Tag Archives: fun stuff

how to pack a cooler.

23 May

because ROF is getting ready for his 30th pilgrimage to the indy 500 this weekend, i thought i’d repost an oldie but goodie.  below are pictures of previous trips to indy and i know this one won’t disappoint.

from the desk of ROF:

there are a few things i do well.

one of them is packing for a trip.  i don’t mean clothes – i’m talking the important stuff  – drinks and snacks. 

i enjoy traveling and did a lot of it growing up.  i always had this fascination with coolers.  i can still remember my grandfather’s cooler.  it was an unpolished, aluminum Coleman – the kind that can keep drinks cold for 2 to 3 days.  

i’ve always been into hospitality.  i was 9 years old in 1979 during the gas crisis.  i sold cold drinks and snacks to the hundreds of people lined up outside gas stations to get gas.  used the first generation, igloo playmate cooler (red base, white swivel top with push button on the side) this was my first job and i had that cooler all through college.

for the past 20 years,

i’ve embarked on a guys pilgrimage to indianapolis the last weekend in may for the grand daddy of all motor sports – the indy 500.  now, i’m using this as an example trip because it is the mack daddy trip for packing drinks and snacks.  obviously, if you’re going on a road trip with just you and your wife, dial this back a little bit.  typically between 4 and 8 guys go on this trip and everyone is appointed a task for the trip.  this trip is a well-oiled machine.  here are the tasks:

1. ground transportation

2. non-race activities (such as concerts, parties, parades)

3. music – both sound system and playlist for the weekend

4. dinner reservations

5. drinks and snacks

i’m in charge of #5.  this is no small task.  it’s obviously a huge responsibility and i take it very seriously.

first the beer.

however much we’re bringing we split half in bottles and half in cans (no bottles at the speedway, folks).  our beer of choice: heinken (glass) and coors light and bud light (cans)

now the booze and mixers.

this takes a little bit more research or you have to just know the group you’re with.  the last few years, when my friend tod eason is with us, we go through an unbelievable amount of petron orange label tequila.  however, a staple of the weekend is vodka.  usually we bring two brands: one top shelf for martinis and tonics and a mid-level brand that goes into gallons of bloody marys and screwdrivers.  i always toss in a handle or two of single malt scotch as well as a handle of boubon.

condiments, garnish and snacks.

essential garnish are: limes, olives, pepperoncini peppers, black pepper, tobasco sauce, worchester sauce, zing zang brand bloody mary mix, tonic, soda, coke, diet coke, orange juice and red bull.  then of course you need styrofoam cups, bev naps, stirrers and a martini shaker.

as far as snacks are concerned, an indy staple has been the sunshine brand of cheez-its (the non reduced fat variety), extra large jar of mixed nuts, double stuff oreos and  pre-made rice krispy treats.

how to pack a cooler – some tips and suggestions

just like getting ready for a road trip – you think about what you’re going to pack, what route are you going to take, all that jazz- to me, what is just as important is what refreshments are going to be brought and how they’re brought.

first, the list.  it’s very important to write down everything that is needed so nothing gets left behind. don’t make assumptions.  use this list to call your friends, ask questions and cross things off.

next, do the math.  take how many people you are traveling with x how many days and then divide by .5 and round up and that is how many beers to bring.  or about a case a person a day.  let me put it this way, we don’t run out.

packing for the road:  put a thin layer of ice at the bottom of the cooler.  then a couple layers of bottles or cans.  more ice.  repeat the layer of cans.  when you get to the top, put a thin layer of ice then lay the cut up fruit, garnish and other snacks that need refrigeration.

pre-cut your limes and garnish: don’t mess with packing knifes and worrying about getting one.  do all the work in advance

pack a small cooler on road trips to keep close with ice tea and diet coke and snacks.  don’t try and go digging in your professionally packed cooler in the trunk while on the road.

now, you don’t have to be going to indy with a bunch of your friends to apply these tips and suggestions.  it is the same if you’re giving parties at your house.  planning is key.



i appreciate: samantha french

2 Sep

from samanthafrench.com

i adore her art.

thanks to victoria at sfgirlbybay for introducing me to her a while ago.  it is now even more exciting that sfgirlbybay has a great contest (which i gladly entered) with s. french.  her latest pool collection is so very refreshing to look at.  i love feeling something from art.  plus i’m a bit addicted to the color orange right now.  or obsessed might be a better word for it.

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be inspired! quotes to get through

30 Aug

middle of the week… can we make it till friday?  let’s read together some words of inspiration and be happy. 

click on any one to make it bigger.


all these are from my board on pinterest.  all credits can be found there

be inspired !

to all the dogs i’ve loved before

21 Aug

ever since i was trampled by a huge dog when i was 5 years old living in boston, i’ve wanted a dog.  we finally got one when we moved to michigan and i was in about the 5th grade.

it was a black lab named maggie. we had so many stories of her.

she ate exactly half of one of our thanksgiving meals.  like chomped right down the middle of casseroles and everything.  when she was a puppy, we trained her to sleep in the laundry room downstairs with the door shut.  it was hard training her because she was young and scared and would whine and whine and whine.  we’d go into mom and dads room and beg to go to her.  no.  then we found out that muffin, our hamster, had gotten loose and was terrorizing poor maggie.  so maggie dug a hole in the laundry room straight through the good ole yellow linoleum that was so popular back then. so there mom and dad.

then there was our golden retriever, tucker.  oh tucker.

this was the best dog ever.  we loved loved loved tucker that little *ucker.  we liked to say that to make mom go “oh stop”.  but really, this was the sweetest, friendliest golden ever.  have you ever met a golden you didn’t love?  he slept with me in bed for the two weeks i had mono in college.  and he listened to stories.  we would tell him every story behind every holiday and he would stare at your mouth and perk up his ears.  he also would shove rolled up socks in the laundry basket in his mouth – like maybe 5 or so at a time and then we would make him “speak”.  everyone got a big ole crack over that.

next, for me, there is wrigley.  my 110lb yellow lab

words do not describe how much i love the wigs.

i lived in dallas one year before getting wrigley.  it was a miserable year.  i worked hard, didn’t know anyone and really felt like a fish out of water.  then came this little bundle of pure lab love.  wrigley.  he took care of me.  this is a big boy and he protected me and loved me.  it was so nice to come home from work and be greeted by him and his big kisses.  he and i went everywhere together and i loved taking him to daycare during the day.  see i can be a mommy blogger too.  tee hee hee.

then i met ROF and got married.  lover-ly.  my life was perfect, except one thing.  wrigley isn’t too hot on ROF or his dog, max.  wrigley sat in between us.  and he licked ROF to pieces.  you know, typical lab.  but when wrigley nipped max in the nose for trying out his food, we needed to figure out what to do.  so my wonderful mom watchs wrigley for me.  she has been watching him for 2 years now.  i can’t give w away.  he’s my 8 year old baby.  he is so sweet.  i don’t want to confuse him any more.  plus he loves my mom.  but she is 70 years old and a 110lb lab is a lot of dog (and hair) for her to have.  what can i do?  this will not be solved right here as i tear up.

then there came max. 

max is ROF’s english bulldog.  ROF has created quite a character around max and speaks for him often. max is very proud of being english even though he is really from austin, texas.  he talks about wanting gin and walking on the opposite side of the road.  when we ask him why, he says “because i’m eeeennnglish!”  having never had a bulldog before i really didn’t know how to “read” max.  unlike labs, bulldogs don’t jump all over you and they certainly don’t listen to you.  not a bit.  they hear you, they consider obeying, but then they promptly go the other way.  ROF told me that max will obey but just on their own time.  really?   i tell him to sit and he does – but usually just across the room and 5 minutes after I ask.

we had a garage sale and we let max walk around and say hello to everyone.  then he crawled up on to a chair in the middle of the yard and sat down.  this is what people saw when they drove up:

here are some other things on max:

1. he is high maintenance.  you have to clean their folds, and their ears almost every day.

2. he has more gas than any human being.  and he is not shy about it. 

3. he is sweet and caring and not at all mean.  unless you tease him and/or put your cell phone near him.  doesn’t like either much.

4. snores

5. makes noises that you’ve never heard before if he wants something.  kind of like a stuck pig.  a high pitched whine that can turn into a growl at the end.  gets that from his dad.

6. has us trained to a tee.  whines when he wants to go out, get on the couch, eat.  that’s about it.

one time, max decided that his cousin, sophie, shouldn’t be the only one to have a cute little bed.  so we busted max sitting in little sophie’s bed.  he asked us “does this bed make my butt look big?”  you decide:

the 40 year old engagement

5 Aug

when you’re a girl,

you start thinking about your wedding day early on.  there is so much tradition, beauty and fantasy (and fluff) surrounding the ceremony.  some get so caught up in either trying to get married or the ceremony that who they’re marrying becomes secondary or sometimes not even thirdly or fourthly.   i lived through a lot of that in my 20’s and 30’s.

i always knew i would get married.  never thought i would be 40 before getting married for the first time.   but in hindsight… i’m oh so glad i waited.  it was perfect for me.  maybe it was because it was ground in my head  (as only a protective father can do) as a young girl to “never settle” and to be able to support myself.  so i never settled.  came very close several times,  but thank god i waited.

which brings me to today.  i mean, this day last year.  this very evening,  ROF proposed to me.  in the fairy tale kind of way many tween girls dream about.  boy was i glad i waited.  this weekend last year was one of my favorites ever in all of my 40 years.

i was clueless.  completely.  stop laughing and saying (what’s new?)

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