suddenly, it’s October


Suddenly, it’s October; it seems as though it snuck up on me somehow. Ryan did an artist talk at Savannah College of Art & Design this week and our friend, Lisa Waud, is doing this amazing project and was featured on Martha Stewart…hey, I know them! In other news, the fall weather is still really beautiful here and there’s definitely that cool, crisp, fall nip in the air; I’m just itching to turn on our fireplace for the first time this season and I might just have to do that over the weekend. I’m loving Oktoberfest this time of the year (Wolverine and Great Lakes make a good one!) and the amazing selection of antique apples here in Michigan too – we picked up an assorted bag of them at a local grocery store the other day. Finally, I wish you all a very happy college football weekend…unless you’re routing for Baylor, in which case I really hope you lose (go Red Raiders, wreck ’em Tech)! fall leaves

by Valerie | 10.02.15 | Around town, For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

a goat, a train, and a flower

😍 antique hydrangea 😍My week included a visit to Cornman Farms (I pet a goat [they name all of their goats there], picked some lavender, and did you know they host cocktail classes there once a month?…It was hard to leave when it was time to go!), an impromptu dinner date with Ryan at Sidetracks (we sat on the patio, right next to the train tracks, and watched a train speed by us), and this absolutely stunning antique hydrangea in the photo above (they’re only available for a very short time of the year here and I can’t get enough of them – they’re enormous and the color is amazing). Zingerman's Cornman Farms

pet a goat, picked some lavender - it was a good daydinner date at Sidetrack

by Valerie | 08.21.15 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

basement stairsI’m so excited to say that we’ve now completed our basement stair beautification project…at least that’s what I’m going to call it. The red oak wood stain on the treads and Benjamin Moore super white paint really made a big difference; I’d say they have come a long way from this to this and this. I was so happy about it, when we finished painting yesterday, that I kept saying we had “sexy stairs”. Now, hopefully in the next couple months, we can finish having work done to our basement, get all the walls painted white, and say goodbye to the mint chocolate chip green color that’s currently in the space. We managed to make it to the Art Fair last weekend, picked our first four ripe tomatoes from the garden, and I cut some hosta leaves and hydrangea from our yard as well to enjoy inside – enjoying the summer weather and our summer garden/yard! (bowl and vase by Abigail Murray) first 4 ripe garden tomatoes of the season (bowl by @abigailmurraystudio)!

hosta & hydrangea from our yard & vase by @abigailmurraystudio

garden goodies & vase/bowl by @abigailmurraystudio

by Valerie | 07.20.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

Easter/birthday weekend

birthday cake with sprinkles

I enjoyed a really great birthday weekend, full of celebration and fun activities, and thoughtful gifts and wishes from family and friends too – thank you all for making me feel so special! The Birthday Cake at Sava’s is pretty amazing…and it’s on their regular dessert menu so you can enjoy it anytime you visit (this could be good or bad, depending on how strong your willpower is). I don’t think I went a day from Thursday on last week without having some sort of delicious sweet treat – cake, cupcakes, pie, candy, etc. – even the salad I ordered for lunch on Friday had bacon toffee on it (and it was amazing).

We ended our fun weekend with a lovely Easter afternoon brunch (complete with egg dyeing), which Ryan made an excellent vegetarian hash for, followed by a tasty dinner of casarecce pasta with roasted asparagus, grape tomatoes, and fresh basil. And there’s still a pile of Easter chocolates and candy on our kitchen table, a pretty spring-appropriate shade of nail polish, and some beautiful tulips, daffodils, and roses around our house for me to continue to enjoy. We had some rain/thunderstorms last week and I spied pots of pansies for sale around town over the weekend too – more sure signs of spring!

Happy Easter

Easter 2015

by Valerie | 04.06.15 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

sunset 3/27/15

We enjoyed the Animated Films in Competition showing at the AAFF last Friday, as well as this lovely sunset view from the parking deck rooftop. My flowers of the week are pink roses, dark purple hellebores, and pink waxflower. And I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to these jelly beans…they’re really, really tasty!

kitchen flowers 3/28/15: wax flower & hellebores

kitchen flowers 3/28/15: wax flower & hellebores

And Melody strikes a classic pose…


by Valerie | 03.30.15 | Around our home, Around town, 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


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 »

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


Easy like Sunday morning

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

weekend haps

Hydrangeas and mini daffodils

We celebrated our anniversary last week with dinner (at Grange) and drinks (at Ravens Club) out on the town; cheers to 14 years! And we spent a nice weekend of mostly just relaxing at home, cleaning house, and picking up some fresh flowers to help warm up the place during this chilly, winter weather – amaryllis in full bloom, mini daffodils in a shiny gold pot, and hydrangeas seem to be doing the trick for the time being!

Amaryllis full bloom

Cheers to 14 years!

by Valerie | 01.19.15 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »


Dinner at Red Hawk

Doesn’t this look warm and cozy? We had a nice dinner out with friends on Saturday evening and a local restaurant where I snapped this photo. It’s a good thing I have this photo to look at and a toasty space heater by my desk to keep me warm, because it’s currently 10 degrees out (but it feels like -5) and it’s looking like it will be a very cold week here with some snow too. It’s my first day back to work from the holiday break, it’s a Monday, and the high today is a whopping 14 degrees…thank goodness for layers and coffee. #winterainteasy

by Valerie | 01.05.15 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »


our view here this morning...

The photo above was taken looking out our guest room window this morning… And, on that note, I’ve come up with a plan to help us make it through another Michigan winter, more for my own amusement than anything; I’ll post things that happen (or silly things that Ryan says/does – this happens more often than not!) in relation to the winter and the cold weather with “#winterainteasy” so that I can keep track of them throughout the season. Things like this…

  • I just witnessed Ryan unlock his cell phone by entering the passcode with his nose.
  • Ryan just mowed the lawn (in his shorts) in the snow…

In other, non #winterainteasy news, we saw some pretty spectacular skies last week, picked up some lovely holiday greens from the farmer’s market (I love my boxwood wreath!), and were able to tackle a good house cleaning in preparation for Mom to arrive this Friday.

Sunset 11/10/14

Holiday greens

Holiday greens

by Valerie | 11.17.14 | Around our home, For Funsies | 1 Comment »

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