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 »

Pi/pie, green, & spring

💗

Last Monday, 3/14, was Pi Day and we celebrated by ordering a pizza pie for dinner and enjoying an apple pie for dessert. We remembered to wear our green for St. Patrick’s Day last Thursday too; even Melody had some green in her collar, so we all avoided getting pinched. We made these Blue Apron meals at home (you can view photos here) over the last week: Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon & Brussels Sprouts, Baked Jerk Tofu & Smashed Plantains with Garlic-Ginger Collard Greens, Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Sarda Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing (we did fried eggs in place of the hard-boiled eggs), and Mushroom & Poblano Pepper Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese & Avocado-Radish Salsa (we substituted zucchini for the mushrooms, due to allergy). And, as of yesterday, it is officially spring; I really enjoyed our walks with Melody over the weekend, seeing daffodil and crocus blooms, little green shoots coming up from the ground for tulips and lilies, etc., buds on the trees, the sky was such a beautiful shade of blue, and coming across this sweet little sidewalk chalk message pictured above. We picked up some cheery yellow daffodils and white tulips for the house, along with a beautiful purple arrangement I took home from a work event filled with stock, waxflower, and lovely, pale purple roses.

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes... Happy first day of spring!

event flowers

by Valerie | 03.21.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Holidaze, Princess Puppy Pants, Recipes | No Comments »

spring forward

tulips

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here recently and even pulled out the grill for the first time this year for dinner last night, but as we set our clocks ahead an hour for the time change today, we woke up to cooler temperatures and rain outside – which made it a perfect day to make this for lunch. Now seems like a good time for a rainy Sunday nap on the couch, or for watching a good movie under a warm blanket, or both! With St. Patrick’s Day coming up this Thursday, I couldn’t resist picking up this sweet little Oxalis plant, some Bells of Ireland, and a big bunch of tulips. The crocus and snowdrops are blooming in our neighborhood and the buds on my lilac bushes in the backyard are getting bigger every day – there are signs of spring everywhere.

bells of Ireland

oxalis

by Valerie | 03.13.16 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | 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 »

sunshine and pretty, pink peonies

peony power

It actually snowed here this last week, but my dear friend Jennifer Reedy had this to say and it’s so beautiful and so quotable that I wanted to pass it along: “It was such a soft April snow. So vulnerable that most of it would collapse and dissolve into the earth almost immediately, so fragile it would be obliterated instantly upon contact with warm skin. So delicate and so very fleeting, I thought it beautiful and poignant. These clusters of snowflakes cascading down from the clouds that bore them, with only that brief journey through the atmosphere to exist within. It seemed a little sad, but also peaceful. No part of me felt anything at all akin to “ugh” while watching it. Things begin and things end, and we are at that crossroad in a season of change. So don’t fret Val, spring cannot be stopped now. Vibrant colors have burst forth by way of flowers blooming and the buds are growing every day on the trees and shrubs, as you know.”

Unrelated, but this had me laughing – it’s important to remember…things could always be worse…you could be dead on Mars.

It’s wonderful to witness the change in seasons – with the arrival of spring blooms and signs of growth all around, the sunshine seems somehow extra special this time of year. Our forsythia is blooming, and I see that our lilacs will bloom soon too which I find myself looking forward to each spring. They even had some beautiful pink peonies, which I was happy to take home with me, at the grocery store this week; I’m hoping the peony we planted last spring will come back this year (fingers crossed).

peony power

Even my purple shamrock is blooming…

Soaking up some sunshine

by Valerie | 04.26.15 | Around our home, For Funsies | No Comments »

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