Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday Five!

{thrifted gold tray to house my pretties}
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You know, I’m not usually a fan of Mondays, I despise them in fact, and now the seasons are shifting and moving our way into colder and darker mornings, I like them even less. BUT, I’m here to tell you, friends, there is light at the end of the Monday blues tunnel! A few weeks ago, I read an article from some random blog (that I can’t remember for the life of me now!!) which stated that great way to combat the Monday blues is to make fun plans for Monday evening. Whether that be dinner & a movie with girlfriends, a romantic evening with your special someone or anything else that you would look forward to. Even though Mondays are the day that I would love nothing more than to come home and veg out, the fact that I had fun plans (see here) to look forward to after work made Monday quite an enjoyable day. I was excited! I was excited on Sunday night to get the week started and that feeling gave me a positive vibe for the Monday workday and (most of) the rest of the week. I think I'll try this tactic more often... 

Anywho, tomorrow is going to be epic. Per this post, in a sneaky attempt to get some friends to move here, we threw together a plan last weekend to have the most amazing day in Grand Rapids! A day filled with good friends, good food, good drinks and MSU football. Let the games begin!!

Friday Forte:

(new collaboration with Dallas Green & Pink! This is the first song released… the rest of the album is available for pre-order and will be released in October!!)


{notes of appreciation from my one and only... scattered all over the house when coming home one evening this week}

{paying homage to some very special people!}

{new iPhone case that i'm obsessed with}

{engagement & wedding scrapbooks for my special corner}

Iron and Wine @ The (Kalamazoo) State Theater


Beautiful. That’s the word that I couldn't stop repeating after ever song played during this entire concert.  Iron and Wine, aka Samuel Beam, whom I now lovingly refer to as Alan, blew me away with his performance. A few weeks ago I was perusing websites for upcoming live music in the area and stumbled across Iron and Wine playing in Kalamazoo. Automatically, I decided I would go, with or without a date (once I told Jenny he sang a pretty important song from Twilight she was all about it!). 

Once in Kalamazoo, we started off the evening with drinks and appetizers at Union (even got to see MJ while in town) and chit chatted for nearly 2 hours. Just spending time with my two oldest friends would have made for a great night in itself! After a couple cocktails and an order of the lobster fondue and portobello fries we were good to go!! Since my dad has connections, he was able to get Jenny and I front row seats in the mezzanine of the State Theater (I forgot how beautiful this place is too!!). I think the mezzanine is now my personal favorite place to watch live music… nobody in your way, no towering person to peek around, and an easy bird’s eye view of the whole stage. It was perfect.

After the opening act, Jessica Hoop, it was time for the headliner. Just a man and his guitar. Last night was exactly the kind of live performances I love most.


(Listen to this song and you’ll feel the exact same way)
The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine on Grooveshark













Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Motivators!

Baby Apple is not a baby anymore.

We made two batches of banana muffins to celebrate our little girl turning 2: One batch of little, plain muffins for the doggies and a separate batch with either chocolate chips or walnuts. The latter batch was shared with our dog walker, who graciously hosted a lunch time birthday party on Friday for the pups.



Don't worry, Big Brother doesn't miss a beat of special attention. 

A running path created on the neutral ground along Esplanade Avenue leads right to the river front and the French Quarter. The shade is a pleasant & welcome relief from the heat. 

...and the old houses that line this particular street provide quite the backdrop. 

 If only this photo captured what I can see from all angles. 
It may not be Chicago or NYC, but I love the views I see during runs through the city of NOLA.
What you CAN see in this photo, however, is the receeding water level of the Mississippi River. This winter, the water reached the rocks...notice how  much land is now exposed, quickly sprouting weeds & grass
(the picture above was taken two weeks ago...) 

This picture taken yesterday. 

Upon coming home from an energizing 10-miler over the weekend, I found this waiting for me in the mail. If I wasn't pumped before, I'm ready for the 2014-2015 race season now! 

Thanks, Uncle Kurt, for this great new picture of Granny & Grandpa! Looking at it daily on my phone makes me smile.

 Even out of the classroom, I'm still able to influence creative and impactful activities for kids. Loving the job. 


The song that somehow calms me down 
and charges me up at the same time. 
This track will be playing in my car on the commute this week! 

Have a great third week of September, friends! 





Perrin Backyard Beer Bash


{cheers to Perrin!}
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Man oh man! What can I say about the Perrin Backyard Beer Bash 2014? It was only their second annual but it could have easily been their 22nd annual. Perrin Brewing knows how to hook it up. Between the multiple beer stations under the MASSIVE tent, the separate bus that housed their new release/specialty brews for the event, the live music or the FANTASTIC company in tow, this party was epic.

Max emailed me about a month ago informing me this event was happening. We love Perrin and love to get out to Comstock Park to visit… but it has to be a special occasion… because it’s out there (it’s literally in the middle of nowhere)! Well, people, this was definitely an occasion worth the trip. We immediately pre-purchased tickets and recruited one of Max’s college buddies to tag along since he’s a Grand Rapidan and has never been… CRAZY.

Although, I must say the best part of the entire day was coming up with an, again I say epic, plan for another Grand Rapids outing. Like literally took pen to paper and mapped out an entire day starting with a bloody bar at the Maxey house (with darts, beer pong, pool and MSU football on the surround sound) followed by a brewery tour of Eastown AND downtown. Can’t wait!!! I love getting together with old friends and not only reliving the good old days, but realizing we all still live so close and when we want to time travel back to college, it’s 100% possible.


This is what Fall weekends were made of!


Take a listen to this song while checking out the pics...
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers... they were amazing live and this music video, clearly, holds a special place in our hearts. Too bad I wasn't there in 2011... GO GREEN!



{don't mind the countless porta-potties reflection in my glasses...}


{beautiful Fall day + creeper}

{our vow renewal WILL have hops as flower fillers}

{pre live awesomeness}

{specialty brew bus!}

[sammy of the day... smoked (cold) salmon with a dill cream cheese sauce} 


{just some beer hops for the road? please and thanks <insert thumbs up>)

{Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers! Their CD was downloaded and played all the way home.. this band was beyond entertaining}

{by this point it was 49 degrees... in September... NOT cool}

{so close to adding this band to our vinyl collection!}

{BBQ chicken pizza Max made as our "night night" food}

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Five!

{cozied up one gloomy evening with rose & devouring fall fashion}
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Monday started off rough. The realization that it was yet another week depressed the crap out of me! It took a couple of days to get out of my funk, but pre-planned evening activities helped and by yesterday I was back to my old self. Oh and hey, what do you know, it’s Friday! Let’s hope my post weekend blues don’t stick around as long come Monday…

This weekend we aren’t traveling very far, and are happy to be sticking around Grand Rapids, but it’s a jam packed couple of days. The Perrin Backyard Beer Bash is tomorrow and we couldn’t be more stoked. We LOVE Perrin!! If it wasn’t so far away it might be our favorite brewery EVER. We’ve recruited a few friends to join us in the celebration. A celebration that I need to put a stop to at a decent hour, since I signed up for the Bridge Run, a race that I need to be downtown and ready by 8:15 sharp Sunday morning. At least it’s only a 5k…and I get to visit the Vintage Street Market promptly after I celebrate with a bloody!


(in honor of New York Fashion Week}


{brunch salad that was too almost pretty to eat… ALMOST}

{$1 taco date night at 84th street grille}

{what you don’t know is that the view other side of the building looked like the end of the world…}

{delicious peach muffin topped with streusel crumbles}

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wedding Season: Picturesque Barn Nuptials in Traverse City



Disclaimer: So, ok, the wedding wasn't in a barn like I thought, but there were countless barns around on the property.

The wedding was actually just outside of a barn… multiple barns to be exact… under a very large tent, in the middle of beautiful nowhere. This was honestly one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been too. Honestly, they are all fun in their own way, but this wedding was so different. The Bride’s family owns this farm and I couldn't even tell you how many acres they have. It felt like it went on forever. The many of the guests camped out on the property, which in hindsight would have been a ton of fun!! Maybe next time?

Anywho, besides a little wind (or a lot at times), the weather was perfect, picturesque actually. You’ll see some photos below that I look fake, but I swear are real. The farm had cows, mules and countless horses. The horses were fed with and pet by many MANY guests who decided that jumping the fence was a good idea (myself and Dave included). Good thing the owners turned off the electric shock metal wires!!All in all, it was a GREAT weekend with a great bunch of people! The only regret I have is that it didn't last longer.

Well, that concludes the weddings of 2014! But never fear, there are more to come in 2015!!


(sorry for the crazy amount of pictures, like I said, it was a beautiful day…)