Last weekend was commencement weekend at UM and the photo above was my view on Friday at the Ross School Commencement ceremonies at Hill Auditorium. As a “townie” (or local Ann Arborite), this means that as students leave for the summer everything is a little less crowded, parking is easier to find, and – hopefully – we’re able to slow down just a little and enjoy the more relaxed pace of the summer months. I love my job, I love my (work) team, and I’m happy to call Ann Arbor home!
Outside: Winter Storm Petros is blowing through the area and has been doing so since yesterday morning. The world is a lovely blanket of white and the snow is still falling…
Inside: We stopped at the grocery store on the way home yesterday to pick up fresh bread, soup, beer, chocolate cake, and some lovely mini daffodils. It may be winter outside, but I’ve got a little spring inside where it’s warm and cozy. Speaking of cozy, look at this little little sweetie all curled up by my feet. Also, I can’t get enough of this blanket!
This Sunday is Valentine’s Day and, as always, I am looking forward to this wonderful holiday that celebrates love and all things love! I’m a holiday person in general; I love them all – Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. But a holiday that celebrates love and often involves flowers and chocolate and declarations of love in many forms…now that is something special! Of course, you don’t need a holiday to celebrate love or to buy yourself or a loved one chocolate or flowers, but it certainly can’t hurt. And, speaking of chocolate…we recently discovered our love for Compartés – it is REALLY good chocolate, it comes in lots of really interesting flavor combinations, and…bonus…the packaging is beautiful; if you believe that you eat with your eyes first, this certainly fits the bill. We’ve found it locally at Plum Market, but you can also buy it online. Here are some other fun Valentine’s Day treats:
- You’re going to need something to put those flowers in – I suggest some lovely porcelain from my friend Abigail Murray (vase and votive pictured in photo above)!
- Valentine’s Gifts by Compartés (I know it’s pricey, but isn’t this this most beautiful box of chocolates you’ve ever seen?)
- Heartstagram by Framebridge
- Sending You My Love
- Sweetheart Tea Towel
- I found the cutest collar with candy hearts on it for Melody at Dogma Catmantoo!
- How about some puppy love?
I was pleased to see these big, beautiful snowflakes falling outside this afternoon; it really is such a lovely sight to see! Watching the snow drift and blow outside, listening to this, dreaming of snuggling up by my fireplace when I get home with my loves by my side (Ryan and Melody)… I’ve used this quote before, but I love it so much I have to share it again: “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.’ And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about – whenever the wind blows.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
We enjoyed a fun weekend full of holiday activities, like Midnight Madness in downtown Ann Arbor which had us stopping in many of our favorite, local shops to pick up Christmas gifts, a visit to the lovely Abigail Murray studio for an open house (I walked away with some gifts from here too and I couldn’t resist buying something for myself while I was there), admiring the painted shop windows, we decorated the tree (more on that to come soon), hours were spent on designing this year’s most excellent holiday card (more on that to come soon too), celebrating the first night of Hanukkah by lighting the menorah, and at my house you could hear Christmas music and Christmas movies playing all weekend long (yes, A Very Murray Christmas was delightful).
We haven’t made it to Thanksgiving yet, but it’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Ann Arbor; we had 9-10 inches of snow here yesterday and everything is covered in a blanket of sparkling white, fresh-fallen snow. We haven’t put up our Christmas tree yet, as we always wait until after Thanksgiving at our house to do that, but we did visit the Farmer’s Market yesterday and pick out a gorgeous, fresh fir and boxwood wreath and hang it on our front door – not only does it look nice, it smells wonderful too! I did put a few things around the house in preparation for Christmas, like this really cute, red yarn pom pom garland from a local store, Found, in Kerrytown. And my Christmas cactus is blooming!
We woke up to freezing temps here this morning and there was definitely frost on the ground during our morning walk with Melody. I had to stop and appreciate the little ice crystals that had formed on each individual blade of grass and the fallen leaves in the yard. After having such a fantastic, pleasant fall, the seasons are soon to change once more…
We spent a really fun weekend in northern Michigan; we saw some beautiful sites and were pleased to see there was still plenty of amazing fall color. We visited Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm, where they not only have an impressive selection of antique apple varieties, but they also have one of the largest pop bottle collections on display; we chatted with one of the owners, who was so kind and friendly – she said her husband had gotten into growing antique apples because he used to play baseball in the orchards. When I asked her what her favorite apple was, she explained that they didn’t have it anymore as the tree had died after the hard winter they had, but we did take home her second favorite apple and a selection of a few others too.
We also stopped by the Gwen Frostic studio; such a charming little place and what beautiful paper products filled with images of flora and fauna! It was almost too perfect, as we were checking out a little chipmunk darted across the shop floor – to which the staff happily commented, “He lives here, he’s getting ready for the winter.” Before we left, we also made it to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, some beautiful hiking trails, Fishtown, and no trip to the area is complete without a stop for pasties and apple dumplings at Mr. Foisies.
You can view more photos from our weekend here.
We were thrilled to visit Flower House this weekend and it did not disappoint; it was amazing, beautiful, and inspiring – like Disneyland with flowers…only better! This video almost made me cry. P.S. Lisa Waud is awesome! The photo above are some stems we took home with us from Flower House. You can view more photos we took at Flower House here.
Apples, mums, pumpkins and gourds, oh my! Continuing to watch the leaves change and the weather turn cooler with each passing day. Fall is a glorious, glorious thing here in Michigan – just take a look at this…