A Lil Weekend Roadtrip

This weekend we made the 6 (well 8 1/2 if you're us) hour each way road trip to visit some friends in San Diego, hobnob with their 1 year old, enjoy the beach (so pretty), and eat lots and lots of old fashioned donuts. Mmmmm donuts. Also mmmmmm...

Killing boredom on a lonnnng drive. Part 2 = waste not.
 You know how to make a 2 year old crawl out of his skin and go all Wild Rumpus on you? Take him on an 8 1/2 hour road trip. Then do it again two days later.

Poor kid. On Friday as we headed west he was moaning, "I neeeeed the ocean. Oceannnnnnn," around hour 5. Sad. 3 1/2 hours to go my wonderful child. And when we went through a drive thru and the lady came on the radio to ask us what we wanted Otto shouts, "California!" Ps. That lady was no fun.

Although the cutest child of all time, I do wish he was smiling or even just not-stoned looking in this pic, but he'd had it with life by the time we reached our friends' house in SD. ps. Do you die for the greenery? It's insanity. San Diego = paradise. Paradise, Exhibit B (view from their living room window) -->

I'm so glad we went to the beach Friday afternoon because it rained cold cold rain all day Saturday.

Daddy helps wee man touch the surf.
 Saturday morning Otto woke up at 4:30 am. Let me scream that: 4:30AM! ...and threatened to raise the roof with his whines, hollers, and whatever. Anyways, we high-tailed it outta the house so we wouldn't wake up our friends or their little munchkin. We ended up taking Captain Loudy McSour to Denny's for breakfast. He was sooooo full of static energy and whines. I blame us for dragging him on vacation, but still, it was soooo exhausting to deal with at 5am.

On Saturday we went to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. In the below pic do you recognize Ot's hoodie? That's right! My mother-in-law saw my pathetic droolings over this hoodie in an earlier post and got Ot one in a 3t and another color for next year in a 4t! Love love love.

Saturday night we were celebrating a Leap Year birthday for a friend (I love that) and were treated with homemade mojitos and a fondue extravaganza and leftover donuts and wine and snapea crisps. Obvi this was torture.

And then today Ot woke up at 4:30 again (yippee) so we hit the road early. The mountains outside of San Diego were covered in ice and snow and it was crazy pretty but we had to go slow for a while. Poor Ot hung in there like a champ but he was really glad to be home again tonight. And he zonked out before his head hit the pillow at bedtime. 

Happy sigh for this weekend. Despite the long drive and wound up kiddo, happy happy sigh! So what did you guys do this weekend? Who's watching the Oscars? I AM JEALOUS OF YOU! We got rid of cable last month and have no tv right now. Totally fine 364 days/year, totally crap-ola on Oscar night!



See You Next Week We Are Beach-Bound!

Have good weekends, friends! We are heading to the ocean to soak up the salt air, kick back with lovely amigos, watch our toddlers play, and regroup from this harrowing, harrowing week of no sleep, too much stress, and too many scowls. Well I am looking forward to all those things anyways, plus a beer or two. And Ot and Rob are my traveling companions. See --> 

 And even though I hear that it may be grey and gloomy in Cali this weekend I can't wait to dig my toes in the sand and unwind, unwind, unwind.

See you next week!


Paper | Tape | Love


And then some Tape... And...

Fu Manchu love...

That weird guy at the bus stop love...
Waxy swirly Dali mustache love...

And then... (on the daily)...

Any good ideas for other things we could do like this? I'm kind of madly in love with taping accessories to my kid's face now. Luckily he loves it too. 

Thanks for sharing in the love.

xo, Lindsey


On Wednesday, There is Wine... Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc

Ever since Alana from Life on the Mom List launched Wine Wednesday I've become addicted to wine!

Hey, is there a name for that?   

Anyways, this week I am reviewing a wine that *technically* is outside of the Wine Wednesday "under $12" price code. Normally $19 it was on sale for $13 and I got another 10% discount for buying 6 wine bottles. What say you? I pride myself on being a bargain shopper. Ahem!

Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc, The Review:

Gaze upon the beauty. This was my reward for working until midnight last night, which gave me insomnia til 2am, and then waking up at 4:30 this morning to a very sad little man (with the realization that Otto had an ear infection). This was my reward for spending my "day off" at the doctor's office. And this was my reward for then working after he went to bed until 10pm tonight. Boo! Wait, am I complaining? No I AM NOT because look at my reward, mmmmmm...

Word up. After the day I had this is what I felt like doing to that bottle -->

But instead I did this -->

Classy right? That's my second middle name. So here's what I thought...

Above all I just want to say I really like this wine! Not just because it's just what the doctor ordered for Lindsey, but because it's a satisfying, crisp and even zesty wine. It's not too sweet, in fact when you first take a sip (or glug) the flavor is refreshing, dry and minimal, then kind of blossoms in your mouth with a bright zestiness of citrus (more grapefruit than orange) and almost like a hint of Italian Seasonings (I know that sounds crazy, but it has this air of earthy herbs that's very pleasant).

It passes the "I forgot to chill my wine" test, too. 

I started my glass with the above pictured cheesy crackers and it paired well but I'd say this wine would really taste amazing with an arugula salad, mozzarella, tomatoes, french bread and black pepper! Oh no, now I'm making myself want foods I don't have around. I then got ready for bed, brushed my teeth, drank some water, and am finishing my glass on its own. It's just as good, if not better, now. 

So there you have it! The wino gives it a big thumb up! If you have the opportunity to buy this wine for under $12 like I did I'd say snap up a few bottles! But I may be tempted to pay the $19 every once in a while. This is seriously my new favorite. 

Support The Radness...

Life on the Mom List started this thing and she's keeping it rockin today. Please feel free to join the party, nab the button above, and/or do your own Wine Wednesday post. If you do let me know and I'll link to it here too.
Thanks and let me know what you think! Are you tempted to chug-a-lug this bad boy or at least try it? You totally should be...



ThriftSplosion! $20 and a Presidents' Day Sale...

Welcome to my insomnia post. I had to work tonight. Coffee happened. Now it's 2:00 am, egad! So something like 100 years ago earlier today I stumbled onto a 50% off sale at the thrift store, holla! President's Day Sale! Whootie toot toot! Even though the kids' section was sadly picked over, I totally thriftSploded all over the joint and for $20 got a total shopping spree out of the occasion. See...

New favorite sweater. New favorite skirt. Check out the little belt & pocket on the skirt - gah!


Little blue sweater. Pink a-line paisley skirt.

When Rob saw this next one he said, "well, they can't all be winners." Fact: he is super funny.

Plus 2 wine glasses (sorely needed, we were down to one in the house). Now we have three... time to host a dinner party where one other person comes over!

Not too shabby for $20 eh?

Question: Do you hate the grandpa sweater? I kind of don't hate it.

OH!! Otto told a joke at dinner tonight. We were all eating dinner together and suddenly Ot like furrowed his brow, scrunched down in his chair and was like concentrating. So as parents of a toddler of course we were like, "are you pooping?" and turns out he wasn't but this led us all to discuss where everyone goes poop (obvi). So we asked, "Where does Daddy go poop?" and Otto replies, "Daddy goes poop on the toilet. Mommy goes poop in the back yard!" Then he cracked UP! 

My favorite joke ever.



Tiny Birds Organics Giveaway! CLOSED

Tiny Birds Organic Baby has awesomely offered 1 lucky TidbitsParenting reader a Sweet Pea One-Size Pocket-AIO diaper (in baby blue, includes 2 inserts) along with a Rich Frog fair trade organic cotton rubberwood rattle. Yay! I'm so excited to host this giveaway!

One of my best friends (and favorite moms/people) is the sister of Tiny Birds' owner (a total mompreneur) so that is my sweet hookup. I would love to direct some attention to the Tiny Birds online store and Round Rock, TX shop. If you are raising organic babies/tots, well this shop seriously has everything you need for cloth diapering, clothes, gear, toys, baby care, and so on...

Giveaway CLOSED...

Many Entry Opportunities (none of these is mandatory); pick and choose the ones 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 comment a link to your tweet (up to 3 bonus entries per day / 1 per tweet / 30 min apart or more please):

Win Sweet Pea cloth diaper & Rich Frog organic rattle <3 http://tinyurl.com/4p578ns
@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, Top Mommy Blogs and/or Top Baby Blogs (see right sidebar) 1 entry per vote per day

Please Note:
Remember to leave a comment for EACH entry. I will contact the winner the week of March 14 and they will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a different winner will be chosen. Giveaway will be closed for new entries at 11:59pm Pacific Time on March 14. 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.



Just a Little Extra-Happy Moment

Today was all kinds of nuts busy. My parents came into town to visit and it was absolutely heartwarming (pure joy) for me to watch Otto just light up as their car pulled into the driveway. "Nana Lee! Papa Mike!"

He knows them now, like really really knows them and he just about burst with excitement when he saw them. Then tried to claw his way out of his high chair (which faces our kitchen picture window - so he knew it the second they arrived) to go greet them (in the front yard, wearing only a shark hat and a pull-up, oh boy). We'd been playing play-doh and sharing some early morning spaghetti & meatball leftovers... maybe not the most hygenic moment, but a happy one. 

The rest of the day is a blur of Otto entertaining, showing off, singing for, bossing around, and otherwise reveling in the love and attention he gets from my mom and dad. It was fun, funny, exhausting. But one of my favorite moments of the whole day - a moment I'm so glad I captured on "film" - was just a few minutes before they got here when we were practicing slurping spaghetti noodles. So I wanted to share:

Ahhh, this was my little extra-happy moment. Hope you are having fun, funny, even exhausting weekends too!



Sunbutter + Banana + Carrot Muffins! (a recipe)

This easy recipe has quickly become a packed lunch staple in our house. I love them because they're super easy to whip up; loaded with hearty ingredients, protein and veggies; and mostly because Otto loooooves them. New on the scene: he's even been helping me bake. Craziness! Anyways...

You'll Need...
carrot mush

- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sunbutter (smooth or crunchy is fine)
- 1/2 cup carrot mush*
- 1 mashed banana
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice*

* Making carrot mush is super easy, just put about 3/4 cup cut or baby carrots in a microwave safe dish, cover with water, and microwave about 4 minutes until they're soft. Once soft, remove water and use a fork to shred/mush the carrot then measure out 1/2 cup. ps. the lemon juice is optional but without it the carrots + baking soda may turn greeny which is fine to eat but looks a little offputting.

Step 2: Mix everything together really fast.
 What You Do...

1. Preheat oven to 350'
2. Mix everything together really fast
3. Pour into a greased (or cupcake holdered) muffin pan
4. Bake 15-20 minutes (until a fork comes out clean when stuck in)

Note: This is a reworked recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious *wink* cookbook (I love said book) and the original recipe says it makes 12 muffins but lordy no, no weenie muffins at my house! It makes 9... Nine not too big but not too small muffins that taste awesome and are healthy and they freeze well too.


Otto has been helping in the kitchen a lot lately. I NEED one of those Guidecraft Kitchen Helpers (like stat!) but so far I never seem to catch them on Craigslist in time. Grrrrr! Anyways, for now he drags a chair over from the table (really cute), climbs up (really cute), and (ok it's all really cute) helps choose eggs, measure, stir, and even (as shown above) samples a little. That smudge on his chin was a spoonful of whole wheat flour: that's right, yummmm.

Not really yum. But I remember learning the whole "we don't eat flour with a spoon" thing the hard way too.

Here we have Otto modeling the goods. All business. Now THAT is how you eat a muffin!

For reals guys, these muffins are so easy and yummy I hope you give them a try. Now I'm off to watch Jersey Shore with the hubs. Have good weekends!



On Wednesday, There is Wine... Sweet Pea Apple Wine

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It's that time again...

Alana from Life on the Mom List launched Wine Wednesday last week with a different "bargain" (under $12) wine reviewed each week. Check out the Linky at the bottom of this post if you wanna join in and/or to check out all the Wine Wednesday reviews.  

This week I am reviewing Sweet Pea Apple Wine and I'll just say it, I was a sucker for the packaging (just look at it, LOOK!), the name, the $9 price tag, and the whole "apple wine" novelty factor:

Photo from The Felt Mouse mama and super cute crafting blog (a new find!)

Sweet Pea Apple Wine, The Review:

All of the reasons that sold me on trying this wine in the first place are all of the best things about this wine. It is cuteness in a bottle! I mean, I want the label-girl's dress. I don't know about you but that's a wine bottle first for me.

Now I've had non-grape wines before with mixed impressions. Plum wine is not a favorite (too heavy and syruppy sweet). Sake (aka rice wine) I can enjoy but don't really think of it as a wine, more like half-a-bomb *wink, wink, wanna go get sushi with me?*. Apple wine, or at least Sweet Pea Apple Wine, tastes more like a traditional white wine than either of these. 
My evening with Sweet Pea.

To enjoy my wine this week I made the Pioneer Woman's "springy pasta", lit some candles, cleared 1/5 of my kitchen table which is covered in crafts and cookbooks, and poured myself a chilled glass of the Sweet Pea. My first impression was of a smell of sweet vinegar. Errr???

The wine is quite vinegar-y and although it isn't entirely unpleasant, the hint of vinegar doesn't dissipate as you drink. The smell, in fact, is much more off-putting than the wine itself. With each drink I would first smell vinegar and syruppy sweetness, brace myself for a pungent flavor that matched the smell, and then sigh in relief as the actual wine tasted much lighter and more pleasant than the smell promised.

While it was a little too sweet for me and the vinegar business was just odd I do believe that some "nectar lovers" might enjoy trying this novelty wine. The apple and peach flavor is a nice detour from standard wine fare and while a bit sweet, the wine is in no way syruppy or thick. It's quite crisp, almost tart, and paired well with my summery pasta dish. I would suggest serving it chilled and accompanied by a light, salty/peppery meal or snack.

Support The Radness...

Also "wining" this week (I so heart winers!):

Life on the Mom List
Bringing Up Bronwyn (with a Wine Wednesday linky!)
Baby Baby Lemon!

Please feel free to join the party, nab the button above, and/or do your own Wine Wednesday post. If you do let me know and I'll link to it here too. Still trying to figure out this linky business.

I'd also love it if you let me know what you thought of my review. Do you think you'll try the Sweet Pea? Or probably not? What do you think of the label-girl's dress?



How I Got The Black Lung

First off I'm writing this while sipping bourbon so just go ahead and be jealous. I got Rob a bottle of Woodford Reserve for Valentine's Day and ladies/gentlemen, I feel like I should be wearing a crested housecoat and smoking a corncob pipe or something. I need a crackling fireplace and hounds by my feet. Chauncey?!! Where are my hounds, Chauncey?!! *Taking a sip to help me simmer down* Awwwww yeah.

So a few of you asked about the housefire we had the other day. Hahahahaha! (Things are always so much funnier on bourbon.) But really, it was a kind of funny story, except for how I got black lung afterwards and Otto got booger-eye for like 3 days.

It went down something like this. Our dryer sucked to begin with and always took 6-8 hours (no joke) to dry a load. So I had had the dryer going for a few hours, Otto was at pre-school, I was in my office & Rob was back in the back of the house in his office and...

So I went back to work. Then maybe an hour passed. Then...

So at some point I decided to take a break from work and investigate the smell. When I stepped out of my office (aka the gloomy batcave) and into the sunlit kitchen I realized the whole house was filled with a haze of smoke and the smell was, well, just bad. So like a genius I opened the (on fire) dryer and this happened...

And that is how I got the black lung (last week). Seriously unfunny side-note: I have the black lung.

Things that are good: Otto was out of the house when this happened and once I shouted, "fire! fire!" Rob sprang into action and we managed to stop the fire (which luckily just meant turning off the dryer) and air the house out. We spent a good day feeling the dryer to make sure it wasn't particularly on fire (or you know, hot, or whatever) and it wasn't. We're thinking this was some kind of electrical fire or something. Anyways, we're moving in a few months so we decided "eff it" we're just going to the laundromat until we move - not fixing or replacing or whatever. So I wrote this note on the dryer just to solidify that it's dead, and just in case some weirdo tries to salvage it from the appliance graveyard where it'll probably end up shortly.

I should have added the skull and crossbones.

ps. Otto is totally fine but he did have boogery eyes for like 3 days afterwards. Poor little guy :( We're thinking there must have been a little smokiness left in the house. He's super-sensitive (he has my grandma's delicate coloring and sensitive skin) but as of today his eyes were totally fine. Thank goodness.

Also in February Laundry News! The washing machine ate one of our pillows. This is like a Stephen King short story, no?

So other than daily neti pot what does one do for the black lung? Also, I'm seriously fine just coping with a case of extreme dry throat and almost-sexy raspy voice.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Lindsey and Otto


I Went on a $25 Spree! ...and Then What I Didn't Buy at Target

This post definitely falls under the Nothing New challenge for 2011 category. BUT FIRST A BORING STORY: I won a couple of $25 Amex gift cards from my work recently (just for being awesome) and I decided that un-real money doesn't count for the NN challenge since the whole point is to assist our finances, not to torture ourselves for the pride of doing a semi-bizarre spending challenge for a year. Anyways, I took myself on a $25 Target Shopping Spree (whoo-hoo!). Here's my partner in crime:

Do you like how I protected that ladyprobably a person's identity? Anyways.

So! For $25 we walked away with...

- 3 watercolor sets for Ot
- sparkly pipecleaners for craft time
- 2 new watercups for the lad to take to preschool
- And a new pillow to replace one our washing machine ate before our dryer caught fire the other day (fun times with the laundry lately)  

$25 doesn't go very far these days, right?! But it was nice to get some things on my "I wish I had" list without breaking my New Year's Resolution or buying a used pillow (ick). I'm saving the other gift card for future in case I start going crazy from all the not shopping.

More interesting to me is how much money I saved by not buying every little odd-and-end I drooled over at Target.

Buying every little whatnot at Target is SO 2010!

I carefully documented What I Didn't Buy at Target and how much I saved:

4 pairs of freaking cute toddler socks. SAVED = $4

2 freaking cute robot plates. SAVED = $2

2 pairs freaking cute elastic-ankle, hip little sweatpants (perfect for the work-at-home-mom who collects sweatpants). Wah! SAVED = $28

I don't even LOVE these, but I'm pretty sure I would have gotten them. Definitely the one on the left. Saved = about $5.50

Embarrassingly enough, you are looking at about ten dollars in savings. SAVED = $10

Paul Frank and Circo jammies 30% off! Are you kidding me?!!! I woulda stocked up for this and next year! SAVED: easily $40

And then *sniff, sniff* those bastards at Target had the balls to start carrying one of my favorite kids' brands after I gave up shopping for new stuff for a year. I present you with...

Splendid Littles for Target (f&ck me)... I would not have been able to choose between these hoodies, so I would have gotten one in a 3T for now and one in a 4T for next year. SAVED: $38

So there you have it. By cutting myself off I saved $127 on one trip to Target! Mind you, I visit Target 1-2 times per week and always come home with (reusable, cloth) bags full of stuff I didn't intend to purchase. So I'm calculating Nothing New will easily save us $300/month at Target alone (that is so scary). Still, I'm crying about the hoodies. Those are seriously cute hoodies. 

SAVED: $3600/year OMFG