9 DIY Ideas for a Nautical Bridal Shower

My sweet sister, Allie, is getting married next summer! We thought we’d kick of the celebrations with an early bridal shower to celebrate. My amazing aunts hosted the shower at my mom’s house. One aunt put on a show-stopping, mouth watering meal, and the other was in charge of decorations. Guess who jumped at the opportunity to help with decorations…. I love love love all things weddings and showers, and I rarely say no to a themed party.

Allie and her fiance, Derek, love sailing. They took their engagement pictures on my dad’s sailboat, and are getting married by the water with a subtle nautical theme. We knew that with a shower, we could have some fun with more nautical-inspired decorations and get away with it! Here are 9 DIY ideas for a nautical themed wedding shower (or wedding!)

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Northern Michigan Beer & Wine Color Tour, Petoskey & Harbor Springs

We’ve had a beautiful fall here in Michigan, almost a little too beautiful. James and I love crisp, cool air in the fall. But last weekend we had perfect weather for exploring Northern Michigan’s wineries and breweries! My family and extended family have done a Beer & Wine Color Tour for the last two years, making this our third annual tour. I have to say, my uncle, aunt, and cousin nailed the wine tour itinerary this year.

Saturday morning, we loaded up my uncle’s motorhome, affectionally named “The Bus”, with waters, snacks, beer, spiced cider and of course cider mill doughnuts. Here’s what we got up to!

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Wine Tasting Tour on Mountain Bikes in Gibbston Valley, Queenstown

I want to start off by saying: I love Queenstown. It’s definitely one of my favorite places in New Zealand. I’ve travelled to Queenstown in the winter and in the summer, and it’s hard to say which I love more. It’s also really hard to write and discuss ALL the reasons I love Queenstown and ALL the activities I recommend in one post, so I think I’m going to have to write a short series! I’m going to start it off with my favorite – or one of my favorites, I have a hard time with favorites – wine tasting along the Gibbston River Trail.

Just a few months after James and I were married and starting my fifth year living in New Zealand, my two best friends visited us New Zealand for 10-days. We spent time on both the North and South Island, and we spent 2-3 of those days in Queenstown.

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DIY Indoor/Outdoor Dog Kennel

If you know us or read our blog, you probably know about River. He’s  our darling fur baby, a 1-year old German Shorthair Pointer. He requires a lot of exercise, and James hated keeping him in a crate all day. And when we got home, he was just bursting with energy – he was like a tornado. We recently moved out to the country and decided to build him an indoor/outdoor dog kennel! Somewhere where he could seek shelter, stretch his legs, go to the bathroom and chew on sticks – safely and securely.

We did some research, but couldn’t find what we were looking for. James has a vision for this sort of thing and he whipped out this dog kennel in less than 2-days. Got a jumper? A digger? We’ve done the problem solving for you! Check it out. Here’s what you’ll need:

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5 Key Points to Writing a Great Thank You Note

Fall is the season to give thanks for friends and family. I mean, of course you should be thankful all year round but I thought now was a good time to talk about it more. I was raised to write thank you notes, and not just “thank you” notes but also “I’m thinking of you” notes, for every and any occasion. I feel like it is so important to express your love and appreciation to the people in your life. You might just make somebody’s day.

I also love getting notes! Encouraging words from a friend, a congratulations notes from family, or a thank you note for a wedding gift. There’s definitely something sincere and sweet about a handwritten – or even typed – letter.

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