I can see clearly now

After enjoying a delicious blueberry pancake breakfast, it was nice enough yesterday that we were able to get outside and start some yard cleanup for spring. We also managed to wash our windows on the outside which made a huge difference; I don’t know why we waited so long to do that, but it’s amazing what a difference just washing your windows can make - so nice to have some warm sunshine and clean windows to see the world through!

And today (besides being National Beer Day, Coffee Cake Day, Caramel Popcorn Day, No Housework Day, and World Health Day) is my Mom’s birthday – Happy birthday, Mom!!!

by Valerie | 04.07.14 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

Spring forward

Did you remember to set your clocks forward an hour? Another hour of daylight and warmer temperatures ahead…as Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, on 30 Rock would say, “I want to go to there.” One thing I always like to do when the seasons change is switch out our bedding – goodbye red quilt (until next winter), hello white duvet cover with a brand new grass green pillow case – it somehow make it feel more official to me. The white rabbit cookie jar with golden ears and mixed tulips on our kitchen table certainly don’t hurt either. I’m already getting excited about the forsythia and lilacs that will bloom in our yard in the coming months; happy (soon to be) spring!

by Valerie | 03.09.14 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

Bright & Shiny

On a recent Saturday at home on the couch, as I was flipping channels, I came across Bubble Boy and found myself getting sucked into it; it’s silly and ridiculous and just the sort of mindless comedy I needed at the time. Bright and shiny?

Meanwhile, in Ann Arbor, the winter weather continues…the highest predicted temp for us for the next 10 days is 26 and more snow too - just so we’re sure not to forget that winter is not over; I’m done with it, but it’s far from done with me. Which is why these bright, happy yellow spray roses and coral tulips in my kitchen help me to make it through the cold, dreary days!

We did manage to get out and make a trip to IKEA over the weekend and picked up some things to create a workspace in our basement which we were both happy with in the end (the legs gave Ryan a bit of trouble, but he won the battle!) – a large table with telescoping legs, 2 stools, a rolling storage cart, 3 lamps (for lighting over the table), and a few other things (I can’t leave without buying a plant…or 2).

by Valerie | 02.24.14 | Around our home | No Comments »

table triumph

We finally wrapped up our kitchen table project and I feel it was a smashing success. It’s now proudly in its place in our kitchen and we’re already putting it to good use. I had to share photos of our completed project…one gorgeous table, coming right up!

by Valerie | 02.02.14 | Around our home | No Comments »

Lucky 13

13 has always been a lucky number for Ryan and, since our first date and wedding were on the 13th, it is a lucky number for me too! Today, I am lucky enough to have been married to such an amazing man for 13 wonderful years and I look forward to celebrating many more.

We officially began working on our DIY project, anniversary gift, live-edge maple table this past weekend (see previous post here) - we cut it down to size, did lots of sanding, and applied the first coat of clear gel varnish on each side. I’m hopeful that by this weekend we’ll have a finished product to enjoy!

Ryan bought me these beautiful mums and hydrangeas, which I happily found a vase for, and they are brightening up our dining room table; he also made us dinner reservations at Lena tonight, which I’m really looking forward to. Happy bananaversary, baby!

by Valerie | 01.13.14 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | 1 Comment »

Winter greens

Brace yourselves for “Winter Storm Ion”. We’ve had a good bit of snow this winter already and it looks like there’ll be much more coming this weekend; luckily, we’ve got a good snow shovel and Ryan doesn’t mind the exercise. Our home feels extra cozy with these great new slippers my parents sent me as a Christmas gift, our toasty fireplace, and these beautiful winter greens I’ve scattered around the house. Our dear friend Jennifer gave us some cuttings from her tree, who she named Freyja, and my parents sent us this lovely Christmas cactus which is in full bloom and is quite the contrast to the blanket of white outside our door.

by Valerie | 01.04.14 | Around our home | No Comments »

What’s a Zebu?

We had a fun, busy, Christmasy weekend. We kicked off our weekend with some Midnight Madness fun in downtown Ann Arbor to finish up our Christmas shopping and we stopped into the Old German for a drink and to share their delicious, baked soft pretzels with spicy mustard and cheddar fondue. Downtown Home and Garden had a petting zoo for the weekend, complete with alpaca, goats, sheep, a donkey, and a zebu. The zebu had the best eyelashes! I wanted to get a good picture of the zebu, but it didn’t want to pose for me – oh well, you know how zebus can be. We hosted a holiday brunch at our home on Sunday and really enjoyed having everyone over and sharing such delicious food with friends; Ezra (who shares my love for strawberries – in fact, I’m pretty sure he loves them even more than I do) even showed me the proper way to patty-cake – thanks, Ezra! During our brunch, the snow started to fall outside (it really was perfect timing) and 3 different groups of friends at the brunch were heading directly from our place to pick out their Christmas trees.

by Valerie | 12.09.13 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | 1 Comment »

Deck the halls

Over the weekend, we did our annual it’s-Thanksgiving-weekend-let’s-decorate-the-house-for-Christmas flurry of activity; which included 1 tree, multiple strands of lights, many ornaments, 3 stockings, 2 strands of garland, 2 wreaths, 1 mistletoe ball, and various other holiday accoutrement. I will always feel like there’s something magical about sitting in a dark room enjoying the glow of Christmas tree lights…especially if there’s a warm fire nearby.

by Valerie | 12.02.13 | Around our home, Holidaze | No Comments »

Our Christmas project

We’ve been occasionally mentioning to each other, since we moved into our home back in June 2012, that it would be nice to have a table or island we could use for additional work space (at counter height) and/or a space that just the two of us could sit and eat at in our kitchen – not a necessity, just something that would be nice to have. We didn’t want anything too big and we wanted something that would fit our tastes and the needs for the space we have to fit it in. Ryan suggested we visit our local reuse center today as they have a good selection of reasonably priced and discounted hardwoods for sale; what we ended up walking away with was a very nice piece of live-edge maple (from Raven Farm) which we got a good deal on ($100 off due to a split in the wood at one end, which we’ll cut off anyway) and we’ll use to cut down and make a table for our kitchen with. This will be our big Christmas and Anniversary gift to each other and something we can enjoy for years to come.

We ordered legs for our table here and 2 stools for our table here. We even laid out the approximate space it would take up in the center of our kitchen, with painters tape, to get an idea of what it would be like in the space. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together and having another usable surface we can enjoy in our kitchen!

by Valerie | 12.01.13 | Around our home, Holidaze | No Comments »

Mums the word

Ryan brought home these beautiful mums, which I happily placed in a stoneware container my mother-in-law had given us, and they look so cheery on our coffee table. I noticed these delicious little satsumas displayed front and center at the grocery store and had to take some home with me. Also, I treated myself to these fun boot socks. Ryan cleaned our gutters and collected leaves from the yard yesterday – 12 yard waste bags and one full compost bin later, the yard looks much better!

by Valerie | 11.17.13 | Around our home | No Comments »

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