Tuesday, March 31, 2009

F My Life?

Some might call it inappropriate, others might call it side splitting hilarity but the site fmylife.com is really a way of making anyone feel like their life, regardless of how pathetic or bleak may seem (or be for that matter), is possibly a tiny cut better than someone else’s; and that people, is truly comforting but sometimes just sad. Check it out to add your own woes or to commiserate on others gloom. For example, “Today, I checked my facebook, and my wife of 5 years was listed as single. I then write on her wall that it is ok to announce to be married. She writes back saying that we have to talk and to come to the kitchen. My wife divorced me over facebook. FML.” Don't you feel better already?

Rachel's Vegas Gambling Picks

Blackjack Switch at Bill’s Gambling Hall
Best game in the world! You get dealt two hands and you can switch the top two cards to make better hands. BUT the catch is that if dealer has 22 it’s a push. =(

Da Vinci Diamonds
Oh, Mona, I love you!

Desert Spirit / Lil Lady / Wolf Run
40 line penny slots. We made $30 from just 40 cents! (Lil Lady
doesn’t disappoint)

9 Line Slots at NYNY
I want more balls! The bigger the better!

$5 craps at O’Sheas
Best times of my life. We put in a total of $30 and came out with $300! YO!

$3 Blackjack at Hooters
Cheap gambling, wings and girls’ in short shorts. Nuff said.

Slots at Imperial Palace
Probably some of the loosest slots you’ll find on the strip.

Bill at O’Sheas
Pit boss at O’Sheas. He’s a freaking genius, I swear he’s psychic or something.

South Point roulette
No minimum bet like the other places. Always bet on 0/00 just in case.

It’s always on the bonus when I pass by and people are BANKING, but
when I play I just lose money. But it’s still fun to watch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Que Bonita

My childhood friend Lorena began designing gorgeous jewelry as a hobby which turned into a lucrative career. Her divine cocktail rings are an intricate web of copper wire and semi precious jewels that are not only one of a kind, but an absolute standout at any event. The best part is, she can custom make creations upon request. Be sure to check out her Facebook group for more information: Designs by Azizeh.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vivaaaaaaaaaaa Las Vegaaaaaaaaaaaaaas

Upon my 7th tearful departure from our country’s sinful capital, (tearful because I was sad, not because I had a bad encounter at the tables although I cannot say the same for my Vegas counterpart…you know who you are!), I started to compile a list of my favorite things about Vegas that have little or nothing to do with gambling. At this point, most of you are probably not going to read any further, but before you do, know that I will have a guest blog written by a true Vegas darling on the best gaming in Sin City. My list consists of some of the more obvious things, some not so obvious likes and loves of Vegas (in no particular order). Enjoy!

1. Le Burger Brasserie (Paris)
Delicious burgers, fresh cut waffle fries a.k.a “pomme frites” and a laid back sports bar-esque interior. Watch out for anyone who orders the trademark 777 burger which is dripping with all the Vegas trimmings. Read: $777 Kobe Beef and Maine Lobster Burger, imported Brie, and 100 yr. aged balsamic vinegar and served with a bottle of Dom…obviously.

2. South Point Casino’s Steak and Seafood Dinner
We got comped this delicious meal and was worth every cent of our $20 tip!

3. Cirque du Soleil’s KA (MGM Grand)
Acclaimed by the critics and by me. Acrobatics, a sweet storyline and theatrics up the wazoo. What’s not to love?

4. Tao (The Venetian)
Our first visit to Tao was littered with gorgeous models in stone tubs, dancers on the balcony accompanied by a live sax player, a chaotic circus show with a fire eater, money thrown at the crowd and fake snow to cool us off. Great music, amazing atmosphere, and an incredible view from the balcony are also included.

5. Mix (Mandalay Bay)
Located on the top floor of Mandalay Bay, this lounge is not known for its drinks, but for its awe inspiring view. Be sure to use the bathroom where you will gleefully sit upon your throne in front of a floor to ceiling window overlooking the length of the strip. IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

6. Spice Market Buffet (Planet Hollywood)

7. Chocolate crepes at Jean-Phillipe Patisserie (The Bellagio)
Am I allowed to say yum again? Be advised, each crepe costs around $12 and the service is not what it used to be. Hot damn.

8. The Spa at The Bellagio
I went in for an Egyptian gold wrap. My spa tech was very sweet and the service was amazing. In true Vegas style, the spa includes tranquil lounge areas, juice bars, an open balcony, locker rooms, private dressing areas, vanity areas, hot tubs, cold plunge pools, dry saunas, spray-on tan areas and steam rooms, two vichy showers and two hydrotherapy rooms. All readily available to take a load off all that gambling.

9. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Your one stop shop for beautiful people including celebrities like Miz Paris Hilton who happened to be staying in the room next door to us just last week. Her bodyguard sat in front of her door the entire time and no, we didn’t hear any noises.

10. The Venus pools (Caesar’s Palace)
Great poolside service, beautiful to look at sans construction work(ers). Splurge on a bed when the weather permits.

11. Elvis Impersonator (Bill’s Gambling Hall)
He’s actually very enjoyable and sounds a lot like…an impersonator. In any case he lightens the mood of the entire casino.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Encore, Encore!

As I recently returned to Houston, I decided to check out the much buzzed about consignment shop Encore, located only a few short minutes from my tiny neighborhood and still in the realm of my “in the loop” bubble. My first visit to the store resulted in a serious fixation on an irresistible gold cuffed Hermes bracelet. As we are in a recession (sigh), I instead opted for a cool chocolate and turquoise cashmere Tory Burch shirt. Since then, I have religiously visited the store to hunt down fabulous finds like a chic Ted Baker vest and a pair of white Tod’s moccasins. Owner Terry Rambin is super sweet and doesn’t make you feel dirty for putting your mitts all over that quilted Chanel. For all you consignment newbies, this is definitely worth a peek.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Coffee Break

Starbucks is unfortunately my one and only vice to battling the early morning blues. What the coffee giant makes up for in convenience, it lacks in originality and boldly lures you with its overpriced legal stimulants. For a mug of joe that is truly buzz worthy, hit up Catalina Coffee (2201 Washington Ave.) where you can distinctly savor high quality caffeine. Another obvious favorite is Montrose joint Agora where hip shaking belly dancers grace the coffeehouse every Wednesday night. For an out of town buzz, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is worthy of the media attention courtesy of L.A. pap faves like Ashley Tisdale and Jessica Simpson. And for those of you who refuse to give up your Starbucks fix (say it slowly: addiction), try some off the menu options like a Tuxedo Mocha (half white, half regular mocha) or a Raspberry Cheesecake Mocha (white mocha with a couple of pumps of raspberry). Happy drinking.

A Little More “Off the Kuff”

For those of you who are like me and share a serious interest in politics but have a hard time keeping up, follow along with fellow blogger Charles Kuffner whose blog “Off the Kuff” has been one of the leading Houston blogs since 2002. He has the masses closely eating his every (brilliant) word and rightfully so since his research and attention to detail is more than impressive. For example:

“At a hearing [Thursday] of the House Committee on Human Services, Elkins and other members of the panel considered more than two dozen bills related to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Three hours into the hearing, Elkins asked: "What's Medicaid?" The Houston Republican continued: "I know I hear it -- I really don't know what it is. I know that's a big shock to everybody here in the audience, OK." He could have kept quiet. He could have asked an aide. He could have Googled it. Instead, he asked the question into the microphone in the middle of a public hearing.”

For more check out www.offthekuff.com.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Sloane Way

I read one of the most genuinely hysterical books recently, a collection of short essays by Sloane Crosley, (freelancer for Black Book Magazine, The Village Voice and Playboy) cleverly entitled I Was Told There’d Be Cake. It was only after finishing the book did I discover that her social tendencies and side splitting anecdotes are very reminiscent of myself, and maybe that’s why I really appreciate the writing. Below is a short excerpt from the essay “Bastard out of Westchester,” which I hope demonstrates that the book is definitely worth the read.

“If I ever have kids, this is what I’m going to do with them: I am going to give birth to them on foreign soil—preferably the soil of someplace like Oostende or Antwerp—destinations that have the allure of being obscure, freezing, and impossibly cultured. These are places in which people are casually trilingual and everyone knows how to make good coffee and gourmet dinners at home without having to shop for specific ingredients. Everyone has hip European sneakers that effortlessly look like the exact pair you’ve been searching for your whole life. Everything is sweetened with honey and even the generic-brand Q-tips are aesthetically packaged. People die from old age or crimes of passion or because they fall off glaciers. All the women are either thin, thin and happy, fat and happy, or thin and miserable in a glamorous way. Somehow none of their Italian heels get caught in the fifteenth-century cobblestone. Ever.”
(Book extract courtesy of http://www.bookbrowse.com)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Before you kick it (the bucket, I mean)

I recently discovered the ingenious site 43things.com, a sort of bucket-list composer that helps you get your life on track. After registering on the site (which takes a swift 11 seconds), you begin crafting your master list and for every goal on your “life list”, the site shows how many other people around the world want to do the same exact thing, creating an intricate cyber web of social thoughts. For example, my life list includes mastering the fine art of belly dancing, which surprisingly only 190 people want to do:( The list is never ending (literally), you have everything from “learning to speak Norwegian” to “wearing more dresses” and oddball randomness in between. After completing a goal, you can jot a quick entry about how you accomplished it and share with other members. The site is the perfect inspirational tool for constructing the life you have always wanted to live!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taking the Cake

Sweets are my kryptonite. I eat them often and savor them quickly. My favorite sugar haunts in Houston are fairly predictable, Shepherd’s The Chocolate Bar, The Desert Gallery and Crave Cupcakes. But by far the best sugar rush I get comes from the ambrosial melt-in-your-mouth flavors of Hey Cupcake! in Austin. Run out of an Airstream trailer, the super sweet company combines conventional flavors in a completely non-conventional way. For example, the Michael Jackson. The name says it all, a light and fluffy chocolate cupcake iced with gobs of gooey cream cheese frosting (needless to say, my favorite). Cupcake goers can even get a free “whipper-snapper,” a shot of fresh whipped cream injected delicately into your cake of choice. This place is a MUST GO on every trip to Austin and my mouth is watering…

(Photo courtesy of http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chasing Adele

Confession: I am an Adele junkie. I first heard “Chasing Pavements” a year ago on 4 a.m. VH1 and immediately downloaded all her tunes onto my Ipod where they have since been played over and over and over again. Lucky for me (and all other Adele fans), she is gracing Houston with her presence at Warehouse Live on Saturday March 14th. As of this second, $17 tickets are being sold on ticketmaster.com where they are sure to be sold quickly and quietly. “Hometown Glory” here I come!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Push-off

Here I go, starting my very first blog, pouring my heart out for all the world to see. Frankly, it's a little frightening but also somewhat liberating. I have always been a really private person, I even refused to get a Facebook all through college, who does that? But I realized recently that I have so many things to say and sometimes no one in general to say them to. Thus I begin my push off into the blogging universe. Fingers crossed...