Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grand Rapids Summers

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I grew up 30 minutes west of Grand Rapids and once I had my driver's license and that newfound freedom, I found my way to GR. It's where I spent most of my free time and it's evolved so much in the last 10-15 years. So many great restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques--each time I visit I have new places to check out along with my favorite standbys. Makes it hard to fit everything I want to do in a day trip. Summer in Grand Rapids is especially beautiful. So many outdoor seating options and cute neighborhoods to wander--it makes a great home away from home.
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[floral print dress and ankle strap pumps c/o Lulus, vintage Chanel bag, Rayban round aviators, necklaces and rings by Katie Dean Jewelry]
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There are way too many places I enjoy, but I'll share a few favorite restaurants (and patios) for summer visits:
-Terra (a brunch favorite!)
-Reserve (pictured above. Great wine list, cheeses and private-feeling rooftop deck)
-Founders (don't like beer, but like the food and patio! And everyone loves it there)
And I also love the Grand Rapids Downtown Market--something for everyone and lots of great outdoor space and natural light if you choose to stay indoors. I love love love the chorizo tacos from from Tacos El Cunado, smoothies from Malamiah Juice Bar, pretzels from Brezel and anything from Love's Ice Cream. They have a super cute mini flower market and Michigan themed apparel at the Oddest Supply Co.
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So many great coffee options too! A few favorites include:
-Lightfast (Just tried their iced nitro, plus this space is spacious and quiet, my kind of place)
-Lyon Street Cafe (the most delicious pastries!)
-Le Bon Macaron (macarons AND delicious iced vanilla lattes, plus a super cute Parisian theme and fresh flowers are always abundant!)
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And my most favorite ice cream place is Furniture City Creamery. It's across the street from Le Bon, so it's not unusual for me to grab macarons, coffee and then grab dinner down the street and then end up at the ice cream shop.
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Photos by Ashley Howard

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rochester

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When in doubt, choose stripes--at least that's my approach to styling something cute and comfortable for an event. I picked this look from 4th Street Boutique in Rochester, Mich. for a styling event and couldn't pass up these pants, cotton striped tee or the choker, since apparently I need at least one piece that gives off a 90s vibe. I've also resorted to dealing with the combination of humidity and my hair with braids. Thank god for braids.
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[top + pants + choker c/o 4th Street Boutique, leather jacket by BCBG, watch c/o Obaku]
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Photos by Dana of Closet Confessional

Friday, June 24, 2016

4th Street Boutique

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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of co-hosting a styling event at 4th Street Boutique in Rochester with Dana of the Closet Confessional. It had been a shit rainy day ALL DAY and the clouds parted ways just as the event kicked off and the macarons and delicious rice balls were plentiful. Definitely a mood booster, especially when you factor the gorgeous peonies and colorful dresses inside the shop. Donna let us each pick out a look to wear for the event and it's so hard to choose when there's an abundance of pretty separates, cozy maxi dresses and flowy boho tops.
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An hour into the event, there was even an impromptu question and answer period for all things fashion, style and blog-related. I loved listening to Dana since she's a professional stylist--she knows what she's talking about and it's always refreshing to hear about it's not so much about trends, but what works for you and makes you feel good. Dana shared some of the questions asked and her responses on her blog post!
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stripes + Reflections

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To properly say our goodbyes, Sam and I drove out to Owosso last Sunday for our final coffee trip to Foster..and then realized upon arrival they're closed on Sundays. So we drove back to Lansing and snagged some treats and I, a shitty tasting green tea, from Chapelure. Sam moved here two years ago for her husband's med school and now they head back to Marquette in the upper peninsula so he can finish school at a hospital. So. Sad. She became a good friend of mine and it's tough to say goodbye. Making friends when you're an adult is really hard and we bonded immediately--something special that's hard to replicate at this age. Sam, I will miss you! 
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[Seychelles wedges c/o PB&J Boutique, hat from Retail Therapy, Isobel hobo bag by Rebecca Minkoff, necklace by Clyde's Rebirth, round aviators by Rayban, similar striped dresses]
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Fun + Local Things To Do!

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You're never short of summer festivities or a new lake to visit in Michigan. Each year I try to plan a trip or two to northern Michigan and of course, many day trips to my hometown area in west Michigan. I just returned from a work trip in the upper peninsula and I plan to return hopefully in August to visit Sam! But sadly, I don't have a summer cottage or cabin to escape to for respite, so this all takes more planning and I find myself mostly wanting to try and relax at home and make the most of summer weekends in Lansing.
If you're not familiar with Lansing, it's the state's capital with a few great neighborhoods to bounce around to like downtown, East Lansing where MSU is located and my favorite: Old Town. I call this neighborhood home now. It's filled with art galleries, shops and TWO ice cream spots. James and I take walks to visit Celeste at Retail Therapy, grab a cone from Arctic Corner and pop into Pruess Pets for some dog treats.
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Outside of my hood, there are a handful of farmer's markets to visit. I'll visit the outdoor markets and Horrock's to scoop up fresh flowers, breads and sugary treats instead of the fresh produce I should be getting. I have the East Lansing Farmer's Market, Allen Market Place and the farmers market events at the Capitol on my list to visit.
I'm also walking distance to Lansing's weeklong music festival, Common Ground, and I snagged a pass for the week, giving me something fun to do just after the fourth of July!
There are also so many parks and gardens with lakes and pools--a full list available here. I started going through it and noticed there are public pools and other cool shit I didn't even know about.
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[coral red top + coral red print shorts c/o Lulus, bag by Rebecca Minkoff, Quay sunglasses, rings by Katie Dean Jewelry, velvet choker by Vanessa Mooney, hair by Sarah at the Standard]
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Slouchy

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These slouchy pants are what dreams are made of and why I love being able to help Celeste with marketing and the buying process for Retail Therapy. She picks out such beautiful pieces I might originally overlook, but they're just so cool. I'm hoping to add a few pairs of these to my closet this summer since my workwear is slacking and tired. I'm not usually inspired with professional clothing, but I've realized how often a cool pair of pants inspires entire looks.
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[top and Alembika pants from Retail Therapy, Birkenstock sandals, bag by Proenza Schouler (similar handbags)]
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Photos by Ashley

Monday, June 13, 2016

Social Saturdays

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Instead of spending the day dedicated to working on a paper like I SHOULD have, I spent last Saturday morning at Sam's garage sale catching up and earning $1, nutrition program meeting (where I learned I lost 9 pounds and 7.5 inches), lunch and shopping with my friend Liz, pool hour/inevitable sun burn with Hannah and couch cuddles with James. I looked like a pile of poop for the first half of the day before changing into this for lunch..and then changing again for the pool.
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[top c/o Fourth Street Boutique, shorts c/o Aeropostale (2014), Quay sunglasses and hat from Retail Therapy, bag by Givenchy]
*Also, are you familiar with MODE? I share fun stories there each month like the phone accessories you need for summer travel. Let me know if you have story ideas you'd like me to cover!
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