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Every winter my girlfriends and I go on a trip up north to my BFF’s house in Grand Marais, Michigan [yep, wayyyy up there] and enjoy the winter wonderland. Each year, is always more eventful than the last. No matter what happens its loads of laughs, stories, and best of all time spent away from social media [no cell service], boys [not invited], and all the distractions we have in our lives now that we are kind of adults.

I’ve been into cookies & I made these cookies for our trip, and also airbrushed some personalized sweaters with everyones personality & names. For a recipe on cookies that hold their shape, click here.Β Super fun.

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If you wanted to see the bridge, today wasn’t the best day to do it.

If you wanted to cross the bridge, today wasn’t the best day to do it either.

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The bridge was closed due to weather during our Grand Marais Weekend. It kinda made history because its only been closed 19 times in its entire existence and there we were trying to cross it during the week it closed 3 other times. Really wild.

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How excited we were to be crossing the bridge and uniting with the other half of our friends on the trip. I designed GRLS WKND shirts, and each letter is something iconic about our adventures in the Upper Peninsula. I thought I was so clever.

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Sorry I made you take so many photos. I’m also sorry for the loss of a loved one, and that you couldn’t attend. They say if you’ve been friends for 10 years, you’ll be friends for life.Β These girls are great. I think I’ll keep em. I just hope they’ll keep me.

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Travel is important. Its good for the soul. Its also good for the soul when you can reunite with some people that you love the most. Kisses.

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Boxed Cake Upgrade

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Life tip: NEVER try a new recipe before you are going to take it somewhere. Do a trial run because you are bound to learn something about bake time, too much this or that, and maybe that the recipe was an entire flop anyway.

March is the month of birthdays in this family, and my husband’s was March 24th. I needed to make something quick so I resorted to a boxed cake from the grocery. I also got a tub of chocolate frosting, because his favorite is yellow cake with chocolate frosting. [Note: One tub of frosting made 12 cupcakes. The cake mix made 16. If you don’t want to resort to naked cake or using buttercream you whip up at home, buy two tubs if you are going to frost them like I did.] Idk who made up this combo, but I really don’t get it. BUT, he loves it, so I made it.

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 2.52.55 PMI wanted these cakes to be semi non box like, so I used a decorating tip 1M. [Wilton brand] I know theres a million tips and names, but compare it to your collection. It looks like this.

My husband’s favorite colors are blue & purple. It’s hard to not make purple girly, so I went with a blue, green, purple sprinkle combo situation. I found this set that had the big dot sprinkles in several colors and threw those in a bowl with some nonperiels of matching colors.

[Tip: I put my tip in the bag and cut it accordingly, and then I put it in a giant glass and fold the extra part of the bag over the edges of the cup. This makes for much easier piping bag filling.] Swoop the frosting on top of your cupcake and put the sprinkles on right after. If you do all the frosting first, your sprinkles will not stick. I don’t have any tutorial for how to swoop frosting, but I’m hopefully going to get my act together and put something out for you to follow.

I hope something I said was helpful in some way and know you aren’t alone box cake makers of America. If I didn’t tell you, you’d never know.

Kisses.

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Garden Variety. Healthy.

Garden Variety. Salad.

Here are two salads I’d eat [lets be realistic here] 2x a week. Like each one, one time. Other than that I’m an Alfredo eating, popcorn popping, banana and peanut butter, cottage cheese and blueberries kinda girl. I’m a grazer, if you will. Just munching through life. Also, hating salads cause in Michigan its 10 degrees for months & I just want to eat something hot. Here’s my favorite salads anyway.

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Garden Variety. Serves 1.Β 
1 Compari Tomato
1 Baby Cucumber [I only like these because the skin isn’t hard like normal sized ones]
1/4 Orange Pepper
4 Baby Carrots
1/2 head chopped romaine lettuce
1 large handful baby spinach/spring mix [comes in a box combined at my local grocery]
Feta Crumbles [optional]
Dressing of your choice. I prefer an Italian. I REALLY prefer Olive Garden Italian. Which I can find at my local grocery. [super tight]

— I’m not about to tell you how to make a salad, cause… you know. But I chop the lettuce up pretty good & any of the other baby spinach/spring mix greens that are large & I ditch all the stems.
— Cut your veggies however, but [pictured above] is how I prefer mine. I also will sea salt my tomatoes if I don’t care about my cholesterol that day.
— Sprinkle everything all pretty & cute on top of your lettuce/baby spinach/spring mix. If you can do dairy, aren’t vegan, or lactose I’ll add some feta if I have some as well.
— I measure my dressing out according to the label and only use one serving, it’s usually 2 tablespoons for a serving. If you don’t measure it out all that added sugar in the dressing will become your whole day’s allowance if you aren’t careful.

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Raspberry. Strawberry. Blueberry. Whatever I have in my fridge.

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In Michigan we can’t always get the BEST produce. BUT this is my favorite salad and the grocery occasionally has excellent strawberries in the middle of winter, if they have blueberries, I’ll also throw those in. This time, I was not so lucky.

Strawberry Pecan Salad. Serves 1.
4-5 Strawberries
Crush Pecans [heaping tablespoon or so]
Small handful of blueberries [if available]
Dried Cranberries [heaping tablespoon or so]
1/2 head chopped romaine lettuce
1 large handful baby spinach/spring mix [comes in a box combined at my local grocery]
Feta Crumbles [optional]
Dressing of your choice. I use [and will only use] Raspberry Vinaigrette from Kraft. Super fancy. I know. and I only use the 1 serving allowance because there’s a LOT of added sugar in the dressing, and this salad naturally has a lot of sugar from the fruits. I’ve heard some people use balsamic vinaigrette, but I tried it once and threw the whole thing out. But you do you.

Sorry this salad has no real measurements. It’s just how big the salad is, and how much fruit/ad ins you want.

I LOVE & live by these salads. They are actually salads I crave [which for me is absolutely wild] I hope you enjoy! Leave a comment about your favorite salad! I’d love to try some different ones & fall in love with others. Kisses.

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