1. I finally finished season two of “The Crown” and I’m so depressed it’s already over! Being Royal Family obsessed, I can’t get enough of this incredible show, especially Princess Margaret who stole the show!
2. Speaking of the Royal Family, a few weeks ago Meghan Markle carried one of my favorite handbag brands, Strathberry, and now they’re sold out almost everywhere! I always receive so many compliments when I carry one of my bags from them (I have this one and this one) so no surprise they’re sold out now!
3. I’m starting to brainstorm my trips for 2018 Jenn’s trip to Palm Springs and Allie’s trip to Austria are giving me major wanderlust!
4. Catt Sadler, a host on E! for almost twelve years and one of my favorites on the network, left the show this week. I loved her statement on why she did (because of a major pay gap) and it’s such an inspiration for women to fight for what they deserve.
5. It feels so good to be back home in Michigan with my family and I’m ready for lots of relaxing the next week. We made this delicious and easy toffee recipe last night and been watching all my favorite movies. I picked up some new cozy items to keep warm and relax in as it’s going to be a chilly time at home! Have an amazing holiday break everyone!
There is no time I love more than Christmas. We spend every Christmas at my grandma’s home in Royal Oak and there is no better time than those few days there with my family. As I head to Michigan today, I wanted to share some of my favorite traditions I’m looking forward to the next few days in Royal Oak and at home in Traverse City.
- Our ritual of all us cousins grabbing hot chocolate on Christmas Eve from Gayle’s in downtown Royal Oak after last minute shopping.
- My grandma’s traditional homemade Christmas Eve dinner. There is no favorite meal more than our Italian dinner of eggplant parmesan, homemade ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs and bruschetta.
- Exchanging our cousin gifts after Christmas Eve dinner. With us four girls, we pick a fun theme and alternate who we give to each year.
- My grandma makes over fifteen kinds of cookies each Christmas aka they never end during the holidays! Christmas morning is always cookies for breakfast with our coffee while we open gifts.
- Since Christmas Eve is the biggest night for us, our holiday tradition of heading to the movies on Christmas is another favorite ritual of ours.
- Once back home in Traverse City, I love that still after twenty years of being friends, all us girls get together. Whether drinks or dinner at Red Ginger, catching up with some of best friends I only see a few times a year is always one of my favorite nights.
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
1. Hope you all have been having the best holiday break! I’ve been curled up at home in Michigan soaking up the quiet and spending time with my family and friends. Not ready for it to end on Monday but excited for a fresh start in 2017!
2. One of my favorite parts of the holidays is watching movies, and this break it has been all about La La Land. I’ve seen it twice in theaters and already dying to go back! Pure happiness and perfection.
3. How dreamy is this sparkly holiday party over on Glitter Guide?! Can’t imagine a more perfect New Year’s Eve celebration!
4. I’m laying low this NYE and planning on making these Champagne Kisses tomorrow for a festive treat to enjoy with a glass of bubbly.
5. Thank goodness for online shopping when there’s so many amazing after Christmas steals! I’ve listed some of the best sales happening right now and some of the pieces I may have to snatch up before it’s too late.
Ann Taylor: 40% off full priced styles with code SHOP40.
Anthropologie: Sale items now an extra 40% off. Use code TAGTIME.
BaubleBar: Extra 20% off sale, now up to 75% off for 4 days only!
Club Monaco: Up to 65% off sale when you take an additional 40% off already marked down styles.
Gap: 35% off regular priced styles + extra 40% off sale with code YOURTIME.
H&M: Sale now up to 80% off!
J.Crew: Enjoy an extra 50% off sale with code SHOPSALE.
J.Crew Factory: Online only – extra 40% off clearance with code SHOPCREW.
kate spade new york: Enjoy an extra 30% off sale styles with code sprinkles.
LOFT: Enjoy an extra 60% off all sale styles.
Madewell: Extra 30% off all sale styles with code BIGSALE.
Nordstrom: Half yearly sale – save up to 50% off through 1/2!
Old Navy: 20% off your order through TODAY with code ENJOY.
I grew up in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Traverse City, Michigan, and today I’m so excited to be sharing my ultimate travel guide to it here and on Glitter Guide! Thanks to its abundance of fresh water, it’s a favorite vacation spot for the summer. However, for those who grew up there, like myself, we know it’s filled with activities and must-visit spots all year round. Continue reading for a full list of my favorites in Northern Michigan!
WHAT TO DO
- Get on the water: Traverse City is surrounded by beautiful fresh water, including Lake Michigan and the bays. Rent a boat, try stand up paddle boarding or just lay on the beach to enjoy the true gem of Northern Michigan.
- Climb Sleeping Bear Dunes: This national lakeshore is composed of mouth-dropping views and giant sand dunes. It is one of the most beautiful and iconic areas of Northern Michigan.
- See a movie at the State Theatre: Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore helped renovate this shuttered historic downtown movie house in 2007. Today, it is the ideal spot to catch a new release or classic favorite. Along with the reopening of the theatre, the Traverse City Film Fest was born. At the end of every July, filmmakers from around the world come to Northern Michigan for a week of all things movies.
- Explore M-22: If you follow the Lake Michigan shoreline of the Leelanau Peninsula, you’ll journey on M-22. This scenic drive is composed of stunning lakeshore views. It also features adorable small towns like Suttons Bay and Leland, making it perfect for a day’s worth of adventures.
- Drive through the cherry orchards: Traverse City is known as the cherry capital of the world (the National Cherry Festival takes place every July!). Make sure to not only enjoy all the delicious cherry treats, but take a scenic drive through the beautiful orchards.
- Take a winery tour: Traverse City features more than a dozen local vineyards, all located along the Old Mission Peninsula. Enjoy an afternoon of relaxation and refreshing sips!
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
- Red Ginger: This Asian-infusion restaurant is perfect for date night.
- Chateau Chantal: If you’re unable to spend a whole afternoon touring the local vineyards, head to this winery for a glass (or two). It’s a favorite thanks to its amazing views and, of course, the wine!
- Amical: When in need of comfort food, visit this eclectic European restaurant. A local favorite is the unbelievable chicken pot pie!
- The Little Fleet: If you’re with a group of people who are all in the mood for something different, this is the place to be. This lot features a variety of food trucks and an amazing bar for a refreshing cocktail.
- Trattoria Stella: Located in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, this Italian restaurant features the freshest local ingredients and incredible meals. It’s perfect for a romantic date night.
- Mary’s Kitchen Port: When you’re planning on spending the day at the beach, stop at this specialty market for lunch on the go. The Gobbler Sandwich is a local favorite.
- Spanglish: This cozy restaurant features some of the freshest and most mouth-watering Mexican food we’ve ever had! It’s also a favorite of chef Mario Batali when he spends his summers in Northern Michigan.
- BLK MRKT: Head to this chic coffee shop right across from West Bay Beach for a cup of coffee and a pastry to enjoy on your morning beach walk.
- Grand Traverse Pie Company: You can’t visit Traverse City without having a slice of cherry pie. With locations all around the state, the original Grand Traverse Pie Company is the place to go to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Georgina’s: Asian and Latin food combine at this downtown eatery that locals and tourists cannot get enough of.
- 7 Monks Taproom: For a night out, head to this local taproom for a variety of local beers on tap.
WHERE TO SHOP
- Cherry Hill Boutique: For unique women’s clothing and accessories you can’t find anywhere else, stop in this feminine boutique for a special treat to bring home with you! And say “hello” to the store’s owner, Annie Hill, my mom!
- Ella’s: Ella’s features a mix of some of my favorite brands, vintage finds and eclectic home pieces. You’re always guaranteed to find something you can’t resist buying!
- The Nest: I love heading to this colorful home store for the perfect hostess gift or to help decorate the beach house.
- Cherry Republic: If you want to bring the local flavors and favorite treats of Traverse City home with you, stop in the world’s largest exclusive retailer of cherry food creations. It features everything from cherry barbecue sauce to addictive chocolate-covered cherries.
- M22: Show your love for Northern Michigan wherever you go by bringing home a piece of clothing featuring the iconic M22 logo, which will connect you with anyone who loves it, too.
- Wood + Cloth: This lifestyle shop located in the Warehouse District is filled with stylish home goods, beauty products and clothes.
- Horizon Books: Since 1961, this bookstore, which is located in the heart of downtown, is the place to go to to stock up on the newest books.
(Graphics by Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY)