KBIS – Las Vegas

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Months ago I agreed to attend the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.  I was extremely hesitant about going for a few reasons.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the people I work with, but a “trip” to Vegas with my co-workers for a convention didn’t sound too thrilling.  Not to mention that my favorite travel buddy (Zach, in case you didn’t know) couldn’t even attend because we were sharing rooms between the 8 of us.  I had agreed to share a room with my girl Janette.  Then I remembered how much fun I had in Madison at the Sub Zero “trip” and made myself change my attitude.  Let’s just say the trip did NOT start off on the right foot.  I arrived to the airport in plenty of time, but had no idea that security would take 45 minutes to get through.  Thank heaven above for my husband, who has prepared me for the most efficient way possible through security and the bag check.  I joke that he is a Nazi about it, but thanks to him I MADE it on the plane with minutes to spare.

As soon as we landed and were taxi-ing to our gate, I turned on my phone to text Zach and let him know we had arrived safely.  As I am texting him, I get a phone call from someone at work letting me know there had been a huge mistake on one of my projects going out this week and it could potentially cost thousands of dollars to fix.  Awesome.  Pretty sure my ulcers made a come-back.  I was a stress case pretty much the whole morning.

We rode to our hotel at the Planet Hollywood in style, all aboard a snazzy black limo.  I have never actually been inside the PH Hotel before this, only walked around the Miracle Mile Shops nearby – and seen the Casino on the movie 21.  It was a gorgeous hotel and our rooms were awesome.  We didn’t even have time to test out our beds before we were off to lunch before the show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Walking through the Casino to grab a bite, the lovely Tiffany spotted Holly Madison near the Black Jack tables.  Don’t ask about what she is wearing (by far the most material I have ever seen on a Playmate) but she still is so gorgeous.

The show was a lot bigger than I expected.  We saw almost everything in 4 hours.  My favorite booths were Kohler, Toto, and Wetstyle.  There were aisles and aisles of hardware, plumbing, and cabinetry.

We soaked it all up before heading off to dinner.  Janette, Steve, and Tiffany are reps for the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) and were invited to this fancy shmancy Gala where they were wined and dined – so Bonnie, Tina, Wyatt and I decided to go to the Rio for their Carnival World Buffet.  Not as good as I remembered from my younger days with my fam, but everyone enjoyed the crab, prime rib, and unlimited gelato bar.  Tina and I spent the rest of the night shopping at the Miracle Mile Shops because Bonnie got bored in about 10 seconds.

Day two we decided to go back to the show just to make sure that we didn’t miss anything noteworthy, like models dressed in granite jumpsuits perhaps….

Little did we know that the highlight would be that the featured celebrities were signing autographs in their assigned displays.  We got photos with Curtis Stone (America’s Next Top Restaurant) and Ed Sanders (Extreme Home Makeover).

After another couple of hours at the show, the women went to Fashion Show Mall and the men hit up the tables at our casino.  We all met up for dinner later that night at the Cosmopolitan at their STK Restaurant.  All around the best meal we had the whole trip.

Janette and I were not done getting our shop on, so after dinner we walked to the Forum Shops at Caesars.  We hit up the slot machines for a while – losing all our petty cash, got some gelato, and watched the high rollers drop the big bucks.

The last day I slept in, checked out of my room, and met everyone for lunch at Spago in Caesars.  SO delicious, a must if you ever go to the Forum Shops.  Bonnie, Steve, Wyatt, Tina, and Tiffany all left for the airport around 3:00 pm while Janette and I opted for the later flight.  I met up with my cousin who lives in Boulder City for some shopping and snacks and later met back up with Janette.  Her sister lives about an hour outside of Vegas and drove us all over, along with her daughter Brittney.  They took us on a tour of the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory, where we got to sample the goods, stopped at McDonald’s and got us some Diet Cokes, and even made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s for some necessities.  While in San Francisco I became completely hooked on TJ’s and their amazing selection.  The breads, cookies, organic items, every possible cheese you can imagine….

I left with dried white peaches, my favorite strawberry fruit leather, and mango butter.  The hardest part was turning away their amazing carrot cake inside out cookies and ice cream sandwiches.

We spent our last minutes in LV at a great little hole-in-the-wall sushi place Brenda and Brittney took us to before dropping us off at the airport.

It was so nice to spend a few days in the 70 + degree weather.  And even though I missed Zach the ENTIRE time like a 12-year-old girl, the time spent with my co-workers was both enjoyable and entertaining.  One thing I won’t miss…..

Hearing the phrase, “What happens in Vegas….?”

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was crazy!  Full of family, friends, and food.

Friday we went out to dinner and a movie with some family.  It’s so great to have so many people here for the holiday.  (I forgot to take pictures, of course).

Saturday was spent sleeping in, making nearly 600 homemade tortilla chips, making my favorite Eclair Cake (an Easter fav at the Fotheringham house), and lounging around.

Later in the afternoon we went to a BBQ to see our friends that are here from Memphis, Emily and Trent.  It was so great to see them and chat about their new life in a new town.  (And…of course I forgot to take pictures).  After the BBQ a bunch of us attended Zach’s hockey game, and finished off the night with a Midnight Movie with some of Zach’s friends.

Sunday morning we exchanged Easter Baskets (It was early…Zach is still in sleep mode).

The Easter Bunny had been wracking his (her) brain to think of what to get Zach, and remembered he had asked for socket wrenches, so that’s exactly what he got!  A whole kit of ’em!  Along with his signature – V-neck T-shirts and his favorite candies.  EB surprised Katie with her favorite candy bar, Snickers Peanut Butter Squares, and nail polish!  I didn’t give Zach enough credit this year.  I assumed he would have forgotten to get anything for my basket, so I just got myself some random stuff (which I had NO problem with, haha).   After we had both rummaged through our baskets, Zach informed me I had to search for my “egg”.  In our living room I found a plastic egg with an iPod Nano inside!  I can’t believe he even thought to get me this.  I had been wanting a smaller iPod for the gym for quite some time, but had never mentioned it.  Of course, in typical Zach style, he always shows me up in terms of gifts.  Show off.  Seriously, the most thoughtful person ever.

After church we went over to the Hendersons for the Easter Egg hunt and an early dinner.  The kids LOVE when Zach dresses up in the Easter Bunny costume.  It’s fun to see how they react.  I think their favorite is when EB gets on the trampoline and starts “hopping” really high.

The younger kids get really into it, while the older kids have already discovered that Zach and the Easter Bunny wear the same shoes…

Zach begged me to wear my bunny shirt for my Easter attire, and Jeanene had a set of ears ready for me to be the “Bunny Assistant”.  All I really did was help him put on the costume.  Zach is such a good sport; braves the heat of that furry costume, hops around the yard, and even takes a little abuse (especially from Tommy and Charlie this year).

After the Hendos we went to my parents’ house for Dessert.  We had eclair cake and my grandpa’s famous carrot cake, which is always amazing.  The night ended pretty late, with the women in the kitchen talking about make-up and hairstyles, while the men were too inthralled in the NBA Playoffs to notice what time it was.

Easter was epic.

Crafty People

Last night we had our RS Craft and Cupcake night.  We had an awesome turn-out!  There were 12 different kinds of cupcakes entered into the cupcake competition, including:  S’mores Cupcakes, Key Lime Pie Cupcakes, Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes, Red Velvet Pudding Cupcakes….the list continues.  Our helpful servers…

The “Overall Favorite” was the Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes!  I HAVE to get the recipe!  People were just raving about them.  I didn’t taste any of them (a true test of my self control – this activity was a sugar death trap.)  How are people this creative and talented?  Some of the women even stated that they just “made up” the recipe…?  How does one “make up” are recipe!?  I can barely FOLLOW a complicated recipe.  People are amazing.

Then my cute co-worker Charlee (pronounced SHARLEE) brought in her silverware wind chime she made.  She makes them and sells them at boutiques all over the place, but usually only uses about 8 pieces of silverware and a bowl.  But this mama had quite a bit more, and the sound they make is gorgeous!  I am dying to go shopping with her sometime.  She is a thrift store connoisseur!

Isn’t it amazing?

I find that doing things on the computer, although it takes creativity, can be stifling.  I want to do something with my hands.  I have had a checklist of things I have wanted to make for months, but half of them require a sewing machine…(I don’t have one, of course).

I check WAY too many blogs a day, and I guess the expression “eyes are bigger than my stomach” is a perfect analogy for my issues.  But maybe sometime this year I can acquire a sewing machine and the other materials necessary to make these…

Cool painted floating shelves for my bathroom

These bomb.com pillows (not particularly in these colors)

Get my antlers painted and mounted

Finish my idea for my “Modern Family Tree”

“Skinny” my husbands really nice ties he doesn’t wear anymore because they are too wide (Thank you Emmy Jones and Design Mom)

Plant my herb garden:  Basil, Cilantro, and Oregano

The list continues.  I think if I can tell myself to do TWO of these projects every month for the rest of the year…I can make it happen!  Famous last words.

Two of Hearts (I Need You, I Need You)

You know, like the song by Stacey Q?

If you have seen the movie Hot Rod, then you might have a laugh because to your mind might flash this glorious dance:

Two of Hearts on YouTube

I finished Jen and John’s suite last night.  I sing that song in my head every single time I open their file.  I am happy for these two, even though I have never met either of them (they live across the country).  Congrats to Jen and John!

SF 2011

Thursday afternoon Zach brokered a flight to San Francisco to some city in Colorado.  The jet was flying empty to San Francisco to pick up a client, so Zach and I, Zach’s parents, and Zach’s brother and sister-in-law all hopped on for a quick trip to San Francisco. I’m not the ‘last minute’ type and usually have a really difficult time going places on such short notice. I had plans to go up to Logan for the Senior Interior Design Exhibit, but was more than willing to make an exception for one of my favorite cities!

The Bay area holds a special place in my heart, considering I did an internship there at Mauk Design the summer before Zach and I got married. We both did internships in California, but Zach was over 4 hours away in San Luis Obispo working for Classic’s Hangar there. We met up almost every single weekend in Monterey, which was half-way between. That’s where he proposed.

We arrived in the evening to our hotel in Union Square and ate dinner nearby before rushing off to the Oakland A’s game. It was Mark, Jeanene, Rachael, and Chad’s first time riding the BART. We rode over to the Oakland Coliseum and headed over to the Team Shop for some A’s Gear. Turns out the beanies chosen by Chad and Mark were probably the best purchases considering they wore them several times during the trip. The A’s lost, but it was still fun to sneak into closer seats and do the wave/chant/yelling at the churro guy.

The next morning we rode the Trolley down to Fisherman’s Wharf. We ate delicious clam chowder and sourdough bread and then headed over to an even more poisonous area of town, Ghirardelli Square. We had ice cream, hot fudge sundaes, and bought way too much candy. The reality of our food choices hit us pretty hard, so we decided to walk the rest of the way back to the hotel. Then the girls and guys went their seperate ways: Girls went to the shops and the mall, the guys went to see a movie. Then for my FAVORITE part of the night: Foreign Cinema in The Mission – a must when Zach and I go to SF.  There were six of us, so we couldn’t all fit in one cab.  In front of the hotel was this extremely cheesy limo and they agreed to take us all for a sweet deal.  Zach enjoyed the empty liquor bar.

I had the most amazing Quail…yes, little baby birds that looked so helpless…but it was so good! I don’t know if everyone enjoyed the meal as much as we did, but it was a good time!

The romantic mood of the restaurant took a turn for the awkward when the movie that was playing started getting super scandalous. After our Journey home on the BART, we found a Coldstone. Yes, I had Cake Batter ice cream…I haven’t had it in over NINE weeks. It wasn’t as amazing as I remembered, sadly.

The final day we went down to the dock for a Ferry ride to Alcatraz. We were really shocked when we heard the tours were completely booked until Monday morning! So we missed our chance at Alcatraz, but we did enjoy some more amazing Seafood and Crepes at Pier 39. We even stumbled upon the same arcade game museum Zach and I had been to almost three years ago. We played games, old and new, and took some time to check out the ships and submarines.

After the Pier we walked as far as we could before we found a taxi…and then DROVE to Fillmore Street.  We shopped a bit, as much as the men could tolerate, and had dinner at Balboa Cafe.  Those were our last moments in the city, because right after dinner we had to head off to the airport.

Overall, the weather was AMAZING for San Francisco.  Not even a drop of rain the entire time; a modern miracle.  We had some awesome food, great company, and good laughs.  A perfect quick trip.  Thanks Mark and Jeanene for such a fun visit to The City by the Bay – we didn’t want to come home!

Crafts & Cupcakes

Our April RS activity is coming up, it is Craft and Cupcake night!  I am actually really excited, we are making tissue paper Pom-Poms and get to sample all of the cupcakes entered into the cupcake competition!

I am going to make these bad boys:

Barefoot Cantessa’s AMAZING Coconut Cupcakes (which, by the way, I don’t even LIKE coconut).  I found this recipe in a book Zach and I got for our wedding from my professor who actually introduced us (tender).

They are THE best cupcakes I’ve ever had…and have been recently added to our work recipe book.

Besides, who doesn’t love a good craft and cupcake night?