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May 24, 2016

Expression Swings in Metro Detroit

These awesome swings just showed up in my timeline.  They are designed to allow you to share the swinging experience with your child.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT.



So there are only a few of these swings in Metro Detroit.  Have you tried them out?  What did you think?


Find out more about these swings here:
http://www.gametime.com/expression/

And our Metro Detroit Parks that have one (or more) of these swings: 

Harding Park (swing coming soon)
Mapledale St & Paxton S
Ferndale, Michigan 48220

McGrath Park on Leisure, 
west of Schoenherr and north of Martin Road
Warren, Michigan





These cities have purchased the swings
Woodhaven, MI 48183
Wolverine Lake, MI 48390
Brighton, MI 48116
Manchester, MI 48158
Howell, MI 48855

May 23, 2016

Quicken Loans Sports Zone is open in Cadillac Square at Campus Martius Park!

Detroit athletes of all ages and abilities are once again gearing up to join in the fun at the free Quicken Loans Sports Zone this summer! Featuring four outdoor basketball courts and a sand volleyball area in Cadillac Square at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit, the Quicken Loans Sports Zone will be open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 20 through August 29. 


Local artist Jesse Kassel of Detroit has created the designs on this year’s basketball courts and painted them along with a young local artist from The Alley Project (TAP), which is a mentor program in Southwest Detroit that provides youth and community development through art. Kassel’s personal work is influenced by mid-to late-20th century animation and design, with bold and colorful designs -- often incorporating text as a design element. His art has been exhibited in galleries both locally and internationally.
Downtown employees, residents and visitors from across the city and region are invited to play a pick-up volleyball or basketball game, join a Monday night volleyball league organized by Come Play Detroit starting in June by registering at www.comeplaydetroit.com or participate in one of the three organized basketball events below.

·       Summer ’16 Series Challenges
Those looking for a little competition can lace ‘em up tight for nightly events including 3-on-3 Challenges, 3-Point Shooting Challenges, King of the Court, H-O-R-S-E and Sevens. Organized challenges run Monday through Friday; players should arrive at the Quicken Loans Sports Zone by 6 p.m. to join.

·       Lunchtime Lightning
In this recess-style classic shooting game, participants are arranged one behind the other, with the goal of the second player making a basket before the first player does. The last player standing wins. Visit the Sports Zone on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. to play.
·       Fundamental Camps 
On Saturdays, the Sports Zone hosts Fundamental Camps for kids, ages 8-13. Instructors focus on basic skills and drills for kids to learn and improve their game. Fundamental Camps begin the first week of June. Visit www.detroitsportszone.org to learn more and to register.
The Quicken Loans Sports Zone will also accommodate youth camps and organized groups by reservation. Visit www.detroitsportszone.org to register.  

At least one basketball court will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for pick-up games on a first-come, first-served basis. Basketballs and volleyballs are available for checkout at the games kiosk on the east end of Cadillac Square. Everyone is welcome to participate in these organized basketball activities.

About The Detroit Sports Zone
The Detroit Sports Zone is a non-profit organization whose objective is to educate youth, adults and seniors about the benefits of participating in sports, cultural and performing arts activities.

About Downtown Detroit Partnership
Downtown Detroit Partnership — through its affiliate Detroit 300 Conservancy in partnership with the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department — operates, maintains and programs Downtown’s parks, which include Campus Martius Park, Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park and Harmonie Park/Paradise Valley. Placemaking initiatives activate these public spaces attracting over 2 million visitors annually. DDP strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. For more information, contact us at 313.962.0101 or visit at downtowndetroit.org or downtowndetroitparks.com. Follow us on Twitter at @CampusMartius and on Facebook at Facebook.com/CampusMartiusPark.

About Quicken Loans

Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s second largest retail home mortgage lender. The company closed $220 billion of mortgage volume across all 50 states since 2013. Quicken Loans generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Primary Mortgage Origination” in the United States by J.D. Power for the past six consecutive years, 2010 – 2015, and highest in customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers in 2014 and 2015. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit QuickenLoans.com, on Twitter at @QLnews, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/QuickenLoans

Nursing Lounge at Comerica Park


I think I can speak for many nursing mothers when I say nursing in public can be challenging at times. Especially crowded places such as a Tigers Game. It's important to have a place where moms can feel comfortable nursing.


I believe it's equally challenging for nursing mothers to venture off without their babies when they have to deal with the need to pump.  We can easily nurse anywhere, but finding a place to plug in to pump is extremely difficult, not to mention, very private. How often do we see a mom pumping in public?  Never.

Recently my family went to a game at Comerica Park and my nursing baby came with us. I was at ease knowing they have a Nursing Lounge.  For me, sitting in the stands, directly under the sun on a hot summer day, next to a bunch of strangers, is not my idea of comfortable nursing.  Not to mention, now that my daughter is on the go, she is easily distracted while nursing which makes places like Comerica Park a huge nursing failure.


Twenty minutes into the game and I was off looking for the Nursing Lounge which is located by Guest Services at the 211 seating.  Upon my arrival, I was impressed to find the room locked and monitored by someone at the Guest Service booth  just outside the door.  The lady at Guest Services kindly allowed me access.  It was great to find the room being occupied by three nursing mothers!

The lounge is small but very clean.  It consists of two small leather couches and a television to watch the game.  It is also air conditioned which is a bonus on those hot days.


As I was nursing it dawned on me how great this room is for nursing moms who may also need to pump.  It should also be called The Pump Station!

It makes me happy to know places are becoming more nursing friendly.  Having these amenities adds a lot of value to a mothers experience and helps support the breastfeeding journey.  Thank you Comerica!

Meet Danielle Andresen- Danielle is mom to two young children and is enjoying this parenting journey with her husband Erik.  As a family they enjoy keeping  busy with the many different events happening in and around Detroit.  Whenever Danielle has a moment of solitude, she enjoys writing and photography.  Check out Danielle at Suburbia Mom where she shares life as a mom living in the suburbs of Detroit or follow her on Instagram @suburbia_mom.  

May 20, 2016

Our Favorite Breakfast Spots in Metro Detroit

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger  Theresa Walker- Beach Body Coach
 
Theresa was not compensated in any way for this blog, this is her unique experience, yours may differ.



I am a huge fan of breakfast/brunch.  Give me a good omelet or stack of pancakes and I am in heaven.  I frequently get together with friends and love trying new unique breakfast spots.  Here is a list of some of my go-to spots to satisfy my craving.  *They are all kid friendly unless otherwise noted*

1. Breakfast Club in Madison Heights: 


30600 West John R Road, Madison Heights, 48071 (Also a location in Commerce)
7am-2pm Seven Days a week
Some of my favorite menu items are: Veggie Omelet, Breakfast Quesadilla & the Oven Baked French Toast.  I also love to substitute the tomatoes au gratin instead of the hashbrowns.  The english muffin toast is also very good.  With every order they give you a chocolate covered strawberry for each guest; bonus!  Because every time I've left happy, The  Breakfast Club is usually my first choice for where to go for breakfast.  *Kid Friendly-but it is a smaller/quieter restaurant so I prefer to go when I do not have my boys*

2. Toast in Birmingham


  203 Pierce Street, Birmingham, 48009 (Also a location in Ferndale)
Opens at 7am M-F and 8am Sat & Sun
Some of my go-to items on the menu are: Huevos Rancheros, the Parisian Omelet and Strawberry Shortcake Waffles.  They have a specialty toast each day as well or muffin, that is always worth trying.  The atmosphere is eclectic and kitschy, lots of fun stuff to look at.  So far nothing I've ordered has let me down, I love to go in and order something new as everything seems to catch my eye.  This is a place I love to take friends when we are looking for something more than an "average" breakfast experience.   

3. Hudson Cafe in Detroit

1241 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48226
8am-3pm M-F, 8am-4pm Sat & Sun
Don't be leery of heading downtown for breakfast, Hudson Cafe has easily accessible parking directly across the street on Woodward in a parking garage and around the block with parking meters.  This trendy, fun breakfast spot is worth the wait to get into on busier days.  Red Velvet pancakes, Monte Cristo French Toast, Baja Cali Omelet and the Veggie Crepe are all dishes I've thoroughly enjoyed!  The atmosphere is that of a trendy diner, but with dishes that are truly individual. 

4. Fly Trap in Ferndale
 22950 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, 48220
Open 8am Tues-Sun, Closed Mondays
The Fly Trap has some more eclectic menu items that kept me from trying it initially, but was glad I took the plunge a few months back.  There menu is smaller, with mostly egg dishes, the Huevos Rancheros stands out in memory and was delicious.  There's lots of fun egg dishes: B.L.A.T.+C (bacon, spinach, avocado, tomato & cheddar) omelet, Green Eggs & Ham and the Forager (mushrooms, herbs, gouda and greens on top of eggs).  If you are more of a pancakes or waffles person this isn't your place, as there's only one waffle choice. *Smaller, but Kid Friendly*

5. The Original Pancake House in Birmingham
33703 Woodward, Birmingham 48009 (Also locations in Southfield & Grosse Pointe Woods)
6:30am-9am Seven Days a Week
The pancake house has not only amazing pancakes, but awesome omelets and crepes as well!  The Cherry Kijafa Crepes are my favorite, along with the chocolate chip pancakes and the mushroom omelet.  The Pancake House has a huge menu which looks to have something for everyone from simple to unique.  If you go with a friend, I recommend sharing a savory dish and a sweet treat.

6. Le Andos Cafe in Macomb 

15433 Hall Road, Macomb 48044
7am-4pm Mon-Fri, 7-3 Sat and 8-3 Sun
They have a huge menu and so many great options including a daily special board which I recommend trying something from.  Honestly Le Andos is one place where the sweeter dishes are superior- Reese PB Stuffed French Toast, Nutella Stuffed Pancakes and they have a "LuLu Lemon" French Toast drizzled with raspberry sauce on special now and again that is fantastic.  I do also enjoy their eggs; this is another place that if  you are going with a friend, I recommend sharing sweet and savory dishes.  There's plenty to try if you are looking for something out of the ordinary. 

7. The Chocolate Gallery in Warren
3672 Chicago Rd, Warren 48092
8am-2pm Thurs-Sun
The Chocolate Gallery has a nice mix of sweet and savory dishes.  Strawberry stuffed french toast on the sweet side or a Western Omelet for savory.  There are always unique daily specials, if it has chocolate, I'd recommend ordering it!  Their long-time famous waitress Peggy will be sure to treat you well, she has a memorable friendly disposition. They also have sweet desserts you can take home.  Since The Chocolate Gallery is smaller and quieter, I prefer to not take my kids. 

8. The Pantry in Washington Township


 58884 Van Dyke Road, Washington 48094 (Also locations in Clinton Township and Sterling Hghts)
6am-4pm Seven Days a Week
Don't think I've ever had a bad dish here!  From Dutch Baby German Pancake to Raspberry Crepes to Chocolate Chip Pancakes or the Oven Baked Farmers Omelet everything is scrumptious.  Portions are very generous and I love that you get a side of pancakes even with your eggs, although I generally take mine home as I'm stuffed.  They have general good home-style cooking breakfasts that are sure to please most anyone.  Please note- for those with allergies, The Pantry uses peanut oil while cooking.

9. Just Scones in Roseville


28750 Utica Road, Roseville  48066
6am-5pm Mon-Fri, Sat. 8am-2pm, Closed Sundays
Just Scones is a pleasant Victorian Tea Room to visit if you enjoy tea and scones.  There's a large selection of fresh scones to choose from daily; some of my favorites are the lemon, cherry almond, raspberry and cinnamon or pumpkin when in season.  The Devonshire cream and lemon curd are topping perfection.  They also have a at least 25 tea flavors/brands to choose from.  Besides tea and scones they have an Early Bird Special which includes a piece of quiche along with tea and scones.  Everything I've had has been very fresh and you can taste the homemade quality.  Because of the breakables on the table and the delicate tea cups and saucers I'd say Just Scones is a great ladies morning out without the kids. Or a fun place to take an older girl who wants to "do tea".

10. Jonny Cakes in Troy



4916 John R, Troy, 48085
8am-3pm Seven Days a Week
Johnny Cakes is another restaurant that puts their personal spin on traditional breakfast entrees like Eggs Benedict, Crepes, Pancakes, Omelets and Skillets.  Examples are the Thanksgiving Omelet (filled with turkey, onion/pepper and topped with cranberries) and The St. Patricks Crepe (corn beef, sauerkraut and swiss).  Me being more of a traditional breakfast girl my typical choice are the Western Skillet (ham, onion, green pepper and cheese), Veggie Crepe or the Greek Omelet.  Johnny Cakes has a large menu with a lot of yummy options to choose from.

11. Coco Fairfield's in Berkley

2959 12 Mile Rd., Berkley, 48072
7am-3pm Sun-Tues, Closed Mondays
A great aspect of Coco's is they support local business, with coffee from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor and syrup and jams from Doodles Sugarbush in Blanchard.  The jam is very good, by the way!  Their menu may be on the smaller side, but if you're looking for traditional omelets, pancakes or french toast, Coco's fits the bill.  They do have a yummy Breakfast Club Sandwich and Pastrami Hash. 

12. The Jagged Fork in Grosse Pointe Farms


18480 Mack Ave, Grosse Pointe Farms 48236
8am-3pm Seven Days a Week
Items like the Breakfast Tamales, S'mores Pancakes and a Pesto Benny are exhibits of their fun, flavorful menu.  Other out of the ordinary items include an Olive Harvest Crepe, PB&J Oatmeal and the Oreo pancakes.  What I enjoy about The Jagged Fork is that no matter what my taste buds are craving, there is something sure to satisfy. 

Happy Eating!  If you have a favorite spot that isn't included on this list, please post in the comments section!  I'd love to check it out. 

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (9) and Aiden (6) and 2 cats, Calvin (14) and Chance (1).   Her hobbies include traveling, reading, running, blogging, yoga and cooking.  
She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves experimenting with new recipes and trying new restaurants around town.  She enjoys being active and in her free time you can find her running; she's currently training for the Bayshore Marathon.  She is also a BeachBody Coach, she loves to share her passion for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health & Fitness, where daily she posts recipes, motivation, fitness tips etc.  She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans. 


May 19, 2016

Hitsville USA and the Motown Museum


Even if you didn't grow up in the 60s and 70s, everyone has heard of Motown and the musical success they had. Hell, Motown jump-started Michael Jackson's career and I know people have heard of him.

I'm an 80s child, so I've heard of The Temptations, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and many other Motown artists; but something I didn't know was that all of those initial artists grew up within a block or two of each other! The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Four Tops, the Vandellas, The Contours and The Spinners - they all grew up on the streets of Detroit!

That may not be shocking to some, but you don't hear of many musicians being from Detroit these days. The only ones I can truly think of, off the top of my head, are Kid Rock, Madonna, Uncle Cracker, and Eminem. That's it. I'm sure there are more, but these Motown artists are larger than life; to think they came from our little corner of the world is truly mind boggling. In a good way, I promise. *grin*

Initially, I didn't even realize there was a Motown Museum; but as soon as I heard of it, I knew I had to go. Can I just say that if you think you know all about Motown, you really don't. What Barry Gordy did with Motown in those early days is truly fascinating to hear about. Did you know that every single produced out of Motown went through a "quality control" process? Producers, engineers, artists, hell even a few secretaries and janitors, would all get together in the legendary Studio A to critique and dissect each single. Not until every single person thought the song was a hit would it get to be produced. It's no wonder that Motown went on to earn so many number one singles.

It wasn't just the music that would get polished either. The majority of the initial recording artists on the Motown line were still all very young. I'm talking minors here - Stevie Wonder was 11 and running around the halls - all of whom were from the streets of Detroit. Many of them couldn't read or write sheet music, and even thinking they knew about social graces would be giving them a lot of credit. But Gordy knew they were going to need more than just their music to be a success and he made sure they got it. In one of the seven houses Gordy purchased as part of Motown, one of them was for Artist Personal Development, where the artists learned about grooming, poise, and social graces, they received vocal coaching and choreography - everything they would need to be "fit for kings and queens".


My whole experience at the Motown Museum was truly one of a kind. The Motown Museum can only be witnessed via a guided tour and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. The sheer amount of knowledge passed on was mind blowing and made me realized how little I actually did know.  I want to say that I wouldn’t necessarily bring small children, but that would definitely depend on your child. The museum has a strict policy of no touching and no cameras, and considering that the tour lasted a good hour and a half (which honestly didn’t feel like it was that long), it might be a bit much for those who tend to get rambunctious during guided tours. Now if you’re little one is a music geek and already has an appreciation for music, and Motown in particular, than that might be a different story. The tour guides are quite knowledgeable and are really good about keeping the tour moving.

In either case, if you've never been to the Motown Museum, you really need to make an effort to go. You won't regret it!

Visit the Motown Museum:
Address: 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10AM–6PM
Price: Adults: $13 | Youth: (5-17yo) $8 | Seniors: (62yo+) $8

Jackie is the owner of Literary Escapism, a fantasy and paranormal book review site, and has been actively promoting authors and their books since 2007. She is passionate about getting readers to try new - to them - authors and has taken her love of reading to a whole new level; this August she is organizing the Rust City Book Convention and bringing 40+ authors to Troy, MI for a weekend of bookish shenanigans.

A stay at home mom, Jackie is starting to realize that she is a much bigger geek than she knew as she introduces her two boys to the world of superheroes and fantasy, comics and genre fiction, and anything else that makes their imagination run wild. When she's not planning their next great adventure, she can be found on Facebook (a lot), Google+ (more and more) and Twitter (not as much) talking books, her family, and anything else that might come up.

Civil War Remembrance Weekend - May 28-30th at Greenfield Village

Feel the Civil War come alive all around you as bustling camps, cavalry and period music enliven an entire weekend filled with reenacted events.




Before we immerse ourselves in summer pleasures, we stop to recall the 3 million people who fought in America's Civil War and the estimated 750,000 people who died — the equivalent of 7.5 million dead today.

This weekend in Greenfield Village, hundreds of Union and Confederate reenactors, civilians, musicians and historic presenters — all in period clothing — converge, eager to share their knowledge with you. There are dozens of opportunities to learn more about this pivotal time in American history: exhibits, presentations, battle tactics demonstration, hands-on activities and insights from historians.

Please join us in honoring the sacrifices and achievements of all those who bravely fought and continue to fight in defense of our great nation. The Henry Ford will participate in a national moment of silence at 3 pm Monday as signaled by the Armington & Sims shop whistle.
Your experience includes
Reenactors in Period Dress
Military Tactical Demonstrations
Recognition, Commemoration and Presentation
Live Music
Civil War Resource Center
Special Presentations
Historians' Insights
Military and Civilian Camps
Hands-on Activities
Dramatic Presentations
Free with Greenfield Village Admission


Remember and Learn
Greenfield Village offers you the opportunity to learn about and challenge the many viewpoints of the Civil War period. Hear from both Union and Confederate soldiers along with the people on the home fronts as they present Civil War Remembrance.

Enter below for a change to win four tickets to this event: 

May 18, 2016

The Troy Historical Village

Today I would like to introduce everyone to the Troy Historical Village, located in Troy, Michigan at the corner of Wattles Road and Livernois Road. I don’t know how many times I’ve driven by that corner and I’ve never noticed this gem of a museum. This village contains 10 buildings that give a glimpse into this region's past.



The first building one might encounter is the log cabin, which was built in 1840 with hand-hewn logs and bark-covered ceiling beams. The inside gives visitors a glimpse of what it was like to live in the 1800s and how much work it was to survive. While we might enjoy the ambiance and luxury of a fireplace in our living rooms, these pioneers had one as a necessity since the fireplace was all they had for light, heat and to cook meals. This idea is driven home by allowing visitors to take part in some of the daily chores that families did every day – collecting firewood, churning butter, collecting water, and beating out the rugs to name a few.

Another building of note is the Poppleton School, which was built in 1877 near the northwest corner of Big Beaver and Crooks Road. Inside, visitors are able to see what it was like to attend a one-room school in the 1800s by being able to sit in the desks and peruse old schoolbooks. After sitting through a 30 minute demonstration on what a school day might resemble, I have to say that if you ever have a child who says they hate school and it’s so unfair, take them to the Troy Historical Village and have them sit through the presentation. They’ll get a feel for how different it was back in the 1800s and how good they really have it now. *grin*

These are just two of the buildings I was able to spend time in during my visit to the Troy Historical Village, but there are still quite a few more people are allowed to go into. Those buildings include:
  • The Caswell House, which was built in 1832 near the intersection of Big Beaver and Adams Roads.
  • A General Store, which was reconstructed to represent the original general store at Troy Corners (the intersection of Livernois and Square Lake Road)  built in 1832.
  • A Village Print Shop, which showcases what an 1880s photography shop would look like and includes various types of cases, tools, and presses. Also found there is an 1890 Chandler & Price and a 1910 Golding Jobber, hand-fed letterpress machines that can print 500-1,000 copies per hour.
  • The Wagon Store that was built in 1872 at Troy Corners.
  • The Parsonage, which was built circa 1878 by the congregation of the Troy Methodist Church and served as a home for over 25 ministers and their families.
  • The Old Troy Church, which was built in 1837 at Troy Corners and conveyed to the Methodist Episcopal community in 1862.
  • Troy Town Hall, which was originally built as the Troy Union School around 1864, but was restored to represent Troy’s first Township Hall.
The Troy Historical Village can be comparable to Greenfield Village as far as historical significance is concerned (especially to our area); but it is quite a bit different in size and can easily be done in an afternoon, whereas it can be hard to see everything at Greenfield Village in a day.


Jackie is the owner of Literary Escapism, a fantasy and paranormal book review site, and has been actively promoting authors and their books since 2007. She is passionate about getting readers to try new - to them - authors and has taken her love of reading to a whole new level; this August she is organizing the Rust City Book Convention and bringing 40+ authors to Troy, MI for a weekend of bookish shenanigans.

A stay at home mom, Jackie is starting to realize that she is a much bigger geek than she knew as she introduces her two boys to the world of superheroes and fantasy, comics and genre fiction, and anything else that makes their imagination run wild. When she's not planning their next great adventure, she can be found on Facebook (a lot), Google+ (more and more) and Twitter (not as much) talking books, her family, and anything else that might come up.