Wonderful World of Bree

Amazon – My Favorite Baby Registry

After finding out the amazing news in my life, the list of to-do’s came flooding in. Creating a registry was one of them. I’d used places like Target for my wedding registry and received a gift card and coupons. But I was looking for something a little more personalized. Then, I discovered Amazon’s Baby Registry.

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 3.11.51 PMLike any other registry, Amazon creates a categorized list to make things easier for you. I selected everything from diapers, to travel gear to lotions and maternity clothes. The best part is, Amazon offers goodie bags and free diapers for parents!

All I had to do to receive my complimentary baby bundle with tons of samples was fill out most of my registry, make sure my Amazon Prime was setup and purchase a $10 item from the list. Viola! Take a look at all these awesome items!

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As a new Mom, I’m sure I’m going to experiment with many different brands until I come across the right one. This little bundle gave me a taste of everything. The coolest part is, none of the bundles are the same. Amazon chooses top items and placed them in each box at random.

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Other options that came with this registry were of course discounts on items not purchased but also free diapers! Once you hit a certain number of purchases, Amazon will send you free diapers for a year. Who would say no to that!

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 3.11.18 PMI’m still registering at Target too just because I know not everyone is comfortable ordering online. But the onsie options on Amazon are endless.

What other registries have you used?

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Book Your Class at Wine and Canvas LV

I finally jumped on the wine and paint hype (minus the wine) and had an awesome time. I visited Wine and Canvas LV located just down the street from Sunset Station for a ghostly fun Halloween paint party.

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We started with a blank canvas and our instructor walked the class through every layer.

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Now, I’ve taken many art classes in my educational journey, but somehow never experienced canvas painting. So, I assumed this was going to be a challenge. Luckily, the instructor was a professional artist and knew how to unleash my painting ability.

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The class was a few hours, maybe longer if you include breaks for students to allow their paint to dry and make trips to the bar. Despite the flow of alcohol, the room was quiet during the entire painting instruction. Everyone was very concentrated on creating their masterpieces.

After many layers of horizontal strokes, my spooky Halloween night came to life. The scarecrow was my favorite.

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Classes are $35 per session and includes painting and instruction. Wine and gourmet popcorn are an additional cost. It’s the perfect choice for a girls night out that everyone will enjoy.

10 Things to Do To Prepare for Baby

Finding out I was pregnant was an instant whirlwind. I have plenty of nieces and nephews but still felt completely overwhelmed. Here are 10 things I started with right away to prepare for my mini me.

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1. Budget.

If you haven’t already started budgeting or your pregnancy is a surprise, start now. My husband and I set a savings goal to achieve by the time the baby arrives. We accounted for all of our bills and saved the rest. We wanted to make sure we had enough to cover bills for three months while I would be off plus the additional expenses.

2. Make a doctor’s appointment.

This may sound pretty obvious but in the midst of all the excitement selecting your doctor is key. Most women already have a specialist that does deliveries but you may not know what hospital they use or anything about the prenatal unit. Get started today.

3. Do your research.

Everyone around you will have advice. Most of it will definitely apply to you but some of it may not. Do your research and decide as parents what works best for you. After all, this will be a team effort for the rest of your life. Why not start coming together on the little stuff?

4. Start a registry.

I chose to use Amazon and Target because they were the simplest options. Target offers a free $20 gift card when you start a registry as well as discounts on not purchased items. Amazon does even better. You can receive free diapers, a baby bundle and discounts on everything on your registry. They both offer a step by step guide on what items you will actually need.

5. Exercise.

Through the nausea and fatigue, working out can feel like the last thing on my list. Luckily, I was already in the habit of doing 30 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. Consult your doctor on the best workout for your pregnancy but most will agree that yoga is a great choice. My doc suggested 20 – 30 minutes of low impact activity and light weights if I chose to use some. Take a look at prenatal classes in your area as well.

6. Water, Water, Water.

Water will be your new best friend. My doc suggested drinking about a gallon of water a day! At first, it seemed impossible. But I learned a little trick. Use a cup with a straw and you won’t even notice how much you’re effortlessly sipping.

7. Vitamins.

If you haven’t already started taking prenatal vitamins, grab a bottle. You little baby will be soaking everything you have to offer, including your vitamins. Choose one with high folic acid as it’s imperative for brain development. Check with your doc aboutspecific brands they recommend for any other supplements you may need.

8. Have a Baby Moon.

Through the hustle and bustle of preparing for your little miracle, parents get stressed out. My husband and I are planning to get away maybe a few times before the baby arrives. Once the baby is here, it may be a while until vacation is even in our vocabulary.

9. Make a Pinterest Board. 

With all these idea swirling around in my head, I had to get them in a central location. I’ve actually created multiple board to organize my thoughts. Head to Pinterest and get pinning!

10. Plan your announcement. 

Deciding how we would tell our dozens of family members was difficult. We decided on showing an ultrasound, having my siblings read a Baby Recipe on a chalkboard, wrapped a photo in a baby items for Nana and Facetimed and called members that we couldn’t visit. Our official announcement was a cute photo that we posted on Facebook.

Moms, what items would you add to this list?

Prayers for my Home

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Waking up today wasn’t pleasant. It was six am and my husband asked if I knew anyone at the Route 91 festival. He read the news article detailing 50 had been killed and 200+ were injured in the worst shooting our city has ever seen.

Shocked, I had not words to say. Dozens of names flashed through my head as I scrolled through Facebook looking for updates. A multitude of people I went to school with were recalling the worst night of their life. Many left before the shooting began, but some were forced into hiding for serval hours.

My heart hurts for this painful night. What was supposed to a celebration turned into a nightmare. It’s moments like these where there only comfort I can find is in God. I will never understand why this happened, but I know that He is with each and every victim and their family.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” PSALM 34:18-20

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Preparing for your heavenly bridegroom

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Being married has taught me many things. It’s taught me how to serve, to be patient and to let my husband lead. In Ephesians, Paul gives instructions to husbands and wives.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” – EPHESIANS 5:25-27

I’ve read this scripture many times. I studied out the book of Ephesians in preparing myself for marriage. But during my quiet time today, I looked at this scripture differently.

The idea of marriage is a holy union from God. The church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom. And as the scripture reads, the bridegroom prepares his bride to be holy and blameless. We see this process demonstrated through Jesus.

After death, Jesus goes to prepare a place for His bride (the church), and through the Holy Spirit, He sanctifies and purifies His beloved church through His Word. So, if Jesus is constantly working to prepare a place for our eternity while also cleansing us to enter the kingdom “holy and blameless” what are we doing during that waiting period?

As with any big wedding day, the bride gets her hair, makeup and nails done. She makes sure her dress is ironed, her shoes are pristine and she’s perfect for her groom. I remember taking such care to preparing myself to meet my husband at the end of the aisle. And this scripture makes me ask myself if I’m putting the same effort into preparing for the day I meet Jesus.

It is our responsibility to remain faithful – immersed in His Will and Word – and wait for Him to return and receive us. So, if today was the big day, would you be ready to meet your heavenly bridegroom?

Wonderful World of Bree

Bon Appétit at Andre’s Bistro Bar

Located near Russell and Fort Apache. Andre’s Bistro Bar inhabits the unique space where DW Bistro used to sit. Although it shares the same venue as several hot spots, Andre’s Bistro Bar’s menu is beyond compare.

My experience was during a lovely influencers night out so our menu was pre-determined. Still, all of the French inspired items I sampled were to die for.

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I started with a Lobster Mac and Cheese. It was a creamy combination of Maine lobster, blue crab, cheese and bread crumbles. Despite the rich ingredients, there was a lemony freshness also present in every bite.

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I then moved on to the mouth-watering Petit Cheese Steak served with a side of fries. The sandwich was packed with flat-iron steak, grilled mushrooms, onions and peppers, and topped with provolone cheese.

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As a classy edition from their starter menu, we sampled the Cheese & Charcuterie Board served with a daily selection of imported charcuterie and cheese.

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Pinkies up! We paired our bites with the Violet Beauregarde cocktail. Reminiscent of the spoiled contestant in Charlie and the Chocolate factory, this sweet treat was mixed with Vodka, St. Germain, Creme Violette, 321 Hartford Court, Russian River Valley 2015 Cocchi Americano, Lemon Juice.

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Wonderful World of BreeAnd, of course, the staff saved the best for last. My taste buds were waiting for their collection of decadent desserts. From left to right, I sampled the Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Walnut Gateau, Lemon Tart with raspberry coulis, Chocolate Pot de Crème custard, and the Saturday Sundae with all the classics.

Andre’s Bistro Bar is open daily for lunch, happy hour and dinner.

Wonderful World of Bree

595 Craft and Kitchen – Newest Pub to hit Spring Valley

Known for their craft beer, owners Chris Holding and Van-Alan Nguyen opened 595 Craft and Kitchen just two short months ago. Seated on the corner of Rainbow and Tropicana, this diamond in the rough is a pleasant find.

Upon walking into the restaurant, I was transported to a warm summer night near the beach. Wooden panels lined the walls and a California reminiscent garage door fit into the opposing exit. On the right, a long bar sat facing a paint chalked blackboard with endless drink choices.

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Photo Courtesy: 595 Craft and Kitchen

Although 595 is making a name for itself in craft brewing, its food menu is just as powerful. During my visit, I experienced their popular appetizers – crispy chicken skins and fried deviled eggs. Whoever argued that fried food and pints don’t match was seriously mistaken.

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After a filling course of delectable bites, the world-famous Ice Box Buttermilk Cheesecake was brought out. 595 spares no expense on their food presentation.IMG_6427

Filled inside a small glass jar, the extremely sweet dessert was almost too pretty to eat. From the strawberries to the lemon twist, it was difficult to know where to begin.

595 captures a unique style between nightly hangout and casual date night. Each item was brought out on a baking tray and laid out perfectly. Serving dishes were no exception.

Open 7 days a week, the restaurant and bar can cater to whatever you’re craving. Check out the full menu here.

Henri Bendel at the Forum Shops

I recently visited Heri Bendel New York at the Forum Shops at Caesars for my first blogger shopping event. And let me tell you, this store was amazing.

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From the architectural design to the multitude of products, it was hard to decide where to begin. Each table housed a different collection ranging from glam to rock and everything in between.

IMG_6385I was immediately drawn to the purse, of course, is my new favorite blush color. The unique design and texture of the bag was mesmerizing. It almost reminded me of an old school camera case. This bag is the West 57th Trunk Crossbody available in four colors.

The prices were on the high-end as expected for any quality leather handbag. But, the store offers loyalty programs, free gifts with purchase and coupons straight to your inbox.

As I explored the store, I discovered an aroma candle area with scents to die for. These soy based candles are said to last forever and burn clean. You can even reuse the jars ones the candle is gone.

In addition to those, the company offers travel candles to liven up any room on the go.

 

IMG_6372My ultimate jewelry favorites were these double earrings. One pair studs, one pair flair and together a unique design to wear multiple ways.

Henri Bendel literally had something for everyone. Dainty necklaces, chunky bracelets and of course three-pronged rings. The designer even offers monogram options for all handbags and backpacks. Talk about giving a personal touch!

 

The store even had a pet section with stylish bowls, pillows and collars for your pup.

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Patrons can add an additional person flair to their bags with a design your own section.

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Located in on the second floor of the Forum Shops, this boutique is a gem you must visit.

Gossip is Never Truth

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Do you ever have those days where you just can’t get along with anyone? When it feels like the people around you are doing exactly what the Bible tells you NOT to do? Today has been a rough day.

When I get up for work in the morning, I realize that not everyone I come across doesn’t follow Jesus. I understand that the majority of people I will see have different morals. But today, it has been hard to accept that something so childish as gossip should be tolerated.

The bible says this about gossip.

“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:28

When someone gossips, you can almost see the division in the room. It’s apparent that rivalies are beginning, and FOR WHATt? So that one person can feel more accomplished than another. Gossip results to two things – arrogance and criticism. How could either of those be costructive?

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” – Psalm 34:13

God wanted us to pay attention to everything we think and say. In the above scripture, it literally states that mean/negative words are evil. They don’t lead to prosperity, but instead to destruction of relationships and reputations.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

Getting caught up in gossip is easy. But if we focus on the above scripture, there won’t be any room for it. Gratefully, my hope lies in the Lord and not the negative Nancys around me.

Can you relate to situations like these? How do you handle them in the moment?

Get Xtreme with Friday Night Bingo at Santa Fe Station

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Santa Fe’s renovated Bingo lounge kicks the normal play up a notch with themed nights every weekend including Xtreme Bingo and Girls Night Out Bingo. As a first time bingo player, I started small with the extreme session.

Xtreme Bingo takes the stage on the last Friday of every month. The session may start at 11AM, but the party begins when the doors open at 10PM.

 

 

 

 

As I entered the new space (previously my country line-dancing stomping ground as Revolver), floods of players lined up to cash in. Ranging from 21 – 99, the bingo patrons came ready to party and take their chance at $1,900.

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For only $25, patrons receive an open bar, access to 10 electronic games, glow sticks and glasses, a DJ and dozens of other free items. Even local radio stations are getting in on the action providing t-shirts and vodka giveaways.

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I took my seat close to the main screen and readied myself for my very first adult bingo experience. Originally, I was picturing large printed cards with wildly colored daubers. But with an open bar option, Santa Fe must have clued in that drinking and daubing don’t go together.

Each round we had the chance to win a $100 and some rounds included liters of vodka. The digital screen gave you 30 cards and basically did all the work. As each number was chosen, the cards automatically updated and shuffled the closed cards to the front of the screen. If you have bingo, the screen projects a giant “WINNER” image and your entire table takes a shot.

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Although I did make it up to three spots left, I came home empty-handed. My husband on the other hand, consistently had one spot left and always got beat out by a loud mom with a beer in her hand. Still, I may give it another chance.

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Although I loved getting my two-step in at Revolver, the new Bingo space is classy and offers great late night options.

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Bingo sessions are hosted daily on the odd hours from a 9A – 11P. Girls Night Out is every Saturday with a buy-in of $25 that includes 10 electronic games, specialty martinis and free drinks for ladies.

Find more bingo info here.