Downtown Plymouth

Over the weekend I stopped in downtown Plymouth. It was snowing pretty hard and as I was driving I could feel how heavy and wet it was getting.  It is our first big snowstorm of the year in southeast Michigan:

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I stopped at one of my favorite little shops in downtown Plymouth to pick up some Tempaper for our powder room.  I’ll share more about my plan for that next week.

Haven (the shop) was all decorated for Christmas and it felt magical:

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Opening Day Buffalo Check

November 15 is a holiday here in the state of Michigan- opening day for firearm hunting season.  Or “Christmas with guns” as they say in the movie Escanaba in Da Moonlight. I’ve been informed by our builder that construction on our house will stop during this two week hunting season (Nov 15-30).  So I guess I will not be cooking my Thanksgiving turkey in our new house. Only in Michigan does the world stop so 750,000 hunters can go out and shoot deer. Or wolves, this year at least.  My mom was at Meijer last night in Brighton and she said there was a line of hunters waiting to get their limited-availability wolf hunting licenses for the season.

Hunting is not really my thing.  As a former vegetarian, I just can’t see myself actually shooting a deer.  Shopping is my sport of choice! Buffalo check is a trend I’ve seen in fashion and home decor this year.  In honor of Opening Day, here are some of my favorite buffalo check finds:

Buffalo Check Collage

clockwise, from upper left

women’s red coat/buffalo check chair/infinity scarf/women’s vest/girls’ coat/kids bedroom

PS- you can watch Escanaba in Da Moonlight for free on Hulu right now to get in the spirit of Opening Day

NYC, Detroit & weekend recap

Last week I was in New York City for work, and it was a busy/quick trip.  But, I did find the time to see Big Fish on Broadway with my boss. I love musicals, so I’m glad it worked out.  The usual star of Big Fish was off that night, so we saw Ben Crawford as Edward Bloom. The ending was very sweet and I cried, as usual.  I cry at commercials sometimes, so it only takes a bit to get me going! My hotel this visit was in SoHo. I took a walk around the block in the early evening on Thursday and found a bakery/coffee shop called The Frog’s Crown. The staff person working told me to try their coconut latte.  They make their own coconut milk blend in-house, that I might experiment with at home to recreate. Very yummy!

Frogs Crown Just around the corner was Anthropologie, my favorite “chain” store. Their sale section at this SoHo location was huge. I saw a couple of purple Rivulets Quilts on sale for half off. I wasn’t sure on the color and it would not be easy to bring it home with me since I flew Spirit Airlines.  They charge for every bag, it is insane. But it was a great price on one of their very popular items. Anthro I got home from NYC on Friday and spent the weekend enjoying this little guy. Lucas Tigers Hat

When I picked him up from “school” aka, daycare on Friday he said “my miss you mommy”. Aw, melt my heart.  I missed him too. Saturday mornings Lucas has a class that he takes which introduces the kids to all different types of sports.  This week it was parachutes and balance beams.  After sports class, we stopped at the local fire station because they were having an open house for fire prevention week.  It was like a convention for 2-5 year old boys.  There were so many kids!  Lucas has seen fire trucks up close a few times this year. But he has never held a fire hose, until NOW! With help from Daddy and the fireman, of course:

Fire Hose 1 Fire Hose 2 Just look at that little smile!  He is thrilled… Fire Hose 3 Fire Hose 4

 

The fire helmet Lucas is wearing was purchased at a Halloween store in the area. Lucas had worn a helmet he received at another fire house event earlier in the summer, but it was cracked and broken. We decided to get him something a little more sturdy. The cashier who checked us out at the Halloween store told me that he was also works as a firefighter with the Detroit Fire Department. He works two jobs because his salary as a firefighter is not enough. He said that the DFD would love to put on events for kids and give helmets, coloring books, etc. but they just don’t have the budget. That conversation has stuck with me over the past few weeks.  I thought of him when we were at this event at the Canton Fire Department over the weekend.

Detroit Police are actually telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“. The documentary Burn shows an up close look at what the Detroit Fire Department is dealing with in our declining city. There are so many stories to read about Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.  The question the day is Detroit eligible for bankruptcy?

Where I live in the suburbs of Detroit things feel different. We are isolated from the city and carry on with our own lives continuing to distance ourselves.  My family and friends are moving away to places like Washtenaw, Oakland and Livingston counties. I want my son to have a safe, warm and educational upbringing. Detroit is not a place where that can happen now. Did you know the murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City? The violent crime rate is 5 times higher than the national average.

I read statistics like this and feel saddened, but yet curious about a solution.  How can we help Detroit? What does it take?

Little fireman at the Henry Ford Museum

Lucas’ grandma watches him on Mondays and Tuesdays while I am at work.  He goes to daycare the rest of the week. Today Lucas and Grandma took a little field trip to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. Lucas insisted on wearing his fireman coat, hat and boots to the museum:

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The Henry Ford Museum has a large area dedicated to automobiles, naturally! Grandma texted me a couple of photos throughout the visit.  The museum has an interactive exhibit that allows kids to practice taking care of the cars. Here’s Lucas under the hood, checking out the fluid levels:

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And it seems his fire hat needed to go back on for this part of the inspection:

Lucas Henry Ford

I’m sure we’ll be back again soon to visit the cars.  Next time, I hope I can come too!

PS- can anyone guess what Lucas will be for Halloween?

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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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!