deck them halls

deck them halls

We spent yesterday afternoon decorating our home for Christmas, which always brings me joy; we’ve got our Farmer’s Market evergreen wreath on the door, our tree is up, and the Christmas Cactus my parents gave me several years ago is blooming again! I can’t help but think of this clip from Charlie Brown Christmas and smile…

by Valerie | 11.26.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | 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 »

beauty & kindness in the everyday

serenity now

I always do my best to appreciate beauty in the everyday and to be kind to those around me; it’s all around us, if we just look… Like this late-afternoon light coming through the window in my den, and the beautiful shadows it casts, that fall on the wall where this piece of art hangs (which was a gift from a dear friend) in the video above; this gives me peace and makes me smile. Here’s a quote that really stood out to me today about beauty and kindness –

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

We leave you a tradition with a future.
The tender loving care of human beings will never become obsolete.
People even more than things have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed and redeemed and redeemed.
Never throw out anybody.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Your “good old days” are still ahead of you, may you have many of them.”
― Sam Levenson, In One Era & Out the Other

by Valerie | 11.11.16 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

DIY dog bowl table

pup table

Our sweet dog, Melody, is 15 – going on 16 – years old (in human years) and we thought that elevating her food and water bowls might be helpful and more comfortable for her; so Ryan managed to put together a quick, simple but stylish solution with some wood we had sitting around in our garage. I think Melody approves!

this is how we make a dog bowl table #myhusbandisthebest

those eyes

by Valerie | 06.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

weekend haps

DIY outdoor table with built in cooler trays ✔️

We managed to refinish all of our outdoor furniture (two Adirondack chairs, one side table) and we rebuilt our outdoor table with built in cooler trays over the weekend too; it was so nice to sit outside and enjoy our backyard with friends on Memorial Day! Our garden is all planted and I’m loving all the flowers in pots – I mean…just look at these sunny yellow zinnias and roses. And we really enjoyed dinner and drinks at Salt Springs Brewery in Saline on Friday; the building is over 100 years old and was a former church – the stained glass windows are beautiful and the food and drinks were delicious.

our yard/garden 5/29/16

yellow zinnia

by Valerie | 05.31.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

#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

#got

We had a great weekend and beautiful weather here in A2; we finally visited the Ann Arbor Distilling Company for some fantastic cocktails (the “rise & shine” was my personal favorite) and an impromptu tour of the space, enjoyed getting together with friends, tackled some yard work and gave our metal patio chairs a fresh coat of “field green” paint, had my first hamburger on the grill at home this year, and saw the new season of Game of Thrones premiere on Sunday night (I couldn’t resist getting this cake in honor of the premiere – “Winter is coming”). We’ll be re-making our patio table from last summer soon (see post on that here), as some of the wood didn’t weather well, and I’m looking forward to fun times spent outdoors this spring and summer!

greyhound

A2

fresh coat for summer!

by Valerie | 04.25.16 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | 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 »

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 »

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