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.
It’s glorious fall weather here this week and even with the rainy, cloudy day last Sunday I appreciated that it really felt like fall. We met a friend for brunch on Sunday and enjoyed catching up - sometimes you have to remind yourself to stop and smell the roses with your peeps…even when everyone is busy.
I also enjoyed dining at The Lunch Room for the first time (since they moved into a permanent space in Kerrytown), followed by an extra delicious latte at Mighty Good Coffee. I thought it was fun how, instead of using a number for your table, The Lunch Room uses images (like a bird, a stand mixer, etc.) so they can bring out your delicious plate of goodness to the right table when it’s ready.
This is what our walks with Melody in our neighborhood look like this week…I know…crazy gorgeous, right?!?
I love going to the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market, but Ryan and I both hate dealing with the lack of parking and the crowds so it’s not often we actually make it there. Last Saturday, we made the trip though and it was wonderful to see the many booths of tomatoes, peppers, and other local goods this time of year. We left with an interesting assortment of things – fresh apple cider from Wasem Fruit Farm, hot dog buns, Roos Roast Lobster Butter Love coffee beans (my personal favorite), and two bunches of fresh flowers. Zinnias make me happy – they are so bright, colorful, and cheery; they remind me of my Mom’s garden back home when I was a little girl – they were one of the few flowers that would survive the Texas heat. You can almost always find one or more flower arrangements sprinkled around our home, because I love fresh flowers so much.
I had the pleasure of visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens this week. It wasn’t my first time enjoying the space, but I hadn’t been in some time and every time I visit I am reminded of how much I love it there - I can’t help but leave with a wonderful sense of calm about me. As it was raining out, we stuck to the indoor, conservatory portion only; the conservatory is divided into three different zones – tropical, temperate, and arid. They are all lovely, but I am drawn to the Arid House as it reminds me of Texas and I have always loved succulents. They have a pretty impressive, variegated century plant which is over 70 years old too.
We had perfect weather in Ann Arbor last weekend. It wasn’t hot and there was a cool breeze, blue skies, sunshine, and the fluffy, white clouds were lovely. We took advantage of the weather and enjoyed a game of mini golf with friends. Fun in the sun!
It’s been a cool (high of only 65 in July?), overcast morning and looking like it’ll rain at any moment most of the day so far. Yesterday, I picked blueberries so I suggested we have fresh blueberry crepes for brunch this morning and that’s exactly what we did. Ryan whipped up a batch of delicious crepes, using this recipe, with a blueberry filling. Speaking of crepes, this never fails to make me laugh.
I do enjoy lazy Sundays. With the cloudy, cool weather it feels extra nice to sit around the house and do a whole lot of nothing much at all. Melody seems like she’s got being lazy down to a science. I did step out to our backyard and pick some of the largest tomatoes we’ve ever grown in our garden as well as some jalapenos, bell pepper, and I cut some nasturtium to make this sweet little arrangement. Here’s to lazy Sundays!
I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning at Dexter Blueberry Farm with friends. July is blueberry time in Michigan; they are delicious and available at local farmer’s markets and farms all over the area. A couple weeks ago, we made a blueberry tart with this recipe and it turned out pretty great, especially considering we’d never made a tart before.
We enjoyed a fun day out with friends at Spicer Orchards last Saturday; the traditional donut & fresh cider was a welcome fall experience, but I was disappointed to find that they had no pick-your-own apples available due to the weather this past spring. We did, however, take a “train” ride through the orchard & left with a half gallon of fresh cider.
And we enjoyed our first fireplace fire in our new home over the weekend, which I imagine will never get old to me; I have always loved sitting by a warm fire.
I especially love this photo of Averie, below, playing the part of a pumpkin DJ. You can view more photos from our orchard visit here.
Ezra Leonard Mankouche (a.k.a. Momo) arrived early & attended his own baby shower - he’s healthy, handsome, so adorably tiny, & perfect! The shower was held at the lovely Pot & Box & hosted by several of Abigail’s equally lovely friends.
Shower guests brought a dish to share & it was quite the delectable feast – mimosas, homemade scones, muffins, fresh whipped cream, peach cupcakes (with our without hazelnuts), quiche, fried polenta with garden tomato sauce, etc. A craft station was set up for guests to write notes for a memory book for Abigail, Steven, & little Momo & we enjoyed using our creative abilities to design our own bibs & onesies for Momo too.
The weather was perfect, the decor & food were amazing, & who wouldn’t love being in a room filled with such fantastic people for such a fun occasion; congrats to Abigail & Steven on their beautiful baby boy!
My beautiful friend Jennifer was kind enough to bring me a very special treat from the Wednesday Ann Arbor Farmers Market earlier this week – a delicious (yes, it really did taste as good as it looked) chocolate mint baby bundt cake. The cake was topped with fresh blackberries & a chocolate covered mint leaf & the whole thing was divine! She said her friend at Flour Lab made it. I checked out their website & everything from the website, to the packaging, to the baked goods themselves is beautiful – a treat to not only my taste buds but to my eyes as well!
Oh yes, & I have to mention the fact that our dog, Melody, is over the moon for Jennifer. I’m pretty sure she gets more excited to see Jennifer than she does to see Ryan & I!