Crew Neck Sweatshirts + Perforated Booties

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I just got these Lucky Brand shoes and I know I’m going to where them SO much…..once it warms up. Seattle seems to have missed the memo that spring was starting early because while the rest of the country is talking about unseasonably warm weather we’ve been setting records for rain. Which, it is Seattle, we really don’t need MORE rain than ‘usual’. The normal amount is just fine thank you very much.

Honestly if it hadn’t been for my weekend in Vegas I think I’d be going months without seeing the sun at this point.

Anyways, back to cute shoes.

I love booties, and tend to wear them year-round, but as soon as I saw a picture of this I knew it was the perfect addition to my wardrobe. The open-toe and perforation makes it ideal for spring and summer, while keeping a bootie look instead of being more of a sandal. I was afraid that the way the sides are open, with no zipper or anything, it would mean my foot would slide out but it actually fits really well. I wore them around running errands all morning and had no problems.

You can find them at DSW online here in black & tan.

All winter I’ve been living in various sweatshirts-the cold and wet doesn’t deserve my cute looks anymore. So while I wait for spring I’m letting my sweatshirts do the talking for me. Anyone who has met me knows I’m sarcastic on a constant basis, so I figure why not convey that without even having to say a word. My Godfather top from the pics isn’t online but I found a bunch more to link for you that are super cute and not quite so snarky.

No Champagne. No Gain.

Don’t Sleep Just Dream

Bad Outfit Day

Cuddly AF

I Gotta Go Where It’s Warm

For the rest of my outfit I threw on my favorite comfy Old Navy jeans. Then topped it off with a beanie to protect my hair and my new purse that matched. (The purse is much more bright red than it looks in the pictures on the Guess website.) Red can be tricky but I always have so much fun when I wear it!

 

Hopefully I’ll be able to get these shoes into rotation soon and phase out my Ugg Rain Boots that have gotten more than their fair share of use the last few months. If not, then I’m going to need to stock up on more sweatshirts to spread my mood!

 

~alison

Make sure to follow me on Instagram @alisonsteck

Links to all of my social media are on the home page!

 

 

 

 

 

Where To Eat In Las Vegas: For The Non-Foodie

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I was shocked when I read recently that food was the #1 factor for people choosing where to travel. It’s usually something I figure out once I’m somewhere new and hungry let alone while in the planning stage of a trip. Maybe for me all the food allergies have taken the adventure out of being a foodie. Or maybe it’s the fact that meals is NOT the place I want to spend all my money on a trip. This doesn’t mean I don’t like trying new things or exploring new places though!

This list is for all my similar peeps out there who want good, simple food; and who aren’t in Vegas to focus on the restaurant scene. It’s pretty focused on the south end of the Strip so it may be updated or continued on future trips!

1. PIEOLOGY

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We’re starting off with my absolute FAVORITE place to eat on the Strip. Seriously, everyone who visited me when I was living in the city was brought here for at least one meal. It’s individual sized pizzas that are made custom for each person with unlimited toppings at one price. That’s right, all pizzas are UNLIMITED TOPPINGS FOR ONE PRICE! I’m just going to scream that to the world until everyone gets with the program. I like weird things on my pizza, and a lot of it, so getting to go down the counter and pick out everything I want is like a dream. Then it’s cooked in a big wooden oven right in front of you to be served fresh as can be.

Gluten free crusts are available for $2 more and they are very, very good so if you’ve got allergies you won’t be left out. I highly recommend going here for an early dinner on a night you have plans. Having a few pieces left over in your room when you get back from a concert or club is guaranteed to make your night even better.

You can find this magical pizza place in The Underground section of MGM Grand.

2. Shake Shack

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Shake Shack has been popping up all over the country but it’s still rare enough that it’s the perfect place to get a burger for something different. They’re very focused on having the highest quality ingredients and it’s very noticeable in the taste. I’m not a big burger person however their lettuce wrap and new gluten-free bun make this is another place I always hit when in town. The food menu isn’t large but they have a lot of dessert options along with an extensive wine list that should be checked out. Also, I’m not sure who is bringing their dogs to Vegas but this doggie menu is so cute!!

3. Miracle Mile 

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This next one is more of an area to check out but Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood is full of options for whatever you may be looking for. There are a few mainstream chains if you like predictability. Bubba Gump is always fun, Rainforest Café is great with kids, and Buffalo Wild Wings has a hold on my heart that makes me forget other food options even exist. I’m always sneaking a trip to B-Dubs for a meal that happens to coincide with a baseball game I want to watch. There’s also a few fast food options if you just want quick. The great thing about Miracle Mile is that it’s right in the middle of the Strip and has enough places to choose from that everyone in your group will be happy.

4. Excalibur Food Court

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This one is for the people who take ‘non-foodie’ to heart. Or had a little too much fun and need something quick and cheap to keep themselves going. There’s actually a lot to choose from here. It’s really good if you have a group that can’t decide on one place. There are also a lot of snack-y and sweet options so stop by to check out things like Krispy Kreme or Popcornopolis.

 

If you’re interested in more about Las Vegas, including some other coffee and food options, make sure to check out all of my Vegas Week posts!

Monday: T-Mobile Arena & The Park

Tuesday: The Best Coffee Shop On The Las Vegas Strip (That Isn’t Starbucks!)

Wednesday: Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

Thursday: How To Stay Active In Las Vegas

 

~alison

Make sure to follow me on Instagram @alisonsteck
Links to all of my social media are on the home page!

 

How To Stay Active In Las Vegas

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So you’re on vacation in the city of sin and indulgence-that means fitness and taking care of yourself doesn’t matter, right?

WRONG!!

It’s actually super easy to fit being active into whatever your plans may be. I’ve put together a list of 5 ways to keep yourself moving during a vacation in Las Vegas.

1. Walk to explore && take the stairs.

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There is SO much to see inside and outside of every hotel. Take advantage of that and walk around to see what you can find! Maybe it’s the fountains you find entertaining, the shopping that catches your eye, or a landmark you need a picture with. There’s no shortage of areas to walk around and no reason to take a tram to miss it all. I generally can hit my 10,000 steps for the day by early afternoon without even trying. Also you’re going to have many options to take an escalator or moving walkway–make the choice to take the stairs and you won’t feel so bad about that extra drink later!

2. Find your hotel’s fitness center

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This one always seems to surprise people. Despite the size and scope of what goes into the resorts I guess people think that having a gym isn’t part of the plans. Actually, the fitness centers are usually really nice and match the level of thought and care that goes into every other part of the hotel. I’ve always been really happy with the quality and quantity of equipment offered. These pics are from Monte Carlo Resort & Casino which even offered fresh water with cucumber. This gym was always in use, but even with 10-15 other people in at the same time I never had a problem with being able to use what I wanted.

3. TOPGOLF

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Located at the MGM Grand-this is a new option and one that’s perfect to bring your friends along. Even if you’re not a golfer this game is more about the experience than actual skill. I’ve always been able to hit the ball hard with zero control over the direction it goes but it doesn’t really matter here. Hit some balls, have a few drinks, and have a lot of laughs with your friends. You can find out about prices, menus, and more on the website here.

4. Leave The Valley

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Las Vegas is surrounded by mountains and it’s definitely worth planning a day to get out of the valley and explore the desert. There’s lots of option depending on the terrain or activity you’re looking for.

To the west, and only 30 minutes off the strip, is Red Rock Canyon Conservatory.

Head south and east to find Lake Mead and which is formed by the Hoover Dam.

Or take a full day to head north and explore Mt Charleston. In the winter you can even play in snow!

5. DANCE!!

 

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Bliss Dance statue was inspired by Burning Man

 

Chances are you’re in town to go to clubs, or pool parties, or concerts. Take advantage of the music and don’t be afraid to dance! Start when you’re getting ready with friends and keep it moving and grooving throughout the weekend. I promise no matter how silly you may feel there will someone even crazier just a few steps away. And always remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so let loose!

 

Be sure to check out my other Vegas Week posts!

Monday: T-Mobile Arena & The Park

Tuesday: The Best Coffee Shop On The Las Vegas Strip (That Isn’t Starbucks!)

Wednesday: Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

Friday: Where To Eat In Las Vegas: For The Non-Foodie

 

~alison

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonsteck
Links to all of my social media are on the home page!

Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

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My latest trip to Las Vegas was actually the first time I stayed at Monte Carlo but it has jumped up to the top of my list from that experience. My mom was with me for the long weekend trip so this is about our experiences and thoughts! I’ve divided up this review into categories so it should be easy to find the info you’re interested in.

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Rooms

The thing with basically all hotels on the Strip is that unless you’re going to splurge the rooms are going to be extremely basic no matter where you stay, and Monte Carlo is no different. The whole point is not staying in your room to explore (aka spend money) so there isn’t going to be anything extra. However that isn’t to say the rooms aren’t nice.

Both our room and bathroom were plenty big enough. We had two beds and still plenty of room to spread our bags and clothes out. The bathroom had a fairly big counter and a tub/shower combo, along with space under the counter to store all our toiletries. There is a tv with a mish-mash of random channels but don’t expect anything more (like a coffee machine or fridge)!

Also elevators to the rooms are really easy to find. I know, I know, this seems like a super weird thing to point out but there are a bunch of hotels that have them tucked away and hidden! My mom still REFUSES to stay at New York New York because she stayed there like 15 years ago and spent the entire time lost and confused and annoyed about it! I find this hilarious and like to bring it up every time we walk by 🙂

Restaurants

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Monte Carlo has got you covered for whatever kind of meal you’re looking for at any given time. From a low-budget food court (with a Starbucks!), to the requisite buffet, all the way to a high-end steak house you’ll have plenty to pick from. You can see all the options on their website.

We ate at Dragon Noodle, which is a nice middle-range Asian restaurant, and loved it. Asian is always our go-to because it’s so easy to work around our food allergies and this place was no different. They don’t have a separate allergy menu though just as a warning! The food was really good with big portions and the cocktails were absolutely delicious.

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For dessert head out front to the boulevard and check out BLVD Creamery. Admittedly I didn’t pay this place much attention for most of the weekend….the word creamery is a big deterrent for people with dairy allergies! But on the last night we discovered they had not only eight flavors of sorbet for us to choose from, but a lot of them were alcohol-infused. Let me tell you, the hard cider sorbet I had was the quintessential Las Vegas dessert and I was happy as could be all night after this find!

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Also Monte Carlo is home to The Best Coffee Shop On The Las Vegas Strip (That Isn’t Starbucks!) which is so good it’s worthy of its own post so be sure to check that out as well! It even has an entrance from inside the hotel.

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Entertainment

As with all Vegas resorts there is no shortage of entertainment within its own walls. The nightclub scene isn’t big here but it does have Minus5 Ice Bar which is a really really cool experience. Pun totally intended! They also have the brand new Park Theater which is home to various concerts and mini residencies. Currently Cher, Bruno Mars, and Ricky Martin are its main acts!

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Location

Monte Carlo is located on the south end of the Strip, in front of T-Mobile Arena and next door to New York New York. City Center and MGM Grand are very short walks away. It’s pretty close to the center so it isn’t too bad walking around to explore and with it’s back entrance you can avoid a lot of the boulevard by using Tropicana Ave if you’re in a car or taxi. There’s also a short walkway to the nearby Aria Tram which can take you through City Center and all the way to the Bellagio.

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The back entrance where you’ll find the check in desk. It’s also right across from T-Mobile Arena.

Price

This hotel is in the middle range for cost but more edging to lower than higher. It’s certainly not the cheapest you’ll find but it won’t break the bank and it’s in a great spot which is worth the little bit more. One big warning about ALL hotels on the strip is to make sure you’re aware of the resort fees. They will usually add up to a couple hundred dollars more to your room bill so it’s a big fee to watch out for. It’s unavoidable and all hotels have them but it covers things like the fitness room and pools.

Other

One thing I wanted to add is that currently (spring 2017) there is massive amounts of construction going on right outside. The resort is going through a renovation and eventual change it name but it means that there’s currently no pool and early morning (LOUD) construction Mon-Fri. We didn’t know this and were a little shocked by our wake up Friday morning. It wasn’t terrible but it is something to be aware of if you’re considering the hotel.

Recommendation

I completely recommend staying here ESPECIALLY if you’re in town for an event at T-Mobile Arena. It is so easy to get to and a relief when it’s late to have a less than 5 minute walk back to the hotel. I definitely appreciate the little step up in comfort from some of the really cheap options but it won’t be such a jump that you won’t be able to splurge on all of the fun you’ll want to have. My parents are planning on a trip in a few months for another concert and they know for sure this is where they’ll stay again for that!

You can go to the Monte Carlo website and book a room here.

 

If you have any questions about the resort please let me know in the comments!! Or if you have questions about any other hotels I can probably answer those too, because at this point I’ve stayed in pretty much all of them at some point!

 

Make sure to check out all of my other Vegas Week posts:

Monday: T-Mobile Arena & The Park

Tuesday: The Best Coffee Shop On The Las Vegas Strip (That Isn’t Starbucks!)

Thursday: How To Stay Active In Las Vegas

Friday: Where To Eat In Las Vegas: For The Non-Foodie

 

~alison

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonsteck
Links to all of my social media are on the home page!

The Best Coffee Shop On The Las Vegas Strip (That Isn’t Starbucks!)

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This post is living up to the blog name today!!

First things first-Starbucks is always #1 in my heart and still perfectly worthy of your caffeine fix while in Vegas. BUT if you’re looking for something a little different, just as tasty, but with a real coffee shop feel and flair then you HAVE to check out Sambalatte. Located right on the boulevard in the front section of Monte Carlo it’s super easy to get to. If you’re stumbling around in the morning….or afternoon….or evening (time in Vegas always gets a little warped) you’ll have no problem finding it.

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Hard to miss when you’re walking along the strip!

Sambalatte is a very small chain in the Las Vegas area that’s focused on gourmet coffee. Most important for me they have non-dairy milk options(that isn’t soy because eww to that). It really is a make or break item for me and the first thing I ask at every coffee place I go to! They roast their beans in house after carefully training their baristas and boy can you taste it in any of the drinks. There’s a pride in the artistry that goes into anything made there which can be very visibly seen by the artwork or the really cool tv’s showing some of their fields. Also you can read all about their sustainability and traceability measures on their website, and you can feel good about supporting a company that works hard to trace and reduce their carbon footprint!

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The Nutella latte is drool-worthy

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I highly recommend planning time to get a drink and hang out at the shop. They build their stores with the idea that people will use the space to savor drinks, hang out with friends, or even get work done. There’s a ton of tables and booths (and outlets!) both inside and outside making it really easy to settle in. It was chilly when I last visited in February but there were heaters all over the place in their outdoor section. Generally the shop wasn’t too crowded, but even the one time I stopped by to find it packed there was still a different, more laid back, feeling. Much more coffee shop vibe than hectic Vegas so if you need to take a break or get some work done it’s the place you need to go! They even have a full page on their website dedicated to their ATMOSPHERE

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Outdoors with heaters!

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I always do my best work in coffee shops!

If sitting around isn’t for you or your on a time constraint, don’t worry! You can always order it to go and they have really cool cups that are made with corrugated cardboard so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself or a sleeve falling off. You can see it in the pic below but just ignore me in the background lol

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However if this just doesn’t sound like your thing OR you have a fully Starbucks reliant existence (I totally understand, no shame) you will have no problem. I’m pretty sure at this point every hotel has at least one Starbucks….while walking through MGM Grand I lost track after 3

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You’ll be fine I promise!

Please let me know if you visit the next time you’re in Vegas and tell me all about it!!! I used to bring friends and family who were visiting me here all the time, so I want to know that word about its deliciousness is still getting spread now that I’m gone!

Alright now I desperately need a latte after putting this together.

I’m doing posts all week about Vegas so be sure to check them all out!

Monday: T-Mobile Arena & The Park

Wednesday: Monte Carlo Resort & Casino

Thursday: How To Stay Active In Las Vegas

Friday: Where To Eat In Las Vegas: For The Non-Foodie

~alison

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonsteck
Links to all of my social media are on the home page!