Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Night Out and the Peony Garden

So I work with these two stunners...

I've mentioned before, in this Kauai post, that I love my job.  A huge part of that love comes from enjoying the people that I get to see and work with everyday.  We joke about how we spend more time together than we do with our spouses!  Which is kind of sadly true if we're just counting waking hours...

Lucky for us we, like each other!  I look forward to Monday mornings to hear how the weekend went for everyone, how is your family?  What did you cook this weekend?  Where'd you go?  We talk about our non-work groups of friends and how even though we don't actually know them, we keep up with them since it beats saying "I went to xyz with our friends" and never knowing who we're talking about.  It is nice to put a name and a face to a friend of a friend.  Which is how this ladies' night came about...

Linda was willing to let us plan a night to get together and spend some time with a few of her friends that we've heard about.  It was especially fun to meet these ladies since Linda is getting married in a few weeks and we'll see each other again at the wedding!

Mo and her newest family member, Max.  They are both charmers <3
Mo graciously offered to host everyone and, let me tell you, this woman knows how to put out a smörgåsbord!!!  I pride myself in being a good hostess and I was taking some mental notes; she couldn't have done a better job making everything perfect but with a totally relaxed vibe that made you feel at home.  Fresh fruit, artichoke hearts, nuts, chocolate, meats, cheese, crackers, shrimp cocktail, and a few specialty cocktails of the drinkable variety.  She rustled up some moonshine from somewhere and had the ingredients for a basil gimlet, my drink of choice - everything was just so delicious!  Then to top it all off, she made some elaborate chocolate cakes that were out of this world.  And I don't fancy myself as a cake lover :)

It was already a festive event and then history happened!  Before this night, there were only 11 Triple Crown winners, but on June 6, 2015, American Pharaoh become number twelve!  Needless to say the night was pretty epic.

^^ Can we just talk about this crazy wall garden??  I need this in my house!

We played around for a while longer and eventually headed off to dinner at Mani Osteria & Bar

We ordered a bunch of dishes to share and a few to not share :) I didn't want to dive across the table to get blurry pictures of everything so I only snapped a few of the dishes that were around me.  I'm sure if I asked they would've let me but Linda has told me that she can go on an entire vacation and not take one picture.  Although this is pretty much the exact opposite of my style, there is definitely something to be said about not taking pictures.

About Mani though.  The food is always way too delicious!  Even their gluten-free options are bangin'.  If you come to Ann Arbor and need to know where to go for a casual dinner, this is the one.

Pickled tomatoes served with toasty bread, smooth goat cheese and an olive tapenade -

A better than classic pepperoni pizza -

Lamp chops -

Mr. fish -

At this point, the post title sounds like we frolicked over to the Peony Garden, slightly tipsy with full bellies and danced among the blooms...

But that is not what happened.  The next day, about 4pm, when I could finally function after spending the day on the couch for probably obvious reasons, Andy and I headed to the Peony Garden.  They only bloom for a short period of time in late May / early June and we were leaving for Italy in a few days - if we wanted to see the peonies this year, we had to go now!

I was feeling a bit sleepy and puffy but we were both happy that we made it out for a walk in the Peony Garden where Andy and I got engaged a few years ago <3


  1. So much fun! The peony garden is gorgeous :)


    1. Thanks for reading Maireem! Yes, the Peony Garden is a must each year, it's pretty incredible to have so many in one place! - Charlie

  2. You all look stunning - what a lovely garden!

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com

    1. You're so sweet, thank you, Krissie! We had a fun ladies night and the refreshing Peony Garden the next day was just what the doctor ordered :) thanks for stopping by! - Charlie


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