Monday, December 28, 2009

Awww, Thanks Harrah's!

Awaiting me in my email this morning... Now if they had only sent me that cupcake! ;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Elizabeth before she was Mrs. Bartz

This page celebrates the shower that Elizabeth's Aunts threw for her in Cincinnati.  I got to see her this last weekend for the first time since the wedding and I really miss that girl!  It is the first time since she moved to Dallas last October that we are not sure when we will see each other next!  That is hard and why I hate being in different cities, states, regions and timezones from all my best friends!!!

Thank Goodness THAT is over!

You all know one of the things I'm most thankful for this year is passing the CPA exam.  I look back on all the time I spent studying and it is just such a relief to finally be done with that milestone.  I'll be thrilled once I finally get the final certificate and it is proudly hung on my wall at work!  This page commemorates all that hard work and includes pictures from my celebratory dinner at Bonefish Grill.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This is Why You Are Fat....

Ok so I know I'm not the healthiest eater but I don't think I'd eat anything they have on this site!  Check it out for a good laugh and to be a little (or a lot) grossed out thinking about the people who really eat this stuff!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Got Biscuits?

We certainly did tonight!  Jen, Emily and I had dinner at the famous Loveless Cafe.  I have only been there a few times but it did not disappoint based on its reputation.  They are famous for their fried chicken and country ham but most famous for their biscuits.  You might have seen the episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay that featured this quaint restaurant and their "Biscuit Lady" competing against Flay in a Biscuits and Jam throwdown.  If I recall correctly the Biscuit Lady prevailed and if you are in Nashville, this place is a must hit!

Touchdown Jesus

In mid August Darren and I joined almost all of his Med School friends for Kevin & Beth's wedding.  We had such a fun weekend in South Bend.  The beautiful wedding held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Finally after about six trips to South Bend, previously all for work, I got to see the famed "Touchdown Jesus!"

A Trip Back in History

In August I went to Washington DC to visit Jenny who I hadn't seen since New Years Eve. We spent the weekend catching up.  When I wanted to do something "touristy" on my trip, she suggested going out to Mount Vernon, George Washington's summer home.  I had never been and she hadn't been since elementary school.  We spent a beautiful summer day walking around the grounds, admiring the view of the Potomac River and marveling at the beauty of a house built so long ago.  The only drawback is that they charge for admission where virtually everything else in the city is free.  It is $15 and now they even have a tour that takes you "behind the scenes" from National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (for an additional $5).  I wish I had that this summer because that would have been really neat as well!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Saucer

These pictures are from a night in July at the flying Saucer.  It was Darren's first visit to this Nashville beer lover's paradise.  I probably should have added some journaling to this page, I might have to go back to do that.  I'm officially into scrapbooking August 2009!  Yay!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Room (*Suite*) with a View

On Sunday, Jon scored us free tickets to the Titans/Cardinals game.  It turned out to be the game of the season so far!  What an amazing comeback Vince Young led going 99 yards down the field with 2 minutes 37 seconds left on the clock.  If you haven't heard about it, you've probably been in a cave all week.  In case you haven't heard, check out the recap and video of the game winning catch here

I forgot to mention that our free tickets were in a suite with unlimited food and drinks!  The suite is owned by the bond trading firm Jon's Bank uses.  He had never been to a Titans game before so they invited him to join them and bring a guest, me! :)  What a great day for him to see his first NFL game live!  We had such a fun afternoon at the stadium!  This was our view and Jon and I celebrating the big win.

German Chocolate Cake Goodness

My brother assisted in this year's creation of the German Chocolate Cake. It was far better tasting than it looked.  No thanks given to it sticking to the wax paper and looking somewhat lopsided!  If you want the recipe, buy a bar of Bakers German Chocolate and it is inside the box including the frosting recipe.  The secrets is making sure you beat your egg whites to "stiff peaks" and cooking the frosting until its dark, gooey and will set up easily. 

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was once again spent in Hopkinsville with the greatest family in the world! I have some crazy cousins but they remind us older ones (over 20, hehe) that life is a fun ride and we should stop and enjoy being goofy sometimes!  I can't wait to spend many days at Christmas laughing with these three crazy and beautiful girls!

Many of you also know that the family nickname for so many of us is "Turkey."  Well my Uncle Jerry (pictured below) is the one who started this trend before I even remember it and so we thought it was appropriate for him to get a Thanksgiving shirt with a football wearing turkey.  Then I bought a few other shirts with "I love Turkey" on them with my me, my mom and my Aunt Kathy (Jerry's Wife) modeling!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's a Girl!!

Two of my favorite people in the world found out they are having a healthy baby GIRL today!  Bring on the dresses, shoes and pink!  Congratulations Laura & Eric!  I can't wait to meet Baby Girl S on or about April 19th!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Tradition Unlike Any Other...

Ok so maybe it wasn't the Masters but the the annual Michigan/Ohio State game in a sense IS a Tradition Unlike Any Other.  These seats were not as "good" as our previous game seats being on row 81 as opposed to the mid-twenties but I'm now a believer about there not being a bad seat in the house.  Michigan did not end the day as Victors or Conquering Heroes but it was a better game than most predicted.

It's Football Time in Tennessee

As we get older my brother and I both cherish the times we get to spend with my parents.  Since we live in different cities, we don't get to spend nearly as much time together as we'd like.  My dad has even begun sucking it up and going to football games with us! Two weekends my brother was in town and my parents came down on Sunday to hang out with us and go to the Titans game.  I have to admit, between Vince Young and Chris Johnson, the Titans are looking so much better after their terrible start.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Michigan Beer Festival

In July Darren, Alex, Anna and I went to the Michigan Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI.  I would never have been able to imagine the beer concoctions that they came up with.  I would never have thought of a blueberry pancake beer slushy, beer flavored with chipotle or beer that tasted like liquid creme brulee.  It was such a fun day... We might have to make a trip to the winter beer festival in February!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Play Ball

This summer Darren took me to Comerica Park to see the Detroit Tigers play my Chicago White Sox.  The good guys in black prevailed 5-1!  Too bad the Baseball season is long over and those annoying Yankees won, again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elizabeth's Bachelorette Party - Part 3

Pictures from the remainder of the night celebrating Elizabeth's last girl's night before tying the knot on October 3rd!

Elizabeth's Bachelorette Party - Part 2

After dinner and star stalking we went to our favorite Nashville bar, The Stage!  By this time we were making all sorts of crazy faces.  Enjoy laughing because we certainly did that night!

Elizabeth's Bachelorette Party - Part 1

Sometimes when I scrapbook a night there seems to be 1 million really good pictures.  How do you narrow them down?  How do you leave out one picture over another?  It can sometimes be really hard.  For Elizabeth's shower and bachelorette weekend I think I took 200 pictures, of which I wanted to use almost 60... I did end up cutting about 12 but that is still a TON pictures to scrapbook yielding a ton of scrapbook pages! You've seen the shower and here follows the evening's events!

These pages are from dinner, drinks and dancing at Cabana.  This is also where we ran into Carrie Underwood!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Truth Hurts...Sort of

I read this today in a response by Olin Buchanan to some 'fan' mail on talking about the SEC being the best conference in the country:

I've often compared SEC football fans to a beautiful woman who's painfully insecure: No matter how many times she's told she's beautiful, it's never enough. She needs constant validation. And if you have the audacity to say someone else is beautiful, too, she throws a tantrum, slings dishes and slashes your tires.

My reaction is the proof we've put on the field in the last 3 National Championships and 4 of the last 6.  The other two were USC.  You have to go back to 2002 for a Big 10 National Championship and to 2000 for one in the Big 12.

Elizabeth's Nashville Bridal Shower

Thankfully I am finally able to be creative again.  It is back and in full force!  These two pages are from the Bridal Shower part of Elizabeth's Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Saturday Extravaganza! Any time we get to have fruit pizza is a good day!  What a fun day.  I can't believe my girl is MARRIED!

Family Time on July 4th

I spent July 4th in Hopkinsville with my family.  As you can see by the pictures, this weekend mainly consisted goofing off with my cousins.  I love them all so much; I wish I got to spend more time with them!!

A 21st Birthday that was Remembered!

My little cousin Heather finally turned 21 this summer.  We had quite the low key night of dinner at Amerigo's and then goofing off together on the streets of Nashville.  She's all grown up now.  Makes me feel so old remembering her being born! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aarggh Matey

I spent Halloween in Ann Arbor with Darren.  I had previously been a pirate so Darren decided to get a costume that would compliment mine.  We ended up at a pre-party at Alicia's house and then out at Connor O'Neills.  A good time was had by all.

Here is some of the rest of the crew: Pete (from the Big Lewbowski), Laura (Heidi Montag), Kevin (Inmate), Alicia (Goddess), Mitul (Ninja/Pilgrim), and Darren.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Inspiration

Last week Sarah and I got a chance to scrapbook and I was finally inspired!  These are pictures from mid-June when Sarah, Emily and I ventured to our old standby, the Stage and then the following night a group of us had a girls night at the Melting Pot.  YUM!

Heidi & Emmanuel's Wedding

The reason for our trip to Chicago was for the wedding of Emmanuel Dockter and Heidi Anderson.  Heidi is one of the few people from elementary school that I am still friends with and talk to occasionally.  Her mom was actually my Brownie troop leader starting in 2nd grade, now 20+ years ago!  Coincidently, Heidi is a Doctor will now be Dr. Heidi Dockter! ;)  Congratulations Heidi & Emmanuel!!

Art Institute of Chicago

I do not claim to be an expert in any sort of art especially defining what constitutes art.  But on our visit to the Art Institute this weekend, I can certainly tell you these are not art...

This works of "art" are called the Hang Up (Eva Hesse), Triple Role (Richard Serra) and Chalk-Mirror Displacement (Robert Smithson).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Beauty of Fall

This was last week in front of my house.  If it could stay this pretty with temperatures in the 70's, I'd be in heaven!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eating Your Way Through Las Vegas

I've been to Vegas now 6 times in my adult life and aside from seeing shows and gambling, my favorite thing to do there is eat!  There are so many excellent restaurants and famous chefs in such a small place.  I've listed out where all I've been so far, my thoughts on them, and then a few places I must try in the future!

Fine Dining:
  • Capital Grille (Fashion Show Mall) - It is a chain, but a darn good one!  Jon and I both had fish that was excellent.  Get the truffle fries, they are great!
  • Enoteca San Marco (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian) - The menu was somewhat limited and so much was in Italian we had to ask what everything meant.  Get the risotto balls, they are tasty!
  • Fiamma Trattoria and Bar (MGM) -  This was my one disappointing fine dining restaurant I've eaten at in Vegas.  Nothing about the meal was memorable.  We wanted to eat off the tasting menu and they seemed to look down on us for that.  The meal was very expensive and it definitely didn't live up to the cost.
  • Joe's Stone Crab (Forum Shops at Caesar's) - I've not known anyone to have a bad meal here.  The steaks and the seafood were both high quality.  When I went we sat in the bar area and the service was great.
  • Kokomo's (Mirage) - Tried this on a whim this trip and were not disappointed!  The tasting menu was reasonably priced especially for the portions.  We had Filet and Sea Bass and both were great and we will go back for another time.
  • Mesa Grill (Caesar's Palace) - I've never had a full meal here but the Shrimp Tamale appetizer is reason enough to go there on its own.  The drinks are expensive but they are amazing and if you make it through 3 you will be under the table passed out!
Casual Dining:
  • Blondie's Sports Bar & Grill (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Typical sports bar food that is good for a quick bite.
  • Chin Chin Cafe (New York New York) - This was a great find.  The entrees are huge like a normal Chinese restaurant so 2 people can easily split an appetizer and an entree and get out of there for $30, even at dinner.
  • La Salsa Cantina (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - La Salsa was just ok.  I'm sure there are much better Mexican restaurants on the strip.
  • Nine Fine Irishmen (New York New York) - Traditional Irish fare.  It was pricey for lunch but the servings are really large and the cheese dip was awesome.
  • Ocean One Bar & Grill (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Their lunch menu is super cheap as far as Vegas standards with items, such as a fish or chicken sandwich, starting at $5.99.  The food was good but not really memorable.
  • Oyster Bay Seafood (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - This is located next door to Ocean One.  The food is a better quality but the prices are also higher.  They serve a lot of fresh fish but do have a great sounding brunch menu.  We both ended up with lunch.  Try the Cajun fries.
  • Pampas Churrascaria Brazillian (Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood) - Typical Brazillian Steakhouse with unlimited meat off the "sword."  I've heard it doesn't come close to Fogo though.
  • Planet Dailies (Planet Hollywood) - Good for a late night snack since it is open 24/7.  The food is good but is expensive for a normal breakfast or lunch place.
  • Spice Market Buffet (Planet Hollywood) - This buffet is great.  It isn't the cheapest (brunch ~$23 and dinner ~$30) but it is all encompassing.  We went for brunch and aside from the traditional breakfast trade, they had seafood, salad, soup, Italian, Asian, American, Middle Eastern and Mexican stations.  The buffalo shrimp, shrimp tempura and Asian won tons should not be missed!  I think I've eaten here at least 4 times now.
  • The Buffet (Hilton Las Vegas) - Due to my Hilton Honors, brunch was free.  Definitely good for free but I wouldn't pay $20 for it.
  • Pink's Hot Dog Stand (Planet Hollywood) - They were good hot dogs.  Great for a quick dinner like we needed before seeing O.  Darren got some crazy concoction of 2 hot dogs in a burrito with cheese, chili and onions.  I had 2 bites and had heartburn, but it was tasty. 
  • Serendipity 3 (Caesar's Palace) -  We had a frozen hot chocolate as seen on Oprah.  It was really good but tasted like a rich chocolate milk shake.  Darren was not that impressed and definitely not that impressed with the price.  Everything at the restaurant seemed really expensive, even at the to-go window.
Must Try:
  • Delmonico Steakhouse (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian)
  • B & B Ristorante (Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian)
  • Eiffel Tower Restaurant (Paris) - My brother was told the food there was as good as you can get in Paris.  Where do I sign up!
  • Yellowtail (Bellagio) - Taylor Swift said it was the best meal of her life... Let's see what all her fuss was about!

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Take on Cirque du Soliel's 'O'

For the most part O was a great show as long as it stuck to its core of acrobatics, artistry and diving.  When it deviated from that path it seemed almost confusing.  There were definite characters and character types but we could never really figure out what the story was or if there was even a story.  With Zumanity, they didn't try to perpetuate a storyline outside of each scene which made it easier to follow and less confusing.  The set was absolutely amazing with the floor that lowered in sections to create pools of different sizes and depths.  One moment they would be diving in the water from 100 feet and then the next they would be able to walk in or on the same area of water.

Their were two clowns that provided "comic" relief during set/costume changes.  They were on the roof of a floating house.  They were horrible and not funny at all!  Their comedy was so repetitive and you wished they would just hurry up and get on with the show.

All in all I think I liked Zumanity better but I'm unsure if that was because it was my first Cirque show or if O was just so over hyped.

The verdict:
Stephanie: 3.5 Stars
Darren: 2 Stars

(On a scale of 1-5)


Ok so maybe it wasn't a gigantic jackpot but I did end up winning about $275 while we were in Vegas last weekend.  I played mostly on the slots but didn't fare too badly on the video poker either!  Here I'm posing with my largest win ticket for $221.85.  Now Jon, don't be too jealous. :-D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

He's BACK!!!!!

Yes, yes, I'm one of them... A die hard Garth Brooks fan!  I'm thrilled that he is coming out of retirement for an indefinite stint at the Encore resort in Las Vegas!  I haven't yet left for Vegas this weekend but am obviously planing to see him on my next trip out there... Before he retires again... For good!  They are hoping the show continues for the next 5 years so I should make it by then and be able to die a happy girl!!  Hopefully this go-around he has a better stylist though! ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Family Affair

My parents joined Darren & I at Elizabeth & Steve's wedding in Northern Kentucky last weekend.  They made it utill 1:30am when the reception finally ended and were up early for breakfast the next morning! They were troopers!  Props also to my dad for setting up the battery operated amplefier so the band could play again!!

Mr & Mrs Steven Bartz

A little delayed but the most adorable couple none the less!

Congratulations Elizabeth & Steve!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Good and Bad of the Kanter/Bartz Wedding

First off, the Bad:
  • It is over...
  • That the power went off during the reception for 1.5 hours!!
  • No more pre-scheduled trips to see Elizabeth! :(
And now the Good:
  • Not flashing the congregation in my low cut dress while arranging Elizabeth's train!
  • No one in the wedding party falling on the marble floor or stairs!
  • Catching the Priest as he stumbled down the aforementioned marble stairs!
  • That the power went off during the reception for 1.5 hours!
  • No power provided tons of opportunity for mayhem!
  • Cornhole set up in the corner of the reception hall!
  • Open free form karaoke singing "Don't Stop Believing," "Sweet Caroline," "Baby Got Back," and "Sweet Home Alabama!"
  • About 20 guys down on one knee serenading Elizabeth with "You've Lost That Loving Feeling!"
  • My dad joining in on a kick line and singing during a rendition of "New York, New York!"
  • The bar staying open 45 minutes later than planned and the band playing until after 1am -- Latest Wedding Reception, EVER!!

The list could go on and on... Great weekend with great friends and family.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tickets... FINALLY!

Sarah and I have been scouting out tickets for the Keith Urban and Very Special Friends - We're All for the Hall concert on October 13th.  We had to pay a little more than the original $25 face value but it's well worth it for the "and Very Special Friends" part of this concert.  So far, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley & Taylor Swift are all slotted to perform.  Also since it is a charity event (in Nashville) we're hoping others show up too!!!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Better late than never... Happy Birthday Sarah!  Hope #27 was great!!!

Capitol Cinemas

On Saturday I went with Mom & Dad to this tiny movie theater in Princeton, Kentucky called the Capitol Cinema.  It has been around since 1939 but has undergone some changes since the original theater opened.  It has been modified to fit 4 screens.  We were in one of the upper theaters that seats a total of 77 in a very odd shape of 14 rows. Check out the link to see pictures of this Art Deco theater.  We saw Julie & Julia and I thought it was just great.  See it if you haven't before it leaves the theaters! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Las Vegas

My dad, when referring to Las Vegas always calls it Lost Wages.  Well when Jon and I went to Vegas in June I had lady luck on my side! Before we went to Zumanity, we were hanging around the New York New York casino.  I was playing various penny slot machines.  No one expects to win on those but at least they usually let you milk your money.  I put in $20 and by the time I was done had hit a 16820 penny jackpot!  We also did some shopping and saw the Phantom of the Opera experience at the Venetian!