Crazy Random Happenstance

Billy: So good... Hey, this is weird. I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?
Penny: I love it!
Billy: You're kidding? What a crazy random happenstance!
-Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Know People.

Over the last few weeks, I've come to the realization that I know a lot of talented people and because of that, I've decided to do an entire post about some of my friends who are creative, smart and just plain awesome at what they do. Maybe I can make this a monthly (bi-monthly?) post where I showcase someone's super fantastic business and try to get them a little bit of exposure. For now, I'll concentrate on some of my favorites:

Let's start with Slice of the 80's (I have to. They are family, ha): Located in Westland, this place is the epitome of good pizza and a fun atmosphere. If you love anything having to do with the 80's, you need to give this restaurant a visit. There is tons of memorabilia and addictive 80's music to keep you occupied while you are waiting for your delicious food and their prices are fantastic. The brain child of 80's fanatic and Bon Jovi obsessive, Adam Matt (with help from my lovely sister, Natalie Proctor) The Slice opened it's doors in August of 2008. Since then, business has been rocking as more and more people have discovered their original taste and super unique creations when it comes to pizzas (most of them 80's themed, of course). My Dad would insist that I recommend The Coney Dog Pizza (his favorite), complete with hot dogs, chili, onions and mustard all on their homemade dough. I love the Greek pizza (with feta cheese, tomato and onion) but the classic Pepperoni and cheese is phenomenal as well. Their menu includes more than just pizzas though, as they have calzones (I love the Italian), bread (the cheese bread is AMAZING), salads and appetizers. And if you love the place as much as I do, you can buy yourself some t-shirts, hats, pens, cups or a few 80's themed buttons. Bottom line is: It's a fun, delicious, affordable place to eat. Order up some food, dudes and then tell me how much you loved it! Also, you can order online, eat in the store or have it delivered. They make it REAL convenient to eat their super yummy food. (By the way, Super Bowl is coming up. Doesn't pizza sound good?)

Location: 34747 Warren Road, Westland MI
Phone: (734)728-1980
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12pm-11pm
           Friday-Saturday 12pm-12am
Facebook (where they offer lots of specials!):

Let's talk about photographers now:

I first learned of Sunflower Productions LLC through my friend (and photographer) Craig Hensley. He started working with them about a year ago and I have been obsessed with looking at the pictures they post on Facebook ever since. Their motto is: "Helping You Capture & Preserve Your Beautiful Memories!" and they do just that. They are a local business, trying to work their way up and with having just photographed the North American International Auto Show Preview a couple weeks ago, I'd say they are well on their way. Craig is one of their photographers (and I know first hand what a wonderful photographer he is, as he took Charley's 5yr pictures last year and I am in love with them), along with Benjamin Boice and founder, Dakota Bruce. These guys are talented, let me tell you and so creative. They specialize in all types of photography and would probably be thrilled if you came up with a new idea for them to try. They are constantly running really great specials and were recently selected as winner of WeddingWire Bride's Choice Awards 2013 for photography in Livonia, MI. So, if you are recently engaged, pregnant, have a birthday coming up, want to surprise your significant other with some sassy boudoir pictures, need some senior pictures taken or just want to have your photo taken for the heck of it, these are the guys for you. (They even offer photobooths, videography, and hair and makeup, if you are so inclined to try that as well). They are a one stop shop for all your memories so do me (and yourself) a favor and give them a call and like them on Facebook!

Location: 8974 Farmington Road, Livonia MI
Phone: (734)891-5970

ELY Designs:
Speaking of weddings, birthdays, etc., if you are looking for some invitations, Save The Dates, place cards, thank you cards or need a logo designed for you, my friend Erica is just the person for you! She studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where she got her Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design and she does a phenomenal job. Best of all; she absolutely loves what she does and when you have someone who cares that much and puts that much passion into their work, you know you won't be disappointed with the result. She recently did the invitations (see side photo) for my friend Kat's wedding, along with her place cards and they turned out beautiful. So, if you need some creative, lovely invitations and the like, please contact Erica. She'll take great care of you and I can guarantee that you will be so pleased with the result.


Wanna talk hair now? Sure you do!
Go see my friend Chrissie Partin at Clover Salon in Plymouth, MI. Chrissie is a Level 1 Hairstylist, Nail Technician and makeup artist and she's also a pretty fabulous person to boot! She loves helping people and making them happy, so becoming a hair stylist was the perfect choice for her. The salon has different specials every month and they also do Groupons every now and then (look for one coming out soon!). Their website will also be adding "How To" videos in the coming months and you can't get more convenient than that. So, if you need your hairs cut or your nails did or your face beautified, go see Chrissie. Not only will she make you gorgeous (or handsome), she will also make you laugh and most likely become your friend because she's that awesome of a person.

Location: 261 N. Main Plymouth, MI
Phone: (734)338-8950
Chrissie's Hours: Tuesday 11-5
                           Weds-Thurs 1-9
                            Friday 9-6
                            Saturday 9-5

In keeping with our pampering theme, if you are in need of a massage, how about you go to my friend, Michelle at S.P.A.C.E Massage Therapy, LLC in Garden City, MI? Michelle is one of the most inspiring, lovely, talented, dedicated people I know. She created S.P.A.C.E with the idea that "what they do as massage therapists creates space within the body." They "help muscles return to a normal state, creating space for healing within." Don't you feel relaxed after just reading that? Imagine what she can do for you when you go see her! They offer a variety of services from Swedish Massage to Refloxology. First time clients are $45 (regular price: $55). So, if you are feeling stressed and warn out, sore or just feel like you deserve a massage, give Michelle a call and like them on Facebook.

Location: 6985 Merriman Rd. Garden City, MI
Phone: (734)507-9991
Hours: Mon-Sat 9-6
           Sundays (call for availability)

Those are just a few of my uber talented friends and family. Give them all a call and tell them I sent you. You could even utilize all of them in the same day! Why not? You could start out by having Erica at ELY Designs make you some invitations for a party (it doesn't matter what the party is for. You are an awesome person, have a party for yourself!), then you can go see Michelle at S.P.A.C.E Massage Therapy and have her give you a massage (because party planning can be stressful), followed by getting your haircut and nails done by Chrissie at Clover Salon, then going home to order up some pizza from Slice of The 80's for all of your party guests to enjoy and finally, having Sunflower Productions LLC capture the whole event on film. You will be the coolest person ever and the envy of all your friends... but don't forget to invite me!

(If you would like me to include your business or project in a future post, send me a message and I'll make it happen!) Keep being talented and creative, friends!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Whole Jumble Of Thoughts.

Sometimes I feel like Jessie Spano in everyone's favorite Saved by the Bell episode, "Jessie's Song" where she complains about never having enough time (because I can relate pretty much everything back to a Pop Culture reference). "There's NO time! There's NEVER any time!". I mean, I feel that way MINUS the caffeine pills. But when I feel overwhelmed, I picture that scene in my head. No time to clean my house... Because what little time I am at home, I certainly don't feel like spending it cleaning. I'd rather spend time with C, who I barely see during the week because of school and work. No time to grocery shop... because who wants to spend the hours they aren't at work at Meijer? No time to watch all the TV I want to watch... meaning all the shows on Netflix and whatnot that people keep yelling at me to watch. No time to re-read the books I want to re-read... because I have all new books to read (which isn't a bad thing but if I had more time I could do both!). No time to catch up on sleep... because if I take a nap, that's a complete waste of my precious 2 days off and while I love to nap (man, I LOVE to nap), I should be spending that time doing something else... like all the activities mentioned above which means we have now come full circle. It's a vicious cycle that goes through my brain daily. Wah, wah, wah. Woe is me. This is my blog and I can whine if I want to. While I am extremely grateful for the job that I have (because I have seen first hand how impossible it is to get a job right now), I can't help but fantasize about what it would be like to be part time. Also, I realize this is only the 2nd week of January and my first full week back at work after having 10 days off and that this probably has a lot to do with my funk right now but these are things I think about nonetheless.

Sidenote: Did any of you know that Jessie's middle name was Myrtle?

I ordered my sister a Christmas present from (I'm not posting the direct link to the site because they are stupid). The site is kind of like CafePress, where you can order custom made shirts, bags and jewelry and the like. I got her this really awesome locket with a picture of a shelf of books in it (don't worry she knows about it). It came in on Christmas Eve WRONG. It didn't have the cover to the locket on it. So, I emailed and they assured me that they would send a replacement right away. I got the replacement this week and guess what? It's wrong again. Holy frustrating, Batman. I emailed again and am awaiting a response. Dummies. Anyway, that site is dumb. Maybe my sister will get her gift before next Christmas?

For whatever reason, as I was sitting at work the other day, I started thinking about The Real World. This is weird because I haven't watched that show in years and years and years. I can't even tell you the last season I watched but I was thinking about the London (1995) season. You know, everyone's least favorite cast? Well, they were my most favorite cast. I looooved that season. I would get SO excited for it every week. They got to live in a flat in the Knotting Hill area of London. The cast consisted of 3 Americans: Kat, who was a fencer (which I thought was awesome). Jay, who was an aspiring playwright (he was real quiet and cute) and Mike, who was my favorite because he would wear a St. Louis Blues Brendan Shanahan jersey alll the time (he was also a race car driver). 1 German: Lars, who was a DJ and who I thought (at the time) resembled Sergei Fedorov. 1 Australian: Jacinda, who was super pretty and a model (she's also an actress now). And finally, 2 Brits: Sharon. who was a singer/songwriter and Neil, who was in a band (and now when I think about him, reminds me of Spike from Buffy). Anyway, I was thinking about that cast and how if that season was on DVD, I would probably watch it.

Sidenote: Do you think David should have been evicted from the house in Season 2 (Los Angeles) for pulling the covers off of Tami? "It wasn't not funny!" Also, what are your thoughts on Puck, the obnoxious bike messenger, who sticks his fingers in the peanut butter jar from the San Francisco season? Discuss.

I need a haircut real bad but I don't feel like making an appointment. It's called laziness, friends.

Hockey's back. Of course, I'm still irritated by the Lockout. It was dumb and never should have happened but I've read a few statements from some of the players expressing regret and how much they appreciate the fans and that makes me feel better (a little bit). I also heard an interview with Mike Babcock on 96.3 this morning and he was really, really cool. Very gracious and appreciative that the game is back in session and that was neat to hear. I have such mixed feelings about the whole thing. Sure, I could just not watch any of the games but the whole reason I was mad during the lockout was because they weren't playing any games so it seems pointless. Also, they don't care if I don't watch. They (players, coaches, personnel, owners, stupid Bettman) will all get paid their millions of dollars regardless if I watch the games or  not. You can't win. Watch it, don't watch it, they'll still have another Lockout within the next 10 years I'm sure. Go Wings!

I've been reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. It's about a girl whose family is murdered when she is 7 and she testifies that her 15yr old brother did it. 25 years later she starts to question whether she was right or not. This book creeps me out and makes me have crazy dreams but for crying out loud, Gillian Flynn is a phenomenal writer. Absolutely fantastic. There are scenes that she writes that make my heart stop because they are so brilliant. She writes some insane (INSANE) female characters but she is absolutely gifted when it comes to concocting an addicting story. I can't wait to finish this book.

The Walking Dead returns February 10th!

The Americans, starring Keri Russel (Felicity!) and Matthew Rhys (Kevin from Brothers and Sisters) premieres on FX at 10pm on January 30th. It's about a group of KGB officers in the 80's who have been trained to impersonate American citizens so they can become sleeper agents. I am trying so hard not to get my hopes up that this show is going to kick ass but I can't help it. I think it's going to be awesome and I absolutely cannot wait for it.

Regardless of all the new books I got for Christmas (I got a lot), I am craving a trip to the bookstore. I need to smell that smell of books and coffee and be surrounded by shelves of stories.

White Collar returns January 22nd!

I think Jeff and I are going to check out that new Kevin Bacon show... The Following (FOX January 21st @ 9pm). It's about a bunch of serial killers and it sounds really creepy which usually I don't like but we are intrigued.

I still have not seen The Hobbit (see beginning of this post). I also want to see The Silver Linings Playbook real bad... And This Is 40... and maybe Les Miserables but I don't think anyone would see that one with me.   

Justin Bieber makes me irrationally angry. He's just a kid, making a living "singing" but I just want him to shut up and go away.

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles broke up. Cue her new break up song in 5, 4, 3, 2....

The new Entertainment Weekly features a ton of new Catching Fire info. Seeing the new stills and reading the interviews from the cast makes me super excited for November 21st.

Charley read me a book last night. HE read to ME. It was a super short book about a mudskipper that his teacher sent home for him to practice reading and sure, he probably had most of it memorized but I was so proud of him, I wanted to cry. Just thinking about it makes me want to cry all over again. Seeing that kid show me all the things he learns at school and sing the songs that they sing every day just makes my heart explode with happiness. I love it.

Speaking of C... If someone could invent a pair of pants that don't tear at the knee (or anywhere) after a couple of weeks of wear, I will make you chocolate chip cookies for life. FOR LIFE. Oh, they also have to be reasonably priced. I have to buy that kid a new pair of pants weekly because he gets holes in his right knee All. The. Time. It drives me nuts!

Those are all the random thoughts I have thought this week. Any thoughts you would like to share?

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Happy 2013, friends!

A new year, a clean slate, a new beginning. A time to reset, if you will. 2012 had some ups and quite a few downs but it's all good. It ended on a good note. I have my awesome family and my wonderful friends and I am a happy lady and looking forward to the year ahead.

With that being said, let me recount some of my favorite things (TV shows, movies, books, moments) from 2012 and some of the things that disappointed me. Let's call it my own little "Year in Review", shall we? Also, since this is MY recap of favorite/not so favorite things, it means I follow my own rules... meaning, not everything I talk about will have been released in 2012, but I read/watched it in 2012 therefore it counts.

I'll start with music since so many of my favorite bands/artists released new stuff last year. The downside of so many of them releasing great stuff all at once means I can't pick just one for my favorite, so I'll give you my top three... In no order. Because I feel bad playing favorites:
1.) Ben Folds Five- The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind. I've talked about this album at length. I love it. I helped fund it (because I'm awesome). It took 13 years for them to get together and make another record and it was so worth it. Favorite songs: "Do It Anyway" and "Draw a Crowd".

2.) The Killers- Battle Born. I love The Killers. I feel like they get better and better with every CD they put out. Brandon Flowers is so talented and has such a phenomenal voice, he never disappoints me. This album is no exception. It's great from start to finish. Favorite Song: "From Here On Out".

3.) Ed Sheeran- +. This is where my little stipulation kicks in. This record came out in 2011 but I didn't discover it until last year and once I discovered it, I couldn't stop listening to it. I love his voice and how his British accent comes through on certain words in his songs. I love that he's a ginger and that he writes his own music. I love that he's getting so popular because he deserves it. I adore this album. Favorite songs: "Lego House", "The A Team", "Give Me Love". Really though, I could have picked every song on it. That's how much I love it.

Let me give honorable mention to The Tragically Hip, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and Imagine Dragons... Gotye too because I was obsessed with that record at the beginning of the year.

Most disappointing CD? Dos! by Green Day. Releasing 3 albums in the span of a couple months is pretty ambitious. A little too ambitious. The second of those three is just not good. "Nightlife" is probably their worst song ever. The whole record is disjointed and messy and just off. I'm going to pretend like they didn't release it.

Artist I am most surprised I like so much? Bruno Mars. I love watching him perform and I love his voice. Like my Dad says, he's a combination of Michael Jackson and Prince and that is pretty awesome. I can't stop listening to his new single "Locked Out of Heaven".

I loved The Hunger Games and thought they did right by the book. It wasn't perfect but book to movie adaptations rarely are... if ever. I love Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and I loved all the behind the scenes stuff within the games. It made me appreciate the story more and it made me really look forward to Catching Fire.

The Avengers was phenomenal. C and I just watched it again yesterday and I loved it even more. Joss Whedon is a genius and all those super heroes are so very handsome. It's just a fun, enjoyable movie. So fun.

We Bought a Zoo. Yeah, this came out in 2011 but I just saw it about a month ago. I absolutely adore it and could watch it over and over and over again.

Weirdest Movie? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It wasn't bad, just weird. Real weird.

Favorite New Show(s)? Favorite new show meaning it's new to me and I just watched it this year? Firefly and Doctor Who. Firefly is adventurous and charming and the characters are so fantastic. Doctor Who is inventive and wonderfully entertaining and I still have a loooong way to go with it but I'm so happy I decided to jump on board the Tardis.

Favorite Regular Show(s)? The Vampire Diaries, White Collar and New Girl. All three are consistently good, funny and so refreshing. (Also, they all have real handsome fellas to look at. Real, real handsome).

Biggest TV disappointment? I have two:
1.) True Blood. It was a total snoozefest and they completely underused Christopher Meloni and Scott Foley. I hate the fairy storyline. The only thing that saved the season for me was Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard.

2.) The final season of Chuck blew. It blew hardcore. I never even blogged about it because I was so offended by how bad it was. They took a super great show and demolished it in the last 3 episodes and that made me sad and angry. Angry for spending 5 years watching it and sad because I loved those characters. Boo to that!

Now... BOOKS! (Bare with me... There are a lot)

Goodreads says that I read/rated 60 books for 2012. Here are my favorites:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book had my mind spinning. I would think it was going one way and then it would take a completely different direction. The characters are fascinating and kind of horrible but also likable all at once. The story is mesmerizing and the ending is a bit controversial. I could talk for hours about this book. I absolutely, positively, 100% loved it. LOVED. Read it. Read it NOW. Then talk to me about it.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern. This one came out in October of 2011 but I read it at the beginning of 2012. This book is beautiful and gorgeous and lovely and delightful and I fell in love with it. Absolutely fell in love with it. I want to live inside of it and be a part of the night circus and everything it represents. Magic and love and friendship and loyalty. Read it and fall in love with it too.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. This one just made me happy. Emily Giffin is a terrific writer and makes me want to be a better writer. This story is about family and what makes a family connect. When I finished it, I had a huge smile on my face. It's probably in my top 2 of her books. Check it out!

Much Ado About Magic by Shanna Swendson. Oh my goodness, this book made my heart explode with happiness. I waited 4 years for it and it didn't disappoint. It's part of the Enchanted Inc. series and it had everything I love about these books plus more and it made me fall in love with Owen Palmer a littler more, which I didn't think was possible. I re-read it the second I finished it.

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos. I've read Marisa's previous two books (Love Walked In and Belong To Me) and I enjoyed them, but this one took me by surprise. I didn't want to be done with the characters after I finished it. It's a story about friendship and relationships and it made me happy happy happy.

I also read a ton of Nora Roberts books (as did my sister and my mom) and became addicted to her writing. I have had so much fun reading her stuff and the best part is I am nowhere near finished. She has so so many and that means that I have lots to get to still.

Most Disappointing Book(s)?
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. This book is a semi-true story about Frank Lloyd Wright and an affair he had with a lady named Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The ending made me furious and the worst part is that the end is the truest part of the book. It was completely crazy and had me yelling at Jeff about it at 1 in the morning when I had finished it. Ugh.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  I absolutely, positively could not get into this book. I really tried. For all of you that finished it and enjoyed it, I want to give you a medal because I just didn't get it. And no, I wasn't expecting a magical story about potions and wizards. I knew going into it that it was a grown up (ha) book. I just didn't enjoy it at all and that made me sad.

So, those are my favorites and least favorites of 2012. Despite having a rough go of it for most of the year, we were champs at making the best of our situation. We had tons of fun at the Lego Fest and the RenFest and the Motor City Comic Convention, going to the park, hanging out at home, going up north, watching the Olympics, experiencing the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. The best part about all of that was spending time as a family.

I look forward to the year ahead and I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for all of you as well!

What were your favorite/not so favorite parts of 2012?