Friday, May 17, 2019

getting our midseason jamz on

so, back to comp day.  the bean had an appointment to have her coaches do her makeup for her late morning, and luckily it didn't take very long for her to be done.  i can never get the eyeshadow quite right on her, and so when they opened up appointments for makeup and hair i jumped on it. since we have one of those crazy teased cheerleader hairpieces, i figured i'd do her hair myself when it was closer to dropoff time.  the makeup is a smoky eye with winged liner:


we had several hours with her before she had to be back in the coach's suite, fully dressed and ready to perform, and so that's when we hit the strip for those yard o'margaritas and the m&m store.  she loves that place (and secretly - or not so secretly, i suppose, so do i).


while her sister and her special friend sipped on their margaritas, she posed for me with this:


upstairs, there's a whole section of the store where you can create some personalized m&ms.  they were pushing these pretty hard with mother's day the next day, and as much as i would've loved to get some m&ms with my kids' faces on them i couldn't bring myself to shell out $25 for 'em.



speaking of mother's day, the hub had taken care of ordering and sending a present to MIL while i decided to go the handmade route and put together a little care package for my mom that i mailed before we left.  her favorite color is purple, so i busted out half a dozen cookies:


and then i used some super soft fabric in a fun rainbow print to make her a little top she can wear through spring and summer.


so back to vegas - after the m&m store we snagged a refill for the old lady's margarita and then headed on back to the orleans so that we wouldn't be pressed for time.  as predicted, the bean's hair was super easy to do, and she was dressed and ready with a few minutes to spare.


i dropped her off with her teammates in the coach's suite and then met up with the old lady and her special friend with the intention of going downstairs to do a little slot machine-ing.  but since they were leaving to meet up with her dad and then coming back later to watch the awards ceremony, i figured it was probably better to head over to the box office and buy our tickets for the competition.  as we walked towards the arena, we came upon a photo op and the old lady took my phone and said "you two, do a trick or something."  not knowing what else to do, this is what we ended up with:


there were signs like this all down the hallway:


and when i stepped up to the desk to buy our tickets, i had some major sticker shock as we were charged a whopping $34.50 per person to get in the door.  holy cow.  i mean, they have us by the balls...that's what we're there for, so we're gonna pay whatever they charge, right?  but damn...i choked a little as i handed over payment for four tickets.  sheesh.

we'd timed it so that we arrived close to the time the girls were scheduled to hit the mats.  and as i looked around the arena, i noticed quite a difference between this competition and the last time we were in vegas for nationals.  this midseason competition is new, so it wasn't as crowded.  it was nice not to have to fight for seats, though, and then pretty soon it was time.

the girls nailed their routine and hit all of their stunts, and we were screaming and cheering and yelling encouragement from the floor.


i had my lucky shoes on - you know i wear these to every cheer competition.


the awards ceremony started a couple of hours later, not too long after the last team performed.  


unfortunately, the team had received a 5-point deduction for some sort of illegal cradle...something about how they did a half turn when they were only supposed to do a quarter turn.  this hurt their overall score in a huge way, and i was sad to find that my lucky shoes failed me for the first time as the team didn't place in the top three this time around.  as she tends to be, the bean was pretty matter-of-fact about the loss and didn't seem too terribly disappointed.  the coaches gathered the girls together for a final pep talk, congratulating them on nailing their routine and telling them how proud they were of them.  and then everyone went their separate ways.

we headed upstairs so that the bean could change and wash her face and take down her hair, and then we grabbed an uber that took us to top golf.  we ordered a bunch of food, including this sushi platter at the bean's request:


everyone had a great time hitting the golf balls, aiming for targets and trying to outscore each other.  the old lady beat us all, which was a fun surprise, and we had more fun than i'd thought we would.


and then the excitement and flurry of activity of the day finally hit her and we turned around to see the bean passed out on the couch.  heh.


when we got back to the hotel, i was surprised that the hub was also feeling pretty tired and decided to go to bed when the bean and i did.  so much for one final wild night in vegas.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

can't get enough of the vegas

okay, so vegas.  after enjoying a fun mimosa breakfast with some of my favorite mom friends, i headed home to throw some stuff into a bag and get on the road with the hub and the bean.  we'd originally planned to head out around 10, but as is our norm we didn't actually get out of the house until a full hour and change later.  oh well.


no vegas road trip is complete anymore without a pitstop at eddie world.  we picked up a few snacks and some water and got back on the road.  it was starting to get a little busier on the freeway, and we were trying to avoid sitting in too much traffic.


luckily we managed to make pretty good time, and decided to hit the strip and grab a late lunch before checking into the hotel.  we knew we could get something quick and super delicious at another favorite spot:  eataly at the park MGM.




the bean and i are always down for a plate o'prosciutto and burrata.  always.


and we split a nice, juicy ribeye that was perfectly seasoned.  so good.


once we'd devoured every bit of those plates o'meat, it was time to hop back into the car and head over to the good ol' orleans to check in and get the bean ready for the evening.  this cheer competition also included a fun "prom"-style gathering for all of the athletes, and the girls were excited to get all dressed up and do fun stuff together.  when we got there, the line at the registration desk was pretty similar to that of a ride at disneyland...super long, but moving along at a decent pace.


the hub checked in for both rooms, since the old lady and her special friend were arriving a little later that evening.  we were glad to see that their room was just across the hall from ours.  and then a glance at the clock told me that we needed to get moving, because we had just about half an hour to get the bean ready for prom.  so i busted out the curling iron and got to work.

do you know how hard it is to find an age appropriate prom-style dress for an 11-year-old who's not in girl sizes anymore?  everything is either way too low cut, super short, insanely tight or just really uncomfortable.  ugh.  we actually tried a couple of options before i finally gave up and decided to make her dress myself.  i asked her what she was hoping for, and when she said "something with sleeves, not too tight, round neck and a hi-lo hem" i was excited to find that i already had the perfect pattern to use.  she requested something in either a light blue or a mint green, and one trip to joann's yielded an aqua velvet with just enough stretch to make it work.  with a coupon it only cost about $20 to make this dress that she said was just what she wanted and was comfy to boot.  excellent.  we added one of my old stella & dot necklaces to jazz it up a little, pulled back the sides of her hair into two little braids and curled the rest and voila:


i took her upstairs to the coach's suite, where a few of the girls had already arrived and were giggling and chattering excitedly about each other's dresses.  they were all super cute, and i gave the bean a kiss and headed back downstairs to meet up with the hub.  we still needed to buy the old lady's birthday present, and so we headed out to the fashion show mall.

it didn't take us too long to pick out the present, and with more than an hour left to kill before picking the bean back up we decided to hang out at one of his favorite spots - the davidoff cigar lounge.  there were couches available on the patio, and it was a great spot to sit, sip a cocktail and do some peoplewatching.  because you know, there's nothing quite like peoplewatching in vegas, amirite?


while we were sitting there, i got this picture of the girls as they were preparing to walk the red carpet into prom:


we were to pick up our girls at 7:30 when prom ended and then meet up again in the lobby at 9 for their party bus ride down the strip.  she wasn't really hungry, so we headed up to the room to relax for a bit until it was time to go again.  the kids arrived just as we were getting ready to go down to the lobby, and then when the bean was settled with the team again we headed off in search of some food. we only had an hour, so we stayed at the orleans and hit up bailiwick, a pub-style restaurant with a live band.

we'd seen reuben eggrolls on some food network show, so we decided to try them out.  they were...eh.


the old lady went with the taco special, which she said was pretty tasty.


and i opted for the seafood roll sliders.  there was crab and shrimp in the buttered rolls, and they were surprisingly delicious despite the faces the hub made at them.


the bean came back a little after 10, and she was pretty tired.  and so while the hub took the kids out on the town, i went upstairs with her and ordered some room service while she got cleaned up and into her pajamas.  i think we were both knocked out somewhere around midnight.

not a bad way to close out our first day of our vegas weekend.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

vegas with the old lady

this year, the old lady's birthday happened to fall on the weekend of the bean's midseason cheer competition...in vegas.  sounds almost perfect except for the fact that cheer weekends usually involve a lot of running around and meeting up with the team for one thing or another.  but we were determined to make it a fun weekend all the way around, which is not hard when you're in vegas, amirite?

since the hub, the bean and i had to be in town by 5:00 on friday afternoon, we drove out that morning and booked the old lady and her special friend a one-way southwest flight that was timed so that they could still work a full day, drop off stevie for boarding and get to the airport in time.  i still want to recap the beginning of our trip, but i'm skipping ahead to highlight the old lady's birthday because birthday princess.

we got up that morning and made our way out to our new favorite vegas breakfast spot - the omelet house.  the old lady was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to celebrate her 24th (!!!!) birthday.


breakfast was delicious and filling, and when we got back in the car we surprised her with a giant bag that brought almost as big a smile to her face:


from there the hub drove us to the "welcome to las vegas" sign to snap a couple of fun photos.


and a little later, he dropped us off on the strip to pick up something she was super excited for - a yard o'margarita.



the cheer competition was that afternoon, and after watching her sister perform with her team she and her special friend headed out to meet up with her dad, who just happened to be in town on a work assignment.  i knew she was happy to be able to spend time with both of her parents on her birthday, and she was in a great mood all day.

we closed out the day with a visit to top golf at the MGM grand.  we'd always wanted to come here to play, so everyone was happy, and everyone had a great time.




i know it was different from other birthdays we've spent with her, but i hope she had fun anyway.  we tried our best to make the day about her despite the cheer competition, and so i think she still felt the love on her special day.

and holy cow.  my baby is 24.  24!!  i can't even believe it.  i love her so much, and i'm so proud of the woman she's become.  she's still got so much ahead of her, and i can't wait to see what life has in store for her.

happy birthday, my little love.

Monday, May 13, 2019

taking away my superpower

so we all know how attached i am to my lash extensions.  it's like they literally give me life.  i love being able to wake up and walk out the door and not feel like an old hag even if i haven't had time to put anything on my face.  and they're just so pretty.  i love them so much.

but i've had them on for a whopping THREE years straight without taking a break.  and while my lash lady is really good about giving me a nudge when she thinks maybe it's time to give my lashes a breather, it seems that my natural ones hang in there really well even with the extensions on them for a long time.

and then after we lost molly and my crying was kind of out of control, i think i somehow managed to irritate my eyes in a big way.  i was feeling some discomfort and some other gross stuff that i won't bore you with, and so i decided that maybe it was time to take a break.  not to mention, i hadn't been able to rub my eyes in three years and sometimes that just feels really good to do.  heh.

i took a quick picture before i went in to have them removed.  i was super bummed to be losing my lashes, and this picture is pretty terrible with those weird baby hairs and my age spots on full display. oh well.


the removal was kind of relaxing, like when i go in for fills.  i just laid down on the table like always, closed my eyes and let her do her thing.  and then when she was all done she put some cool wet pads on them and told me i could go ahead and rub them to my heart's content.  OMG, i can't even tell you how wonderful it felt.  it was almost on massage level.

and the "after."  i know you probably think there isn't much of a difference here, but *i* can tell.  my natural lashes were a little stubby and stick straight out and they were so sad...but i have to say, i was pretty pleased with how healthy they seemed to be despite being a little puny looking.


plus, i was a little excited at the prospect of trying out new mascaras and being able to wear eye makeup on the regular again without dreading cleaning it all off at the end of the day.  because, you see, when you have extensions you have to be really careful with what products you use (must always be oil free), and removing makeup is a long, slow process because you have to do it slowly so as not to screw up those lashes.  not to mention, i'd managed to totally fry them one time while i was baking something at a really high temperature.  i opened the oven and the heat and steam that came out of there damn near melted the things right off my face.  and now i don't have to look away every time i open that oven door.  come on...i'm looking for every possible positive aspect of taking my lashes off here.

i pulled out the stuff that the old lady recommended as being really good for regrowth and conditioning and gave it a try:


but i found that no mascara was going to help with how straight my natural lashes were.  and so i headed out to target and picked up an eyelash curler, much to the old lady's dismay.  she totally frowned upon my total vanity, telling me that curlers can be really damaging, and suggested that after a few weeks i go in for a lash lift.  apparently, that's the new lingo for "eyelash perm," which is something i'd done before.  in fact, that's how i found my lash lady in the first place.  and so i booked an appointment and then settled in for what seemed like a super long wait.

in the meantime, i ordered a tube of mascara that i'd bookmarked awhile ago in anticipation of this very occasion.  it promised that my lashes would look like extensions, and a quick video i watched on instagram seemed to fulfill that promise.


i was really excited to give it a shot, and even more stoked to find that it really did deliver.  i don't have any pictures to share, but trust me - the stuff is magical.  i actually felt like back to normal again, and i'm happy to report that it also doesn't flake off during the day and is still really easy to remove at night.  i'm totally going to stick to this stuff.

and then finally, i got to head on in for my lash lift.  my lash lady offered to throw in a tint (which looking back, probably isn't really necessary for me next time since my lashes are already pretty dark) and some stuff she called "lash botox."  it's supposed to strengthen and thicken, and of course i was all in.  the treatment is a whole relaxing experience, complete with this fantastic chair that massages you all the way down to the bottoms of your feet:


here's the quick "before" shot i took.  the old lady took some too, because they were going to use it as advertisement on the salon's social media.


the first step was the lift.  i got to lay back the whole time, just relaxing and dozing off because what else are you gonna do with your eyes shut for an hour straight?


i'm not gonna lie...i was so relaxed that i don't actually remember the sequence of events that happened after that. i think she did the lift part and then cleaned off all the perm solution and then moved on to the tint before applying the botox.  and because there was a bit of the botox stuff left over, she brushed it onto my brows to give them some extra oomph as well.

when all was said and done, the whole shebang took about an hour and a half and the old lady put together this little "before and after" picture that she posted online.  i'm so glad you can't really tell it's me unless you know, because holy cow do i look terrible aside from how fantastic my lashes turned out:


it's been about five days and i'm really loving this lash lift business.  the funny thing is that i put on mascara the other day and almost regretted it because i felt like they were damn near touching my eyelid when i was done.  but i do feel like i have pretty lashes again, and i fall into the old habits of being super careful when touching my eyes because i feel like i still have the extensions on.

all that to say, if you find that you don't want extensions for whatever reason but would love some sort of low-maintenance way of making your lashes look pretty, the lash lift/tint/botox is a really effective, affordable option.  it lasts anywhere from 4-8 weeks, and it all varies depending on each individual.  much like extensions, it lasts as long as it takes for your natural lashes to grow out.

yay for purty lashes!
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