Tag Archives: ramblings

I swear I still exist

I know, I know. I’ve neglected my piece of Internet for almost a month. It’s horrible, but I have a good excuse: LIFE.

Seriously. Things have been so busy lately and the blog has been the last thing on my mind. I feel so horrible for saying that, but it’s true! The thing is, so much has been going and I’ve been taking pictures. However when the day is done, the last thing I want to do is download pictures to a computer, sit down and write it all out.

I also feel bad for not giving blog love lately to all my favorite bloggers. I’ve been neglecting that as well. I apologize and send hugs to all of you!

But I will say this: I’m still here! I do still exist! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll see that I do still exist. I’ve even been neglecting the Twitterverse, too. Ugh. Just that time of the year I guess.

So real quick, here’s what’s been happening:

  • I bought a new camera body! I finally upgraded and joined the full frame club. I am now the proud owner of a Canon 5D Mark ii and I absolutely love it! Love is an understatement really. I still plan on keeping my Rebel as a backup and for the everyday (like taking pictures of food if I ever make something worth blogging about ever again. Stupid busy-ness). The 5D is really for all the sessions I book so I don’t put too much wear and tear on it.
  • Memorial Day came and went and I had a BBQ with family and friends. REB was in Vegas with his best friends for a bachelor party and I didn’t want to be alone all weekend, so I invited people over. Logical.
  • We’re past the one year mark and have been homeowners for one year! Hooray! I decided it was time to no longer have completely bare walls so I’ve started planning out where all the art prints I’ve collected throughout the years will be hung. It’s a fun process. I’ve also planned out which rooms I’ll tackle first in the decorating department so it’s a bit more of an organized process.
  • I’ve been booking more sessions, which has had me really happy! That’s also what’s been taking up so much of my time at night: editing photos! I have a few sessions lined up this summer including two more weddings! I promise, promise to share some of those pictures soon! But you all can always go check out my Facebook photo page to see the ones I’ve taken recently!
  • REB’s best friends wedding (the one he was in Vegas for the bachelor party) is at the end of June so I’ll be even more MIA while we’re in SoCal for that. I seriously can’t wait. A laid-back California wedding near wine country? Sign me up!
  • When it hasn’t been raining nonstop everyday, REB and I have been riding our bikes again! I have a goal to ride 500 miles before my 30th birthday in October, and I still have another 475 or so go to  - haha. Need to hope to it!

So even though things are busy-busy, I’m still thinking of all of you and promise to play catch up on your blogs. I hope to be a bit more “present” to update you on how the summer is going and what items I can check off the bucket list.

I hope you all have been doing well, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What a weekend

Remember when I was so ridiculously busy the month of March and had something going on every single weekend? It seems like May is about to become like that for me! However, I’m more in control of all the things happening this month, which is always better than just having things scheduled for you.

This past weekend flew by and it was so jam-packed busy, at times I felt like I couldn’t breathe! But it was also a super fun weekend!

On Friday I went over to my friend Amber’s house. Her hubby is in Oregon visiting his family, so she was on her own and wanted some company. I told her we should have a slumber party and that’s exactly what we did.

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Things I learned:

  • Centipedes are absolutely disgusting and can be disposed of by: screaming, using a drumstick, continued screaming, a coaster, heavy objects and wishing a man was there to kill it instead.
  • A spider can be scared off by screaming
  • Bugs are gross. Full stop.
  • The Arbazons are quite possibly the most badass band around.
  • Only Geddy Lee can sing like Geddy Lee
  • Only Alanis Morrisette can sing like Alanis Morrisette
  • Rock Band and 2 1/2 bottles of wine produce some ridiculous Vine videos
  • I have some of the best friends I could ever ask for

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On Saturday Amber made me pancakes. No joke. And they were legit pancakes. It was so very needed after the intoxicated night before and was just the thing I needed before a morning of shopping at Nordstrom Rack.

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I’m officially in love with that store. I found the cutest pair of Enzo Angiolini nude pumps to help dress up my look for REB’s grandfather’s 89th birthday shin dig on Sunday!

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I’m always iffy about pumps because I’m not a big heel person. However, these were not only comfortable but they made my usual chicken legs look kind of decent, which had me excited. The party was fun! I always love seeing REB’s family and catching up with everyone.

Other fun this weekend included photographing a high school senior! I was so glad the weather cooperated with us since we did all the photos outside in a park and then in the city. I was able to provide some accessories for the spunky 18-year-old gal, which she rocked completely. I started editing a few pictures over the weekend and seriously can’t wait to share them with all of you!!

All in all it was a super fun weekend and I’m ready for a busy week ahead! Hoping to get a lot of stuff done at work, clean the house, go on a few runs and bike rides, enjoy the sunshine, doing the Color Run this weekend, and spending Mother’s Day with mi madre!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! <3

What was the highlight of your weekend?

 

 

Twosday

New Additions

1. Two new tats! Some people may know I already had a tattoo, but I added two more to the collection over the past weekend. Two incredible passions of mine, now forever imprinted on me!

photo2. More clothes from the LC collection by Lauren Conrad at Kohls. I seriously can’t get enough of her style and clothing. I love how delicate it is with touches of lace. Plus the pastel macaron colors make me feel so feminine!

Concerts 

1. Last Thursday REB and I saw Ben Folds at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. The Music Matters program was raising money for scholarships and they got him to come perform. I had been wanting to see him since college and he put on a great show!

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2. My friend Amber has tickets to see Great Big Sea with two of our other friends tonight, so I’m going to that. I don’t know much about this band, but they sound like an Irish jam band of sorts. Should be a fun show!

Photography all week

1. I’m doing a newborn session for a friend of mine who just had a baby! Although newborn photography isn’t really my focus, I had donated a 30 minute mini session to another friends charity and was thrilled when a mutual friend of ours snagged the deal!

2. The second session will be for the friend who ran the charity event, and I’ll be photographing their adorable son for their 2 year photos. Again, child photography isn’t really my focus anymore, but I always make exceptions for friends! I should mention that in addition to these, I have two more sessions this week: taking photos for a business on Thursday and another wedding on Saturday. It’s going to be a busy week for Aparna Photography, but I welcome it!

Big purchases this week

1. We bought a new couch for our den! The one in there now is REB’s from when he had his own apartment. And while it’s just a den, we wanted something a bit more comfortable. I can’t wait for it to delivered on Thursday!

2. Oldnavy.com has become our new friend. REB was in dire need of new clothes, and since I get coupons from oldnavy.com multiple times a day, we took advantage and decided to re-stock our closet with some spring-friendly clothing!

Thoughts

1. My heart is heavy today and with all those affected by the tragedy in Boston yesterday. It’s absolutely devastating that such an iconic race is now going to be changed forever because of what happened.

2. On a happier note, though, my parents finally return to the U.S.! After spending almost 5 months in India, they fly home today and I can’t wait to see them again!

Over the weekend

What a busy weekend I had! Here I thought March would end up being a busy-weekend month for me, but April is proving to be exactly the same.

I welcome it though! A lot happened over the weekend including being able to cross yet another thing on my list.

I ran my first 5K! Finally! A year in the training (and making!) and it’s finally done. I did the Rear Saver 5K on Belle Isle in Detroit – a race to prevent colon cancer. I’m not really big on the cause and whatever, so I mostly just ran it “just because.”. It was a really flat course and on the track of the old race track on Belle Isle. So it was a good first race for me!

My friend Kat and I got there bright and early to pick up our bibs and race packets.

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Then it was time to stretch, warm up and line up for the race! My friend Kat is amazing. Throughout my “training” or weekly runs up until Saturday, I had been doing a 5 minute warm up brisk walk, then running and sometimes stopping to walk, until I reached the 3 mile mark. Yeah, Kat wasn’t letting me off the hook that easily. She said we’re running the whole thing, I couldn’t look at my Garmin at all, and she kept encouraging me, telling me I was kicking ass and doing awesome which kept me going strong!

She was my rock and I couldn’t have had the confidence to run the entire thing without her! She’s training for the half marathon in Pittsburgh in May, so I think she liked having this 5K as a simple run for her to get in over the weekend before her long distance running during the week in training. Either way, Thanks KAT!!

I ended up finishing the race in 38 minutes. Not the best, but I’ll take it. I had told myself that I wanted to finish it in 45 minutes, so seeing that number as I crossed the finish line only boosted my confidence! I had been averaging 40-42 minutes during my weekly runs, and that included the 5 minute warm up walk and cool down walk.

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Maybe it was adrenaline, excitement, or the fact I never gave myself credit, but I was determined to run that entire damn thing and I’m so glad I did! I can’t wait to do another race. I officially have the running bug and want to just continue to improve! I have a goal to increase my distance to 3.25 miles this week and gradually work on increasing speed as well. I’ve set a new goal for myself to try to hit the 5 mile mark by mid-summer. I hope to do this before that, but I know me. I want to give myself time!

So after the race, we made the trek back to Ann Arbor and had a much deserved brunch at Cafe Zola. The rest of the day was spent chillaxing and taking a long nap (I hate getting up early on the weekend!) which got me all revved up for the evening of fun! My brother-in-law’s (REB’s brother) birthday was March 31 and we didn’t get to see him for it then. So we had planned to do a group dinner Saturday night so we could celebrate it.

Saturday night outfit

Saturday night outfit

We met up at an Indian place called Mirchi, which some of my coworkers had been to when they were under different management. It wasn’t bad food! The service is another story, but overall, the food wasn’t horrible. We all ordered Thali plates. Thali is basically a large platter that has small dishes on it with all different kinds of things: curries, yogurt, a dessert, rice, a lentil dish, a soup-ish dish, etc.. It’s really the best way to try a bunch of Indian food and curries (both south and north Indian) when there isn’t a buffet!

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I barely made a dent int it. So much so that we still have leftovers. It was seriously more food than I ever needed, plus I had eaten the righteous Turkish Brunch at Zola’s earlier in the day. But in my book, having leftover Indian food is a total pile of win.

The night ended with Scary Movie Night at my friend Amber’s house (becoming a tradition) where I got introduced to the amazing Bruce Campbell and Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. Truly a work a masterful art, lemme tell ya. Groovy, baby.

On Sunday before Sunday Funday and Game of Thrones night, Amber stopped over with one of her dogs and she and I took a long walk through our neighborhood with her dog and Gryff. Then we let them play in our backyard for a little bit.

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I also uploaded a few sneak peek wedding photos on my photo FB page! Here are a few, but the rest you can find here!

All in all, it was a perfect weekend with beautiful sunny weather and fun! I have ended up with a cold, but it was well worth it. I already look forward to the fun this weekend will bring!

What did you do over the weekend?

Smartphoneaholic

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Confession: I am a smartphoneaholic.

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay, recently posted her 30 favorite apps on her phone and I felt inspired to do the same.

My phone is literally my secretary or my personal assistant. I didn’t think I would come to rely on my smartphone as much as I do, but I literally do everything from my phone these days. So I thought I would share some apps I use regularly and how I use them, both for work and leisure!

The above picture is the first screen on my phone. It’s the screen with the apps I use on a regular basis. So here we go!

Every day apps:

  • Instagram: no explanation needed. I seem to use my phone for pictures all the time these days over the fancy DSLR and only use that for photo sessions I book, or for food. Because obviously ;)
  • Facebook: Again, no explanation needed
  • Pages: I love using this for both the blog page and the photography page! It’s a great way for me to see at a glance what’s happening on each!
  • Twitter for iPhone: I don’t use any other twitter app than the norm. This has been working fine and I can switch between my personal account and the photography one without any problem!
  • Calendar: I don’t know what I would do without this app. It’s synced with all my email accounts, both personal and work. It’s the best way for me to keep track of what photo sessions I have booked on the weekend, personal/private events, and my meetings at work every. single. day.
  • Soundcloud: Being an electronic music junkie, I love Soundcloud. My brother-in-law first introduced me to the web site where you can listen to essential mixes of your favorite DJ’s and also check out new mixes by new peeps. I didn’t know they had an app, but I should have figured they did. I love it! Can listen to said awesome mixes on the go!
  • Spotify: To use Spotify on your phone, you need to be a premium user and pay a monthly fee, which I do. But I love it. I use this app for every road trip or even out running simple errands, more than I use the music app on my phone.
  • MyFitnessPal: The way I lost all that weight before my wedding was tracking what I eat, how long my workouts were and what I burned. I still use it and love it! Super simple, plus having my friends on there helps us encourage each other!
  • Runkeeper: Essential for keeping track of my runs, walking the dog, or just leisure walks. Plus I can map out routes I want to use for future outdoor runs. I can even use it indoors with the manual setting so it doesn’t use the GPS.
  • Clock: Seems simple enough but I have so many alarms for each day of the week. Three for each work day (yes, I require three alarms to actually wake up. Although lately the first one at 5:51 a.m. has been working just fine!) With all the stuff I have going on each weekend or end of the week, i set alarms for those too!
  • Kindle: I love the Kindle app for iPhone. I read every day during my lunch break because it’s the only real break I get during the work day. I love that it’s synced with Kindle.

Other handy apps I love:

  • PicFrame: Simple, free app I use to create collages.
  • Vine: A video app made by the people who made Twitter, this app is hella fun. You get 6 seconds (min. of 3 seconds) to record a video and it posts. It’s become quite the craze! My friend Amber and I use it for movie reviews after Scary Movie Night. We’re going to be Internet sensations. Just you wait.
  • ESPN Sports Center: REB and I are a sports couple. We love football, Detroit sports teams, and other teams too, of course! So when I can’t watch a game, I rely heavily on the app to keep me up to date on what my teams are doing ;)
  • Fly Delta: Screw paper boarding passes. Paperless is the way to go if you can do it!
  • ShopShop: My favorite app when making lists for grocery lists. I like that it saves previous items I’ve entered and it’s easy to use. With a shake of the phone an item is “crossed off” the list! While I prefer making a list with pen and paper, having this app is a nice alternative.
  • Feedly: With Google Reader going away, I need an easy way to keep up with my favorite blogs daily!

Other fun, random apps:

  • Pocketbooth: It’s not a free app, but it’s a fun one to take photos in a photobooth style with different photo filters.

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  • TinyPlanet: Another fun, random camera app that turns a photo into a circle image. Kind of cool when you get a good shot of a city skyline or something.

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  • Redbox: If REB and I don’t feel like paying $25 to see a movie in a theater, paying $1.50 is a better choice with a quick Redbox movie. I like the app because it’s easy to use, shows all the Redbox machines in our area, and what movies are there.
  • Netflix: Long bus rides can be go by faster if I prefer to watch something on Netflix instead of reading
  • PS Express: The Photoshop Express app for iPhone. It’s not the best app, but it’s sufficient for quick edits
  • Snapseed: I haven’t used this app too much, but from what I have used, I like the editing formats they offer for quickly editing a photo.
  • Voxer: My friend Amber and I used this over the summer last year when she, her hubby, REB and I all rented that house on the lake up north. Since we caravaned up there, it was a cool CB radio/walkie-talkie app to keep in touch without texting while driving.
  • TypoInsta: An easy-to-use app to apply text to your photos. You can save them on your phone or upload them directly to twitter, flickr, instagram or email from the app itself.

So there we have it! I’m sure I’m missing some, but if I am, then I clearly don’t use them enough to warrant a feature on here. I may not have a human being assistant to help run my life, but it’s nice to know I have a pocket size one I can take with me every where!

What are your favorite phone apps?

 

Listen on the Run

So my delightful, fun blogger friend Emily posted on her blog what she listens to while she works outs.

In turn, I thought I would share what my Running playlist looks like. I’m very big into House music (thanks to my sister and brother-in-law) so I run to something with a good beat, not too many lyrics and each song changes based on the which part of the workout I’m in. I guess I shouldn’t call it my Running playlist, because I really listen to it when I’m doing any kind of cardio workout. But I digress…:

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Here’s the current list, but this changes almost every two weeks:

  • Kaskade – Here I Am (Radio Edit) – available from Devil Wears Prada soundtrack or on Spotify
  • Keoki – This Ain’t No Disco (oldie but goodie!)
  • Niko – Don’t Thank Me Now (“…because..Godzilla’s here!” LOL)
  • Keoki – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • Underworld – Born Slippy (my #1 favorite electronic song of all time. No joke.) – from the Trainspotting soundtrack
  • The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl
  • Daft Punk - One More Time (another oldie but goodie lol)
  • Keoki – Jealousy
  • Richard “Humpty” Vission – Alright (feat. Devone) – from the Shut the F*** Up and Dance album

Other picks:

  • Britney Spears – Scream & Shout
  • Britney Spears – Till The World Ends
  • The Cataracs feat Dev – Bass Down Low
  • The Chemical Brothers – Under the Influence
  • DJ Rap – Bulletproof
  • DJ Rap – Drummin’ and Bassin’
  • Calvin Harris – Let’s Go
  • Nicki Minaj – Automatic
  • Nine Inch Nails – March of the Pigs
  • The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

When all else fails, I rely on Michael Woods Essential Mix to take me to that extra mile. I can’t get enough of it.

What’s on your current workout playlist?

 

Masterpiece Classic

It’s Monday! Normally, I’d be a grumbler like everyone else in that I hate Mondays. Except, I had a great weekend and I’m ready to tackle the week!

The greatest thing about this past weekend? I’ll be able to cross off a few more things on the 31 Before 30 list!

Friday was like any other normal day, except my hubby is the best hubby ever. Case and point:

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I’ve needed a new computer for a while now. When I quit my last job, I purchased my MacbookPro from them for like $150 (not a bad deal!) and they sold it to me “as is”. It’s lasted pretty well for the most part, but it finally started to take a poop last week and the hubs and I realized maybe it was time to find a replacement. Since my hubby works for the university, he gets a sweet discount on Apple products, so…that’s that. I love it! It’s so pretty, shiny and incredibly fast! So “replacing my Mac” can now be crossed off the list!

The rest of the weekend was pretty chill. We went to visit my FIL and return my parents car (they’re overseas) to their house. It was great to see my FIL. We talked about the plans for when he, hubs, my bro-in-law and his wife all go to VT in April to the family time share! I can’t wait!! I hope to cross of learning to ski/snowboard while I’m there!

On Sunday my friend Amber came over with her two dogs and we had a puppy play date in our backyard with all the snow. It was so much fun!

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The three ‘migos had a blast! And I was grateful for the full 1+ hour of play time, because it made Gryff so tired the rest of the day. Sometimes it’s nice having a pup that’s quiet ;)

The weekend ended with the return of Downton Abbey Season 3!!! I was ecstatic and just the sound of the theme song and Laura Linney introducing herself and Masterpiece Classic put me at ease.

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Don’t worry. I won’t give away any spoilers or anything, but I am very excited for this season! I enjoyed the show with a nice hot cup of tea. Another thing I can cross of the list at the end of this week will be going a week without caffeine! I figured, no time like the present, so this entire week will be caffeine-free. It might be kind of hard because I usually have one cup of coffee in the mornings at work, but I hope I can drink enough tea to kind of trick myself ;)

Come back at the end of the week to make sure I haven’t hanged myself from lack of caffeine ;) I’m kidding. Sorta. Hope you all have a great week!

Anyone else a Downton Abbey fan?

So this is the new year…

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Happy 2013, lovelies!

It’s been a lovely two-week blog hiatus, and also much needed.

I fully intend to go into complete detail of how our holidays were spent. I just need to go through the bazillion photos I took with both the big cam and the phone.

Let me just say this: I had a great time in Chicago (like I always do), an incredibly fun new year, I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky, a lot of adult beverages were consumed…and I am officially on detox.

Come back later this week where I’ll have the complete breakdown of how it all went. For now, I need to get back in touch with the compuworld aka work. Here’s to the new year!

Domestication, Good Eats and Radiohead

 

Well hello there my lovelies! How is everyone’s week going?

Mine has been busy! And it’s only going to get busier. Of course, I’m never too busy to give you a peek at a week of eats!

As always, you can join the party at Jenn’s blog and have fun with all of us! The theme of this month is sensible snacking, and although I didn’t do that every day this past week, I did have some good snacking episodes!

 

But first! Here’s an update on the new hizzy! Over the weekend my brother- and sister-in-law came down to help REB and I move into the house! Since we had started moving some of our boxes, all that was really left was the furniture. We rented a U-Haul, had help from those two and we were done in a matter of two hours! It was a good thing REB and I actually got rid of a lot of our junk furniture so we can 1). not clutter the new house thereby allowing us to 2). buy new furniture to make it look nice! Is this what it means to be a grown up? (o_O)

We still have our apartment paid up until the end of the month – that’s when we have to turn in the keys – so for the time being we’re still cleaning it out and moving the last of the boxes over to the new place. We don’t have our washer/dryer over here yet either, so our apartment has become our laundromat for the next two weeks. Not a big deal since we moved within 5 miles of the old place. CONVENIENT.

I know I keep saying I’m going to post pictures of the new house, but honestly, the only part of the house that’s complete is the kitchen since that was unpacked first. We really need to buy some furniture and then maybe I’ll make a video to share with all of you! The fun part is looking at furniture and figuring out what kind of theme our house will have. REB likes modern/contemporary/traditional type decor and I’m more the French country or country-home traditional. Luckily when we both think of a home, we think of cozy and something that screams “us”. And so far, from the things we’ve picked out, I think we’ll accomplish that perfectly :)

Here’s the kitchen so far:

We’re not crazy about those cabinet door handles as I’ve mentioned before, so keeping with the French country/Country home feel, we’ll add some modern hardware to give it an updated look. Compromise peeps!

So we celebrated the first night in the house with a bottle of bubbly. I busted out our wedding flutes for the occasion. I love them so I find any excuse to use them. They’re Kate Spade and one says “Mr.” and the other “Mrs.”. Cute, right? :-D

Also, can I just express my love for Home Goods? I seem to be going in there all the time. Whether it be for cute dishes, things for the kitchen and now for the rest of the house! The best find over the weekend was the Alice in Wonderland teapot! One of the ears on the rabbit is broken, but that didn’t stop me. Anyone who knows me knows it’s a necessity ;)

Anyway! Now onto the food!

I finally bought a jar of Biscoff (creamy) and one of my breakfasts last week was putting that on a whole wheat English muffin with some sliced bananas. ZOMg. Delicious. A huge coffee to go with it too, of course. Then I put the rest of the banana on some oats with granola and chia! Yum!

And to keep with the monthly theme, let’s talk snacks!

Also not pictured: grapes, grapes and more grapes. They’re super tasty these days!

Martinis count as a snack right? How about olives? That counts, right? Right?? …Well we thought so. You can’t turn down a classic dirty martini (extra dirty) on a beautiful spring evening downtown. You just can’t!

Dinners included going to Jazzy Veggie: vegetarian crab cakes and their hoagie special. Zingermans Roadhouse: mac and cheese and donut sundae (hey, we needed a refuel after the move!). Then on Monday night we went to see Radiohead so we went to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Stir Crazy Cafe, since we never head up that way that often. Tofu lettuce wraps and make-your-own stir fry…it’s better than any BD’s Mongolian BBQ could give!

So let’s talk about Radiohead. They haven’t been in Detroit in 15 YEARS. You’re reading that right. 15 years. So we had to go see them. It’s one of REB’s favorite groups and I while they aren’t my #1 favorite group, I know enough of their songs to appreciate what they do. Their show was a-ma-zing. It was probably one of the best shows I’ve been to. No joke! They played for like 2 1/2 hours straight (two encores too!) and had the coolest lights to go with the show. They also put a lot of electronic beats to their songs and remixed their songs in a way I’d never heard before. It made me love it even more!

The opening band was called Caribou from some where in Ontario, Canada. They were awesome!! I’ve been scouring the Interwebs to find their music. The entire night was just great. We didn’t get home until after 1 a.m…waaaay past my usual bed time and the lack of sleep and having to get up early for work did not mix with me very well. I was sporting some hot bags under my eyes all day Tuesday. Sexy.

Anyway I digress. This week is a busy one for me! I’m out the rest of the week starting Thursday. Heading to Chicago for my sister’s masters graduation!! So proud of her. So I’ll be in the Chi this weekend. Stay tuned next week for some pics and posts about that :) We have a fun weekend lined up to celebrate!

Hope the rest of you have a great Wednesday and great rest of the week!

What is one of, or the best, concert you’ve been to?