Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Munising Mustangs at Ford Field!

We are not those people who get up early the day after Thanksgiving to wait in line to buy more stuff nobody needs. This year, though, we did get up early on Friday to make our first trip to Ford Field!


Defend the Den - Go Lions!

We were there to watch the Munising Mustangs in the high school football playoffs. Kyle's parents grew up in Munising, and a lot of his family still lives there, so they headed downstate and we all met up at the Field to watch the game. For those of you who don't know, Munising is a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's on the north side of the Upper Peninsula, along Lake Superior. We spend every 4th of July there, and it's definitely another reason why we love Pure Michigan!

We had a fun time exploring the Field while waiting for the game to start. It really is a great facility, and I would definitely return for a Lions game! (If you've been playing along a home, you know I'm a huge Detroit Lions football fan.)


Kyle is about 6"3 - does that give you an idea of how big this tree is?!


Although Munising lost,  it was a really fun experience and a good game! And bonus, we got to see Kyle's cousin Lily perform with her marching band, playing Kyle's instrument from high school!

Lily's the one playing the mellophone. Do you know what a mellophone is? :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chicken Sandwiches

Apparently I only blog when Kyle plays Halo. He pointed it out as he turned on the Xbox tonight and...he's kinda right!

I can't believe that summer's almost gone again. I love August, except for that. And this August 15 I turned 28. Year 27 year was many things, and going in I had high expectations. There was lots of good, but there was also loss and change and growth. The weekend was beautiful though, and we were visited by friends and family!

Lovely day on Lake Michigan! Sneak attack photography by Kyle :)


















Birthday time is even more special these days because of my birthday buddies! I have a little cousin, Jordan, who was born on the 15th also and turned 5 this year; but my sweet little niece, V, turned 2 on August 21! She visited for my birthday, and then we got to go celebrate with her the next weekend - video coming soon!

Opening up some books, her favorite things!











Here's another photo, because it's funny:

The coolest birthday gifts come in a bag with this weird guy on it. Thanks, baby!











P.S. You may be wondering why this blog is called 'Chicken Sandwiches'. I refer you here. I mean, if you didn't already know. But you should. And Kyle just teased me again about blogging while he plays Halo.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Festival of the Arts 2014

Friday after work, Kyle and I met up at home and then headed downtown to one of our favorite Grand Rapids summer events, the Festival of the Arts!

Festival of the Arts is an awesome street fair with local music, art, and food. Admission, performances, and activities are all free. There are several stages with constant performances throughout the day, as well as art displayed at various downtown locations. And the food - there are food booths set up throughout with lots of delicious choices, and proceeds benefit local organizations. What could be better for a summer weekend?

Today is the last day of Festival this year, and you can't miss it! Festival is open from 10 AM-7 PM, so check out this handy-dandy map and get ready for an epic Grand Rapids Sunday. Live in the city and can't make it out? You can tune into performances on GRTV's Livewire Channel 24 on Comcast Cable. (GRTV is a service of the Community Media Center - so much love in this post!)

When we arrived Friday evening, we walked around and sampled some yummy food for dinner while enjoying a couple performances. That night, we volunteered with the GRTV video crew - see Kyle in the pic below? We had such a fun time and after visiting Festival most years since we've lived here, it was so cool to get more involved.

Mom asked for a Festival selfie, here's what we sent her. :)
Seriously, don't miss Festival. Events like this that bring our community together in celebration of our cultures and include activities for all people are exactly why I love Grand Rapids. So head down and enjoy!

More info can be found of the Festival of the Arts website. Consider volunteering next year - there's a job for everyone! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wine Tasting in the Leelanau Peninsula

Last weekend we went wine-tasting in the Leelanau peninsula with our roomie Beth to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Kyle had never been before, and I only had been to the famous Grunst Brothers fall event in Big Rapids (seriously, Big Rapids peeps, if you haven’t gone, check it out) so it seemed like a great opportunity to escape the city for a night and head up to Traverse City!


Mission Peninsula in Traverse City during our trip there last June. Oh summer!
We started out at Chateau de Leelanau so we could pick up a handy-dandy map of the peninsula. It was a good place to start! $5 for 5 tastes, and they give you a laminated menu and marker so you can mark what you want to try.
Next we drove north to Leelanau Wine Cellars so that we could work our way back down the peninsula. If you live in Michigan, you've likely had their wines. It's even available at Meijer. What you might not know is that they offer "Tasting Room Only" flavors that aren't available anywhere else. They also have complimentary tasting. This was my favorite winery of the day, for so many reasons. The man who served us was another reason - he had recommendations based on what we liked, and as Kyle pointed out, was really excited about watching you taste the wine.
We backtracked a bit to go to Beth's favorite, Black Star Farms. It was crowded, but I liked most of what I tried and they had several different pre-picked flights for you to choose from based on your taste. Best of all here: you get to keep your cute little tasting glass, which is etched with their logo.
Pro-tip: most of the wineries are only open until 5 or 6 PM, so you have to start earlier than we did to make it to more places. We only made it to four...
...which brings me to our last stop, Tandem Ciders. No, this isn't a winery, but is all about the ciders! I really loved everything that we tried here, and they even made a great suggestion and let us mix our two favorites in our to-go growler.
As a side note, we had dinner at Mackinaw Brewing Company (this threw us the first time too - it's actually located in downtown Traverse City). If you love craft beers and love a nice burger, this place is for you. Our recommendation is the dill havarti cheese sticks as an appetizer - we had these for the first time last year and still talk about them.
All in all, it was a great weekend to celebrate our best friend's birthday.

Cheers!
Julez

Saturday, March 16, 2013

LaughFest's Bud Light Comedy Jam


On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of attending the Bud Light Comedy Jam at the Orbit Room. It's part of LaughFest, a ten day comedy fest in Grand Rapids that benefits Gilda's Club. Check out their website - they are an awesome organization who provide cancer and grief support for kids and adults. LaughFest is Gilda's way of spreading the message of the importance of laughter for overall emotional health.

I attended the Bud Light Comedy Jam with my friend Amy Jo, who won tickets from WGRD. (Thanks guys!!) There were 4 comedians and we had a lot of fun hanging out, laughing, and of course enjoying a Bud Light! (Big thanks to my awesome hub for driving us.)

LaughFest at The Orbit Room





















Of course we couldn't leave without getting some LaughFest swag. I recommend the High Five! These $5 buttons are being matched by the Wege Foundation - you pay $5 for the button, Gilda's Club gets $10! All proceeds from the sale of merchandise goes straight to Gilda's, so either way it's a winning situation, but why not double your donation with the High Five?! And you can pay for merch using cash or your credit card through the provided Square app. (Check out this post for more info on the Square app - I'm a fan.) So easy!

High Five!



















The event runs through Sunday, so you can still make an event! Many are free - check out the list here. One of my favorite events is the Amateur Stand-up Competition that our friend Keith performs in. We saw him last year and it was so cool to see him on stage at the B.O.B.! He'll be performing again this year at the B.O.B. March 17th at 6 PM and it promises to be a hilarious time!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ray Lewis' Ascension into Heaven


Every Super Bowl Sunday since we’ve moved to Grand Rapids, we’ve met up with our friend Ashley to watch the game, have some laughs, and eat Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip. Super Bowl 2013 was no different!

The game opened with the Newtown kids singing “America the Beautiful” with Jennifer Hudson. I have to admit I had a little something in my eye – those kids are so strong and inspiring.



I was rooting for the Baltimore Ravens & a triumphant end of career for Ray Lewis, so the first half was pretty uneventful. The Ravens were making touchdown after touchdown, including a ridiculous 109 yard rush in 11 seconds, and the score was 21-6 at halftime. Nothing to worry about here.

My favorite commercial in the first half was definitely the old people 4th mealing it at T-Bell. I think we’ve all been there!

We made a quick run to the store but made it back before missing Beyonce’s halftime show. I don’t have much to say about that – I don’t think they ever choose a really good performer for halftime. The multiple dancing Beyonces were a little bit too much for me, but my 12-year-old self dug that it turned into a Destiny’s Child reunion.

The second half opened and the Ravens scored immediately. All of the sudden we lost the announcers…and then the lights went out.

Twitter blew up INSTANTLY. I have to say, Super Bowl 47 was one of my favorite sporting events to tweet during. We spent the half hour or so waiting for the game to start back up laughing at everything from “The guy from Airplane shut off the lights!” to “Any minute now, the heavens will open up and Ray Lewis will ascend into heaven.” To see our favorite tweets, check out our Twitter feeds.

Finally, the game gets going again, and now it’s the 49ers turn to score multiple times in a row. I almost lost faith – the blackout seemed to really cause the Ravens to lose focus. But they held the 49ers off, and kept the lead to win the game 34-31. What an amazing way to end a career; but I can’t imagine what the score would have been if the power never went out!

I had two favorite commercials from the second half: Gangnam Style Pistachios and the Tide Montanaland spots. Here’s the Tide spot, if you missed it:



The commercials were really different this year, pulling at the heart strings more than tickling the funny bone. I guess there is a place for that right now, with all the hurt our country has faced recently, but I enjoy laughing more. A lot of people seemed to really like the Farmer commercial, and while I enjoyed the nostalgia, I didn't find it very realistic. All in all, it was a great game, and I will surely miss the football season. At least baseball will be here before we know it!

What did you think of last night’s Super Bowl? What was your favorite commercial?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fingernail Sunday


For as long as I can remember, Sunday has been Fingernail Sunday. Every Sunday, my mom would change up her nail polish, and inevitably, mine too.

As I got older, I started doing my own, but when I was younger, I experimented with my mom. I remember walking into my 3rd grade classroom on Saint Patrick’s Day with jade-colored fingernails. I loved it. I thought I was so cool.

One of the more recent times I participated in Fingernail Sunday was before the Packers vs. Steelers Super Bowl in 2011. Here’s a throwback pic of what my mom came up with:

Guess who I was rooting for?















I recently became interested in the “accent nail” trend, so after my mom gave me a new Ulta polish for Christmas (Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Diva), I decided it was time to try the trend out last Sunday.

Sephora & Ulta; my favorites



















When I started out, I had planned to do all black nails (having recently purchased Sephora by OPI in What’s a Tire Jack?) with a sparkly accent nail.  Although I usually prefer black (when I got a mani/pedi on my birthday last year, the tech questioned me for choosing black several times), I’m glad I went with the opposite – and I still thought I looked cool. ;)

The finished product

















Both polishes actually held up really well for the entire week, even though I didn’t use any kind of base or top coat. The Ulta polish was not as pink as I expected, but looked good nonetheless. The Sephora polish was the perfect opaque black after two thin coats. In short, 
I’d recommend both, and they looked good together, too. One note: the Ulta polish was   
a complete pain in the ass to get off (just like any glitter polish). I had this pinned, but we are out of cotton balls, so that’s a tip for next time.

Do you like the ring finger polish trend, or do you think it’s lame?