Friday, June 29, 2012

Michigan Greetings & Giveaway Winner!

Hello from Michigan!

How cute is this print? Buy it here.
Cam and I took a red-eye from Reno last night and arrived bright and early in the mitten state this morning! Although we're both a little tired, it's SO awesome to be back home...because Michigan will always be home to me. This is my first time back since Christmas, so I'm really looking forward to spending the next 10 days here soaking up summer with family and friends.

First stop?

Ann Arbor of course!

(Do yourself a favor and watch this 30 second video as it perfectly captures the spirit of this awesome Tim Allen's voice is really soothing)

Anyway, It feels like so long ago when we spent the day in Ann Arbor with Lola on our way out of Michigan during our move to Colorado, but it was almost exactly a year to the day. Ann Arbor is such an amazing place in the summertime, and I've been looking forward to going back ever since. We're headed there to spend the morning/afternoon and meet up with my sister and her boyfriend who are flying in from NYC<--SO EXCITED for this. I can't wait to walk around campus with them, stroll down Main St./State St./South U, and just revisit all the places in this city that hold so many memories for Cam and I.

Family photo from our visit last year :)

Oh, and eat.

I plan to eat a lot today.

Actually, earlier this week I made a list of things I wanted to do while I'm home in Michigan and I'm pretty sure it was 75% food related. Whoops. Today in Ann Arbor, I am definitely going to be having a sandwich and gelato at Zingerman's that is for sure. (I love Zingerman's so much, I even wrote a whole post about it awhile back!) Yay food.

Lola and I in front of Zingerman's last year :)

I will be posting this next week while I'm in Michigan, however, they'll all be scheduled posts that I wrote before I left. (But get excited though because there are some really awesome recipes coming your way!) However, if you want to follow along with my trip (and why wouldn't you, it's going to be epic) then you can keep up on Instagram! My username is @janemarieg, and I will no doubt being doing a lot of Instagram-ing (yes, that's a word) over the next week!

Last but not least, I wanted to announce the winner of the Southern Tide giveaway! And the winner is...

 Comment #12:
following you on twitter - @swellswag
(I used a random # generator to pick the winner but could not get the darn thing to copy and paste)

Congrats! Please email me at for info on claiming your prize.

Happy Friday everyone! Xoxo

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My New Favorite Hike

If you've read my blog for awhile you know that Cam and I love to hike. We've hiked in the Carolinas, in Colorado, and even in Europe! However, this weekend we did a hike that was really amazing and I think it might even be my favorite hike that we've ever done (top three for sure).

Sunday morning, we headed out to hike Mt. Tallac. Mount Tallac is one of the tallest peaks in the Tahoe area, and it's actually one of the mountains that we can see from our house. Because I see it every day when I wake up in the morning and look out our bedroom window, I knew I wanted to climb it this summer and I'm so glad we did it this weekend. It was cool and sunny on Sunday, which was perfect hiking weather. The trail wasn't crowded at all which also made it really nice (and so totally different than the hikes we did in Colorado where all the trails were always packed!).

The trail starts at just below 6,500 feet and climbs for 4.8 miles to the summit which sits at 9,735 feet. Although it's not as tall as some of the 14,000 foot peaks we climbed in Colorado, I think that's why I enjoyed it more because we weren't above the tree-line for the majority of the hike. There were wildflowers, big trees, and beautiful little lakes that we passed along the way, not to mention incredible views of Lake Tahoe for a lot of the hike. One of my favorite parts of the hike was when we initially came over the crest of the mountains into this grassy meadow where we were surrounded by all these snowy mountains. It was really surreal and I totally felt like I was in that scene at the end of the Sound of Music where the Von Trapps are escaping from Austria through the Alps. (Oh come on, I know you know what I'm talking about...) 

The best part of the hike was reaching the summit because the panoramic views were absolutely breathtaking. Not only could we see Lake Tahoe stretching out before us, but we also had incredible views of the snowy Sierra Nevadas as well. I could have just sat up at the summit all day taking in the amazing sights! There were tons of chipmunks running around the top of the mountain and they were so adorable...the funniest part was that Lola didn't even pay attention because she was too busy scoping out the other dogs! She did so well on the almost 10 mile round trip, and I love that she is such a great little hiker :)

The things you people make me do...
The hike ended up taking us over six hours so I took a lot of pictures over the course of the day. Here are some of my favorites...

Fallen Leaf Lake
Since we don't have trekking poles, we decided to bring our ski poles for this hike and they definitely came in handy! 

Starting out the day...

It was cool because we got views of both Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake for a lot of the hike

Pyramid Peak--you can see this from our deck!
"Mom, it's so beautiful!"
We made it to the summit!
This is one of my favorite pictures ever...just look at how ridiculous Lola looks, I love it.
From the top of Mt. Tallac you could pretty much see the entire lake...and the crazy thing is this photo is completely unedited, the lake is just that blue!
Looking the other direction on the summit there were spectacular views of the mountains...


Heading back down...

Lola had so much fun playing in the snow

We climbed that :)
If you're ever in Tahoe and looking to do a longer day hike, Mt. Tallac is a must! It was such a fantastic day, and I'm looking forward to doing more hiking in Tahoe as the summer continues! Well that's all for me today friends, I just have to get through this work day and then we're headed to the airport--Michigan here we come!! Xoxo

PS: Today is your last chance to enter my Southern Tide giveaway...I'll be announcing a winner tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Movin' On Up: New Apartment Tour

Happy Hump Day everyone, we're halfway through the week! 

(and we leave for Michigan tomorrow--squeeee!!)

Almost two months ago, Cam and I decided to move from the downstairs apartment in the house where we were living to the upstairs apartment. The previous tenants who were in the upstairs apartment when we moved in bought a house and moved out in April, so we jumped at the chance to have a little more space. Our previous apartment was two (small) bedrooms, one bath whereas the upstairs apartment has three bedrooms, two baths so it's much more conducive to having out of town company stay with us. It definitely still has the same dated decor (read: wood paneling) that the downstairs apartment did, but because it has a lot more windows and vaulted ceilings it's so much lighter and brighter.

The house itself is definitely...unique. The exterior is painted mauve and it's this little pentagon shaped cottage that has slanted interior walls that make you feel a little like you're inside a ship. I think it has good bones and if we owned it, I know we could renovate it and make it look really cool. But since it's not ours, we just kind of have to deal with what is. However, the upper deck is much larger and offers better views than the downstairs deck, so that's definitely a plus. Overall, I feel so much happier living in this apartment because I love how open, airy, and sunny it feels inside. And that's why I wanted to share it with you--enjoy a little peek into our home!

Our little cottage in the woods...

Family Room
Peonies are my favorite :)
Wood-burning stove
I am definitely no expert when it comes to styling bookshelves, I just tried to arrange what we have!
Souvenirs from Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands
Oregon & Michigan!

I love how much light our family room gets
View from the other side of the room
Sitting area
We have so many pinecones around our house, it's crazy!
The Kitchen
It also gets a TON of light!
View from the kitchen sink...not too shabby!
I love having fresh flowers in the house :)
Down the hallway from the kitchen are two small bedrooms--the littler one is used as a sort of makeshift garage/Lola's room
Downstairs bathroom
The larger downstairs bedroom is my office...and since it's the closest to the front door it's also where we keep coats/shoes
My desk aka where the magic happens Monday-Friday
We actually only have a small closet in our bedroom so Cam and I keep the majority of our clothes in the large closet in my office...that has curtains instead of doors...yeah.
Our Ikea cabinet that we purchased to use as a pantry in our downstairs apartment has also been relegated to my office
So that concludes the downstairs portion of the tour...
...let's go upstairs!
View of the family room from the stairs
Our cozy loft Master Suite :)
View from the bed

Our bathroom
I love that we can see out the window when we're laying in bed, it's so nice to see the stars at night and the sun/mountains in the morning. I'm not as crazy about the orange 1970s window shades...but oh well.
When you walk out of our room on to the top of the stairs, you get a great view. The vintage skis hanging over the window make it feel very Tahoe :)
Out on our deck we've got our grill and a great chair for reading
The view of the mountains is so much more open from our new deck and we eat most of our meals at the picnic table out here
Pyramid Peak
Trees, trees, and more trees

The sunsets are pretty amazing :)
Overall, we're really happy in this new apartment. Because it has that mountain cabin vibe, it sort of makes me feel like we're always on vacation! (Although working from home means I snap out of that pretty quick...ha.) I'm not sure how long we'll end up living in Tahoe, but I am definitely cherishing the memories we're making in this house because I doubt we'll ever get the chance to live in a little cottage like this again. Thanks so much for checking out our home! Xoxo

PS: Have you entered my Southern Tide giveaway yet? Entering is really easy, just be a follower of this blog and leave a comment on the original post. I'll be choosing a winner tomorrow night and there aren't that many entries yet, so be sure to get yours in! Thanks!! :)


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