Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Red and pink, x’s and o’s, hearts, flowers, and chocolates - what’s not to love; and how could I not love this holiday when my name is in it? I was thrilled to receive 2 dozen stunning pink roses from Ryan, which I’ve spread around our home – my personal favorite arrangement is the one pictured in the photo above where I used a beautiful, silver pitcher given to me by my mother-in-law.
Here are some fun Valentine’s Day things, for your enjoyment:
- Check out today’s Google doodle; some sweet, love-themed stories…
- Songza has Valentine’s Day playlists available through their music concierge today.
- Owl Do I Love Thee? event at the Leslie Science and Nature Center.
- Know when to walk away.
- Valentine’s Day puppy kissing booth – yes!
This was my view of the last sunrise of 2013 and it was quite a beautiful one! We flew home on New Year’s Eve and even managed to stay up until midnight, even though we’d had only 4 hours of sleep the night before and a 2+ hour flight delay in Dallas on our way home. We arrived home to snow and even more snow followed on New Year’s Day. This was my view of the last sunset of 2013…
The fresh-fallen snow really is beautiful…makes the world feel clean and fresh and inspired us to do the same and start with a good house-cleaning on New Year’s Day. We took a walk in our neighborhood and breathed in the cold, clean air and listed to the crunch of snow beneath our feet and just enjoyed our first walk of 2014.
We flew to El Paso, TX for our Christmas holiday to spend time with family. It was nice to get some sunshine and some warm weather for a change! Unfortunately, all of us were sick for some portion of the Christmas vacation, but we are all finally feeling better and on the mend. Despite our under-the-weatherness, we were able to visit some of our favorite spots and do some of our favorite things while visiting – including eating some delicious Mexican food, a visit to Old Mesilla, Whooppee Bowl antique mall, and seeing some dear friends. Tomorrow, we head back to A2 – where the forecast calls for a high of 21 and snow. I haven’t had to wear my coat, hat, or gloves since we arrived in El Paso 10 days ago, but I’ll have them ready for when we land tomorrow. Happy New Year’s Eve eve!
We’ve had quite a bit of snow this weekend; it snowed all day Saturday and it has been snowing all morning today as well. Also, I couldn’t resist putting Melody in this red sweater and reindeer ears – we didn’t leave them on long as she looked so miserable in them, just long enough to get some ridiculous photos. Perhaps the fact that she’ll have some treats in her stocking by the fireplace will make up for this brief moment of humiliation? I like to think so. Melody wishes you a most delicious Christmas and a tasty New Year!
Last night, I enjoyed a most adorable advent play performance in which our friends’ daughter, Averie, played a lamb. The kids were so cute playing the part of angels, lambs, shepherds, Joseph and Mary, etc. I can remember doing the same, when I was a little girl; I even got the lead role of Mary one year, which was a really big deal for me and included a solo performance. Not only was it fun to watch the kids sing and act out the story, but it was also so much fun for me to sing along to such familiar Christmas carols – what a nice way to add some Christmas cheer to my holiday season!
We had a fun, busy, Christmasy weekend. We kicked off our weekend with some Midnight Madness fun in downtown Ann Arbor to finish up our Christmas shopping and we stopped into the Old German for a drink and to share their delicious, baked soft pretzels with spicy mustard and cheddar fondue. Downtown Home and Garden had a petting zoo for the weekend, complete with alpaca, goats, sheep, a donkey, and a zebu. The zebu had the best eyelashes! I wanted to get a good picture of the zebu, but it didn’t want to pose for me – oh well, you know how zebus can be. We hosted a holiday brunch at our home on Sunday and really enjoyed having everyone over and sharing such delicious food with friends; Ezra (who shares my love for strawberries – in fact, I’m pretty sure he loves them even more than I do) even showed me the proper way to patty-cake – thanks, Ezra! During our brunch, the snow started to fall outside (it really was perfect timing) and 3 different groups of friends at the brunch were heading directly from our place to pick out their Christmas trees.
Over the weekend, we did our annual it’s-Thanksgiving-weekend-let’s-decorate-the-house-for-Christmas flurry of activity; which included 1 tree, multiple strands of lights, many ornaments, 3 stockings, 2 strands of garland, 2 wreaths, 1 mistletoe ball, and various other holiday accoutrement. I will always feel like there’s something magical about sitting in a dark room enjoying the glow of Christmas tree lights…especially if there’s a warm fire nearby.
We had a very large bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving (or, should I say, Thanksgivingukkah) feast and I like a little variety in my life so when I stumbled onto this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes I smartly suggested to Ryan that it might be a great thing to try. What better way to celebrate the marriage of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, after all?
Instead of using scallions, we used shallots – because that’s what we had in the fridge. And instead of using sour cream to top them with, we used our leftover homemade cranberry sauce. It was delicious! In fact, to be honest, I actually liked the potatoes better in this form than I did in their original mashed potato form…shhh…don’t tell the mashed potatoes I said that.
We’ve been occasionally mentioning to each other, since we moved into our home back in June 2012, that it would be nice to have a table or island we could use for additional work space (at counter height) and/or a space that just the two of us could sit and eat at in our kitchen – not a necessity, just something that would be nice to have. We didn’t want anything too big and we wanted something that would fit our tastes and the needs for the space we have to fit it in. Ryan suggested we visit our local reuse center today as they have a good selection of reasonably priced and discounted hardwoods for sale; what we ended up walking away with was a very nice piece of live-edge maple (from Raven Farm) which we got a good deal on ($100 off due to a split in the wood at one end, which we’ll cut off anyway) and we’ll use to cut down and make a table for our kitchen with. This will be our big Christmas and Anniversary gift to each other and something we can enjoy for years to come.
We ordered legs for our table here and 2 stools for our table here. We even laid out the approximate space it would take up in the center of our kitchen, with painters tape, to get an idea of what it would be like in the space. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together and having another usable surface we can enjoy in our kitchen!