Friday Finds: Dresses for My First Signs of Spring

Happy Friday! It's been a quick week around here, catching up after my vacation and preparing for another one next week. Phew!

Before we get to my favorite fashion finds this week, I wanted to tell you local Grand Rapids friends of mine that there is a new restaurant going in downtown Ada that I'm so excited about! Have you eaten at Luna downtown? It has the best Mexican food in town, in my opinion! Well, they are opening a new location (under a fun new name, yet to be announced) and I'm SO excited about it. I've worked with Luna for our Bloom Workshop over the years, so I'm happy to pass along this exciting news. If you're local and love tacos as much as me, follow along with them on Instagram to get all the details about the new launch!

Alright, onto some favorite finds! I went shopping this week in search of a couple outfits I could wear for a Beautycounter conference next week in San Francisco and I found them! Only to find out, hours after making my final purchases, that the conference is canceled due to SF declaring a state of emergency because of the coronavirus. Ugh! So sad! I'll still be going to California because I was planning to visit with my family anyways.

First, I had a gift card to Nordstrom from Christmas and ordered this beautiful Gal Meets Glam Dress. I shipped it to my parents house so I'll let you know how I like it next week! I thought it'd be great for spring, Easter, with sandals or sneakers!

This shopping trip was so fun because it was my first sighting of SPRING!

First up is this adorable striped dress. It doesn't have good reviews online, but I personally loved it for a loose-fitting little pop-over with pockets. I am in a XS and I like the fit. Comes a couple inches above the knee. 

40% off

I think this blue floral midi dress is beautiful, but it might be for taller ladies because of the bold print. I'm 5'5" for reference, in an XS. I'd style this with strappy sandals or wedges. I liked how the website photo styled it with a leather belt instead of the included bow.

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LOVED this sweet green dress! It felt a little vintage and I loved the sleeve detail and the sides going a little longer. I'm in an XS and it fit really nicely, it's definitely more form fitting.

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This stripe shirt dress was a great find as well! It is unlined, but because it's dark, it isn't see-through. XS, comes just below the middle of my knee.

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Absolutely loved this striped skirt. It's so coastal feeling! I would pair it with a white (or navy) tee or tank as shown, a denim jacket, wedges or sandals or sneakers! In XS, but might be able to take the XXS for a tighter fit around the high waist look. It falls right below the knee. 

This green floral top is SO springy and I thought it was super flattering. The little peplum touch (just a partial seam, doesn't go all the way around) is very sweet. I'd pair this with white denim, as seen, plus a navy longer cardigan. In a XS in this, but could take the S if I wanted a bit of a flowy look. 

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I popped into Madewell twice this week. On Monday, then again on Wednesday and they had all their new spring stuff out on Wednesday! I'm so glad I went back ;)

This floral midi ruffle dress was my favorite number of the day and I did get this for my conference (that is now canceled...ha!) The bow at the waist is functioning, it's a faux-wrap style with perfect coverage in the front, goes right above my ankle, is perfect styled with a denim jacket and cognac colors booties, wedges or sandals for summer! I'm in an XXS. 

I also found this one online and ON SALE! It's really similar and I adore this color. Might return for this one!

This shift dress was my next favorite. This type of dress is so effortless. It's a shift style, but comes with a tie at the waist. The print is black with embroidered daisies on it-- so sweet! The sleeves are 3/4 and a bit billowy with loose elastic on the ends. In an XS.

This dress was beautiful, too! Floral, little ruffle detail on the bottom, comes just to my knee (5'5"). The sleeves are sheer but the rest of the dress is lined, functioning buttons in the front. Wearing XS. On sale now + additional 30% off!

This plaid ruffle dress was really flattering! It went out in an A-line shape and the mauve/purpley color with navy plaid was so pretty and flirty. Wearing XS.

These next two are the same top, different pattern. The first has a small scale floral print:

The second is a white and navy/gray classic stripe. My pick was the white (both on sale now!) but both were darling. You know those ruffles get me!!

On sale + additional 30% off.

That was my shopping trip this week! What are your favorites?!

Happy weekend!
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What to Do & Eat in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral & Sanibel Island, FL

I took the week off from blogging last week because we were in Florida for a short yet incredible four days in the sun! We went to the Cape Coral, Ft Myers, and Sanibel Island area and today I'm recapping our trip for you with our favorite places! This isn't sponsored in any way, just sharing what we did in case you're planning a trip :)
We actually flew into the Punta Gorda Airport as it had cheaper and direct flights from Michigan (our first time on Allegiant-- it was fine, but I didn't like that you had to pay for drinks on the plane, even water!) I sat next to the nicest lady who I ended up exchanging information with and we're going to meet up in town here soon. Love that!
When we landed we went to our hotel, The Westin at Cape Coral Marina. It's a gorgeous hotel right on the marina with some shops and restaurants around.

Our room happened to be ready when we arrived at 10am, so we got checked in, then went down to one of the restaurants at the marina called Gather. It was Sunday, so we indulged in my favorite food: brunch! It was delicious! After brunch we headed to the pool and sat there for a couple of hours before going to the room to rest, then getting ready for dinner. I had my first (and only) pool bar drink; a delicious guava punch.

That night we went to a restaurant called Boathouse in Cape Coral, since we didn't want to drive too far. I have to say, it wasn't my favorite. It is right on the water, so the views are amazing, but it's seat yourself, so there are people crowding tables and it was extremely loud. I know, I sound about 90 years old ;) After 15 minutes of looking around, I found a spot right in the sand so we did get to catch this pretty sunset. The food was okay, nothing special. It was definitely glorified bar food.

The next morning we woke up and caught the complimentary water taxi from our hotel to the Ft. Myers beach. It left at 9am and picked us up at 2pm from the marina in Ft. Myers, which I thought at first wouldn't be enough time, but ended up being PLENTY of time because of how hot it got on the beach!
The water taxi was SO fun! The crew was so nice, funny, and gave us lots of fun facts along our 45 minute taxi. It ended up being one of my favorite things of our trip.

The sun essentials: my favorite safe and super effective sunscreen (both spray tinted sunscreen for a nice glow and regular sunscreen lotion), my favorite floppy hat and this super soft and HUGE beach towel.

When we first arrived to Ft. Myer's Beach, there weren't many people there but as the day went on the beach got more and more crowded. I'd hate to see it on Spring Break week ;) If you get there early, you'll get a nice spot! There are lounge chairs and umbrellas to rent ($28 / day) or you can bring your own.
 Ruffle Swim Suit Top (similar) / Ruffle Swim Suit Bottoms

Seeing this turquoise water from the pier was such a treat. This is looking back at the beach from the pier.

That afternoon we laid by the pool once we got back to the hotel, then got ready and went to Cabo's Cantina for great Tex-Mex food on First Street in Ft. Myers. This whole street was adorable, full of lovely restaurants and cute places. Some other recs we got for down there but didn't have a chance to go were Capones Pizza and The Firestone. Both looked amazing!

The next morning we woke up leisurely and had a slow morning, then headed to Sanibel Island. We made it there by 12:45 and went straight to lunch at The Lighthouse Cafe. I had heard about this place from a couple people on Instagram (thank you!) and loved the charming hole-in-the-wall look of it. They offer call-ahead seating, so we called 30 minutes away and put our name in. We were seated within 2 minutes of walking in! It was really tasty (brunch and lunch offered all day) and I loved all the photos of lighthouses on every single inch of every single wall. There's a cute little ice cream place in this same shopping center, in case you wanted to get that, too.

After brunch we went to Lighthouse Beach just about 5 minutes away from the restaurant. It doesn't have much parking and it is $5 / hour to park there, but we ended up finding a spot in about 10 minutes of circling the lot.

This beach is stunning! The waves are gentle, the water was chilly but warmed up fast once you got to used to it, it's pretty shallow waters, too, which would be nice for kids. The other amazing thing is the amount of seashells everywhere! I've never seen anything like it.

You can't really tell, but the sand I'm walking on above in the ocean is actually just crushed up tiny pieces of shell. Everywhere you look...more shells! We had so much fun sifting through thousands of these to bring a couple home. We have a good 20 in our collection ;)

If you look hard below, you'll see that the water's tide is coming up on more shells.
 Bathing Suit Top / Bathing Suit Bottoms (I love having navy and black bottoms and then getting a couple different swim suit tops to mix and match!)

I loved the color of these. Now to find a cute little low dish to hold them in!

Absolutely loving the Vitamin D, but goodness, it got hot! I think it was about 86 and humid. I actually took the car back to a small shop I passed to grab a beach umbrella because I was dying ;) I know, I shouldn't be complaining of heat after coming from 24 degrees, but I was getting scorched. Once we got the umbrella, we were all set.
 Swim Suit Top

At about 4:30 we packed up, changed at the bathrooms at Lighthouse Beach and drove to Captiva Island (Sanibel and Captiva are connected) and thanks to a recommendation from another friend on Instagram, we were told to see the sunset from the beach at the restaurant called Mucky Duck. I had looked up the menu previously and realized I wouldn't want anything on it (I don't eat seafood) so I figured we'd just do drinks here.

When we arrived we realized the restaurant was right on the beach, so we could actually just sit on the beach without going to the restaurant to order anything! We ended up getting an appetizer of a fruit plate which was perfect while we watched the sunset. It was SO STUNNING and I highly recommend going to this beach for sunset. You could bring your own food (picnic dinner) or you could grab something from Mucky Duck and take it directly on the beach.

Of you look to the left of this picture below, you'll see how many people were on the beach. It got so crowded! People clapped as the sunset and it was really cool. I loved it!

After the sunset we walked down the street to Key Lime Bistro, a great restaurant with lots of indoor and outdoor seating. We got sat in 15 minutes outside on the patio which had those fun string market lights. The food was great and had a nice variety of seafood and non-seafood. Perfect for me! I got the veggie risotto and it was delicious!

On Wednesday morning we got up and went to the pool at the hotel, then went back to Ft. Myers beach via water taxi from 11am-4pm. This time, armed with our new beach umbrella ($18 umbrella that we couldn't take home, might I add!) we stayed cool and enjoyed the afternoon so much. I got about 12 chapters of my book in which was really fun and relaxing.

Before the water taxi picked up, we grabbed ice cream right on along the Ft. Myers Beach shops. There's a bunch of shops (except they're all touristy and literally every shop has the exact same trinkets as the one next to it ;)) and restaurants.

Swim Suit Top is 3 years old and sold out, but from Target. You can find it second hand by googling "Target lace and crochet bikini top".

That night we got back and just went to dinner at tour hotel's restaurant called Marker 92. It was really yummy! I got a flatbread pizza and McCann got the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi. The sunset from the marina and restaurant was beautiful!

This was basically our view from the restaurant patio where we sat.


We had the best time! It was just what we needed to escape the cold and reconnect for a few days. In case you didn't make it through reading the whole post, here are some restaurant recommendations I got from you all and the places we went and enjoyed are starred:
Cape Coral:
BoatHouse (we went, but didn't love)
Marker 92*
Point 57
Ft. Myers:
Capone's Pizza
Cabo Cantina*
The Firestone
Lighthouse Cafe*
Mucky Duck -- would recommend for drinks/apps at sunset
Key Lime Bistro*
The Sandbar
Thistle Lodge
Love Boat Ice Cream
Pinocchio's for ice cream
Bailey's General Store
Doc Ford's 
George & Wendy's
The Bubble Room (dessert)
Cantina Captiva
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Valentine's Day Q&A

Happy Valentine's Day, gals! I thought it'd be fun to share some answers to questions you've asked me and my husband on Instagram. 

Valentine's Day can often bring up a lot of emotions for people. Some hate it, some love it, other are indifferent. I have always loved it, no matter if I've been in a relationship or not because I just love celebrating anything! One year in college my friends and I made heart shaped pizzas, another year we did a panty exchange (SO FUN!), and other years I've been married so it's been entirely different. Here's the important thing I want to say though: you don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy this day or to feel loved or show love. Your worth isn't determined by if you a boyfriend or spouse to celebrate this day with. The truth is God loves you unconditionally (that's better than any human could ever even try to love you!) and he wants you to know him and love him, too. I just want you to know that THAT is the only love that changes you!

If you're here for the Q&A, here we go! :)

Was it a hard decision to leave your "home" for love?

First of all, I really appreciate this question. Thank you for asking! It was really hard because my home meant family and that's a sure thing. I was leaving for something that was very unsure-- to see if this guy and I would work long term. I was hopeful, but I was very nervous. I was worried it wouldn't work out and the move would be a waste of time. I was worried I'd be seen as a failure if we broke up and I had to move back. I was worried my family would be so upset with my decision and I wouldn't have their support. I was nervous I wouldn't make friends and wouldn't like Michigan.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I was in church one Sunday when I was trying to make this big decision of what to do and the pastor said something along the lines of "sometimes God calls us to GO and you just have to trust that He'll be there with you, even if it's scary. When he says 'go' you need to obey." That, combined with a lot of prayer about what to do seemed to solidify my decision to go. I chose to go because I trusted God that EVEN IF this didn't work out the way I wanted it to, God would be with me and there was still purpose. I haven't always been a brave person and certainly not one who liked summer camp or sleepovers, so moving to Michigan was a HUGE leap of faith for me. I think the reasons I felt confident in going were because of what I knew about McCann and his character thus far and that he had a hunger to grow in the Lord, I had visited a few times (even in the snow!) to see what I was getting myself into, and I felt such peace after praying "God, if you want me to end this relationship or not pursue it any longer, or simply just not move, please make it SUPER clear to me!" I never felt like God was closing the door. I knew I had to move here to see how we would be together in the day to day and see if it would progress towards marriage.

The first two years were extremely hard on me. I was meeting friends, but I was still extremely homesick. Some family wasn't super happy about my move, even though I know they ultimately still loved me, I knew this put a strain on our relationship and that killed / still kills me. But I also know that my family knows deep down that I made a good decision for me, trusts us, and still loves me, regardless of where we live. I've lived in Michigan now for almost 6 years and it's gotten a lot better and easier. The Lord has been SO kind to me to give me the best of friends and some wonderful interior design clients where my business has flourished. It's still tough though. I've come to terms with the fact that it's okay to still feel homesick and long for your own family or for your own "home", even though you're the one who chooses to live far away. 

Ideas for how you spend evenings that are not in front of TV or scrolling your phone?

Great question and one that we are still figuring out! In January we did decide to make a boundary of not turning on the TV at least one night per week. For us this is Tuesdays. We go to the gym 2 nights a week usually. On Monday's we each hang out with our friends separately, and one night a week we also try to commit to reading a good chunk of the night. For us we realized that we really love watching shows together and that's okay a couple nights a week, but what's not okay is also being on our phones during the show. So we also just made a rule recently to leave our phone on the table before sitting down on the couch. This way we're at least both engaging in what we're watching. We've always had the no phone policy in bed and I think that's really helpful!

Other ideas include bowling, doing an activity together, playing a game, making a puzzle (I hate puzzles so this one doesn't work for us ;)) hanging out with friends, actually going to the movies, getting a marriage journal that walks you through some deep questions each week (we're getting this one!), etc. 

How'd you find the balance between having fun and having serious talks when you were long distance?

Oh man, I remember this weighing on me while we were long distance! It was so hard because ALL we had to do was talk and honestly, that got to be too much sometimes. After all that talking, sometimes there was just nothing left to say, so we got creative! We would watch the same show or movie and talk about it, play the Quiz Up app, read the same book or chapter of the Bible and discuss it, watch sermons together, etc. 

I do think it's really important to have deep talks and try to really understand each other, your backgrounds, your childhoods, etc. because I will say that when I did move to MI and began seeing McCann on a day to day basis, I realized I BARELY knew him. That was after 7 months of long distance! When I moved and we were closer, it was like we just started dating again-- ha! I'm not sure if this is normal or if we just didn't ask the right questions when we were long distance, but it was crazy. I don't mean this in a bad way either, we obviously still ended up getting married, but we put in a lot of work the first year or so that I lived here to really try to get to know each other.

I would suggest reading How We Love to spark some conversation about love styles, our pasts, family, etc. I would also suggest doing some of these questions together to dig deeper. Use this time to ask hard questions and get to know them well, without any physical stuff getting in the way of your judgement!

How'd you deal with purity in the intense times when you were together?

You gals are asking really good, important questions! I love that you're thinking about this and it's important to you! As I've noted before, we didn't live together or do "other" things together until we were married. I made my boundaries clear from the VERY beginning and thankfully, McCann was on the same page as we both wanted to obey what God has designed for relationships as laid out in the Bible. We're so very glad we waited for all these things until we were married. If just naming your sexual boundaries aren't enough, then you need to put physical boundaries in place as well. For example, maybe you don't go in each other's bedrooms, maybe you pray together about these things before you start your dates, have accountability friends, etc. To most of the world I know this seems prude or ridiculous, but this is what we felt called to based on what God tells us is His good design for marriage and I can honestly say we're thankful for the way we did things and know that God puts these boundaries in place so that our hearts are protected. 

Does McCann like when Michaela restyles "his" spaces in the house?

Ha! LOVE THIS. Maybe I should let him answer ;) I asked him and he said "I don't mind at all, unless it's my desk area. I have a certain way I like that organized. I know you are good at what you do, so unless it's really expensive, I don't care how you decorate!"

 I like that answer!! :)

Favorite date night?
Mine would be going to my favorite restaurant called Nonna's and then going to a movie or watching one at home! In the summer, I love going to this rooftop wine bar. Such an amazing view!

How did we prepare for marriage?

One thing we did that I highly recommend if you are dating someone and want to see it move towards marriage (which is what I think the goal of seriously dating someone should be!) is we were mentored by a married couple at our church as a part of the marriage / engagement ministry at our church. We met with them for 10 weeks and went through a study together. It really solidified that we wanted to get married and had the tools to work through things healthily as a couple!

We also had marriage counseling in the form of a retreat at our church, talked to lots of married couples and asked for advice, studied the Bible's view of marriage and read a couple of great books. My favorite one is The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller.

What was your favorite thing of your wedding day?

How long do we have?! Ha! I have written a ton about our wedding day. You can find the posts below by topic:

+ Wedding Planning Q&A
+ 12 Things We'd Do Again at Our Wedding
+ Wedding Dress Shopping Tips (+ the dress I almost chose!)
+ How to Start Designing Your Wedding Color Palette
+ Things We Learned in the First Month of Marriage
+ Honest Thoughts on Wedding Planning can see them all here, including our actual wedding photos!

My favorite moment was our first look and my favorite detail of the day was all of our beautiful flowers! Everywhere I looked there were blooms on blooms and I was in awe!! The most fun part of the day was the dancing. We had an insanely talented DJ (which I think is one of the top vendors that make or break your wedding!)

What would I do over for our wedding day?

If I understand this right, you're wondering what I'd do differently for our wedding. I only have a couple things: 

1. Don't let family and their unneeded, unhelpful commentary on your day or your decisions upset you. I don't mean I wouldn't listen to their helpful advice and thoughts, incorporating some of their wishes, I more mean don't let the negative comments (like, some family telling us they didn't want to spend money on a ticket to fly out to our wedding!) get us down. 
2. I would have wanted one day in town before leaving on our honeymoon. I'm glad with the way it worked out, but our flight was SUPER early the next day and it was tough to rally after such a late night. A day in town would have been really fun, but we were equally glad to be in Hawaii ;)
3. I would have assigned someone to make sure everyone took polaroid pics for our guest book. I hate that we have so many people missing!

We loved everything about our day!

Photos: Ashley Slater Photography 

How can you bring your faith into your marriage?

For us, our faith is the biggest part of our life, so it's something we talk about a lot and ultimately, God is at the center of our marriage. If you're looking to talk about your faith more with your spouse, I think doing your own quiet times where you're reading scripture then coming together to share what you're learning is really great! I think bringing conversations up about what books you're reading having to do with faith or what podcasts you're listening to, and just what God is teaching you in general are great ways to naturally talk about faith. Going to church together and getting into community who love the Lord is one of the best things, too!

What are some of your biggest differences in your personalities?

We are pretty much different in every way ;) I'm outgoing, bubbly, talkative, loud, a type-A planner, love to celebrate every little thing, lover of traditions, future-oriented, very verbal and need to process conflict sooner than later, love languages are gifts and acts of service. McCann is reserved, go-with-the-flow, a great listener, a peacemaker by nature so holds things in instead of discussing, very analytical, likes to be spontaneous, love languages are physical touch and words of affirmation. I'm a 3w2 enneagram and McCann is a 9w1. I've heard the 3 and 9's are a common pairing! 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a really sweet Valentine's Day!!

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Valentine's Day Gifts for Ladies & Gents

Valentine's Day is just about a week away and while we have sworn off gifts this year in favor of heading to Florida together instead, I wanted to give you a couple of ideas if you are exchanging gifts with your guy or with your girlfriends!

silk pillowcase / candlelip gloss / red makeup pouch / heart ring / hanky panky lace undies (set of 3) / pj set / heart earrings / headband / floral vase / LOVE t-shirt / ugg blanket / neck wrap heating pad 
mens joggers / navy socks with hearts / boxers / 3 in 1 charging station / sweater

If you need a little inspiration of what to do on Valentine's Day morning, make these delicious oven pancakes! I make them every year ;) 

Do you have any gift ideas in mind?!

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Client Reveal: Wallpapered Powder Bath & Bold Nursery

A couple weeks ago I showed you one of my recent design projects, complete with a green kitchen. We started in the kitchen and living room and now today I'm back showing you glimpses at the rest of the house! We're starting in the powder room on the main floor, moving to the master bedroom, a couple guest rooms, then heading to the kids bath and nursery. This nursery is such a great room! It was so fun to design and see come together. I love that this family wasn't afraid of bold color. Scroll down to see for yourself!

First up, the powder room! Give me ALL of this wallpaper! I am so happy a client was bold enough to go with wallpaper. This one is such a subtle design, from one of my favorite stores to source from. Everything is so classic and beautifully done. I think they'll love this for years to come! And since it's a powder bath, it's a small enough room to be okay with changing in 10 or so years if they grow tired of the pattern. I would put this in a whole bedroom if I could :)


Master Bedroom
This room is serene, light, airy, with a touch of blues and golds to bring in hues from the lake outside. Eventually, this back wall will be wallpapered in this gorgeous textured textile (in color Cactus). I will of course be snapping updated photos once this is done! It's really going to make the bedding and colors in our custom pillows pop.


Guest Rooms:
They have two guest rooms upstairs, so here's a peek at both of them. I love how simple and sweet they, each designed with both sets of grandparent's in mind.

Laundry Room:
Another great spot to play with pattern is your laundry room, like these fun floors!

The kid's bath upstairs is so cute. Another fun, yet subtle, flooring paired with pretty serene greens and grays and popped with an adorable art print above the towels.

 art / towels

This is one of my favorite nurseries because of how different it is! Don't get me wrong, I love me a neutral, light space, but I think this is such a great change of pace. When I proposed a vintage automobile, boat and car themed room, this family lit up and were so glad to find a design inspiration they agreed on! They love traveling, so including a big map as art was a no-brainer.

He loves it ;)

Even the sheets coordinate with the room!

gold lamp / crib / rug / plant

I hope you love this house tour as much as I love sharing it! What are some of your favorite details?

*If you're interested in my interior design services, I'd love to hear from you! Whether you live locally to West Michigan or you live out of state, I have a package that will suit your needs. 
hello @ michaelanoelledesigns (dot) com

Happy Wednesday!

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