmed and candles lit, the napkins were perfectly salmony.
To make my point, I googled the color salmon and the color peach, can you tell which is which??? No, no you can’t, because there isn’t a difference. Lol
Needless to say, she never really recovered and looked pissy all night. I have seen so many brides look absolutely miserable during their wedding receptions; don’t be that bride!
The only way to enjoy yourself the day of your wedding is to roll with the punches and go with whatever happens. If anything goes wrong on the day of, and something will, let it go! First of all, chances are you will be the only one who notices that something is off; so don’t point it out or make a big deal, just let it go!
I have one great example of a bride who rolled with it. The MC was speaking and said that he had a game that would determine who wore the pants in the family. He explained that the bride had to hug each male at the reception and the groom each female and that whoever did so and got back to their seat first would be the one who wore the pants in the marriage.
The groom looked horrified and after an awkward moment of silence, you could tell this was not planned; the bride stood up, hiked up her dress and stared running to the first table to start the hug fest. The groom quickly followed and the crowd went wild!
I love, love, love this picture of my parents. Tell me they are not adorable!! My dad looks like a movie star. There is something really glamorous about old wedding pictures. Their 53rd wedding anniversary was this past May.
At the end of the day, your wedding is one day in hopefully many, many days together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding that you lose perspective and focus more on the wedding than the marriage…said the single girl. But think about it, you know I am right.
I am pretty sure I will be a fun bride…just saying, lol.
My dad recently passed away, a few weeks before his death, one of my cousins asked him for relationship advice. He told her to be herself and that she needs to find someone who makes her happy, if he doesn’t make you happy, don’t marry him. Treat him like you would want to be treated and you will be ok, because you are a good person. It seemed like simple advice, but if you stop and think about it, it really is that simple!
I hope you enjoyed this post even if you aren’t planning a wedding at this very moment or are already married. If you are happily married and want to share your words of wisdom, please do!!
And if you are happily divorced, you probably have words of wisdom too! Sharing is caring, lol.