After driving our Mini Cooper in Michigan snow last winter, we started thinking about trading her in for a more snow-ready vehicle. There were multiple times we’d be spinning our tires trying to get out of B&L’s neighborhood, which really is pretty flat. Now we’re living on the top of Westnedge Hill and it’s a pretty steep hill to climb (let’s just say I have to walk my bike up the hill to get home from rides). Then we added Bear to the mix and Costco runs in the Mini… with Bear… are a little tight. So we’ve been looking at vehicles with more space.

We’ve been looking at Jeeps, along with  other cars, over the summer. Yesterday we found a Jeep at a good price without too much rust, so we decided to go for it. It’s a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. I’ve always wanted an old truck and I love it. We don’t have plates for it yet, so I’ll have to be content driving it up and down the driveway until tomorrow. Bear’s also anticipating our first drive.

Living room

Happy 4th! Luke, Bear, and I are enjoying a low-key day in our air conditioning since the temp is currently 99 degrees. Since I have some extra time today, I thought I’d unveil our newly painted living room.

Unlike previous times I’ve picked out paint colors (like mango, fluorescent banana) I really did my homework this time since we’re hoping to live with these colors for a while. I spent more than a few hours adding ideas to my living room and home boards on Pinterest, perusing pictures on Houzz, and catching up the decorating blogs I follow like Little Green Notebook. When I had narrowed down a few options, I used Benjamin Moore’s ‘paint your room online‘ tool which led me to switch the rooms for the colors I’d picked out the night before we painted. I’d originally planned to paint the dining room this dark gray/green color (Benjamin Moore’s Duxbury Gray) but I love it in the living room and am really happy with the end results. I’ll post pictures of the dining room another day. And thank you to my in-laws for spending their day off (and then some!) helping me paint and bringing my standards up to their level of perfection.




Luke and I have been thinking about getting a dog for awhile now. After giving some serious consideration to whether I’m ready for the responsibility of walking a dog (esp. in lake effect snow), picking up it’s poop, and vacuuming multiple times a week… (sigh) I finally filled out adoption paperwork yesterday for Vinny. He is a one-year-old Pit Bull Terrier/ Labrador Retriever Mix. I’m super excited.

It’s a pretty rigorous adoption process–you fill out a 1-2 page online application and then you have two phone interviews, the first is an initial screen and the second is a phone inteview with the current foster parents. After the phone interviews you have two face-to-face meetings with the dog and their foster parents… one at Vinny’s foster house and one at ours. I’m hoping this is a good fit but if not there are other fish in the sea.

Welcome to the garden

The weather was gorgeous this weekend so Luke and I decided to tackle some landscaping a few of the garden beds in the backyard. We went to a local nursery and picked up plants to fill things in a bit. It’s a little hard to see the plants from these pictures, so I’ll just have to feature detailed garden pictures in another post. Here are some before and after pictures (the before pictures were taken 4-6 weeks ago and I took the other pictures tonight). It’s been a lot of fun watching things fill in.

Before                                                                         After



The frontyard is still overtaken by weeds, so I’ll save those pictures for another day.

Two weeks

Now that we’re two weeks out from closing on our house (#$&*@#!!) I’ve started planning out how I’d like to arrange our (new!?)  furniture. Luke found a handy online tool that I’ve been playing around with. You can build out all the dimensions of your room, including windows and doors, and then decorate your little heart out. I like the 3D feature because it gives you a good sense of the space.

Here’s what I’m thinking for the living room, pictured below. The fireplace is off to the left in the first picture, between two windows.

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