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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Anniversary Weekend Adventures

Hi friends!

Have you ever been to Grand Rapids? It’s known as one of the largest cities in Michigan – second only to Detroit. And it’s beautiful!

We wanted to get away for our anniversary weekend and I was so happy Leo picked Grand Rapids!

Our favorite place there was the Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens. I was in flower heaven! We loved it there – check back tomorrow for the gorgeous shots I captured from our visit there!

And if you’re ever in Grand Rapids, make sure you visit the nearby beaches. We went to Holland State Parks for the day and how lovely it was… felt so good to bury our toes in the sand and walk along the pier…

Downtown Grand Rapids is also such a grand time — be sure to try their signature Madcap coffee and eat at San Chez Bistro tapas restaurant – yum!

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We were so grateful the weather held up for us — it had been forecast to be rainy and stormy but instead we were blessed with sunshine, warmth, and outdoor seating! πŸ˜‰

We checked out their famed Blue Bridge and loved the scenic view from it, as well as of it. πŸ™‚

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So bottom line — go to Grand Rapids. Such a relaxing and happy getaway. Check back tomorrow for my favorite pictures of the trip — taken at the Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens. They are magical!

Love!

365 I Love Yous

On May 29th, 2016, I married my best friend.

Sometimes, young girls think that love is a magical fantasy which can often feel elusive. But really, that magical fantasy for which they’re searching is simply found in the patient consistency and persistence of love found in every day life, through “thick and thin”… when he’s there, simply living it with you.

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The fantastical romance they show you in movies with all its glamour is incomparable to the “ordinary” magic of kindness, sacrifice, and the love you find in the moments that are void of glamour.

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My magic is mainly found within moments in his arms – in moments like the lovely one above, and in moments of tears assuaged by hugs, and in moments of career wins celebrated together in joyful embraces…and in moments when I consider that at the end of every day, I get to go home to those arms.

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365 days of loving him… it’s the best thing that I’ve ever done.

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So for this upcoming week, I thought I’d post some of our celebratory adventures shared within our anniversary week —Β  yes, I say anniversary week because that one day was not sufficient to adequately encompass the celebration. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for hot spots, fun outfits, and yum foods recommended by yours truly!

❀

Ann Arbor Love

My pretty Cali friend, Lindsey, came for a visit a couple of nights ago – we have the best times together and always find ourselves laughing our faces off together.

A walk downtown and unplanned matching outfits inspired an impromptu photo shoot by our cute hubbies.

Sometimes, you make a friend at a young age and you can’t help but turn into that college-aged young girl when you reunite. I love the friendships that do that for me — and this is certainly one. Take for example these smiles in this throwback from close to ten years ago – love her!

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That photo, if I remember correctly, was a selfie; last night, however, we had hubbies who made us laugh with their “There it is! Work it girls! Thaaat’s it. Love that!” comments as they snapped away. I think they may have had just as much fun as we did.

But really though, how cute are the outfits together? The shoes and sweaters make them match and I promise we shared no memo, ha! Look out for tomorrow’s post if you want to shop similar outfit deets! πŸ™‚

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Also, can I just share one little secret — one thing about blogging that I’ve found slightly rattling is posing by myself. It kinda feels unnerving! So shooting with a friend felt like heaven — natural, fun, and so exciting to know we’d have stills of the great memories we always make.

So cheers, friends! Call up a bestie and make sure to share some giggles this weekend πŸ™‚ and a bubble tea if you love it as much as this one and I do! πŸ˜‰

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Avocado Makes Life Better <3

Hello. πŸ™‚ From a swollen mouth! Super glad I made these smoothies yesterday. Thought I’d share these pics taken yesterday as well as the recipe I wrote down for you because it’s one of my favorites! Yum!

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Recipe:

One carton of strawberries

Two over-ripe bananas

One avocado

One container low fat strawberry yogurt 6 oz

One tray of ice

One cup of water

Throw them all in the blender and mix for one minute! And you’re golden. πŸ™‚

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Black Tie Fab

Ah, can someone please invent a “rewind” button for life?! It was so much fun spending our weekend with the fam. My brother and sister-in-law were in from out-of-town for a family wedding and all we did was eat and dance and laugh all weekend.

Saturday night was at the classy Country Club of Detroit and the grounds were just lovely!

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These are my people. Brother is to your far left, his wife next to him; my kid sister is in yellow, kid brother next to her; and then comes myself, before Leo. ❀

The older we all get, the more we appreciate our moments together. With the kids in college, Leo’s and my calendar booked up tight with our busy careers, and some of my siblings living out of town, we don’t get to enjoy as much time all in one place.Β  Yes, you read that right (ha!) — I have more siblings than these. There are six of us before counting the added siblings through marriage πŸ™‚ Haha, hashtag: tribe.

Typically, no one will ever have a built-in understanding of you the way your siblings will — you share the same DNA, many of the same experiences, the same upbringing, and the same innate level of loyalty towards and care for all that you share. Your goals are oftentimes shaped by the same past — though your goals and therefore your futures may be drastically different, your passions are birthed from the same place.

That is what makes it so easy to find never-ending familiarity within your little community, no matter how different your current lives and paths may be.

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And here are my sisters and me with Mama

And my best photo for last — this gorgeous guy takes my life to the next level of beautiful. I am so grateful for him, for his loving heart… Coming from such a big and loving family, it’s no small walk in the park to provide a girl like me with a fulfilling family atmosphere. But this guy πŸ™‚ he takes “family” to a whole other sphere for me. Grateful I get to be attached to him for the rest of our lives.

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Grateful! My fancy Franco

Kiss Me

Hi hi! I posted regarding this outfit a little while back so I’m sorry to bore you with it once more, but today’s post is in regard to this alley! How fun is the graffiti here?

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KISS ME!

Some cute high-schoolers even proposed prom to their other here too. πŸ™‚

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How cute is that, right? πŸ™‚

I loveΒ periodically walking through this alley. The graffiti is ever-changing and strikes me differently every time. Art is beauty if you ask me – in its many distinct forms. Tells you so much about a person’s insides, and I’m a believer in every person having unique beauty, somewhere inside themselves… so if you encounter anyone angry, difficult, or brash today, or displaying any kind of ugliness: think about that. And send up a prayer that they’ll find an outlet for the art inside themselves…I hope they let enough of it out until they reach those buried layers of beauty within. ❀

Cheers, friends, don’t forget to spread some love today! πŸ™‚

(if you missed these outfit details in my earlier post, you can find them here)

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