late summer in nw michigan

We spent about a week and half in beautiful Lake Ann, MI; one of us was there to work, and the other was just along for the ride (and the gorgeous scenery!), and Maddy…well, Maddy was there to be Maddy! We enjoyed a few day trips to Traverse City, including catching a Traverse City Film Festival midnight showing of Anna and the Apocalypse at the State Theater, and spent a few hours at Sleeping Bear Dunes. It was wonderful to get away for a bit, listen to the sound of the loons calling out, sit around a campfire (s’mores!),…and with views like this, what’s not to love?

sunset #puremichigan #sunset

Lake Ann, MI

Lake Ann, MI #puremichigan

happy hiking pup #bordercolliemix #bordercollie

Sleeping Bear Dunes

#traversecityfilmfestival #tcff

You can view photos from our trip here.

by Valerie | 08.13.18 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy, Travel | No Comments »

from “C-land” to “The D”

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame #clevelandrocks

We enjoyed a visit to Cleveland last week, including some time spent at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Cleveland Botanical Gardens; it was pretty amazing to see Kurt Cobain’s guitar, Prince’s gloves, handwritten lyrics, personal items, etc. from too many impressive musicians to count, and so much more at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens were a beautiful, incredibly peaceful way to wrap up our trip to the city. You can view more photos from our Cleveland trip here.

Cleveland Botanical Gardens

And last Friday, we had a great time in Detroit with drinks at Punch Bowl Social followed by Detroit Demo Day where 15 companies from across the region pitched in front of a live audience for a share of over $1 million as a part of the second annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day; we were thrilled to see EMU alumnus Matt Tait and Tait Design Co. win $200K to grow their business – a surprise performance by Common at the end was the cherry on top!

#detroitdemoday

by Valerie | 06.26.18 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

beantown

Beantown: Day 1 #boston #whereveryougogoblue

We enjoyed a few days in lovely Boston, MA – a.k.a. “Beantown”! There were so many interesting sites to see – here are a few we made a point to stop at: SoWa Open Market, Freedom Trail, Boston Common and Public Garden, Bunker Hill Monument, The Mapparium, ICAHarpoon and Sam Adams breweries, Fenway Park, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Walking through and past all the historic neighborhoods and sites was a treat, and the weather was beautiful too; it’s a very walkable city, which is always a pleasure, and we found ourselves equally happy just roaming around the neighborhoods and getting a feel for the place. You can view additional photos and videos from our trip here.

Beantown: Day 2 #boston #freedomtrail

Beantown: Day 2 #boston #freedomtrail

Beantown: Day 3 #boston #HarpoonBrewery

Beantown: Day 3 #boston #SamAdamsBrewery

Beantown: Day 4 #boston #fenwaypark #redsox

Beantown: Day 4 #boston #GardnerMuseum

by Valerie | 05.10.18 | For Funsies, Travel | 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 »

Texas Turkey Day

Thanksgiving table

We traveled back home to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday week and enjoyed some delicious food and drinks, and of course most excellent company; I loved being able to put together floral arrangements and help with setting up the Thanksgiving table (Debbie’s Grandmother’s linens, silverware, and china are beautiful). We shopped, we dined, we were able to visit with family both in the Dallas area and Gatesville, we went to “ICE! and Snow Tubing” in Gaylord and Magnolia Market at The Silos in Waco, and we even squeezed in some buffalo plaid family photos at the end of our trip. It was a treat to have an early celebration of Graham’s first birthday too while we were there together. You can view more photos from our trip here.

Gaylord Texan Hotel

Magnolia Market

#birthdayboy

Family1

by Valerie | 11.28.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | No Comments »

sunny cali

Muir Woods

I spent a few days in beautiful, sunny, California this last week. The highlight of my trip was definitely a walk through Muir Woods and then taking the ferry back from Sausalito right past a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Here are few pics from my trip and you can view them all here.

Muir Woods

Golden Gate Bridge

by Valerie | 10.29.17 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

NYC

Brooklyn Bridge #nyc #brooklynbridge

We spent a fun, Labor Day weekend in NYC; most importantly, we visited the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University where we saw some very rare type catalogs. While there, we also enjoyed seeing some of the sights, like Top of the Rock, the High Line, Central Park, and a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge; and of course we had some amazing food (pierogies at Veselka) and drinks (cocktails at PDT) too. You can view more photos and videos of our NYC trip here.

Brooklyn Bridge #nyc #brooklynbridge

Rockefeller Center

by Valerie | 09.10.17 | For Funsies, Holidaze, Travel | 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 »

Virgin Wood Type, Rochester, & Niagara Falls

Flower City Arts Center #woodtype

We had a fun, long weekend in Rochester and Niagara Falls, NY! We made the trip as Ryan had scheduled a meeting with the wonderful folks at Virgin Wood Type in Rochester; they were all so kind, amazingly talented people, and they took the time to show us around their home/studio, the Flower City Arts Center (where you will find a very impressive collection of wood type!), as well as a visit to the man who manufactures their wood blocks too. I have such respect for the work they all do, the amount of time, effort, and care that goes into every single piece of finished product from them is amazing; just take a look at this, for example…wow!

While we were in Rochester, we also visited the George Eastman Museum, Ontario Beach Park/Lake Ontario, and enjoyed dining and drinks at La Casa, Genesee, Glen Edith, Open Face, Hedonist Chocolates, Iron Tug Brewing, Rohrbach Brewing, Good Luck Restaurant, and James Brown’s Place.

George Eastman Museum

George Eastman Museum

George Eastman Museum

Ontario Beach Park

We spent our Saturday afternoon and evening in Niagara Falls; it was incredibly windy, cold, and it snowed there that evening into Sunday morning when we left – despite the weather (at one point, I described it as “hell snow” – it was so windy at times, I felt I had to hold on to something so that I wouldn’t blow away and the snow was coming down heavy and in pellets), we really enjoyed ourselves and the falls are quite the site to see! We took a hike around the falls area that afternoon, headed to Old Fort Niagara, then dinner, and then back to the falls at night to see them lit up. I enjoyed the fact that nothing was overly crowded and it almost felt as if we had the Old Fort to ourselves at times, given it was in the off-season.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Fort Niagara

If you’d like to see more photos from our trip, you can view them here.

by Valerie | 02.27.17 | For Funsies, Travel | No Comments »

beantown & puppy bowl XIII

Boston

I traveled to Boston, MA for work last week; a visit to “Beantown” was a first for me and it did not disappoint! I had a little time to see some of the city and treated myself to a stroll through Boston Common, Public Garden, Faneuil Hall, and Paul Revere’s home. The Liberty Hotel is an amazing space for drinks, and it has such an interesting history. I saw lots of Patriots merchandise all over Boston while I was there, of course, because we can’t ignore the fact that yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday…or, more importantly to me, Puppy Bowl XIII; Melody took a nap through the Kitty Halftime Show and I particularly liked the fact that they featured three special needs puppies this year.

Melody is napping during the #PuppyBowl Kitty Halftime Show

by Valerie | 02.06.17 | For Funsies, Princess Puppy Pants, Travel | No Comments »

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