a goat, a train, and a flower

😍 antique hydrangea 😍My week included a visit to Cornman Farms (I pet a goat [they name all of their goats there], picked some lavender, and did you know they host cocktail classes there once a month?…It was hard to leave when it was time to go!), an impromptu dinner date with Ryan at Sidetracks (we sat on the patio, right next to the train tracks, and watched a train speed by us), and this absolutely stunning antique hydrangea in the photo above (they’re only available for a very short time of the year here and I can’t get enough of them – they’re enormous and the color is amazing). Zingerman's Cornman Farms

pet a goat, picked some lavender - it was a good daydinner date at Sidetrack

by Valerie | 08.21.15 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

2012: Week 33

4 kinds of mustard - 2 thumbs up!

2012: Week 33
4 kinds of mustard – 2 thumbs up!

by Valerie | 08.24.12 | Photography | 1 Comment »

EMU Art Department Annual Faculty Exhibition, Part II

EMU Art Faculty Show

Beautiful & interesting work at the EMU Art Department Annual Faculty Exhibition, Part 2! Pictured above is the work of Brooks Stevens & pictured below is the work of Amy Sacksteder.

You can see more photos from the installation here. Come check it out in person at the opening reception on Wednesday, March 23 from 4-7pm.

EMU Art Faculty Show

by Valerie | 03.19.11 | For Funsies | 2 Comments »

Elbow Room

What a fun weekend we had! Got to spend a lot of time with many wonderful friends, saw some live music (our friends Jim Roll & Danny Kline played) at the Elbow Room in Ypsi on Friday night, did some great shopping at all my favorite places (Pot & Box, Everyday Wines, Treasure Mart, Tea Haus, etc.), had a great breakfast at Beezy’s & saw the 2010 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art at MOCAD in Detroit on Saturday, & saw Little Shop of Horrors at the Performance Network with friends on Sunday!

by Valerie | 04.18.10 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

I’d rather be a musician

Ryan & I had a great weekend filled with live music, friends, & fun!

We started our weekend off on Friday evening by attending the Ann Arbor Folk Festival at Hill Auditorium & we saw some really amazing acts. Iron & Wine was magical; give that man a mic & a guitar & prepare to be blown away – seriously, it’s the kind of music that’s so beautiful & performed with such passion that it kind of makes you want to cry! And I discovered some new bands that I wasn’t aware of before the concert, but that I went home after the concert & immediately purchased their albums on iTunes – such as Hoots & Hellmouth & also Nervous But Excited. These people are immensely talented & I was mesmerized through the whole show; I couldn’t help but wish I could somehow be a part of it all & I was completely caught up in it.

During the concert Ryan made a comment about wanting to be a musician, which would be just as hard if not harder than making it as an artist & which we decided he should really put on a t-shirt. “I’d rather be a musician” – I’d wear that shirt!

Saturday started off with a delicious brunch at Beezy’s Cafe; the photo here is of her homemade pb&j french toast (the jelly was homemade, blueberry jelly too) – if you haven’t been to Beezy’s, you should really do yourself a favor & check it out. Then we installed Ryan’s work at the 2010 EMU Art Faculty Show, enjoyed more fun art viewing & socializing with friends at Osman’s place (photo below), & then had a Scrabble tournament at Mark & Amy’s to end the night.

And on Sunday we had the pleasure of seeing our friend Danny Kline play at Old Town & it was the perfect way to end our fun, music-filled weekend.

I’ll end this post by saying that I have the utmost respect for artists & musicians & I am constantly amazed with what they create & that they have the confidence & skill to put it out there in the world; thanks for doing what you do & for doing it so well!

by Valerie | 02.01.10 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

Shop Local


I’m a big fan of shopping at local/family owned businesses. I find that what these places have to offer is of the highest quality & many of the items are unique, handmade, &/or hard to find elsewhere. In addition, I’ve found that my shopping experience is night & day different than what you usually get at a chain store; locally owned business employees/owners will almost always take the time to get to know you & your tastes (especially if you frequent their shop), greet you with a smile, & personally help you find whatever it is that you’re looking for in their shop.

We did some Christmas shopping yesterday (& squeezed in some things for ourselves too, I must admit) & visited one of my favorite, local shops, Tea Haus. The selection of teas & tea accessories is quite impressive & their tea is high quality & delicious; whatever your tea tastes are, they will definitely have one (or two, or three…) for you. The staff there is friendly, helpful, & very knowledgeable & I urge you to give this place a try if you haven’t been.

There are many local businesses that we love to support here in the Ann Arbor area & I encourage you to seek out local businesses in your area – you won’t regret it!

Here’s a few of our favorite, local businesses:
Acme Mercantile
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Beezy’s Cafe
Bella Rosie
Cupcake Station
Downtown Home & Garden
Everyday Wines
Grizzly Peak
Herb David Guitar Studio
Middle Earth
The Rocket
Spice Merchants
Tea Haus
Treasure Mart
Vault of Midnight
Washtenaw Dairy

Another great local event that you can check out in the area for some unique gifts is the Shadow Art Fair.

by Valerie | 11.28.09 | Around town, For Funsies, Holidaze | 2 Comments »

Lotto Love from Beer Town!!!




Just having some fun with some pics from around town and sending a whole lotta love from beer town. (Beer Town is from Tom’s Party Store the Coldest Beer + Wine in Ypsi)

by Ryan | 08.22.09 | Around town, For Funsies | No Comments »

The Great Nopales Quest of 2009!


We decided that we’d like to have Nopales (Prickly Pear) tacos for dinner tonight; Ryan’s made these before & they’re delicious! So we set out on a mission to find our Nopales… Although Whole Foods had most of the ingredients (Queso Fresco, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, squash, etc.) for our Mexican feast, we couldn’t find our key ingredient. And so began the great Nopales quest of 2009!

After making many calls to local grocery stores, we finally stumbled upon a Mexican grocery called Dos Hermanos & were much like 2 children on Christmas morning staring at presents under the tree; not only did this place have Nopales, they had so much more. We picked up the best Tomatillos we’ve ever seen in Michigan (these are usually very small & sad looking at most regular grocery stores here, if you can find them at all) for a fresh, homemade salsa verde as well as some Asadero cheese.

So, thank you, Dos Hermanos, for being there for us in our hour of need! Suddenly we are aware that we can have Nopales & other Mexican specialty ingredients whenever we want & we are very lucky to live in a place that offers us so many great grocery stores that allow us to find the ingredients to cook whatever our hearts & our tummy’s desire.

When the grilled veggies & Nopales are placed on flour tortillas, topped with fresh, homemade salsa verde & guacamole, & sprinkled with Queso Fresco or Asadero cheese, I know that I will appreciate them that much more; I do love a good adventure!

by Valerie | 08.09.09 | For Funsies, Recipes | No Comments »

Vegan Brunch


Our good friends, Mark & Amy, invited us over to join them & others for a vegan brunch feast that could easily rival the best Thanksgiving spreads in variety, selection, & most definitely in flavor; I don’t know about others, but I know that I had been looking forward to this for days!

Ryan, after testing (& both failing & succeeding on different occasions) his own recipe several times earlier in the week, was able to triumph with this vegan doughnut recipe & they came out light, fluffy, & absolutely delicious! His dedication & commitment to getting these doughnuts right should not go unmentioned though, as he got up at 5am in order to have these delicious doughnuts ready for an 11am brunch (they take quite a while to rise & then rise again, etc. before you can fry them up).

In addition to his homemade vegan doughnuts, he made vegan, gluten free “Fauxstess Cupcakes”, spicy skillet home fries, & vegan savory swirls (otherwise known as “Ryan’s Rolls” by our good friend Ken). I think one word can sum this all up – YUM!


Click here for more photos… (more…)

by Valerie | 07.19.09 | For Funsies | 4 Comments »

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