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 »

spring sprung fun

after a very long winter, it suddenly feels like spring 🌼 #spring #springhassprung

EMU and UM have had their commencement ceremonies, the weather has FINALLY warmed, and we’ve had some windy, rainy days here in A2; the forsythia and hellebore are blooming in our yard, and while my lilacs are usually on their way out by now they are just starting to form flower buds and I’m looking forward to their intoxicating smell and beautiful color soon to come! We’re looking forward to a Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday (also Cinco de Mayo), among other fun celebrations, and a little bit of travel soon too. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’m already planning out our garden beds and what we’ll want to plant for our summer garden in my mind. We’ve been enjoying more outside time with Maddy and nice walks in and around the area… Did I mention that it’s been a very long, cold winter? So happy to have the spring again!

#throwthefrisbee #bordercollie #bordercolliemix

Maddy is unaware of the concept of personal space when it comes to us and it’s both adorable and often times hilarious

morning wake up call by Maddy #boop #boopmynose #bordercollie #bordercolliemix

by Valerie | 05.04.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Girl Scout cookies, Easter weekend, birthday, & Dallas, TX

#happybirthdaytome #birthdaycake #cakesbyrubina @cakesbyrubina

It’s been a busy month already for me, and it’s only mid-April! We enjoyed a quiet Easter weekend at home, complete with chocolate bunny as is tradition for me, and just two days later I celebrated my birthday which included a delicious birthday cake. Speaking of sweets, those Girl Scout cookies seem to be everywhere I go lately and are oh so hard to resist…

This past week I enjoyed a quick trip (less than 48 hours!) for work to Dallas, TX where I was happy to connect with my Mom and a few dear family and friends in the area while I had a few moments to spare; I wish I’d have had longer to visit, but it was a wonderful trip for the time I had there. We’ve had such a long winter here (it was snowing when I boarded my plane for Dallas this week) so the 70+ degree temps and sunshine were especially appreciated when I got to Texas! I was happy to return to warmer weather in Michigan and seem to have brought the Texas spring weather with me – at least for a couple days. Maybe spring is finally sprung here in Michigan…maybe? You can view photos from my trip to Dallas here.

cookies ⬆️ #girlscoutcookies

Dallas y’all 💗

by Valerie | 04.13.18 | Around town, For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

in like a lion


@universityflowershop putting a little spring in our step 🌷🌸😍 #springiscoming

Much to my disbelief, somehow it’s March 1st today and it is definitely coming “in like a lion”; while it was 60 degrees here earlier this week, today we’re under a winter weather advisory with up to 6 inches of snow possible. I can only hope this means that March will be going “out like a lamb” and have treated myself to some lovely spring things from my local flower shop; I happily trudged through the slushy, snowy mess with some cheery daffodils in a pretty new pot this afternoon to soothe my frazzled winter nerves. Another thing I have to lift my spirits is my sweet, adorable Maddy – just look at this face below! And in 19 days it will officially be spring!

Tuesday night is alright #bordercollie #bordercolliemix #glbcr #greatlakesbordercollierescue ⚫️⚪️💗

by Valerie | 03.01.18 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

Mother’s Day weekend

Happy Mother's Day

Pictured above are my mom (left) and Ryan’s mom (right, with Ryan); much love to our moms and all those who are mothers! We enjoyed a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend here in A2; sunshine and lovely weather had us out on our patio Friday night grilling hamburgers, we headed to see the Cranbrook Degree Show on Saturday and stopped at Griffin Claw Brewing Company for lunch and a beer (making it my 25th Michigan brewery visited), then took a stroll around the Matthaei Botanical Gardens where we saw an adorable family of geese, and ended our day with dinner at a friends’ home where I brought some fresh-cut white lilacs (from our yard), peonies, and a bottle of rosé to enjoy, and on Sunday we had a delicious brunch out, followed by purchasing and planting our summer garden. We’re growing many of our usual favorites in our garden this year, a variety of hot peppers (ghost pepper, poblano, mucho nacho jalapeño, and serrano), tomatoes (green zebra, Cherokee purple, Mr. Stripey, better boy, and roma), herbs (basil, chives, orange mint, oregano, and thyme), and flowers (Julia Child roses, XXL Hidalgo dahlia), but are growing some new things this year too – broccolini, zucchini, and Flashy Trout’s Back Lettuce. Happy gardening!

“May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends,
And many books, both true.”
― Abraham Cowley

Griffin Claw Brewing Co

mid-May patio perfection; peonies + white lilacs (from my yard) & rosé

2017 summer garden

2017 summer garden

by Valerie | 05.15.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

#beerponcho #cincodemayo

We had a fun weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Mexican food/drinks and nopales and made it through two of the three Mexico Trilogy movies on Friday and the Kentucky Derby with homemade lemon cooler cookies and, of course, mint juleps on Saturday. It’s still bursting with spring color here in A2 and we enjoyed a nice, long walk around our neighborhood on Sunday, after being productive and cleaning out our garage, where we saw this and this and this!

spring in A2 #springhassprung #nofilter

by Valerie | 05.08.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

spring has sprung

lilacs from our yard #diptyque #springhassprung

Happy May Day! Spring has most definitely sprung in A2 and the world is alive with color; dogwoods, magnolias, flowering pear, and all manner of flowering trees and plants are blooming, our lilacs are blooming in the backyard (pictured above), and there are robins everywhere you look. Last week was Commencement for the University and we are headed into summer already. I am looking forward to planting our garden in the coming weeks and enjoying the sunshine and flowers for as long as I can!

Spring in A2

spring has sprung

Spring in A2

by Valerie | 05.01.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Garden | No Comments »

Thank you Easter Bunny!

Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼 Here’s a blast from the past for you: “Thank you Easter Bunny, Bawk Bawk!” We treated ourselves to some delicious jelly beans and this chocolate bunny from Mindo (Mindo is located just down the road from us, in Dexter, MI) pictured above. Ryan made us this delicious chorizo, pepper, and onion frittata with potatoes on the side for breakfast too; Easter frittata has become one of our holiday traditions, which I always enjoy.

It’s been a beautiful weekend, full of sunshine, warm weather, and cool breezes, and there are all sorts of lovely flowers budding and blooming in our yard. We finally took down our fence yesterday, which has been in sad shape since we moved into our house several years ago…it was one of those things that’s been on our to-do list for a while, but just wasn’t at the top of our list with all the other things that had to be done for our house; it’s so nice to have it gone and we’re looking forward to replacing it with something nice soon. Hope you’re having a wonderful Easter weekend!

Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼 Happy Easter! 🐣🐰 🌼

by Valerie | 04.16.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze | No Comments »

everything’s coming up roses…Lenten Rose, that is

Hellebores

It’s been an odd winter here in A2, with roller coaster weather, and while I don’t want to jinx it (I know, I know, there’s still a good chance it could snow through May)…it feels like we may be over that hump and truly headed into some real spring weather. I was thrilled to see our Hellebores, otherwise known as Lenten Rose, coming up and blooming when I took a peek in our side yard over the weekend. I’m happy to have more hours of daylight and flowers budding and blooming again!

We made the most of a cloudy, rainy weekend by taking a trip to the Toledo Museum of Art, where we enjoyed seeing the Kehinde Wiley exhibit (you can view my photos of the museum here), and spent our time at home enjoying a Buffy marathon (the series is only available on Netflix through March 31st – I don’t know how we’ll get through it all before then).

Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art

@toledomuseum

by Valerie | 03.27.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Travel | No Comments »

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