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December 31, 2014

2014 Year End Recap

2014 has been an incredible year for us. It's been a year filled with adventure and exploration; a year of taking risks and trying new things. Looking back at 2014 I can't help but feel grateful for the opportunities we have had and for the life Ken and I share together. As I conclude 2014, I will document this year as my favorite year thus far and the most fun year I have had yet!

Here is our 2014 breakout by month and the highlights we experienced in each month. 

January
*January Highlights*
*We went to Colorado for a week of snowboarding, exploring, breweries and concerts.

February
*February Highlights*
*Booked a trip one week in advance to escape the snow, ice storms and freezing temperatures - to see the sun and explore Costa Rica together for the first time.
*Started the blog, Artisan Happiness which has become my favorite hobby and a great passion of mine.

March
*March Highlights*
*Sold the Eurovan that Ken and I have had since we started dating, which was tough for both of us. This van took us all over the country together.

April
*April Highlights*
*We went to Ireland! Ken and I had the chance to stay with Ken's friends who are professional surfers and organic farmers so Ken could direct a film. We still found the time to wander the country together and see breathtaking landscapes and views of this country. Ireland is so beautiful and a place I need to visit again.

May
*May Highlights*
*Tulip Time is always a highlight for me.
*A weekend in Frankenmuth to watch Ken race and enjoy the small town.

June
*June Highlights*
*Bought our 1981 Vanagon on Ebay.
*Spent a few weekends in Detroit to visit our favorite areas and went to a couple Tiger Games.
*Peugeot turned 5!

July
*July Highlights*
*Ken and I went on our first van trip together to explore Northern Michigan.


August
*August Highlights*
*Ken was in Asia for almost the entire month of August which gave me the time to spend a lot of time reconnecting with nature which included many hikes and walks.

September
*September Highlights*
*September was a very busy month of travel, we explored Florida and Arizona together. It was my first time in Arizona and I fell in love with the state and the town of Flagstaff.


October
*October Highlights*
*Ken and I both ran our first half marathon in Detroit, which was a huge accomplishment for both of us and made us fall in love with running.
*The weather in October was gorgeous which kept us moving and traveling in the van all month long.


November
*November Highlights*
*The highlight of November was the beginning of the holiday season and staying home to be with friends and family.


December
*December Highlights*
*Holidays with family.


Wishing you all an adventurous and darling 2015!



December 27, 2014

Merry & Bright

Every holiday season, in my home town of Rochester Hills, the downtown buildings are draped in Christmas lights creating the most beautiful light show. This unique light display draws crowds from all over eastern Michigan to experience the holiday spirit felt by everyone who walks Main Street. The retail stores and restaurants remain open late for those strolling by. Special note, stop by try the classic diner Red Knapps, for a truly one of a kind Rochester experience.

If you have not had the chance to see this 'Big, Bright Light Show' you still have until January 4th to make it to this adorable downtown setting.






December 25, 2014

Merry Everything and Happy Always

Merry Christmas, friends! 
Wishing you all the most magical and joyful day!




December 22, 2014

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer

If you're still looking for that last minute stocking stuffer for a sister, mom, or gal pal, here is the perfect gift. My absolute favorite slippers in the world, Hush Puppies Carnation Slippers in grey. The best part about being a last minute shopper is that there is FREE overnight shipping. So don't wait any longer and give a gift someone will love!

December 21, 2014

Stay Golden

Happy Holidays! We wait all year for this magical holiday and it is finally happening this week. I am so excited! This season I fell in love with golds and everything that sparkles. To kick off Christmas week, I would love to share with you some of my favorite gold accessories that will help you stand out at all your holiday parties!

 Gold Stud Earrings: Meijer



December 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ken!


Today is one of the most special days of the year - it's Ken's birthday! 34 years ago on this day the most handsome, adventurous, clever, humorous and kindest man was born. Everyday I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have found him.

Happy Birthday, Ken! Wishing you the most perfect day and another adventurous, fun, action-packed year ahead filled with the most beautiful moments and memories! You will always be my dream come true! I love you and Happy Birthday!

December 13, 2014

Add this to your Playlist: Flashed Junk Mind

I am just loving Milky Chance and their very unique style and sound! Enjoy!

December 11, 2014

Engagement Anniversary

Ken and I have a tendency to celebrate all the little anniversaries and special days in our lives, but that's okay, it's important in life to find reasons to celebrate. Today we are celebrating our fifth year engagement anniversary! Five years ago on this day, Ken proposed to me on the top of a mountain - what a dream! It was a complete surprise engagement, meaning we hadn't really talked about marriage yet nor gone ring shopping. We had only been dating for eight months after all...

December 11, 2009 was the perfect bluebird day in our favorite place on earth, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. I had thought it was just another day of big mountain snowboarding, but Ken had another agenda. After taking all the lifts to the back of the park to overlook nothing but snow-covered mountains, we dropped our boards off and hiked to the very top. Once we made it to the top, Ken and I just stopped to admire mother nature at her absolute finest. While staring at the landscape in awe by the beauty, Ken dropped to his knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him.

I still get chills thinking about this perfect day and the most perfect engagement. From the beginning our relationship together have been a crazy adventure and we have not stopped yet. Forever in love with the man of my dreams! xoxo


December 10, 2014

Truth.


Saw this on Pinterest and fell in love.

December 4, 2014

Five Life Lessons from our Vanagon

This past weekend Ken and I put the van in storage for the winter - it was a sad day for both of us. Although this was only our first year with this van, it brought us so many amazing moments and memories that will last forever. This van symbolizes our two favorite things, both freedom and adventure at it's finest. We have shared the best Pure Michigan trips together in this adventure mobile.

There are five major themes or rather lessons that can be learned, shared and embraced each and every time we get in the van that transcends into everyday life.

1. Patience - If you know me, you know I am not a patient person... Each time we jump in the van it is something I have had to practice and get used to. With the van maxing out at 55 mph we literally go nowhere fast. It truly is the journey that is most enjoyable and memorable on each adventure, not the destination. This is one lesson I have taken from the van and am bringing into life everyday - Stay patient, you'll get there. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

2. Character Building - From the photos on this blog you may have noticed this van is missing a passenger side mirror and the front and back bumper look like it has survived a drive by shooting, but that's just the start of it... Look inside (when the sliding door actually works) and you will find many other flaws, or rather unique characteristics that makes this van so special and perfect for us. Perfection is an illusion in a world where character means everything. It is the imperfections that make something most beautiful.

3. Silence - What a beautiful sound! Not sure if it's the radio or the speakers that are broken in the van (add this to the character building list) but Ken and I cannot get the sound to come through. Therefore, when not in some deep philosophical conversation, singing 90's rap or our very own parodies we enjoy the silence together. It is my belief that silence helps us take in the scenery and the experience; to daydream and reflect.

4. Always take the road less traveled- Some of the most beautiful spots we have seen, adventures we have taken, and unique towns / restaurants / sites / etc. have been stops along the back roads of Michigan. We miss so much by rushing to our destination and miss out on the hidden gems along the back roads. Turn down the unmarked road, drive closer to the beaches, and connect more with your surroundings by slowing down and taking the road less traveled. I promise, you will be rewarded for this.

5. Unplug - Unplug and reconnect with nature. Once we get going for the weekend we cannot stop to charge any devices, which is just fine. We turn off our phones (besides the occasional Instagram photo) to just enjoy our time together and be disconnected from all the noise. This is something we should all practice more often.
Can't wait until spring so we can pull our Vanagon out from storage 
and put her back on the open road!

December 1, 2014

Man Crush Monday - Zack de la Rocha

Yep, I am a Rage Against the Machine super fan and a huge fan of this handsome man. Seriously, have you seen those dreads!? The other day while driving home I was listening to Sirius Satellite Radio (Channel 37 - Octane) and heard Zack's voice in a song I had never heard before. It appears he has joined Killer Mike and El-P in a special studio set and came up with this song. I am loving it and hope you do too!

Check out Rolling Stones article on this brilliant/gorgeous guy and this new song. - Rolling Stones