Monday, July 15, 2013

Up in the Northwoods

My little brother Christopher has been at a summer camp in Northern Wisconsin for the past three weeks. The session ended on Friday, so my two sisters and I hopped in the car with our parents on Thursday to make the 7 hour trip to Sayner, WI, to pick up my brother. We made a mini-getaway of it and had a wonderful time! 

We left late Thursday afternoon, and found ourselves in Minocqua, WI by about 9:00. Minocqua is a quaint little resort town right on a lake, with plenty of unique shops, restaurants, and ice cream parlors in its "downtown area." I loved how relaxed it was! We stayed the night at a local hotel and headed to camp the next morning to pick up my little brother and take him out to breakfast.

Downtown Minocqua

My little brother was at Camp Highlands for Boys, near Sayner, WI, which is about 15 minutes from Minocqua. The drive there on Friday morning was beau-ti-ful. Dense and lush forest, glistening lakes. Truly spectacular.

We went to breakfast at the Wolf Pack Cafe in St. Germain. If you find yourself in the Northwoods, you MUST eat here! It's rather small (but very cozy!) so I suggest getting there early. They are known for their pancakes (which my sister ordered), but I guarantee whatever you decide to have for breakfast will be outstanding (and big!) I ordered a breakfast taco, which was a tortilla spilling with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausage, and onions. My dad ordered the pan-fried perch which came with toast, eggs, and hash browns. My mom ordered "Joe's Breakfast Special" which was more or less cheesy goodness." (full description of the menu here)

Ah, I wish I had remembered to take pictures of the food. I guess you'll have to make the trip yourself! :)

We dropped Christopher back at camp to complete his final day, and returned to Minocqua to do some shopping. The downtown streets were lined with cute little clothing boutiques, and housewares stores. Most of the stores sold things with a "log cabin" theme. Think bears, moose, evergreen, pinecones, etc. My mom and I enjoyed browsing for rustic accessories for our lake house.

One of the indoor shopping "malls" in Minocqua

I loved smelling all the candles in the stores. Frasier Fir Woodwicks are my fave!

I bought this bracelet by Bella Ryan at a gift shop. It's the perfect addition to my daily stack.

After shopping, we headed back towards Sayner and the camp. We did a little scenic driving, and then stopped at the Sayner Pub for a pizza lunch. It was yummy!

We returned to Camp Highlands for the closing ceremonies of camp. This included a water carnival in the afternoon, a picnic dinner for all the campers and their families, and an awards ceremony. Let me tell you, this camp is amazing!

The camp was founded in 1904, so it's rich in tradition and heritage. It has been owned and operated by the same family since the 1960s. It is founded on 17 core values that every camper should follow. It also abides by the motto "I'm third." That is, put God first, others second, and yourself third. What a good lesson for all of us to reflect upon.

The camp itself is beautiful. It's situated right on beautiful plum lake, and has two swimming areas, a huge diving platform, speed boats for water skiing, sailboats, kayaks, canoes, and fishing equipment. They also have several tennis courts, a soccer and baseball field, a small track, a frisbee golf course, rifle range, arts and crafts building, and a basketball court. The boys stay five to a cabin and are divided into age groups. Each cabin has about two counselors. Basically, its a boys' paradise!

Christopher was in cabin 14. The cabins are very rustic. The walls and bunks are filled with inscriptions and names of campers past. The boys leave the windows open at night, and sleep under mosquito netting. 

The dining hall. Does it not look straight out of Parent Trap?!

Everyone at Highlands was so friendly and polite. It definitely has a family atmosphere. Christopher  said that almost everyone at camp knows everyone's names. He said his cabin and his counselors became like a family to him. He met boys from all over the country, and the world (two of his cabin mates were from Mexico.)

The boys were all very mature, which surprised me. And all the older boys and counselors were extremely good looking ;)

Can I go to camp next summer?!

My mom and sisters and I posing by the lake. What a beautiful day!

Colorful kayaks lined up on the shore all ready for the boys to use.

Sitting by the lake during the water carnival. Ahh, this is the life!
(note my J.Crew anchor flip flops circa 7th grade, I'm sorry, I just can't part with them!)
{similar pair here}

Christopher gave us a tour of the camp. I'm so proud of him, and it was so good to be reunited with him after three weeks.

Exploring camp. (And wondering to ourselves why mom and dad never sent us to summer camp, eh we were the guinea pig children after all ;))

The Highlands Man himself. 

Someone was beyond excited to see her little boy

On the dock. Wearing J.Crew shorts (with fishes) and an H&M denim shirt. Vintage Coach crossbody from the 70s. (Thank you dad for cutting my feet out of the picture.)

We want to go to camp!

Beautiful blue sky day

Finished the night with a big scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Oh, summer!

Find out more about Camp Highlands for Boys here.

What kind of adventures did you go on this weekend? Did you ever go to summer camp? 

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's Take a Swim

The first official day of summer has come and gone, and we are now into the month of July. 
Summer is cruising by at an alarming rate!

Personally, I have only been to the pool TWICE this summer! And, I have been up to my family's lake cabin once, but no, I did not jump in the water. 

It's already the Fourth of July, and I've barely dipped my toes in the water. 

In my defense, It's probably because I have been working 30+ hours a week at my restaurant job. 
But I digress, something needs to change, and during the month of July, I'm vowing to get to the pool for some R&R a little more often.

What better way to motivate myself than with a new swimsuit and pool accessories?

So, whether you've been living at the pool so far this summer, or, like me, have barely made an appearance, here are my top picks for bathing suits and the like. Shop on!

(This look is perfect for the 4th of July!)

(I love this one-piece! Perfect if you desire a bit more coverage, but it's still super sleek, and the buttons on the side are really fun!)

Pineapple print bikini top and bottoms (I'm in love!)

Chevron print bikini top and bottom

Polka dot bandeau top and bottoms

Where do you usually buy swimwear? Have you had time to go to the pool this summer? I want to know!

Stay Stylish. Stay Classy. Be Creative.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekend Recap

What a great weekend! 

The weather was near perfect: Not sweltering or humid, but not too cool. 

I didn't have to close at work on Friday night, and only had to work Saturday morning.

On Saturday, my grandparents came into town, we went to Mass, and then had a super fun girls' Pinterest night.

Sunday morning brought breakfast on the terrace at the Country Club, my other set of grandparents coming into town, my sister's senior voice recital, and a delicious dinner on the patio with my grandparents and Aunt.

Perfect summer weekend.

Pinterest Night

Earlier this year, we started to put together girls' nights where all of us girls would get together at someone's house, eat dinner (everyone would bring a dish to pass), and watch a movie. Recently, I decided it would be super fun to all get together to do a "Pinterest craft" for our dorm rooms.

We got together on Saturday and tried out "Sharpie Mugs" that have been floating around Pinterest.

From my Instagram: All the completed mugs. They turned out great!

We had so much fun customizing our mugs and it was so easy to do! There was minimal smearing and smudging. All of us found our mugs for under $5, and I bought multi packs of Sharpies at Walmart for like $4.00. Such a fun project and not a lot of money required! That's what I'm talking about.

We spent the night talking about boys, college orientations, traveling, and dorm decorating. 
We also watched The Uninvited.

Hannah's Voice Recital

My sister Hannah has been taking voice lessons for five years now. She has an AMAZING voice and I am so proud of her. She has had leads in the school musical the past two years, and has had several solos at school choir concerts. Not only does she have a beautiful voice, but she is also an entertaining performer.

On Sunday, she had her senior voice recital. She and her voice teacher worked very hard to put together a program featuring thirteen songs, ranging for Taylor Swift to West Side Story. 

It was beautiful.

Our family, close family friends, and high school friends came to watch. What a great performance.

 Hannie singing during her recital

Natalie and I with my Grandma and Grandpa Russell before the recital

Hannie's adorable outfit: She got her dress at a little boutique in Charlottesville, VA.

Summer Sundays call for Pink, Green, and Lilly Pulitzer
J.Crew Popover (striped version here
Lilly Pulitzer Skort (old)
Lilly Pulitzer Clutch (my mom's) (old)

From my Instagram: I love the crocodile detail on the clutch!


How was your weekend? What adventures did you go on? What did you eat? What did you make? Let me know!

Stay Stylish. Stay Classy. Be Creative.