Five on Friday: College Basketball

March Madness began this week and I hope Michigan goes far this year. I figured I would share a few of my favorites to really share your Wolverine spirit (and I’m sure you could find these in your favorite college colors as well).

1. NCAA Michigan Wolverines Women’s Yoga Capris ($24.99)

I don’t know about you but I like to wear my activewear around the house, so why not wear Michigan yoga pants while watching the game?

Michigan yoga pants

2. Let Loose by RNL T-Shirt ($29.99)

I love the burnout look of this shirt!

Let Loose Michigan Shirt

3. Michigan Wolverines Necklace ($48.99)

I liked all the little charms on this necklace.

michigan necklace

4. Michigan Hail Yes Shirt ($39.99)

This shirt is so perfect, I love it!

Michigan Hail Yes Shirt

5. University of Michigan NCAA Metallic Body Jewelry ($11.24)

I thought these would be a different take on temporary spirit tattoos.

Michigan tattoos

Do you have any college favorites?

For more Five on Friday/Friday Favorites posts, click here.

If you would like to join the Five on Friday with A Liz AdventuresThe Good Life BlogHello Happiness and Carolina Charm just click the button below for more details.

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You can join the Oh Hey Friday Linkup with The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm just click the button below for more details.

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I am also participating in the Friday Favorites Linkup with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog and Momfessionals. You can click the button below for more information and to join the linkup.

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Wine of the Week: Witches Brew

This week’s wine is Leelanau Cellar’s Witches Brew. Leelanau is a Michigan winery started in 1974 in Northern Michigan by the Jacobson family. Leelanau (Lee-La-Naw) is an Indian word meaning “Delight of Life.” They also have a tasting room outside of Traverse City which I’ve previously visited.

Witches Brew is the perfect fall wine. It’s a red blend enhanced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other natural spices.

witches brew

Witches Brew is what you would call a mulled wine. A red wine that has been warmed and spiced. You heat it up on your stove and serve it warm. You can also add fun things like cloves, cinnamon sticks or orange zest. Really anything goes. Mulled wine dates back to 1420 in Germany where they call it Gluhwein (roughly translated to “glow wine.” There have even been documented mulled wines as far back as ancient Rome.

witches brew

Have you tried Witches Brew yet? It’s perfect for a tailgate or any outdoor event. I would love to hear what you think about it.

For more Wine of the Week posts, click here.



Fall Bucket List

I started a Summer Bucket List for the first time this year and I only did so-so at it. For fall, I learned that you have to plan everything out in advance or you won’t make it a priority so that is exactly what I am going to do for fall. In Michigan fall is so much fun with activities like Michigan football, apple orchards, cider mills, fall colors and the changing seasons. I can’t wait to get moving on these activities and enjoy this season as much as we can!

fall graphic

  • Make chili

Chili

  • Eat caramel apples

caramel apple

  • Go to a Michigan game

Michigan game

  • Eat/buy/enjoy something pumpkin – so far I’ve tried Pumpkin Spice Oreos, Pumpkin Spice Hostess Donuts
  • Eat cider and donuts

cider and donuts

  • Enjoy some Leelanau Cellar’s Witches Brew

witches brew

  • Have a Harvest Patch Shandy

PS Shandy

  • Go to the drive-in – We took Sport with us and saw The Martian
  • Carve pumpkinspumpkin carving Collage
  • Tailgate
  • tailgatingGo to a corn maze – we didn’t make it this year
  • Make chicken pot pie
  • chicken pot pieGo to a Halloween party
  • halloween partyGo to a haunted house – Next year people!
  • Go on a hayride – 2016 goals!
  • Go to a black wine tasting – I did this, but since it’s in the dark pictures are hard to take
  • Participate in an Oktoberfest celebration – Next year!
  • Watch a Halloween movie
  • screamRestart book club – This was amazing! We read The Widow Clicquot and I loved it!
  • Go to a Lions game – We saw the first win of the season!
  • LionsBurn a fall candle
  • fall candleVote – first time in our new house/location
  • VoteMake something in the crockpot
  • Host a Bloody Mary bar during an away game
  • Get a Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks
  • Take a trip to Chicago and see the Bears play
  • Make apple pie
  • Go to a fall beer festival
  • Bake something with pumpkin
  • Throw a fall dinner party
  • Make a Halloween or Thanksgiving craft
  • Decorate the house with a mum and/or pumpkin
  • Make pecan pie
  • Go to a fall festival
  • Bake something with bourbon
  • Use the smoker
  • Perfect John’s potato soup recipe
  • Make something with butternut squash
  • Take a cooking class
  • Go Black Friday shopping
  • Host an exchange of some sort (ornament/cookie/scarf)
  • Make a fall wreath (finish my cork wreath)
  • Bake  Christmas cookies
  • Go to the Nutcracker

What are your favorite fall bucket list activities? I am going to be adding to this list throughout the season so if you let me know your favorites in the comments.



Throwback Thursday: Our Engagement Party

As promised, here is my next Throwback Thursday post on our engagement party. You can read our engagement story here. Since I started this blog two years after our wedding I didn’t get to share all of these fun party details with you. Our engagement party was one of my favorite events in our wedding extravaganza. Since we had planned to have a long 32 month engagement we decided to host an engagement party to share our excitement with our friends and family. Since I had grand plans of a formal wedding, we decided to have a casual engagement party with a Michigan tailgate theme.

We hosted the party in my parent’s backyard with a big outdoor tent on one of Michigan’s away games in October. Every year Michigan has a theme for the season and in 2009 it was “All in for Michigan.” The official student shirt is designed with this theme and it happened to include a Big House Pledge:

fbl-season-shirt-2009

We took this theme and made our party “All in for John and Liz” and re-wrote the big house pledge to suit our own purposes in our invitation:

Invitation

invitation back

John and I both wore our Michigan shirts to the party:

IMG_1256

We had a great spread in the dining room and then a big tent out in the backyard for tailgating fun. And yes, I did wrap all of those utensils up in napkins and still had some in my basement until the big flood last year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are some of the other fun pictures from the party:

One of our junior bridesmaids, Bella

One of our junior bridesmaids, Bella

Our cake!

Our cake!

John's mom got us wedding themed ornaments from Frankenmuth

John’s mom got us wedding themed ornaments from Frankenmuth

The flower girl, Kayla!

The flower girl, Kayla!

I loved writing this post, it brought back so many good memories. Even though Michigan lost to Iowa that night, I still felt like I had won the jackpot (if you couldn’t tell from my permagrin in these pictures).

Let me know what other throwbacks you would like to see. I’m hoping to do one every month. Did you have an engagement party? What was your theme?



Staycation at The Harbor Grand

Disclosure: I was provided a free night’s stay at The Harbor Grand in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Last month, I was honored to attend the Southwest Michigan Sip & Stroll Weekend hosted by Deb at Just Short of Crazy and Renee at What Mama Wants. My bestie, Jen and I decided to have a girl’s weekend and take advantage of the opportunity.

MeandJenselfie

We drove for about three hours and checked into The Harbor Grand, a full-service boutique hotel in New Buffalo, MI. When we arrived, I was surprised by how small the hotel was, which I loved! There are only 54 rooms, which make it the perfect place to stay. Jen and I got a room with an amazing balcony view! I bet this looks even more beautiful once everything has bloomed! The other feature that really stuck out to me was how updated the bathrooms were, they had whirlpool tubs and a stand up shower!

balcony view

After we checked in, we headed out for Part 1 of our wine tour which I will recap in a separate post. We came back to the hotel around 5:30 p.m. for drinks and appetizers in The Terrace Room at the hotel. I had a lot of fun with this because the Terrace Room has a rustic, Italian theme to it, complete with a waterfront view and a fireplace. We gathered around the fireplace for some appetizers, which were delicious!

the terrace room

I had fun trying a few of the drinks including this delightful Lemon Raspberry Fizz, with one of my favorite ingredients…Limoncello!

Lemon Raspberry Fizz

If we would have stayed after dark, you can order a smores kit and take that outside to make them over a real campfire. I thought that was a fun touch! We also had a lovely chat with the owner which I loved because you could tell he had a real passion for hospitality. New Buffalo is a great destination as it is halfway between metro Detroit and Chicago. It makes the perfect getaway with a little something for everyone.

After appetizers and drinks, we headed off to The Four Winds Casino (about a 10 minute shuttle ride away) and recently featured in USA Today’s Leaving Las Vegas: The best casinos outside Sin CityThis was a lot of fun and a HUGE casino, definitely providing some fun nightlife in the area.

Since we didn’t do so well at the casino, Jen and I decided to head back to the hotel and sample the movie and ice cream selection. One of the fun parts about The Harbor Grand is they offer a huge list of movies that you can rent as well as 24-hours of Ben & Jerry’s…yes you heard that correctly. We decided on Mean Girls and Chubby Hubby!benandjerrys

The next morning, we were treated to a lovely breakfast in bed care package outside our door. It came complete with mimosas for the perfect girl’s weekend!

care package

mimosas

We had such a great time at The Harbor Grand and I would love to bring John back with me next time. He would have loved it! Next time I would love to make this a long weekend and spend more time in New Buffalo. This could also be a fun stop on the way to or from Chicago. I am so glad that Deb and Renee tuned me into New Buffalo. I never would have thought to go there, but I can say with certainty that I will definitely be back soon!

Have you ever been to New Buffalo or stayed at The Harbor Grand? What was your experience like?

For the original Sip & Stroll Weekend post, click here.

Wine Wednesday: Southwest Michigan Sip & Stroll Weekend

Disclosure: I was invited to participate in this hosted tour and will be provided with complimentary lodging. All opinions are my own.

Since it is #WineWednesday, I thought there was no better time to share with you that I’ve been invited to the Southwest Michigan Sip & Stroll wine tour this weekend! I had a big event at work and just started teaching again for the semester, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

This is the first year for the Southwest Michigan Sip & Stroll weekend being hosted by Deb at Just Short of Crazy and Renee at What Mama Wants and I’m thrilled to help kick it off. Because it starts on Friday, I was able to take the day off of work and recruit one of my besties, Jen, to come along for the ride.

Wine Tour

Our tour is kicking off on Friday, where we check into The Harbor Grand, a full-service boutique hotel in New Buffalo, MI.

Harbor Grand

We’ll be touring four wineries and The Chocolate Garden on Friday and Saturday before heading home. I can’t wait to try the Sticky Bun and Vanilla Rose truffles, which I hear pair perfectly with my favorite, Pinot Noir.

sticky_bun_200

I am familiar with Domaine Berrien Cellars as their wine is featured at Michigan by the Bottle, a favorite hangout of mine, but I am excited to learn more about the others including Lemon Creek Winery, Hickory Creek Winery and Contessa Wine Cellars. I will hopefully have a few new Wine of the Week selections to share with you after this trip. A few fun facts to note:

  • Domaine Berrien Cellars was the first winery in Michigan to release a commercially grown and vinified Syrah.
  • Lemon Creek Winery is home to the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the State of Michigan.
  • Hickory Creek is known for crafting wine in the Old World style.
  • Contessa Cellar’s tasting room looks like an Italian villa overlooking their beautiful orchards.

SWMISipStroll-Banner

After doing a quick search on our hotel, I am definitely excited to check out The Four Winds Casino (about a 10 minute shuttle ride away) and recently featured in USA Today’s Leaving Las Vegas: The best casinos outside Sin CityWe will also have to make a stop at Oinks Ice Cream Garden, which is a treasure trove of pig paraphernalia! For those of you that don’t know, I love pigs and collect piggy banks.

You can follow our trip throughout the weekend on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #SWMISipStroll.

Have you been to New Buffalo before? What are your favorite places to visit? If you’ve been to any of these wineries I would love to get your recommendations!



Friday Favorites: Michigan Football

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Michigan football is back on Saturday! I can’t wait for some tailgating and football watching fun this season!

For my Friday Favorites this week, I wanted to highlight some of the fun Michigan items that have been on my list, but that I haven’t pulled the trigger on yet.

1. toms campus classics ($48)

Toms has come out with a line of shoes specifically for your favorite college team. These would be perfect to wear to a tailgate.

Michigan Toms

2. Charming Charlies University of Michigan Victory Hour Watch ($22)

This is so girlie and I love it along with the price! They have a number of other schools as well.

charming charlies watch

3. Dark Blue and Maize Flats ($58)

These would be great to wear to work on a spirit day or for one of the away game parties we will most likely attend this season.

maize_dark_blue_angle__07943.1405696062.1280.1280

4. Gabriella Rocha Game Day Tank Maxi ($45.99)

I love, love, love this game day maxi dress! They have different styles and colors depending on what school you root for.

maxi dress

5. Blue & Yellow Jersey Infinity Scarf ($18)

I thought this would be fun for a non-traditional tailgate outfit.

infinity scarf

What are your favorite Michigan and/or collegiate accessories this season?

If you would like to join the Oh Hey Friday Linkup with The Farmer’s Wife and September Farm just click the button below for more details.

I am also participating in the Friday Favorites Linkup with A Little Bit of Everything Blog, Grace and Love Blog and Momfessionals. You can click the button below for more information and to join the linkup.

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For more Friday favorites, click here.

Five on Friday: March Madness Edition

It’s time for another edition of Five on Friday with A Liz AdventuresThe Good Life BlogHello Happiness and Carolina Charm.

5 on Friday Logo - Final

It’s that time of year again…where everyone goes crazy over college basketball, myself included! I personally root for the University of Michigan: Go Blue! I would love to hear what teams you are rooting for in the tournament. This is also the perfect excuse to shop for your favorite Michigan or college gear. Every time your team advances is another opportunity to show your school spirit. Here are a few of my favorite Michigan items (most of them you can customize to your school):

1. Toms Campus Classics ($48)

Toms has come out with a line of shoes specifically for your favorite college team. These would be perfect to wear to a basketball game or to watch the tourney at a bar with friends.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 7.46.37 PM

2. Slater Zorn Stadium Style Collection

Slater Zorn offers a collection where you can pick your team’s colors and get tons of cute clothes and accessories to match. I am partial to this Suite Blouse ($175) because it would be a great transition from work to the bar.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.03.16 PM3. Yankee Candles Collegiate Collection ($27.99)

Yankee Candles has a cool set of collegiate candles (unfortunately, no Wolverines candles yet) so I have to post a Spartan candle as an example. But you can choose your school and each has it’s own unique scent.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.14.25 PM4. iPhone Case-Mate Cover ($40)

Nordstrom has a line of collegiate cell phone cases so you can pick one for your favorite team.

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.24.17 PM5. University of Michigan Heels

March Madness is the perfect time to wear collegiate inspired shoes since you aren’t tailgating in the mud. Ms. Mary Mac creates custom shoes for whatever university you hail from. She has two different styles that you could customize for your school:

il_570xN.529086368_mlqg

il_570xN.494510955_kqye

What are your March Madness favorites?

For more 5 on Friday posts, click here.


Labor Day Weekend Recap

John and I had a great time celebrating Labor Day this weekend by not working. On Friday night, we hit up the Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak.

abe

SmashMouth played at 8 p.m. and we figured we would go and check them out. I still remembered some of the songs from my high school days. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay too long after the first show because there was a freak monsoon and we had to retreat to the local watering hole.

John and I before the monsoon

John and I before the monsoon

On Saturday our big day had finally arrived, the first Michigan game of the season! Woo hoo! I had gotten great seats for John as part of his birthday present a few weeks ago. We love this time of year – tailgating and hanging out with all of our friends – all while watching Michigan kick some butt!

Enjoying the tailgate

Enjoying the tailgate

You can check out my Five on Friday post for all of my Michigan gear. I have to give my husband credit for touching up this photo, he is my official blog photographer. It was a great game – Michigan won 59-9. John got some great pictures and was really excited to see some of the freshmen get some playing time.

Michigan Game 3

 
Michigan Game 2

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, grilling and having a great time. I’m so glad that college football is back and can’t wait for next weekend.

How did you celebrate Labor Day weekend?

Nashville Day 4 Recap – Stones River

This was our last day in Nashville and we had some time to kill before heading to the airport. Since it was Memorial Day we thought a trip to Stones River National Battlefield would be appropriate.

Stones River National Battlefield commemorates a Civil War battlefield and National Cemetery near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The battle took place on New Year’s Eve in 1862 and was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War.

My husband took some amazing pictures from the battlefield and we even found the Michigan marker.

Stones River Cemetery

Stones River Cemetery

81,000 men fought at Stones River and there are more than 7,000 graves at the National Cemetery to recognize them.

Stones River Cemetery

Stones River Cemetery

There were 71 Michigan men who lost their lives at Stones River for the Union. Here is a link to the marker if you want to read more.

John at the Michigan Marker

John at the Michigan Marker

stonesriver3

  The Slaughter Pen was a particularly gruesome part of the battle which you can read more about here.

The SlaughterPen

The Slaughter Pen

Battlefield

Battlefield

stonesriver6

This was a great way to spend Memorial Day and made me very thankful for the men and women that protect our country and freedom every day.

For more on our trip to Nashville click here.

 

I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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