Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Painting...with a Twist

Last week, my sister Heather's best friend set up a girl's night for seven of our family and friends. So Friday night we set out to do a little unwinding by painting. Painting with a Twist is a place where you pick a picture you'd like to paint and then there is an instructor that guides you along throughout the entire painting process. They supply the paints, paint brushes, aprons, and even the canvas. You supply the wine! That's the twist. ;) You're allowed to drink while painting! Who wouldn't like that?! Our design was of a cobblestone pathway that has lamp posts and trees along side it. Along the way, I snapped a few pictures to show the before and after of my magnificent creation.

Blank Canvas
You start by making guidelines to sketch out the approximate locations of where the cobblestone pathway will be. By using the edge of the paint brush we were able to create a "whispy" look that represented a sky in the background.

Brush Techniques

This was a three hour long event! Therefore, things can get a little overwhelming and the instructor has to keep moving along, so falling behind tends to happen quite a bit. But when in doubt..."take another sip!" That's one of the rules Painting with a Twist goes by. It helps for people to not become upset or frustrated. They even have an area where you can get up and hula hoop if you just need to get away for a minute.

Middle of the class 

In the middle of class, just for checking in on Facebook. I got this nifty bottle opener! How convenient! :)

Finally, we reached the end! Here's how my finished painting turned out. 

Not too shabby for my very first time at one of this events! The instructor mentioned that we don't have to use the exact colors that she uses if we want to make it more of our own. In our group photo, all of our pictures look very similar, yet the colors schemes slightly varied which made each picture unique!


So there you have it! Three hours later and we each have our very own painting! To learn more about Painting with a Twist, or to find one near you, click here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Physically and Mentally Drained

Lately, I've been so worn out. Work has been crazy beyond belief! I find myself going into work earlier and earlier each day, busting my ass and then just wanting to pass out when I get home. Sometimes, I nap. Most days, I find the toothpicks (aka coffee) to keep my eyes open the rest of the night. The list of things to do at work is never ending. That's not such a bad thing though. It pretty much guarantee's job security but it would be nice to have more space, more instruments, and more people to help get the job done. After increasing business by 10x over the past couple years we are in major need of some more hands on deck. However, that will never happen...not yet at least. So I'm just going to keep on keepin' on feeling like a zombie most of the days. I love my job but damn..sister needs a break!

I'll never forget what one of my anthropology professor's told me when I was in school. He said, "You need to break the system or else work/school wins." By this he meant that we need to take personal days off. We need to call off work or skip class every now and then or else we aren't human. We become robots that follow a specific system day in and day out. Now, this doesn't mean to call off all the time it just means to do it if you really feel like you need it. So next class, I see the note on the door, our professor cancelled class. Touché. That's exactly why I took a personal day off work this past Monday. I have PTO days so why not use one? The 15" of snow definitely helped me make the decision to stay home in my comfy bed but it felt good. No matter what day I take off, the daunting list of work will still be there when I go back, but at least I had an extra 24 hours to help me recoup so that I'd return and do even better work. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Now that 2015 is here there is one main focus of mine. I do not want to fall victim of sloth. One of the seven deadly sins. Life is way too short to sit around and be lazy all day. Instead, I want to go out and adventure more. Last year was a great year for me. I tried new exciting things, pushed myself to do more, and found that I was just happier all together. I want to continue that trend this year!

Pictured Rocks
I've lived in Michigan for fifteen years now and I have never been to the Upper Peninsula nor Traverse City, Mackinaw Island, Pictured Rocks, or even Silver Lake Sand Dunes. This mitten of a state has so much beautiful nature to offer and I've barely seen any of it. My objective this summer is to venture around Michigan some more. Picture Rocks being first on my list. I have heard too many rave reviews about this location to simply pass it up. I would want to camp onsite and then take a kayak tour on Lake Superior to get an even more exquisite view of this marvel. Also, I've only been to Lake Erie. Eventually, I would love to check off all five lakes that surround Michigan.

Not only would I like to visit more of Michigan but I would also like to check out Las Vegas this summer. It would be fun and definitely a change of scenery. Hey, your twenties are for having fun, why not in Vegas? :)

A cruise would be nice also. I've been on one to the Bahamas it is relaxation heaven! You pay once and then everything else is all-inclusive. You can't beat it! Sailing on the endless blue ocean under clear and beautiful skies is breath-taking. Even the thought of a nice tan is calling my name during this cold winter.

But to take matters even further around the world I desperately want to travel to Spain. I have been wanting to go there for years. YEARS! Whether or not I go this year, we'll have to see, but one day I'll be there. I have studied Spanish for basically my whole life and there is nothing more that I want than to fully submerge myself in the language and culture. The architecture is exquisite, the food looks delicious and the style of dancing is phenomenal. Yo quiero visitar Barcelona primero! Barcelona has always been first on my list of cities to visit while in Spain but I may even run with the bulls in Pamplona...okay maybe not run with them, I'll watch. BUT you can definitely count me in for La Tomatina Festival in Bunol. Who wouldn't want to join in on a ginormous tomato food fight?!

I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish all of these places in one year. If I do, that's awesome. If I don't, there's always next year. Mainly, I just want to "do" more things this year. Even if it's going to concerts, sports events, or just playing basketball outside with the neighbors, I'll be happy. Sloth won't do me any good so I refuse to let it get to me!

If you  happen to have any input on some of the locations that I just mentioned I would love to hear about it! It would help me decide where to travel first or let me know if I missed a great location or event that I should add to my list! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Whoa. It's been a while...

Yikes! I can't believe that I've been missing from the blogging world for over three months now. Time seriously flies. Needless to say, a lot has happened within those past three months. For instance, holiday after holiday, Chicago for my brother-in-law's 30th birthday, and snowboarding. Chicago was a blast so I figure I'll talk about that for now. About fifteen of my brother-in-law's good friends and family all headed West to Chicago on New Year's Day. We all purchased this awesome Groupon, which I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to deal with, and stayed the whole weekend for cheap! This was my first time purchasing a traveling Groupon and now it most likely won't be my last either. Most of us took the Amtrak train there too. It was my first train ride, too! So many first experiences happened on this trip. Overall, we did multiple different party/touristy things while in town. We all got together to have a birthday dinner for Joey and went to Lou Malnati's. It is a well known Chicago-style (of course) deep dish pizza joint. Man, was it delicious! Best pizza I've had in Chicago hands down.

For some tourist events, I rode the subway for the first time ever. Yes, ever...and I loved it. It's so convenient and easy to use! I was shocked. I also saw the "Bean" for the first time as well. Although, it looked more like an egg. The weather was gloomy and snowy so the top portion of the Bean was covered. However, a little snow and ice doesn't stop me from sight-seeing! I'm from Michigan people and we're currently getting snow as I speak, er, type. A ton at that! We have already gotten 8" and there's another expected 8" on the way. I'm taking work off tomorrow, just saying. Anyways, back to Chicago. 

I was fascinated by the Bean. It's so cool how you can see Chicago's skyline (on a good day) in its' reflection. Also, as if I wasn't short enough to begin with, it acted as a fun mirror. I looked half my size. Even walking underneath the bean was a unique experience. All of these swirls that the angle of the surface makes flips your image in different ways. Then, the fun part was trying to find where the bean flipped your image. I found myself in multiple locations!

Underneath the Bean
Fun Size
             I love how in the picture below the snow and ice covers our faces perfectly! 

Then, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Let me tell you, that place is HUGE! There was so much to see it was unbelievable! We spent hours there. It happened to be the time of the year in which they decorate a bunch of different Christmas trees to represent different countries. For example, Belgium had Belgian waffles hanging all over it and the United States tree had a bald eagle as it's tree topper. I apologize for my photo clarity, I was just using my phone's camera at the time.

Belgium Tree
United State Tree
Finally, we grabbed some of the famous cheddar/caramel mixed popcorn at Garrett's Popcorn. You can never go to Chi-Town without picking up some of their awesome popcorn!

So, there you have it! Joey's Chicago birthday trip to celebrate his "dirty thirty." Needless to say, I definitely want to make a Spring or Summer trip this year back to Chi-Town. There's so much more to explore and the night life is great! 

Thanks for sticking out the long hiatus with me. I promise I'll post more frequently now. Talk to you soon! :)