DIY Map Coasters

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project? This past weekend, we made a great gift for dad at thePlate Boutique and you can make it too! So roll up your sleeves, clean off your tabletop, and get ready to make some DIY map coasters with us!

Here’s what you need:

2 ceramic tiles (slightly larger than 4×4″)
Maps of your favorite state
Paper cutter


1. Take your maps and cut into 4×4″ squares. Start by cutting the map into more manageable sections and removing the areas you may not want to use. For example, if your map has a lot of blue space, a map key, or any additional information that might not look so great on a coaster. Then use scissors to cut remaining sections into squares or use a paper cutter for more even edging.

Michigan Maps

2. Put the map pieces aside and grab your cork. You can buy self-adhesive cork pieces to place on each corner of the bottom of each tile or you can buy sheets of cork and cut into 1/2″ – 1″ squares. If you choose the latter, apply glue to the bottom corner of each tile and place cork pieces on top. Press down and make sure each piece is securely fashioned.

3. Flip your tiles over and apply a layer of Mod Podge. As soon as its been applied, place a 4×4″ map square on top. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

4. Begin applying layers of Mod Podge to your tiles. I like to do 3 layers, but you can do as many or as little as you’d like. Let each layer dry for about 15-20 minutes in between each coat.

Making Tile Coasters

5. Viola! You have some pretty awesome and unique coasters that show your state pride!

Set of Michigan Coasters

Don’t have time to make your own coasters? No worries! You can always buy Michigan-inspired coasters from us at both our retail store locations!

Our Smile While You Remember Event Was A Food-Filled Blast!

Yesterday, our store thePlate Boutique in Grand Rapids, and other shops located in our MoDiv space in the boutique district of Grand Rapids hosted an event called, Smile When You Remember… to raise support for a local Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Unit at Mercy Health.  This particular cause pulls on my heart strings a bit because I was once connected with many that were inflicted by memory diseases when I worked as the dietitian of a memory program.  I saw first hand how emotionally and physically taxing it can be to not only the individual with a memory problem, but the family too.  Needless to say, I was absolutely geeked when thePlate decided to join in collectively to support a well deserving group of people.

Sarah Demoing at thePlate Boutique
Sarah, our nutrition expert making power food!

During the event we wanted to show our support in a bigger way than just donating a percentage of store sales so, here at thePlate we focused on what we know best… healthy delicious food!  Food that will fuel you and help keep you and your brain healthy for a longgg while! The food of the day was quinoa- and if you’ve never tried quinoa, I seriously recommend adding it to dinner this week.  It is similar in flavor to rice, just a bit more nutty.  The best part, it has an entire serving of protein, not to mention it’s super versatile!

We wanted to make sure our guests had a taste of healthy awesomeness so Stacey, our wonderful summer intern, and I demoed a Power Greens Quinoa Salad all the while talking up some of our other brain food favorites.  And then we ate, and so did our guests. Many of them were surprised to see how tasty healthy eating can be, and it’s true… eating healthy does not have to taste like cardboard, you just need the tools to know how to flavor food and I was glad to have a smattering of people get to experience that.

Some of our support guests.  Dr Foley is in the center.
Some of our support guests. Dr Foley is in the center.

As the night progressed it was an absolute treat to be open late and have guests sip wine, munch on quinoa and listen to Dr. Foley, the medical director of the Mercy Health Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Programs speak about the importance of spreading awareness about memory diseases.  He also told us that the funds we raise are going to stay local and go towards programs that are not typically covered by insurance, like support groups, but are essential to caring for patients.  It was so nice to know that the people that spent money will have it stay right here in Grand Rapids, only a few steps away.  The support for this cause continues all month long in our online store, where 20% of online sales for the whole month of June will go straight to the memory disorder program where you too, can Smile When You Remember!

Join Us In Raising Awareness For Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Disorders Month and we’re excited to bring awareness to these conditions. This month, you can help too.

We’ve teamed up with a few other businesses located in the MoDiv shopping center in downtown Grand Rapids, MI in order to honor those who have been affected by brain disease. Collectively, we’re calling this event Smile When You Remember and its something you can be apart of in a couple of different ways.

Smile When You Remember Flyer Event
June 18th 11:00am-9:00pm


All month long you can help us raise funds to support those who benefit from the Mercy Health Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders programs by shopping in our online shop, For each purchase, we’ll be donating 20% of those sales directly to this organization. Funds raised will help cover the costs of various aspects of treatment that aren’t traditionally covered by insurance but are vital to the care and support of individuals and families faced with these diseases.

For our local Grand Rapids peeps, you’ll also have an additional opportunity to support this great event! On June 18th from 11am-9pm we’ll also be donating 20% of our in-store sales as well. Our fellow store neighbors, including Trovati, Apothocary on Main, Outside the Lines, Humanity, and Bokay will also be participating. And to really entice you to come on out and shop, we’ve all collaborated to make this a fun day for everyone.

We’ll be hosting a nutrition booth from 12:00-3:00pm where you can learn all about the power of brain boosting foods! Our nutrition experts will also be firing up the stove for an in-store demo so that you can sample just how tasty some of these brain boosting foods can be. Additionally, you can enjoy a fashion show by Humanity, learn a little aromatherapy know-how with Apothecary Off Main, or experience a floral arrangement demo with Bokay. Outside the Lines will also be offering face-painting for the kiddos while Trovati will have bubble blowing contests and sidewalk chalk painting options. The evening is also full of adventure with both wine tasting and a special talk with Dr. Kevin Foley, the medical director from the Alzheimer’s and Memory program, available to attend. Throughout the day you can also commemorate loved ones by leaving messages on tribute walls or by coloring tribute photos throughout the space.

Awareness is often the first step towards healthier living. We hope you’ll join us in this remarkable event and help us either spread the word, raise some money, or do a little bit of both!

For our locals, see you Thursday at MoDiv – located on the corner of Monroe Center and Division in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

Want more information on Memory Disorders and Alzheimer’s? Visit the Alzheimer’s Association.

DIY Painted Wooden Spoons for the Kitchen

Looking for a super simple way to add a dash of color to your kitchen? This DIY project is easy to tackle and can be a great way to add a hint of fun and excitement to your kitchen!

Wooden Spoons

Supplies needed:

Masking tape
Craft paint (we used Martha Stewart’s outdoor/indoor non-toxic paint)
Foam paint brushes
Wooden spoons
Paper plates or bowls


Step 1: Grab your spoon and a small piece of tape. Wrap the tape around the spoon’s handle about mid-way up the spoon.

Wooden Spoon with Tape

Step 2: Choose your paint and put it onto a paper plate or bowl. Using a foam brush, apply the paint to your spoon handle. Let paint dry completely before applying additional coats. Paint until desired look.

Painted Wooden Spoon

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have your spoon collection complete!

FullSizeRender (42)

We used Martha Stewart’s indoor/outdoor craft paint. Its non-toxic and should hold up to washing once completely dry. Hand washing of spoons recommended.

Join Us for Taste of Health as We Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Are you ready for March yet? I know I am! But not just because March brings with it the beginning of spring, but because March also marks the start of National Nutrition Month.

As a dietitian, I really don’t need an excuse to talk about healthy eating, but it does serve as a nice reminder for the general public that nutrition matters. Designed as a nutrition education and information campaign to bring awareness to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, its a great time to refocus on taking care of yourself.

This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” and is meant to encourage people to adopt a eating and physical activity plan that focuses on consuming the right amount of calories, making informed food choices, and getting daily exercise in to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

This year we’re particularly excited to be joining forces with the Dietitians of West Michigan for their Taste of Health event taking place March 11th from 4-7pm!

Taste of Health Event
Click on the image to download the event flyer!

Dietitians from across the Western Michigan district will be gathering together to show individuals just how fun eating well can be. It is also a great opportunity to see what a dietitian can do for you and your meal plan. So whether you love food, want to change the way you eat, or simply have a few questions you would like to have answered by some pretty phenomenal nutrition experts, this is the perfect time and venue for doing just that.

And of course, we’ll be there too! Showing off a few of our must-have kitchen gadgets, giving away prizes, and cheering on our colleagues as they do what they do best.

In addition to booths set up by local dietitians, you will also get the opportunity to participate in both a pre- and post-workout stretching demo and a live cooking demo! Gazelle Sports will also be there showcasing a few of their must-haves for maintaining or beginning an active lifestyle. And yes, it is possible even when the weather is dreadfully cold.

If you live in the West Michigan area, we hope you’ll join us. The event is FREE and is guaranteed to be a great time. We hope to see you there and be sure to let us know when you stop by! I’d personally love to meet you.

The event is taking place at The Salvation Army Kroc Center at 2500 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, MI.

Fun fact: March 11th is National RDN Day – a day where we celebrate the dietitian and their contributions to the health community. What a great reason to come on out and support them by attending this event!

For more information, please visit the Dietitians of West Michigan’s Facebook page.

Not in the area? There may be some fun events going on in your neighborhood too. Be sure to  check your local newspaper, radio station, or TV websites’ calendar of events for possible activities happening where you live. And if you know of something amazing going on, send it our way! We’d love to help spread the word.