Monday, January 09, 2017

Seven Best Tips & Tricks for Successfully Growing Your Gray Hair Out!

***(UPDATE! Hello all of my beautiful, wonderful silver sisters! If you've found your way to How Bourgeois from this particular post - first a very warm WELCOME!!!  I want you to know that we're all on this rollercoaster of a gray haired journey together! It's been four years since I wrote this Tips & Tricks post, so once you're done reading, if you would like see more silvery hair encouragement, support and updates on all sorts of gray-hair topics, please visit my "Gray Hair Posts" tab at the top of the page for much much more. Also, if you enjoy what you've read, please consider following  How Bourgeois, here or on my How Bourgeois Facebook Page where we share and discuss and cheer each other on. That would make me sooooo HAPPY! :)
I also have a Favorite Products page where I list and update all of my favorite products gray hair related products that I've tried out and truly loved. Let me take some of the guess work out of it for you.  Thank you everyone, I wouldn't be who I am without all of YOU! xoxoxoxooxo, Lauren ) *****

This is my hair recently. It has grown a bit longer and a bit more gray since I first wrote this post. I've learned so much on this five-and-a-half year adventure of growing out my gray and I'm so excited to share what has helped me along the way!      


**  Hi friends. I just wanted to let you know that this post contains some Amazon affiliate links. That just means that some of these products are linked to Amazon. If you find a product that you like and decide to purchase it through my link, I receive a small percentage of Amazon's profit. I promise you that I always give my open and honest opinion, and only recommend products that I believe in. For a full explanation, please see my complete disclosure HERE!Thank you very much! **

Hiya  my silver sisters! ARE.YOU.READY!?..... ready to become a Gray Goddess!?

Do you want to be known as a silver Fox!?

  Or maybe even..... you want to be like me:  The Gray Goose! HONK!
(Wait, do geese quack?)

Are you tired of having to dye or henna your grays every few weeks? Do you have an allergic reaction each time that you color your hair? Perhaps you'd like to avoid the not-so-great chemicals in most of the dyes out there. (The wonderful natural hair coloring systems are not always strong enough to cover the hair of those of us who are mostly gray.) 
Has coloring you hair been expensive, messy and time consuming? Or, are you just simply curious to see what you'd look like in your "authentic" color!?

WHATEVER your reasons may be, deciding to go gray is a BIG decision, and an EMOTIONAL one at that!  Choosing to show the world your gray grow can be scary, frustrating and honestly, a bit of a downer at times.
BUT......I can PROMISE you, in the end, it will be 
SO worth it !!!!!!

Going gray is certainly not the right choice for everyone, and that's ok! 

If you do decide that it is something that makes sense for you, I'll be 
 here to help and support you, each step of the way!

(See. That's supportive gray hair love, shooting out of my head and into you!)

I've met THOUSANDS of the most lovely, wonderful, encouraging Silver Sisters over the years, and if there is one thing I know, it's that we're here for each other! Through all of the emotional struggles and the triumphant celebrations. So if it's something that you're ready to do, PLEASE JOIN US! 

Hooray! Hooray! Can you imagine not having to worry about whether your roots are showing? Or taking all of that time and money that you usually put into coloring, and using it on something new and truly enjoyable? If you take small, easy steps to care for and condition your hair, you just might find it to be even SOFTER and much HEALTHIER than before you stopped coloring! Really!

As difficult it is to face the world (and our society) with your gray, it can be rewarding in so many different ways too. Believe me, not only will you learn how to redefine your self-image, authenticity and what constitutes beauty, but you'll also learn about being comfortable in your own skin!
Who knows, you might even help pave the way for others. It's hard enough in our culture right now, for women to "make the grade" in the looks department. Even one person wearing showing their grays, helps to start a discussion towards the acceptance of all different ways to look and be in this world.

Are you ready? Let's go! Here are my SEVEN BEST TIPS AND TRICKS to help you make growing out your gray as easy as possible!

1.) Think About It This Way Instead - What if the gray was your best feature!?

There was a vintage advertisement floating around Pinterest last week, and I am so angry that I didn't stop to pin and save it. I believe it was from Miss Clairol. The ad showed a beautiful young woman, with perfectly coiffed gray hair! Oddly, back then, Clairol sold colorant that actually helped to highlight your gray. The slogan across the photos was something to the effect" "What If The Gray Was Your Best Feature"?

(Three cheers to several of my readers who have sent me this advertisement!)

Guess what? It just might be!
Really, no offense at all to your lovely smile or your beautiful eyes. It's just that, you might be as shocked as I was to find, that your silver hair grabs a lot of (positive) attention!  In fact, if your experience is anything like mine, you will fine yourself receiving infinitely more kind compliments and questions on your hair color than you ever have before. Of course, some of the attention can be good and some uncomfortable, (like stares) but the point is, re-think the negative connotation to gray. It can actually be one of the most interesting and pretty points about you!

While certainly not everyone finds gray hair on women to be a positive or particularly attractive, I will be open with you and say that I never received compliments on my hair before growing out the gray. Now, nearly a day does not a day goes by without a random person stopping to say: "I like your hair." Your new color can be your new, most individual and interesting exterior part of you!

It can be fun too. You get to play around with new colors of clothing, make-up and accessories to wear. Your white can be a conversation starter, or something that says: "I'm an individual!"  It's really all about what angle you look at it with. So, re-think the way you think about gray, and you've won half the battle!

2.) Find Your Gray Goddess Inspiration!

This is an old, old still from a film of my Grandma Esther. Isn't she glamorous in her white gloves? Grandma Esther is my Gray Goddess inspiration, and you should have one too.
We all need role models, teachers and mentors to learn on and look up to from time to time. People who have been there, done that, lived through the hard parts. People who inspire us!
Here's why- they give us the motivation to keep going and remind us that growing out our gray is possible.

I wish that my Grandma Esther was still here. I'd ask her questions about her own gray hair, and why she chose not to dye it. I'm curious! The story is that my Grandmother, like me, started going gray at a young age, and that she was "salt and pepper" as I am, for as long as my father can remember. In fact, when I was recently watching old 8mm home movies that my Grandpa Harry took in the early sixties, I could see that I even have a similar white-ish streak in the front just like my Grandma!

Once you choose your inspiration, remember to think about them often, especially in the long days, mid-grow out. Just remember, if they can do it, so can you!

To find some inspiration, I recommend Googling "Pretty gray hair on women" or phrases similar to that. There are thousands of pictures at your fingertips. Also, for my readers on Pinterest, that is my personal favorite place to find visual inspiration for gray hair everything!

Who will be you gray goddess?

3.) Pick The Right Timing  for YOU!

I want you to have the best chance of success, and so should you. That's why, doing a little bit of pre-planning will REALLY pay-off in the end. First you need to ask yourself : "Are there any SUPER important events coming up this year, that I need to look my best for?" You must be honest, but also reasonable with yourself.  For example, I was asked to chair a very large, formal fundraising auction the year that I had started growing out my gray hair . I knew that I would be up on a stage in front of 350+ people, and because I was also aware that I might have my photo taken for some newspapers or local magazines, I knew for me, this was a deal- breaker. I had to wait until after the auction was over to grow out my hair, so re-colored and decided to wait.

NOW............ there was another time, before even the notion of chairing an auction was on my plate, that I began growing out my gray.  I knew that my brother-in-law was getting married in New York several months ahead. OF COURSE I wanted to look my best, especially in the family photographs that will last forever.....BUT.....I needed to ask myself, was this REALLY an event that warranted pushing my growing out back another six months? The honest answer was "No, not really", and I'll tell you why.  It wasn't my wedding, I wasn't going to be, nor should I be the center of anyone's attention. It wasn't MY day to look my absolute 110% greatest ever. If I had to get creative with camouflaging the gray, I was willing to give it my very best shot. You really need to weigh things out when finding the best timing to jump in. Try to hold back on the worrying, and only delay the growing out process if it's something where you'll truly be in the spotlight.  Besides, if I did end up with terrible, terrible hair right before the wedding, I knew I could always re-henna or re-dye and start again after. There are so many things that can stop us from taking the leap. Sometimes holding our nose and hopping in is the best thing to do. 

By the way - here's my wedding hair. I think it worked out fine enough, don't you!? Also, at some point after this photo was taken, I went into the lady's room for an instant root touch up, and so can you!

NOW I'LL TEACH YOU YOU HOW............. :)

4.) Getting Started - Hiding the dreaded "skunk stripe!"

I'm going to be honest with you. One of the hardest things, maybe the ONLY difficult thing for some people about growing out their gray hair is the dreaded "skunk stripe." The line of demarcation, that ever-widening stripe of white that begins at your roots, and cascades ever so sloooooowly down as the months go by.  Here is an example:

Behold, the completely embarrassing "skunk stripe", back when my hair was extra-strange red from years of henna. Do you know how many times this photo has been taken from my site and used in anti-gray hair color ads??? :(

Ok, so there's two ways to look at the skunk stripe, one positive way, one negative. I suggest the positive.  

On the one hand, negatively, the skunk strip is glaring and a force to be reckoned with. It's MUCH more obvious than for the people who's gray grows in strand by random strand. In this sense, skunk stripes are seriously the worst.

On a positive note, although the skunk stripe is a little "In-Your-Face," you'll be over and done with growing your hair out to more consistent color,  faster than your friends who only have strands slowly coming in. 

Strands or a skunk stripe, both have their pros and cons, and both have a bunch of great ways to ease the transition for you as they grow! If you can have fun and learn some neat ways to lessen the contrasting gray's impact, why not! You'll be much happier and more likely to stick with it while growing out your grays!

Skunky Tip #1. - For a while, it's all about HIDE, HIDE, HIDE!

(This goes for you too to some degree my stand sisters.) I can't even begin to tell you how many great products there are out there to help you in your early months of transitioning to gray. While your silvery roots are still just a few inches long, you'll have LOTS of options!

Let's start with the root touch-up group. Root touch-up products come in a several forms: Liquid with a mascara like wand, a solid stick or "crayon," and even powder!

I suggest going online and reading reviews, or visiting your local beauty supply store to ask which brands people have been most happy with. There really are so so many different formulas and styles  to choose from!

One popular choice is the root cover-up stick. I preferred the stick because I was able to wet it and "paint" on light layers of color over my roots, just like using water colors! You had a bit more control over how much coverage you would get, verses using a liquid form which was often very opaque.  While I didn't care too much for the strong perfume smell of the stick, my favorite was the 
Roux Tween Time Hair Crayon.

I liked this touch-up stick because it was larger in diameter than most of the others out there and comes in quite a few colors. You could cover more roots in less time due to it's size, and because you wet the stick, that allowed me to be more precise with how much color went onto my hair. It can leave the top of your head feeling a bit waxy though, so if it does, sometimes combing through gently with a fine toothed comb will help to make the texture more natural. Have fun, just experiment, and try not to take any of this crazy stuff we do too seriously! :)

The next form of root touch-up that I want to discuss is the powder form. Something that I had not known about at the time, and WISHED that I had tried! Many of us use make up for our faces - it comes in powdered form. So why not then, use powder make-up for your hair!? I found this nice, little kit - COLOR WOW'S Root Cover Up  and I think it looks great! I have not tried it before, but it seems to be a crowd favorite and I think I would have loved it too. Read the reviews and watch their demonstration video and see for yourself. I love that powder cover-up isn't drippy or waxy like some of the sticks and liquid cover-ups. 

5.) Mid-way through. The skunk stripe gets fatter. Time for More Advanced undercover!

Just imagine it guys- you'll feel SO happy when you're all done with the grow-out process. One day soon, that skunk stripe will be more than a stripe, it'll look like a white yarmulke! And as potentially unappealing as that sounds to wear on your head for a good few months,  it's still a great thing, because that means you're getting closer to the finish line!

Enter advanced cover-up. When the root touch up wands and sticks are not enough, when the line of gray is getting too wide to paint on with color each day, consider these more powerful tools that I personally used and loved:

Ya ready for something kind of silly? Believe me, with the following, you'll be like....."WHAT am I doing?" These two techniques can work though, and  if going au natural with your grow out is just not for you, than it's worth giving the following powder and foam a try!

Ok, here you go - Bumble & Bumble Brownish Hair Powder  . This stuff is pretty darn cool and comes in several colors.  Many people use this product to help style slightly oily or un-washed hair., and to add texture and volume. Buuuuuut....because it comes in several colors, it's also super useful for covering your grays! I sometimes used this spray on powder when I wanted to look a bit more pulled together. Once in a while it would rub off on my clothing, so be careful. After reading the Bumble and Bumble's website, I can see that perhaps part of my problem was using it on clean, non-sticky hair. The powder was not always adhering as much as it could. Bottom-line though, neat stuff. This powder was a life-saver and really helps you in camouflaging your silvers!

Next up, foams (and rinses too)........

I am not a little old lady. I am not a little old lady. Just keep telling yourself that. No offense to little old women at all, AT ALL, it's just that, when  you're 35, you are not quite read to skip through mid-life to elderly just yet. And the word "RINSE" it just invokes images of...well, cartoon little old women from yesteryear with purple hair!  

There is a reason that women have been using rinses, and their cousin "coloring foams" for a long time though, and I think taking a cue from your wise grandmothers and great-grandmothers is a good idea.

Here are two examples,Roux Fanci-Full Rinse and Roux Fanci-Full Mousse . Both products work by being applied to the hair, letting dry, and wearing the color until the next wash. I have personally only used the mousse before. It actually worked quite well, but honestly, I hate putting more chemicals than I have to into my hair, so any day that I could go without a head-full of mousse, I would.  Everyone is different though, and using what you need to get through growing out of your grays is important! So do what works for you the best and feel good!

* VERY IMPORTANT EDIT! - It has been brought to my attention by a wonderful reader, that people have been having problems with the Fanci-full Color Styling Mousse staining their gray hair! YIKES! Please please be very carful, that would be such a set back in the growing out process. I was one of the lucky ones, I did use Fanci-full's dark brown mousse and for whatever reason, it did not leave any staining that I noticed. I only used it a handful of times though. Also, some of us have more porous or more dry hair than others. My hair did not soak up the mousse color. Please be very careful, be aware, and make the decision that is right for you! Thank you readers, you are amazing, THE BEST! :)

6.) Now What?  Half a Head of Gray. Let's Distract and cover!

Ok, I'm going to tell you a great secret about growing out your hair and leaving the dyes, rinses, foams , powders and sticks behind..... THERE ARE FEW THINGS AS LIBERATING AS NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR HAIR COLOR ANYMORE!

I really really mean this. Once your hair starts to grow out far enough, and using the cover tools is not so much an option, here are a few tactics that helped me with my transition. It was so nice to stop with the chemicals, the perfumed products, the whole mess and hassle.

I'll started with the oddest thing that I did. I guess it does include a tiny bit of root touch-up stick, but not much more. I FULLY ADMIT THE FOLLOWING MIGHT SEEM  CRAZY. 

There comes a time in every prematurely gray girl's life, when she just wants to look young again. When she feels discouraged, like her hair will never be one color. So, she goes out and buys a........FALL.  Yes, a fall, as in, a mini-wig! I'm embarrassed to say this because it seems so extreme, and some people have medical necessities and must wear wigs. I feel badly about that. They're not comfortable. Most people don't choose to wear wigs. I was feeling desperate, I didn't know how to hide my half-a-head of white hair anymore. The stares were getting to me. So, I went to our local beauty supply store, and came across these headbands with synthetic or human hair attached to them. They looked so long and pretty and youthful, and the shop owner took pity on my strange, half white, half dark brown locks, by readily offering up a discount. I came home that day with long, brown hair.....that wasn't mine! 

I know this photos doesn't really show much, but I'm wearing the fall here. I tied one of my scarves around the headband part to cover more of my gray hair in the front. Then, using a touch-up stick, I colored any remaining hair brown. A perfect solution? No. Helpful on the hard days? Yes. I know I must have looked odd, especially to those who knew me, but out in public, at least it was a way to avoid some of the surprised stares. 

A favorite tactic of mine, that I've used for a long time, is the "half-up" hair do. If you are like me, or like many women, every single hair on your head is probably not going gray at once. This is a good thing, because it helps you look a bit "softer". As the gray roots widen and grow though, it can look a bit harsh at the line of demarcation. One way to visually soften, is by pulling your hair back, off of your face. Play around with your parts, try to figure out where your white is growing in, and how it looks best around your face. I've found that half-up hairdos and hair pulled up to one side, are nice ways to change things around.

Here is a self-admittedly, completely weird picture of myself. I have NO IDEA why I wasn't smiling, but I vaguely recall that I was just taking this photo to remind me of how I did my hair/accessory combo for the future and never intended it as a blog post. Here I used pulling my hair back, PLUS a scarf, to soften and distract. 

It's clearly evident that you can't fool people at some point, you have to accept that people will readily know and see that you're growing out your white hair. These tools just that extra ounce of security and confidence. And also, it's fun to play with hairstylist and accessories!

Another thing that you can do is learn to crochet or knit! Then, go crazy and crochet (like me), or knit, a million headbands and hats!

Guys, NEVER under-estimate the power of a hat. If you need to wear a hat for a year, so be it! If that is what it takes to get you through this process, GO YOU!
As I've learned to crochet over the past year, I've made many a wonky-looking hat, but that's part of the fun.  This is what this is all about! It's about YOU becoming comfortable with being UNIQUE YOU! You always have the option of going back to being your old self, the more "blend in with the crowd" self. That's fine! But how nice to carry in your bag of experiences and self-beliefs, that you also like theauthentic YOU too.

6.) The Big Commitment Option

I used to read the Going Gray, Looking Great website all of the time. It was SUCH a wonderful, helpful site for inspiration and information while making my transition to gray.  The Going Gray website still has TONS of information and also their book:  The Going Gray, Looking Great! Stop by, you will really feel empowered! Also, be sure to check out the G.G.L.G Facebook page HERE .  And, ontop of all that, a MUST is the G.G.L.G. chat room  -The Silver Sisters Cafe Gray . So much support all around us!  How fantastic is that!? 

One thing that I came across time and time again, was that women who were growing out their gray hair were often getting short haircuts! The idea was, if you cropped your hair, there would be less contrast of colors between your dyed color and your new color.

The thought of gray AND short hair, really scared me personally. I liked having longer hair, I worried that wearing a short cut would look bad on me, and make me feel too masculine. So, first I decided to have only my fried ends trimmed off, which ended up giving me an above-the -shoulder bob. It was ok, but still, as the white stripe grew, and the summer sun turned my previously henna coated hair more and more red, I finally gave in. I wanted as much of the contrasting red  hair color gone. I went back to the salon for a shorter cut. I couldn't believe it. 

I suggest that you arm yourself with lots of pictures of short cuts that you like. Hair styles that you can live with. One of my favorites, that I felt would also work well with my hair's texture was Audrey Tautou's pixie cut.

And while of course I could never come out looking like beautiful Audrey, I have to say it was half-ok. Actually, I surprised myself by LOVING having short hair for a while! It was so easy in the morning, the first time in my life that I have ever been able to wash-and-go. It was also fun and different and individual. I wish that I had taken more pictures of myself with short hair, but alas, I didn't. 

I will say though, sometimes when I am tired of all the blow-drying and curling and straightening and fussing with my long hair, I go back and pine for those fun, short-hair days! So if you do decide to cut your hair, enjoy it while it lasts and  and even if it's not your favorite, you can count it as an experiment you've tried. 

7.) Go With It....

I'm 18 months into my personal adventure of growing out my hair . 18 months since I had my hair cropped into a a pixie, at least as short as Audrey's above. This is the state of affairs now:

I look a little crazed, don't I!? This is me on four days of little sleep and a 5:30am wake-up. Jon had been out of town on a business trip, and I never sleep well when he travels. This morning, he had rolled in on a red-eye flight. I wanted to snap a hair update shot for the blog though.

This is my hair quickly dried straight. I didn't take much time to shape and de-frizz. Making it straight-ish gives you a better idea of where things are. You can see that the white part is quite disconnected from the dark brown. In reality, the contrast is a bit less, but in this photo it's pretty glaring. I could simply chop off my dark ends and be done with it, but I haven't because I really wanted some length after having short hair for such a long time. My gray extends into the dark brown (but it's difficult to see here), and when I pull my hair half-back, it actually looks fairly uniform. Phew!

I'm not a fan of these harsh layers, but they are remnants of the pixie cut. Something else to grow out....  
Maybe I'll have another cut soon, maybe I won't. The point of #7. is that sometimes you just have to go with it.   I know that this is one area of my life that I don't have much control over.  I know that peripherally I can try to make things go my way. For the most part though, this is a mini-practice in going with the flow, something that many of us can always work at. Take this whole thing as a learning experience, an adventure. I know that I am. 💖

Ok my silver sisters! Now it's YOUR turn to go at it! If this is something that you REALLY want, if you feel READY and that it's RIGHT for you.......then by all means, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm here to back you all the way, and to cheer you on! \(^-^)/

Thank you for taking the time to read these little tips. I hope that some of them can help to make a difference for you as you go along. One of our BIGGEST and BEST tools for success, in anything that we do, is the connection that we have with each other.  So always remember that, you're not alone in this journey!

With Lots of Love,

Silver Sisters, this is Lauren from the future! 😂😂😂
I'm just popping in quickly to share with you, FIVE and a half YEARS in, what my absolute favorite gray hair product has been. This one is a game-changer and it's something that you might want to start using as soon as you have a few inches of new growth in. I'm talking about the

Joico Color Endure Violet- Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner DUO 33.8 Oz.


I have tried countless brands of "purple" shampoos and conditioners over the years, in an attempt to make my gray hair look bright, not yellowed or dull. Joico's Color Endure has worked the best for my hair by far, and, as a huge bonus, their products are SULFATE-FREE and PARABEN-FREE! I love it! The bottles are a gigantic 33.8 ounces each. It takes me about three months to work my way through them, so I'm not always having to re-buy. My hair has just really benefited from using Joico, they're my fave, and I'm only sharing because I truly believe in the good that these products can do! 😃

I know the following pictures are A BIT ODD, but they're from the past six months of using Joico Color Endure. You can see how light and bright my hair is. It really made a difference, even from the beginning. Fun stuff! 😃😅😂

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last Month, We Went Up North to See the Fall Colors

We went up north to see the fall colors, last month,  although I think we were about a week too early. It was still a good trip. I've talked about Harbor Springs many times before. It's one of my favorite places on earth!  The tiny resort town on Little Traverse Bay is somewhere that I've been going to my entire life.

Originally we would visit in the summer, and then when I was about eleven, my parents bought a vacation home, and we went up as often as possible. Summer was perfect for going to the beach, fall has gorgeous colors. Winter was all about skiing and snowboarding at the local ski resorts and spring....spring is just rainy up there, but it's pretty! My parents, (my Mom and stepfather) sold their vacation home while I was in college. It was pretty upsetting for me because I loved being there so much. I'd go up with friends all of the time, it was my second home. Luckily, my Father and stepmother also purchased a vacation home in Harbor Springs and eventually made it their permanent home. This was after deciding that downtown Chicago wasn't where they wanted to raise my much younger brother. After a couple of moves to Toronto and Los Angeles and a divorce, they are both back in Harbor Springs full time, and also...working together! It's a long story, but in addition to going up for the fall colors, we made the four hour trip north to see my Dad, my stepmother Lauretta, and their newly opened restaurant and bakery!

Heading North! You start to see lots of logging trucks.....

Arriving at Grandpa's cute, little cottage.

Lots to see when we went out for a walk to stretch after the long car ride.

It was so much fun to visit my stepmom Lauretta at her bakery: Small Batch! Yum, you can click on the link above to see more pictures. She's such a wonderful and creative baker. Before this, Lauretta was a shoe designer like my Dad. Baking was always her hobby and she eventually turned it into her full-time job. How cool is that!? :)

My Dad and Lauretta also own a little restaurant in Harbor Springs together. It's called "Small Batch at the Cupola."  I swear, I'm not being biased, it was the most delicious breakfast I've ever had. It was our first time eating there because it just opened this year! I had Lauretta's famous Eggs Benedict dish. It was fantastic, and I LOVE the flash fried chard salad. It was just the most unique texture, the chard melted in my mouth.

Noah taste-tested a new kids' meal for the fall menu: chicken and waffles! The chicken is in a waffle cone and comes with scrambled eggs. Everything has sprinkles on it. Lol. If there is one thing my parents know, it's how to have fun!

I didn't stop to think that Josie might be too upset to stay home alone at my Dad's house, but she was. She was so nervous any time it looked like we were about to leave, so we ended up having to take her out to breakfast and dinner. She had a lovely breakfast of scrambled eggs under the table, and then some truffle fries the night before when we went out to another restaurant. Oy!

There's so much to do in Harbor Springs, but this trip was very short and low-key too, which was fine! The balcony at my Dad's provided a lot of entertainment for Noah and Josie....

Pond Hill Farm is a local farm that's open to the public. They have crops and vineyards and an animal barn and a store and restaurant and a brewery and a playground and...and.....We love it!!!

Josie met so many new friends.

A potato catapult!

I know this picture isn't great. I was stuck in the backseat, but I really wanted to get a picture of the famous "Tunnel of Trees!" You basically drive through a winding, twisty, tunnel of trees. It's gorgeous, and before and after the tunnel, the road takes you along a cliff, high about Lake Michigan. I love it.

Did you know that the Great Lakes can almost look like the ocean ?

Can you hear the waves?

We drove up on a Tuesday and home on Thursday, so our visit was quick. On Thursday morning we took a quick, nostalgia drive. This is our old vacation home, the one I loved.  I miss it so much, but it looks like somebody is caring for it nicely.

Oh, this is why I woke up to find Jon sleeping in Noah's room. Lol.

Where was I? Thursday morning we were sad to leave but ready.

A quick walk around town and a stop in at Gurney's Harbor Bottle Shop for sandwiches! I've been going there my whoooooole life and I STILL can not see over the counter to order my sandwich!

Oh! And this cute, little place is Tom's Mom's Cookies. Another place that I've gone to since I was a little kid and it's still there!

Just before we headed out of town, we took a quick family picture onto of the bluff that overlooks town and the bay.

I'm so glad that we made the trip!

Until next time.

Lauren :)