Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Biv's Spring Break Essentials

 Ready, Set, #EmployeesinAction

To everyone will spent their morning begrudgingly uncovering their car from the snow or trekking through the ice and slush, we salute you. We’ve just survived our first BIG winter storm this past weekend in Ann Arbor and as much we love the snow, many of us are already looking forward to the end of the month. Many Bivouac-ers are University of Michigan students and will be practicing the art of escapism during our much-appreciated Spring Break. Our staff is full of adventurers, photographers, climbers, hikers, shoppers, campers, and Instagrammers so be sure to follow Bivouac to see plenty of #employeesinaction all around the world (Portugal, Dominican Republic, Colorado, Utah, California and much more). We have plenty of packing tips and recommendations so keep reading to check out our Bivouac must-haves for wherever your Spring Break plans may take you. 

Warm Climates

As for me, I am road-tripping from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the famously scenic Highway 1 with three of my pals. My plans include taking a cliche photo in front of the Painted Ladies, hiking around Big Sur, and everything in between. Since I have to pack light, I want to get the most use out of my clothing so versatility is key. ALO Yoga is my go-to for athletic wear that is stylish enough to wear around town. I also love sets like this top and skirt from Mink Pink that I can mix and match. My Superga sneakers will be a staple on this trip, as I can wear them during the day and then dress them up at night. As far as skincare, my holy grail will be Kiehl’s Ultra Facial moisturizer with SPF to protect my skin in and out of the car as well as a few Lapcos sheet masks to revive my skin during the long drive.

ALO High-Waist Moto Legging
Superga Grey Sage Suede

On the other side of the country, Emily, our women's tech employee will be lounging on the Florida beaches in Bonita Springs and her wardrobe will consist mostly of trendy swimsuits. She plans on hitting up the Barefoot Beach Preserve to check out some of the wildlife like bottle-nose dolphins and gopher tortoises - we hope to see plenty of photo documentation from Emily!  Emily recommends throwing a flouncy dress over your swimsuit  (Vintage Havana, Rails) or a graphic tee (Retro Brand) for guys paired sandals to take you from the sand to the street. Peter, who works in Men's tech, is headed to the Dominican Republic for a tropical getaway. From reading a good book on the beach to literally chasing waterfalls, he'll be repping his Kuhl Ramblr's and his Chaco sandals. Sunglasses are a staple for any beach vacation and Bivouac has everything from classic aviators to the funky hexagon shades you’ve been seeing all over your Instagram. Emily's staple sunnies are the Erika's and Peter's favs are the Round Metal

Havaiana You Metallic Flip Flop 
Ray Ban Hexagonal Flat Lenses

Cold Climates

If you’re traveling to a cold climate, layering is essential whether you are skiing through the mountains or braving the city streets. As always, start with a solid foundation. Our women’s tech employee, Olivia, swears by her Smart Wool base layers, made of 100% Merino Wool. She is heading East to Burlington, Virginia for a week of hiking, skiing, and exploring with friends. For a little extra warmth during your week in the snow, add hand warmers and toe warmers. Next throw on a mid layer like these from Arc'teryx and The North Face if you’re rocking a shell. Otherwise, an insulated coat will keep you toasty. Accessorize with a thick scarf, a beanie, and gloves - we have a variety of options in-store and online!

Smartwool Womens Merino 150 Baselayer (Also available for men)
The North Face Womens Thermoball Jacket (Also available for men)

Our women’s fashion employees Mara and Alexa are headed to New York City where they will be walking through the bustling streets between destinations at famous museums and clothing shops. If also you’re heading to a chilly, metropolitan location, make sure to start with base layers and add thick sweaters (many of our favorites, like this trendy lace-up sleeve one from Philanthropy are on sale!) and turtlenecks to ensure that you can make it through a day of exploring, sightseeing, and snapping pictures. Top of your look with a long parka or a wool coat.

Mackage Marlon Reversible Wool Down Sleeves
State and Liberty Dark Grey Herringbone Overcoat

Skin care is as important as ever in cold climates. Your skin will be prone to dryness so in addition to drinking plenty of water (Our Swells and Hydroflasks are amazing for maintaining their temperature) go ahead and add some extra moisture to your skin with our Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. There’s nothing cool about sun damage or ski goggle tan lines, so don’t forget to apply sunscreen even in chill temperatures.

Swell Silver Lining Traveler 16 oz 

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (Also available with SPF, sold in-store)

Comment below and tell us about your Spring Break plans! Shop Bivouac Ann Arbor in-store and online to outfit your upcoming trips, wherever they may take you. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Love is in the Air

Two tree-huggers have the ultimate date night

Are you a box of chocolates kinda person or do you veer more towards crunchy granola? Perhaps you’re both or neither but your answer is likely to determine your upcoming plans this month.

January is over, which means Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and it’s time to start making reservations and buying gifts. If you’re stumped on what to get your special someone, relax; we’ve got you covered (Bivouac Gift Guides via Instagram). Whether you plan on spending the day with your honey or your pals, the 14th of February is all about showing some love. So what is one to do when your Valentine is thousands of miles away?

Our women’s tech employee, Ella Bruining, journeyed all the way to San Francisco to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day with her long-distance boyfriend for a romantic getaway. Ella knew she wanted to stay true to her inner-camper so she hit up Hipcamp for her weekend accommodations. Hipcamp is like the Airbnb for campers and adventurers. Instead of renting an apartment or house, Hipcamp allows you to rent campsites, trailers, rustic cabins, “glamping” tents, and most unique of all, treehouses. 

Continue reading to learn more about Ella’s modern day romance that started with a *swipe* and how one app lead to another that lead to a pre-Valentine’s Day excursion in a Northern California treehouse straight out of her childhood dreams. Ella also shares some of her top Valentine’s Day gift ideas found right here at Bivouac Ann Arbor. 

Words and photos by Ella Bruining

When I was a kid I used to set up a fort in the living room, a Disney film murmuring in the background, the noise of Dad flipping a grilled cheese in the kitchen. Despite the shortcomings of my twin bed sheet hideaway, laden with graphics of moose and pine, the domain could become any which fantasy I could conjure. Inspired by the sheet’s flannel print and outdoorsey fervor, a treehouse was my top choice. There I would ignore my armchair scaffolding and embrace the serene imagination, allowing for a transformation, a setting devised of dreams. Fifteen years later, when screen time shifts from an occasional Tarzan viewing to constant access, the idea of magical, alternative living becomes less of a daydream. I was able to disconnect and stay in a real, and incredible treehouse with the bright, intrepid soul who I have the privilege of sharing my time and experiences with. 

We each spend measureless hours with our consciousness being occupied by concerns of the digital: did I hear back from that job interview, did she message me back, has my direct deposit been processed, which Kardashian is expecting? In a reality in which our existence is entangled with that of a whirlwind of data, our satisfaction, closure, and even our peace is jeopardized. In being constantly reachable, mere taps or searches from instant but jarringly temporary fulfillment, when do we get to tune out? My existence is one of constant battle with lessening my dependence, yet meanwhile I am a creature of connectivity. Because of a little app that allows for connection in a sea of scary fishes, I have found a companion, and an excellent one he is. Because of technology this boy and I can foresee a future, one of highly anticipated cross-country flights but mostly 4 inch illuminated screens, his face talking in real-time back to mine. Because of technology our few weekends together can be decorated by the brilliant promise of inspiring campsites, curated and collected by Hipcamp’s efforts. It is in these instances of juxtaposition that I pay tribute to the milestones bridged with technology, but cherish my power to say do not disturb. I struggle with the intersection of tech and our raw, daily experience, with simultaneous gratitude as it upholds the real, gritty emotions I feel.

Living in San Francisco’s Bay Area this summer, I became privy to the knowledge of this platform known as Hipcamp, with its mission being to elevate appreciation and access to dream camping spots, offered easily on their website. Have you ever wanted to spend a weekend in a camper van? Did you have a plan to wake up to sunrise on a cliff overlooking the ocean, but didn’t know where to look? With Hipcamp, these Disney fantasies take shape in embracing the accessibility to the secret spots of the adventurous, the creative, and the genius. I slept this weekend two stories off the ground, suspended amidst the leaves and peeling bark, nestled in the green pastures of Petaluma, California. A month ago, I spent a weekend in a secluded cabin, the steam of hot springs engaging in a macabre dance on the horizon. In a few weeks, 5 friends and I will hop from tent to tent, basking in the beauty of Utah’s grandeur. This is all possible due to the way in which Hipcamp consolidates and offers the most stunning, niche nooks on the planet Earth, our beloved home ( psst this is available in Michigan as well!).

The drive to Petaluma, California tickled all the curiosities of the landscape lover’s delight, contributing rolling pastures, bluebird skies, locally sustained villages, and a ratio of more cows than humans. Once we arrived to our quaint and secluded spot, we were greeted by the owner and brains behind the multiple treehouses and alcoves that filled the property. We then were given a grand tour, and to my delight, learned that little frogs frequented the showers, and that the Grateful Dead and their cohorts frequented the land. Peeping our heads into an old barn where Jerry and the gang used to play shows, the residual glitter and psychedelic zeal permeated the history of this space. Our setting was set. 

Once settled in our elevated, art covered and toilet-including home, Cameron and I set forth toward downtown Petaluma, where a multitude of farm-fresh restaurants were lit by strands of lights and glowing, warm faces. We were welcomed into a promising spot, Wild Goat Bistro, and proceeded to share one of the better meals I’ve had in my burgeoning pseudo-foody career. Amidst a seafood stew and their V Gone Wild Pizza, we embraced the extraordinarily rare feeling of what it is to be fully present, a space where neither Father Time nor everyday distance could interfere. 

We then picked up a bottle of cheap red vino and nestled ourselves together on the couch in our treehouse, cuddled under wool blankets that had hugged other souls like ours prior. There was a stack of guest books, all of which included tender, colorful depictions of each individual’s previous stay, and stealing to corners of our temporary home, we wrote eachother poems to leave within the guest books as our mark. 

The wind whistled itself in and out of the surrounding foliage, dancing in the spirit of crisp Northern California air, never invading the cocoon drawn from blankets and companionship. There was a slight sway in our tree, not enough to cause suspicion but enough to remind us of our unique, breathing, remote home. With the gathering of data in a digitalized world, we had come to this moment, sponsored from but completely disconnected from tech, yet feeling fully connected. The morning was brought about by a symphony of chirping and mooing, entangled beside this treasured human in the most mystical of spots.

Slipping into the provided sandals by the treehouse door, Cameron and I sauntered on down to breakfast, droplets of glimmering moisture on jade grass. We were welcomed by Bill and Michelle and the most exquisite of homemade breakfasts. An artist, Michelle had covered their home with her impressive compositions, charming illustrations and little gnome homes, providing an engaging backdrop for morning conversation. It turns out that Bill had himself graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and we couldn’t wait to discuss our memories and impressions. Filling bellies with sunny-side up and medium roast, we parted with our gracious hosts and took off from the content wooden sanctuary in Petaluma. A quick drive to Point Reyes National Seashore, Cameron and I concluded our weekend getaway with a guac-heavy picnic, a salted wind chill to accompany the beaming rays of sun on this day in late January. 

There is an irreplicable quality in uninhibited togetherness, a simple fact that in the midst of a long distance relationship, friendship, familyship, those moments in which you share both time and space feel more like a celebration than any phone call. Like a child, I revert to daydreams of the enchanted, the magical, being swayed in the arms of a kind human as we sway under the current of wind through leaves. Although unlike the flannel walls of my childhood fort, these delights of the imagination aren’t constrained by barriers,  turning into an experience of the remarkably real. 

Ella's Top Picks for Valentine's Day

A travel mat is essential for any yogi that wants to maintain
 their practice, even while traveling.
This bad boy can keep a whole bottle of wine chill for 24 hours.
Perfect for at home or any Valentine’s Day adventure.
The best thing about flannels is that they look great on anymore.
They make a great gift and you just may want to borrow it from time to time.
A bouquet of roses eventually wilts,a box of chocolates will get devoured,
but a quality pair of socks will last you a lifetime.
No adventurer’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of these
strappy sandals. They are a Bivouac employee favorite.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Back to School EATS

One of the best parts about coming back to campus in the fall is indulging in al of the great Ann Arbor restaurants you've been missing for the past 4 months. From our favorite coffee spots to some newcomers, here are Bivouac's favorite Back to School eats that you should definitely check out before you leave Ann Arbor.

Best of Brunch: 

Photo via Instagram @eat_this_

Angelo's - an Ann Arbor breakfast staple. With large portions and a huge menu, you can't go wrong... but get the raisin toast... always get the raisin toast.

Photo via Instagram @savas_ann_arbor

Sava's - odds that you've seen an Instagram or two from Sava's are probably high. You could go classic with some Avocado Toast or mix it up with their sweet potato latkes - whatever you pick you'll leave satisfied 

Photo via Instagram @bivouacannarbor

Fred's  - in the space that used to be Babo right under Sterling Lofts came another truly Instagramable yet delicious breakfast spot. With options on the lighter side such as refreshing smoothie bowls and breakfast sandwiches, Fred's is the perfect way to recover from a long weekend. 

For your mid-day caffeine fix:

Photo via Instagram @espressoroyalecafe

Espresso Roayle - because nothing beats $2.50 Latte Wednesdays! With multiple locations and plenty of seating, Espresso Royale is a great spot to meet up with friends to get a few hours of studying in between classes. 

Photo via Instagram @labannarbor

Lab Cafe - if you're looking for a cozy spot to study or grab a more unique espresso drink at, Lab is the place. With it's light and airy atmosphere and delicious drinks such as the vanilla rose or lavender latte, we always enjoy spending a few hours here studying or catching up with friends.

Avalon  - part cafe, part restaurant, Avalon is one of our new favorite spots. Whether you're stopping in for a quick coffee or sitting down to enjoy a snack from their yummy brunch menu, you can't go wrong. There's plenty of seating and is also a great spot (a little further off campus) to get away from some of the more busy coffee spots. 

Late Night Cravings:

Photo via Instagram @bivouacannarbor

NYPD  - because you can't turn down a slice when you're walking by late at night (from the library of course)

Hunter House  - right next to NYPD, this diner serves up delicious sliders and fries any time of day (but somehow they taste better the later it gets?). Don't forget to top it off with a milkshake!

Photo via Fleetwood Diner Facebook

Fleetwood Diner - another iconic Ann Arbor stop. Hippie Hash day or night will always leave you satisfied. We dare you to try and resist it after a late night at Circus or Live. 

Ann Arbor Classics: 

Zingerman's Deli - Obama and Oprah approved. Not much else to say because if you haven't heard of Zingerman's do you really live in Ann Arbor?

Photo via Instagram @krazyjimsblimpyburger

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger - while it may not be in the OG spot anymore, it's still just as greasy and delicious. Just be careful not to be caught texting in line and make sure you know you're order in the right order! ("Helpful Hints for Blimpy Virgins" -->

Photo via Instagram @bivouacannarbor 

Frita Batidos - a delicious, cuban-style burger that will melt in your mouth. Pair with a batido (similar to a milkshake) and some mouth-watering garlic cilantro fries. These burgers are well worth the line that you'll typically find there 

For When Your Parents Come to Town: 

Photo via Instagram @visitannarbor

Knights - since we can't always afford to treat ourselves to nice meals out (broke college life, am I right), Knights is a go-to for when you're parents are in town and you can swing a few good meals rather than another night of ramen. 

Photo via Instagram @bivouacannarbor

Mani Osteria - woodfired pizza that's to die for and many steps above those greasy, late night slices you enjoy when the parents aren't around (we do it too, don't worry). But truly, anything on the Mani menu is a good choice & makes for a good parent's weekend choice

Photo via Instagram @bivouacannarbor 

Aventura  - a great choice if you're indecisive! Load up on a variety of tapas plates and a pan of paella and you're good to go! The patatas bravas is a go-to


Chela's Restaurant and Taqueria - now with a newly opened location on 5th ave in Downtown Ann Arbor,  Chela's is the spot for quick and delicious tacos, burritos, etc. They were voted the best tacos in Ann Arbor so you know they're good - they even serve breakfast! Chela's is a definite must this school year

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bivouac's Back to School Essentials

Classes, papers, exams - oh no! It’s that time of year again. As you move back onto campus make sure to stop into Bivouac to get your hands on all of our Back to School essentials. . Whether you’re a seasoned Michigan student or a new, incoming student we’ve got your back. From the latest trends to our wide selection of backpacks and accessories, we’ll have you stepping onto campus in style

For your first day of class:

There's no denying that we all want to dress to impress on that first day back. Bivouac carries tons of options so you look good and stay comfortable walking between classes. 
Start by slipping on a classic Patagonia pullover for when you leave the house on those crisp fall mornings. Paired with a pair of dark wash jeans and some fresh new, fall boots, you'll be turning heads. 

Worn in the image above: 
Women's Cotten Quilt Snap-T Pullover (In Birch White) 

Men's Synchilla Pullover - Available In Store in Various Colors  
Men's Kendrick Side Zip Boot 

Merrell Chateau Mid Pull Boot 

Men's Fall Fashion Essentials: 

Stylish, yet comfortable. Bivouac has everything you need to get through those long days of class that run into long nights at the library. Essentials include the 32oz Wide Mouth Hydro Flask - it will keep you water cool throughout the day to keep you hydrated and it will also keep your evening coffee hot as you head to study. Our new RX Protein bars contain tons of nutrients including eggs and nuts to keep you going during the day... speaking of keeping you going, don't forget your Goal Zero Flip 20 Phone Charger  to make sure you can always link up with friends for lunch and study sessions!

But, we know... you're not ALWAYS in the library. We all need a little break. The Eno Double Nest Hammock is the perfect accessory to have in your backpack - just string it up in the Diag in your hour break for a little relaxation. Top it all off with a warm Patagonia Reversible Bivy Down Vest , one of our Velvet Henley shirts (available in-store in multiple colors),  “The Matchbox” Slim Straight Leg Jeans , and Men's 6IN Premium Boot

Women's Fall Fashion Essentials: 

Vest season is one of our favorites - they are the perfect layer for early fall days. This Patagonia Retro Pile Vest is definitely one of our favorites - cute and comfy! Pair with a soft Michael Stars Long Sleeve V neck w/ Thumb Holes (shown in Heather Loden) and some trendy high-waist jeans from our newest brand, GRLFRND (GRLFRND Karolina High waisted, skinny jeans). For all of your walking across campus, a pair of classicSuperga Classic Cotu Shoes is the way to go (available in platform styles as well!). 

To keep you going throughout the day, much like the Hydro Flask above, a Swell Bottle (shown in Sparkling Champagne)  is a great accessory to keep your water ice cold and that mid-day coffee steaming hot. We have Swells in a wide variety or colors and sizes! For an extra pick me up, try our new Bizzy Coffee Shots - they contain two shots of espresso to keep you awake in that early 8am lecture! 

Backpack Essentials:
We know the struggle - you're leaving your house or apartment early in the morning and won't be back until later that evening... how are you supposed to know what you'll need throughout the day when things are always coming up?! Well that's college life and we've put together this guide to you can pack your bag and be prepared for anything.

From classes, to club meetings, and then the library - not only do you want comfortable clothes that look good but you also will need to be prepared for whatever the day will bring you once you leave the house. Bivouac has a large assortment of accessories, snacks, and other daily essentials that are a must to have in your backpack. First, pick up a Patagonia Men's Chachabuco 30L Pack with its various compartments and padded 15 inch laptop pouch, you'll have enough space for anything and everything you could need during the day, along with your MCard tucked in a Herschel Wallet (available online and in-store in various styles)

Make sure to bring along some sun screen and Kiehl's Facial Fuel Products. The Sunbum Face Sunscreen is the perfect thing to have in your bag for those spontaneous trips to the Arb or Diag on a sunny day (with your Frisbee of course). Kiehl's has an assortment of products that are great to have on a daily basis - the Eye de-puffer and Eye Alert keep you feeling refreshed during the day with their cooling extracts and blends of vitamins and caffeine to fight fatigue (both available in-store). Additionally, to make sure you're always on (Michigan) time, pick up a Timex Watch.
It goes without saying that the most important Back to School task is to stock up on Michigan gear. Bivouac bleeds blue so stop in to shop our assortment of Michigan gear, such as the "We Bleed Blue" shirt shown above!

Just like the image above, we have curated Bivouac's must have items for Back to School our fashion lovers. Start off with the new North Face Isabella Backpack - it is large enough to carry your daily essentials with multiple, easy access panels and pouches along with a fleece lined tablet compartment. Include the Kiehl's Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist - it instantly re-hydrates and refreshes skin and protects skin against daily aggressors. The Kiehl's Hand Salve will keep your skin smooth and hydrated, even in the driest winter conditions. 
Just like the mornings where we don't know exactly what we'll need for the day, we also never know what exactly the weather will do... it is Michigan after all. Grab a tote sport umbrella for those unexpected downpours and a pair of happy socks to keep your feet happy and dry. Along with your new umbrella and extra footwear, our new Michael Stars Suede Baseball Cap is a must. Make sure to check out our newest women's  Retro Brand Michigan Apparel so you can show your school spirit on game days and all over campus! 

Bivouac wishes you a smooth and successful start to this coming school year! Keep an eye out for more campus suggestions coming soon! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Personal Shopping the Bivouac Way

Personal Shopping- Now Made Easy at Bivouac

Are you leaving for a big trip soon? Gearing up for your next adventure? Or do you have an event coming up where you have to dress to impress?

Look no further! Bivouac is here to help with the start of our personal shopping services! We’re ready to handle all of your shopping needs to make your experience as quick and easy as possible. From offering fashion advice to selecting everything you’ll need for a successful trip, we are equipped with a knowledgeable staff that is excited to help.

What exactly will our personal shoppers do?

Firstly (and probably most importantly), they save you time. No more browsing around not knowing exactly what you’re looking for. We know how busy you are, so with the help of a personal shopper, we will pre-shop the store for you after discussing your needs and style. Then, at your convenience, we will present the items to you in-person at the store to make sure we’ve selected the perfect items for you. You can test and try on, plan out your outfits, and add accessories to complete the look.

So, what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with a personal shopper today and get ready to tackle your next adventure. We will help you pack and prep in no time!

Book your appointment here!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Introducing Free Same Day Delivery

Don’t have time to pick up in-store? Don’t worry - Bivouac is now offering FREE same day delivery within a 5 mile radius of the store! Whether you need a product last minute for a trip or just don’t want to deal with parking downtown, we’ve got you covered.

When you are placing your order online, enter your billing and shipping addresses. If your shipping address is within a 5 mile radius from Bivouac, a “Free Same Day Delivery” shipping method will appear.

Once your order has been received, a staff member will get in contact with you to schedule a delivery time! *You must be home to sign for the delivery*

We look forward to continuing to make your shopping experience with Bivouac as convenient and enjoyable as possible!

Learn more here