quaint downtown rockford, michigan

Downtown_4Since I was in Grand Rapids for a friends wedding over the weekend, I thought it’d be fun to spend some time with my mom and head to the cute little town of Rockford.

My sister-in-law also lives here and has raved about the wonderful fall harvest weekends they put on each year.  In addition to the cute shops & restaurants it definitely is a great place for family fun activities. 

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Some of my favorite boutiques are Jade and Paper Doll.  They both carry a wonderful assortment of fabulous frocks, bags and accessories.

Aunt Candy’s is a must stop for a HUGE assortment of unique toys & goods for kids of all ages.

My art fair friend, Apryl Lea recently opened an artsy shop cleverly named Pawsitive Vybe.  She offers an eclectic assortment of goodies for all dogs & dog lovers and also does dog training.  In fact just in the short time I visited her I got some awesome training tips for our dog Samson.

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After an afternoon of shopping my mom and I dined at the classic Corner Bar… where you have to get their famous chili dog with all the fixins.  It was a perfect way to finish off a fun day about town.

tyson the talented bulldog

I love how cats and dogs can brighten your day. Whether it is a steady purr or cheerful bark, it usually doesn’t take much to lighten the mood.  Well… Tyson the talented skateboarding bulldog does that and a whole lot more.  If you’re in need of a good laugh or genuine smile, this silly site is the perfect prescription.Tyson_1

the best pumpkin cheesecake

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

Instead of the traditional pumpkin pie this fall, give it a little twist with this delicious recipe

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste. Keep it crumbly.

Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about two-thirds of the way up the sides of a springform pan. You don’t want the crust to form all of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. The top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces. Use dental floss to make a clean cut.

Serve with a generous portion of whipped cream on top.

keep on preaching india arie

India_arie I stumbled upon one of India’s latest releases There’s Hope while driving the other day and couldn’t get it out of my mind… which was a good thing because it has an uplifting message that’s important to remember.  In addition to the catchy back beat the chorus goes a little something like this:

There’s hope. It doesn’t cost a thing to smile. You don’t have to pay to laugh. You better thank God for that.

treadmills as an artform

I appreciate unusual creativity wherever I see it.  Ironically I first spotted this unique ‘ok go’ on vh1 while working out on my treadmill.   

Who would have thought that 8 treadmills lined up in two rows could be so amusing?

tsubo style

Tsubo’s won my heart when it comes to these sweet tennies.  Here’s why these shoes are the tops…

1. aqua and chocolate color combo (yummy)  2. lots of fun texture combinations including velvet, suede, leather and subtle iridescent ribbon & trim 3. super comfortable & very stylish  4. they’ll make you want to skip down your nearest sidewalk

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Best of Berkley 2006

Best_place_to_shopRecently the Berkley Beautification Committee conducted a poll where the residents of Berkley voted on the best things in their city.  I’m happy to announce that catching fireflies won in three different categories: the best place to shop, the most unique shop and the best window displays!

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Thank you Berkley residents for thinking so highly of us and supporting our little gift gallery for the past six years. You are an important part of our inspiration.  We are truly honored.

We look forward to bringing you many more unique and whimsical goodies in the years to come.Most_unique_business

merry miniatures

Thomas_vonkoch_bMeet Thomas von Koch of wgk glass.  He is the talented artist behind the adorable and quirky glass miniatures we’ve recently started carrying.  He originally is from Germany but now resides in Delaware. His exceptional craftsmanship and wonderful details make his work a joy to own. 

You can start your very own special collection today.  Each ‘one-of-a-kind’ creature measures less than a half of inch and is only $4.00. There are many animals to choose from and each one has their own personality.  Because every piece is unique, these little guys are only available at our Berkley and Rochester stores.

Hedgehog Crab

Cat_1 Fawn

artsy indigo shoe

IndigoSince I’m on a bit of a shoe kick, I have to share another beauty  I picked up while I was in Santa Monica this summer.  I love the subtle color combination and the mixture of textures on this shoe style.  And since Indigo is made by Clarks, they are comfortable to wear too. (always a must in my book)

the spin from ‘me too’

Just a couple of days after I posted the article about Northville, I received a gift certificate from that lovely little shoe boutique Lorla’s.  So I scooted back to snatch up my new favorite fall shoe.  They are really comfortable, super hip and go with just about everything.  What’s a girl not to love?Me_too_spin

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