TRIP TO LAKE ERIE ISLANDS

Rob and I took our first trip away since having L. It was really hard for us to leave her, but it was really nice to get away just the two of us (we had forgotten what life was like with no schedule 😂). We didn’t want to go too far away so Lake Erie was the perfect choice.

Lake Erie is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half away, depending on which part of the lake you want to visit. Once there, you can stroll along the quaint streets of Marblehead, island hop to Catawba Island, Kelly’s Island, Johnson’s Island, Put in Bay, or South Bass Island, enjoy the many local wineries, or simply relax at some of the many state parks and beaches. We did a little bit of everything and I’m sharing some of the highlights below!

LAKE ERIE

Marblehead State Park

The first stop on our trip was to Marblehead State Park. Marblehead is home to one of the oldest lighthouses on the Great Lakes. In use since 1822, the lighthouse is one of my favorite landmarks on Lake Erie.

The Lighthouse property offers breathtaking views of Kelley’s Island, South Bass Island and Cedar Point. The last time we visited we climbed the 77 stairs to the top of the lighthouse and I highly suggest doing it at least once for some incredible waterfront views.

In addition to the Lighthouse, visitors can enjoy the Keeper’s House Museum and the Lifesaving Station. The Keeper’s House includes a history of the Lighthouse and Marblehead area.

The Lifesaving Station offers an exhibit about boating safety, history of the U.S. Lifesaving Service and its formation into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, and information about shipping on the Great Lakes.

East Harbor State Park

If you are looking for a smaller, tucked away beach, East Harbor State Park is a hidden gem. Visitors can enjoy boating, camping, fishing, and swimming.

The 1500 foot sand beach offers swimming and magnificent views of the lake. Pack a picnic lunch, bring a book, and plan on camping out on this beach for a nice relaxing day.

ACCOMMODATIONS

South Beach Resort

Tucked away on a quiet part of the lake, The South Beach Resort offers gorgeous waterfront views. With a private beach and marina, it was the perfect place for us to relax and enjoy some time away.

The resort includes a four story inn and 18 cottages spread over eight acres along Sandusky Bay. It also includes three swimming pools, kayak and jet ski rentals, sand volleyball, tennis courts, and other recreation amenities that are family friendly.

The boardwalk around the marina offers quaint gazebos where guests can sit and enjoy the calming sounds of the lake. Rob and I sat in one of these gazebos for several hours and watched the sunset. It was incredible! This is exactly what we needed for a quiet weekend away.

FOOD

Mon Ami Winery

Our first stop for lunch was Mon Ami Winery. Mon Ami Winery is probably the most popular attraction on Lake Erie. Located on Catawba Island, the sprawling historic winery is the second oldest winery in Ohio and one of the largest on Lake Erie.

Located along the southeast shore of the peninsula, the winery boasts a charming setting for delicious food and homegrown wine.

Rob and I were able to snag a table on the outdoor patio where we enjoyed a delightful meal featuring local perch and walleye, a glass of Mon Ami Pinot Grigio, and a wheat beer from a local brewery. I had never eaten at the restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised by the magical atmosphere and top notch cuisine.

After our lunch, we wondered along the grounds to the gift shop, which includes a wine tasting room and finished our lunch with a flight of dry reds from the winery.

Mon Ami is definitely a must if you are looking for local fish and Ohio wine!

Red Fern Inn and Rocky Point Winery

The last time we visited Marblehead we stumbled upon the Rocky Point Winery and fell in love. Located in downtown Marblehead in the old historic schoolhouse, the Rocky Point Winery and Red Fern Inn offers a perfect setting for a weekend away.

The winery offers more than a dozen delicious wines available for tasting (our favorite is the Pinot Noir). Enjoy a glass on their back patio with live music from local musicians and a fresh breeze blowing off the lake.

Twin Oast Brewing

This was probably the hidden gem of our trip. Twin Oast Brewing was recommended to us by a few people and it did not disappoint! Located on Catawba Island, the 60-acre farm estate offers incredible views of rolling hills, terraced fruit trees, and natural caves.

Pair the incredible views with one of their amazingly delicious craft beers, and you won’t ever want to leave. They also offer a small menu of seasonal food, with many of the items grown on the farm. It was hands down our favorite meal and favorite atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for families too . They have a sprawling lawn with corn hole, yard games, and a stage for live music.

And to top it off, they have a small road side stand where they sell their delicious homegrown produce. We bought some peaches for the ride home and they were the best peaches I’ve ever tasted! It’s seriously an amazing experience and we are already planning our next trip back!

SHOPPING

We actually didn’t do a whole lot of shopping, but we did stop in the Pink Perch, Ferguson Art and Glass Gallery, and the Marblehead Mercantile.

The Pink Perch is everything preppy, nautical and girly. I could have bought everything in the shop, but I was good and shied away from purchasing anything I didn’t need. The Marblehead Mercantile is a fun collection of antiques and all things nautical. Definitely a must if you enjoy unique finds. Our favorite though was the Ferguson Art Gallery. Beautiful glass pieces and original artwork of Lake Erie, the gallery surprised us with all the cool finds and we definitely plan on going back.

I know this was a long post, but this is only a glimpse into the different aspects of Lake Erie living. I feel so fortunate to live so close to one of the Great Lakes. I’ve made so many friends and brands with ties to the lake and I hope I can play a part in helping to save our lakes!

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO ART GIVEAWAY

When people think of Ohio I very much doubt the word “coastal” comes to mind.  How wrong they are!  If you know your geography, then you know much of the northern border of Ohio lies along Lake Erie.  Many people who live in and between Toledo and Cleveland spend their summers boating, swimming, and fishing on Lake Erie.

Many of you know how much I love using coastal inspired artwork to decorate our home.  A few months ago I stumbled upon an extremely talented local artist – Michelle Brunner.  Michelle creates the most beautiful acrylic paintings of coastal Ohio life.  From the moment I saw her bright, colorful and impressionistic style I was hooked.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Michelle and we share many of the same passions for home decor, fashion, and a coastal inspired life.   I have been wanting to do a post about her artwork for some time so when Michelle reached out to do a collaboration I was ecstatic!  Below she shares a little bit about herself as an artist!

ACS_0062ACS_0059Growing up I spent my summers on the Lake Erie Islands and along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. I fell in love with the waves, islands and carefree life along the lake.  That feeling of being on the water carried over into my paintings.  My paintings reflect life on the islands.  Hollyhocks along the lake, hydrangeas in front of adorable cottages and sailboats racing across the lake.  I paint these scenes in an impressionistic style using acrylic paint to amplify these restful landscapes.

ACS_0061ACS_0064I have always loved art especially color and line.  Art class was my favorite class in school.  This inspired me to eventually make art education a career.  I received my Bachelors of Science in Art Education at Bowling Green State University and my Masters in Education in Technology from Cleveland State University.  I have taught art for over a decade at Perrysburg High School in the historic town of Perrysburg, Ohio. 

ACS_0066ACS_0068My style is somewhat abstracted and impressionistic.  I like to focus on color and my emotional reaction to a scene.  My paintings are completed mostly by intuitively laying down color and brushstrokes.  My aspiration is to have the viewer experience the joy I felt while painting each subject.  I want to bring the spirit and life of being along the lake into my paintings for my viewers to enjoy.

ACS_0060Michelle and I have teamed up to give one of our lucky followers a spring print of Michelle’s art!  To enter, simply follow us both on Instagram (Michelle/Shannon) and comment what you love most about the coastal life!  Winners will be selected randomly on Thursday!

Be sure to check out Michelle’s website and shop her beautiful prints!

Slàinte,

Shannon

DECK THE HOUSE

It’s officially the most magical time of the year!  Christmas has always been my favorite holiday – the twinkling lights, cozy nights by the fire, Christmas movies (Elf is my fav!), the decor, carols- I love it all. [Read: Getting presents].

Owning our house has made Christmas decorating that much more fun! [And expensive].  We decided to amp up our curb appeal this year with more lights and more Christmas cheer.  Our inspiration for this year was New England/Coastal Christmas.  Our style of house is very Cape Cod so this theme matches perfectly.

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I love this class look of a simple ribbon with a hanging wreath in front of the windows.  It’s so classic New England.  And, my mom always put wreaths in front of our windows growing up so it’s nostalgic for me!

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I was in charge of hanging the wreaths and the garland around the door.  Hubby was in charge of stringing white lights all along the edge of the roof. [Once again, risking my life in the pursuit of decor].  Check out a glimpse of the finished look below!

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We hope you are having the most magical holiday season!  Next week we will be sharing our interior Christmas decorations!

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

COASTING INTO FALL

Happy Fall!

The Solt household loves this time of year!  Crisp air, cozy sweaters, Buckeye football, red wine, plaid and flannel, booties, all things pumpkin…what’s not to love?!  Plus, I have an excuse to change up the home décor a bit! [That’s what I don’t love]

I have not accumulated a whole lot of fall décor yet.  The past two years I’ve just bought fresh pumpkins and gourds from the local grocery store and displayed them around.  I have some beautiful glass pumpkins from Pier 1 my mom got us for our wedding, but other than that, I haven’t invested in many pieces. [We may differ on the definition of “many”]

This year I decided to finally invest in some fun pieces that will fit in nicely with our décor.  I found some awesome white, blue, and gold themed pumpkins and signs at Target (gotta love the $3 bin!) and Hobby Lobby that match perfectly with our current décor.

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I started with the dining room, which is definitely my new favorite room.  I’m so happy with how everything is coming together in this room.  The last items on our list to complete this room are art pieces and a rug.  We are taking our time and being really intentional about picking out the art because these are investment pieces and we want to love them!

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My goal for decorating this room for fall was for it to be simple and fun. [And here I thought she was going for a glittering pumpkin patch] I didn’t want anything too fussy or over the top since it’s such an elegant space.  The white and blue glass pumpkins are perfect against the gold table runner.

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So there you have it! I’ve linked the different pumpkins below so you can shop them! Happy decorating! [Pumpkins on a boat? Really?]

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

Blue pumpkins | White Pumpkins | White and Gold Pumpkins (similar) | Gold/Orange-ish Pumpkin
Also, my top is from Loft!