Design Loves - Round Mirrors

Thursday, August 28, 2014

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

We've been talking a lot about books and travel on here lately, so as Monty Python would say - now for something completely different! We moved into our house over a year ago and I've been meaning to buy a mirror to put over my dresser. I still haven't gotten around to it, which means I have to walk into the bathroom whenever I need to put on my makeup or check if I have food stuck in my teeth. (Insert sarcastic "oh no, what a nightmare!") It's not a big deal except when my husband is using the bathroom and then...well I'd rather not. So I really would like to get a mirror. I've held off buying one partly because of laziness and partly because I just didn't know what I wanted. However, I'm sort of in love with these round mirrors. Slightly retro, slightly modern, and super simple. I think I might be on the lookout for one of these in the future.

Guide to Door County, WI - Sister Bay

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Door County, WI is one of my favorite places. The lakeside towns, marinas, independent shops and restaurants make for some happy memories. I've been going up there during the summers for as long as I can remember and after visiting it again last week I wanted to share some of my favorite places. There are tons of other shops and restaurants in Door County and there's no way I could name them all, but here are some of the places that I've discovered and loved over the years. I'll be covering the 4 largest towns - Sister Bay, Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor, though there are many more towns and villages to explore. First on our list - Sister Bay!

1. Al Johnsons - See the goats on the roof and eat a Swedish breakfast. Did I mention real goats? On the roof! It's a bit touristy and there's usually a wait, but it's a classic breakfast spot.

2. Husbys - great for pub grub and pizzas. Relaxed semi-tavern atmosphere but kid friendly. There's darts and game and a huge bar room with tvs if you want to watch the game.

3. Chop - Newer restaurant in Sister Bay, but great steaks and seafood.

4. Door County Creamery - This is possibly my most favorite place in the entire Door County peninsula. Dairy goat farmers opened up a little shop and offer lunch food, wine, and all the amazing goat cheese you could ever want. Even if you don't like goat cheese, they have one you'll like. Also fairly new to Sister Bay and definitely worth going to see.

5. Door County Ice Cream Factory - For dessert, ice cream is king! Eat it and be happy. If you want more than ice cream, they also offer sandwiches and pizza.

1. The Garage @ Husbys - Husby's chill outdoor patio. They offer drinks, appetizers, and live local music. Pretty much the perfect place to spend the evening relaxing outside under the bistro lights listening to music with a drink.

2. Bier Zot - Even though I harbor some resentment toward them for knocking down my favorite brunch restaurant ever and building this instead (goodbye Sister Bay Cafe, you will be missed!), I have to admit this is a fun place to grab a beer. It's right next to the beach and the marina and has a pretty great selection of beers. My husband was a big fan of this place. You can sit on the patio which is right on the main street and people watch to your heart's content.

3. Door County Creamery - Yes, this place again. They offer wines by the bottle and by the glass. You can even buy some cheese, a bottle of wine, and walk like 3 blocks to the beach to enjoy the sunset. Wine. Cheese. Yum.

4. JJs and La Puerta - Technically this is a restaurant, but it didn't make my Eat list because I don't love their food. The rest of my family, however, will tell you that I'm crazy and they make it a point to eat here every single time they go up to Door County. So to each their own, but this is MY list! But don't worry, JJ's opened up a patio that overlooks the marina and now you can sit and drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa while watching the boats go by, so they are ok with me!

1. Sister Bay Marina - I'm a big fan of walking around the marina and looking at the boats, but you can also rent all sorts and go out on the lake. (FYI Sister Bay faces Green Bay, not Lake Michigan so the waters are calmer and not as dangerous for beginners.) The marina also faces west and has some of the most spectacular sunsets in all of Wisconsin.

2. Pirates Cove and Johnson's Park - Play some mini golf at Pirates Cove or Johnson's Park. The later also has go karts, which is always a fun time. Again, great activities for date nights or family nights.

3. Go antique shopping, or shopping in general. There are so many cute little independent shops and antique stores all up and down the peninsula. I have a few favorites in other towns that I'll mention during their guide, but you really can't go wrong with picking a store and checking it out.

4. Door County Confectionary - If there is only one thing you do in Door County, please taste the fudge from the Door County Confectionary. It's incredible. There's one of these in each of the larger main towns so you can't miss it!

5. Door County Creamery - Haha one more time! (Can you tell this is one of my favorite places?) Sample wine and goat cheese pairings. That photo above is from this place. Goat cheese, wine, and bread drizzled with some sort of chili flavored olive oil which somehow went perfectly with the creamy goat cheese. I was dying from all the delicious flavors in my mouth. Also, I'm not affiliated with them in any way, I just cannot stop talking about them! They should hire me to advertise for them. They could pay me in cheese. That would be my dream! They also have cute goats in front of their shop! This one wanted nothing to do with me though.

So there are some of my favorite places in Sister Bay, WI. I'm not affiliated with any of these places, I've just been going up to Door County for over 20 years and wanted to share some of my personal favorite old and new places. Do you have a favorite place in Sister Bay that you think I missed? Let me know!

Coming Up: Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Egg Harbor

Friday Reads Book Club - The Way of Kings

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Way of Kings
by Brandon Sanderson

Welcome to another  Friday Reads Book Club with co-hosts Anne at Under the Brella and JoAnn and Megan at Whimsicle! This week I'm reviewing The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

I need to preface this review - I love classic fantasy. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter - you're speaking my language. But outside of that, I really haven't read much in the genre. I love the idea of fantasy stories, but there is so much junk and smut out there that I'm very hesitant to pick up any other fantasy book. The Way of Kings came highly recomended by Goodreads and Amazon but I was still really wary. I picked up this book expecting to hate it and put it down before I finished (also, it's freaking gigantic with over 1000 pages). On top of that, I tend to judge books by their cover (I know, I know) and this one wasn't doing it for me.

But you guys, this book blew my expectations out of the water! This book is incredible! There's none of the stereotypical garbage that goes along with today's fantasy genres i.e. bulky meathead men killing mythical creatures and scantily clad women who worship them, and instead focuses on the relationships between people and how that affects their futures. It bounces back and forth between several main characters, and while I didn't always know what was going on in the beginning - there's a lot of names of people and places and references to things I didn't understand - it was all explained while reading, and I could just tell these characters would somehow be connected in this fantastic world that Brandon Sanderson created.

The book takes place in the land of Roshar where a 5 year war has been waging on the Shattered Plains. At the source of the conflict is a murdered king and a rush to find the remaining Shardblade and Shardplate - weapons and armor that make the wearer almost invincible and are beyond value. In one war camp Kaladin fights to survive. He's been betrayed by every leader he's trusted and his attempts to help others usually result in them being killed. Now he has the chance to save his fellow bridgemen - who are seen as less than slaves by the army - but can he and should he, or will they end up dead as well?

In another war camp we are introduced to the late king's brother, Dalinar Kholin. In a world of frivolity, racism, and waste he holds to the ancient code called The Way of Kings. This text calls for honor, chivalry, and understanding your fellow men. The other princes think he's insane, and since he's started having visions, he's not sure that he isn't.

The final main character is Shallan, who's father has died leaving the family in great debt to dangerous people. Her only chance is to convince Dalinar's niece, Jasnah to take her in as a scholarly ward. However, Shallan's real intent is to steal a precious object from Jasnah and as the time runs out for her family, she's not sure if she can.

I wasn't able to put this book down, and it's been awhile since that happened. The history, mythology, and science/magic that Sanderson creates for this story are incredible. This is the first in the Stormlight Archive series and I already ordered the sequel from my library. If you like fantasy or historical fiction (the book almost reads more of a historical fiction than straight up fantasy book) I would highly recommend this!

Read anything good? Link up below! As a reminder, this "book club" is intended to create a community where we can all share fantastic books that we read and want to recommend to others. Each week, one of the blogger hosts will write a review of an outstanding book. We will also have a linkup each week where fellow bloggers can post book reviews and recommendations.

We encourage you to:
  • Visit the host's blog, check out each week's book review, and leave a comment with your thoughts. 
  • Post your own book review in our linkup. (Please link back to us on your own post when you do!! 
  •  Also, grab our Friday Reads badge to let everyone know you are participating!)
  • Visit other blogger's reviews that are posted in the linkup and leave a comment on their post.
Link up below!

We Come from the Land of Ice and Snow

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aren't vacations just the best? I wish we could have stayed longer in Wisconsin and seen more of our friends and family. A few more days to relax in Door County wouldn't have hurt either.  

Regarding the title of this post, I think it's a Led Zeppelin song lyric? But all I can think of is that viking kitten youtube video. Either way, Wisconsin is definitely a land of ice and snow in winter, but summer is absolutely amazing. 

We spent our time visiting in the Milwaukee area then escaping up north for a few days. I found my old bike from when I was oh about 12. I think that's the last time I rode it too, hence my slightly terrified and hysteric face in the photo. They say it all comes back right? Luckily it did and we rode bikes into the little town of Sister Bay. Sadly, some of my favorite places were no longer there (goodbye Sister Bay Cafe! You will be greatly missed!) but we did find a few new favorites. I also read Harry Potter by the pool. It was glorious. (Book 3 if you want to know, one of my favorites.) We explored lighthouses and went to Peninsula State Park for some hiking. We watched the sun set over the harbor and stuff ourselves with amazing food. Then it was back to Milwaukee for more catching up with friends and back to Phoenix way too quickly. Not sure the next time I'll be back, but I'll sure miss it. 

Also, can we just talk about this picture for a moment? This was at the magazine stand at the grocery store. How much more Wisconsin can you get? Stay awesome, WI. And full of cheese. Definitely stay full of cheese because I will be back. 

Also, is "culture, the word on cheese" a national magazine or this this just a Wisconsin thing?? I must know! Now if you'll excuse me, I have a cat video to look up on youtube. 

Desert to Farmland

Monday, August 18, 2014

I hope everyone had a fantastic week and weekend. Kacey and I were up in Wisconsin visiting my family and taking a few days to rest and revive in Door County. I've been working through a guide to Door County in my head for the past year and I was finally able to get back up there and take some photos/check on all my favorite places. So expect that in a few weeks!

This last week was great. We saw some old friends, relaxed by the lake, saw some glorious sunsets, and ate a ton of food. Why can't vacations be longer?
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