ch-ch-changes

my home improvement hero!

It’s been quite an eventful week or so… Some friends of ours welcomed a new baby boy (congrats!), other friends/colleagues of ours announced they will be moving for other job opportunities out of state (you know who you are and you will be missed!), and…Ryan was able to successfully install a new garbage disposal on our kitchen sink – while this may not seem nearly as exciting or important compared to the other items in my list, it was a big deal to us (even the nice lady at the hardware store commented that plumbing jobs always take at least two trips – but ours only took one)! Change can be hard, it can be good, and it is definitely inevitable. And just look at these daffodils… How could you look at these cheery, yellow blooms and not smile?

coffee table tray 4/11/15

Untitled

Last Saturday was National Pet Day and Melody spent it lounging around the house, getting pets, and laying in the sunshine as much as possible…which reminds me that it’s about time for us to switch out our glass insert for the screen insert on the door to the patio – looking forward to enjoying lots of sunshine, some fresh air, and open windows and doors again!

#mywestelm happy national pet day

sunning

by Valerie | 04.14.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Easter/birthday weekend

birthday cake with sprinkles

I enjoyed a really great birthday weekend, full of celebration and fun activities, and thoughtful gifts and wishes from family and friends too – thank you all for making me feel so special! The Birthday Cake at Sava’s is pretty amazing…and it’s on their regular dessert menu so you can enjoy it anytime you visit (this could be good or bad, depending on how strong your willpower is). I don’t think I went a day from Thursday on last week without having some sort of delicious sweet treat – cake, cupcakes, pie, candy, etc. – even the salad I ordered for lunch on Friday had bacon toffee on it (and it was amazing).

We ended our fun weekend with a lovely Easter afternoon brunch (complete with egg dyeing), which Ryan made an excellent vegetarian hash for, followed by a tasty dinner of casarecce pasta with roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil. And there’s still a pile of Easter chocolates and candy on our kitchen table, a pretty spring-appropriate shade of nail polish, and some beautiful tulips, daffodils, and roses around our house for me to continue to enjoy. We had some rain/thunderstorms last week and I spied pots of pansies for sale around town over the weekend too – more sure signs of spring!

Happy Easter

Easter 2015

by Valerie | 04.06.15 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

Baby shower fun!

We had the pleasure of co-hosting a beautiful baby shower for some friends of ours on Saturday; it was fun to visit with friends, the food was delicious (check out these vegan, gluten-free cake pops we made – which Ryan made these wooden stands for too!), and we even had the opportunity to get crafty by decorating onesies during the shower too. I wrapped up my weekend by napping on the floor with Melody by the fireplace – she’s a great napping buddy! Three cheers for babies, (napping) buddies, and for weekends!!!

Baby shower fun!

Baby shower fun!

Baby shower fun!

Napping buddy

by Valerie | 02.24.15 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

good luck

Happy New Year's Eve

We enjoyed a lovely New Year’s Eve with friends and followed it with a full day of house cleaning and a delicious dinner of pan-fried yellow lake perch, rosemary cornbread, roasted potatoes, and black-eyed peas (we used this recipe as a guide, but Ryan gave it his own spin). Here’s hoping that the new year brings us all plenty of good luck!

Black-eyed peas

Rosemary cornbread

by Valerie | 01.05.15 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

giving thanks, part II

Thanksgiving 2014

I know this is a bit belated (I caught a bug and was feeling under the weather last week and I’m finally feeling myself again), but we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Low, warm dinner lighting doesn’t make for the best photos of food, but it was all so delicious! I am so thankful to have such an amazing husband, who is not only the best partner I could possibly dream up but also an amazing cook. It was so nice to have our dear friends Michael and Jennifer join us for Thanksgiving dinner (and bring along that delicious apple crisp to share – yum!) with Ryan’s Mom at our house. I hope you had a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving filled with good memories as well as good eats!

Brussels Sprouts

by Valerie | 12.07.14 | Around our home, Holidaze | No Comments »

Afterhouse

Found this buried in the walls - Detroit paper from August 1946 #afterhouse

We enjoyed helping out at Afterhouse yesterday in Detroit (you can read more about Afterhouse here and here). Spent several hours of hard work for a good cause with some really great people; and, bonus, we got to hang out with the adorable Ezra too! We also met a very nice young lady who lives in the neighborhood and Ezra was really digging her beautiful braided hair – so cute! In the process of taking down some of an old wall, a paper was unearthed – Detroit Free Press dated August 24, 1946 that stated “One answer to Detroit’s housing shortage. City to get material for 10,000 homes.”

#afterhouse

#afterhouse

#afterhouse

by Valerie | 09.01.14 | For Funsies | No Comments »

“Are you ready for Ryan?”

Weather patterns

An approaching thunderstorm just looks more impressive when it’s sitting over the UM Law School, don’t you think? We enjoyed attending Nashbash 2014 in Kerrytown last week (BBQ, beer, and live music), a game of Ticket To Ride Europe – complete with Alvin and Dexter added to the game board, and our friends’ most adorable two-year old was the star of brunch on Saturday; he was very interested in counting everything together and then counting it again, he had an amazing laugh, and when he said, “Are you ready for Ryan?” we all came to understand that meant he wanted Ryan to pick him up and put him on top of his shoulders – adorable! I suppose the world must look very different for a two-year old when you’re on top of the shoulders of someone who is 6’4″ tall. And if you ever wondered what Melody might look like as a monkey…

Melody monkey

by Valerie | 08.25.14 | Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

cookie cakes & cocktails

Garden bouquet

Last week we enjoyed a cookie cake for a friend’s birthday, a Man Men cocktail night with friends, and we found some nice things at an estate sale on Saturday (including a painting and this small, clear glass pitcher I’ve used as a vase for our garden herbs and hydrangeas in the photo above). And it’s been nice to get some rain too – which our garden and yard are always happy for. We even installed a new storm door and made a couple trips to IKEA for some extra workspace setup in our basement. Melody seems to approve of our new purchases – I think she’ll especially enjoy the storm door as now she’ll have a clear view of the backyard and she can keep a close eye on the chipmunks, squirrels, and birds that may drop by; although she is a bit skeptical of the painting which is currently sitting on the floor against the wall waiting to be hung…

Pretty sky

M

Mad Men cocktail party

by Valerie | 08.18.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Deep in the heart of Texas

Sunset

We took a long 4th of July holiday and enjoyed a wonderful vacation/road trip to Texas to visit family and friends – had lots of fun, great food, and even better company during our trip! About 20 hours from our home to our final destination and then we turned around and drove back after about a week and a half – yes, that is a LONG time in the car, but we were able to bring Melody along with us which made it all worthwhile. I sometimes forget how much I miss it until I’m back there – the sky, the land, and most importantly the people we love. You can check out more photos from our trip here.

State line

Approaching storm

Fun on the 4th

Gatesville, TX

Gatesville, TX Courthouse

by Valerie | 07.09.14 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

Father’s Day weekend

Father's Day weekend 2014

The weather here has been really mild so far this summer and I have really enjoyed it – 70’s-80’s with a cool breeze and it doesn’t get much better than that! We had gorgeous weather all weekend and were lucky enough to enjoy it at an outdoor, backyard get-together at our neighbor’s home on Saturday; I loved their idea of putting iced drinks in a wheelbarrow too! And I enjoyed chatting with my Dad and my Granddaddy on the phone on Sunday; since we’re so far apart, I couldn’t see them in person, but it was nice to hear their voices. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Father's Day weekend 2014

by Valerie | 06.16.14 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

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