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March Madness … is over … for now.

I haven’t written in a while. I was consumed by the month of March, mostly by college basketball. This is my favorite time of year.

Let me explain. Since early 2000’s, I took off the first two days of the tournament every year. I would literally stay home all day and watch the games on TV and online. About 3 years ago, I actually went to Round 1 of games in Anaheim to watch UCLA play (amongst others). Last year, I started what will be a yearly tradition of going to Las Vegas for the first days of the tourney. I think I love the tournament more than some guys I know. I never miss a Selection Sunday.

Why is this a favorite thing? I think the tournament is great sports with great emotion. More than anything else, I think about it from the players and fan’s perspectives. For a player, especially at a smaller school, they get national attention. One story this year was Kenneth Faried from Morehead State. Morehead State beat 4th seeded Lousiville. This kid who no one had ever heard of made a name for himself when he cleanly blocked the potential game winning shot. People are saying this kid will have a great NBA career, he played in the All Star game and made the All-American team… all for that one moment. (He’s the one in blue).

I can’t write this post and not mention VCU… The Cinderella team of this year. This is the first year they added more teams and more games in what was known as the “First Four.” VCU was in the First Four and made it to the Final Four, where they were beat by Butler, last year’s Cinderella team. To watch these players and young coaches gain such notoriety was awesome. When else can this happen? Only in March…

Which brings me to the fans. If your school is in the tournament, it’s awesome to wear the college gear and cheer them on – whether it’s at the bar, sportsbook ;-), or even at the game. And even if your team isn’t there, you cheer on your city, state, conference, etc… One prime example is SDSU. San Diego State captured the hearts of our city and gave us something to cheer for. This year, I had the honor and opportunity to cheer them on in Anaheim to watch them in the Sweet 16. Cheering with the students and other fans was incredible. They didn’t win, but they gave a lot of San Diegans something to look forward to. It’s a great time for any fan.

But alas, it’s called March Madness for a reason. It doesn’t last forever. But every year a montage is produced that in my opinion captures what it’s all about. There are highs and lows. Winners and losers. But most of all, there are memories created for all who play and watch. Until next year’s one shining moment, here is another of my favorite things:

Great tasting…

I promised that my next blog entry wouldn’t be about Vegas.  It’s about food!

This year, I decided that I needed and was going to lose weight.  I attended a surgical weight loss seminar, but wanted to prove I can finish this journey without surgery.  I decided to sign up for Weight Watchers…  for a 3rd time.  Literally, 3rd time is a charm.

Healthy food tasting good???  Can I eat dessert???  YES YES!  Meet the love of my life right now…

www.skinnytaste.com

CHECK IT OUT!  Everything I have made from here has been tasty – and healthy!!!  My favorites are the enchiladas recipes, the tuna casserole, the no-bake cheesecake (yes, you can have dessert!).  I also enjoyed the banana fritters, the Italian meatballs, the pasta bolognese, the banana cream pie (yes, dessert), the Cuban pork, the turkey chili, the Asian glazed drumsticks, and the carrot cupcakes.  I love when Gina posts new recipes, and I always browse her older ones for new meal ideas.  Note: DO NOT browse the website before lunch time…  omg!

Gina’s website is definitely one of my favorite things.  Check it out… you won’t regret it!

More about Vegas!

There are few of my friends in Vegas this weekend. When people I know are there, I get envious, although I shouldn’t be, since I’ll be there very soon… Flight on March 16 for MARCH MADNESS. (One of my other favorite things I’ll discuss in another post).

Most people ask me what I like to do there. Well, a lot, but not what you would think. I actually really like to gamble. Slots are okay, but my real passion is sportsbetting. Take Superbowl. At the Las Vegas Hilton, there was a 42 page packet of propositions and all the different bets that could be made on the game.

It was so fun. It’s easy to learn too. I like to bet on a lot of points in the game to have fun. It keeps me entertained the whole time. I bet on the coin toss. (Immediately lost $5 on that).

When I say I like to gamble, it doesn’t mean I have an addiction. I don’t need the gambling addict pamphlets that are all around the casinos. Don’t expect to gamble to win money you need. It’s just not going to happen. I look at Vegas and gambling as entertainment. Example: A night out. Dinner, $30-50. Movie admission for two people $20-25. Snacks, $10-20. A typical date night like this would cost $60-$95. That can last me all night in a penny slot.

I enjoy having the option to win some money while watching sports, which is something I love. Almost every casino has a sportsbook. The Hilton’s happens to be huge. When I walk into a casino, I first look for this:

A sportsbook is always a fun time. Visit one sometime. Tons of TVs with almost sport on. Usually there is a bar in the Sportsbook or very near by – same with snacks/food too. Fans of all sorts. I’ve been to MGM, Mirage, NYNY, Hilton, Sahara, Caesar’s Palace, and the Rio. I’ve heard there are some great ones at other casinos… I’ll have to check those out. The countdown is on until March 16!

Okay, next post won’t be about Vegas, I promise. Blog ya later!

Hello world!

So, here I am starting a blog of my favorite things. I guess anyone that knows me well, knows what my favorite thing… er, place is. Viva Las Vegas!

Yes, I love Vegas. Some people find relaxation in places like Hawaii, Tahiti, the Bahamas. I find it in Vegas. Life is full of so much responsibility. I am not really a risk taker. I am very type A (okay, I am admitting it) and like to have control. But in Vegas, I feel free and actually enjoy the lack of control and taking risks – albeit, maybe it’s $1 at a time at Sahara’s blackjack tables. Yes, that is the place to play blackjack, especially if you don’t have nor want to a lot to use.

My most recent trip was the first annual Jaquez Vegas Superbowl trip. My husband, my brother, my mom, and I stayed at the MGM Grand for a very great rate. Thank you MLife Players club – another favorite thing. Sign up for players clubs! That’s how casinos get to “know” you and that’s when the relationship begins. They court you with some great offers until you fall head over heels… and I have… with MLife, aka the MGM Resorts properties.

It was a great trip. Watched the Superbowl at the Las Vegas Hilton, my favorite sportsbook. I stay pretty loyal to MGM, until it gets to sportsbooking. The LV Hilton has a huge sportsbook, but on top of that, for events they open up their theater into Football Central, Superbowl Central, and Hoops Central for March Madness. My favorite thing about this? It’s free! And there are drink and food specials. Such an awesome time.

Now, I may have found a favorite “off-strip” casino in the M Resort. It’s about 20 min south of the strip. On our way back home we headed there, and loved it. First, we were starving and ate at Hash House A Go Go. Yum! Be sure to tweet you are eating there. You instantly get a free drink of the day (our day was beer!). Then we signed up for their player’s club and got free money to play with. The place is newer and clean. I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully I get some great offers from them soon.

That’s one of my favorite things for now… Until the next time.

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