Mrs. Houseful & the Ladybug Throw Down at the Naperville RibFest

Or maybe that should say, the Ladybug threw down at the Naperville Ribfest.

This weekend was the bees knees. I got to meet Ty Pennington, eat ribs, and listen to some pretty good music. Oh, and I got to meet Ty Pennington, and make him laugh – which apparently isn’t all that hard to do. He’s great, and I may have ignited my total celebrity/designer/carpenter/Extreme Home Makeover/Sears Designer crush to the 10th degree again. Not only was he a gracious host, he didn’t seem a bit “bothered” to be among all of the Sears executives and bloggers the night before the HUGE festivities at Knoch Park in Naperville, Illinois.

So, Friday night, we were invited to a VIP blogger and Sears exec meetup at the Arista Hotel in Naperville. Mr. Houseful was my date and I moseyed on to pick him up from work and jet to the hotel. The food that they had was delicious and the ambiance was fantastic. The day before, Chicago and the surrounding areas had reached temps of 100+ degrees, so it was nice to be able to sit out on the outdoor terrace of the hotel and get to know our hosts a bit better.

This VIP thing is still kind of new to me, so I flitted from conversation to conversation trying to soak up everything I possibly could about the Sears world, the grilling world, and the world of some bloggers that I have been following for quite some time now. It was nice to see all of us in one place mingling, and doing a LOT of laughing. At the end of the evening, we were handed a great gift pack and one of these: 

and told to have fun the next day!

Boy did I.

I met up with Laura from MomMart, Alicia  from Making Time for Mommy, Michelle from Honest and Truly, and Kelly from Kelly’s Lucky You and we had ourselves a blast. We would converge on the Sears tent at random times together, but c’mon now, you can’t be at the RibFest and not eat SOMETHING. So the ladybug – who happened to be my more than willing date – and I ate. A. LOT.

Those are two pound beef ribs. Like ONE rib is two pounds of meat. For reals. It reminds me of ANY episode of the Flintstones. Think about it.

Who knew that most rib joints had a little bit of fifth grade boy in their humor bins. Check out the names and tag lines of most of these places:





These types of signs touting all of the rib awards and everything that each ribber (which is what people who grill ribs are called) has received. Some came from FAR away. Pennsylvania was one of the states that I remembered seeing.

Did I mention it smelled FANTASTIC?!


The Sears #GrillingIsHappines Tent had three of the most knowledgeable grillers in the country there doing showcases, and demos. Robin “Grill Grrrl” Lindars showed us how to barbecue pizza, “Burnin’ Love BBQ” chef Perry Perkins showed us how to make Dragon Claws – stuffed bell peppers with a chorizo and ground meat mixture wrapped in bacon -mmmmm bacon, and George Hirsch, television host and author, showed us a shrimp dish on the grill. Such great food, and easy tips.

A lucky texter (is that a word?) was able to grill up some brats, fruits and veggies with Ty through a text to win game. They had a pretty good time!

And if you think that all there is to do at the RibFest is eat, you would be wrong. There were vendors galore – SHOUT OUT to those vendors who had the misting fans, music, and family areas.

The ladybug was able to dance with the Radio Disney crew to Shake It Up and even got a mini interview in!

I also got roped into visiting the petting zoo, and very hot playground with the ladybug. But who am I kidding, it was fun, and she had a great time.

And that wasn’t the extent of the family fun. Don’t believe me? They really made the fest family friendly, and this mama appreciated it.
It was nice to attend the RibFest for the first time, and to do it with the ladybug. Being able to be out in the open (no matter how much I despise the heat sometimes) with someone who is at the right age to appreciate it (no matter how much she talked about being hot sometimes) was great. It also is helping me with my 101 in 1001 days list as well. And before you all go all crazy on me, I asked the cellist if he wanted to go, and he said no. Guess I’m in my uncool stage now. HA!

Stay tuned for more of my gushing on Mr. Pennington, the RibFest and how much we really got to eat, or if you can’t wait, you can check out my photo album on Google+

If you want to stay connected for further information regarding Sears, The Naperville RibFest, or Grilling Is Happiness, be sure to follow them all here:

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

The winner of our grilling set is:

Aisha G. – Congratulations and please send your contact info to me so that we can get that sent out to you ASAP!

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears. #CBias #SocialFabric

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  • Reply
    Mama Violet
    July 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Sounds like a good time. I lived in N’ville for 3 yrs and never went. I’ll have to put it on our summer bucket list for next year!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      We should go next year. It would be fun! I smell a blogger event.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I had to giggle about your reference to the Flintstones! That is too funny. The food looks great and the event looks like it was a lot of fun! It is awesome they really went the extra mile to cater to families too!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Jen, they were HUGE! She didn’t seem surprised that I asked for a photo either. And my pictures don’t even do the family areas justice. They had a free area (where we stayed) and then paid carnival rides where I was careful to stay away from! LOL! Thanks for stopping through.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Wow this looks like it was SO much fun!! ~And Ty?? What can I say: he is amazing!!! How awesome was that to meet him! RibFests are wonderful–there used to be an annual one in my city but it went away. 🙁 I hope that the powers-that-be change their minds and revive it again, otherwise I may be visiting the one there with you! 🙂

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Oh, most definitely! I’m sad that so many of the food festivals are ending in large cities. Even the Taste of Chicago has been decreased immensely. It’s so sad.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun and really good ribs!! You know I love my ribs!! Maybe I can get the Mr to go next year. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 4, 2012 at 4:37 am

    congratulations on meeting Ty. I am a big fan myself. All the ribs look delicious.

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks! He’s fantastic, and the ribs were indeed delicious.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Good coverage and the food looked awesome. Love Ty. Great pic. Looks like you all had a great time.

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Ty was a lot of fun! And the food was pretty good, but I think the best time was seeing the bug (ladybug) have a great time in the petting zoo.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    What an amazing event! I wish I was closer so I could have gone. I love how family-friendly it is and it looks like there was something for every one! The Flintstone reference and I’ll have to admit, I’m extremely jealous of the whole Ty thing so we won’t even go there!

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      It was indeed fantastic, and Ty was such a gracious host. Those beef ribs were GINORMOUS!

  • Reply
    Laura A
    July 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This was a fun day and your daughter was adorable at Ribfest. I ate some saucy ribs and was in heaven…. mmm sauce.

    • Reply
      Mrs. Houseful
      July 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Saucy! I still need to figure out which ones were my favorites. I’m kind of upset I didn’t try a Brontosaurus Rib.

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