Independence Day is often cherished for its long-standing traditions and values. People enjoy celebrating this special day by indulging in some of their own on-going traditions,  including watching fireworks, cooking out with friends and family or even enjoying a mini-vacation. We at z2 value these traditions, as well. And in honor of Independence Day, here are some of our favorite foods we enjoy every year on this day.

Potato Salad. My mom makes THE BEST potato salad you’ll ever have! In fact, the Guinness Book of World records tabbed it as the World’s Greatest Potato Salad. Ok, maybe not, but it is in my book. – Tracy

Brisket. My father-in-law’s brisket is usually smoked for an average of 6-10 hrs overnight, but it’s a process. You have to be on watch with them, flipping and wetting them down with more sauce. The sauce is special too, a nice blend of subtle spice and taste, the perfect combo. – Jason J.

Asparagus. Grilled asparagus is so delicious! Well, everything tastes better on the grill, doesn’t it? – Katie

Corn on the cob. Grilled corn on the cob is such a treat on the 4th. Smothered in butter, pepper and salt and then grilled, and repeated after the grill, in the stalk is so mouthwatering. – Cedar

Beer. The best food at any Wisconsin cookout! – April

Italian Sausage. We make it in an 18-quart crock pot with some spices and our own homemade sauce and let it cook for the day. After it’s done we chow down, but not before our family uses that sauce to make spaghetti. Yeah, we like to eat hearty. – Mario

Burgers. The All-American cheeseburger is all you need for the perfect cookout on Independence Day! – Beth

Grilled Wings. It’s fun to change it up and BBQ’d wings on the grill is a perfectly delicious change! – Carly

Deviled Eggs. One of our family’s favorite holiday treats! – Karyn

Steak Kabobs. They’re incredibly delicious. Chunks of steak, white pearl onions, grape tomatoes, and whole baby portabella mushrooms. Seasoned and grilled. – Jason M.

What is YOUR favorite food to have on Independence Day?

Check out our last TTF post and come back for more every Friday!

Photo Credit #1: Jason Jahnke

Photo Credit #2: Carly Schroeder

July 5, 2013 · Posted by in TTF  

Not much variety here in the z2 lot, but here are some of the roadsters the z2ers are rolling around in.

Pete: Honda Element

Carly: Honda Civic

April: Honda CRV

J-Mac: Honda Civic

Mario: Toyota Corolla

Tracy: Ford Expedition

Cory: Volkswagon CC

Deb: Chevy Malibu

Heidi: Audi A6

Jason J.: Volvo 850

Can you guess what kind of cars we like here?

Check out our last TTF post and come back for more every Friday!

June 28, 2013 · Posted by in TTF  

Summer has officially started and we’re ready to make the most of the nice weather. Wondering what the z2ers love to do in the summer? Here is a little insight!

I like to go to Maker Faire Detroit and take part in the Power Racing Series where we build electric race cars out of kid’s toys and race them to the delight and amusement of the crowd… – Pete

Landscape gardening and relaxing by the Koi pond are some of my favorite things to do throughout the summer! – Dawn

I love sitting on my deck with a beer in my hand, my girls and friends with me watching the sun go down over the horizon and relaxing into the night. – Cory

I enjoy getting outside as often as possible and nothing gets me more pumped up than concerts in the summer. I also love to wear my cowboy hat every chance I get! – Cedar (Pictured: My brother Sawyer)

 

I love getting outside for a good bike ride and basking in the fresh air. – Joe

Being outside and hiking with my dogs is the best! – April

Whether it’s Jazz in the Park downtown on Thursdays or Chill on the Hill in Bay View on Tuesdays, I really love any festival with live music. I also LOVE bonfires (and the excuse to eat s’mores)…nothing like enjoying the outdoors on a nice summer night. – Carly

I’d rather be boating and tubing with my dog than doing just about anything else in the summer. Fresh air and water are an amazing combination on a hot day! – Heidi

There is no place I’d rather be in the summer than having a drink on the Terrace in Madison! – Katie

I love tailgating! It doesn’t matter where, even if it’s baseball games, football games or concerts, it’s my favorite thing to do! – Tracy

What are YOUR favorite summertime activities you enjoy doing?

Check out last week’s TTF post: Mobile Photo Apps. And stay tuned for more Top Tens every Friday!

June 21, 2013 · Posted by in TTF  

Mobile photography has skyrocketed in popularity since the introduction of Instagram. With the quality of smartphone cameras getting better and better, it will only continue to grow. So I decided to ask a few z2 employees what their favorite mobile photo apps might be…..and this is what they said.

AutostitchAutostitch: I’m a big fan of panoramas, and AutoStitch does an amazing job of creating them. There are options for resolution and quality (both of which will affect how fast your panorama gets stitched) – Pete


Plastic BulletPlastic Bullet: Plastic Bullet goes for the simple approach: no filters to choose from, and no sliders. It just loads an image and then shows you four different versions with light-leaks and varying colors. If you don’t like them, reload and it’ll show you four new ones. It’s dead simple, which is why I like it. – Pete


GoPro AppGoPro App: This app lets me control my GoPro Hero 3 via the WiFi built into the camera. You actually connect your phone to the GoPro so you can start and stop recording, change all the settings, and even get a live view (with a few seconds delay) of what the GoPro is seeing. – Pete


VSCO CamVSCO Cam: HUGE fan of this app. The design is impeccable and beautiful. This app helps create beautiful pictures by replicating stock film like Fuji, Polaroid and the like. Deep in features, but not overpowering nor cluttered in approach, this is always my go-to. The community around this app is amazing and is featured in a section of the app. Love it. – Jason


AfterlightAfterlight: Great for adding unique boarders and adding subtle grain or texture to my images. Giving me sliders to increase and decrease any tools is great. Often textures and tools can be too harsh. In the world of Instagram, I like more subtle adjustments most times, this app gives me that control. – Jason


SnapseedSnapseed: THE BEST APP BY FAR. Easy to use with great sharing options. Excellent effects options such as Grunge, which has up to 1500 settings to choose from, and even the tilt-shift effect. Possibly your best one-stop-shop photo app. – Cory


PicFxPicFx: Nice original effects and easy to use. Loads of great filters to choose from, plus you can easily apply how much of each filter you want. – Cory


InfinicamInfinicam: Awesome old school lens and camera effects. One cool feature is the option to get random effects added to your pictures and if you don’t like those, try again. It also offers some nice border options as well as sharing to social networks. – Cory


Pixlr ExpressPixlr Express: One of my favorite apps ever. It offers over 600 effects, including tilt-shift and AutoFix. This is one of the most versatile apps because it has some of the best effects from all other apps, but all here in one spot making it extremely useful. The effects seem endless and with the use of the Fade slider, you have control over the power of each effect. – Cedar


Camera ZOOM FXCamera ZOOM FX: My favorite photo app. One of the best parts is the option for timers and voice-activated photos so you don’t need to be holding the phone to snap a picture. This is a very simple app, but with all the best qualities you want from Stable Shot, Burst Mode and even Time Lapse. Catching up to 10 shots per second on Burst Mode is pretty cool. – Cedar

Which mobile photo apps do you love to use most?

Stay tuned for more Top Ten Friday posts coming soon!

June 14, 2013 · Posted by in TTF  

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