Downtown Grand Rapids: A Personal Architecture Tour

The Awesome Mitten - Walking Amongst Architecture in Downtown Grand Rapids

When roaming around a city or town, an easy way to get a feel for its past and what it is all about today is to walk around and observe all the architecture. Michigan’s second largest city is no exception, please join me as I recount my recent self-guided architectural tour through downtown Grand Rapids. […]

Ways To Warm Up During a Michigan Staycation

Ways To Warm Up During a Michigan Staycation - Awesome Mitten

We’re (hopefully) in the last stretch of winter, and everyone is yearning for warmer weather. Now is the time to take your Michigan “tropical staycation” and get the winter blues off your mind. My first advice? Start off with some tropical food and drink to get in the island mindset. Some options include Jamaican Jerk […]

Shop Local, Grand Rapids

The Awesome Mitten (Shop Local Grand Rapids)

  Between the convenience of online shopping to the consistency of the mall, shopping local can sometimes feel like a major drag. This year, though, carve out some time Small Business Saturday (November 29th) to find a gift that is truly unique, special, and helps the community. If you live in Grand Rapids, 28th Street […]

A Michigan Thanksgiving Celebration

Awesome Mitten - Thanksgiving

Celebrate the Mitten this Thanksgiving with a hearty Michigan meal. Here are some ideas to get you started: Turkey: The main dish! Tom Otto’s Turkey Farm in Middleville is estimated to process over 12,000 turkeys this year. Visit them the week before Thanksgiving to get your bird. Another option is to check out Michigan Turkey Producers, a […]

Hunting Holiday Antiques

Awesome Mitten (Hunting Holiday Antiques)

November is traditionally the month where America remembers that now is a good time to start thinking of holiday gifts. The good news is that you still have plenty of time to come up with unique gift ideas for everyone on your list without rush ordering from Amazon. The even better news is that Grand […]

Southerner Meets Michigan: Exploring Eastown Grand Rapids

The Awesome Mitten-[Exploring Eastown Grand Rapids]

Ah, Eastown–where creativity runs rampant and “old meets new” is a way of life. This community of innovative, driven people is also a hub for emerging fashion, culinary, and lifestyle trends that focus on the importance of craftsmanship and individuality. If you haven’t yet experienced it for yourself, check out these five characteristics that make […]

Treasures Found at Apothecary Off Main

The Awesome Mitten-(Apothecary Off Main)

Pride, for both our country and for shopping local, is a constant theme throughout Grand Rapids, and the newest addition to MoDiv,  Apothecary Off Main, is no exception. When shopping small, our daily purchasing decisions, from groceries to oil changes, remind us that we are supporting our community. Our dollars are filtered back into our own town’s economy, […]

Hunt & Gather; Vintage with Flair

It may appear difficult to pick the most unique aspect of Hunt & Gather. Is it the unrivaled selection of curated vintage items? The amazing candles that give off a warm glow and relaxing scent? Or is it Harper, the rescued shop dog, who greets each guest with the tenderest of sniffs and nudges? I […]

Good Soul Vintage

The Awesome Mitten-(Good Soul Vintage)

  Online businesses are often hard pressed to be described as local, especially by Grand Rapids standards. Chelsea Andrews, co-owner of Good Soul Vintage, with her mom Tina Andrews, bucks that trend. Selling primarily on Etsy, these ladies know a thing or two about the vintage market, bringing vintage clothing, accessories, and home decor to […]

3 Things To Fit In Before Fall In Grand Rapids

As we near the end of August, kids around the Mitten unite in disappointment about the inevitable return to school, college, and cold weather (*burrr*).  For the sixth year, Grand Rapids prepares to kick off the autumn season with the annual ArtPrize competition from September 24th to October 12th but until then, it’s time to finish summer […]

Vintage Street Market

The Awesome Mitten-[Vintage Street Market]

  An “everything old is new again” renaissance is taking place in Grand Rapids, and Downtown Market’s Vintage Street Market is at the heart of it. Beginning this May, Grand Rapids’ own beloved indoor culinary market has opened its doors, literally, to a new venture: the Vintage Street Market. Located in their market stall center, […]

A Plan For The Grandest Of Days In Grand Rapids

A Plan for the Grandest of Days in Grand Rapids - Awesome Mitten

Picture this.  You wake up at your hotel or campground in Grand Rapids.  You feel super energized, your kids are going to be super well-behaved all day, and the weather looks like perfection.  What do you do next?  Here’s one example of a fun-packed day in GR,  but be warned- dozens of variations are at […]

Grand Rapids NBA D-League Team

The Grand Rapids-based NBA D-League Team, affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, officially got a name today. The team will be known as the Grand Rapids Drive and will begin play this fall. The Drive will play their home games at the 4500-seat DealtaPlex Arena in Walker, just west of Grand Rapids. Tickets for GR Drive […]

Becky DuBois: Author of “Still Me”

The Awesome Mitten (Becky DuBois: Author of Still Me)

” Am I going to die?”  The call that changed everything came Memorial Day in 2005: breast cancer. Becky DuBois was just 29 years old, celebrating her second wedding anniversary. DuBois, author of Still Me, a children’s book depicting the odyssey of a mother battling cancer gives voice to the questions many children are afraid to ask […]

West Michigan Whitecaps Bring Baseball to Grand Rapids

If you are a baseball fan and live in the West Michigan area, you may think that you have to make the two and a half hour drive to Detroit to watch the Tigers. However, there is quality professional baseball right here in Grand Rapids with the West Michigan Whitecaps, which is a minor league baseball team that […]

Bluedoor Antiques and Elements

Bluedoor Antiques - The Awesome Mitten

For a casual antique hunter, walking into a shop with unique vintage finds can be somewhat intimidating.  Kim Needham at Bluedoor Antiques and Elements takes out the fear and replaces it with romantic wonder for the past. Walking into Bluedoor, located at 946 Fulton Street E in Grand Rapids, is much like walking into a […]


The Awesome Mitten - Yoga HEAT

How many of you have ever wanted to pick up a new sport or hobby, but just couldn’t justify dropping half your pay check on something you weren’t sure you would even like? I mean, hobbies are expensive!  A lot sound like that old Master Card commercial. Snowboard: $500, Goggles: $100, Lift Ticket: $52, making […]

Emily Helmus: Bloom Ferments

The Awesome Mitten (Emily Helmus)

Hearing “22 year old Calvin College dropout” isn’t normally what you would expect at the beginning of a success story, but it is. This is where we meet Emily Helmus who, two years after said drop-out, is now a budding Grand Rapids entrepreneur. She laughs as we ask her to join the ever expanding ‘selfie’ […]

Freshii Comes to Downtown Grand Rapids

As a self proclaimed non-chain restaurant-goer I always get a little bummed when a new chain restaurant finds its way to Downtown Grand Rapids. So, when I heard about Freshii coming to the downtown district part of me really wanted to boycott it entirely. However, my health-nut side and the constant fear of missing out […]

“Big Ben” Risinger joins Team Awesome

Hello! I have to say that I am VERY excited to become a member of the amazing Team Awesome. I recently moved to Grand Rapids from Indianapolis, Indiana where I had a new media and TV show called DoItIndy. Basically, Awesome Mitten is a Michigan version of DoItIndy. I love the focus of Awesome Mitten […]

Letter from the Editor: Michigan’s Birthday Month!

Hey ya’ll, Were you lucky (*snort*) enough to travel for the holidays? I certainly was, and it was a failure of epic proportions. Now that I’m home and the snow is whipping itself across Grand Traverse Bay, it’s safe to say I won’t be leaving my northern mitten for awhile. We had an Awesomely Mittenmade […]

Ozmott: It Pays to Share

No matter how many times you hear the phrase “there’s an app for that,” innovators are still finding new and creative niches for apps. OZMOTT, designed by Joseph Walker and released this past spring in the Traverse City area, has found it’s way into the Grand Rapids market and continues to grow its base as […]

Onward Traveling Co.

Growing up watching your mother and grandmother travel across the United States and Europe each year with students from their cooking school seemed pretty normal to Molly Crist and Katerina Clauhs–so normal that they decided to make a career out of it. Onward Travel Co. was inspired by trips that their mother and grandmother took […]

Letter from the Editor: there’s no place like Michigan for the holidays

Dear Readers, The holiday season is upon us! Up here in the great white north, I’ve broken out my Sorel boots, Baabaazuzu fingerless mittens (which I picked up at their 20th anniversary party just last week!), and a whole slew of winter coats, accessories, and toys. I’m looking forward to getting out on the trails […]

Dog Story Theater

With another year of ArtPrize behind us, it’s important to remember all of the other wonderful forms of art the city of Grand Rapids has to offer throughout the rest of the year. If performance art is what you’re into, look no further than Dog Story Theater, located in the heart of downtown. “Dog Story […]