Fugly Architecture Thursday - Hot Hot Hot Las Vegas Style!

Today's spotlight isn't on the form of the building (we al know Vegas sure has some fugly "winners" in that category), but more so a particular building's "effects" on its visitors.

The Vdara hotel in Las Vegas is a brand spanking new luxury Hotel that is a center piece of the Vegas CityCenter.  Its actually a very sleek, simple looking building, covered entirely in glass curtain walls.
But in an unfortunate case of an architect not paying attention to context (the fact that this building is in Las Vegas) and conditions (once again, that this building is in Las Vegas) the design has been found to have a major flaw.  Luxury does abound at this hotel... unless you make the fateful decision to relax by the pool.

Apparently guests have complained of receiving severe burns from a 'death ray' of sunlight caused by the unique concave design of the building.
'It felt like I had a chemical burn. I couldn't imagine why my head was burning,Within 30 seconds, the back of my legs were burning. My first though was, 'Jesus, they destroyed the ozone layer!" - guest Bill Pintas (source

This illustration does a great job of explaining the issue:

Not only does the insanely hot Nevada sun cook the guests "bathing" next to the pool, but it also moves as the sun moves -- There's no escape from the most luxurious "death ray" ever!

The article I first read about this design "dilemma" mentions that the designers, RV Architecture, LLC & Leo A. Daly (AOR) knew about the problem before anything was built, but figured that a "protective film" on the glass wall would help fix the problem.  Ummm, I may not be a licensed architect, but maybe flipping the building so the concave side didnt face south OR not designing a building entirely clad in glass in NEVADA would have fixed the problem.

Architects are taught in school and reminded regularly that their designs should always keep the "health, saftey and welfare" of the people occupying their buildings first and foremost in any design.  I'm guessing that doesn't  really apply to those outside of their buildings.  A HUGE Tsk Tsk designers.  Lesson: Cool design isn't always the most safety conscious


I need a voice of reason with me at all times

because otherwise this is what i spend hours staring and fantasizing about if I'm allowed to wander Anthropologie unattended.

No, I didnt buy it, but boy have I been thinking about it (b/c it matches our bedroom almost perfectly)

chartreuse and battleship blue/grey.  This picture totally doesn't do it justice


Carry me back to Ol' Virginny.

A few weeks ago, at the beginning of September, I took a week trip back to Virginia Beach to hang out w/ my parents for a little bit.  I'm very close to my parents and spending time with them is really important for the sanity of my soul, especially when life seems to be flying by so quickly these days.

I was also able to visit some of my favorite people -

I spent time with my friend Steph who's at Periodontal school in Richmond -- the craziness of both of our lives makes it hard to see each other and catch up face to face, so being able to sit around and lounge by her pool was much needed.   She's getting married next July to one of my friends from college (small world...) and she asked me to do their save the dates, so I've been totally consumed w/ that since I got back to NOLA.
Me & Steph - Besties since 6th grade, during
her visit to NOLA in May
I was also able to have a lovely dinner at a wonderful wine bar w/ one of my oldest friends, Windy.  Believe it or not, Windy was my babysitter when she was 13 and I was, oh, maybe 8 months old.    We stayed close through the years, her morphing from being just a babysitter to being my unrelated "big sister."  Twenty-six years later, we're closer than ever and we try to get together when ever I'm home to have dinner, lunch or drinks together.
Windy & her adorable husband Keith
dancing at our wedding last year.
I also trekked up to Williamsburg to visit college best buddy Misa (who you all may know from Park & Belmont).  We splurged shopping at the outlets and caught up over lunch at Colonial Williamsburg's  The Cheese Shop.  Nothing says quality time like sitting outside eating your turkey sandwich next to a guy doing the same, only dressed in period attire, Tri-corn hat and all.
Misa & I back a year ago at my wedding.  
 I also did some serious retail damage w/ my mom - not in the form of clothing since I kind of can't justify buying anything I can't wear to work.  So shoes & accessories it was!
mauve + suede + peeptoe + platform = Horray!
I also picked up a pair of gold driving moccosins at Banana Republic that I cannot find a picture of to save my life.  They're awesome though and I cannot wait to wear them come fall.  Side note - can fall come already please, I'm so tired of 95 degrees with 80% humidity.  

I've been giving J.Crew alot of criticism lately b/c their newest collections have just been uninspiring, plain boring and so far away from their preppy roots.  I felt the same when I stopped into their store and looked around, until I moseyed to the sale section and found this cute little blouse.  Maybe there's still hope?
But at the end of the day, I came back to my childhood home and just enjoyed being with my parents, eating good food,  having awesome talks and just getting back to my roots to reset for a little.
It also doesnt hurt that I got to sit around our pool and look at this while having pre-dinner drinks with my parents.
At the end of the week I was definitely missing Mr. Bama and Bear and ready to go home to NOLA.  But I had a lovely time back in my favorite state and with the parents.


Anniversary Recap

In the spirit of our awesome Valentines Dinner from February, Mr. Bama and I celebrated one year together by cooking up a fancy dinner and completely indulging.  The menu for the evening:
  • Blackberry Sparklers (replaced w/  Kir de cassis b/c we couldnt find blackberry schnapps anywhere in the city.)
  • Filet Mignon withe a Green peppercorn Brandy cream sauce
  • Crispy roasted potatoes
  • Red Lettuce Salad w/ red onions, blue cheese and homemade balsalmic vinegarette 
  • Nectarine Tarts

    started off the evening w/ some lovely
    champagne.  We thought about using
    the flutes that we had for our wedding,
    but they were kind of covered in dust,
    so we nixed that idea.  
    Crispy potatoes pre-cooking
    crispy potatoes complete.  Yum Yum
    The table set for dinner.  Breaking
    out the good silverware, baby.
    One grassfed & finished filet mignon and
    another bison filet mignon waiting to
    be cooked. WFM was out of grass
    fed beef, and theres no way in heck I was
    going to buy hormone pumped grain fed beef.

    Happy Hubby

    The potatoes and the beef finished and in
    the middle of being consumed by Mr. Bama.
    The sauce is green peppercorns in a
    brandy/heavy creame sauce w/ shallots.
    the nectarine tarts before they were popped in the oven
    nice, hot and super yummy
    nectarine tart a-la mode

    Oh Happy Year.

    A year ago today Mr. Bama & I said "I do" in front of about 90 friends and family.  One year, a new city, a pupster and hundreds of adventures later, I couldn't be happier that I married my best friend and man of my dreams.  Heres to the past year and, God willing, 50+ more.  You can take a walk down memory lane by checking out pictures from the ceremony here and the reception here.


    I Spy

    Super quick blog post today - but something came to my attention that I thought I should share.

    Who here is a fan of  the Vampire cheesiness that is True Blood?  If you tuned in this past Sunday for the Season Finale, you would have caught this part, near the end where Vampire Queen Sophie Anne visits Bill's home.
    Dark, broding vampire goodiness.  pic courtesy of perezhilton.com

    What is that lovely ensemble that the Queen (Evan Rachel Wood) is wearing?  Well non other than Trashy Diva's own Courtney Coat Dress in Black.  I posted about the cobalt one I scored for my birthday in a previous post.

    The Courtney Coat Dress - it doubles as a coat, a dress and best of all?  It's cotton. 
     So whether you plan on being your favorite True Blood character for halloween or just want to look like an absolute knock out this fall & winter, check out www.trashydiva.com.  The coat comes in classic solids such as Black, cobalt & red, or for those who want to spice things up, black & green mid-century and leopard.

    now back to being swamped with invitations. Is it Saturday yet?


    My life as of right now...

    I'm in a wedding wonderland!

    In all honesty though, I'm in crunch time trying to get a wedding invite suite assembled for a client and ready to be mailed before the end of the week.  Our kitchen table and peninsula has been overtaken by hills of chocolate inner tri-fold pockets and valleys of light pink envelopes. I can't remember the last time we actually ate at the dinner table, quite frankly.  That plus I was asked by one of my best friends from High School to design her Save the Dates  (yippee!) before the end of the month, makes for a very, very busy Mrs. Bama.  I will be back with a  full rundown of my blink-and-you-missed-it, yet still much needed trip back to VB sooner rather than later.

    Til I pull myself out of wedding world and back into the blogosphere - have a fabulous week!


    Truths for Mature Humans

    A guy I knew from Grad School posted this on Facebook the other day and I ended up reading it to my mom.  By #23 we were both laughing hysterically, so i figured I could not go w/out sharing. How true are all of these!?  Also, feel free to expand on the list!!

    Truths For Mature Humans

    1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

    2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

    3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

    4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

    5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

    6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

    7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

    8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

    9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

    10. Bad decisions make good stories.

    11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

    12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

    13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

    14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

    15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

    16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

    17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

    18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

    19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

    20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

    21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

    22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

    23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!


    an ode to summer

    Farewell sweet season of sunshine, sand and endless possibilities.  Being back in Virginia Beach and being within minutes of a beach has made me realize that summer was over before I could really soak it all up and enjoy.

    I had also forgotten until recently about how much I loved looking through my Grandma's old LIFE magazines when I was little and how much i miss the gorgeous photos in the landmark publication.  Check out the ones above and more at the gorgeous LIFE Hits the Beach Photo Gallery


    Leaving on a Jet Plane

    Don't worry, I will be back again though. I'm heading back to the East Coast for some family time and will be taking a bit of a break from Blogging for a little, but hang tight!  I'll be back next week!  Til then, have a great Labor day and a beautiful week.


    Latest Obsession - Topiaries

    Maybe it is due to the dismal state of my own front yard (why invest a ton of energy into a yard that you are leaving in a year?), but lately I have really been fawning over topiaries.  It could also be that I am getting a little home sick for Virginia and all of its Colonial goodness. Also, how can you resist the colors?

    1.  Serpentine walls? pretty. Thomas Jefferson's version of them at the Pavilion gardens at UVA? - swoonworthy

    2. Sometimes I wish I knew botany, just so I'd be able to look at a flower and know exactly what it is without pretending and feeling like a fool when I'm wrong.  No clue what theses are, but I love them cascading over the very Wisteria Lane looking white picket fence.

    3.  May I have this in my backyard (if I had one) please?  Thank you

    4.  Boxwood Winery is a tiny boutique vineyard in Middleburg, VA, right outside DC.  They specialize specifically in Bordeaux style red wines and their Topiary variety actually is one of the smoothest red wines I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.  What's even better?  Their facility was designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobson, whose work is just amazing (think colonial inspired modern - simple, sleek, super clean lines.)  come to think of it, i should do a post on his work sometime soon....

    5.The Penultimate colonial garden - This is the formal European Garden of Drummond Castle.  The castle that stands now is an 1890 re-build of the original castle, which dates back to 1619(!).  The gardens, however, have been kept up and completely restored to the original 1619 layout -- a Phenomenal feat for landscape preservationists.

    6. Who doesn't love an early 1700s drawing of a "proper" garden layout?  Everything had a place and a purpose.

    7.  The formal gardens of Kenmore Plantation in Fredericksburg, VA (I spent two years here in college as a restoration intern... my love and hate of house museums dates back to time spent here.).  It has a very rustic elegance -- as this was the home of George Washington's sister and Bro-in-law, but still considered "provincial" by English standards.  Oh colonial America...

    I'm thinking inspiration for spring wedding invitations anyone?  
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