Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Las Vegas Guide

Las Vegas, guide to Las Vegas, places to go in Las Vegas

Heading to Las Vegas anytime soon for a weekend getaway?  Well don't miss out on some of the lesser-known attractions.  And, yes!  Life does exist in Vegas outside of the Strip!  Don't be afraid to venture off the hotel-lined boulevard.  It will all be there when you get back!  There is more to the gambling city than all-night casinos and cirque du soliel shows and free drinks.  If you are heading to Vegas, make sure to skip the buffet and eat at some of the world-class restaurants.  Here is my guide to some of my favorite restaurants, activities and places to shop.  My bestie girlfriend Ashley helped me with the list since she always knows the best places to go and eat.  This is a guide of places that are not the obvious 

Places to Eat on the Strip

Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Hotel
Bouchon at Venetian Hotel
Joes Stone Crab at Caesars
Yellowtail at Bellagio
Sprinkles at Linq
Ghirardelli's Ice Cream at Linq
Shake Shack at New York New York
Serendipity 3 at Caesars

Places to Eat off the Strip

EAT by Container Park
Carson Kitchen at Container Park
Le Thai on Fremont Street
El Sombrero at Downtown
Vintner Grill near Summerlin
DW Bistro (west side of Vegas)-- try the carrot cake
Lulu's Bread and Breakfast (north Las Vegas)
Echo & Rig at Summerlin

places to go in Las Vegas, Las Vegas, guide to Las Vegas


Places to Go on the Strip
Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq-- bowling and live music
High Roller at the Linq

Places to GO off the Strip

Container Park at Downtown
Neon Museum at Downtown
Discovery Children's Museum at Downtown (one of the best children's museum!)
Mt. Charleston-- good place to hike when you want to get out of the Vegas heat
Boulder City--perfect day trip and to see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam
Fremont Experience has light show and free concerts at Downtown
Mob Museum at Downtown




Places to Shop on the Strip

TopShop at Fashion Show Mall
Rent the Runway at Aria
Kitson at The Linq
H&M (flagship) at The Forum Shops
Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas

Places to Shop Off the Stripes 

The Attic at Downtown
Buffalo Exchange Clothing
Vintage Key Antiques
District at Green Valley Ranch
Downtown Summerlin



Where are your favorite places to go while in Vegas?







Monday, July 27, 2015

DIY: Watercolor Inkblot Artwork

watercolor, inkblot, artwork, diy, kids artwork, crafting

This is a really fun activity to do with kids on a lazy summer day.  We did this activity outside on our porch for easy clean-up, and my kids came up with a lot of fun color combos.  Creating inkblot artworks is easy, requires no skills and can make really cool art formations.  Each viewers can take a different perspective on the art piece, and there is no wrong way.  


All you need is watercolors, watercolor paper, paintbrushes and cup of water.  Plan to use about 4 to 5 paint colors.  Make sure to add a lot of water to the colors so they spread, but so they aren't water down also.  For the children, I creased the center of the paper so there is a line of separation.  



We did circles and placed similar sizes and colors in mirrored spots between the center line.  Don't be afraid to overlap circles and to get closer to the center of the paper.  Once satisfied, fold the paper and press down on the paper so the colors merge and bleed together.

For a creaseless paper, make sure that your colors have a lot of water and place another paper on top of painted paper so the colors bleed easily together.  



Open up.  Add any additional colors if you'd like.  Let them dry.



I can't wait to get these framed!

diy, watercolor, inkblot, artwork, darling darleen, office decor

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Laser Tag Birthday Party


We recently celebrated my son Lucas's 9th birthday with a laser-tag theme.  This party was similar to the last birthday party I put together--last minute and a lot of rummaging through my party supply closet.  So most of everything I had on hand.  This was also one of the cheapest birthday party I put together!  I planned the party on a day that had a deep summer discount at our local laser-tag play zone.  And then instead of eating there, I had all the kids come back to my house for pizza and cake.  The printables are from Lulu Cole, who also did the video game party I did last year.  I'm glad I didn't have to do a lot of planning because the next day we flew out of town for three weeks!  

laser tag, birthday party, boy birthday party, video game birthday, lulu cole printables

laser tag birthday party, boy birthday, video game birthday


The party favors were a huge hit!  I just found dollar buckets and filled with silly string, sparklers, gum balls, laser ring, 3-D paper glasses, light-up bouncy ball, pop rocks candy, Kre-O surprise toy.




You can see more of Lucas's Birthday Parties:


Monday, June 29, 2015

Adding Artwork to Office: Minted



I'm so close to being done with decorating my office.  The last thing remaining is putting up artwork on the bare walls.  Minted, which is a marketplace of independent artists, has such a great collection of abstract, graphic, drawing, mix media prints that come in many different sizes.  I am looking to do an art gallery on one of the walls, so Minted is a great one-stop resource.


When shopping online, sometimes it's hard to picture how random art pieces would go together.  What is great is if you sign up on Minted, you can create gallery boards to help you see the big picture.  I really like to mix art pieces of abstract with font sayings and then lifelike pieces like Float Wall.  

And since this seems to be a year of weddings for me to attend, check out Minted's newest collection of save-the-date cards.  How gorgeous are these?!  Save-the-date cards are essential and a great way to give your guests the heads-up.  



Thank you Minted for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.  


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Backyard Landscaping Revealed

stone patio, backyard landscaping, renovation, before and after

We have undergone a massive backyard landscaping project--going from a dirt hill to a beautiful flagstone patio.  To see our vision come to life has been very exciting!  Latham Landscape was wonderful to work with and was able to see the big picture, when all it was was just a pile of dirt and low shrubs.  They worked with our designs and made it happen!  Our house was built on a hill, so the "no" backyard was the problem child to the property and was on our major "to-do" list.  Although we had many challenges to overcome, we were able to see that there was potential and could be a great investment.  Our property backs up to a historical river and walking trails so we love how private and secluded it feels, especially now that we can go outside and enjoy it!

Resources are listed below.

Here are some of BEFORE pictures:




As you tell from the BEFORE pictures, we had quite the height and hill drop!  Not really a place to hang out and not to mention all the bugs, critters and snakes back there!  So our goal was to create a way to get from the driveway to the backyard, and to fix the erosion problems we started to have.  We knew we wanted a patio to hang out, a stone fire pit and a little grass section where the kids could run and play.  We have a small natural spring head that begins in our backyard, so we decided to play it up and make it into a pretty stream.

white sectional, black and white outdoor, stone patio, fire pit, backyard landscaping



As you can see we had to build a few big retaining walls because of the grade.  We planted tea oils behind the 7' retaining walls so in a few years it will be covered in white flower bushes.  We have some tall trees right behind our house, which creates a lot of shade so we planted hostas, rhododendrons, hydrangea, tea oils, mondo grass.  For the grass we used Bermuda sod. 

stone patio table and chairs, black and white outdoor, plants, backyard, landscaping




We wanted to match the style of our southern home to the patio, so using the same flagstone from our front porch was very important.



The patio receives quite a bit of sun so we planted roses, peonies, gardenias, a miniature magnolia tree, daylilies.



Potted lavender, hydrangea and hyacinth plants line the patio.  We also placed lanterns for lighting and citronella candles to ward off mosquitos.  Our landscaper did low-voltage lighting all around the backyard, spotlighting trees and on the stone steps so we can enjoy the patio at night.  I highly recommend lighting when doing a backyard renovation.  Since the patio is right below a hill, our landscaper also made sure proper drainage was installed so there are no puddles.  




All photography (except before pictures) by Tucker Photography.

Sources List:

All design plans by me and my husband
Landscape execution: Latham Landscape (GA)
Flagstone, steps, rocks and most rock materials available at Home Depot
Many of the plants used available at Home Depot
Low-voltage lights: Home Depot
Ground-covering: Home Depot

Patio Furniture List:
Lounge Furniture: Solano Sectional World Market (on sale!) 
Green Pillows and Flower Pillows: World Market
Black and White Striped Sunbrella Pillows and Cushions: Ballard Designs 
White Sunbrella Umbrella: Ballard Designs 
Patio Table: Target
Patio Chairs: Target
Lanterns, white candle holders: Target

Outfit:
Black and White Knit Dress: Anthropologie
Bar Necklace: Darleen Meier Jewelry
Turquoise Earrings: Darleen Meier Jewelry

If you have any questions, let me know!




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fourth of July Shaved Ice


Red, white and blue shaved ice is a perfect frozen treat to share at your Fourth of July barbecue this year. I am sharing homemade fruit syrups to smother all over your snowball.  Check out my post over at How Does She.  All the recipes are found over there.  And of course I made it with natural sweeteners.  Yum!






Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Sale


Summer Sale happening over at my shop.  Many pieces have been marked down.  Take advantage of the discount while supplies last.

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