This post was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
I’m excited to inform my local Grand Rapids readers of H&M
’s Grand Opening at the new Tanger Outlet Center
this upcoming weekend! You’re invited to attend the celebration at 10AM, Friday, July 31st. The first 200 shoppers in line will receive an H&M t-shirt and Access to Fashion Pass
, valued from $10 to $300, in addition to other opening offers and fun giveaways! I'm really excited to see the new location + do a bit of shopping myself!
The new location will offer collections for ladies, men, young ladies, and young men to separate “store within a store” sections for accessories, lingerie, maternity, sports apparel, and a plus-size line, H&M+. It will also carry H&M’s children collection, from newborn to fourteen years. Another huge bonus is that H&M supports our local economy by adding jobs with each new location! H&M has hired about 30 employees to the current, ever-expanding total of approximately 15,000 US employees. So if you’re looking for any available job opportunities, visit careers.hm.com
Be sure to stop by on Friday at 10AM to participate in the fun! The new Tanger Outlet Center is located at 358 84th Street SW, Byron Center, MI 49315. Have fun! xo
This week I'm teaming up with Radisson to announce their Get More Radisson® campaign
, and offer you a chance to win a stay at a Radisson hotel of your choice! With this campaign, at participating hotels
, when you book a 2-night stay, you'll receive an e-certificate for 50% off
a future stay! And as many of you know, I absolutely love to travel. Plus, I love to share my adventures and memories with you guys. That's why I thought this collaboration would be a great fit for my blog and a chance for YOU to have your own adventure.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To enter to win a free stay at a Radisson hotel, enter below using the Rafflecopter form. The voucher is valid for a standard room, double occupancy at any Radisson Hotel in North America of your choice!
With the Get More Radisson® campaign, now through July 25, 2015 at participating hotels, when you book a 2-night stay you'll receive an E-Certificate for 50% off a future stay. All eligible stays must be completed by August 31, 2015, with the discounted stay taking place between September 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016 (with the exclusion of December 31). To join in the #GetMore conversation visit the Radisson® Facebook page throughout the summer for a chance to win weekly prizes. To get even more rewards from your travels, check out Club Carlson and access a collection of benefits, services and privileges at over 1,000 hotels worldwide. The full terms and conditions are located on the room night voucher. Disclaimer: By hosting this giveaway, I received a free stay at Radisson Hotels too! Good luck!
For Wine Club this month, the theme was Sangria… which made me so excited. I am a huge sangria fan! We had the choice to either make our own, or pick up a bottle. I decided to try and make my own recipe, based off a few others I found online… and I loved it! I cheated a little bit because I used a bottle of rosé that won a couple of months ago, but it’s just too delicious. I couldn’t help it! Mine came in second place (totally deserved to win ;)) but second place means it’s really good! Especially for a group of gals who love everything from sweet to dry and all of the inbetween. This would be a perfect drink for your next dinner party with friends, and it’s so beautiful if you put it into a glass pitcher or container!
BERRY ROSÉ SANGRIA
1 bottle rosé/moscato wine (I love
and recommend Roscato
1/4 cup blackberry brandy (I used Arrow brand)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup club soda
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced orangeNote: I doubled my recipe to fill up my drink container! I'd recommend doing that if you're serving over 10 people.DIRECTIONS:
Mix the wine, brandy and sugar in a pitcher, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then add the fruit. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to one day. Add the seltzer just before serving.
A venue I get to visit a couple of times a year is Wild Bull in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Eric’s band gets booked there every so often, and it’s a fun place to go! In the summer, they have the bands play outside and I just love the atmosphere. There are tons of places to sit, stand, and dance. Plus, it’s in the middle of their bustling entertainment district, so it gets quite busy on the weekends!
Wild bull connects District Square, Monaco Bay, The Gatsby and Sky|Deck into one big block, and if you pay one cover, you can get into all of the venues and hop from one to another. As the guys were playing, there were people all over watching them. From the dance floor, to the upper deck of Wild Bull and from the top floor of Sky|Deck. It was awesome!
I wore this shift dress from Exhalted Heights
. As soon as I put it on, I loved it! It’s my new favorite throw-on dress. It barely needs any styling, because it has such a fun pattern. It has a slight bell sleeve, and it’s super flowy and airy. Perfect for a summer concert at night. Plus, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I fit into my surroundings! That’s always a win when that happens. ;)
I really need to check out Kalamazoo a bit more, and explore! I’ve been a few times for work outings, and visiting friends a couple of times, but really I don’t know much about the city at all. Plus, Grand Rapids is only an hour away. I’ll have to make it a point next time the boys have a show, to go earlier and check it out. If you’re from Kzoo, any recommendations?
Madewell The Braided Sightseer Sandal (similar, on sale for $11.99!)
I love living in Grand Rapids. Sometimes I miss living in a little beach town in the summer, but then, there are events like this that make summer in the city more fun. Two times a month in June, July and August, Grand Rapids has Movies in the Park
. I love it! It’s held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, where they set up a giant inflatable screen, and play a fun movie. I’ve seen Anchorman
here before, and a few others. This time was Dirty Dancing
I remember a few years ago watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting
and being so jealous of their outdoor movie… with food trucks. Well, jealous no more. We have maybe 4-5 food trucks that come and set up with anything from tacos to BBQ to coffee to popcorn. And everything is so good. This time, we tried A Moveable Feast
and had their pulled pork sandwich and beer cheese nachos. Delicious! I also have to pick up popcorn from Dorothy and Tony's every time too.
You’re also welcome to bring your own drinks, as long as you get a wristband. So that’s awesome. We picked up some beer and a bottle of wine to enjoy, put our blanket down, and watched the movie. Whenever a big moment would happen in the movie (Patrick Swayze getting into a fight, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”) everyone would cheer. ;)
I picked up this adorable floral dress from Pitaya
last week, and couldn’t wait to wear it! I paired a lace bandeau underneath, and layered a jean jacket over it at night when it got a little chilly. I love flowy dresses, especially when it's hot outside. And as much as I love personal style and getting dressed up, nothing is better than an easy outfit to just throw on sometimes!
After the movie, Eric and I headed home, and I was washing my face and getting ready for bed when I heard, “Now I… had… the time of my liiiiife” super loud coming from the living room. I step out to see what crazy Eric is up to, and he’s like, “Dance with me!” So of course, he made me dance with him, at club volume to the Dirty Dancing theme song. (I’m certain we woke up any neighbors that were sleeping.) I couldn’t help but laugh. He’s so fun. ;)
I’ve seen the St. Joseph North Pier light before, but it was before I started blogging, and I never took pictures… so here we are! After visiting a few wineries in the southwest part of Michigan, we headed into the (adorable) town of St. Joseph. It reminds me a lot of Grand Haven in a way. It’s very much a summer beach-town, with a lot of cute shops, restaurants and places to get ice-cream. I would definitely recommend, especially if you’re from the Chicago area, because it’s only a 90-minute drive!
When we arrived downtown, we stopped for burgers at The Buck Burgers & Brew
… and it was maybe my favorite burger I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. So good!
We split the buffalo bleu cheese chicken dip for an appetizer, and I made my own burger for dinner. A good friend recommended it to us, and I’d 100% recommend it to you. YUM.
After eating dinner, we headed to Tiscornia Park to head out to see the lighthouse. Unfortunately the pier was closed, so we couldn’t walk to the end. But, we walked out on the beach, and got to see it from a distance! I’m sure I’ll go back someday since it’s so close. This lighthouse reminds me a bit of Grand Haven too, because of the catwalk. Catwalks were built so that lighthouse keepers could access the lights when the lake was rough and the waves were crashing over the pier, making it dangerous to walk out there.
Even though it’s July, it was so chilly and windy on this day! Michigan is crazy sometimes. I wasn’t planning on wearing my denim jacket the entire time, but there was no way I was taking it off. Brrr! The last time I wore this lighthouse-print dress was at the Manistee Pierhead Light
a couple of years ago. I can’t resist a lighthouse print! ;)
ModCloth At First Lighthouse Dress (similar
Madewell The Braided Sightseer Sandal (similar
During staycation, Eric and I headed south to Bear Cave located in Buchanan, Michigan. Bear Cave is the only cavern in the lower peninsula. It was formed in “tufa rock” which is a secondary limestone. It’s at least 25,000 years old and it’s resting on a glacial drift deposited during the last ice age, approximately 50,000 years ago. Isn’t that crazy?! There is a 40-foot winding stairway that leads you through the cave. You get to see stalactites, petrified leaves, and a lot of interesting shapes.
This cave also has a ton of history to it (which I love). It was a significant part of the Underground Railroad during the slavery period. In 1875, the “loot” from an Ohio bank robbery was stored here in the cave. This was also the inspiration behind The Great Train Robbery, a 1903 silent film, which is considered a classic. The film was considered a milestone in filmmaking back then, at ten minutes long! So fun. I love quirky history, especially in Michigan.
You drive into the resort, through a gate, and you can park near the “Bear Cave” entrance. You walk down the stairs, into the gift shop, pay your $3 admission, and walk through a door in the gift shop that leads you down into the cave. It’s so cheesy that it’s awesome. This was a super short drive from Lavender Hill Farm
, so if you’re looking for a fun day trip… there you go! We also went to several southwest wineries on this day too, which are really closeby. I’d recommend Round Barn Winery (my favorite), Gravity and Lemon Creek Winery. You could also head into St. Joseph afterwards! I’ll blog more on that this week. xo
ModCloth Eye on the Ties Top in Bears (similar
Madewell Skinny Skinny Crop Jeans (similar
Crossbody Bag c/o Pitaya (similar
Madewell The Braided Sightseer Sandal (similar
I’ve been wanting to visit a local lavender farm for years, so we finally made the trip out! There were two farms I wanted to see in Michigan – Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City, and Lavender Hill Farm of Niles. I believe this one is a bit smaller, but super cute and quaint! We hopped on a back country road to get there, and pulled up to an adorable little house with a front yard of lavender. As soon as you entered the driveway, the air smelled so good.
We went inside to ask “How do we cut our own lavender?” and a super nice lady gave us a pair of scissors and said, “Head on out!”. There were several different kinds to choose from, but honestly, I just loved them all. I ended up making the smallest little batch, not realizing that I could have cut enough to fill up a twist-tie. So I ended up buying some lavender water too – it smells so heavenly!
The last time I wore this lavender dress on the blog was in 2010… so 5 years ago. Isn’t that crazy?! I’m baffled I’ve been blogging for that long. It will be six years in September. Eep! Time sure does fly. I love that blogging inspires me to visit new places, this lavender farm included. I seriously love adventures, and I’m not sure if I would have truly known that if I hadn’t started Selective Potential.
So, life is good! Today, Eric and I are celebrating 3 months until our wedding by going to a movie in the park, and grabbing tacos from the local food trucks. I’ll be back with more adventures next weekend from staycation – a new lighthouse, and the only cave in the lower peninsula of Michigan. See you guys then! Have a super fun weekend. xo
Going to San Francisco Dress in Petals c/o ModCloth (similar here
LuLu's Bubble Vision Yellow Statement Necklace (similar here
Pretty Possibilities Wedge in Custard c/o ModCloth (similar here
To start off my staycation, Eric and I took a little trip up north to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. I love that area! We took the back roads from Grand Rapids into Muskegon, and stopped for fountain sodas along the way. I told Eric we were going on a dune-buggy ride, but I don't think he knew what we were really
in for. We headed to Mac Woods Dune Rides
first to buy tickets, and waited for the buggy to take us off into the dunes! Sometimes it's called the "sahara of the midwest" because there are just miles and miles of beautiful sand.
I had so much fun on the dune ride. They have a fun tour guide who drives you around for about 40-minutes in the dunes. You go super fast up and down hills, and it's kind of like a mini-roller-coaster, which I forgot about when I realized Eric was terrified. Hahah, poor kid doesn't like roller coasters! He was hanging on for dear life, and I'd see him close his eyes whenever we'd go down a little sand dune hill. Afterwards he told me, he was going to his "happy place" during the hills. Bahaha. So just a warning, FUN, but can be scary for the wimps in your family. ;)
Afterwards, we headed down the street to see the Little Sable Lighthouse. I've seen this one before, but since it was so close, I couldn't resist coming back! I was bummed though, because I've never climbed the stairs to the top of this one. And when we got there, the elderly couple giving tours said they were closed up for the night. Bummer! Maybe next time we're up at the dunes, which hopefully is sooner rather than later!
I love this striped skirt for nautical adventures. The last time I wore it, I was up in Mackinaw City, exploring the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
. Unfortunately, we're not taking a big 'lighthouse' weekend trip this year like we do every summer, just because we're trying to save money for our wedding. But, getting a chance to see the local ones like this is good enough for me! Plus, we saw another close one in St. Joseph that I hadn't seen before (post coming soon) and we're going to Charity Island for my birthday. Plus, our minimoon will include a few lighthouses too... so I really can't complain.
I'll be back this week with another post from staycation, aka, my favorite week ever!
Happiness Abounds Skirt c/o ModCloth (similar
Braided Crossbody Bag c/o Pitaya
Madewell The Braided Sightseer Sandal (similar
Phew! I am back from my "staycation". Honestly, I had so much fun. I hadn't taken a straight week off like that in years, and it was so refreshing. I'll chat more about it this week, but in the meantime, I thought I'd get my fourth of July photos up on the blog! For the fourth, Eric had a show with his band at The Deck in Muskegon. It was a good day! It was super foggy, but there was a nice breeze coming off Lake Michigan as everyone sat on the deck, ate BBQ, drank beers and listened to some country music. Afterwards, we met up with friends for the fireworks downtown and headed home. The fourth of July is always one of my favorite holidays. xo
Stripe It Lucky Skirt in Navy & Red c/o ModCloth (similar
Madewell The Braided Sightseer Sandal (similar
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