#yardworkishardwork

#yardworkishardwork

Some of the highlights of last week for me were enjoying gelato/sorbet with friends, more (dairy-free for me) frozen yogurt with Ryan (they don’t know our names yet at Orange Leaf, so I can rest easy for now I think), meeting this adorable Australian Shepherd puppy, all the great things Ryan and I accomplished after two days of yard work at our house (#yardworkishardwork), and flowers…always flowers – this week it was peonies, lilacs, and lily of the valley; we planted zinnias, yellow roses (my Granddaddy would have loved them), peonies, alstroemeria, dahlias, and marigolds in our yard/garden for the summer.

Our weekend projects included: painting and cleaning our AC unit in the backyard – no more rust and now it almost looks like new, filling our garden boxes and pots with flowers and vegetables, planting two peonies in our side yard and finishing bed with stone border and mulch, raising and replacing two more stone borders in our yard, more mulch, weeding, mowing, cutting down a tree, organizing and cleaning our garage… Whew, I’m ready for a nap! I’ll leave you with this – just a little Paul Simon and my Melody to make you smile.

peony perfection

sorbet + sunny day = 😊

⬇️

by Valerie | 05.23.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

weekend haps

lilac love 😍

I’m not going to lie, when I looked out the window on several occasions on Sunday and saw that it was snowing…yes, snowing…on May 15th…I wasn’t a happy camper. Spring? (#winterainteasy) But, despite the cold, rainy weather we had here all weekend, there were some nice things to appreciate – like napping, lilacs from my backyard, beer on a sunny patio on Friday afternoon, and these super cute, vintage-style glasses and tray I found at a local hardware store!

Cheers to Friday the 13th!

rainy day

by Valerie | 05.16.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

weekend haps

Hello #westelm

It’s that magical time of year in A2 where the University has commenced with commencement, it’s really starting to feel like summer, and we planted most of our garden over the weekend too! We filled our pots and garden boxes with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and herbs; I even treated myself to a beautiful yellow rose bush (Yellow Brick Road), which I hope will do well – I couldn’t help but think of my Granddaddy and smile when I saw the roses as he used to always grow them at his house. Our lilac bushes are blooming now too, which is always a treat for both the eyes and the nose; they smell fantastic! We enjoyed attending our neighbor’s Derby party on Saturday too; it was complete with delicious mint juleps and fantastic hats. And how about this gorgeous combination of purple parrot tulips, white freesia, and white lilacs – swoon… I made this photo collage for Mother’s Day with photos of my beautiful Mom. Bring on the gingham, patios, and sunshine!

The most gorgeous parrot tulip, freesia, lilac combo I've ever seen!

Bring on the gingham, patios, & sunshine! ☀️

by Valerie | 05.09.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

dreamy hellebores

Last weekend brought us absolutely perfect spring weather and many of the trees here are now in full bloom; spring in Michigan, while it can be unpredictable, is truly a thing of beauty! Our Hellebores in our side yard are stunning and we picked up some cut flowers at the Farmer’s Market this weekend too. I’m still trying to figure out how to properly use my old school, Polaroid camera – this shot pictured in the photo above came out good though and I almost had to stop myself from drooling over how pretty these flowers are… In other news, Melody is still adorable and an expert at napping!

dreamy hellebores

zzz...

by Valerie | 04.18.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Photography, Princess Puppy Pants | 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 »

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 »

Easter brunch

Easter Brunch 2016

We enjoyed a delicious Easter brunch at home, complete with what has become our traditional Easter menu of frittata (we made this one with cilantro, roasted poblano pepper, bell pepper, and onion) and savory swirls (we made this batch with store-bought biscuit dough and used this to flavor the Upton’s Chorizo Seitan), as well as roasted asparagus with lemon zest, breakfast potatoes, and the cutest little petit fours we picked up at a local market here in town. The Lenten Rose/Hellebore in my yard is doing very well and I was delighted to be able to cut and bring in several blooms to enjoy in vases in our house. It was sunny and not too cold out, so we enjoyed a bit of time outside in our patio chairs listening to the birds sing. Wishing you all a very happy Easter Sunday!

Easter Brunch 2016b

Easter Brunch 2016a

Hellebores

by Valerie | 03.27.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

Pi/pie, green, & spring

💗

Last Monday, 3/14, was Pi Day and we celebrated by ordering a pizza pie for dinner and enjoying an apple pie for dessert. We remembered to wear our green for St. Patrick’s Day last Thursday too; even Melody had some green in her collar, so we all avoided getting pinched. We made these Blue Apron meals at home (you can view photos here) over the last week: Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon & Brussels Sprouts, Baked Jerk Tofu & Smashed Plantains with Garlic-Ginger Collard Greens, Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing (we did fried eggs in place of the hard-boiled eggs), and Mushroom & Poblano Pepper Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese & Avocado-Radish Salsa (we substituted zucchini for the mushrooms, due to allergy). And, as of yesterday, it is officially spring; I really enjoyed our walks with Melody over the weekend, seeing daffodil and crocus blooms, little green shoots coming up from the ground for tulips and lilies, etc., buds on the trees, the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue, and coming across this sweet little sidewalk chalk message pictured above. We picked up some cheery yellow daffodils and white tulips for the house, along with a beautiful purple arrangement I took home from a work event filled with stock, waxflower, and lovely, pale purple roses.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes... Happy first day of spring!

event flowers

by Valerie | 03.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

spring forward

tulips

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here recently and even pulled out the grill for the first time this year for dinner last night, but as we set our clocks ahead an hour for the time change today, we woke up to cooler temperatures and rain outside – which made it a perfect day to make this for lunch. Now seems like a good time for a rainy Sunday nap on the couch, or for watching a good movie under a warm blanket, or both! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this Thursday, I couldn’t resist picking up this sweet little Oxalis plant, some Bells of Ireland, and a big bunch of tulips. The crocus and snowdrops are blooming in our neighborhood and the buds on my lilac bushes in the backyard are getting bigger every day – there are signs of spring everywhere.

bells of Ireland

oxalis

by Valerie | 03.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

outside/inside

snow day

Outside: Winter Storm Petros is blowing through the area and has been doing so since yesterday morning. The world is a lovely blanket of white and the snow is still falling…

Inside: We stopped at the grocery store on the way home yesterday to pick up fresh bread, soup, beer, chocolate cake, and some lovely mini daffodils. It may be winter outside, but I’ve got a little spring inside where it’s warm and cozy. Speaking of cozy, look at this little little sweetie all curled up by my feet. Also, I can’t get enough of this blanket!

my buddy & me

a little spring for this winter day #apartmenttherapy

by Valerie | 02.25.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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