My holiday visit to Sweet Pea Baby Boutique in Traverse City, Michigan, was filled with fun items including baby clothes, Melissa & Doug toys, Piggy Paint, and MY board books! As many of you know, I have four board books that make great gifts for little ones! See why this sweet store is Merry & Bright this Christmas… Sweet Pea is located at 205 E. Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684
A winter visit to his studio filled with gorgeous hand created pottery…
The talented northern Michigan artist, Ben Maier of Benjamin Maier Ceramics, is celebrating 18 years of gorgeous pottery in 2020! His studio, located in Traverse City at 10201 S. Center Hwy (not his Leland Gallery), hosted a Winter Open House this weekend to highlight his pottery as well as show off his chic northern Michigan work space. The kiln, stacks of clay, and coziness were a treat to all who stopped by! If you missed this weekend’s events, the studio schedules one-on-one appointments throughout the year. During the summer season, discover his hand-created pottery in the heart of charming Leland, Michigan. They are usually open from Memorial Day to the end of October each year. In the shoulder season (early summer and Fall) it is open from 10:30am-4pm. In the height of the summer season, the studio is open from 10:30am-5pm with occasional evening hours. Follow on Benjamin Maier Ceramics Instagram @maierceramics and visit his website: www.maierceramics.com
Benjamin Maier Ceramics Gallery Location: 104 N. Main Street | Leland, MI 49654
Benjamin Maier Ceramics Studio Location: 10201 S. Center Highway | Traverse City, MI 49684
It’s Wine Time on the Old Mission Peninsula! Northern Michigan is home to numerous wineries and wine regions to visit, one of my favorites areas is Old Mission, which is home to the Old Mission Peninsula Wine Trail- this region has 13 wineries to visit. Located on the Old Mission Peninsula, which is the peninsula of land that jets out between Traverse City’s two bays, East Bay & West Bay. All of these wineries are minutes from downtown Traverse City, obviously, the further you drive out on the peninsula, the further they are. Don’t fret, the drive down Center Road is fast and has spectacular views! You will fall in love with the scenery, the wine, and the people.
On a side note, there are multiple roadside farm stands filled with apples, pumpkins, honey, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Selection changes with the season and is always fresh! There are many wine tours and shuttle busses to hire to make the wine tasting experience enjoyable and safe.Here is a link to the Traverse City Tourism list of wine tours/busses. Read below for a few of my favorite wine stops on Old Mission Peninsula:
Mari Vineyards: The very first winery you will hit driving down Center Road on Old Mission is Mari Vineyards and I am a big fan! The winery itself is gorgeous with breathtaking views, great service, and makes a pretty good red wine for Michigan. After a tasting, grab a glass and sit outside!
Bonobo Winery: Restoration Hardware meets breathtaking views at this not to be missed winery. They offer tasting, tours, small plates, outdoor seating, a relaxing atmosphere, and views for days. Take a picture next to their enormous wall mural of a Bonobo for an Instagram worthy pic.
2 Lads Winery: Bold, modern, delicious. A bit of a drive, but worth it! If you can squeeze in a stop here, you will not be sorry.
Bowers Harbor Vineyards: On the top of my must-visit list is Bowers Harbor Vineyards, the entire location is gorgeous and inviting! You can make a reservation to sit outside in the summer or attend one of their many outdoor events and dinners throughout the year.
Brys Estate Vineyards: This winery has a great deck for outdoor tasting and cozy inside space for winter tastings. Upon entering the driveway, turn left for the winery, turn right for Brys “Secret Garden”, with blueberry picking, u-pick flowers, and lavender themed gift shop.
Chateau Chantal: This is a classic Old Mission Peninsula winery, simply driving up to the building will bring excitement! Beyond its beauty, there is so much to love about Chateau Chantal, it has a huge patio, extensive tasting menu, wine dinners, a B & B, and fun events throughout the year.
For those looking to add a food stop to their wine trail experience, pop into one of my favorite restaurants for a pint of beer at Jolly Pumpkin. For the beer enthusiast, I always order the award-winning ORO de Calabaza, try it out, and tell me what you think! If the Jolly Pumpkin is too busy (Saturday afternoons are crazy sometimes) a few other good spots are Old Mission Tavern,Mission Table,Bad Dog Deli,and Old Mission General Store. Looking for something a little fancier? Make a reservation at The Boathouse, which overlooks West Grand Traverse Bay and serves up oysters, steak, and the most delicious asparagus in town!
Inventor. Entrepreneur. Architect. Owner of ComenityMED, LLC.
Meet Brittany Luea: Inventor, entrepreneur, architect, and owner of ComenityMED, LLC
Brittany Luea is looking out for females across the country with her latest invention, silicone foot supports. Sounds glamorous, right! Well, she invented these foot pads to make your yearly woman’s visit a little bit more comfortable. Find out more about the details of her story and process in the interview below. In addition to her impressive professional endeavors, she is a wife, a mom, and a dog mom of two. She always makes time for yoga, loves to read, and is an avid volunteer in the community.
Brittany, what is your 30 second elevator story of who you are and what you do: I’m always fascinated by the question, “What do you do?” By trade, I’m an architect, but recently shifted gears to focus on co-founding comenityMED®, an innovative medical accessories company aimed at Pursuing Patient Comfort. comenityMED® manufactures patent pending Resilient® Professional Foot Supports for exam table stirrups that provide patient comfort and are easily sterilized between patients.
What makes you passionate about your product? I’m passionate about our product because it solves a simple but broad reaching problem in healthcare. Often times, medicine is not associated with comfort. Our products offer an alternative to traditional medical design that focus more on ergonomics. I love to make things and solve problems and by teaming up with a physician, we’re able to utilize our skills in medicine and design to provide innovative medical solutions.
How did you develop your idea? It’s kind of a funny story, but it all started with a simple dinner conversation. My friend, Autumn Bridger DO, shared an idea she had for exam table stirrup covers and we spent the evening brainstorming about materials and how it could work. I was excited that she wanted to team up with me to make it happen! Although it took a few years to bring it from concept to product, we knew that evening what we wanted it to be. We utilized 3d modeling and printing for a few of our prototypes, then eventually made a steel mold that we now use for our finished silicone products.
What is it like to run a small business out of Northern Michigan? I love it! I absolutely love living in Northern Michigan. Our products are available online and our distribution center is here in town. The best of both worlds!
Tell us about what you are looking forward to in the future. I’m looking forward to life after the pandemic. It’s been a great time to reflect and consider what direction we want to take going forward as a business. Based on the success of our first product, we know that our idea of providing serializable medical equipment that focuses on Pursuing Patient Comfort is here to stay!
How do you balance family and running a small business? It’s definitely a balancing act. My primary focus is always my family, but I’ve set up my work life in a way that allows me to enjoy the benefits of both.
How have you handled the current pandemic and Michigan Stay-at-Home orders? During the pandemic, my partner, Autumn, and I raised money to help provide over 700 masks for our community. Juliette at Posh in Traverse City helped to sew the majority of these (she deserves tons of credit here!) along with my business partner, Autumn. I gathered materials locally and along with Autumn, worked on fundraising. A team effort with great results!
Brittany Luea is a licensed Architect in the State of Michigan. She received her Master of Architecture with Distinction as well as her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The University of Michigan. Brittany loves all things creative and innovative. Find more information about her Traverse City based company, ComenityMED, LLC on their website: www.comenitymed.com Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @comenitymed
Save the Planet with a Silicone Straw from this traverse city company!!!
Discover: Stacey Feeley’s Silicone Straws
Stacey Feeley is a Traverse City entrepreneur and the owner/inventor of GoSili Products– Sold throughout the world! Here is one of here hottest new products- A reusable silicone straw that is dishwasher safe, sustainable, and folds into this useful tin, so you can take it anywhere! Send it with your kids to school or throw it in your purse for your next business lunch- Help make the world a little cleaner, one straw at a time! You can find these locally at Target, Meijer, Luckys and a lot of other stores- or shop online on Amazon.com or Gosili.com Here is a little more info on this innovative and useful product:
Perfect for on the go. This reusable eco-friendly silicone straw comes with a travel case and is the perfect solution when on the go. Never be without your straw again! The portable travel case fits right in your pocket, backpack, purse or bag. Smaller than a pack of gum, cheaper than a tin of mints, lasts longer than both and better for the environment! Easy to use and clean, both the straw and carry case are dishwasher safe.
As we prepare for autumn weather we are starting to think more about sweaters, knits, and soft pants… Well, Up North ladies, I think I have found your new favorite store! With fall coming in strong, Northern Michigan style gals have found their newest calling at Haven Boutique- a clothing market found in the Village at Grand Traverse Commonswhich is located in the Old State Hospital buildings in Traverse City, Michigan. Filled with casual clothing, perfect for Up North living. You can also find affordable necklaces, bags, earrings, and other adorable accessories that make perfect gifts. Owners Erin and Aaron Simon have created a space that is inviting and makes me want to purchase one of everything! She is the adorable lady standing behind the counter in the opening picture. Check out the images from my last trip and see for yourself…
WORTH A VISIT: SHOP WESTBAY HANDMADE on Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan for locally made goods all in one place!
I found these great leather earrings for under $10 and LOTS of other fun surprises at one of my favorite shops in Traverse City- Westbay Handmade. The store carries goods from over 100 Michigan artists and makers at Westbay Handmade- located next to The Goodbowl Eatery and Yen Yoga on Front Street. One of my TOP PICKS from this store is a set of my board books! Find all four titles in their children’s section. They also have great home items, men’s gifts, beauty, yoga mat bags, handmade face masks and feature talented local artists work- You won’t find some of these artists anywhere else!!! Take a tour of the store and watch the owner, Kat, on her YouTube channel- Here she shows off some of her creative DIY projects and cool products at the store. The inventory is constantly changing and once the pandemic is over they also offer classes! Thanks for shopping small #supportlocal
Discover Recycled Nautical Charm at Sea Bags: A New Boutique on Front Street in Traverse City, Michigan
As I was walking down Front Street in Traverse City the other day I stumbled upon a new store filled with straight-up “Nautical Charm.” Walk inside Sea Bags and you will find hundreds of one-of-a-kind vintage bags and accessories made out of recycled sailing sheets! These bags are so cool… I just loved looking at each one, they are ALL unique and ALL absolutely fabulous! These bags are sturdy enough to last for seasons. Nautically inspired, the motifs include lobsters, dogs, mermaid, and sailing stripes and number. Pick a handmade tote bag to pack for the beach, or a choose a smaller cosmetic bag to carry in another purse. They also have home decor, candles, accessories, dog items, and more. Sea Bags is one of the newest boutiques to pop up on Front Street in downtown Traverse City, Michigan this summer. Originally based out of Maine, the handmade items are made in the USA. Each bag is a little different than the next, so the joy is stopping by and checking out each one in person!
Sea Bags in Traverse City
223 East Front Street (See map below!)
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: 231.421.3185 https://seabags.com
Each bag is unique and made from recycled sailing sheets!
Wear a mask to keep safe inside the store.
Sea Bags has other items like candles and cheese trays!
Raspberries might just be one of my favorite foods (behind ice cream.) To honor my life long love for this sweet berry, earlier this summer I took a trip up to an adorable U-Pick Raspberry Farm on Old Mission Peninsula. Here is what I found…
Take a drive up Center Road on Old Mission Peninsula to visit Edmundson Orchard, a sweet u-pick raspberry farm with ripe berries ready for picking! It’s about 3/4 of the way up the peninsula, and you will see the sign on the road (see picture). Drive up the dirt road to find rows of yummy raspberries ripe for the picking! I visited the second week in July 2020 and the berries were just starting to ripen. There were more than enough to pick however it was clear that they will be in season for at least a few more weeks. The farm is open from 10 am to 4 pm- Remember to bring cash, a small bucket is $4 and a larger $7. They do not use pesticides, so if you happen to sneak a taste while picking you will be safe! I also love that this is a local farm owned and operated by local families. Supporting local is one of my top missions in this blog, so it always feels good to visit local farms and experience food straight from the earth. Freshly picked berries are DELICIOUS and even better when locally grown. Happy Picking 🙂