autumn in northville

I just love Northville, Michigan. Steve and I rented a house there shortly after we were married and have very fond memories of our stay. (eventually we had to buy our first home and as you can tell by the downtown, the houses were a little out of our price range at the time)Childrens_theater_4 Dancing_eye_3

At any rate, we stopped by this charming town recently and I’d like to share some of my favorite stops with you.

One of the most unique attractions is their fabulous children’s theatre.  It has lots of wonderful history and puts on great features for the whole family to enjoy.  Of course there are plenty of shops to peruse including some great clothing stores and one of my favorite shoe stores Lorla’s.  Some other great stops include Dancing Eye Gallery, Traditions, and The Stampeddler.

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After you’ve worked up an appetite you can stop by Rebecca’s for a scrumptious lunch (the sweet potato fries are my fav) then get a flavor-full gelato for dessert from American Spoon.

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And if you’re lucky enough to visit in the fall, a cider mill stop is a must.  I’ve been to my share of cider mills and Parmenters has the best fresh cinnamon-sugar donuts around… and of course their cider is pretty swell too.

This is just a small sampling of Northville’s offerings so I highly recommend you check out this sweet little downtown for yourself.

miss maude of ludington

I don’t need too much of an excuse to get away on the weekends so when our friends invited us to stay at cabin near Ludington, Steve and I were on our way.  It was the first time I ventured into this paticular lakeshore town and was pleasantly surprised by this fanciful store filled with lots of personality.  Miss_maude_herself_b_1 Maudes_garage_b_1

Miss Maude herself greets you as you wander into to this eclectic mix of art wares.  I must say the setting for this quirky artist’s garage is quite lovely and the vintage truck filled with garden goodies is quite a sight.

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And just a few doors down I enjoyed a wonderful art installation inspired by the owner of Maude’s and sponsored by the Ludington Arts Council titled The Windows of our Lives.  It’s the collaborative work of over seventy artists of all ages.

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Now for the sad part of the story… unfortunately this colorful art show will be turning into lakeshore condos next year along with Maude’s Garage.  I’m happy to have experienced this small town street scape when it was alive and full of art.  After all, it’s far more interesting than rows of boring condos!

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This one is one of my favorites.

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the celebrity next door

Ever wonder where you rank in the celebrity pool?  Wonder no more with this highly addictive website myheritage.com.

The site was originally designed to make it easier for people around the world to use the power of the Internet to discover their heritage and strengthen their bonds with family and friends…. but of course I couldn’t help to be drawn to the superficial option of celebrity face recognition.  So here’s where the fun begins…Celeb_april_1  Alyson_hannigan

Simply upload a face shot of yourself, friend or family member.  Then the program scans your face and searches for similiar looking celebs  all in a matter of minutes!  Turns out Alyson Hannigan (of American Pie) is one of my matches.  I guess with a little red hair dye… I can see it.

  Steve_1 Matthew_perry_1

So I couldn’t resist putting my handsome husband Steve in this fancy celebrity matching machine and ta-dah…  turns out that Mr. Matthew Perry is his man.  And after watching Friends all these years, it never occured to me that I was married to a Chandler look-a-like…. not too shabby!

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And just for fun I put our ‘camera shy’ Berkley Store Manager Danielle in the mix.  I didn’t think she’d mind considering Andie MacDowell was one of her matches… I mean, who didn’t love her in St. Elmos Fire?

the suzette

Suzette_1Every month or so I make my way to Target to see what’s shakin’ in the big box world.  Tonight I came home with a super cute pair of wedges for only $17.99!

Believe it or not, they are actually quite comfortable to wear and they make my tootsies look oh so pretty.

I also picked up a hilarious bee costume for our bulldog Samson which you’ll be seeing soon enough in a future blog entry.

love that mr. john mayer

John_mayer_1 What can I say; I’m a sucker for Mr. John Mayer.  I’ve been a big fan ever since his first album Room For Squares. I even joined the fan club (along with the rest of the crazed teenage girls and soccer moms)

And his latest album, Continuum doesn’t disappoint… in fact you can listen to the entire thing on-line before its even available to purchase…how cool is that?

Some of my new favorites are Stop This Train, Belief, In Repair and I’ve included a performance of Vultures for your listening pleasure.

Here’s what they say about my man, "Continuum is about as apt a title as it gets for John Mayer’s third studio disc. Every element, from the peerless guitar playing to the plainspoken poetry of the lyrics to the breathy-sincere singing, makes a return from previous efforts. But to weakly pronounce this another worthwhile effort from an artist the world has come to expect a whole lot from and then call it a day would be no minor misdeed, because it’s also the best, boldest disc he’s ever made. Taking maturity as a theme throughout, Mayer tackles a batch of adulthood’s bogeymen: indifference on the uptempo chart-climber "Waiting for the World to Change," aging on the melancholy-sweet "Stop This Train," and emotional trainwreckage on the big-rocking "In Repair." That’s not to suggest he’s turned overly introspective–check the Jimi Hendrix cover "Bold As Love," where he hits one home for guitarists who’ve been living in the shadow of legend everywhere, and the hard-charging "Belief," which benefits from a mesmerizing, liquid groove. Continuum may be the third in a series, but a creative cop-out this is not; Mayer is his generation’s musical superman–powerful, unassailable, and magnetic. Hand that man a cape." –Tammy La Gorce

dream cruisin’ on twelve mile

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Every year on the third Friday in August, thousands of car fans migrate to downtown Berkley to enjoy a parade of classic cars followed by a first rate street party.  catching fireflies joins the festivities by passing out balloons to kids of all ages and staying open late for the crowds of customers this fun event brings. 

Here are some of our favorites rides…

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Her sign reads, "Still crazy after all these years"

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How cute are those headlights?

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I think this would be a good company car for catching firelfies.

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watermelon cookies

Watermelon_1 Summer is almost over but who says you can’t reminisce with a watermelon cookie or two?  This recipe is taken from Class Treats, Bake Sales & Birthday Parties.

2 C. flour

11/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 C. butter

1/2 C. shortening

3/4 C. sugar

1 egg

1 T. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 drops red food coloring

1/3 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

11/2 C. powdered sugar

2 T. water

3 drops of green food coloring

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.  Beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Stir in egg, milk & vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture and mix well.  Add red food coloring and beat until blended.  Shape dough into a ball, cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375′  F.  Divide dough in half; put one portion back in the refrigerator.  Roll remaining portion to 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Cut dough with a 3" round cookie cutter; cut circle in half.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Press several chocolate chips in each cookie to resemble seeds.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake 8-10 minutes (do not brown).  Cook on wire racks. 

To make frosting, combine powdered sugar & water, mixing until smooth.  Add a green food coloring, mixing until blended.  Dip round edge of each cookie in frosting and place on wax paper until frosting is firm.

Makes 36 cookies.  Enjoy!

martin short mania

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Okay, I’ll be the first to tell you that the only thing I remember seeing Martin Short in is The Father of the Bride movies (and who could forget the Three Amigos?)  With that being said I wasn’t overly excited to see his new Broadway show… but hey -he’s famous and the ticket was half off so a few fellow artists from the trade show and I thought it’d be interesting to check out.

Well sure enough… it was quite funny and I really enjoyed the show.  So afterwards a few of us (much to Steve’s chagrin) lingered around with the rest of the Martin Short groupies hoping to get a photo or autograph.

(I know… it’s Martin Short.  There’s no excuse for our giddiness – we just got caught up in the moment)

After about 45 minutes his highness exited out the front of the theater and I got a photo and my friend Jenny acutually got an autograph!

We followed our brush of fame by eating Ben & Martin_signing_2Jerry’s Ice Cream down the street.  It was the perfect ending to a quirky night of fun in New York City.

sign shoppin’ in new york

Coffee_shop_b_1One big positive about doing trades shows is that I’m guaranteed to visit New York at least twice a year.  We always try to schedule in a ‘fun day’ which usually consists of me walking the streets in search of interesting shoe & clothing boutiques. (Steve is such a trooper)

Another one of my pastimes is noticing fun signs for restaurants & shops.  Here are a few of the ones I stumbled upon this summer.Shady_jakes_b

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another trade show season ends

Every summer Steve & I travel to three ‘week long’ trade shows to sell a.i. paper design wares to stores across the US.  That means we pack all our displays & merchandise samples in this big old wooden crate and ship them from show to show.  This year’s itinerary included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.Steve_crate_copy_b

After about 3-4 hours of set up our booth turns into the colorful wonderland of a.i. paper design.

This is our new work place for the next 5 days.  We meet and greet stores of all kinds and write orders that we’ll ship out once we return to Michigan.

I really enjoy doing these trade shows but they definitely tire me out.  That’s why I’m happy to be back in Metro Detroit for a while… or at least until January.

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