deck the halls

#deckthehalls

We spent the weekend decorating our home for the holidays; we picked up our fresh evergreen wreath from the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, stopped by Downtown Home & Garden for some amaryllis bulbs and enjoyed their Annual Christmas Party, and put up our tree and decorations at home. Maddy wasn’t sure what to think of our spinner ornaments on the tree at first (see video here and here), but she seems to have gotten used to them now…lol. As Lucy says, “You know, deck them halls and all that stuff…”

Happy December 1st! #deckthehalls

Christmas Party @downtownhomeandgarden

Christmas Party @downtownhomeandgarden

by Valerie | 12.04.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Texas Turkey Day

Thanksgiving table

We traveled back home to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday week and enjoyed some delicious food and drinks, and of course most excellent company; I loved being able to put together floral arrangements and help with setting up the Thanksgiving table (Debbie’s Grandmother’s linens, silverware, and china are beautiful). We shopped, we dined, we were able to visit with family both in the Dallas area and Gatesville, we went to “ICE! and Snow Tubing” in Gaylord and Magnolia Market at The Silos in Waco, and we even squeezed in some buffalo plaid family photos at the end of our trip. It was a treat to have an early celebration of Graham’s first birthday too while we were there together. You can view more photos from our trip here.

Gaylord Texan Hotel

Magnolia Market

#birthdayboy

Family1

by Valerie | 11.28.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween 🎃

Happy Halloween! We put together this fun sign stand with chalk paint and carved up this cute little foam pumpkin to serve candy from so that trick-or-treaters can help themselves to candy on our front lawn. As our 1-year old, rescue, border collie mix pup, Maddy, can be reactive and likely wouldn’t do well with strangers (dressed in costumes at that) ringing our doorbell or knocking on our door most of the night we thought this would be a nice alternative. We’ll set it up on a pedestal with a blinking light inside to illuminate our jack-o-lantern tonight. Hope your holiday is frightfully fun!

by Valerie | 10.31.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

All Hallows’ Eve

Happy Halloween

Pictured above are some of our Halloween costumes from past years. We plan on having a low-key Halloween this year, just Ryan, Maddy, and I at home by our fire with a Halloween movie marathon on the TV and plenty of delicious treats to enjoy. Below are some holiday-themed items for your enjoyment:

Hope your Halloween is frightfully fun!

Trick or Treat

by Valerie | 10.30.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

fall fields

It still doesn’t feel like fall in Michigan, we had high temps in the 80s over the weekend; but it certainly is looking like fall here which is nice. We spent all afternoon on Sunday raking and picking up seed pods that have fallen out of our locust tree and leaves in our yard. We also planted our rose bush in the backyard, which I hope will do well over the winter and bloom again in the spring/summer next year. It was nice to spend some time sprucing up the house, both inside and out, and put out a few decorations for Halloween. And with Halloween in mind…

Maddy will just close her eyes through the scary parts. 😉

#doglife

by Valerie | 10.09.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

fun on the 4th

Untitled

We had a nice, long, fun holiday weekend and filled our 4th of July with lots of sparklers, great company, and delicious eats and drinks; we enjoyed using our bag toss game and patio umbrella for the first time this season too! On Monday, we stopped by our favorite neighborhood brewery and treated ourselves to a couple cold ones on the patio – Maddy was all smiles; we are enjoying taking her out and about and socializing her in different surroundings when we can. Here’s our little blue grill, smoking away on the 4th. Hope you had a happy 4th!

😄

by Valerie | 07.06.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

Henry Ford Museum

We enjoyed a full day at The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village on Friday; the House Industries Exhibit was fun to walk through and we enjoyed all the rides at the Village as well. You can view photos and videos of our visit here.

We managed (with help from a friend – thank you, friend!!!) to get all 16 of the holes dug in our backyard to place the fence posts into on Saturday; looking forward to finishing that project and appreciating how hard DIY work can be sometimes! This experience has definitely taught me a few things:

  1. I’m not as strong as I would like to be (or thought I was) and/or I may have underestimated how difficult manning a 2-person auger really is.
  2. Having friends/family who are willing to give up an entire Saturday afternoon to help you dig 16 very deep holes in your backyard is invaluable.
  3. Ryan’s strength and focus when it comes to projects like this never ceases to amaze and impress me!

After all that hard work and heavy lifting (the 2-person auger we rented to get the job done weighed 71 pounds without the bit or extension attachment!) on Saturday, it was especially nice to spend some time resting inside our home on Sunday…here’s Maddy peeking in from the kitchen in the photo below.

Home

Last, but not least, wishing my wonderful Dad a very happy Father’s Day!

Dad8

by Valerie | 06.19.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | 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 »

Kiss me, I’m 9% Irish

St. Patrick's Day

I’ve always been fascinated with ancestry and I was thrilled to take the AncestryDNA test this last year and learn that I am officially 9% Irish myself. My third great grandmother, Jane Catherwood, was born in Derry, Cavan, Ireland and her family was from Northern Ireland. So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, I am of course wearing green and I will raise a glass and say “Sláinte” for my family and friends. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

have a Guinness

by Valerie | 03.17.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

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