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!
We’ve had a jam-packed week/weekend of fun activities with Mom and have enjoyed her visit over the Thanksgiving holiday! We did some serious shopping on Tuesday, went to a Pistons game on Wednesday, cooked and enjoyed Thanksgiving on Thursday, a little shopping in town on Friday and decorated the house for Christmas, Frankenmuth (and Bronner’s) on Saturday, and brunch followed by the DIA on Sunday. I think after all the excitement, I could sleep for a solid 24 hours!
We spent a fantastic, long weekend up in northwest Michigan in the Traverse City area. I honestly don’t think I can come up with the appropriate words to really describe how breathtakingly beautiful it was up there (especially with the fall color on display)! As you may already be aware, fall is my favorite season – so this weekend I was in my happy place…seeing the fall views all around me (so much color!), wearing sweaters and scarves, enjoying a warm fire (don’t forget the s’mores -we had those too), stopping at an apple orchard (more on that below), etc. I was like a kid in a candy store and it was great! Why can’t I stop using exclamation points…yep, fall does this to me, I can’t contain my excitement!!!
We spent some time hiking around where we stayed (Lake Ann, MI) and also enjoyed a hike in Sleeping Bear Dunes, we drove around and stopped in Leland, visited the L. Mawby and Big Little tasting rooms, made it out to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, and did a bit of shopping and dinner in Traverse City too. The lakeshore colors are stunning and it was beautiful watching the waves crash along the shoreline.
We are lucky, here in Michigan, as there seems to be no shortage of apple orchards to visit and enjoy this time of year. I had the pleasure of visiting an orchard that was like none other I’ve been to before; one of the highlights for us was stumbling upon Kilcherman’s Christmas Cove Farm where they grow and sell antique apple varieties. I was fascinated at how many varieties of apples they had available – most of which I’d never heard of or seen before. We picked up 3 small containers to take home of Sheepnose, Spitzenburg (supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite), and Ashmead’s Kernel apples; we ate Almata (these are pink on the inside) and Macoun apples on the spot, before we got back to the car. They also ship gift boxes and the woman who rang us up was the owner’s granddaughter – so charming and such an interesting stop along our way.
You can view more photos from our trip here.
The weather in Michigan this last week was pretty spectacular and we couldn’t resist taking advantage of it and enjoying a hike on Saturday in the late morning/early afternoon. Bonus: We stopped for fresh cider and doughnuts on the way there and were able to enjoy some of the early fall color on display too!
We enjoyed helping out at Afterhouse yesterday in Detroit (you can read more about Afterhouse here and here). Spent several hours of hard work for a good cause with some really great people; and, bonus, we got to hang out with the adorable Ezra too! We also met a very nice young lady who lives in the neighborhood and Ezra was really digging her beautiful braided hair – so cute! In the process of taking down some of an old wall, a paper was unearthed – Detroit Free Press dated August 24, 1946 that stated “One answer to Detroit’s housing shortage. City to get material for 10,000 homes.”
We had one of those perfect weekends last weekend – the kind where your plan is to not have any plans – and after Ryan had been out of town for about a week and half it was nice to spend some downtime with just the two of us. We went where the day took us and it was such a beautiful day too. Neighborhood walks with Melody, I had fried French toast with blueberry spoon fruit and real maple syrup for brunch one day…yum…, a trip to Dexter and a stroll on the boardwalk there, etc. It felt like summer – warm, with a cool breeze at times, and did you see that super moon last night? Wow!