Summer Concerts

Good Morning πŸ™‚

Last week was a full and fast-paced one in Atlanta – working and training a new team-member by day, and playing with my 3-yr-old niece and 1-yr-old nephew by evening. It was awesome seeing my siblings who lived there as well! πŸ™‚

And this week has continued in kind – with crazy workdays and packed evenings. Yesterday was my sister’s birthday and we went to the One Republic concert at DTE Clarkston. We are huge fans of theirs and belted out their tunes with abandon, ha!

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I opted for this cute yellow romper I found at a steal at Dry Goods – only $10. Tip — they told me all their items will eventually get to 75% off so periodically stop in and check their clearance rack for fun new finds!

This pretty little number was light and breezy and I thought it was perfect for a summer evening concert. So comfy and easy to wear. I accessorized with army green tones: my long necklace, layered with aΒ FrancescasΒ choker, army-green shades, and army-green sandals.

But my sister Julianna’s outfit was absolutely stunning and definitely stole the show — sold out at Express. I listed some substitute options for both our styles at the bottom πŸ™‚

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Outfit inspo:

For a navy patterned maxi dress with a strappy back, check here and here

For a fun and comfy yellow romper, check here and here

Happy shopping, friends! And thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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Red & White

Good Morning! LOVE when a Monday falls on a Wednesday and we’re still only two days away from Friday πŸ˜‰

My [real] Monday night was spent with Leo watching the Gaylord, MI fireworks — Plymouth’s were discontinued this year so we made our way out to Gaylord with a picnic blanket and some snacks and camped out for what was a beautiful show!

I love the way fireworks light up the sky and my favorites are the kind that explode in golden light, before fragments of their glow arch downward like a willow tree.

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So much SHINE!

Leo snapped a few awesome shots – my designated photographer :p haha

I hope your Fourth was awesome, friends πŸ™‚

(Outfit Details below)

This embroidered red blouse was a fun top I found at — you guessed it: Francescas! — shop it here

The scallop-hem white shorts are also from Francescas – I took a mirror selfie [hands over face] to capture a shot of the full look for ya to shop (see below). Mine are sold out (didn’t buy them this summer), but a similar style can be found here.

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Summer Reads

Mornin’ friends! HAPPY FriYAY!

Last weekend I finally got the chance to lay out in the sun and do some reading – glorious. I thought I’d share some of the books I’ve devoured in the last few weeks in case anyone could use some recommendations for books to enjoy on this long weekend. Comment on my post if you have any recommendations for me too – I love suggestions!

Let’s start with my most recently completed one:

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The Handmaid’s Tale was written years ago and just recently brought to life through a Hulu original series. It is riveting and disturbing and definitely worth the read. What a thought-provoking perspective it offers! Read it through the eyes of a feminist or read it through the eyes of a traditionalist or read it through the eyes of a neutral and you will consume the same message – that’s how strong its message comes through. Author Margaret Atwood wrote a forward for it just this year – don’t skip it! Read every page πŸ™‚ I encourage this because I’m the culprit that often skips the forwards but this one – just don’t.

Mary Kubica is my next featured author. Her mystery Don’t You Cry keeps you guessing (cliche phraseology from me, I’m aware – but it’s true!) – it’s a page turner and let’s just put it this way: I read it during the spring on flights and in between work trips and over the duration of a month and no matter how many days lapsed between sittings, I did not lose interest. It’s written mainly from two different character perspectives and the way their tales come together is clever and beautiful and great writing.

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Lastly, we have The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman — I cannot wait to read this! Haven’t yet and learned of it through the previews of the movie made just this year! I love reading books before watching the movies that they inspire and this one looks fantastic and touching. Just grabbed it from B&N last week and can’t wait to begin reading it.

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Happy summer reading, folks πŸ™‚

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Cloudy Greens

Good morning, Friday Junior! Hello hello! πŸ™‚

So, yesterday night, Leo, my sister Julianna, and I went to another Tigers game – boo on so many losses 😦 But it was still an engaging game that we enjoyed!

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I love choosing outfits for different occasions and yesterday’s weather forecast didn’t know if it wanted to be gloomily cold, or just cloudy and humid so I thought a loose romper with a long duster sweater would be the way to go!

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How pretty is Detroit?! It’s truly making its anticipated comeback and I’m so proud! So many new and exciting restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and more sprouting up all around.

Wore my hair in looser waves…trying to protect it from too much styling lately so just kinda let it be — if you have a really good curling iron, your curls will only drop little by little and can thereby last for days. Reference this post for the tools I use (featured at the bottom) πŸ™‚

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So, I bought the romper last summer, but it’s only $15 on sale this summer at Lulu’s – check it out here!

Jiji’s Orange Bundt

Good Morning Friends!

Monday, Monday…I’m ready for the weekend again. Haha, never mind, this week will be a good one – I’m grateful to have a great job and love the people with whom I work.

But, to get started off on a sweet foot, I thought I’d share my orange bundt recipe.

It’s another recipe I made up! Ha, I chose my favorite ingredients from a few different bundt recipes, added a few more, and voila – this one came to be! Check out the recipe and ingredients below.

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Happy baking, friends!

Jiji’s Orange Vanilla Chocolate Bundt Cake (it’s a mouthful, pun intended!)

3 eggs

1.5 cups crisco shortening

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup vanilla creamer

Half an orange of squeezed orange juice

1 tsp orange zest

1 cup chocolate pudding

1 cup white sugar

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1.5 tsp baking soda

Mix together the dry ingredients before folding in the eggs. Pour in the rest. Mix until smooth – typically about 60 seconds.

Spray your bundt cake pan and fold in the batter. Bake at 350 for one hour.

Take a spatula to the sides to gently prod the cake from the walls of the pan; let cool for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Glaze with vanilla glaze.

Now, say yum! ❀

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Ferris Wheels

Summertime…it means farmers’ markets, carnivals, festivals, and kisses on Ferris Wheels…I hope you’ve been grabbing every opportunity that summer promises.

Take a moment to look events like these up in your area and try to find them at times that fit your schedule; you won’t be sorry. Leo found this carnival about ten minutes away from a work meeting we had one night this past week and he surprised me by stopping by it on our way home. We grabbed the opportunity for a little weeknight thrill!

How gorgeous is the sunset from our view atop this Ferris Wheel?! These photos below have no filter on them.

It wasn’t our first Ferris Wheel ride shared this summer. These were taken during the weekend at another nearby festival.

I purchased the pretty romper featured above at Somerset‘s Anthropologie, from their clearance section, for less than $20! They’ve been having some epic “sale on sales” — check them out if you get a chance this week πŸ™‚

Ferris Wheels are my favorite ride at carnivals. I actually have an epic fear of heights, but something about these slowly moving wheels that carry you up and up, lifting you gently into the sky gives me a thrill. It’s a slow and focused way to face my fear, and know the excitement of it… I’ve been trying to face every fear of mine, whether big or small, this year, and do it with an attitude of anticipation rather than anxiety. Perspective makes all the difference! πŸ™‚

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Hope you’ve been enjoying your summer, friends. πŸ™‚

❀

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Sunsets

Hello πŸ™‚ I hope you’ve all had a lovely day so far.

Yesterday evening, Leo and I strolled through our neighborhood and of course I had to stop every two feet in the beginning of our walk as the sun set —

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But do you blame me?? This sky was fantastic. Look how gloriously the sun painted these clouds! These are photos right off my iPhone with no filter:

I was enthralled. It made me think though…of endings…to sunshine. Dreams. Sometimes you grow up with certain expectations of how your adulthood will play out, with aspirations and with hope and with so much belief that your dreams will pan out – as long as you work at them with all your strength.

But you know what, sometimes, some dreams don’t. Sometimes, the sunshine in those dreams will slowly set. The last embers will paint your personal sky strikingly and you’ll take the time to snap some pictures in your mind’s eye. Because you’ll want to remind yourself of how colorful and perfect your heart felt with that particular dream alive.

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In that moment, you’ll be thinking only of the sunset. And rightly so – because a sunset like this one deserves a captivated audience.

But once it sets, and the sky has darkened, you’ll just follow the cycle you were born to follow — looking ahead for tomorrow’s sunrise. The birth of new dreams. The continuance of still-existing ones. The celebration of accomplished dreams. The hope that is a life filled with purpose.

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So take a last look, and enjoy the sunset. Yesterday’s was certainly a beautiful sun.

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“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Pretty Peony Picnic

Happy Monday loves! Does anyone have the Monday blues? Let’s just go ahead and do away with those right now — and dream about picnicking this coming weekend, yeah?

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Just a couple of weekends ago my sweet friend Tiffy and I packed a picnic and made our way to Ann Arbor’s famed peony garden. It’s located in the Arb and draws flower lovers from far and wide…and just down the street if you count me πŸ˜‰

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Tiffy brought the drinks and snacks and that pretty white blanket and I made and brought that pretty lemon/strawberry cake and the accessories!

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Tune back in later this week to get the recipe for this yummy cake!

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Do you have plans yet for this weekend? If not, a picnic won’t be a bad idea — bring some favorite snacks, a pretty blanket or even a table cloth cover, and bake something special to bring along.

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It’s fun to go in the late morning before it gets too warm, and bring delicacies to enhance your time. A picnic doesn’t have to always include a full-fledged meal and is sometimes more relaxing without one!

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So, cheers, friends. I hope our happy photos decorate your Monday with some sunshine πŸ™‚

 

 

 

Date Night Fashion!

Good evening! Happy Friday Junior! πŸ™‚

It’s been a heck of a work week for me but it’s been a good one!

I picked up some gorgeous peonies from the Farmer’s Market yesterday which I can’t wait to show you! But for now, I thought I’d share some date night fashion and tips on where to find similar styles.

(Outfit details at the bottom)

For a recent Royal Oak date night at a dueling piano bar, I went with a fun and flirty look that felt like Summertime:

Pair dressy shorts with neutral heels and a flirty top for a nighttime feel. I kept my hair down and sleek to add to the nighttime vibe.

Also, can we talk about how perfectly fresh and pretty this summertime cocktail is?!

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And for a dressed up Ann Arbor date night, I went with this simple treasure I found on Anthropologie’s clearance rack – one of the best places you may visit πŸ˜‰

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I thought the blue was bold and bright while the cut and the delicate gold straps gave the dress a romantic flow… Also, how pretty are these lights ^^.

Happy shopping, friends:

The blue dress is an Anthro find which is currently sold out but you may be able to find one at your local store!

The white shorts are from Francescas: click here

The lace up shoes are from Lulu’s: similar style here

The one shoulder top paired with the white shorts is years old but click here for another fun style

 

 

 

Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens

Hi there!

So if you’ve read my previous posts (here and here), you’ll know that Leo and I were celebrating our anniversary last week — we enjoyed a series of activities in celebration, one of which being Memorial Day weekend spent in Grand Rapids. My favorite spot visited was the Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens.

Oh, my, my, my, these botanical gardens were on a whole other level. Magical! Be prepared to scroll through a ton of photos – I went crazy!

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We felt as though we were strolling through a fantastical land…

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The gardens sprawled far and wide and even after two-plus hours spent there, we still hadn’t made our way through all of it!

We loved every moment there. It truly was my favorite place visited while in Grand Rapids. See — I can’t stop repeating that, can I?!

If you’re ever visiting the city, be sure to make it to the gardens – if you’re obsessed with flowers as I am–or even with nature in general–I promise you won’t regret it!

So, cheers, friends…I’m going to go to sleep dreaming I was still there ❀ ❀

Love,

~Your resident flower child

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