Max’s South Seas Hideaway

Max’s South Seas Hideaway

If you find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan, be sure to make a reservation at Max’s South Seas HideawayIt’s one of those places you just have to see to truly believe. The food isn’t cheap (my favorite meal being the Hanger Steak at $32), but if you want to treat yourself and have an experience along with a meal, this is the place to go. They’ve recently updated their menu to add a few more burgers, but the best one is still the Max’s Hideaway burger. Get yourself the Pu Pu platter to try a variety of staples. You also can’t go wrong with the Huli Huli ribs (they also come on the platter).

As soon as the front doors close behind you it’s as if you’ve been transported to a tropical island. The place is quite dim, but warm and inviting. If you plan on taking photos, Night Mode on your camera will become your best friend.

There are two stories full of fish tanks, bars (there are three), and an extensive tiki mug collection. The drink menu is just as expansive as the decor. The Blue Hawaiian is a safe bet if you aren’t familiar with tiki drinks, but the menu has a ton of other options if you want to be a bit more adventurous. If you’re with a group, definitely try one of the bowls. 

So book yourself a reservation during you trip to downtown Grand Rapids. When you’re done, pop over to the new popcorn shop, Mosby’s Popcorn for a sweet after-dinner snack.

The Womb | Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Womb | Frederik Meijer Gardens

the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
the womb frederik meijer gardens
We finally got around to seeing The Womb by Rebecca Louise Law at Frederik Meijer Gardens before it leaves March 1, 2020. It definitely did not disappoint. Frederik Meijer Gardens is a must-see if you’re ever in Grand Rapids, Michigan and one of the few places we never get tired of visiting.
Photographs by Alexander K. Benda
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend

Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend

Wax Poetic Candle Bar
If you happen to find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a few hours on your hands this weekend, here are some of my favorite activities to do in the city.
Make a candle at Wax Poetic Candle Bar
One of the best ways to spend a few hours is creating your very own candle at Wax Poetic. There are a variety of different sizes and price points to choose from whether you’re looking to go big, or just try it out. With over 100 different scents to choose from, you could literally make thousands upon thousands of combinations. The staff are super helpful when mixing your scents and give great recommendations to round everything out. Come back in a few hours to a candle ready to take home with you.
The Local Epicurean
Take a cooking class at The Local Epicurean
As your candle hardens from Wax Poetic, pop over to the nearby Local Epicurean for a cooking class. They offer a variety of different class options from Italian dinners to all things chocolate. Choose between a lunch or a dinner class. It’s best to make a reserve your spot ahead of time and you can usually find a good deal on Groupon. With a bar in store, enjoy a glass of wine as you learn new recipes.
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend
Five Things to Do in Grand Rapids this Weekend
Shop at Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Pop into OHPG for gifts made my local artists and vendors or a quirky greeting card. The inventory is constantly changing so you never know what you’ll find.
Try to get out at The Ruse Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are a great way to get a group of friends together for a fun activity. Ruse offers some really well-thought-out rooms with detailed themes. The staff is incredibly helpful and no matter if you escape within the hour or not, you’re sure to have a great time solving intricate puzzles.
Get a tiki drink at Max’s South Seas Hideaway
 …
End your day of activities by stopping at Max’s South Seas Hideaway for a cocktail. There are roughly 50 different drinks to choose from including a scorpion bowl that’s on fire and quenches the thirsts of a group. The decor at Max’s transports you to a tropical getaway and you’ll forget where you are for an hour or two. A great way to end a fantastic day in Grand Rapids.
We Opened a Gift Shop | Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts

We Opened a Gift Shop | Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts

Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
What a title. I can honestly tell you I never thought I would write that sentence. We opened a gift shop. Full stop. It’s happened. It’s here. People come and shop daily. What is life?
In 40 days we went from getting the keys to the location to our soft opening. 40 days of sleepless nights, gallons of spackle, and a whirlwind of emotions. But here we are on the other side. We’re no where near “finished,” but we’re at a point where I feel like I can take a deep breath before diving back into things. Like blogging. And videos. And sleep.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
We got the keys to our location in downtown Grand Rapids on November 1st. Look at us…all smiles without a clue in the world what we were doing. I mean we still don’t know, but we’ve learned a ton since this photo (like you can’t paint outside if it’s below fifty degrees. The awkward paint swatch on the outside of the building is testament to that gained knowledge…)
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Looking at this photo I’m amazed at how far the space has come. I remember standing in this space not two months ago thinking, “what the hell did I just do?” I  had so much doubt and fear that I had just made a terrible mistake and four year commitment to something I most definitely could not do.
I’ve tried my best to document the journey. It’s been lacking in the recent weeks as we turned our life up to eleven to get the store open for Small Business Saturday. But there are still a few videos showing you where we started and walking you through the journey.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Putting the logo on the door really made it real for me. You’d think the hours of painting and rearranging furniture to get the perfect “customer flow” would have done that, but nope. When we put that vinyl on the door it became officially our place.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
There were so many 2 a.m.’s that I thought for sure we wouldn’t be able to open for Small Business Saturday, yet we somehow pulled it off. A sneaky selfie was a must.
And people showed up. People continue to show up to shop. It’s mind blowing. When I’m able to complete full thoughts I’ll do another post I’m sure, but it’s completely astounding what can happen if you decide to do something and just do it. I’m a gift shop owner now.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
I’m currently planning our calendar of events for 2020 and it’s been amazing to meet local artists and talented crafts-people to talk about workshops. Be sure to follow our Instagram and Facebook so you know what events are coming!
Thank you so much for your cheerleading and patience during the past months as I completely disappeared in a whirlwind of paint swatches and wholesale orders.
A Weekend in the City

A Weekend in the City

Over the weekend the inlaws came to visit us in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They’ve been to our home a few times, but we haven’t really had the opportunity to show them just why we love our city so much. Although the weather was pretty mediocre, we dodged the rain and took a trip to Frederik Meijer Gardens to wow them with its awesomeness. 
Alex and I have been here countless times before, but never in the fall and I just about died over all of the awesome decorations and pumpkins. It’s a gorgeous location with tons of things to do and you can never seem to see everything in one go. Right now Art Prize is going on so we were able to explore the gallery on site and see some larger instillation pieces. 
Our weekend continued to include a lot food, seeing the art downtown, and more food. But I failed as a lifestyle blogger and toted my camera around not really using it. The gardens however lent themselves to some very fun shots and its days like this weekend that make me want to constantly have my camera on me. 
The city is still quite new to us and Alex and I really need to devote some time to exploring it on our own. We always get so caught up in Oh, Hello that we barely take a break unless people are visiting us. Yet every time we go into the city we fall even more in love. So I’m excited to see where we end up next.