Archive for Random Fun

Ladies Love Coloring! (How to Start a Coloring Club)

UPDATE: Hi! And wow! This is post really getting around. I’ve set up a Facebook page specifically for our coloring clubs, and others who want to get started, or want to connect with like minded people. Check it out here:


And now the post you were looking for …


“She posted on Facebook once and you won’t believe what happened next…”

“Ladies Google ‘adult coloring books’ and it’s not what you think…”

“Grown women enter a local coffee shop and no one expected what happened next…”

I’d never stoop to the level of click-bait lines to promote a post, but if I did it would be one of those. And I was really tempted to with this post because, at the very least, some moderately remarkable happened recently.

Shortly after Christmas a friend posted a picture of a coloring book for grown-ups. Seeing it made me think about how much I enjoy coloring. My boys don’t really enjoy it–they draw all kinds of pictures, and battle plans, but never really sit down with a book and crayons, so I don’t get much of a chance to color.

Then this little idea popped into my head, and I vocalized it to my husband, “I should start a Ladies Coloring Club!”

I don’t recall what he said, if anything, but I do recall that his expression was one of incredulity. Undeterred, I continued.

“We bring our own books and crayons–BYOB and C– to a coffee shop and just sit and color. I think it’s brilliant. People will feel relaxed, they don’t have to make awkward eye contact, they can just color and relax and chat.”

And then he said something to the effect of, “You think people would really come to that?”

Now, before I tell you the facts of what transpired next, you must know that if, at any point, I am challenged on an idea, I will in fact fight, and try even harder to prove that I am indeed correct, and brilliant, or at least not completely crazy. So, not only was I excited about my idea, I was dead set on proving him wrong.

And a funny thing happened. I didn’t need to fight for my idea very much. I threw out a vague post on Facebook about the idea.

Ladies Coloring Club

People immediately responded with likes and comments–over 40 of each. Don’t tell my husband, but even I was a little surprised by the response.

Then I set a date and “advertised it”.

Ladies Coloring Club
Then I had about 11 people show up for the first meeting, we posted a group-selfie, and the response was impressive. The comments, the likes, the people wanting to join. Over 100 people were intrigued by this club.

That was January, and we just had our February meeting where 23 people showed up. We more than doubled in attendance and not everyone from the first meeting could make it.(This photo was before everyone had arrived.)

Ladies Coloring Club

There sat twenty three grown women with crayons, and pages, and books, and beverages. Some colored simple childlike pictures, some did elaborate works, some free handed. It was fantastic. Everything I’ve dreamed and more.
Ladies Coloring Club Art

I didn’t intend to blog about this when we started, but now I’ve had a few different people say they’d like to start coloring clubs where they live and wouldn’t it be great if Ladies Coloring Club became a worldwide phenomenon? We can all be connected with the hashtag #ladiescoloringclub (that’s what I’ve been using). Imagine it! Women, worldwide, united in coloring.

I’m encouraging you to start a chapter, it’s simple and here are some tips.

1. Find a casual spot. I prefer a locally run coffee shop, but that’s just me.

2. Pick a time. Evenings (7-9) seems to work best for my club. Once a month.

3. Invite random ladies. Anyone and everyone should be welcome. A few Facebook posts was all it took for me. We started a Facebook group after the first meeting so people could invite others to join, and to make sure no one misses a post about meetings.

4. Strive to keep coloring club a judgment free zone. Inside the lines, outside the lines, it’s not how or what you color–it’s that you color. Maybe someone just needs to scribble as a way to release stress, and that’s ok too.

5. Create memes to remind people of upcoming meetings. Ok, that’s not a necessary step, but fun.


Ladies Coloring Club Meme

What do you think?


Does Ladies Coloring Club sound like something you’d want to attend or start? If so, do it! It’s super easy and low key. If you do start one, and if you post anything on social media consider using our hashtag #ladiescoloringclub so we can see our fellow club members.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my husband was surprised by the turn out. After our last meeting he said, “I couldn’t get 23 guys to sit and do that if I offered free beer!” but I guess that just proves what I suspected–ladies love coloring.

Be proud of your coloring ladies!

2015? Bring It.

I cannot believe it’s almost Christmas, and I cannot believe it’s almost a new year! It’s also almost my birthday.  So I thought as long as I’m getting ready to start a year, I might as well put together my resolutions.

I’m pretty terrible at resolutions so a few years back I decided to make silly resolutions. Silly resolutions are fun because you don’t care if you can’t keep them, but if you do, well then you’ve at least accomplished something fun.

So, here are my 2015 Resolutions.

1.) Introduce myself as Jennifer at least 5 times throughout the year, but say, “Please, call me Jenny.” Hopefully this will help me remember that my name is actually Jennifer and I won’t act so alarmed when people use it (official people like doctors, judges, Costco employees, etc).

You can call me Jenny
2.) Learn one semi-challenging rap song to as a follow up to Axl Rose at karaoke (see about that here). I tried learning Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore–it was too hard. Although I didn’t try too hard. I wonder karaoke DJs have Kris Kross? Probably not–which is wiggity, wiggity wack (wait, does that mean something is good or bad? I mean bad.) Anyway, I’m taking suggestions.

3.) Hold a Christmas in July BBQ. Oh have I got ideas. I’ve had them for years. I don’t know why I never do this. It’s going to be totes amazeballs–wait, I’m sorry I used that phrase, please come anyway.

4.) Ride a mechanical bull.

I’m also brainstorming some new things for the blog in 2015. One new feature will be a sub-category of the existing I Heart Minnesota. I Heart Minnesota: Food will be highlight information about local eating establishments. I’m hoping it will be fun, informative, and a good way to support local businesses. I’m already working on a post for the category and hope to have it early in the new year.

You never know what else I might cook up–literally and figuratively. Thanks for being one of the bright and shining things in my year!

How about you? Any resolutions?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Friends I Made! (A Road to Explosion 2 Post)

This year’s Elvis trip was definitely different than last year’s. I think it really helped to have an idea of what to expect. There was also no panic attack in the car immediately prior to check in, which is always a more enjoyable way to start any weekend. Knowing what to expect took the nerves away and freed me to be me–and oh boy, there was no shortage of me-ness this weekend (sorry friends).

If you remember, when I started thinking about doing this again in the spring, I made a list of reasons why I’d go back. The list was made before the trip got canceled, and then rescheduled. Having to pull the trip together in a shorter amount of time made me sorta forget the list of goals and reasons to go, but I looked up the post last night, just to see how close I came. And know what? I covered it all!

But today, today we’re going to talk about number 2 (trying not to make a jr. high level joke about that) number 2 on the list.

Number two on the list
I really like talking to strangers. It’s so good to step out of my normal circles and meet, and get to know people that are different than me. It reminds me that there’s a whole great big world of people, real people, different people who aren’t some abstract idea out there.

Remember the skirt dilemma? Well I’m really glad I wore it. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t met this lady. And we probably wouldn’t have talked about other events, a shared love of vintage style, and the same online boutiques. She’s beautiful, and classy looking isn’t she?


Skirt friend
I am also thankful for the skirt because of the fantastic twirling opportunity it provided. Remember my whole twirling saga this spring? Well, it inspired this delightful moment. I had originally hoped for a fringe wearing Elvis, but when I saw a caped Elvis I got excited.

So, like a creeper I watched him all night, then finally went up to him and it went down pretty much like this.

Me: Hi! I have a strange question for you.
Him: Ok.
Me: Would you twirl with me? Not you twirl me like we’re dancing, but independently, at the same time while she takes a picture? (Pointing to my friend.)
Him: *pausing* Won’t it be blurry?
Friend: Oh no! It will be fine!
Him: Ok, but lets go in the light. (It was dark where we were–and I love that he took lighting into consideration.)

I really appreciated how he put his all into it, and even suggested some other poses. It was fantastic! It made me smile later that night at the after party, when we were both out of our “costumes” and he recognized me saying, “Aren’t you the girl I twirled with?” Oh man. It made my night to bond through twirl.

Twirl buddy!
And then there was the staff at the Days Inn. I chatted with a few different workers at the desk off and on over the weekend–they were very friendly. I like a friendly staff. We also made friends with one of our housekeepers by insisting she take snacks from our room. She wouldn’t help herself, but we did force convince her to take a cup of M&Ms when she was finished. I’m sad I didn’t get a picture of her but I did get a picture of Adam. Adam helped get us set up with a roll-away for the last night and we spent some time chatting about LaCrosse, and other little things, while we waited for our room to get fixed up. We decided Adam and the front desk crew needed some of our snacks so we made them a plate.

While we spent our time chatting with Adam we ran into Mark, and he’s a member of the band ( I think I linked to them last year too in this post)–part of the horn section, a trumpeter (trumpitist? What do I know, I’m just a drummer).  It was super nice that Mark didn’t think I was too creepy as I spewed forth to my friends I knew who he was, and knew facts about the band. Beware, research can make you look like a stalker! We had a good time talking with him about all kinds of random information–random because I was pretty hyped up–two hours of sleep and 3-4 shots of espresso will do that to a person. It was around then I got the idea for this post, so I asked him for a pic after the show. I got his business card as well–so if you need any kind of trumpeting services in the Chicago area check out his website.

Trumpet Mark
And last, but not least there’s this guy. Oh, this guy. I talked to him three different nights, the first night, I didn’t know who he was, but I told him he looked like Danny Zuko, and then I freaked out thinking that might have been offensive since it was Elvis Explosion not Grease Fire. Then the second night, still not realizing it was Mr. Zuko, we spoke and had a bit of a philosophical disagreement. Then the third night, we agreed to put our differences aside and be buddies. High-fivin’ buddies. (His real name is Matt Joyce and he’s one of the ETAs-Elvis Tribute Artists.)


It was then that I realized it was the guy I called Danny Zuko, and after we became high-five-friends he became an Axl Rose dancer. From Danny, to Axl–I like how that went full circle. (And yes, I did Axl, and yes I refused to put down my glass of water during the entire song.)

An Axl Moment
Like I mentioned, I didn’t come up with the idea for this post until the last afternoon we were there–if I had I could have included a few more of my new friends, but then again, there’s always next year.


Road Trip Music (Road To Explosion Part Deux)

Last year, I had a lot more time to prep for this trip–this year, not so much.

Last year, the three of us going complied a playlist of songs for the trip. We also asked for input from readers, and came up with a pretty great CD that we’ve all kept in our cars since that last year. You can see that list here (although I think it’s missing the readers’ choices).

This year, there isn’t time to seek input, but there are 5 of us going in one vehicle, and guess what? We happen to have a 6-disc CD player, so each of us will bring our favorite road-trip CD along on the ride, and we’ll probably use the 6th slot for last year’s CD.

I have no idea what the others will bring, which makes it sort of a fun “get-to-know-you” type activity.

I do know exactly what I plan to bring–I plan to bring my mixed-cd entitled, oh so creatively, “Flordia #1”. And, apparently, we didn’t know how to spell Florida. I probably wrote that–and in my defense I didn’t sleep much then, plus I’m a tirrebl speller.

Florida #1

It was spring of 2001 and my friends and I were planning a spring break road trip from Virginia to Miami. I’m pretty sure these songs were played in a disc-man, with a special cassette adapter, because my blue, 1987 Pontiac Sunbird did come with a CD player as standard equipment.

I’m also almost certain we created the playlist, then let someone’s computer burn the CD overnight–because remember when it used to take forever to burn a CD? Flashback: I also remember ruining burns because of running too many other programs while a burn was in progress.

So, here is what we will be hearing from my selection. (Assuming they all play, it’s a bit scratched.)

1. What is Love, Haddaway (Pretty sure we blasted this out of my junker in South Beach.)
2. Crazy for this Girl, Even and Jaron
3. She Drives Me Crazy (Side note Fine Young Cannibals also covered Suspicious Minds and it’s sorta, not great at all.)
4. Independent Women, Destiny’s Child (Girl, I di’nt know you could get down like that!)
5. Broadway, Goo Goo Dolls
6. Pinch Me, Barenaked Ladies (I still love this song.)
7. King of Wishful Thinking, Go West (Classic!)
8. Where the Streets Have No Name, U2 (Some live cut where Bono grunts and it makes me feel uncomfortable.)
9. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion), John Parr
10. Bent, Matchbox 10
11. Playing With the Boys, Kenny Loggins (I think someone was a Top Gun fan–or volleyball–or Top Gun volleyball?)
12. Eye of the Tiger, Survivor
13. You’re a God, Vertical Horizon (I forgot about this song.)
14. I Wish, Skee-Lo (Story of my life.)
15. Hey Leonardo, Blessid Union of Souls (I forgot that I like this song too.)
16. The Power of Love, Huey Lewis
17. Change Your Mind, Sister Hazel
18. Black Balloon, Goo Goo Dolls (Really? Two Goo Goo Dolls songs?)

It’s a pretty solid CD–I’m confident we’ll have a good time jammin’ to it.

What’s in your player?

Road to Explosion 2: What would you do?

Ok, so we’re doing this Elvis trip–and I’m frantically spinning all the plans together, and trying to blog a few times before we leave in 10 days.  And as of today’s count, I somehow, magically, all of a sudden, am coordinating a group of 8 to go. We’ll see how this all shakes out, but I’m getting REALLY, REALLY excited.

But for now, a trip-planning-post…

Last year, I took votes and ordered a tee shirt–which was a great big funny disaster. But, if you remember, wearing that tee-shirt made me grumpy and I wrote about it in one of the most read posts of the trip, “Assimilation is Over-Rated.”

The reason I got grumpy about the shirt is because in that environment it wasn’t just a quirky graphic tee (and I like wearing those). In that environment, it was more like fan-gear. And I still maintain that I’m not really and Elvis fan. (Send me a message if you want to debate that.)

But now, well now I have this amazing skirt.  But should I wear it?

The Elvis Skirt

Here are some reasons why I would wear it:

1. It’s unique–custom made for me, with love.
2. It twirls.
3. It’s a conversation starter–and I love talking to people.
4. It’s got big pockets.

Here’s my reasons for not wearing it:

1. I’m not a real Elvis fan, and I don’t like being fake.

Wait, that’s not reasons–that’s just one reason. It’s a pretty good one, but is it good enough?

Well, now that I’ve written these lists the good seems to outweigh the bad, at least numerically, but I’m curious, what would you do?

Oh but wait again, I know a bunch of you and you wouldn’t even go on this trip. So, maybe the question should be, “What should I do?” 🙂

Help me Obi-wan, you’re my only hope…
also you, you internets, you’re my only hope too.


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