weekend haps

lovely day for a on the patio with @deptofmiscellany

If you can find a nice patio, with some shade and preferably a cool breeze (and a cold beer) on a summer day, take advantage of it always! We began our weekend doing just that at Dominick’s and it was lovely. While my Texas friends and family may laugh at this, I’m going to say it…we’ve had some hot temps here in A2 this last week, with highs climbing into the high 80’s and low 90’s over the weekend; it definitely feels like summer here – hot, humid, and sweaty. Despite the weather, Ryan managed to dig out all of our existing fence posts (which were all that was left of our dilapidated fence) over the weekend and we currently have brand new ones sitting in the floor of our garage waiting to be placed into the ground; we’re very excited at the prospect of having a new, functional fence – complete with gate – in the near future and are looking forward to enjoying our backyard with Maddy. And we have now added a post hole digger to our growing pile of tools and equipment in our garage.

We enjoyed a walk to Zingerman’s Roadshow with Maddy for breakfast bright and early Saturday morning and we saw Wonder Woman at the theater (here I am, as a kid, in my Wonder Woman suit). Hope you’re having some summer fun of your own and enjoying the sunshine!

...order some food! @zingermansroadshow #zingermans

by Valerie | 06.13.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | 1 Comment »

peonies and puppies

Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden

It’s peony season here in Ann Arbor and the Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum is quite the sight to see…absolutely gorgeous! I’ve taken a stroll through there twice now in the past week (where we met this sweet little pup) and I can’t get enough of it – the variety of peonies is impressive and the smell is heavenly; here are some photos and videos I captured of the gardens last week; they also have some lovely Dogwood, Rhododendron, and Azalea, etc. Our own peony in our garden at home is blooming now too. I’m here to pet all the puppies and smell all the flowers!

We enjoyed some delightful patio time at Wolverine on Friday afternoon and at Beer Grotto (where we met this sweet little pup) on Saturday, stopped by the Mini Maker Faire, and are having so much fun with our little imp of a puppy, Maddy!

afternoon at the Arb

Maddy

by Valerie | 06.05.17 | Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Marvelous Maddy

This Friday will be one week since we adopted Maddy and she is still as sweet and lovable as ever! She is a high-energy (typical of her breed and her age), active (we walk/jog and play ball or throw a frisbee with her for ~1 hour in the morning and again in the afternoon daily), smart (she already knows “sit”, “lay”, “don’t touch”, etc.), sweet, beautiful puppy. She is very young and will need a lot of training and we are going to enjoy every minute of it. When she’s not running as fast as she can and playing as hard as she can, she very sweetly will lay down at our feet (sometimes on top of our feet) or lay on one of her pillows. She has the softest, silkiest coat and does the most adorable and amazing stretches; you should see her downward dog. Just look at that face and those eyes…L-O-V-E! On top of being the lucky ones who get to be her family, we are lucky to have friends and family share their excitement and support with us on our adopting her too. I think my Mom got it right when she said, “I think you picked the right dog. She probably has an IQ higher than all of us combined.”

I was sharing with my friend Sheila yesterday that Maddy seems very unsure/scared of our basement stairs and she then shared this (and this) with me which had me laughing out loud. Lucky for us, I have no doubt that Maddy would pass any dog IQ test we gave her with flying colors!

dog nap

by Valerie | 05.31.17 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | 2 Comments »

Meet Maddy

Maddy

Meet Maddy. Maddy is a 7 month old Border Collie mix; you can read all about her, and the Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue, here. She is black and white with spots, she’s adorable, and she’s such a clown! She is very, very, VERY fast, loves to run, and she loves to chase a ball or as many frisbees as you can throw. I love her spots/freckles, how her tail (half black, half white) curls up on to her back when she’s alert, and I love her pointy ears. She already knows some commands: sit, lay, back up, don’t touch, and we’re currently working on “stay” with her too. She was an excellent passenger in her 1.5 hour car ride home on Friday, she is potty trained and hasn’t had any accidents in the house in the day and half we’ve had her, and she did well sleeping in her crate next to us in our bedroom last night too. We’re doing our best to make her transition to our home as easy and comfortable as possible, introducing her to rooms of the house slowly, and allowing plenty of quiet/down time with a healthy amount of active time sprinkled in between. We are enjoying getting to know her and having her get to know us. We are looking forward to introducing her to our city and our friends more and more, after giving her ample time to acclimate to us and our home. We are excited to start her in a training class in the near future and look forward to so many possiblities with her ahead (agility, frisbee, Flyball, Treibball, etc.).

Why a Border Collie, or how did we decide she was the dog for us, you might ask? It was important to us, when choosing a dog to make part of our family, to find one that 1) is preferably a rescue dog (there are so many wonderful pets, in shelters or rescue organizations, out there who just need to find the right home…also our first dog, Melody, was AMAZING and a rescue dog herself – so she set the bar high), 2) is smart and very trainable, 3) is active and can go jogging/hiking/walking with us, and 4) bonus – Ryan has always wanted a dog he could play frisbee with (Maddy definitely fits that bill). We are so grateful to her foster mom, Sandy, and the Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue organization for helping to bring Maddy into our lives and we’re so excited to share our lives with this lovable, energetic, sweet-natured, clown of a pup!

Maddy

Maddy

by Valerie | 05.27.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

58 & rainy on a Saturday afternoon in May

We enjoyed a cool, rainy weekend here in A2; watched some movies, cooked this Blue Apron meal, and visited my 26th Michigan brewery when we stopped by Brewery Becker in Brighton – my personal favorites on tap were the West Coaster (west coast style IPA), Victoria (Victorian era export stout), and Hefeweizen (classic wheat beer of Bavaria). Looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend ahead!

Baked Spinach Flatbreads with Sautéed Asparagus & Lemon #blueapron

Brewery Becker

by Valerie | 05.22.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

Mother’s Day weekend

Happy Mother's Day

Pictured above are my mom (left) and Ryan’s mom (right, with Ryan); much love to our moms and all those who are mothers! We enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend here in A2; sunshine and lovely weather had us out on our patio Friday night grilling hamburgers, we headed to see the Cranbrook Degree Show on Saturday and stopped at Griffin Claw Brewing Company for lunch and a beer (making it my 25th Michigan brewery visited), then took a stroll around the Matthaei Botanical Gardens where we saw an adorable family of geese, and ended our day with dinner at a friends’ home where I brought some fresh-cut white lilacs (from our yard), peonies, and a bottle of rosé to enjoy, and on Sunday we had a delicious brunch out, followed by purchasing and planting our summer garden. We’re growing many of our usual favorites in our garden this year, a variety of hot peppers (ghost pepper, poblano, mucho nacho jalapeño, and serrano), tomatoes (green zebra, Cherokee purple, Mr. Stripey, better boy, and roma), herbs (basil, chives, orange mint, oregano, and thyme), and flowers (Julia Child roses, XXL Hidalgo dahlia), but are growing some new things this year too – broccolini, zucchini, and Flashy Trout’s Back Lettuce. Happy gardening!

“May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends,
And many books, both true.”
― Abraham Cowley

Griffin Claw Brewing Co

mid-May patio perfection; peonies + white lilacs (from my yard) & rosé

2017 summer garden

2017 summer garden

by Valerie | 05.15.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

#beerponcho #cincodemayo

We had a fun weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Mexican food/drinks and nopales and made it through two of the three Mexico Trilogy movies on Friday and the Kentucky Derby with homemade lemon cooler cookies and, of course, mint juleps on Saturday. It’s still bursting with spring color here in A2 and we enjoyed a nice, long walk around our neighborhood on Sunday, after being productive and cleaning out our garage, where we saw this and this and this!

spring in A2 #springhassprung #nofilter

by Valerie | 05.08.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

bloom

Melody Azalea

Tomorrow it will be one month since our sweet Melody passed; I miss her all the time and think of her often. This beautiful, white Azalea that my wonderful coworkers gave me in her memory is just beginning to bloom.

Melody Azalea

Melody Azalea

by Valerie | 05.04.17 | Around our home, Garden, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

spring has sprung

lilacs from our yard #diptyque #springhassprung

Happy May Day! Spring has most definitely sprung in A2 and the world is alive with color; dogwoods, magnolias, flowering pear, and all manner of flowering trees and plants are blooming, our lilacs are blooming in the backyard (pictured above), and there are robins everywhere you look. Last week was Commencement for the University and we are headed into summer already. I am looking forward to planting our garden in the coming weeks and enjoying the sunshine and flowers for as long as I can!

Spring in A2

spring has sprung

Spring in A2

by Valerie | 05.01.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

Thank you Easter Bunny!

Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼 Here’s a blast from the past for you: “Thank you Easter Bunny, Bawk Bawk!” We treated ourselves to some delicious jelly beans and this chocolate bunny from Mindo (Mindo is located just down the road from us, in Dexter, MI) pictured above. Ryan made us this delicious chorizo, pepper, and onion frittata with potatoes on the side for breakfast too; Easter frittata has become one of our holiday traditions, which I always enjoy.

It’s been a beautiful weekend, full of sunshine, warm weather, and cool breezes, and there are all sorts of lovely flowers budding and blooming in our yard. We finally took down our fence yesterday, which has been in sad shape since we moved into our house several years ago…it was one of those things that’s been on our to-do list for a while, but just wasn’t at the top of our list with all the other things that had to be done for our house; it’s so nice to have it gone and we’re looking forward to replacing it with something nice soon. Hope you’re having a wonderful Easter weekend!

Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼 Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼

by Valerie | 04.16.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

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