late summer in nw michigan

We spent about a week and half in beautiful Lake Ann, MI; one of us was there to work, and the other was just along for the ride (and the gorgeous scenery!), and Maddy…well, Maddy was there to be Maddy! We enjoyed a few day trips to Traverse City, including catching a Traverse City Film Festival midnight showing of Anna and the Apocalypse at the State Theater, and spent a few hours at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was wonderful to get away for a bit, listen to the sound of the loons calling out, sit around a campfire (s’mores!),…and with views like this, what’s not to love?

sunset #puremichigan #sunset

Lake Ann, MI

Lake Ann, MI #puremichigan

happy hiking pup #bordercolliemix #bordercollie

Sleeping Bear Dunes

#traversecityfilmfestival #tcff

You can view photos from our trip here.

by Valerie | 08.13.18 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy, Travel | No Comments »

summertime

summertime patio eats #hotdogsandfrenchfries #patioeats

“Summertime” brings to mind so many wonderful things, like…this…and this…and “I carried a watermelon.”

Being the native Texan that I am, I am all-too-familiar with hot summer weather (or “super summer” as my Mom likes to call it)…where they have days on end of 100+ temps and little to no rain. While we haven’t officially hit 100 degrees here in SE Michigan (and typically don’t, thank goodness!), it has been in the upper 90s lately with a heat index of 100+ and combined with the high humidity it’s felt sweltering to me.

There are many things to love about the summer (for Ryan, the hot weather is one of them)… all that sunshine and so many hours of daylight, lightning bugs/fireflies, the food (fresh watermelon, popsicles, ice cream, everything on the grill, etc.), patio dining, cold drinks, and I convinced Ryan that we needed a kiddie pool to dip our toes into on especially hot days while enjoying our backyard! Hope you’re enjoying your summer and all the season has to offer.

#sundayfunday #tongueout #bordercollie #bordercolliemix

by Valerie | 07.02.18 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Memorial Day weekend

this #pearlbeer bottle opener belonged to my Mema & Granddaddy - my Granddaddy fought for our country in WWII, thank you to all who have served #memorialday

The Pearl Beer bottle opener pictured above belonged to my Mema and Granddaddy. In March of 1942, my Granddaddy enlisted in the U.S. Army; on June 6, 1944, he – along with the brave soldiers of the 4th and 90th Division – stormed Utah Beach in Normandy, France. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Arrowhead, Five Bronze Stars for five major battles, three Overseas Bars and the French Legion of Honor Medal in addition to several other commendations. He lived to be 94 years old and I am so honored to have known him and to call him family. Thank you to all who have served.

Long, holiday weekends are heavenly…yet somehow, they never seem to be quite long enough; we thoroughly enjoyed ours and squeezed in a movie, lots of r&r, grilling, some more planting in our garden and yard (Bartzella Itoh Peony, Cascade Azalea, a few more herbs, and a mosquito plant), and – even with temps in the 90s here in May (that’s hot for MI in May!) – we spent a good amount of time outside enjoying our backyard patio space.

Speaking of things we enjoy…Ryan and I enjoy beer, I’ve been curious to try our hand at homebrewing, and we also enjoy a good DIY project on occasion – so we took the first step towards this and bought this book about it. We plan on reading up on it first and then we’ll see where that takes us; I’m excited at the possibility of creating our own homebrew, with a healthy dose of reality that this won’t be easy to do and will take a good deal of patience and practice to hopefully, eventually be successful at (fingers crossed!). My Dad shared with me that my Granddaddy once tried homebrewing and that it didn’t turn out that well for him – lol! I’m hopeful there will be more to come on this for us, stay tuned…

You can view more photos from our Memorial Day weekend here.

#gottowearshades #memorialdayweekend #bordercolliemix #bordercollie

by Valerie | 05.29.18 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

spring sprung fun

after a very long winter, it suddenly feels like spring 🌼 #spring #springhassprung

EMU and UM have had their commencement ceremonies, the weather has FINALLY warmed, and we’ve had some windy, rainy days here in A2; the forsythia and hellebore are blooming in our yard, and while my lilacs are usually on their way out by now they are just starting to form flower buds and I’m looking forward to their intoxicating smell and beautiful color soon to come! We’re looking forward to a Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday (also Cinco de Mayo), among other fun celebrations, and a little bit of travel soon too. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’m already planning out our garden beds and what we’ll want to plant for our summer garden in my mind. We’ve been enjoying more outside time with Maddy and nice walks in and around the area… Did I mention that it’s been a very long, cold winter? So happy to have the spring again!

#throwthefrisbee #bordercollie #bordercolliemix

Maddy is unaware of the concept of personal space when it comes to us and it’s both adorable and often times hilarious

morning wake up call by Maddy #boop #boopmynose #bordercollie #bordercolliemix

by Valerie | 05.04.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

#NationalPuppyDay

baby Maddy wishes you a happy #NationalPuppyDay #bordercollie #bordercolliemix #glbcr #greatlakesbordercollierescue

Happy #NationalPuppyDay to you!!! Sandy, the wonderful woman who fostered, loved, and cared for our dog Maddy before we adopted her through Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue, was kind enough to share the above photo with us of Maddy as a young pup – my heart melts for those spots and those big ears! We are so lucky to share our lives with the amazing rescue dog that Maddy is, and before her with Melody (who was also a rescue dog), and we are looking forward to participating in this years HSHV Walk & Wag on May 19th and showing our support for the amazing work that our local Humane Society does.

“A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

dog nap

by Valerie | 03.23.18 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

Happy St. Patrick’s Day #stpatricksday #bellsofireland

We enjoyed an exciting weekend of March Madness watching (this shot and this dunk – wow!) and a fun St. Patrick’s Day last Saturday; we cheered on the Red Raiders with a Guinness in hand and are thrilled to see them advance to the Sweet 16! We were sure to wear our green (even Maddy)…and red and black (Wreck ‘Em!)…and we enjoyed a delicious, homemade, holiday-appropriate meal of Bangers and Mash with Irish Cheddar and Irish Soda Bread. By some miracle, my bracket isn’t completely busted yet and I’m holding out hope that the final game will be a matchup between Texas Tech and Michigan…anything can happen! This makes me laugh.

#stpatricksday #MarchMadness #WreckEm #texastechbasketball #guinness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🍀 #stpatricksday

by Valerie | 03.19.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

in like a lion


@universityflowershop putting a little spring in our step 🌷🌸😍 #springiscoming

Much to my disbelief, somehow it’s March 1st today and it is definitely coming “in like a lion”; while it was 60 degrees here earlier this week, today we’re under a winter weather advisory with up to 6 inches of snow possible. I can only hope this means that March will be going “out like a lamb” and have treated myself to some lovely spring things from my local flower shop; I happily trudged through the slushy, snowy mess with some cheery daffodils in a pretty new pot this afternoon to soothe my frazzled winter nerves. Another thing I have to lift my spirits is my sweet, adorable Maddy – just look at this face below! And in 19 days it will officially be spring!

Tuesday night is alright #bordercollie #bordercolliemix #glbcr #greatlakesbordercollierescue ⚫️⚪️💗

by Valerie | 03.01.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

putting the val in valentine’s day

Happy Valentine’s Day 🌹💗 #valentinesday #roses

This Valentine’s Day I was hit with a stomach bug – yuck; however, we made the best of it and stayed home beside our cozy fire and enjoyed watching It Happened One Night (1934) (which, while old, was new to me), exchanged cards, and Ryan gave me a beautiful bouquet of roses (pictured above). Maddy was sure to let me know she loves me too with a few nose nibbles (this is NOT the most flattering angle for me, but she’s so sweet and I had to share); you’ve got to appreciate that puppy love! I hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with love and happy memories.

by Valerie | 02.15.18 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

super/puppy bowl

maddy puppy bowl xiv

Ryan and I never watch NFL games, except of course once a year during the Super Bowl; we aren’t fans of any particular NFL team either, so it’s kind of nice to be a neutral party where that’s concerned. I have to say that this year’s game was quite enjoyable and, in my opinion, Justin Timberlake did not disappoint with the halftime show…I mean, that thing he does with the mic stand (I don’t care if it was tied down, it’s still the coolest) – wow! And then, of course, there are all the clever commercials; this one and this one (I’m a sucker for Dirty Dancing) were a few of my favorites this year. Honestly, for me, the highlight of my Super Bowl Sunday is watching the Puppy Bowl; I had fun creating my own Puppy Bowl trading cards (here and here) and I believe this year’s dogs were all rescues from different natural disaster zones which makes it even more heart-warming. Maddy seemed to enjoy watching too; here’s her pre-game warm up.

by Valerie | 02.05.18 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

oh, whoa, whoa, she’s a lady

Oh, whoa, whoa, she's a lady #crossyourlegs #actlikealady #bordercollie #bordercolliemix #glbcr #greatlakesbordercollierescue

With a winter weather advisory in effect and 3-5 inches of snow accumulation possible here today, these sweet, pink blooms and this adorable pup make my home feel even cozier and all the more inviting. Also, I love that Maddy has a habit of crossing her legs when she’s laying down – she’s my little lady. I’m looking forward to heading home this evening and enjoying a hot bowl of Butternut Squash & Poblano Chili with Toasted Pepitas & Charred Lime for dinner, likely curled up by the fire with a movie on. The Breakfast Club just happened to be on last night so we watched it of course; maybe another John Hughes movie – Pretty in Pink, anyone?

fruit & floral

pretty in pink #gardenrose

by Valerie | 01.29.18 | Around our home, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

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