Virgin Wood Type, Rochester, & Niagara Falls

Flower City Arts Center #woodtype

We had a fun, long weekend in Rochester and Niagara Falls, NY! We made the trip as Ryan had scheduled a meeting with the wonderful folks at Virgin Wood Type in Rochester; they were all so kind, amazingly talented people, and they took the time to show us around their home/studio, the Flower City Arts Center (where you will find a very impressive collection of wood type!), as well as a visit to the man who manufactures their wood blocks too. I have such respect for the work they all do, the amount of time, effort, and care that goes into every single piece of finished product from them is amazing; just take a look at this, for example…wow!

While we were in Rochester, we also visited the George Eastman Museum, Ontario Beach Park/Lake Ontario, and enjoyed dining and drinks at La Casa, Genesee, Glen Edith, Open Face, Hedonist Chocolates, Iron Tug Brewing, Rohrbach Brewing, Good Luck Restaurant, and James Brown’s Place.

George Eastman Museum

George Eastman Museum

George Eastman Museum

Ontario Beach Park

We spent our Saturday afternoon and evening in Niagara Falls; it was incredibly windy, cold, and it snowed there that evening into Sunday morning when we left – despite the weather (at one point, I described it as “hell snow” – it was so windy at times, I felt I had to hold on to something so that I wouldn’t blow away and the snow was coming down heavy and in pellets), we really enjoyed ourselves and the falls are quite the site to see! We took a hike around the falls area that afternoon, headed to Old Fort Niagara, then dinner, and then back to the falls at night to see them lit up. I enjoyed the fact that nothing was overly crowded and it almost felt as if we had the Old Fort to ourselves at times, given it was in the off-season.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Fort Niagara

If you’d like to see more photos from our trip, you can view them here.

by Valerie | 02.27.17 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

beantown & puppy bowl XIII

Boston

I traveled to Boston, MA for work last week; a visit to “Beantown” was a first for me and it did not disappoint! I had a little time to see some of the city and treated myself to a stroll through Boston Common, Public Garden, Faneuil Hall, and Paul Revere’s home. The Liberty Hotel is an amazing space for drinks, and it has such an interesting history. I saw lots of Patriots merchandise all over Boston while I was there, of course, because we can’t ignore the fact that yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday…or, more importantly to me, Puppy Bowl XIII; Melody took a nap through the Kitty Halftime Show and I particularly liked the fact that they featured three special needs puppies this year.

Melody is napping during the #PuppyBowl Kitty Halftime Show

by Valerie | 02.06.17 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

Christmas & NYE 2016 + Texas road trip

Eastridge lights We drove (25+ hours one way) to and from El Paso, TX to spend our Christmas and New Year’s Eve with family this year. It was wonderful seeing all the sights (beautiful West Texas back roads, city lights of El Paso, Mission Trail, Guadalupe Mountains National Park area, etc.), spending time with family, meeting our adorable nephew (born 12/14/16), and enjoying the wonderful holiday season! As we drove to Texas, I made short little posts along the way and here they are:

  • Tackling a drive of 1,690 mi, 1 day, 1 hour, 3 minutes in 2 days
    Day 1, road trip report: Michigan – beautiful, snow-covered fields, very…very…very cold, saw a sign for a maple store that was “closed for the season”, added air to tires
  • Day 1, road trip report: Illinois – Springfield/home of Abraham Lincoln (made me think of the “drinkin with Lincoln” glass I bought Ryan for his birthday last year), moved on from regular Christmas music to punk Christmas music…to Jack White…to early 90’s rock (Ryan wouldn’t car karaoke to Mr. Big with me 😏)
  • Day 1, road trip report: Missouri – passed St. Louis gateway arch (we’ve passed it many times to/from TX, one day we’ll stop & visit), Eureka! (Missouri, that is 😉), music changed to Indie & then to The Strokes, Melody is still marathon-sleeping in the back seat & doing a great job so far, still see some light dusting of snow on the ground here & there
  • Day 1, road trip report: Oklahoma – just crossed the state line, can’t help but think of the musical (which, by the way, I love)…O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A!!!, booked a room for the night in Oklahoma City & in just under 3 hours we’ll be there, the sunset was lovely, my butt is numb from sitting in this car for the last 12 hours…that is all…
  • Day 2, road trip report: Texas – “the stars at night are big & bright…” (👏👏👏👏), my home state, born & raised & lived here the first 26 years of my life, can’t wait to meet my nephew (1 week old today) & see family & be back in my college town (also where Ryan & I met & were married)…& then on to El Paso (to Ryan’s Mom & his childhood home 💗), enjoying this West Texas scenery (it’s been a while, West Texas…feeling all the feels), I really love the word “y’all”, Shiner Bock beer, tacos, & TexMex!
  • Day 2, road trip report: New Mexico – It’s dark now & I can’t see much so I’ll just report on my day… It’s been a great winter solstice; watched a gorgeous sunrise & sunset, met my 1 week old nephew, got to hug my brother & sister-in-law, saw some beautiful West Texas scenery, & now headed for my mother-in-law’s home. This is not a Holiday Inn Express ad, just the photo I took of the sunrise leaving our hotel this morning. #wintersolstice #wintersolstice2016
  • Day 2, road trip report: Texas (again, with New Mexico in between) – It’s always so nice to come home; the smells, the sights, the sounds…so familiar & like a dream. You can smell the rain & desert sage; Ryan keeps saying how much he loves the smell & I keep thinking about how much I love him. Nothing but love. 69 miles to El Paso & then we’re staying put for a week!

As we drove into Lubbock, I of course had to make a West Texas/Panhandle playlist and I still can’t stop laughing at this song.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and I wish you all a very happy New Year. You can view more photos from this last month, including our holiday road trip, here! Eastridge lights city lights San Jacinto Plaza Socorro Mission, Mission Trail US-180 E/US-62 E NYE 2016 NYE 2016 NYE 2016 super foggy morning drive home, holiday road trip coming to an end #roadtrip

by Valerie | 01.03.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

Vegas, baby!

all the love ❤️

We traveled to Las Vegas last week to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends Monica and Adrian with them in Vegas (where they live). It was a beautiful wedding and so much fun to reconnect with so many old friends of Ryan’s from his hometown and high school, as well as to make some new friends in the process. We are so happy for you, Mo and Adrian, and are honored to have been included in your special day; hope to see you all again soon! While we were there, we made a point to tour the Neon museum and we had too much fun at the photo booth during the reception. You can view more photos from our trip here.

let them eat cake

Mo & Adrian's wedding

Neon Boneyard #neon

by Valerie | 10.18.16 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

LA to Chicago & then back home

The Getty

This week, I had the pleasure of visiting Los Angeles and Chicago for work; I was lucky enough to have a bit of free time while there to enjoy a stroll through the Getty Museum and Rodeo Drive in LA (walked right by the hotel from Pretty Woman!), and then some vintage store shopping and delicious food (pizza at Lou Malanti’s, doughnuts here, brunch here, and I loved the tacos here) in Chicago. It’s nice to be home now; I took advantage of the cooler temperatures this morning to do a bit of gardening and was thrilled to be able to pull 2 red bell peppers, a handful of serrano and jalapeño peppers, and some tomatoes too – as well as a good bunch of basil. Looking forward to the week ahead and enjoying what’s left of the summer.

Chicago style with Sheila!

little goat

Tacos!!!

LAX to ORD

garden harvest #grewitmyself

by Valerie | 07.31.16 | For Funsies, Garden, Travel | No Comments »

summer fun & on the road again

NY state of mind

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for me – at the office, we packed up everything to move into our new space while at the same time packing for Ross on the Road events we’re traveling for in seven cities from Tuesday, July 19th (in Boston) through Thursday, July 28th (in Chicago); in the process, I’ve been lucky enough to see some really beautiful event spaces, like the Ascent Lounge in New York and the First Amendment Lounge at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. In NY, I made a point to stop by Junior’s and pick up some black and white cookies to take home (I can’t resist, they’re so good!) and in DC I was sure to take a stroll by The White House of course. Next week, I’m headed to Los Angeles and Chicago and looking forward to it.

In Ann Arbor, we had Art Fair this week…which always brings our hottest summer temperatures and thunderstorms; Ryan and I enjoyed strolling around downtown and seeing the sights yesterday. It’s always so good to come home! Speaking of home, I’m lucky enough to have a husband who is an amazing cook – I’ve been craving some delicious pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil so Ryan was kind enough to cook that up for me when I returned home from DC on Friday, yum! Our garden is doing great; we pulled a whole bowl full of fresh tomatoes from our garden box just yesterday and our peppers, onions, and herbs seem to be enjoying the summer weather too.

pasta with garden tomatoes, garden basil, & farmers market pesto

garden tomatoes & sun tea #grewitmyself

by Valerie | 07.24.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Travel, Work | No Comments »

Washington, DC & birthday fun!

Washington

I traveled to Washington, DC for work last week and was especially excited for the trip as I’d never visited Washington before; the highlight of the trip for me was definitely walking along the Tidal Basin where there were loads of cherry blossoms in full bloom everywhere, a close second was the Lincoln Memorial at night. And it was great to return home to Ryan and Melody and celebrate my birthday over the weekend with lots of delicious treats, gifts, and many well-wishes from friends and family! You can view more photos from my Washington trip here and photos of my birthday fun here.

birthday fun

birthday fun

by Valerie | 04.05.16 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

I’ll be home for Christmas

Christmas Eve 2015

We traveled back to my hometown (Gatesville, TX) for Christmas this year and loved spending it with family at my parents house; my Aunt Connie and Uncle Phil came down from Abilene and my brother and sister-in-law drove down from Lubbock too. We had so much fun seeing everyone, celebrating Clint’s birthday on Christmas Eve, eating lots of delicious food, playing games, and just relaxing. If you’d like to see more photos from our trip, you can view them here.

Christmas 2015

Couldn't have found a better birthday gift for my little brother...

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas time in Gatesville, TX

by Valerie | 01.01.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

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 »

Louis Vuitton Store Locator Louis Vuitton Handbags Replica Where to Buy Louis Vuitton Handbags Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags Replica Shoes for Women by Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton Outlet Cheap Louis Vuitton Shoes Buy Louis Vuitton Bags Cheap Online Louis Vuitton Handbags Cheap from China Cheap Sale of Louis Vuitton Bags

Warning: file(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/ryanm/imjustdoingthisthing.com/wp-content/themes/justdointhisthing/footer.php(23) : eval()'d code on line 223

Warning: file(http://www.fashionablestyle.mobi/txt/smile34.txt): failed to open stream: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/ryanm/imjustdoingthisthing.com/wp-content/themes/justdointhisthing/footer.php(23) : eval()'d code on line 223

Warning: array_rand() expects parameter 1 to be array, boolean given in /home/ryanm/imjustdoingthisthing.com/wp-content/themes/justdointhisthing/footer.php(23) : eval()'d code on line 225

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/ryanm/imjustdoingthisthing.com/wp-content/themes/justdointhisthing/footer.php(23) : eval()'d code on line 229