Archive for Special Events

#49: The Twelve Days of Christmas – I’m Workin’ On It.

Every year mid-December I start getting a little excited – not just because I love Christmas (BECAUSE I DO! OH! I LOVE CHRISTMAS!) but because we do the Twelve Days of Christmas in my house. My husband started it a few years ago, getting me a gift each day before Christmas and we’ve now adapted it so pretty much everyone is getting small gifts for twelve days before Christmas.

And when I say small gifts, I mean it. We’re not trying to break the bank, we just have fun giving each other silly things that will make the recipient smile. I love getting Tic Tacs and cans of soup and candy canes and gum and giftcards to Starbucks. The point is that it’s better to give than receive – and so this year, I want to give the Twelve Days of Christmas to someone else.

This is where you come in.

But why? you ask. Surely you have friends and family you could do this for locally, that wouldn’t involve sending a package out of state and asking the internet if they want presents.

Well, yes. I do.

But the thing is… HOW WOULD I CHOOSE? I mean, if I did it for my sister, my brother might get his feelings hurt. I’d love to do it for my best friend – but would my other friends feel left out? GAH. It becomes this thing where I really just want it to be fun! For the recipient… and for me.

So here’s the deal, if you think you might wanna get twelve days of gifts, LEAVE A COMMENT. This is not a sponsored blog post – I don’t have companies lining up to give me stuff to give you. This is stuff that’s gonna come from ME and I’ll send it to you (continental U.S. people only, please – for the sake of shipping). On Thanksgiving at some point, I’ll randomly select the recipient of my holiday-gift-giving love. If your name is selected, I’ll let you know. And then. AND THEN? Gifts. In. The. Mail.

Twelve gifts.

So, as a getting to know you thing (which will help if your name is chosen) when you leave your comment let me know a few things:

1) What’s your favorite way to spend a few extra bucks?
2) What’s your favorite color?
3) And anything else you think I should know…

Okay, ready, set…. GO.


CONGRATS TO DANIELLE FROM EXTRAORDINARY MOMMY! She’ll be gettin’ 12 days of Christmas from moi. Can’t wait to start shopping!


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#38: Walk A Marathon

Many of you knew that I signed up for the Avon Two Day Walk for Breast Cancer.

This weekend was the big event. I arrived in Chicago at 5 p.m. on Friday – let me point out to those who are less in the know: That is a REALLY BAD TIME to arrive in Chicago. Ever. The last ten miles to my hotel took over an hour, during which time I got a bit of a light sunburn on my face and I stripped down a few layers because it was NOT that warm in Michigan when I left but it was definitely cami weather sitting in traffic in Chicago. (Also, thank goodness for camisoles).

I finally got off the highway only to realize that the Google Map was slightly wrong – that added a bit of extra time to my “driving around desperately seeking my hotel” time. I finally arrived at the hotel, parked my car and hauled my gear in, then took the elevator up to my room to find out that LOVELY, the front desk gave me keys to the wrong room. I called the desk, and within minutes a room service guy was at my door. Room service? I called Security! Turns out, Mister Room Service had a delivery from my walking partner (an awesome woman I met via Twitter who invited me to join their team) – she’d sent me up some water and an awesome plate of fruit. Room Service dude was also able to unlock the door and let me in (But seriously, did any of you know the Room service staff had keys? I never did, and now I’m slightly more bothered by the number of people in a hotel who can access your room at any time. Safety lock, check).

Saturday morning, I took the shuttle to Soldier Field, carb loaded some breakfast, met up with my team and we were soon off for our first day of walking, 26.2 miles. I won’t recap each mile, but it took us about 8.5 hours with lunch break, rest stops and having to navigate our way through the crowds. Also, intersections and miles 24 – 26.2 in the pouring rain. Crossing the finish line was awesome, and I was glad to hit the shuttle to go back to the hotel and take off my soggy socks and get some dry gear on.


(Note: Soggy socks make for wicked blisters. Ouch)

Day two started with my feet feeling surprisingly okay despite the three huge blisters I had had the previous evening. I had had a good night of hockey and just relaxing so I felt ready to go. A mile or two into it, the rain started. And it kept going.

And going.


The second day was harder than I thought it would be, actually.

Crossing the finish line, knowing I’d walked nearly 40 miles? It was an amazing feeling. TRULY TRULY AMAZING.And I’m so proud of myself and of the team that I walked with.

Also? I’m dehydrated. I am very tired, my blisters are painful, and I am sure I haven’t replenished my water enough. I’m emotional and cranky and not so much a joy to be around at the moment. I have been kindly reminded to drink some more water. I’m hoping that helps!

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#35: Drive Through DownTown Chicago Without Gettin’ Lost

A year ago, a few girlfriends and I met in Chicago from scattered places around the globe for a weekend to relax, veg and just be girly. I was so thrilled for the trip and made excellent time from Michigan to Chicago. Once I got off the highway, I entered what could only be described as another circle of hell – getting myself completely lost and spending far longer than I care to admit (think HOURS, not MINUTES) driving around downtown Chicago. Possibly, tears were involved. Upper, Middle, Lower Wacker – I hated them ALL.

Eventually, I pulled over and the lovely valet dude at a hotel on Wacker printed directions explaining them to me because apparently the road I needed to be on wasn’t on my map. And the street I needed to turn on didn’t have a sign – and OHMYGODWHYDOYOUHATEMESOMUCHCHICAGO?

The thing is, I love the city. I love the feel of Chicago. I love the energy and the vibe of it. I didn’t want to NEVER go back because I was petrified of the hell of driving Lake Shore Drive for hours around and about. Putting #35 on my list was a no brainer for me.

This weekend, the fam headed to Chicago for an event (a very AWESOME arty, creative, “make every moment count” kinda thing. Awesome awesome awesome). On our way, I stopped at Starbucks with my refillable mug (#39 on my list, aw yeah…) to fuel up with some coffee and then we were on the road.

There was so much rain and cloud cover until we reached Indiana – I thought we were in for a pretty miserable day in the city. Nuh uh. Clouds lifted, the sky was amazingly blue and when we got off the highway, we zipped right to our first destination (The aquarium). After that, we wandered the city a bit.


It was perfect. Got into the car and ventured to the hotel and y’know what happened? I didn’t need the printed directions. I didn’t need my Google Maps (though, nothin’ but love for you Google Maps. Love knowing you’re there. Mwah). I knew exactly where to go. We zipped right to the hotel. AND, I didn’t pass out lookin’ at this 32nd floor view.


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Three Birds In One Day

Or something like that.

Last year, my husband started a pretty cool tradition of treating me to a day at the spa at the end of his crazy busy season. He didn’t realize at the time he was starting a tradition, though – but the end result of me being so temporarily giddy, relaxed and laid back ball of mush kicked him into gear to repeat this year. AWESOME.

Yesterday was the day. I left the kiddos with him and ventured to the spa for my day of getting princessed. On my agenda? Facial, manicure, pedicure, hair and makeup. (Note: I hate massages so this agenda is perfect for me).

I started with the facial. It was amazing. Last year when I went, they shocked the hell out of me because they tell you to undress and get under this heavy warm blanket on a table and I was thinking, “WTF? I am going to HATE this!” because it was quite obvious from the necessary-nekkidness that there was a massage component to it. I was SO wrong. I loved it. You’ve got the handy-dandy heated blanket yanked up to your armpits and it’s not an overly massagey-massage. (Seriously, I know that makes no sense). Anyway – heaven for the face. Yesterday was no different except the facialist told me that I’m very dehydrated. Apparently, I don’t use enough moisturizer.



Margarita pedicure (my spring pedicure towards #25 on my list) was awesome. I admit, I’m the anti-social chick sitting in the chair soaking and not talking to the person working their magic on my feet. Rude, right? They have this awesome margarita soak, and scrub which included salt and squeezing actual limes on my feet. My toes are now a very attractive Miami Beet. Love.

I got the same color on my fingers when I moved on to my manicure. Only problem? I took off my rings for the parrafin wax dip, and after all the massage and rubbing of my hands my fingers were too swollen to get my rings back on. Uh oh. I stuck them on my pinky and as I was walking to get my hairstyled by a bald guy wearing sequins, my rings went flying off my finger and under a seat in the waiting area. Then I smudged my effing thumb nail.

Off to get my hair blown out. First a shampoo and I thought he was going to squeeze my brains out. It was as though his hands were saying, “I may be wearing sequins, but I’m still a man.” Or… maybe he just really likes to squeeze the hell out of people’s noggins. I don’t know. Either way, dude worked some SERIOUS round brush magic making my hair all smooth and shiny. Love.

I wrapped up my day getting my make up done (including a reminder to USE MORE MOISTURIZER, because I’m, y’know, dehydrated).

Met my husband and went for dinner at the restaurant voted “Best Martinis” (#98 on my list). I ordered a mojito. I’m not one to be super picky, but a mojito isn’t really a martini. And you could put it in a martini glass, and it will be really quite lovely, but still? It’s not a martini.


I’m not saying I didn’t drink it all. Because whatever you want to call it, it was still yummy.

A fabulous day – after dinner and a movie, I was so wiped out even though it wasn’t even 10 p.m. It’s hard work to relax like that. Work I would happily repeat more than once a year.

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#47: Go To A Red Wings Game

My freshman year of college, a friend of mine introduced me to hockey. He was appalled that I didn’t know who Dino Ciccarelli was. That it didn’t mean something to me that Cameron was wearing a Gordie Howe jersey in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. And with his explanation and enthusiasm, my love of hockey began.

Mind you, this wasn’t like my short term fascination with basketball in seventh grade while crushing on a boy who was obsessed with the Boston Celtics and thought Larry Bird was the BEST. THING. EVER. No, no, that was a shortlived fascination because as I quickly learned: Basketball just does NOT float my boat.

Hockey? It floats my boat.

While I’ve been to college games and even IHL games locally, I have never been to an NHL game. I definitely needed to remedy that. Soooo, I bought my husband tickets for the RedWings v Colorado Avalanche for Christmas. Kind of self-serving, I know, but Hey! He wanted to go too. That’s what we call WIN/WIN.

It took about two and a half hours to get to Joe Louis Arena, which wasn’t bad.


We arrived, got some greasy pizza, and my husband got the obligatory beer. He said, “How does the beer person at a major sports arena NOT know how to poor a beer?” My theory? Because beer drinkers WILL DRINK IT ANYWAY. When faced with bad beer or no beer, at sports events all tips in favor of beer. Lucky for the arena.


The game was completely awesome. Well, after the first period. The first period I was getting the feeling that perhaps this was not going to be a good game. THEN? The momentum shifted and it became A GREAT GAME.


It would have been an even better game had the RedWings won. The lost in a sudden death shoot out, with a final score of 6 – 5. Yeah, that sucked. BUT, I couldn’t have picked a better game to go to and am now convinced I need to go to WAY MORE GAMES.

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