Monday, January 31, 2011

laundry...the homemade way :)

I'm not sure about you, but I am always looking for ways to cut down on costs and use products that are a bit more eco-friendly.

As I was searching for some information on laundering cloth diapers (just doing a little research before we get started in a few weeks), I came across a fabulous website!

For the past 6 months or so I have been using homemade laundry detergent from here (the one I use is a powder detergent...recipe #4). I've really been thinking that it would be nice to make some more of my own cleaning products, because this one works so well and is pretty easy and cheap to make! That takes me back to the fabulous website I mentioned earlier!

As I was looking for cloth diaper laundry methods and such, I found a recipe for homemade fabric softener that you can either use in your rinse cycle or make dryer sheets with (<--my preference). She said that for her, each batch will do about 50 loads of laundry and only costs about 50 cents to make! Talk about saving some money :)

This lady also had a recipe for homemade Febreeze which I cannot wait to try!

Guess I will do a follow-up in a few weeks to let you know what I think about these things once I've tried them!

maternity photo preview

So many of you have been requesting a baby belly picture, so here is one! Maybe not exactly what you were looking for, but I wanted to share it! We had a few maternity pics takes on Friday and this is just one of the shots we got! I love it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

friday night

Today is Friday!
Although, I am not sure why that excites me so much. I don't work throughout the week and this semester I only have class on Mondays, but still the thought of the weekend is thrilling (even if Mike does have to work all weekend).
Speaking of work...that's why I'm writing tonight. Mike was asked to come into Starbucks on his day off to cover a shift for a very special someone--my sister :) I'm so proud of him because rather than being upset about working on his day off, he was SO willing to do it and help his little sis out! Thats one of the many reasons I love him--he is selfless so much of the time!

Now with Mike at work I am faced with a Friday evening to myself.

I actually came to work with him (because the internet at our apartment isn't working currently) and have been sipping a hazelnut latte and doing some homework. It really is a shame that the only Starbucks around us is in the mall. It would be much more peaceful and relaxing if it wasn't, but we are in West Virginia, so I should be appreciative of what we DO have right? RIGHT!

So now that my homework is finished and what's left of my latte is cold, I think I am going to move onto reading--for pleasure! That is something that RARELY happens for this girl! With all the studying/reading I do for school, I don't usually feel like reading. Tonight is a different story though! I have 2 very different books in my bag, and now comes the hard part--choosing which one to read!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday night and a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

dairy free

I think it is official...part of the Ervin household is going "dairy free"! We have been suspicious for a while that Mike might have a lactose issue, but recently it has been getting much worse. I'm not sure why that is or how it works, but he used to be able to handle a little bit of dairy and now the least little thing makes him sick. Lactaid helps, but only a little and not with large amounts of dairy.

I must admit that I didn't really think going dairy free would be that big of a deal, but you have no clue how many things we eat contain milk in some form or another! For instance, I went to the grocery store today because I really wanted to make Mike something sweet he can eat that doesn't make him sick (did I mention desserts are the worst at containing dairy?). Trying to find chocolate chips that don't contain dairy is a treasure hunt! I did find some dark chocolate chunks that weren't outrageously expensive. And did you know that many types of butter also contain some type of milk?? So I had to look at the ingredients on all the butter containers to determine what type we could use. Thank you Blue Bonnett for not putting milk in your butter!

On Sunday night we were at my mom's house and she was going to make a pound cake (which is one of our favorites) until we realized that the butter she had contained milk and there is cream cheese in the cake. No pound cake for Mike until we find a different recipe! :)

Needless to say, we are on a new adventure--living life dairy free! If any of you out there have some great recipes that are dairy free please pass them along! I'm definitely in need of some dessert recipes that don't have dairy.

Let the adventure begin! :)

vintage baby

Yesterday I was once again feeling a little crafty and decided to do some sewing!
What came of that was a cute baby bib and burp cloth set!
The flowered material is actually an old bed sheet, but I thought it had a very vintage feel to it!

The back of the bib is a chocolate brown color, which is why I chose to make the flower out of some left over brown and white polka dot material!

I think it turned out pretty cute!
And I actually have a ton of the bed sheet material left, so who knows how many more I will end up making (or what else might come of that bed sheet)!
I'm now thinking that I'd like Baby Ervin to be a girl so that she could sport this very cute bib, but if Baby is a boy, thats ok too! We know lots of mommies-to-be!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pottery and Dating

Yesterday was Mike's day off for this week, so we took a little trip to The Pottery Place in Huntington. It is something that we have talked about doing for a long time, but simply have never gotten around to! We decided that yesterday was going to be the day we made it happen, and we had such a blast!

The first thing we did was choose our pieces to paint.
Is anyone shocked that Mike chose a coffee mug?? :)

I chose to paint a small plate to use as a decoration for our dining room (which is decorated in coffee).
After choosing our pieces, I had to draw the design on mine before beginning to paint! Don't look too closely...I'm not the greatest artist.

We then selected our paint colors, and we were ready to begin the real fun of painting!

This is my almost- finished project! The painting was completed but they still have to fire it, so we have to go back in a week to pick up our pieces.
After painting, Mike decided that he wanted to paint some words on his cup.
I think he did a great job! His new coffee mug reads "Soli Deo Gloria".

We truly had an amazing day together! It has been a while since we've had a "real" date, and this one was perfect!

Monday, January 17, 2011

well rounded

I mentioned in a previous post that we were going to be having an in-home birth class with some friends of ours, and I wanted to do a little follow-up post on that!
It was probably one of the most informative things I have been a part of in a long time! Our birth educator (Sarah) was just so full of information and it was great to hear what she had to say and to pick her brain! I feel so much more prepared for labor and delivery now, and we still have one more 3 hour session with her before Baby E makes his/her appearance!
For any of you who may be pregnant or thinking about having children in the near future (and you are around the Charleston area) I definitely recommend looking into doing a class with Sarah. Like I mentioned, we did an in-home class with her, but she also does other sessions that are 4 weeks long. If you are interested, you could look her up on facebook at Well Rounded Birth Prep. There she has some other websites listed (like her blog). She had an amazing post about a drug free vaginal breech delivery the other day! Talk about interesting!
I won't go through all the stuff she talked about and taught us (because I don't want to bore you), but if you are interested in knowing more about it I'd be happy to email you more details :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

eight weeks

8 weeks!

That is all the time there is until Baby Ervin's due date (which we are hoping he/she doesn't decide to stay in there any longer than that)!

When I think about it, I feel a little (ok so A LOT) unprepared!

Tomorrow we are doing a private in-home birth class which we are super excited about! There will probably be a post this coming week to follow up on the class! We are so thankful for great friends who are blessing us with this class as a gift for us and Baby Ervin!

Today, I kind of got into one of those crafty moods and began a little project! I think I have mentioned on here that I am really wanting to do cloth diapering. I know, it may sound crazy to some of you, but that is what Mike and I feel would be best for our little one and our family as a whole. The initial cost of cloth is not cheap though. Many people also like to do cloth wipes, since they are a bit more economical and eco-friendly. I didn't want to purchase cloth wipes, so I found a website that gave a super simple pattern for making your own! I got on it today and I am so excited about them!

Let me tell you, I think they will definitely be cost effective! I got the fabric (flannel is recommended) as a remnant and only paid $1.87 for enough fabric to make 15 wipes! The lady who posted the pattern said that typically about 24 is a good number to have, but 15 is a good start for me! Planning to make the "wipe solution" that she posted as well which wets the wipes and makes cleaning baby's bum a breeze!

I'll definitely try to keep you updated on how all this cloth diapering works for me. I've heard tons of different opinions on the topic, and from what I know (which is very little at this point) it seems that cloth is definitely for some people and definitely NOT for others! We'll see how it goes for us!

I also bought the fabric to make the window treatment for Baby E's room! I didn't get around to actually making it today, but hopefully this week I will have the time!

I'm planning to post pictures of all of these things later, so check back in a few days when I've had time to finish my sewing, photograph it, and post the photos!

8 weeks...and counting

Monday, January 10, 2011

For the past week or so I simply haven't been feeling like myself! I've been super tired and a few days last week I was sick and basically in bed all day with a fever (yuck!). However, today I am feeling so much more like myself again...and that makes me happy!
I really do not like to be lazy, but for the past week thats all I have felt like doing. My to do list continued to grow as I continued to do basically nothing.
But TODAY is a new day! I am ready to go! Since last week was used for resting, I think most of my days this week will be consumed with getting things accomplished! I think I will start by menu planning and grocery shopping since we have absolutely no food in our house! :)
Its kind of crazy, but there are only about 9 weeks left until Baby Ervin arrives and there is so much to be done! Who would have thought there were so many things to think about and plan before this baby actually gets here! I think thats what has been getting me freaked out! For those of you who know me, I am a planner and I like things to be done ahead of time. So not being able to do much last week really irritated me because I kept thinking of things that need to be done before March 15! Oh well...they will get done...and if they don't thats ok too! Its a lesson I am slowly learning! :)
Hopefully this week I will get some more blogging in too...since I got a new computer to do it on :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome 2011

First of all I want to just say Happy New Year! I know, I know...its already January 7th, but I simply haven't had the chance to do any blogging recently, so I haven't had the chance to wish you a happy new year! So welcome to 2011!

I don't know about you, but the
Christmas season is filled with so much fun and excitement for our family, BUT there is one downfall to that--there isn't enough time to just relax!

Mike and I had been feeling that way for a few days so last week we took a night to just do some relaxing! We decided to get a cup of coffee and do some reading--for FUN! Not reading to study for teaching or reading for school, but actually reading for enjoyment! We spent a glorious hour and a half just sitting, sipping coffee, reading, and occasionally chatting with one another.
The evening was over entirely too quickly, but we loved every second of it! I encourage you to just take a break from the busy-ness we call life and enjoy a moment (and in our opinion its much more enjoyable with coffee).
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