Crafting My Life Away

Okay crafters, this one is for you!

One night while I was binge watching Netflix, and looking on Etsy for a house warming gift for my brother I found some wall-mounted bottle opener’s. They were all priced around the $40-$50 dollar range without the astronomical shipping costs. I looked at my cat and told him “pfshh… I can make that for cheaper!”

So the adventure begins!

First I looked on Amazon for a wall mounted bottle opener kit. I found this one for $17.99. Next I went to Michaels for some acrylic paint and paint brushes. If you go there make sure to look online for any coupons, they usually have some like these. Lastly I stopped by Lowes for the rest of my supplies. I grabbed some wood boards. I think I got 5in. x 2 ft., but get however big you want to make yours.  I also got some small wood boards to hold the pieces together. You will also need wood glue, sand paper and wood stain.



Time to create! First step is to lightly sand the boards. Next, it’s time to stain. I laid down a trash bag so I wouldn’t stain my driveway. After you stain them let them dry. I dried them over night to make sure they were dry enough.





Dry Overnight

Dry Overnigh

After they dry, it is time to glue them together. I applied the wood glue to the small wood boards and attached them to the larger ones like so…



Attach Boards

Attach Boards

You can use clamps or something really heavy to hold the pieces together while they dry. Once again, I let them dry over night.

Next, it’s time to add whatever design you want. My brother is a huge Michigan fan so I went with the University of Michigan logo. I free handed this but don’t be afraid to use a stencil if you have to.

Paint on Design

Paint on Design

After I let that dry, it was time to screw on the bottle opener and catch tray.

Screw on Bottle Opener and catch Tray

Screw on Bottle Opener and catch Tray

And then… Voila!


Wall Mounted Bottle Opener

The perfect combination of my two passions, crafts and beer.

Dog Gone-it


Our Lead Property Manager’s dog, Kiya.

For many people their dogs are their family. So why wouldn’t we want to treat them to the best in life? This blog is about all the best places to take your furry friend in and around Grand Rapids.


Our Marketing Agent’s dog, Diesel at Norman F Kruse Park.

Living downtown, not all of us have the luxury of a big yard for our dogs to run and play. If you are looking for a place where your dog can run and play with other dogs try one of these local dog parks. Hillcrest Dog Park, located on Lyon just East of Fuller, is an off- leash dog park with two areas, one for all dogs, and one specifically for our small friends who don’t like playing with the big kids.  Covell Dog Park is another off-leash park located on the NW side of GR. These dog parks are a great way to get your dog interacting with other dogs, just be sure to clean up after your pet!

Aman Bridge

Aman Bridge in Aman Park

Another great place to go is Aman Park off of Lake Michigan DR just outside of Grand Rapids. These  trails are great for hiking with your best friend. This is not a dog park, but is dog friendly, so your dog  must remain on a leash.  This park has six trails that range from. 8 to 1.5 miles. For those hot days where you just need to cool off  head to Norman F Kruse Park in Muskegon. This beach has a section specifically for dogs. The area for dogs is clearly marked. Dogs  are to be leashed when in the sand but are allowed to be off- leash when playing in the water. Dogs are also welcome at the Grand  Haven beach but must remain on a leash at all times.


Patio at The Mitten Brewery

After working off all that energy, you will need to refuel! Grand Rapids has many bars and restaurants that have patios that are okay  to bring your dog. The Mitten Brewery, Sundance Grille, Reserve Wine & Food, and Tavern on the Square all have dog- friendly  patios. At One Trick Pony on Fulton, they will bring your pup a water bowl and some marrow bone treats. So when you’re out  walking your dog and an incredible hunger over takes you, don’t fret, just hit up one of these patio’s and enjoy the day with your  best friend on four legs.

Next time you feel like treating yourself and your dog to some adventure check out these dog- friendly places for some fresh air and fine eats. Because everyone should benefit from the joys in life.

More Discounts Please!


8c2da41f077807ad3083055ac62c00a9After spending a month’s worth of rent on textbooks for this semester, I got to thinking about just how expensive college has become. According to, tuition alone can cost anywhere between $9,139 and $31,231, depending on the college you go to. This doesn’t even include housing, meals, supplies, books, or transportation. Add on another ten or fifteen grand and it’s no wonder where the stigma of college students only eating mac and cheese and Ramen Noodles comes from, because those are the only things that are still affordable!

My anxiety over being broke got me curious about what local businesses offer discounts to college students. So I did a little digging and found I didn’t have to dig too deep. Most colleges post about student discounts somewhere on their webpage, you just have to look for it. I found several lists of places that offer discounts, but seeing as these lists could be dated, I called some of the businesses to confirm. I stuck to businesses that were in Grand Rapids and things that I, a poor college student, could appreciate.

cherrystreetdeli Some of the discounts I knew about, but some of them I found surprising. Let’s start with where to eat, because I’ll  be  honest, I’m snacking as I write this. There were a few local restaurants like Brandywine, Cherry Deli, and San  Chez, who all  offer 10% off with a valid student I.D. Malamiah Juice Bar located in the Downtown Market also  offers 10 % off for  students. It’s nice to get out and have a meal that doesn’t come out of a box every once in a  while. So next time you are  leering at the ravioli left in your cupboard, just grab your I.D. and hit up one of these  places instead.

 If you are looking for something to do besides binge watching Netflix all day you could put pants on and go to one of these attractions. Immerse yourself in culture and check out Grand Rapids Public Museum, they offer $3 general admission tickets for students. Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park also has student rates at $9.00 for admission tickets. Or try Celebration Cinema, tickets for students are $8.50 instead of the normal $11.00, money better spent on popcorn and candy. Want something a little more active? Grab some friends and go to Wengers Bowl on Leonard, they offer $2.00 games and $2.00 shoe rental for students. For those low prices it’ll be worth leaving the house.5615424548_03bc194c9d_z_zpsc87d17cf

I did find some businesses that I never knew offered discounts. CPR Cell Phone Repair offer’s 15% off of labor for students with broken cellphones. So when you drop your phone while you were laden down with all your textbooks, keep them in mind. Another great find was that Russ’s Garage offers 10% off repairs, maintenance, and oil changes! I’m really excited about that one because my car needed an oil change about 3,000 miles ago. If you look at their site, it only says the discount is for GVSU students, but I called them and they said it applies for all students if they show a valid I.D.

Scrabble-Save Make sure you have your student I.D. with you though, all the discounts I  mentioned are only valid with a student I.D. Also check out your school’s student section to find more discounts.  There are a lot of discounts out there for students, so take advantage of them and go enjoy life!