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Springtime Friday Faves!

Posted in Living by

springfaves

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a “favourites” post, even though they are some of my favorites to read (and write!) This time, though, I found it surprisingly difficult – it seems like I was in a rut for a few months not really trying new things or venturing out very much. There are a couple new things I’m loving, so let’s check them out!

shark-tankShark Tank: Shark Tank you guys, I didn’t know! I accidentally got into this show during the ice storm when I was staying with Sixx and his roommates, who all watch it. Since then, I’ve spent my weekends binge watching it since I now work from home, and these episodes are on demand. (And maybe I’ve been watching the old seasons online too.) It’s cool to see all of the products and ideas people come up with, and I’ve maybe bought into a few of the ideas and businesses that have been featured…

the-trews

The Trews: Pedal Steel introduced me to this band a few months ago, and I’ve been digging them a lot lately. This Canadian band has a great alternative rock feel that reminds me of the greatest generation and even though Spotify just took down my favorite album of theirs, everything else is great so head over to Spotify to check them out!

This Is Where I Leave You: to be honest, the jury is still out on this movie for me. There were parts of it that I absolutely loved, but the ending left me absolutely infuriated. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, because I still think it’s worth the watch (especially if you love Jason Bateman or ensemble cast family dramadies), but I think I need to check it out again before I make a final call on it.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: I really like to layer my SPF in the summer, and living in Nashville, summer comes a bit earlier. I’ve been using this under my beloved Urban Decay Naked Foundation and I love the little bit of extra coverage it gives vs. a primer with SPF – plus it’s super hydrating, matches my skin tone really well, and I can even use it on its own on a lazy makeup day.

Tennessee Brew Works Wit Wine: it’s no secret that I love beer. It’s also probably common knowledge that I work at a winery. We recently got in a new brew from TBW – a wit beer aged in cabernet wine barrels. It has almost a wheat-y taste, and is a perfect nightcap. (Of course I drank through the keg we had in, so it will be awhile before I can get this beauty back on my lips.)

Trello: I know I know, I did a whole post about my love for this cute little app, but it bears repetition. Using it for shopping trips is the newest gamechanger: I can make a list for grocery shopping as well as clothing chopping and check things off as I find them.

Brunette Ambition: Lea Michele is one of my favorite celebs, so I can’t believe I held out for almost a year before ordering her book. It came on a Saturday and during my lunch hour I tore through the chapter on Glee (of course.) The recipes look like food I actually could make, and this book reads more like a lifestyle blog. She should really get on starting one – I’m sure she definitely has time to blog while she’s on the set of Scream Queens 😉

What have you been loving this spring season?

April 17, 2015
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things to do when you’re stuck in an airport

Posted in Travel by

airport

N
obody likes travel interruptions, but long layovers and delays can actually be fun and productive if you use the time well! Every airport and airline offer different amenities to keep travelers entertained and tempers at bay. Since I’ve spent a few days this week bopping around the country on planes, I’ve had to really find ways to keep entertained and productive. And really, I don’t think airports are that bad: there are much worse places to be “stuck.” Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Walk the terminal for exercise. I don’t just mean making the long distance sprint between gates to catch a flight, but keep active and moving. It will help ward off any travel weight, and help prevent a PE or blood clot.
  • Stop by a 10-minute manicure kiosk. They aren’t very expensive, and the relaxation benefits can work wonders for stressed travel brains.
  • Blog! Even if you don’t currently have one, you can build one quickly during a layover and you don’t even need your laptop – WordPress’ mobile app is great for on-the-go posting.
  • Go on an airport scavenger hunthere’s one idea, or maybe try my version by clicking here!
  • Drink local beers. Because obviously.

More ideas under the fold… Read more…

March 6, 2015
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Michigan Monday: Things to Do in -30 Weather

Posted in Living, Travel by

This past weekend I was able to make a very quick trip up to my beloved Mitten. As I sit now in a hotel in Northern Virginia, not sure when I will make it back to Music City and feeling like I will have spent more time in airports than in Michigan, I thought I’d try to extend my little vacation with a recap and some ideas on how to feel toasty in subzero temps!

Sixx and I drove up on Thursday night and the further we went, the lower the temps got. Once we hit the Michigan border, though, I was so excited! (Even though I did sleep through some of my favorite Michigan landmarks, like the lake and the city of Holland. #overnightdrivingproblems)

The first thing on my list to warm up was (naturally) a stop at Biggby. It’s probably my favorite coffee place in the world. The whole trip was a whirlwind – Friday lunch with some college friends and then lots of family time. Mom and I went shopping (cardio! warm up!) on Saturday (our favorite pastime) and had dinner at my favorite hometown pizza place.

And no trip is complete without a few Michigan beers! Definitely my favorite way to keep toasty 🙂 Bell’s Smitten is still a fave, and I finally tried Short’s Brewing’s Soft Parade.

I was also able to grab a quick lunch with my best friend from college. This girl is my ride or die, and we have been through so much together, including many bowls of pasta during snowy winter days (eat all the carbs.) I miss her so much and am very thankful that I’ll be able to spend more time with her this year.


(This awesome shirt via The Mitten State!)

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in weather that cold – I had forgotten that at some point it stops being miserable and it just becomes something you accept as part of your life. It wasn’t THAT bad by the end. I’ve been enduring flight change after flight change for the last 24 hours or so, but I’m at least thankful for the time I saw my family, friends, and got to visit my beloved mitten!

March 2, 2015
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Spring Favorites

Posted in Food, Living, Style, Work Out by

spring favorites It’s been awhile since I did a favorites post, so here are some things I’m loving lately!

entertainment favorites Sam Smith: I checked out his song “Latch” on a recommendation from Diana Agron – I’ll do anything she tells me, and I have not been disappointed. His voice is beautiful, soulful and smooth, and the lyrics are otherworldly.

Love Is a Mixtape by Rob Sheffield: I saw this in a bookstore when it was first released and was always interested in it, but never picked it up until recently. Ironically, it takes place in my city, so it’s funny to picture the places they are and think about the food they are eating. It’s an emotional read (I cried more than once) but I really liked it.

Private Practice: I’m a Shondaland die-hard (#hiremeshonda) and I watched the first two or three seasons when this was on the air and then college kept me too busy to watch Thursday night TV. I put this on one night as I fell asleep and am now finishing it out. It somehow got a bad reputation, but I have really enjoyed it for the most part thus far. Plus I’m having a good time playing Shondaland Bingo – the amount of Shondacest across her shows is mindboggling.

golfdanceLost: I recently binged on Lost as well. I finished all six seasons in less than a month. It was bad – I was watching in the morning before (and at) work, taking lunches home to cram in two episodes, and watching on the treadmill in an effort to finish before I kept getting spoiled too badly. Though there was a huge uproar about the finale when it ended, I was satisfied. I still have a lot of questions, so I’ve been researching and just sitting with it for a little while, and I plan to rewatch (a little more slowly) over the summer.

food Brooklyn Summer Ale: I tried this for the first time last October after my boss raved about it all season, but I wasn’t wowed by it. It was on tap at happy hour one Friday, so I thought I’d give it another crack, and I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. Make this a contender for your summer brew of choice.

Power Ice: These are going to be great for hot summer run recovery. They’re basically electrolyte popsicles to replenish what you lose through sweat, but they’re so much better than Gatorade. In addition to helping you refuel, they’ll also help cool you down.

fashion ASOS Plunge Backless suit: so after I posted about the summer suits I was loving, I found this MEGA sexy pick from ASOS. I’m typically drawn to bandeau bikinis because I hate tan lines, but I couldn’t resist this one. (And how is this one piece, with more fabric, somehow 100% sexier than a two-piece?)

eShakti: if you’ve never heard of eShakti, go check them out NOW! They’re an amazing company who designs clothes for women of all sizes from 0-36W, and if you don’t feel like you fit into a “normal” size (like me!) they allow you to measure yourself and submit your own measurements. As if that’s not enough, you can also customize the look – pick your neckline, hem length, sleeve length, and more. The pieces are incredible quality, and I’ll be featuring the dress I got from them soon.

Crazy Compression socks: I love me some compression, and these ones are so fun. They come in so many designs and colors, and would be great for running in a LOUD outfit for fun races like 80’s runs or The Color Run. Or for going out in public post-half marathon like I did 🙂

What are you loving lately?

I was provided samples from eShakti, Power Ice, and Crazy Compression, but as always, all opinions are my own. 
May 19, 2014
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Pure Michigan Summer Love / michigan monday

Posted in Michigan, Travel by

michigan lovin

Grand Rapids’ 5/3 Riverbank Run is happening this weekend, and even though it’s one of my bucket races, this isn’t the year for me to go since I’ll be working. If you’re visiting from out of town, I put together a list of some of my favorite Pure Michigan summertime activities to check out!

tubing

Tubing is arguably the best and most popular Michigan summer pastime. Just go “up north,” rent a tube, and launch – my favorite ride is down the Muskegon River in my alma mater town of Big Rapids. Grab a case of beer and go for a six hour float and make a day of recovering from the race, or if you can’t stand the freezing temperatures, opt for a more sensible two hour ride.

food

Like anywhere, Michigan is full of great food (but I’m biased in thinking ours is The. best). If you fly into Detroit, make sure to hit a Coney Island before you leave, or check out one of the eateries in downtown GR. My favorites are Marie Catrib’s and HopCat, and The BOB is a great choice when your party can’t decide on just one kind of food. We also have great coffeeshops – grab a Chumpkin from Biggby, a tall pourover from Madcap, or an alternative brew from Rowster.

beerwine

I would rather drink beer over liqour any day of the week, and it’s largely due to the fantastic breweries I was spoiled with growing up in the mitten. Grand Rapids is home to Founder’s (known for their KBS and Dirty Bastard brews,) and it’s a short drive down to Kalamazoo to check out Bell’s Eccentric Eatery and enjoy the essential summer Oberon. Or drive north on 131 until you hit Short’s Brewery for some of the most unique flavors beer has to offer.

If beer isn’t your thing, we have equally great wine. My favorite grapes grow in the southwest region along the Lake Michigan Wine Trail. Karma Vista Vineyards‘ Ryno Red is my all-time favorite red wine, and the Leelenau Peninsula is also worthy of a day trip for tasting.

island

Mackinac Island: Visiting an island where there are no cars allowed after running a 25k might not be your first inclination, but Mackinac is a must-see at some point in your life. Go on horse-drawn carriage tours, rent a bicycle built for two and see the island on your own terms, or bring a book and set up shop on the Lawn at Mission Point (my personal favorite island activity.)

museums

I’ve been to a lot of museums in a lot of different cities, but two of my favorites are close to home. The Grand Rapids Art Museum features a rotation of rotation of collections, and I’ve never seen a “bad” one. The highlight of the Public Museum, to me, is the Furniture City and Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibits. The also have a planetarium and sometimes they show Pink Floyd on Saturday nights – a good way to prep for the race 😉 These two museums, along with the Ford Museum, the John Ball Park Zoo, and Meijer Gardens participate in the Free Admission Tuesday program in the summer. And if you love the GRAM, come back in September for Artprize!

lake

The piece de resistance of Michigan: we have the most beautiful clear beaches. I love Grand Haven, Muskegon, Ludington and Saugatuck. Given that the lakes almost completely froze over this winter, I’d be surprised if it ever gets warm enough to really enjoy a dip, but set up your beach chair, grab some ice cream, and let the sun help you relax.

Writing out this list has made me horribly homesick and even more jealous of everyone taking on Riverbank!

What’s your favorite summer activity? Have you run Grand Rapids?

May 5, 2014
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