Master Class: Fall Layering Techniques

Tips on Master Layering

1.  Limit your Layers, 3 is best

J Crew Sleeveless Ruffle Top, J Crew Leopard Cardigan, Antonio Melani Gray Cashmere Cardigan Sweater, Zara Cigarette Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps

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2.  Know your Body Type:  Are you an Apple, Pear, Ruler, Inverted Triangle or Hourglass.  Understanding your body type helps with the most flattering layering possibilities.  I suggest layer with caution when it comes to bulky items,  Below I would of removed the denim shirt.

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Long and Lengthy?  A Ruler body type is great for the look below.  Thin with no curves

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3.  Pair Light weight pieces under bulk

Ted Baker Fleur Jacket, Vince Camuto Aqua Sleeveless Blouse, Thalian Burgundy Leggings, Nine West Brown Mid Boots, Vintage Silk Chiffon Purple Scarf

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4. Balance Layered tops under slim bottoms

Levi Strauss Blue Jacket, Pink Chiffon Buffalo Blouse, Zara Skirt, Vince Camuto Booties

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5. Layer the Same Colorwhite

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6. Layer Texture

Zara Grey Metallic Knit Jacket, Elizabeth and James Feathered Vest, J Jill White Cami

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Step One:   Max Jeans Grey Vest, Mossimo White Tee, Prabal Gurang Prism Necklace, Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps

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Step 2.  Add another layer with texture, and repeat the color.  Not overwhelming!  La Fiorentina Fur Vest

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7. Summer Dresses can be layered into Fall Style

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J Crew Sparkle Sheath Dress, Nine West Booties

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Added: Zara Black Knit Pullover, J Crew Black Grosgrain Belt,  5 Layer Strand of big Faux  Pearls

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Tool Box:  Items needed for  Layering

1. Vests

Lucky Army Vest, Lucy Black Hoody, Banana Republic Graphic Tee, Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps

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J Crew Print Shell, Antonio Melani Man’s Vest, Premise Black Jacket, Vintage Scarf

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2.  Jackets and Tops at various lengthsScan0013

Talbot’s Zebra Long Jacket, Mossimo Grey Sweater, Vince Camuto White Sleeveless Blouse, Zara Black Leggings, Stuart Weitzman Black Boots

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Margaret O’Leary Black Knit Sweater, H&M Black Sheer Long Duster, J Jill White Cami, Ann Taylor White Jeans, Vince Camuto Brown Bootie, Italian Black Bag

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3. Cascading Hemlines

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Mossimo Knit Oatmeal Sweater, Trina Turk Taupe Silk Sleeveless Top, Zara Ivory Midi Skirt, Vince Camuto Booties

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4. Sleeveless Blouses , Tees and Turtlenecks

Vince Camuto White Sleeveless Top, H&M Black Man’s Vest, Barneys New York Black Fingerless Leather Gloves, Elevenesse Black Matador Pants, Stuart Weitzman Leopard Pumps

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5. Pullovers

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6. Long GlovesScan0010

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7. Trimmings: Buy quality, don’t settle for a bad fake fur!  There are good fake furs out there and I personally like Vintage Fur.

Brooks Brothers Ivory Coat, Vintage Fur Trim

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8. Layer Jewelry. I enjoy adding layers of jewelry in similar colors and textures with one “off” piece. Vintage Jet Beads, Misc Strands

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9. Scarves  So versatile and add a splash of your favorite colors, patterns ect.

Trina Turk Black Leather Jacket, TeenFlo Vest, J Crew Taupe Chiffon Sleeveless Blouse, Vintage Limited Silk Scarf ( Circa 80″s), Zara Jeans, Stuart Weitzman Black Pumps

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Infinity Scarves- Current Trend-  I like it!!

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Banana Republic Navy Cardigan, Mossimo Denim Shirt, Vintage Tartan Tie, Zara Black Leggings, Zara Motorcycle Boots

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Layering Clothing is fun, looks very chic and stylish and fundamentally can keep you warm this Fall.  Good Luck and remember the tips and work with your tool box!!

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Turkey Dinner Tips, Leftovers and Dancing thru the process!

So many of my friends and acquaintances are frustrated this time of year because  when it comes to the Turkey Dinner they can’t do GRAVY or STUFFING!!  I hear this all the time and I say : “But it is so easy”!  So this year I decided to unravel the mystery of these basics so everyone can get  these delicacies on the table along with the other components that make a great Thanksgiving Dinner!  Below is my classic Turkey Day Dinner028

1. Stuffing : Cube bread and leave out on counter 1-2 days  to dry out

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Saute onions, celery and add herbs at the end.  Do not rush this process and make sure veggies are soft.  Season with Salt and Pepper007

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Mix cooked veggies with Bread Crumbs and then add Hot Turkey or Chicken Stock.  Mix with your HANDS until moist.  Add more herbs: Sage, Thyme, Rosemary

010 (2)and Flat Leaf Parsley, not Curly– too bitter008 (2)Place finished stuffing in a ovenproof dish and heat thru when ready0122. Mashed Potatoes

Peel and cut  Idaho Potatoes, Boil until soft in Salted Water, Mash, add a little butter and milk until desired consistency, add salt and pepper.  DO NOT PUT IN BLENDER unless you are going for a glue consistency!!!

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0453. Turkey

Rinse and Pat dry your bird.  Truss to keep all the wings and legs close to the body, and baste with butter.  Sprinkle salt pepper and paprika.  Cook desired time depending on the weight of the bird

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Check the temp, my bird which was 12 pounds registered at 160 and it was juicy and delicious017Let your bird rest, and cool down at least 30 minutes before carving013Presentation matters and your guests will appreciate the bird cut up and ready to be plated0364. Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

I wear goggles when I cut onions in large quantities to prevent myself from a crying melt down not worthy of tears.  This is 8 onions that have been roasted and caramelized with a little sugar and Balsamic Vinegar for approximately 3 hours at 350.

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Saute your green beans in batches.  Overcrowding a pan will not allow the beans to cook properly.  Dont over cook your beans, so sample  them during the cooking process0080105. Gravy- The Ultimate Challenge !

After removing your bird from the roasting pan pour all the drippings into a gravy seperator

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Let cool for a few minutes049Pour about a 1/2 cup of the fat that is on the top in the roasting pan, the good stuff is on the bottom- no fat.
053Add flour to your roasting pan054Now pour all the good juices into a bowl and leave the remaining fat liquid in the container.  YOU DON’T NEED ALL THAT FAT!  Save the extra  calories for the pecan pie!
059Whisk it all together in the roasting pan, this is called a ROUX060Add Turkey Stock, Trader Joes had it seasonally065Continue Stirring067070Use what you need, freeze the rest for a rainy day!0806.Pecan Pie  Sorry I only have a picture of the finished pie.

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This was a brief teaser on the dinner.  My suggestion is googling, read cookbooks, and Magazines to get recipes that attract you and go from there.  This blog was about little details that are missed and seem to be a mystery that prevents us to even attempting the cooking process.  Never say never and go for it!!

Dancing and Cooking makes everything taste better !  Yes I love to cook and I love to dance.  They seem to compliment one another in the kitchen and I like to have as much fun as possible.

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032Leftovers My favorite!!!

1. Turkey Pot PIe

Prep veggies, and cut up left over Turkey into cubes

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Make a Veloute which is back to the Gravy principle.  Make a roux of fat (butter) and flour and then add Turkey or Chicken Stock..  No Cream or Milk is necessary.  so many people think Pot Pies are in a cream sauce.  Not true 008Roll out  tthawedpastry, I used frozen– Cheating014I also was in a hurry and did not do a stellar job, but pieced it all together.  I guess I got exhausted with my dancing!016Not my best presentation, but it tasted delicious!!!!0182.  Turkey Avocado and Sprout Sandwich

Mash Avocados, add the turkey, and sprouts and load it up on Sourdough Bread! This is a tie of my other favorite sandwich a BLT!

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Bon Appetit!!!!

Vegas: Part 2 – Ten things that bug me about it.

Last week I embellished on all that I enjoyed about Vegas and this week I am flipping it to the not so loving it about Vegas. On a positive side  I do want to go back and see and do more there but in 72 hours which was the extent of my visit you can’t conquer all that Vegas has to offer.

Ten things that bug me about Vegas:

1.  It is crazy expensive!!!!!!  The good ol  college days when we trekked to Vegas are long gone.  Vegas was cheap and fun.  Not all puffed up like it is today and yes you would lose your money gambling (most likely) but you didn’t feel ripped off in other areas of your visit.  I would guestimate you pay 20-30% more on everything today.  Gone are the $2.00 blackjack tables, prime rib dinners for $9.99, and affordable cocktails.  This last trip I paid $18.00 for  a Vodka Martini.FullSizeRender Entree’s ranged between $30-45.00, this was the start of a $50.00 lunch not including tipFullSizeRender (1) Resort Fee’s were $20.00 per day.  Even Walgreen’s was marked up by $20%.  I can understand these prices in New York, Europe, but Vegas????

2.  Fake Architecture and Facades.  Caesar himself  looks pretty weak in my opinion in front of Caesar’s Palace. Caesars-Palace Not to mention the horribly faux painted Roman Columns. exterior-forum-shops-caesars-palace-las-vegas The Interpretation of the Colosseum is a sore site to the eyes and  the cheap gold accents on many buildings give it a sense of cheap.

Paris Hotelparis-vegasparis_producers Venetian,venetian-resort-hotel

paris_las_vegas_grandcanal_shop venetian03Luxor, Luxor-Las-VegasThese hotels were not convincing at all.  I felt as if I was in a Marvel bad comic book.    If you haven’t traveled to these real destinations then you don’t know what your missing, but I have and I like the beautiful richness of real buildings, architecture, design.  I can’t do FAKE!  Oh Extreme Fake Boobs too!Orit Fox Plastic Surgery breasts

3.  Vegas Overload.strip2  When Madeleine and I first arrived we walked down the strip.  One word:  Overload.  I kinda wanted to turn around and head to the airport to come back to Tucson. Tucson is so  quiet, majestic with natural beauty, not overpriced and no traffic.

There was so much marketing and advertising of everything–LasVegasMarketing-300x225 Strangers were  coming up to us trying to get us into VIP Parties, Women in scant clothing trying to get you to buy shots to drink on the street, and sidewalk bars everywhere.   Employees trying to lure you into their establishments and pushy at it.

There was music blasting on the street from store to store, you actually heard a different song every 2 minutes.  Crazy heavy pedestrian traffic,  billboards in your face everywhere suggesting the  latest show, restaurant, bar, gambling scene,2009-06-15-luxor_transformers  party scene, and minivans constantly driving by with escort signage. Nevada-Las-Vegas-13-w960 Too much information!!

4.  False Sense of Reality.  After gambling at the Bellagio for a 30 minute victory at the Blackjack Table as hours passed, I realized the money I won was not really real.  When it is in “chip” form you don’t really have a sense of value. 06_chips This was so true I had no idea of the money value at all while I was gambling.  When we decided to walk away from the table the dealer shocked me with the winnings!  I could of easily walked into a boutique and blown it all on something frivolous.  Which would of been okay, we all have to have a little fun but if I had earned that money at home the temptation to walk into a boutique and spend it like that wouldn’t have happened.  Thus a false sense of  Reality.  I think that concept can be dangerous and destructive.gambling addiction problem

5. Ugly Tourists.  They are everywhere!!!!!  What I mean is bad dressed, unkempt, and ill mannered tourists everywhere!8uo0uh_blogamerican_tourists

From a fashion standpoint I was not surprised I knew it would be coming down the pike but in hoards???  I give presentations and workshops on Travelling in Style and I guess I needed to be part of the Strip Overload and give out Fashion Citations left and right.NOTE-2064a  That would of been interesting!!!!!  What you wear on your back says alot about you and the communication I got was “I dont care about myself , and everyone else dresses this way why should I make any effort???

6.  All the young girls got the memo to look like SLUTS. cd5c54083ed907535c4aaf04c3a0162a goof-359 You don’t have to look like a slut to gain the attraction from a man.  Confidence is the main ingredient along with elegant, fun, and sexy attire.  This is my idea of how to dress for evening in Vegas and clearly the young girls have a different concept.  The sad thing was they all looked the same regardless of there size or shape.  Well let me back up on that.  They did not look the same, they wore the same.  And some  body types shouldn’t be allowed to wear tube dresses that skim the derriere and boobs hanging out everywhere.  The saddest part was they were all trying to wear sky high 4-5 inch heels and they couldnt walk in them gracefully.  That was almost comical.  I am not even going to go into makeup!!!

7. Public Drunkenness. drunk-girls If there is anyone who likes to have a few cocktails and have fun it is me!!  BUT….  perhaps at a stylish bar, or your own home, with dinner??  To observe so many drunk people in the street, actually smell it in a large cloud as they walk past you, or to see a group of homeless swigging down an ecomomy size of whisky, well that is just a downer in general.  Not to mention dodging barf pools on the street so you wouldnt slip.   As the night progressed more and more public drunken behavior  was noticible and  much more aggressive.img-drunk-in-public  My friend and I  were getting rude comments slung our way as we walked back to our hotel.  Who needs that or wants to see it???

8.  Nude Girls now!  While walking on the strip, there were “lowlifes” I am not kidding with handfuls of “playing cards” of  explicit nude girls.  Very aggressive and basically on every block on the strip.   Apparently you could get an escort AKA hooker in ten minutes if you bought into one of these cards.  Alot of pedestrians were curious, had a card handed to them and then discarded it on the sidewalk.  The sidewalk then became a confetti  mess of sleazy nude playing cards- everywhere.porncardlasvegas2 It looked pretty bad to look down and see so much  sleaze.  What about all the children walking with there parents on the strip???  What kinda of message is that?

9. Ugly  Day.  Unfortunately I think Tucson parallels with Vegas when it comes to ugly day.  When driving down Speedway or any city road for that matter in the day it is not very attractive at all.  Lots of ugly strip malls, dirt, road damage, nothing really great to look at.strip4  I am referencing the city roads.  Vegas is similar with the description I just mentioned along with deserted construction sites with left over supplies, dead trees that were once promising and now neglected.DoNotEnterVegas2  You see the big casinos and hotels in the day and they just look like huge boxes. strip3 They don’t come alive until night with all the lights, or you walk inside and hopefully stumble upon a beautfiul foyer and vibe with the interiors.

10.  It is so much work to get from point A to B!!!Walking-on-the-Las-Vegas-Strip  Perhaps with my bad knee I have less will and energy to get around these days.  So this point I suppose is personal.  The Casinos and Hotels and so many of them are huge and it takes forever to get where you want to go. aa

So thats what bugged me but if you asked me if I want to go back, the answer would be yes. As I said in Part 1 of my Vegas blog I did enjoy alot of aspects and my goal would be to keep searching out all of the positive in Vegas.  I know it is there, I just think perhaps my visit needs to be short for my Sanity!

 

Vegas: Part One: Top Ten things that made me Smile

After spending 72 hours in Sin City009 I have concluded a few thoughts.  There are good aspects, bad and most definitely ugly. This blog is all about the good, Part 2 in the near future will reveal what I didn’t love so much.

I was fortunate to travel with a friend who was so easy to get along with  and we just seemed to be in sync the whole trip.  That was a blessing!IMG_1358

The last time I was in Vegas was approximately 15 years ago and this trip was about finding the cool spots under the categories of dining, shopping, sightseeing, gaming.  I did indeed find some, but I know more research is needed!!! At least I am off to a good start.

Vegas Top Ten  that made me Smile and I highly recommend

1.  The Signature Hotel.  A boutique hotel, separate from the Parent MGM Grand Hotel  which was all suites and  is non- gaming.   Luxurious retreat  many with balconies & all with kitchenettes & spa tubs.signature hotel  I stayed here and loved the feel of it.  Gated, private, and I didn’t get lost finding the elevator as opposed when you stay in a Casino Hotel.

2.  Mandarin Hotel.  Another non- gaming hotel that is absolutely gorgeous!  Quite, Zen and beautifully decorated.  This was our elevator exit eye candy on the 23rd floor! ddd  The 23rd floor offers a magnificent view, and the bar looked choice.ccc - Copy  I was drooling watching people enjoy their cocktails!eee  A visit to the public restroom was a treat also.  The room was infused with Musk and just the right amount to please the senses. aaa - Copy I also treated myself to lunch one day  at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, very expensive but worth it.las-vegas-restaurant-twist-4  I devoured my Miso Black Cod, with Marinated Daikon Radish and Sauteed Spinach.IMG_1390  A crisp Sauvignon Blanc washed it all down.  And I couldn’t resist the Bread and Dipping Sauces.  I love the good life!

3.  Aria Resort and Casino. I only visited the lobby one evening and I was impressed immediately  with an aura of minimalism, Sophistication and chic. bbbb Located in  the heart of both the Las Vegas Strip and the incredible City Center urban complex. It sports a design that spans modern architecture, which rich touches of decor and art.  I felt confident a Chihuly sculpture spanned the lobby.aaaa - Copy  I took a peek inside the restaurant Sage and dining there is on my to do list next visit.cccc

4. The Shops at Crystals. 100 Located next Aria in the City Center.  Designer heaven.  I love to  look at these shops for their  exquisite beauty and design, the gorgeous merchandise, and most of all  inspiration and over the top eccentricity.  I was surprised Chanel and Ferragamo weren’t invited to the party!

Roberto Cavalli Boutique

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Emilio Pucci Boutique

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Jimmy Choo Boutique

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Van Cleef and Arpel Boutique

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BallyBottega VenetaBulgariCarolina HerreraCartierChristian DiorErmenegildo ZegnaFendiGucciHarry WinstonHermès,HSternIloriKitonLanvinLoro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Marni,MikimotoMiu MiuPaul SmithPorsche Design, Group PradaPucciRoberto CavalliRichard Mille Rimowa,  Tiffany & Co.Tom FordTourbillion,Van Cleef & ArpelsVersaceYves Saint Laurent.

5. The Bellagio Hotel Casino.  After dining at Todd English Olives Restaurant located in the Bellagio, Madeleine and I decided to try our luck playing Black Jack. We liked the vibe, and felt comfortable in the Casino.Blackjack_board We found a $15.00 minimum table and a gentleman sitting at the horseshoe position who knew how to play.  This is so important because if you sit down at a table with a rookie at the end spot they could mess up the whole table if they take hits or holds on cards that could benefit the dealer and then everyone looses.  We were lucky charms for the table and had so much fun playing with our new fast friend ” The Australian Well Dressed Gentleman ”  In 30 minutes Madeleine and I turned $50.00 into $358.00  We walked away winners!!!!!

5.5 . The Bellagio Fountains.  WOW!!!!!!  WE have all watched the scene in Oceans Eleven as the Magnificent 7 gloat with their successful heist as they watch these fountains.  Well let me tell you it is so much  better live and absolutely spectacular to view in person.  I thought it was better than any fireworks display I have seen.   I loved it.vegas_bellagio

6. Vegas at Night.  Lights, Lights and more Lights.bb - Copy  You can’t help but get a feel of excitement taking it all in when the sun sets and the lights take over the strip. Casinos,  Bill boards, buildings, palm trees, stores everything is lit up!cc - Copy  Even the cars driving on the strip participate in the illumination.022dd  I enjoyed the energy the night “lights” gave me.018

7 Zara.  I love this store and it was located at Fashion Show Mall. Woo Hoo!!!  Zara is considered fast fashion- great style and design at a great price.  If you are not sure what is in style these days just go to Zara.com and you will find out.  Madeleine and I both found some great pieces to compliment our fall wardrobe.  I bought cigarette ripped jeans,cigarette jeans and two thick, wooly infinity scarves.013 014Madeleine bought a grey cotton Jumpsuit, and a scarf as well.037

8. Buffalo Exchange.  No trip is complete without a Buffalo Exchange outing if the city has one. The excitement of what you may find is always exhilarating to me.  Located downtown, we took the city bus and found our way to their new location.  Did we score???  Of course.  Madeleine found great jeans and a vintage Coach bag, simple and gorgeous leather.bbbbb - Copyccccc  I found an amazing crochet dress, and a Black little cutout tank.  I guess I was in a peekaboo mood!!!!015012

9. Carson Kitchen 124 South Sixth Street.FullSizeRender (14)  OMG what we stumbled upon has left me hungry and wanting more.  As we were navigating to find Buffalo Exchange in a depressing part of downtown we both noticed some cool signage in a small window front.  We peered closer and realized a restaurant was hiding behind the window, so hard to see with the bright glare.  We walked in and surrendered immeadealtely.  Great decor with an industrial vibe, delicious aromas coming from the kitchen and all organic!IMG_0884

We sat down at the bar and chowed and toasted and cheered to our great find. We enjoyed a Beet Salad and Rabbit Ragu with Spaghetti Squash.FullSizeRender (15)IMG_1364  It was a local hangout and packed by the time we left.  I will always come back here when I visit Vegas.

10.  Lotus of Siam.  My husband and I dined here 15 years ago and  our meals were out of this world , along with exceptional service.  I never forgot that wonderful experience so I wanted to return and  bring my friend to try it again.  It did not disappoint!20120523-207684-lotusofsiam-redchilidip

You don’t have to be a food insider in Las Vegas to know about Lotus of Siam. Despite its unlikely location in a non-descript strip mall, the outstanding and authentic food at Lotus of Siam has garnered attention from countless national media outlets, including the title of Best Thai Restaurant in the United States from the late Gourmet magazine.

72 Hours and our trip was packed. Looking forward to the next trip and taking more in– So much more to do and see!!!!!  Next blog: Part 2 The other side of Vegas from my point of view.