Wednesday, March 30, 2011

new Brody pics!

Doing some Brody catch up this week--with videos and now some newer photos. yay!

Even though Brody's FAVORITE "toys" are things like cell phones and electrical cords, water bottles, and thermoses, there are still a few actual toys that will hold his attention!

He totally digs his activity table. He's really grown into too--when he first got it, his standing stamina wasn't was it is now, and after a while I would hear a panicked whimper and look to see him with his legs so straddled that he couldn't stand.

He also loves this car/walker converter he's borrowing from a friend right now. He loves using it both as a car and a walker--though sometimes he pushes the walker faster than he can actually walk and does a faceplant.

Apparently pens are also a new favorite

Proof that he does indeed smile

And of course, one of the best toys EVER, the mirror!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

some Brody vids

I've been TERRIBLY remiss in posting footage of here are a few to catch you up.

He's still not doing the classic crawl, but he manages to get into everything pretty quickly by doing what looks like the breaststroke on land, or like he's doing the worm over and over again. We're hoping maybe this means he's inherited Ellis' dancing genes?

And then we have a couple of OLD vids back from our trip out West at the end of Jan/beg of Feb.

Here are Brody and Auntie Bettye playing the piano!

And then finally, nothing makes Brody laugh like being hit somehow.

Friday, March 25, 2011

nice, fresh, non-toxic clean

Guess what we're doing? Magazine purging!!! Any and all kinds of purging get me excited (well, except for throwing up!)--I just love that feeling of ousting something that was doing nothing by sitting around my house like a parasite, creating clutter. SO satisfying!

Anyway, I love magazines, and when I find one with lots of good ideas, it's so hard for me to throw it away, even though of course, I don't need the whole magazine. I tried the 3-ring binder with folders in it a couple years ago, and that didn't really take because I hated having loose clippings that could fall out of the folder, BUT I was inspired by Caitlin at Pink Peppers, who said she glued her decoration inspiration into an old accountant ledger.

My solution is a little less charming than an old ledger, but it's the same general idea. I purchased 3 ugly "composition books."Yes, THESE. Very classic. One for decoration inspiration/"house stuff," one for food and travel, and one for kids/family/general life ideas. I'm planning on recovering the books, but for now it's exciting enough to cut and glue away!

Anyway, in one old issue of Real Simple, they had a great article on cleaning with everyday products that was too big too clip n' glue, but too great to pass up, so here are some of their awesome clips I wanted to make sure and remember, and hopefully you will like them too!


--Add a teaspoon to your dishwashing detergent to cut grease. (I'm wanting to try putting it in the dishwasher itself with the detergent...not sure that's what they mean, but sounds fun)
--Add 1/2 C. lemon juice to a load of laundry to brighten whites.
--Rub lemon on stained plastic tupperware to brighten.
--And, OF COURSE, feed them to your disposal. One of my FAVORITE things to do is feed any kind of citrus to the disposal. mmmmmmm!

Essential Oils:

--Use orange oil to get gum out of things.
--Use lemon oil to clean soap scum out of the shower.
--Put a few drops of your fav oil inside the toilet paper tube--every time you use it, it will smell nice. HAHA, love that!
--Use lavender or lemongrass oil (10 drops to 2 ounces of water) to clean windows (helps repel flies)

Castile Soap (Dr. Bronner's):

--Make your own "SoftScrub" by combining 1 T. castile soap and 1/3 C. baking soda. Right now we're using Mrs. Meyer's version of SoftScrub, but this will be cheaper.

(The next things aren't pretty, so no pics)

Cooking oils:
--Rub vegetable oil on wicker and rattan furniture to prevent drying and cracking.

--Put a bit on a cloth and rub on tarnished silver.

--Pour salt on oven spills to soak them up. Makes it easier to clean out the oven. (I HOPE so! ovens are the WORST!)
--Sprinkle on grease spots on wooden counters/tables. Wait an hour, and then brush away the salt.

These are just the ones I wanted to never ever forget--check out the whole article for more ideas here at!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

home sweet home

It's recently starting to dawn on me that in less than 7 weeks, we're leaving Virginia Beach! When we first moved here, I was counting down the days till we could pack it up and head back West, but now that it's coming down to it, there are so many people and places we love here! I'm going to miss having so many fabulous friends within a 30 second walk! My friend Melissa is literally a hop, skip, and a jump away. I really think if I made a super big hop, a wollop of a skip, and a leap I could make it to her front door in 3 moves.

But ANYWAY, it occurred to me that I have family and friends back home that have been asking for 3 years for apartment pics. Some of our families have seen it, but some not since the primitive early stages, and by the time graduation comes along, who knows if we'll even have a couch!

Umm, Nota bene: I snapped the pics back in December, so pardon the Christmassy touches. (I promise they're not up now!)

view from the front door --warm greeting from our TV, haha
(can't wait to have a place where the TV is not the first thing you see!)

kitchen--I love our bar that goes into the dining room!
perfect for handing plates through or serving on the bar when I
don't want to get serving dishes dirty!

Brody's room! once was Ellis' office and we thought it might be a multi-functional space but I don'tthink Ellis has studied in here ONCE post Brody!

(p.s. notice the water jugs under the desk? We bought them for the hurricane that was supposed to hit in the fall and can't wait to drink them in picnic season!)

our room--LOVE my Urban Outfitters quilt--thanks, Mom!!

Ellis says one of the things he loves about me is how I always have EVERY SINGLE DRAWER a little bit open (I think that's a nice way of saying, "can you please close the drawers?")--you would THINK I could at least close all the drawers for a photo!

and for a very anti-climactic finish, the bathroom! best part--check out Brody's diaper sprayer on the left side of the toilet!

Looking at these pics, it's really easy to sit here and just think about all the things that I want to change or want to do differently next time, but this little place will always be our first apartment and so there's a little sentimental sappy piece of me hidden in there that knows that no other apartment or house can ever replace this one, even with its gross carpet and my bad choice of shower curtain.

BUT....that said, I am SOOOO excited for our next move and our next place, and for having a brand new space to get to play with!

ETA shameless plug: Virginia Beach friends....let me know if you want any furniture--it's ALL for sale for super cheap! (almost everything for 15 or less)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Starby's Dates

Ellis and I have a new favorite date: Starbucks' French Press for 2.

Generally dates for us tend to involve homemade pizza and Friday Night Lights to keep things cheap, but last week after doing our long run for our half marathon training, Ellis and I went to Starbucks to treat ourselves and further dehydrate ourselves with caffeine.

The French press date only knocked us back $3.60, so we're thinking about making it a weekly or bi-weekly event. Much as we love our at-home couch dates, there's something about going OUT as a couple that keeps life a little less mundane.

Is it just me, or does this last pic feel kinda paparazzi-ish? I feel like I just spied on Brad Pitt getting coffee with one of his kiddos.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nine Months

What does a nine-monther do all day long?

He tears through the DVDs (GREAT new fav toy--cause they can't be ruined by drool)

He loves reading books

He eats real food (well, kind of real. mostly pureed, a few chunks of things, and he's loving discovering the world of Cheerios)

And last, but not least, he throws fits. (My favorite tempers are the ones he throws when he wants so badly to crawl into the kitchen but KNOWS he's not allowed)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Jose Villa photobook!

Jose Villa has a book out on wedding photography--I need it!!

He takes seriously LUSCIOUS film photos

LOVING my d40, but one day I really want to play around with film. I feel like I have to earn it though, since with film each picture costs money!

Speaking of my camera, my friend Abby, who is an AMAZING photographer, just gave me the best gift EVER--she gave me her old 50 mm 1.8 lens!! It doesn't autofocus with a d40, so I have to manually focus everything. It started to hurt my eyes after a while, but I feel like I'm really starting to get the hang of it! At least of things that don't move--like food....Brody crawling, though--that's a TOTALLY different story. ;)
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