#MyMichMemory – Potter Park Zoo

We’re getting close to the end of the summer but Lauren and I are still celebrating all the great places there are to see in Michigan and some of the awesome Michigan made products! This week we have an incredible giveaway for you!

Red Ruffed Lemur

Red Ruffed Lemur

I was floored when I heard Potter Park Zoo was offering… In my opinion it’s one of the best giveaways that we’ve had all summer!

Alright, so I should start out with explaining what Potter Park is for those of you who don’t know. Potter Park is a zoo that is situated right in Lansing, Michigan. The zoo has over 20 acres of land with more than 500 different animals, many of which are considered endangered.

Amur Tiger Cub Sisters

Amur Tiger Cub Sisters

What’s great about Potter Park is that it’s easy to get to, fun for everyone, they have fun family activities, and they’re open year round!

I’ve been to the zoo many times with my kids on school field trips and to just get away and do something different on a Saturday morning and we have always enjoyed our time there checking out the monkeys, tigers, and camels! Oh… and you can even ride the camels!


Cotton Top Close

So what are we giving away?
A family membership!! This is a great deal for any family… It includes admission for two adults and all dependant children.

  • Unlimited admission to the Potter Park Zoo for a full year–They’re open year round!
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 zoos and aquariums across the U.S.
  • Annual “Members Only Party” at the Zoo
  • Subscription to Zoo Tales
  • Advance notice of special events, programs, and activities
  • A 10% discount in the Zoovenir Gift Shop

You also get admission or discounted admission to the following zoos in Michigan. (An asterisk (*) indicates a zoo or aquarium that offers an admission discount. All other zoos and aquaria offer free admission)

  • Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek*
  • Detroit Zoo, Detroit *
  • John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids
  • Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Saginaw

This is just the list of those here in Michigan but there are zoos all over the country that you can visit for free or at a discounted rate. Check out the reciprocal zoo list.

The winner will also get this years photo contest t-shirt! Check them out! I love the purple one…. of course it is my favorite color!

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#MyMichMemory ~ Garden Fresh Salsa Giveaway!

Whether you like it mild, garlicky, or on-fire hot hot hot, I think we can all agree that salsa has made its way into the hearts of most Americans as a grocery shopping staple.

And NOBODY does salsa like Ferndale, Michigan-based Garden Fresh. The fun doesn’t stop at salsa either. The company also carries a variety of dips, hummus and chips that are absolutely delicious.

This week’s My Michigan Memory giveaway features a Garden Fresh prize pack of salsa, dips and hummus for one lucky winner. Can you say YUM!?

{If you’re a blogger, all you have to do is link up your Michigan-related blog post in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you’re not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form.}

GF Cover

Before you start salivating for that prize pack, there’s some really cool things about this company we think you should know about.

The quick story:
The proprietors, Jack and Annette Aronson were once restrauters in Ferndale. People came to eat the salsa until one day, the head of a grocery chain demanded they made it for his store. The rest is history!

Today, they not only make America’s #1 salsa, but they also make the most divine tortilla chips in the deli, along with super-yummy dips and hummus.
You know it has to be good because they have won more than 250 awards for excellence!

The Aronson's
Aren’t they such a cute husband and wife team?

So, what’s the reason the salsa is soooo good?

For starters, a state-of-the-art high-pressure process allows for cleaner and preservative-free products. Also, all batches are made in small quantities to guarantee freshness and flavor.

Get ideas for using Garden Fresh in recipes here. And if you’re great in the kitchen, submit your own recipe for the chance to have it featured on the GF website and get $100 toward your favorite charity!

Green BONUS:
As if you need another reason to love this company…They also recycle their tortilla chip oil and use it for biodiesel to power school buses. How cool is that?!

What’s your favorite Garden Fresh product? I have too many, depending on my mood, but this is my ‘ole standby:

For more information Garden Fresh, visit their Facebook, Twitter and blog.

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Wordful Wednesday ~ My Michigan Memory

A couple weeks ago we took a vacation in Mackinaw City at a local campground/resort that we can always seem to get into no matter how long we wait to make reservations. It’s a practically perfect place with the campsites facing the water and great views of the Mackinac Bridge & Island…. the only thing that keeps it from being perfect is all the rocks that are in the lake (water shoes are a must).

There was always a gentle breeze coming off the water and you can hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and evening bon fires on the beach where everyone could gather round and share their day along with some delicious s’mores.

around the bon fire

Our days weren’t just spent laying around the beach enjoying the beautiful view though! We took off and played tourist in our own state and headed up to the U.P.!

Whitefish Point

 Our first stop was at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior. The water here is crystal clear and as cold as ice…. it’s one of the great lakes that really never warms up and is home to many ship wreaks and the ship wreak museum. Just going there to spend some time on the beach is worth it because it is such a beautiful place and worth the drive.

But if you decide to go into the museum (which you should) this is one of the items that you’ll be impressed with… and the main reason that we went because my youngest daughter really wanted to see it.

This is the bell that was pulled up from the Edmund Fitzgerald that sunk in 1975…. I’m sure that if you’ve ever listened to the radio you’ve heard the song about the ship wreak made famous by Gordon Lightfoot.

Edmund Fitzgerald Bell

Our next stop on our trip was Tahquamenon Falls.. or just the upper portion since the kids were getting tired and hiking wasn’t something that they wanted to do more of that day. Just a fact or two for you… the upper falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi and has a drop of nearly 50 ft and is more than 200 ft across.

I just like going to take in the beauty of it and to hike the trails that follow it. 

Tahquamenon Falls

When were were there it was hot but there was a cool breeze coming off through the gorge and you could smell the pine trees…. it was such a clean, fresh scent. A smell that tells you that you are truly up north!

I leave you with one final picture… the evening sunset over the Mackinac Bridge.

sunset over the bridge

 Have taken a family vacation yet? What did you do?

Guess what…. of course it’s Wednesday and I’m linking up with Angie from Seven Clown Circus and Amanda from Parenting by Dummies!

#MyMichMemory: Detroit Institute of Arts Giveaway + Linky

One of metro Detroit’s finest spots for culture and coolness is the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA). {If you’ve never been, it’s a Michigan MUST!} We are so happy to have a great giveaway this week for My Michigan Memory, courtesy of Comerica Bank. This week’s prize up for grabs features a family 4-pack of tickets to the DIA.

All you have to do is link up a Michigan-related blog post in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you’re not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway ends July 27, 2012 at 6 a.m. EST.


The DIA is one of the premier art museums in the United States, and is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

The latest exhibit to come to the DIA is Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings, on view  through January 6, 2013, and features almost all of the works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Henri Matisse (1869–1954). This exhibition has been organized by Detroit Institute of Arts, is sponsored by Comerica, and is free with museum admission.


A sampling of the drawings on display

The story of Picasso’s and Matisse’s stylistic progression and artistic range will be told through more than 100 prints and drawings, including exceptional works such as Matisse’s 1919 drawing The Plumed Hat and Picasso’s 1939 gouache of The Bather by the Sea. Other highlights include Matisse’s famous series Jazz and Picasso’s etchings for the Dream and Lie of Franco, as well as many linoleum cuts by both artists. The DIA’s 13 paintings and two bronze sculptures on permanent display will be on view in the museum’s modern art galleries.

Picasso and Matisse were ground-breaking visionaries who constantly experimented with techniques and materials. They were friends, colleagues, and rivals for half a century.

To learn more, view the official press release here.

“The Detroit Institute of Arts is an important part of our city and its culture and Comerica is proud of its history of supporting Detroit’s premier cultural institution. Our support of the DIA reflects Comerica’s ongoing commitment to Detroit and Michigan. Over the past 20 years, Comerica has provided more than three million dollars to support the DIA in its capital campaigns, annual fundraisers and special exhibitions.”

– Linda D. Forte, senior vice president, business affairs and chief diversity officer, Comerica Bank.

Forte and Beale

Linda D. Forte of Comerica Bank and DIA Director Graham Beal at the entrance of the exhibit 

Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members.

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#MyMichMemory – Midland Center for the Arts Giveaway

All over Michigan there are museums, children’s centers, and all sorts of family friendly activities. But one that I think gets overlooked is the Midland Center for the Arts. MCFTAlogo It’s tucked away in Mid-Michigan in the city of Midland and it pretty easily accessed from major highways! Also… it’s pretty close to Dow Gardens which is another great Michigan location to visit! Anyway…. I’ll admit that I haven’t been to the Midland Center for the Arts and I have no reason for it either when it’s no more than an hour away! This summer they have a great exhibition though… one that is sure to please almost all small children. Bob the Builder! Bob the Builder

Bob the Builder – Project Build It! Bob’s Sunflower Valley comes to life, filled with colorful characters, sensational sets and imagination! All senses will be engaged as boys and girls use hands-on activities to build, learn – and play! Help everybody’s favorite builder and his Can-Do Crew of animated machines get the job done. Can you do it? YES YOU CAN!

Bob the builder & friend

This family fun exhibit is open until August 18th so if you want to check it out you’ll have to hurry! There are 2 other great Bob the Builder events that they have coming up soon! The first one is Saturday, July 14 from 11 am – 2 pm, called the Build It Bash. They are going to have construction vehicles in the parking lot for kids to see and learn about! They are also going to have all kinds of fun games and activities up in the exhibit. Next, on Thursday, August 9 from 5 – 7 pm, they have Pizza PJs and Play! It’s a pizza dinner with Bob the Builder. Kids and grownups can enjoy dinner together and then play and learn together in the exhibit. Kids are welcome to wear their PJs! You can visit the website for more info about those events.

The Midland Center for the Arts has many interesting permanent exhibits such as; Restless Earth, Groundworks, Glaciers, Greening and a Life-size Mastodon or Trailblazers, Waterways, Lumberjacks, Farmers, Miners and Chemists. I really believe that there is something for everyone there and it’s the perfect place to go to beat the heat or rainy day fun!

How would you like to spend the day checking everything out there and of course making great memories? Explore, play, build, and maybe even learn something new!

Well as part of our awesome support of Michigan and the great businesses here we are giving away a family 4-pack (good for 2-adults and 2-chidren) to “Bob the Builder: Project Build It” on display now – August 18!!

Don’t forget to come back and check out all the great #MyMichMemory that everyone has written about!

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#MyMichMemory: Giveaway with Hudsonville Ice Cream + Linky!

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! What better summer treat is there? And how about a Michigan made ice cream treat at that?! This week’s My Michigan Memory giveaway features an ice cream party for up to 75 people, thanks to the kind folks at Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company. {Please note: Winner must be willing to host the party within a one-hour’s drive to either Detroit or Grand Rapids} What an amazing party you could throw for a family reunion, church group or just in your neighborhood.

If you’re a blogger, all you have to do is link up your Michigan-related blog post in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you’re not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form.

Hudsonville Ice Cream

Here’s a bit of background on Hudsonville:

Hudsonville Ice cream was founded in 1926 in Hudsonville, Mich. and started out producing six flavors of ice cream.  The company moved into their current location in Holland , Mich. in 2004.

Hudsonville is a small, family-owned business that is committed to supporting Michigan and investing in the state. When the company was sold to its current owner in 2003, the most important details were to continue producing ice cream using the same recipe that began the company’s success and to stay local to Michigan – both traditions have held.  In fact, one of the sons of the original owners of Hudsonville continues to share his knowledge and participates actively at Hudsonville.

Currently, Hudsonville makes more than 30 flavors in 1.75-quart containers and sells them in grocery stores. Additionally, more than 50 flavors are available in 3-gallon tubs, which are scooped in local ice cream shops. Hudsonville is now sold throughout Michigan along with selected areas of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.

The company also has a commitment to using farm-fresh and local ingredients whenever possible – and milk even goes from cow to carton in under 36 hours, which makes a great impact on the flavor and quality of the ice cream. Other locally sourced ingredients include cherries from Grand Traverse County and flavorings from Jogue in Northville.

Hudsonville Cows

Future Hudsonville Ice Cream producers

Further showcasing Hudsonville’s commitment to Michigan are several mitten-friendly ice cream flavors, including: Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge®, Michigan Deer Traxx®, Mackinac Island Fudge and Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug®. But that’s not all! See the entire list of creamy and delicious flavors here.

For more information Hudsonville, visit their website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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#MyMichMemory: Giveaway with the Detroit Zoo + Linky!

Lions, Tigers and bears – oh my! If your summer plans are calling for a fabulous family adventure, look no further than the Detroit Zoo based in Royal Oak, Mich. This week’s My Michigan Memory giveaway features a family 4-pack of zoo tickets for two adults and two children.

All you have to do is link up your Michigan-related blog post in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you’re not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form.

Detroit Zoo water tower
So why would one want to visit the Detroit Zoo this summer? Besides the great animals, there are plenty of great events, too! Here’s a glimpse of the upcoming summer calendar featuring great nights out for families or as a date night. Mark your calendars!

Sunset at the Zoo – June 22

The Detroit Zoological Society’s annual Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser will be held on Friday, June 22, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Featuring a sensational carnival theme inspired by the Detroit Zoo’s new Carousel, the year’s wildest evening includes a strolling supper, zoo-themed martinis, live entertainment, dancing, carnival games and live and silent auctions. The 21-and-older event is held rain or shine, and the Zoo closes at 2 p.m. that day in preparation for the festivities. Tickets range from $150-$600 per person.

Wild Summer Nights – July 4, 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

The Detroit Zoo gets even wilder on Wednesday nights during July and August with its annual Wild Summer Nights concert series. Concerts take place in the Zoo’s Main Picnic Grove from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wild Summer Nights features a variety of live music from local bands, including children’s, jazz, pop, folk and blues. Concert-goers are invited to bring a blanket and pack a picnic. Food, snacks, beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase from Zoo concessions. The concerts are free with Zoo admission, which is $5 after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays in July and August. (Concert schedule to be announced.)

Summer Zoomance – July 12 and Aug. 23

Adults are invited to rekindle their childhood love for the Detroit Zoo at an after-hours adults-only event called Summer Zoomance. The 21-and-older evenings will be held 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $8 and parking is $5 (parking is free for members). Adult beverages and favorite nostalgic foods will be available for purchase. Tickets for Summer Zoomance can be purchased in advance online at www.detroitzoo.org and at the admission gates.

Wild Beasts, Wild Wine – July 27 {NEW event!}

Make a toast to wildlife at the Detroit Zoo’s inaugural Wild Beasts, Wild Wine on Friday, July 27, 2012, 6-10:30 p.m. The 21-and-over event will sample wines from local and national wineries and vineyards. Guests will enjoy live music, exclusive after-hours access to the Zoo’s award-winning habitats at twilight, animal enrichment experiences and zookeeper talks. Food will be available for purchase. Tickets are $30 in advance (online at www.detroitzoo.org) and $35 at the gate. Ticket packages include Zoo admission, parking and 10 wine-tasting tickets.

Detroit Zoo Collage

For more information on upcoming events and more, visit the Detroit Zoo’s website, Facebook or Twitter.

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My Michigan Memory: Studio Jewel

This week we are excited to bring you another great Michigan based business for our My Michigan Memory series! And she is offering an incredible prize for you all to try and win!

studio jewel

Studio Jewel is our featured business and you can win $75 to spend on anything that you like in her Etsy store!

All you have to do is link up your blog in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you are not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form.

Lisa Lehmann is the incredible woman behind Studio Jewel and in addition to being an artist she is also a mom who splits her days between creating beautiful jewelry for men and women and homeschooling her children in the Grand Rapids area.

monogram necklace

Perfect for an anniversary

All of Lisa’s jewelry is 100% hand made and they’re all one of a kind jewelry featuring gems, recycled silver, wire, gold, and leather. They’re nothing short of beautiful…. modern…. and unique. You will definitely find something that you want when your browse her shop.

sapphire ring

This is one of my favorites!

You can also contact Lisa to create something that is truly unique… something that is totally customized by you.

You can find Lisa all over the internet too! She has a great blog that is full of information on jewelry, life, and so much more!

Of course she’s on Twitter and Facebook too and then the best part is her Etsy shop.

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#MyMichMemory: Giveaway #1 with the Henry Ford + Linky!


We’re excited to announce our first giveaway for our My Michigan Memory series: A 4-pack of tickets to either the Henry Ford Museum or Greenfield Village (entrance to the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition exhibit sold separately), which is up to a $96 value. How fun is that?!

All you have to do is link up your Michigan-related blog post in the linky tool below and then enter your info into the Rafflecopter form. You’ll get 10 points just for linking a blog post you’ve written about Michigan. If you’re not a blogger, you can still enter to win, just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter form.

Henry Ford Complex - 1

The Henry Ford complex is a top tourist destination for Michigan

So what is the Henry Ford all about?

The Henry Ford (THF) complex, located in Dearborn, Mich., is one of our state’s most beloved tourist attractions – and for plenty of good reasons.

The complex is home to FIVE destinations in one, including: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, the Benson Ford Research Center and the Henry Ford IMAX Theatre for the latest feature-length and documentary-style films.

Henry Ford Museum showcases the American ideas and innovations, which have fired our imaginations and changed our lives. Here, visitors explore the first 40 years of flight in the “Heroes of Sky” exhibit and walk past awe-inspiring vehicles in “Driving America” including Henry Ford’s first automobile, the Quadricycle. “With Liberty and Justice For All” showcases American freedom and features an amazing array of artifacts representing powerful change agents such as the bus on which Rosa Parks took a stand for Civil Rights, the camp bed George Washington used during his tour of Revolutionary War sites and the chair in which Abraham Lincoln was sitting the night he was shot.

THF - 2

The presidential limousine in which John F. Kennedy was assassinated is just one of many attractions visitors can see at The Henry Ford Museum

Another of the complex’s summertime favorites is Greenfield Village. Visitors are welcome to experience more than 300 years of American history through 83 authentic, historic structures, four living history farms, and nationally-renowned artists creating one-of-a-kind 19th- and 20th-century pieces in pottery, tin and glass. Filled with amazing authentic structures such as the Wright brothers’ cycle shop, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratories and George Washington Carver’s memorial cabin.

GFV -3

Greenfield Village is a favorite stop for many Michigan residents during summer

Check out the month-by-month calendar for the latest events. A sampling of upcoming events include the Ragtime Street Fair, Old Car Festival, the Salute to America concert with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and fireworks display, and historic baseball games, following rules from 1867.

Additionally, if you’d like to win tickets to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Henry Ford Museum, be sure to like THF’s Facebook page for weekly giveaways.

For more information, visit THF’s website or Twitter page too!

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Week in Review

Normally on Friday I write a bit of fiction and link up with Write on Edge but for some reason I just didn’t feel like writing this week so I didn’t. I took the evening off and did nothing in particular.

But I didn’t want to leave this place all empty on Friday and decided to look back at the week and review it because it was a pretty eventful week!

On Tuesday the My Michigan Memory meme was started! I’m really excited about this and hope that everyone decides to join Lauren and I in this venture. The great part about this is that you don’t have to live in Michigan! Maybe you took a trip here once, drove through the state on your way elsewhere, or maybe you just want to plan a trip to check out some of the great places here. No matter what you can write a blog post and link up with us! Of course while you’re at it you can win some awesome prizes from Michigan businesses!

Wednesday I shared my giveaway for a beautiful necklace from Lauren Nicole Gifts! You have plenty of time to enter too! Denise makes hand stamped jewelry that is one of a kind and perfect for Mother’s Day (hint…hint), birthdays, or for no reason at all! I know that I love the necklace that I have from her collection of aluminum jewelry.

And Monday… well that is the most important day of the week for this week because it’s the day that I got serious about my weight. I joined up with Wendy from Wendy Will Blog for a weight loss competition!

Wendy Will Blog

For the longest time I didn’t think about my weight or what I ate because I was always thin and I never gained weight. After I had my first baby the weight came off but as the years passed I gained more weight and it became more and more difficult to keep the weight off. Now I’m at a point where I look in the mirror and barely recognize the person looking back at me. I often wonder how I ended up where I am and where all this extra weight came from. Oh yea… my bad eating habits.

This is where the brave part comes in… I am going to share with you my weight.


Scary... huh?

I took a picture for the weight loss competition using both my scale at home (top) and the one at work (bottom) just for comparison. I think that the one at home likes me better, but the one at work is probably more accurate because when I was at the doctors office a couple months ago their scale said 207. So that means since I’ve started watching what I eat(about 3 wks ago) I’ve lost four pounds and yesterday the scale at work said 201 and today it said 199. So that means that this week, since getting serious about it, I’ve lost 4 more pounds!


Here I am… at my current weight on Monday. And yes, I am in the bathroom at work because I didn’t have time to get a picture of myself while at home. You get the idea though, right?

I think that joining up with a group will be helpful because we’re all in it together and for the same end goals. Lose some weight and get in better shape!