Styled: A Trip North with Zady

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

As people who are constantly looking for new adventures and places to explore, Mike and I hop at any chance to take a short trip just about anywhere. The beauty of spending summers in Traverse City is that there are tons of small coastal towns all over that are perfect for day trips. One of my favorite places is Petoskey which is just about a hour and an half drive north from Traverse City. Since it is where I was born there is something special to me about this sweet town that still holds so many memories from my childhood. In many ways this town has been this special little secret to me for so long, but when Zady asked us to share a day trip with them, we felt it was the perfect place to explore with them and share with you as well.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

If you haven’t heard of Zady, let me tell you a little more about this wonderful company that is bringing some of the best made products in the country to your doorstep. Zady began with a vision to fight against the fast-fashion world by creating a place where only brands that believed in high-quality construction and timeless style would live.The team at Zady sources products that are ethically made in countries with established legal systems including the U.S. and Europe. Many of the products are made in sustainably, made by hand, reach a high-quality standard, and are locally sourced. As makers and creators, we love this vision behind Zady and were pretty excited to wear some of our favorite pieces during our trip to share their concept for life, style, and adventure with each of you.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

Our trip began with our first favorite stop this time of year at our favorite sunflower field that lies just between Traverse City and Elk Rapids. This field pops up at the end of July and first week of August.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

I always know that the season is reaching its end in Northern Michigan when this field begins to bloom and the sunflowers reach their sweet faces closer and closer to the sky. No matter what, this field always makes me smile and we always love stopping quickly for some wandering in the flowers. Walking amongst the sunflowers is something really special.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

As we drove north on 31 along the coast we passed apple orchards, fruit stands, scenic views, bridges that split for sailboats, and light houses. The drive back to my first home and where I spent so many summers growing up, never ever gets old.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

I love Traverse City’s downtown but if you were to ask me where I would spend an afternoon wandering shops, I would tell you Petoskey. The downtown has adorable squares, sweet home shops, various clothing stores, art galleries, views of the water, antique stores, and of course some great food. The day couldn’t have been more perfect with a high of 80 degrees. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

Our first stop when we got into town was one of my old childhood favorites, Symons General Store. This place has the best of the best in foodie items. If it is artisan made and super quality you will find it in this shop. The best part of the shop is that they never gave up their old school roots even as they add new and upcoming brands. You can still find rock candy, order a sandwich over the counter, and pick out candy the old school way.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

This place takes me back to my days as a kid when I would wander the streets with my family on a day too cold for the beach and get to choose a small bag of my favorite candy at the end of our walks.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

Even now it only seems right to indulge in something sweet after we browse and discuss our favorite labels in the shop on all the products, which is our favorite pass time in any store we visit.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

Wandering downtown, it is hard to miss one of the coolest buildings and hotels there is up north (besides the Grand Hotel of course). Stafford’s Perry Hotel sits just on the edge of downtown. This hotel has been a staple destination to Petoskey and this side of the Traverse bay area since the 60′s.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

The grand porch and the perfectly trimmed landscape is everything I think of when I think of summers up in Petoskey and Harbor Springs. The buntings on the porches and the yellow brick are landmark to this area and not stopping by would be a missed opportunity.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

Just around the corner from Stafford’s you will find a sweet little park, and if you walk all the way down you will find my newest favorite stop in Petoskey. Just recently American Spoon Foods, which is based in Petoskey, opened a cafe. American Spoon began in the late 70′s and has since opened multiple retail locations around Northern Michigan where they sell jams, honey, spreads, handmade gelato, and many other yummy things. All of the items they sell are inspired by the flavors that are grown locally.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

So, when they added a full service cafe with a coffee bar, gelato and sorbet counter, and brunch and lunch service, we instantly fell in love. Everything from the interior to the quality of the food is spot on and one of my favorite places on the northwest coast of Michigan right now. We never come north without a stop here for something  delicious and special.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

As the day came to a close for us we wandered the downtown just long enough to enjoy the light setting perfectly on the faces of the small shops. We always feel thankful when we get time here. There is nothing more special than getting to wander the streets of a place that has so many wonderful memories for you. Having the chance to share this sweet place with you alongside Zady felt even more special.

A Day with Zady  |  The Fresh Exchange

If you are interested in finding out more about Zady’s vision and the brands they are working with then head to their website and online shop. I also suggest signing up for their newsletter to stay up on what they have going on every few weeks.

Wondering about what we are wearing? Below are Mike’s and my pieces that we wore during our daytrip with Zady.

Megan:
Sunnies: Rowley Eyewear Sunnies
Top: Dolly Top from Amour Vert

Denim: The Lucy Jean from Imogene and Willie (so comfy!)
Gold Cuff: Cuff Bracelet from Kristen Elspeth 
2nd Bracelet: Petalite Prong Cuff from Torchlight Jewelry 
Sandals: Espadrille Wedge from Tahari 

Mike:
Sunnies: Wayfarer Classics from Rayban
Top: Summer Henley from Industry of All Nations

Shorts: Chambray Shorts from Apolis
Shoes:
Canvas Authentic Sneakers from Vans

Thanks to Zady for partnering with us on a fun day of traveling and exploring a place we love. 

 

Escape.

Escape  |  The Fresh Exchange

Today let’s escape.

Let’s let go of all that still lies on our desks.

Let’s tell the world to hold on while we remember what it means to live in the moment.

Let’s run to the shore and strip away all that has weighed on us.

Let’s let yesterday remain yesterday and not carry it into this moment.

Let’s find time for what we dream about.

Let’s place our eyes to the wind and feel the sun on our face.

Let’s disappear amongst the rolling dunes or better yet into the fresh crisp lake.

Let’s forget all that we haven’t done and remember all we have done.

Let’s remember this moment is more important than what still lies in our inbox.

Today is a day for letting everything go and for just a short time remembering that sometimes we need to enjoy the present especially when the sun is shining and the days are warm. All of these things that we have to do will get done. It is never going to be perfect, and in fact it is better this way. It is better to ask not how we can do the most but instead how can we live the most.

I am not sure what your week has been like, but if it has been as full as our last few have been I am sure you may be feeling it is time for a little time away this weekend. I am craving the water, the sun, and the sand. Summer is slipping by and before we know it all will be gone and these days spent working will be more regretted than the time we could have spent out living and feeling alive.

Have a wonderful weekend! We are heading out to the peninsula for sometime to reenergize after this week.

If you do find yourself wanting to catch up on things this weekend, here are a few links I have been loving this week:
- Laren Poole’s story on Apolis was really great to read this week.
- Chelsea Petaja shared on West Elm her attic renovation process as well as the final product. So gorgeous and Chelsea is the prettiest and sweetest gal there is.
- This travel story by Park and Cube was amazing. All the images had me dying to get out from behind my screen.
- Mike’s and my new hero is Alastair Humphreys and his micro-adventures are the coolest.
- My new favorite style blog is Damsel in Dior. Love her site design as well!
- With the whole house process I am now dreaming of our studio space. Sea Chant’s studio is top on my list for well done spaces.
- On the house note, Kate of Wit and Delight wrote an awesome piece about marriage, minimalism, and moving. Truly an awesome read for the weekend.

Facebook Tips to Help You Stand Out

Facebook Tips for Business  |  The Fresh Exchange

I will never forget the first day I signed up for Facebook. I was a senior in high school about to transition into the college world, and Facebook was like a right of passage. You had to have a college email in order to sign up, and when I received my golden ticket, my page was live! I had no idea that Facebook would grow into the behemoth that it is today. Navigating the profile changes that Facebook was constantly making was a task. As soon as I thought I had the Facebook world mastered, it would change again (obviously for the good of optimization). I knew what I had to do in order to keep track of this giant animal; I had to research and continue to research. Social media is one of the most important if not the most important parts of my job, so I constantly have to keep up or I will be left behind. I don’t want you to be left behind either, so I have rounded up 4 Facebook tips for business that I think will help you stand out.

1. Post a cornucopia of content. This might seem obvious, but I want to reiterate the importance of rich content. I am sure you have heard the saying, “A photo is worth a thousand words.” Since working at The Fresh Exchange and Wild Measure, I have learned that this saying couldn’t be more true. Mike and Megan take some of the most captivating, clean photos that often do not need words. People love seeing beautiful photos, so it’s crucial that you add this into your Facebook content bucket. That doesn’t mean you should leave out the text-posts. Pepper in text-posts that ask your audience questions or give a fun fact or advice. This increases engagement when you allow for comments. Another great content option comes in the form of contests. People love interacting with contests. The more people that comment, it will increase the likelihood that your pages is seen. I say make your Facebook fan page or personal page like a fun Thanksgiving feast of content that makes your audience come back for more.

2. Utilize Facebook Insights. This is a solid tool that Facebook provides for it’s users and it’s free! If you have a fan page, then this tool will be the tool that helps you to optimize your posts and the times that you post. You can look to see what days and at what times your audience engaged with specific posts. I recently read that one of the best days to post is on Friday, which I have found to be true. It could be different for your personal or fan page, but I encourage you to experiment with different days of the week and different times for a month then evaluate using Facebook Insights.

3. Invest in paid reach. The days when organic reach was like discovering gold are dwindling. Basically, Facebook decreased the organic reach of fan pages to 6% due to the extreme increase of content. I gleaned a little nugget of information from Facebook that on average, your News Feed could see 1,500 stories, so things can get a little cluttered. If you, your business, or blog has something important to say and you know it will only reach 6% then it might not hurt to pay to reach more people. If your message is valuable to you (I would be surprised if it’s not), then having a larger reach, a larger voice, should be worth making sure it ends up in multiple News Feeds. People can opt out of ads, etc. If you don’t want to pay for more reach, then another great way to go around the organic reach decline is to cross promote on your other social channels!

4. Learn to use the Facebook etiquette napkin. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of seeing the same posts over and over again. I am also not a fan when I see multiple posts from the same person, business, or blogger in a row. This goes back to knowing the best times to post for yourself and your business. I always say to post on Facebook 2-3 times a day, making the content very different. You will lose attention and possibly “likes” and friends if you over do it. You also want to make sure you don’t ask people to “like” your page in a text-post. Inviting people to “like” your page is different from asking. Facebook actually considers asking people to “like” your page in posts as spam, and we all feel the same way about spam. We throw it directly into the trash can.

These are just a few tips of 100′s but we always love starting the discussion and learning other great tips, so feel free to share more about what you have learned about Facebook and even ask some questions! We would be more than happy to answer.

4 Outfits To Make You Look Different at Your Closet

A New Look at Your Closet  |  The Fresh Exchange

Image via: Madewell’s Denim Campaign Fall 2014

Every year right around this time of year when all of the fall looks are starting to surface, I first have a panic attack that summer is going to end, which is the saddest thing ever, but then I  freak out that I need to get on trend. We have been trying hard to save money lately, and I have been living out of 2 suitcases since May so with the oncoming new season I have started looking at all the fall outfit inspiration with a fresh eye. I have started looking and seeing that in fact I can make many of these outfits happen for myself with 1 or 2 purchases such as fresh kicks or replacements of worn out basics. To be on trend doesn’t always mean you have to buy everything new, instead it means you just have to take a fresh eye to what you already have invested in. Here are 4 outfits I have seen floating around that I am planning to make happen just from the pieces I already have in my own suitcases (I don’t even have my whole wardrobe…not sure if that is cool or sad).

A New Look at Your Closet  |  The Fresh Exchange

This look is perfect for the everyday and for the rapidly changing temps that can occur when fall begins to breathe. All you need is a few simple pieces. The best part is that this outfit is a perfect base for nearly 20 other outfits. So, if you don’t have one of these pieces, it may be time to make them a part of your closet now rather than later.

Find my picks for these staples here:
Bandana  |  Army Jacket  |  Striped Shirt  | Braided belt  |  Skinnies  |  Leather Tote  |  Classic Vans
Outfit inspiration via: Madewell

A New Look at Your Closet  |  The Fresh Exchange

I was leary of the whole track pant and blazers/jackets of any kind. It seemed so strange to me, but since then I have worn track pants to a party and no one even knew I was rocking sweatpants all night. I was comfier than anyone there but lost nothing in my style cred. So, in my mind this is a trend you need to jump on quickly if that explanation didn’t sell you.

Find my picks for these staples here:
Baseball Cap  |  White Blazer  |  Basic Tank  | Track Pants |  Nike Tennis Shoes
Outfit inspiration via: Jcrew

A New Look at Your Closet  |  The Fresh Exchange

I hate packing away my whites and I think at this point we can all just say the no white after Labor Day is no longer a fashion faux paux. With that being said, who says your favorite shirt dress has to be tossed in the back of the closet once the end of August rolls around. Keep her front and center by pairing her with some favorite ankle boots, and if it is really chilly toss on some tights or leggings (make sure they tuck in to your boots). White or not she should never be placed to far out reach.

Find my picks for these staples here:
White Shirt Dress  |  Basic Leather Belt  |  Ankle Boots
Outfit inspiration via: AYR

A New Look at Your Closet  |  The Fresh Exchange

I love a good western hat and I am so glad they are in for this year. It is one piece I really plan to bring into my wardrobe as the days begin to cool off in the coming months. This outfit is one where all I need is that hat and I am good to go. All of the other pieces are already staples if not signature pieces in my wardrobe. Layering them with this hat just brings a brand new edge I never thought this kind of look could have.

Find my picks for these staples here:
Western Hat  |  Barn Coat  |  Chambray  |  Stone Wash Jean  |  Leather Tote  |  Black Boot
Outfit inspiration via: Madewell