Monday, March 31, 2008

Go Detroit Tigers!

I just have to give a shout out to my beloved Detroit Tigers!

It's opening day and the city will be a-bustlin' I'm sure.

Go get em boys! Make us proud of our city!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Song: Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

I am loving a song by Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman called "Cinderella."

My dad actually introduced me to the song. It's about a daddy/daughter relationship and is going to be the song we dance to at my wedding (I know, I am spoiling the surprise for some of you!)... This is the touching story:

Steven was trying to work, but it was time for his two adopted 4-year olds to get baths. So, feeling preoccupied with wanting to work, he rushed to get the girls bathed and in bed. Meanwhile, the girls only wanted to play with their daddy and dance with him in their princess-inspired costumes. Steven tucked them in and shut their door, and immediately after doing so remembered his 21-year-old daughter and how the years where she was young like that had flown by...
He dedicates the song to all those little "moments" that a father shares with his daughter as she grows up.

You may need a tissue for this one.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Detroit: The Untold Stories of the First 300 Years

"Detroit: Anywhere in the world that name conjures up images of the assembly line and the Motown sound. But beneath the surface lies an unbelievable past that has been swept away from the eyes of the world. We have set out on a mission to cultivate some of this lost history while we create a living documentary of this great city."

If you have 10 minutes to spare and you're a fan of Detroit, watch this video -- Detroit Documentary. It discusses a bit of the history on the city and features interviews with Detroit natives Lilly Tomlin and Keegan Michael Key (from "Mad TV") and former Detroit mayor, Dennis Archer (come back, Dennis!).

Watching the vid conjures up images of my great-grandparents who first settled in Detroit around 150 years ago -- coming over from Greece, Ireland and Germany on "the boat." There's something eerie, yet comforting about seeing all the images from the past and hearing people talk about Detroit as it was years ago. Very cool.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Downtown Hoedown Invades Motown May 9-11

I don't know about you, but I am PUMPED for summer concerts series' around the D to start up! After all, there's nothing like great, free music in a kick booty environment.

My dear friend estrellabella10 did a rockin' blog post on the Downtown Hoedown, coming to Motown May 9-11 and got me all excited for the sunny concert season to arrive. The Hoedown is a fabulous event put on by country station, WYCD and is sure to be a yee-haw of a good reason to spend some time soaking up the ambiance of downtown Detroit. And who knows, maybe the giant Red Wing boot will make an appearance yet again!

Nikki, Elizabeth and I ready to square dance in Hart Plaza @ last year's Hoedown!

It's going to be a fantastic line-up (if you enjoy country music, that is), so get git yer cowboy/girl boots and head downtown!

Some of the superstars of this year's event include:
Friday, May 9th
Jason Michael Carroll
Josh Gracin

Saturday, May 10th
Little Big Town
Chris Cagle
Trisha Yearwood

Sunday, May 11th
Billy Currington
Gretchen Wilson

Check out WYCD's Web site for the entire line-up. And get ready for more posts about the other hot (and FREE) Detroit summer concerts to come (Rockin' on the Riverfront, Electronic Music Fest, Tastefest, Jazz Fest, OH MY!)

Ya'll better come to Detroit now, ya hear?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Edy's to Salute 1,500 Neighborhoods with Ice Cream

I came across this post from Free Is My Life, a Detroit area blog full of fun freebies and thought I'd share with the home owners out there...

Here's a great reason to get together with your neighbors this summer: ice-cream! For the fourth year, Edy's ice cream will award 1,500 neighborhoods ice cream and all the fixings for a block party of up to 100 neighbors. It's the company's way of encouraging you to get to know your neighbor. Last year, 54 neighborhoods in Michigan won ice cream parties. Want to enter this year? Click here for all the details.

Free ice cream? A fabulous opportunity to meet my new neighbors? You bet I'm in. Check out the essay I'm submitting below and cross your fingers for me and my 'hood!

My fiancé and I moved into Mt. Vernon Estates subdivision a month ago. This is our first home and we have just had an absolute ball getting acquainted with our neighborhood of fresh faces and places.

We were fortunate enough to purchase the house due to a slowing housing market in Michigan; however, a lot of folks in our area haven’t been so lucky. Many people have lost jobs due to the declining auto industry and families are struggling to pay bills and purchase groceries. Home foreclosure rates are at an all-time high in the nation, and Michigan – specifically the metro Detroit region, has suffered tremendously.

It breaks my heart to see foreclosure announcements on the front doors of beautiful homes in my neighborhood and families with young children suffering due to tight economic times.

As a passionate citizen of my state and city, I feel like it’s my duty to bring some sunshine to the area. I also know an ice cream block party hosted by Edy’s could be a fantastic opportunity for our local media to focus on something positive happening – one thing our area is in dire need of.

It’s hard to meet people when snow covers the ground and chills the air. I would like to use the ice cream block party as a way to celebrate the much-anticipated summer sun and create a forum where our community can discuss what we can all do to help our neighbors in need.

As a young person, I’m lucky to have found a wonderful place to one day raise a family and happily grow old. Now, I am just in need of making some neighborly friends to grow old with! Can you help bring us together?

Bring on the ice cream, Edy's. Way to be a friendly corporate citizen and kudos to whatever marketing/PR guru thought up this phenomenal idea!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter PEEPS!

'Tis the season for PEEPS -- you know, those cute little sugar-laden marshmallow chicks and bunnies in our Easter baskets? Starting tomorrow, PEEPS will go on sale at ridiculously low prices. Forget Black Friday; this will be Yellow (and Pink and Lavender and Blue and White) Marshmallow Monday.

So, I'm curious...What's the story behind this spring treat anyway? Leave it to me to do some research to find out... I had no clue how much information was out there until I started digging. I don't even really like the taste of PEEPS much, but after looking through an assortment of Web sites, I'm inspired to buy them in massive quantities so I can eat them, squish them, put them in the microwave, use them for
art and perform science experiments on them!

I learned a plethora of information on the
PEEPS Web site. Here's some points I found of interest:
  • Peeps were born in Bethlehem Pennsylvania in 1953.(How ironic it's "Bethlehem" considering the Lenten season and religious origins.)
  • The amount of PEEPS chicks and bunnies consumed at Easter could more than circle Earth’s circumference.
  • The number of PEEPS chicks, bunnies and other shapes made each day could make a path from the factory door in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to the state of Maryland.
  • It would take approximately 172 MILLION PEEPS bunnies end-to-end to circle the moon.
  • Over 70 million PEEPS chicks lined up beak-to-tail are needed to reach from New York City to Los Angeles.
  • If you had 8,000 PEEPS bunnies, and you stood them in a straight vertical line, you could reach the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago.
  • In the early 1950’s, it took 27 HOURS to make one PEEPS chick. Today it takes six minutes!
  • PEEPS chicks and bunnies come in 5 colors. Yellow chicks are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.
  • Each PEEPS chick has 32 calories and 0 grams of fat.

What is really amazing are the contests dedicated to preserving the little marshmallow critters -- from the Washington Post to the Baltimore Sun, media get downright PEEPalicious this time a year. My local fave is the Ann Arbor News' annual diorama contest. Check it out and prepare to be amazed!

And while you're at it, don't forget about YouTube. Just type in PEEPS and prepare for video splendor -- there are countless parody vids showcasing the little chicks (Star Wars Revenge of the Peeps, Peeps Jaws and don't miss my fave -- "Office Peeps" -- a. mockumentary on the 90's classic "Office Space.")

Hope you had a wonderful Easter, PEEPle! I'm PEEPin' out for tonight.

Sunday Song

"Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee. Download it and prepare to's dang cute.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor -- It Can Be That Simple

I had to laugh when I came across this story about two feuding neighbors and the punishment they received. Taken from

'Love thy neighbor' signs are punishment for pair
March 20, 2008

When counseling didn't work, a judge said he'd "try some embarrassment" on feuding Clawson neighbors.

Troy District Judge Michael Martone sentenced two men Wednesday to 250 hours each of community service, to be spent walking the sidewalks of Clawson with signs that read "Love thy neighbor."

After Michael Lehnert, 41, pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace, and Jeffrey Schachinger, 51, did the same to a nuisance ordinance -- each in violation of probation for earlier misdeeds -- Martone ordered three-day jail terms for the pair.

Then they must start walking with large sandwich board-type signs, "across the street from each other," he said.

In January, Martone had a teen lug a "Don't litter" sign.

Good old, fashioned embarrassment -- exactly what the pair needed in my opinion -- and just by listening to the golden rule they could have come out on top.

Now, if only more judges were like this, our tax dollars wouldn't be spent on jail time for silly reasons!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Taste Buds <3 Tava

One of the things I gave up for lent is pop. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, after all, I don't drink that much pop. But, it's not good for me and when I am in need of a little boost, I turn to it and I feel like I shouldn't. I wish I could be one of those H2O nuts, guzzling away at the cool taste of nothingness, but I just can't do it. I like FLAVOR and I have a major weakness for carbonation.

So, the other day when I was zapping away items for my wedding registry at Target, I decided I needed a drink. Since the Target snack counter fountain mostly contained pop, I only had one choice: Tava.

"What in the world is this?" I thought.

Described as a "Zero calorie sparkling beverage," I was intrigued. The flavor was "Mediterranean Fiesta," and had a taste of citrus + berries (which I later learned should be black berry, tangerine and lime). I was pleasantly surprised after tasting it and I will definitely plan to purchase it in the future.

I didn't know where the heck the stuff came from or who made it (it didn't say on the fountain label), so I did some digging via the Internet. I learned the company was recently acquired by PepsiCo and from what I can tell, its marketing approach is looking to draw from the crowd of what I would call "artsy hipsters." The Web site plays music I've never heard before -- crucial to that type of audience (in fact, I may go download some of the songs...), says Tava supports emerging artists and the list of events where Tava will be present throughout the year include a combo of art/jazz/theater fairs from around the country (none in the Detroit area though -- BOO!).

The other Tava flavors include Tahitian Tamure (tropical fruit/ tangerine/ lime) and Brazillian Samba (passion fruit/ pineapple/ lime). Kind of nerdy names if you ask me, but the flavors taste good and for this artsy type of audience, they seem appropriate.
My research lead me to learn that Tava is one of those drinks fortified by vitamins (vitamins E, B6, niacin and chromium). The sodium levels aren't fantastic (35 mg per 16.9 oz.) and it contains aspartame, which apparently isn't that great for you, but shoot, nothing is bad in moderation. Tava sells for $1.49 for a 16.9 oz., which is comparable to many other energy/vitamin drinks out there.
All in all, for a girl like me who craves the carbonation but not the calories of pop, it does the trick and makes me feel like I belong in the "artsy hipster" demographic. Me likey.

(Side note: Read the story from this week's Fortune here about the changing face of Pepsi and how sassy CEO Indra Nooyi is leading the charge. You go girl!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mom Update

Good news -- my mom had her minor surgery and it went well and she is now cancer free. Granted, spots can come back, but at least now she is aware and knows what signs to look for.

I don't know about your personal beliefs, but this situation has really helped me to understand the true power of prayer... thanks to those of you who kept her in your thoughts.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. Suess!

One of my secret passions is reading children's books, hence why I am ecstatic to honor one of the best authors ever (in my opinion) -- Dr. Suess. It's his birthday today.

Made famous for such books as: One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, How the Grich Stole Christmas! and The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Suess is definitely a man who understood children.

So, I am off to read. Check out his "Suessville" Web site... so cute/creative!
Happy b-day, Dr. Suess. Hope the children in heaven are able to crowd around you today and hear your wonderful stories! =)

(Fun fact: Dr. Suess was not really a doctor, but "his prescription for fun has delighted readers for more than 60 years." -- Wiki)

Sunday Song: Always On Sunday

"Always On Sunday" by Tammany Hall NYC.
It's a great song that depicts the inevitable bittersweet feelings associated with Sunday...