(for my subscribers, if you are reading from your email, click on the title, it will make everything look fancier).
Lots of cities have Chinatown’s; New York, San Diego, Vancouver are just a few that come to mind, but did you know that Las Vegas has it’s very own Chinatown? Neither did I until I moved here. It’s just two miles from the strip, along Spring Mountain Road.
Anyone who has been to Las Vegas in the past few years is painfully aware that it has become a very expensive city; especially if you are staying and eating on the strip. I encourage you to take a super short Uber ride over to Chinatown. It’s by far the best bang for your buck! And what a yummy bang it is, lol.
I am not a Dim Sum expert by any means…like really not. I am just a French Canadian girl trying new things and sharing my experiences. So let’s get started; and by started, I mean let’s eat!
The first advice I was given about Dim Sum, was not to fill up on rice or noodles; so what were the first two items we got? Yup, rice and noodles, lol. The second advice was don’t order coffee, because they serve tea. So what was the second thing we did? You guessed it, my friend ordered coffee; we were off to a great start!
Dim Sum is traditionally served for breakfast, but in the US and Canada, it’s more of a brunch thing.
If you have never been to a Dim Sum, here’s how it works; they roll out carts of food and you select which small plates you want, no menus needed. It’s perfect for sharing, so bring a few friends.
The carts come out in random order and they keep coming, so take your time. You can let a cart go, it will come back; I promise!
Chinatown has an abundance of restaurants; we went to Honk Kong Garden, there are two of them, this one serves Dim Sum, see above.
There are so many hidden gems in Chinatown, we have visited a few so far. We used Yelp for a bit of guidance; all have been fantastic and cheap!!!
The top left dish was shrimp and top right was pork, sorry I didn’t get the official names, the carts were just coming at me so fast I couldn’t keep up, lol.
We ate a lot!! You will leave full, but please save some room for desert.
Hong Kong Garden is my friend, Michael’s fav restaurant, even though you can eat desert first, he advised against it. So I did wait to eat one of these custard filled rolls until after I was done dim suming (yes, I know it’s not a real word); and omg, it was so good! It was still warm, crusty sugar on top and a gooey custard in the center.
So here is my hard hitting question for you; how adventurous are you? Would you have tried the chicken feet? I passed, but I did try a few new things and like them.
Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, it’s Feb 5th; so Happy Year! This year is year of the Pig, in case you were wondering…you’re welcome.
Is it possible to pack for ten days with just a carry on suitcase? Yes! Do I do it often? No! Lol, but I can, I just chose not to most of the time.
I recently went to Paris with one carry on; here’s how and what I packed.
The key to having a chic wardrobe is to stick with one main color; my uniform is black, but my frequent flyer and anti-bag checker friend Cindy, prefers navy to black. Do you boo!
The trick is that everything needs to go with everything; when traveling light you need to be focused and plan things out.
My number one item of clothing that I couldn’t live or travel without is a black turtleneck, not in summer, obviously.
I bought this black turtleneck in Toronto in August. #1. I wore it in Moncton, Canada, in November. #2. Paris in October, #3. Christmas Eve, again in Canada; I wore with faux leather leggings and boots, in case you were wondering; and finally #4. January in Las Vegas, yes it does get cool enough.
My point here is that I have been wearing it for months and I don’t think anyone has really noticed how often I have been repeating it…I guess until now, lol. I paid close to $200, which seemed pricey at the time, but some things are worth paying more for. Go for quality over quantity.
What’s in my suitcase
1 black turtleneck
2 pairs of black jeans, 1 pair of blue jeans, 1 pair of black faux leather leggings and one black pair of yoga pants. If sharing a room, it’s good to lounge in your yoga pants.
2 black t-shirts, 1 black and white blouse.
1 black blazer, I worn mine to dinner, it made me feel dressed up and polished.
1 large scarf, mine is leopard. 1 hat and 1 pair of sunglasses, don’t forget your sunglasses!
I do all black underwear, my rule is if I am gone 7 days, I pack 9 pairs of panties. 1 black bra, 1 one piece bodysuit, 2 black tank tops and black socks.
1 travel tote bag for the plane, in my previous post, I shared my tips on what to carry in your tote bag, if you haven’t read that post, go read it now…we will wait for you to finish.
I travel with a black leather cross body, it’s a men’s Coach bag, I love it!! A cross body bag is a must for travel; make sure it crosses in front of you when in pickpocket areas. I also pack a second smaller leather cross body; I use it for nights out when I just need my wallet and lipstick. I pack makeup in it in my carry on so it is serving a purpose and not just taking up space.
1 black light weight puffy jacket, depending on where I am going. I didn’t pack for Paris, but did for Canada. The beauty of this jacket is that it balls up into a small pouch that can be used as a travel pillow. The scarf goes in my red tote bag and can be used as a blanket on the plane; planes get cold!!
Black leather ankle booties, black sneakers, mine are Nike and I brought a pair of black knee high suede boots that took up a lot of space; did I need them? No, did I only wear them once? Yes.
Pack it up!
I rolled up my blue jeans, black jeans, leather leggings and yoga pants. Rolling your stuff does save on space. I do a combo roll and fold; I folded one of my black t-shirts and my blouse. My go to travel outfit lately is a pair of black jeans, black t-shirt and my turtleneck. I always layer up! I also like wearing my Nike sneakers, just in case I need to run to make my connection.
In the picture above, I added my freezer Ziploc with my underwear and socks; and my bag with my toiletries, no liquids!!! Keep your baggie of creams and liquids in your tote bag. You don’t want to have to open your suitcase while going through security, that would be a rookie mistake!! Lol
I folded my blazer on top and locked and loaded everything in…ok I clicked them in, locked and loaded sounded cooler, lol.
I have my booties and knee high boots in the other side. I stuffed my hair straightener and other stuff in the boots. Side note, if traveling internationally, make sure you have the proper outlet converter.
My suitcase expands, but make sure you can fit everything in it without expanding, so that if you buy things on your trip…ok, when you buy things, you have some room to…well to expand lol.
The picture above is what I carry in my tote, again, for more details check out my Flying High post.
In addition to what is pictured above, when I am flying with a carry on suitcase, I add more stuff in my tote bag.
In the bottom of the tote is my jacket, yup it fits!! I also add my larger leather cross body purse. I zip my passport and my iPad in my purse, so this purse in a bag serves as extra compartments. And the very last thing I add is my small baggie with my creams and liquids so that I can take it out quickly when going through security. Please don’t be that person who acts all stunned when it’s your turn to put your stuff in the binds in security….PLEASE!!!
You need to focus or others will hate you!! Joking, a little; put your suitcase on the belt, put your tote bag in a bin, take your liquids baggie out of the tote, lay it beside the tote and take your iPad or computer out too. Take your shoes off and move along!
Yes, I realize my tote bag is almost as big as my suitcase, but you are allowed two bags. The suitcase goes in the overhead compartment and the tote bag with everything you will need during your flight goes under the seat in front of you. It all works!!!
Do you have any packing tips? If so, please share!
Thank you for reading, like and share if you are feeling generous.
Nuts for DoNuts! In search of Las Vegas’ best donuts.
Now in the spirit of the new year and in honor of our collective resolutions to eat better…to be better; I am going to take one for the team and taste test one of Vegas’ best doughnut shops…you are welcome!
We will be taste testing donuts from Las Vegas Donut Bar. They are hugely popular in San Diego and now making waves in Las Vegas. They have great social media buzz; we are going to see what all the buzz is about and we’ll let you know if you should spend the calories and your hard earned cash there.
They are located at 124 S 6th St. #140, which is in the heart of downtown. Having been told that they open early and stay open until they run out of donuts, we made sure to get there early. We arrived and were busy eating before the crowds showed up, so yay us!
My brave volunteers tasters today are Lynn and Olivia.
Today’s special was a French toast donut and a grilled cheese donut. I am a lover of grilled cheeses, so I am currently kicking myself for not trying it, but it’s because I was swayed by the pretty colors and sprinkles of the other donuts.
(OK side note!! Canadians spell doughnut like this, not like “donut” this, lol. I am using the American spelling because I thought “DoNuts” in my title was cute and Las Vegas Donut Bar spell it “donut”. Now we can continue, just needed that out of the way, lol.)
The staff were super friendly and welcoming; we chose three donuts and Olivia got one free, she’s just that cute.
We chose the unicorn donut…how could we not??? The strawberry shortcake and the crème brûlée, that’s the smaller one in bottom left, in the image above. BTW the crème brûlée donut is not baby sized, the strawberry shortcakes and unicorn donuts are just extra big. Olivia got the purple spider.
The reason why I didn’t get the grilled cheese donut was because I thought it would be too sweet. But their actual donut isn’t sweet, it’s very light and fluffy. Even though this donut was massive it didn’t feel heavy, the cream was light, the powdered sugar on top was really the only sweet thing. It was yummy! I should have tried the grilled cheese one though, not doing so is clearly a donut mistake! But the strawberry was delish, will just need to go back to try the grilled cheese.
Lynn’s crème brûlée donut had a hard sugar coating on top and a beautiful custard inside, mmm!
Olivia’s purple spider donut was a hit too. Her white shirt wasn’t so white when done, lol.
Being the team player that I am, I gave the unicorn a taste even though I was already full and found it fresh, light, fluffy and yummy!
We are giving Las Vegas Donut Bar, 4 Timbits out of 5! Which is an amazing score, my Canadian friends will get the reference, lol. Their store was clean, staff friendly and the donuts looked and tasted expensive and bougie, but we’re very reasonably priced.
If you are a local, give them a try; if visiting from away, check them out!! They would probably be great after a festive night of out…if you know what I mean?
If anyone knows of another donut hot spots in Vegas that I should try, let me know! And let me know what your favorite flavor is?
Thanks for reading!! Be sweet and share or like…do you!! lol
Since I fly the “friendly” skies…a lot; I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered over the years that make flying a bit more enjoyable. I am also friends with a lot of frequent flyers and have added some of their helpful hints in this post too.
Full disclosure, I usually check my suitcase because I hate lugging too many things around. And my #1 traveling pet peeve are those people who try to shove their too big carry on suitcases in the overhead compartment….you know who you are!! But I did recently go to Paris for a week with just a carry on. I will share my carry on suitcase packing tips in a future post.
Here’s what I pack in my bag.
I have spent a small fortune so far in search of the perfect carry on bag. Some come close, but none are perfect; I feel that I could probably design the perfect carry on bag at this point.
The most important thing I look for are enough pockets and dividers…oh and it needs to have a zipper! You don’t want to lose your stuff under the seat in front of you, trust me.
This is my latest bag, it’s stylish and pretty functional. One thing that is missing is a slit on the back that you can slide over the handle of your suitcase. I have found bags with such a slit, but they didn’t have all the compartments and zippers I like. So it’s not perfect, but it comes pretty close…for now.
Oh fun fact, I bought a super duper expensive red designer leather tote bag that I thought would be so chic for flying; it turned out to be the worst!! This red canvas bag above was $49; so the cost of the bag doesn’t always reflect its level of functionality.
My secret weapon
It’s super important that your bag is organized. Unless you fly first class, you will find that there is zero room for error in the limited leg room space available to you. My secret to keeping my bag organized is Ziploc bags!!
I use the bigger freezer bags and sandwich sized bags; you can buy fancy bags, but really why would you? Lol
Baby It’s Cold On Board!
I dress in layers, because I guarantee that you will be hot and then cold at some point during your flight.
I keep a pair of fuzzy socks and a wrap in my bag.
Here is a helpful hint; don’t wear flip flops on a plane, even in the summer! Your feet will freeze once you get in the air, especially if you have the window seat. Having cold feet is the worst, that’s why I keep a pair of comfy socks in my bag.
For really long flights, I take my shoes off and put my extra pair of socks on. The floors in airplanes are filthy BTW, so if you do put your socks on during the flight. Zip them back up in your baggie and wash them when you get home.
And if you go to the washroom, put your shoes back on!! One of my flight attendant friends shared, that if the floor is wet it isn’t water!!!!
Here is another helpful hint from another flight attendant friend; if you would wear an outfit to a club, then it’s not a good flying outfit!! I now live in Las Vegas and I see so many people boarding flights to Vegas in shorts and tank tops. It gets cold at 42,000 feet in the air, put some clothes on!!
I always, always travel with a stylish wrap that I use as a blanket. And guess what, if you get cold in your short shorts, I’m not sharing my blanket!! Sorry…not sorry.
Let me entertain you!
Don’t count on the airlines to keep you entertained, I have been on flights where the entertainment systems are down. Here are my go to items:
iPad or tablet and make certain to download your new fav Netflix shows or e-books
charger, for long flights you may need to juice up your phone or tablet. Some flights don’t have charging plugs on board…Air Canada Rouge I am talking to you; so I bring my own charger (not to self, make sure your charger is charged!)
headphones, I keep a pair in my bag at all times. I once spent $38 at the airport for ear buds because I forgot mine.
Book or magazine, sometimes it’s good to kick it old school. You never know if you are going to be delayed or stuck on the runway for hours. Having a low tech options is a smart idea.
In case of emergencies
My emergency stash is kept in a surprise, surprise, plastic baggie, lol. Having things in clear bags helps when you need to find something.
You really don’t want to have to buy stuff at the airport, it’s so expensive. Customize your items accordingly. I keep my emergency baggie in my travel bag at all times, I don’t unpack it; just remember to re-stock after each trip if needed.
band aids: I keep a variety of different sizes
lady things: tampons & pads
pills, pills, pills: Ibuprofen, something for cold and flu, a decongestant, Imodium and Benadryl are part of my stash.
Don’t get me hangry!
I always bring my own snacks, not that those buttery mini pretzels aren’t amazing! lol. Here is what I normally carry:
Water, I buy a bottle once through security. I don’t drink the water on the plane if I can help it. On bigger planes the water comes from a big holding tank. I actually don’t drink anything once on board except for my bottled water.
Something sweet and something salty is a must.
My new thing is brie, grapes and crackers, so yummy.
You’re So Vain
My vanity in a baggie includes a lip gloss, lipstick, hand cream and pressed powder. Keep in mind that the air on airplanes is very dry, so lotion up! Pack these in an easy access pocket so you can whip them out quickly when you go through security. Anything in a liquid form needs to fit in a small see through bag and be taken out of your carry on when you go through security…still.
I saved the most important for last. Don’t forget your Passport/ID! You won’t get far without them. You need a cute holder that can hold your passport and your travel loyalty cards. Keep your passport holder in it’s very own special zipper pocket!!
I make certain to zip them back up as soon as I am done flashing them. You don’t want them free balling around in your bag. And trust me, there is nothing that will make you freak out faster than not being able to find your passport in your bag.
My #1 Fav Thing!
This is my #1 favorite find that I don’t leave home without; it’s a 10’ charger cord. Why? Because when your phone is charging at night and you are in bed and want to be on your phone surfing, you can, even if the plug is like 8′ away! Hey small things make me happy, what can I say? Oh and it’s rose gold; functional and pretty.
I am working on a funny post called Airport Chic or Airport Shock; I will have pictures of cute airport outfits and not so cute get ups. Stay tuned for that one.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Is there anything that you always travel with that I didn’t mention? Do you have any personal pet traveling peeves? Please share!
Ok so technically my blog has only been live for 6 months, but a half year in review doesn’t sound as sexy.
I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my year…half year, and thank all who have read, liked, commented and shared my posts.
I launched my little blog in July, and in my first 6 months I have gotten a little under 50,000 views, but hey, it’s Christmas ish, so what the hell I am rounded it up to 50K! Merry Christmas to me!!! Lol
This success is mostly due to my NB post: New Brunswick, You’re Going to Hate It! This one struck a nerve and still gets 100’s of views some weeks!! But I am also just as proud of my others smaller posts.
Here are my highlights of 2018!
My favorite event this year was a Halloween post on how to throw a Wickedly Haunted Dinner Party. Why? Because I got to hang out with friends I have known since I was 14; we ate and pranced around my bffs backyard dressed like killer bunnies. How can that not be my fav event of 2018??? Lol
If the picture below looks familiar it’s because it was plastered all over social media for a few weeks in July and August. It was shared and shared by tens of thousands of people. To quote my best friends teenage daughter: « even my friends are sharing… and they don’t even know her ». I couldn’t tell by her tone if she was impressed or annoyed? Lol
I owe my friends a huge thank you for this as I just shared on Facebook and it took on a life of its own.
This success confirmed that I have something interesting enough to say; I’ve never considered myself a great writer and still don’t, but I did think I had interesting things to say in a fresh entertaining way.
Fun fact, in the over forty thousand views and hundreds of comments, I only got two haters. I think those are great stats!!!
I travel a fair amount, probably more than most? My favorite trip this year was my trip to Paris with my good friend and work partner in crime for the last decade, Claudia. We booked this trip on a whim, she said, I want to go to Paris. I said, me too. She said let’s go and I replied, ok. FYI flights out of Vegas are way cheaper than out of Moncton!
We are both planners by nature, but for this trip we mostly winged it and had a marvelous trip!
My favorite activity of the year was tough, because I have done some super fun things this year. A close second was biking through the gardens of Versailles during my Paris trip, but the official winner is my camel safari with my nephew Jack.
Did you know that you can take a camel safari an hour and a bit outside of Vegas? Yup, you can!!
My goal for 2019, in addition to keeping my content fresh and amusing, is to learn what the hell I am doing, or what the hell I should be doing?
I have fellow bloggers who regularly share my posts with their readers, thank you so much for that!!! I am going to be asking them for helpful hints on how to better promote my site. But I must say, Facebook and all my friends out there have been very good to me this year!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!
My ultimate goal is to grow this baby so that one day, maybe I can make money and be a blog supa star!!! Can I be a blog supa star in my late, late forties?? I plan on finding out and having some fun doing so.
In the meantime, please continue to read and enjoy my shenanigans. I really do appreciate and am touched and blown away by everything!!! You write and want people to read and enjoy your point of view, but when they do, it’s sort of mind blowing! Lol
A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!!
This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend, why not make it a plaid theme? If you are Canadian, it’s been hip forever, lol; plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.
I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find, lol. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!
What to wear?
Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)
My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).
I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know! My dad will wear a red and black buffalo pattern shirt so he and I will match.
When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort; I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.
Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!
This year I will have gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!
Pro Planner Tip
Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!
Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!
I wanted to post this before Christmas in case someone is looking for ideas on how to dress up their dinner table. I will share pictures of my Christmas Eve Dinner on my Facebook page, oui-liette.
Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!
At first glance this post looks like it’s about baking cookies; and it sort of is. But as you read you will discovered that it’s more about spending time with loved ones. That being said, these two recipes kick ass!!
In this post I will share our grandmother DesRoches’ super simple and yummy Scotch Cookie recipe. Full disclosure, there is no Scotch in them; nor was she Scottish, lol.
We also always make peanut butter balls, they aren’t always pretty, but they are always super delish! I guarantee that you will love our balls. Scroll all the way down for both recipes.
This family cookie baking tradition started a few years ago. I invited all the ladies on my moms side of the family over on a Sunday afternoon to bake Christmas cookies; because baking cookies alone is depressing, so the more the merrier!
Now lots of people bake cookies during the holiday, which is awesome, but we had to take it to the next level. Because that’s what we do…ok, that’s what I do, but they always follow me willingly!
How do you take it to the next level? Matching aprons, that’s how. I had custom aprons made for all of us; and you can too! I think this was the key to making this an annual event; because now that we have aprons, like it or not, we are kinda committed.
Having matching aprons or hats will make you feel like team; I promise, you will have more fun if you match!
Our sassy aprons have our names on them, but you could also just do matching aprons. Or get blank ones at a craft store and bedazzle them. You have lots of apron options. I am used to ordering in bulk because of my job, but I also do it for my personal parties. I always use Kadopromo, if you are buying in bulk, go with a company who does this for a living, the prices are better!! They often have a minimum number of items you need to order in order to get the best price. Here is who I use, but the internet is full of suppliers, there is no excuse not to match! lol: https://kadopromo.net/
We must have been really good this year because Santa gave us an early Christmas gift, that will help us mix it up!! See below.
What you could do, is have a group fund, where everyone gives $20 and the head elf buys the group gift; either an apron or spatula? We have had our aprons for years now, we just order more as our family expands. It’s a one time expense, so it isn’t so bad at all.
For our cookie baking, each ma tante and cousine (aunts & cousin) bring an ingredient; it’s not fair to expect the hostess to provide all the ingredients. And don’t forget your empty container to bring some back home.
We take lots of pictures, it’s fun to look back over the years. Because we are such a big family, some of us are scattered all over the place; it’s nice to have memories of those who can’t be with us this year.
Mémère DesRoches’ Scotch Cookies
2bls of Butter
1 cup of Brown Sugar
4 cups of Flour. Yup only 3 ingredients!!
Well 5 if you add the frosting and cherry for the tops.
Combine brown sugar and butter, mix till smooth and creamy.
Once the mixture is creamy, make into small balls, a little bigger than a quarter. Take a fork and gently press them down (don’t smush, just lightly press so the fork leaves horizontal marks).
Bake 350F for 18 minutes
Add pre-made frosting, I like cream cheese, but you can do vanila.
Cut up bottled red cherries and place on top
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
3 cups or rice krispies
2 ounces of paraffin wax
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt butter and while it’s hot stir in the peanut butter
Mix well and add vanilla, powdered sugar and rice krispies
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin wax
Dip balls into melted chocolate
Cool on wax paper or parchment paper
I am thankful to you for reading and I am also so thankful for my family! There is something about belonging to a tribe that tightens around you in hard times and makes you laugh, but also let’s you cry if you need to! They say you can’t pick your family; if I could, I wouldn’t swap a single one!!!
So what is your ultimate Christmas cookie?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from me and the fam!!!