Memorial Day weekend

this #pearlbeer bottle opener belonged to my Mema & Granddaddy - my Granddaddy fought for our country in WWII, thank you to all who have served #memorialday

The Pearl Beer bottle opener pictured above belonged to my Mema and Granddaddy. In March of 1942, my Granddaddy enlisted in the U.S. Army; on June 6, 1944, he – along with the brave soldiers of the 4th and 90th Division – stormed Utah Beach in Normandy, France. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Arrowhead, Five Bronze Stars for five major battles, three Overseas Bars and the French Legion of Honor Medal in addition to several other commendations. He lived to be 94 years old and I am so honored to have known him and to call him family. Thank you to all who have served.

Long, holiday weekends are heavenly…yet somehow, they never seem to be quite long enough; we thoroughly enjoyed ours and squeezed in a movie, lots of r&r, grilling, some more planting in our garden and yard (Bartzella Itoh Peony, Cascade Azalea, a few more herbs, and a mosquito plant), and – even with temps in the 90s here in May (that’s hot for MI in May!) – we spent a good amount of time outside enjoying our backyard patio space.

Speaking of things we enjoy…Ryan and I enjoy beer, I’ve been curious to try our hand at homebrewing, and we also enjoy a good DIY project on occasion – so we took the first step towards this and bought this book about it. We plan on reading up on it first and then we’ll see where that takes us; I’m excited at the possibility of creating our own homebrew, with a healthy dose of reality that this won’t be easy to do and will take a good deal of patience and practice to hopefully, eventually be successful at (fingers crossed!). My Dad shared with me that my Granddaddy once tried homebrewing and that it didn’t turn out that well for him – lol! I’m hopeful there will be more to come on this for us, stay tuned…

You can view more photos from our Memorial Day weekend here.

#gottowearshades #memorialdayweekend #bordercolliemix #bordercollie

by Valerie | 05.29.18 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

Happy St. Patrick’s Day #stpatricksday #bellsofireland

We enjoyed an exciting weekend of March Madness watching (this shot and this dunk – wow!) and a fun St. Patrick’s Day last Saturday; we cheered on the Red Raiders with a Guinness in hand and are thrilled to see them advance to the Sweet 16! We were sure to wear our green (even Maddy)…and red and black (Wreck ‘Em!)…and we enjoyed a delicious, homemade, holiday-appropriate meal of Bangers and Mash with Irish Cheddar and Irish Soda Bread. By some miracle, my bracket isn’t completely busted yet and I’m holding out hope that the final game will be a matchup between Texas Tech and Michigan…anything can happen! This makes me laugh.

#stpatricksday #MarchMadness #WreckEm #texastechbasketball #guinness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🍀 #stpatricksday

by Valerie | 03.19.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

putting the val in valentine’s day

Happy Valentine’s Day 🌹💗 #valentinesday #roses

This Valentine’s Day I was hit with a stomach bug – yuck; however, we made the best of it and stayed home beside our cozy fire and enjoyed watching It Happened One Night (1934) (which, while old, was new to me), exchanged cards, and Ryan gave me a beautiful bouquet of roses (pictured above). Maddy was sure to let me know she loves me too with a few nose nibbles (this is NOT the most flattering angle for me, but she’s so sweet and I had to share); you’ve got to appreciate that puppy love! I hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with love and happy memories.

by Valerie | 02.15.18 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

cozy Christmas

it’s been such a lovely, cozy Christmas at our home; snowing still here & nice to be snuggled up by the fire 🎄 #cozychristmas #merrychristmas #homesweethome

We spent a cozy Christmas at home by the fire here in Michigan this week. To my delight, it snowed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day too and I got that white Christmas I was hoping for; it was beautiful! Temps have now dropped to frigid highs in the teens here and I’m extra grateful for having this time away from work where I’m able to stay in my warm bed a bit longer and linger by my fireplace at home for as long as I like. I hope you all enjoyed a warm, cozy Christmas too and are enjoying what’s left of 2017.

#deckthehalls #turboflyer #taitdesignco @taitdesignco

Maddy’s Merry Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas 🎄 #snowfall #merrychristmas #homesweethome

by Valerie | 12.28.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

deck the halls

#deckthehalls

We spent the weekend decorating our home for the holidays; we picked up our fresh evergreen wreath from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, stopped by Downtown Home & Garden for some amaryllis bulbs and enjoyed their Annual Christmas Party, and put up our tree and decorations at home. Maddy wasn’t sure what to think of our spinner ornaments on the tree at first (see video here and here), but she seems to have gotten used to them now…lol. As Lucy says, “You know, deck them halls and all that stuff…”

Happy December 1st! #deckthehalls

Christmas Party @downtownhomeandgarden

Christmas Party @downtownhomeandgarden

by Valerie | 12.04.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Texas Turkey Day

Thanksgiving table

We traveled back home to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday week and enjoyed some delicious food and drinks, and of course most excellent company; I loved being able to put together floral arrangements and help with setting up the Thanksgiving table (Debbie’s Grandmother’s linens, silverware, and china are beautiful). We shopped, we dined, we were able to visit with family both in the Dallas area and Gatesville, we went to “ICE! and Snow Tubing” in Gaylord and Magnolia Market at The Silos in Waco, and we even squeezed in some buffalo plaid family photos at the end of our trip. It was a treat to have an early celebration of Graham’s first birthday too while we were there together. You can view more photos from our trip here.

Gaylord Texan Hotel

Magnolia Market

#birthdayboy

Family1

by Valerie | 11.28.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween 🎃

Happy Halloween! We put together this fun sign stand with chalk paint and carved up this cute little foam pumpkin to serve candy from so that trick-or-treaters can help themselves to candy on our front lawn. As our 1-year old, rescue, border collie mix pup, Maddy, can be reactive and likely wouldn’t do well with strangers (dressed in costumes at that) ringing our doorbell or knocking on our door most of the night we thought this would be a nice alternative. We’ll set it up on a pedestal with a blinking light inside to illuminate our jack-o-lantern tonight. Hope your holiday is frightfully fun!

by Valerie | 10.31.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

All Hallows’ Eve

Happy Halloween

Pictured above are some of our Halloween costumes from past years. We plan on having a low-key Halloween this year, just Ryan, Maddy, and I at home by our fire with a Halloween movie marathon on the TV and plenty of delicious treats to enjoy. Below are some holiday-themed items for your enjoyment:

Hope your Halloween is frightfully fun!

Trick or Treat

by Valerie | 10.30.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

fall fields

It still doesn’t feel like fall in Michigan, we had high temps in the 80s over the weekend; but it certainly is looking like fall here which is nice. We spent all afternoon on Sunday raking and picking up seed pods that have fallen out of our locust tree and leaves in our yard. We also planted our rose bush in the backyard, which I hope will do well over the winter and bloom again in the spring/summer next year. It was nice to spend some time sprucing up the house, both inside and out, and put out a few decorations for Halloween. And with Halloween in mind…

Maddy will just close her eyes through the scary parts. 😉

#doglife

by Valerie | 10.09.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

NYC

Brooklyn Bridge #nyc #brooklynbridge

We spent a fun, Labor Day weekend in NYC; most importantly, we visited the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University where we saw some very rare type catalogs. While there, we also enjoyed seeing some of the sights, like Top of the Rock, the High Line, Central Park, and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge; and of course we had some amazing food (pierogies at Veselka) and drinks (cocktails at PDT) too. You can view more photos and videos of our NYC trip here.

Brooklyn Bridge #nyc #brooklynbridge

Rockefeller Center

by Valerie | 09.10.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

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