Where in Michigan would you like to see Michigan Girl Meander to next?

For those that are fans of the Meandering Michigan Series, thank you. I have received a tremendous amount of feedback recently. I've created a poll so that you can now tell me where in Michigan you'd like to see Michigan Girl Meander to and then blog about. The poll is located on the side bar on the right side of this page or you can use the link below. Please take a moment and share your thoughts, feel free to write in your own place. Looking forward to your suggestions!

Survey Link:

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Meandering Michigan Series: Upcoming Event, 14th Annual Michigan Lavender Festival at Blake's Orchard, Armada

The Annual Michigan Lavender Festival is an event that we rarely miss. This year will the be the 14th year for the festival. The festival offers unique gifts, plants for sale, gourmet food, workshops, arts & crafts for kids, natural health booths, and a variety of options for lunch. A full festival itinerary is located on the Michigan Lavender Festival Website as well as the vendor list. There are currently just under 70 vendors on the list.

The festival is located in Armada, Michigan  Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 15, 16 & 17, 2016 (10am – 5pm). It's located at Blake Farms and Orchard and this year it's sponsored by Blake's Hard Cider Co., located at the Orchard as well. The Brewery is a new addition to Blake's in the last year.

The Michigan Lavender Festival was voted the best festival in Michigan in 2014. Vendors include lots of lavender made and inspired products as well as other scents. One of my favorites is the lavender popcorn that Whole Foods brings, but you have to get there early for that, they usually run out of popcorn about half-way through the day. I also recommend the lavender lemonade. Pam's Pantry is usually there with an assortment of dips to try and purchase, I don't see them on the vendor list yet though. You don't have to worry about not finding soaps and lotions, there are several great vendors offering bath and body products, All Things Lavender is one of our favorites.

Each year that we've went, there has been a man that brings his Alpacas. He also brings all the clothes, hats, gloves, etc. that he makes from the Alpaca's wool. Since it's mid-July and very hot, it's hard to think of buying items made of Alpaca wool, but the products are high quality for a good price. It's also fun to see the Alpacas!

This is truly a family event as Blake Farms and Orchard has lots of fun things for the kids to do. Last year my ten-year old nephew, who was up for his annual summer break vacation with his aunt and uncle in Michigan, joined us. He had a great time at the orchard with all the activities.

Everyday activities include:
Train Rides
Hayrides to the Pumpkin Patch
Haunted Village and Black Hole
Barnyard Funland:
Cornstalk Maze
Giant Straw Mountain
Water Duck Race
Barnyard 500 Tricycle Race Track
Pumpkin Jump Balloon
Storybook Barn

You can also pick your own fruit from the farm. Blake's Store has many treats including homemade doughnuts, pies, fudge, and caramel apples. The store has fruit, vegetables, jams, salsa, BBQ sauce, and other quality packaged treats. If you are interested in special events and activities, or for more information, see Blake Farms Website.

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Meandering Michigan Series: Lake Odessa

I remember playing Lake Odessa in sports in High School, driving through it when we took the back road to Grand Rapids, and hearing stories of people fishing at the Jordan Lake in Lake Odessa. I'm sure prior to 2015, I hadn't actually been near Lake Odessa in over 20 years. My mother and I were heading to a baby shower between Ionia and Lake Odessa. We were quite early, and decided to drive through Lake Odessa. I was surprised at the stores downtown. It was late, so everything was closed, but we made plans to come back.

We ended up having a girls day with my Great Aunt, and my cousins in Lake Odessa in November of last year (2015). The two antique stores, Lake Odessa Antique Mall and Regal Rooster at Bonanza Antiques, were having a huge sale. I've never been that interested in antique stores, but I had such a great time. I was very surprised at how large the stores were and how much fun it was too look around. 

Wandering through an antique store can be like walking down memory lane when you see items that remind you of your childhood, or younger years. You never know what you might find. Some of my favorite things to look at are jewelry, postcards, and clothing. 

These are pictures of two necklaces that I bought at the Lake Odessa Antique Mall. I've zoomed in a little so you can see more of the details. One is a gold chain with red beads with blue flowers. The second necklace is sliver with little black beads. I don't have any details on when or where they were made, but I only paid a few dollars for each and love them both!

Just down the street from the Antique Stores, you can also shop for new and consigned clothing, home décor, jewelry and handmade chocolates. We visited So Simply, Consignments By Sherry, Endless Expressions, AllyMade Jewelry, and I made a quick stop at Delectable Delights.

So Simply offers home décor, furniture, jewelry, gourmet food, lotions and soaps, and women's clothing. The jewelry is hand-made by American designers including Anne Koplik, Treska and Shari Dixon. There website usually has coupons, recipes, and information about store events.

The consignment shop, Consignments By Sherry, while having a nice selection of gently used clothing, shoes, and jewelry, had many other items for sale. I like the trend right now in stores of mixing clothing, jewelry, furniture, home décor, and other items. Each of the stores in Lake Odessa, including the consignment shop, follows this trend. 
Endless Expressions Boutique was another favorite. While listed as an interior designer, the store is filled with clothing, jewelry, purses, and other unique items. I recently visited the stores Facebook page and it looks like they have added quite an inventory since I was there. In addition to women's clothes and jewelry, there is a selection of clothing for children and babies as well as other items for babies.

AllyMade Jewelry has handmade jewelry, a wide variety of beads, and locally made gifts. There are pictures, paintings, stained glass, cards, bags, handmade wooden boxes and other wooden items, bath and body products, books, candles, and gourmet snacks.  There is a craft room in the back where jewelry and craft making events are held.

Of course, after all the shopping, if you are hungry, you can stop by Delectable Delights for handmade chocolates and other treats. The chocolate shop had just opened, so they had many samples out to try before you purchased. I also ate the items before I could remember to take pictures ... they were great! If you are looking for lunch or dinner, I recommend Penny's Pizza.

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New look for the Michigan Girl

First, I want to thank my good friend, and graphic artist, Amanda Brown for the Michigan Girl logos. She did a great job. I love it and I hope you do too. Amanda is a very talented artist, if you are interested in working with her, let me know and I can connect you.

Second, I want to invite everyone to like the new Michigan Girl Facebook page. This is yet another place that you can connect with me. I'll be sharing information like upcoming events in Michigan, lots of pictures from Michigan, features on great Michigan products and lots of other information.

You can also connect with Michigan Girl through Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. See the "Connect with Michigan Girl" section on the website to connect.

I've been doing a lot of traveling ... so stay tuned for upcoming posts.

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