It’s hard to believe the weekend in Grand Rapids with Michigan House was already two weeks ago. I’m settled back in Los Angeles, but remembering the experience fondly … and really missing the incredible individuals involved. Thank you again to my hosts and fellow bloggers! Check out their links below this flood of images …
Our welcoming night at the location of the amazing Artprize winner from last year. “Intersections” by Anila Quayyum Agha.
We started our first morning with a dash of creativity by arranging room vignettes at Hunt & Gather, one of my favorite places to find vintage home goods! We also spent some time with Escape Artists Color – her adult coloring books and postcards are simply perfect.
A tour of the local art museum, the GRAM, and some of my favorite Artprize 2015 pieces – especially that incredible Dahlia! Everyone say “hi” to a couple of the blogger boys, Rob from Dressed to Ill and Denny Balmaceda. They are standing in front of a finger painting – yes, a finger painting.
Can you believe these are all full of beer? The Founders Brewing Co. tour was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I have been there countless times, but never had the opportunity to see the entire brewery. If you’re a beer drinker, I strongly recommend you find a store in your area that carries their product. It won’t disappoint!
A huge thanks to local lash and brow bar, Siren & Proper, for freshening up my makeup after the Founder’s tour. I loved it so much I had to take a car (van) selfie!
Lunch at one of the best taqueria’s in existence (no exaggeration), Taqueria San José. Even in LA, a city with taco trucks on every corner, I still dream about their food! Chorizo, cactus, and lengua for me, please.
We wrapped up our first afternoon with a place I had never been before, Le Bon Macaron. This adorable sweets shop popped up this past year in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Cherry Hill. I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit of a macaron cynic until I tasted these … after one bite, it’s safe to say I am a reformed woman.
After an evening of dancing a local venue, I did hair for a wedding and had to opt out of a mouth-watering brunch at Terra, a locally-sourced farm to table restaurant. But Middle West made sure I still started Saturday off right with coffee and snacks at Cakabakery. We had a demonstration of new coffee brewing products by Kitchen Aid (made in Michigan!) that allow you to make the perfect cup of joe in your own home. One of the best parts was sampling beans from Direct Trade Coffee Club, yet another Michigan company, and learning why temperature, grind, and brew time is so crucial to the taste of your coffee … and what goes better with the perfect brew than a strawberry champagne cupcake from Cakabakery? Absolutely nothing.
*drool* For dinner we snacked on appetizers and sipped craft cocktails by The Starving Artist at Grand Rapids Downtown Market, which not only hosts tons of incredible local vendors, it is also an event space. Can you tell that food is something Grand Rapids does really, really well?
That night we closed down the Michigan House with a bang. This space was full to the brim with events during Artprize, including yoga classes, musicians, and talk series, but the final event included covering the space with chalk drawings and messages. This was my favorite – gets right to the point!
It wouldn’t be a true Grand Rapids tour if we didn’t start our Sunday off with more coffee! This time at one of the best local shops, Rowster Coffee. I can’t go into town without stopping by and getting an almond milk latte. They make their own almond milk and it’s absolutely delicious.
Coffee followed by cider … a true “Pure Michigan” fall day, and the end of our time together. We couldn’t have gotten more lucky with the weather, and we all had the best time stomping around the property at Farmhaus Cider Co. They just opened their tasting room (we were the first visitors!), and I’m already so excited to go back. Those of you living in Michigan have to go check this spot out! It’s the quintessential autumn day activity!
A nostalgic shot from the day after including some goodie bag gifts! Mug from local salon, The Cheeky Strut. Napkin by local event paper products company, Centennial Avenue, name card by event planner, Kenley Event Design, photobooth images from the final night, sponsored by the MI box.
As a Grand Rapids native, I have to give a big shout out to the team at Middle West for their incredible tour itinerary. It completely encompassed the city and everything we did was a blast! Another shout out to all the local businesses involved: Thank you so much for welcoming us, and to the absolutely beautiful JW Marriott for hosting us.
Be sure to check out the trip from the other influencers’ points of view! Many photos can be found on their Instagrams, and stay tuned for full blog posts!
Candy Heilman-Agosto : Instagram
Shawn Jordan : Instagram
And even more from the Middle West (dream) team:
Jamie : Instagram
Ted : Instagram
Peter : Instagram
Bethany : Instagram
Middle West : Instagram
Michigan House : Instagram