What I did on my winter vacation – part 1.

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What I did on my winter vacation – part 1.

You know how I like to complain about winter?  Yeah.  I complain about winter ALL the time.  But, this year is different.  I don’t know if it was the fact that we didn’t have snow until January, which meant lots more time outside or if it is the fact that I have planned trips to 2 (!) sunny places this year, but I have not really complained about winter.  In fact, it is flying by.

The holidays were really special this year for me and my family.  My dad, who had some major health problems in the fall, is doing extremely well and we were all happy to be able to spend Christmas with my parents this year.  My brother had the bright idea to buy my dad an iPad — and he is already spending lots of time using it.   Aren’t they just the cutest things?

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I did a little store refresh before I headed out to sunny place #1.  I painted the front & back counters and the center table.  I used Junk Gypsy chalk paint which I purchased from EmpireBlu Vintage Furnishings, which just happens to be the place where we have a little pop-up shop.  But, more about that later.

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So, on to Sunny Place #1.  My friend and I took a private yoga retreat to Costa Rica!  Yes, Costa Rica.  I am a yoga nut and so is she and we both wanted to get away somewhere warm and we wanted an adventure.  It was all of those things — such a wonderful experience.  We spent half the time at a cloud forest resort.  Not super warm and sunny, but one of the most peaceful places I have ever been.  We were even pretty zen about the baby tarantula that Sharon found in the bathroom.  This is one of the beautiful vistas and also a pic of the outside of the lodge.  I spent a lot of time staring into space from one of those rocking chairs.

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Halfway through the trip, we transferred to a beach hotel where we found lots of sunshine!  We continued our twice a day yoga sessions and even had the pleasure of practicing in a butterfly garden one morning.  The views were stunning.

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Post Costa Rica, it was back to reality.  Which meant cleaning the tile floor in the store.  And, yes I complain about cleaning that floor just about as much as I complain about winter.  But, it is done.

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I have also starting buying new fun gifts & clothing for the spring like this stuff.

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I also worked with my graphic designer to create a new logo, which will also mean new signage when the weather gets warmer.  I wanted something fresh, modern, and (of course) colorful.  I’m so happy with her design.

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Last weekend, Steve painted a chalkboard display wall behind the counter.  I have always been a big fan of chalkboard and I’m so excited to use this wall to point out all of the cool details of the products we have.

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I have also spent a lot of time working on the Traverse City pop up shop that we have inside EmpireBlu Vintage Furnishings.  Carla had asked me to find clothing that fit the vibe of her shop – boho, vintage-inspired – but at an affordable price point (under $50) and in sizes that would accommodate lots of body shapes.  So, I did a ton of research and I found some lines that are completely different from our Suttons Bay lines which means that if you go to this shop, your shopping experience will be brand new.  Which is kind of fun.  Here’s a little look.

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That’s it so far.  But I am in the process of packing for Sunny Place #2 right now.   I am off to Florida for a couple of weeks and when I get home I’ll put the pedal to the metal and get the store open.  Opening date is April 9th!