11.22.2011

Thanksgiving in the D

Hob Nobble Gobble is the event of the year.  It is the biggest fundraising event benefiting The Parade Company, where our bff CAB works as an Event Specialist.  The Parade Company puts on the America's Thanksgiving Parade, the Target Fireworks and other big events in the City of Detroit.  We have been lucky enough to be CarolAnn's guests at this wonderful event for the past few years and this year I will share a few of the highlights.  

HNG is a black tie affair with gourmet eats and drinks...complete with carnival food, rides and games.  So it's basically like the best thing ever.  Who doesn't like to ride the Pirate Ship while dressed to the nines?  Or climb the stairs of the Fun Slide in a dress and heels and then hold your dress down as you fly down into a crowd of onlookers while your panty hose itch on the burlap sack?  It makes for an interesting time.  


Here's Alessandro, on our way out the door, who right before I snapped this pic, said:  "I would feel like a million bucks...if I could walk properly."  To which I asked, "So then how much do you feel like?"  And he responded, "About a hundred dollars."  Hey, I'll take it.

When you get to HNG, you can eat, drink, play games, ride rides, and hit up the 6 prize stations to collect your goodies.  Alessandro was having a bad walking day, so we thought we would hit up our prize stations right away so that we could "get it over with" so he could sit down for most of the remainder of the evening.  When Alessandro has a bad walking day, that's bad for me too because that means that he will depend on me even more for support.  Physical support.  Meaning that he puts all of his weight down on my wrist when we walk.  I actually have to stop and take breaks sometimes because I'm in so much pain.  This night, I had the added pain of terribly uncomfortable heels.  So he and I joked while we struggled along, asking, "I wonder who this is more painful for?" 

But you wouldn't know we were having issues based on such smiling faces, now would ya? (Well maybe in that 3rd photo booth pic).

Here it is blown up in case you missed it:





Dinner was delicious.  I scarffed it down before I could take pics, but we had turkey, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, zucchini and peppers and rigatoni.  I washed it down with a Maker's Mark.  (Apparently I'm into whiskey now--who knew?)  (Alessandro's dad first was proud of me, but then clarified that MM is a bourbon whiskey, not a rye, blended or oak whiskey, and then gave me a lesson on the history of whiskey production). 




Everything is top notch at this event.  Check out the dessert station!  And this was only about 1/4 of what was actually available.  


Cotton candy, carmel apples, elephant ears and buckets of candy was all available for grabs.  

Here's our dessert plate.  The longer piece in the middle was a lemony dessert and it was by far my favorite.  I'll have to remember to ask CAB what it was and where I might be able to get more of it.  


 After dinner, some of the entertainment started.  Doug E. Fresh performed.  Do you guys know who that is?  Alessandro and I always feel that we are out of the loop when it comes to pop culture now a days.  We had no idea who Doug E. was and had no idea what the "Dougie" was either.  So we were absolutely entranced while watching all the youngins at the event performing the Dougie like they were on Dance Night at the Apollo.  


I will actually be riding on the float with Mr. Fresh on Thursday during America's Thanksgiving Parade.  So, look for me people!  I tried asking Alessandro's sister, who is a dance teacher, to "Teach me how to Dougie," but she looked at me like I was crazy.  I've been practicing since that night, and I think I have it nowhere near down, so we should be good to go.

Here I am first with our host, and also with Monica (a Bike Club member) and Amelia.  








And of course, here's me and my boo:










And we ended the night with lots of silliness...and a really big glass of Maker's Mark. 


 








Congratulations to CarolAnn and to The Parade Company for putting on such a fabulous event.  There is nothing like Hob Nobble Gobble, and we had an amazingly good time! 

11.11.2011

Cutest Thing on Earth





Have you guys seen this ultimate cute Halloween costume?  (Done by this mom, originally seen here).

He's Carl from Up!  

Image found here.
Talk about thinking outside the box.  

Have a good long weekend! 

11.02.2011

Nightstand Makeover

Today is the day that hundreds of bloggers (including this one) reveal their Pinterest Challenge projects.  As you'll recall, mine was a paint job for our bedroom nightstand.  This was my first furniture painting project, and I was pretty excited to dive in...and get it over with to be honest.  Alessandro and my bff Danielle were starting to think I was all talk with my growing list of DIMyself home improvement projects, and I needed to prove them wrong.

Danielle helped me from start to finish.  Including letting me come over to her house to sand in her backyard and prime and paint in her Florida room.  Much better solution to what I was going to do, which was to turn our living room into a wood-shop.  Alessandro was slightly concerned. 

Here's the before:



And here's the after:




And just as a reminder, here was my Pinterest inspiration for the project. 

Al really likes it, which is good because he was a furniture painting skeptic, but now he's a believer.  But I have a few disclaimers for you:  the piece is not perfect.  After drying for 3 full days, it was still a bit sticky, which I know is not a good thing.  I think that likely means that we painted the coats too thick, even though our mantra was thin, thin, thin.  I guess that's easier said than done.  I am going to leave the nightstand unused for a few more days and after that I plan to put a coat of Miniwax Polycrylic protective finish in clear on the top to protect it from water damage from drinks and hopefully to protect it from any paint chips as well.    

If interested, here are the steps we took for this job, which I got from this furniture-painting-how-to from YHL.  My basic steps were:  
  1. Sand the piece just enough to remove the shine.  Danielle's neighbors were nice enough to lend us their electric sander, so that made it much easier. 
  2. Wipe off all the dust with a wet rag and give it a few minutes to dry.
  3. Prime the surface with one thin coat of primer.  I used Zinsser Cover Stain oil-based Primer in white, which I got from Home Depot.  And for painting, I used an angled brush, as I read that foam rollers can cause lots of bubbles.
  4. Let that dry for two hours, during which Dani and I went out for breakfast and also to TJ Maxx where I picked up these rain boots that she previously spotted and thought I'd like. 
  5. Next, we painted two thin coats of color.  I chose Leisure by Behr in semi-gloss.  While those coats dried, we headed to Salvation Army to pick up the final pieces for our Halloween costumes.   (Pictures may follow). 
  6. After about an hour, we painted on the last thin coat of paint and spray painted the hardware in oil-rubbed bronze using a few thin coats. 
  7. Lastly, I used a tiny brush to paint the non-detachable hardware on the nightstand with oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. 
The entire thing from start to finish, including drying time, took about 7 hours.  I am so thankful for Danielle's help!  It was much funner to complete with a buddy, not to mention probably saved me a couple of hours.   

Once the nightstand is good to go, I'll post some before and after pics of it in our bedroom.  

I'm glad the Pinterest Challenge gave me a kick in the pants to complete this project, which otherwise would have probably lingered until who knows when.  If you're not on Pinterest, give it a go.  I think Pinterest, which by the way knows nothing of the Pinterest Challenge, is a great site...as long as every once in a while, you stop pinning and start doing.  

Until next challenge!  Maybe by then you'll join?  


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P.S.  Danielle makes the most wonderful smelling candles known to man.  And they burn so slowly that they last way longer than typical candles.  Check out her candles online on her website and her facebook page.  May I recommend the Red Velvet?