Tour the Town!

During a recent hangout with my BFF Amber, we decided we wanted to inspire something a little different for 2019. We were talking about some of the Instagram pages that really strike us, how the imagery makes us want to do more, and travel more, and eat more, and figure out internet fame! We cracked up over how popular some pages are and for such simple content. This discussion became a rabbit hole of ideas and before we new what was happening we were starting something pretty awesome!

We have decided to take 2019 and discover everything we can about our own hometown, and any other place that we might travel too or stumble upon along the way! And whilst exploring we’ll share these adventures with all of you here, along with pictorial reviews on Instagram! You can follow us @Tour_the_Town

Amber and I met 7 years ago when she and her husband moved back to Michigan from South Carolina. Her husband and I went to high school together, he and my husband grew up playing baseball together, and we had one other rather sad connection…. Her son was a cancer survivor and my late son was at the time a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Not something you expect to bond over but there was an empathy there that I needed, and 7 years later I don’t know what I would do without her!

We live a block away from each other in a small Michigan town that we both grew up in. We have thrown parties, held fundraisers, gone to community and school events, and even vacationed together! Our families often feel like one big family and we love that! So now that we are starting Tour the Town we hope you’ll have fun with us, laugh with us, and get to know us a little better.

Since we are so close to our little district of Vandercook Lake we plan to start there! There are a couple of awesome little restaurants right around the corner from us, and we plan to highlight these locations each week, or as often as our schedules allow! This week we visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub in Vandercook Lake! This locally owned restaurant and sports bar has quite a story to share and we can’t wait to get to it! More soon, until then enjoy some memories from Amber and I. Thanks for following along!

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Kitchen reveal!

So…it’s been awhile sorry about that. We have been rushing to finish all of the details on the kitchen remodel that we have been doing on a budget and all on our own! I can’t wait for you all to see the transformation it’s amazing!

Our kitchen was original to the house built in the 1950’s by my husbands grandfather. Needless to say all of the changes have been made with a lot of thought and respect for this family home. It means a lot to us to be able to update the home that his family gathered in for so many wonderful years. I didn’t get a true before…my husband jumps right in! Lol but here is a before that shows a bit of the layout.

Once cabinets were removed and we started measuring for stock cabintry we realized the windows are oddly offset, and the previous cupboards had been built very big to fill that space. Our budget wasn’t flexible enough for custom cabinets so we opted for a trendy look without any upper cabinetry! Risky but worth it you guys I love the look and feel of the new kitchen!

We added a new peninsula workspace, a soffet for additional lighting, and corner shelving.

There are a few details left to tend to they include drawer pulls, roman shades on the windows and the microwave hood vent has to be installed over the stove, but with the holidays creeping up fast we’re choosing our battles. Lol!

I’d love to know your thoughts on our project! Thanks for following along!

National Candy Corn Day!

Happy National Candy Corn Day!

Candy Corn was created by the Wunderle Candy Company in the late 1800s. It’s original colors were yellow, orange and white, but it has become popular in other colors as well.

This confection was originally made by hand using corn syrup, sugar, water, marshmallows, fondant and carnauba wax (a wax made from the leaves of a palm tree), but it is now produced using machines however original ingredients are still used in the recipe.


Here are some more fun candy corn inspired treat ideas! Enjoy!

Bright Walls Jackson

This past weekend my sister came into to town for a visit, and while she was here she and my Mom, and our Aunt decided to visit the Bright Walls Festival taking place in downtown Jackson MI.

Bright walls is an art festival that brings muralist from all over the world together into one place where they paint buildings for a week. The Jackson Young Professionals group got involved in a downtown beautification effort, and bright walls was born.

I have to say I didn’t know exactly what to expect but this was a fantastic festival to visit. They had live music, food vendors, and all of the art was in walking distance making it easy to take it all in. I especially love the giant black pigeon it’s very striking! Here are some pictures from when we visited and then a few from yesterday as things are wrapping up this week! Enjoy!

Saturday….

In addition to the featured artiat displays there was also a local artist mini mural contest,it was awesome to see everyone working on their projects.

Today…

Fall Inspiration

I love this time of year, although… Michigan is having a very summer-y fall so far. Today is over 80F!! But, the leaves are turning, the fall decorating has started, and I’m starting to prepare for our annual Halloween party (one of my favorite parties of the year).

I’ve been wading through my instagram pages lately admiring all of the fabulous fall decor projects. The trend this year definitely leans toward the softer colors, mauvy pinks, deep purples, and white are making regular appearances on the front porches of the seasons style-makers. Here are some of my faves, enjoy!

This pic is just gorgeous and so much like Fall in Michigan just gorgeous colors everywhere you look.

This was the first pic I found with the pink, purple combo that I used on my own front yard this season. I just love how pretty it is feminine fall.

The blues and greens are pretty too and such a compliment to the front door!

Again these colors were really calling me this year and look at the dainty candle lanterns. The hint of gold is perfect!

All and all I’d say everyone is having a lot of fun being creative this Fall. I’m going to keep working on the party prep. More to come on that soon! Thanks for reading!

Kitchen gadgets for days!

Ok so it’s been awhile…sorry ’bout that…but Spring is near and planning and purchasing at the garden center is ramping up and this girl has been insanely busy. I’ll try to do better…

Anyway, I’ve been busy but not so busy that I didn’t have time to purchase a ton of pampered chef stuff recently. Has this ever happened to you? I had two of my friends host parties in the last 5 weeks. Online parties at that! I shopped I ordered and now I remember why I love this stuff.

Let’s rewind…a million years ago when my husband and I first got married, I decided to become a pampered chef consultant. And I LOVED it! It was a way to make my favorite hobby, cooking and baking, into a decent little side hustle. Once my school schedule became a little more intense I stopped doing pampered chef, but I still to this day have so many items from my original consultants kit that work perfectly and still look new! It’s amazing!

I have favorites like the spatulas and scrapers, knives, and of course bakeware and stones! I even have a few unnecessary gadgets like the egg slicer, corn butterer (not my fave), garlic press (awesome), and even an awesome little zester thingy that I use a lot more than I thought I would!

One more item I can’t live without the pampered chef dill seasoning mix. It’s freaking amazing! Seriously I use it all the time…come to think of it I should have probably ordered two of those this time lol.

Do you have pampered chef? What are your faves?

PS if you’re a consultant awesome…but I am not interested in joining lol, I’ll just enjoy my shopping experiences thanks!

Cast iron conversation

So as promised, I thought I would touch on the benefits and care of cast iron. I will admit that I am fairly new to the world of cast iron, but I love it and I’m not going back!

First of all cast iron pots and pans literally last forever! You’ll frequently find them in antique marts or buy a new one at just about any local super market. I bought mine at Target!

When choosing a cast iron piece think about the most used piece of cookware you have currently and replace it with a cast iron piece. I know it seems like you’re jumping in head first but do it! Once you discover the joys of these pieces you’ll be looking for excuses to use it all the time.

The one I bought is enameled on the outside, as far as I know this is purely aesthetic, I just thought it looked a little nicer for my kitchen. They are super affordable a large stove top cast iron skillet runs from $24.99-$35.99 depending on manufacturer and where you’re buying from.

Many new pieces come pre-seasoned. Seasoning a pan is an intimidating process for some people. But it’s actually pretty simple. If your pan is pre-seasoned there is no need to go through the process again. Seasoning consists of applying oil to the pan and heating it creating a barrier around the surfaces of the pan that will be both non-stick, and protective to the pan itself.

A well seasoned pan is a cinch to clean! Food will practically fall out of the pan and then wipe down with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and apply a light coating of oil to the cooking surface before putting it away. If you have a little stubborn spot that food is sticking simply apply a bit of baking soda and scrub it off, this works like a charm!

Drying your pan thoroughly is very important as cast iron pans can rust if not cared for properly. If rust develops in your pan it can be removed with a lot of elbow grease, and some steel wool but this is not a fun process, and the pan will need to be seasoned again once restored.

When cooking with cast iron always preheat the pan. Cast iron does not heat up very evenly but once hot it works like a charm. Start your pan on med-high heat for a few minutes before adding anything to the pan. To check readiness try the pop and sizzle test. Take some water and add a bit to the pan if it pops and then sizzles away the pan is ready. If it doesn’t it’s too cool, and if the water steams off immediately the pan is too hot! If the pan is too hot and you add oil you’ll have a smoky stinky mess! Just remember pop and sizzle!

Another thing to consider when cooking in your cast iron pans is that the whole pan will get hot, including the handles! So have oven mitts or hot pads ready for when you want to remove it from the heat or place it in the oven.

The ability for these pans to be used on the cook top or in the oven is another great feature! Imagine making chicken, pizza, cornbread, or casseroles all on the same one pan! It’s brilliant!

There is so much to share I may have to post more later. I’ll go into more detail on seasoning these pans too. Bottom line though try it! You will really love these pans!