Saturday, November 21, 2015


Hello my dearest friends,
Well where do I begin...I've missed you all so much. I have many things to tell you.
Lets start out with with the website change. I did tell you all that I was going to change my name to "Northern Living" but...In further research I decided to keep Wendling & Boyd. The title, to me, is what Northern Living was going to be ( I'll get to that in a bit ). So in saying that,  Wendling & Boyd is where I'm going to stay. But how did this come about? Why the name change? Why the new aesthetic of "Northern Living"? Here's the story...
So as you know...this blog has become a place to support local businesses and coffee. I do love that yes but Wendling & Boyd became this thing that thrived on collaborations and people sending me things to review. And with "Tyler Talks" it also became a place for me to complain about what was going on in my life. I started losing my blogging will and lost interest in it... As you all remember, this blog started out with traveling. With being a full time student I haven't be able to travel as much as I want to. With my family having traveling genes that transmuted into me...I need to escape sometimes... So... Last Friday happened.

I was sitting in my room all morning trying to figure out what I needed to do with this blog...All of a sudden, I read on my personal Facebook wall that there were these rather large (20ft) waves at the Grand Haven lighthouse. I messaged my friend Austin ( who I have never met in my life ) to see if he was in town. He was getting ready to go there as we were talking. Also he wanted me to go to a coffee shop there...which all of you know...I couldn't turn down. I got in my car and headed towards Grand Haven. I made my way over there and I felt this nostalgia that brought happiness to my mind. I was actually getting away and I was truly happy. I parked my car and made my way to the coffee shop where I'd meet Austin.  He walked in and we both got our chemex brewed coffee and had the most intellectual conversation about art and life. Something that we both enjoy for sure. Before we left, I met with his friend Brittany, also a worker at Aldea Coffee,  who wanted to meet me this whole time. If you're reading this, thank you for the hug and the lovely talk. Then...we made our way to the lighthouse. It was really cold out but we bundled up and walked the distance. Austin, being a native of Grand Haven, was giving me the run down of what the city is like and what he did as a kid here. I felt normal again. I felt like I was back "home". When we made it to the beach we stopped because they closed off the pier because of the wind and the waves. It was cloudy but all of a sudden, across the lake, the sun shined on the horizon line...My phone died, my camera made everything stop. My worries and sadness was gone and I just took in the view... As the sun disappeared we made our way back to downtown and Austin continued to show me around downtown Grand Haven... Austin and I parted and as I drove home... a quote from Austin rang true in my head..."You could always write your own magazine" thats brings me to the now.
Here are the photos of that day:

So now...
Where does the leave Wendling & Boyd? Well it is now going to be a place where I give out content and not focusing on collaborators and products. Coffee will still be a main focus as well. I'm rebranding Wendling and Boyd with a new logo too.
Here is the manifesto of the new blog/magazine 
So with saying that, Wendling & Boyd is going to finally become this rustic, hearthy hot spot where I'm going to share recipes, design work, stories, memories, and much more of the things that I did as a kid and the things that are about the northern living lifestyle that I hold dear.
Have a great weekend guys. Its snowing here in Grand Rapids and I'm currently dancing around my apartment listening to Christmas music. 
Much Love-

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Uncommon Coffee Roasters Est: 1994

In Saugatuck, MI there's a coffee roasting company called Uncommon Coffee. When I was in town for the tulip festival in Holland last weekend, I headed towards Saugatuck to see the city for what it is. And let me tell you, its beautiful. The most quaint nautical city I've ever seen. The spring weather along with the boats driving by on the bay really made the epitome of summer enter my mind. The flowers were in bloom and the shops were open with welcoming arms. The art is thriving all over town with its abundance of galleries and the community was the nicest I've ever experienced. Everyone saying hello and or asking how our day was; it was nice to meet so many wonderful people. So here's the story of Uncommon Coffee!

Uncommon Coffee was establish in 1994 with their cafe in Saugatuck and it's also a company who also has classes in their neighboring institute and roasting facility in Douglas, MI. Which has two rather large coffee roasters ( when the barista told me that my heart skipped a beat...).They hand craft ever cup of coffee and get their beans from small companies. Uncommon Coffee takes pride in their craft and for what its worth, every coffee company should. Providing a supreme cup of espresso to the community is the best in my eyes. Coffee does make the world go round. Uncommon Grounds hand crafts coffee but also smoothies and has a bakery as well. They also make and bottle their own cold brew. Who wouldn't love this little shop?

"Our trained baristas prepare every drink with care to ensure our customers enjoy a quality coffee every time.  Our espresso bar features classic drinks and house made syrups.  We offer a variety of single cup brew methods as well as our daily auto drip."- Uncommon Grounds

The interiors of this coffee shop was so welcoming. The wood tones and the natural light really made it feel homey. I can't explain it but I loved the vibe. We were welcomed by the barista and were asked what we wanted to drink. You'll know me and my cafe miel obsession, so I ordered theirs. It was sweetened with honey and it literally tasted like heaven. Meredith got a bottle of cold brew and a green smoothie which were also delicious. As I talked with the barista about the coffee she really took interest in Wendling & Boyd and suggested that I take classes. Which I plan on to in the future. I can't wait to go back to this little coffee shop. I'll be back soon Saugatuck!

Give them some love guys!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


IFirst things first, I truly need to apologize for the lack of blog posts. My macbook decided to malfuction and the home computer has been out of commission. So I havent been able to get up this review. I apologize if there was any inconvenience and trust me it wont happen again
So let's get down to business!

Metric Coffee Company is stationed in Chicago, Illinois. Partners Darko Arandjelovic and Xavier Alexander founded Metric in 2013, wanting to  create quality goods and services for Chicago and beyond.
"As a company, we take pride in the selection of the coffees we chose, pay close attention to how we roast them and most importantly, provide our partners with the necessary tools to grind and brew the best coffee possible.
When chose the name Metric because we like that the technical definition is "a system or standard or measurement" which in is something that is used in every aspect of life. We utilize Metrics in everyday life in order to perform certain tasks and in the world of coffee, it is no exception. Our other inspiration was with our machine having Metric sized nuts and bolts, so it seemed fitting to name our coffee company with concept of Metric in mind.
Lastly, as people, we believe that the best way to operate a business is to be honest, ethical and loyal to our friends. We will stand by that any day! "-Metric Coffee
The ever so awesome sent me a bag of their coffee and let me tell you it looks and tastes amazing. First, let me back up. The package design for Metric's coffee is amazing. I love the simplicity and the geometric elements of the bag. I ordered the Paradigm Breakfast Blend for a couple reasons. Firstly, I want a blend that would instantly wake me up in the morning before school. Second the flavor profile really intrigued me. The flavors of this blend is green apple, milk chocolate, and nougat. And thirdly, I couldnt stop looking at the design. 
This blend of coffee works really well with lattes and cappucinos. When I first made a latte with this blend it was so rich and creamy and almost had this flavor of ice cream. It was sweet and it had this tenderness that I presumed was the apple. I also use it for pour over aswell. The apple flavor really came out when I used it in my pour over system.  If you want a simple and sweet roast, this blend is for you. It tastes really good if you add a tablespoon of honey aswell.
Give Metro Coffee Co. a follow
Also go follow, they have alot of wonderful new options for you!
Have am amazing week everyone!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Alexey by Flidais Parfumerie

Flidais Parfumerie is an all natural aromatics shop in New York. Creating  Eau de Parfum frangrances for the nostalgic and timeless soul. Folk Magazine was doing a giveaway for the Alexey fragrance and weirdly I won. I emailed Flidais Parfumerie to get more of an understanding of their fragrances. I connected with Rachel of Flidais to see what she does and got a beautiful explanation of her "Alexey" fragrance.

" It's the Eau de Parfum oil with the simplest blend (in terms of how many oils are used), and yet the look on people's faces after it has absorbed into their skin is priceless, and the younger crowds tend to go for it over all the more vintage,-y, floral scents I create. I think millennials are connecting with the need to feel clean, unadulterated, and connect to nature within our synthetic, cluttered world. I'm also loving that it's pretty androgynous, and that both men and women are willing to identify with something that doesn't really claim a gender." - Rachel

Alexey is a genderless (meaning it's versatility with both genders) parfum that truly brought back many nostalgic memories. When I first opened the bottle and smelt the fragrance, it sent me back to my childhood up north. Sitting around the campfire smelling the smells of summer, walking through the fields at my grandmother's house, and rolling on the grass as a kid under the floral trees in my back yard. This fragrance is perfect for spring and summer. It's so fresh and rustic and I can't stop applying it to my skin. It literally smells like I'm walking through a forest after a rainstorm.

"Smoky domestic cedar and warm sandalwood create an unforgettable, bewitching amber aroma. A drop or two of musky ylang ylang and spicy ginger are added for good measure. Deep, mysterious, and sensual; both men and women can revel in the simplicity of this natural, oriental wood. "- Rachel

I've gotten many compliments on it. I was sitting at my local Starbucks and a guy walked up to me and said " Is that amazing smell coming from you? If it's your cologne, I need to know where you got it because it took me back to my childhood". I was stunned that it could attract so many people. That is why this fragrance is my favorite. It touches my skin so beautifully and I love the smell. My fellow students gave me many compliments and they also said it sent them back to their childhood. There's something magical about this fragrance and I'm in love. 

Thanks again to Rachel and Folk Magazine for sending me this wonderful bottle. It truly means so much. Give these lovely people a follow 

Have a lovely weekend everyone <3

Saturday, April 18, 2015

" Let me hang in suspense" : The Story

Good afternoon everyone. A select few of you know that I've been working on a plethora of fiber and textile pieces for the past couple of months. I have finally finished my tapestry/ quilt that I've
been slaving over for the past couple of months. I'm rather pleased with the outcome. Grab some popcorn or a cup of tea because it's story time:

I titled this quilt "Let me hang in suspense" because of a specific song that was evident in my life in the year of 2014. Sia's album being a big one but Sarah Jaffe's song "Before you go" was something that I cried many nights to. The whole song literally breathed my life. Now looking back onto that year and what I went through. I'm happier now to love myself and glad to get all of the horrible emotions and suicidal tendencies out of my system. But... that was the worst year ever.

The quilt was simply made out of my left over shibori dyed fabric along with whatever else I could find. The base is an old tablecloth. And the printed pieces are traditional printmaking techniques like relief, etching, and lithography. When I was sewing pieces onto this monstrosity, each piece was placed carefully and some of the pieces were sewn in a way that I wouldn't call traditional. Almost like a quick way of sewing, reference how people in my life were quick enough to judge me for who I am. I wanted it to show how "quilted" and or "pieced together" ones mind could look when they've been hurt so many times in a short amount of time. With using myself as a model, showing the more "steamy" pieces are to represent what I wanted to happen to me. 

Each component of the quilt has it's own story. From the time where I sunk myself into Houghton Lake, the time where I woke up in the woods covered in scrapes, and the time where I was almost raped.  There are many more other little pieces in the quilt where I want to leave for the viewer to pull apart. Each piece referencing the things that I experienced in 2014.

Disclaimer: I'm not in this stasis anymore. I did lose myself and I wanted to be loved but look where it got me. I'm not suicidal anymore and I don't want sympathy for what happened. It has made me who I am and I wanted to tell my story. Making this quilt was so therapeutic and it released the pain that I experienced and It made me move on. 

I just wanted to thank the lovely ladies of Quilt Mountain for inspiring me to go on this journey. When their exhibit was up during Artprize in Grand Rapids, I knew I wanted to create a quilt. So thanks again ladies.

Have a wonderful weekend my lovely readers. And remember... If you're hurting..." It's always darkest before the dawn" .
Much love

Friday, April 17, 2015

| Madeleines |

Since spring has finally sprung in Michigan. It was time to start researching simple and fresh recipes that would coincide with this wonderful weather. Before I became a designer, I was considering going into the culinary arts, so cooking has always held a near and dear place in my heart. I remember my grandmother and I in the hot summer days, we would bake and bake until we couldn't stop. So all of knowledge of the food world is either from her or the cookbooks that I've purchased. One day many moons ago, I was looking around on Pinterest and I found this picture of these seashell cookies.  I was intrigued because they seemed so different. I knew I had to give these a go. I went to my local TJMAXX and found a pan that was similar to the picture and rushed home to start baking.  I don't make these often but when I do they hardly last. When I tell my friends that "madeleines are coming out of the oven as we speak" I usually hear a knocking at my door. So here's the recipe that I've used for the past couple of years! Enjoy and Bon Appetit"

  • Step 1: First things first. To prevent your madeleines from cracking or breaking, you need to heavily grease your pan. Cooking spray or oil works best. 
  • Step 2: Then preheat your oven to 375 degrees farenheit.
The ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cups sugar 
1 tablespoon of vanilla 
1 tablespoon lemon zest 
1 tablespoon orange zest   
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice 
3 large and or farm raised eggs 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch of salt

  • Step 3: Cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. It'll have soft cream color to it. 
  • Step 4: Add the vanilla extract, zests, and lemon juice 
  • Step 5: Set your mixer to a low speed and add your 3 eggs one by one until they're completely mixed into the batter. 
  • Step 6: Set your mixer to a high speed for 5-6 minutes until the batter is light and fluffy. This gives the cookies the airy crispness that is oh so appealing when you take the first bite.
  • Step 7: In a separate bowl mix together the baking powder, flour, and salt.
  • Step 8: Grab a spatula and take your mixer out of the batter. Fold in the dry ingredients until incorporated. Pro-tip: Do this lightly or you will lose the airy out of the batter. And don't over mix. 
  • Step 9: Scoop the batter into a piping bag and or a ziploc bag and pipe into greased pan. Fill each mold to the top and smooth the batter out. 
  • Step 10: Put the pan in the over and bake for 13 minutes until golden brown.
  • Step 11:  Remove from the pan and put the cookies onto parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar.  If your cookies are still sticking, take a sharp knife and lightly cut around the edges.
And Voila! 

These cookies are perfect for coffee and tea. They're so delicate and fresh and you can't just stop at one!

I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe. There will be more to come! Have an amazing weekend! 

Side note:
I'm on Facebook now ! Go give me a like and share! Much love !

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Moment of Reflection & A Clearing of Thought

        Friday was a day of reflection and a clearing of thought.  I really didn't know what was going to happen but I took a spontaneous trip to Grand Rapids for Art Downtown and the Disart event. The past two weeks have been rather rough and I needed a day to myself. I got myself ready and made my way towards Grand Rapids. As I was driving, I decided to listen to the Have-Company Podcasts since I haven't had time to listen to them lately. I plugged my headphones into my phone and let the podcasts play. I started with the recent episode and I went into this eternal calm. The exercise that Sam Albert had introduced to Marlee from the book The Signs of Life: the five universal shapes and how to use them by Angeles Arrien really brought this calm ephemeral feeling that made me drift. Almost making my mind let go of the past two weeks and it let myself open to the night that was to come. Sam also talked about her book Takk.  Takk is about her and Corey Kingston's travels to the Nordic countries and to experience the Nordic coffee culture . As you all know me and my obsession with coffee, it caught my attention in an instant.  The way Sam explained how the Nordic cultures drank their coffee  made me think how we take coffee shops for granted. People usually go to their local cafe just to work on their work and or to fly in and out on their ways to work. In Nordic cultures they go to coffee shops to talk to their friends. No work, no flighty in and outs, just gathering together. Which really hit me hard. I wanted my trips to coffee shops to be like this ; a simple yet homey experience. So as I arrived to Grand Rapids, I called my friend Hannah and said "lets go for coffee". She was all for it so we headed towards the Lyon Street Cafe.  We ordered our drinks and we sat in our usual booth. I turned my phone off and we talked like old times. Which is what I aspire to do when I'm back in Grand Rapids. We finished our cups of java and we went back to her apartment. We grabbed our bags and headed towards downtown on foot. As we walked to all of the venues I continued to see all of my old friends. Which brought me instant joy. Bringing  back the nostalgic days of my first year of college in Grand Rapids.  It was almost like I was having an out of body experience so to speak. Reconnecting with my old friends and seeing how they were and what was happening in their lives.
            Hannah and I made our way through all of the venues and we ended back at Kendall College of Art and Design. The "Big Block Party" was happening in the basement along with my friend Josh's group "Pulp Fiction" was putting on a paper making demo. I haven't seen my printmaking family in months. Watching my Kendall family work with their media almost brought tears to my eyes. Seeing everyone so happy... it's truly all I could ask for. When Josh was finished with his demo he tagged along with Hannah and I.  We helped him clean up and we were ready to take on the night. We then headed to the Lantern for another cup of coffee. We ordered and sat down in the basement.  As we took our seats, a poetry slam / live art performance  was erupting. We listened to the slam and it blew us away. The performer was so powerful and it gave us chills. As it ended, it left my breathless. His poetry about prejudice, labels, and gay rights really put many things in perspective for me. What are labels?  Why do they exist? Are they a way for people to degrade someone? A way for someone to conform to society? Why not be someone of your own being? It made the labels that I oh so hated disperse from my mind. The titles that people gave me, and the ones that I have given myself had "up-and- left" my mind for once and for all. The performance ended and we left to walk the city. Before we left, I grabbed a bottle of Bloom Ferment's Kombucha to quench my thirst while we walked the city.
           One of my favorite memories of Grand Rapids is walking the city. I was with my best friends, and I felt infinite. I felt like I was free from pain and sadness. From the blue bridge to the end of division, I was literally on cloud nine.  From taking pictures in the fountain,  talking with Marlee about the shop,  talking with the artists at the venues, to climbing and dancing up the Lyon Street hill...I was truly home again.
I truly needed this day. I need to reconnect with myself and what I was fighting for. With moving back home for all of these years had really "destroyed" the true Tyler and now that I'm working towards going back to my lovely home, I'm starting to see the real me again.

A piece of advice everyone: Reflect on yourselves and never let go of the things that you hold dear. I let go and I lost everything. Please do yourselves a favor and go out and treat yourselves to that trip that you deserve, or that shirt from Urban Outfitters that you've been eyeing. Love yourselves.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I'll be back tomorrow with that big blog post that I promised
Much love and always find the light and every situation!

Also thank you to Craft and Folk for sending me my Loyal Stricklin Mug. I've been drinking out of it ever since. 

Give them a follow on all of their social medias!