Our Amazing Return Visit To Spring Lake, Michigan

2 months ago our family took the most lovely vacation to Spring Lake, Michigan. We rented a cottage literally on the lake and we spent a week frolicking in the water, playing in the sand, eating delicious food, and quarantining ourselves in the most wonderfully safe way. Before we even left, my husband had booked us a return visit over Labor Day weekend and we literally counted down the days from the second we got home until this last weekend. Read all about our first trip to Spring Lake HERE.

I mean…how could we NOT want to return when this was our backyard???

(For another video of this gorgeous view, check out my video on THIS POST)

I spent this last trip reading The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}(affiliate). It was the only book that I read while I was there and finished about 2 hours before we left to come home. I will have my full review posted later this week!

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I present to you…the best meal of the trip. Village Baker PERFECTION. We ate there not once, not twice, but THREE times over a 2 day span. IT’S SO DELICIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL THERE. One of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. Absolutely love it there.

2 eggs, cheddar cheese, grilled Asiago cheese scone. And heaven. Little bits of heaven sprinkled in throughout. Omgggggg…..

We found a gorgeous bike trail in Hart, Michigan. Stunning bike ride AND every street sign has a heart on it?! My dream town 🙂

Back at our cottage, my husband and my kids spent hours fishing and caught so many fish! My choice: The Lies That Bind > squirming, bloody fish.


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My favorite Amazon product traveled with me!

Early morning reading by the lake while everyone else was still sleeping. THE BEST.

View from outside the kitchen window. So breathtaking, right? See that chair and table? Still set up from my reading scenario the previous day. LOVE.

Wouldn’t be a vacation without me noticing the local library as we drove past, lol.

I saw these earrings in a gorgeous beachside boutique and I think they might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. The Golden Girls! The Clintons! Donald Trump! Rebecca and Jack Pearson! Macaulay Culkin! Meghan and Harry! Justin Bieber! The cast of Friends! Justin Timberlake! Beyonce and Jay Z! Taylor Swift! Omgggggggggggg

Kim and Kayne! I WAS DYING.

Love this sign so, so much.


This was actually our 6th visit to beautiful Michigan and each time we come, we fall more and more in love with the picturesque beach towns, the gorgeous water, the friendly people, and the delicious food. 2 years ago, Jon and I came for 4 days all alone while my parents watched our kids. It was quiet, relaxing, and lovely! You can read about that trip HERE.

During that trip 2 years ago, I came across the cutest coffee mug in one of the stores in Grand Haven. I even took a picture with it:

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I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it but that mug has literally haunted me for the past 2 years. When we were shopping in downtown Grand Haven this past July, I was determined to figure out which store I found it at and to see if by some miracle they still had it! I described the store to another shop owner in the area who immediately told me where the shop was located. I was so excited! I went straight there…and discovered that half of it is now a dog products store (??) and the other half is now a toy store…and although they DID randomly have tons of mugs, none were mine. I even sat there and went through EVERY. SINGLE. MUG. BOX. in search of my special mug. Nothing. The man working gave me the name of another store down the strip which had bought lots of the goods from the store when it was divided up. So….I dragged my family to yet ANOTHER store in search of my mug. Found the store, did not find the mug. I went into a bunch of other stores on the strip in hopes that THEY might have it and…nothing. I was brokenhearted but accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Fast forward 2 months later and we were in the brand new to us town of Pentwater, Michigan (side note: LOVED THIS TOWN). My daughter and I were walking through an adorably cluttered store where you literally had to look evvvvvvvvverywhere because there was so much to look at. I spy old school trolls (the BEST) on the ceiling!

So her and I were walking along when suddenly…

I grabbed her arm and just stared. She followed my eyes and exclaimed, “CUP OF HAPPY!” This mug is even more beautiful than the original and so much more “me”. Totally meant to be. SOLD. I have happily used it every single day since we’ve been back.

Best, happiest souvenir. Literally brings me such joy when I use it! Totally worth the 2 year wait.

Thank you, Michigan, for once again providing our family with the very best memories. Already trying to figure out when we can return!

I hope you had a lovely long Labor Day weekend! I’ll have my review of The Lies That Bind posted later this week!



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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

Video Greetings From Spring Lake, Michigan and The Swap {Robyn Harding} Giveaway Winners!

Hello from Beautiful Spring Lake, Michigan! My family and I are here livin’ the gorgeous lake life over the long Labor Day weekend. I want to quickly pop on here and upload this video that I took this morning of myself choosing the 2 giveaway winners for Robyn Harding’s newest book, The Swap!

**You can read the book synopsis, read my review, read Melissa Amster from Chick Lit Central’s review, AND read my Q&A with Robyn Harding HERE.**

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend filled with books and love! I’m off to go on a gorgeous bike ride with my family…Talk soon!

Giveaway Winners Selection Video:



This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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.



This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

October Reflections



October was a great month!  I have now had my blog for a little less than 2 months and have been having such fun with it.  There is so much to learn about having a blog and I’m having the best time expanding my knowledge through such a creative outlet.  Thank you all so much for your support!

Let’s reflect on October…

My favorite (and most controversial) post: Let’s Chat: When Did This Happen? More Importantly…WHY Did This Happen?

Man, do you all have opinions on this topic!  I also posted this in a few Facebook groups that I belong to and people had all sorts of things to say.  Some agreed with me, some did NOT, but everyone was respectful.  I absolutely love the discussions that this post started.  So many different views, so many different perspectives.  Without a doubt, this is also my favorite post that I wrote this month (actually that I’ve ever written on this blog)!  I loved writing this because I truly spoke from my heart about a topic which was so close to me and had tears in my eyes as I wrote.  Writing those words brought back so many special and cherished memories.

Best Book I Reviewed This Month: This one is a tie between Book Review: Wonder {R.J. Palacio} and The Hate U Give {Angie Thomas}

These books changed my outlook on so many things.  Both YA.  Both beautifully written.  Highly, highly recommend.

Worst Book I Reviewed This Month: Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine {Gail Honeyman}

I hated this book.  So much.

Giveaways I hosted: ****GIVEAWAY**** Maddie’s Miracles {Scott Kramer} and ***GIVEAWAY*** I’m Going to Gramma’s In My Pajamas! {Barbara Berg Mies}

I had such fun hosting 2 giveaways on the blog this month plus more giveaways exclusively on my Facebook/Twitter pages. If you aren’t yet following me on those platforms, I would be so thankful if you did (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy, @bookcoffeehappy) as I’m regularly posting content (and exclusive giveaways!) on those platforms.  I loved working with these kind and generous authors and sharing their lovely books. Both books were fantastic in their own ways and it was my honor to be able to share them with all of you.  Spoiler Alert: I have some AWESOME blog giveaways already scheduled for November…

Favorite Blogging Experience: As many of you saw on Facebook/Twitter, this happened last week:


This was such an amazing opportunity and experience for me. I met some very interesting people and learned a great deal. Just being surrounded by so many passionate authors was so wonderfully inspirational. I loved being included in their thought provoking discussion.

Favorite Personal Experience: My Life: Our Perfect Getaway

Take me baaaaaack.

Total Combined Number of Book Coffee Happy Facebook, Twitter, and Blog Subscribers/Followers: 720

Not bad for less than 2 months of blogging!  I’m so thankful for every single subscribe, follow, like, share, and comment.  I am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of the book blogging community and how many people have helped my blog to GROW!  To the many of you that I do not know in real life, I’m so looking forward to getting to know you though my blog.  I love sharing pieces of my life and thoughts with all of you and I have some upcoming blog posts which I am really passionate about.

One thing that would really help me would be to please subscribe/follow on my actual blog. There is a place to do this right at the top of this page where you can enter your email address (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page if you are on an a mobile device). If you have already done this, THANK YOU so much!

I would also love if you would follow me on Facebook and Twitter (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy, @bookcoffeehappy).

I have discovered some AWESOME blogs over the past few weeks…and I love that so many new people have discovered mine.  If you are new here…welcome!  I’m so happy that you’re here 🙂

Happy Halloween!  I am dressing up today as the Evil Queen and my daughter will be Evie (Descendants).  My husband will be Willy Wonka and my son will be an Oompa Loompa (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).  Fingers crossed for no rain!

How was your month? I would love to hear some highlights in the comments! Bloggers, feel free to link your most memorable October posts for others to check out in the comments as well 🙂



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… 



Please follow/subscribe to my blog, please “like” my Facebook page (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy), and follow me on Twitter@bookcoffeehappy!  

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