About Jen Du

I have lived in Michigan my entire life. I grew up in a more rural area and moved to the Detroit Metro area in high school. I am a stay at home mom to a busy toddler. I enjoy being a mom but as you will learn struggle with the mommy role and expectations, those of mine and those of others.

Give-a-Way: Real Detroit Pizza from Niki’s Greektown!

In a previous blog post I mentioned that my favorite Superbowl commercial was without a doubt Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit”.

The message was awesome and the best part is that it told the world how great Detroit is. I am from Metro-Detroit so you may think I am biased, however, one thing I don’t mess around with is food. Detroit has some good food! New York has theirs and so does Chicago, but I think we do it best.

That’s right I am talking about Detroit Style Pizza. What is that, you ask? Only the best pizza ever. It is its own style — a square pizza with crispy corners and whole new way of doing the sauce and cheese.

The city is a great place to go out and — I may be preaching to the choir –but you really should try this pizza. And if you do, I have got a surprise for you (well not really because it is in the headline but still totally cool). I have three $20 gift certificates for Niki’s Greektown Pizza to giveaway so you can experience Detroit pizza at it’s finest.

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Why Niki’s? Well because they have the best pizza, they are in a cool area of Detroit where you can go downtown and have some fun because there is lots to do. Niki’s is only a block from Greektown casino as well. Their pizza is so good it’s gettting recognition on a national level and it was named one of America’s top 25 pizzas by GQ Magazine.

Niki’s also has more than just pizza they have salads too with a greek dressing that’s to die for and one of my personal favorites.

With Tiger’s opening day around the corner it is time to head downtown and get some Niki’s.

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So I know you’re sold already. You want some Niki’s and a free gift certificate sounds great. But what if I don’t win? Or maybe you don’t want to wait that long now that I have gotten you all hungry and craving their pizza. Well scan the photo below with your smart phone and a present awaits you. After you do that, scroll on down and enter the contest. After all, we can never have to much of the food, right?

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TO ENTER: 160x600 nikis01

– Fill out the information in the form below.

– One entry per person please.

– The contest ends on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:59am EST.

– The winners will be selected by random number generation and announced on April 2nd.

– The winners must live within driving distance of Niki’s Greektown Pizza. USA addresses only.

– Niki’s gift certificates will be distributed to the winners via U.S. mail.

– Contest Winner will have 5 days to reply with their address or an alternate winner will be selected.

EXTRA GIVEAWAY ENTRIES

– You can get 1 extra contest entry for following Niki’s Greektown on Facebook. Write on their wall “Thanks for giving Detroit 30 years of great pizza“.

– You can get 1 extra contest entry for commenting below.

– You can get 1 extra contest entry for Tweeting the following message on TwitterI entered a contest to win a @nikisgreektown $20 Gift Certificate from @JenniferDu79 http://ht.ly/4kj7X”

– You can get 1 extra contest entry for blogging about this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to your post. A trackback is fine.

– You can get 1 extra contest entry for subscribing to this blog.

Good Luck!

CLOSED – Winners to be announced.

One of those Days

So it was one of those days, that feels like it’s been one of those weeks, and it is only Tuesday.  From the time my husband hit the garage door opener, to when he finally walked in the door, I was already running bath and fixing myself a drink, ready to run off and retreat to my room.  I felt horrible for doing it considering he had just worked a 12 hour day but I knew if I didn’t have a mental health moment it wouldn’t be good for either of us.  Potty training had gone so well but for some reason today we were on our 4th pair of underwear already when I just gave up and let the little man run around pantless.  I hadn’t had a shower since well I think Monday and my legs were getting furrier than I prefer.  All of this exasperated by the fact that my dad was home all week with me last week and then when he left my mom was here.  I love them but I think it is hard for them not to critic every action I make.  From taking to long of a shower (hence being afraid to take the time to shave) to not showering often enough, to not feeding my son right, to my hair being to oily, to me drinking to much (this after my mom saw me make 1 drink the entire time she was here).  Needless to say with the departure of the parents I needed a moment to myself.  To in all essence love myself.  To tell myself that its okay, everyone does things differently and I am not a failure nor a bad person.

Why is it that people can make us feel so insecure about ourselves?  I try to do my very best at all I do and I am sure that others would do things differently.  My house isn’t the neatest nor is it as neat as I would like it to be but at the same time I spent about forty-five minutes to an hour cuddling with my little man when he got up from his nap because that’s what he wanted / needed at the moment.  I don’t want to miss that, nor do I want to cut it short just so I can go empty the dishwasher because I know that one moment soon enough he won’t want to cuddle with Mommy anymore.  Or worse yet, something could happen and in an instant he could be gone and I know that then I would give anything just for a moment to hold him again.  I know that may sound odd that I would worry about him not being there and wanting to spend every moment with him to the detriment of everything else but, I just feel the need to cherish as many moments as I can.

You see I am all to aware at how fleeting life can be.  I know in the wake of Japan we are all reminded but I don’t need that when it comes to my little guy.  I don’t need it because there was a little angel named Noah who taught me that.  My “big sister” in my sorority had a little baby boy exactly four months to the day after my son was born and he was with us only four short months after that before he passed in his sleep.  No one saw it coming and it was devastating.  It shook me to my core and I slept on the floor in my little guys room for the first couple of nights and I was heart broken at his funeral.  It was impossible to look at that little casket and not think about what could have been.  I felt robbed that our hopes and dreams of our boys growing up together so close in age and being able to play with each other, that would never happen.  I also felt guilty because I still had my baby and it is still hard for me to talk about my son or even complain on those off days because I know she doesn’t have her little boy.

So I will take the flack that the house still isn’t completely unpacked and my room is a disaster and there is laundry to be done.  Or my favorite, that I haven’t chosen to go back to work full time and use that college degree.  I can’t do it.  I don’t want to miss a moment and I hate the nights that I work now and have to close the store and miss my good night kiss; because, I tell you this if I am home, I never miss them. I will take my messy house for an hour of cuddle time any day.  So that is what I thought about in that long bath, where I washed the stress and frustration of the day off.  Where I cleared my mind of the replay of criticism that echoed in my head.  I have a little baby who only spent four months on this earth to thank for that clarity.

Decisions, Decisions, What to Do? Time to work on those goals.

Goals

So I have been a little absent of late.  Trying to decide what to do but knowing the reality is I am procrastinating at doing what I need to do.  I have this list of goals and some of them I have talked about here before.

Goal 1: I need to increase our families income.  Somehow this needs to happen.  I believe I have the tools to do so at this point it is up to the sheer determination on my part and deciding how bad I really want it.

Goal 2: Pay off student loans / debt: So we live credit card free but student loans are debt and there are some left over medical bills from when my husband was laid off.  This all needs to go.  I have this great program I just got called Debt Quencher and have started to use it.  Along with it is another program I highly is MoneyWell – No Thirst Software LLC.  Which is a cool take on the envelope budgeting plan and is available on the iPhone and Mac’s.  So far happy with it all and I will keep you posted on it.  I have also debated starting a challenge a friend of mine is working on.  She isn’t spending any money for a whole month and writing about it in her blog.  Crazy.

Goal 3: Loose weight.  This one is a tough one.  There are so many ways and ideas.  Some work for some people and not for others but the reality I know is calories in calories out.  Sounds simple I get that.  Eat better, Move more.  That is so much easier said than done.  Obviously because there are a lot of overweight people out there.  I have kicked around the idea of starting Weight Watchers but I just don’t know if I even have the time for it.  Then there is the whole will power issue.  I guess I know to many people who have lost weight with it but put most if not more back on.  So I am leaning to a more radical approach.  I have decided to Vegan.  I know huge jump.  I just feel as though this one has been speaking to me for a while though.  I have thought about it on my own.  I watched Food Inc and started buying almost everything local when available.  I am a huge fan of Ellen and when she would talk about her Vegan lifestyle we even started having the vegan tacos she showed on the show.  The best part was they were actually good. She had this guy on who talked about his book Breaking the Food Seduction and I really started to think that was the way to go so I bought it.  Then I never read it.  Recently Oprah did a show about her staff going Vegan for 2 weeks and that was really cool.  So I started to thinking about it even more.  The final straw came yesterday when on PBS I saw this guy talking about loosing weight eating a healthy vegan diet.  I kept thinking that guy looked familiar so today I googled the book and it turned out to be Dr. Neal Bedard.  Yep the same guy who wrote that other book I never read.  Okay, big voice in the sky, universe or whatever I call you, I hear you, I am going to go vegan.  I’m going to put a time limit on it, one month, and commit to it for that time period and see how I feel at the end of it.  After the month is up I may not want to go back or I may want to keep some changes and add some animal products back in.   Now I have my husband on board for a 2 week stint but I just have to convince him for the month.  Then there is the whole guilt thing about cleaning out m fridge and throwing things out.  No matter how much I know it needs to be done.  I will donate what I can but throwing stuff away is gonna hurt.  I’m not a hoarder it just feels wasteful.

Goal 4: Run a half marathon.  This one is a tough one because first I need to learn to love running.  I started to.  I found that Couch to 5K program and had started it.  You can find them online and on Facebook and I think they even have an app.  I also think you could subscribe to their channel on iTunes with stuff for your run.  I had started getting into it and actually was looking forward to my runs and then I broke my foot.  The worst part is I didn’t even break it doing something cool.  I tripped on one of my son’s toys.  Seriously.  So I was on crutches and sedentary for way to long and now I am trying to find the motivation to get back at it.  So I did pick up a new pair of my favorite Nike running shoe the AirMax and a new sensor for my iPhone to track my runs.  When I get going I will post a link so you guys can follow if you wish, yell at me when I don’t if you want or get a ll competitive and challenge me.

I know that if I do all of these things I will be a much happier person.  Which will make me a better mom.  I am just a little overwhelmed and don’t know how to find the time where to start or if I should try to tackle them all at once or not.  Feeling slightly freaked out here people.  That is why I was so glad when a good friend of mine contacted me about a Life Coach she knows who has a great new eProgram.  Which is great because I am so in need of it.  So I am gonna try it and even if it just helps me with one of those goals that will be great.  So look for updates to that coming soon as well.

Have a great day everyone!