Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Closed: Rachel the Hat Giveaway!

Closed Monday, September 10!

This week's giveaway is from Rachel the Hat!
She is offering one of my lucky readers a $50 ModCloth voucher.

To enter, you must:
1) Follow by GFC or Bloglovin
2) Leave a comment with a favorite item from ModCloth

Bonus entries!
1) Follow Rachel on Instagram (user: RACHELTHEHAT)
2) Follow Rachel on Twitter
(Please leave additional comments for each)

Yay, this giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers!

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, September 4th at 9 PM EST.

The winner of the Sally Ann giveaway is…
# 61 // zurie
Please email me to claim your prize!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

John A. Lau Saloon

When I was searching for things to do and places to see on the Sunrise Coast, I read about the John A. Lau Saloon. It's located in Alpena's Old Town. It's basically your bar town grub food, and has more than 12 selections of different beef. But the biggest reason I wanted to visit is because local legend has it that the historic saloon is haunted by Agnes, John Lau's wife, who died following childbirth.

There are stories of a woman dressed in period clothing that appears, strange knocking noises, odd unexplainable odors and glasses that appear to move on their own. They've had ghost hunters in to investigate and they have officially sworn off the myth, proving that the saloon is haunted. The new owners said they've had employees quit because of the hauntings and staff who won't go into the basement because they're scared.

For a bit of history, the saloon opened in the 1800s. It temporarily closed during the Prohibition Era, but re-opened as a soda pop shop that sold bootleg liquor. Once the feds found out, the saloon was permanently shut down. Over the years, it's been used by several businesses, one including an antique shop but is now back to a pub and steakhouse.

Story has it, one of the current owners said a ghost hunter came to the saloon and saw Agnes sitting in a rocking chair at the top of the stairs. Apparently, there is a window hidden in the wall that is now boarded up and covered by an antique mirror, shelves and decorative items. When the ghost hunter walked into the shop, she said she saw Agnes looking out over the bay through the window. Only... the ghost hunter didn't know the window existed. Freaky, right?! Still today, wait staff will say they see someone walk upstairs out of the corner of their eye. They'll tell someone to go wait on them, but when the staff goes upstairs, there is nobody up there.

Of course, when Eric and I were visiting, by the end of the evening, we were the only two in the saloon along with the wait staff. There was an eery feeling in the saloon, like Agnes was watching over us while we ate. Haha! Gosh, okay, I'm such a sucker for a good ghost story. I even had chills typing this out! But honestly though, it was a super fun experience. We both had great meals and drinks (the garden iced tea kicks your butt and you get to keep the glass!) and I got a chance to wear my horse print skirt! Also, I got my story and details from The Alpena News. Must be fact, right? ;)

Outfit details:
Finals Week top c/o ModCloth
Horse print skirt from To Be Determined
Champion Bowler hat c/o ModCloth
Seychelles boots via Gilt Groupe

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

On the second day of our trip, Eric and I left Tawas City and headed north on US 23 toward Alpena. It was such a good road-trip drive! There were so many things to see on the way. Dinosaur gardens, state parks, beaches, I loved it. Most of the time you were driving, you were right next to Lake Huron with a perfect view. Of course, along the way, we stopped at Sturgeon Point Lighthouse. 

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse was built in 1869. It was originally established to ward off ships from a reef that extends out into Lake Huron. It's a great historic example of a Cape Cod style lighthouse. When you first walk up to the park, you see the old 1907 one-room Bailey schoolhouse. It was moved here in 1998. We explored that for a while, spoke to the tour guide and headed on the trail toward the lighthouse.

This was our first lighthouse we were able to climb up on the trip! Climbing lighthouse towers is one of my favorite things to do. You feel like you're on a mini adventure when you're climbing, especially when you have to duck through to get to the top. Then, once you're up there, you see the most incredible views. There was a lighthouse guide up there that greeted us. He told us that the historic Fresnel lens was insured for $8.7 million. Isn't that insane? 

When I was looking up pictures of the lighthouse, I thought this dress would match perfectly. Of course, I was way over-dressed for the occasion, but who wouldn't want to visit a lighthouse in a pretty dress? The last time I wore this dress on the blog, it was in the middle of winter for a ModCloth debut. I love seeing how my different clothes transition from season to season. Now I need to figure out a fun fall setting. Can you guys believe that some of the leaves are already changing here?

Outfit details:
Naked flats c/o Blowfish Shoes

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tawas Point Lighthouse

As most of you already know, I took a trip this past weekend with Eric to the Sunrise Coast! I've been wanting to travel out to this side of the state for a long time now and I'm excited that I finally had the chance to. Thank you, Eric, for indulging me in my passion for traveling around the state and having these adventures. I had a really great weekend - a needed weekend - and it was good to get away for a while. It gives you time to reflect and think about your life. It also made me realize that I won't stop doing the things I love, and I will bring anyone in my life who wants to be part of these adventures with me. Do the things you love with the people you love. Those are the best memories you'll make.

For those of you who don't know Michigan very well, Sunrise Coast is the northeast corner of the lower peninsula. I followed the trip pretty closely to one of my favorite travel books, actually. We started in Tawas Bay and made our way north until we hit Rogers City. We saw five lighthouses altogether and I'll be blogging about all of them... and this is the first of five! This one is called Tawas Point Lighthouse. It was built in 1853. We got there right at sunset and it was so beautiful. We weren't able to climb the tower on this one, but just seeing the outside was enough for me.

I did some major research on each location to plan my outfits, of course. I've started this "trend" on my blog, I'm going to try and continue it! It's a fun challenge and I always love how my photos turn out when I actually get it right. I had all of my outfits on my bed, laid out, with sticky notes for each location. I get a kick out of this and have so much fun doing it. You know those little old grannies wearing their festive and totally spot-on to their setting outfits? That will totes be me. 

So, I figured out that I've only seen about 10% of Michigan's lighthouses. Isn't that crazy? There are over 150 and I've only seen 15. It's an odd feeling thinking only 15 because I grew up surrounded by them. Both my hometown and Grand Haven have a couple lighthouses each. I see them every summer at every beach visit. It's a goal of mine to try and see every accessible one in Michigan. Some are stationed in the middle of the Great Lakes or are located on islands and they require boat trips, so it'll be a challenge... but one I'd love to try!

Outfit details:
Strut Confetti Cake top
Outer Bank on It sandal in yellow c/o ModCloth

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sally Ann Giveaway!

Closed Wednesday, August 29!

This week's giveaway is from Sally Ann!
She is offering one of my readers an "On the Go" clutch 
{of your choice} from her newest collection!

To enter, you must:
1) Follow her blog via GFC
2) Leave a comment with your favorite clutch from her collection

Bonus entries!
1) Like her Etsy shop
2) Like her on Facebook
3) Follow her on Twitter
(Please leave additional comments for each)

This giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, August 28th at 9 PM EST.

The winner of the giveaway is...
#65 // Annika Victoria
Please email me to claim your prize!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Photoshop Elements: DIY Polaroid

Hey everyone! Today I'll be showing you another tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Elements. I've really enjoyed collaborating with them this summer and learning more about the program. I hope you enjoyed my last two tutorials, Creating Collages and Clipping Masks and my Vintage Effect Tutorial. In this tutorial, I'll be showing you a more hands-on treatment. You'll be making your own polaroids! You can use this effect to print your photos and display anywhere or you can create images to use on your blog or website. You choose!

1. I'd recommend giving your photos an aged look for your polaroids. Typically polaroids look aged even when they are freshly printed, so it looks more real if you add an effect. You can follow my vintage tutorial to create an aged look.

2. I've made my polaroid template available for free download. Just click on the link, go to File > Download. The file is a .PSD format (friendly for both Adobe Photoshop Elements and Photoshop). Once you have it saved to your computer, open it in Photoshop Elements.

3. Once you've opened the file, you will see it has two layers. Layer 0 is the "frame" of the polaroid. Layer 1 is where you'll want to place the image of your choice. Go to File > Place. Place your image and resize (using the arrows on the corner) into your frame. If it's not coming through the frame, make sure that your photo layer is BELOW Layer 0 (the polaroid frame). Once you've created the perfect polaroid, save it into a JPG! (And if you only want to use these for web, you're done!)

4. Print your polaroids. I chose to print mine on white cardstock paper, which you can buy at any office supply store. Or you can also choose to print them on glossy photo paper.

5. Trim your polaroids to size.

6. Spray with photo gloss (unless you printed them on glossy photo paper). I used Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Spray Gloss.

Display anywhere at home, on the fridge, in your office or print as cards that you can write notes on the back! There you go - an easy 6 step process to creating your own polaroid photos. Enjoy and be sure to let me know if you have any questions!

Adobe Photoshop Elements | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunrise Coast

Hey everyone! I just got back from Sunrise Coast with Eric, and I had a total blast. We headed out on our road trip Friday night and came back last night. We saw five lighthouses, a shipwreck, one of the lower peninsula's two waterfalls, a haunted saloon and spent some time at a shipwreck museum. It was super fun. I had never been to that part of Michigan before {northeast side} and I was pleasantly surprised. I love how different Lake Huron is from our Lake Michigan, but still so beautiful. I'll be blogging all about our trip for the next two weeks! I'm excited to show you guys the Sunrise Coast! ♥