recommendations, Uncategorized

Small Business Spotlight- My Little Bend

Last week, I featured Rachel Allene for my Small Business Spotlight. This week, I am featuring My Little Bend. I have shared my love of MLB in the past, but want to share again as Christmas is approaching.

Amy creates beautiful things at such an affordable price. Lightweight leather statement earrings? You’ve got it.

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Are you obsessed with graphic T-shirts? She’s your girl.

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Amy is always taking custom orders for t-shirt designs, which is awesome if you are a sports mom!

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She also does vinyl decals. My kitchen is labeled with the most beautiful decals, and it makes my organization-loving heart so happy.

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I love everything that she does.

Be sure to head over to her page and browse through her pictures. Send her a message if you don’t see what you are looking for. There are so many great and affordable gifts for you to chose from!

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Amazon, baby, deals and steals, recommendations, Uncategorized

Amazon Favorites- Baby Edition

Amazon Baby Faves

Here are my favorite Amazon baby purchases. These are all things I actually have ordered from Amazon and LOVED. I’m out of the baby phase now, but I still remember the things that helped make my life easier. Especially since I didn’t have to leave my house with a baby to get them.

Cloth Diapers // This was the brand I had the most of. They are affordable and work well. Honestly, my favorite was for sure the BumGenius, but the Alvababy are much more wallet friendly at half the price. I had a couple of BumGenius, but at least ten Alvababy.

Teether // These are the best. I love the size and shape. They are so good.

Balm! Baby // This is the greatest chest rub. It works so well, and doesn’t have all of the yucky ingredients. It’s also in a glass jar, so once it’s empty you can repurpose it! Or, you can choose the stick version and be mess free!

Sound Machine // This has a lot of sound options to choose from and also projects three different themes of pictures on the ceiling. It looks really cute, too. Love, love it.

Humidifier // This humidifier is THE BEST. If you read the reviews, you see people complaining that it soaks everything around it. You have to adjust the output. Don’t put it on full blast. If we need that much moisture in the air, then I put towels around it just to be safe. You will want (sometimes NEED) one in the winter months especially.

Stroller // If you haven’t heard me rave about this stroller, you probably are new around here. I had other strollers with my older kids, but never loved them. The Baby Jogger glides so smoothly. It turns on a dime, looks sleek, and is just all around great. I still use it for my four year old!

Stroller hooks // I love these for hanging my diaper bag from the stroller. You can also attach them to your shopping cart so your bag doesn’t take up even more space. They are wonderful and easy to use.

Swaddle blankets // These are my favorite baby blankets. They are huge, light weight, but don’t take up tons of space. They are so soft and breathable. There are loads of prints and patters available to choose from.

Tula // I loved this carrier. It was comfortable for baby and myself. Tulas come in tons of fun colors and prints.

 

health, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Amazon Favorites- Wellness Edition

Now is the perfect time to share my favorite wellness purchases from Amazon. All day yesterday, Chloe kept complaining that her head hurt. I told her it was probably from all the noise in the house. (You know the scene from the Grinch when they say “the noise, noise, noise, noise!”? That’s my house.) Anyway, I took her temperature because she felt a little warm. Hip, hip, hooray! We get fevers today!

Addi’s birthday is tomorrow and we probably are going to have to post-pone her party. Pray for her sweet heart. She is being so kind and saying that it’s ok, but I can see in her eyes that she is sad. Last year, she was the only one who didn’t have Papa P. at her birthday and she was grieving his passing greatly. Sickness in the house this year is a bummer. I told her she’ll get TWO unicorn cakes if we post-pone, so hopefully that helps.

Moving on.. My favorite purchases from Amazon for wellness. I need to re-stock some of these.

Amazon Favorites Wellness Edition

kids Vitamin D3 // No one is getting as much Vitamin D in the cooler months. This supplements in a great way.

kids multivitamin // (this one is good, too.)

kids probiotic // Gut health affects overall health. Don’t neglect it. You can refer back to this post for some information.

elderberry // (my kids prefer this liquid or these) Sambucol elderberry has actually been scientifically tested and proven. You can’t go wrong with it.

oscillococcoinum // Once flu season starts, this ends up sold out everywhere. I’d buy some now to have on hand just in case. This helps combat flu-like symptoms and is safe for kids also. Boiron is one of my favorite holistic brands. Children’s cold calm is really great, too.

Multivitamin (women) (men) // Don’t buy just any junk vitamin. Your body may not absorb the fake nutrition, and you are basically throwing away money. Get a good quality vitamin and you won’t regret it.

Cough Drops // These are my favorite. They taste great and actually WORK! Yes, they are pricey, but I am not popping several cough drops at a time. I’m able to use one and have it work to suppress my cough. I give these to my kids.

Chest Rub // I honestly prefer using RC or sniffleease essential oils in the place of a chest rub, but I do have this and really like it. There’s no junk in it. I’m not a fan of rubbing petroleum on my skin. (Remember, everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream.) This one is great for babies and little ones!

Probiotic // I’ve already raved about this in a previous post. But, here is a completely unsponsored plug for how much I love it.

SinuCare // I love this if I have a cold or any congestion.

Roller bottles // I use these all the time. I make oil rollers for wellness, respiratory support, head support, etc. in these. If you use oils, you should get some of these!

Don’t forget WATER! Drink tons and tons of water. If you a cute cup to drink out of, you are more likely to drink more water. It’s science. (Ok, not really, but it works for me.)

 

As I’ve said in the past, I’m not a doctor. Don’t take this as medical advice, and always ask your doctor! I’m simply sharing what we have used and love. 

 

baby, kids, recommendations, sponsored, Uncategorized

Kick Some Booty Rash

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I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links

When I found out that I was pregnant the first time, I felt a little overwhelmed. I was 21 years old and had been married for a year and a half. I was THRILLED because I had always dreamed of being a mom. But I was also filled with so many questions. What brand of diapers is best? How do I feed this human? What if she hates me? What if I never sleep again? Are you really going to let her come home with me? I have no idea what I am doing!

I remember creating our registry. Scott and I took the list that Babies R Us (may they rest in peace) was nice enough to give us for guidance, and went to town. We scanned things that looked cute. Then, we got to the diaper aisle. Good grief. I literally scanned a bunch of the brand of diapers with the cutest designs. Diaper cream? “Butt paste sounds funny.” My sister said she liked it for her daughter. Ok, we’ll go with that. And that, my friends, is the story of how Boudreaux’s butt paste became our brand of choice for the past eight years. EIGHT YEARS! I actually dug through old pictures to find where we had Boudreaux’s Butt Paste in the background. Here’s baby Chloe almost eight years ago. It’s such a fuzzy picture, but you can see the “vintage” label.

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All because of the eye catching name, we have had Boudreaux’s Butt Paste in our home for all of these years.  While the labels may change, the product is still amazing. Now, our youngest is mostly potty trained. She still wears a pull-up at night. Because of her sensitive skin, she still gets diaper rash. We still use Boudreaux’s butt paste in those situations. I love the rash kicking kit because of the incredible butt brush.

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I know what you are thinking. “Is it really that difficult to just use your fingers to putt diaper cream on?” No, it’s not. But, it is a heck of a lot nicer to use the butt brush and be able to continue putting pajamas on without worrying about smearing diaper cream everywhere! This mess-free silicone applicator helps parents, like me, to gently apply a thick and smooth coat of Butt Paste® on baby’s booty to form a protective barrier from wetness. It has a really cool suction cup so that you can stick it to the top of your wipes container while you finish diaper changes.

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Thanks to my nephew for his cute tush and toes.

Here is some information about Boudreaux’s butt paste that I did not know:
Created by a pharmacist and father of four, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® was born from the need for an effective and safe solution to treat diaper rash. Made specifically for parents who don’t want to settle for anything less than the best, it uses a combination of efficacious ingredients that allow it to be tough on rash and gentle on cheeks. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® is formulated without dyes, parabens, preservatives, phthalates and talc. Parents rely on this trusted and pediatrician-recommended diaper rash to help soothe and relieve rash discomfort from the first use and beyond. Boudreaux’s® is part of C.B. Fleet Company, Incorporated, Consumer Healthcare Company.

You can buy your own rash kicking kit over on Amazon! The rash kicking kit comes with the butt brush, original, and maximum strength butt paste. If you try it, be sure to leave an honest review! I am sure you will love it as much as we do!

Boudreaux's

Friday Favorites, kids, recommendations, Uncategorized

Amazon Favorites- Kid Edition

 

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I’m going to change up the Friday favorites for a few weeks and share my favorite amazon purchases. Because I shop on Amazon frequently, I am breaking them up in different categories. Last week, I shared my favorite home purchases. This week it’s on to kids. These are things that we have purchased from Amazon and LOVE.

Water Magic books // These are similar to the Melissa & Doug water wow books. These also have scent added to them, so they are multi-sensory. These are my favorite for road trips and long waits. They are virtually mess free; the biggest risk is a younger child unscrewing the lid and spilling a little water. They keep our kids quite for HOURS in the car.

Puzzle Pouch // I love that these puzzles have big enough pieces for a toddler to put together. You can easily clean them up and put them back in their zippered pouch– perfect for throwing in your bag! (These are currently in my cart, I haven’t yet purchased them. They come HIGHLY recommended though.)

Trampoline // This is so fun for kids. It does have a weight limit, so make sure your kids aren’t above that. All of my daughters have loved jumping on this thing. It’s a great way to get out energy, and it’s small enough to have inside in the LONG winter months.

Ok to Wake! clock // Our older kids were getting out of bed absurdly early in the morning. It was driving me crazy. I finally bought this clock and told them that they were not to leave there room until it was glowing green. Over time, they started sleeping until the time the light came on. It’s been a sanity saver for sure!

wood table // This table has held up through a lot. It is sturdy and strong. Chloe will still sit at it to play with Harper. It’s sturdy and doesn’t add any more bright colors to a space, which feels like a huge win. I like color, but sometimes my senses need a break!

sticker pad // These are another great thing to take on trips. We also love the faces. These keep kids entertained for so long. They still have a little mess, but nothing too terrible. I love having these on hand in the winter when we get a little stir crazy.

Bath Caddy // This bath caddy was my favorite purchase. I was sick of the crummy solutions to bath toy storage. This allows your bath toys to dry off and drain. Plus, if you have really little ones that take baths together, you can divide the tub in the event of an argument.

headphones // These are our favorite kids headphones. Chloe and Addi do each have a kids kindle that they get for a certain amount of time each day on the weekdays. I don’t want to listen to the obnoxious games, and this is a great solution. They have a sound limit, so your kids can’t hurt their ears. They are so soft and come in a lot of colors.

magnetic toys // This is a favorite toy of our kids by far. They can build whatever their mind imagines. It is so fun to see what they come up with. They are a perfect STEM toy. I love fostering creativity in our kids. The magnets in these are incredibly strong, so they can build really tall towers without them crashing down from the weight.

 

All of the above links are affiliate links. That means that should you decide to purchase anything, I will receive a small commission. Your price never changes, but it does help support my family and me. I truly am so grateful for your support of this blog and my family. It means the world to me. 

 

 

ADHD, homeschool, kids, recommendations, Uncategorized

ADHD: What Has Helped Us

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Here we are, 18 days into the ADHD and dyslexia diagnosis. I immediately started implementing some of the things that were suggested by the doctor. I also did some research for my holistic ways to help with ADHD since even the doctor didn’t feel medicating would be necessary for her. I am so thankful for that. I am NOT a doctor, so don’t take this as medical advice. I am just sharing what has worked the best for us.

10 minute breaks- I started doing ten minute breaks in between every subject. Listen, when this was suggested, I honestly wanted to cry and scream. “It is already a battle and takes way longer than it should for school. Now, I’m supposed to add in constant breaks?” Do you know what happened on the first day? She finished HOURS earlier than she had without these breaks. It has continued. The breaks are just enough for her brain to get a break, and then she is ready to dive back in and learn. We are finishing school at the time we should with these ten minute breaks sprinkled throughout the day versus less breaks and finishing at least two hours later than we should. Hallelujah.

CALMThis is a supplement that I started trying for one of my daughters that struggles with her big emotions. I realized that it would probably help with ADHD, and it sure does. It is basically a coated piece of chocolate; no yucky flavors or textures. I don’t do this every day (hello, expensive)– just on days that I can tell we may need a little extra help. It’s so great, and I highly recommend it if you have a child with big emotions that overwhelm them also!  I also really want to try out FOCUS, but I haven’t yet. The Relax-a-saurus is also a good option, but I personally am not a fan of all of the ingredients I can’t pronounce. It’s much more affordable though, so do what you need to!

FOCUS roller bottle- If you are new here– I love essential oils. I immediately sought out advice from other moms who found oils that worked for them. This focus roller bottle smells wonderful and helps so much. It is 5 drops of lavender, 5 drops of cedarwood, and 5 drops of vetiver in a roller bottle; then topped with a carrier oil. These are all really calming oils, so this would be great at bedtime as well. If you also use oils, you should check out the pocket reference. I use this all the time for finding oils to help with ANYTHING.

Wobble Seat– I bought one of these three years ago. Goodness the wiggles. I hated it at the time because she would play with the seat more than sit on it. It was just one more distraction. I pulled it back out after the diagnosis. It’s great. This disc sits right on top of the chair. She can sit in her seat and wiggle as much as she needs or wants to. This is great if you have kids that like to tilt their chair as a form of wiggling. No more flipped over chairs.

 

Again, I am not a doctor. I am not giving medical advice. Check with your doctor if you have any questions.

Doing these things has been such a game changer in our homeschool routine this month. Her grades have already improved. She feels more confident. Our days haven’t been perfect, but I don’t feel like I want to quit homeschooling anymore. I honestly was so fed up and feeling like I must be failing in every way. Now I know that we all just needed some readjusting for everyone to thrive.

Also, I realize that not everyone is like me. Everyone’s situation and experience is different. If medicine is what your child needs, then please don’t feel like you are doing wrong. Some kids really need it, and it saves them from a lot of struggle and hurt. If these things had not started helping my child, then I would have talked to her PCP about going the medication route.

Homeschooling has given us so many freedoms and options when it comes to the diagnosis’s. We have more options than the parents of kids in public or private school. I recognize and understand that. I am simply sharing our journey, so please don’t feel like you are being judged or making the wrong choices. We are all in this together and doing the best we can. We’re on the same team. ❤

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deals and steals, home, recommendations, Uncategorized

Favorite Amazon Home Purchases

I don’t think it’s any secret that I love shopping through Amazon. I can keep track of items that I love and watch for the price to drop. If you haven’t joined my Deals & Steals group on Facebook, you can hop over. I share the good deals that I find each day, or just fun items. I thought it would be fun to round up my favorite purchases from Amazon and share them with you.

I’ll be breaking this up into different parts. Home, kids, baby, food, etc. Like I said, I really love Amazon. And for a family with only one car and a lot going on, I know that many times the two day shipping will get here faster than I can make it to the store.

Favorite Amazon Home Purchases

This post is not sponsored, but the links may be affiliate links. That means that should you purchase something through a link, I would receive a small commission. Your price does not change at all, but it helps me to contribute to our family in a fun way. Thank you for supporting me. 

glass foaming soap dispenser – I use this to hold my Thieves foaming hand soap. You can fill it up with any foaming soap. Did you know you save lots of money by purchasing the bigger refill bottles of soap instead of tons of individual soaps? Plus, you are reducing waste so it is a win-win. Plus, the bottle is so pretty and comes in may different colors and finishes.

Crane Drop Humidifier– The BEST humidifier ever. I recommend them to everyone. They come in tons of colors and look really cute sitting out. It is obviously not necessary for your humidifier to be cute, but it is a nice perk when it is out all winter long.  It is filterless, so you don’t spend money on replacement filters over and over again! I could write a song about my love for this..

Label Maker– I really love labeling things. Organization makes my heart happy. I bought this 3 1/2 years ago and still love it.

Crock Pot– I love this crock pot. I use it at least once a week– it prevents us from eating out on Sundays. There are so many settings, and I love that you can set it to cook your meat to a certain temperature.

Quilt– This quilt is simple and soft. I keep it at the foot of the bed to give extra warmth on cool nights.

Kitchen Towels– These towels are great if you are looking for something cheap. They are often on sale and less than $1 per towel. When they arrived, they were kind of stiff and not absorbent at all. Once they were washed, they shrunk, softened up and work really well. They are still a good size even after shrinking.

Dishwashing detergent– This detergent works so well and is free of a lot of chemicals and junk that I don’t want on my dishes. This is the only brand I buy anymore.

Manual Sweeper– I love this! It’s so handy for when I don’t want to lug the big vacuum out and just have a small mess to clean up.

Pillow Shams– You can get the best pillow shams from Amazon!! I love shams because they are an affordable way to change up your decor. Just don’t forget to buy some inserts!

 

 

 

garden, natural living, recommendations, Uncategorized

Our CSA Experience

CSA

This year, Scott and I decided to sign up for a half share of a CSA basket. If you are unfamiliar with what CSA is,  it is Community Supported Agriculture. Local farmers set up their programs, and you as the consumer can sign up to get a full or half share. It is different in all areas, so your experience may vary from ours. We (I say we, but Scott stopped by after work) would go to the farm once a week on a designated day and pick up our freshly picked produce. It’s a great way to support your local farmers, and get the best quality of produce.

We had a few options of farms to choose from in our area. I looked the farms up, and found a farm that was non-GMO and artificial fertilizer and pesticide free. I felt like they were a good fit for what I want in my family.

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Sometimes the baskets felt pretty repetitive. For a couple of weeks, it seemed like we didn’t get much more than squash and peppers. It’s hard to get creative with squash, but maybe I just wasn’t thinking hard enough. I did consume a lot of jalapeno poppers, which is fine with me!
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Our farm also gave us one dozen farm fresh eggs each month, which I LOVED.  (Sorry, you don’t get a cute basket with your CSA. You can buy one here though.) Sometimes she would have Scott grab extra of something if he talked about how much we enjoyed it. I love our farmer.

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Some of the vegetables were completely new experiences, which is so fun. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons and try new foods. The kids weren’t always willing to try new foods, but it was an adventure for us! They kids loved SEEING the new veggies even if they were too afraid to try them.

Fresh garlic, onions, and potatoes have probably been my favorite things to get in the basket. There were a few weeks sprinkled in where our share was much smaller because of bad weather or other factors that just happen in farming. Obviously, your share is dependent upon the region that you live in and the weather that you get that season.

I was really pleased with our first experience with CSA. I love being able to support local farmers and getting tons of fresh produce each week. It was always a surprise, so I couldn’t really plan ahead of time. We pick up our final basket of the season on Wednesday. A lot of farmers are accepting sign ups for the fall/winter season. You can go here and search for farms in your area. I truly don’t think that you’ll regret it at all!

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P.S. This post is in no way sponsored. I truly loved the program, and wanted to share!

 

 

deals and steals, holiday, home, recommendations, Uncategorized

Fall Favorites

 

Fall Favorites

\\ Hello Pumpkin Mug // blanket scarf // knit throw // slippers // nail polish //

twinkle lights // buffalo check rug // wreath // Pumpkin spice coffee // knit pillow //

socks // pumpkin //

 

I know, I know. Someone will say it’s too early for fall. Get that negativity out of here. You have to shop in advance, right? Preparedness is key. I love all things cozy in the fall. There are so many warm colors and cozy textures. I just love it all.

Today feels like the perfect day to share these favorites. My windows are open. There is a cool breeze blowing through. My kids are sitting quietly at the table doing school work. I’m drinking a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. Scott brought me a gift for the first day of school…  pumpkin spice coffee creamer. He speaks my language and I love him for it.

So, lets dive in. I love twinkle lights. I don’t really burn candles anymore because they are full of toxins. (I saw you roll your eyes.) I miss the cozy light though, so twinkle lights take their place. You can put them just about anywhere to get the cozy light. Wrap them around a wreath. Put them inside of a wicker pumpkin. Put them inside of a pretty glass vase. I also put Thieves oil or any other spice oil (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon) in the diffuser to get that wonderful scent.

Cozy slippers, socks, blankets, and pillows are also key for fall. Big chunky scarfs are a great way to layer some warmth without adding too much. Some people really struggle with blanket scarfs, so any cozy scarf will do. I also really love the buffalo check rug. You can layer your normal welcome mat over the top and it is so pretty. I want one in every room.

I also love a good fall mug and pretty nail polish. I can’t wait to have some real pumpkins decorating our house as well. We try to save those for closer to the actual season of fall though.

What are some of your favorite fall items or activities? Is it too early to even think about fall for you?

 

family life, recommendations, story telling, travel, Uncategorized

Port Huron, Michigan

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In our 7+ years of living in Michigan, Port Huron is my favorite place that we got to explore. The water is so beautiful and blue. You can see right down to the bottom. Just across the water is Canada. In fact, the Blue Water Bridge to/from Canada was over us when I took this picture.

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The girls always call Lake Huron the ocean, which cracks me up. It’s bluer than the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s unsalted. It quite literally takes my breath away every time we pull up to the water and I catch a glimpse. I could sit and stare at it all day.

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We sat and took it all in for a while before we headed to grab lunch. Our favorite place to go is the Raven Cafe. They have SUCH delicious food, and it’s in such a cool building. We used to go when we lived in Michigan, and have returned every time we visit the area. It’s that good. The people are that awesome.

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There is art everywhere.. I love the whole vibe of the place. They have the best grilled reuben. Their chai tea chiller is so good. So, so good.

Once we devoured lunch, we headed to the beach. One thing that you NEED to know about Port Huron beaches is that most of them are rocky. Water shoes are needed if you want to be able to move comfortably. I wore my Tevas in the water without problems. Scott ended up putting on socks to dull the pain. It seriously is SO painful if you aren’t prepared. ha!

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Since the beach sits close to where the river begins, you get to see tons of huge barges coming and going.

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This particular beach sits next to the Fort Gratiot lighthouse. We have yet to go up in it since we never remember that you have to wear close toed shoes. Who wears those to the beach?

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We moved up the coast a little bit and found a tiny slice of beach that was practically empty. It is a public beach sandwiched between two sections of private beach. It’s not as rocky, and the water didn’t have the same current as the bigger beach.

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Soak that in. The clear water. The beautiful rocks beneath. The blue.. so much blue. Every time we go, I fall more and more in love. I have seen three of the five great lakes, and Lake Huron is my favorite so far.

I hope that if you are ever in Michigan, you can visit Port Huron. If you do, you must stop in at the Raven Cafe! Also, find this house and if it’s ever for sale let me know!

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I will share more about our trip another day. For now, you can soak in the ten million pictures of this beautiful city with me.

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