Thursday, September 29, 2011

Best (Unexpected) Gifts

Once the Halloween candy goes on display at the store, I start thinking about holiday gift-giving.  My family has several birthdays and anniversaries between October and November, so it pays to formulate a plan early.  Isn't it the best when someone knows you well enough to get you something you never knew you wanted or needed, but end up loving?  Here are a few recent gifts I've received and loved, unexpectedly. 

Penzey's Herb gift box, $29.95
     - Penzey's has a number of gift boxes, or you can order a la carte.  This was a wedding gift, and
       considering how seldom I replace my herbs, it was much-needed.  I found the herbs to be of a higher
       quality than I normally purchase, but I loved this gift because it was a nod to the life we were
       embarking upon.  It came with a note about being conscious of little ways to make every day special,
       and something sort of cheesy, but true, about the spice of life.  I thought of it often in our early days of
       marriage, and it reminded me to light candles during dinner and turn off the tv to talk and laugh together. 

City guide book
     - I received a Las Vegas guide book as a Christmas gift from a co-worker shortly before we
       relocated here.  Although it's intended for tourists, we used it often during our first few months here.  I
       found it to be a thoughtful way of getting us excited about a scary step we were taking.  These are also
       good bridal shower gifts if you know the couple's honeymoon destination.

Framed nostalgic photo
     - Last Christmas my favorite gift was a framed photo of all of my cousins, my sister, and I that was taken
       more than 30 years ago on Christmas Eve.  It was perfect for a couple of reasons...a. it reminds me of
       how blessed I am to have such a lovely family; b. it reminds me that the fun of Christmas was not just
       gifts, it was togetherness; c. it reminds me that every day we are making memories not just for ourselves,
       but for our son; d. it reminds me to live in the moment and not get caught up in the stress of planning
       "perfect" events/holidays.  We will remember how we felt, rather than if the food was three-star Michelin
       quality or if the family pictures were perfect anyway.

     - I'm not kidding.  I loved receiving those slippers as a baby shower gift because when I was pregnant I
       felt my job was 100% to take care of my baby, plan for my baby, and take care of myself for my
.  Of course, that was mostly true, but those slippers were a really nice way of telling me that it was
       also a time to sit back and enjoy what was happening and also to take care of myself for myself.  A
       pregnant lady is not merely a vessel.  Now I always buy something specifically for the expectant mother
       that is wholely unrelated to the baby, as well as something special for the baby.

Blue ribbon
     - Yes, another odd gift.  We invited very few people to our wedding, including just one friend each. 
       When we sent the invitations I knew my invited friend wouldn't be able to come, so I wasn't surprised
       or disappointed when we received her regrets.  The real kindness, though, was that she sent a spool of
       blue ribbon with her RSVP and a note expressing how much she would've liked to attend.  The ribbon
       was just in case I didn't have a "something blue," but I ended up using it in my wedding scrapbook, and
       whenever I see it I'm reminded of the people that are not near physically, but are very close in spirit. 

No one ever thinks "oh, how I'd love to receive a spool of ribbon/old photo/rosemary/etc," but sometimes receiving those things mean more than a big tv or a beautiful bouquet. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Music for the weekend

"It's Time," Imagine Dragons

Loving this!!  They're going to be big.  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bite of Las Vegas 2011

The Mix 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas line-up is complete!  Band Battle for Bite resulted in a pretty great day of music.  In no particular order, you will see O.A.R., Michelle Branch, Mat Kearney, Colbie Caillat, Imagine Dragons, The Cab, 100 Monkeys, and local bands The English Channel, Avalon Landing, Play For Keeps, and Offset Season.

Of course, don't forget the fantastic offerings of more than 40 Las Vegas restaurants.  All items will be under $5.  Awesome, right? 

See it all on October 15 from 10a to about 10p at Desert Breeze Park.  Tickets are $9 (those under age 5 are free), but if you bring a canned food item for City Mission of Las Vegas you'll get $1 off the ticket price!

Chairs and coolers are NOT permitted, but you are allowed bring a blanket and ONE unopened bottle of water.  One more thing to note - there is NO re-entry.  If you leave, you must pay again to come back in, but there's no reason to leave anyway.  Port-a-potties are all over (including those big, nice ones with running water), there's food and drinks a-plenty, there are designated smoking areas (just make sure you use one of them - the event is smoke-free), the entertainment will thrill, and you'll have plenty of company.

More information here, from KMXB.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Las Vegas Park Review #12: Davis Park

Davis Park
2796 Redwood St

- Acres of green space
- Trees (and pinecones, which my kid seemed fond of)
- Two baby swings
- A couple of good toddler-size slides
- Picnic areas

- Didn't see restrooms
- No splash pad
- The playground equipment was in rough shape (unsafe even - there was a plastic bubble to look through up on the equipment that had a jagged hole in it)
- Dog poo and one mysterious broken raw egg in the play area
And the big one...
- We did not feel safe (at about 8 am on a Sunday morning)

When we arrived at the park there was a guy rollerblading around the park with an enormous dog, another guy sleeping in the grass, and a lady sitting on top of a picnic table.  While we were on the playground the rollerblader approached us for no apparent reason.  He was outwardly friendly, but something bothered me about the encounter.  While there's nothing specific I can point to about the morning that made us feel unsafe, I can say without a doubt that we won't return to the park (the list of pros is pretty pathetic anyway).  I didn't feel comfortable near any of the people at the park.  We stayed only 10 minutes, and that was probably 9 too long.  We won't return.