Heather's Hangout

Sharing the people, places & little moments that make a difference.

When bowling and football collide April 16, 2017

SamM_HHfowling42017A friend recently invited me to join a group of people to play fowling. I had heard of this activity but never played or seen it in action. I was interested in checking it out.

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What’s fowling (pronounced FOE-ling)? It’s a football bowling pin game. Fowling was invented by some guys right here in metro Detroit. It involves the traditional set up of 10 bowling pins on a flat plywood board. Another set of pins is placed about 48 feet apart, then you take turns throwing a football from your board to your opponent’s board, trying to be the first to knock down all of your pins.

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It turns into chaotic fun. And it’s not as easy as you think (although I didn’t think it was going to be easy at all!). The ball, which is much lighter than the pins, may hit the board, floor or wall (or person!) at an odd angle, causing it to bounce around. Sometimes it hits the pins, sometimes it hits the person standing near the board (I have a bruise on my thigh as proof). If the ball bounces and then knocks the pins down, that counts. And if another team’s ball bounces (from another lane) and knocks the pins down, it counts. If you go to grab the ball and accidentally knock a pin down, it counts (I thankfully didn’t do this but saw it happen a few times). So it got pretty comical watching people grab at or try to deflect a bouncing football.

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We played at the HUB Stadium (which stands for House of Urban Bowling) in Auburnfowlingpins Hills. I noticed on their website that they call the activity bombowling (fowling by another name). There are 16 lanes, which were consistently busy. A full menu and two bars, plus space for private parties made for a very busy place.

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The guy that originally coined the fowling term and established the rules opened The Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck. There is no food onsite but they allow outside food, and have a full bar. Several people mentioned they also have been to this location and enjoyed the large space to play.

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The game was a lot of fun and I definitely would play again. It would be a great tailgate, camping or outdoor game. Have you been fowling?

 

10 activities for a fun girls night in April 5, 2017

Filed under: Life Lessons — Heather @ 4:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

GirlsNightIn_blogpost

I love my girlfriends. I love spending time with them, individually or as a group. I, of course, adore my guy friends too, yet there is something special about being surrounded with strong, funny, smart women. I’m fortunate to have many of these women in my life, women who build each other up, provide support, encouragement and love. These women cheer for me when things are going well, and hug me when things go south.

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I have girlfriends from all walks of life. Some who I’ve known since childhood, others I met in college, and others entered my life in the past few years or even months. As I’ve aged, I’ve come to realize the importance of maintaining strong relationships with many of these friends, and also come to understand that some friendships fade over time and it’s okay to move on. I cherish each as they touch my heart and teach a lesson in their own way.

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I’ve enjoyed many adventures with girlfriends over the years. From international getaways to road trips up north (northern Michigan, for you non-Michiganders!) to visits at the local coffee shops, there is laughter and fun to be found all over. And there’s also lots of fun to be had staying in for the evening. I recently enjoyed a fun night in with a small group of girlfriends, indulging in food, music, facials and girl talk. It was a wonderful night of connecting with friends and the much needed relaxation and laughter recharged my soul.

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Staying in with friends is an easy, cheap opportunity to have fun and connect/catch up. There are so many activities to enjoy so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. The biggest catch to a relaxing night in – ditch the technology. Leave your phone in your purse and instead tune into your friends. One of my favorite parts of my recent girls night in? Not one of us reached for our phone the entire night, ensuring that we were all tuned in and focused on connecting with each other.

  1. Cook new recipes. Sometimes the hostess will try a new dish or we each bring a dish to share.
  2. Choose a theme. Plan a spa party, fiesta night, ’80s theme. You can plan food, decorations, games and more around the theme.
  3. Wine tasting. Have everyone bring a bottle of wine to sample. You can even make it a theme, such as from certain locations (Michigan, Napa, etc.) or types (white,  Cabernet, Riesling, etc.).
  4. Facials. Who doesn’t love getting pampered??
  5. Games. There’s everything from cards to board games to video games and even ‘made up’ games (and drinking games if it’s that kind of night!).
  6. Movie night. There are some great girls’ movies! You can go ‘old school’ with movies like Dirty Dancing, 16 Candles, Breakfast Club or Pretty In Pink. We also like Sex in the City, any Melissa McCarthy movie, Love Actually or sappy romances such as The Notebook.
  7. Plan an activity. Make cards, a holiday craft or vision board.
  8. Dance party. You all know I’m a big fan of music and breaking into random dance at any moment while I’m at home (or anywhere).
  9. Girl talk! My favorite of girl time is catching up on everyone’s lives. It’s a great time to reconnect. We always touch on topics across the spectrum, from love to career to celebrity crushes to hair styles to family to laundry detergent to recipes to exercise to favorite travel spots to lingerie to…..well, I don’t need to spill it all. You get it. Any topic is up for conversation.
  10. Pillow fight. Okay, I’m just kidding. I know some men reading this are wondering about the pillow fights that girls supposedly have at all sleepovers or gatherings (how did this idea ever start??) so I had to throw it in.
 

Finding free (or cheap), fun activities August 4, 2015

kidstrailI’ve been focused on saving money the past few weeks. I recently started paying attention to all the random or little things that we spend money on – Starbucks, Dr. Pepper at 7-11, new nail polish, dinner and drinks at a restaurant – and realize how quickly those add up . So I’m focused on saving rather than spending.

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I took this week off from work, planning a combination of stay at home fun and travel In planning my days at home, I started thinking of free or low-cost activities I could participate in by myself or with others. Here are a few random ideas:

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While I love these buildings for the thousands of books they offer, libraries often also host free classes and programs for residents. These might include computer classes, business tips, children-friendly and local history programs

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Many yoga studios and fitness studios offer the first class free to new clients. Most gyms, such as LA Fitness, offer the first workout or a free weekly pass for new clients. My sister is a big fan of the new TwyFit in Clawson, which offers a variety of classes from kickboxing to Zumba to yoga to strength training. First class is free for new people.

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Nature centers and parks often have walking trails, as well as other activities. Many of the local parks in southeast Michigan have children’s play areas, basketball and tennis courts, skateboard parks and more. Some parks offer public programs. While some parks do charge small fees for vehicle entries, it’s usually free if you walk or bike in. Spencer Park in Rochester Hills and Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township are two examples of this benefit.

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MeetupImageThere are numerous Meetup groups that don’t charge for participation in their activities, or charge a nominal fee ($10) for the year to help cover the Meetup hosting fee. Think of an activity that you’re interested in and I bet it exists – Board games, reading, photography, beer tasting, exercise, outdoor, theater and more!

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I love playing games – yard games, cards, board games, pool, ping-pong and more! Don’t own a board game? No need to buy one. Play charades, Simon Says or, even better, make up a fun game to play with family and friends!

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I don’t love living in a short-term apartment while we house hunt, but the amenities of a pool and gym are nice. The pool has been especially nice in the hot summer weather. We’ve hosted our family a few times, and I enjoyed a beautiful evening sitting in a lounge chair reading by the water. Love Michigan summers!

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What are some activities you enjoy for free or low-cost?

 

 
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