giving thanks

Thanksgiving 2015I have so much to be thankful for; we had the pleasure of spending our Thanksgiving holiday with family in Texas this year, as well as visiting our dear friends Jen and Walter and their family. We had our traditional giant mound of mashed potatoes, as well as other sides and desserts, and Steve and Deb were kind enough to make not one, but two turkeys for our feast – one brined and roasted and one fried. I have to say that I think my highlight of the day was when Tina so kindly fed Deb her cocktail so that she could continue to cook while she enjoyed her beverage – teamwork! We had so much fun playing games and visiting with family and friends and even had time to stop by a local brewery, Franconia Brewing Company, for a tour and tasting before we left. I hope you enjoyed a very happy Thanksgiving filled with delicious treats and wonderful memories that you’ll hold dear for years to come! You can view more photos from our holiday weekend here. Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015Franconia Brewery

by Valerie | 12.01.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

“Calms me down right away.”

Thanksgiving 2015

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds? Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? Paul Varjak: Sure. Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name! – from Breakfast at Tiffany’s Fun with Deb at Tiffany's

by Valerie | 12.01.15 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

winterWe haven’t made it to Thanksgiving yet, but it’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Ann Arbor; we had 9-10 inches of snow here yesterday and everything is covered in a blanket of sparkling white, fresh-fallen snow. We haven’t put up our Christmas tree yet, as we always wait until after Thanksgiving at our house to do that, but we did visit the Farmer’s Market yesterday and pick out a gorgeous, fresh fir and boxwood wreath and hang it on our front door – not only does it look nice, it smells wonderful too! I did put a few things around the house in preparation for Christmas, like this really cute, red yarn pom pom garland from a local store, Found, in Kerrytown. And my Christmas cactus is blooming! winter wreath 2015

winter wreath 2015pom pom garland

Christmas cactus

by Valerie | 11.22.15 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

“Winter is the time for comfort…”


“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell

We are getting ready for some snow here this weekend and I’ve got a date with my fireplace and my most excellent snuggle partner, Melody.snug as a bug in a rug

by Valerie | 11.20.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

windy city

Waldorf Astoria Chicago
I had a quick trip to Chicago and back in about 24 hours earlier this week and while I was there I had the pleasure of visiting the Waldorf Astoria Chicago – what a beautiful hotel; here are a few images, for your viewing pleasure…just look at that chandelier in the lobby! Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

by Valerie | 11.20.15 | Travel | No Comments »

stay frosty

frosty morning

We woke up to freezing temps here this morning and there was definitely frost on the ground during our morning walk with Melody. I had to stop and appreciate the little ice crystals that had formed on each individual blade of grass and the fallen leaves in the yard. After having such a fantastic, pleasant fall, the seasons are soon to change once more…

by Valerie | 11.09.15 | For Funsies | No Comments »

Weekend Getaway and All Hallows’ Eve

Up North - October 2015We spent a really fun weekend in northern Michigan; we saw some beautiful sites and were pleased to see there was still plenty of amazing fall color. We visited Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm, where they not only have an impressive selection of antique apple varieties, but they also have one of the largest pop bottle collections on display; we chatted with one of the owners, who was so kind and friendly – she said her husband had gotten into growing antique apples because he used to play baseball in the orchards. When I asked her what her favorite apple was, she explained that they didn’t have it anymore as the tree had died after the hard winter they had, but we did take home her second favorite apple and a selection of a few others too. Kilcherman's Christmas Cove Farm

Kilcherman's Christmas Cove FarmWe also stopped by the Gwen Frostic studio; such a charming little place and what beautiful paper products filled with images of flora and fauna! It was almost too perfect, as we were checking out a little chipmunk darted across the shop floor – to which the staff happily commented, “He lives here, he’s getting ready for the winter.” Before we left, we also made it to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, some beautiful hiking trails, Fishtown, and no trip to the area is complete without a stop for pasties and apple dumplings at Mr. Foisies

Up North - October 2015Up North - October 2015Fish TownUp North - October 2015Melody was happy to join us on our adventure too. And we enjoyed celebrating Halloween and making DIY masks during our weekend getaway as well. Up North - October 2015DIY Halloween masks

You can view more photos from our weekend here.

by Valerie | 11.02.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

creative costumes

Costume Party

Halloween is now just two days away. If you’re looking for costume ideas and you suddenly find yourself in need of one (D’oh!), never fear…there are plenty of creative and fun, DIY options out there; take a look at these art history-inspired costumes, for example. I am lucky to be married to an incredibly creative and crafty fella myself, who came up with and made this pixel-head costume all by himself back in 2010; this came after his equally amazing, homemade robot costume. How about Magnum, P.I.? Now sit back, relax (perhaps with a glass of 19 Crimes Red Blend, which I think is appropriate for the holiday), and enjoy the holiday! Costume Party

by Valerie | 10.29.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »



We were thrilled to visit Flower House this weekend and it did not disappoint; it was amazing, beautiful, and inspiring – like Disneyland with flowers…only better! This video almost made me cry. P.S. Lisa Waud is awesome! The photo above are some stems we took home with us from Flower House. You can view more photos we took at Flower House here. #FlowerHouseDetroit



by Valerie | 10.18.15 | Around town, For Funsies | 1 Comment »

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

fall y'all

Apples, mums, pumpkins and gourds, oh my! Continuing to watch the leaves change and the weather turn cooler with each passing day. Fall is a glorious, glorious thing here in Michigan – just take a look at thisfall at the Produce Station

fall at the Produce Station

fall y'all

by Valerie | 10.12.15 | Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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