winter wonderland

snow pup #bordercolliemix #bordercollie #greatlakesbordercollierescue #glbcr #doglife #dogsinsnow

We had our first real snowfall of the season here in Michigan this past week and I must admit that seeing the world outside my windows covered in a blanket of fresh-fallen snow brings me joy; Maddy seems equally pleased with it and happily bounded through it like a snow bunny (you can watch a bit of that here). It truly is beautiful and we’re expecting more today and overnight to accumulate. What better to put you in the holiday mood than snowfall? I made a point to watch White Christmas over the weekend too. With a beautiful, snowy landscape in mind…feast your eyes on these: AlaskaIcelandNorway. After all that ice and snow, maybe you need a nice crackling fire to warm you up? If you can’t enjoy a real one, here’s a virtual one for fun.

snow pup #bordercolliemix #bordercollie #greatlakesbordercollierescue #glbcr #doglife #dogsinsnow

#deckthehalls #snowfall

#snowfall #snowmen

by Valerie | 12.11.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

fall feels

fall y’all #fallleaves

We’ve had cool, rainy weather here this last week – definitely fireplace weather, which I love! After a hectic work week and coming home from travel, I was especially happy to enjoy some downtime. There is no better place to be on a cold, rainy night that my home by the fire…and I think Maddy agrees.

there is no better place to be on a cold, rainy night than my home by the fire #findyourhappyplace

The other thing that I find myself craving, when the weather turns like this, is a nice, hot, homemade bowl of soup. Ryan put together a delicious tomato-based soup – with animal shaped pasta noodles thrown in no less – which he dubbed “soup for grown-ass adults”; this “grown-ass adult” gives it two thumbs up (check out the close up of the crocodile shaped noodle in the photo below)!

soup for grown-ass adults

soup for grown-ass adults

by Valerie | 10.29.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | No Comments »

weekend haps

looks can be deceiving - high of 91 here today

Look at this photo above…beautiful fall leaves scattered on the ground and you can almost feel the crispness in the air, right? While it is officially fall, as of last Friday, September 22nd, it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in A2; the high reached 92 degrees here on September 22nd which matched the record high for this date set in 1895. While some of you may be happy to have summer all year long, I am really looking forward to the cold front headed our way for mid-late week this week. We received ingredients for this meal in a recent Blue Apron delivery and just couldn’t bring ourselves to make chili with this 90+ degree weather we’ve been having. Our weekend included watching Tech beat Houston on Saturday (making them now 3-0), a fun game night with friends, and some delicious Blue Apron meals (Fusilli Bucati Pasta with Summer Squash, Corn, & Tomatoes, Summer Vegetable Paella with SaffronSpiced Freekeh & Chickpea Bowls with Glazed Carrots, and Katsu-Style Eggplant with Stir-Fried Green Beans & Sweet Peppers).

#gamenight

Blue Apron meals

by Valerie | 09.25.17 | For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy, Recipes | No Comments »

total eclipse

sun streaming

In case you’ve been living in a cave or hiding under a rock somewhere you might not be aware that today, Monday, August 21, 2017, there will be a total solar eclipse which will be visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. In other countries it will only be visible as a partial eclipse. The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918, eclipse, and not since the February 1979 eclipse has a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States. (see more here)

Here are some safe ways to view the eclipse; Ryan made his own pinhole camera using a box, some tape, a piece of white paper, and some aluminum foil.

Interested in seeing this from the comfort of your own, home, office, etc.? Here are a few sources for a live-stream of the event:

Listen to this…I’m, sorry I just can’t help myself!

by Valerie | 08.21.17 | For Funsies | No Comments »

weekend haps

lovely day for a on the patio with @deptofmiscellany

If you can find a nice patio, with some shade and preferably a cool breeze (and a cold beer) on a summer day, take advantage of it always! We began our weekend doing just that at Dominick’s and it was lovely. While my Texas friends and family may laugh at this, I’m going to say it…we’ve had some hot temps here in A2 this last week, with highs climbing into the high 80’s and low 90’s over the weekend; it definitely feels like summer here – hot, humid, and sweaty. Despite the weather, Ryan managed to dig out all of our existing fence posts (which were all that was left of our dilapidated fence) over the weekend and we currently have brand new ones sitting in the floor of our garage waiting to be placed into the ground; we’re very excited at the prospect of having a new, functional fence – complete with gate – in the near future and are looking forward to enjoying our backyard with Maddy. And we have now added a post hole digger to our growing pile of tools and equipment in our garage.

We enjoyed a walk to Zingerman’s Roadshow with Maddy for breakfast bright and early Saturday morning and we saw Wonder Woman at the theater (here I am, as a kid, in my Wonder Woman suit). Hope you’re having some summer fun of your own and enjoying the sunshine!

...order some food! @zingermansroadshow #zingermans

by Valerie | 06.13.17 | Around our home, Around town, For Funsies, Marvelous Maddy | 1 Comment »

weekend haps

58 & rainy on a Saturday afternoon in May

We enjoyed a cool, rainy weekend here in A2; watched some movies, cooked this Blue Apron meal, and visited my 26th Michigan brewery when we stopped by Brewery Becker in Brighton – my personal favorites on tap were the West Coaster (west coast style IPA), Victoria (Victorian era export stout), and Hefeweizen (classic wheat beer of Bavaria). Looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend ahead!

Baked Spinach Flatbreads with Sautéed Asparagus & Lemon #blueapron

Brewery Becker

by Valerie | 05.22.17 | Around our home, For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

They say it’s your birthday

I have been eyeing these lovely earrings for some time; to my delight, Ryan gifted them to me for my birthday today!

I celebrated my birthday yesterday, and while it was a cloudy, rainy day here in A2 I didn’t mind – April showers, bring May flowers, after all. I had been eyeing these lovely, Alex Monroe chrysanthemum flower earrings (pictured above) for some time and, to my delight, Ryan gifted them to me for my birthday! We also enjoyed a delicious lunch out at Real Seafood Company and dinner at Aventura. It was so nice to receive happy birthday wishes, cards, and gifts from so many family and friends too – thank you all for making me feel so loved!

birthday fun

Thank you @jenseibert1

Busted out my new umbrella on this rainy day in A2; thanks, Mom & Dad!

by Valerie | 04.04.17 | Around town, For Funsies | 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 »

sunshine and bubbles

Untitled

We enjoyed a cold, but sunny afternoon in downtown A2 on Saturday – before heading home, we stopped by the heated tent on the patio of The Beer Grotto; watching the bubbles rise in our sunshine-lit glasses underneath the outdoor heater was a most relaxing way to spend a cold Saturday. Look at the bubbles…you’re getting very sleepy… Speaking of getting sleepy, my body still thinks it’s an hour earlier after the time change which made our lack of blue skies here today (we’re expecting several inches of snow and it’s been snowing all morning) even tougher to brave. I’m looking forward to more sunshine and bubbles in my future; that and if only I could always enter a room like this!

#annarbor

by Valerie | 03.13.17 | Around town, For Funsies | 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 »

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