Girls Gone Wild!

Girls Gone Wild! 

The title for this post was going to be: Girls Just Wanna Have Tea, but decided that Girls Gone Wild would get more attention, lol.

Helpful hints on how to throw the perfect tea party! 

As we age, our birthdays become less important, it’s just another day really, right? If you are a mom, this feeling may be exasperated? You spend hundreds of dollars on your kid’s birthdays, when yours comes around, it’s easy to give into that feeling that it’s just another day…right?

Well this year, I decided that it isn’t just another day; I wanted to celebrate my birthday in style. I plan events for a living, I put so much time and energy into planning beautiful events for others; am I not worth the time and effort of a nice party? I decided that am absolutely worth it!

Here are a few tips on how to throw yourself the easiest and best birthday party ever!

Theme

I am not going to lie, I love a themed party. While I was attending an event at a hotel, I noticed that they had a fancy tea room. Mmm… fancy little finger foods and feather fascinators; I decided then and there that a tea part with my best girlfriends would be the perfect theme!

Invitation

Your invitation sets the mood of your party, it’s the first glimpse that your guests will get to what kind of party to expect. There are so many different templates out there online. Feel free to send e-vites; I prefer printed invitations with colorful envelops and a customized message to each guest.

I found this image and fell in love with it. It was exactly what I wanted my party to represent!!

IMG_5859 (2)

Location

Here is a helpful hint from a party planner; you don’t always have to host your party, or our children’s party, at your house! It adds so much stress and work, the cleaning, the shopping, the cooking…it’s a lot! And since this was my party, I wanted something easy. I wanted to just show up and then leave and have someone else clean up.

I reserved two tables at the Mandarin Orient Hotel Tea Room on Las Vegas Blvd. My friend Claudia’s birthday is the day after mine, so we decided to celebrate together. She would host her friends at her table and I would host mine at my table. I am pretty sure my table was more fun! 🙂

Party Favors

I think sending guests home with a thoughtful party favor is a very nice touch. And if you attach a thank you note, you won’t have to send a thank you card afterwards. And yes, I do think if people come to your party and give you a gift, you need to formally thank them.

Select something that goes with your theme, since I was having a tea party, I decided that I would give out tea cups. I went to a thrift store and found old china cups, they were $0.99 each! I loved that they were all different shapes and colors.

IMG_6373

 

I bought these colorful macaroons from the same bakery that did our cake, oh wait till you see the cake! Pink, yellow and orange were a perfect color scheme for our favors! I placed them in the tea cups, wrapped them in cellophane with the thank you card and voila! The perfect tea party favor!!

IMG_7048

The hardest part of putting these party favors together was resisting the urge to “test” the Macaroons. I would suggest getting a few extras, just in case you accidentally “crack” any… and then have to eat them.

IMG_6887

My thank you tags matched the invitations; I perforated them and attached them with a ribbon. I think, they turned out beautifully and were super easy!

IMG_6906

The Party!

IMG_7077

My co-hostess and I, ready to greet our guests with our fancy fascinators. Not that it was a competition, but my fascinator was clearly bigger than hers, bigger is better right? If you can’t wear a big bouquet of beautiful feathers on your head on your birthday in Las Vegas, I am not sure where else you could! Life is short, go for it!

IMG_0141

I was responsible for the party favors, Claudia was responsible for the flowers. Find a friend and split the work, you don’t have to do everything yourself. She picked up a few bouquets from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_7529

She arranged the flowers in mason jars, they added a special touch to our garden tea party. Most restaurants will let you bring in your own flowers and decorations, just let them know ahead of time.

74B84FB1-0C0A-4CCE-8792-59AB9BD05735

The dishware and food at the Mandarin were beautiful and delicious! This was my very first tea party, turns out I don’t actually like tea, but loved all the trimmings! This theme would also be perfect for a baby shower, any reason to get together with your girlfriends. Most cities have tea rooms, google it. If you do want to host a tea party at your house, it’s easy to make bite size sandwiches, go to your favorite bakery and have them create an assortment of sweats for you!

EDAD5211-B55C-4901-A7E0-902239492F5B

The best part of the party, was spending the afternoon with friends! I must say, I have an amazing group of ladies!

The cake!

No party would be complete without a birthday cake. We brought in our own, yes, most restaurants will let you do that as well. Our custom cake was from Drago Sisters Bakery on Rainbow St in Las Vegas. It had a lemon and strawberry layer with with a butter cream frosting and it was divine!

334C4211-9465-489E-8CA4-BD673B456D87

 

IMG_7133

As we pondered on what to wish for before blowing out our candles, I was thankful for my fancy tea party with great food and even better friends!

What I hope that you take from this post is that you don’t have to make everything from scratch, you don’t have to host at your house and you can ask a friend to help! The goal of every party is to enjoy the time spent with your loved ones. Please make certain you are present and in the moment!

Thanks for reading, hit like if you like, share and subscribe if you are so inclined!

Muah!

Liette

Sober in Vegas…or not?

Sober in Vegas…or not! (Part Deux)

More fun things to do in and around Las Vegas, while sober…or tipsy! Lol

This next activity, is my second fav thing after kayaking. You probably shouldn’t do it while drinking though, lol.

When you think of coming to Vegas, I bet a Camel Safari isn’t exactly top of mind? I am a list girl, those who know me will be shocked by this statement I am sure…not! I often make mini bucket lists, just to keep things interesting. I try to pick 4 or 5 new things a quarter. New on my list was going on a Camel Safari.

Camel Safari Nevada
This was my camel, I forget his name, he had a big personality!

Since Las Vegas is in the desert, I thought it would be plausible that there would be camel safaris available somewhere…right? I mean, come on, anything is possible it’s Las Vegas!

I was right! I did a quick Pinterest search and there it was! The company is called: Camel Safari…ok, they may not get points for originality, but hey, they do Camel Safaris, so it fits. My nephew Jack was coming to visit, so I booked us a Camel Safari! I really need to give my nephew a shout out, like camels, teenagers can be, at times difficult, but he is and has always been game and receptive to all my cockamamie ideas…and there have been many!! You rock Jack!

Lizard
Jack wanted to take this little guy home.

Camel Safari Selfie

Camel Safari, the company, are located in Bunkerville, which is a little over one hour’s drive from Las Vegas. So not far at all.

Camel Safari www.camelsafari.com
I found them on Pinterest, check them out!

There are different tours available; you can feed the animals, they have more than just camels; they do bachelor and bachelorette parties, where you can party under the stars. Side note, the night before we went on our safari, they filmed an episode of the Bachelor there! And of course they do Camel Safaris, please check them out online: http://www.camelsafari.com

Now I am no camel expert, but everyone that I told about my upcoming adventure, warned me that camels are basically assholes. My experience was the exact opposite, these camels were very well behaved! Mine had a funny, quirky personality, we bounded over the fact that he seemed to love getting his picture taken, just like me.

photo bombed by a camel
My camel and I hamming it up, his selfie game was strong! lol

Again, I am no animal expert, but I attribute their well-mannered behavior to the fact that they are so well taken care of by their keepers. They are not locked in cages, they get to roam on the estate; where they hang out with their camel friends and a rescued zebra, who the camels have accepted as one of their own.

The staff seem to be there because of a genuine love of animals, it was great to see! And a fun experience, I highly recommend!

Camel Safari…checked of my list!!

NEXT! Let’s do a speed round of my go to places, this is where I take my visitors who come to visit me. 

Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is 15 minutes off the strip (all of these places, I found on Pinterest, it’s my fav search engine.)

Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas
Here with one of my many beautiful cousins. Our dads were not fans, they stayed in the car, lol.

Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary art exhibit in the desert, I guess you can drink there, as long as you are not the driver. You can take great pics and it’s free!

Liberty Bell Arch

Liberty Bell Arch is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it’s on the Arizona side. It’s a geological masterpiece! The arches were formed over 300 million years. It is less than an hours drive from the strip. It is a moderate hike, bring lots of water! Sorry, this is a non-alcoholic activity, but it is free!

Liberty Bell near Las Vegas
Modeling my new Roots Nice hat!

You can’t see the Arch from the highway, so when it finally does come into view it’s amazing! Please be careful, the rocks at the base of the Arch are lose and sharp. I didn’t venture all the way up to the base; but my friend Sean did, he did a lot of slipping and sliding on the rocks and I was there at a safe distance away to photograph it!

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is approx 50min from the strip, you really, really need to go! It is breathtaking and there is a spiritual zen vibe to it. The hikes are amazing, the park is over 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, as per their site, please go to: http://www.parks.nv.gov for more info…oh and they have cool petroglyphs.

Save your drinking for when you get back to the strip, you need to be on your A game for this one. There is a fee to get into the park, but well worth it.

Valley of Fire, Las Vegas
My dad and uncle ventured out of the car for this one, lol. He is 80, I hope I am as active when I am his age.

Ghost Towns

Nevada has lots of Ghost Towns, if you have a bit more time or are touring the state and see them from the highway, you should stop! As long as you aren’t driving, I don’t see any issues with an adult beverage or two, hey you may even see more ghosts after a few?

 

Nevada's Ghost Towns
So many ghost towns, so little time. This one was in Rhyolite
Nevada's Ghost Towns, vintage cars
This one is in Nelson, they do a lot of cool photo shoots here, loved the old cars.

Welcome to Vegas Sign

What people may not realize is that Las Vegas has a very sophisticate side, we have world class entertainment, top chefs and restaurants and the worlds most impressive NHL hockey team…GO KNIGHTS!

But there is also a fun and cheesy side, everyone who visits me needs to get their picture taken at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign; I think it’s the most fabulous touristy thing you can do!

Although this is a free activity, there is always a guy there who offers to take your picture, I recommend you let him. He is a pro! He will help you find your inner cheese! Don’t forget to slide him a $5 afterwards! $10 if you are a larger group.

Welcome to Las Vegas Baby!
As long as you aren’t driving, please do drink during this activity!

My brother wins for best jump, the worst jumper is Gilles, bottom left. Gilles you really let us down, you should be embarrassed, lol. My dad and uncle were living their best thug life, trust me you would not have wanted to be on the ice, with these two hockey guys in their hay day!

What is your best Vegas hot spot? Have you tried any of the activities listed here? Please share!

As always, thank you for reading, this one was long, but I needed to jam pack lots of content. If you enjoyed please click on like, feel free to share on social media and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Merci! Muah!

Liette

 

 

 

 

Sober in Vegas!

Sober in Vegas!

Yes you read that correctly, it is possible to be sober in Las Vegas; and news flash, it can actually be really fun. I want to share a few fun things that I have discovered off strip, that don’t involve drinking or gambling.

Not to brag but in my first year here, I now live in Las Vegas, my friend Lynn and I have done almost every day trip activity within a two hour drive from the strip.

What kind of things you ask? How about kayaking, camels and hiking for starters? There are so many fun things to do off strip, it’s going to take more than one post to share them all.

One of my first day adventures with Lynn was kayaking and it is probably my most favorite activity to date. And yes, I said kayaking…in the desert! I am from Atlantic Canada, so I am naturally drawn to the beach and to any and all water activities.

I was amazed to find a place that is just a 50 minute drive from my house; it’s called Willow Beach. The water is crystal clear, there is also an area called Emerald Cove where the water is, well it’s emerald green, hence the name.

I am in love with this place!!! I should warn you that this post will be heavy on pictures! Oh and filled with lots of exclamation points!! Deal with it!!! lol, sorry, will try to restrain!

IMG_1670
Once you turn off the highway, you will drive all the way down this road. Trust me there is water at the bottom.

For exact driving instructions, punch it in your phone, Willow Beach. But in brief, from Vegas drive towards Boulder City, then hang left; super helpful right?

On our first kayaking adventure, Lynn and I booked a guided tour, which is more expensive, but was well worth it for our first time out. On our next trips, we ventured out on our own. You can rent a single or double kayak onsite, you will need to book in advance, rentals are $47ish a day.

434E9F17-D7F8-45DE-B2C0-DF47723070DD
Lynn taking in the view!
00819BB3-D539-4816-B2EE-0EE480FBC322
Taking time for a quick pic, I was a bit of a paparazzi on this trip, not going to lie.
IMG_9210
This was a super hot day, we were excited to be on the water.
IMG_1831
Off we go!

From the marina, we kayaked for about 50 minutes to get to a small rocky beach area, it’s the perfect place to rest, picnic and swim. There are a few spots along the way where you can pull over and hang.

IMG_1729
Here is our fav spot to stop. You will need flip flops or water shoes, it’s rocky.

 

IMG_1696
You can see the water is a nice green, no filters needed for these pics!
IMG_7650
Here is our little beach.

I will warn you the water is on the cold side, I was impressed with Lynn, this California girl got in and swam on our second outing. I am Canadian, I have not yet found water too cold to swim in.

Please note this activity is more of a spring and fall thing. It is just too hot in July and August to be outside for any long periods of time. Regardless of when you go, you will need to pack lots of water, snacks and sunscreen.

IMG_1694
Cheese! You will notice in most of my posts that if I am outside I have a hat and when on the water, I have a water shirt. I am a blonde Canadian, I burn!

After resting, snacking and swimming on the beach, we continued onward to Emerald Cove. It is about 20 minute from our resting spot. If you keep going down the river, you will eventually hit some hot springs; we haven’t made it that far down, as of yet.

IMG_1807
This is the very fabulous Shondra making her way toward Emerald Cove.

IMG_1826

To the left of my kayak you can see what looks like a cave, it looks a bit scary from this viewpoint, but it really isn’t. It’s more of an archway, on the other side is a small opening.

IMG_1756
This is a better view, there are usually a few kayaks waiting for their turn to go in. Don’t be a jerk and stay in there too long. No one likes a cove hog! lol

I am told that the water is green because of the algae on the bottom.

IMG_1827

See! Emerald Green, the water here is a bit more shallow, so when the sun shines, it glows green. The water is crystal clear, the green is on the bottom.

IMG_1782
Shondra chilling in the cove.
IMG_1794
The water is so green exiting the cove. It’s so pretty it looks fake, but trust me, it’s real.
IMG_1964
You can see our small resting beach over my shoulder.

Fun fact, Canadians outside of Canada wear Blue Jays hats to meet other Canadians. If you are in the US and you see someone with a Blue Jays hat, you are obligated to say hi and ask what part of Canada they are from. It’s how we find each other.

IMG_2009
Lynn riding the current, working on her tan.

From the marina to the cove, you are paddling against the current, but on the way back you can coast and enjoy the ride.

IMG_9206
Shondra, who is from New Mexico is rocking a bikini top and I have my water shirt on, but it does have short sleeves! I also kept applying sunscreen every 15 min.

IMG_2031

When there is no wind, the water is like a mirror, it’s truly breathtaking! We have seen eagles flying overhead and mountain goats grazing on the cliffs.

If you only have time for one off strip activity, this is the one you have to try!

I was amaze to find out that some of my friends and coworkers, who have lived in Vegas for a long time, had never been to this area. Sometimes you need to be a tourist in your hometown.

To prove how much I like Willow Beach; I bought a kayak…yes a maritime girl moves to the desert and buys a kayak, it does seem a bit crazy.

IMG_9216
I bought a kayak and decided to set it up in my condo, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I hope you enjoyed this post, two more on fun things to do off strip will follow shortly; next will be my camel safari!!

I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, this is just my third post and I have had over 36,000 views so far! I don’t expect all my posts to go viral, like my previous post did. I am fine with a slow build moving forward.

If you can find my like button, you need to scroll down, trying to fix that; please click on it. And if you really like me, you can subscribe.

Thank you again!

Muah,

Liette