Introducing White Whale’s Newest Houseguests

White Whale Bold Mixers: The New Flavors  |  The Fresh Exchange

We don’t share much of our work here often, but from time to time I feel as if we work on a really amazing project or with a brand that is really amazing. About two years ago we started working with Dave Staples and Corey Mason to help them develop and build the White Whale Bold Mixers brand. The brand began as a fun hobby of crafting simple and easy cocktails in Dave’s kitchen apartment. White Whale was formed out of a passion for making a cocktail that was easy and tasted top-notch and that wasn’t full of sugar and poor ingredients.

White Whale officially launched last spring and over the last year we have worked side-by-side with Dave and Corey to walk through the growth and dreams of taking White Whale to the next level. Part of working with these guys is testing and creating new flavors that will build upon the snarky, fun, and bold brand that we as a team at White Whale and Wild Measure have worked to create. For us, working with White Whale is a dream as we not only are developing new labels and marketing pieces for them but also helping to build the brand through social engagement and events. We have a good time testing and exploring new ideas with them in order to build a brand that is just asking for fun.

That being said, this winter it was time to add some fresh new flavors to add to our roster of Houseguests (as we lovingly call all the mixers). Thus, we all worked together; Dave cooked up the recipes with Corey, Mike and I tested and chose colors, and then we all named them. So, say hello to the hottest new mixers on the block!

White Whale Bold Mixers: The New Flavors | The Fresh Exchange

When we started designing the new labels we decided obviously to stick with the split colors on the label to identify the mixing of a 1/1 ratio of liquor to mixer, but this time we wanted to update the colors and styles a little to bring in more harmony across the entire color palette. You can see the updated labels in the shop, which is also where you can purchase your own Whale of choice.

The first of the new recipes is The Mob Man, which is White Whale’s Manhattan with Rye Whiskey, and Mike’s new favorite. If you are into a warming cherry drink, this is your jam. I am not a big Manhattan fan, but I was sold when I was served The Mob Man.

White Whale Bold Mixers: The New Flavors  |  The Fresh Exchange

The other new flavor, and my new favorite, to be welcomed to the party of the 5 is The Skinny Dipper. Think a super fresh tasting, yet surprisingly not super sweet Mango Margarita. The better the tequila, the better this one shines. This drink SCREAMS summer in every way and I will take one of these over a-crafted-at-the-bar-cocktail any day… seriously! The Wild Measure office cannot get enough of this one. Together, these two bottles look pretty sharp, but with their newly updated counterparts, they all make for one cool looking bar chart…

White Whale Bold Mixers: The New Flavors  |  The Fresh Exchange

In case you are unfamiliar with White Whale… these 8 oz bottles contain no alcohol and are simply a mixer to add to the suggested liquor in a 1oz to 1oz ratio or you can get creative and create your own party by mixing them with whatever you like. They are perfect for the cocktail connoisseur that doesn’t want to squeeze limes all day for 8 guests coming over for the evening. Fast and quick, gluten free, vegan, and low in sugar with only 20 calories per drink. But even with all that goodness, they still taste fresh, vibrant, and pack a flavor punch. If you are still curious, check out their info on the website for how to mix and what to expect! Each bottle contains enough mix for 8 cocktails for just $10.

Join the #flavordisco on twitter and on instagram and see what happens next. This is going to be a big year of growth for White Whale as it is already showing up in Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Fab.com, Whole Foods, Caskers, NC Made, Scoutmob, Birchbox, and a couple more we can’t announce quite yet ;).

 

Weekend Adventure: Old Mission

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

I am excited to say that summer is here in Northern Michigan. Full on heat is happening and the only one who hasn’t caught on is the water, but we are patient with her; she had a tough winter. When it gets warm in many places, people find the closest air conditioner and hole up for the day, but here these days are few and they are the best days of the year up here. So, no matter the crowded roads and no matter the number of people snapping photos of the view, you will find me braving it alongside many of my favorite people to get away to a quiet place where for just a few moments it may feel as if we have our own private piece of paradise.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

One of our favorite getaways is out on Old Mission. The terrain is funky and different than most of this area, but it is always good to see it all. The best part is even with the water higher than it has been in the last few years, you can still wade your way around the shore and avoid the scorching sand. Don’t forget a good pair of sandals like Chacos to keep your feet happy while walking over slippery rocks in the water.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

No matter how many times I come out here I never get tired of it. I never think to myself, “well I have seen this before.” Instead I feel at peace. This is a place where it cost nothing for me to come and wander through the crystal clear water and watch the fish scatter away. That is something that money can never buy you.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

Somewhere between the water and the sky is the perfect place…a happy place….that for just a little bit, time no longer exists, and the only thing standing in front of you is the moment. That is what these days of adventure are meant for; finding that infinite place.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

This last weekend we spent with Michael Newsted reminded me of how beautiful and amazing summer is. Every year I value the days of sun and fun more than others. I realize more than ever how important it is to let go of what we think matters and to find time for the what really matters…enjoying the world we live in with those who we want to journey with.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

This summer I am trying all I can to enjoy it all with Mike and live for the moment. Sure there is work to be done and it is getting done, but my motivation to escape the house is greater than ever so it makes our days shorter and more efficient. More than ever I feel as if I have found some balance that at one point felt impossible; to work and live both extremely well. This summer is beginning nicely and it has me anxious for the coming months up north.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

During our day on Old Mission we stopped for a quick soda at the Old Mission General Store. We nabbed a Birch Beer and hung and talked about the best summer memories we have and how this weekend felt like a dream.

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

Old Mission Peninsula  |  The Fresh Exchange

I am not sure June could have been a better month y’all. I really don’t think it could have been. Bring on July and more importantly bring on the 4th…my favorite holiday of the year!

Image by: Michael Newsted

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

My favorite thing about having friends in town is the opportunity to go explore places you go often but not nearly enough. This weekend we knew we had our friend Michael Newsted coming for a few nights, but when my cousin, Andrew, his girlfriend, Tobin, and our friend, Will, all came down from Harbor Springs and we realized they had not seen Leelanau County, we made the decision that we all had to go! Thus, we enjoyed the night before drinking the new White Whale Skinny Dipper and Mob Man (more on those this week), and then we woke the next morning to hike the dunes.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

The easiest hike in to the dunes is Pyramid Point. There is no need for a National Parks pass, and in less than a quarter mile uphill walk, you can see one of the best views along the northern west coast. It was a hot and steamy day and unbeknownst to us, it was also the day the black flies decided that they were hungry. Arriving on the shore, we stopped to take it all in. The water was amazing as we stood nearly 400 feet above the shore on the dunes. Standing still too long was not a good idea with the bugs, so we kept moving toward the bowl that overlooks the rest of the northwest coast of the Leelanau Peninsula.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

We ran through the woods that connect the dunes and arrived on the other side to a beautiful view of dunes and the vastness of Lake Michigan. Together we walked the ridge to the overlook. We joked about feeling as if we were in a Hunger Games video between the persistent and nasty black flies biting us and the heat. There was some sort of element of survival to the whole thing that was both fun and miserable all at the same time.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

image via: Michael Newsted

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

image via: Michael Newsted

Even in the heat we snapped photos and enjoyed the cool breeze coming across from the chilly lake. It felt like a little slice of heaven. Sure the journey was slightly miserable in the moment, but the view was worth it.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

The journey back was a little harder (okay a lot harder) than getting there. There were a few points where I think we all regretted the number of cocktails we had the night before or the fact that we ever thought that this would be fun. When we finally got to the top and we had escaped the ungodly amount of flies that had left their mark on our legs and arms, we got back to the car and decided it was time for a dip in the chilly water to cool off and wash the sand and sweat from our bodies.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

Nothing says Northern Michigan summer like an ice cold dig into Lake Michigan on a hot day while you have been hiking in the woods or in the dunes. I took us all to my favorite secret swimming spot and we all plunged head first in to the water to escape the feeling that only a really hard hike leaves you with.

It had been a long time since I had been in water that it literally HURT because of the icy chill that still lingered. As quickly as we jumped in we were out, but we felt perfectly refreshed. Honestly it was the exact thing we needed in that moment.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

image via: Michael Newsted

We headed north to Leland from Pyramid Point and grabbed Cheese Shanty sandwiches and a view of the harbor at Fishtown. The weather was amazing and the bugs were no where to be found in town so it felt pretty amazing just to sit there and enjoy our lunch.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

image via: Michael Newsted

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

On the way back home we decided to have a small taste of the local grapes and stopped at L.Mawby for a tasting. We enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio to cheers to an insanely hard and beautiful day that left us truly feeling as if we had officially christened summer.

A Weekend Adventure: Sleeping Bear Dunes  |  The Fresh Exchange

It was one amazing day that I wouldn’t trade anything for.

Thanks to Michael Newsted for sharing the above tagged images with us for this post…he is amazing!

 

Northern Michigan Summers

Summer in Northern Michigan  |  The Fresh Exchange

I worked all week for this day. This whole week up north was a little on the gloomy and chilly side, but I saw the light at the end of the tunnel of partly sunny 80 degree days for the weekend. I couldn’t wait to wake up on Friday and know I was only a few hours from the reason I came here for the summer. More than ever I have been thankful for each day I wake up here. We have spent so many summers working so hard. I feel as if each day is a gift now that we are here with the intention of enjoying it. This new way of spending summer has reminded me that if we set an intention to have a life we love we can make it happen. It has been over two years in the making but it has made me all the more grateful to be here.

On Monday we finally made it out on the boat for the first time this season with a mid-day lunch break, and I couldn’t have felt more lucky. The smell of the fresh, misty air heavy with oncoming storms felt like a true Northern Michigan summer afternoon.

 

Summer in Northern Michigan  |  The Fresh Exchange

We have been loving these days of working, playing, and having life feel really simple. We don’t make many plans because really all we want is to have time to just enjoy the stillness. I have realized I can very quickly fill my days, and I don’t think that is always good because it leaves no room for dreaming up fun adventures.

This weekend, Michael Newsted is coming to stay with us for a few days before the holiday weekend. We have little to nothing, but we cannot wait to have him here to join us on a dune hike or a chilly first dip in the lake. I love that there is no plans ahead for this weekend because it tells me great things will happen.

Summer in Northern Michigan  |  The Fresh Exchange

What do you have planned this weekend? I would love to see and hear of your weekend adventures!!! Share a link below or hashtag your adventures with #afreshweekend. I will be doing the same!

Live well my friends because it all goes too quick.