Thursday, July 25, 2013

Friends, Facebook and Moonie Blossoms

     I think most of us have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I swore I wasn't going to get on it and yet it has turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. Because of Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with many of my high school friends (and some classmates that weren't really friends in school) and not only have we had a reunion, many of us have renewed friendships that were dormant for many years. We have bonded over the loss of parents, illnesses and deaths of classmates, weddings and grandchildren. It has really been a blessing.

     One of my friends has a very talented daughter who has started her own business. Because we are connected on Facebook, I kept seeing items that her daughter was posting and we often talk about her business when we get together. It has been fun watching it grow from a few items to many and I’m always so frustrated that I don’t have any little girls to buy these things for. I finally got to meet her daughter this week and she was showing me pictures of some of her creations. Everything was so cute! If I had a young daughter or granddaughter, I would be going crazy over all of these things. So, I asked her if I could do a blog post about her business and share some pictures.

     Chelsea Weaver lives in Michigan and owns an online boutique called Moonie Blossoms (how cute is that?). Her business started with handmade tutus and she has added hair accessories, custom embroidered clothing (she can personalize items) as well as a few darling clothing and jewelry items from other sources available in limited numbers. She custom designs Halloween costumes...

A sweet little bee

A Halloween dress

A peacock tutu (this is an adult skirt).

She also does custom embroidery.

A bathing suit

A first birthday onesie

One of my favorites...a little ladybug
1st birthday Head to Toe outfit.

A first birthday custom design for the girly-girl,
who just happens to love John Deere tractors.

She creates beautiful hair accessories.

Frilly rompers

If you have a theme in mind, she will design it.

     Her prices start at $1 each for blank headbands, $4 for Flower clips, $5 embellished headbands and $18 for Tutu skirts. Her Crochet waistband tutu skirts are $20 and she even has tutu dresses that range from $25-$55 depending on the size and style. The prices are listed here for up to age 8 and she will give you quotes for larger sizes. Her Head to Toe packages include the onesie or t-shirt, the tutu, a hair ornament and if requested-leg warmers. The prices depend on the design and size.

     One of the things that I think is very unique that she does is a party pack. She charges $110 for 10 girls and $200 for 20 girls (with price quotes for other size groups) and each party pack includes a Tutu skirt on a crochet waistband to fit a large range of sizes and your choice of accessory for each girl which can be a tiara, wings, handmade wand or bead necklaces. My daughter would have loved a party like this and such a wonderful take home for the guests!  

     Chelsea asks for 20% down with your order and to be paid in full before shipping. She does take credit cards and Paypal. After meeting Chelsea and talking to her about her business, I was really impressed with her devotion to customer service. I think this is what is going to make her stand out from others. She truly wants her customers to be happy, to get exactly what they want and I got the feeling that there isn't any theme she wouldn't be willing to make.
     You can contact Chelsea at or find her Facebook page here. If you want to call Moonie Blossoms, the number is 715-578-7600.
     Chelsea has decided to offer anyone who mentions reading my blog post a 25% discount off their first order!


I was not compensated for this blog post, this was my idea!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Not A Glamour Shot

     This isn't the first time that I have written about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is just one of those places that draws me back time and time again. The beauty of the spot, the vastness of Lake Michigan, the blending of sky and is simply one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
     This trip, for the 3rd time, we decided to do The Dune Climb. This climb is over 200 feet high, almost straight up in some places and it is in very soft sand which causes you to sink to your ankles with each step. The first trip we took to Sleeping Bear we did the climb and I truly thought I might die. The second time we climbed was just a few days after my mother died, we took my dad to Michigan to pass the days before her services. I took the climb slowly with him, not because he couldn't do it, but because I was afraid I'd lose him too! This time, I was ready. I've been exercising regularly for months. I had the right shoes, sleeves on my top and no purse to carry, a visor to protect my eyes, my water bottle...I was in the best shape I could possibly be in. This was going to be a piece of cake! I didn't count on it being 88 degrees that day. I also didn't count on the fact that my husband had the camera and caught me melting on the way up!
     Okay, so it isn't pretty. A golf visor, socks, shoes and capris...not my best look...but I did it! I am so hot at this point that I just wanted to pour the water on my head. I did have to stop a couple of times, but at least it never felt like my heart was going to explode like my first climb. Was it a piece of cake? No! It is really hard! The sand is so loose and for every 3 steps forward, you slide a step back. As much as I hate having my picture taken, I am showing this one because it truly shows what the climb is like. See how far away that parking lot is? This still doesn't show the incline. Now, some pictures as to what makes it worth the effort.

     If you ever get a chance to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes (you don't have to climb like this to still enjoy the beauty of the spot) please, do so. You won't regret it!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How Much Is That Book?

     One of the unexpected things that happened when I started blogging was being contacted by companies to review their products, host a giveaway or provide a link to their webpage. I am sure that any of you that are bloggers have had the same offers made to you. I am very selective about what products or websites that I will feature on my blog. I only agree to review a CD if I think there is a good possibility that I will actually like it (sometimes I don't). I will only do a Giveaway/Review if I think it is something that some of my readers would want to buy or win. I almost always turn down the requests to feature a website or service on my blog because they rarely have anything to do with what I write about.

     I am making an exception today. When I was in college the first time (back in the dark ages), my books were rentals and were included in the price of my tuition. It was shocking to me when I went back to finish that degree a couple decades later, the cost of my books. My youngest graduated from college 6 years ago and her textbook expense at her private university was unbelievable. We did everything we could think of to purchase used textbooks and if we were lucky, sometimes we would find the exact book from an online used book source for under $100. Many of her books we had to buy at full price and then when it came time to sell them back to the bookstore...she would be offered  next to nothing for them.

     I was asked to take a look at It is a website created by a college student, for college students. I checked out the reviews and tried out the website and it is easy to use and just makes sense. You type in the name of the textbook you need by ISBN number, author or title. The book comes up and you select the length of time you want to rent it (quarter, semester etc.) and the price is listed. The prices are very reasonable and could literally save a student hundreds of dollars a semester. When your rental time is up, you ship the book back. Shipping both directions is free. They have also created for the textbooks a student already owns. The student can ship (for free) their book to and it will be rented to other students. Each time the book is rented, the student/owner gets paid. It is likely that the student will earn more money renting their book to other students than selling it for a few dollars back to a campus bookstore. One other thing that I think is worth mentioning is that partners with Operation Smile, the organization that provides cleft lip surgeries to children who could not have it done any other way. What a great way to give back!

     If I had a college student, this is exactly where I would go to take care of the expense of textbooks. College is so expensive and over 4 years, the cost of books is astronomical. This could literally save thousands of dollars for a student earning a degree. I hope you will check out their page or pass the information along if you know someone who might be interested.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lilacs, Lavender and Lunch

     What keeps us returning year after year to Michigan, is nature. We always seem to find interesting things to do that most often have a connection to local crops, farms or beautiful views. This year, much like the rest of us in the Midwest, things were a little behind schedule. We were lucky enough to see the lilacs in bloom. The variety of colors and sizes was stunning. Everywhere we went the smell of lilac was in the air.
     On my list of "things to see sometime" has been Lavender Hill Farms, in Boyne City, MI. Pictures I had seen had the fields full of dark purple, but with the crops a little late, we saw just the beginning of the blooms.
     The fields are evidently very fragrant when in full bloom, but I had to use my imagination a little bit as we really couldn't smell the lavender outside yet.

     The very large basket is full of different types of lavender.  I had no idea there were so many varieties. There are also lots of bees. I actually had one leave the hive and get in my hair. My husband was trying to brush it away and it simply wouldn't leave. What started as me brushing a hand near my hair ended up with me doing quite a dance, screaming a bit and yelling at my husband to get rid of it! I kept waiting for the sting, but I survived. Thankfully, no camera for that episode!

     The gift shop DID smell like lavender. Oh my, a bloggers dream shop. Everything was so pretty and soft colors were everywhere. I tasted lavender shortbread (it was good, but I prefer mine without lavender), tried creams and lotions and bought a few Christmas gifts.

Everywhere we looked there was lavender growing.
Can you imagine what it looks like in full bloom?
     Usually my travel posts include tons of food pictures. We did actually eat on this trip, but after months of healthy eating (see posts here and here) we didn't eat as often or as much. One of the places we really enjoyed was Martha's Leelanau Table in Sutton's Bay, MI. Suttons Bay is a beautiful lake town full of shops and restaurants. Martha's is in an old house and we enjoyed our lunch on the patio.

     I ordered the Leelanau Raclette. Leelanau Raclette cheese is made locally and we have purchased the cheese before. I have never had it served the traditional way and it was everything I had imagined. The cheese is melted and served with crusty bread, boiled potatoes and cornichon pickles. It was excellent.

     My husband had the Turkey, Bacon, Pesto and Swiss Sandwich on 7-grain bread. We would certainly go back again. The desserts looked amazing, but we were too full after lunch to try them.
To be continued...

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Blog Post That Your Husbands Will Like!


     We usually go to Michigan in the fall, in fact we have only been there one other time in the summer. The room rates are double, the crowds are in town and unlike in fall, there are young children on the beaches. Why would we even want to go under those circumstances? My husband really wanted to go to the Bay Harbor Vintage Car and Wooden Boat Festival. I am not all that into cars actually, but Bay Harbor (located right on the edge of Petoskey, MI, is a beautiful area, right on the water. There are shops, restaurants and I knew that I would enjoy the scenery, even if the cars were boring. My husband insisted that these were not your "normal" car show cars and he was right. These were the most gorgeous, expensive cars I have ever seen and the wooden boats were beautiful and so interesting. It was a cool, misty morning and it really was fun. This post is heavy with photos, but they were all so unique I couldn't stop taking pictures.

I love how she posed for me in her period clothing.

This was my husband's favorite car.

It was interesting to see that Emmy nominated
actor Edward Herrmann (Eleanor and Franklin,
 Here Come the Munsters, Gilmore Girls) was
one of the judges for the car show.

The boats were beautiful and almost eerie on
a slightly foggy, misty day.

That is my idea of a tablescape!

     I actually ended up loving the show and we really enjoyed chatting at our hotel with some of the owners and getting up close to their cars the night before. This event we would both recommend.