Ann Arbor Cooks

For our third anniversary, we celebrated by taking a cooking class on Friday night at Ann Arbor Cooks. I love cooking, but am pretty much self-taught and watch way too much Food Network. I’ve wanted to take a real live cooking class for a while and I’m so glad that we did!


There were about 16 people in our class, which started with a demo from one of the chefs on staff.  After the demo, we cooked our three course meals in pairs.  All in all, we were there for about 3.5 hours.

I’m a new blogger and need to get the balance of being in the moment versus snapping as many photos as I can. So my apologies for not taking more detailed photos.  We sure had a good time if that counts for anything!

Here’s what we cooked for dinner:

Simple Fall Greens Salad with Dijon & Red Wine Vinaigrette and Garlic-Toasted Baguette Croutons


The greens were baby kale and we made our own salad dressing.  I learned that traditional vinaigrettes are usually one part vinegar to three parts oil.  However, our instructor prefers hers to be more half and half, so that is how we made ours too. Baking our own croutons in the oven was super easy and worth the effort (croutons are missing from this photo, oops!)

For the main course we had Boeuf Bourguignon with Pearl Onions and Mushrooms with Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables


The stew was fun to make because we got to light some cognac on fire during the process! Still considering whether we can try that at home? Sort of scary.  Also, I officially love brussels sprouts now but only if they are roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

And for desert we made Apple Tarte Tatin and our instructor made vanilla bean ice cream for us to enjoy with our tartes.


The puff pastry was pre-made, but I learned how to make caramel which is incredibly easy.

We are going to try to re-create this meal at home in the next few weeks, so I’ll post full recipes with more detailed pictures then.

Blue & Orange Toddler Boy Room

Big Boy Room Collage

(start upper left, clockwise)

Starburst Wood Mirror– is also from Target. It originally retailed for $49, but I got it on sale over the summer for just $15. Source.

Light– looks industrial and will swap out easily for the builder grade ceiling fixture. Source.

Airplane Propeller– such cute décor item for a boy. This one pictured is from Restoration Hardware and way out of my budget. I found something similar at Homegoods, but unfortunately don’t have a photo to link to just yet. Source.

Inspiration room photo– I saw this on Pinterest many moons ago and just loved it so much it was my inspiration for pulling together Lucas’ big boy room. Source unknown.

Mid-Century Bed- we bought this for Lucas at the Pottery Barn outlet over the summer. It is a West Elm bed and normally retails for $699. I paid just $150 because it was a floor sample and was missing a few pieces of hardware. Source.

Rugby Striped Quilt– I ordered this from Creative Seams on Etsy. The quilter, Jill, is from Ann Arbor and makes just about any color combination you can dream up. Source.

Orange Link Ottoman/Pouf– I found this at Wal-Mart actually and was surprised to see an ottoman like this for under $30. Perfect for a kids room! Source.

National Parks Map- is adorable and has stickers to mark off the places you’ve been. Lots of fun for a little boy. ElloThere on Etsy has a great version.  Source.

Airplane Pillow– very boyish and affordable on Etsy. Source.

Modern bed sheets– are from Target and are currently on sale! I am thinking about picking up an extra set before they sell out. Source.




We have a roof on our house! I drove by this morning and they had the packages of shingles sitting on top. When I came back again this evening, they had made it this far:


3 Oct back

I am very excited about the color. The shingles are Mystique by Building Products of Canada in the color Rustic Cedar. The sample looked more red-brown and I was actually having some anxiety about if it would be too red. In person, the color looks more gray-brown so it is perfect. Our builder recommended rustic cedar to pair with our siding choice and I’m really glad we listened to him now.

3rd wedding anniversary

It is my anniversary today, so I wanted to share a photo from our little Michigan wedding…

We were married on October 2, 2010 at a wine bar/restaurant called Vinology in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our ceremony and reception took place in their “Bubble Room”. It is named for the 400 beautiful hand-blown glass orbs hanging from the ceiling . We had a small, low-key  wedding with about 75 guests, most of whom are family and a few close friends.

To celebrate our third anniversary, we are taking a cooking class together on Friday night.  I hope to have some photos to share next week!

Kitchen Board

Kitchen Board

Kitchen island (upper left) is something we already own and are bringing with us from our previous house. Source.

Light fixture (upper center left) is something we plan to install when we move in because the builder grade options is not really my style. Source.

Subway sign (upper center right) is a fun piece of art that my sister bought me for my birthday at Haven in downtown Plymouth.

Refrigerator (upper right) has already been purchased and we are so excited to start using it. Source.

Dining Chair (lower left) are a hand-me-down from my parents that were purchased at Pottery Barn many years ago. They are downsizing  and moving to their lake house, so they are mine now. Source.

Hardwood floors (lower left) are oak with a light to medium stain called Chestnut by DuraSeal. These will be installed in our kitchen, dining nook and foyer.

Tablecloth (lower center left) is linen with a small detailed stripe and fringe at the bottom from Anthropologie. I have not purchased this yet, but it is on my wish list (hint, hint).

Granite (lower center) for our kitchen and bathroom countertops will be black pearl.

Cabinets (lower center) for our kitchen and bathrooms will be the basic builder grade option.  Our choices were limited, so we selected clove as our color since we felt it would look best with the black granite.

Range (middle right) has not yet been purchased, but I am dreaming of one similar to what is pictured. I have been stalking the appliance outlets and floor samples for a while now.  We’ll see what we end up with for a range.

Curtain panels (lower right) were purchased at Homegoods. They are linen and have a lotus pattern in graphite and white.