Be a Family of Happy Eaters with our Road Trip Foodie Kit!

My family and I are headed on vacation next week and I couldn’t be more excited! We’re taking our boys, Eli and Ben, to Disney World for the very first time. Its an epic family vacation in the making and I can’t wait for all the great memories we’ll be making.

Like any good family vacation, we’ve opted to drive our way to Disney. Being in Michigan, that’s not the quickest drive, but there is something fun about a road trip and we definitely wanted that to be a part of the experience.

One downside to traveling by car though is that food options across the highway aren’t always the most nourishing. In fact, its almost downright impossible to find certain foods while on the road. Fruits and veggies for example. I’m going to make it my personal mission to try and document what I find on the way down.

But we’re also going to be proactive. We’re going to pack a few snacks of our own to calm mid-trip munchies and ensure we stay as “regular” as possible despite the change in routine. Sorry if that is TMI, but it is REALLY important!

As we get ready to travel, my team and I thought it would be fun to pull together a road trip kit featuring a few of our favorite food storage items at thePlate Boutique. Here’s what we came up with:

Foodie Road Trip Kit


Our kit features a reusable snack bag from Lunchskins, a reusable sandwich bag from spbang, and a spoon/fork combo from UKonserve. This makes on the road SUPER easy!

While my family and I travel, I’ll try to snap a few photos of our adventures. I’m sure you’ll see a few of these bags featured along the way.

Are you planning a summer road trip? You can get this kit online or at one of thePlate Boutique locations! Only $22.99 for all three pieces.

4 Books on My Reading list for the Fourth of July Weekend

Although these books aren’t necessarily food related, I do believe that taking good care of yourself in other ways does allow you to be a better, more competent eater. So this Fourth of July weekend, I hope you’ll practice taking better care of yourself. For me, that starts with taking a pause and finding ways to relax my body and mind. To do that, I’m planning on settling down with a good book – even if its only for a measly 15 minutes!!

Here are a few books I’ve been wanting to read but just haven’t made the time for:


The Fringe Hours


I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book! But who doesn’t love discovering ways to make time for yourself… especially when that seems impossible to do!

The Best Yes

As a retail shop owner, I’ve learned that sometimes its just as important to say no to an opportunity as it is to say yes to others. Another book I’ve heard great things about when it comes to setting priorities and finding time to breathe in between them.


Bread and Wine


I know I said that these books weren’t super food related, but I couldn’t resist adding this one to the list! Finding community and investing in relationships can be rejuvenating. Its also important to realize that food isn’t just about the nutrients… its deeply intertwined into our daily lives. This book looks at the importance of relationships built around the table and there are recipes. Recipes! A double win if you ask me.

Secret Garden Book


Okay, so this book isn’t really one you read – instead you COLOR! Adult coloring books are all the rage and I can’t think of a better way to unwind! Have you tried coloring as a grown up yet?

Please note – we are HUGE fans of shopping local and have chosen to support a local Michigan based bookstore by sharing from their selection instead of Amazon. We would LOVE it if you considered purchasing from them or explore your own local bookstore for some of these finds! Learn more about Brilliant Books located in Traverse City and Suttons Bay, Michigan.

Have you read any of these books? If so, I’d love to know what you thought of them! Haven’t read them yet? Which looks the most intriguing?

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.