#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 »

super leftover yum yum

cranberry sauce pancakes & fresh apple cider mimosa

What to do with all that leftover fresh cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, you ask? Whip up some delicious pancakes (this is the preferred pancake mix at our house) and top them with your leftover cranberry sauce (here’s one recipe)! And serving them up with a fresh apple cider mimosa can’t hurt either. Thanksgiving leftovers just keep getting better…

cranberry sauce pancakes & fresh apple cider mimosa

by Valerie | 11.26.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

Thank-Full Thanksgiving

kitchen table 11/19/16

With Thanksgiving just three days away, Ryan and I are getting ready for a quiet, cozy, Thanksgiving at home this year, and we are looking forward to cooking some delicious food together; I always enjoy all the yummy eats, followed by decorating our home for Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend! Below are some things that will be on our Thanksgiving table this year. What’s cooking in your home for the holiday?

Deviled Eggs with Bacon & Capers
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Liquor
Blackened Turkey Breast (prepared with a dry rub and grilled)
Gravy
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Herbs
Rolls
Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream

For some Turkey Day fun, you might enjoy taking a look at these:

Now that the weather has turned here in Ann Arbor, and we had our first snowfall last weekend, it’s extra nice to curl up by our fireplace too. I wish you a warm Thanksgiving, full of love, friends and family, happy memories, and delicious treats!

by Valerie | 11.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Recipes | 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 »

Halloween weekend

Trick or Treat

Halloween is almost here and with the holiday ahead in mind, here are some Halloween-themed goodies for your enjoyment:

DIY Halloween masks

by Valerie | 10.28.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Labor Day Weekend

Wreck 'em Tech!!!

Hope you all enjoyed a fun and exciting, as well as restful and relaxing, Labor Day Weekend! Ours consisted of college football (Melody is pictured above supporting our team…although we weren’t happy to find that the channel they were airing the Texas Tech game on here was showing a Tigers game instead and we couldn’t see the game live on TV until almost the end of the 3rd quarter; my brother says we can fix that by moving to Lubbock!), yard work, movies at home, and some delicious cooking. We used our garden peppers to make hot sauce and pickled jalapenos and Ryan made some delicious guacamole with one of our garden habanero peppers and this Blue Apron meal (pictured below) for dinner last night – yum! It’s official, summer is over and there are signs of fall everywhere – football, mums, Oktoberfest beer, etc. – although you wouldn’t think it given the summer-like weather we’re experiencing today in Ann Arbor. Here’s to changing seasons and guacamole…always guacamole!

Summer Vegetable & Queso Tostadas with Fairy Tale Eggplants #blueapron

by Valerie | 09.06.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

family fun

4th

We enjoyed a fun 4th of July week with my parents who drove up to visit us from Texas this year; we visited the American Museum of Magic and Dark Horse Brewing Co in Marshall, MI, had dinner at Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo (my mouth is still watering over their fried green tomatoes…not to mention the delicious beer), saw the Beatles exhibit at Henry Ford Museum, and Ryan cooked up some delicious eats like waffles with homemade Michigan blueberry compote for breakfast and fajitas for dinner. We’re having fun with this new-to-us photo app, Prisma, which Ryan used to edit some of our photos from the 4th; you can view more photos from our time with my family here.

4th

Henry Ford Museum - Beatles Exhibit

if it fits it sits

I have been enjoying listening to these song remakes lately, like 99 problems and No Diggity and Jolene (there are some fun ones listed here too); Johnny Cash can do no wrong. We’ve been taking lots of long walks all around town and throughout the local parks – the summer is flying by, but is definitely lovely here in Michigan!

Summertime in A2

by Valerie | 07.17.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

red, white, and blue

USA

I’m excited to have my parents coming up to visit us over the holiday weekend and through next week! With the holiday weekend upon us, I’ve got all things red, white, and blue on my mind – like these lovely red roses, white snapdragons, and blue thistle on my kitchen table pictured in the photo above.

Here are some fun, holiday appropriate items for your viewing pleasure:

Happy 4th!

by Valerie | 07.01.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing you all a (belated) happy Father’s Day; celebrating those dads who are still with us and remembering those who are no longer here – love to all of our dads!

Family7

Molloy Family Photos

Molloy Family Photos

by Valerie | 06.20.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

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