While in the past many people have focused on the negative aspects of our state, I am glad to see things turning around in the Great Mitten State. The Pure Michigan campaign has opened the eyes of many people to the true beauty of Michigan. There are so many things to do and see in Michigan, and this Pure Michigan video is a fun reminder of the awesomeness of this great state. In Michigan it’s always a good time!
Last week, I had the wonderful privilege of conducting my very first phone interview with a rising celebrity. I would like for you to meet Ysa Penarejo, A.K.A., Toulane from the recent American Girl Movie “Shoot for the Stars.” My 9 year old daughter was allowed to listen in on the interview through speaker phone and even ask Ysa a few questions of her own. She was beyond delighted at this opportunity!
Lindsey: Good afternoon Ysa, my name is Lindsey Clair. I am a Media Writer for Detroit Mommies. Thank you for taking time out in your day to speak with me today.
Ysa: Thank you for having me, I am so glad to be here.
Lindsey: How old are you and where are you from?
Ysa: I am 12 years old and I am from San Diego.
Lindsey: Prior to the American Girl movie, were you a fan of the dolls?
Ysa: I love the American Girl dolls and I actually have 4 of them.
Lindsey: What were you doing the day you found out you got the part of playing Toulane in the American Girl movie?
Ysa: I was actually at my elementary graduation hanging with my mom. She got a call telling me I got the part. I just couldn’t believe it. I was screaming and just so excited. I kept asking myself “am I dreaming?’
Lindsey: What was it like working alongside Ian Zeiring and Nia Vardalos?
Ysa: Oh my goodness, it was so much fun. Ian is so funny. Just watching them was amazing.
Lindsey: Do you stay in touch with all of your American Girl co-stars?
Ysa: Yes. When we all happen to be in L.A we hang out at restauraunts and talk.
Lindsey: What important lesson did you learn while shooting the movie that you can pass on to tween girls?
Ysa: Being honest to your family and friends is the most important thing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Lindsey: Ysa, my 9 year old daughter Kelly, would like to ask you a few questions as well.
Ysa: Yay, I am so excited.
Kelly: Hi Ysa, I am so excited to meet you.
Ysa: Kelly, I am so thrilled you are talking with me today, how fun.
Kelly: Are you really friends with Jade PettyJohn (McKenna)?
Ysa: Yes, I love her! She is a great friend. I really miss her.
Kelly: Do you really do gymnastics?
Ysa: No, I mainly dance.
Kelly: Do you like dance?
Ysa: I love dance! It’s my favorite.
Kelly: Do you like to sing?
Ysa: Yes, I love to sing.
Kelly: Thank you for letting me ask you questions today. I get to start gymnastics next week.
Ysa: Oh how exciting! Nice meeting you Kelly. It was so much fun.
**A lot of cute small talk went on in between them both. My daughter was on Cloud 9 the rest of the day. Ysa left her a sweet message on Facebook.
Lindsey: Thanks so much Ysa for chatting with my daughter, you have made her day! I can tell you are one busy young lady. Tell me about your very first pop single just recently released titled: “Like Not Love.”
Ysa: Yes, it’s mainly about tween relationships and making choices.
Lindsey: What final thoughts would you like to share with us today?
Ysa: Thanks so much for talking with me and supporting my acting.
Ysa is a very talented and sweet young lady! I look forward to seeing what she does next in her acting and singing career in the days ahead. Thanks again for sharing with Detroit Mommies Ysa, it was so wonderful meeting you.
Image by Mike Rozman
Michigan is a beautiful state, and truly shines in the warm weather months. If you are looking to “get away from it all” and enjoy the outdoors without getting on a plane, Michigan’s upper peninsula is the perfect destination. I have enjoyed the U.P. nearly every summer of my life, and I continue to be amazed. I will add that I am by no means an outdoorsy type. While the U.P. is a truly beautiful place to take in the scenery, you certainly don’t have to rough it if camping just isn’t your thing.
If you have a weekend:
A 4.5 hour drive from Metro Detroit, Mackinac Island is “One of the top 10 islands in the world” according to Condé Nast Traveler. The ferry ride you must take to the island is in itself an adventure that most kids will love. Mackinac Island is a car free zone, which adds to the character and old fashioned charm but more importantly allows you to really relax and slow down. Bike rentals are widely available on the island and offer a great way to explore at your leisure. Watching the creation of delicious fudge, carriage rides, and high tea at the beautiful Grand Hotel are a few of my favorite memories of the island. Staying the night on the island is amazing, but can be pricey. Hotels and camping are both available in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace (across the bridge) to keep things more budget friendly.
The drive over the Mackinac bridge is a childhood memory I will never forget. Kids love these simple things, so if you go to all the trouble of driving this far, go across the bridge and explore the other side. If you head west on US 2 for about 20 minutes you will see beautiful sandy stretches of beach along the roadside. There is space to pull over and park. Stop and take a walk, a swim, or have a little picnic. For more info on planning a visit to Mackinac, go to www.mackinacisland.org
If you have a long weekend:
Sault Ste. Marie, what yoopers call “the Soo” is a truly unique place. Home to the Soo Locks, the busiest locks in the world, this is an area rich with treasures to be uncovered. Watching a giant freighter pass through the locks is amazing, an experience found nowhere else in the United States. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum is a great way to explore the history of the many shipwrecks of our area. If you want to get a closer look, take a kayak tour to explore some of the shallow water shipwrecks in the area. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is home to the Tahquamenon Falls, the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.
If you have a week:
About a 10 hour drive from Metro Detroit, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a beautiful 60,000 acre area of forests, lakes and rivers. A truly serene place full of beauty and wildlife, you will feel truly “away from it all” as you explore all of the hidden treasures of this park. Take the time to walk along the Lake Superior shore, pick some colorful rocks, and find a spot of beach that is all your own. Easily done in this picturesque place. This vast park has an enormous variety ofareas and trails, which allows you to choose just how deep into nature you would like to travel. With over 90 miles of hiking trails there is something for every age and interest.
About an hour inland of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Lake Gogebic. Lake Gogebic is the largest inland lake in the U.P. and is well worth the trip. It’s enormous at 14 miles long and 2.5miles wide, covering 13,380 acres.
I have wonderful memories from each of my trips to the U.P. and I know my kids do as well. While I have touched on a few spectacular places to visit, there are many others that would make for an amazing trip. Pictured Rocks is another beautiful destination and has a scenic boat tour, for example. Spend some time in the U.P. and gain a true appreciation for the beautiful state you live it. While you’re here you just may get lucky enough to witness the beautiful Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis. Go explore, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is full of things you likely never knew were right here in your own backyard.
Beginning Labor Day weekend, bd’s Mongolian Grill is treating customers to major deals and the chance to win free food for a year with its 20th birthday scratch-off card promotion. Scratch-off cards will award guests the opportunity to win prizes, including free appetizers and entrees and additional discounts. Twenty lucky guests at each restaurant will be awarded the grand prize of free food for a year. *Scratch-off prizes may be redeemed upon a customer’s next restaurant visit beginning September 10 through October 7.
Adding to the celebration, bd’s Mongolian Grill is bringing back an all-time favorite with a birthday twist. Guests can indulge on 25 full-flavored ounces of their favorite beverage served in the limited time only 20th Birthday Celebration Mug.
Are you and your family looking to squeeze out the very last of summer fun that you possibly can before school starts? If you live in or near Washtenaw County, don’t miss out on Summer Fest 2012.
The Parkridge Summer Festival Committee and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, is to host Joint Community Day this Saturday, August 25th, 11:00 am – 3:30 pm.
Here are just some of the events and activities that will be available at the Summer Fest:
- Live Entertainment such as John E. Lawrence and Friends, etc.
- Community Resource Booths such as job training programs and youth mentoring
- C.A.R. Show and Stereo competition
- Free Food
and much more.
Don’t forget your lawn chair, volleyball, horseshoes, etc., for a grand time with your family at Washtenaw County Summer Fest 2012.
For more information on this local event call 734-483-7700 or visit Parkridge Community Center website.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: MessyandPicky.com
To celebrate the grand opening and continue its commitment to growth in the community, Qdoba will be serving up special meal deals and recruitment events in the coming weeks including a $5 meal for guests in all of E. Michigan on August 20. This will be their 25th location in eastern Michigan!
Qdoba’s 25th Eastern Michigan restaurant will be located in Hunter’s Square (31367 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills). To celebrate this exciting milestone with all Eastern Michigan Qdoba fans, Qdoba will be offering the following meal deals at all Eastern Michigan locations:
- Monday, August 20: Guests can enjoy their favorite Qdoba entree for just $5, plus tax (coupon required; visitwww.facebook.com/QdobaDetroit to download)
- Saturday, August 25: Qdoba’s handmade chips and signature 3-Cheese Queso will be available for only 25¢ between 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (no additional purchase necessary)
Qdoba fans are also invited to continue the grand opening festivities at the new Hunter’s Square location with the following activities:
- Monday, August 20: First 25 guests will enjoy a free Qdoba entrée
- Tuesday, August 21: First 25 guests will receive a Qdoba rewards card with 1, 5, 15 or 25 free entrees loaded on the card
- Wednesday, August 22: 96.3 WDVD will be on-site from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; guests will be able to enjoy their favorite Qdoba entrée for just $5 (plus tax) during that time
Qdoba’s ongoing expansion in Eastern Michigan has provided new job opportunities for hundreds of residents. To continue finding great talent in the metro Detroit area to support this growth, Qdoba is hosting two recruiting events targeting shift supervisors and experienced restaurant managers:
- Thursday, August 16 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Qdoba’s Northville location (20561 Haggerty Rd. – near 8 Mile)
- Friday, August 17 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Qdoba’s Auburn Hills location (3945 Baldwin Rd.)
Last week I spent the entire week in NYC for the BlogHer conference. It is one of, if not THE largest conferences for bloggers.
While there in NYC, I was invited by my friend and co-worker, Melissa Garcia from ConsumerQueen.com to attend an event held by ALL YOU magazine. They invited about a dozen of us into their office to talk about what is coming up in the magazine and to get to know us a little better. It was a very warm and relaxing event and I was very honored to have been invited.
See more about the event and the bloggers that were invited (here).
We hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July! If you want to continue celebrating and spending family time together, check out our top picks for family friendly things to do in Metro Detroit this weekend:
Fireworks, carnival rides, the Miracle of Life exhibit and so much more! This annual event is sure to please the entire family. There’s also a pirate lunch and a princess tea ($5 per person for each)!
Visit the Post-Industrial Complex. According to the website, ”
Post-Industrial Complex is a survey, group exhibition, and source book that explores the ingenuity and adaptivity of human-scale production at the heart of Detroit. The exhibition disrupts the notion that there is a story of the city. A true metropolis is comprised of multiple stories and multiple voices.”
There’s a tractor pull, hot dog eating contest, petting zoo & Saturday is Ladies’ Day! Admission is only $5 per person.
Open on Saturday, this market features fresh, local produce & flowers for 8 surrounding counties.
Introduce your young ones to the magic of a live theater performance with this classic tale! Tickets are only $8 per person.
Detroit was named one of the 10 cities to receive a visit from the special-edition “Adults Only” DOVE® Ice Cream Truck! The “Adults Only” DOVE Ice Cream Truck is a fully loaded vehicle designed to help adults relive their childhood ice cream memories in a truly decadent, grown-up way.
Detroit-area adults are invited to dip into delicious, relaxing and free activities including:
- An irresistibly rich DOVE® Ice Cream Bar
- A free five-minute massage by a licensed massage therapist
- A free manicure
Friday, June 29
*Beginning at 11:30 a.m. EST: Downtown Detroit
Corner of Cadillac Square and Woodward
(Next to Campus Martius Park)
*Beginning at 5 p.m. EST: Meijer
3145 Ann Arbor – Saline Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
*While supplies last
Looking for a way to explore Michigan’s Great Lakes? Here’s a great way to experience the region’s water assets up close and personal. For the eleventh summer, Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, will give locals and visitors that opportunity through Summer Discovery Cruises that will highlight local waterways.
The cruises depart from two locations; Lake Erie Metropark (exploring the lower Detroit River and Lake Erie) and Lake St. Clair Metropark (which travels Lake St. Clair). There are more than 20 educational cruises schedule for this year. The cruises focus on themes such as fisheries, wildlife, wetlands, shipwrecks, lighthouses, weather, shipping and more!
The first cruise of Lake Erie is on June 16th and the first cruise on Lake St. Clair is June 20th. For a full listing of the various cruises with times and dates please visit: www.discoverycruises.org
Most cruises are two to two and half hours long, with longer cruises lasting from four to six hours. Tickets for the shorter cruises run $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 – 17. Tickets for the longer cruises run approximately $5 more.