sunshine and pretty, pink peonies

peony power

It actually snowed here this last week, but my dear friend Jennifer Reedy had this to say and it’s so beautiful and so quotable that I wanted to pass it along: “It was such a soft April snow. So vulnerable that most of it would collapse and dissolve into the earth almost immediately, so fragile it would be obliterated instantly upon contact with warm skin. So delicate and so very fleeting, I thought it beautiful and poignant. These clusters of snowflakes cascading down from the clouds that bore them, with only that brief journey through the atmosphere to exist within. It seemed a little sad, but also peaceful. No part of me felt anything at all akin to “ugh” while watching it. Things begin and things end, and we are at that crossroad in a season of change. So don’t fret Val, spring cannot be stopped now. Vibrant colors have burst forth by way of flowers blooming and the buds are growing every day on the trees and shrubs, as you know.”

Unrelated, but this had me laughing – it’s important to remember…things could always be worse…you could be dead on Mars.

It’s wonderful to witness the change in seasons – with the arrival of spring blooms and signs of growth all around, the sunshine seems somehow extra special this time of year. Our forsythia is blooming, and I see that our lilacs will bloom soon too which I find myself looking forward to each spring. They even had some beautiful pink peonies, which I was happy to take home with me, at the grocery store this week; I’m hoping the peony we planted last spring will come back this year (fingers crossed).

peony power

Even my purple shamrock is blooming…

Soaking up some sunshine

by Valerie | 04.26.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

Spring!

Lenten Rose

While Ann Arbor, MI still has the potential for frost through early-mid May (meaning we won’t be planting anything outdoors until mid-May at the earliest), it is definitely looking/feeling like spring and the change is weather is much welcomed! Last Friday and Saturday were perfection – sunshine and highs in the 70’s. We took advantage of the weather by cleaning out our garage, placing out (and buying some new) our patio furniture, doing some outdoor chores on our home, and firing up the grill for the first time this year. I was so excited to see the forsythia in our yard in full bloom as of last Friday and my Lenten rose plants are looking lovely as well; it’s so nice to be able to cut flowers and plants from our yard and enjoy them in vases inside the house this time of year and throughout the spring/summer. We’re already starting to plan for and think about all the wonderful things we’ll be planting in our garden boxes soon.

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Forsythia

As we were waiting in line to purchase our new patio furniture, we conveniently had a place to sit while we waited – here’s Ryan enjoying one of our new chairs; coming soon, a DIY table in the making…

found some patio chairs we like - bonus is that while waiting in checkout line there's conveniently a place to sit

by Valerie | 04.20.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

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 »

spring forward

Sunday morning breakfast view

Daylight Saving Time went into effect over the weekend and we were sure to “spring forward”. Speaking of spring…the weather finally seems to be heading in the right direction here as highs are moving up into the 40’s and 50’s, we’ve enjoyed some lovely sunshine, and the ice and snow are beginning to melt; I’m already looking forward to when we can begin planting our summer garden and spending some time outside again – I tend to hibernate and stay in as much as possible during the winter months, so spring is always a much-welcomed change. I was sure to take advantage of the tulip sale that Whole Foods had on Friday – 3 bunches of tulips for only $10 – so I bought myself 6 bunches of course…I can’t resist!

Melody is still enjoying eating the snow, no matter how much we tell her not to do that (you never know what may be in the snow) or how much we fill up her water bowl, but I’m hoping it will be gone before too long and we’ll start to see some grass and bulbs coming up for the spring soon. The sweet little grape muscari bulbs that I’ve got in a pot in our house are starting to flower. Sunny, late afternoon cocktails at our place looks like this. And Melody makes a good model, as always!

Tulip sale at Whole Foods - 3 bunches for $10...so I bought 6! 💐

heads up

action shot

by Valerie | 03.09.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

bar, bulbs, blooms, and birds

"Shotgun Wedding" at Bar

We kicked off our weekend with drinks at Bar (yes, that’s what it’s called – simple, to the point, and easy to remember); I had the drink in the photo above, which they named “Shotgun Wedding”, and it was tasty (as I find all their cocktails to be)! I especially enjoyed the way it looked here in the sunlight…making me think of, and wish for, warmer days… Which brings me to these bulbs in the photo below – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love to buy bulbs and place them around the house in the winter; they’re pretty great for many reasons, not only do they last longer than cut flowers, they also remind me that spring will come eventually, and these teeny tiny little muscari were too cute to pass up! And I had fun redesigning this flower arrangement from what I had originally put together with tulips from our friends Mark & Amy; tulips remind me of spring and spring makes me happy! The big excitement at our house this weekend was having a bird get in and us trying to encourage it to fly out a strategically opened window – which it eventually did and was seemingly unharmed in the process I’m happy to report; whew…even the birds are over this winter, it seems! #winterainteasy

Muscari

tulips & mums

We enjoyed a lovely sunset on Saturday – cold, but lovely…

Sunset 2/28/15

by Valerie | 03.01.15 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

pink skies, pancake wishes, & puppy dreams

winter sunset

The sunset here was pretty spectacular last Saturday; I enjoyed watching the sky change to pink and for a brief while the whole world had a rosy glow to it. I was lucky enough to wake up Sunday morning and have Ryan whip up some dreamy blackberry pancakes for me too! Speaking of dreamy…I wonder what Melody dreams about?

blackberry pancakes for breakfast at home this morning

by Valerie | 02.11.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

easy like Sunday morning

Easy like Sunday morning

Our friend Lisa Waud (of Pot & Box) recommended we visit Graye’s Greenhouse and we finally got around to it yesterday; what a lovely place it is – I was like a kid in a candy store! The staff/owners that work there are so kind and it’s such a beautiful and charming place to be on a cold January day (or any day I’m sure!); we left with several plants in hand, including a few succulents (one of them is so itsy bitsy and so darn cute that I couldn’t resist taking it home with me), a lovely lime-scented geranium, and a few Calathea. We also found a pretty hanging ivy and a yucca plant after a few other stops, before heading home. It’s so nice to have beautiful, green plants to help make our house feel like a home. Melody and I were enjoying the new additions this Sunday morning – and a little Lionel Richie certainly didn’t hurt; I love Sunday mornings at home.

lime scented geranium

itsy bitsy

ivy

Easy like Sunday morning

by Valerie | 01.25.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Outside/Inside

1/12/15

It’s cold outside (high of 13 on the 13th – #winterainteasy), but it’s cozy inside…and these over the knee boot socks I’m wearing certainly don’t hurt (I have a hard time resisting a good sweater knit)! Hope you’re staying warm in this wintry weather. Bonus: Ryan surprised me with these beautiful, white spray roses, for our anniversary.

cozy stripes

Home sweet home

14th

by Valerie | 01.13.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields…”

Icy Window

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Icy window

by Valerie | 01.11.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

Merry Christmas to all…

Christmas pup

…and to all a good night!

Christmas pup

by Valerie | 12.24.14 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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