10 Perks Of Living In Michigan That'll Make You Move To The Mitten

10 Perks Of Living In Michigan That'll Make You Move To The Mitten

There's nothing quite like Pure Michigan.
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I’ll be honest, I used to hate living in Michigan. I thought it was one of the worst states and I would have rather lived anywhere else. But as I got older, I realized how truly lucky I am to have grown up and lived in the best state in the U.S., and here’s why:

1. The Lakes

Growing up near the Great Lakes meant there was never a shortage of things to do, whether it be a beach day with your friends or shooting off fireworks over the lake. At any point you are never more than 85 miles away from one of the Great Lakes, and never more than 6 miles away from an inland lake.

2. Sweetwater's Donuts

Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, Sweetwater’s is one of the best donut shops in the country. Whether you’re looking for specialty donuts like the s’mores or New York cheesecake or looking for just a plain glazed donut, Sweetwater’s can’t be beat.

3. Mackinac Island Fudge

If one of your family members goes to Mackinac Island and doesn’t bring you back fudge, are they even your family? But seriously, it’s a must. I remember as a kid being so excited when my dad came home from Mackinac because I knew I’d get some of the best fudge in the world. If you haven’t had it before, you need to.

4. Tulip Time Festival

Tulip Time has been named “Best Small Town Festival” as well as “Best Flower Festival” and for good reason. Located in Holland, MI, there are six million tulips planted all around town. The eight-day celebration in the spring includes three parades, fireworks, a quilt show, traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as Dutch food and merchandise.

5. ArtPrize

Each fall for 19 days, downtown Grand Rapids is covered with more than 1,400 pieces of artwork from public parks to auto body shops. ArtPrize is free for the public and in 2014 and 2015 was the most attended public art event in the world attracting more than 500,000 visitors. The two grand prizes include $200,000 awarded to the artist who wins the popular vote $200,000 awarded to the artist by a jury vote. Along with these include category prizes, a juried award for best-curated venue, along with grants to support artists, venues, curators, and educators who also take part in the event.

6. Sports

Sports are a huge part of Michigan culture. Michigan is home to the Red Wings, who have won the Stanley Cup 11 times (the most of any NHL team in the U.S. and the third most of any NHL team overall), the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Lions, and home to not one, but two Big Ten universities (which also double as two of the best universities in the nation) Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

7. The Upper Peninsula

Michigan could be two states considering the Upper Peninsula is basically its own state. A huge tourist destination, it includes places such as Tahquamenon Falls, Mackinac Island, Les Cheneaux Islands, and Crisp Point Lighthouse. The Upper Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country.

8. Experiencing Every Season

This may not be a perk for everyone but I love living in a place where I know I’ll experience all four seasons, sometimes experiencing all four in the span of a week. One thing is for sure though, nothing compares to autumn in Michigan.

9. Frankenmuth

Year-round Christmas is every child’s dream, and that’s exactly what you get when you go to Frankenmuth. Home to the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, it has also been voted one of the nine “most Christmassy towns in America” by TIME.

10. State Parks (And Nature In General)

Michigan is absolutely stunning, there’s no other way to put it. With 1,300 miles of scenic trails and 10 million acres of public land, it’s any nature lover's dream. It’s home to some of the most beautiful state parks including Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and Palms Book State Park. Even though there are over 100 state parks in Michigan, you won’t have to go far to experience the beauty that is Pure Michigan.

Cover Image Credit: http://imgur.com/RAWMYAJ

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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10 Signs You're From New Hampshire, Wickedly So

I'm never cold, apparently.

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I have been told that everyone from New Hampshire is always obsessed with New Hampshire; I can't blame them since is it a wicked cool state. If you or someone you know is from New Hampshire I guarantee these are 10 things they can relate to:

1. You love Aroma Joe's.

Anyone not from the northern New England area probably has no idea what Aroma Joe's is. It's basically the Starbuck of New Hampshire. Known for flavored coffee and energy drinks all Rush. Every other high school student would stroll in late to school with the iconic Aroma Joe's foam cups (which have now been changed to clear plastic to help the environment).

2. The Sheetz and Wawa's debate means nothing to you.

There is a huge debate among select states over which GAS STATION has better food. Yeah, weird right? Of course, we New Hampshire citizens have spent our fair share of time at the Chill Zone at a Cumberland Farms or 7/11 but getting real food from a gas station is a whole other story.

3. You know what fried dough is.

One of the most shocking things I learned while living out of state is that not everyone knows what fried dough is. They have a similar treat called Funnel cake (which I had heard of but never actually ordered somewhere before moving to PA) and I assure you we are not missing out because fried dough definitely takes the win.

4. You pronounce Reese wrong.

In New Hampshire everyone (including myself) pronounces it "Rees-EES," but after highly offending some Hershey, Pennsylvania residents and a heated debate I have finally admitted defeat that the true pronunciation is "Rees-IS." But I will always say "Rees-EES" because to me, that is what it is called.

5. You use the word wicked a lot .

I honestly didn't believe it when people told me the word "wicked" was a New England thing. Majority of people understand the meaning but are just shocked by how frequently I use the word. But in the past, people have actually asked me what it meant!

6. When you say it's winter you actually mean it...

I am talking temperatures in single digits or even the negatives, multiple feet of snow that doesn't melt for months and snow storms that resemble blizzards. I have been to parts of the country where people freak out about two inches of snow that melts within 48 hours and are wearing winter coats when it's in the upper to mid 50 degrees.

7. People assume that you don't get cold.

Don't get me wrong, New Hampshire residents have to go through some tough winters but that doesn't mean we don't get cold! Yes, we need to wear a jacket when it's below freezing too! We are just less bothered by snow.

8. A beach day isn't a big deal.

Some parts of New Hampshire are further from the beach than others but overall the drive shouldn't be that bad. After working full time all summer and only making it to the beach about five, I was shocked when people kept telling me how exciting my summer looked via social media. Then I was reminded that for some people the closest beach is hours away and they are lucky if they make it there once.

9. Everyone assumes you ski or snowboard.

Don't get me wrong, A LOT of New Hampshire residents grew up either snowboarding or skiing, but for those of you who didn't (me), everyone is always shocked.

10. You love your state.

People actually make fun of me for how much state pride I have. I love the beautiful colors in the fall to the mountain views in the north and the ocean sunsets that you can't see anywhere else; no matter where I live no state will match up to how gorgeous New Hampshire is.

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