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 »

pączki and weird weather

Happy Pączki Day

Last week we celebrated Pączki Day, enjoyed tasting our homemade bitters (which we bottled) in some delicious cocktails, played a new (to us) board game with friends – Acquire, I met a sweet dog at a local flower shop, made it to a movie at the theater, and we had breakfast at one of our favorite spots in town on Sunday. What’s up with this weird weather though?

We’ve had such odd winter weather this year in Michigan (record highs) and I think this cartoon sums it up pretty well; it was 57 with thunderstorms last Tuesday and 28 and snowing last Friday, for example. I don’t want to complain about the mild weather we’ve had, but it has definitely been abnormal. And here we are in March already with daylight saving time beginning this coming Sunday. I’m hoping it doesn’t get too cold again as the plants are confused; the trees are budding and the spring bulbs have already started to sprout up from ground. The late winter/early spring flowers are beautiful (crocus, snowdrops, etc.), they’re so dainty and delicate – a welcome sign of spring, and I’ve already seen robins darting around the yard; it’s always exciting to see the seasons begin to change!

maple walnut rye fashioned (with homemade walnut bitters) #cocktail

met this sweetheart @universityflowershop - Leo

Nick's Original House of Pancakes

by Valerie | 03.06.17 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

Hello #westelm

It’s that magical time of year in A2 where the University has commenced with commencement, it’s really starting to feel like summer, and we planted most of our garden over the weekend too! We filled our pots and garden boxes with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and herbs; I even treated myself to a beautiful yellow rose bush (Yellow Brick Road), which I hope will do well – I couldn’t help but think of my Granddaddy and smile when I saw the roses as he used to always grow them at his house. Our lilac bushes are blooming now too, which is always a treat for both the eyes and the nose; they smell fantastic! We enjoyed attending our neighbor’s Derby party on Saturday too; it was complete with delicious mint juleps and fantastic hats. And how about this gorgeous combination of purple parrot tulips, white freesia, and white lilacs – swoon… I made this photo collage for Mother’s Day with photos of my beautiful Mom. Bring on the gingham, patios, and sunshine!

The most gorgeous parrot tulip, freesia, lilac combo I've ever seen!

Bring on the gingham, patios, & sunshine! ☀️

by Valerie | 05.09.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Garden, Holidaze | No Comments »

weekend haps

dreamy hellebores

Last weekend brought us absolutely perfect spring weather and many of the trees here are now in full bloom; spring in Michigan, while it can be unpredictable, is truly a thing of beauty! Our Hellebores in our side yard are stunning and we picked up some cut flowers at the Farmer’s Market this weekend too. I’m still trying to figure out how to properly use my old school, Polaroid camera – this shot pictured in the photo above came out good though and I almost had to stop myself from drooling over how pretty these flowers are… In other news, Melody is still adorable and an expert at napping!

dreamy hellebores

zzz...

by Valerie | 04.18.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Photography, Princess Puppy Pants | No Comments »

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