October 27, 2011

Michigan Love: Sleeping Bear Dunes

A few weeks ago I took a trip back to my home state Michigan, for a wine weekend up North. You probably know by now that I have lots of love for Michigan. Moving away tends to do that to you. Never thought I would have such a soft spot for my hometown and actually want to move back at some point. Living in the hustle and bustle of the city, I ALWAYS appreciate returning to the open spaces and slower pace. Not to mention, Wine Country! If you've never been wine tasting in the Traverse City, Leelanau County area you have to visit! Believe it or not there are many award winning wines up there, and it just keeps getting better. Plus the scenery is amazing. It's about a 5 and a half hour drive up there from Chicago -- not too bad. You wind up the coast for most of the way so there are a lot of great places to stop off.

On our way back down (when we were all wined-out), we stopped at the Most Beautiful Place in America (as voted by GMA), Sleeping Bear Dunes! What a beautiful Fall day, it looked like Summer and I wanted to jump in Lake Michigan.





The water is the most gorgeous shades of blues and stretches on forever. I think I see Chicago across the shore.... :)




How gorgeous is this? Hard to believe this is all in Michigan, isn't it?


My cutie Mom, Hi Nan!

Mom & Big Sis

There are a few different lookouts suspended over the Lake, they offer some pretty spectacular views.


One of my favorites, the clouds were so cool that day.


Anyone feeling me on Most Beautiful Place? It's quite the title, but it's not hard to see how Sleeping Bear Dunes got it. Sigh, another great weekend in Pure Michigan. What about you guys? Any places you'd vote most beautiful in your state? Or did I tempt anyone to plan a visit to Northern Michigan? (Yo, Pure Michigan Tourisim board, some commission wouldn't be out of the question....haha )

October 26, 2011

Words for Wednesday



That sounds like a good idea...

P.S. I've reached the "moderately obsessed" point on Pinterest. Come join me and waste away hours of your time looking at pretty things :)

October 24, 2011

Back to Reality. . .

I've been on vacation in Arizona for the past 9 days and got a big dose of reality when I came back to cool temps and my job today. Oh right, that thing I report to 5 days a week that involves a desk and laptop... Kinda forgot about that last week.

But I missed the blogosphere while I was gone! I thought I would blog a few times from AZ but laying on a raft in the pool turned out to be more tempting! I've been catching up reading all my favorite blogs and getting a few new posts ready for you guys! I should be back with something a little more exciting tomorrow, but just wanted to say "Hi" today :)

Definitely not in Chicago anymore...love this view of the Four Peaks mountains.

October 12, 2011

Words for Wednesday


As everyone posted quotes from Steve Jobs last week I was reminded how much I like this one -- for your career or love!

Lastly, one of my favorite short tweets I saw about him last week, "iPod, iPad, iBelieve you showed us how things could be different."

October 8, 2011

In the Kitchen: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

I've got a perfect weekend recipe to share with you! And it's healthy too! I recently found a new blog with all healthy recipes, and everything looks delicious -- Skinnytaste. She had a great recipe for whole wheat pancakes posted the other week, I tried it a few weekends ago and they were so delicious, they definitely didn't taste "healthy." I had some Michigan blueberries on hand, so I made a super easy compote as well (Food Network Recipe here). Here are the details...

Pancakes
Ingredients:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat
- 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp fat free milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- cooking spray




Preparation:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl, next add in the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, vanilla) and hand mix until there are no dry spots. Be careful not to over-mix.


Heat up a skillet over medium heat and spray lightly with cooking spray. Spoon the pancakes on using a 1/4 cup. When the bubbles on the pancakes set, flip over. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.

Blueberry Compote
Ingredients:
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Love me some Michigan blueberries!!


Preparation:
Combine 1 cup of the blueberries and water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 more minutes, making sure to stir frequently. I ended up having some compote leftover and used it on the oatmeal the next day, equally delicious. And I had no idea how easy it is to make! Since it calls for frozen blueberries, you could be making this all winter long!



When both are done, pour some of the compote over a stack of pancakes. Yum!



Happy Weekend :) Linking up to Tasty Tuesdays at Big Sister's blog today and the Cast Party over at Lady Behind the Curtain! Head over for tons of great recipes!

October 5, 2011

Words for Wednesday


Just in case you need a little mid-week encouragement :) How cute is this? Available as a print via Etsy.

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