Category Archives: Stuff Grown-ups Like

Day 7: Happiness Recommendation

There are not many things I’ll get up for at 5:15 am. Definitely for an early morning flight to some place warm. Possibly to lock Noah in the kitchen so I can go back to bed and sleep really late without interruption. I would have thought that was it for the list.

But then fate led me to find my favorite instructor at a new (to me) yoga studio pretty close to home, Haleybird Studios. Her only class that worked with my schedule was 5:45 am on Fridays. Without question I signed up. (Well, mentally…you can just drop in for these classes.)

Here I am 6 hours later barely able to keep my eyes open. No, not because of the early morning wake-up call (though I kept waking all night…didn’t want to miss Santa my class!), but rather because I got one of the best workouts of the fall this morning. My body is completely exhausted, but in a good way. I bounded out of the room full of energy and life and smiles. Now I feel ready for a good nap with a cozy blanket; I’m that content with today. Jes does a great job teaching the anatomical mechanics of each yoga pose, but also is a fantastic meditative leader.  I seriously can’t tell you how much I’ve missed her.

If Jes’ schedule doesn’t work with yours, I’d also recommend Biz. I have taken her classes at the WAC. She’s another great one for pushing your body, but not to the point of ridiculousness. Maybe this is why I like yoga/pilates. You work hard­-harder than you think you can, but you leave feeling energized and alive, not used and depleted. Our days are too busy. This 60 minutes of reflection is sometimes more valuable than the physical practice. (Though there is NO way I could just sit and meditate.)

One of the many good Steve Jobs quotes floating around the internet yesterday was something to the effect of this: “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Well, it’s pretty darn hard to look in the mirror at 5:20 am (ack! The light!!), but this morning I liked what I saw. Sure, I’m wasting a good portion of it bored at work (I can say this publically…I told the boss and his response was “Ok, good to know.” Blah.), but I started the day in a favorite way and will end it working creatively and snuggling with a cute dude and fluffy dog. That’s a good day.


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Fall Fun – Events in Milwaukee I Can’t Go To, But Wish I Could

Fall is supposed to be the time when Milwaukee’s social calendar starts quieting down. Not this year! Either the city is finally getting hip or everyone knows I have put myself on self-imposed exile until November 19th to get ready for my in-person debut. I can’t attend these events, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Go for me. Have a beer or some soup or a fancy, dry-ice-covered cocktail that’s been whored out in baseball playoff commercials. (Seriously, I think there are only like four commercials over and over again…)

Art Milwaukee/Newaukee/Spreenkler Meeting/Everything Cool Grand Opening
Thursday, October 6 6 – ??
Looks like Grand Avenue is coming alive all at once thanks to these great networking groups and new businesses. This seems like THE place to see and be seen for a creative small business owner and anyone who considers themselves a Milwaukee hipsters. Find your best ironically hued business attire and check it out!

Milwaukee Young Professionals: Ballet and Brew
Friday, October 7 5:30 – 8ish
Attend this event for a backstage look at a dress rehearsal of Michael Pink’s Dracula AND a brewery tour at Milwaukee Brewing Company. This seems like the best date idea ever. You both get what you want and you’re in the neighborhood for dinner at La Fuente just as the crowds would be dying down. Win/win.

Rain Forest Night at the Domes
Friday, October 7 6:30 – 9
Tour the Domes in the dark!! Make a sundae using tropical ingredients. Learning and chocolate. What more do you want on a Friday night? Great event for those with kiddos.

Empty Bowls
Saturday, October 8 10:30 am – 2 pm
This event, which supports a great cause to feed Milwaukee’s hungry, gives you the opportunity to get a new earthenware bowl and taste test some of Milwaukee’s best soup from restaurants, caterers, and nonprofit groups. Go early, stand in line often. I went last year and it was packed. The event manager in me was wigging out, but the foodie liked it. Thank God for smartphone apps to keep you busy.

Foodie Tweet-Up at Beta by Sabor
Wednesday, October 19 5 – 7:30
One of my favorite groups of Milwaukee peeps, found on Facebook as MKEFoodies, hosts monthly(ish) events at new and unique restaurants around town. I’m sure I’m not the only one intrigued by the repetitive Beta by Sabor commercials. The people are always fun at these events and the food is bound to be fantastic this time.


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Day 3: You Win Some, You Lose Some

A few musings from the weekend:

A beautiful day to feel like crap.I will support Randy’s running habits as it makes him happy and healthy, but I don’t think I can support marathoning. I’m one of those that thinks that is just too much toll on a human body. Even just helping at the marathon made my hips hurt. (Or the 8,000 times I bent over to pick up water bottles might have done it. Oops.) On the other hand, if there is ever a day to run for 4 hours (there’s not), yesterday was it. Thank you Milwaukee for a beautiful fall! Keep it up.

Star Wars is in fact a pretty cool movie. The special effects are amazing for 1978, but can we talk about the alien costumes? (Cough, cheeseball, cough.) P.S. How does Darth not give the epic line in movie one?? Answer:  So I have reason to watch the rest of the movies…

#NoProOcto is off to a good start, but I realized a couple of things. First, I purchased a number of snacks that do technically fit my “could I make ‘em in my kitchen” test, but probably are still considered too processed. Example: Annie’s Bunny Grahams Friends. Instead of beating myself up, I’m going to call this a gateway snack and try to get more and more unprocessed as the weeks go on. Next, homemade muffins are SO much better than boxed granola bars. Here’s what I tried this week. What other recipes would you recommend? Finally, in the spirit of Not Being That Asshole, I decided not to ask for specific grocery lists from dishes at last night’s dinner club. I figure these people are pretty healthy, so I can generally tell what’s acceptable and what is not. Or I just couldn’t say no to taco dip, whatever…

I need to investigate soy lecithin. It’s the only unknown thing in Hershey bars. (Blast! And in my chocolate bunny friends!) Who knew those weren’t all fake food? I guess just 95% sugar.

Speaking of snacks, have you checked out Mike and Tom Eat Snacks (aka MATES…which I tell you because it took me a good two months of listening before I figured out why they kept calling their viewers (THEY’RE NOT VIEWERS) “mates”. They weren’t. And I’m quick. Moving on…) podcast yet? If not, put down what you’re doing, and go download a bunch. I recommend starting with the Snyder’s Pretzels episode. But not while on the bus. Every bus needs a crazy talking to himself and laughing for no reason. You’ll be that guy.

And finally, in today’s Makin’ Me Happy category, let me suggest I don’t know what the catch is, but they have GREAT deals on popular clothes (Victoria Secret catalog included). Don’t ask questions. Just buy. Playing Grown-Up needs a new pair of boots!

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Wedding Vendor Reviews: The Good

Can you believe that it has already been a month since the wedding?! Time flies when you’re having fun, huh? I have a ton of pictures to show and stories yet to tell, but thought now would be a good time for vendor reviews.  (Turns out this post is getting long. We’ll do positives today and negatives later in the week…)

Bridal & Formal, Inc.
Yes, I went to Ohio for my dress. Yes, it was totally worth it. What started as a way to get Amber involved in the wedding, since I knew the bachelorette party probably wasn’t in the cards, turned into a full-fledged dress hunt. Little did I know that by the end of the day I would have my dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses and the style of mom’s dress all picked out! The staff at Bridal & Formal were very accommodating and they had a cool web cam so folks at home could see the dress. Their selection was HUGE and covered all price ranges. They gave me such a great deal that it was cheaper to buy the dress there and have it shipped to Milwaukee, than to find it again back in the hometown. I would recommend anyone make the trip to the Cincinnati area to pull a Kleinfeld’s at half the price!

Zilli’s Hospitality Group/Milwaukee Public Museum

I think the universal consensus was that having a wedding at a museum was a great idea, but I think the Milwaukee Public Museum in particular was a great background for this kind of function. It was classy, but still comfortable enough that kids could run around and adults didn’t get nervous carrying cocktails and canapes through the exhibits.

Zilli’s Hospitality Group is the exclusive caterer for the museum. While slightly on the pricey side, I think you get a wonderful deal for the cost. They include every miniscule detail in the packages. We opted for the station dinner vs. sit-down. Best. Idea. Ever. It was hilarious to watch people run by our sweetheart table during dinner. “Maggie, did you know there’s a mashed potato bar?!?” “Randy, you’ve got to see the take-out boxes they put the Chinese food in.” Ah, pretty confident we knew what details were going into the day, but hey, it was cute to see everyone as excited over food as I am on your average Tuesday.

The staff at Zilli’s were fantastic. Our main contact started right after we signed our contract. With that said, there were some bumps in the road, but Stephanie was always willing to take my phone calls or emails with stupid bridezilla questions. On-site, the staff were very polite. The food was a little slow in coming out, but I don’t think anyone but my day of manager and I even noticed.  And most heroically, they saved the day when we ran into a cake emergency!

Steve Bowman Photography
Hot dog. Hot f-ing dog. I first met Steve as a personal trainer a few years ago. He’s kicked my butt and kept me motivated in the gym, but who knew what miracles he could produce on film. I would like everyone in the Midwest to consider Steve as their photographer for an important moment, but that means I might not be able to get back on his schedule when the need allows. I have yet to see examples of his work that were less than perfection.

Possibly even more impressive – Steve got all 27 people of Randy’s immediate family to be in a picture with their eyes open and facing forward. On the first try!!! Wow. Amazaballs.

All-Star Music
I first saw Craig at a wedding here in Milwaukee a few years ago, long before I knew Randy. I left that wedding thinking I would hire that guy someday. Well, this proclamation turned into fact last fall when I secured Craig for our big day. Again, we got a great deal, but there was NO skimping on service. Craig had great electronic forms to help us remember songs we might otherwise forget, but he really shined on the dance floor. I don’t think it cleared out once throughout the night. He had a great mix of music and did a good job coming out in the crowd to keep things moving. I am seriously debating having another big bash just to be able to use All-Star Music!

Personal Attendants
I have got to give a HUGE shout out to my hair and make-up goddess, Dawn. She made me look beautiful. If only I could have her, fake eyelashes, and hair extensions at my disposal every day! I would absolutely recommend her to any bride or person looking to just get glammed up for a night on the town! (And she rocks the everyday hair needs, too. Check her out, but not on Saturday afternoons every six weeks. That’s my slot.)

Finally, I need to give credit where credit is due. A number of folks commented on how calm I was throughout the day. There was one reason for that and that reason was Michelle. Michelle was my “day of manager” and handled all the details of the day that I would have otherwise focused on. I work with Michelle on a professional basis, so I knew she knew her stuff and (perhaps more importantly) would be able to handle my stressed out short temper. Many, many thanks to her and her husband, Bill, for keeping things together and letting me enjoy the day.

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View From the Top

I suppose there are certain times in my life when “no longer playing grown-up” is more apropos than others. I’m guessing my wedding day ranks pretty close to the top of that list.

I’ve had job interviews and home closings where I felt like a little kid in my mom’s heels and makeup, but when last Saturday rolled around, I felt like I belonged there – at this time and at this age. I am a nervous person with anxious undertones, but I spent the day enjoying every moment as was instructed by a number of friends and guests. I cry at Hallmark commercials, but I did not waste much time getting myself back together. Instead, you couldn’t have ripped the smile off my face if you tried. I slept easy and hugged hard.

There are so many moments and conversations from our wedding day that I hope to relay here in the future, but one stands out as so amazing it took my breath away even in rehearsal. The moment I came around the corner to enter the sanctuary could be the single most amazing vision I have ever seen. Every person in that room came there to honor Randy and I. They love us and were smiling big, goofy smiles. In the front row sat our parents, whether there or via candlelight, supporting us on this big day. On the altar stood four of the most beautiful, amazing women a friend could ask for, four men that are now my brothers, too, a gentlemen that would lead the most heartfelt wedding ceremony I’ve ever heard, and Randy. Oh, my Randy. How handsome and regal in his silver bow tie and shiny shoes.

You plan a wedding for eight months hoping the food is just right and the DJ plays the right music. Unfortunately, its easy to forget it’s about the love and celebration of all the great things to come.

I wish everyone, including the potential grooms out there, get to experience this view someday. My heart has never been more full.

-Mrs. Joos

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