A month ago, Eric and I had the wonderful opportunity to get some photos taken with Annette McMillan! She's an amazing photographer based out of Ann Arbor, and was in town for a few other sessions, so we decided to get together one Saturday morning for a little shoot around our neighborhood! I wanted to capture our "home" life, because this house and this neighborhood mean so much to me! We won't live here forever, so it'll be so special to have these photos to look back on someday.
Finally! I'm so excited to share our wedding with you. Eric and I got married on October 10, 2015 - almost 3 months ago already! We were so blessed with the perfect autumn day. Sunshine, mid 60's, and breezy. We had our ceremony and reception at The Little Red Barn of Nunica in Michigan. We started out the day with brunch at the restaurant where we had our first "date", The Winchester (aka, our dog, Winny) and headed to the barn afterwards to get ready. The girls had mimosas in the bridal suite while getting our hair and makeup done, and the boys drank beers and helped finish setting up. Eric and I decided to have a first look, mostly for the sake of time. But I'm so glad we did, it was great to spend a few minutes alone with him before the craziness began!
My dad walked me down the aisle to "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" by Branches. We had a beautiful ceremony officiated by our good friend, Nic. Our favorite parts of the ceremony were saying our vows to each other (got a few laughs out of the guests with lighthouse and World Market references), and listening to our two friends, Mat and Adam play "My Love For You Is Real" by Ryan Adams. After the ceremony, we had the most beautiful light to take photos in the field with our bridal party. We couldn't have picked a better group of people to stand with us. Everyone on Eric's side, I love. Everyone on my side, Eric loves. We are so lucky with the greatest friends and family.
Our reception was a blast. For appetizers, we had spinach and artichoke dip and the infamous meatballs we love. For dinner, we enjoyed pulled pork and smoked chicken sandwiches, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, salads, and rolls. For dessert, Eric and I had a small almond vanilla cake, and the guests enjoyed an assortment of Grand Traverse pies and local cider donuts. We also had popcorn and tons of toppings for a late-night snack! We danced all night to the best playlist, sat by the bonfire outside, and headed back to Grand Rapids at midnight to stay at the Amway Grand Hotel. We were surprised with champagne and strawberries from our friends and fell asleep in our wedding attire. Exhausted, but so happy. We felt so lucky. I'd relive this day over and over again.
Photos Kelly Sweet Photography // Video Cling & Peck // Bridal gown BHLDN // Alterations Bridal Elegance // Robes Etsy // Shoes ModCloth // Bridal hair Mani at Fusion Salon // Bridesmaids hair Chasing Vanity // Makeup Angie Miller // Bridesmaids dresses Various // Jacket and pants H&M // Groom shoes Steve Madden // Watch Arvo // Tie clip BellaMantra // Suspenders Hey Sir // Ties The Tie Bar // Stationary DIY // Printing Vistaprint // Signage Jessi Wetherbee // Flowers Alyssa Ferguson // Venue The Little Red Barn of Nunica // Catering Brann's Catering // Cake Holland Cakery // Cake topper NarWall // Pies Grand Traverse Pie Co. // Vintage furniture Fancy Fray // Decor rentals Events by I Candy // DJ Dan Fischer // Transport Executive Coach Service // Bartender Matthew Buskard // Wedding favors The Village Gift Shoppe // Rings Etsy and Staghead Designs // Honeymoon Porcupine Mountains
Every year in December, I love visiting Frankenmuth, Michigan. It's such a fun town, especially around the holidays. It has the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's. We always stop there first to purchase an ornament. This year we got an ornament that says "Our First Christmas"! After Bronner's, we head a little more into town to park, and then walk to a few of our favorite places. We always stop into Frankenmuth Brewery, which is the oldest one in Michigan. We usually just hop in "das bier" line and stand while we have a drink. After that, we walk down to Frankenmuth Cheese Haus to sample a few cheeses, and load up our arms with dill havarti cheese, chocolate cheese, garlic and bacon cheese spread, and of course, crackers, so we can eat a few right away. So good!
After the cheese haus, we head straight to Bavarian Inn. I love to check out the shops below, but then we usually need to hop in line right away for a famous chicken dinner. Our wait was only 1 hour and 15 minutes this time, but sometimes it can be up to two hours. Totally, 100% worth it. It's my favorite meal of the entire year, even more than Thanksgiving! You start with bread, and a noodle-based soup. Then the cold salads come out (coleslaw, pasta salad, bean salad, cranberry salad). After that, you get the main course which is fried chicken (of course), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, squash, buttered noodles, and to end it all, you can choose a flavor of ice-cream. You literally can't move afterwards, but it's amazing. ;)
I just hosted an event at Madewell last Thursday, which was a lot of fun! It was great to meet a few readers, enjoy some delicious treats from Lush Gourmet, and do a little shopping! I've been incorporating one piece a week into my wardrobe, so for December I decided to choose all four, especially since I got some new goodies at Madewell. For December, I'm adding in these jeans (a lighter wash), this red buffalo flannel, a beige turtleneck sweater from Madewell, and a gray turtleneck sweater from ModCloth. I'll feature the other two items yet this month!
Madewell Ex-Boyfriend Flannel in Buffalo Plaid
Madewell High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans in Dayton Wash
Anorak Up the Points Jacket c/o ModCloth (similar)
Madewell The Transport Tote
ModCloth Defined the Scenes Flat in Licorice
For grabbing brunch, running errands, cleaning the apartment and baking apple cider donut muffins on Sunday, casual was the way to go. I paired jeans, with a white eyelet top and patterned cardigan from my 30-item challenge. I ended up keeping this top from when I tried StitchFix this past summer, and I just recently purchased this cardigan from an event I attended at jb and me in Holland. They are still offering my readers 20% off their online store! Just enter code "blogger7" at checkout.
I've decided to continue growing out my bangs (for now). For years and years, I loved my bangs. They were "me", and a huge part of my style. Over the last couple of years, I feel like they changed. I wasn't sure if my hair was changing as I was getting older, but they were always just thin and wimpy and unmanageable at times. My friend, and hair stylist, talked me into growing them out. Besides some growing pains (I need my bangs moments!), I've been pretty happy with them. We'll see what happens though. I'm just so thankful my hair is back to it's natural color. After experimenting with bright blonde and dark brown, I'm happy to be back where I'm supposed to be – right in the middle.
Just a reminder, if any of you are in the Ann Arbor area, I'll be hosting an event at Madewell tomorrow at their Arbor Hills location! I'm excited to see everyone, eat some delicious snacks, and of course, shop my little heart out. I have my eye on a few turtleneck sweaters, and of course, I need a new pair of their amazing jeans. They have by far my favorite jeans ever. I'm looking forward to it! Let me know if you plan on attending!
On Saturday, Eric and I headed west to my hometown of Muskegon to visit my parents. First, we had a yummy taco lunch with my dad and stepmom. Afterwards, we headed down to Lakeside to visit my mom at her store, The Village Gift Shoppe. Every year at this time, they have an annual "Holidays in Lakeside" event where many of the businesses give out a discount, and yummy treats for shoppers. We stayed there for a while, ate lots of snacks and walked out with way too many of my mom's homemade chocolates. Yum!
We stopped down by Muskegon Lake to snap some pictures, and the light was so pretty! It felt really autumnal today too with the golden light and mild temperature. I've heard a lot of people say they don't feel like it's really Christmastime, because of the weather! But then we complain when it snows and we have to do all of our holiday shopping in bad road conditions. You just can't win with Michigan residents. Ha! I'm kind of loving it outside right now, but I always love a white Christmas.
I wear a very similar version of this outfit pretty often – black denim, chambray, a green coat, ankle boots, and a plaid scarf. I just love being casual on the weekends, especially when we're in the car and running a lot of errands. I did cheat on my 30-item challenge for our holiday party on Friday night, but I just wore a black, long-sleeved, lace dress. Very 'in line' with my style of the challenge, but slightly fancier for a holiday party. I get to incorporate one new item from my past wardrobe this week... and I'm not quite sure yet what I'm going to choose. I'm thinking I want another really warm cardigan/sweater, or taller boots for winter. We'll see!
This past weekend, Eric and I ventured out to our local Christmas tree farm to cut down our annual tree! We made a little day out of it by grabbing breakfast first. We went to The Brandywine and shared some of their honeycomb potatoes (so good) and breakfast scrambles and then headed out to Rockford. We decided to chop our tree this year, where some years we just pick a pretty one from the front. We're mostly lazy when it's muddy and rainy, but thankfully we lucked out this year. We've actually had quite beautiful weather lately – sunny and decently mild!
I went with one of my very favorite outfits lately, which is just a pair of skinny jeans, a black turtleneck sweater, a light coat and plaid scarf. I honestly never realized how much I love turtlenecks. I wear this black one at least once a week. It's definitely been a staple item in my 30-item challenge. Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give would be proud.
All of our Christmas decorations are up! We decided to go with white lights on our tree this year versus multi-colored lights. I love the "classiness" of the white lights, but there is something less cozy about it for some reason. Nevertheless, our apartment looks pretty festive right now! My work's holiday party is tonight, so I'm looking forward to that. It's definitely the best party we throw every year, and I'm excited to have a couple glasses of wine and devour an incredibly delicious meal. Other holiday plans include an annual trip to Frankenmuth, spending time with friends and family and watching lots and lots of bad Christmas movies on Netflix. ;)