SNAPPY CASUAL

Family adventures + simple fashion + other lovely things

48 hours in Vegas

travelkelsey williams9 Comments

I spent a couple days in Vegas last week - it was great to get away for a bit! I had never been to Vegas before, but I'd always wanted to go and see what it was like. My dad and my brother were going for a trade show (they're in the flooring business), so I sort of invited myself along ... and it was even better because my sister came, too! While it certainly wasn't my favorite trip I've ever taken, it was still mostly a good time.

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Our trip started out kind of rough: A delayed flight turned our 60 hours in Vegas into 48 hours, and we were stuck in Houston for the first night. I had my dry shampoo taken away (bad packing by me), and we were given hotel keys to rooms that other people were still occupying...so that was awkward. But after that, it was pretty smooth. Except for when I left my $185 hair straightener in our hotel and didn't realize til we got home. ;(

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DAY ONE

After landing in Vegas, we took a cab to check in at our hotel, the MGM Grand. Definitely the nicest hotel lobby I've ever seen! It's the second largest hotel in the world by number of rooms and the largest hotel resort complex in the U.S. I couldn't believe how big it was, and I never even saw one of the five pools.

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Then, I needed FOOD (I get motion sickness so I don't eat much while flying). Shake Shack had just opened in Vegas a month earlier, and we were the first in line when they opened at 11:00 am! It was SO DELICIOUS! I had a hamburger, cheese fries and peanut butter chocolate malt. Definitely a highlight of my entire trip.

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Then we took a tram to Mandalay Bay, which is where the flooring conference was. We spent three hours looking at carpet, hardwood floors, shower systems/drains, etc. It was fun to see my dad in his element.

Then we walked through the Luxor (the hotel shaped like a pyramid) and made our way back to MGM. We had won $38 at the conference, so my brother walked up to a Roulette table, put down $35, and asked me red or black. I said red, and we doubled our money! I immediately went to cash out and asked where the nearest H&M was. :-)

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We rested at the hotel for a bit before heading out for dinner. We walked through The Cosmopolitan (crazy huge chandelier!) and saw the Fountains of Bellagio (soo cool!) before eating dinner at Margaritaville, which was really yummy.

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After dinner, we briskly walked the 30 minutes back to MGM for David Copperfield's show. I'm not a huge fan of magic, but it was a good show and he did a few things that left us scratching our heads. I would have liked to see him again during his later show that night just to see how different it was since he includes a lot of audience participation.

Afterward, we took a cab to Fremont Street, which is the old downtown area. This was definitely the low point in the trip for me. I think it was partly due to the fact that I was exhausted after all the walking and being up for 21 hours straight, as well as seeing all the strange, strange people in costumes and half-dressed women trying to make money, I was sort of over it. I guess I'm a prude, but I just don't get the appeal. My brother and I hung out outside under the lights while my dad and sister went on the SlotZilla "Zoomline" (like zip lining, except laying on your stomach). After that, we took a cab back to the hotel and went to bed.

DAY TWO

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Day Two was a much better day for me. I woke up 20 weeks pregnant (!), took a much-needed shower and then chose our breakfast location: Sugar Factory. I thought it was delicious, but overpriced.

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Then we walked through Paris and I found La Creperie, a casual walk-up crepe stand that came highly recommended. I got the Sugar & Butter crepe, and it was AMAZING. Definitely the best thing I ate in Vegas.

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We continued walking through the nearby hotels, staring with Bally's, and then The Venetian, which features gondola rides, shopping, live statues and Carlo's Bakery (from Cake Boss):

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Next, we went through Caesar's Palace and the Forum Shops:

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And Bellagio: 

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Then we walked through New York New York and got Ben & Jerry's ice cream, checked out the Hershey's store, and then headed back to MGM to rest for 45 minutes.

For supper, we walked back to the Forum Shops at Caesar's and ate at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, where we enjoyed Cokes and fillets and onion strings.

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After that, we walked next door to The Mirage for Beatles LOVE, which was absolutely incredible. I'd seen one traveling Cirque du Soleil show before, but this was on a completely different level! I was amazed the entire time!

We had all had enough at this point (and had a 6:45 am wake-up call), so we walked back to our hotel, taking in the strip at night.

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Back at MGM, we got dessert at The Rainforest Cafe before heading to bed. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to get away and spend time with my family!

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Highlights

  • Sugar & Butter Crepe at La Creperie (Paris)
  • LOVE Cirque du Soleil (all Beatles music)
  • Being first in line at Shake Shack
  • Fountains of Bellagio
  • Winning $35 playing Roulette
  • Breakfast at Sugar Factory
  • Shopping at Caesar's (H&M!)
  • Spending time with my family

P.S. I don't want to sound like a brat who didn't enjoy my trip to Vegas, but I do have to honest that I found many of the "attractions" in Vegas to be very disturbing. I honestly didn't feel super safe while walking around, even with my dad and brother there, and don't have a desire to ever go back. I felt like even just being in the city as a tourist that I was somehow contributing to the sex trafficking industry. Eric and I had planned to go together at some point, but I think we would have more fun somewhere else. Anyone else not a huge fan of Vegas???

our gender reveal

babykelsey williams2 Comments

In case you missed it, we're having a BOY!

Now, for the fun details...

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Last Monday, Eric and I went to our 20-week ultrasound. I was only 19 1/2 weeks along, so I was hoping they would be able to tell the sex (I pushed up the appointment due to my Vegas trip, which I'll post about later this week!). I was amazed at how many pictures the ultrasound tech had to take (bottoms of both feet, legs, hands, arms, nostrils, etc.). She was able to notice the sex quickly, and put a few photos and a note into an envelope for us. I was pretty sure it was a boy, but was really excited to know for sure! I also had to have an internal ultrasound at the end, which was a new (and not-super-fun) experience. But my midwife said baby looks wonderful, which was so amazing to hear!

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After the ultrasound, we picked Rooney up early from daycare and went down to Swell, a great local shop for all things baby. They specialize in products for the first year of life. It was my first time there, and the ladies (hi Jaimee!) were super helpful as we picked out a few things for a boy and a few things for a girl.

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Then, we left the store for about 15 minutes while they packaged up the correct items (after opening the envelope from the ultrasound tech). (This is how we found out last time too.)

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Then we took the package to The Cheesecake Factory and let Rooney open it after we ordered our food. I'm so glad Eric shot this video, even though it was really dark in there:

Huge thanks to Swell for being so great and for gifting us with these adorable items from Baby Deedee, Fresh BiB and Me in Mind! I'm so thrilled to be having a son, and to have these cute products already on hand for him!

dear baby boy

babykelsey williams3 Comments
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It's 2015 - the year you'll be born - and I've never been on an airplane that has Wi-Fi. Isn't that amazing? I wonder what changes will happen in your lifetime. You and I recently got back from a little trip to Vegas. I'm really sorry about all the smoke. Also, it would be fine by me if you never go back.

I've known you were a boy for quite some time, even though we just recently found out for sure. We've chosen your name, and I hope you like it. Your dad picked it out, and I think it will fit you great. He says it's a strong name that will be the perfect anchor to our family. I think it is a great match for the name Rooney. It was actually the first boy name Rooney said she liked. Other names we considered for you were: Phoenix, Bartholomew (long story), Rowan and Oliver. If you had been a girl, your name would have likely been Wren.

You'll be the second-born in a family where both parents are also second-born. For some reason I find that fascinating. I think you're lucky to have Eric and Kelsey now as parents instead of the Eric and Kelsey from three years ago, although your older sister has turned out awesome. She's really excited to meet you and play with you and change your diapers. She keeps insisting that you will be a sister, but I think she'll get over it once she meets you in June. 

 

xoxo, 

Mama

new-ish clothes for my preschoola

shoppingkelsey williamsComment

Have you heard of Schoola? It's been around since 2012, but I hadn't heard of it until recently. It's a consignment clothing site for kids, and $2 of every $5 spent goes to schools for programs like art, music, physical education and field trips. How cool is that?!

I think selling and buying secondhand for kids is genius (that is, if you can get the spaghetti and strawberry stains off better than me), because they outgrow them so quickly!

From now until tomorrow (Jan. 21), you can get $15 worth of free kid's clothes and free shipping using this link.

I placed my first order a couple weeks ago and got seven new-to-Roo items for a total of $59.31. They are all in good condition, and a couple were new with tags! Plus, we supported seven different schools!

Here's what I got:

  • Zara Kids purple pants: Love these pants and the color! The price was a bit of a shock at first ($17.94), but they are brand new with tags, and that is a price I would expect to see on the Zara website for their sale items, so I snagged 'em.
  • H&M tank: I thought this was cute for $3.60. Rooney gets really hot in the summer so tank tops are always good for the park!
  • American Apparel dress: This is size 10, so Rooney will grow into it in a couple years (she currently wears size 6 in American Apparel). We love the American Apparel skater dresses! Rooney has had two of them and they are actually my favorite thing she has ever owned.
  • Crewcuts shorts: I've seen these as a hot item on Instagram sales (which I love to peruse but have never purchased from), so I thought I would give them a shot.
  • H&M shirt: I wondered if the price tag on this was too high, but it is new with tags, and I know Rooney will love it. Plus, long-sleeved T-shirts are great for playing and they wash well.
  • Old Navy shorts: Cute shorts at a great price! I have to snag all the orange clothes I can get my hands on for Roo, since it's her absolute favorite.
  • H&M dress: Looking back, I probably overspent on this, since I got a three of these exact dresses for Rooney last summer that were $4.95 each (brand new), and I'm sure they will have this dress style available again this summer. If it was a must-have pattern/print that I missed out on, I would be OK spending this much, but I suppose the thrill of shopping got me this time. However, Rooney totally gravitated toward these dresses last summer, so I know she will love it.

I went on the website and narrowed it down by size first (Girls 5). Next, I selected "New with tags," "Perfect" and "Good" under "CONDITIONS," leaving "Blemished" unchecked (just my personal preference). Then, I did a search for our favorite brands to see what was available. My philosophy was to search for brands/items that we've already owned and loved - like American Apparel and H&M dresses - as well as higher-name brands I've wanted to try more of - like Crewcuts and Zara.

It's just as thrilling as Instagram sales, but with way less pressure! You can bet I'll be placing another order soon to snag some stuff for this baby boy!

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I also sent a bag (shown above) of my own once-loved clothing to be sold at Schoola (they are launching a women's category soon!), and proceeds will go to Rooney's future elementary school. You can request a bag here to send your own or your kids' clothes to Schoola to support your favorite school!

Disclosure: Schoola provided me with a coupon code to purchase some of these items. This post contains referral links.