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)!
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).
Although our initial plan to go camping got rained out, we managed to get away and take several days over the weekend to enjoy some of the things that Michigan has to offer which we’d never been to before. Here are just a few to note and I’m hoping we can manage to get away more often and explore new things that aren’t too far from home: Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park – this place was beautiful and if I lived closer to Grand Rapids I could see myself visiting here at least once a week; with the many different gardens and sculptures to view here, you really can make a whole day of it!
And then there was the “beer-cation” portion of our weekend… It’s no secret that Michigan has some pretty amazing craft beers and we spent a little time at some fantastic breweries tasting what they had to offer – I know, it’s a tough job…but somebody’s got to do it! Here are some that we managed to try, in no particular order: Latitude 42 (try the 10 Degrees of Separation), Bell’s (while Two Hearted Ale and Oberon and fairly easy to find and enjoyable, try the Jupiter if you can find it), Gonzo’s BiggDogg (ask about their “black box” offering), Arcadia Ales (try the London Porter and Imperial Stout – fun, laid-back atmosphere and REALLY great food!), Brewery Vivant (try the Rootstock), Founders Brewing Co (try the Devil Dancer), Mitten Brewing Co (try the Dock’s No-No and the Seasonal Fruit Crisp which is basically a dessert pizza). You can view more photos from our weekend getaway here.
We had a really fun time with family and enjoyed having them here with us in Michigan this past week; we managed to squeeze in lots of fun activities, including Traverse City area, Motown Museum, a Tigers game, and horseback riding/mountain biking, just to name a few. We hope you guys will visit us again soon and we miss you already! You can view more photos from our vacation here.
The snow started to fall early this morning and it hasn’t stopped since; they are predicting 10-14 inches (#winterainteasy) for Ann Arbor by tonight/tomorrow morning – but I have to admit the fact that this winter storm is named after my favorite Peanuts character, Linus, makes me smile. I have been enjoying watching it fall, drift, and blow outside all day. We took a nice, long walk in it with all our snow gear on earlier and Melody seemed to really enjoy it. Here’s a silly little video I took of the snow outside our window this afternoon… Hope you’re all staying warm, cozy, and safe on this snowy Super Bowl Sunday!
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!
Outside: Yesterday, in Ann Arbor, the temperature dropped to -2 degrees with a wind chill of -20 and we got some snow overnight and this morning too. While I can appreciate the way it looked in the light last night, gleaming like little flecks of white glitter all over the ground, and that everything is so still and crisp after a fresh fallen snow…it sure makes it hard to leave the warmth and comfort of your home in the morning! #winterainteasy
Inside: I find that a good pair of flannel pj’s (like these) or lounge pants (like these), some warm slippers (like these), a nice warm fire, and some lovely fresh flowers and candlelight are crucial to my well-being through the winter months here. Which is why I treated myself to some white tulips and alstroemeria and placed them next to a mercury glass votive and a bowl full of tomatoes on the vine – which we’ll use to make some hearty soup over the weekend. Winter is definitely here and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!
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
We filled our weekend with some holiday shopping, picked up some beautiful Amaryllis and satsumas, saw the Wayne County Lightfest and the Walk of Trees in Plymouth, stopped in Dundee at River Raisin, bowling with friends, and we finally made that peppermint bark.
The peppermint bark turned out great! We melted dark chocolate to make the first layer, let it dry, then melted and added white chocolate (both with some peppermint oil added) for the second layer, topped it with crushed candy canes, and then drizzled it all with white and dark chocolate. Yum!!!
We started our weekend with the MOCAD Monster Drawing Rally on Friday night, which Ryan participated in. And Sunday was a flurry of Christmas shopping and Christmas present wrapping for us; Ryan kept saying, “How did it get to be [insert time here]?!?” We still haven’t made that peppermint bark we bought everything to make weekend before last. But we did get our gifts all wrapped and boxed up to ship out, which was a task in itself. Our trip to the office supply store for shipping materials devolved into me laughing uncontrollably in the middle of the aisle as I mispronounced packing peanuts in Spanish (“cacahuete”) while an employee asked us if we needed any help; do I need any help…yes, I think I was way past the point of helping at that moment! By the end of the weekend, I think we all felt like Melody in the photo below…with my sock placed on top of her head (not that she seems to notice or mind). I’m looking forward to settling down for a long winter’s nap myself soon!