July 30, 2016

Ashley Ariela Photography!

Have you ever discovered someplace, and wondered why you hadn't been there before? Like how could I have missed something so close to home for so long? That's how I felt upon arrival at the Detroit Riverwalk. A beautiful riverside path, complete with park, lighthouse, and all. I had the pleasure of finding this gem by suggestion of local photographer, Ashley Ariela. We connected for a photoshoot, and chose to meet at this location. We chatted about her longtime hobby turning into her really going for photography. And after 10 years of experience, she's gotten quite spectacular! With background in weddings, families, children, senior photos, and models, she's covered quite a range. She was sweet, and gave great guidance as to how I could help her achieve her portrait vision. She also gave my sister and usual photographer, Emily, great insight into furthering her skills. We moved from place to place, capturing different angles and scenery to really tell a great story. One of a lovely leisurely walk on the water, that lead to strolling the streets of Detroit.

Thank you Ashley, for a great time, and some great pictures! If you'd like to view her work, or work with her yourself, connect with her at http://www.ashleyariela.com, http://facebook.com/ashleyarielaphoto, or @ashleyariela on Instagram! 

July 27, 2016

Renew The Detroit Zoo!

A few weeks back, my close friends and I took a day trip to the Detroit Zoo. Sure we wanted to see the animals, but our main motivation was the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center. I was especially giddy about this, seeing as penguins are my favorite animals, and it is now the largest penguin center in the world! The massive 33,000 square foot building cost $30 million to construct! This makes sense, seeing as it holds a 326,000 gallon, 25 foot deep aquatic area filled with 80 penguins from four different species! Inside, was wall to wall tunnels and windows with breathtaking views of penguins chilling (ha, literally) on icebergs, and swimming over our heads. As if that wasn't enough, there's also a giant 360 degrees 4-D ship experience that feels like you're standing on a ship crashing through the Antarctic waters. While walking through, you can feel blasts of polar air, sea mist, and falling snow. I loved every second of it! We then vetured on to see the tigers, lions, and bears, oh my ;) Of course, we also made sure to tour the reptile, amphibian, and butterfly houses. I had a pretty magical moment in the butterfly gardens, where tons of blue butterflies were landing on me. A guy who worked there commented that they were Blue Morpho butterflies, also known to be the "social butterfly". Let's just say that the trip was a wild time ;) If you're a resident of Macomb, Oakland, or Wayne country, you can vote "Yes" to "Renew the Zoo" on August 2nd. This millage will renew a one-tenth millage property tax for 10 years to support the Detroit Zoo. For example, if your house is worth $200,000, the cost would only be $10 a year. So don't forget to vote "Yes" to support our furry (and not so furry) friends! And make sure to visit the zoo's spectacular new Penguin Center and all your other favorite fuzzies :)

July 20, 2016

Shopping Zaful!

Admittedly I've never been a big online shopper. I'm always nervous that a dress that looks worthy of a princess might arrive looking more fit for a peasant! Not to mention the outrageous prices! Shopping at Zaful may have rid me of my online jitters. With hundreds of items to chose from, more than reasonable prices, and fast and efficient shipping, the experience was far from nerve-wracking! Plus I totally felt like a princess when my dress arrived ;) I chose a dress with a crochet top, open back, and high-low floral skirt. I also chose a ribbed, lace-up tank. Both items arrived neatly packaged, and exactly as they looked online. Excitedly, I tried them on to find that they were also super flattering! Zaful also carries jewelry, accessories, swimsuits, and more! Below this post, you can find all my outfit links and details, links to Zaful coupons, and their various sites and social media! Happy shopping, fashionistas!

Photos: Emily Joanne Photography 
Top look. Dress: Zaful, Sandals: Marc Fisher, Jewels: Francesca's Collections, Watch: Michael Kors 
Bottom look. Top: Zaful, Bralette: Victoria's Secret, Skirt: Francesca's Collections, Sandals: Michael Kors, Bag: Marc Fisher, Watch: Michael Kors, Earrings: Francesca's Collections, Necklace: Guys N Gals

 Brand: http://www.zaful.com?lkid=14992

Product: http://www.zaful.com/backless-spaghetti-straps-lace-spliced-dress-p_165253.html?lkid=14992

Product: http://m.zaful.com/solid-color-cami-lace-up-tank-top-p_163469.html?lkid=14992

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zaful?lkid=14992

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zaful/?lkid=14992

G+: https://plus.google.com

Blog: http://zaful.blogspot.com/?lkid=14992

Coupon Codes: http://www.retailmenot.com/view/zaful.com?lkid=14992

July 13, 2016

Pineapple Pool Party!

Have you guys joined in on the pool float craze yet? I finally caved and had to buy this fun pineapple! No regrets here! In fact, I think it might have started a bit of an obsession to start a whole collection! By the time I'm done, you might not even be able to see the pool anymore xD I mean come on though, there's everything from popsicles, to donuts, to unicorns, which are some of my favorite things. I think that justifies needing them all. I had a pool party the night I got this pineapple, and had to remind my best friend to be gentle with it! He then reminded me I need to have more pool parties. Guess I'll need more floats ;)

Photos: Emily Joanne Photography 
Pineapple float: Francesca's Collections, Bathing suit: Victoria's Secret, Hat: Flea Market 

July 9, 2016

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

When I think of a summer, I think of boating, bonfires, and ballgames! And although I'm no baseball buff, I do love the atmosphere of a game! Especially participating in the wave, that's my favorite part ;) The cheers, chants, and claps make it all that much more fun to "root, root, root for the home team!" I've been to my fair share of Detroit Tiger's games, along with a Washington Nationals game in Maryland, and a Pittsburgh Pirates game in Pennsylvania. Let's just say I've got a fair amount of friends who want to make it to every stadium in the United States! This past Wednesday though, we did something a little different! My family and I went to see my sister's best friend play in the All Stars game at Comerica. Since it wasn't a normal game, we had the luxury of open seating, and got to explore parts of the park that are normally too swarmed with people to see. I also got to live out my "5 seconds of fame" on the big screen. You can clearly see on my face that I got a little too excited for that moment xD It was great to spend the evening with family and friends watching someone we know play on the famous field. It was a fun change of pace, but for every other home game of the year, let's "EAT 'EM UP TIGERS!"

July 5, 2016

4th of July Recap!

Let's just say this 4th of July was dazzling ;D Well, I mean we did have a few mishaps...like an exploding smoke bomb and some tipped over fireworks, but we all made it out alive! Besides that, it was a day filled with more food than we could eat, impromptu amateur baseball, plenty of pyrotechnics, and ukelele campfire sing alongs. So overall, a very successful holiday with family and friends! Emily and I decided to go all out, wearing AND eating the red, white, and blue! We made a tray of patriotic chocolate bark, and cookies and cream cookies that were a hit! I've left the recipes below for my bakers out there! The colors can be variated for any occasion or holiday. I hope everyone else enjoyed their 4th as much as I did, and made it out with no mishaps ;)

Photos: Emily Joanne Photography
Earrings: Target, Necklace: Guess, Watch: Michael Kors, Belt: Target, Cami: Express, Cover up: Francesca's Collections, Jeans: White House Black Market, Sandals: Fergie Brand

Patriotic Bark
16 oz Brown (or white) candy melts
6 oz Blue candy melts
6 oz Red candy melts
Red, white, and blue M&M's
Handful of Oreo cookie chunks
Red, white, and blue sprinkles 
Line a 9x13" pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside. Place 3 small saucepans on the stove and simultaneously heat brown, red, and blue melts on low. Use a rubber spatula to stir until melted and smooth. Pour melted brown melts into pan and use rubber spatula to smooth into an even layer. Alternate drizzling melted red and blue melts over the surface of the brown melts, and use a butter knife to swirl the red and blue on top. Sprinkle surface with Oreo pieces, M&M's, and sprinkles. Refrigerate until hardened. Lift edges of aluminum foil to remove bark from pan, and break into pieces.

  Cookies & Cream Cookies 
1 Vanilla cake mix
8 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Cups Oreo cookie chunks
3/4 Cup red, white, & blue M&M's
1/2 Cup red, white, & blue sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the cake mix, butter, egg, and vanilla until soft dough forms. Add the cream cheese and mix again. Stir in the cookie chunks, M&M's, and sprinkles gently. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour. Roll into 24 even dough balls. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheets.