Tourists in our Hometown

When you’ve lived in the same place all your life, it’s easy to get bored with the same old places and routines, especially when you’ve just experienced the fun and excitement of a new city on vacation.  These past few weeks since we’ve been home from New York, though, have been a great reminder to me that where you live really does have a lot do with what you make of it!

On Mother’s Day weekend, my sister and I headed to the outdoor antique show that comes to town three times per year.  We both love looking at all the vintage pieces and we may or may not have spent four hours there.  {Apparently, we inherited these tendencies from our dad.}  Eddie was getting very anxious to leave by the end; he was being petted WAY too much for one day! :-p  The item I regretted not buying? A vintage FOX typewriter.  I’m literally still kicking myself for not buying it. *sigh*

My friend Krysten received tickets for her birthday from her parents to see the Blue Man Group at the Fisher Theatre and was nice enough to invite me along!  We had a blast and I so love that we don’t have to go to Broadway to see some good shows.  {As you may recall, I also saw Wicked last year…}

As our birthday gift to her, I really wanted to take her out for a day of fun as a “tourist” in our hometown.  We’ve all lived in Metro Detroit for our whole lives, yet we had never been to Eastern Market, so I knew that would be perfect!  I planned out a little “Eastern Market Food Tour” based on reviews that I had read online.

Our first stop was the Rocky Peanut Co. which was an adorable little specialty grocery store.  They had many unique bulk items as well as packaged goods.  We could have spent a lot longer than we did wandering those aisles.

Our next stop was Supino Pizzeria.  This place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which also happens to be Krysten’s favorite show… score!

We all shared a “City Wing Thing,” which was the menu item featured on Triple D and had smoked turkey, smoked gouda, cherry peppers, mozzarella, and roasted garlic.  I loved it, but Krysten and the mister didn’t love the cherry peppers.  We all agreed we’d come back sometime and try some different toppings.

Then we shared some delicious pierogis at the People’s Pierogi Collective.  They were small enough that we each got to choose our own flavor.  I had the jalapeno popper and it was pretty good!

We stopped by the new food truck in town, Mac Shack, and gave their “Bacon Made Me Do It” dish.  It was unbelievably good and a plentiful amount to share.  I’d eat mac and cheese every day if it wasn’t so unhealthy!

Our last food stop was Bert’s.  They had tons of table set up outside along with live music, a full bar, and 50 feet worth of grills serving up some delicious choices.  We shared a half slab of ribs and my opinion is that the meat was awesome but I didn’t care too much for the barbecue sauce.  Next time, we’ll probably order it dry and find some Sweet Baby Ray’s from somewhere.

Not pictured is the mini triple berry pie we got from Mumby Pie Co to share later.  I’m not a huge pie person, but I still liked it, and the others loved it.  We had the most delicious freshly made strawberry lemonade on the way to our next destination.

We went on a walking tour of Detroit with D:hive.  We all really enjoyed it.  We went into a few of the famous buildings we had never been in and learned tons of history about the places and landmarks we walk and drive past all the time.  One of the highlights was the interior of the Guardian Building.  It was breathtaking, and a fun fact is that the detailed ceiling work is actually made of canvas for sound dampening qualities.  The building was built in about 9 months, which is mind-boggling to me for such a grand building to be built so fast in 1928-1929.

We also peeked inside the Compuware world headquarters and saw the humungous fountain in the lobby.  To be honest, I had no idea this building even existed in Detroit so it was fun to see the fountain.

Our tour guide also recommended a lot of cool restaurants to try out.  The one I really want to check out is the Grand Trunk Pub.  It used to be the ticketing station of the Grand Trunk Railroad and I cannot wait to stop in there before a Tiger’s game!

We saw quite a few more spots than this, and many of which were things we’ve all seen before but didn’t know much about.  I don’t want to ruin the fun facts in case you decide to take the tour which, by the way, we all would highly recommend.

All in all, these past few weekends have been so fun.  I’m excited for the next antique show to come this summer and I’m thrilled to have a few more fun food, shopping, and activity options in Eastern Market and Detroit.  There’s fun to be had in any city if you look for it.

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Posted in Around Town | 5 Comments

New York, New York!

Surprise! We’ve been in New York for the past week!  We’ve never been there so we took the opportunity to get away and see what all the New York City hoopla is all about.

Our first food stop there was Capizzi Pizzeria in Hell’s Kitchen.  It was phenomenal!

We got ours with roasted garlic, peppers, and meatballs!

We were lucky enough to be in town to see our Detroit Tigers play at Yankee Stadium.

Unfortunately, they lost the game {and we got SO sunburned} but it was a blast.  The stadium was really nice, too!

The next three days, we had a New York Pass.  It granted us access to 70+ attractions in NYC.  Two of which were the Top of the Rock and Empire State Building views.

Central Park looks so unbelievably huge amongst the sea of buildings.

We took the Staten Island Ferry {free!} to get some good views of the Statue of Liberty and the NYC skyline.  A trip to Ellis Island was included with the New York Pass, but the line was way too long.  I’d recommend going when it first opens if you want to go.

Also included was entry to the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I really enjoyed both!  My favorite part was how the history museum went through the entire timeline of life, from dinosaurs through humans, and showed all of the fossils progression.  It was really interesting!

The MET is a short stroll through Central Park away from the Museum of Natural History.  This is a cute little building I passed on the walk.

One of our favorite attractions on the New York Pass was the NBC Studio tour.  No, you will not see any famous people, but you will get a behind the scenes look at the sets of Dr. Oz, Football Night in America, and SNL.  I also got the privilege humiliating experience of being a weatherman for our entire tour group, standing in front of a green screen and reading a teleprompter.  It was a lot harder than it looks!  Needless to say, I did not buy the $30 souvenir DVD!

Our favorite restaurant was John’s Pizzeria in the West Village.  We actually went here twice it was so yummy!

Again, we opted for meatballs on our pizza.  It’s just not something you can get in Detroit!

Another cool attraction was Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.  Woody Allen was one of my favorites!

This is the mister’s favorite bookstore ever.  It’s next to John’s Pizzeria and had a well curated selection at really reasonable prices.  It inspired him to edit his book collection once he got home {which now means I can style the bookcases… bonus!}

We wandered into a little pub around the corner from our hotel, and it just so happened to be the pub that McLaren’s pub is based on in How I Met Your Mother!  Carter Bays actually started writing the show in this very pub! {Photo via}.

We were lucky enough to see TWO Broadway shows while we were in town.  The first was Philip Seymour Hoffman in Death of a Salesman.  It was absolutely incredible.  The mister chose it because he loves that book and movie, loves Hoffman, and doesn’t necessarily love musicals {this one was a play}.

We ended up getting box seats because they were the only ones left.  We tried to buy tickets for this a couple months in advance, but everything was sold out except for the prime orchestra seating which was really expensive.  People were reselling the cheap seats on stub hub for twice the face value.  We waited until we got to NYC and went to the box office directly.  We probably paid about the same as the overpriced tickets on stub hub, but we at least got better than nosebleed seats for it.

We loved it so much that we decided to see another show the following night!  We saw “Once” the musical.  It was awesome.  We both loved the movie when we had seen it years ago, plus we already knew all the songs because we loved the soundtrack, and even got to see Glen Hansard open for Eddie Vedder.  I snapped a shot of the “opening band” while people were being seated.  Little did we know, this was the entire cast of the show playing our entrance music for us.

I fell in love with all the beautiful architecture, but I sure would not want to have to parallel park all the time!

Our trip wasn’t complete without a trip to see the apartment building from Friends {one of our favorite shows}.  Too bad there isn’t really a Central Perk underneath!

We also went to Washington Square park to check out the arch and the people playing chess.

We hung out in Brooklyn for half a day and decided to walk the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan.  That was definitely a good choice!

I love this picture…

Some of the other attractions we took advantage of with our New York Pass was a bike rental to ride through Central Park and a Food on Foot tour.  We went to Madison Square Garden but couldn’t do the tour because it was under construction.  We also went to the WTC memorial, but didn’t want to go through the whole runaround they were setting us up for.  {It basically would have taken us all day to get to see it.}  I would have liked to have done a few more, but time got the best of us.  We more than got our money’s worth, though.  {We saved about $100 per person versus paying retail price.}

If you’re going to NYC, I’d highly recommend the Food on Foot tour!  The guide was awesome {it’s a one man show} and he took us to some really off the beaten path places.  Everything was delicious and I’m pretty sure we didn’t eat dinner that night because we were so stuffed.

That’s the quick recap of our trip to NYC!  We were surprised that we only saw one famous person out and about {Daniel Day Kim from Lost and Hawaii Five-O}.  We loved the food, the subway, Broadway shows, and all the different boroughs to explore.  It was definitely a great vacation!

Posted in Travel | 5 Comments

DIY Framed Bathroom Mirror

I’m a horrible blogger for this post! Not only did I neglect to take step by step process photos, I can’t find my “before” photo that I KNOW I snapped. Shame on me.

Picture my “before” photo just as a giant slab of mirror glued to the wall. The plan was to frame it out to make it look more like a decorative mirror was hung on the wall. The first version that I saw of this was from Janelle. {By the way, browse her blog if you haven’t before; she’s great!}

There have been quite a few variations since, but I found that to be my favorite design. I prefer the square cuts and molding detail over mitering the four corners and making a simple square.

I used MDF which I had cut to size at the hardware store. The two trim pieces are wood and are glued to the top MDF piece with Gorilla wood glue. I gave them all a few coats of primer and paint {the same color as my board and batten wall in the laundry room} making sure I did the back sides as well, since some is reflected in the mirror. Use whatever thicknesses and dimensions needed to work for your space. I was working with an existing light fixture which limited the height and an outlet to the left which limited the width.

I glued them all to the wall/mirror with Liquid Nails for paneling. Janelle recommended this product, and I was pleased with how it worked on the aforementioned board and batten wall, so I went with it. I used painter’s tape to hold it in place while it dried.

And, the afters!

It’s difficult to get a shot of this narrow space, especially when I’m avoiding snapping a shot of myself in the mirror.

The only thing I would have done differently on this project is to stack some heavy objects on the top board while the trim glue is drying. I’m not sure if I started off with a board that wasn’t plumb, or if it became that way during the drying process, but either way, it was not flush with the wall, and I ended up having to use a wood screw on one end and then patch/prime/paint over the screw. It’s a hassle to try to avoid if you can!

 

Overall, I’m happy with how it turned out, but this is one project that I’m kind of glad to be finished with!

Posted in Decor, DIY | 1 Comment

“Man Room” Progress

We have made some great progress on the “man room!”  I showed you the mood board here:

Here is the room before:

Yeah. Disastrous.  I went on an organizing, selling, and purging rampage and was left with a nice blank slate.  Due to the magic of TV the internet, we’ll jump to the afters!

I love how the navy turned out; I don’t feel like the room is too dark at all.  The shelves and boxes conceal some craft goodies and files.

I’m really glad we went with the $99 locker cabinet from IKEA.  It’s a great value and looks great in the space.

Snacks are at the ready thanks to a hand motion activated dispenser… thanks, Grandma!

No man room would be complete without a place to shoot hoops.

There are still a few things on the to-do list.  The mister wants to get a green lack shelf to put above the TV for collectables, art, etc, which look nice along with the matching green boxes in the shelving cubes.

I still need to hang up his Terrible Towel next to the Big Lebowski poster {I can’t seem to find any push pins}, hem the sheer curtains, and add some goodies on the wall above the TV.

All in all, some great progress, and the space is getting much more use than it was before as a giant junk closet!

Posted in Decor, House Tour | 3 Comments

The Million Dollar Question

What am I supposed to do with my life now that I’ve finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy? :-p

Maybe I’ll actually do some projects around the house; those have not taken priority as of late with the nice weather and good books to read.  I do need to find another book to read, though… any suggestions?

I’ll leave you with my three favorite Hunger Games e-cards:

{via}

For the record, my favorite was the first book, followed by the second, and then the third.  All were worth reading though, and that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to give any spoilers away!

Posted in 101 Goals, Books | 2 Comments

Snapshots of Life

We’ve been having the best weather this month in Michigan. I can’t remember a March with temperatures consistently in the 70’s and 80’s!  Needless to say, we’ve been enjoying it by grilling almost every night, going running outside, and spending the evenings outside on the patio reading a good book {more on that later}.  I can get used to “winters” like this!  Here are a few snapshots from our week:

We whipped up some Belgian waffles on Saturday morning, for the first time in a long time, complete with fresh strawberries and lots of whipped cream; no better way to start the weekend…

I got inspired by the spring weather to try some on some fun mint hues at F21…

I ended up buying the mint pants {$15!} and I’m kind of in love…

A delicious boxed lunch gift from a friend at work, on a day I really needed an extra boost… {Thanks PK!}

The mister is finally watching Breaking Bad since I’ve been raving about it to him; Eddie doesn’t seem to mind it either…

I commandeered the mister’s Kindle to read the second Hunger Games book, Catching Fire, and finished it last night. Oh. Em. Gee. This one had a cliffhanger I can’t get past. I suppose I can now see the addictions people have to Harry Potter or Twilight or whatever. I’ve never seen any of those, but I can NOT wait for the Hunger Games movie to come out this weekend…

There’s something about being able to sit outside in our new comfy patio lounge chairs that makes me want to read all night long.  The mister is setting me up with the third and FINAL book of the sequel tomorrow.  {Thank goodness!}

In other news, I should mention that I read “Sh*t My Dad Says” as well.  It was entertaining, but I found the dad “character,” which was supposed to be a true depiction of the author’s father, a bit over the top.

Hope you are all having a fantastic March as well!

Posted in Books, Life | 3 Comments

Kalah Blue Curtains

They’re heeeeere!


My Kalah Blue curtains have arrived, and they are just as magnificent as I had imagined! Erin at Plush Studios did a fantastic job making them. I shipped her the fabric {read how I scored the fabric for a reasonable price here} and some blackout lining {which I already had on hand} and had her make rod pocket panels for me. I could have made them myself, but they wouldn’t have turned out looking as professional.

I used the pinch and clip method I learned from HGTV’s Genevieve years ago. Instead of putting the rod through the pocket, use drapery clips to clip the back of the fabric near the rod pocket hem. It creates the look of a pinch pleat drapery and hides the hanging hardware, which is much prettier than a rod pocket, in my opinion.

Another tip is to “train” your drapes. This is a tip I learned from Thrifty Decor Chick. With the thick blackout lining on these panels, they were definitely not going to pleat properly on their own. So, I pleated the drapes how I wanted them and tied them in place with bits of string. I left them for about a week, untied them, and viola! The nicely pleated drapes you see below!

I’m loving how they look with the Alvine Ruta rug too.  I had hoped that the colors and patterns would compliment each other instead of competing with each other, and I think they do.  It’s really starting to have more of an eclectic feel.

Next on the list will be to find something other than my cheap-o mirror over the fireplace, reupholster the wingback {or find an alternate chair}, and switch out the green marble fireplace surround with something more bright and neutral.

P.S. I dropped off the face of the earth this past week because I’ve been battling a wicked cold. I may or may not have watched movies all night, every night, in an effort to relax and heal.  For the record, Drive was awful, The Help was decent, and Training Day was awesome.

Posted in Decor | 1 Comment