Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Girls Guide to Detroit [short film]

Absolutely worth your time to watch this short film. Phenomenal content, top of the line cinematography and featuring Detroiters being awesome!


Detroit is a place that attracts a certain type of individual. Someone that’s both tough and independent.

That’s especially true for the women who have chosen to stake their claim in one of the nation’s most complicated cities. Fearless, talented, and ambitious, these women are shaping Detroit’s future.

Toby Barlow


Amanda LeClaire & Andrew Miller


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Construction Vehicles!! (Books & Activity)

They say there are only two seasons in Michigan: Winter and Construction.

That’s fine with us!

B is totally fascinated with construction vehicles. If we see a construction site, he absolutely must stop and watch. He loves how big and noisy they are. He loves how they can rip an entire tree from the ground by its’ roots or crunch concrete like it were a piece of tissue paper.

This is my own compilation of B tested and approved books with a sensory bin that has been a total hit with every toddler (and most adults) that have come in contact with it.


I found an “under the bed” bin on clearance and stowed it in the laundry room until all of my bin materials could get pulled together. I used:

1. An old 5lb bag of flavored coffee beans that have been in my freezer for at least three years.

2. White beans that were on the bottom shelf and on clearance at Kroger. (You could also try the bulk aisle at Meijer).

3. A 5-pack of CAT construction vehicles from the toy aisle at Target for $6.00, totally worth every penny!

4. Some old fake moss rocks I had in a bowl on our coffee table before B could walk. They had been “retired” to the bookshelf collecting dust for over a year.

5. We colored a paper plate blue, cut it out (together) and taped it to the bottom at one end of the bin for a “lake”.


Easy and cheap for ALL of the ten minute intervals it has given me.

What works in your home to get those “ten minutes”?






What are your toddlers favorite books?

Moo Cluck Moo Review


Moo Cluck Moo- restaurant review

Cross Streets: Telegraph Rd. & Joy Rd.

Bathroom: NONE (apparently when you are a “carry out only” establishment you are not required to offer any facilities to your customers.)

Food: YUM to the capital Y U and M. We used our groupon for two “all american BBQ” burgers and added regular fries (although they had many options) and a salted caramel chocolate milk shake. An amazing pickled cole slaw topped my BBQ burger that blew my mind, it was SO good!

Seating: A few bar height two tops inside and some rickety two tops outside on the blacktop within feet of cars whizzing by at 60mph. We attempted to dine outside as the inside was jammed but found it too challenging to balance a toddler on one knee and eat. Plus, you could barely hear each other talk with the whooshing of traffic.

Staff: The employees were amazing. I would be happy if any of them were my neighbor or lab partner.

To solve the “family dining” issue we drove a few blocks off Telegraph to a playground attached to a school. It was in a cute brick home lined neighborhood and we attempted to eat “picnic style”. However, as soon as B saw the playscape, he was off and running, big daddy in hot pursuit!




This is a picture of the school parking lot. There was one other family there that looked like they had the same meal plan we did.


Overall, I felt good about giving B a “fast food” burger from here. I was just surprised about the “carry out only” scenario. Now that I am prepared, I can go with the right attitude to fully enjoy this great food served up by an uber friendly staff.

And the Heavy Fireworks Start…..

And the Heavy Fireworks Start…...

PD9: Township Jazz Project

PD9: Township Jazz Project.

Toddler Bowling

It’s a rainy day and our active family cannot be cooped up at home for long or we start to get crabby. So we tried a bowling alley in Allen Park, MI.

A friend had pointed us in their direction because it is small, clean and family owned and operated, my kind of place.

For less than $5 our toddler got shoes, a ball he could lift (6 pounds) and an open lane. The staff gave us an apparatus that is used by bowlers in a wheelchair but it worked perfect for our two year old. They raised the “bumpers” on the lane so no matter how B threw the bowling ball, it would make it down the lane.

After a few rolls, B wanted to try to throw it down the lane like Daddy does. Now, Daddy has two 300 rings from league play, so, I think it’s safe to say, we’d all like to throw the ball like him, but regardless, B was done with the handicap ramp. He rolled the ball as hard as could down the lane and it literally took so long to get to the pubs the roll didn’t even register! Too funny! It was about as fun as watching paint dry but B got his silly’s out and we all had a few laughs.


We played two games and B was beyond done. It took about an hour to complete the two games. Then we went into the “game room”. B doesn’t have the skills or interest to really play, so we saved our quarters but he had about another twenty minted of fun just clicking buttons and touching all if the games with their blinking lights.

We are potty training B now, so the bathroom is a really big deal when we go somewhere. When it was “time”, B was able to relieve himself with daddy in a clean bathroom, always a positive. No kiddy potty or step stool at the sink but, we still rated it high. There was also a changing table for the needs of tiny ones.

Follow us as we play and explore as a family in Detroit and surrounding suburbs. I will give my “mommy perspective” on our adventures. Restrooms, food, cost and whether I felt a place was kid friendly or not. I hope you find it helpful – ENJOY!


Happy 4th of July!!






Westland Splash Pad
Closest cross street: Ford Rd. & Venoy

Free family splash fun all summer long!

Restroom: Port-a-potty only (eek!)

Play: Great playscape for little ones (2-4) and a GIANT playscape for the older kiddos.

Picnic tables are sparsely scattered but I would recommend bringing a picnic blanket and possibly a beach umbrella or tent for shade. Lots of open green space and thick mulch under the play structures but not many trees.

BONUS: We found a festival in full swing quite by accident on Wednesday July 3rd. It had carnival rides, a petting farm, pony rides and fried food. Uniquely it had exotic animals to get photos with. A capuchin monkey even had his own little show. There was a stage set up for music acts to jam through the night. FREE to enter, rides and everything else were all separate fees.




Ahhh, there’s nothing better than the feeling of the wind in your hair when the rubber meets the road, especially in these cool trikes!

Elizabeth Park, Trenton, MI

closest main corner: West Rd. & Jefferson

We took our bikes and trikes for a lovely loop around the park (approx. 1/2 mile) then played for over an hour on their handicap accessible play structure. B and his friends (ages 2-4) were able to safely manage the climbing and sliding leaving the adults to enjoy the day on the nearby shaded picnic tables. Delightful!

Restroom: Inside the main new brick structure at the crest of the loop. Clean with baby changing table.

Extras: Beautiful water views, lots of photo opportunities. Mature shade trees. Mulched hiking path through the center with a woodsy feel.

*bring food for the ducks and geese
*skateboards welcome inside the skate park