#GivingTuesday and gifting goodness

Present

Today is #GivingTuesday and we made a donation to our local Humane Society, which is something I always enjoy supporting. When we adopted our sweet dog, Melody, 15 years ago from a shelter in Austin, TX, they said she was a stray and she was so frightened and timid that she wouldn’t even walk on a leash…how far we’ve come! Melody continues to bring us joy and love every day and we are so lucky to have her in our lives. I hope that you will give in some way (your time, your talents, your donations, etc.) to a cause that is meaningful to you in honor of this day of giving!

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past, and Hanukkah and Christmas fast-approaching, it’s got me thinking about all things gifting – on that note, here are a few items I recommend for holiday gifts, if you’re looking for ideas or a little inspiration:

  • Make a donation to the preferred charity of your family or friends’ choice!
  • Etsy’s gift guide
  • Our friend, Tanya, does beautiful, custom watercolor portraits (more on that here) – you’ll find her on Etsy here.
  • Our friend, Abigail, makes beautiful, handcrafted porcelain – check out her online shop here.
  • We’ve been loving using Framebridge for our framing needs lately; they’re fast, affordable, shipping is free, and they handwrite gift notes with your order!
  • Consumable gifts are always nice! Here are a few, Michigan-based ones to consider…
    • King Orchards: Ever eaten a Michigan-grown, Honeycrisp apple? If yes, then you understand; if no, you should try one!
    • Zingerman’s Mail Order: Ridiculously delicious, high-quality, mouth-watering ingredients and all things food – they’ve got mail-order gelato, breads, meats, cheeses, pantry items, sweets, etc. You can even order sandwich kits with everything you need to put one of their famous Reubens together, right in your own kitchen!
    • Mawby: Pop the cork on some bubbly to celebrate the holidays – Michigan’s Mawby can help you with that! My personal favorite is the Blanc de Blancs, but they’ve got something for everyone from sweet to dry.

Melody

by Valerie | 11.29.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

falling slowly

raking leaves on a sunny fall afternoon

We filled up 16 bags of leaves on Sunday and cleaned out the gutters on our house, in preparation for winter – which will eventually come here in Michigan; despite the fact that we have a high of 70 here on Friday, just two days later on Sunday our high is 38 with a chance of snow possible over the weekend, so we’ll see… It’s been a beautiful, mild fall with warmer temps and sunshine, which I’m not complaining about! And I’m excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday next week!

fall afternoon

by Valerie | 11.16.16 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

fall, friends, and fun

fall afternoon in A2

We enjoyed a visit with friends from out of town and the most perfect fall weather this past weekend; I’m enjoying every last drop of this beautiful fall we’re having here in Michigan, when the light is warm and golden, and there’s a cool breeze in the air – this is my happy place! We took a stroll around downtown A2 and it was so beautiful, I felt like I should be writing a poem or a song or something to commemorate how unbelievably picturesque it was. Our Halloween candy jar is already almost empty (oops!) and I can’t stop taking photos of gorgeous fall leaves and seeing adorable posts of friends and friends’ children jumping into big piles of leaves and thinking I need to sit down and watch this some time soon (it’s tradition!). It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just two weeks from this Thursday and it will soon be Christmas before we know it…and then 2017!

💗

💗

by Valerie | 11.07.16 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

office love

office love #Framebridge

Now that we moved into our new (old) office, I’ve really enjoyed unpacking my things and sprucing up my work space; it’s nice to fill it with things I love, that make me smile, like photos, plants, and flowers. It is, after all, the place I spend most of my time at away from my actual home – so it’s important that I make it feel homey to me. I ordered this great print of Melody peeking out our front door from Framebridge, picked up a happy yellow lamp, and a few plants…and just look at this dahlia pictured below – wow! Speaking of work, the campus squirrels seem extra-squirrely this time of year too.

dahlia + seeded eucalyptus

by Valerie | 10.03.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Work | No Comments »

foggy mornings, flowers, and food

eating with an audience 😂

We are still cooking our Blue Apron meals and are getting better about skipping the weeks we’re not crazy about the menus for or that we know we’ll be too busy to cook much; you can view more photos of our meals here. Melody enjoys observing us cook and eat, as always, and it’s fun to have such a cute audience! Our local distillery, Ann Arbor Distilling Co., is now serving bourbon and rye and we enjoyed stopping by to sample the goods last week. The dahlias are just stunning this time of year and I love walking by our neighbor’s dahlia garden and seeing them all in full bloom! There’s something magical about a foggy morning that I can’t get enough of…

cheers

A2

dreamy dahlias

foggy September morning

by Valerie | 09.19.16 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | 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 »

birthdays and blooms

make a wish

Yesterday we celebrated Ryan’s birthday with a delicious dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse on the patio, and this sweet little cupcake (from Cupcake Station) pictured above.

And right now we are enjoying the most glorious season that is peony season in Michigan – loads of beautiful blooms everywhere; I missed the peony plant sale last Saturday, but I am still hoping to get myself to the Nichols Arboretum Peony Gardens soon before they are past their peak blooming period. I was thrilled to see that one of the peony plants in our yard was blooming as of yesterday too and cut this dark pink peony to enjoy on our kitchen table! Also, from our yard, are these yellow roses and blooming thyme and chives.

peony, roses, thyme, & chives from my garden 😊

peony

by Valerie | 06.07.16 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

commencement

#commencement

Last weekend was commencement weekend at UM and the photo above was my view on Friday at the Ross School Commencement ceremonies at Hill Auditorium. As a “townie” (or local Ann Arborite), this means that as students leave for the summer everything is a little less crowded, parking is easier to find, and – hopefully – we’re able to slow down just a little and enjoy the more relaxed pace of the summer months. I love my job, I love my (work) team, and I’m happy to call Ann Arbor home!

Dream team! #commencement

by Valerie | 05.02.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Work | No Comments »

weekend haps

#got

We had a great weekend and beautiful weather here in A2; we finally visited the Ann Arbor Distilling Company for some fantastic cocktails (the “rise & shine” was my personal favorite) and an impromptu tour of the space, enjoyed getting together with friends, tackled some yard work and gave our metal patio chairs a fresh coat of “field green” paint, had my first hamburger on the grill at home this year, and saw the new season of Game of Thrones premiere on Sunday night (I couldn’t resist getting this cake in honor of the premiere – “Winter is coming”). We’ll be re-making our patio table from last summer soon (see post on that here), as some of the wood didn’t weather well, and I’m looking forward to fun times spent outdoors this spring and summer!

greyhound

A2

fresh coat for summer!

by Valerie | 04.25.16 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

easy like a Sunday morning

Last week brought us snow, sleet, rain, and funny memes like this and this; I heard this on the radio which made me laugh, “March, in like a lion. April, in like a fiercer lion.” While the weather was “weathering” (as Ryan likes to say) all day yesterday, I must admit that having a lazy day at home while the rain/sleet/snow fell outside was just what I needed. Yes, that is a fire in my fireplace in the photo above – and yes, it is April in Michigan. All the more reason to enjoy these beautiful blooms in my photo below; mums, roses, and iris to brighten up my kitchen!

blooms

by Valerie | 04.11.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | 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/smile100.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