Shop fresh with Michigan Farmers Markets!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

MFMA 7

Raise your hand if you're a summer gal/guy! I am, 100%. Michigan is a fickle state with cold temperatures for several months, but when the warm weather returns, EVERYTHING springs back to life again, and in the most vibrant ways imaginable. What we miss in the winter months, we more than get back in the warm ones.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the warmer months is by frequenting our local farmers market on Saturday mornings. Once you've been through a whole farmers market season, you come to know which months certain produce will be available and it makes meal planning much more predictable. I'll shop at the market on a Saturday and collect whatever I can find fresh and local and then pick up everything else I need at the grocery store a day or two later.

Shopping at a farmers market is a great way to support local growers and SO HEALTHY for our bodies as local produce is always the most beneficial.

Today I'm going to share a few of my favorite ways to use fresh, seasonal produce. I'll also highlight ways to wash & handle food safely. Here's what I purchased last Saturday at our market:

-Green onions
-Turnip greens
-Strawberries
-Asparagus

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One of my favorite ways to sneak extra greens and nutrients into my diet is via smoothies. This week I used the turnip greens (from market) and blended them [2 cups, torn] with one cup of plain yogurt, 6-7 strawberries (from market), 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, a whole banana, and a splash of almond milk to make it blend evenly. You might be skeptical but if you try it, I bet you'll love it. I gave my almost-two year old a full cup serving and he downed the whole smoothie! If only he knew he was eating turnip greens. ;) Hehe.

If you feel like you need some sort of sweetener then try adding a drizzle of honey. Also, make sure your bananas are ripe or 'over-ripe'.

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Before you use any produce for consumption, it's important that you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds- before 'and' after handling. Also, make sure that you thoroughly rinse your produce under water and check to make sure that you sort through any items that are bruised or damaged. I like to use a colander [below]. I have three different size colanders and I use them ALL the time.

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Finished product! Here's what my smoothie looked like:

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Up next: asparagus!! Oh man, I love fresh Michigan asparagus. However, a lot of asparagus is grown in sand and it's important to give it a good salt water bath before you eat it. The process is simple- just fill a bowl with warm salt water and stir to dissolve, then top it off with a bit more salt and let it soak a while. Rinse again when you're done soaking to make sure you've gotten the sand out of the heads. Then prepare it however you like! On the grill, in the oven, steamed, or my favorite- in a soup! 

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Whenever I get my hands on fresh asparagus I always default to making this creamy springtime soup (click here for the recipe). I got this from my friend Sarah many years ago and I've been making it ever since. I like it best when served with crusty artisan bread! I made it last night with my asparagus from market (all 2 pounds of it!) and it was delicious.

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Are you a Michigander looking for a local market to attend? Click HERE to access the 'Find a Farmers Market' tool and connect with local growers in your community! You can also click HERE to sign up for the Michigan Farmers Market E-Newsletter to receive up to date information on seasonal recipes, shopping guides, and events at farmers markets in Michigan.

The Downtown Owosso Farmers Market runs from May-October with hours of 8 am - 1 pm, June through September and 9 am - 1 pm during May and October. They also offer special evening markets and events. Click HERE to learn more.

Now get out there and join in the farmers market fun! Make some new memories with your family and eat fresh.

*This post was kindly sponsored by the Michigan Farmers Market Association. All opinions are my own. :)
Love,-Melissa

Grand Taste w/Meijer

Monday, June 19, 2017

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Hi guys! I've missed you all and sharing here on the blog. Life has been particularly busy lately as I've been working on starting up a business for the past several months! *More on that in a later post, but that's why things have been a wee bit sparse around here. ;)

This past weekend, Ben and I had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful evening out together at the Grand Taste Premier event, courtesy of Meijer. This is their second year hosting the event and my first time being invited. All I can say is WOW. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I had the very best time! The Grand Taste is an event held at the Women's LPGA tournament in Grand Rapids and is hosted by Meijer. There are 'tons' of grand rapids area restaurants, breweries, and vendors there that offer small plates of their delicious specialties. It's basically all-you-can-eat but really, with so many businesses represented, I hardly needed to visit the same booth twice. In fact, I didn't even make it to every vendor before my tummy was filled to max capacity.

The scenery was perfect of course, overlooking the country club and putting greens. And the weather cooperated marvelously at a balmy 84 degrees and breezy. Seriously, the perfect Michigan night. We stayed from about 7-9 and then left to head to our hotel for the evening. The 'only' thing missing from the event was dancing! ;) That might have kept me out a bit longer.

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I wore this beautiful Maeve dress from Anthropologie, one of my birthday gifts from Ben this year. It's quickly becoming my favorite go-to dress. Light, breezy, and perfect for any summer outing. I just love it. I paired it with my faithful black leather Steve Madden sandals and was comfy all evening.

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[below] Pepsi-braised beef sirloin served over a creamed corn sauce. Incredible!

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[below] Chicken wing served with a Mexican mole sauce! *One of my favorites.

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I hope you're all doing well! We're unofficially officially in summer here in Michigan and the days are long and hot once again. I've never been more happy as summer is my favorite season. I think I can literally feel the sun reviving my vitamin D hungry soul. Winston and I spend loads of time outside, on walks, or in the backyard playing. Things are blooming, everything is green, and we're at our local splash pad on repeat. :) Speaking of Winston, he'll be TWO next month. Crazy. So excited to start planning his birthday party. What are YOU up to this summer?

Chat soon! Thanks for stopping by.

Outfit:
Dress: Anthropologie
Shoes: Steve Madden @DSW
Watch: Kohls
Love,-Melissa

Palazzo & Denim

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Swan Lake 1

Hey guys! Hope y'all are doing awesome.
I'm enjoying a slice of heaven right now... Winston is napping, sun is shining through the living room window, pot of Hungarian goulash is simmering on the stove, and I have time to sit here and blog. Glory.

So let's talk about these pants again. I'm living in them! They feel like pajamas! Winning! I'm generally a SUPER boring pants person. I don't have much faith in pattered, busy, baggy bottoms. Until, these. I looked at these on the rack with longing eyes and miraculously enough, when I tried them on, it was destiny. They go with almost anything. I can't believe how much wear I'm getting out of them and I'm really glad I ventured out. That was a whole paragraph about pants. Ha. Anyway, if you're hesitant about palazzo pants, maybe you should just TRY them on. Can't hurt, and you may love them like I do. 

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Ben and I went to go see Swan Lake at the Wharton Center in Lansing because I won tickets through 99.1 WFMK! Score. You can't beat freebies. I was so happy and it's a performance I've wanted to see for a while. I'll have you know, this entire outfit was scrounged up from items I already had in my closet! Woot. Three cheers for closet shopping! I really like how the denim contrasts with the pants. It's one of my favorite looks I've worn in a while.

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I literally froze my BUNS OFF taking these pictures but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. I hibernate in the winter so if I actually get snazzed up and look nice, it seems wrong not to document it. Haha.

Winter is almost over and I'm so excited about it. Got that crazy itch to start planting flowers! April is just around the corner and it's my birth-month so that's always fun. Birthday freebies... Holla! We're 'slowly' working on house things and I'm excited to show you progress as it happens. But I'm in no rush. This is a home we'll be in for a while and I'm just enjoying the process. I really want to get our master bedroom all set up so maybe that will be next!

Have a great St. Patty's day weekend! I'm off on a girl's getaway next weekend and I'm looking forward to that. ;) More on that next week.

Outfit:
Jacket: Gap (similar HERE)
Pants: c/o Birch & Elm
Bodysuit: H&M
Boots: Everlane (exact, HERE)
Earrings: Gap
Eyes: Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (exact, HERE)

$20 Ottoman Makeover: Faux Fur Edition

Friday, February 17, 2017


I am always on the lookout for the 'ugly' furniture. It's true. I'm the one hauling crap out of Goodwill that most people passed over 100 times. But maybe there's some quality that's calling out to me to be redeemed. Get me? Anyone else do this? Meet Exhibit A: this ugly, junky, downcast ottoman. Most people were 'normal' and walked right by it, but all I could see were those LEGS. Our home is mid-century through and through and I knew I had a place for those legs somewhere. ;)

I'd been wanting a faux fur ottoman for our new home but I'm too cheap to pay what they want at most stores, SO- the crafting began. 

Here's the sad little ottoman before:

  
The price tag said $5.99 and I got it half off. Man, I thought I was getting a steal. Then I peeled off the Goodwill sticker and, no joke, there was a yard sale sticker on it for $1.00. #scammed


I did a little digging to find out how I could get faux fur material to stick to a nasty vinyl(ish?) surface. Enter E-6000: super glue's big sister. Works for practically anything. Bingo.


Listen, this was an easy project. Cake. But there's one dirty secret you should know before tackling anything with faux fur fabric. IT IS THE MESSIEST THING YOU WILL EVER WORK WITH. Period. The lady at the fabric counter at Joann's was like "Just so you know, this will shed a lot and be pretty messy." Pshh... Please. Messy? Understatement of the century. It was complete hairy chaos. I know she was laughing watching me walk out of the building. She knew what I was in for.

SO- don't say I didn't warn you. Was is worth it? Yep. Still a steal compared to buying one new, but there's always a little unknown 'blessing' in any DIY project.

So, literally all I did was cover that beast with the E-6000 glue and place the fabric over top. I obviously had to cut slits in the corners where the edges meet and get rid of a 'tiny' amount of corner fabric, but that's it. The glue did all the work. I did this while Winston napped and even had time to myself after that! Such a quick project but I just LOVE how it turned out.


Any home projects on your radar lately? I'm living in 'kitchen land' lately as we have a lot of work to do all the way from the floors to the countertops. It's a doozy. But the kitchen's redeeming quality is the original 50's soft-yellow tile. I'm re-working the entire kitchen to keep with the 50's feel. New stuff, just a fun retro vibe. Wish me luck! I just seem to buy homes that need kitchen help I guess.

Any weekend plans? We're pretty chill here and I don't mind that one bit. Girl's night was a blast this past Wednesday and I met my quota on laughing for a while. ;)

Have a great weekend, friends! The weather is supposed to be awesome here in Michigan so I'll probably be outdoors a lot. Winston and I miss our walks, bad!

Faux Fur Fabric: $12 (Joann's)
E-6000 Glue: $5 (Joann's)
Ottoman: $3 (Goodwill)



How to: Wearing Overalls in Winter

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Got overalls? Wear 'em, girl.

I've had these since spring of last year and I've worn them non-stop through every season since then. Through the fall and winter months I just wear a thin sweater underneath and a jacket over. Done! I like the edgy feel that the moto jacket brings to the ensemble.





I love my hair getting longer! It's so nice to be able to do fun things with it again. Braids are my go-to lately. Glad they're a thing right now.


Also, living in these boots from Everlane nonstop. They were one of the greatest Christmas gifts I ever received. Yay, Ben! SO worth the investment if you're looking for a good pair that will last forever. They're made in Italy and sold at a 'fraction' of the cost you'd pay at other large retailers.


I wore this outfit for our town's local Chocolate Walk. Such a great time and REALLY well attended. It's great to see so many people out and about in the winter time supporting local businesses. In fact, I think they sold out of chocolate boxes completely before the night was over. People are serious about their chocolate. ;)

On the walk, I got to visit our new(ish) yoga studio- Stretch. Man, what a great place. SO beautiful in there. I can't wait to take a class soon- maybe this Saturday. They offer an introductory class on Saturday mornings at 9 for just $5 bucks. Can't beat that!

Did everyone have a good Valentine's Day? Ben 'hand-curated' a box of chocolates for me from one of my favorite local spots- Apple Tree Lane. I'm savoring one a day when Winston goes down for a nap. Tonight is girl's night at my friend Lindsay's house. I always look forward to time out with the gals! Hope you're having a great week and I'll be back Friday with a fun DIY project.

Outfit:
Overalls: Gap (Similar Here. I like these!)
Boots: Everlane (same, here)
Moto Jacket: JcPenney (same, here. and on SALE)
Leopard Sweater: JcPenney
Earrings: Gap


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