Memorial Day weekend

this #pearlbeer bottle opener belonged to my Mema & Granddaddy - my Granddaddy fought for our country in WWII, thank you to all who have served #memorialday

The Pearl Beer bottle opener pictured above belonged to my Mema and Granddaddy. In March of 1942, my Granddaddy enlisted in the U.S. Army; on June 6, 1944, he – along with the brave soldiers of the 4th and 90th Division – stormed Utah Beach in Normandy, France. He was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Bronze Arrowhead, Five Bronze Stars for five major battles, three Overseas Bars and the French Legion of Honor Medal in addition to several other commendations. He lived to be 94 years old and I am so honored to have known him and to call him family. Thank you to all who have served.

Long, holiday weekends are heavenly…yet somehow, they never seem to be quite long enough; we thoroughly enjoyed ours and squeezed in a movie, lots of r&r, grilling, some more planting in our garden and yard (Bartzella Itoh Peony, Cascade Azalea, a few more herbs, and a mosquito plant), and – even with temps in the 90s here in May (that’s hot for MI in May!) – we spent a good amount of time outside enjoying our backyard patio space.

Speaking of things we enjoy…Ryan and I enjoy beer, I’ve been curious to try our hand at homebrewing, and we also enjoy a good DIY project on occasion – so we took the first step towards this and bought this book about it. We plan on reading up on it first and then we’ll see where that takes us; I’m excited at the possibility of creating our own homebrew, with a healthy dose of reality that this won’t be easy to do and will take a good deal of patience and practice to hopefully, eventually be successful at (fingers crossed!). My Dad shared with me that my Granddaddy once tried homebrewing and that it didn’t turn out that well for him – lol! I’m hopeful there will be more to come on this for us, stay tuned…

You can view more photos from our Memorial Day weekend here.

#gottowearshades #memorialdayweekend #bordercolliemix #bordercollie

by Valerie | 05.29.18 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

how does our garden grow?

started our summer garden today #gardening #ourbackyard #mothersday

We purchased and planted most of our summer garden on Mother’s Day and are looking forward to some delicious garden goodies over the summer months! We are growing some of our annual favorites, but always pick out some new and different varieties to try as well. Here’s what’s growing in our summer garden this year: basil, oregano, thyme, mint, parsley, chives, shallots, strawberries, a variety of peppers (jalapeño, habanero, etc.) and tomatoes (Green Zebra, Mr. Stripey, Black Krim, and Chello), red leaf lettuce, kale, marigolds, nasturtium, dianthus, lavender, and ketchup and mustard roses. We’ll be adding coleus and maybe a few other things to pots in the coming weeks too. We also planted a few hanging baskets and pots with pretty, trailing plants like sweet potato vine, etc. Happy gardening!

started our summer garden today #gardening #ourbackyard #mothersday

started our summer garden today #gardening #ourbackyard #mothersday

started our summer garden today #gardening #ourbackyard #mothersday

started our summer garden today #gardening #ourbackyard #mothersday

by Valerie | 05.15.18 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

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

Peonies

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)…

Before

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…

Before

And after…

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)!

Family15

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

ivy

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 »

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