currently {link up} that week between Christmas and New Year's

I can't believe it's already post-Christmas and in two days we'll be heading back to Oregon. A couple of days after that my Otto turns 4 years old! He's a New Year's Baby which is one of about ten bazillion things that makes him special and amazing. Anyways just a few more days of milestone moments and then it's snap, back to reality. I don't know if I'm ready for reality again.

Soooo... I seriously overestimated the amount of sleep and relaxation I would get on this trip. But I underestimated the amount of fun. It's been so amazing. Especially seeing Otto and Etta enjoy grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. These kids are getting spoiled, yo, but I don't even care. We'll be sure to unspoil them once we're home. In the mean time, they are soaking up the love and I am just wishing we lived a little closer to the people who mean the most in the world to us.

Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to be co-hosting the series with her. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Obsessing over the coming New Year and all the things I want to do with it. 2013 is going to be the year to beat! I'm going to make sure of it! Will try to get a post up before New Year's with a detailed list of all the changes I'd like to make. Mind, Body, Soul, and Wallet need revamping and how!

Looking a hot mess. I packed 3 shirts for a 2 week vacation because I was romancing the idea of minimalism. I have been rethinking this decision since, oh, about day #4. Also, Loretta has been on another "sleeping at night is for losers" bender, which means I've been up at all hours and then up for the day around 4am the last few days. No bueno. No bueno de todo (does not speak a lick of Spanish, clearly). I guess in another interpretation of the word, I have been looking forward to our annual date night, which is tonight! Django Unchained! Popcorn! Let's do this.

Improving not at all, but I have big improvement plans that I am SUPER EXCITED ABOUT and I feel like launching them on January 1 will have a lot of meaning.

Learning that my kids are really as awesome as I think they are. Spending this amount of time with them, morning, noon, and night for the past couple of weeks has been nothing short of the best. Best!

Remembering that I haven't lived in my parents' house for years and almost nothing is the same. I can't find a damn spoon to save my life! Where is the lotion? How do you use the remote? Ok, at least tell me where's the Bailey's? Also remembering being a kid. Otto hid today by squishing his body into an open corner as tiny as he could make himself. I remember hiding under a blanket once and concentrating my everything on being so flat and small that no one would see me under there. Kid brains are awesome.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
wishing, thinking, cooking, drinking, working



Merry Christmas Etta Style

From our family to yours, Happy Christmas! Hope your days are filled with good food, warm drinks, friends, family, and love. Hug your grouchy babies. Otto (off camera playing with dinosaur toys) says, "rarrrr! Are you a humannnn? I will eat you!" He also told us that all dinosaurs died inside museums millions of years before people came along and found their bones there. Natural Science lessons, by Otto, are the best. Merry day! -Lindsey


currently {link up} zoo lights magic

 one super cool monkey
 two sweet monkeys
best buds = cousins with great sparkly rings

Coming at you live from sun shiny Mesa, Arizona, my home town. We are so happy to be enjoying the holidays this year with our very much missed families. Goodbye snowy Oregon in December, we choose to Festivus in Phoenix where the tamales flow like wine and our poor papery skin is catching a little vitamin D the old fashioned way. Both my and Rob's families are from the valley of the sun, so we have so many loved ones here and we are totally happy to let them spoil our kids this holiday. Nanas! Papas! Aunts! Uncles! (and super hurray!) Cousins!

Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to be co-hosting the series with her. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Wearing my baby and some ill-fitting mom jeans. Hello ladies (or gents if there are any who read this and who knows) let me tell you I have known that I need to get this body of mine in gear for a while now but here I am at 9+ months postpartum and I think I'm ready to commit to this thing. That is all I have to say about that.

Playing and laughing and reading and puzzling and giggling and snuggling and all kinds of living it up with my kids. The first best thing about being on vacation is getting to spend real leisure time with my kids for days and days in a row from morning to night. The second best thing is sleep.

Baking NOPE haha. I AM on the hunt for some legit tamales for Christmas Eve though. Important.

Making really great Christmas memories. Is that too corny to say out loud? I'm just really happy to be spending this time in Arizona.

Singing "All I Want for Christmas is You" and that Ne-Yo song that's all, "and I will love you... until you learn... to love yourself... let me love you." I don't know. I just listen to whatever's on. Those two have been stuck at the top of my head all week. Good stuff.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes:
obsessing, looking, improving, learning, remembering  



nine months old - five tooth magoo

It's with disbelief and joy that I celebrate my little charmer's nine month birthday. She has tackled so many new skills lately that I hardly know where to begin. She wants so badly to run with the bulls (and by bulls I mean Otto, which is kind of hilarious, because he's definitely a bull of the Ferdinand variety, such a sweet heart) anyways she wants to walk, she wants to run, she wants to knock down all the things.

She went from sitting to crawling to pulling herself up to standing within a couple weeks and now we really can't keep her down. She wants us to hold her so she can practice walking all the time (ALL. THE. TIME.) and if I try to sit her down she "planks" so that I have to help her stand (so stubborn already!). I love her spirit and tenacity. I love that she's a mess of a girl, hardly dainty at all, she's a life force and we all just get to sit back and watch that force take over our home.

She eats little semi solid things like steamed sweet potato, irish oatmeal, avocado, and yogurt melts. She says "ma ma ma!" whenever you ask her to and all kinds of other declarations with less regularity. She waves "hi" and knows the signs for "eat" and "more".

She is beautiful and sweet and perfect. I love her so much.

The events of last week are haunting me as I'm sure they are haunting all of you. I can't stop thinking about those babies and their families. Our hearts are broken and I feel helpless. I want to fix this and don't know how. If I knew how I would do it. If there was a way to know who these evil people are ahead of time, I would destroy them before they could act. I would. I hate that there seems to be a war on people just because they are people, going about their lives, raising their children, innocently chasing their dreams. It's devastating and it scares me to my core... and I guess all we can do is not forget. Hold our babies close. Hug them and love them and cherish every second. And teach them to be empathetic, caring, respectful beings. As we all should be to each other.


currently {link up}

Loretta has four freaking teeth all coming in at the same time and she ain't happy. And as a painted piece of wood on my mom's kitchen wall once declared, "when mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy." Otto, my little ray of happy go lucky knows a loose cannon when he sees one, so he's posing with caution here. It makes me laugh and lightens the feelings of exhaustion and overwhelmedness I've been feeling lately to see this picture of my grouchy baby giving the camera a bitch face and my sweet little boy side eyeing me as I encourage him to get in close. Yep, that is pretty much us lately.

So here is something fun! Currently is a weekly link-up hosted by the lovely Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am super excited to let you know that I will be co-hosting the series with her from now on! I'm so thrilled to be a part of this weekly event. It really is an opportunity to reflect on your week, focus on the good, and even connect with other bloggers which is something that can be hard to do sometimes. I hope that you can participate by writing your own Currently post (using the provided themes or your own) and please join us by linking up. This week, around these parts, we have been...

Reading all kinds of fun children's books at bedtime. Rob had an old Barnes and Nobles gift card and let me spree with it a couple weeks ago sweet hallelujah! We are almost done reading Flat Stanley's Christmas Adventure a chapter per night at bedtime. Then I look forward to reading The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child next, followed by Flat Stanley Invisible Stanley. And I also ordered this Q&A for kids book which I plan on starting with Otto on his 4th birthday which just happens to be January 1 - a date that works out nicely for this book/project.

Listening to and basking in the light of the Yule Log channel on my tv every single day. I love Yule Log! Also at this very second I'm ashamed to admit I'm listening to the Biebs do an acoustic version of "as long as you love me" at the Victoria's Secret Holiday! Rockin! Fashion! Glamtacular! Don't be jealous.

Hating money. This is the time of year when it would be so so nice to not have to think about money. Bleh.

Laughing at my weird life. I took on a side project yesterday that has me copy editing a true crime novel for a retired undercover detective who is also a dear friend's stepfather and a fascinating guy. I'm about a dozen pages in and really enjoying the project but for reals, so random. Random and awesome and not haha funny, but funny nonetheless. Haha.

Ignoring the box of very important hair color I bought three weeks ago that I shouldn't be ignoring. Mousy in the house-y!

Next week's themes:
wearing, playing, baking, making, singing  


my heart spills with love

Last night, during bedtime, Otto said the best thing to me that I have ever heard and probably will ever hear. We always read together as a family at bedtime, then I rub his back for a little bit and we talk about our most favorite part of the day and our least favorite part of the day. Last night, while we were talking, Otto said to me, "whenever I look at you my heart spills with love."

And then I tried to freeze time and like always that didn't work. And then I closed my eyes and focused every ounce of my being on making that moment a memory. And I felt beautiful and loved and I knew that all of the five thousand things I try to do every day that make me feel tired and overwhelmed and unkempt are worth every exhausting ounce of energy because this perfect person looks at me and says this thing. And I knew I needed to capture it here this morning, in my "baby book" just to ensure that memory never fades. And then I hugged him so close and told him, "that is the best thing anyone has ever said to me in my whole life and that is exactly how I feel when I look at you, too."


Life Style {mix and match Otto}

Thanks to all of you who were cool enough to link up to these Life Style posts the past few weeks! I'm changing the format of these posts to remove the linky going forward but only because I had to make a decision if I was going to pay for a subscription to the Linky service (I was using a month free trial) and since there were only a handful of linkers each week I couldn't justify the expense. Maybe someday I'll try again but for now we're kickin it old school.

Otto's style is something that's very precious to me even especially as it becomes less and less my-style-for-him and more and more just his own jam. His 4th birthday is coming up in just a few weeks (I'm not even going to talk about that) and he's really come into his own when it comes to what clothes he will wear and how he will wear them (answer: he will wear them like-a-crazy-awesome). I still have the final say on most of what's in his closet. I have appointed myself the licensed character gatekeeper and try SUPER hard to keep that stuff firmly in the land of pajamas. Otto would wear obnoxious characters splashed across every square inch of his body, 24/7, if I let him. But outside of controlling the options, we pretty much let Otto wear whatever he wants. He is so awesome.

Otto's Fall 2012 look book, hee hee. Our go-to outfit this season is a warm hat, a tee, a sweat shirt, comfy pants, and more often than not some fingerless gloves. Captain puts stickers on the tops of his sneakers which I think is pretty neat. He loves accessories like whoa and comfy pants are a big priority. Sometimes I try to put him in hip little jeans his Nana sent and he'll test the fabric between his fingers and look at me all judgey and say, "I don't know. These don't seem very comfy?" As if I'm trying to pull something. Sweat pants it is. Every. Single. Day. Luckily I found some really cute ones on Zulily recently for pennies on the dollar.

I am an emo mom who loves to travel down memory lane and be all weepy so I thought I'd show Otto's style evolution. Here he is this time last year when he'd just turned 3 

And two years ago 
And three years ago 
Look at me with that dapper little gent! He was such a munch. Loretta wears that little red sweater now. ps. Guys I want my hair back. That is all. And then let's just go ahead and go there. Four years ago  

Stream of consciousness moment --> You guys. OMG you guys. It flies doesn't it? How do I have a four year old? Every day they change just a teeny little bit and most days you don't even notice it and then suddenly you have this person who is sounding out words and coloring in the lines and won't wear uncomfy jeans and sneakily asks his dad for a candy cane while you're in the shower because you already said no but then interrupts your shower to wash the candy cane off his sticky little grub hands because these little ones have no shame! This awesome evolving person. It's nuts.

And that is how this week's style post spun out of control. Brought to you by Bailey's in her 4am coffee. Tomorrow we'll talk about Loretta turning 9 months old, having 5 teeth, and standing. Jiminy Freaking Christmas. 


Sleep is the Best Thing that Sucks

Yep, that's how I feel too, baby cakes. I miss rest. That's kind of what's been on my mind lately. I miss rest and I'm really looking forward to visiting our family in a couple of weeks and letting them watch the kids so that I can just go and sit in the sunshine and stare at a table or something for a few hours, with a drink I am drinking while it's still hot, and I will be showered AND wearing mascara. This is gonna be restorative. I hope.

My thing lately that I'm not really sure is a sleep disorder but feels like a sleep disorder is this combination of early-evening narcolepsy and wee hours of the morning insomnia. I've been passing out at Otto's 7:15 bedtime pretty much every night this week (he's cuddly). Then, on a few choice mornings, I've been wide awake before 4 am. In between there is lots of taking baby to-and-from crib so she can nurse and snuggle in bed. But still, passing out around 7, waking around 4, stupid. What is going on? I don't know. I mean I'm getting an OK amount of sleep. Actually more than 8 hours most nights. But it doesn't feel that way. I feel exhausted and out of control and actually a little stupid. Like my brain's slowing down and sometimes I feel like I have a deer-in-the-headlights look in my eyes for no reason. Ulgh.

It seems that with the addition of Loretta to our family the joy has gone up exponentially. My heart delights in her extreme personality. She is HAPPY, but then MAD, and she is always DOING and TRYING. It also seems that the amount of stuff on my to-do list has increased a lot: "Take care of 1 2 kids" is a big one! But the amount of time I have to do anything on that to-do list has shrunk. And by the time the day is done and I actually have a minute to, say, sweep or do a load of laundry. Well I just don't want to. I am just fried.

What do you guys do when you feel this way? Is it as easy as spending a day cleaning and organizing house? Or like, are there vitamins on top of pre-natals that I should be taking? Are we in therapist territory here? I hope not because who has time for that? Did you read a helpful book? Or some kind of helpful planner thing? I'd appreciate any suggestions. My only one right now is just knowing that everything is temporary and someday I will look back on this and wish I could be right back here and now. So even though I'm crazy I'm still making sure to enjoy the moments, hold my kids close, and try to stay up at least one night a week to hang out with Rob and catch up on Walking Dead and Homeland (which by the way I am getting really annoyed with).


Life Style | Link Up | featuring an office fashion show

Today's Life Style post was inspired by a trip that we went on this morning to one of the best places on the planet, Target. Me and the munchkins were on the hunt for two different kids' birthday presents and we ended up in my and Otto's favorite section to spend a nice half hour loitering - the books. I saw that little I Can Do It Myself book on the top/left there and fell in love with its sweet style. We picked some other books and workbooks more age appropriate to the kids we were shopping for but I came home inspired and during the kiddos' naps (bless their hearts they even napped at the same time today) I decided to scout all of my favorite online shops to share with you some truly charming kids books that are oozing style and also (timely!) would make great gifts this holiday season.

Even though I spotted I Can Do It Myself in-store at Target, I couldn't find it on their website but I did find it at Barnes & Noble as well as The Gruffalo which is supposed to be, just great. Q&A A Day for Kids is from Anthropologie; did you know they always carry great kids gifts at the holidays? Well they do! This little book asks an interview question like "describe the perfect secret hideout" every day for a year, but is laid out for three years worth of answers so that you can record the answers and then page through and see how your child's response varies year-to-year as they grow. I love this so much I couldn't resist and nabbed one! You can find the whole series of Moomin books, comic book style graphic novels full of humor and adventure, at Henri & Flora. If you are, or are shopping for, a collector of vintage children's books then look to Etsy for gems like Playtime Poodles that I found at Becca's Best Finds' shop. This little knit crown from Miniluu would be the perfect gift alone or tied up in a bundle with Where the Wild Things Are. And then at Land of Nod there are so many great titles including Not a Box which encourages imaginative thinking and Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls which is a cute little reproduction of the 1957 book.

The links are just for your convenience, non are affiliate links or anything interesting.

Life Style is a weekly feature I started last week. Each week I will also feature one person who participated in the previous week's link-up as well, and that person will get to choose who will be featured the following week. Last week Randalin from Harvesting Kale and her adorable son, Kale, were featured. Randalin chose this week's featured from everyone who linked up.

This week's featured lady is the lovely Katherine from Somewhere in the Middle (selected images via this post link). Katherine has been doing a no-repeat-outfit challenge at work. I would fail at that pretty quickly! But Katherine rocks it. You guys might remember that Katherine and I have crossed paths before; we live about 30 minutes from each other and get the kids together for playdates now and then and more importantly we eat burritos together. We are Burrito Amigos.

Clear the way! Hot mama comin' through! Even though she accidentally put on the wrong team's tee shirt on that third day. Forgivable. Thank you for being my feature this week, Katherine!

Ok guys... Now it's your turn! You can link up below to your recent style-related posts or style-related instagram pics. Katherine will choose one person from this week's links to be next week's "life style" feature. Yip!


Christmas Q & A

Thank you, Allie for tagging me I LOVE THESE Q & As MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET! Here goes...

1. What makes Christmas such a special holiday for you and your family?
I miss my family, repeat, I MISS MY FAMILY!!!!!!! This year it's all about being together. Since we moved from Arizona to Oregon I have missed having our family around pretty much every minute of every day. Thank goodness for Skype but it's not the same as just casual togetherness. So I can't wait to visit AZ this year and see Otto and Loretta bonding with their cousins and basking in the love and attention they'll get from their Nanas, Papas, Uncles, and Aunts.

2. Were you told the truth about Santa by your parents or did you find out another way? And do you plan on lying to your kids? Oh yes I went there.
Kids at school broke the news to me when I was 6... then my parents had to beg me not to ruin Christmas for my little cousins because once you have this knowledge, as a six year old, you must inform everyone that you know, that you meet, that you see across the parking lot at the grocery store, share, share, share, share, share!!! Anyways, I'm about to bore you with my thoughts on this. I'm going to get mildly heavy, but whatever I'll make a little smiley face icon to lighten the mood :) Here is a fact: little kids live in a world of magical reality. They are illogical and bright eyed and imaginative and wonderful. They think that stuffed animals come to life. And that there are monsters in the closet but hopefully they are nice ones. They make stuff up and then believe it. Their imaginations are limitless and hopeful and wishful and wonderful. If you go poop on the idea of Santa then your kid is still going to believe all kinds of crazy stuff that isn't true during this time in their life when they can't tell the difference between memories they dreamed and those they lived. Taking Santa out of the equation just means your kids won't get to have that magical little thrill that goes up their spine on Christmas Eve night as they go to bed and imagine Santa Claus magically coming into their house and leaving special gifts just for them under the tree. They won't spy out the window looking for a sled and reindeer and thrill at the idea that they might catch a little glimpse. Boo! I want my kids to have those magic memories. I mean, all kids eventually grow out of believing in Santa but I don't think I've ever heard of an adult who was like, "man my parents really fucked me up in the head with that mad-ass Santa shit and I'll never forgive them for lying to me." Yeah, that doesn't  happen.

3. Real tree or fake tree?
Loretta would eat a real tree! We have a hot mess of a fake tree this year but I love it. Drinking coffee by the light of a Christmas tree is about the best thing in the world, isn't it???

4. Do you open presents on Christmas morning, Christmas Eve, or both?
Rob's family has a tradition of opening a gift of Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve night and I love that so we'll continue that with our little family. Then the kids have exciting new jammies to wear that night and wake up in and everyone looks more spirited and charming the next morning in dapper jams.

5. What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch? Favorite Christmas song to sing or listen to?
Love Actually is my absolute favorite favorite favorite. It tugs at every heartstring. It's sweet and funny and charming. I love all of the characters. I love it. Love. LOVE! And then for songs I really love the classics sung beautifully... like Silver Bells by Bing Crosby and Silent Night by Susan Boyle. Both of those bring tears, I get so overwhelmed by music, haha! I'm weird.

And then I'm adding one:
6. What's your favorite holiday food?
Oh, funny that you would ask this, self, because I have SO MANY! Food means so much this time of year, it brings back magic feelings and memories and is also just erghaghermmmmm. My favorite holiday dish is green bean casserole. I could eat it for miles. And on Christmas Eve I love that our families always host a soup and tamales dinner after church service. Tamales ball to the ball the bang the bang! And then sugar cookies with frosting also ball to the ball the bang the bang! As does pie.

Wanna play along? I tag anyone who loves these Q&A lists too! Tag!


currently | v. 3 busy busy

Currently around the Muth house we have been...

Watching my kids grow faster than I can even keep up with. More and more each day Otto is looking like a handsome little man and less and less the chubby cheeked baby. I think toddler skinny pants are partly to blame for this!

Look at that treasure map up there that he and his dad worked on. First they made it, then tore up and hid the pieces, then hunted the pieces and put it together to find their treasure! Who does that? So rad.

My little future treasure hunter/librarian (like that Noah Wiley made for TV character - I hope I am not the only one who has the knowledge of this taking up space in their brain) spent all yesterday afternoon making paper bookmarks (scraps really) and then going through all of his grande book collection and marking his "favorite" page in each.

And Loretta, well she just continues to kick the world's ass while taking names. Baby's newest thing is climbing up whatever she can grab to work on her standing and walking. And while I'm really happy for her (ahem) as she masters this new skill I am a little miserable for us (yes I am) as we enter this upwardly mobile stage of babydom. She is a go go baby and I am kind of in the mood for a squishy cuddle baby sometimes, if I'm being honest. I adore her fierce spirit and tenacity but I am also old and tired and old and tired and old! Ha!

Wishing for more time in the day, what's new there? Nuthin!

Waiting for the holidays and then ::blink:: it looks like they are here! We watched Charlie Brown Christmas with Otto last night. We let him stay up AND watch a video so he was pretty thrilled. It was pretty magical to see him delight in this Christmas tradition that I delighted in so much as a child and still do. ps. I really love when Lucy asks Charlie Brown if he has fear of cats and he says, "well sort of, but I'm not sure."

Wondering when our holiday vacation will ever get here! We will be visiting our families in Arizona and I. CANNOT. WAIT.

Worrying similar to little Charlie Brown I seem to be worried about everything, always. I wonder if this will ever go away? Ugh! Rats!

Today I am linking up with the sweet ladies Randalin and Wendy for their weekly Currently post. I'm also linking up with the lovely Colleen this week because I have been wearing miss Loretta wherever we go and Colleen hosts a baby wearing link up that I think is pretty neat. We got our Ergo in late summer and have loved it from the very first try. We used a couple of sling carriers with Loretta at first and they were too tight on her sensitive skin and caused her to have little blood vessel bursts in her legs (scary right?!). Then we were carrying her in a Bjorn carrier that we'd used with Otto. We never loved that carrier and it was no different this time around; our backs hurt and Loretta seemed discontent. Anyways, if you are interested in my recommendation for a baby carrier it is ERGO ALL THE WAY. Not sponsored, we just love it, so easy to adjust, so cozy for baby, and so cozy for me. We are in a walking neighborhood, and even with the rain we wear Loretta to the bakery, grocery, or park several times a week.

And how about you? What are you up to these days? Did you win Powerball? We did! Eight dollars! That's gonna get us outta quite a few jams. If you did win, big congrats! I have always thought you were the nicest, pretty, awesomest person and please remember that we are long lost relatives.


Best Friends

16 years ago today my English 101 teacher had decided to cancel class on the day before Thanksgiving. So this guy and I (we were kids!) decided we'd "hang out" at the park instead. We weren't dating. But we made each other laugh in class. And our one hour hang out turned into an epic day. Park for hours. Gluing things to my car (you're welcome, Dad!). Fountain rootbeer and pretzels. TV. More park. The po po. Dennys. So much talking. Before we knew it, it was after midnight and the stars were beautiful and we knew we were never going to not hang out ever again.

Back then he was addicted to Mountain Dew instead of Coke Zero. And although he will tell you I'm lying, his hair was bleached orange and IT WAS A BOWL CUT. Doesn't matter. 

Somehow this year. With a new baby. In a new house. In a new state. With a crazy exhausting beautiful family. And so much swirling around our heads. Somehow this year today feels extra special. It isn't our wedding anniversary. It's that first anniversary. Of the day I found my best friend and life partner and the person who makes me laugh more than anyone else. Happy November 27 Robbie! xo


Life Style | Link Up | featuring a dapper young fellow

So much style happening over here I can hardly breath. Except no. I totally wore the same outfit from Wednesday night through to yesterday afternoon and that was a long tshirt, maternity sweatpants, and a striped sweater (the same one I was wearing in last week's Life Style post). Maternity sweats when you aren't pregnant ftw! So that was the outfit of steel, 3 days strong, including showers... I just switched knickers (points for making underwear sound charming?) but I never wanted to stop wearing those snugly clothes. Thanksgiving and its 4-day weekend has been just what the doctor ordered. Lots of mellowing out with the kids, eating leftovers, taking walks in the rain, and even grownups taking naps! Friday afternoon we decided to decorate for Christmas except this year we voted against a real tree because Loretta puts every little crumb, dirt clod, dust bunny, and anything else thank you, into her mouth so we figured pine needles were not something we wanted to introduce into our space. Our little $20 tree from Target is about the flimsiest thing that ever happened so between only hanging large ornaments that won't double as choking hazards and only hanging ultra-light ornaments that won't bend the tree we have about 8 ornaments on the tree. Plus the lights on the tree that seemed like such an amazing after-holiday deal last year we realized were super cheap because they are for a flocked tree, so the chord is white, which means it stands out like crazy on a green tree.

In other words our tree is a hot mess.

Highlights: Loretta's little pinafore is from the local shop Whispering Willows: they have a booth at our farmers market which is where Nana went shopping and also an Etsy shop. On the tree... Every year since 1998 we have picked out one new ornament and this year two (one for each kiddo). This tradition ensures that when I hang up ornaments each year I turn into a sobbing, blubbering pool of sappy nostalgia tears and Christmas memories. This year hers is the winter elephant and his is the sparkly penguin. I wrote the year on them in sharpie. Lastly, we added this string install just this week where we can hang up Otto's art from school to display. I'm sure I got this idea from Pinterest but I don't know where or how. It was probably done in a more fancy way but we just tied craft twine to a couple of nails and hung the pictures with white paperclips. Total cost $3 and all supplies from Target. 

Life Style is a weekly feature I started last week. Each week I will also feature one person who participated in the previous week's link-up as well, and that person will get to choose who will be featured the following week. Last week Annie and her beautiful boys bedrooms were featured. Annie chose this week's featured from everyone who linked up.

This week's featured lady is the lovely Randalin from Harvesting Kale (selected images via this post link). Hers is one of my favorite blogs to read and I highly suggest you check her out. She is a fellow working mama and her adorable son, Kale, attends a Montessori school (as does my Otto) so I relate to her in many ways. She also likes educational crafts and projects, but really likes the ones that require little artistic ability. It's like we were separated at birth. And she dresses her little man with alllllll kinds of charm.

Can we just take a moment to admire those elbow patches and then another moment for yellow pants. Kale, you are a doll. Thank you for being my feature this week, Randalin!

Ok guys... Now it's your turn! I hope you participate, hurray! You can link up below to your recent style-related posts or style-related instagram pics. Randalin will choose one person from this week's links to be next week's "life style" feature. Yip!


Goose Grease giveaway! {CLOSED}

Congratulations Maria_D with comment #27 you are the winner of this giveaway! I will reach out to you via email with more info.

The mom and dad team behind the charming/witty/cool shop Goose Grease are giving one OT and ET reader a stinking cute kids tee plus a choice of DIY family OR DIY nativity kit. I can't even tell you how much I love Goose Grease's perfect mixing of stylish looks with learning fun. What a cool little Etsy shop!

Rob and I were just talking last night about how "freestyle playing" doesn't come super naturally to me, I am really not the zaniest, but I am ALL ABOUT THE PROJECTS. Where for him, he would never think up a project for the kids to do but can play pirates for hours. So between us we are one well-rounded parent (or at least we like to think so). Anyways, all of these DIY kits at Goose Grease are right up my alley. Fun. Teaching. Projects. Yes! And then once they're done, I can hand the dolls off to the kids (Rob included) and they can get rowdy while I go do the dishes. Perfect.

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below with which item(s) from Goose Grease you think are rad. For extra entries, just leave an additional comment for each, you can like Goose Grease on Facebook and follow Goose Grease on Twitter. Another entry each for following the OT and ET blog on GFC, Blog Lovin' and/or Networked Blogs (see sidebar). Just remember to leave a comment for each entry. I'll announce a winner around December 1. Good luck!



The amount of time that you will fit between the crook of my one arm and the palm of my other is really just a blink, isn't it? That I will be able to hold your whole being without thinking about gathering awkward limbs or my own muscles. That I will be able to smell your head and breathe your breath and close my eyes and melt into you in the silence. Hum to you in the silence. Know you in the silence. Bring you peace. Daughter.

With every day the bond between us grows closer and farther. The animal connection evolves. The communication changes and becomes less pure. See. He tells a joke. You nuzzle. He is braver than I am comfortable with. You suddenly sit, crawl, say "da". And then again "da". And he says "duh" and we laugh and cringe. Daughter and son.

And we know that another page has turned without asking our permission. And we cannot wait to see what is on the next. But we also cannot help but look back at that turned page, those turned pages, that are turned, now, forever.


Vanilla Cinnamon Pear | Easy Ways to Spruce Up French Toast

Otto hates yummy food, especially french toast, and never food parties with his breakfast. He is an incredibly serious person who is also so so so very shy. We are all super boring and quiet at our house and our favorite pastime is to sit around staring at each other for hours with our hair in our eyes, while making frowny faces and whispering about rocks.

Lies! Anyways, here are some easy additions you can make to your favorite french toast recipe to really make that toast sing:

- cook in butter, no substitutes!
- sprinkle ground cinnamon or nutmeg or ginger or really any spice cake spice into the mix
- add a splash of vanilla extract, almond extract, or really any delicious extract into the mix
- dice up some fruit and sprinkle on top, then cook it right into the toast when you flip
- for a prettier version, cook the fruit up separately and ladle on top

There you have it. Simple food, made well, using really great ingredients. So delicious.

In recent news: I can't wait til Thanksgiving! This week is dragging already because IT ISN'T THURSDAY YET like every second until it is Thursday and then I will be happy. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is on Wednesday night and I think that will officially kick off the holiday for me. We are making a Thanksgiving cake this year that I'm hoping is gloriously good looking. An ombre affair that I'm hoping is worth taking pictures of and sharing here.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Mine, by a mile, is green bean casserole. French's onions and me, we are life partners 

What's your favorite holiday movie? Mine, by a mile, is Love Actually. TNT needs to GET ON IT and start putting that shiz on heavy rotation already, yo!



Life Style | featuring beautiful boys rooms

Hey guys ♥!♥!♥! I'm starting a weekly feature and it's all about real life style. I really hope to get to know you guys a little bit better and to share some of our family "life style" with you. I know I LOVE it whenever I get to see what you are wearing (like please make a line and hand over all of your infinity scarves), how you dress your kids (please hand over your childsized Boggs), or decorate your house, car, or whatever thing you've decorated you weirdo who decorates your car (I secretly think it's cool if you decorate your car). Anyways, this isn't about being ultra fashionistas, at least not for us, more like, "this week was all about my favorite shlubby tshirt that I wore, oh, 3 days in a row this week." And each week I will also feature one person who participated in the previous week's link-up as well, and that person will get to choose who will be featured the following week. It sounds complicated but it really isn't, and hopefully it will be a big circle of style inspiration for everyone involved.

So, at my house, this week was all about snuggly fall clothes... I've been told I keep my house too cold (heat is costy, yo) so we all wear sweaters. 

Highlights: Otto's sweet shoes are vintage GASS that we thrifted in a moment of pure thrifting awesomeness. Loretta's leggings are Broken Tricycle and her little hand-embroidered felt moccasins were a gift from Katherine's mom and every time I see them I die because they are THAT cute.

ps. Loretta has 3 teeth and sits now, so what the heck? What the heck?!

This week's featured lady is my great friend, Annie, who has put together two amazing boys rooms for her sons. I love Annie's style and her art (that you can see on the walls) and her heart which is pure gold. She has the double dream job of being a stay at home mom and a copywriter for Anthropologie and Bhldn. I have always loved her style because it has a touch of magic as you'll see. You can find her on instagram here.

So much greatness! Thank you for being my first feature, Annie! I love you. Seriously, ma'am. Love.

Ok guys... Now it's your turn! I hope you participate, hurray! You can link up below to your recent style-related posts or style-related instagram pics. Annie will choose one person from this week's links to be next week's "life style" feature. Yip!