Columbus – I like you.

27 Jun

In February, I went to Columbus, OH for an event with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and I was overwhelmingly impressed for several reasons.

  1. I didn’t know that they have a professional hockey team, but they do.  Pretty impressive, right?
  2. Their downtown has character, so much character.

I was in Columbus for less than 24 hours, but during that time I spent about 10 hours at Nationwide Arena.  The Arena just happens to be in the Arena district (who would’ve thought?), which was really impressive.  Think brick streets, very walkable, with restaurants everywhere.  Of course, as soon as we got to Columbus we went onsite.  As soon as we finished the event we went to the hotel (with the always important post-event stop at Steak ‘n Shake).  And as soon as we woke up we got back on the road to head back to Indianapolis.  So we really weren’t there much… but that’s the best part.  Just by walking from the parking garage to the Arena (and in a misty freezing rain), I wanted to hang out more in Columbus.

So, good job Columbus.  Keep it up.  I’m sure we will be meeting again…

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Detroit. Proof that brunch is all that matters in life.

11 Jun

For my first trip of 2013 – I went to Detroit.  I learned a few important things on this trip:

  1. Never rent a compact car.
  2. If you are going to Michigan in January, check the weather.
  3. A fantastic breakfast makes or breaks a trip.

So, first things first.  There is never an actual need to rent a compact car.  It was our first time renting one, so we figured that is just what we should do.  Turns out, it’s totally not worth it.  I felt like I was driving a tin box for 5 hours there and back, which is not appealing by any means.  Also, driving a compact car in Michigan in January was the worst choice we made… bringing me to point #2…

Check the weather.  You should probably do this period…. but mostly in Detroit in January.  The drive there was fine, but on the way back we drove through some nasty snow… in our tin box.  Was that worth the few dollars that we saved?  No.  No it was not.  We really couldn’t have avoided the snow, but still.  It wasn’t the most positive part of our trip.  Don’t worry, there was a tad bit of a silver lining.  We seriously needed coffee to handle the trip back in the snow, so we wandered off the beaten path and found a perfect little town.  Marshall, MI, you’re adorable.

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The best part of the trip (by far) was the food.  (Per usual.)  We went to Toast in Birmingham, and I fell in love.  The food was fantastic, but perhaps my favorite thing was the decor.  Just eating there made me feel hip.  I would have been completely content just hanging out there for the rest of the day… and maybe moving in eventually.  I’m sure that they wouldn’t mind.  IMG_4139

My trip to Detroit was a definite success.  The northern suburbs get my full approval, since they are all pretty fancy and full of character.    If only I had been there for a bit longer, and if it wasn’t snowing the whole time, then I would have a lot more to say about it other than… it’s so cold in the D.  Oh, and go to Toast.

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I’m still alive… kind of.

5 Jun

My goal with blogging was to document all of my post-grad experiences, but I’ve pretty much failed at it for the last 5 months or so.  So, my apologies.  For the last 5 months I’ve been working like crazy to make it through my first official BidPal Spring “Busy Season”.  Yeah…it was outrageous.  But I’m here, I made it, and I didn’t loose my mind.  All of these are obviously positives.

Instead of acting like the last few months didn’t happen, I’m going to go back through my trips and review the locations and the things that we did.  I had some interesting trips, some fantastic ones, and some that I would do completely differently moving forward.  But, I always try to do something cool, and I try to eat as much fantastic food as humanly possible.  So I can at least provide some cool recommendations for food in obscure locations.

So get excited, because the list of locations that I traveled to is pretty rockin’ and glamorous:

  • Detroit
  • Columbus, OH
  • Tulsa
  • Dallas
  • Oklahoma City
  • Salt Lake City
  • Des Moines
  • Little Rock

And last fall I went to a few other places.  I might not get around to them…but I’ll try:

  • St. Louis
  • Seattle
  • Las Vegas
  • Cleveland
  • Baltimore

I’m coming upon my first anniversary at BidPal, so I feel like this blog series is fitting.  It’s been a big year, and traveling has been a pretty huge and fantastic part of it.  First up, Rock City.

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Pinterest Mythbusting #2 – Breaking in your shoes with a hair dryer

16 Jan

Over the last few months, I’ve had a few pairs of shoes that needed some serious breaking in.  One pair was this fantastic pair of black wedges that Macy’s practically paid me to take from their store, but they were at least a half size too small.  Another was the pair of cognac riding boots that I got for Christmas from my parents, that are perfect in every way besides the tight heels.  I couldn’t bear not wearing either of these pairs of shoes to their fullest potential, so I decided to try to break them in.

I started with the black wedges by just wearing them around more often…which didn’t do much besides make my feet hurt.  I tried the same thing with the boots….which also just made my feet hurt.  So, I decided to try something that I had come across on Pinterest, breaking in shoes with a hair dryer and socks.

Basically, you put on a pair of thick socks, put on your shoes, and then blow dry your shoes wherever they need to stretch a bit.  It’s easy, and best of all, it works!  Now I can wear both of these pairs of shoes without hating my life by noon, which is definitely a win.  So, try it out…it’s fantastic.  Best of all, now you can buy that pair of shoes that you love but that is in a size too small…because there is a legitimate way to break them in/stretch them out.  You’re welcome.

Pinterest Mythbusting #1 – Drying nails with Pam

13 Dec

Like most people, I pin tons of things on Pinterest, but never use them or try them, or even read them.  But this week, I decided to try out some things that I’ve been curious about ever since I first came across them.  So, I present, Part 1 of Pinterest Mythbusting with Steph.

Pin: Spray Pam on wet nails, wipe off, and nails will be dry.

Does it really work?  Kind of.  I painted my nails (with two coats) one night.  The next night, I did another coat for good measure.  I let my nails dry most of the way, sprayed them with Pam, and let it sit for a second.  They were almost perfect, but when I did dishes soon after, one got a mark in it.  So, it was close, and it almost worked, but not perfectly.

Nice try, Pinterest.

Stay tuned for our next installment of Pinterest Mythbusting with Steph: Breaking in new shoes with a hair dryer.

Brockton Project #2 – Gallery Wall

28 Nov

Ever since I started using Pinterest, I have been obsessed with gallery walls.  I basically want to fill every single wall of my apartment with an array of decorations, and I consider blank wall space my mortal enemy.  So, for my second big project in our apartment, I did a gallery wall in our dining room, naturally.

I knew that I wanted to use different kinds of frames and pictures in various colors for the gallery wall, so I started by picking a fabric that I liked.  I found the fabric at JoAnn’s, and worked off of it to pick everything else.  I painted a canvas and a picture that would go in a fancy frame I have, and I used leftover fabric and random other items to fill space.  I was afraid of going overboard – so I tried to keep it small, and this what I ended up with:

The dining room wall…

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After I looked at it for a few weeks, it just seemed way too bare, so I added to it.  I added a sconce that I fell in love with at Reclamation, another painted canvas, and a frame with some cute fabric.  To top it all off – I even put a bird on it.  Now it feels much more complete, and I feel like it balances out the wall much better than the previous arrangement.  Check it:

Gallery wall try #2.

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Basically, nothing is ever final when I’m decorating.  I love to change my mind, and completely rethink things.  It does take up a lot of time, but I try to just ignore that part entirely.  Instead, I like to think about how much it cost for me to create different things – and in this case, the entire wall came in under $15.  The sconce was $8, the fabric was $4, and I had everything else on hand.  So, it was a bargain, and I’m pretty proud of it now.  I’m also proud of the fact that I haven’t recreated it on every wall in the apartment.  My obsession with decorating is improving slightly – which is all I can ask for.

Nice People are the Best.

5 Nov

During a trip to Cleveland for work over the weekend, I saw this awesome truck.

If I had a trucking company, I would put this on my trucks too. #nicepeople

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I loved it, it made my day, and it kind of made me want to start my own trucking company so I could put it on my trucks too.  But – since that probably won’t happen anytime soon, I’ll just have to sit on that idea for awhile.