The Annual Casino Trip

Every year, Matt’s car club takes an annual casino trip up north. We have gone for a few years now, and we absolutely love it. it’s feels great to have a nice little trip in the middle of winter to just relax and have fun with friends.

Everyone meets around 6:30am and we’ll take a bus to Birch Run (tear, no time for the outlet mall) to eat breakfast.

casino1Somewhere up north

After that, we’ll drive for a while and stop at a rest stop further up north to “rest” and then our lunches will be passed out. I can’t wait to have famous Spilson’s Rice Pudding… it’s soooo good. After we drive a little further north, we finally will go over the Mackinac Bridge and reach our first Casino in St. Ignace.

casino2Driving over the Mackinac Bridge, looking at Mackinac Island! This year, the Great Lakes are completely frozen- should be interesting to see!

We stay there for a few hours to get warmed up for our next stop, you can usually find us at the blackjack table, or the slot machines.



On the St. Ignace casino’s deck, looking out towards the lake. It’s there somewhere!

After hopping on the bus and driving just a little more, we are at the tippy-top of the Upper Peninsula, Sault St. Marie.  This is where we will be staying for the weekend, so we’ll check into our hotel room and hit the bigger casino. There, we will either do blackjack, slots, or just hang out at the bar. Don’t forget about the buffet! Casino buffets are always the best, so many options!

Saturday we’ll wake up, hit the breakfast buffet, and then start our day. With the price of the trip, we get some cash to spend, and honestly I really don’t spend much more than that. Last year I played some, but I sat with a group of people at the bar/lounge area, and we took turns buying. It was fun, just to relax and catch up with people we only see during this trip.



Some of the group that hung out together on Saturday

Sunday, we turn the bus around and do it all over again! We hit up the St. Ignace casino again, and then stop a few times on the way home.

I can’t wait for this workday to be over so my weekend can start! I’m going to shop for a bit because I want to find something new to wear, and then go home, do laundry, pack, and wait for our guests to arrive! We have 4 friends coming on the trip with us, and I think they’re all staying over because we have to meet the bus early. If you ever get the chance to go on a trip like this… do it! Even if you’re not much of a gambler (like me) it’s still a really fun time. And you never know… you might just win big!!



Lauren : )

The Joys of a Puppy… kind of…

Just as I was leaving work Friday, excited to leave for the weekend, I get a text from Matt: “You’re going to be {beeping} pissed”

Great. What happened now.

I figured it had something to do with the dogs, because Zoey is still in her “chewing” stage, so I figured she ate the couch, chair, pillows… again… or something along those lines. Nope.

My flat iron. She ate right through the cord.

flat iron

When Izzy was a puppy, she used to eat cords all the time. She eventually grew out of it with training, and also because of her age. She was NEVER as bad as Zoey though. Zoey has eaten countless pillows, dog beds, the zipper off their “houses” (which are just soft-sided crates), and many, many toys.

Zoey jumpingThis picture makes me laugh every time! She literally has this much energy all day, every day. She’s always jumping and walking on her back legs!

She literally had never chewed a cord though. I was always pretty careful with it, and obviously put it up away when it wasn’t in use. Let me tell you, this poor little cord never had a chance.  So I was mad when I got home and saw the cord eaten straight through, in several different places! Coincidentally, we were going out with Matt’s mom that night for a fish dinner, so we set a date this weekend to go up to Cosmoprof to get another one.

Now those of you that know me know that I’m pretty cheap (I’m more of a saver), but hair products and tools are actually shell out good money for. I was SO ANGRY that I had to go drop $100+ on another flat iron, but the old one was WAY beyond repair.

So on Sunday, I met Matt’s mom at the store and luckily, they were having a sale where everything in the store was 10% off. YAY for that at least! I bought the same one I had before, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to keep Zo as FAR AWAY from this one as possible!

Any good dog-chewing stories to tell?

Anyone want a dog? (just kidding… kind of…)


Lauren : )

Entryway Project {wood crate tip}

Hi everyone!

Just popping in to say hello, and I haven’t forgot about you!

I’m working on an fun entryway project made with crates, like the one below…

(like this one)

And I’m actually taking pictures along the way. gasp. I know.

I’ll have all the details in a later post once everything is done and all set up, but for now, I’m going to give you a tip about these fantastically famous crates:

You may have seen wood crates like this in stores like Joann’s or Micheal’s before. They’re around $14 (ish) and if you use your 40% of coupon, it brings them to around $7-8.

I was looking on Pinterest for ideas yesterday, and came to find out that Home Depot sells them, for only $5.98!! Even if you had a 50% of coupon for the craft store, it’s still cheaper at HD. Once I found this out, I ran over there after work and bought the other 2 I needed to finish the project (I had already bought one at Micheal’s, and planned on going back there, and then hit up Joann’s in the same trip so I could use a coupon on all 3).

If you’re in the market for one (or a few) of these, check your local HD first (if you search “wood crate” it will pop right up) and if you enter your Zip Code it will even tell you how many they have in stock.


Lauren : )

My Etsy Shop Decision: A New Chapter

This post is a little hard to write, but honestly, I’m not really that upset about it.

As you know, I have my shop. I make zipper pouches, makeup brushes, and other travel and organizational items. For years, family and friends told me over and over again that I need to sell my items because I can whip up a quality product quickly, and I have an eye for design and fabric. I’ve had orders from the shop, but mostly have been on the side. Which brings me to my point…

I’m going to make the decision to step back from my shop for a while, and concentrate on making things for myself. I can’t remember the last time I’ve made myself anything, which is why I started sewing in the first place. I would literally come up with an idea during the middle of the day, go to the fabric store after work or school, and make an outfit that night. Crazy, but that’s what I love. I have books full of sketches, oodles of fabric and patterns, and ideas floating around in my head that I never had the time to execute. I love being able to take a rectangle of fabric, and transform it into something awesome. I have been watching Project Runway lately and it’s sparking my interest in fashion and apparel design again, and I really want to follow my heart. I’ve always wanted to gain more knowledge about garment construction, and the only way to learn something is by doing. If you don’t practice something, you can’t be mad at yourself for not knowing how to do it.

I truly miss making things for myself, and I think the reason why I’ve pushed that aside for so long is fear. I’m worried that I’ll waste time, money, and then be “stupid” for making my own clothes (Which is stupid in itself… duh right?) I like being unique, my own person, and most of all, creative. I was given a gift, and if I don’t utilize that, it’s a total waste. I’ve been so consumed with stress about the shop, sewing just isn’t that fun to me anymore. I’d hate to loose the interest completely, which is why I need to turn my focus in another direction, towards something I’m more passionate about.

I’m still going to keep the shop open, however when it comes time to renew my items, I think I’ll pass this time. If you’re interested in something, of course I’d love to make it for you. And you never know, maybe during this time, I’ll come up with new and exciting ideas to re-brand or restock the virtual shelves with.

I hope that you’ll be supportive about this decision, and I’d love to share my journey with you along the way!


Xoxo Lauren : )

Lou’s Life Updates

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while friends! Between work, the (below) freezing temps, and life, I really just haven’t felt like writing anything. But I do read them everyday!

Some things I’ve been up to:

-The day after New Year’s, I had to take Matt to the hospital because he was having severe pain in his side, so we thought it may have been his appendix or kidney stones. After spending hours in the ER and after multiple tests, the Dr came in and literally said “I don’t know what’s wrong. I can’t find anything. If it still hurts as bad tomorrow, go see your Dr at home. If it’s worse, come back.” Hey thanks Doc. I could have done that…

He went to the Chiropractor later that day and it ended up to be his back. So thankfully we got that under control (plus the chiro has a popcorn machine… win!)

-Zoey was fixed on Monday. She looks like a cow with her belly shaved- it’s so cute. I would love to speak to the person who said after they are fixed they calm down. Ya right. She ended up having an allergic reaction to one of the shots that was given to her and her face blew up like she had a bad botox job. I took her back to the vet, she was given a Benadryl shot, and she slept the rest of the night.

(FYI to all you pet owners: it’s perfectly ok to give them Benadryl. Actually, our vet “prescribed” it to her after this fiasco. Izzy was stung by this summer, so I gave her  children’s Benadryl and it worked like a charm. If you notice a reaction happening with your pet, give some to him/her right away. I use childeren’s Benadryl because of the size of my pups, but some people I know use the regular kind. I prefer Target brand grape-flavored because the dogs like it better than cherry. I can’t blame them. Actually, you are able to give pets a lot of the same medicine that humans can take. My mother-in law recommended this book to me which lists all of the medicine pets can take and how much to give them for different situations. It also lists what you can do to help your pet in a medical emergency. It’s very useful- I would suggest it to any pet owner!)



Recycled picture… but you get the idea. Pet + Benadryl = peace : )

-I haven’t made anything new, painted anything or done anything to the house lately. I think the next big project we are going to do is replace the doors in the house to nicer ones.

-Speaking of projects, I really need to be better at documenting them here. My problem is, I do some projects so quickly (mostly because I want to finish them) I forget to take pictures. And when I do take pictures, I forget to write about it. I started this blog with intentions of it being a DIY/craft blog, but lately it’s just been a lifestyle blog. I got such an overwhelming response about the kitchen countertop post and have had several people contact me about it and try it, so I’d love to be able to help people with other projects and show them that you don’t have to be a contractor to DIY. Now I just have to document them…


What have you been up to?


xoxo Lauren : )

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you a happy, safe, healthy, fun, creative and fabulous New Year!

Whatever you’re up to tonight, be safe, have fun, and remember to have a great time and enjoy yourself : )

See you next year!!


Lauren : )

Merrry Christmas!!

Just stopping in to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

May your day be filled with friends, family and love!

And…  I hope Santa brought everything that you wanted this year : )

Merry Christmas and have a GREAT day!!

christmasizzyIzzy wishes everyone a Merry Christmas too! (This picture was from last year- Zoey hasn’t opened her sweater yet!)



Lauren : )


My Christmas-y Weekend

2 more days until Christmas!! YAY! I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday my parents came over in the morning and brought my grandma as a surprise! My dad had to hang a light fixture in the bedroom and fix some of our plumbing, so it was nice to see the family and hang out for a few hours.

Later that night, we went to Matt’s step-mom’s (Marcie) Christmas. It was ok, there was good food, drinks, and we ended up getting a gift, so the night wasn’t too crazy.

Sunday morning I got up super early to go to the outlet mall in Howell to exchange a purse at Coach that Matt had bought me for Christmas. I really like the purse, but it was HUGE… more like a giant tote bag. I had also gotten a 20% off coupon for Coach in the mail, but it could only be used in stores, so I figured I might as well drive up there. Well let me tell you what a good idea that was…

After exchanging my purse, buying the smaller version annnnnd another purse too, they still had to give me $16 back! Major score! They had a wicked sale going on, plus my 20%, it was well worth the hour+ drive up there! Since it was still early, I shopped a little at Old Navy and then said hi to my friend that is the manager of one of the stores there.


Here’s the bag that Matt had bought me (but it was in navy and the larger version), so I exchanged it for the smaller coral version. It’s perfect for the cruise!


Here’s the second bag that I ended up getting, but in the pink color below. It’s a smaller crossbody bag that will also be perfect for the cruise. I can see myself wearing it often, because it’s a neutral color that will work in all seasons, and it’s great for shopping because you don’t have to hold onto it!



This is the actual color the purse is, not green.


Sunday afternoon we went over to Andrea’s house (Matt’s sister) to exchange presents for his Dad’s side of the family. We had yummy drinks and food and the kids loved their gifts. It will be fun to see them open the rest of their gifts on Christmas with Matt’s mom!

Christmas Eve I have a half day, and then later that night we are going to Matt’s uncle’s house to hang out and have dinner. This is always a fun time because his dad’s side is really fun, and the kids get to see their cousins and play.

Christmas day we will open up presents at home, and then in the morning we will go to Andrea’s house again to celebrate Matt’s mom’s side’s Christmas. After that is done, we will go up to my Aunt’s house and celebrate my side’s Christmas and have dinner there. It’s a busy day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. : )


How do you celebrate Christmas?



Lauren : )

My Christmas Wish List

Since Christmas is all on our brains now, I thought I’d share with you what’s on my wish list this year!

Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe: $24.99

callig book

Molly from Plurabelle Calligraphy is one of my favorite artists out there. Her work is amazing, it’s classic, but has a twist of whimsy and fun. I’ve dabbled in calligraphy a little bit before, but I’d really like to become better at it and actually use it more often. This book has step-by-step instructions, where to buy supplies, and even has practice sheets and guides to help you out along the way. I really hope this book is under the tree this year!

 Giada’s Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis: $32.50


Giada De Laurentiis is one of my favorite chefs. Not only is she gorgeous, but I truly admire her story. From being trained in one of the best culinary schools in the world to making it on TV, she is a great person to look up to. This book not only gives you recipes, but it also talks about how she stays so freaking thin and fit (all while chowing on pasta!) I love to read about people, and I’m really interested in diving into this book to learn more about her!

 Gym Mom by Rita Wieber: $19.99


If you know me, you know that I love gymnastics. Rita Wieber, mom of Jordyn Wieber- member of the 2012 Gold Medal winning Olympic team and 2011 World Champion, wrote this book all about Jordyn’s gymnastics career and their family.

Aside from these three books, I don’t really want or need anything else, but if I had to make a secondary wish list, here it is:

Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 2014: $99

home designer

I have had an architect program for my computer ever since I can remember. I could spend hours “building houses” and designing rooms. It’s like my therapy : ) The one I currently have only has about 8 editable floor plans, the upgrade has more plus downloadable ones too! (nerd alert: you may or may not be able to catch me at random times searching for home plans online that I can replicate in this program… ok let me get my nerd glasses and pocket protector on now) : ) It’s just something I really enjoy doing, so hopefully Santa will bring this for me!

The other item I’d really like is a new Coach purse. Either something traditional, or something fun and beachy that I can use on our cruise that we are going on in 4 (!!) months. I really like the quality and styles of their purses, and I don’t mind spending the money on them. They’re classic, you can use wear them with anything, and if you take care of them you can bet they’ll last you for years.

So that’s my Christmas list this year, nothing super extravagant but things that I’d really like to get! Hopefully Santa thought I was good this year : )

What’s the one thing you really really would like for Christmas?



Gobble ’til you Wobble

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I have so much to be thankful for, and it’s break to have an entire day to reflect on them. I’ll be spending the day with Matt’s family, shoveling food into my mouth and watching the Lions.

I can’t wait to eat all of the delish food, and if I had to choose, I’d say Corn-ell casserole, mashed potatoes, and pie are my favorite foods for Thanksgiving. And obviously the turkey too.

I need to make sure to chew as much as I can today, because tomorrow I’m having my wisdom tooth extracted. Oh well, I can think of worst last meals! I’ll be sure to pack up lots of mashed potatoes for my meal for the next few days.

I hope you all are enjoying your day, and remember what the meaning behind it all is : )

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Do you go Black Friday shopping? I used to with my cousins, we would go to the mall. It was still fun and the deals were awesome!



Lauren : )