Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’
February 24, 2014
This weekend was by far the busiest slash most relaxing one I have had in a long time! Sound confusing?
Ha! I feel like that is the vicious cycle that we call our lives right now. February has been absolutely jam packed with home games and I casually mentioned a little thing called “danceritis” Thursday. It happens, and all I can do to fight it is take a step back, look around at the opportunities I have right in front of me, and enjoy my time doing what I love!
With that being said, I am going to quickly recap Friday and Saturday, so we can get to the good (and yummy!) stuff that happened on Sunday.
Country Dancing with Big & Rich
If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have seen me mention something about our halftime acts for the Detroit Pistons. Coming from someone who started their dancing career in Orlando, I have to admit that they are pretty epic up here.
Throughout the season, the team brings in a handful of currently or once popular music artists and more times than not our team has the opportunity to dance with them for the halftime show. Pretty neat right?
Friday’s game started with a country themed dance with our mascot, HOOPER.
(Save a horse, ride a… ?)
Then continued with halftime performance with Big & Rich!
They were for sure one of my favorite halftime acts to date. We all had so much fun performing to their music and they were incredibly nice and welcoming to us afterwards. I even got a high five!
After a win, a group of us went to celebrate by grabbing a bite to eat at a local pizza joint. Instead of boring you with food pictures (believe me, there are more of those coming right up!) I will leave it at being delicious with a strong appreciation for their gluten-free pizza and pasta menu options!
(Me, Katlyn, Alex, Nichole)
I spent my time Saturday morning cleaning up the house, doing laundry, and getting ready for another game. I wanted to go for a trail run, but I am trying this new thing called listening to my body and giving it rest when it aches. It’s a tricky and frustrating concept, but I am rolling with it in order to get through the rest of the dancing season!
Plus, it hadn’t warmed up as much as I had hoped outside… so there’s that.
We had practice in the afternoon and then went straight to the arena for another attempt at a home win.
Unfortunately, we didn’t pull the W that time, but we did enjoy dinner (again) after and a fun time out to celebrate anyways.
We decided on TGI Fridays and I hesitantly ordered their black bean burger with a side of sweet potato fries.
I am always skeptical when a chain restaurant offers a garden or black bean burger on their menu, but I have to admit that this one was hearty and good! I moved the top bun off, and enjoyed it smothered in melted cheese, lettuce, pickles, grilled onions, and fresh avocado.
Sunday Brunchin’ in Birmingham
I can’t tell you the last time I had a Sunday like yesterday. It was perfect. Originally, I thought I was going to have to attend a dance workshop and practice, so I didn’t have high hopes for a weekend of regrouping and relaxing.
As it turns out, I had the day free and Scott and I were determined to take advantage of it. We never have the same Sunday entirely off… ever!
We started our day gratefully sleeping in, then attended the late 10:30 a.m. service at church. It felt so great not to have to rush off anywhere afterwards, since we usually go to the early service and then have to go straight to practice.
Instead, we made our way out the doors at our own pace and drove down to Birmingham for brunch.
I have only been to Downtown Birmingham a handful of times, but every time I visit it makes me want to move there. It’s adorable!
Where we originally planned on eating had over an hour long wait, so we walked a couple of blocks and stumbled upon Social Kitchen & Bar instead.
I had only heard great things about this spot, but never gotten the chance to try it out. Once again, adorable.
Alex had been there a handful of times, but always for dinner and said we have to come back during the summer when the patio is open!
I love the eclectic look of places like this, and it reminded both Scott and I of hidden spots we used to frequent back in Orlando. Check out the cool light fixtures and Bloody Mary bar!
We happily accepted our half hour wait time for brunch with a round of Mango mimosas.
We got sat much sooner than we expected and all found ourselves swooning over the menu. Scott kept joking that we were so happy and giddy, and I credit half of that to the sunshine finally finding it’s way past the clouds outside.
I give the rest of the credit to these beauties we ordered as an appetizer.
Pumpkin Pancakes with real pumpkin puree, chocolate chunks, cream cheese frosting, and toasted pecans.
Yeah. They only lasted about thirty seconds. For entrees, all the girls ordered make-your-own skillets that all turned out similar.
Scott ordered egg tacos!
Scrambled egg, chorizo, pico de gallo, black bean puree, queso blanco, cholula.
I was proud of him conquering his fear of corn tortillas and have to give his entree the win here. I can’t really complain about my skillet though, because it was also pretty freaking delicious.
Egg whites, mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, jalapenos, Swiss cheese, bacon and cholula.
We all left full, and in the best moods walking the downtown blocks.
On our way back to the car, we just so happened to cross a Sweet Earth frozen yogurt place that is known for their gluten and wheat-free toppings bar. Clearly, we had to check it out.
Out of pure curiosity, I chose the dairy-free vanilla and chocolate swirl fro yo and topped it with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and toasted coconut shavings.
It was good, but the texture of the non dairy yogurt might not be for some. It was very light and resembled more of a whipped cream consistency to me. I’m still not complaining, though. It was oh, so yummy.
And with extremely content bellies, we walked back to the car and each enjoyed the rest of our Sundays, respectively.
Scott ended up going bowling with some friends while I stayed home and caught up on some rest. We ended the night with dinner at Olive Garden (a true rarity!) and a promise to eat more meals at home this week.
To be honest, I really do miss the days that we were home at night on an almost every day basis. It really gives me more motivation to cook at home more consistently! I guess I have the summer (off-season) time to look forward to that.
Until then, we are plugging away trying to soak in the rest of this crazy NBA season upon us. There is another home game tonight, so I must go and get movin’ on my to-do’s before I need to get ready for it.
I just had to share my weekend with you to hopefully share the good mood around. I’m also linking up with Katie and her marvelousness!
I hope you all have a fabulous start to your week!
January 13, 2014
Good Afternoon party people! How was your weekend? Did you stay in and get some rest? Did you get out there and have some fun?
Mine was filled with a little bit of both of those things. I am going to quickly highlight Friday and Saturday with a couple of photos and then skip right onto yesterday… the fun stuff!
Friday started out super bright and early at 6 a.m. I am really trying to get back in the habit of going to bed at a decent hour so that I can wake up early the next day without feeling groggy. It may seem extreme to get up that early (for what may seem like no reason) but I am always the most productive in the mornings.
I have a feeling that once my dancing days (and late nights) are over, this will be an easier habit to stay on top of!
Anyways, I had big plans for catching up with life on Friday. Unfortunately, my body wasn’t really on the same page. Do you remember that stomach issue I was dealing with last year? Where I feel like I have the worst cramps possible and only feel like eating the weirdest things? Well… it’s back.
While Scott was busy at an event, I spent the night cuddled up on the couch with the fur babies while watching a marathon of Friends.
Eventually, I got up and made myself a Cream of Mushroom Chicken dinner with sauteed vegetables.
I also got the motivation to get all of our Christmas decorations put away with a little help from Aspen.
Crazy Friday night, folks!
Saturday morning resembled Friday night when I woke up feeling extremely weak and tired.
I know what you’re thinking. But, before you even go there… No, we aren’t expecting any kind of new addition to the family nine months from now. Sorry to burst that bubble friends!
Anyways, I started feeling more like myself around noon and got dressed and ready to head to the arena for an event followed by a home game later that night.
I stopped by Subway on the way over to ensure I at least put something substantial in my belly.
We ended up with a win and we met a few friends for dinner (I barely poked at) afterwards to celebrate.
Yesterday was a truly unique experience! It started with a team bonding outing at AirTime Trampoline & Game Park in Troy.
Have you ever been to a trampoline park before? They are such a blast! After what has been a hectic few months of games and practices, it was nice to spend the morning jumping around like five-year-olds.
Sometimes you just have to let lose and play dodgeball for an hour with the best of ‘em. Such good medicine for the soul!
Immediately following, I listened to my stomach cravings and stopped by Pei Wei for lunch. For those of you who have yet to experience Pei Wei, it is the “express” version of the Asian Restaurant P.F. Chang’s… (i.e.: you need to find one!)
I ordered the Dan Dan Noodles, remembering a previous suggestion from a friend and it did not disappoint.
I ended up leaving a third of it, but knew I might be in trouble if I indulged in any more of that delicious spicy sauce. I did, however, finish all of the fortune cookie.
(Hmmm. Can’t wait to see what that’s about!)
On the way home, I got a call from Scott who reminded me of a fun event we needed to attend later that night. I quickly met him for frozen yogurt before heading out to the arena.
The cheesecake bites and cookie dough balls might have been pushing it… but the body wants what it wants. #sorrynotsorry
On a serious note, it was the perfect way to hold me over for several hours until we would be able to eat again. Scott and I arrived at The Palace right before 4 p.m. which what seemed to be just in time for the Nitro Circus Live pre-show.
Nitro Circus Live
Okay, have any of you seen the television show Nitro Circus on MTV? It is an action sport documentary series led by Travis Pastrana, featuring his friends and him traveling around the world riding dirtbikes, base jumping, and performing incredible, unimaginable stunts.
For the first time ever, Nitro Circus Live came to Detroit last night and Scott and I somehow got a behind the scenes look at it all.
If any of you watch the show, make sure to tune in to the upcoming Detroit episode that will feature a familiar furry face, HOOPER the Detroit Piston’s Mascot!
I have mentioned on the blog before that Scott is his coordinator, and that we end up attending all of his scheduled appearances and events. I guess you can say opportunities like standing on the floor for the Nitro Circus pre-show is one of those “perks” we are fortunate enough to encounter from time to time.
We stayed back stage throughout the majority of the show, and for privacy reasons I am only able to share a few photos of what that view looked like.
I was truly stumped on what exactly this huge bubble would be used for. As you can imagine, it turned out to be very Evel Knievel like.
After keeping up with Scott and HOOPER throughout the show from the back, I made my way out to the audience to enjoy the final stunts.
That blurry blob you see above the left ramp is a dirt bike rider doing a double flip, by the way. No sweat.
To my right was a sixty foot ramp of doom, as I like to call it. Seriously, how scary is this thing?
Throughout the show, there were a variety of bikes and other objects ridden down it for tricks including skis, a snow board, roller blades, a wheel barrow, and even a cooler! I’m telling you, this show is nuts.
It ended with an unbelievable train of freestyle stunts off of both ramps, which you can see here. The crowd was SO loud and seemed to love every minute of the show!
After the lights came on and the stands emptied, I made my way back down to wrap things up. For any of you who are wondering, all of the riders and tour team members of Nitro Circus Live are equally welcoming and hilarious as they are talented.
Both Scott and I were taken by surprise when they asked us to stay for the awards and made a special shout out to HOOPER on their post-show wrap up! The funniest thing for me was seeing the riders form a circle and fist pump to “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” at the end.
I’m sure everything about the night was memorable for Scott, but if I had to guess his highlight of it might have been meeting Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham.
Take a look into his story, if you aren’t already aware of it. He is truly an inspiration to all!
It was an amazing night and I am so thankful to share these types of opportunities with you here on the blog! Back to healthy eating recaps and workout inspirations this week… promise!
Enjoy the rest of your Marvelous Monday!
January 6, 2014
Good Afternoon! How was your weekend? Ours was jam packed with random adventures, but that’s nothing really out of the ordinary.
Today is the first day in a long time I plan to stay put at home. Our area currently has record breaking snowfall with temperatures dropping to the negative double digits (down to -30 with the windchill!) tonight and into tomorrow morning.
Whaaa??? I really don’t think you could pay me to venture out into this weather right now. (Fingers cross practice tonight gets cancelled). For now, I plan on staying bundled up and getting some things done inside today. Probably tomorrow too!
Taking advantage a snow day (or two), I am really looking forward to catching up on well… life. My mom came into town to visit us directly from our trip to Paris, and since then I haven’t been able to organize, catch up on laundry or even chat with you guys. It’s well overdue my friends!
I promise to continue recapping our Paris trip with you, but for today I wanted to highlight some spontaneous weekend travel instead. Buckle up!
Windsor, (Ontario) Canada For Lunch
I have mentioned on the blog a time or two how close we live to another country. While Rochester Hills is about thirty minutes from Downtown Detroit, the city of Windsor, Ontario (Canada) is literally just across the Detroit River.
The area is referred to as Detroit-Windsor and the two cities are connected by the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. If you have a passport and a couple of free hours you can totally travel across the border and back for the afternoon. So we did!
Our morning started a little on the rough side with a car that wouldn’t start in the driveway. (<- I told you it was cold!) After an hour of jumping attempts, we finally had a success and were on our way to Windsor.
We do our best to entertain visitors with highlights of the area, and I wanted to personally show my mom just how north we are. Driving to Canada is something a Floridian can’t just say they did every day, right?
I told her to pack per passport and am so glad we made it a point to follow through with that plan. About forty-five minutes after our departure from the house, we entered downtown Windsor, Ontario.
Unsure of an exact destination location, we somehow stumbled upon the Windsor Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center. That turn was a lucky one because inside was an enthusiastic staff full of suggestions and information on how to make the best of our short time in the city. I highly suggest finding a visitors center if it’s close enough on any visit to a new city.
The unique menu with tons of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan friendly dishes brought us there, but we loved the cozy, eclectic atmosphere we noticed surrounding us once we settled in.
They even had the papier mâché animal heads similar to the ones Scott has been eying from Anthropologie for years now!
With an afternoon arrival, we couldn’t decided if we wanted to go for breakfast or lunch because everything looked incredible. I made my decision over coffee, which is completely predicable.
We settled on lunch, with a French Toast appetizer to split first.
We saw it on the table next to us and had to have it.
(Or kill it, whatever.)
Scott went with a local favorite of beef stroganoff poutine, which is the first time I have seen it served over french fries.
(Holy yum!) Both my mom and I went for a mix of healthy and splurge with our orders. She got the fried perch and I got the eggplant sliders, both served with a house salad that included greens, spiced cinnamon apples, raisins, and pumpkin seeds in a maple vinaigrette dressing.
In case you’re wondering where the tops of the mini-buns went, I took them off. Typical Heather move. Even so, the sliders were amazing and are something I would like to try putting together for a party one of these days.
We left more than content with full bellies and smiles on our faces.
The restaurant also has a general store attached to it, which we stopped by on the way out to explore the streets.
With a chill in the air, we walked quickly and found another great spot our guide led us to.
O’Maggio’s Kildar House serves typical “bar food” (I was told we have to order fish and chips if we go!), but is mostly known for their unique atmosphere experience. Next time we are in the area, Scott and I want to go inside and check it out.
We only had about a half hour to spare before having to get back to Detroit, so we spent it covering more ground by car. We found a lot of cute areas and houses with character along the way.
This one stood out a little…
Actually, this is a famous mansion called Willistead Manor. It’s huge!
The 1917 “house” includes thirty six bedrooms inside with 15-acre park outside. The property is accessible to the public (for a small entree fee) and is known for hosting weddings, meetings, and other special events.
Out of the neighborhood, we made our way to the shoreline and I got unexpectedly giddy over what I saw.
It’s the Detroit Skyline! I can’t tell you how many times we have driven it followed by “look it’s the Windsor Skyline!”
Being on the other side of it and seeing “our city” from the outside was a pretty cool experience.
We continued on towards the bridge to allow enough time to get to our outing planned for the night, but didn’t feel rushed or overwhelmed with our decision to go to Canada for lunch.
While we are living Michigan, we plan to take full advantage of little trips to different places as much as we can. Growing up in Florida, the concept of driving more directions than up (hours and hours!) before getting out of the state seems like we are spoiled.
We are looking forward to mapping out another trip to Windsor soon, hopefully with more than an hour or so to accomplish it in. Stay tuned for more weekend fun coming your way later today.
January 1, 2014
Well, a BIG and happy hello to all of you in 2014! I still cannot believe it is a new calendar year. Just like that. Crazy!
Did you all enjoy ringing it in? Scott and I go back and forth on what to do at midnight every year, and looking back at the last six of them, this was our most eventful one yet. To be honest, I would be a-okay with hanging in our pajamas with a simple toast at home at midnight. My husband, on the other hand, likes to get dressed up and celebrate in a unique way.
I can’t blame him for making things a little more interesting!
But we’ll get to that in a minute… first I want to share our afternoon with my mom in Downtown Rochester!
She caught a glimpse of Main Street last year when we took her to see the downtown lights. They don’t come on during the daytime, but we took a quick stroll down the street anyways. And I say quick because it’s pretty chilly out this week. These Floridians were shaking in their boots for sure!
Lunch at Penny Black’s
We walked a few blocks over to Penny Black’s, a restaurant that Scott and I have been eyeing for a while. I’m so glad we finally got to stop in and try their food because it was incredible. Seriously. SO good!
We started by splitting their Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer that were out of this world. Then Scott and I split two meals: Texas tacos (pork, chicken, and brisket) with a chipotle lime rice and a meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes and green beans.
We were very happy with our choices and also bummed that we didn’t have room for dessert. They have some unique ones like Yates Cider Mill donut bread pudding for instance. I mean, really… that just sounds dreamy.
We decided to rain check on that and stopped into a bakery called Cupcake Station for indulgences later on instead.
See that dog bone shaped one on the right? That pupcake was for Roadie, since he would be keeping my mom company during the ball drop. I thought they were so cute!
Ringing In a New Year
We had plans to go out with our friends Alex and Casey, and they arrived at our house around 8:30 p.m for a quick toast with my mom.
We picked up a few nice bottles of champagne from Paris, since they are so much cheaper over there! Don’t mind if we do.
Happy New Year! (Three hours early.)
Ready for a fun celebration, we all packed in the car en route to Royal Oak.
Alex attended a New Year’s celebration at Royal Oak Music Theatre last year and said it was a blast, so we gave it a shot! The first thing we came across inside were these (not so) awesome hats that made us giggle.
Once we got inside, we found the cute ones.
And a live band!
For arriving around 9 p.m. I was pretty impressed by the turn out. The venue was perfect for anyone our age, younger, and older to celebrate and everyone there seemed to have a great time!
We certainly cut a rug or two and got a conffetti drop surprise at midnight!
3… 2… 1…
Happy New Year!!!
New Years Day
Our celebrations were fun, but I would be lying if I said we weren’t dragging a little today. I think our trip overseas is finally setting in, so we have been enjoying lounging inside for today.
I made my go-to breakfast of gluten-free waffles topped in Greek yogurt and fresh berries.
And my mom made a traditional ham and black bean crockpot dinner that’s alllmost ready to dig into.
We plan to eat up, then finally get bundled up to head outside and explore Downtown Detroit with her. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your day. Oh, and before I forget: Happy Six Year Date-iversary to you, my love!
Thank you all for making it possible to share my adventures with you on this blog! 2013 was a great year, and I am looking forward to see what 2014 has in store. Wishing you all a very happy start to the new year!