Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Best Part of Holiday Shopping . . .

. . . is that you will hear "Last Christmas" by Wham! at least three times during each trip to the mall. Word.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Observations from the E.R.

As part of my orientation, I got paid to spend the day (a.k.a. sort of work and observe) in my hospital’s E.R. I had a really good time when I rotated through there during nursing school, and this time was no exception. There were several things that I noticed during that day:

1. As much as I enjoy working with the unconscious or intubated patients who cannot talk to me up in the ICU, I also really enjoy working with the “crazies.” At the county hospital, there is definitely no shortage of those. Take, for example, the old prostitute (so insist the ER nurses) with a walker who demanded to speak with the head of the hospital because we would not prescribe her narcotics. Or, the older African American gentleman who suffered a minor burn to his face after lighting a cigarette while on his oxygen tank. He was there so we could “get this black stuff off of his face.”

He couldn’t even tell us why he needed to be on oxygen in the first place. I must be a bit of a risk taker, because as agitated as he was getting, I still dared to put a catheter in him since he wasn’t able to “go” and we needed to get a urine sample to do a drug screen. He had initially flat out refused to get a catheter put in, but I was able to sweet-talk him into it. For that, I earned the nickname of “Angelina Jolie.”

2. I am getting better at putting in IVs. I was batting 1000 that day. Three for three, baby! I’ll be honest though; every person I stuck had veins fat enough that you’d have to be blind not to get one in. But whatever.

3. The ER nurses are a lot nicer than the SICU nurses. Don’t get me wrong, I do like (most) of the people I work with. However, as talented as they are, there is some serious attitude that gets thrown around, and it’s something I didn’t quite fully realize until I went to the ER. As much as I love my coworkers’ sick sense of humor and can relate to them on many levels, I just hope I don’t get fully sucked into their cult of superiority. I’m telling you, the nurses in my unit have a reputation around the hospital, and now I can see why!

4. Docs are around constantly. I thought we saw them a lot in the ICU, but they are literally there all the time in the ER. That is where they live. And all the hot ones are married.

5. If you are a trauma patient (car accident, fall, shooting, stabbing, etc.), expect a doctor to put his finger in your rear. The trauma hall was very busy that day, and on every admit that I saw, the same doctor was always sticking his finger up the patient’s butt. Yes, yes, there is a totally valid reason for it (to check for bleeding and rectal tone; no tone can mean a spinal cord injury), but the juvenile side of me smiled. I secretly wondered exactly how many butts had this doctor stuck his finger inside of during his tenure in the world of medicine? I was also amused by the male patient who screamed expletives while getting his special exam, as if the doctor was taking his manhood away from him . . .

6. There is nothing like getting to meet a patient up on the helipad. Okay, so I’m sure by the hundredth or even tenth time you get to do it, it would get old, but I was absolutely giddy inside when I learned that I would get to watch the CareFlite helicopter land and help wheel the patient on a gurney all the way back to the trauma hall. The warm wind, the setting sun, and the Dallas skyline in the background made for a perfectly surreal experience. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a flight nurse, but I’d love to take over once the copter lands! In a word: awesome.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random musings about J. Crew

I'm just going to quick hit a few deals I got and make a few comments about a few items:

Salina Iridescent Patent Leather Flats in Guava:

I think I got these on sale, plus 30% off, so they were around $60. They are very pretty and the guava color is neutral enough to go with almost anything.

Large Odile Bag in Driftwood:

Once again, a great neutral to go with everything. It's also the type of neutral that will work year-round. The leather is very soft. It is lined with cotton twill. I was a little disappointed that it didn't come with a dust bag, but I can live with that. It was only around $150 including shipping after 30% off the sale price. I actually ended up with two of these bags after I got an e-mail stating that my original order had been cancelled. Well, I reordered the bag since it was showing as still in-stock, and what do you know, both my original and the new one arrived at my doorstep. While returning the extra bag, a woman in the next line over loved it so much that she decided to purchase it after my return was complete.

Italian Calfskin Jamie Bag in Dark Cloud:

The leather on this bag is soooo soft and pretty, but it will scratch quite easily. It is quite roomy and lined with a silk grosgrain type material. Unfortunately, on my second day of using it, the tassel on one of the zipper-pulls came detached. It's hard to describe, but basically I am going to have to try to take it to a shoe repair and see if they can do anything about it. J. Crew was already sold out of the Jamie bags in this color, but they did credit 10% of the purchase price back to my card to cover the expense of getting it repaired. I got this bag on sale for around $210, which is almost half of what it originally cost.

Morgan Cozy Cardigan:

I posted about this earlier on my list of things that I wanted. I bought it, but now I am having second thoughts. It is super soft and cozy. However, it is not made entirely of alpaca wool. It also contains acrylic, which is not acceptable for a sweater that costs nearly $200. I was in my local J. Crew today, and they had the sweater on sale for $130 (plus an additional 30% off), so I might see if there is a store that has my size left and repurchase it at the lower price.

Cashmere Sweaters:

They are all only $99 in stores, plus an additional 30% off. I got an off-white cardigan and a black turtleneck. Boring, yes, but they are just some staples I needed for my wardrobe.

My local store was pretty close to clearing out all of their winter merchandise and predominantly featuring their spring/resort collection. Some of the items are very pretty, but I have barely even started to get wear out of my fall and winter stuff! I just need to hold out for as long as possible, knowing that it will eventually go on sale. While I love the J. Crew Aficionada blog, reading it all the time makes me become a bit irrational. I decide I *have* to get a certain item right as soon as it comes out, because it won't be available for long. Well, that bit me in the ass more than a few times, because practically everything I ever bought at full price ended up sticking around and getting marked down big time! This is good for J. Crew, but bad for my checking account...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Real Ladies Wear Underwear

Okay, so I was sitting in class/work the other week and could not help but stare at this girl who was in the row in front of me, because her pants were dipping down so low in the back that you could see her crack. Yes, her crack. I don't know how she didn't know that thing was hanging out; you would think it would get a little drafty back there, no?

It got me thinking about why exactly some women choose not to wear underwear. I just do not understand. I find it disgusting, and with all of the new undergarment technology out there, there is really no good excuse not to. Are you wearing low-rise pants? They do make low-rise underwear, you know. My personal favorite is Hanky Panky's low-rise lace thong. It is made of super-stretchy, super comfortable lace, and one size fits almost all.

You say you don't want VPL (other wise known as "visible panty line")? Try Commando brand underwear. These things are totally thin and seamless. If they show underneath your clothing, do you think, perhaps, it's not a good idea that you wear something that tight??

What I really don't understand is when some women don't wear underwear when they are wearing short skirts. Really? You want to rub your vag all over dirty public surfaces and flash it to strangers? Worse yet for the rest of us, we have to sit on the juices that have rubbed off from your bare cooch. Yes, I know that sounded gross, but I'm trying to make a point! And the point is, in case you haven't gotten by now, please, for the love of sweet Jesus (and the rest of your fellow human beings), wear underwear! Me and your grandmother will thank you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Holidays are Here!

I just spent the afternoon buying a few festive things to get my apartment in the mood for the holiday season.

First off was this pretty wreath from Pottery Barn:

Right now their holiday decor is up to 50% off, so I got this for only $49.99, down from $99. There's no way in hell this thing is worth anywhere near the original price, so I was glad I could get it for less, since it is the only wreath that really caught my eye. They also have some cute woodland creature and acorn ornaments that I might buy on after-Christmas clearance sale if they are still around (and I'm sure they will be).

To really get myself in the spirit, I stopped at Starbucks to pick up a Peppermint Twist Mocha. I have no idea if this is supposed different than the regular Peppermint Mocha, they probably just changed the name to entice suckers like me to buy it. They also have a new Espresso Truffle latte, which I tried yesterday. Tomorrow I plan on trying the Gingersnap Latte. Once again, this is probably just the Gingerbread Latte with a snazzier name. Btw, my local Starbucks is now carries some hot, savory breakfast items. They are tasty, but it brings the bill close to nine bucks. Oh, I think I would be very disgusted with myself if I added how much I spent on breakfast and triple grande holiday-themed lattes at Starbucks this week.

Next, I went to Target to pick up a wreath hanger and a few other random holiday things like some winter white place mats with metallic branches and leaves embroidered on them, and some glittery pears to replace the fake apples in this green glass bowl that sits on the counter top. Target really does have some cute Christmas decor, grouped into cute themed collections, like Birchwood Chalet, Snowfall Splendor, and Arctic Solstice.

I also picked up a few bird ornaments. Although I sadly do not have room for anything other than a miniature tree in my apartment, I am collecting bird ornaments, because one day I hope to have a full-sized tree that has nothing but birds on it. I love birds. Except for grackles and pigeons. I think when I am older and own a house, I will put all kinds of bird feeders in my backyard and become an amateur bird watcher or something. Anyway, it seems like I am in luck, because bird ornaments are just everywhere this season. Anthropologie has some especially adorable ones.

Once I put out the decor and put the pine-tree scented refills in my Wallflowers (which I wisely bought well over a month ago, because the holiday scents always seem to be sold out before Thanksgiving!), my humble abode will be ready for holidays! All I will need to do to make it complete is play my Rat Pack Christmas CD and pour a glass or two of champagne. It's about time I made a dent in my seven (yes, seven) bottle stash...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Word of the Day

squirrelly (skwûr'ə-lē, skwŭr'-) adj. Slang
1. Eccentric.
2. Cunningly unforthcoming or reticent. 
(Source: 2006 American Heritage Dictionary)

It wasn't the first time I'd heard this word, but I was recently reminded of how awesome it is by a patient I was helping to admit a few weeks ago. He said that he had a drug allergy to morphine. When asked what, exactly, happens when he takes morphine, he replied, "It makes me get real squirrely." This made me smile. And vow to use the word "squirrelly" more often in my everyday conversations.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Arrivals at J. Crew: Hits and Misses

Okay, so this is like my millionth post in a row about J. Crew, but whatevs. It's keeping me blogging, so that's good, right?

Anyhow, J. Crew has updated their website with some new arrivals for the holidays. There are a few things that I'm excited about, some things I wish I was excited about, and some things I'm not too excited about.

Let's bring on the cute, shall we?:

Metallic Houndstooth Marie Jacket, $425.

If only I had a man to take me to some fine establishments so I could get some use out of something like this! Or if only I lived in a place where people walked further than the distance from car to building and back so I could show this baby off. I love how effortlessly sophisticated the model looks in this picture. This is a jacket that could definitely be dressed up or down. Want it. But still have zero use for it.

Liquid Gold Sequin Skirt, $250.
Once again, another item I have no use for but absolutely love. If only I had some fancy holiday party to go to! And for a full skirt that is entirely covered in sequins, I'd say the price is just about right. With the insane prices J. Crew has been charging for their Collection items, I'm surprised they didn't price this item higher.

Merino Sequin Chiffon Shell, $148.

More sequins, but this is a piece I could actually fit into my generally non-dressy lifestyle. It would look cute with with some dark jeans and heels for a night out. I would have to try this on in person, however, because the shape on the model looks a tad suspect.

Morgan Cozy Cardigan, $198.

If I had to sum up my winter style in one item of clothing, this would probably be it. I live for this kind of stuff. Plus, it is made from baby alpaca wool, which is insanely soft (but does have a tendency to shed).

And now for the pieces I'm not so pumped about:

Sanibel Crawford Blouse, $160

Don't get me wrong, I adore the print, but as you can see in a previous post, I am not a fan of the shape of the Crawford, at least not on me. I would love to see this pretty print on something different! And an extra $72 for the print on this blouse (as compared to the solid colored version) is a bit extreme.

Cashmere Chunky Cable Sweater, $450.

Wow, this even makes the model look puffy. That's saying something.

There's nothing else that really catches my eye and makes me say, "yuck," but I will say that I am disappointed in the lack of new dresses that J. Crew has rolled out with this time. I'm not sure exactly what I've been looking for, but I do know that J. Crew does not have it. There are a few okay dressy dresses, but nothing that wows me. And there aren't enough casual cute dresses either. I wish J. Crew made some more cozy sweater dresses, or some shirt dresses like they did last winter.

And of course, there are many more things in this latest roll-out that have caught my fancy, but it would probably take me the rest of the night to blog about them!

Has J. Crew been reading my blog???

Haha, doubtful!! However, I did find this cute little notebook amongst the new holiday arrivals on their website:


Monday, November 17, 2008


Don't you just hate it when you are really looking forward to receiving a piece of clothing that you ordered online and then it does not live up to your expectations?

Meet Crawford. A huge disappointment. And she looked so cute on the model!

What isn't readily apparent from the picture online is that the cinching in at the waist is accomplished by a self-sash that ties in the back (or the side or wherever you would like). Being that it is made of silk chiffon, it doesn't stay put, and makes the shirt look sloppy. The cinching effect would have better been accomplished by some elasticized stitching at the waist. Or by a false sewn-on, non-tying sash, and the shirt could have a side-seam zipper.

Another aspect that contributes to the sloppiness of the blouse is the fact that it is button-down all the way to the bottom (which you also cannot tell from the picture). Which means that the two halves of the shirt just kind of hang open at the bottom. Which wouldn't be a problem is the shirt was made of a material that wasn't floppy like chiffon. If the buttons only went about halfway three-quarters of the way down the shirt (like their "popover" blouses), the look at the hem of the shirt would have been much neater.

And while I'm busy picking apart this poor shirt, another thing that bothered me were the cuffs. I have pretty slender wrists and forearms, and I could barely fasten the hook-and-eye closures at the the cuffs. I felt like I had sausage arms!

So there you have it. If you can find a way to make this work, then more power to you. I am jealous!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Are you kidding us, J. Crew??? Do you think your legions of admirers are actually dumb enough to shell out $500 for THIS????????!!!!!!!!!!!!:

The description is laughable:

Extra-luxe, ultraplied-up Italian cashmere in a 3 gauge knit—transformed with dramatic feather trim to create the ultimate statement piece. We only have a few (and know they're going to fly).

Ha. Ha. This looks like something that an overweight, frumpy, middle-aged woman from Oklahoma school teacher would wear to church or a holiday open house. (Hey, I'm from Oklahoma, so I can say that!!). It would be her "spunky" wardrobe piece that she would wear when she wanted to be the envy of all of her friends.

Seriously, though. It looks like something SteinMart would have carried in the late 1990s. What were you thinking, J. Crew? Even without the detachable feather collar, the color, the shape, the knit of this cardigan is just wrong and extremely dated. Look forward to seeing this gem in the "Final Sale" section very soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Item of the Week: The Wide Patent Leather Belt

Ugh, so sorry for being a lazy blogger! I've been a very lazy, tired person in general, lately, what with the new job and all of the partying a newly single person does on the weekends!

Anyhow, I thought I would take this time to praise a very simple item that has really added a lot to my wardrobe as of yet. It is the wide patent-leather belt from J. Crew in Dusty Rose, $55:

Normally, I hate spending money on belts. Or accessories in general. I would rather spend the money on a shirt or something. I'm slowly but surely starting to see the light, however. This recent purchase has already done a few useful things for me. On a sort of casual night out on Friday, I used it to cinch in the waist of a simple, flowy black tank top from Old Navy. Not to brag, but I got several compliments on this outfit. I love how the right accessories can add a bit of interest to otherwise cheap and boring items.

I also wore the belt on Saturday to a wedding with my Watercolor Floral Madison Dress from J. Crew. The almost neutral color of the belt worked well with the deep blues and aquas of the dress. I pulled together the look with some patent-leather platform pumps in nearly the same color as the belt.

One of my favorite things about this belt is its lack of holes/grommets. This means you can always adjust it to fit you perfectly. I always seem to have issues with belts that are made to go around your waist; they are usually either too big or too small. Problem solved with this belt. I am so pleased that I am going to pick one up in black as well. I think it would look great to tailor the look of a bulky grey cardigan. Besides, I'm such a sucker for black patent leather!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Case of the Mondays

I was planning on a fun, superficial, shopping-related post (finally), but this whole day just turned out awful. The fall allergy season has not been kind to me, causing sleepless nights spent hacking up boatloads of post-nasal drainage. And I got rear-ended on the way to work this morning. By a deaf woman with whom I could not communicate. It was rainy and dark, which made the situation even worse, so I ended up only getting her license plate number. I think this is just going to end up going on my uninsured motorist coverage. Why is it that the only people who run into and/or damage my car(s) happen to be uninsured or unwilling or unable to fork over information? Grrr. My poor, poor car. I think I have lost count of how many times stuff has happened to it. And it is only 4 years and 33,000 miles old. Sadness. I am so cursed when it comes to cars. I'm starting to think it is because I never name them...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Boys are Idiots, Part III

Okay, so remember the idiot who thought so highly of himself that he thought I was going to sleep with him after only minutes of knowing him??? Well, a few days after breaking the news to him that I didn’t want anything to do with him anymore, I received this e-mail at 12:27 am. It was a freaking novel. Some of the things he said are just so unbelievable, I had to share. It kind of reminds me of the infamous “Dimitri.” Here are a few choice excerpts:

Next, I am confident in myself. I am not immediately concerned with what happens between us, beyond that we stay in contact. You have a life to live as do I and if something develops it does. If it does not, it does not. I am in no place to judge you or become upset if you go on a date or whatever. What you do in Dallas is your business. I am confident that if this is meant to be it is meant to be. If not we will both go on with our lives separately. But, one thing I will not do is let something slip through my fingers with out exploring it.

He won't let me slip through his fingers? Sounds like a bit of a control freak to me.

Maybe we will end up as friends, as lovers, as a fling, as a life experience or a love like no other. Who knows? It is far too early to tell. But, whatever it is we won’t know if we run away before we explore it. I don’t like talking on the phone either. And I’m not looking to take up all your time. I’m not looking to pressure you into anything. But I won’t allow myself go off into the sunset with out articulating my thoughts. We had a damn good night, and I think we could have a lot of fun.

A damn good night?? A drunken conversation that took place over a few hours at a blackjack table?? And I hate when people use the word "lovers." It conjures up images of frolicking in rainbows, playing with kittens, and riding in hot air balloons. Barf.

I have lived a life like few others. Some of it good. some of it bad, but all of it lead me to be the person that I am today. I may have come on a little strong, but I wasn’t going to go home wondering, “what if?” I won’t allow myself to live a life under a cloud of, “what if.” I make my own destiny. I won’t dwell on things but, I won’t allow myself to sit idly by and be a person who didn’t act. In my line of work we have a motto, (a bit cliché I know,) “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” I’m not much for “B” or “C.”

This dude is a walking, talking cliche.

We only get one time around on this ride and I won’t look back and see tons of regret or missed opportunities. I will look back and see one Hell of a story. The question is, are you going to write yourself out of it before we know what your role in it is?

Gag. Me.

Look, I had a great time and I think you did too. You said you were looking to explore what you wanted out of life and see what it was that you wanted. I am an excellent chance at that. I am looking to do the same. I think being as that we are going through similar things at the same time we may be a good balance for each other. Not too close and no too far. There is plenty of breathing room.

Uh, so he thinks that HE is what I want?

You have piqued my interest. But your decisions are yours to make. Don’t pass up a whole lot of fun and self discovery, when there are no expectations and no pressure from me. We hit it off pretty well as was evident by the evening in Vegas. I think you should look into this just a little before closing this door. And if you do decide to just know it isn’t locked. You can walk through it again whenever you like. I am not mad and I do understand, but why not have some fun?

In the words of Nancy Kerrigan, "WHY ME?"

Boys are Idiots, Part II

I think I might have to change the focus of my blog to the adventures of being single, because this is what my life has come to!

To further drive home the point that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to have a simple, friendly conversation with a guy, and to further prove that guys never just want to be friends: A few weeks ago I was hanging out having brunch, when a friend of a friend showed up who was new to town. I, of course, being the friendly girl that I am, talked to this guy. We got on the subject of triathlons and marathons, and he mentioned that he needed someone to do some muddy buddy race with him in a few weeks. I said that I might be able to, but I wasn’t sure, but maybe we could at least get together sometime and go for training runs. He told me that he was just looking to meet new people, blah, blah blah, and I believed him. Well, after a week or two of texting and trying to figure out a mutually agreeable time to go for a run, I finally came to the conclusion that I am really too busy for all of this at this point due to the demands of the critical care nursing residency program I am in right now (and this is completely true), and told him this.

WELL, what do you know, he sent me a text back that he understood if I was too busy, but that he would like to take me out for dinner or drinks sometime. SERIOUSLY? Do I just need to stop talking to members of the male species all together? This is getting ridiculous. And I really thought this guy just wanted to be workout buddies. I can still be so gullible sometimes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boys are Idiots, Most of the Time

Notice how I used this word “boys” and not “men.” Anyhow, this is not consumerist-related, but I think it is worth discussing, because this is something that continues to amaze me. I have barely been single a month and already I have had to tell TWO guys the following, albeit a little bit sugarcoated:

NO, I do NOT want to be in a relationship with you. Hello? Have I not told you that I JUST got out of a VERY long relationship? NO, I do NOT want to date you. NO, I do NOT want to just hang out or talk, even as friends. Please leave me alone.”

Somehow, it seems that guys get the impression that if you are not a complete bitch to them and if you talk to them for more than 2 minutes that you are so OBVIOUSLY into them and cannot wait to hang out with them again, have sex with them (YES, one of these dudes thought so highly of himself that he assumed that I would totally sleep with him if he had the proper protection on him that night. SERIOUSLY???????????), or go visit them in New Orleans. After only having known each other for half an hour, tops. Whoa, buddy, get a hold of your ego, there!!

Okay, so maybe in these two instances I might have given out my phone number when asked, but it was only out of not wanting to be perceived as being mean. Well, I have learned my lesson now. No more Miss Nice Girl from now on. I simply don’t have time for that crap anymore. Life is too short to spend parts of it talking to or dealing with people who irritate you or add no value to it.

It was already a step in the right direction for me to tell these two idiots point blank that I don’t want to be friends with them or talk to them anymore. This, by the way, is completely necessary, because if you agree to hang out with a guy under the pretense of “friends,” it is only a matter of time before he tries to make his way into your pants. I am of the school of thought that it is a rare occurrence that a straight guy will actually want to be platonic friends with a woman and nothing more. Feel free to disagree, but this has been my experience.

So now I just need to practice not giving out my number, as this will prevent me from suffering through future unwanted phone calls or text conversations in the first place. I have already figured out my line next time an idiot asks for my number: “Sorry, this just really isn’t a good time in my life for this right now,” or something to that effect. Do you think it will work??

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Vegas Adventures: Tiny Indulgences

I passed by this store twice before at the Forum Shops in Las Vegas, but didn’t dare step inside due to the fact that I was with my mother both times. It’s just underwear, you might say. But this isn’t your everyday underwear. Agent Provocateur carries the sexiest, prettiest underpinnings you will ever lay your eyes on. Luckily, the third time I saw this store, I got to finally go in and see for myself.

The items at Agent Provocateur range from sweetly demure to all-out raunchy (WARNING: Picture below is NSFW! Scroll down really fast!) . But the most high-end raunchy you could imagine, trust me! You will even find things to fulfill your naughty fantasies, such as whips, blindfolds, sequined pasties, even nipple balm (which me and Lesli proceeded to test out, but that’s another story).

If you are planning on trying on items at Agent Provocateur, you need to leave your modesty at the door. A sales associate, dressed in a cute pink satin 1950s waitress-style dress will pull the items you are interested in and go in the dressing room with you to assist you in trying on. She will measure you to make sure you are wearing the correct size, and will show you how to properly position the “girls” into the bra. The girl helping me, Amber, was a sweetheart, and was helpful in letting me know which styles fit and flattered my body the most.

After trying on several lovely styles, I ultimately ended up purchasing items from the Francoise collection. The bra and knickers are made of a pink floral lace with black Chantilly lace overlay. In a word, GORGEOUS. The quality is impeccable, and the fit of the bra is perfect. Let me tell you, as someone who is slightly challenged in the chest area, it is difficult, if not impossible to find a pretty, well-fitting bra that doesn’t have padding. It’s as if bra manufacturers just assume that if you are under a certain cup size, you shouldn’t leave the door with out at least 2 inches of foam in your bosom.

The price of owning such beautiful lingerie? Not cheap. At all. But still not as expensive as La Perla (the pretty La Perla, not the basics), and certainly much more inspired. This was a complete splurge for me, but after this experience, I am a firm believer that every woman should go out and buy herself some super pretty, quality underthings that she will be able to treasure for a long time to come (or at least as long as she still fits into them). Something that will make her feel sexy and beautiful every time she puts it on, even if no one else sees it but her. Those knickers may be expensive, but that feeling that they will give you is definitely priceless.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vegas Adventures: Off the Beaten Path

I have been to Las Vegas several times and absolutely LOVE it every time I go. It truly is the adult Disneyland. As a simple person, I am easily attracted to and distracted by the bright lights, ringing noises, crowds of strange people, and the lure of hitting it big. It is definitely a party city. However, as I recently found out, it is also a place where you can truly relax once you get the initial partying out of your system.

After spending the first few days at the Venetian, I was fortunate enough to try the Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. It is only a few miles off of the strip, but the experience feels worlds away. The whole place exudes modern luxury, with red-tinted glass doors and sleek, sparkling crystal light fixtures. As the name implies, there is a casino there, but it is not as migraine inducing as the ones you would find on the strip.

You can choose a room that has either a view of the strip or of the stunning canyon. I was lucky enough to have a room with a canyon view, although I didn’t get to spend near enough time enjoying it. The beds are to-die-for, and I swear the thread count of the sheets had to have been at least a million! The toiletries are also larger-sized than what you normally expect from a hotel, and have a clean, refreshing scent.

One of my favorite parts of the resort was the awesome pool area. Modern lounge chairs with brightly colored cushions surrounded the circular main pool. Smaller, rectangular pools fanned out from the main pool like sunrays. Since I was there on a weekday, the pool area was not at all at capacity, making for an extremely relaxing experience. Our waitress was also friendly and attentive; making sure I always had a fun cocktail in hand.

Equal in awesomeness is the spa. I haven’t been to many spas, but out of the spa at the Bellagio, Bliss Spa at the W Dallas, and the spa at the Hotel Crescent Court, this one is by far my favorite. Instead of being bright and airy, it was dark and lulling, which I definitely enjoyed. When I want to totally unwind, I don’t want bright lights in my face! The treatment I opted for was the Hydrating Full Body Wrap, which consisted of light massage, an exfoliating scrub, a warm hydrating wrap, and a final application of moisturizing milk. My technician, Shelly, had wonderful hands and made me feel totally at ease. Next time I go there, I will book a massage with her!

Don’t get me wrong, I really like the strip, but if you want to try something new in Las Vegas, you should definitely give the Red Rock a try. I certainly hope my first experience there won’t be my last!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Quick Break to Celebrate Moi!

Yesterday I started my first-ever job in nursing. Yay! This week and the next few will consist of orientation, classroom time, etc. I'm doing what's called a Critical Care Nursing Residency at a major teaching hospital and level one trauma center in Dallas. The program is 4 months long, during which you are schooled in the ways of critical care nursing through both classes and clinical time.

There are three or four phases of the program, each of which must be passed before you are allowed to move on to the next. Your preceptors are rating your performance at the bedside and you also must pass written tests. It's essentially like getting paid to learn how to be an awesome critical care nurse. I'm not going to lie, the ICU and ER nurses at this hospital are complete badasses. After successful completion of the program you are hired on as a permanent member of the unit and off on your own. The unit I will be working in is the surgical/trauma ICU.

Even though it's going to be another few weeks before I get down and dirty providing actual patient care, today marked a significant milestone for me: I received my ID badge today, making me an official member of the nursing staff. Below my name it says, "Nurse Resident: Trauma Services." Trauma Services?? How cool does that sound??!!! It's enough to make me break open one of my half-bottles of Veuve to celebrate.

Next milestone: A day or two after October 17th, which is when I will find out whether or not I passed the state boards, taking me from graduate nurse to registered nurse!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vegas Adventures: Christian Louboutin

After a long, drawn out day of shopping, when the rest of our group had dropped like flies, Sara and I soldiered on to the Christian Louboutin store at the Shops at the Palazzo to try on some his famously glam red-soled shoes. Oh how I absolutely adore that red sole! And the red theme is carried on throughout the tiny, jewel box of a store. To steal a line from Carrie Bradshaw, it was like Sara and I had died and gone to shoe heaven! In fact, it was so heavenly, that I considered actually investing in a pair, in the event that I found one that I fell in love with.

I was eager to try on some classic black patent peep-toe platform pumps that Mr. Louboutin does so well. After all, I am constantly wearing knock-offs of the one he did with the stacked wooden heel by Steven. Sadly, my feet were just a tad too wide for the real deal, and ended up spilling out the sides. Stupid wide-but-not-so-wide-enough-to-be-considered-truly-wide feet!

Speaking of my stupid, stupid feet, who was there to tell me that they were, and I quote, "adorable?" None other than the lovely and beautiful Angie Harmon. She was friendly, radiant, and save for the small baby bump, very thin. She was trying on some pretty, copper-y wedges. At least a wedge is a bit more practical for pregnancy, eh?

I also tried on this adorable black satin peep-toe pump with a bow. These ones actually looked good on my feet, but at $795, I just couldn't let my first true luxury shoe purchase be on some highly impractical satin shoes that I would rarely wear, and would surely get ruined.

So fortunately for my wallet, but unfortunately for my inner-crazy-splurging-Vegas wild-child, I left the store empty handed. But it was a fun experience nonetheless. For now, I will keep my eyes peeled for whenever these babies go on sale, and hopefully my foot won't runneth over:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegas Adventures: A Sight for Hungover Eyes

On my über-fabulously fun Vegas trip with the girls, my dear friend Sara introduced me to my favorite new beauty product.

The Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller delivers a soothing cool serum to your delicate under-eye area. I'm not sure exactly what the extent of the anti-puff action actually is, but all I know is that it feels awesome when you are tired and/or hungover. Which tends to happen a lot when you are in Vegas. Sara was kind enough to let me use it throughout the trip. I loved it so much that I couldn't wait to purchase one for myself before we left. I think it was only around $14 at a Walgreen's on the Strip, so it is a complete bargain.

I've even been using this on normal days, just because it feels so good. I am so indebted to Sara for bringing this fabulous product into my life!

Oops, I did it again.

I really do need to say about a million Hail Marys between now and next Sunday, because I just did something truly awful.

You see, there is this watch I have been coveting for several years now. When I was in Las Vegas, I looked for it, but not too hard. Then last night I went to a birthday party for some random chick I don't know, and she was wearing one. Then today, as I was purchasing a new pair of jeans on the second floor of Nordstrom, I saw one on the wrist of the salesgirl who was ringing up my purchase. She had awful breath. How could she have one of these beautiful things and not me? I felt myself becoming weaker.

Here's the deal: I just finished up my second bachelor's degree. I even got the diploma in the mail today (Summa Cum Laude, bitches!!). I am also about to embark on a new career. And I just experienced the ending of a three-year long relationship. I needed something to signify my new beginnings. This would be a present to myself that I could enjoy for years and years to come.

So I took the escalator to the first floor and walked over to the watch case. I spotted my prize and proceeded to try on a few different styles. I debated over whether it would be too flashy for someone as young and casual as myself. She said it didn't look too over-the-top on me. I wondered if I should really be spending this much money. She told me it was an investment piece. I said I would sleep on it. She told me I would get triple points on my Nordstrom card. Done.

And now it sits upon my wrist. Shiny, sparkly, keeping time with great accuracy. Don't make fun of me, but I was never that great at telling time on a non-digital watch. But I will stare at this watch face so much that I will soon become an expert.

Without any further adieu, behold the Michele Mini Urban Diamond:

The picture doesn't really do it justice. Not only is it beautiful and unique-looking, what I really love is the fact that you can change out the straps. I went with the traditional stainless-steel bracelet (as shown in the picture), but hope to receive some alligator straps (especially the white one) in the future, for say, Christmas or my birthday. It will be like getting an entirely new watch every time! At $200 each, the alligator straps are just as expensive as any other watch I have purchased in the past. In fact, the watch itself is the most expensive item I have ever bought, save for my car. Granted, it's not Rolex expensive, but still. Do you think the good Lord will forgive me for my sin?

The Wait is Over

To my thousands of adoring fans, I truly apologize for my extended hiatus. On this beautiful Saturday night, I will commence posting to this blog. And then maybe go out and grab a cocktail.

If you are wondering where I have been all this time, I was fortunate enough to have gone on a lovely vacation to Las Vegas with 4 of my bestest girlfriends in the world. I'm sad that the 5th could not make it, but she was there in spirit! Anyhow, I'm just about recovered from that trip and ready to blog. Look forward to posts revolving around my consumerist adventures in Vegas!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Apologies

Sorry to disappoint you, ladies and gents, but posting will be light to nonexistent for the next several days. I am in Oklahoma visiting the 'rents and plan on being generally lazy and spending quality time with my darling dog, Kodi. I'll try to make up for it next week!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Crock Pots: Magically Delicious!

I am such an old lady. But I adore the crock pot! Yes, that item that everybody puts on their wedding registry (along with the KitchenAid mixer) but never uses. Shame, shame! Don't you know what a wonderful tool of cooking prowess you have sitting right under your nose? I know, I know, you say you can't cook. But the awesome thing about the crock pot is that even a monkey could make a delicious meal using one of these things. You just throw a bunch of crap in there, set it on low, and 8 hours later you have a yummy concoction. 

Take for example, this recipe:

Ashley's W.T. Mexican Stew

A few frozen chicken breasts or tenderloins
1/4 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
1 can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1  cup of salsa
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can chopped green chilies

Put the frozen chicken tenderloins into the crock pot and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Throw everything else in. No need to stir. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Shred the chicken and stir. Makes 3-4 bowls.

This is a recipe I adapted from some a couple of similar recipes I found on I realize the combination of ingredients sounds a little nasty and oh-so pedestrian, but it turns out to be kind of like a creamy, spicy black bean soup.  And you can't tell me that you can't make it because there is zero prep work involved. Unless you count opening cans as prep work. By the way, I made that in my mini-crock pot, so you could double the recipe to use for a bigger one.

Speaking of crock pots, I found my dream crock pot in my new Williams Sonoma catalog. Behold the All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker ($279):

How pretty and amazing is this thing??? Not only can you remove the inner liner, but you can actually put it on your stove to brown meats, as in for a beef stew, and then transfer the liner back into the cooker, eliminating the need for an extra pan. Genius!

I think it's time for me to start my own registry. Or if you own the pretty All-Clad Slow Cooker, a KitchenAid mixer, or any other useful kitchen gadget that's still in its box and collecting dust and taking up valuable storage room in your kitchen cabinets, I will gladly accept these items as a donation from you and put them to good use. I might even use them to bake you some cookies or any other number of delightful treats at Christmas time. You're welcome.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Football Style

Can you believe it? The beginning of the NFL season is nigh upon us, and you have less than a week to figure out what to wear!

First of all, for the love of sweet, baby Jesus, don't show up in one of these:

Seriously? The last time I checked, there wasn't a single team in the NFL that had pink as one of their colors. I think part of the problem is that manufacturers of woman-sized NFL fan gear don't realize that there's a big enough faction of women out there who actually want authentic looking stuff, just cut a bit smaller to fit our girlish figures. While there is a growing number of options out there for women, they're still relatively difficult to find unless you order online.

Me? I sport a number 81 jersey in a Youth size Medium, which, although was a gift, can be easily obtained at a local Academy Sports:

Which brings me to another source of frustration. I really want a T.O. Tee. If you watch Hard Knocks on HBO, you will know what I'm talking about. Yes, I know, I am a big dork. But they only make the cool ones in dude sizes! Check out the ladies' version:

Are you kidding me? "iDance"? "iModel?" I'm sorry, but I do neither. However, I do love me some me. Why can't I have a shirt in my size that allows me to say that to the whole world??

Anyway. If you want to be a little more fashion-forward while still showing some love for your team, Retro Sport makes some good stuff. All of their apparel has, you guessed it, retro team logos on it. But they look cool, and the fabrics are super soft. And they don't do just NFL; they also do college, NHL, and NBA. You can buy Retro Sport at boutiques, online at places like Revolve Clothing or NFL Shop, or directly from Retro Sport. I wouldn't mind adding these two items to my collection:

And for the spoiled fashionista fan who has everything, I bring you this:

It's like a Judith Leiber, except not. Although at $2449.99, it sure is priced like one!

As IF!

Let me preface this by saying I am NOT getting married anytime in the near future. However, if I was, these are some dresses I would love to try (all from J. Crew, of course):

The Luxe Drapey Jacquard Turner Gown, $1300

I am in love with the neckline of this dress, and the jacquard is a nice departure from your typical lace or satin. So chic and elegant.

Lisette Gown, $2000

This dress is just so unique. I love how the flower applique carries on up the straps of the dress. This would be perfect for a beach or countryside wedding.

Eyelet Cascade Gown, $1200

This sweet little number would look absolutely adorable for a summertime shotgun wedding!

And I would just absolutely FORCE my bridesmaids to wear either one of these cute berry-trim dresses:

Berry-Trim Strapless Nathalie Dress, $350

Berry-Trim Nathalie Tank Dress, $350

The color would be bright peacock, which is a pretty teal that would flatter everyone's skintone, and would work practically year-round.

While J. Crew's bridesmaid dresses are on par with or slightly more expensive with your typical bridesmaid dresses, I think one of their greatest advantages is that they have versatility (a.k.a. they don't just look like bridesmaid dresses).

I am amazed with the pricing on the wedding gowns, however. Many of the styles are unique and beautiful, and cost much, much less than your typical wedding dress (or at least much less than something I would expect to buy). Plus I like how many of the gown have straps, which are pretty much impossible to find these days in the sea of strapless wedding dresses!