November looks a little different this year but your favorite holiday traditions are back and some really cool new ones!…
Do you need ideas for activities to do with kids? Tried and true suggestions that real moms actually do? Here they are! We’re asking families to share their favorites, to help you find yours.
Are you following @jill_giacomino on Instagram? Jill is a true modern-day momma who juggles running her own digital marketing company along with being a co-partner of the absolutely delicious Grey Ghost restaurant in Detroit. We totally respect Jill for her #momhustle and as a fellow Chicago native turned Detroit local, I can’t help but love her even more.
Oh hi, I’m Jill Giacomino! I live in Ferndale with my husband, Joe, and two babes – Sonny (3) and Gia (9 months). I operate a digital marketing company, Social Gathering Co., running social media, marketing, and public relations for a number of local restaurants and small businesses. I absolutely love what I do and I’m grateful I’ve been able to build a career helping small businesses while being home with my family. My husband and I are also co-partners at Grey Ghost and Second Best (Carrie absolutely LOVES the spicy chicken sandwich), located in Midtown Detroit… my husband is one of the chefs (so yes, we eat well in our home).
Favorite Ways To Spend Family Time:
- My husband making any thing Italian!
- Long walks with our (elderly) pup Charlie, mostly scoping out fairy gardens around our neighborhood.
- Post-dinner dance parties
Favorite Places To Go:
- We’ve recently discovered Cranbrook Gardens (Bloomfield Hills) – the Japanese Gardens are magical!
- Tenhave Woods (Royal Oak), it’s a hidden gem and doubles as our son’s preschool! (@FireFlyForestSchool)
- Booth Park (Birmingham) – grab Beyond Juice curbside on your way!)
Favorite Bedtime Stories:
Best Park/Playground: Geary Park (Ferndale)
We live within 4 blocks of three great parks in Ferndale and our house is right across the street from Geary Park so you’ll find us there almost daily. There’s lots to see with the new Tony Hawk skatepark (we saw him skating from our window last summer!), lots of open space for kite flying, and playgrounds.
Best Family-Friendly Annual Event: DIY Street Fair (Ferndale)
Our favorite local annual event is the DIY Art Fair in downtown Ferndale. I’ve purchased so many cute items from local makers for myself and my kids. There’s also fun food, drink, and… fried Oreos. We’re sad we won’t be able to walk over there this year due to COVID but have noticed that a lot of the local artisans are hosting virtual events instead.
Your Mom Must Have: Roomba Robot Vacuum
Besides my nanny? Ha! For moms, especially moms with babies and toddlers, a good vacuum is key. We recently purchased a Roomba and it’s a game-changer. I use it nightly and it’s nice to take one thing off my “list.”
Best Fall Destination: Traverse City
We only moved to Michigan (from Chicago) a few years ago so haven’t been able to explore this beautiful state in its full glory yet. I had a wonderful babymoon in Traverse City early fall of last year and I loved it! We explored Sleepy Bear Dunes, walked up Front Street, and enjoyed a lot of great restaurants. We can’t wait to check out the UP, Leland, and other spots in the ‘mitten’ soon.
“Pat Yourself on the Back” Accomplishment: Uprooting Our Lives to Open a Restaurant
As I mentioned, my husband and I moved to Michigan from Chicago a few years ago to open Grey Ghost. I had only visited Michigan once before we packed up our apartment and drove this way. Within a year, we opened a restaurant, I started my business, we had a baby, and purchased a home. We’ve settled in really nicely here and have made some great friends and relationships along the way. It’s not easy not having family close by (especially with my husband working long nights at the restaurants) but we’re lucky to have visitors often.
Photo credit: @jill_giacomino
About Ashley Hubbbard-Porter
Ashley Porter is a Chicago native who now calls Birmingham home. Ashley and her husband Mike and son Jake love attending local festivals, exploring Detroit’s diverse food scene, and venturing outside of Metro Detroit to enjoy the natural beauty of Michigan. With a background in Early Childhood Education, Ashley loves connecting with and supporting families in her community, which is why she is so excited to be a part of LittleGuide Detroit.