Our Amazing Getaway to Spring Lake, Michigan

As soon as the pandemic started, my husband immediately began researching lake houses that we could rent.  We wanted a place where we could safely socially distance from others and give our kids wonderful memories.  After months of searching online, he found us the perfect cottage located in Spring Lake, Michigan.  We booked it and immediately I started writing out my list of what to bring in my new Erin Condren planner.  I actually laughed and grabbed my phone to snap a picture when I realized what the very first items were that I had just written. These were clearly quite high on my priority list of items not to forget!  Eventually this entire page was filled with things to bring once I had those first 3 items written down, lol.

And somehow those 3 items morphed into this:

We stopped for lunch in one of our favorite towns…Saugatuck, Michigan.  (Although indoor seating was available at restaurants, we always chose to eat outside at the restaurants we went to).

We arrived at our cottage and the view from our new backyard literally took our breath away.  Perfection.

Catching frogs!

On our very first morning there, my daughter and I woke up before anyone else and snuck outside to read with a view.  I ended up doing this every single morning we were there and it was just as peaceful and blissful as it looks.

Eventually my son woke up and joined us.  American Dirt for me, Babysitters Club book #2 for my daughter, and dinosaur and Elmo books for my son.

So, so happy.

We drove past this hotel and I immediately thought of The Sun Down Hotel!  AHHHHHH!  THIS is EXACTLY how I pictured that hotel to look, even down to the sign.  Such a better image than the one on the cover of the book based upon the descriptions written.  The cover of that book is GORGEOUS but this is such a better representation of how I imagined that hotel to look as I was reading (you can read my review of The Sun Down Motel HERE).

My daughter and my husband fishing!  The view from our dining room window.  So amazing, right?!

Bike ride through a gorgeous forest…

Traveling during a global pandemic definitely was a strange experience.


Cherry picking!

There was a swan family and a duck family who came to visit us each day.

After being in the lake all day, it felt great to take a shower and feel pretty 🙂

Fact: lobster rolls are in my top 5 favorite foods of all time.  If there is a lobster roll on a menu, I will never even consider ordering anything else.

I brought my laptop thinking that blogging by the lake would be such fun!  This picture would be the exact spot that my computer sat from the moment we arrived until the moment we left.  Never even opened the bag, lol.

Dirt road leading to our private oasis.

One afternoon we sat down to an outdoor restaurant and this was my view.  Ummm YES PLEASE.  As soon as the order was placed, my daughter and I literally JUMPED up to go and check it out!

Oh it was so lovely!  I didn’t take any pictures inside because I was trying not to touch my phone but I could have spent hours upon hours in there.  It was amazing.  We didn’t have nearly enough time but both her and I did manage to each find a treasure to buy.  I was excited to find a book by the same author as The Housekeeper which I really enjoyed (read my review HERE).  My daughter bought a present for my son which he loved!  I had such a nice conversation with the man working and I promised that I would come back!  If you are ever in the area, you need to check this place out…

Pontoonin’!  Always drinking hot coffee, even in 90 degree weather 🙂

So handsome.

I read 1 page on that boat.  Literally 1 page.

My husband took this video and I had no idea…


“I’m crushing this!!!” LOL

And now I present to you the most delicious meal of the trip.  Goat cheese, strawberries, walnuts, maple balsamic vinaigrette, and added grilled chicken breast.  OMG.  I loved it so much that I went back a few days later and ordered a second one to go to have for lunch the following day!  Here is a link to the restaurant if you are ever in the area.  DELICIOUS.

Lake lunch 🙂  Day 2 of THE SALAD.

Perfect magnet in a cute Grand Haven boutique.  #truth

Cutest coffee mug from one of our delicious breakfasts.

6 mile family bike ride.  Best bike ride of my life, it was so beautiful!

My family totally indulged me when I yelled “I SEE A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY!”  The 3 of them immediately pulled over to wait for me as I turned my bike around and headed straight back to this little gem:

None of the books caught my eye but for about 20 seconds I debated taking this bookmark ONLY because so many of you ALWAYS call me out for folding down the pages of books, lol.  BUT…then I remembered that I love folding those pages so I left the bookmark right where I found it to become a treasure for someone with better book manners than I 😉

After 6 miles we were SWEATY and desperately needed water.  We found a local farmer’s market and immediately asked where the water was.  The lady watched our 4 faces fall when she told us that there weren’t any vendors selling water!  We accepted our fate and started shopping for other things.  A few minutes later, she quietly told me that she had 3 bottles of water for her personal use but that I could buy them off of her!  DONE.  Wife and Mother of the year when I presented those bottles to my family!  As we were leaving the market sipping our delicious water, the farmer’s market organizer asked where we got them.  I answered “black market” 🙂

We left with fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries, honey sticks, a loaf of bread, and the most delicious water anyone has ever tasted.  Delightful.

And suddenly it was our last day of our perfect getaway.  As my husband and I sat on the beach watching our kids SO happily frolicking in the lake, he pulled out his phone and booked us a return trip for Labor Day weekend!  YESSSSSSSSS!  Best husband and father.  Countdown starts NOW!

And now…we are back home.  Breakfast on our first day back included farmer’s market blueberries and also a mug that I bought from one of my favorite restaurants that I have ever been to 🙂  If you are ever in the area, my whole family and I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant!  This beautiful mug with it’s beautiful memories will make me smile for many years to come.

Michigan cherries have been turned into Illinois muffins!  My husband and my kids say they are the best muffins they have ever had!  Mama for the WIN!  🙂 🙂 🙂

AND I have quite successfully recreated my new favorite salad down to the homemade salad dressing!  NAILED IT!

Thank you all so much for reading about our adventure!  We had the very best week filled with the very best memories.  Socially distanced perfection!

Thank you for allowing me to take a break from talking about books to share a bit of my personal life with you 🙂  As you can see I have been doing lots of reading…and I have 2 book reviews to write and publish for you ASAP!

I hope you all had a wonderful week filled with love and books!

You can read about our trip to Michigan that we took last fall (without our kids!) HERE.



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A Lovely 1 Day Vacation

There is a beautiful beach town located a little over an hour away from my house with a gorgeous lake, lovely stores, and delicious food.  We visit each summer just for a day and it’s such a wonderful little getaway, it truly feels like a vacation!

I didn’t take many pictures because I was too busy enjoying the day with my family (I didn’t even take any photos of the sparkling lake) but here are a few!

In this post  I talked about when I was pregnant with my son and bought him an antique lampshade from an antique store in Wisconsin before I even knew he was boy…here is the store today and the exact spot where that lampshade sat all those years ago:

Tip: Anything is more beautiful when you use a book to display it.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is a gorgeous beach town filled with beautiful stores, restaurants (eat at Popeyes…not the fast food restaurant…and request a table with a window water view), boats, homemade fudge, and so much more.

Behind the main strip of stores is a very old and beautiful church which has been converted into gorgeous shops. One of my favorite fancy children’s clothing boutiques of all time was located inside that former church and each summer I would buy TONS of clothing for my daughter. The boutique has since closed (breaks my heart to see it vacant) but tucked behind it still stands a teeny tiny itty bitty bookshop. Of course I had to stop and the people in there were just lovely!  We had a wonderful conversation and they proudly showed me numerous books written by local authors.

Breadloaf Bookshop:

Random photos from the beautiful boutiques…

A baby onesie that made me legit laugh out loud. Hilarious!

Love this:

I posted this story on Instagram…watch both clips for the full story:


And also from Instagram, I’m obsessed with my new piece of artwork that I bought that day. Can’t wait to hang this!

We ate shrimp salad while watching the boats on the water, played at a local playground, and of course made a stop at the famous Anderson’s Candy Shop on our drive home to bring back chocolate covered pretzels for my husband.  While we were having such a fun day, he spent the day at work.  We missed you, Babe!  Thank you for working so hard for us!

My daughter came home with a beautiful new skirt, my son came home with a dinosaur coloring book, I bought a pretty necklace and 2 gorgeous shirts, and we also came home with this.  It was on display in one of the boutiques.  It was SO COOL and my kids and I were ALL IN.  Even minimalists like me need to crack for completely unnecessary purchases sometimes 🙂

Another tradition is that I always buy my best friend a scarf from a certain store in Lake Geneva whenever I go!  Her and I share a scarf obsession and this store always has the best ones.  Here is this year’s gift for Amy:

And finally…my daughter’s principal told the students that if they send her a postcard over the summer, they will get to eat a fun lunch with her when they return to school in the fall 🙂  My daughter stood and went through every single postcard before deciding on this one (it’s hard to see but it’s made of foil and sparkly.  It was 3 times the price of all of the other postcards…but my daughter is fancy like me.  I totally get it.  Why buy a plain postcard when you could buy one that sparkles?!?).  She wrote her principal a message on the back and we mailed it off to school first thing Friday morning.  Perfect.

Thank you for a lovely getaway, Lake Geneva!  Can’t wait to return next summer!



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My Life: Our Perfect Getaway

My husband and I recently returned from the most relaxing, most beautiful, and most lovely 4 day getaway in Michigan.  No kids, no plans, no schedule.  Just us. We filled our days with delicious food, great shopping, and endless relaxing.

It was glorious.

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Our hotel was stunning.  It had an actual “drawing room” where him and I sat on couches and read books.  Fire in the fireplace, rain on the windowsills, coffee in hand.  Pure heaven.

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(The book I’m currently reading.  It’s adorable so far, I’m about halfway through.  Thank you, Francie Arenson Dickman, for sending this to me to read and review for the blog! It provided me with the perfect reading material for my trip!  Readers: I’ll have a full review and a book GIVEAWAY for you once I finish reading…Stay tuned)!

View from our hotel room:

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We visited a total of 6 beach towns (Saugatuck, South Haven, Grand Haven, Holland, Muskegon, and New Buffalo) on this trip and loved seeing the local sights.

Tiny, independently owned bookstore.

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Local coffee shop with a tucked away window seat. LOVE.

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Cutest stores I have ever seen.  Each individual store was approximately 64-120 sq ft.  We LOVED walking through these (and I bought a beautiful handmade wool and cashmere scarf which I already plan on living in all winter long).

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Antique Store:


Farmers Market:

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On our last morning, I woke up before my husband and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over the marina with my book and our hotel’s DELICIOUS coffee.  Perfection.

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And just for fun…a story 🙂

7 years ago, my husband and I took our very first trip to Michigan (we have since been back 3 times).  I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and we had bought our house about a year and a half prior to our trip.  We arrived in Saugatuck (my favorite town in Michigan) and came across a beautiful art gallery.  There were signs posted in the windows that the gallery was going out of business and everything was 70% off.  70% off for beautiful, one of a kind gallery oil paintings?!  We were so lucky!  The walls of our new home were still bare and this was a perfect opportunity!  We immediately went inside and spent a VERY long time looking through all of the paintings to find the perfect one.  We couldn’t believe our good luck and how fortunate we were to randomly be in town on the VERY weekend they were going out of business.  Amazing.  We finally chose a beautiful painting of a vase of flowers and because the frames were also 70% off, of course we had to choose a custom frame.  We left the store while they framed our one of a kind piece of art feeling fantastic.  What a deal we just got!  We couldn’t wait to return a few hours later to pick up our treasure.  While we waited, we walked across the street.  We entered a store and couldn’t believe our eyes…they had the EXACT same pieces of one of a kind art we had just seen.  How could this be?!  We walked back across the street to our gallery and stopped to carefully read the signs all over the windows.  They in fact did NOT say they were going out of business…they said they were going out FOR business.  And nowhere did anything say the pieces were one of a kind.  We couldn’t stop laughing!  They totally got us. #suckers

7 years later and of course we had to visit our favorite gallery and their genius marketing.  Exact same crooked signs.  Still there.  Still going out FOR business.  Brilliant.


And here’s our NOT one of a kind, must buy it TODAY while this amazing deal is still going on super fancy piece of custom framed art which has been proudly hanging in our dining room for the past 7 years:


And to be quite honest, it’s one of my favorite things in our home because I smile whenever I think about it’s story. 🙂

Thank you, Michigan, for another amazing getaway and for giving us such beautiful memories.  Until next time… 



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If you enjoyed this post, check out these other non book review posts about my life:

Book Coffee Happy Random Thoughts

My Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1 Picture From Each