Wednesday, August 24, 2011

this thing called life

Life has been seriously crazy this past month. Filling my days recently...
**Our beautiful wedding and amazing honeymoon
**Starting and navigating a new job
**Opening (and loving!) wedding gifts from our thoughtful family and friends
**Slowly cleaning, doing laundry, and putting our apartment back in order
**Baking experiments (banana/cranberry muffins!), Netflix (suggestions on a really good scary movie?), researching beekeeping (yes, seriously)
I'll be back in the next few days with a series of wedding day recaps and to share pictures from our honeymoon to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico, along with various other life updates.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a little snapshot. I think it really captures the feel of our day.

Sending you all love from the Mitten.
Photo courtesy of Wendi Curtis Photography, Grand Rapids.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Today I marry my best friend, in this beautiful city where we met and fell in love. On this day, life truly is grand.

Kyle Allan, forever and always, I'm yours.

Friday, August 5, 2011

two songs

1) For You (Live Version)--Bruce Springsteen.

I'm a HUGE fan of the Boss and pretty much all of his music, but this has got to be my favorite song, hands down. It was originally released on his first album, Greetings from Asbury Park, but the subsequent live versions are more raw and have a grittier feel. This particular live version is my favorite. Seriously, listen to it. You won't be disappointed, I guarantee it.

For you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency

2) Hallelujah--Leonard Cohen (Rufus Wainwright cover).

This song never fails to give me chills. I'm not sure exactly why I'm so drawn to it, but there's days that I listen to it on constant repeat. It has been covered by a wide variety of artists, but this version is by far my favorite.

She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne
She cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah

Thursday, August 4, 2011

three films

1) Somewhere in Time.

Starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, this movie combines a few of my favorite things: romance, time travel, and Mackinac Island. This movie has held a great deal of meaning for Kyle and me, even years before we met.
2) Bonnie and Clyde.

Ok, I seriously love this movie. It's such an interesting story; expertly acted and beautifully filmed. Not to mention, Bonnie's wardrobe is amazing.

3) Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

"Ferris Bueller, you're my hero."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

four books

1) The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson.

I have a difficulty pinning down my favorite book, but this one just might be it. This is an intriguing story chronicling the creation of the 1892 Chicago World's Fair, artfully woven together with the story of H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the Fair to lure women to his hotel to kill them. Historically fascinating and beautifully told, this story never fails to captivate me.

2) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Told from the point of view of a young boy whose father was killed in 9/11, this story chronicles the quest of this brilliant and spunky kid who sets out across NYC to complete the final adventure he believes his father left behind.

3) The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

Although this book is the inspiration for the '80s movie of the same name, it does not do this story justice. This is not simply a coming-of-age children's story; it's complex and beautiful and often tragic. Each time I've read it, I find myself dreaming of the land of Fantastica long after the book is closed.

4) The Red Leather Diary by Lily Koppel.


In this interesting twist on a memoir, the author tells the story of a young woman who came of age in Manhattan in the 1930s. This tale comes to light when the author finds the young woman's diary in an old trunk in the dumpster behind her apartment building. The quest to return the diary the young woman, who would now be in her nineties, becomes just as much of a passion to the author as the story itself.

(All book images courtesty of

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

five foods

1) Spaghetti marinara.
Holy carbs, Batman! This is my favorite food of all time. I could seriously eat this for every meal, every day. Just thinking about this makes me happy. 

2) Tomatoes.
I firmly believe that you can add a tomato to pretty much anything, and it will make it better.

3) Quinoa.
This past year, I discovered quinoa and fell in love. I'm not sure how I've gone this long without it in my life. My favorite way to fix it is with black beans and corn.

4) Red velvet cake.
Ok, who doesn't like red velvet cake? This is what we're having at our wedding.

5) Guacamole.
Oh. My. God. I'm pretty sure I could live on guac if it didn't mean that I couldn't eat every other food on this list.

six places

1) Sleeping Bear Dunes.

I've said it before and I know I'll say it again: I love this state. Sleeping Bear Dunes and the surrounding area (lovingly referred to as simply, "up north") might just be my favorite place on earth. The beauty of Lake Michigan just never gets old.

2) Mackinac Island.

This island is a treasure often unknown to people who aren't from Michigan. Mackinac is known for its beautiful Victorian houses and hotels, gorgeous Great Lake-frontage, and its delectable fudge. Oh, and no cars are allowed, so everyone gets around by either horsedrawn carriage, bike (see above) or foot.

3) Theodore Roosevelt Island.
 If I didn't have such an infatuation with Lake Michigan, I would want to Washington, D.C. Someday, I would love to make this place home. My favorite spot is TR Island; the beauty of nature in the midst of the hustle and bustle.

4) Wrigley Field. 


I'm a Cubs fan. Guilty. Wrigley (and Chicago in general, really) is home to some of my favorite memories, starting from a very young age. There's nothing like rootin' for the Cubbies and drinking an Old Style.

5) London.
Of all the places in the world I've dreamed of going in my life, London really never topped the list, until recently. However, in the past year or so for whatever reason I've been drawn to this place. Reading Harry Potter has only fueled the flame. Trip to Kings Cross, anyone?

6) The early 1900s.
Victorian-era reinactors @ the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Ok, I know this is weird, but I have a thing for the Victorian era. I dream about going there so often, that sometimes it feels as though it's an actual place. If I could time travel, I'm pretty sure I would go there and not come back.