beautiful botanicals

dazzling dahliasJust a few beautiful botanicals – dahlias, Japanese painted fern (from our yard), and spray roses – scattered around our home… painted fern

stunning spray roses

by Valerie | 08.17.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

weekend haps

Picked more tomatoes & a pepper today - the bowl is full... Now, what should we make with all of these?For me, the weekend brought lots of tomatoes and 1 ripe cayenne pepper from our garden – now that we have a bowl full of various kinds of tomatoes, we’ll have to figure out what we want to do with them. Also, I was happy to see Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp; it was completely ridiculous and funny (which is just what I needed), I love the cast, and I think Paul Rudd is pretty great! Speaking of Paul Rudd, I thought this was funny. And there’s something really lovely about the summer evening lightGranny Smith Tomato + Cayenne Pepper

by Valerie | 08.03.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

c’mon get happy

Cheese!When I’m feeling a bit down or my day just isn’t going how I’d like it to, there are a few things that are sure to cheer me up – my dog, Melody, always makes me smile, a nice walk in the sunshine helps, and I bought myself this cute little succulent and planted it in a pot with gold polka dots. Are you humming this to yourself yet? What makes you happy? This sweet pup always makes me smile!

Sometimes, when my day is just not going like I want it to, a new succulent in a cute little pot with gold polkadots is all I need to cheer me up.

by Valerie | 07.31.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

Rainy days and Mondays

Rainy days & Mondays

We had quite a bit of rain here on Sunday and some more on Monday (did I mention how happy we’ll be to have a waterproofing system installed in our basement over the summer – ugh?!?), but I think we’ll have a little time to dry out today and hopefully a chance to mow our lawn which is now looking a bit out of control. But the flowers and plants and gardens must be happy to have received all the rain!

Rainy days & Mondays

These aren’t from my garden, but they are lovely aren’t they?

Fresh cut


by Valerie | 06.16.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend yard improvement

We had a very busy, very productive Memorial Day weekend full of outdoor cleanup and improvements; we planted all four of our garden boxes (variety of peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, herbs, and some marigolds too), replaced small section of grass in our backyard with concrete pavers and pea gravel, weeded and trimmed bushes, and we cleaned up the bed around our birch tree in the front yard and placed stones underneath the bird feeders as the ivy never grew in there correctly – all of which, I think, made a huge improvement and we will most certainly enjoy throughout the summer.

For comparison, here’s the backyard before (complete with awkward, little patch of grass)…


And after (you may remember when we put in pea gravel and planter boxes a couple years ago in place of the empty garden – I mean weed – bed)…

Memorial Day weekend yard improvement

Memorial Day weekend yard improvement

Memorial Day weekend yard improvement

And the front yard, before…


And after…


After a long day of hard work, it can be really relaxing to enjoy a walk in the evening light and watch the last rays of the day’s sun glisten off a field of dandelions – they almost looked like stars shining in the night sky in the light of the setting sun.

Magic hour

Magic hour

by Valerie | 05.25.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

how does our garden grow?

backyard beauty

We did our first big plant purchase for the season over the weekend and it always make me so happy! We’re starting with lots of flowers in pots and hanging baskets: a rose bush (in honor of my Granddaddy), some really pretty pink dahlias, yellow lantana, a variety of geraniums, coleus, sweet potato vine, and various other trailing greens to fill in and spill down the pots. We also picked up a couple orange mint plants and a spearmint plant for our garden box; we’ll wait until later this month to plant the rest of our herb and vegetable garden. It’s lovely to be able to sit in the backyard and feel as though you’re in your own private oasis; Ann Arbor really is stunning this time of year – the trees are flowering and everything is so beautiful and green…and my lilacs are blooming! Want to see more photos of flowers and plants and/or our garden?

backyard beauty (roses, dahlia, & mosquito plant)

backyard beauty

We also got started on a really cool DIY outdoor coffee table project we’ve been dreaming up and planning for since last fall; I think we my have it all finished and ready to enjoy by this weekend – stay tuned for more on that…

We had the pleasure of chatting with our mothers on Sunday too – hope you gave your Mom some love in honor of Mother’s Day; here’s a fun throwback photo of me and my brother with our Mom (those are some sweet glasses and awesome hot air balloon shirt, Mom)!


by Valerie | 05.11.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

easy like Sunday morning

Easy like Sunday morning

Our friend Lisa Waud (of Pot & Box) recommended we visit Graye’s Greenhouse and we finally got around to it yesterday; what a lovely place it is – I was like a kid in a candy store! The staff/owners that work there are so kind and it’s such a beautiful and charming place to be on a cold January day (or any day I’m sure!); we left with several plants in hand, including a few succulents (one of them is so itsy bitsy and so darn cute that I couldn’t resist taking it home with me), a lovely lime-scented geranium, and a few Calathea. We also found a pretty hanging ivy and a yucca plant after a few other stops, before heading home. It’s so nice to have beautiful, green plants to help make our house feel like a home. Melody and I were enjoying the new additions this Sunday morning – and a little Lionel Richie certainly didn’t hurt; I love Sunday mornings at home.

lime scented geranium

itsy bitsy


Easy like Sunday morning

by Valerie | 01.25.15 | Around our home, For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

spring spruce up

Spring planting

We spent two long days over the weekend doing lots of yard work and it felt great to tackle some of those projects! We’re trying to get grass to grow in on our lawn where it needs it (crossing my fingers it works this time), put down some new mulch and pavers for border, and planted some flowers (I’m so excited to have a peony and some lenten roses to enjoy) which I’m hoping will do well – nice to have some color in the yard for spring.

Lenten Rose

Spring planting

by Valerie | 04.28.14 | Around our home, Garden | No Comments »

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

I had the pleasure of visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens this week. It wasn’t my first time enjoying the space, but I hadn’t been in some time and every time I visit I am reminded of how much I love it there – I can’t help but leave with a wonderful sense of calm about me. As it was raining out, we stuck to the indoor, conservatory portion only; the conservatory is divided into three different zones – tropical, temperate, and arid. They are all lovely, but I am drawn to the Arid House as it reminds me of Texas and I have always loved succulents. They have a pretty impressive, variegated century plant which is over 70 years old too.

by Valerie | 08.08.13 | Around town | No Comments »

Garden boxing

When we closed on our house last May, the backyard looked like the picture on the left & needed quite a bit of weeding & some clean up. Yes, that weed is about as tall as me! After a lot of hard work last weekend, it now looks like the picture on the right.

We were so busy sprucing up the inside that we didn’t have much time to focus on the outside last year; although we did plant some things in beds around the house, which I am so happy to see are all coming back & looking good (japanese painted fern, hosta, little lime hydrangea, euonymus), we are focusing more on our outdoor space this spring.

We’ve done some weeding (which never ends, of course), mowing, laying down mulch, etc. And Ryan built 3 more garden boxes, bringing our total to 4 large garden boxes now. Several trips to various hardware/garden supply stores, 22 bags of pea gravel, 18 pavers, deck screws, cedar lumber, penofin green, 16 large casters, mesh to line bottom of boxes, garden soil, plants…and we’ve now come to this…a big improvement, I think! We’ve still got more to plant, but it’s a great start to a fantastic summer garden.

by Valerie | 05.12.13 | Around our home, Garden | 1 Comment »

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