Parooz

Parooz is a Gift Boutique shop for Her, Baby, and Home! It is run by a Mother and daughters trio, which is so fun and sweet, and they are the kindest ladies you will meet! 

This shop is bad news bears for me because when I go in I can’t just look around, I have to buy everything! What I love about local shops too is that they are constantly adding new items so you are not always looking at the same items every time you enter the shop. 

I am huge on home decorations. I love decorating for the seasons and making everything festive and Parooz never disappoints, they cover them all! They have candles, signs, figurines, serving dishes, blankets, and so much more to make your home feel warm and cozy. 

Lately I have been into their clothing. If you follow along on Instagram and Facebook then you might have seen me do a few try ons for them. I love their clothes and the new brands that I find there, and they are always on trend! 

Have a baby shower you need a gift for? Or a new mama looking for fun baby items? Parooz has the cutest baby and kids section. They have adorable onesies, soft plush toys, unique learning items, and books. I shopped there for my nephew’s baby shower and loved that it wasn’t the same items as everyone else who got their gifts from Meijer or Target. Nothing wrong with those items at all but I love the uniqueness you get from shopping locally. 

Something brand new that they just started is currecated custom gift boxes. Selecting a gift can be difficult so Parooz takes all the stress off of your shoulders and puts together the gift for you and for any occasion! Every box is different and custom to what you are needing it for, and can be picked up at the store or shipped directly to you. 

If you can’t tell by now this shop has all the cute things! Check them out and tell them My Grand Rapids Life sent you there. I hope you love as much as I do, it really is a one stop shop for gifts. Support Grand Rapids local businesses, you have no idea how happy it makes them and keeps our community strong!

Kids Food Basket

Go Orange!

During the month of March, Kids Food Basket does Go Orange for our neighbors to raise awareness for childhood hunger and the complex issue of food insecurity in our community. Orange is the color that represents hunger awareness.

My Grand Rapids Life is joining the campaign by helping raise awareness, volunteering, and attending the awesome events they have planned throughout the month! I have also set up a Kids Food Basket amazon wish list! You can access it HERE, these are popular items that are needed for the meals they put together. Once ordered I will do a big drop off on March 30th for their GO ORANGE DAY! There is also a fundraiser link set up on the My Grand Rapids Life Instagram page where you can make a donation and it goes straight to Kids Food Basket! Our goal is to raise $300!

How can you help you ask? There are lots of ways! Mentioned above you can purchase an item from the Amazon wish list, make a donation on our Instagram page, or sign up to volunteer directly at Kids Food Basket. Another way is by attending one of these awesome restaurants or events!

Kent County:

Two Scott’s BBQ: Entire month of March

House of Wine: March 4-7

Patty Matters: March 5 (555 Monroe), 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

AM Yoga: March 6, 5:30 p.m.

The Barre Code: March 10

The Loading Dock: March 19

Spoke Cycle GR: March 20, 11 a.m.

Creston Brewery: March 21-27

Olive’s Restaurant & Bar: March 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Luna (Ada location): March 30-31

Muskegon:

Wonderland Distillery: Entire month of March (Go-Orange Cocktail Features)

Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack: March 8-11

Hamburger Mikey’s: March 15 (Wish List Drive, Bring at Item = Free Small Fries)

Nipote’s Italian Kitchen: March 17

Pints and Quarts: March 21-25

Hearthstone Bistro: March 28-31

Ottawa/Allegan:

Market Zero: March 25 (5% of all sales to KFB)

Kin Coffee and Craft House: March 14-19 (donating $1 for every Turmeric Ginger Chai Latte and hosting bag decorating)

What I love about this option is that you are not only supporting Kids Food Basket but also the local businesses and possibility giving yourself the opportunity to try something/where new!! It’s a WIN WIN! You’ll see me attending these events and eating at these great places throughout the month. You’ll probably see me with brown bags and crayons and I might just ask you to help me decorate them, so be on the hunt for me! Let’s do what we can as a community to help make sure a kid doesn’t have to go to bed hungry tonight! 

To learn more about Kids Food Basket please visit their website here.

Grand Rapids Trivia Night!

Trivia nights are a great way to get out of the house on a week day and let loose. Spend some time with friends, test your knowledge, and take a look at the list you might be able to try somewhere new! With COVID, trivia has been away for a while so I’m excited that it is coming back! I was pleasantly surprised to see so many places bring trivia back, I’m sure I may have missed a few as well so let me know if I have, so you will have some options and may have to switch things up week to week!

Take a look at the places I found hosting a trivia night –

Elk Brewing Grand Rapids

Elk Brewing the Grand Rapids location on Wealthy Street. Great beers on tap and even better atmosphere.

Every other Wednesday’s 7pm

 

Founders Brewing Company

Everyone knows and loves Founders Brewing Company. Gather over by the Brassworks Bar to test your knowledge!

Monday’s 6pm 

Harmony Hall and Harmony Brewing Company

Two awesome locations and two trivia nights!

Harmony Eastown Wednesday’s 7pm, Harmony GR Thursday’s 7pm

Grand Rapids Brewing Company

Right on Ionia street this fun brewing is always serving delicious craft beers. If you can’t make it for their trivia night they also have their backroom arcade to check out!

Wednesday’s 7pm

Bobcat Bonnie’s Grand Rapids

They just recently opened up in Grand Rapids and this is somewhere I actually haven’t been yet! It looks and sounds amazing though and what better night to check them out than on their trivia night!

Wednesday’s 7:30pm

Long Road Distillers

If craft beer isn’t your jam have no fear Long Roads has you covered with hand crafted cocktails instead!

Tuesday’s 7pm

Fulton Street Pub

It’s always a party at Fulton Street Pub. Great place to hang loose with the gang and have some good eats and drinks!

Tuesday’s 8pm

Tin Can

Faygo shots and pudding shots! What more do you need for trivia night?!

Tuesday’s 8pm

What trivia night are you going to first? Don’t forget to tag @Mygrandrapidslife in your photos and use the hashtag #mygrandrapidslife

 

Oktoberfest!

October may be almost over but it’s not too late to get a hold of Oktoberfest, and where better to get that tasty fall favorite than in Beer City USA! There is no hiding that we have the best breweries and no one brewery is the same, and that goes for the beers as well! Check out this awesome list of all the local breweries to get your Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Beers before they’re gone!

Brewery Vivant Pumpkin Tart

Our uniquely tart pumpkin ale makes it’s return just as we start to think about autumn again…Brewed with real pumpkin and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and “pumpkin pie spice”) and blended with our sour ale, this isn’t your usual pumpkin beer. 

Brewery Vivant Coqtoberfest

Fall in a glass, a returning favorite and a clear sign of autumn arriving. This malt-driven lager is meant to celebrate the season and is a fine example of European Oktoberfest beers. 

 

New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale

The legend of sleepy hollow lives on with Ichabod pumpkin ale. This flagship seasonal combines malted barley and real pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg in a delicious and inviting brew, perfectly paired with all things autumn.

 

Speciation Artisan Ales OktoBillFest

Kveik fermented Vienna Lager Style Beer

 

Thornapple Brewery Pumpkin Delight

Pumpkin spice stout. ABV 4.6%, IBU 41

 

Sacred Springs Kombucha Pumpken Pi

In-house roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla bean

 

Perrin Brewing Co. Bashtoberfest 2021

Brewed to celebrate Perrin Brewing 9th anniversary — this sessionable German Lager offers flavor notes of biscuit and caramel with aromas of black pepper for a sweet malty finish

 

Railtown Brewing Co. Railtoberfest

Malty German amber beer, lagered for 8 weeks to encourage clean, rich, toasty and bready flavors. It is soft and elegant with complex malt flavors and aromas.

 

Grand Rapids Coffee Lover Pt. 1

Even though GR is known as Beer City USA, we also have so many awesome local coffee shops and cafes! The list of coffee shops around the city is pretty close to endless and I know there are still lots more that I need to visit and check out. But for now here is Part 1 of coffee shops that I love! 

Outside Coffee Company

Who doesn’t love Outside Coffee Company? Their coffee is amazing but when you add the outside atmosphere that they created for the seating area it is hard to beat! It’s so relaxing and inviting just sipping your coffee outside while the birds sing or enjoying one of their ice cream creations in a hammock, it really reminds you to enjoy the simple things. If you haven’t checked them out yet then add them to your list of places to visit, you’ll be asking yourself why have I waited so long to come here?!

Pa Latte 

I absolutely love Pa Latte, they are definitely one of my favorite coffee shops! They are a coffee shop and an art gallery all in one! When you walk in it’s warm in color and the walls are filled with beautiful artwork from local artists from top to bottom, AND what’s awesome you can buy the art work as well! I am a sweet coffee drinker, I do enjoy strong coffee and love my caffeine spike but I love when it’s sweet and delicious, and that’s why I love Pa Latte. They have a lot of lattes based off of candy bars and my FAVORITE one is their hot Snickers Latte and oh my goodness it is so good! And if you order it and drink it in the cafe they make the prettiest designs on top which of course just make it taste 10x better! 

Madcap Coffee Company 

What’s super nice about Madcap Coffee is one- they have incredibly tasty coffee, two- they have two locations which is super convenient!  They have one right in downtown Grand Rapids and one in Eastown. You know that you are going to get a great cup of coffee from them because of the passion they have behind their coffee creating craft. They take the extra time to make it right, how you want it, and how it should be made. I am a huge fan of Mochas (because coffee and chocolate just belong together) and Madcap is one of my favorite places to get one, everytime is perfection!

FlannelJax’s Grand Rapids

If you are looking for a fun time and to try something new, then look no further – Flannel Jaxs is the Premier Axe Throwing experience! 

I took some friends there to check it out and I can not explain to you how much fun it was! This was our first time throwing an axe, so we were all a little nervous and hesitant to start. At first I didn’t think that I could throw it hard enough to make it onto the board but I did and very successfully! Don’t want to toot my own horn but I got a few bullseye’s and they have these green dots worth 10 points and I was the only one in the group to hit it, and I hit it twice! 

When you first get there they have an instructor go over the rules with you and go over all of the safety protocols. They also go over how to throw the axe properly, which I found super helpful and felt a lot more comfortable when it came my turn to throw! Little did I know that I was a natural. 

After you get a few throws in and have the hang of it they have some fun games that you can play with your group. They have a scoreboard so you can keep track and quite a few different game options. We played TIMBER, that’s where you throw 3 times and whoever gets the highest score gets a letter and whoever spells TIMBER first wins. Of course living in beer city, losers would have to buy the first round (that’s just our rule)! You’ll have to go visit and play one of the other options and let me know what you think! 

I highly recommend checking them out. It’s perfect for group dates, hanging out with friends, parties, really anything! Bored on a Thursday night and want to try something new (that’s what we did!). From my experience I would say 4 people should be the minimum group size. It still would be fun with 2 people but for this kind of activity the more the merrier! 

 

If you check them out tell them My Grand Rapids Life sent you and then tag me in your photos and let me know what you think! Can’t wait to hear about your bullseye! 

 

Cheers Friends! 

 

Grand Rapids Fitness Fest

The first annual GR Fitness Fest featuring over 45 local gyms, studios, and fitness professionals at amazing outdoor venues around the downtown area. Popular areas like the Calder Plaza, The Blue Bridge, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Rosa Park Circle, and so many more awesome spots!
The fit pass is only $20 or $10 if you are a SweatNet member and it gives you access to all workouts April 30-May 9th! Tickets are on sale now. After you pass has been purchased you will be able to sign up for as many workouts as you want! There is a wide variety of workouts and they are for all levels of fitness!
All events are limited capacity so you will want to make sure you sign up right away for the classes that interest you most. But there are definitely enough options to where you will not miss out!
Click HERE to purchase your pass!
Also if you are interested in joining SweatNet you can read all about them and what they have to offer HERE! You can sign up for only $10.95 a month and if you use code ‘sweatdrop’ it will get your first month for only $1!
Sign up for SweatNet HERE!
I will be attending at least one event everyday so make sure to follow me on social media and if you see me at an event say HI! Use the hashtags #GrFitnessFest and #mygrandrapidslife and your photo could have the chance to be featured!

Furniture City Creamery

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! What’s great about ice cream is that there is never a bad time for it! Even during a Michigan polar vortex; ice cream will still sound good and fuel the soul. From Furniture City Creamery’s website – Ice Cream is not seasonal and neither are we! 

Furniture City Creamery means business when it comes to ice cream. They make each flavor from scratch in their cute shop by their own chemical engineer! Some of their mixes can take up to 3 days to be ready. If you’ve had their ice cream then you now understand why it tastes as amazing as it does. So much love, calculations, and patience goes into crafting their ice cream and you can taste the perfection! 

Since they make their flavors in smaller batches some flavor depending on demand might sell out before you’ve had your chances to taste it. It is recommended “not to hesitate if you see something that is drool-worthy.” What also sets this ice cream shop apart from others is their wide range of vegan offerings! All of their house-made waffle cones and sauces are dairy-free vegan friendly. Tasty options for everyone! 

To try one of their delicious creations you have a few options. 

  1. Order online so when you get there it all set to be devoured 
  2. Walk up and scan their menu with your phone and order in person
  3. Get it DELIVERED through Uber, Doordash, or Grubhub

They are not offering indoor seating at the moment but they have 2 beautiful green houses (that are first come first serve) at the back door where you will pick up your orders. They are so cute and cozy and have their own little heaters in them! 

And for the cherry on top(pun intended) they even have pup cups for our four legged fur babies! I own a dog and I love that we can share a tasty treat together, and he loves it too! 

If I haven’t had you thinking about ordering ice cream yet check out their list of flavors here and I guarantee they will! Don’t forget that their flavors and offerings are changing and not the same everyday so make sure to keep checking so you don’t miss out on any masterpieces. Now I’m about to go wipe off the snow on my car because after talking about how good they are I need some to enjoy!

Cheers!

Pickin Chick

Became a Pickin Chick the other day while visiting Pickin Chick!

This amazing store had so many fun, unique, and beautiful items! I had so much fun looking around in all the rooms. They are actually located right down the street from me! Which is awesome but equally terrifying for my wallet. They are located right on 36th St in Wyoming by the 131 north and south ramps. 

What I love about antique stores is not only do they have the best items for anything and everything you are looking for! They are one of the best places to support small business and local artist/crafters! One, you are supporting the main store by shopping there. Two, a lot of the items that are provided are spaces rented by other small businesses or crafters/artists so they make a profit as well if you buy one of there items! It’s a win win for everyone!

It was so fun when I bought by cute Home Sweet Home sign the owner rang me up and said the person who made my sign gets notified every night on if they sold an item, and then said you just made them very happy! I love that!

Think twice before shopping at the big retailers because we have so much talent in GR and surrounding areas that you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for and more! And a better chance of someone else not having it in there house either! 😉 Check them out and let me know what you think!

Cheers!

Outside Coffee Co.

Grand Rapids may be known as Beer City USA, but we also have the best coffee shops! One of my favorites is the Outside Coffee Co. located on Wealthy St. They are an outside coffee shop if you didn’t get that from the name, in a cozy garden setting. 

I love how relaxed and inviting this coffee shop is, it’s so pretty and I love the fresh air and sunshine I get while visiting. They have gathering tables, benches, hammocks, and a fire fireplace to gather around while enjoying one of their tasty caffeinated or non caffeinated beverages. Even dealing with Michigan winters they are still one of the coziest coffee shops around. When it starts to get into the winter season they put up personal igloos to sit in with little fireplaces in them for extra warmth and comfort. It is one of the most coziest experiences – drinking coffee and watching the snow fall right above me while still keeping toasty. It basically feels like a Hallmark movie!

They have a wide variety of drinks for you to pick from, and I love my coffee as much as the next person but my order is very easy and simple – I’ll have a caramel or mocha latte please! Or I do love my seasonal flavors as well! Outside Coffee Co. had the best pumpkin spice coffee this year and I’m excited to try some of their winter specials as well! But don’t worry they have way more options than just lattes to order from. They have a lot of non coffee drinks as well on their menu including tea, kombucha, and hot coco. And if you need a snack to go with your beverage they have a selection of different toast styles to pick from or they even have ice cream! 

With all the hustle and bustle coming up with the holidays, take a moment to stop, get some fresh air, sip on a hot cup of coffee and enjoy that simple blissful moment! I hope I have talked you into stopping by and checking them out! Remember to stay safe, wear a mask, and be respectful to the people still showing up to serve you that enjoyable moment!

Cheers Friends!