Stylish Blogger Award - Eek! I mean, "Sniff, Sniff, Simply Fahhhbulous!"

Thank you SO much to Jaimie from Legos In My Pocket for honoring TidbitsParenting with the Stylish Blogger Award! Check it out:

I'm crazy excited about this! Yip! Here are the Stylish Blogger Award rules...

In order to accept this award you must:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 15 some recently discovered great bloggers. (haha, I can't do 15, oy)(oh shit, I did 12! Wow, maybe I read blogs too much these days, ha!)
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their award
So here are 7 things about myself:
1. I officially knew I was a middle-aged married lady the day I told my husband, "I'm mad about Maroon 5!" and he said, "whoa, you're totally a stereotypical middle-aged married lady."
2. I think everyone should donate $25 to Kiva.org because it's a donation that keeps on giving and helps people to help themselves. You can re-donate your $25 over and over and over. I'm addicted!
3. I wish I knew how to play guitar (bucket list).
4. I wish someone would knock out all of my teeth so that their insurance had to pay for me getting veneers.
5. I want to take my family to Ireland before Otto is 10 and just walk around and bike around and drink beer and buy wool things and go to the coast and sit by a fire and eat eat eat.
6. Green bean casserole is honestly my favorite food, e v e r. So this past week rocked my world. GBC every day!
7. 1, 2, 3, 4 (the Sesame Street version) by Feist gets me so verklempt I end up with tears in my eyes every time! Haha, it's just so sweet.
And the award goes to...
These are some of my flava-faves! Blogs I read on the regular...

Life on the Mom List

Sweet Harper

Monkey-Toes Shoes

The Journey of the Unfinished Woman

Funny or Snot

The Mama of Mojo

Crunchy VT Mommy

Life of a Sippy Cup Mom

Grow family, Grow!

Baby Baby Lemon

Tucson Mama

The Sears Fam

Thanks again, Jaimie! You know I love you big time! Muah!



I Am So Thankful... And So Emo...

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am just so so thankful for my life. I know that I am so fortunate to have my (very good looking) family, my loved ones, and all of their health. I'm thankful for Otto's laughter and his emerging independence (ok, so some days I call him Sour Grapes, but today I'm thankful for those impossibly whiney little grapes). I'm thankful for my husband's sweet heart and enormous brain and the places we'll be going in the next year as he pursues his PhD. I'm thankful for Andes mints and green bean casserole and Robitussin and hot coffee (random, but if you saw me this morning you'd get it). And I'm crazy thankful for the new friends I've found by virtue of this blog ---> You guys have no idea how much joy and laughter and energy you've brought into my life these past months. 

Love love love,


Wordless... New Yawk, New Yawk! {The Pictures That Go With the Previous Post}

A playground in Central Park

Atop the Empire State Building! Please focus your eyes on Shark Boy with the hip-ass Lightning McQueen mittens. I look like Skeletor's homeless sister in this pic. But my scarf is super cute, right?

 The Empire State Building foyer



Otto Takes Manhattan! I Take Zero Good Photos.

I pulled a total #momfail and took Otto along with me to NYC on a business trip this week without taking a single good photo of him. My mom came with us to be Otto's babysitter while I went to all-day meetings and one night to a cocktail party at the Soho Grand and one other night on the world's most nauseating cabride to a dinner at the nom-mazing La Esquina (where I immediately got over my nausea... they serve corn on the cob battered (and fried?) with cheese, spices and mayonnaise and O.M.G. Omg. Omg.). This trip is why I haven't posted in about a week and I'm feeling really lame that I didn't arrange for guest bloggers. I realized after it was too late that I should have. Sorry guys, I'm a newbie and painfully disorganized lately.

Please enjoy the above postcard of Otto's Manhattan vacation. Between my phone (which is my camera) having a #batteryfail and my mom not being able to send pictures from her phone... we're pretty much photo-less at present. Ugh!

But Ot had fun! And I hung around for an extra 1/2 day to take him to the 5th Avenue Build-A-Bear (he chose to "build" a mangy looking pup we named Benji. He said, "this puppy!" when he saw him. I said, "this one??? Are you suuuuure?" Haha. Anyways, Benji is now lovingly filled with fluff, has a heartbeat, and rocks an acoustic guitar and a snuggly snowflake sweater. Ot sleeps with him at night which is a first for him & any doll. Awwww...he loves dirty Benji.). We also hit the H&M for rockin kids clothes not currently available at the Tucson H&M. And finished off our day at Central Park where Ot played with fallen leaves for like an hour and ran around singing "Batman!". It was pretty magical.

I did get one semi-OK pic of Otto getting his own airplane seat for the first time...

In Otto's Mom news, 4Loko is about to be banned in New York so you know I had to try me some. I split one (yes, just 1 can) of the purple flavor with a friend and almost immediately lost all sense of space and time. I ended up back in my hotel room an hour later having tweeted the word "poop" for no reason & chowing down on room service sauteed spinach and a turkey burger with a fried egg on top. Weird choices but who knows what I was up to while under the 4Loko influence, even if it was really only 2Loko since I only drank 1/2.

Ok, so, I missed you guys! Has anyone else ever eaten at Prime Burger? I want to install their personal trays seating in my dream home. What's everyone doing for Thanksgiving? I'm already dreaming of green bean casserole.



Duh nuh nuh nuh... Batman! Duh nuh nuh nuh... Hummus Chicken Salad Recipe!

First off, I just wanna say that my kid can trill. Like a little spanish speaking son-of-a-gun, Otto can roll his R out for like an hour. It was an early talent and I'm mad jealous because me: no bueno. Second, he loves Batman (and all the other ____mans) and we were looking up the old super hero songs on YouTube the other day and Otto LOVES the old Adam West Batman theme song. Except when he sings it he does this...

:::::::::::::extended trill:::::::::: Batman! (in a little cutey 22mo voice that melts me heart and weakens me knees)

We went out to din last night and Otto was trilling Batman, sporting Batman, and check it out (on the coloring page) I can even draw the Batman logo... so yeah, send your compliments, I have a talent.

We went out because we were celebrating! Yesterday was like a major major day in the life of my little nuclear family. We've been living in Tucson this second time around for almost five years with the end goal of my insanely smart husband getting his 2nd bachelors degree, this time in math, and then we'll go onto Part 2: PhD. Yesterday the hubs took his MathGRE which is like the equivalent of the MCAT or the LSAT except for people with beautiful minds. We'll find out in a few weeks how he did, but just having taken the test is a major milestone. From here he goes onto applying to PhD programs all over the country and he's been studying for the test for hours, every day, for months. When he came home yesterday I breathed a huge sigh of relief! Goodbye MathGRE I hated you! Hasta! Now I kinda sorta get my hubs back.

Yesterday I was also lucky enough to host a playdate at my house for a handful of friends and their babies and toddlers. The company Sabra sponsored the playdate and we got to try all kinds of hummus and stuff. The smash bang boom HIT of the food table was Sabra's hummus chicken salad so I told a few people I'd post the recipe here:

Sabra's Hummus Chicken Salad Recipe 

Note the partheses below... I just used the recipe as a springboard, so below is the original recipe with what I did in parens to the right.

1 cup grilled chicken breast, cubed (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp diced scallions (I used 3 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp diced celery (I used 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp diced red pepper (I used 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp water (I followed the directions, haha)
1/2 cup Sabra Hummus (I used about an 1/8 cup more than this & with the garlic hummus)
salt & pepper to taste

So you mix all the above together and then eat it on things... and everyone rolls their eyes and goes "mmm" and takes seconds and asks you for the recipe.

Then later you watch Toy Story 3 and realize that for the last 2 date nights you've had you have chosen to watch blockbuster cartoons and both times you had tears rolling down your face the whole time. So you go to bed early, you old, un-edgy lamesack. But not before sipping on a warm lemony cup of metamucil. Ok, I lied about that last part, but that's how I felt about myself. Because I am an old, un-edgy lamesack. Ha.



Bla Bla Dolls 22" Knit Mermaid Giveaway from Tiny Birds Organics! CLOSED

My friends over at Tiny Birds Organic Baby have been kind enough to offer 1 lucky TidbitsParenting reader a Bla Bla Kids "Anemone" Mermaid 22" knit doll! Omg, the cuteness! The cuteness!

BlaBla started in 2001 when two long time friends (Susan Pritchett and Florence Wetterwald)  went to Peru. By chance, they discovered entire villages of expert knitters who had been keeping the tradition alive for generations. Inspired by their talent and gentleness, they decided to create their own line of knitted products for children. They first started with sweaters and hats, often with a finger puppet peeking out of a pocket. The collection now includes backpacks, strapbags, dolls, booties, pillows and blankets. Blabla takes pride in its fair trade ethics and genuine commitments.

How to Enter The Giveaway...

Many Entry Opportunities (none of these is mandatory); pick and choose the modes of entry that you like!):

- Tell me what else you might like from Tiny Birds Organic Baby

- "Like" Tiny Birds Organic Baby on Facebook
- Follow TidbitsParenting via Google Friend Connect (see sidebar) 
- Follow @OttosMomBlogs on Twitter

- Tweet the following and in your comment, put a link to your tweet (up to 3 bonus entries per day / 1 per tweet / 30 min apart or more please):

Win Bla Bla Kids 22" knit mermaid (ARV $46) ends 12/6 http://tinyurl.com/2fjrpp4 @OttosMomBlogs Tiny Birds Organic Baby #Giveaway !

- "Like" TidbitsParenting on Facebook

- Grab TidbitsParenting badge (on the right) and in your comment leave a link to your badged up homepage (3 bonus entries)

- Vote for this blog on Picket Fence (click here: Picket Fence Blogs ) 1 entry per vote per day


Please Note:
Remember to leave a comment for EACH entry.
Please put your email or Twitter name in each comment so that I can reach you if you win. Once I contact the winner they will have 48 hours to claim the prize or we will choose a different winner.
Giveaway will be closed for new entries at 11:59pm Pacific Time on December 6. Open to US only. I will use Random.org to choose a winner and will verify that the winning entrant has played by the rules so it only makes sense to be honest! Note: I was in no way compensated for this post. The opinions are my own.


Doh! Fun With Small Wads of Clay

My fave-fave thrifty purchase lately was a bag of "Halloween" Play-doh minis on clearance at Target for $2.50 the day after Halloween. We got 20 tiny containers of colorful dough for 13 cents each! Holla! Otto's excited too...

So pretty much on the daily this week we've been incorporating play-doh into our fun/craft time...

At first Otto was hesitant to handle the stuff. A totally new and weird tactile experience. But as he got more and more comfortable he went from pushing his fingers into it, to cutting and cookie cutting it, to wadding it up and squeezing it in his fist as hard as he can! Super intense style!

Haha, I just noticed that his highchair says "Dishwasher Safe Tray". Oh my god, I've been hand-washing it for almost 2 years! I will consider this the universe's gift to me for the night. Anyways...

I posted the above pic on Facebook the other day and caught some friendly sh*t for the Sublime t-shirt from my little bro. Yes Otto is wearing a shirt with an image where the sun's rays are sperms. And the contraband hidden in its face is definitely a lil inappropriate for a near two year old. And I don't care... 40oz. to Freedom was like a defining album of my youth and I scored this T at Lil' Traders for $3!

Ps. The other t-shirt Ot is wearing in these pics is a vintage 70's Darth Vader T that I found at a thrift store when I was 20. It was $1. Can you freaking believe that? I am the king.

And Otto isn't the only one who's been rockin the Play-doh...

Do you like how I sprinkled realistic moondust particles all over the table to capture a lifelike image of "Neon Caterpillar in Space" ... I'm nothing if not a realist. It took forever to find dust in my house. So clean.

We also played with mini cookie cutters. Sorry for how busy the following picture ended up. But you can see my cookie cutter play-doh skills in action...

We got the Transportation Cookie Cutter set at CSN stores for $10 (not an ad, just in case you were interested). It's also available with free shipping over at Amazon (that is my Amazon Associates link, so if you hate AA just go to Amazon and do a search, it'll come up).

Doh fun fun fun! Here's Otto as my favorite 80's detective (who looked like my dad): Magnum P.I.
Oh, in one of this blog's earliest posts my friend Kate shared recipes for homemade dough, sandy dough, and flubber. You can find those here (I'm yet to try them but I will soon now that we're dough freaks!)



EcoMom15% Off Coupon! Annnd PopAlongs Review (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

Congratulations to Loni, with comment #72 (see below) you are the winner of the $15 GC! Ecomom will contact you directly with your GC code!

As many of you know Otto recently started attending preschool a few days a week. It's been awesome so far; kid's a natural! But I've been obsessing over packing his lunch "well". I try to keep it well-rounded, yet varied day to day, while still yummy, and relatively easy to throw together in ten minutes or less. Ummm, not easy. So I was really excited when I got the opportunity to try Revolution Foods Organic PopAlongs from EcoMom.com!

Otto snacking on Purely Original PopAlongs at the park...

I love that PopAlongs have like 7 ingredients, all organic, all household staples, no chemicals or otherwise funny business. I had no issues at ALL feeding these to my son (or letting him share some with our dog). Myself, I sat down with the Cheesy Cheese flavor last night and had a brief, intense love affair that left me breathless, the bag ravaged, and my diet totally cuckolded for the day (it was so worth it)!

The Eco-friendly Baby Products - EcoMom 15% off Coupon Code...

Good through 12/31/10 for your entire FIRST ORDER with EcoMom. Use the code: SBBL681

Introducing EcoPass Unlimited 15% Savings and Benefits...

If you fall in love with EcoMom.com and know you'll be visiting this site on the regular for eco-friendly clothes, food, supplies, toys, health and beauty, etc. then check it out ---> For a $99 annual membership, EcoMom.com offers EcoPass which provides for a 15% discount on ever order, as well as free shipping with no $50 minimum. EcoPass pays for itself in as few as 4 orders and costs only $8.25/month!

How to Enter The Giveaway...

Many Entry Opportunities (none of these is mandatory; pick and choose the modes of entry that you like!):

- Tell me what you think you might get from EcoMom.com
if you won the gift certificate

- Follow EcoMom on Twitter (2 entries)

- "Like" EcoMom on Facebook (2 entries)

- Join the EcoMom Newsletter (2 entries)

- Follow TidbitsParenting via Google Friend Connect (see right sidebar) (if you already follow that counts too) (2 entries)

- Follow @OttosMomBlogs on Twitter (if you already follow that counts too)

- Tweet the following and in your comment, put a link to your tweet (up to 3 bonus entries per day / 1 per tweet / 30 min apart or more please):

Win a $15 @EcoMomCEO Gift Certificate - ends 11/30 http://tinyurl.com/2fjrpp4 @OttosMomBlogs #Giveaway !

- "Like" TidbitsParenting on Facebook (if you already like us that counts too) (2 entries)

- Grab the TidbitsParenting badge (on the right) and in your comment leave a link to your badged up blog homepage (3 bonus entries) (if you've already got the badge that counts too)

- Vote for this blog on Picket Fence Blogs (by clicking the Picket Fence Blogs icon in the right sidebar) you can do this once per day (unlimited bonus entries, well ... 1 per vote til the contest ends)

Please Note:
Remember to leave a comment for EACH entry. For example, if you follow @EcoMomCEO on Twitter, since that's worth 2 entries make sure you leave 2 comments for that.

Please put your email or Twitter name in each comment so that I can reach you if you win. Once I contact the winner they will have 48 hours to claim the prize or we will choose a different winner.

Giveaway will be closed for new entries at 11:59pm Pacific Time on November 30. Open to US & Canada. I will use Random.org to choose a winner and will verify that the winning entrant has played by the rules so it only makes sense to be honest! Note: I was in no way compensated for this post other than EcoMom generously providing PopAlongs for my family to try and the gift certificate to the winner. The opinions are my own.



Turning $1 at Target Into a Crafty Jungle Adventure - I Love Being Cheap!

Whatever marketing genius at Target came up with the cutesy $1 bins at the front entrance gets a tip of the hat from me. ::Tips hat:: Well done, ma'am (or sir), you've made me irresponsible for my actions and cost me, I'm sure, hundreds, in trinkets, stickers, kids socks, and seasonal cake decorations.

A couple weeks ago Otto and I came across this irresistable "find" in the good ol' dollar bins (a re-creation courtesy of my memory, but you get the idea):

I think the unique selling point that none of the animals in the package were originally meant to be sold together - the giraffe is pygmy, the gazelle even teenier, there's a North American tomcat (not pictured above) and the tree is a completely different kind of plastic with a nice fluorescent flavor - had me at hello.

During craft time Otto was getting intense with the glue sticks. I acknowledge another marketing genius: the sir (or ma'am) who decided to make kids' glue sticks purple so the kids won't care if they do or don't glue a thing with them, use them like crayons, and go through 2 sticks per craft project. ::Tips hat::

Otto was on a pretty intense collage bender. Sidenote: He is so cute; I want to chew on his chubby feet!

I used the box my beloved Samsung Moment came in to create a diorama jungle carrying case for Ot's new motley crew of beasts.

It's not much, but it suits our cast just fine and is also the home of a neon scorpion and rubbery centipede from Chuck E Cheese. Otto's finally old enough to create little scenarios for the toys, which is my favorite thing in the world to spy on. The zebra keeps getting hit by a car and sent off for a nap!

Thanks for letting me share. Kind of a fun afternoon for a buck, right?