Festival of the Hills


The annual Festival of the Hills fireworks show at Borden Park takes place on June 25, 2014. This event has become a huge tradition in our community – the summer’s best “stay-cation”. 

This year’s family friendly event begins at 6:00 pm with family games and live entertainment. The star of the show is Michigan’s 2nd largest fireworks show beginning at 10:06 pm.

Arrive early, avoid the rush, and bring an umbrella. This event goes off Rain-or-Shine. 

In the past, it has been through the generosity of area business owners that this event has been possible. This year, they are asking that you consider making a donation to help them continue this community tradition. Please use this donation form to support this annual event.

Please remember the following rules and regulations:

  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No open fires
  • No pets are allowed
  • No sparklers or other fireworks
  • Only gas-type barbecue grills are allowed


  • Handicap parking is available at the Hamlin Road entrance
  • Motor home parking space is limited and canopies / overhangs cannot take up a second parking spot
  • No over-night parking


Borden Park
1400 E. Hamlin Rd.
Rochester Hills, MI

PBS Summer Program Schedule

PBS Summer Schedule

If you are a parent, every summer you worry about summer brain drain.  It’s a term people use to describe a loss of knowledge due to a lack of education. PBS has changed up their summer programing schedule  to provide more of the key educational PBS KIDS programs kids love – more Wild Kratts, more Curious George, more Dinosaur Train, and more! 

Throughout the summer, you’ll see multi-platform content, local partnerships and activities to help kids and parents learn and explore together and prevent learning loss all summer long.  We’re collaborating with libraries, educators and others to offer educational resources and events for teachers, caregivers and families.  To learn more about Detroit Public TV’s “Be Summer Smart” initiative, click here.

PBS Summer Program Schedule

Double episodes of Wild Kratts from 7-8am.

Curious George episodes air back-to-back from 8-9am.

Peg + CatDinosaur Train, and Sesame Street will air from 9-11am

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood—two episodes will air at 11am

Dinosaur Train double- episode follows at noon, followed by single episodes of Super Why!Thomas & FriendsPeg + Cat, and The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That from 1-3pm.

The weekday children’s schedule will conclude with two episodes of Curious George at 3pm, two episodes of Arthur at4pm, and Wild Kratts at 5pm.


For more details on the new schedule, visit http://bit.ly/1ggQCDu

4 Gardening Smart Phone Apps


gardening apps

I am clueless when it comes to gardening and love my roses because they are very low maintenance.  I do not know what to plant, when to plant, how much to water, etc, etc, etc. I love plants and gardens and long for a beautiful, lush garden that I can spend the evening summer hours enjoying while sipping on a glass of wine.

Gardening App Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.08.25 PM

AT&T took the legwork out for all of us and put together a list of smart phone gardening apps that are sure to help those of us that need a little help in the gardening department.


1.       Food Gardening Guide  (iOS) – If you’re interested in venturing into organic food gardening, this free app from MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine provides expert gardening techniques, information on top crops, and access to the magazine’s blog feeds covering “Do It Yourself” projects, natural health, green homes and more.

2.       Garden Insects Guide (iOS) – Not all insects are bad for your garden, but you don’t want to let the ones that are bug your plants to death!  This free guide from the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine will help you identify the bad bugs from the good bugs. It provides advice on how you can prevent damage from the pest insects and attract the beneficial ones. The app has a “Pest Control” section that tells you how to get rid of insect pests organically and naturally.

3.       Garden Squared (Android) – This app assists in planning and tracking square foot gardens—ranging from 1’ by 1’ to 4’ by 8’—and even patio containers, seedlings and raised garden beds. Details of every plot can be saved along with a journal entry/task tracker. Great for beginners!

4.       Garden Manager: Plant Alarm (Android) – This app reminds you exactly when to water, fertilize, spray pesticide and more. Custom tasks are also available so you will be reminded to tend to specific plants. You can take a photo log of how your plants grow, and then brag about your success on social media.

I think the Garden Manager: Plant Alarm will be the best app for me!  Which one would you choose?

RARA Summer Camps in Rochester Beginning Soon

rara logo

One of the many things I love about Rochester, MI is all of the youth activities they provide.  RARA has activities year round, but if you are looking for a summer program in Rochester or Rochester Hills, MI no need to look any further.  Summer camps are starting June 16, so if you are still looking for a fun summer experience for your kids, sign up soon!



Camp Rocky Road (Ages 4-5)

Camp Rocky Road is a wonderful camp experience for your youngsters. Camp activities include games, crafts, nature activities, special events, wading pool swimming, and other adventurous activities. Children will learn camp songs and finger plays. Camps will be held at the Rochester Municipal Lions Shelter. Our counselors are experienced in childcare and education. You can sign up for one week or all nine. A Camp T-shirt is provided. Latchkey is not provided for Camp Rocky Road.

Camp Moosetracks (Ages 5-7)

Camp Moose Tracks is an action-packed camp for your children to enjoy. Activities will include games, nature projects, swimming, crafts, special events, and much more. Campers are bussed over to Spencer Park, which is located at 3701 John R. The park includes a lake with guarded beach, fishing pier, picnic area, play structure, and sport fields. Campers will go on one field trip per week! Daily camp activities will be announced in a weekly newsletter handed out on Monday afternoons. Camp T-shirts are provided.

Camp Caribou (Ages 8-10)

How about spending your summer days at camp? A different adventure awaits you everyday. Whether you are at Spencer Park or on a field trip, you’ll have a great time! Some activities will include sports, swimming challenging activities, and much more. Campers will go on one field trip per week! Daily activities will be posted in a weekly newsletter handed out on Monday afternoon. Camp T-shirts are provided.

Teen Camp (Ages 11-14)

Teen Camp is a great opportunity for preteens and teens to enjoy the great outdoors with new friends and old. We’ll go several exciting field trips, two per week! Some of the trips will include fishing, wave pools and adventure centers. They’ll build memories to last a lifetime. Other activities will include sports, swimming, challenging activities, and much more. Daily activities will be posted in a weekly newsletter handout on Monday afternoons. Camp T-shirts are provided.

Specialty Camps, Sports Camp, and Travel Camps

For more information or registration information:  http://rararecreation.org/Youth-Recreation/Day-Camps

New Yogurt Shop Opening in Shelby Township


Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, the world’s fastest growing frozen yogurt brand has opened a location in Shelby Township, MI and will be celebrating with a seven-day grand opening celebration from June 7th to June 13th.  


On Saturday June 7, Menchie’s will be giving out free 5oz cups of yogurt from 11am-close. Other activities happening will be ribbon cutting with Menchie, free giveaways including t-shirts and other Menchie’s merchandise and a variety of family-friendly activities.


In addition, Menchie’s Shelby Square is partnering with two nearby schools during the grand opening to raise funds for a local Michigan cancer foundation, Angels of HopeAmount made during the grand opening will be donated to this foundation.


The new self-serve store in Shelby Township offers an unparalleled experience that is welcoming, fun and interactive, with arts and crafts for kids, enjoyable music and indoor/outdoor seating areas where friends and family gather.  Guests can choose from a variety of delicious yogurt flavors and over 70 rotating toppings for unlimited combinations, ensuring happiness in every cup.

Detroit Home and Garden Tour

1730 Burns Photo

On Saturday, June 7th, Historic Indian Village will host its 41st Home and Garden Tour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors this year will view seven home venues which include a carriage house and a garden, representing a myriad of different architectural styles.

Each year, this popular event attracts several thousand visitors to this impressive, turn-of-the-century Detroit neighborhood that once was home to many of the great auto barons and titans of industry. Today it stands as an example of impressive architecture, glorious gardens and hard-working community spirit – a close-knit neighborhood thriving amidst the emerging renaissance of Detroit.

Docents and master gardeners will offer expert commentary. The tour first began in 1955. It is the second oldest tour of its kind in Michigan, preceded only by the Marshall Michigan Historic Home Tour.

The annual one-day tour also will offer attendees the chance to enjoy displays of classic cars, wander through the picturesque Indian Village Centennial Garden, tour several historically significant churches and schools, and check out the event’s popular Art Lot.

And, of course, there will be plenty of time to relax, enjoy ice-cold lemonade and take in the wonders of summertime in the neighborhood only blocks from scenic Belle Isle.

Historic Indian Village, one of Detroit’s most prestigious and elegant historic neighborhoods, is listed on the city, state and national historic registries, with homes dating back to 1895. The neighborhood is located on Seminole, Iroquois and Burns, from Jefferson to Mack Avenues.

Advance tickets are $18 per person and sold online at www.historicindianvillage.org via PayPal.

Tickets on tour day are $20 per person and will be on sale at the Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church at Jefferson and Burns; Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran Church at Vernor and Iroquois; and the Nichols School, 3000 Burns Avenue at Goethe.

Attention: All New and Expecting Parents



Are you getting ready to have a brand new baby? Whether it’s your first or last there is always something new to add to your registry!  Gearapalooza is the ultimate baby gear and registry event!


What: Gearapalooza: The Ultimate Baby Gear and Registry Event
When: June 28, 2014, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Elephant Ears
415 North 5th Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: Gearapalooza is the ultimate baby gear and registry event for expectant and new parents. The event features a presentation by TheBabyGuy Jamie Grayson, q&a, giveaways, in store discounts and goody bags for all attendees. 

Metro Detroit Youth Day

Metro Detroit Youth Day

Metro Detroit Youth Day, a summer staple for metro Detroiters, is returning to Belle Isle on Wednesday, July 9.  The 32nd annual Youth Day event will welcome more than 34,000 youngsters to the athletic fields for a day of fun, learning and camaraderie.


This year, Youth Day will feature sports clinics, education stations, entertainment and workshops for students focused on anti-crime, anti-bullying, health and wellness, and entrepreneurship. The popular College Row area is returning to provide opportunity for students to visit with and learn more about Michigan’s colleges and universities. Local legends and performers, as well as kids 8 to 15 years old will provide centrally located entertainment at the Pepsi Stage.


A truly amazing display of community organizations and individuals working in concert, Metro Detroit Youth Day is made possible by the men, women and children throughout metro Detroit who come together to support area youth.


When: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9

Where: Belle Isle’s athletic fields

More information about Metro Detroit Youth Day can be found atwww.metrodetroityouthday.com or on Facebook.


The Outdoors Misses You: Giveaway!

Get Outdoors

This was a LONG winter that I honestly thought would never end! Alas the sun has peeped out, the grass has turned from brown to green and the flower beds are full of beautiful colors. My favorite season has begun and it’s time to get out and enjoy the outdoors!


To be ready for the outdoors, you do need to be prepared. I make sure my cabinet is stocked with everything I need to get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air without suffering.


My must have outdoor essentials:

  • I have really bad allergies, so I I prepare by taking these medicines on a daily basis:
    • Allegra
    •  Allergy eye drops
    • Prescription nose spray
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+
  • Bug repellent
    • Running- OFF! Active®
    • Hiking- OFF! Deep Woods®
    • Gardening and Backyard fun- OFF!® Bug Control Backyard Pretreat
    • If bites do occur- OFF!® Explore™ Mosquito Bite Relief Pen
  • Light weight, breathable clothing
  • Water
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Healthy snacks
  • Tissues


To kick off the outdoor season, I have partnered with OFF!® According to a new national survey2 conducted on behalf of the OFF!® brand, nearly all Americans (97 percent) think it’s important to spend time outside, but almost three-quarters of Americans wish they could spend more time outdoors.


The survey found some surprising facts about just how far people are willing to go to get rid of mosquito bites:

  • Half of America would rather clean a bathroom than deal with bug bites.
  • One in five Americans would actually be willing to give up all technology for a week in order to heal bug bites, and nearly four out of 10 would rather complete their tax returns.
  • Bugs, such as mosquitoes and ticks, were reported as being worse than allergies, distractions from electronics, and feeling out of shape when it comes to spoiling time outside.

With these sentiments in mind, this year the OFF!® brand is introducing OFF!® Explore™ to its portfolio. This new set of products offers portable, easily accessible repellent for outdoor enthusiasts such as the OFF!® Explore™ 3 oz. Aerosol that features a snap-on carabiner top allowing for easy accessibility by attaching to the outside of equipment and the OFF!® Explore™ Insect Repellent, which comes in a portable, leak-resistant case for on-the-go adventurers.


In addition to the new OFF!® Explore™ line, the OFF!® brand has a suite of products to help people spend more time outdoors this summer, such as OFF!® Clip-On™, a personal mosquito repellent that doesn’t have to be applied directly to skin – great for personal relaxation. For more exuberant exercise, use a repellent like OFF! Deep Woods® for long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies.




On July 7th I will be in Dearborn, MI  attending the National Get Outdoors Day event at Greenfield Village and I’d like to invite you and your family to attend too !


A full schedule of activities is planned to celebrate this annual event, including:

  • Environmental Programs
  • William Ford Barn Open to the Public
  • Hands-on Activities
  • Outdoor Demonstrations
  • Fun Outdoor-themed Giveaways
  • Presentation by our Historic Horseback Forest Ranger
  • Join an Afternoon Nature Hike
  • Nature Hikes
  • Free with Greenfield Village Admission


Make sure to stop by the OFF!® tent near the grounds entrance for outdoor-themed giveaways, fun facts, a photo booth and tips for protecting yourself against mosquitos and ticks during the buggy summer season.


All activities and events are free with membership or with Greenfield Village admission. To learn more about the Get Outdoors Day celebration at Greenfield Village, visit:http://www.thehenryford.org/events/nationalGetOutdoorsDay.aspx



WHEN:             June 7th, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


WHERE:           20900 Oakwood Boulevard  Dearborn, Michigan 48124


How Much:

MEMBERS free of charge
NON-MEMBER SENIORS age 62 & up, $22
ADULTS age 13-61, $24
YOUTH age 5-12, $17.50
CHILDREN 4 & under are free.

Parking is $5 per vehicle. 



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Disclosure: This post was written to help promote National Get Outdoors Day and my partnership with OFF!  All opinions are my own and true.

WATCH Disney Junior Launches Disney Junior en Español

watch disney junior

Disney/ABC Television Group is today re-launching its industry-defining WATCH services for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior with an intuitive, character-focused redesign and new features that include the launch of Disney Junior en Español, access to Radio Disney, the ability to play games on Android and Kindle Fire devices and premieres of some of each networks’ most anticipated programming.

The WATCH services make it possible for fans to watch popular shows anytime, anywhere via desktops, connected TVs, smartphones and tablets. Fans who verify with a participating TV provider can access live streams of their favorite network, as well as exclusive content. Beginning today, each network WATCH service now also features the following:

WATCH Disney Junior:

- Disney Junior is launching Disney Junior en Español, marking the first time the network has made an entire block of programming available in Spanish on mobile devices. Series include “Sofia the First,” “Doc McStuffins,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Henry Hugglemonster,” as well as short-form series “Minnie’s Bow-Toons” and “The Doc Files.” Additionally, Android users can draw, paint and color pages from their favorite Disney Junior shows with Disney Junior Color! en Español.

- World premiere of a new “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” episode “Donald Jr.” available in English and Spanish.

- Launch of Radio Disney Junior, a six-hour block of programming hosted by Genevieve Goings (“Choo Choo Soul”) and featuring “The Best of Radio Disney Junior with Genevieve”; “Magical World of Disney Junior,” featuring music from popular Disney and Pixar movies; “Pirates & Princesses” themed songs; “Storybook Hour” where kids can hear one of their favorite Disney stories like “Brave,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Tangled” and “Monsters Inc.”; and “Get Up and Move,” a one-hour programming block dedicated to health and wellness.

- Android and Kindle Fire users have access to exclusive Disney Junior games and activities, including “Disney Junior Color,” which offers interactive coloring pages from popular series; “Disney Junior Puzzles,” featuring 90 puzzles, each with a magical Disney Junior video reward; and “Mickey’s Pet Playhouse,” which lets kids play along with Mickey Mouse to adopt, groom and play with virtual pets.

WATCH Disney Channel:

- The world premiere of the highly-anticipated comedy series “Girl Meets World” is available for viewers who have verified their account with a participating TV provider. “Girl Meets World” premieres June 27 on Disney Channel.

- Addition of music videos and recently launched short-form series “Dogs Rule…Cats Not So Much.”

- Live audio stream from Radio Disney.

- Five exclusive games, available only to Android and Kindle Fire users. “Jessie’s Run,” “Chew Toy Chase” and “Riley’s Message Mayhem” are quick time-based games that challenge players to beat the clock with their favorite characters from “Jessie,” “Dog With A Blog” and “Girl Meets World.” Authenticated users can also play “Sticker Stacker,” a game with over 70 levels, and “Slide Me Crazy,” a puzzle-based game featuring favorite Disney Channel characters in exciting, high-speed game challenges.

- On June 23, verified viewers will be able to watch the world premiere of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Zapped,” starring the multi-talented recording artist/actress Zendaya (“Dancing with the Stars,” “Shake It Up”). “Zapped” premieres June 27 on Disney Channel.

WATCH Disney XD:

- Exclusive premiere of summer episodes: “Phineas and Ferb Save Summer,” “Wander Over Yonder: The Nice Guy / The Timebomb” and “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures: Ride The Wild Pac-Topus.”

- Android and Kindle Fire users will also have access to three new Disney XD games exclusive to the WATCH experience: “Phineas and Ferb: Summer Soakers” takes the backyard water fight to a whole new dimension; “Prank-a-Tron 5000″ lets users create their own soundboards, prank noises and audio effects from the random, funny world of Disney XD; and “Ultimate Air” dares players to take the ultimate challenge and defeat Disney XD villains in this high-stakes arcade style game.