Weekend Getaway: Fort Wayne, IN

thank you Visit Fort Wayne for an amazing time

Who’s ready for a road trip? I recently had the opportunity to explore Fort Wayne, Indiana with the Visit Fort Wayne team, and I am so excited to share my experience with you. Prior to this trip, I knew nothing about Fort Wayne or Indiana in general (other than the fact that I have to drive through it to get to Chicago). Depending on where you live in the Metro Detroit area Fort Wayne is likely three hours or less. The quick drive makes it a really attractive distance if you’re in the mood to get out of Michigan for a weekend.

From Detroit, it’s a quick drive (around 2.5 hours - it took me 3 hours since I am outside of Detroit) to Fort Wayne, which makes it a great weekend getaway with friends or family.

Things To Do: 



There’s a ton of fun things to do in Fort Wayne with your girlfriends, significant other or family. Here are some top picks from my trip to Fort Wayne.


See a TinCaps Baseball Game


You know I am a huge fan of baseball, and love checking out as many ballparks as I can. If you’re going to Fort Wayne I highly recommend checking out their minor league baseball team, the TinCaps. The name of the team is a tribute to pioneer Johnny Appleseed who is believed to be buried in Fort Wayne. With an adorable logo that features an apple wearing Johnny Appleseed's trademark tin cap, the TinCaps have called Parkview Field home since 2009 and continue to draw in fans young and old each season. The stadium is gorgeous, the atmosphere is a lot of fun and there is so much interaction you’ll never be bored.


Visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo


Even if you aren’t visiting with kids the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is definitely worth checking out. The mission of the zoo is “Connecting kids and animals, strengthening families and inspiring people to care.” What I really love about that is it’s actually true, as someone who is 4’10” I struggle to see animals when I go to the zoo - so think about the kids who are smaller than me. Kids can actually see the animals without having to be picked up by their parents! The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo also offers Wild Encounters like feeding the stingrays, which I would highly recommend.



Explore the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory


 
If you love flowers you’re going to love the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Filled with tropical plants, a relaxing waterfall, and desert-themed room there is sure to be something for everyone. The conservatory hosts a variety of events and exhibits throughout the year, and beginning April 27 they will have a live butterfly exhibit that runs until July 7, which I cannot wait to go back and checkout.


Learn About Your Ancestors at the Genealogy Center


One of the coolest experiences was visiting the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library and learning about my family history. With nearly a million physical research items plus additional online databases, the Genealogy Center is a completely free resource that draws people in from all over. Prior to the trip, I provided the librarians some information about my family, and they pulled some amazing information about my ancestors. I learned that I am French Canadian, Scottish, German and Irish - plus my family has colonial roots in the United States which is amazing. Learning about my family history was truly an amazing experience.



See what’s new at The Fort Wayne Museum of Art



If you love art, you’re not going to want to miss out on the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. This museum provides an array of unique pieces of art from permanent pieces to rotating exhibits.




Check Out Science Central


Do you love science? If you do, then you definitely don’t want to miss checking out Science Central. The hands-on exhibits are educational, and you’ll learn so much in a short time. One of my favorite parts of Science Central is “Science On A Sphere,” this three-dimensional globe can showcase anything from the plants to storm systems.

Where to Eat: 

Looking for ideas of where to eat while you’re in Fort Wayne? Here are a few places I highly recommend.



Breakfast - Proximo


Looking for a unique and delicious breakfast? Look no further than Proximo. This is a great space to go with friends or family. I ordered the Carnitas Benedict which featured braised pork served over house-made cornbread and is finished with arugula, poached eggs and hollandaise - oh my goodness was it delicious.






Lunch - Dash-In


If grilled cheese is your thing, you’re definitely going to want to head to Dash-In. They have a great selection of food, but are known for their grilled cheese sandwiches and have a unique variety of them. I tried the Green Goddess, and it was absolutely amazing. With muenster, provolone, havarti, pesto sauce, guacamole, and fresh spinach this sandwich is pure perfection. I paired it with their tomato bisque which is a rich and creamy tomato soup with hints of white wine, white onion and is topped with parmesan cheese and scallion - oh my gosh yum!


Snack - DeBrand Fine Chocolates


You can’t go to Fort Wayne and not try DeBrand Fine Chocolates. I loved the raspberry cream from the classic collection.




Appetizers - Copper Spoon



Looking for a great selection of wines, a huge cocktail list filled with unique options and delicious appetizers, then Copper Spoon is the place for you. This restaurant has a fun atmosphere that is perfect for gathering with friends or a significant other. Copper Spoon also shares views of Parkview Field where the TinCaps play. I tried the Charcuterie Platter (cured meat, cheese, pickles, spicy mustard, and baguette pieces) and Smutty Fries (patatas, sloppy joe, quest, pickled hot peppers, pickled onion, and scallions ).




Dinner - The Hoppy Gnome


The Hoppy Gnome is a fun and unique experience, this brewery rocks and amazing sophisticated food menu you’re sure to love. They focus on fresh ingredients and make an effort to change up their menu a few times a year. I enjoyed the Pan-Seared Scallops (jumbo scallops, hoppy hash, bacon and sweet corn relish with jalapeƱo tartar) and Asian Tuna Tartare (Sashimi grade tuna, Serrano pepper guacamole, soy glaze, and crispy wontons).




Dessert - Ruth’s Chris


I know that there are Ruth’s Chris chains all over the continental United States, but trust me you want to check out the one in Fort Wayne for dessert. Forget all other desserts on the menu, you want to get the carrot cake, it’s the best that I have ever had - and it’s only at a couple locations.

More Things To See and Do: 



Promenade Park is opening this June, and you won’t want to miss the dining, Tree Canopy Trail, playground, kayak rentals and more.


If you like seeing the art around Detroit, you’ll definitely want to explore the many unique art murals and public art around town.




See the Embassy Theatre, with a history dating back to 1928 this place has been dazzling audiences with live shows, movies and more for years. Dress in your most elegant attire and head to the Embassy Theatre to see a show one weekend instead of the Fisher Theatre or Fox Theatre. 



Fort Wayne, you were amazing! I had so much fun, and cannot wait to visit again.




5 Tips to Help Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Summer is right around the corner… I think, and with summer quickly approaching if you’re anything like me you’re determined to try and get into shape. To help myself, and you achieve the goals you have I am sharing some of my fitness tips.



5 Tips for Achieving Your Fitness Goals



1. Set goals that are attainable. I have a very busy schedule, therefore I am making sure that I am setting realistic goals for myself. My goal is to get to the gym five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day. 



2. Work with a trainer. Experienced trainers are there to help you achieve your fitness goals. This is a great way to get a workout tailored to what you’re trying to accomplish.



3. Try new classes. This has been a game changer for me, lately, I have gone to barre and burlesque classes. I have taken barre plenty of times before, but burlesque never before and I absolutely love it.



4. Find an accountability partner. It’s easier to make sure you get to the gym if you know you are meeting someone there.



5. Have fun. Keep things fun and exciting, do what you love. I love boot camp and booty classes so I make sure to fill my schedule with them.

Detroitish Spring Bucket List


If you’re dreaming of spring weather right know, you’re not alone. While the calendar may say spring, the gloomy, rainy, chilly days feel more like fall. However, with all these April showers, May flowers will be showing up quickly. So let us spring forward and start a bucket list of things to do once the weather breaks. Here are some of my top picks to make the most out of spring in Detroitish (Southeast, Michigan). Feel free to leave a comment to add some of your own ideas to the list.



Explore Detroit Zoo

You’re never too old to explore the zoo.



Catch a baseball game

There’s nothing better than enjoying a baseball game with friends. Visit downtown Detroit to catch a Tigers game or visit downtown Utica for a USPBL game and see the Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers, Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers or Westside Wolly Mammoths.



Visit the Anna Scripps Conservatory on Belle Isle


This beautiful space that makes up the Anna Scripps Conservatory is filled with five different flower rooms that are sure to leave you amazed.

Bike or walk along the Dequindre Cut Greenway

The Dequindre Cut is a two-mile recreational path is known for its graffiti and artwork. Along the way be sure to stop at Eastern Market and end your trip near the Detroit Riverfront.

Entrances to the greenway are located at Atwater Street, Franklin Street, Woodbridge Street, Lafayette Street, Gratiot Avenue, Wilkins Street, and Mack Avenue.

Spend Saturdays at Eastern Market

Eastern Market allows you to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and so much more.



Enjoy the Detroit Riverwalk

The Detroit Riverfront offers beautiful views of the city and Canada, not to mention is surrounded by delicious food and attractions.


Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institude of Arts (DIA) is home to amazing works of art and is the perfect place to hang out on a rainy spring day.



Bring out your competitive side

Head to C.J. Barrymore’s for a round of mini golf, go-karts, batting cages and more.

Get out an hike

Visit one of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

Take a step back in time

Visit Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum for a unique experience.

Girl’s Getaway Weekend: Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale

I received complimentary admission to a ticketed session at the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, IN. All thoughts, stories, and opinions are my own.

My likeness for Vera Bradley kind of snuck up on me. Mostly, I thought of Vera Bradley products as those “quilty-looking purses” with crazy patterns that just didn’t have a classy touch to them. In college girls toted their laptops around in Vera Bradley cases and carried her totes, while I had a polka dot Target laptop case. Recently, I was invited to attend Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale in Fort Wayne, Indiana (about three hours from Detroit). When you hear “outlet sale” you tend to think it is items that didn’t sell or have an imperfection. However, that is not the case for this sale - at all. Women travel from near and far to head to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to get their shop on. This sale is a bigger deal then you can even begin to imagine.

When You Get There

When you arrive at the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale, you get to walk through doors during your allotted spot to a sea of prints and patterns. Upon walking through the doors you will be given a map that will help you navigate through the space, as well as a huge bag to carry any items you plan on purchasing (for security purposes, your items will be transferred to a different color bag upon checkout if you chose to buy one). If you signed up for a ticketed session, you’ll have a set amount of time to shop and when that time is up you’re out of there. There are countdowns and announcements to let you know when the session is over, so you’ll want to be sure to locate what you’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Even though you’ll only get a set amount of time during a paid time slot, you will shop with a lighter crowd, which makes the paid session totally worth it.

What You Will Find

Ladies, if you have been living under a rock like me, you’ll be surprised when you walk into the sale and realize that it is so much more than paisley printed totes - although they still have those if that is your thing. You will find florals, modern patterns, saturated hues, leather, solids (obsessed with the black) and more. In case you didn’t know Vera Bradley isn’t just totes, bags, purses and luggage it's so much more. At this sale, I found blankets, umbrellas, stationery, robes, flip flops, shoes, towels, lunch boxes, bathing suits, apparel and so much more. There’s something to fit every aspect of your life, and with deals, a deal between 40 to 60 percent off you’re sure to find things you need and want. Even I found items that matched my beach babe and classy professional lifestyle.


My Haul

I went with the intention of buying things for Christmas gifts, but in the end, I only bought things for myself. I actually walked around the entire place once, before I started making my picks. So what did I go home with? I picked up the Weekender in classic black to take on road trips with me. The Work Tote in classic black that has a slot for my laptop case, the beach scarf in Indio and two Seashore Beach Wristlets one in sunburst floral and one in lotus flower swirl. As you can tell I am a classy meets beachy kind of girl. 


Overall Thoughts

Before attending the show I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Upon walking in I was very overwhelmed, but once I looked around followed the map I actually loved attending the show and looking at everything. I was so surprised by all the amazing products Vera Bradley carries, and cannot wait to go back to the sale again next year. I am definitely interested in getting a rolling carry-on suitcase. Prior to attending this sale, I had no idea that Fort Wayne was just three hours away and was a city packed with so much fun.




I highly recommend heading to Fort Wayne, Indiana to attend the Vera Bradley Annual Outlet Sale next year. 

April 15 – 19, 2020

Flawless Tips for Packing a Carry On Bag


Summer travel season is just around the corner, and I know traveling can be a little stressful. That’s why I have gathered some airplane travel tips and tricks for you straight from a polite - which includes the ultimate carry on packing list. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use a few of these tips the next time you travel. I also have a simple carry on packing list filled with the essentials that you may need for any trip. The list includes electronics, personal items, food, medicine and more that will help you create a flawless carry on that is sure to get through any TSA checkpoint. If you have anything else you think I should add to the list, please feel free to leave the tips in the comments!

Carefully Pack Your Carry On


First, you should always make sure you understand TSA guidelines. It’s always amazing when you are at a TSA checkpoint and people are trying to get through with full-size shampoo bottles in their carry-on. After you know what you can and can not take on the plan, you can fit so much more in the carry-on. Plus who wants to carry the heavy bag across multiple terminals… not me.



I like to carry two carry-ons. A suitcase to fit in the overhead bin, and a small bag/purse to keep under my seat. When I pack I try to keep everything I’ll need during the flight in my purse so that the suitcase can stay overhead the whole time. While traveling I like to keep gum, mints, hand sanitizer, emergency medicines, a few snacks, and a refillable water bottle.

Carry On Packing List Essentials



Electronics

iPad

Headphones

Back Up Battery

USB Cord
Chargers

Camera


Personal Items

Lotion

Hand sanitizer

Chapstick

Deodorant

Mini toothbrush

Mini toothpaste

Makeup samples

Mini shampoo and conditioner

Hair elastics

Brush

*Remember all liquids and gels need to be under 3oz. And fit in a quart size bag.



Back Up Items

Change of clothing



Food/Medicine

TSA approved snacks

Water

Gum

Mints

Protein Bar

Aspirin 

Anti-nausea medicine

Anti-diarrhea medicine

Band-aids



Other

Cash

Passport

ID

Credit cards

Print out of flight and hotel information

Pen and paper

Eye mask




Stay Hydrated

Avoid eating salt or sugary foods before your flight, as well as while you’re on it. I love taking a refillable water bottle, typically airports have a water filling station - if they do not most restaurants will graciously fill it up for you. Even on the flight, you can ask the flight attendants to fill it up for you which will save you from having to spend $5 on water at the airport.

Move It

This is critical, after learning about all the negative effects sitting for extended periods of time can be I am definitely a firm believer in moving. To make it easy to remind yourself to get up, set a timer on your phone, and be sure to get up to stretch your legs. Also, wearing compression socks will help prevent blood clots from happening.

ANASTASIA to Make Detroit Debut


Broadway In Detroit announced today that individual tickets for the tour of the critically-acclaimed Broadway production of ANASTASIA are now on sale!  ANASTASIA will make its Detroit debut at the Fisher Theatre, June 11 – 23, 2019. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-982-2787.

From the Tony Award®-winning creators of the Broadway classic Ragtime and inspired by the beloved films, ANASTASIA is the new Broadway musical that’s “one of the most gorgeous shows in years!” (New York Observer). This dazzling show transports us from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family.

ANASTASIA features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally, a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) and direction by Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak.
 
The creative team includes Peggy Hickey (Choreography), Alexander Dodge (Set Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), Aaron Rhyne (Projection Design), Charles G. LaPointe (Hair/Wig Design), Joe Dulude II (Makeup Design), Tom Murray (Music Supervision), Lawrence Goldberg (Music Direction), Doug Besterman (Orchestrations), David Chase (Dance Arranger), casting by Telsey + Company/Craig Burns, CSA.
 
ANASTASIA, currently celebrating an open-ended run on Broadway, began performances on March 23, 2017 at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street) with critics exclaiming “Ahrens and Flaherty have chosen the right moments to musicalize, and their score here sounds complete and full — one of the season’s strongest! (NBC)” and “Smartly adapted by Terrence McNally, Anastasia is a sweeping adventure, romance and historical epic whose fine craftsmanship will satisfy musical-theater fans (Time Out)”. The new musical has played to sold out crowds on Broadway since officially opening in April 2017, in addition to garnering multiple Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and nominations.
 
The original Broadway cast recording is available at BroadwayRecords.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. The 75-minute album includes the Academy Award-nominated favorite “Journey to the Past” alongside new numbers from the show such as Christy Altomare’s haunting “In My Dreams,” Ramin Karimloo’s passionate “Still,” and Derek Klena’s heart-racing “My Petersburg.”
 
The National Tour of ANASTASIA is produced by Stage Entertainment, Bill Taylor (Sister Act, Rocky), Tom Kirdahy (It’s Only A Play, The Visit), Hunter Arnold (Kinky Boots, Spring Awakening), 50 Church Street Productions, The Shubert Organization, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Carl Daikeler, Warner/Chappell Music, 42nd Club/Phil Kenny, Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Broadway Asia/Umeda Arts Theater, Peter May, David Mirvish, Sandi Moran, Seoul Broadcasting System, LD Entertainment/Sally Cade Holmes, Seriff Productions, Van Dean, Tamar Climan and in association with Hartford Stage.
 
For more information about ANASTASIA
Twitter: @AnastasiaBway           
Facebook: AnastasiaBway
Instagram: @AnastasiaBway
www.anastasiathemusical.com
 
Performance times for ANASTASIA appearing June 11-23, 2019 at the Fisher Theatre, located at 3011 West Grand Blvd., in Detroit are:
·         Tuesday – Saturday evening performances at 7:30 p.m.
·         Sunday evening performances at 6:30 p.m.
·         Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
·         Sunday matinees at 1:00 p.m.
·         Special open captioned performance on Sunday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.
 
Tickets for ANASTASIA start at $39 (includes facility and parking fees) and are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.broadwayindetroit.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-982-2787. A limited number of premium seats will be available through Ticketmaster and at the Fisher Theatre box office. For group sales (12 or more) please call 313-871-1132 or email groups@broadwayindetroit.com. Tickets for the open captioned performance may be purchased in person at the Fisher Theatre box office or by phone at 313-872-1000, ext. 0. Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.
 
Broadway In Detroit uses Ticketmaster as its sole, authorized ticketing agent. Individual tickets purchased from a ticket broker or “third party” ticket reseller involves risk and may not be authentic, sold at box office prices, or with correct performance and venue information. Broadway In Detroit box offices cannot reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets sold through a third party or ticket reseller. Broadway In Detroit is also unable to contact third party purchasers with pertinent updates or changes regarding performances.
 

Confetti Popcorn


Growing up something that my great grandma, meeme and my mum drilled into my head was never let your guests go home empty-handed. Whatever you give them doesn't have to be expensive, but it's a little token of appreciation. With Easter this Sunday, and my schedule being absolutely insane I wanted to whip up something quick and easy to give to everyone. Since life is better with sprinkles I thought there is no better way to share how blessed I am to have them in my life than with a pop of color in the form of a yummy treat.  Confetti popcorn is quick and easy to make, not to mention everyone will love it. 
 You will need
• 2 bags Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter Popcorn (I recommend Pop Secret for the biggest kernels)
• 1 lb. bag of white chocolate wafers (candy melts)I bought mine at Sarah's in Michigan - if you have a local cake/candy decorating I am sure you can find these there. Or Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics sells Wilton Candy Melts that will work the same.
• 1/4 - 1/3 cup confetti sprinkles
• Wax Paper

Directions: 
1. Pop the popcorn in the microwave and place in a large bowl, be sure that you have removed all un-popped kernels(you don't want anyone breaking their teeth).
2. Melt your white chocolate wafers in a double boiler or the microwave on defrost(it burns very quickly so be sure to watch it and stir often)
3. Pour your melted chocolate over your popcorn and stir to combine.
4. Add in the confetti sprinkles, stir to combine.
5. Spread out on wax paper and allow to dry for a couple hours. Break apart so you have separated the kernels.



 {I bought these mini pails 2 for $1 in Target's dollar spot}
 {The popcorn was placed in cello bags, adorned with coordinating ribbon and a tag}

My Name is Alexander Hamilton


I saw Hamilton at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit, Michigan - - and yes it really is that great! The day the tickets went on sale, I wasn't going to miss my shot -- that's why I impatiently sat at my work computer waiting to grab tickets and I managed to score four for the Tuesday, April 9th show.

In case you live under a rock, Hamilton is currently the most popular Broadway show in years - quite possibly even decades. Rent made it's Broadway debate over 20 years ago and it's the closest (recent) production to Hamilton in terms of cultural impact. Sure other shows have made their way onto the stage, but none have made an impact like Hamilton - which could be due to the social world we now live in. That being said, despite being able to watch clips from the show, see pictures, listen to all the songs and read plenty of reviews I went into the show blind. You guys, I didn't even know they rapped all the songs! I avoided everything about the show, and let me tell you that was insanely hard. I must say though (coming from the girl that LOVES Wicked) this is one of the best shows I have ever seen! The songs are so catchy, and the experience you get is unreal. My tickets cost $170 each, and let me tell you - they were worth EVERY penny. Hamilton is one show you don't want to miss.

Hamilton is the story of what our country is about, told through the life of one amazing man. Did I mention, they rap the songs - obsessed! At its core, Hamilton is a story about an immigrant who used his smarts to get a ticket to America, where he worked tirelessly to make our country as good as it could be. He's a genius, impulsive, hothead that you can't help but love.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by Providence, impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?
 –Opening lines of Hamilton
The music is beautiful and catchy and set to a hip-hop medley. However, it's not Kayne West hip-hop it's rhymes and melody with a hint of ballads and jazzy showstoppers you're sure to love. While I was at the show King George was played by an understudy and WOW that man rocked the part hardcore, so I can't even imagine what the star of the shows pipes are like.

As somone who attends plenty of Broadway shows, I must say I have never attended a show with so much enthusiam from an audience. The Hamilton audience is electrifying. Everyone is excited to be there, respectful, and always cheering.

You don't have to love history to love this show. I definitely can't wait for it to come back to town so I can see it again, or head to Chicago to see it!

6 Things to Repair in your Home before it’s too Late

{this is a sponsored post}

There never seems to be enough time, especially when it comes to some repairs. Allowing this repairs to slide under the radar can just lead to more issues. A slight crack in the foundation, a water spot on the ceiling, a leaky faucet and more can all lead to something more and are definite signs you do not want to ignore. Today, I am sharing nine home repair issues that you do not want to ignore. That way that small problem doesn’t turn into something much larger and more expensive.

Concrete Cracks

A small crack in any type of concrete can quickly turn into something larger that could lead to a potentially hazardous situation, especially in the winter. If water seeps into a concrete crack, it could freeze and expend which widens the hole and can comprise the structural integrity of the concrete altogether. Repair cracks with a quick-setting filler to prevent tiny gaps from growing into a bigger repair bill.

Clogged Gutters

Don’t neglect your gutters! If your gutters are not properly maintained, water or ice damage may occur. If you notice your gutters or downspouts overflowing with leaves, that means they’re not draining properly and could use a good cleaning. A few hours of work is a small price to pay when you consider the expensive consequences of putting it off.

Wobbly Railings

Porch, deck or step railings that wobble can all lead to a terrible situation. Fixing a wobbly railing is quick and easy. Simply tighten screw or bolts. Eventually, the railing will give in, and if all you had to do was tightened a screw to fix a shaking situation wouldn’t that be worth it.

Water Spots

Did ignore that water spot on your ceiling. While it’s obvious that you may have a leak somewhere, sometimes the cause is not so obvious. You could be dealing with something much worse than just a loose shingle. At this point you’ll want to consider enlisting residential roofing contractors, a professional will be able to help determine what the problem is and how it can be solved. Getting someone out at the first sign will help save money in the long run on roof repairs.

Leaky Faucet, Running Toilet

Don’t wait! If you notice a leaky faucet or running toilet you’ll want you to address it right away. Not only is giving your systems a quick checkup good to avoid bigger issues. Not to mention, fixing a leak of any size can help save money on your water bill.

Screen Tears

Don’t wait on repairing holes, tears or punctures in a screen door or windows as soon as you spot them. The longer you wait the for the more likely it will be that you’ll have to replace the entire screen. Small holes can be sealed with clear nail polish or shellac, while slightly larger ones can be patched with an inexpensive kit or simply by cutting a piece of screen about an inch larger than the hole and gluing it in place.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


Don’t let the word “vegan” scare you these chocolate chip cookies are out of this world amazing, and no one will even know they’re vegan. They’re soft and chewy with a light crisp outside, quick and easy to make and have no strange ingredients in them. Your friends won’t even know these cookies are vegan. Also, for those of you who think vegan is healthy, while in some cases yes that is true - in this case that is NOT true.


Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

dash of salt

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-1/4 cup flour*

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, white sugar, coconut oil and salt.

4. Stir until sugars are evenly hydrated.

5. Add apple sauce and vanilla extract.

6. Stir to combine.

7. Add flour and baking soda into the sugar and apple sauce mixture.
* I used garbanzo bean flour to make mine gluten free.

8. Stir until a thick dough forms. 

9. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

10. Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet.

11. Bake 5-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown,.
* cooking time depends on the flour you use, and your oven temperature.
* you want the cookies to be slightly under baked to get the chewy texture.

12. Remove cookies from the oven.

13. Tap the cookie sheet on the counter to flatten slightly.

14. Allow to cool on a cooling rack

Pro Tip: Freeze some dough balls to have in the freezer, so when you are having a chocolate craving you can make some hot cookies.










Refresh Your Spring Workout Routine


My mum told me the other day that she spotted a red wing blackbird. Here in Michigan, this sighting means spring has sprung (finally, I thought winter would never end). When it comes to fitness routines, I find that I need to switch mine up every few months to keep myself motivated and excited. Not to mention, there is something refreshing about revamping a routine. With the weather getting nicer, I thought I would share with you five ways I am refreshing my spring workout routine.

1. Try a New Class

With a new season here, it's the perfect opportunity for you to break out of your comfort zone and try something completely new to you. I know this can seem scary (check out my post on gym intimidation for tips), but it can actually be a lot of fun. This weekend, I tried Aerial Yoga - and for me, it was frustrating because I literally could not do anything. However, this presented the perfect opportunity for me to work on strength and flexibility. I am going to sign up for yoga classes and start taking them on a weekly basis to help build upper body and core strength. I will also watch YouTube videos, and do them at home to help me reach my goals quicker. Whether you’re a cardio queen or all about that strength, don’t let your usual workout ways define you. Step outside of that comfort zone, the new workout will challenge your body in new ways - this allows you to beat boredom and get closer to your goals.

2. Revamp your Workout Wardrobe

You’ve Marie Kondo’ed your closet, now move that workout gear front and center so you’re more likely to use it. Maybe even splurge on a new outfit to add some motivation to crush your workouts! Something about new athleisure wear always brings me so much joy. Not only can new workout attire bring fresh motivation, but it’s a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve been putting in! If you’re a bold pattern babe, stores are packed with plenty of pretty prints for spring. Personally, I am not a bold print babe - - I prefer black pants and top so sweat doesn’t show. Don’t think that your workout clothes need to be expensive. Target, Old Navy, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Five Below are great places to buy super cute activewear without breaking the bank.



3. Take Your Workout Outside

The easiest way to shake things up is to get out of the studio or gym, and hit the pavement for a walk or run. I love going for long walks on the beach along the Lake Michigan shoreline. During the winter months, I spend so much time cooped up inside, I try to take as many workouts as I can outside. Outdoor works are so much fun, I love getting creative and doing body weight HITT, stair climbs, bike rides and more. I really want to do yoga on the beach this year. There’s nothing like breathing in fresh air while sweating it out and detoxing your body from the winter blues. Whenever I workout outside I feel renewed and refreshed after which it immediately puts me into a happier mood. Do you have a booty band? If not I highly recommend getting one! These mini resistance bands are the perfect portable way to take your workout outside. One of my favorite outdoor workouts with a booty band is side shuffles. To do side shuffles: place the booty band just above your ankles, and step your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat, engage your core and take a big step to your right with your right foot - bring your left foot to meet it. Next, take a big step to your left with your left foot, and bring the right foot to meet it. 
*Please note I am NOT a trainer, this is just what works for me and what I like.



4. Find a Workout BFF

Two is always better than one! Enlist a bestie to join you once a week for a class for a sweat date. Having a workout buddy means you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout schedule when you know your babe is waiting for you. I am part of the Tone It Up (TIU) community, which has helped me meet like-minded babes who I can workout with. Also, if you can’t make it to the gym or a class together watch YouTube videos and FaceTime! One of my friends lives in North Carolina and I am in Michigan - we used to do this all the time. Not only is it a great way to stay accountable, but working out with someone else is definitely more fun than solo. Now we send each other workouts that we find on Pinterest and Instagram and then go do them on the gym and circle back how we felt during the workout.


5. Set a Spring Fitness Intention


If you’re like me, you do better with little mini goals or intentions. Typically I like to split my goals or intentions up seasonally and monthly so they seem more attainable. Big or small, there are so many fitness goals you can choose from. Sign up for a 5K, do HIIT two days per week, take a yoga class, actually stretch after a sweat session…etc. Pick your goals or intentions for spring, and share them in order to keep yourself accountable! 


I hope these five tips helped to motivate you to keep working at your goals and gave you some ideas of simple ways you can mix up your routine. Please feel free to share your fitness intentions for spring with me - I would absolutely love to hear about what you want to achieve, try, accomplish…etc this spring. Stay tuned to my Instagram to see what goals I am crushing this spring. Also, here is your friendly reminder to hydrate, dehydration only sets you back and makes your skin look awful.

Baseball is Poppin'


#MotorOn is currently trending, because the Tigers returned to the mound this past Thursday for their home opener. Is anyone else super excited for baseball to be back? I am a huge fan of baseball, as well as supporting Michigan companies. So, you can imagine how excited I was to discover discover that Grand Rapids Popcorn Company makes a popcorn mixed called “Tiger Crunch,” featuring a blend of orange and blueberry goodness that any Detroit Tigers fan would roar over. This popcorn will definitely be my go-to for tailgates and get-togethers this season.