Saturday, June 18, 2011

cute painting idea

TOTALLY love this nursery painting idea from one of Young House Love's house crashings.

I wish there was a straight on pic of these adorable animal canvasses, but you can get the idea here! I love the simplicity of the clean white silhouettes and also the progression of the blue tones. (Also was excited to see the zoo fabric from Brody's baby quilt on that lamp!!) :)

I love the versatility of this idea too, like a cluster of silhouetted bathroom icons (like a tub, a toothbrush, bubbles) in a bathroom, or kitchen gadgets in a kitchen, etc.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


To celebrate Ellis finishing up law school--and give my aunt the excuse to babysit Brody overnight--Ellis and I decided to go on a little one-night getaway to one of our FAVORITE cities EVER, Annapolis. Annapolis is on our list of top 5 places in which we would love to live, along with Haverford, PA and Black Mountain, NC.

Here is the gorgeous downtown taken from near the waterfront.

We wanted to find a B&B type place to stay, and were super excited to find the Historic Inns of Annapolis, a group of 3 different historic buildings in downtown Annapolis. We chose the Maryland Inn, and loved it!

It also had an awesome porch for sitting and reading. This is a dream come true for Ellis--I think his idea of a perfect day is one in which he could sit outside and read undisturbed all day long. For me, it took a while to get back into reading after NSA, but I've totally caught the bug again lately and have been on a book rampage. This particular trip I was reading The Kite Runner, which was fabulous, and I'm really excited to read his other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

We ate lunch at our fav place, Buddy's Crabs and Ribs.

Stopped in at several of the cool shops like Capital Teas. (this is the one pic I got before the lady told me I wasn't allowed)
And of COURSE the smokeshop!

We also ran into a few of Ellis' law school friends, who were up for a girls' trip to Annapolis!
The only pic I got of the waterfront was at night. It's gorgeous, and so fun. There is an AWESOME crepe shop where we got breakfast called Sofi's Crepes. I'd never had a crepe other than a Nutella crepe before, but I branched out and got a bacon, egg, and cheese crepe. I know it sounds like McDonald's, but NO. Seriously, I want to go on a trip and get Sofi's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It was so fun to get away with Ellis just the two of us, and no Brody. ALTHOUGH we actually called my aunt a couple times just cause we missed him. Thanks so much, Tammi, for watching him for us!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Then and now

June 11, 2010

NowJune 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pre-birthday Brody movie marathon

Brody will be one tomorrow. Maybe I should be jumping up and down, but it's actually really bittersweet. I know the next steps will be just as fun and exciting as this past year has been, but it's so much fun now, I want this to last forever! Anyway, it happened so fast, and so now I'm scrambling to catch up on these old vids before we get a bunch of fresh new 1-year-old footage! So hope you enjoy these vids of our best buddy ever!

This one was one night in mid April--so 10 months. Playing with Dad before bed.
In this one, we had an early birthday party for Brody in VA Beach with our friends there, and he went CRAZY over the wrapping paper!

This is how Brody spent his time during Ellis' graduation ceremony.

And last, Brody loves swimming almost as much as he loves music and dancing. When we first put him in the pool a few weeks before this, he went nuts, paddling around like a wind-up toy. I tried to get that on video here, but by the time I pulled out the camera, he was kind of tuckered.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baked Bree Baked Oatmeal

My sister Julie just got married and she is already super-wife. Not only does she pack Nathan lunch every single day, but she also makes him breakfast every single day. When Ellis heard that, he was like, "What?! some wives do that for their husbands?" Soooo....I'm working on trying to be a breakfast-making, lunch-packing wife for him this summer!

The main issue is that I'm a really awful morning person, so it's all I can do to rouse into half-consciousness and give Ellis a kiss goodbye. I seriously think if I trained myself to get up at 6 every day, half of my life problems would be solved. All that is to say that I'm on the lookout for breakfasts that you can make once and then have a bunch of leftovers that actually stay good and reheat.

As is probably obvious, I'm kind of on a food blog SPREE, so I tried Baked Bree's Healthy Baked Oatmeal this morning. Delicious and SO easy!

Here's the pic from Baked Bree--we can just pretend mine was this pretty! ;)

Here we go:

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup (and more syrup for serving)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons butter melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 bananas
1 1/2 cups blackberries (blueberries, raspberries, or a mixture)

Mix your dry ingredients (only half the walnuts though), then mix your wet ingredients. Chop fruit if needed and lay bananas and half of berries out on bottom. Then add dry ingredients, then wet on top, and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle the rest of your fruit and walnuts on top and bake at 375 for 35-45 min.

Changes I made: trying to make it more WeightWatchers friendly for my mom and a friend, I only used 2 T of butter and only sprinkled walnuts on half of the top, so their pieces didn't have all the extra nuts. Also, it turned out plenty sweet, so you could easily reduce the sugar and add more berries. The berry bites were my fav and next time I'll add more berries than Bree calls for!

AND the best part is that now I have slabs of baked oatmeal ready to go for Ellis' breakfasts so I can be superwife like Julie!

Oh oh! BONUS: Brody likes it! he's so picky right now that I can't count on him to eat anything, but he gobbled it up!

I would like to soak the oatmeal first, but I was paranoid about it making the baked oatmeal all mushy. Any tips?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

must eat this pizza!

Since I don't have a house or apartment to work on this summer, I'm pretty obsessed with trying new foods and focusing more energy on that. Also, since we're eating 3 dinners a week with my parents, that helps out with the grocery budget and means I can let myself buy some more interesting ingredients for the meals that I am making!

This domestic restlessness yesterday prompted me to abandon my normal stand-by pizza dough recipe and try out the one on Smitten Kitchen, one of my new favorite cooking blogs. offense to my old quickie pizza was the best decision EVER! This pizza took longer to make than my old recipe--about 1 hr and 45 minutes from start to finish rather than less than an hour, but it was completely worth it!

Here are her instructions with my modifications in italics:

Smitten Kitchen's Really Simple Pizza Dough

Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. Double it if you like your pizza thick and bready. I was nervous about the pizza being too thin and wimpy, so I quadrupled the recipe to make 2 big pizzas and 1 more ball of dough in the freezer. It was so thick and filling that Julie, Nathan, Ellis, Brody and I only ate one pizza between us all, and now Ellis has a whole pizza for lunches the rest of the week. So I think that she is a bit conservative about the portions. One recipe I think would make a perfectly sized, medium crust pizza!

1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar (sorry about that random space--it won't let me get rid of it!)

Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. I tasted it at this point, and thought it was a little salty so added the sugar in. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.

If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.

Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size. I preheated the oven and let it rise in there, and it had doubled in an hour.

Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.

Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.)

Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.

Our dough puffed up beautifully, but wasn't the least bit doughy. LOVED it!!

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