Fall Favorites!

For those of you who don’t know me…FALL IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR! Like if fall could be 9 months out of the year (with summer being the other 3 obviously,) I think I would be the happiest girl in the world!

I’m not sure I can chose my favorite thing about it: the cool temperatures (hello jeans+sweatshirts,) the beautiful colors of the leaves, football games, outdoor activities or pumpkin spice lattes. Either way, the vibes of Fall are just something I look forward to all year long.

This year was especially fun and special; being that it’s Fitz’s first Fall experience! Does anyone else feel like Northern Michigan really lucked out this year with some warm, sunny and colorful days! Kwin and I definitely took advantage of this with lots of hiking, biking and “fall-ish” activities. Let me know if you enjoyed any of these too; or if we need try some new things next year!

Hiking and Biking

  • Vasa Single Track– HIGHLY recommend going here for an epic bike during the fall! NMMBA has done an awesome job recently of creating more trails for you to explore all over the state land in Williamsburg, MI. You can also hike or RZR on designated trails.
  • Electric Bikes on the backroads– We invested in some Electric bikes a couple years ago, specifically for bike rides like these! We are able to cover so much ground, and still enjoy the ride. Plus adventuring on back dirt roads is always so much fun with Kwin. Shoutout to Oma Jo for hanging out with Fitz so we could have a little day date!
  • Home Sweet Home– We’ve spent so much time over the past five years working on trails around our property. I’m not lying when I say they are my favorite trails to hike! The dogs can be off leash, so many different trails to choose from, and the beauty of the landscape makes it great too!
  • Mt. Holiday– A local favorite for skiing in the Traverse City area is also a favorite for hiking year round! Climbing to the top of the main ski hill really gives you an epic view of both East and West Grand Traverse Bay!
  • Marquette Trip– Our annual UP fall trip took place in Marquette this year. It was a beautiful and sunny weekend; filled with lots of hiking! Some of our favorites are Hogsback, Sugarloaf, Deadriver Falls and catching sunrise on Lake Superior. Fun fact… FOUR years ago Kwin and I got engaged on top of Hogsback Mountain; and look at us now with our beautiful baby girl in the same spot! This hike will always have so much special meaning to me.

Fall Treats

  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes– I’m usually not for frilly drinks, I’m pretty lame and just prefer a good black coffee. BUT this time of year calls for all the frilly pumpkin drinks I can get my hands on. If you’re in the Traverse City area…. go to Espresso Bay and get their pumpkin spice latte (it’s made with REAL pumpkin, no fake sugary syrups) YOU WONT REGRET IT.
  • Third Coast Bakery– Donuts aren’t really my jam, and I usually only have one pumpkin donut a year. However, after trying one of there HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GF donuts… I was converted to a donut person. Lets just say we made it a Sunday tradition to get a few of these bad boys! If you’re in the Traverse City area and looking for a bakery that is Gluten Free and very allergen friendly (soy, dairy and some items even egg free) give this place a try! I haven’t had a bad bakery item yet!
  • Pumpkin Patch– Is it really fall if you don’t go to a pumpkin patch? Unfortunately with COVID, this wasn’t the “usual” pumpkin patch experience…but we still made the best of it!

Sports

  • Lions Games– Even though the lions let us down 75% of the time, we still spend our Sundays cheering them on!
  • Elk Rapids Sporting Events– I love fall because of all the sports! And with Kwin taking a break from coaching this year, we had more time to go support the other teams; like football, soccer and volleyball! Fitz is enjoying going to all these games too. I’ve got a feeling she’s going to be a little sports star!

Family Fun

  • Sauna Season – I missed out on sauna season last year, due to being pregnant. But let me tell ya, I’m so excited the weather is cooling off and the sauna is being lit again!
  • Hot Tubs– Kwin and Fitz have some fun bonding time in the hot tub before “tubby time” almost daily! My heart melts watching her splashing around in there and interacting with daddy. She really is a water lover already.
  • HalloweenEEEEKKK, I was looking forward to Halloween so much! In fact, Fitz rocked three outfits and looked absolutely adorable in all of them. Dottie from a ‘League Of Their Own,’ A Polar Bear, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!

Writing this on our first wintery day -hello white stuff&40mph winds– and getting a little sad that fall has come to an end. We are lucky in Michigan to experience all four seasons, as it really makes you appreciate whatever season you are currently in.
So I’ll sign off hear and say: Until next year Fall!

Sunny and 23 degrees..Winter is here!

Is anyone else as excited as I am for snow finally? 

As a child, I really did not like the winter months. I lived in the city, and there are only so many times you can go sledding down the same hill, build a snowman and have a snowball fight with your neighbors before it gets kinda old. Winter in the Detroit area is cold…and I mean cold…but is lacking one major part of winter, SNOW! Don’t get me wrong, they do get some snow…but nothing like Lake effect snow up here. Lastly, but being cold cold is almost painful to me ( I have the lovely disease Raynaud’s!)

With all that being said, now at the age of 23 I absolutely love winter! After moving to northern Michigan three years ago Kwin really exposed to the beauty and all the fun things you can do during this time of year.

Snowshoeing– Kwin and I absolutely love snowshoeing. Whether it be in the back woods behind out house, on a wine tour with friends, or just leisurely at a state park we love it.

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Fat Tire Biking– This one Kwin got me into last winter. Due to my lack of confidence in biking, and extreme fear of losing control…biking in the winter is defiantly a challenge for me. However, I do really enjoy it! Being out in nature, riding through the snow-covered words is pretty amazing.

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Cross Country Skiing– This my friends is a heck of a workout! Since running is pretty tough to do on the wintery, snow covered roads you should give this sport a try! It’s tough, and does take some practice (like Fat Tire Biking, I hate losing control of things) but is super fun.

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Downhill Skiing– Growing up I can count on one hand the times I went skiing. I always wanted to learn, but never got the opportunity.  Like most the sports I listed above, I am defiantly still learning and gaining confidence with this sport too, but it’s fun and something to do with a group of friends on a winter day!

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Sauna Ice Bath– The combination of heat from the sauna, and cold from the ice bath has some incredible health benefits! Improving circulation, healing injured/damaged tissue, and increasing hormone levels to fight against depression are only a few! There really isn’t a way to describe how amazing a sauna/ice bath session is on a cold winter day feels.

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Let me just add, I would like to thank Kwin for have such patience with me regarding any winter sport!

As I mentioned about, I have the lovely disease Raynaud’s..which to those who don’t know is a circulation disease. Basically, whenever I am cold (yes, this can even be walking down the freezer section at Meijer) all the circulation to my hands and feet stop,leaving them white or purple in color! Not only this, but they HURT and feel like I’m being stabbed constantly. So as you all can imagine, I hate being cold and try to avoid it as much as possible! Knowing this and how much I love doing outside activities, Kwin found me some heated gloves- and let me tell you THEY’RE AN ABSOLUTE LIFESAVER!

Check them out HERE : Outdoor Research Stormtrack Heated Gloves!

Winter is just beginning, and I could not be anymore excited! Let all the fun activities begin.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog and as always, get outside and enjoy this beautiful world we live in!