Friday, June 28, 2013

I'm Loving It

OH...MY....GOSH am I happy that it is Friday! This week has been all kinds of busy and crazy so I am ready to let loose this weekend!
This week I am VERY VERY VERY happy to announce something that I have been working on for a while now. In December I was approached about writing an entertaining column for our local magazine, the Gadsden Style. I was of course thrilled and accepted! Who knew this ole blog of mine would land me such an opportunity!! I showed you a sneak peek a few weeks ago of my photo shoot and this week the magazine finally arrived!!

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I am SO proud of it, if I do say so myself. The article was entitled "(Don't) Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and it went through the steps of planning a dinner party using the 5 W's (who, what, where, when, why). I already have my articles lines up for the next 2 issues and I cannot wait to dive back into writing! Writing for the magazine was an absolute blast and exactly what I have always wanted to do. Writing has always been my passion and I am so honored to have the opportunity to get to do it, both on the blog and for the magazine. Thank you to Cyndi and Marc and Gadsden Style for teaching me all about being both a magazine writer (it is much different that legal writing or blog writing, I can tell you that) and a model (it isn't as easy as my sister makes it look) and for believing that I could actually do this! I am so excited to continue working with you and to see where we can take the column from here! (I refer to it as my "column" just like Carrie Bradshaw does--I think it makes me sound legit).
Happy weekend sweet friends, and thank you for all of your support! Your excitement makes me smile! My article isn't on the Gadsden Style website yet but will be in about a month. When it is, I will let you know so you can read it if you so desire!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why I have been singing baby making music in my head for a week-The PACKAGE Tour Review

(WARNING: This post has lots of pics of middle aged yet good looking men. Proceed at your own risk).

Rewind to January-Laura calls me to say she got an email from the New Kids on the Block fan club and they were were going to be touring with Boys 2 Men and 98 Degrees this summer. Was I interested? Um, YEAH! 4 years ago I went with Laura and Kendall to the NKOTB concert and loved every minute of it, and with the addition of the other groups, I knew it would be a night to remember. Oh yes, it was. Are they coming to a city near you? Even if they are going to be in a city far from you, you SHOULD GO! It was amazing!! You don't even have to know most of the songs to have an amazing night! (PS Kendall took nearly all of these pics. Way to go girl!)

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Me, Kendall, and Laura

SPOILER ALERT--I'm going to give away the details below. If you are going, proceed with caution if you don't want to know what you are in for!

BIIM

Boys 2 Men comes out first (disappointing--I wanted more of them). The crowd went wild and so did I! When they started singing On Bended Knee, I thought I would cry--yes that makes me sound crazy but it was true. It's all real on the blog today, my friends. Then they came through this walk way through the crowd onto a round stage right in front of us. OMG!! (I'm going to say that A LOT in this post).  photo DSC03638_zpsebb423f0.jpg
Holy Moly! It's Boys to Men!

They continued with Water Runs Dry (my favorite). Then the lights go out and they start into I'll Make Love to You. The crowd LOST IT I tell you! Lost it! Rose petals were falling from the ceiling and the guys were handing out roses to the girls in the front row. I instantly hated those girls all for whatever good fortune got them the close seats! We were in the lower level, row F, so we had AWESOME seats, but not as awesome as the front row floor girls!  photo DSC03641_zps74347f72.jpg
You KNOW I love when confetti falls on me--rose petals are WAY better!

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Yes! I will accept this rose!!

Then they did End of the Road (swoon) and then they did In the Still of the Night A Capella. I kept saying "This is MAGICAL!".  They finished with a bang with Mo Town Philly, including original dance moves, which of course, I was doing in the stands. They've still got it, and so do I! I was SO SAD when they left!

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Boys to Men! ABC, BBD!!

98 Degrees

I feel bad for admitting this but I wasn't all that excited about this group because I couldn't remember much about them. I was an NSYNC girl plus I loved BSB so there was just no more room in my teeny bopper heart for 98 degrees. The only song I remembered before I got there was I Do. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun the guys were (and they look great). As a Dancing with the Stars fan I was pumped to see Drew Lachey up close and personal and of course everyone remembers Nick.
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He do, cherish you!

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Cause I'm losing my mind, when you're not around!

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Isn't one of them a Chippendale now? I'm serious....

I also remembered most of the songs and thought it was sweet that they pulled audience members on stage to serenade! (Again, jealous!! How much do these peeps pay for their tickets? I have extra plasma to spare!)

NKOTB

O...M...G...There really are no words to adequately describe the awesomeness that was the NKOTB portion of the show. This part is probably going to be poorly written because there are only so many ways to say "awesome, amazing, wild" before it gets old. I apologize in advance. Ok, so the lights go out and the screens come on and NKOTB comes over the speaker and says we have to repeat the pledge on the screen before they will come out. It basically said we were going to have FUN and leave all our drama and worries behind because we earned the night, we worked hard for the night, we deserved the night, we OWNED the night! I kind of felt like that was aimed at the moms in the crowd so it was really sweet. Then they came out and it literally felt like being in one of those behind the music shows where you saw girls screaming and crying at them--it was happening again with the same girls, those girls were just 25 years older!  photo DSC03673_zpsc1b9a82f.jpg
Since Kendall took these pics, most of them are of Joey.

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Hi Jordan Knight! (I was kind of sad that they didn't let him sing his single, "Give it to You")

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Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, Danny, and Jordan! Ahh! Swoon!

They came to the middle stage and were hugging fans all along the way (who are these people--I need to befriend them). They did many songs from their brand new album, like "Remix" which I LOVE (haha, I like the Remix, baby!), but most of those I didn't know. My favorites of course were the old school songs. During the Right Stuff, in which Kendall and Laura and I were singing our lungs out (and remember, I had lost my voice in Vegas at the pageant, so I sounded lovely already), they started ahem, "thrusting" over and over and over
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They were quite grabby, actually. There may have even been some slapping motions made. THE CROWD WENT WILD. I mean, losing their you- know-what wild. Who knew 40 year old men in skinny jeans thrusting themselves at an audience full of 30 something women could have such an affect??  photo DSC03729_zps4ec0d8a7.jpg
Please don't go giiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrllllll!!

 Ok anyway, it took off from there and hit a frenzy with Joey sang George Michael's "Faith" (yes, Joey, it would be nice, if we could touch your body) and Jordan sang Prince's "Kiss" (there was much lifting of the shirt and belly rolling during this one, especially when the other guys started in with "girl look at that body, he works out"). Then, they start singing Nelly's "Hot in Here" and women were literally taking off their clothes!  photo DSC03770_zpsa85a6adc.jpg
Donnie was the only one who ran around half naked. Who is surprised?

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One lady threw her large beige strapless bra in Joey's face and he kind of um, rode it, before throwing it back into the crowd. At some point Donnie starts singing a slow song and I noticed on the screen he was REALLY close to a girl's face. I pointed at the screens to Kendall and Laura and before we knew it, they were MAKING OUT! Laura was screaming like someone was kissing her own man (I mean, he kind of is, she is a Donnie girl). I'm still convinced it was staged but still! WHOA.
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Donnie--how do you chose the random girl to suck face with during the concert?

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Do your abs automatically detect which girl is most down for a lip lock?

Step by Step, my personal favorite, did not disappoint, and I LOVED that we got to fill in the "steps" for them. "Step 1!!! We can have lots of fun!!" (I did a dance to this when I was in the 1st grade--ahh, memories)
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During Tonight (lalalalalala TONIGHT) we were having the best time and then the guys kind of vanished off stage and before we knew it Joey was right up in the crowd WITH US! Like, 3 rows in front of me!

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I tried to crawl over the seats in front of me (ahhh, a proud moment) but the lady there was just SITTING. Laura has a video of Kendall and I SHRIEKING like fools. (Kendall is a Joey girl). They stayed for the whole song (even though some girl grabbed Joey's "package tour" and he had to swat at her and say "no".  Busted) and it was SO much fun. I mean, I knew we were being silly but it was fun to act like 16 year olds again!! The finished with Hangin Tough. All the arms waving in time with the guys was pretty cool! Love it!

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Hanging Tough!! Oh oh oh oh oh!!

 I did not want the night to end! It was just pure, girly, giggly, good times and totally worth it. Would I go again tonight if I could? (I'm writing this the day after, although I won't post til next week). YES. Have I looked to see if they had a concert tonight? YES. Do they? NO. Did we sing their songs ALL the way home (for 2 hours). YES!

Interesting Things to Mention:
1. I would not wear pants. I was in stretchy black pants and gold sparkly top. I looked so cute but man I was sweating to death in the pants because I was dancing like a fool. A skirt or dress would have been better.
2. I had literally no alcohol during the concert and was still acting like a lunatic.
3. The arena was filled with pregnant women. I honestly have never seen so many pregnant ladies in one room! I guess it is just the age that the fans are. I was on the young end of the crowd (I was 5 or 6 when Step by Step came out) and I think most people were like 35ish. Those soccer moms knew how to party, though!
4. MAJOR LET DOWN is that none of the groups sing with each other. I was super bummed. I have heard that in some places they HAVE been on stage together and this makes me really sad that they didn't do it in ATL!
5. Also, Mariah Carey does not come out and surprise the arena by singing One Sweet Day with Boys 2 Men, as I fantasized. Bummer.
6. Confetti, balloons, rose petals--all fall from the ceiling. One of my dreams includes dancing around in falling confetti so it really was "my night", in the words of Boys 2 Men.
7. You are going to have a BLAST!!!

Any one out there been to the concert or are you heading there in the near future? Let me hear from you!!

Linking up with Northern Belle Diaries and Confessions of a Northern Belle for Just Because! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I've got love in my tummy....

In the mood for some yummy and new food (hahaha, cute rhyme). Check out these recipes that have made us smile lately:

Farrah surprised me with this casserole when I got back from Vegas. Somehow she knew I wouldn't feel like cooking or grocery shopping! It is super delicious!

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 Cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
2 Cups steamed white rice
16 oz prepared wild rice (I get mine at Trader Joes, LOVE it)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
______
Cheese Sauce
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups chicken broth
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
Top with 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt.  Reduce heat to low.
2.  To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously.  Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted.  Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through.  Serve.
8-10 servings


Throw something Mediterranean at the Baileys and you KNOW we will eat it! This was my pick for cooking club this month and I was so excited to try it. I needed a break from all the heavy foods we had been eating in Vegas!

Brown Rice Greek Salad
Ingredients
1 c brown rice – prepared
1 c chickpeas – drained and rinsed ( didn't have these so I threw in some diced mushrooms--they didn't add much but at least they were in there)
1 c cherry tomatoes – roasted or fresh (see below for directions on roasting)
1 c cucumber – diced
½ c scallions – minced (didn't have these either--oh well)
½ c corn – fresh, frozen, leftover grilled, etc.
¼ c feta cheese – crumbled (I used way more--I mean it's CHEESE!)
½ c kalamata olives
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dried mint (didn't use this)
2 garlic cloves – grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
To roast cherry tomatoes, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with an even layer of tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes; let cool.
In a medium bowl, combine brown rice with tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, scallions, corn, feta and olives.
Stir in lemon juice, zest, olive oil, oregano, mint, garlic, salt and pepper.
Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

This was totally easy and delicious. While the tomatoes were roasting I was boiling the rice and chopping the veggies so it really took no time at all to prepare. I served this with a green salad and called it a night but we were starving later, so next time this will be a side to some chicken or fish.


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Confessions of a Pageant Sister

I have been getting so many comments, emails, and random people coming up to me in the grocery store, asking me questions about the pageant that I decided to do a FAQ. Hopefully I will answer some of your questions, but if I skip one, leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

1. What was it like in the theater during the pageant?
Exciting!! It was definitely the most nervous I have ever felt. I was literally shaking most of the time, but in a good way, which sound weird, I know. If you are football or sports people, it was like being at the big make it or break it game for your team. I was excited to be there and experience, but so nervous. It was really fun and then they would start calling Top whatever and I'd freak out. My heart was pounding, ears were ringing, hands were shaking. Everyone in the theater was just as worked up as we were and the energy in the room was electric. It was weird to be behind the scenes and see the cameras and how everything worked while viewers at home were seeing commercials.

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Hanging out with Shanna Moakler pre-pageant. She really told me some sweet things to calm me down!

 2. Were you jealous of your sister?
Absolutely not. You might think I would be but I can honestly say that I wasn't jealous of her for a minute. Jealous that she got a lot of cool new clothes? Now that is another story! This is HER thing and I'm well aware that I would not have done well in pageants (hello 5'2") and so I was just excited to be a part of her journey. I really got to live vicariously through her, and I didn't have to look amazing every day! Score! I don't have any kids but I think the feelings that I felt during the whole experience were the same feelings that I would feel if it was my own child competing: extreme pride!! (She better let me borrow some of those clothes, though).

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Sweet sissy!

3. What was she saying to Miss CT while they were holding hands at the end?
She told me that she said something to the effect of "Whatever happens, we are both going to do great things". She was really just trying to keep her calm because she knew she was nervous.

4. Who designed her dress and did she get to keep it?
Her dress was designed by Sherri Hill. I'm pretty sure she gets to keep it. I wonder if I can borrow it? Maybe if I get really tall shoes?

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She WORKED that dress!
VIA

5. What does/doesn't she eat?
That girl eats everything. She is one of those people with really good metabolism. Our mom is small so we are blessed in that department. She definitely watches what she eats before a pageant but nothing too extreme.

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If only I were 23 and looked this good in a swimsuit. Alas.....
VIA

6. What is she going to do now?
Good question! She has had gotten so many offers to do marketing, modeling, you name it! The world is literally her oyster right now. I am really interested to see what all she gets to do!


Blog Hop

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Weekend to Recover...

..or at least that is what I should have been doing! I literally have been dragging my tired body around ever since Vegas and was really looking forward to a weekend full of nothing. That didn't exactly happen but we did have a blast!
On Friday night we went to Birmingham to celebrate my cousin Ashley's engagement to Jeremiah. They are too cute and I can't wait until their wedding in December. I already have my dress! The party was at her aunt and uncle's house (her dad is my mom's brother--the party was at her mom's brother's house) on the water. They went all out with a guitarist, delicious dinner, beautifully covered tables, and a primo rum punch. It was wonderful to celebrate the couple and so nice to see all of my other cousins! We've been so immersed in pageant lately that I haven't seen these guys in a while!!

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Top to bottom, L to R
Jeremiah (groom!)
Lane (my cousin Greg's gf), Ashley (Bride!), Melissa (cousin Stevie's wife)
Me, Mimi, Juliana (cousin)


On Saturday I was well on my way to the relaxing weekend I was craving. I woke up kind of late and managed to watch 5 straight episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras.  photo null_zps63dc0789.jpg
Ruffles enjoying relaxing on the couch

Then I just had a little time to jump in the shower and get ready for church--there was NO way I was getting up and putting on make up another day in a row. We had a party that night so I went ahead and did my big hair and make up before Mass. I had about 8 ladies congratulate me on my 1st runner up placement in the Miss USA pageant, so I guess I was looking pretty good! We had dinner with the Hayes afterwards and it was SO nice to be reunited with my bff Farrah! While we were in Vegas they were in Mexico and then when I got back she was at an AP conference, so we had gone 2 weeks without each other and I had SO much to discuss with her! After that we went to hang out with some other friends before heading off to Serendipity. I was exhausted and so over getting dressed up but once we got to the party I got into the spirit. Before I knew it, it was already midnight and I had literally danced the night away, pulling out my new Vegas moves on more than one occasion!  photo null_zpsd8dbb12e.jpg
Was so excited to see these sweet girls at Serendipity!
(Kelly, Me, Kelli, Farrah)

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Reunited with my BFF!

As we were leaving we got invited to Waffle House and so we went, despite the fact that it was already 12:30. I mean you can't pass up a warm waffle, right?
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Enough breakfast to feed an army (or 6 people, whatever)

On Sunday Forrest woke me up at 11:30--I was not amused until he told me we were invited to lunch at his parents'. I can always get up for food! We had a lovely afternoon with the Baileys and even did a little blueberry picking! I can't wait to use my fresh berries in a recipe this week! After a much needed grocery run we went to see a house (so much fun!) and then were at my parents' for dinner. Yet again, we managed 2 free meals in one day!
I think I finally am getting back to real life--laundry is done and put away, dishes are clean, photos uploaded, piles of work finished. Getting organized again always makes me feel better so I'm feeling a little less flighty this week. Hope you all are having a happy Monday!!


Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, June 21, 2013

I'm Loving It! LAS VEGAS STYLE!

Here are my favorite things that we did in Vegas! This may help everyone understand why I've been so exhausted and MIA this week!! Prepare yourself, this will be long!

Michael Jackson ONE Cirque du Soleil
Ok so no trip to Vegas would be complete without a trip to Cirque du Soleil! Since Tuesday night was MMM's only free day to see us, we went to the MJ show because it was her choice. OMG--it was incredible. Of course, the music was fantastic--duh! I was actually terrified for a while because the actors kept coming into the audience, down from the ceiling, out of a side door near me! I didn't know where to look or if one of them was going to try to take me on stage so I was just in a panic for the first little bit! We had great seats so we could really see all of the cool tricks, flips, and dancing. My favorite was Billy Jean!! If you are in Vegas, you MUST go to this!


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Miss AL USA and her momma at ONE!

Grand Canyon
One of the biggest successes of the trip was our Grand Canyon adventure. Mom and I boarded this tiny plane and bumped along to the canyon. Of course, it was totally worth it because the canyon was amazing. I just couldn't stop looking at it! We went to several vista points while were were there for differing views. I would highly recommend the plane ride, as you aren't squished on top of each other like you are in the helicopter, and you actually get to get out. A bus ride is like 6 hours, so that was not even an option for us. The ride IS bumpy but totally worth it to see the majesty of the canyon!!

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Preliminaries 
After the Canyon mom and I strutted our stuff to the Miss USA prelims. I loved seeing all the girls in their outfits, especially their gowns! There is just nothing better than seeing all of those gorgeous designs, in my opinion! I also got to meet Alyssa Campanella and Shanna Moakler (both former Miss USAs) and sit behind Robin Leach! We got to go the after party and see all the girls!

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1. Me and Alyssa Campanella--she was cheering for Miss Alabama!
2. Robin Leach! Yeah!
3. Mom, Will the Pageant Guy, and Me at the prelim after party

Red Rock Canyon
Forrest and I went here last time we were in Vegas (for 40 hours) and I knew my mom would enjoy it. It is a 13 mile scenic drive though the gorgeous rock formations. It isn't that far out of town and we both really were in awe. It's no Grand Canyon, but it's close.

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Fremont Street
I had never been here and I half loved it, half hated it. I could probably have really gotten on board with all the crazy if I hadn't been starving. There were lots of weirdos walking around in costumes asking you to take pictures with them for money. This always stresses me out. They did have an awesome concert playing and you could zip line through it (I had on a dress so I opted not to). We did have dinner at an AMAZING restaurant at the Golden Nugget called Vic and Anthony's. We thought this was hilarious because my grandparents are Vicki and Anthony. This place obviously isn't on the main drag but if you are willing to brave the fray of Fremont, definitely try this place out! Also, the Golden Nugget has a pool with an aquarium around it. There is a water slide that goes through the aquarium, which is full of sharks!! I really want to go back and try that out next time!

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Serendipity 3
Who doesn't love good food in a cute restaurant? What about delicious desserts? Then you will LOVE Serendipity! Deborah's triple decker grilled cheese was the highlight of our table, until the chocolate cake sundae arrived!! Yummy yum yum!!

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Miss USA rehearsals
I got to watch several rehearsals and I have to say it was so cool to get this behind the scenes view! We got to watch the girls practice their dances and even got to hear them answer fake top 5 questions. They have to practice calling the top 15, 10, and 5, and they call all the girls so they will have a chance to practice where to go and stand. When they called my sister as a practice top 5, Carla, Deborah, and I LOST it. Too funny! We also got to see Nick Jonas and Guiliana Rancic!

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(following Guiliana through the mall--totally not creepy at all)

 Planet Hollywood Pool
There are actually 2 pools--a loud one and a quite one. We opted for quiet and spent a relaxing at the pool talking with family and pageant friends! Nothing quite tops pool time in HOT Las Vegas!

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1. Sporting my awesome tank from shopriffraff.com! These girls are amazing and their shop has so much to offer. Please check them out!
2. Pool time with Will the Pageant Guy and Jason!

Sugar Factory
I didn't particularly think the food here was fantastic but is was an adorable place. Plus, our whole family got to eat together so it made it so worth it. We had most of our Birmingham family, along with my Aunt Sue and Sara from Gadsden AND our cousins from Chicago and our cousin Jennifer from Vegas!

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Miss USA Welcome Party
This was crazy! It was at Dal Toro at the Palazzo. There were all of these expensive cars in the room, which made it super fancy. Deborah, Carla, Forrest and I had a blast watching the girls compete in the catwalk contest and hanging out with our new pageant buddy Travis! I can't even describe how much fun we had. The laughing was just non stop! Forrest said it was like being in a Seinfeld episode--you know it was fun, but you can't explain what happened! Pics above!

Exotics Racing
This was Forrest's dream so we made it come true for our anniversary! He chose to drive the Lambo but we got to sit in and play with all of the other exotics, like the Corvette, Audi R8, some really fast Mercedes, Nissan GTR (shout out to Kelly B on this one) and some other shiny ones. I don't really get that into cars but they were so pretty! Forrest talked me into doing a ride along with a professional drifter in the Corvette. I was screaming like a maniac but it was SO much fun! Forrest got to drive himself with a professional instructor around the track. He was like lightening out there! He was SO thrilled with the experience!!

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Wet Republic Pool Party at MGM
We got into this because of the pageant peeps we met at the Welcome party. We rode in a limo there (holla!) and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It was like MTV Spring Break in there! We were in the DJ booths right next to the DJ (R3HAB, apparently, he's famous) so it was like we were on stage. We had couches and free bottle service--woop woop! I have never had so much fun! We danced all afternoon and I almost forgot I am 29 and a lawyer. All I wanted to do for the rest of ever was dance around in my swimsuit while the dj blasted music and the CO2 rained down on the crowd. I still kind of want to do that forever! Boo for working!

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Olives at the Bellagio
We heard that this was a MUST do and it was! This Todd English restaurant overlooks the Bellagio fountains! SO romantic! We chose this place to celebrate our anniversary, and celebrate we did. We started out with the most amazing beef carpaccio (it made me miss you, Julie and Lance!). The bread came next and it was the sweetest, most decadent bread I have ever tasted! After demolishing our apps, we were too full for entrees so we opted to split the portobello flatbread. Good decision! Since it was our anniversary, they brought us a sweet surprise before we finished off the night with a chocolate falling cake. It was a cake filled with ooey gooey chocolate ganache, garnished with raspberry glace. Oh I am sad now--I'm going to miss that meal forever!!

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Fantasy
After dinner we met Deborah and Carla for Fantasy, a show girl show! We had gotten the hook up from my cousin so we were so excited to experience this Las Vegas staple. It was kind of "interesting" watching girls dance around topless, but hey, it's Vegas, right?? They also had a hilarious comedian that Forrest and I keep quoting.

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Miss USA
Of course, the highlight of the trip was seeing my sister compete in the Miss USA pageant. We started with a big party in my parents' suite to get pumped up. Then into the ballroom we went. The guy that comes and warms up the crowd during commercials told us that we had to be really loud so our group took that as a challenge. We were screaming like crazy and even pulled out some Alabama football cheers! We loved seeing our girl compete and were THRILLED when she made top 15. Then, she was called for top 10. THEN, she was called for top 5! I was screaming like an idiot! Top 5! She's going to place! I was very proud of her response to her question. Each girl was asked a very hard political question and I think she handled herself with poise and grace. She was so articulate! Before we knew it, she was in the final 2 and she got 1st runner up. It was the saddest/happiest I had ever felt all at once. I was disappointed that she didn't win, especially since she came so far, but elated that she got 2nd place in Miss USA! Our group was cheering just as if she won. I will never forget hugging my brother after the pageant. It was so sweet. We were so emotional and just proud of her! She was ridiculously proud of herself and couldn't stop smiling afterwards. We got to accompany her to the after party, where I met and got my picture taken with SO many celebs! If you don't follow me on instagram or facebook, it's time to start. The pictures are priceless!

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Famous people I met in Vegas (starting with the big pic, going clockwise)
1. Miss Al USA! 1st runner up! Aka--my sister!
2. The Property Brothers from HGTV!
3. Donald Trump-He actually posed for a picture with us but some weirdos came up to him before the picture was taken and his security pulled him away. Here is a nice shot of his head.
4. Shanna Moakler--aka Shanna Barker. She was so much fun. She is the director of the Nevada USA pageant.
5. Pauly D! Fist Pump!!
6. Nick and Joe Jonas! They performed during the show and Nick was the co-host
7. Mo Rocca! He was a Judge.
8. Duck Dynasty guy! I have to admit I have never seen this show so I'm not sure what his name is. His wife Jessica was a judge. She was gorgeous!!

So what am I doing now? Trying to get myself back to reality. I just can't make myself come off of my Vegas high! Thanks again to all of you for your unwavering support and all of your excitement! I suppose my days as a pageant sister are over, but I will retire as the proudest one there ever was!
Happy weekend to you all!


xoxo Rebecca
 
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