Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Two Birch Jewelers: Service and Product Review for Wedding and Engagement Ring Products



Two Birch Jewelers: 
Service and Product Review for Wedding and Engagement Ring Products


My fiance proposed to me with a beautiful, simple white gold solitaire. It was a family ring and amazingly, fit me perfectly without needing re-sizing. Anyone who knows me and my viewpoints on finances and expensive jewelry knows that I was thrilled that our engagement didn't create any sort of monumental debt. I don't subscribe to the idea of expensive jewelry and I'm always shocked in horror when people tell me that they are walking around with a $10,000 ring on their finger--particularly if their other half can't really afford to make a purchase like that! It's not what's important, and statistically, there's a lot of research out there that suggests a little humility might be an imperative thing if you actually want your marriage to last.

With that sort of frugality and sensibility in mind, I set out to find a wedding wrap (or ring guard) that would compliment my engagement ring on our big day. I was also interested in selecting two rings: one sterling silver or white gold that I could wear with silver jewelry, and one rose gold that would work with my bronze, rose gold and regular gold jewelry.

But wait--before you think I'm a total diva--you'll have to reserve judgment. =)

I knew I didn't want to spend much, and the local selection at  jewelers for ring guards and wraps was almost non-existent.

That's where Two Birch came in.





I found both of these rings--the Sterling Silver Contour Ring and the Rose Gold and Sterling Silver Vintage Fan Style Ring (both with Cubic Zirconia) for under $60 each. I viewed the Two Birch site but mainly did my shopping and browsing on Amazon. They are both beautiful! And if you are the sort of person who demands diamonds, you can get any style Two Birch ring for more with diamonds instead of CZ. Their selection of ring wraps, guards, wedding sets and engagement rings is amazing. I personally found their jewelry to be among the most affordable thing I'd found online!






Everyone who has seen my rings is impressed with their quality and luster (I couldn't really capture the sparkle and clarity with my camera!). When I noted my choice of Cubic Zirconia, people said, "You wouldn't even need to tell anyone! No one would ever know!" The quality pleases me, but I want EVERYONE to know...I paid very little for these rings, and they are beautiful! It's OKAY to choose CZ! 

I didn't have to worry about blood or conflict diamonds, and my wedding wrap didn't cost the equivalent of down-payment for a car. I'm saving for home ownership, why would I want to take on debt like that?

The best part about paying very little is the freeing feeling. If I were to lose or damage my rings, it's ok. The world won't end. It's just a ring.








I've saved the best thing about Two Birch for last--the customer service. (By the way, this post is not sponsored by Two Birch--the photos and opinions contained are all my own as a consumer, with no compensation given. They had no idea I was going to review their company in my blog...)


Before I purchased my rings, for $10, I ordered the PerfectFit kit by Two Birch, which came with ring sizers (handy) as well as molding material (very easy to use). This allowed me to send a mold of my solitaire to Two Birch for fitting purposes. The company then took this mold and matched it with different ring wraps, sending me photos along the way, and discussing the fit and different choices I might want to make. Because I really wanted something that would nicely compliment my solitaire and something I would love for--well, hopefully a VERY long time, haha--this took almost a month of sizing, pictures, and I even sent a few rings back in the process.


Dozens of emails and pictures later (I worked with a representative named Maria who was very helpful), I had my two rings--which I adore.


I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of customer service and attention I was given during this time for my purchase, which only totaled $120 all together.

I honestly can't recommend Two Birch enough as a jeweler, particularly for the couple who is trying to make an informed, reasonable purchase for their engagement or wedding. There are affordable CZ and diamond choices, and you can feel GOOD about not breaking the bank.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Who I am: Future Blog Plans and Changes on the Horizon

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe - See more at: http://exploreforayear.com/clarity/45-inspiring-quotes-change#sthash.mIpcwRJA.dpuf
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe - See more at: http://exploreforayear.com/clarity/45-inspiring-quotes-change#sthash.mIpcwRJA.dpu

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” -Marilyn Monroe 
Image courtesy of Fanpop
 
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

WHO I AM
Future Blog Plans and Changes on the Horizon

It's hard to believe that I started my blog four years ago.

I had so many vintage and thrifted treasures to share. I wanted to blog about a lifestyle that was centered around reduced consumption, and I loved the idea of sharing vintage and secondhand clothes. I also happened to be PETRIFIED of photographing my body, and I was working through quite a few body image issues, finding my voice, and shifting gears professionally.

While I never found my blog to be vapid in its content (fashion or otherwise), I was afraid to over-saturate my readers with too many posts regarding body image, or life topics that didn't seem to be calibrated for a thrift fashion blog. Slowly, bit by bit, I began to add healthy cooking, and more pieces on image and self-love. I still maintained my love of thrift, and fashion, but the content became a little more heady, and I was glad for that--because I'm a writer, and I love sharing myself with my readers!

Still, sometimes I worried that new readers and Facebook fans would wonder about my blog's name--that perhaps "Thrift Trick" wasn't really an accurate handle for me anymore.  For the last year, though I've very much enjoyed connecting with readers on my website and through re-published content on Grand Haven Tribune and even an interview on NPR, I've felt that my name was a limiting container--something that was keeping me from fully expressing myself.

Re-branding your blog (and essentially your voice) is actually quite an intimidating process. Each time I thought about doing it, a new opportunity for my existing blog would prevent itself, and I would think, "How can I risk stunting this momentum right now? My blog is really starting to become what I've always wanted!" Yet, there was a little voice inside of me that proposed that perhaps my blog's name was actually holding me back.

It's taken me a long time to make the decision, and I'm finally pulling the trigger.

I'm re-branding.

More answers and new changes will be on the horizon, but the most important thing that I'd like to communicate to my readers (and I appreciate EVERY single one of you!) is that my content won't really be changing too much. Here's what you can expect from the new blog:
  
--Thrifting and a lifestyle that promotes reduced consumption
--Healthy cooking
--Fashion and Beauty
--Positive Self-Image
--More interviews, guest writing and street fashion that spotlights real people with interesting stories
--My photography
--The addition of new media (more on that soon!)

The truth is, it's really what I'm doing right now! However, the new blog will be more appropriately named, so that more people who are interested in a conscious, mindful lifestyle can successfully connect with me.

If you are already subscribed to my blog and visit frequently, I hope you will continue to do so once the changes begin. I also value your feedback as readers, and I'd love to hear from you. I will begin applying changes over the next month, and by April, I will have completed everything.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for me? Please comment below--I value your input!





Sunday, March 1, 2015

#BodyPositive February Roundup!

https://instagram.com/p/zdZMzTv2GL

"Because gender and beauty are not defined by hair." @theinlandlyon

#BodyPositive February Roundup!

You may remember last month's #BodyPositive roundup from Instagram, and this month I found some new favorites to add to my February Collec.to folders! Why have I featured these photos here? I found them to be moving the idea of body positivity along with forward momentum, and I love hearing from people about their personal journey with self-image. I'm also including one of my own photos hash-tagged #BodyPositive! Check them out above and below! Also check out all of my #BodyPositive albums on Collec.to!


https://instagram.com/p/zefdzjj3YL
 
"I won't let anybody tell me how i should look or how they'd prefer me to look. I am comfortable in my skin and will continue to be..." @lynsimplymade




"Pounded out 3 super sets of push-ups and planks to Failure, and some HIIT cardio to finish off my workout tonight!"  @thelovelyaphrodite
https://instagram.com/p/za4vdDuhE-
 "#effyourbeautystandards #allbodiesaregoodbodies #everybodyisagoodbody #nobodyshamecampaign #bodypositive #bodylove@wastingthyme

https://instagram.com/p/zfSVR8lFE-

"Amazing new sensations all over my body from yesterday's push up challenge.#strongissexy...#bodypositive" @colecochick

https://instagram.com/p/zdz1nBI0Ns

"#toproll #armwrassle #gunshow #bodypositive" @Channystar

https://instagram.com/p/zekO6QK1k7 

"National eating disorder awarness week : since the age of 10 I've struggled with an #eatingdisorder . From not eating - binging - being sick. I hated myself for a very long time. When weight wouldnt come off I turned to using drugs. I've been nearly every size imaginable. However, I learned to love myself, appreciate life and celebrate who I am. Life is too precious to live & die by your scale. For anyone out there who is struggling : it's never too late to get help, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. We are beautiful creatures of all shapes & sizes. No one should ever feel ashamed of themselves because of a number. #bodypositive" @velouria.doll


Monday, February 16, 2015

Announcing Our Wedding Venue: Watermark 920!


Announcing Our Wedding Venue: 
Watermark 920!

The decision has honestly been under wraps since a few days after the engagement, which was such a whirlwind of excitement for us! Watermark 920 is a homebase for me--somewhere I've enjoyed being a part of so many events (Like the Thrift Trick Fashion Show and the annual Lumber Baron's Ball)--and it also is swanky, industrial and a million miles away from the Pinterest-y shabby chic barn weddings that seem to have all but consumed the wedding industry over the last few years.

 

It also happens to be that the President, Sarah Sass, and General Manager, Laurel Sass, are two of the coolest chicks ever.

All personal preference aside, Watermark 920 has been rocking events on the Lakeshore like nobody's business. Their sophisticated, customizable space is perfect for so many applications, and the team is absolutely amazing. My first consultation with Laurel and Sarah made me realize what an serious breath of relief it is to have support from professionals when you are planning a wedding.

Everyone knows how thrifty I am--and always will be. The interesting aspect to going "DIY" mad when you put together your own wedding from the ground up is how much you can actually end up spending on odds and ends--from linens to chair rentals. Anyone with a fairly decent sized guest list can attest to this fact.

For this reason (and for matters of mental health), I can't even begin to say how thrilled I am to work with the awesome staff of Watermark, and to relinquish some control over our special day. I know I'm passing the torch to very capable (and professional) hands.

I thought it would be great to hear from Watermark 920 on a few topics--from how they got started, to where they are headed.

Watermark 920 Interview






with Sarah Sass 

President of Watermark 920 and

recipient of Grand Rapid's Business Journal's "40 under 40" Award 2011

and Laurel Sass
General Manager of Watermark 920 and
member of the Muskegon Lakeshore and Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce 

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Q. How did Watermark 920 come about?

Sarah: The space that houses Watermark 920 is a former loading dock for the Shaw Walker Furniture Factory. When we built the Watermark lofts, our original thought was that this space would have a commercial or retail use. We kept getting asked if we had meeting and event space available and realized that there was a huge need in the community for another event center and the vision for 920 came about.
We wanted to create a space that was wide-open and had a neutral palette so every color would look good in the center. We also didn’t want our brides to feel like they had to cover the chairs so we invested in gorgeous, black Chiavari chairs. We wanted to create and felt that Muskegon needed a space where the only limitations were our clients’ imaginations and 920 was born!

Q. You’ve hosted a big variety of events in the past—did your vision for Watermark always contain a lot of diversity?

Sarah: When we first started 920 we honestly weren’t sure what to expect and there wasn’t  really anything locally to compare 920 to. Our vision was just of say a busy center, but what became even more apparent was that we all loved events and everything about them from concept to completion.
Because we have such a diverse team behind the Watermark we had a group of people bringing ideas and contacts to the table. We were having so much fun with the space that we decided to create an event and promotions arm of our company to promote and produce events both on and off-site. What started as just a way for us to have some fun has turned in to a very viable part of our company and a huge component of our success. We started by producing in – house concerts and now we even design and create events for private and public companies and individuals, from weddings to fundraisers. But I think that is where the diversity comes from. We like to show off our space and show how it can be used. I also feel that because it is so minimalistic, modern and wide open that you can make the atmosphere feel like a huge party or very intimate. I think all of these factors have created the diverse nature of what you see happening in the space.

Q. You’re a female-fronted business, which is totally awesome. How has that impacted the trajectory of Watermark? Have you encountered any roadblocks as female entrepreneurs?

Sarah: We are actually all family and friends around here which has created more of a unique dynamic, I think. Both Laurel and I come from a background that has small, family-owned businesses so we have been a part of that entrepreneurial spirit and I think that has shown us how to work hard and I think the fact that we are family and friends around here gives Watermark a genuine feel. I guess personally, I have never felt like just because we are women Watermark is successful but more because we are good human beings and we care about what we do that other people care and support us too.
We are also all born and raised Muskegonites. We love our hometown and feel like being from here comes with some responsibility like giving back. I think the relationships we all have with each other more than our business being female-fronted has had more of an impact. There is one thing we know about the community here and it’s that we have to support it and I think that has impacted our trajectory the most.
 I personally haven’t ever encountered any roadblocks based on my gender but I started working in my field at 19 – and have had a few problems in my career because of my age more than anything. But that is a whole other topic of discussion!

Q. What is your favorite aspect of hosting weddings and receptions? Can you tell me about a few events that have stood out from the rest in a good way, and why?

Sarah: We love everything about weddings! In the past few years since we have been hosting them we have become complete and total linen junkies. We have unhealthy obsessions with the Pantone Colors of the year and the shabby chic trend was a lot of fun.  I guess my favorite part is that planning events really is fun and each one is as unique as each bride is.
I think for me what stands out most are all of the clever little ideas we see from candy tables to guest books. Just when we think we have seen it all a bride will pop up with the coolest little centerpiece and we will all be in awe.  The weddings that stood out for me are the ones where the guests and the hosts all are having a good time. I like seeing people have a good time and I don’t think you have to have the fanciest wedding, the most expensive or the most unique to achieve that.  When planning your wedding put some thought in to your guests and what they will be doing all night. 

Laurel: I love being able to work with all kinds of people and the overwhelming gratitude from brides, mother-of-brides, wedding guests, etc. It gives you a special sense of enjoyment that I could make their day a little bit more special. 


Q. What is your least favorite aspect of hosting weddings? Is there anything that you wish your clients wouldn’t do, or any golden nuggets that you wish they knew before they started planning a wedding at a venue like Watermark?

Sarah: For me, I think I don’t have a least favorite aspect so much as I think sometimes that guests and brides forget the reason why everyone is celebrating. There is nothing worse than a Bridezilla or a rude guest who spends the entire evening on their phone or iPad and not engaged in what is happening. Also, overindulgence has a way of wrecking things too and I have seen both wedding couples and guests ruin a beautiful night.
If I were planning a wedding I would absolutely hire an event planner. A professional planner can do as little or as much as you want them to do. Don’t put the burden of setting up all of your decorations and linens off on your friends and family…as well as the tear down. Ask your venue about their policies and what services they offer. One of the things we see all of the time is bride’s trying to save money in all of the wrong ways. For example, asking about our linen prices, then buying directly from a company online because it is cheaper. Included in our pricing we will press and set all of your linens as well as tear them down and they are guaranteed to look good. We see brides all of the time that buy online and then spend all day trying to press their linens and by the time they get them on the table there is no time to set up the rest of the event….and then what do you do with 30 – 72” linens after the event?
Event Managers – we do this all the time, we know what works. We have better resources we can do it faster and create a hassle – free event for you. We can also suggest ways to maximize your budget and have the biggest impact. 

Laurel: I wish more brides would let us do their decorating! The events that we have pulled the décor together for look phenomenal and really doesn’t cost a fortune like most people assume. The stress of setting up on their big day is taken care of; I wish more people would understand that. 

Q. What do you suggest as a timeline for recently engaged couples in terms of booking an event at Watermark?

Sarah: I don’t think a year is unusual but we have pulled them off in a couple of weeks before too! Many venues book out a year in advance – we are already booking in to 2016!

Q. What’s next for Watermark 920?

Sarah:  The sky is the limit and the only way is up! 

Thanks so much to Sarah and Laurel for taking the time to answer my questions. I can't wait to share more wedding details with you in blogs to come!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I AM AN ATHLETIC FAT GIRL.




I AM AN ATHLETIC FAT GIRL.

It’s true. I am.

I know, you’re hung up on the word “fat”—it stings. And then, maybe secondarily, you’re snagged on the idea of me being athletic because I really am fat. In our society, so many other adjectives get a free pass, but the word “fat”…it hangs in the air like puff of smoke, threatening the atmosphere with cancer. That’s a topic for an entire essay, much like an incredible piece written by LesleyKinzel of XOJane entitled “FAT: Usingthe Other F Word”. It’s a fabulous read. “Fatness, we’re told, is an aberration, not a permanent state of being,” Lesley asserts. Touché.

Rest assured, though, by using this descriptor, I am NOT tearing myself down. I may get frustrated with my body sometimes, but I’m not going to fear that word any more, as long as it isn’t used with malice. If you are reading, know this: I love my body, and I’m proud of it. I might get frustrated with it from time to time, but that isn’t going to stop me from being present in my own life, and enjoying what I deserve: I am an athletic fat girl.

Face it, fat is just an adjective. So, if “that word” bothers you, than let me put it another way: I am an athletic girl who wears a size 12. I am a fit girl who jiggles. I am an active girl who has tummy rolls, and thigh chub.

 

What do I mean by active? I mean that I work out. A lot. Around six days per week, I perform cardiovascular activity like intense circuit training, stairstepping, running and the like. I have a nice home gym (including an Olympic weight bench), and I’m a runner. On the weekends I run 5ks for fun, and though I’m certainly not “The Flash”, running over three miles really isn’t anything for me. I know I should push myself more--and harder--but I happen to be a busy lady, and a mom…and I have a to-do list. My fiancé regularly accuses me of “overdoing it” and begs me to relax on the couch…something I’m not good at, in the least.

I’m also a superbly healthy eater and I love to cook. My diet is comprised of whole foods and I work with an amazing dietitian. I watch my portions and even though know that hard numbers can be triggering (and everyone’s needs are different), I’ll throw it out there for the people who may be critically wondering: my intake is around 1400 calories or less per day. (I’ve played with eating more, but I tend to gain even more weight).

      
pretty food I made pretty food I made pretty food I made

When I was younger (and lazier), I didn’t have such healthy habits—in fact, I had an emotional eating disorder, and I still remain aware of that part of myself. In my twenties, I revolutionized and overhauled my perspective on health and self-care, and made permanent changes. That lifestyle has now become a habit for close to a decade. Since then, I’ve been pretty mystified with my weight. Angry, confused…yes. All of those emotions. I’ve cursed my body and wondered why, with the same amount of work and effort (if not more), I didn’t look like other athletic and health-conscious people I knew. I spent a lot of time at the doctor’s office trying to figure it out, and I’m embarking on a third round of hypothyroid testing as we speak. My mother has been diagnosed and medicated for hypothyroidism for many years. My aunts on both sides of the family, as well as my grandmother, have also suffered from the condition. I feel that an answer may be on the horizon, but for now, all I have is a question mark.

Over the years, as I have struggled with the unknown, there was always someone on the sidelines waiting to tell me that it was “definitely the diet pop” (my one and only vice, in moderation) keeping me fat—or, perhaps, that I should focus more on the weight training aspect of my fitness routine. So, I tried changing those things as well, and nothing happened. My body remained the same. I became even more stoic in my food tracking. The “calories in/calories out” adage did not seem to apply to me (and by all accounts I would be a size six by now if it did).

Why am I telling you this? It’s not to impress anyone or to whine (okay, maybe it is to whine, a little). Still, I’m not expecting to impress anyone because, let’s face the music: when I’m walking down the street, it’s unlikely that many people would think of me as an athletic person. Our society is so wrapped up in six-pack abs and perfection that we can’t envision health coming in any other sort of package. Yet, it does. Health and radiance do come in many different packages.

There is an incredible amount of pressure on us as we navigate through society. It is this sort of reality that makes me feel empowered by a shopping cart full of healthy food at the grocery store, and mortified when one of my boys at home request donuts or chocolate milk. I don’t want to deprive them of the occasional treat, but I hate buying those items, because I imagine that someone is looking in to my cart and saying, “AH, that’s the reason you wear XL yoga pants.” Yes, people are that sort of judgemental. I know it’s true, and I’ve done it, myself.


Image courtesy of Huffington Post

Even at my doctor’s appointments—food and exercise log in hand—I feel pressured to give my “speech” about not understanding why my body is STILL overweight. “It’s okay, you don’t have to convince me,” a sweet nurse recently told me at an appointment. “You can’t fake test results. You have the labwork and resting heart rate of an athlete.”

OH! Belly fat! When are you going to get the memo?

As you can imagine, it’s hard enough to be a bit of an anomaly. It’s taken me a very long time to accept the vessel I’m in, but it turns out that my acceptance isn’t the only part of things, contrary to popular belief.

“Who cares what other people think?” well-intentioned people have said to me, thousands of times. Seriously? EVERYONE! Everyone cares what people think. As a human, you don’t live in a vacuum, and we all know it. Let’s drop the façade. My goodness, we are a socially constructed human culture. And we all want to be accepted and seen for who we truly are. Does a lawyer want to wear a clown suit every day to work? Hell no, a lawyer wants to be seen as a lawyer.

An athlete wants to be seen as an athlete.


  

On the left: the picture that I carefully posed in to flatter myself...on the right, a less than flattering shot taken a few moments later with my girlfriend LaVange, who PLACED in the race for her age bracket for the Ludington Lakestride 2014, by the friggin' way.

I know there are others out there, like me, putting in that work. They might feel frustrated, and misrepresented. Worse yet, when a healthy girl (who happens to be fat) has a hard time establishing her identity in society, she is told it is her fault, and that she is exclusively responsible for her sense of self. “Just love yourself.”

I’m all about consciousness. Truly, I am. And while it may be up to you to love yourself first, before anyone else can (and every other cliché bit of self-help advice out there that is actually true), what other people think matters, too. You deserve to be validated by others for who you are, what you do, and how hard you work for it.

You have the right to be present in your own life. And you deserve to be recognized and seen. I hope for all human beings everywhere that a higher level of perception will bring us to a point where we can validate each other based on our actions, and not our thigh gaps. I have a lot of faith we will get there, because the climate is already changing, and the weather feels great. It sounds cheesy, but it makes me feel hopeful. I know there is peace in embracing and celebrating the authentic self.

As far as athletes go, I’m not telling you that I’m an elite performer, the strongest girl I know, or even a minuscule threat to the other runners on race day, because I’m not. I probably never will be (though I have fun dreaming about it).

But I AM fit. And I’m fat. And that’s okay.


Check out this amazing video,  from “This Girl Can”. 
This is my anthem. This is my jam.


Monday, January 26, 2015

#BodyPositive January Roundup!


I enjoy using Instagram for a multitude of reasons and one of them is to share the progress I have made in the last few years in loving myself, and my body. At least a few times I month, I use the hashtag "#BodyPositive" and I find myself exploring other users who have done the same.

A few weeks ago I decided that the images and thoughts I come across from other users (women, in particular) who are sharing body positive messages deserve special attention in my blog! I've decided to start a monthly mashup of #BodyPositive images from Instagram, and those images will also be organized in to an album for the month on my Collec.to account.

I hope you are as inspired by it as I am. <3

See the whole #BodyPositive Collec.to album for January 2015 here, or keep reading below to see all the images and captions (including my own)! 

Please note that I have obtained permission from all Instagram users to highlight their photos in this post, and quote them. I do not claim the rights to any of these photos. Clicking on any image will direct you to that user.

____________________________________


glambitchhelen



"Before I start please excuse the pajamas. This is my body. My fat. I'm sick of feeling so ugly because of it and this year, I'm not going to hate myself, I'm going to love myself. The fat on my body doesn't define who I am. I'm beautiful and so much better than the people who shoot me down because of my body. This is a huge step for me,showing my stomach but it's the way forward. I'm Helen and I'm 'fat' #fat #plussize #curves #strong #bodypositive."


fullfigured_fashion



damerogue


"There is a saying that a girl without freckles is like a night without stars ... so my face must be a galaxy! #stonerthoughts #freckledfaces #bodypositive #theyusetohatethem #nowtheychasethem."


tattedyogi16


channystar



"Workin' on these calves, son. My goal is to run faster and crush bad guys with my legs. #bodypositive."


katebentham28



"My hangover isn't so bad when I think about how cute my outfit was last night. #BodyPositive."


h_griffith


"love yo selves ✌️ #bodypositive."


tashayoga


'"To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself. for now. And now is all that we have. And love is who we are." - Anne Lamott #BodyPositive.'



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Party In Your Parka 2015: Event Coverage

IMG_2851

Lots of ice skaters were out on the maintained ice trails Saturday afternoon!

Party in Your Parka 2015 was a total blast this year!

There was a great turn out, and we really enjoyed walking around, drinking local beer and wine, and partaking in all of the wintery goodness that was all around, from ice-skating to snowman building!

The artisan tent was a nice break from the cold (though the weather was great and generally mild for a Michigan January!), and we had fun tasting gourmet jerky and checking out local handmade products, like the incredible beard conditioner we picked up from Wilder Beard Company. It smells EXACTLY like a mellow, vanilla-cherry pipe tobacco, and it feels amazing on the skin...I can't tell you how much I love the smell of this product! It's amazing. ;)



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One of the tastiest aspects of the Winter Sports Complex...the yummy soft pretzels!


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The Luge!





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All in all, it was a great time, and I'm totally looking forward to next year! 
See you then!

 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#PartyInYourParka2015 With a Thrifted Hat!


PIYP 1

 #PartyInYourParka2015 With a Thrifted Hat!

Check out the awesome vintage hat I thrifted for $2 at Muskegon Rescue Mission Thrift! You can easily go out and find yourself the crowing glory to any cold weather ensemble with an awesome secondhand hat. So many places I've been lately have everything from fur hats to knit collections that are just a few dollars and perfectly full of life!

This fur number was just asking to get paired with buffalo plaid and it's definitely what I'm rocking at Party In Your Parka this year! I'll be heading out to the festivities on Saturday during the day to enjoy some hot chocolate and FREE fun winter activities with the fam. Will you be there? 

(OF COURSE YOU WILL!)

Don't forget to hashtag your selfies and fashionable snow gear shots on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with:

#PartyInYourParka2015
^^^Check out what's going on anytime by bookmarking/clicking on the link above!

I'll be scoping out the situation online all weekend and posting a roundup blog, and I'd love to include your images! =)

SEE YOU THERE!

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