Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brody hits Fort Wayne

I totally need to put up pics, too, I know. But for some reason posting videos takes it out of me--cause they take SOOOO long to load. There's actually one more video from the Chicago/Fort Wayne trip, in Chicago, but it REALLY takes forever to load. So I'll just include it in the next Brody post, which should be soon, cause he's been doing so much fun stuff lately!

What a boy.

This next one was at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, which was the BEST zoo I have ever been to. Too bad there aren't ducks here in Moscow, cause Brode LOVES them. He also was way into the fish--we were in the aquarium for like half an hour. My fav part of this video is Brody's sound effects, haha.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Living room thoughts

I'm so excited to have scored some nice neutral furniture finally! In VA Beach, it was kinda tough to work around the blue plaid couch, the brown and blue zigzag loveseat, and the ashy carpet.

But HERE we have wood laminate, a beige leather couch we bought from my sis for $40 and a cream chair and ottoman, which were $5 for the pair. We also have a big maroon leather chair of my parents, which I am hoping to replace with something smaller and lighter, as it blocks a bigger chunk of the window than I would like.

The other day, on Pinterest (the site that's been keeping me away from blogging!), my friend Lish pinned the most amazing cheap rug from Urban Outfitters:

Right away it went on my birthday list! I was thinking it'd be awesome to have this rug and then some throw pillows with a fun ikat like this:

Obviously, that's not exactly the right one, but I'm kinda on an Ikat kick, so I'm searching high and low for the perfect fabric!

SADLY my birthday is still a month away, and Urban Outfitters is down to only the Black and White zigzag! :(

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the blue (or the gray, either one!) will reappear! And if not, maybe I'll just make one myself using this Ikea rug painting tutorial!

(Pinterest images: rug and fabric)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Talking to Little Kids

I just read this adorable article over at A Cup of Jo (one of my fav blogs!) a week or so ago, and have been thinking about it ever since. It's about talking to little girls (or kids in general!) about ideas and books to really get to know them and make them feel listened to! As someone who TOTALLY falls into complimenting little kids on their hairbows and ties and dimples all the time, I loved this advice for an alternative to small talk. So cute.

Here's the article (and one of the cute pics she had with it:

This Saturday, Toby and I were riding the bus downtown, when a six-year-old girl sat down next to us. She was wearing a white dress and sparkly red flats, and her blonde hair was twisted into a braid. My first instinct was to compliment her hairstyle, but I stopped myself...

I had just read the GREAT article
How to Talk to Little Girls by Lisa Bloom, which encourages adults to ask little girls about ideas and books, instead of complimenting their looks. "Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything," says Bloom. "I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are...It's our culture's standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn't it?"

(It's true! It's really easy and almost instinctive to compliment a little girl's appearance, don't you think?)

"Clothes or hair or's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn," Bloom writes. "Try this the next time you meet a little girl [ask her what she's reading]. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it...Model for her what a thinking woman says and does."

So, instead of telling the girl on the bus how much I liked her hair, I went ahead and asked her what books she liked. She told me that her mom was reading The Little House in the Prairie to her at night, and that they read one chapter per night, unless it was a long chapter, in which case they read half. We talked about books for five bus stops (that's a long time in midtown traffic!) and then I asked her what she had for breakfast. "Pancakes," she said. I told her that I loved pancakes with lemon and sugar, and her mom looked up and said, "That's how I ate them growing up in Germany." And then the little girl told me how she had gone on an airplane (!) to Germany earlier that summer and how she had seen a fox during her trip and how her grandparents took to her swimming and to the movies, where you could eat pizza in your seats.

I was thrilled by our conversation! (Although
Toby fell asleep:) It was so much more interesting than braids.

Lisa Bloom's advice to have real conversations with little girls (and boys!) is wonderful. (Think: "Have you been swimming this summer?" "Do you like animals?" "Do you know any jokes?") Changing the conversation topic is such a seemingly small thing, but it can make a profound difference, don't you think?

What's your take? Do you instinctively compliment little girls' looks, too? What else do you talk about with little girls? Do you remember having smart conversations with adults when you were little? Do you have any young girls in your life to at the moment, or do you have a daughter? Will you take Lisa Bloom's pledge, too? (Think how amazing it would be if we all did this from now on!) Do you think it's important or not that big of a deal? I'm curious to hear your thoughts... xoxo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New place!!

After a summer of living in my parents' basement (aka bachelor pad--there were 4 guys living there all year last year, and Ellis and I burned candles all summer to fight off the guy smell), Ellis, Brody, and I finally moved into a new apartment!!

It's actually the basement apartment of a house, so it's more like a duplex, and we are PUMPED!! Also, did I mention we have great neighbors? My old roomie Amy is living upstairs with her hubby, so we're excited to share a house with them! Here's a tour of the space on move-in day.

The living room/kitchen. Nice big living room with two huge windows, plus a window in the kitchen. Even though this is a basement apartment, it has WAY more light than our apartment at the Village in Virginia. The kitchen is probably the "weakest" part of the place--it's technically a bar in a basement. It has a sink and a stove, but limited cabinet space and the fridge is in the dining room, haha. BUT we LOVE the kitchen being open with the living room, and the bar and bar stools, not to mention the awesome brick wine cellar.

One of the things I'm MOST excited for--a FIREPLACE. I DREAMED of a fireplace in VA Beach--it was on my apartment wish list for our next place, so CHECK. This is EXACTLY what we need for LONG COLD Moscow winters. I know this is a lot of all caps, but it's just way exciting!!

Here's the dining room--it's not the best shot--I'll get a better one when it's all furnished and the fridge is moved into the pantry or into the kitchen.

LAUNDRY ROOM! For the FIRST TIME in our marriage, I will not be hauling laundry baskets to the Village laundry building whenever I need to wash a load! I know all our fellow Regenters understand!

Our bedroom--again, more light than our bedroom in VA Beach.

Brody's room
THIRD bedroom!! So please, come stay! We even have an extra bed of my parents' too, so no air mattress. a real bed!
Huge bathroom. Honestly I don't know why the bathroom is this big, haha, but better too much room than not enough. And yes, there's so much room that Brody's potty chair will totally be out.

The other MOST AWESOME thing about this place, besides the fireplace--a HUGE yard! and it has a fence--so I can just let Brody roam around in the dirt and not worry about cars! Plus, great for parties!

Also I forgot to add, that the rent is $300 less than our in Virginia Beach! We were so blessed to find this place! And this is one super great thing about Moscow over VA Beach! We may not have Target or TJ Maxx :( , but the rent is great here! :)

So there you go! I'll definitely put up pics of the progress as it comes along!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

new Bear videos

I'm pretty much the worst video poster in the world. But it's half Brody's fault because he is not a performer--as soon as I get the camera out, anything cool he was doing immediately stops. I'm guessing he's gonna be like his daddy--I don't think Ellis ever posed for a picture until we got together and we would take pictures and I would be like, "why aren't you smiling? this is a terrible picture!" Now you would never know--now he even smiled for his driver's license!

But anyway, I think until Brody learns that it is just a common courtesy to perform for the camera, that everybody will just have to be content with footage of him just hanging out. :)

Brody LOVES music and dancing, and my dad's favorite thing this summer has been playing old songs for him like the Beegees and the Rolling Stones and then watching the Brode dance.

Dancing and bouncing with aunts and uncles.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer wine love

Mmmm, nothing better on a beach vacation than AMAZING wine!!!

TOTALLY obsessed with this Kyra Chenin Blanc, from Moses Lake, WA. I am a total lightweight, but I could POUND a bottle of this wine because it is THAT GOOD. We just may end up ordering a whole case of them at Christmas and giving them out like Scrooge on Christmas Day!! Thanks, Dad E, for introducing us and for sending us one for the beach!!! :D
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