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’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!
Ryan brought home these beautiful mums, which I happily placed in a stoneware container my mother-in-law had given us, and they look so cheery on our coffee table. I noticed these delicious little satsumas displayed front and center at the grocery store and had to take some home with me. Also, I treated myself to these fun boot socks. Ryan cleaned our gutters and collected leaves from the yard yesterday – 12 yard waste bags and one full compost bin later, the yard looks much better!
This morning while trying to decide what to have for breakfast, and being given a choice between pancakes or cold cereal, pancakes were the clear winner. Ryan’s were peanut butter and chocolate chip with bananas on top and mine were plain with strawberries and raspberries on top and they were all delicious. Whenever we make pancakes, waffles, or crepes, we always make one for Melody and she wouldn’t have it any other way. One puppy pancake, coming up!
The weather is just starting to really turn and it’s felt like fall in the air this week. The leaves are beginning to change and, I’ll say it again, it’s my favorite season. We switched out our bedding to this beautiful gray silk channel quilt and shams (bonus, it looks great with our Revere Pewter walls) with fisherman knit pillows thrown on as well; it’s cozy and feels great to the touch – and now I will admit that I have a thing for really good bedding, mixing beautiful fabrics and textures in just the right colors, it just feels right to me. And I’m still enjoying that fresh, hot apple cider. Cheers to fall!
We had a busy weekend with a little fun in between; beautiful weather and fun with friends on Friday and Saturday, complete with a fabulous, double birthday celebration, garden cocktail party (where I finally found a reason to debut this fun party dress) along with some shoe molding installation and trim paint in our house mixed in. It feels so great to be wrapping up some of the finishing touches and make our house feel polished and pretty. Ryan made these delicious banana nutella crepes for brunch on Sunday and we picked more heirloom tomatoes and hydrangeas from our garden.
We’ve been busy sprucing up the house, in preparation for my mother-in-law’s arrival. Ryan finished all the painting in the guest-room and it feels great to have the trim painted and the room looking fresh and clean. I hope she loves it as much as we do! Also, the peonies are drop-dead-gorgeous right now and I couldn’t help but pick some up for the house.
When we closed on our house last May, the backyard looked like the picture on the left & needed quite a bit of weeding & some clean up. Yes, that weed is about as tall as me! After a lot of hard work last weekend, it now looks like the picture on the right.
We were so busy sprucing up the inside that we didn’t have much time to focus on the outside last year; although we did plant some things in beds around the house, which I am so happy to see are all coming back & looking good (japanese painted fern, hosta, little lime hydrangea, euonymus), we are focusing more on our outdoor space this spring.
We’ve done some weeding (which never ends, of course), mowing, laying down mulch, etc. And Ryan built 3 more garden boxes, bringing our total to 4 large garden boxes now. Several trips to various hardware/garden supply stores, 22 bags of pea gravel, 18 pavers, deck screws, cedar lumber, penofin green, 16 large casters, mesh to line bottom of boxes, garden soil, plants…and we’ve now come to this…a big improvement, I think! We’ve still got more to plant, but it’s a great start to a fantastic summer garden.
To my delight, our house came with two beautiful lilac bushes in the backyard – 1 white & 1 pale purple – which I’d never seen bloom until this spring as they’d already bloomed & gone before we moved in last June. I just cut some & put them in a vase in our home & they smell lovely!