Every summer we go to Michigan at least twice to relax and spend some time on the white, sandy beaches. We changed things up a bit this year and went to St. Joseph, Michigan instead of New Buffalo. I'm telling you now so you can book your trip for next summer - it was that great! It took us about 3.5 hours to get there (there was some major traffic on I-80, otherwise you could probably make it in 3 hours).
We stayed at The Boulevard Inn & Bistro in a King suite. At first glance I was worried it wouldn't be kid friendly because it looks "fancy" (as my kids called it). We stayed during the week and it was only $200 a night, parking was free, we were right downtown overlooking the lake and they had a FREE breakfast (with belgian waffles - my oldest's favorite!). The room was perfect because there was a King bed in one room and then the sofa pulled out for the kids to sleep on. And there was a refrigerator and microwave in the room (always handy when you have little ones that have bottomless pits for stomachs!)
Silver Beach is an amazing place for kids... not only is there the beach and Lake Michigan, but there's a full concession stand and a playground. Then about 50 yards away (definitely walkable) there's a splash park, a carousel, a Children's Discovery Zone and Silver Beach Pizza. We spent 3 days here and never once did the kids get bored or ask to go somewhere else.
Spend your day at the beach (it does cost $8 to park down by the beach) and then have dinner at any of the downtown restaurants (all walkable from the hotel we stayed in) and there are plenty of places for a nice cold treat (ICE CREAM!) I highly recommend a family vacation to this spot!!
P.S. I was not paid, nor did I receive a discount on any of the locations mentioned in this write up. I'm sharing because I think more families in Central Illinois need to experience Michigan summers - they are priceless!!
My son has been begging me to make orange muffins all summer. Since school started and he has to take a snack everyday, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try to make something a little healthier than the recipes I've seen. To my surprise, the experiment turned out a complete success and everyone in the household gave it 2 thumbs up. I even hid protein powder and greek yogurt in these :)
1 cup of flour (I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat and 1/2 cup of white flour)
2 scoops of UMP vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tps baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS canola oil
1/4 cup plain 0% fat greek yogurt (I used the Fage brand)
3/4 cup of thawed orange juice concentrate (I'm sure you could use real juice from an orange and orange zest, but I didn't have any oranges on hand)
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then put in everything else. Mix until well combined and pour into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 13-18 minutes. This batch made 15 (on the small size) cupcakes.
My apologies for not being connected this summer. We've had a lot going on around here! For starters, my mother-in-law moved in for the summer. Yes, you read that correctly, I had to live with my mother-in-law for 6 LONG weeks. I won't bore you with the specifics, but let's just say I was drinking a lot more often this summer, ha!
As you can probably imagine, it's not easy adjusting to an added house guest. We had issues with food, wine, dishes, laundry, yard work, etc. And the worst part about it was that I felt like I didn't have a voice because every time something bothered me, I'd tell my husband and he'd address it with her when I wasn't around which just made things so awkward! I'm sure I just needed to speak up, but I'm a nice person and I hate bitching at people - it's NOT my style!
Nonetheless, I'd like to think there's something to learn from every experience. So what did I learn from this? No one should have to live with their MIL, ha! Just kidding, well... actually, not really. Aside from learning to really appreciate having the house to myself....
Thankfully, the said MIL has returned to her teaching job and we can enjoy life as we did before. Although I might have to change the locks just to be safe :)
Melissa Ash - mom of 2 energetic boys, wife, and business woman. Just trying to "do it all".