See you in 2018!

2017 kind of took a turn for the worse when my grandma was rushed to the ER on Friday, December 22nd, and later passed away on Christmas day. After everything that has happened I have decided that I am taking off the rest of 2017 to recharge, but will return with fresh content on January 2nd. Of course, you can still follow along on Instagram here until then. Thank you for your support, and I can't wait to share 2018 with you. xoxox Happy New Year

Christmas Angel

Christmas will never be the same 4:11 this morning Meeme passed away and became our Christmas Angel. For me this was especially hard, as I was extremely close to her. My heart is completely broken right now, and just trying to get through each moment.

Have you ever met someone that would give you the last penny in their pocket, or the coat off their back in subzero temperatures? If you have, then most likely you’ve met Judy. She’s the type of person that puts everyone else before herself, and thinks of you before anyone else. Well that is unless you’re at Nino Salvaggio and she runs the cart into the 4.99 a carton blackberry display and they fall over the floor. Of course, at that moment she’s out of there before you can blink your eyes and you’re left with a big mess that you have to apologize for and slowly back away from. Need a snack? She probably has one in her purse waiting for you. Need some good butter? She most likely has the sample size for you in her purse, because let’s be real if we are going to butter that roll it better be with the good stuff. 

Need a volunteer? Judy is right there willing to help you. During the holiday season she spent time volunteering at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. You can’t forget about all the toys she donated to Toys for Tots, because she believed no child should ever be without. Who can resist a flamed-grilled Whopper Jr. from Burger King, especially when it is buy one get one? If you’re Judy the free one goes to the homeless lady who was sitting at a table drinking a coffee and eating a pie, because that’s all the lady could afford and Judy just can’t resist seeing anyone go hungry. If you’re ever at the Burger King at Avon and Rochester Road and see someone less fortunate think of Judy and get them a little something to eat.

Whether she’s stopping over to say hi or coming over for the holidays Judy never shows up empty handed. Returning Tupperware you know that it comes back with something in it, maybe it’s cookies or maybe it’s a little extra money – no matter what she made sure you had something.

Judy loved taking the bus to the casino, and the pickup was at Oakland Mall. Do you know what’s right by Oakland Mall? That’s right, Krispie Kreme donuts… yum. Judy would get a couple dozen donuts and share them with the ladies and gentlemen on the bus. One time she even brought a cooler on a bus trip and filled it with ice cream sandwiches because it was so hot and she wanted to make sure everyone would stay cool on the bus ride. Need more substance in your stomach? No problem, she probably has some tuna and egg salad sandwiches in a pita in that cooler as well. The casino was the thrill of it all, she wanted to win big, but not so she could be a millionaire and live in a big fancy mansion with six cars, she wanted to make sure her family was taken care of and the rest of the money would go to charitable causes. She never talked about what she would do for herself if she hit it big; she always talked about what she would do for others.

She saw the good in the world – like the time she was sitting at a slot machine winning, but noticed a purse sitting adjacent to her with no one in sight. She promptly got up from her winning chair, grabbed the purse and walked briskly to security where she turned it in. Only to find out that it was a decoy purse to catch bad guys, and she could of stayed at her winning slot machine…bummer.
Have you ever heard of the bowling team The Two Sisters? Well that’s Judy and Geri – sisters in real life, but despite popular belief by fellow members of the league not nuns. From strikes to gutter balls the memories created at the lanes were ones to last a lifetime.

Judy had an eye for decoration, especially during the holidays. At Christmas time step foot in the door and be welcomed by a life-sized Santa and see the beautifully wrapped family presents adorned with a bow of course, that add decorative detailing to the staircase. Walk into the family room and you can bet the table has a variety of candies and nuts to make sure her family and friends always have a little something to snack on. Turn to the mantle where you can see a perfect display of Christmas décor, featuring some of the most beautiful angels you have ever seen. On the opposite side of the spectrum if you want to be traumatized and completely afraid of the dark for the rest of your life, spending the night at her house was the place to be. Between dateline and ghost stories you can bet us girls are sleeping with a light on and our doors locked.

To her family Judy was known as Meeme, the best mom, sister and grandma that anyone could ever ask for. She had more love in her heart for her family than words can even begin to express, and when you look at the family you can see some of her most prized qualities in them.

xoxox Air

Travel Diaries: Port Huron - Sherman Woods

At the end of summer we had an amazing date in Port Huron. After the date he drove us through Sherman Woods, which was filled with some of the cutest houses that each featured unique characteristics. He informed me that Sherman Woods turns into the cutest little area at Christmastime, and that he would have to bring me there in December because I would love it. Let me be real with you, at that point I didn’t think that was something that would happen. To my surprise it did, this weekend as a matter of fact.  I have to give the boy some serious credit; he really goes out of his way to make things special. These pictures do not even begin to do this place justice, so if you’re local I highly recommend going to check it out. You might even spot some carolers – seriously they totally made our night. Michiganders do you have a favorite spot to visit for amazing lights?  

DIY: Gingerbread Train

When it comes to Christmas there are a few things that I look forward to, one of them being decorating a gingerbread house. This year when I mentioned we should decorate a gingerbread house he immediately suggested doing a train, of course I wasn’t going to refuse that  - I love trains. I have always decorated a traditional house, so steering from my norm was nice. The train was actually a lot harder to find than I thought it would be, but my mum actually ended up ‘saving Christmas’ and finding us one at CVS. When we started decorating the train he informed me that he had NEVER decorated a gingy house (train in our case) before. What the what! Don’t worry, I put him through the normal tortures of putting frosting on his nose, and of course cranking Christmas music. We worked perfectly as a team to create the cutest Christmas train, and thanks to his carpentry skills we even were able to jazz things up a bit more. Do you make a gingerbread house?

All Aboard the Polar Express

Relaxing December evenings involve cups of hot chocolate, a Christmas story and of course a roaring fire. What's your favorite Christmas book?

Gift Guide: For the Boater Babe

1. Big Brim Hat - great for keeping the sun out of your face
2. Monogram Beach Bag - because everything should be monogrammed
3. Turkish Towel - my favorite type of towel... I even use them in the bathroom
4. Orca Cooler - so much cuter than a YETI
5. Gold Stripe Sea Bag
6. Boat Shoes
7. Waterproof Phone Case
8. Personalize Beach Towel

Hot Cocoa Bar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – hot chocolate season… with extra whip, and candy canes, please.  I like to keep my hot chocolate bar pretty basic with homemade hot cocoa mix, marshmallows and candy canes. Of course you can’t forget a snack while you sip away, this year I have a few different kinds of popcorn from Grand Rapids Popcorn Company which has turned out to be a big hit.  What do you like in your hot chocolate?

5 Winter Running Tips

  This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wintery weather has arrived in Michigan, and while I absolutely hate driving in the white stuff I love winter runs. Winter 5k’s are my favorite, and currently I am running in the Mizuno Wave Rider 21. This is a neutral shoe, which means it’s great for all level of runners. I personally feel as though this shoe is like running on clouds, and love it on and off trails. This shoe and I have already tried to outrun the snow, which did not happen since we just got slammed, but it did get me a nice 27 minutes 5k. Since I love running in the winter I thought I would share my top five winter running tips.....

1. Invest in the gear. Prepare yourself from head to toe with layers and accessories. I always dress in layers, wear a headband, gloves and usually try to cover my nose and mouth with a scarf to prevent wind and lung burn.

2. Have an accountability partner. It’s harder to run in the cooler months, but you can still make it fun. My accountability partner lives three hours away, however we sign up for races together which keeps us on track.

3. Warm up and stretch. Seriously so important, I used to skip this and ended up with an injury that took me out of running for over 7 months. Don’t skip the warm up and stretch.

Detroit at Christmastime

Detroit, you’re the cutest. A lot of you probably have a negative impression of Detroit, and I’ll be honest with you – it was rough for a while, but now it’s the place to be. Enjoy the Christmas tree while you skate around Campus Martius. Head across the street and enjoy the adorable shops and the cutest place to warm up (it will have you dreaming of winter days in a log cabin up north). Also in that area you’ll find swings, an ice maze and so much more. If you haven’t already checked out downtown I highly recommend going. It’s a great place for date night or the whole family.

Five Things

December is filled with plenty of plaid, Hallmark movies, and of course Christmas lights galore.  This past week I have been soaking up all the cliché events, and even managed to get my Christmas cards ordered (I think this is the earliest I have ever ordered them). Hope you have a great weekend and here is what I have been up to.

Saw An American in Paris at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. The show was absolutely amazing and combines a musical and ballet, which makes it super unique and different.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze always a good show to see at the holidays and than wonder why you’re not that flexible – ha.
Driving around looking at Christmas lights, probably one of my favorite things to do this time of year.
Detroit you look so chic at Christmas time. If you haven’t been I highly recommend checking out ice skating, the Christmas tree, holiday shops and more right in the heart of Detroit.
Daddy’s Home 2 is light hearted and will definitely make you laugh.
Broke out my Kate Spade ornament clutch for holiday adventures.

Forget dropping money to get a professional massage this massager will give you an amazing deep tissue massage, and right now you can use SPERICA for $100 off! 

Christmas Activity List

To ensure that I get the most out of the holiday season I like to make a list of things I really want to see and do. Here is my list for 2017:

Cut down a Christmas Tree
Decorate a gingerbread house
Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Go ice skating
Grab some hot chocolate
Donate to toys for tots
Roast chestnuts in a fireplace
Go see a Christmas show
Watch Hallmark Christmas movies
Run a holiday themed race

Christmas Tradition: Popcorn

Holiday traditions are my favorite and my family definitely has a few of them.  One of my favorites is getting the tin of cheese, caramel and butter divided popcorn and curling up watching Christmas movies. While the popcorn tradition is still there, I broke the mold a little when I brought Grand Rapids Popcorn into the house for Christmas two years ago – let me tell you no one was disappointed. Grand Rapids Popcorn is so much better than anything you will ever find in one of those cheap Kmart tins, and has more of a flavor variety to select from. With my love for popcorn, you can imagine a popcorn bar is a must-have for me. During the holidays it seems the only fitting place to gather around is the fireplace, so instead of my normal popcorn bar (I usually place popcorn in apothecary jars on the counter), I decided to fill a train with popcorn for guests to enjoy while sitting by a roaring fire. Instead of the traditional butter, caramel and cheddar popcorn I went with red (cherry), green (apple) and white (vanilla - taste like marshmallow and my FAVORITE). I thought it added a whimsical touch to the fireplace. Do you have a holiday popcorn bar in your home?