Saturday, December 29, 2007

tater, i've got a feeling we're not in kansas (city) anymore

Any 21st century princess will tell you that her number one accessory is her adorable, tiny dog. In second place is her rhinestoned cell phone.

I have the puppy down, now I just need some bling for my cellie! I have wanted to get rhinestones on my phone for SO long but have never really found a company that has what I want and doesn't cost a fortune...until I found the other day. I love this site for three reasons: 1. they have cases available for a wide variety of cell phones, even old models 2. they have several designs for each model 3. they sell cases that you snap over your phone so you don't have to worry about your phone being permanently rock-n-roll (it might be inappropriate at some point in your life...maybe). At only $40 each (for Treos and other smart phones), these face plates are such a steal! I'm in love with the Burberry design, but at the super low price I might just have to treat myself to two and get the diamond faceplate as well.

In other news, I'm back in Cali from the Mo...but not for long because I'm leaving for Mexico tomorrow, arriba, arriba! I didn't get home last night until 2AM which was so horrid, but much better than not getting home at all which is what ALMOST happened. My flight from KC was late (flights are never on time anymore, ever) so I almost missed my connection from Dallas. I literally had to RUN to the terminal Home Alone-style and thankfully they were holding the plane for me and 3 other passengers. Spending a night in Dallas wouldn't have been #1 on my list of things I wanted to do last night. I'm not looking forward to the flight tomorrow (surprise), but some sun and sand will be a nice change to this central valley winter weather. Oh, and some delish burritos, chips, and salsa will be the bomb, too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I have to admit that I was a total KC naysayer when Noelle first told me she was moving here. When I heard "Missouri" I thought of dairy farms and horses which are fine and dandy but also BORING. KC may be a lot of things, but boring is not one of them. It's actually a tourist destination, which surprised me, and while shopping I met tons of people from all over Europe. Also, the Country Club Plaza has horse-drawn carriage rides a la Carrie and her Russian lover in Sex and the City. They take it one step further, though, with a special Cinderella carriage covered in pink lights!! I wanted to ride one SO bad, but that will have to wait for a future KC trip.

The picture, courtesy of, doesn't do any justice to the magic that is the Cinderella carriage ride. When it's dark outside and snow is falling and the pink lights are twinkling...I can just HEAR the wedding bells of a romantic proposal! In the summer time, the plaza also does gondola rides on the currently frozen river nearby.

The plaza is dotted with a wide range of dining choices, from MacDonald's (ew) to The Cheesecake Factory (eh) to Houston's (yay!). I went to Houston's yesterday for a late lunch and it was totally fab! My twin sister is the manager there so my meal was on the house (oh hay!) and it was one of the yummiest free meals I've ever had.

I love Houston's because it's a chain that doesn't feel like a chain. This is nice because it has the consistency of a chain (you'll get the same meal in SF as you will in Kansas city), but the feel of an upper-end independent restaurant with their top-shelf ingredients and great service. The whole experience was perfect, delicious food, beautiful atmosphere, and my waitress was attentive but not overbearing. I ate solo and didn't feel uncomfortable at all during my meal. The greeter smartly sat me facing the kitchen, which was a lot of fun because it kept me entertained while I ate. I also loved that they bring you your own personal glass jug of water, so you never have to worry about running out because you can refill on your own.

I had the vegetarian burger with a side of acorn squash and they were both perfect. The veggie burger is a mixture of brown rice, black beans, and some kind of delicious red-hued sauce that actually made the "burger" taste (and look!) like lean, fresh meat. The acorn squash was so tender and sweet, and the crunch of the nuts played well off of the softness of the vegetable. I easily could have shared this meal with a friend, but since I was by myself I left off the top bun and only finished half of my veggies. Below is a picture from of a Houston's burger with fries, YUMMY!!

Oh, p.s., I found out yesterday that Sean Penn and his wife are getting a divorce which means I have a chance! I figure he'll be going through his mid-life crisis soon and will need some 20-something arm candy. Plus, it's totally in right now in Hollywood to date "normal" people.

We look so good together!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

missouri...the show-me state

I'm not sure exactly what Missouri wants to show me, but as far as Kansas City is concerned I think it has to do with seeing some awesome shopping deals. I know this is might sound blasphemous to my bay area friends...but KC's Country Club Plaza ( is definite competition for SF's Union Square. It's not as over-sized as SF's main shopping block(s), but it has a wide variety of shops and restaurants in a smaller, less chaotic area, which is an absolute plus in my book. I love shopping in San Francisco, but - I hesitate to say this - I had a more enjoyable time yesterday shopping solo in 25 degree weather than I ever have in SF. Everyone is more friendly and the atmosphere is more relaxing and laid-back than the hustle and bustle of "the city." There's no Nordstrom or Neiman, BUT you can find the exact same type of merchandise in the KC version of Neiman Marcus known as "Halls," which is owned by Hallmark (weird, I know). Other notable stores include Burberry, Tiffany & Co, The North Face, Betsey Johnson, and Lucky Brand Jeans.

Country Club Plaza was a perfect place to spend an afternoon in Kansas City. I did a lot of shopping and even watched a flick at a cute theater on the strip (Sweeney Todd...a bit bloody, but I mean, who could resist a two-hour serenade by Johnny Depp?). I found the cutest Tater Tot-esque top at Urban Outfitters (pictures taken from along with a cool looking piggy bank. I love the piggy bank ( because it could also double as a vase with its funnel shaped slot design. Noelle collects piggy banks, so this was a perfect early birthday present for her.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

everything's up to date in kansas city

So Noelle and I FINALLY arrived in Kansas City, Missouri after 10 hours of traveling. Noelle is moving to KC for her job as a restaurant manager for Hillstone (owners of an upper-scale quasi-chain, including Houston's, Gulfstream, and Bandera) and she has two cats she needed to bring with her. Her ticket was first class, and American Airlines accepts pets, so she didn't think it would be a problem to bring them both with her...until she checked the size limit for pet carriers and realized she couldn't fit both cats in one carrier. She wanted to buy an extra ticket for her cat, but the airline wouldn't let her. She should have just told them she was a fatty and needed two seats, since that's an acceptable reason to buy an extra ticket. Long story short, I got suckered into coming along so I could bring one of her cats. I feel so bad for them, they were stuck in those carriers all day with no food or drink. Surprisingly, they barely meowed on the flight, at least not loud enough to wake me from my Xanax-induced slumber.

First, I should mention that I am terribly afraid of flying (see Xanax passage above...never leave the ground without it!), which sucks since I fly so often. Intense fear in combination with the common delays of flying make airports and airplanes pretty negative spaces for me (totally not Zen). That being said, it's often difficult for me to find an enjoyable aspect to flying, especially since I do my best to stay asleep the whole time. Today, though, I was totally psyched to unveil my super cute new luggage tags from If you're my friend, you probably received one of these for Christmas because they are SO EFFING CUTE that I couldn't help but share the love.

At just $14 each, these little guys are the perfect way to add some pizazz to your luggage. Even though luggage comes in SO many different styles now (I have anchor print, myself) most people still use the same generic blue and black, and these luggage tags are an inexpensive and adorable way to make your luggage easier to spot in the sea of Samsonite. With so many different styles it's difficult to choose just one, so hopefully you have several pieces of luggage in need of tags. My favorites are the cupcake, high heel, and dog tags---all of which come in different colors and styles. I'm sad they don't have a pomeranian dog tag, but they have over a dozen different breeds to choose from, including pug, terrier, and scottie dogs! Do you love it? I do!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

christmas comes but once a year

Every year my parents say they're going to "go easy on the presents this year," and every year we somehow end up getting MORE gifts than the year before. I think my parents feel guilty for even thinking about cutting back on Christmas presents (Christmas has always been a HUGE deal in my family) and then overcompensate by getting more gifts. This works out for everyone. And by everyone, I mean me. Because I'm a total gift piggy.

Speaking of gifts, I recently stumbled upon the cutest site for unique gifts. They basically have ordinary household items like cheese graters ($25) and dustpans ($40) in super cute designs. I am obsessed with the tweezers shaped like women ($20)...they even have a suction cup to adhere to your bathroom mirror! How great is that? Check the site out at:

Tomorrow I'm off to Kansas City for two days, just to escort one my sister's kittens on the airplane.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Some samples of my writing.

Gwen Stefani at the arena

The Letter Blue brings variety to Cibo di Vino

Living in the moment with Can Huynh

Pretty. Happy. Smile - it's only art

The Stockton Record
Arts awards show puts local talent on display

The ice rink moveth

The Pacifican
Pacific Professor Removed From Oakland Zoo

Pacific Recognized for Service to Community


Have a question? Comment? Fan mail for Tater Tot?

I can be reached at strawberrysays AT gmail DOT com.

I compulsively check my e-mail so chances are I'll respond quickly!

about me

Hey, nerds. I'm Bunny. In the "real world" of desk jobs and suits, I'm known as Nicolle, but who cares about the real world this is the friggin' internet and I can be whoever I want. I have been publishing on since December 2007. I'm still trying to find that delicate balance between entertaining content and personal journal. It's a work in progress.

I recently spent a year in Shanghai, China "teaching" at an IB High School. Mostly I just informed my kids about American pop culture like Ferris Bueller, Uggs, LOLcats, and pogs, and threw in a vocabulary test or two so I could give them a grade (which, incidentally, turned out not to matter since they passed everyone even students who received "F"s).

I received my Bachelor of Arts from University of the Pacific in California, double majoring in English and Film Studies. I also have my Master of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International thesis was on the cultural implications of Chinese film on education in mainland China.

I have absolutely no idea what I want to do when I grow up except that I want to be awesome.

I have a red pomeranian named Tater Tot who is nearly 8 years old and has been my partner in crime since I was a crazy, nose-pierced 16 year old high school student. I hope in the near future to expand the Tot empire with a female pom and make some little Tot fries.

I love wearing dresses and having tea parties, and sometimes pretending to play croquet (don't want to get sweaty or get grass stains on your heels, now). If you throw a party, there is a 75% chance that I will come to it wearing a tiara or otherwise flamboyant hair piece.

Right now I'm back in the States livin' the dream in the bay area. It's been real, but I miss China every now and again, specifically: "best friend prices", pushing people on the subway, taking pictures with Chinese people, saying "maybe" to every question I ever receive, trying to use chopsticks, being called "lady", and a steady diet of baozi (steamed buns) and bubble tea.