Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Silk Road

Have you been to Silk Road at Vdara, yet? I think my favorite item on the menu is the Popcorn Shrimp Lettuce Wraps (pictured on the top right). They have a mango slaw with a sweet chili mayo and everyone in our family loves them!  Silk Road is open for breakfast and lunch until 2:00 PM. If I didn't live in Las Vegas, I would stay at Vdara in City Center just to eat at this restaurant. Silk Road serves a "Lunch Box" or "Bento Box" with 4 smaller sized entrees (pictured lower left) which is great if you can't decide what you want to order! The 3-tiered dessert sampler is a fun way to share at your table, and some of the desserts have cotton candy as the garnish! If you choose one dessert, get the Tiramisu. It is the only restaurant Tiramisu I like since our Italian chefs in Tuscany taught us how to make it at home. The best recommendation from Roger, "this may be the best bacon I've ever had!" He loves restaurants that serve breakfast past noon. Click here to view the full menu. One other attraction...Silk Road is only a few hundred steps from my favorite hotel in Las Vegas, "The Bellagio."

Silk Road Creations - Images by Gigi

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Another day in Paradise

Another fun thing about life in Las Vegas...you go to church and your granddaughter tells you, "that girl over there is famous! She's in the movie ___________." I'm not going to tell you which one, I'll just say that they've already come out with #2 and the teenagers love it. Who knew she was a member? Well, I love going to church with my family and friends and it was another great service, yesterday. We came home and because the weather has been so nice, we got to eat outside...YES...it's August in Las Vegas!

Two of my grandchildren - chillin' before they each start brand new schools on Monday! Well, actually, they are in the hot tub.

While everyone was sunbathing and swimming at the pool, I was taking more photos!

Next, we headed out to Beatle's Love! One of our favorite shows in town, maybe THE favorite! I've seen it four times, now, but Bob and Renee wanted to see it. Don't buy tickets at full price, there is usually a deal out there!

Roger and me

Still the one

It was a beautiful evening, so we walked around and finally decided on leaving the strip to get dessert at Bahama Breeze. We found out they make "Pain Killers" at Bahama Breeze...a tasty rum drink we discovered in the British Virgin Islands in 1994! Of course, we had to get one. I'll be sad when Bob and Renee go home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dotsero - Jazz on the Lake!

When we lived in Maryland, it shocked me that people had not toured Washington D.C. when they lived less than an hour away. We've probably seen the Capitol and White House 5 times each, and I can't even count the times we toured Gettysburg, The Smithsonian, battlegrounds, monuments, and more. Well, it also surprises me when I find out how many people have not been to Lake Las Vegas. Just about a half an hour from the Las Vegas Strip, is one of my favorite places! Last night, we took our friends out to see a FREE jazz concert on the Lake. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The last three numbers Dotsero played, were my favorites of the evening...Hey Jude, Let it Be, and Amazing Grace. Here are a few photos from last night.

Renee and Bob

Roger and me

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Some of our very best friends are here, Bob and Renee from Frederick. We have been enjoying their company for a few days now, and Renee said she needed to buy a digital SLR camera and have a pedi and knew she could do these things with me! We also got to go to Starbucks this morning and then met Veronica for lunch.

Renee's first picture with her new Nikon D5000 was a photo of Veronica and me, but I took a few of her at Starbucks! I love these friends that I met in 2001 when we were going to France with Carol of Evangeline in Frederick. Click that link if you want to go on a "once in a lifetime trip". When we met, both Renee and I had brown hair and now we look alike, again. Two people in two days have asked if we were sisters.

She asked me to take a head shot for her business profile at her company. Here's what I did for her...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Club!!

Years ago, Mona Peterson and I started a Book Club when I moved back to Las Vegas after being in a great Book Club in Maryland. It's still going and Betty Bollman has been leading us for over a year, now. Last night we had a great time at California Pizza Kitchen discussing "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay. We had some regulars and two newbies, Ali and Grace!! If you want to read a good book, try "Sarah's Key". No spoilers here, but it is sad. If you want to join our Book Club, message me and I'll give your contact info to Betty!

The waiter happened to take this while Ali was talking to LeAnn

LeAnn and Ali

Jennifer (Ali's mom), and Margaret

LeAnn and Grace

Betty and me

More beautiful clouds in our sky, but our dear friends Bob and Renee had to fly into the choppy skies of Las Vegas while we were at Book Club.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Alphabet Photography Challenge from Dane Sanders and Kevin Kubota

A fun photography project is to go out and take photos of the alphabet in architecture. We were challenged for the last two years at Skip's Summer School to try this project. Connie Palen and I started it last year and never finished, so when I was challenged again this year, I said, "I'm going to do it!"

Yesterday, Veronica and I had a fabulous time at lunch with Pam and Heather and afterwards I got my first three letters. Try it yourself and send me your results!

I didn't realize it until I just loaded these images, but the first three letters I got, ISO is a photography term! ISO stands for International Standards Organization and it refers to the industry norm for sensitivity of emulsion based film, with 100 ISO being not so sensitive (and the standard ISO used by most people) to 1600 ISO (the highest on my digital camera is 3200, I don't know how high other cameras go) which is extremely sensitive to light. Not sure, also, if 1600 was the highest in film and how far it will go with digital. Having lunch with another FOTO CHIX member today...I'll ask her!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cooking with Veronica

Now that Veronica is a Pampered Chef Consultant (click here for her website) I get to use her cooking tools (she actually uses a lot of mine, too) and we get to cook together! Last night we each tried new recipes...Loaded Baked Potato Chowder and Ham and Cheese Calzone. Comment, call, or FB message if you want either of the recipes. I can't wait to get the Deep Covered Baker. It would have been much better to use for the chowder.

Images by Gigi - Domino Pizza style - no silicone in my pictures...just the real thing.

I'll give you our reviews...We would have liked a thicker chowder, so will probably decrease the milk next time. Plus, since we don't have the Deep Covered Baker, the milk bubbled out of the Corningware dish we used in the microwave.

Veronica doesn't care for ham and cheese and although Roger and I liked it, I will probably use different ingredients next time - sausage, mushrooms, tomato sauce.  All three of us really liked the crust. Both dishes are pretty fast and easy - it took about 30 minutes to prepare for each of us so it was really nice having two people in the kitchen! Yes, I'm going to shamelessly plug Veronica's website every chance I get. She needs college money! She's going to study in France for a semester!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Paris

Despite it's bad reputation, Roger and I love France. We've visited the south of France twice but still haven't made it to Paris - it's on the Bucket List. We met some wonderful people on our first trip to France and they have turned into life-long friends, two of whom are going to be here this week! We tried to get Veronica to like France as much as we did, but she really wasn't interested until she saw the movie Julie and Julia. She's decided to stay in Las Vegas and study to be a Pastry Chef. She's saving to go to France to study at Le Cordon Bleu for her first semester in 2011. We will see what the year brings.

Well, last night, we decided to go out to dinner after receiving an unexpected check in the mail! Le Village Buffet at the Paris Hotel is our favorite for breakfast/brunch so the three of us headed to the strip.  I will say that we will probably skip this buffet for dinner and only go there for breakfast - much better. However, I wasn't disappointed by my favorite item on the menu, made to order crepes!

I love watching them make them!

Probably a good thing I don't have one of these crepe makers at home.

They have apple and blueberry fillings, but I chose chocolate! A guy saw me ordering this one time and said, "that is a clogged artery waiting to happen!" I said, "yes, and I'm going to add whipped cream!"

Hmmm...the whipped cream was already melting before I got back to my seat.

If you are not into buffets, they have another restaurant in the Paris, Le Creperie, where you can walk up and order savory or sweet creations as simple or elaborate as you would like!

Yes, it's not the real thing, but it will have to do until I can make it to the real Paris!

Veronica, my daughter, my model, who will pose for me over and over. Today marks 11/365 from my Skip's Summer School challenge to take pictures EVERY DAY, read my camera manual EVERY DAY, and post EVERY DAY. Is anyone out there? I hope so, but I am learning EVERY DAY!

and my wonderful husband, Roger, who just wants to help me get better. Looks a little orange, I will have to look at my white balance and ask my Foto Chix friends for help before I take a client here at night.

One of my favorite places when we went to Nice...the marché (market)! Open almost every day! Best Farmer's Market I've ever been to.

Just some of the friends I've gained from meeting Carol (in pink) at her store, Evangeline, in Frederick. She's taken us all to France! There is also, Maryilyn, me, Renee, and Tobi. This picture was taken about 5 years ago when Roger and I went back to Frederick, Maryland.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Quentin!

I shot maternity photos for Valerie - you can see them on my website and here it is over a year later and it's Quentin's birthday! It's hard to get photos at a birthday party if you are trying to coordinate everything. Besides that, wouldn't it be nice if YOU were in some of the photos for a change? Call me to photograph your event!

I want lunch!!

With mommy!

and daddy!

This is great! Everyone's here for me!!

Quentin with his brothers, cousins, and grandparents!

and his other grandparents and great-grandmother!

That lunch was goooood!!

Quentin's beautiful cousins!

and Quentin's brothers are the ones with the matching shirts!

I want to open my presents!

This is awesome!


Yes! This is the way to celebrate my birthday!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Friends and Family

People complain about the heat in Las Vegas, but it only takes a person (me) that has experienced gray skies, snow in June, and mosquitoes to appreciate the wonderful evenings in Las Vegas. No place better, well except Hawaii. We had a wonderful evening with our friends and family.

Emma kept singing "We will, we will, Rock You!"

Noah didn't want to pose - just splash!

and splash!

Sona came over and brought "cutcakes" that she and her mom made. Sona put the sprinkles on the chocolate "cutcakes."

After everyone left, Veronica came home and we hadn't saved her a chocolate cupcake so we had to break out the ice cream. Of course, Sona and I wanted some.

After all that chocolate, Sona's in a posing mood!

Sona's favorite "scary" pose.

After all that chocolate, the least I could do was get her ready for bed before her parents came!