Spring!

Lenten Rose

While Ann Arbor, MI still has the potential for frost through early-mid May (meaning we won’t be planting anything outdoors until mid-May at the earliest), it is definitely looking/feeling like spring and the change is weather is much welcomed! Last Friday and Saturday were perfection – sunshine and highs in the 70’s. We took advantage of the weather by cleaning out our garage, placing out (and buying some new) our patio furniture, doing some outdoor chores on our home, and firing up the grill for the first time this year. I was so excited to see the forsythia in our yard in full bloom as of last Friday and my Lenten rose plants are looking lovely as well; it’s so nice to be able to cut flowers and plants from our yard and enjoy them in vases inside the house this time of year and throughout the spring/summer. We’re already starting to plan for and think about all the wonderful things we’ll be planting in our garden boxes soon.

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Forsythia

As we were waiting in line to purchase our new patio furniture, we conveniently had a place to sit while we waited – here’s Ryan enjoying one of our new chairs; coming soon, a DIY table in the making…

found some patio chairs we like - bonus is that while waiting in checkout line there's conveniently a place to sit

by Valerie | 04.20.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

ch-ch-changes

my home improvement hero!

It’s been quite an eventful week or so… Some friends of ours welcomed a new baby boy (congrats!), other friends/colleagues of ours announced they will be moving for other job opportunities out of state (you know who you are and you will be missed!), and…Ryan was able to successfully install a new garbage disposal on our kitchen sink – while this may not seem nearly as exciting or important compared to the other items in my list, it was a big deal to us (even the nice lady at the hardware store commented that plumbing jobs always take at least two trips – but ours only took one)! Change can be hard, it can be good, and it is definitely inevitable. And just look at these daffodils… How could you look at these cheery, yellow blooms and not smile?

coffee table tray 4/11/15

Untitled

Last Saturday was National Pet Day and Melody spent it lounging around the house, getting pets, and laying in the sunshine as much as possible…which reminds me that it’s about time for us to switch out our glass insert for the screen insert on the door to the patio – looking forward to enjoying lots of sunshine, some fresh air, and open windows and doors again!

#mywestelm happy national pet day

sunning

by Valerie | 04.14.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Easter/birthday weekend

birthday cake with sprinkles

I enjoyed a really great birthday weekend, full of celebration and fun activities, and thoughtful gifts and wishes from family and friends too – thank you all for making me feel so special! The Birthday Cake at Sava’s is pretty amazing…and it’s on their regular dessert menu so you can enjoy it anytime you visit (this could be good or bad, depending on how strong your willpower is). I don’t think I went a day from Thursday on last week without having some sort of delicious sweet treat – cake, cupcakes, pie, candy, etc. – even the salad I ordered for lunch on Friday had bacon toffee on it (and it was amazing).

We ended our fun weekend with a lovely Easter afternoon brunch (complete with egg dyeing), which Ryan made an excellent vegetarian hash for, followed by a tasty dinner of casarecce pasta with roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil. And there’s still a pile of Easter chocolates and candy on our kitchen table, a pretty spring-appropriate shade of nail polish, and some beautiful tulips, daffodils, and roses around our house for me to continue to enjoy. We had some rain/thunderstorms last week and I spied pots of pansies for sale around town over the weekend too – more sure signs of spring!

Happy Easter

Easter 2015

by Valerie | 04.06.15 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

sunset 3/27/15

We enjoyed the Animated Films in Competition showing at the AAFF last Friday, as well as this lovely sunset view from the parking deck rooftop. My flowers of the week are pink roses, dark purple hellebores, and pink waxflower. And I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to these jelly beans…they’re really, really tasty!

kitchen flowers 3/28/15: wax flower & hellebores

kitchen flowers 3/28/15: wax flower & hellebores

And Melody strikes a classic pose…

classic

by Valerie | 03.30.15 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

good fortune

I sure hope so! 👍

I enjoyed finding this fortune in my fortune cookie last week; with my birthday just around the corner, I sure hope this comes true! And I was so happy to walk past this beautiful sign of spring in my neighborhood last week – a yard full of crocus!

crocus

by Valerie | 03.26.15 | For Funsies | No Comments »

looking up

Evening walk

Things are really starting to look up…weather wise, that is, here in A2 and I’m pretty sure I can speak for the general local population when I say that we’re all very excited to see a possible high temperature of 69 today; as long as we’re above freezing this time of year then I’m one happy girl!

Upon close inspection of the hellebore we planted in our side yard last spring/summer, which have only just recently been visible from under all the snow on the ground, I saw that they all have little buds coming up and will be blooming for the spring this year and I’ve been noticing comments from friends in the area that other bulb sightings have begun…this makes me very, very happy and is a sure sign that spring is really on the way and soon I hope! We are enjoying longer hours of daylight, lovely afternoon/evening walks, and seeing hints of green again.

Speaking of green, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day – may the luck of the Irish be with you. We are planning on a dinner of bangers and mash and will toast the day with some good Irish stout. Turn on some Irish tunes, raise a glass, and “Sláinte”!

Evening walk

Evening walk

by Valerie | 03.16.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

spring forward

Sunday morning breakfast view

Daylight Saving Time went into effect over the weekend and we were sure to “spring forward”. Speaking of spring…the weather finally seems to be heading in the right direction here as highs are moving up into the 40’s and 50’s, we’ve enjoyed some lovely sunshine, and the ice and snow are beginning to melt; I’m already looking forward to when we can begin planting our summer garden and spending some time outside again – I tend to hibernate and stay in as much as possible during the winter months, so spring is always a much-welcomed change. I was sure to take advantage of the tulip sale that Whole Foods had on Friday – 3 bunches of tulips for only $10 – so I bought myself 6 bunches of course…I can’t resist!

Melody is still enjoying eating the snow, no matter how much we tell her not to do that (you never know what may be in the snow) or how much we fill up her water bowl, but I’m hoping it will be gone before too long and we’ll start to see some grass and bulbs coming up for the spring soon. The sweet little grape muscari bulbs that I’ve got in a pot in our house are starting to flower. Sunny, late afternoon cocktails at our place looks like this. And Melody makes a good model, as always!

Tulip sale at Whole Foods - 3 bunches for $10...so I bought 6! 💐

heads up

action shot

by Valerie | 03.09.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

bar, bulbs, blooms, and birds

"Shotgun Wedding" at Bar

We kicked off our weekend with drinks at Bar (yes, that’s what it’s called – simple, to the point, and easy to remember); I had the drink in the photo above, which they named “Shotgun Wedding”, and it was tasty (as I find all their cocktails to be)! I especially enjoyed the way it looked here in the sunlight…making me think of, and wish for, warmer days… Which brings me to these bulbs in the photo below – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love to buy bulbs and place them around the house in the winter; they’re pretty great for many reasons, not only do they last longer than cut flowers, they also remind me that spring will come eventually, and these teeny tiny little muscari were too cute to pass up! And I had fun redesigning this flower arrangement from what I had originally put together with tulips from our friends Mark & Amy; tulips remind me of spring and spring makes me happy! The big excitement at our house this weekend was having a bird get in and us trying to encourage it to fly out a strategically opened window – which it eventually did and was seemingly unharmed in the process I’m happy to report; whew…even the birds are over this winter, it seems! #winterainteasy

Muscari

tulips & mums

We enjoyed a lovely sunset on Saturday – cold, but lovely…

Sunset 2/28/15

by Valerie | 03.01.15 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

Tangerine

Tangerine

Meet Tangerine…our new office mascot! Tangerine is a Pisces who loves to travel in schools.

by Valerie | 02.26.15 | For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

Baby shower fun!

We had the pleasure of co-hosting a beautiful baby shower for some friends of ours on Saturday; it was fun to visit with friends, the food was delicious (check out these vegan, gluten-free cake pops we made – which Ryan made these wooden stands for too!), and we even had the opportunity to get crafty by decorating onesies during the shower too. I wrapped up my weekend by napping on the floor with Melody by the fireplace – she’s a great napping buddy! Three cheers for babies, (napping) buddies, and for weekends!!!

Baby shower fun!

Baby shower fun!

Baby shower fun!

Napping buddy

by Valerie | 02.24.15 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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