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Kladder Update: Tulip Time, Mothers Day & Rosewood Happy Hours

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We're thrilled about the arrival of Spring in Grand Rapids and doing our best to celebrate accordingly.  Beginning now through the end of summer our calendar is packed with one fun thing after another and you won't find us complaining about it. 

This month kicked off both mine and Jeff's golf leagues. It's been great getting outside and back on the course again. A few weeks ago I got my very first birdie and the second week of league my team won first place - things are off to a good start. This week we both (separately) golf in our first tournaments of the season - wish us luck. 

On Sunday we celebrated Mothers Day with Jeff's parents and our friends the Matsons at Reds at Thousand Oaks for brunch. They've got a great set up in their event space that accommodates large groups and families. They even had a kids buffet complete with smiley fries and fish sticks which made my life easier. The dessert buffet was a different story. 

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My parents were out of town last weekend and so we celebrated Mothers Day early with my Mom the weekend prior. She made the trip up to Grand Rapids for the day and we had an action packed morning complete with a long walk to the festivities at Fulton Street Farmers Market opening day, lunch at Fruition (new spot in Eastown) and shopped at the newly reopened Rebel Reclaimed. Natalie got her face painted with a princess crown. I sent the pic to my Grandma and she asked me if Nat had a bandaid on her forehead. Close enough. 

In Rosewood Avenue news: tis the season for neighborhood happy hours! As soon as the weather warmed up we were reminded of how wonderful our 'hood' is to be a part of. The sidewalks flooded with activity and Friday night happy hours weren't too far behind. A few weeks ago we hosted on our porch before everyone retreated to their own homes for dinner and kids bedtimes. It's easy summer nights like these that we live for. 

We also made the trip out to Holland for the annual Tulip Time Festival again this year. Along with our friends the DeWittes we stopped and smelled all the flowers, walked Main Street and took a few rides at the carnival with the kids. Tulip Time is just about as kid friendly as events get and certainly has the Natalie seal of approval - she loved the carnival rides. After the festival we grabbed dinner with the kids at Tripleroot Brewing on our way home in downtown Zeeland. 

And last weekend I spent the evening out with girlfriends at the newly opened Jolly Pumpkin on the Westside of downtown. The Grand Rapids location is the newest of it's now 7 midwest locations. The GR location is considered a pub where they sell their beer and ciders (as well as a select few local spirits) and serve food like wood fire grilled pizzas. It's a 'seat-yourself' set up and there are no servers. Instead you order via the two different counters: one for drinks and another for food. Overall it was good and I'd return with friends for a casual drink and bite to eat. 

As we put the pedal to the metal on summer I'll be reminding myself to relax and enjoy the sunshine. We hope your next few months (and bellies) are full of grilled burgers, gin & tonics and lazy afternoons at the lake.

POSTSCRIPT - Stuff we're into lately...

  • The Dailey Method - Located in Eastown, it's convent in both location and schedule. Their one year anniversary party is Saturday June 23rd. Mark your calendars! There will likely be deals if you're interested. 
  • Rebel Reclaimed - Their brand new shop, less than a mile from their old location, is fantastic! More space and more items to shop for! Check them out. 
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Kladder Update: Bottomless Mimosas, Wine Tasting & The Catwalk

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Natalie turned 3-years-old this month and we celebrated her with the very first ‘Natalie Day’ at the happiest place on earth: RiverTown Crossings Mall. She hasn’t been to Disney World quite yet so trust me, this totally worked. 

We started with building a cat, who has yet to be named, at Build-a-Bear. She picked out a toy food dish and hair dryer to go with it. Why a hair dryer? Your guess is as good as mine. Didn’t matter. It was Natalie Day. Next we spent some time at the Germ Tree, aka the indoor playland in the center of the mall. After about 20 rides down the slide (with the cat) we headed towards the food court for a spin on the carousel which was the best thing ever. We capped the day off with ice cream. A newbie 3-year-olds dream day. 

Natalie is turning into quite the little lady who loves all things girly: painted nails, princess dresses, bows, makeup, anything pink. She’s gentle and detail oriented, and the girl can’t get enough hotdogs, ice cream and candy of any kind. In the fall she’ll head off to preschool at which point I'll be home crying out all my feelings. Happy Birthday Natalie.

This month we officially kicked off Women’s Golf League with our Spring Mixer at Watermark. We met up with old friends who we haven’t seen all winter and welcomed new faces.  Some gals were tanner than others because… FLORIDA! And this week was our first time out on the course and it felt so good! The sun was shining and that’s all that mattered, well, at least that's what I'm telling myself because I lost 4 golf balls to water hazards. 

Last weekend for the first time we attended Runway on the Rapids with friends for some socially acceptable people watching. Because that’s what a fashion show is, right?! Before the show we grabbed dinner with friends at Osteria Rossa. I ordered the Prosciutto Wrapped Quail Gnocchi and it was fabulous. The show was super fun and you can find out more about the show HERE. Afterwards we grabbed a nightcap at Lumber Baron Bar located inside the Amway Grand Plaza. We'd always heard good things but had never been and it's safe to say we'll likely return. 

This was our second year attending the Wine Tasting Event benefitting St. Cecilia Music Center. It’s a wonderful fundraiser catered by our ever favorite Martha’s Vineyard that entails an all you can taste wine selection and a generous spread of meats and cheeses. Jeff and I enjoy a good silent auction and this event provides the best we've seen. This year Jeff took home a dry-cleaning package which was entirely all too practical of him. It will not be wasted. 

If you also follow me on Instagram this next blurb won’t be news to you because I diligently documented (via Insta-story) our Housewives Field Trip to Saugatuck last weekend. I took my documentation seriously and even brought my selfie-stick along for extra good angles. Talk about a super fun time! It was a tamer version of ‘mommas gone wild’ and began with a vigorous stair climb to the top of Mount Baldhead Park. Over 300 steps (and a few mimosas) later, we retreated to Everyday People Café for bottomless mimosas (sensing a theme?) and some breakfast. We also made a stop at Virtue Cider and bought out their stock of canned Rose. I’m not much of a cider fan but the cans were adorable, pink and I was in a good mood. The rest of our time was spent shopping and bar hoping our way back to our families. I feel asleep around 9:30pm. It was a really good day.  A big shout out to our home-girl Hannah for being our designated driver. We promise to pay you back once that little bundle of joy arrives! 

Speaking of housewives, we started what I hope continues to be a monthly supper club with our group of girlfriends and April was my turn to plan. I’m a sucker for hibachi and dragged the ladies out to 28th Street for flying shrimp and flaming onion volcanos at Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi. There was a coy fish pond, cocktails and lots of laughs. 

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Also, if you're reading this from any place but your front porch or sunny patio... you're doing it wrong. Go get yourself some sun! Enjoy the warmth. 

POSTSCRIPT – Stuff we’re into lately. 

  • FMGs Concert Series! If you have never been to an outdoor concert at Fredrick Meijer Gardens you are missing out. We’ve selected our summer roster and look forward to drinking wine out of plastic cups. 
  • Westworld is Back and we’re thrilled about it. It’s futuristic, dramatic and extremely thought provoking. Beware, it’s not for the faint at heart.
  • Costco (always Costco) but specifically Costco for it's incredible deal on Arborvitae trees which are double the size of the ones at Meijer for the same steal of a deal price at $26. What is more, I crammed 6 of them in my mid sized SUV (pictured as the header of this post). The guys at Costco were likely dying laughing upon my departure. 
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Runway on the Rapids 2018

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Last weekend Jeff and some friends of ours attended Runway on the Rapids, a fashion show benefitting the Multiple Sclerosis Program at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences. The event was held at the gorgeous JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids and highlighted the latest styles from JB and MeSlateLee & BirchLennon & Willow, Blue Crab Designs, Bella Furs and The Shoppe at Saint Mary's. And the finale this year was by Memphis, Tennessee fashion designer, Siss Viss

Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the fine art of people watching (I should have been an anthropologist) so this fashion show thing took my hobby to a whole new level. Watching the models strut their stuff down the catwalk adorning the latest fashion trends from local shops was an excellent way to spend our Friday night. Our tickets included entry to the event and appetizers. There was a cash bar and a silent auction - and you know you can count on us Kladder's to enjoy a good donation towards baskets full of movie tickets or Monica's Gourmet Cookies

The show has now been running for over 10 years and is championed by it's fearless and passionate leaders Alyssa Locke, Show Co-Creator/Producer/Director and Kim VanOeffelen, Show Co-Creator. Both with a background in the beauty and salon industry, the event is the perfect fit to help promote awareness and raise money for the cause. 

At the event I learned that Multiple Sclerosis is a potentially disabling disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the immune system attacks the nerve fibers causing communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Sometimes the nerves deteriorate and are permanently damaged. There is currently no cure for MS and the funds raised at Runway on the Rapids go towards patient rehabilitation, diagnosis, long-term care and research trials right here in West Michigan. 

Not only did we learn about MS, but we thoroughly enjoyed our Friday night double-date-night with friends. I warned Jeff not to be alarmed of the future charge to our credit card at Lee & Birch because they've got some pretty adorable dresses on the rack this Spring. They have their one year anniversary event coming up this weekend at their Rockford store if you want to see what I'm talking about. Guys, they'll have succulents! 

Cheers to Runway on the Rapids for a wonderful event benefitting a fantastic cause! Glad to be a part of it. 

Photography courtesy of Runway on the Rapids. 

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