Thursday, October 27, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness with Tree Classics (+ Giveaway)

Like most of you, my life has been affected by cancer of all different kinds, including breast cancer. Several of my family and friends have been diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, many of them are still here with us today. They are constant reminders for me to keep up the fundraising and awareness efforts that I am involved in. I've always been supportive of Relay for Life, which is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I can remember participating in it when I was in high school and I've continued my participation as I've gotten older. I've also ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for the past three years. This race is the world's largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer.

My sister and I at this year's Race for the Cure.

When Tree Classics reached out to me and asked if I would partner with them during October for Breast Cancer Awarness Month, it was a no-brainer. Tree Classics makes realistic looking artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, and other foliage. They sent me a tree to decorate, and of course I went all pink, since pink is the color/symbol of breast cancer awareness.

I decided to put the tree in our upstairs guest bedroom. I thought a tree would add some warmth and coziness in that room, and it did not disappoint. The tree I chose was the Kennedy Fir (Narrow) and it came pre-lit, which was great. I've never had a pre-lit tree and it was so nice to not have to mess around with putting the lights on. My favorite part might be the switch, which is actually a button you step on. Genius! And the cord is really long, so I didn't have to mess with extension cords or anything.

Such a smart idea for the switch to turn the tree lights on and off!
I headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up some fun pink decorations (FYI-they have all of their Christmas decor 40% off right now) and got to work decorating the tree. I wanted something simple, but still pink and blingy, so I went some pink ball ornaments, sparkly pink icicles, clear crystals, and a fun sparkly pink topper.

I apologize for the lighting on all of these photos. Our upstairs bedroom doesn't have good lighting and this cold, dreary, dark weather we've been having doesn't help either! 

Of course Admiral had to get in one of the pics :)

This tree was super easy to put together, right out of the box. After a little playing around with the branches, it filled out nicely. I really like that the ends of the branches are soft and realistic looking. Not the cheap plastic-looking needles that you see on some artificial trees. And lucky for you, Tree Classics was nice enough to offer a $150 coupon to one of my readers so that you can get your own articial tree! Be sure to enter below.

Thanks to Tree Classics for the opportunity to support such a great cause and spread the word about breast cancer awareness.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Tree Classics provided the tree and decorations, but all opinions are my own.**

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Vacation Recap: St. Ignace & Mackinac Island

Last Wednesday night, Kevin and I made the 4 hour drive up to St. Ignace, where we stayed until Sunday. We stayed in a cute hotel right on the lake, with a balcony and view of Mackinac Island. When I signed up for The Great Turtle Trail Run Half Marathon (long name) on Mackinac Island, we decided to make a little vacation out of it and head up a coupe of days early. It was the perfect get away. We relaxed, ate good food, played tourist, and I ran my first half marathon!

View from the balcony of our room. I could wake up to that every morning!

Our room even had a cute little fire place!
We slept in on Thursday morning and it felt amazing not waking up to an alarm! We got up, ate breakfast, then went for a run around downtown St. Ignace. After showering and getting ready, we walked around the little shops and bought a few things before heading to lunch. When we planned this trip, I knew we had to try a pastie while we were up north. Pasties are basically like pot pies, without the pot. I'd only heard of them, but never had one, so I was skeptical, but OMG it was sooo good! We went to Lehto's Pasties and we will definitely go back next time we are up north.

After stuffing our faces, we went to the casino, ate dinner, then headed to a little movie theater where we saw The Account (great movie, definitely recommend it).

Driving across the Mackinac Bridge on the way to the movie.

This picture doesn't even come close to showing it, but the fall colors were amazing every where we went.
Friday morning we slept in again (glorious) and then caught a ferry over to Mackinac Island. We again played tourist (even thought we've both been there before) and walked around all of the shops. We decided to take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the island, which we had never done before. I would definitely recommend doing that if you ever go to Mackinac Island. All of our random questions we had were answered, we learned a lot, and also got to see a lot of the island that we had never seen before.

View of the Mackinac Bridge from the island.

One of the many beautiful homes on the island. Kevin thought it was so weird that I took a picture of someone's house.

Our horses!

Took a little break on the carriage ride to let the horses rest. Beautiful views everywhere!

The carriage tour stopped at Arch Rock. One of my favorite places on the island.

Our horses Rosco (left) and Bill (right).
After the horse tour we went and picked up our race packets and then caught a ferry back to our hotel, where we relaxed for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning we were up early so we could catch a ferry to the island for our races! I ran the half marathon and Kevin did the 5.7 mile race. Even though I had been training, I was not prepared for all of the hills on this race. They were intense. And there were a lot of them. The first two miles and the last two miles were on the outside of the island, but the middle 9 miles were all run on trails through out the island. I didn't have a time goal for this, just to run the entire time, which I did, so I was happy. My time ended up being 2:30:17 (I could be off on the seconds...but it was 2 hours and 30 minutes). Kevin killed it in his race...he ran lot of hills too and his time was great! Just over 51 minutes.

Ready for our races! Don't let the sun fool you, it was only a high of 49 degrees that day!

Heading to the finish line. Dead tired lol

I did it! 13.1 miles!

This was the area where our run started and finished. Like said, beautiful everywhere!
We were exhausted and sore after the race, so we caught a ferry back to St. Ignace, grabbed some food, and then sat in the hot tub at the hotel for a little while before heading back to the room to pass out.

Sunday morning we packed up, headed home, picked up Admiral, and spent the rest of the day watching football and doing laundry. It was such a great mini-vacation. Kevin and I had a blast relaxing and enjoying our time together. I love that we were able to take this little trip together, especially have after a crazy busy summer. It was nice to just relax and enjoy our time together.

- Ericka

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


If you've been a blog reader or Instagram follower for a while, you know that I started a few years ago. I've done a lot of 5K races over the past few years, and last fall I finally beat my goal of running a 5K in under 30 minutes. I decided to come up with a new goal, so I ran my first 10K this Spring. I decided that I wanted to do more, so I signed up for a 10 mile race, which I completed in September. I'm kind of addicted. I never in my life imagined I could (or would even attempt to) run 10 miles. And I did it. And it honestly wasn't that bad. I'm not fast by any means, but I ran the whole time. 

I figured if I could train enough to run 10 miles, what's 3.1 more? So I got crazy and I signed up for a half-marathon. 13.1 miles. Who am I?!?

The race is this weekend on Mackinac Island. Kevin and I decided to make a mini-vacation out of it and are headed up early to spend a few days away. There's also a 5.7 mile race happening on the island at the same time as the half-marathon, so Kevin is going to run that race. I'm so proud of him for getting in to running...and he is killing it!

This will be the furthest I have ever run in my life, so if you want to send any positive vibes my way for this race, I'll take all I can get :)

I'll post a full recap from our trip and the race next week, but be sure to follow along on Instagram this weekend to see how it goes!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

CAIRfully Crafted

My mom, sister, and I have always been a little "crafty," so last week, my sister decided to start a Facebook page so we could share our crafts. The name of our little craft group is CAIRfully Crafted. My maiden is DeCair (also my mom and sister's last name), so that's where the name came from. I share my crocheted coffee sleeves on the page, my mom crochets beautiful baby blankets and great dish rags, and my sister has all kinds of fun wine bottle crafts and seasonal crafts. If you have a few minutes, I'd be grateful if you would visit our Facebook page HERE and let me know what you think!


I'm planning on starting an Etsy page for my coffee sleeves, but for now, they are just featured on the Facebook page. And if you are in the West Michigan area, we have a couple events coming up in November so you can come shop in person :)


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Decor (I'm Back!)

I'll spare you the speech about how I've been super busy with life, so blogging took a back can see what I've been up to on Instagram. Basically a lot of working, running, softball, family, and friends. Just know that I'm back!

Now that we're past that, I want to share our fall decor with you. Summer is definitely my favorite season as far as weather goes, but fall is probably my favorite to decorate for. So here's a little peak at our home all ready for fall:

Wreath made by my Mom :)

I just love all of the pumpkins and mums--so pretty! What's your favorite season or holiday to decorate for?