#GivingTuesday and gifting goodness

Present

Today is #GivingTuesday and we made a donation to our local Humane Society, which is something I always enjoy supporting. When we adopted our sweet dog, Melody, 15 years ago from a shelter in Austin, TX, they said she was a stray and she was so frightened and timid that she wouldn’t even walk on a leash…how far we’ve come! Melody continues to bring us joy and love every day and we are so lucky to have her in our lives. I hope that you will give in some way (your time, your talents, your donations, etc.) to a cause that is meaningful to you in honor of this day of giving!

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the past, and Hanukkah and Christmas fast-approaching, it’s got me thinking about all things gifting – on that note, here are a few items I recommend for holiday gifts, if you’re looking for ideas or a little inspiration:

  • Make a donation to the preferred charity of your family or friends’ choice!
  • Etsy’s gift guide
  • Our friend, Tanya, does beautiful, custom watercolor portraits (more on that here) – you’ll find her on Etsy here.
  • Our friend, Abigail, makes beautiful, handcrafted porcelain – check out her online shop here.
  • We’ve been loving using Framebridge for our framing needs lately; they’re fast, affordable, shipping is free, and they handwrite gift notes with your order!
  • Consumable gifts are always nice! Here are a few, Michigan-based ones to consider…
    • King Orchards: Ever eaten a Michigan-grown, Honeycrisp apple? If yes, then you understand; if no, you should try one!
    • Zingerman’s Mail Order: Ridiculously delicious, high-quality, mouth-watering ingredients and all things food – they’ve got mail-order gelato, breads, meats, cheeses, pantry items, sweets, etc. You can even order sandwich kits with everything you need to put one of their famous Reubens together, right in your own kitchen!
    • Mawby: Pop the cork on some bubbly to celebrate the holidays – Michigan’s Mawby can help you with that! My personal favorite is the Blanc de Blancs, but they’ve got something for everyone from sweet to dry.

Melody

by Valerie | 11.29.16 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

perfect portraits

Cheney, by Tanya Spolans

My parents’ dog, Cheney, recently passed away and we asked our friend Tanya to do a portrait of him for them; I knew she was talented…but wow…it turned out even more beautiful than I could have imagined (it was hard for me not to burst into tears when she gave it to me)! After we saw what she’d done with the portrait of Cheney, we had to ask her to do one of Melody too. They are both so amazingly beautiful and really capture both Cheney’s and Melody’s spirits I think. If you noticed, Melody’s tag here reads “Meldoy” which was intentional and is a funny story; Ryan and I once misspelled her name, “Meldoy”, on her dog tag and she wore it on her collar like that for years – it wasn’t until we moved and re-made her a tag with our new address that we realized what we’d done and we will never stop laughing about that!

These will be treasured always by our family – thank you, Tanya! You should check out her shop on Etsy here; she really is a wizard with watercolor.

Melody by Tanya Spolans

by Valerie | 11.21.16 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | 2 Comments »

sweet 16

Happy 16th birthday to my fur-baby

Our sweet Melody turned 16 on November 16th!

by Valerie | 11.17.16 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

office love

office love #Framebridge

Now that we moved into our new (old) office, I’ve really enjoyed unpacking my things and sprucing up my work space; it’s nice to fill it with things I love, that make me smile, like photos, plants, and flowers. It is, after all, the place I spend most of my time at away from my actual home – so it’s important that I make it feel homey to me. I ordered this great print of Melody peeking out our front door from Framebridge, picked up a happy yellow lamp, and a few plants…and just look at this dahlia pictured below – wow! Speaking of work, the campus squirrels seem extra-squirrely this time of year too.

dahlia + seeded eucalyptus

by Valerie | 10.03.16 | Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Work | No Comments »

foggy mornings, flowers, and food

eating with an audience 😂

We are still cooking our Blue Apron meals and are getting better about skipping the weeks we’re not crazy about the menus for or that we know we’ll be too busy to cook much; you can view more photos of our meals here. Melody enjoys observing us cook and eat, as always, and it’s fun to have such a cute audience! Our local distillery, Ann Arbor Distilling Co., is now serving bourbon and rye and we enjoyed stopping by to sample the goods last week. The dahlias are just stunning this time of year and I love walking by our neighbor’s dahlia garden and seeing them all in full bloom! There’s something magical about a foggy morning that I can’t get enough of…

cheers

A2

dreamy dahlias

foggy September morning

by Valerie | 09.19.16 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Labor Day Weekend

Wreck 'em Tech!!!

Hope you all enjoyed a fun and exciting, as well as restful and relaxing, Labor Day Weekend! Ours consisted of college football (Melody is pictured above supporting our team…although we weren’t happy to find that the channel they were airing the Texas Tech game on here was showing a Tigers game instead and we couldn’t see the game live on TV until almost the end of the 3rd quarter; my brother says we can fix that by moving to Lubbock!), yard work, movies at home, and some delicious cooking. We used our garden peppers to make hot sauce and pickled jalapenos and Ryan made some delicious guacamole with one of our garden habanero peppers and this Blue Apron meal (pictured below) for dinner last night – yum! It’s official, summer is over and there are signs of fall everywhere – football, mums, Oktoberfest beer, etc. – although you wouldn’t think it given the summer-like weather we’re experiencing today in Ann Arbor. Here’s to changing seasons and guacamole…always guacamole!

Summer Vegetable & Queso Tostadas with Fairy Tale Eggplants #blueapron

by Valerie | 09.06.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants | 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

lilac love 😍

I’m not going to lie, when I looked out the window on several occasions on Sunday and saw that it was snowing…yes, snowing…on May 15th…I wasn’t a happy camper. Spring? (#winterainteasy) But, despite the cold, rainy weather we had here all weekend, there were some nice things to appreciate – like napping, lilacs from my backyard, beer on a sunny patio on Friday afternoon, and these super cute, vintage-style glasses and tray I found at a local hardware store!

Cheers to Friday the 13th!

rainy day

by Valerie | 05.16.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

This is Melody

this face

This is Melody. Melody is 15 years and 5 months old. Melody is from Austin, TX. Melody has a tattoo. When she was younger, we took her to training classes and she learned to sit, stay, wait, park it (on her pillow), leave it, high five, and roll over, she could even “raise the roof”. Melody used to love to run (she still does, sometimes)…and she was really, really fast. For several years, her name on her collar that had our address and phone number in case she ever got lost said “Meldoy” and we never realized we had mistyped it when making it. Melody used to have more brown on her face, but a lot of that has turned to white now. Melody has the cutest spots on her left ear. Melody, as I recently told my parents, is “Texas tough”. Melody is beautiful. Melody is awesome.

by Valerie | 04.22.16 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

weekend haps

dreamy hellebores

Last weekend brought us absolutely perfect spring weather and many of the trees here are now in full bloom; spring in Michigan, while it can be unpredictable, is truly a thing of beauty! Our Hellebores in our side yard are stunning and we picked up some cut flowers at the Farmer’s Market this weekend too. I’m still trying to figure out how to properly use my old school, Polaroid camera – this shot pictured in the photo above came out good though and I almost had to stop myself from drooling over how pretty these flowers are… In other news, Melody is still adorable and an expert at napping!

dreamy hellebores

zzz...

by Valerie | 04.18.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Photography, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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