how to be happy

the first trick to being happy is to fill your salad plate with brie, hummus, naan, and olive tapenade. shut up about a table because you don't need a table. just put it on your diaper genie like the cool kids do. now eat that shiz while you watch Isaac's Live Lip-Dub Proposal like fifteen twenty lost count times.

now, have a toddler, so that they can draw you this and your heart can explode out of your body:
and even if maybe you're smelly because you went to Hard Core Yoga tonight and got so sweaty you were blinded a few times. i mean like really weirdly sweaty. especially since you stopped wearing aluminum-based antiperspirants. well you know what? that lavanila (<-- world's best smelling deoderant) is masking your funk just fine. so don't you dare shower! showers are for tomorrows.

instead, look at these instagram pics of your freaking amazing children, drink that coke zero you picked up at carl's junior on the way home, believe your friend emmeline when she tells you it has no proven carcinogens, and then get some sleep, missy. xo


thirty four

i am seriously overwhelmed with writer's block tonight. also, kind of worried that if i do write anything it's gonna come out sounding pathetic and whiny. it's just been one of those sucky kinds of weeks. it's just really frustrating to feel so uncomfortable in your own skin and to be so tired and busy and mentally stretched that you feel like you don't even know where to start in getting that chick that you think of as your "self" back. whatever that means. and maybe she's not that great anyway?

i need to dig myself out of this stupid ass mood and i know it. it's pathetic and it bugs me. i know it has to do with my birthday being this week. and i really don't care about age or anything like that. not at all. but the occasion can't help but force you to take a look at yourself and take inventory. who am i? what have i done with my life? do i like myself? am i happy with this, that, and the other about myself? 

sorry for the womp womp session. ::redirect:: hey look, we went on a nature walk today and it was so gorgeous out. Otto poked around with a stick in like fifteen different kinds of native animal poop and then gathered loose goose feathers and wouldn't stop swiping them across his face. it was pretty skeevy. little boys are fleabags. 


high on consignment shopping with a groupon thursday

i'm also high on coke zero and power yoga and mockingjay right now (it's been a good night) but we're here to talk about thrifting, ahem, and for the first time in FOREVER i actually went shopping somewhere other than CostCo or Target! as of lately that is major cause for an exclamation point. so anyways... last weekend, before we went shopping at CostCo, i gathered up my childrens and printed off a groupon i bought months ago for this little Eugene kids consignment store called my little children and i... went... shopping! it was awesome.
for a total out-of-pocket cost of $47 (including a $30 gc i paid $15 for - whoot to the groupon!) i got sunhats for both kiddos, a new sling wrap (red with white flowers), brand new freaking cute hanna andersson tights, socks, a kimono, onesie, leggings, dresses...
... "character" pajamas for the Ottobot (which is a whole side story, or interior drama or something that i just want to mention because Ot is obsessed with character clothing and i, for the most part, can't stand character clothing and it's this bad scene. i would never stop him from wearing what he wants but can i just say, "ugggggh! and then throw up a little by your feet.) and a pair of like really cute, linen-blend gap khakis that hopefully will fit Ot by the fall. not pictured: we also picked up a Blue's Clues storybook. that's a lot of adorable loot for roughly $4/item! i'm feeling pretty jazzy about the whole thing.

it is funny, though, getting out and about with two kids. on the weekends we usually have a solid day or so where it's just me and Ot and Et and we almost always have an errand to run, like CostCo or Target or on a really thrilling day Trader Joe's. at first i was really intimidated to take them out, just overwhelmed by the idea of coordinating car seats, wearing Loretta, hoisting Otto into shopping carts while wearing Loretta, what if Ot needed to go potty? what if Et had a blowout? or needed to nurse? the mind reels. i was sweating it big time. but life demanded that i get over it - just go for it - and you know what? so far it's been totally manageable to take these two out on our weekend errands. i was really proud of us for braving the consignment shop and what a toe-tapping success it was!

so i'm linking up with Mandy this week over at The Haps -->
i'm not positive this counts as pure blooded thrifting but it's tangential thrifting at least, right? (ps. i don't know if i used that word right, haha!). maybe sometime soon i'll brave a real thrift store with these two? eek. maybe.


dance party, usa

don't ask me, because i don't even know how this happened, but little miss Loretta will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. she does things. like smiles, coos, laughs, follows you with her eyes, rocks the tummy time, squirms her cute little socks off (how is baby toe jam so freaking cute?), and spends a serious amount of energy trying to find and devour her fingers. i don't even need to say how much we adore her. she has made our happy home even happier. Otto dotes on her and my heart explodes into heart shaped rainbow confetti every time i see him take her little hand and kiss it and say, "awwwwww baby, you're so cute."

she really is so cute.

so. one of the things my family loves to do is dance party. lately in the evenings Otto has been unleashing all kinds of don't-eff-with-me-cuz-i'm-effing-crazy on us because he is three and a maniac. and we've found that one of the ways to diffuse his extreme sour-pussing is to tire him out, smother him with love, and bribe him with Pez. so we dance party. it's like one of our favorite things to do.

some of my friends and favorite people on the planet are in this band Deer or the Doe (they are so cool that adidas used one of their songs in a commercial!) (they are so cool that they live in Portland!) anyways this song of theirs that i'm embedding here is a toddler-approved dance party favorite. i just wanted to share with you because i think it's so good and i thought you would too...
so we'll usually just sit around the computer playing youtube/itunes deejay. one of Otto's other favorites right now is Hammer's Can't Touch This. re: that... i totally thought i knew the words but then last night while we were dancing away and i was rapping along all happy-as-a-clam it pretty much turned out that i don't really know any of the words at all and Rob was totally side eyeing me and saying things like, "so you think you should be singing along to this, huh?" and "really?" and then finally "why are you still trying???". 

because you can't stop the jam, that's why.

and in "i'm an emotional weiner" news, the choreography in 1234 by Feist overwhelms me to the point of tears to this day (like tears running down my stupid face just yesterday) but i seriously seriously love it. i'm just going to post it here because why not! like you haven't seen it 1,000 times already. but it's awesome so whatever. 
love. love dancing with my little family. love that we can be so fun and free with each other. do you guys have favorite family dance songs? does really inspired choreography make you cry too? well then we should hang out sometime.



family of four - our first photo shoot

oh my gosh you guys... i am so excited to share these pictures of our first photoshoot as a family of four. my friend  andy drake (here's his other site) who's a local freelance photographer here in Eugene as well a designer at my work was so kind to bring his girlfriend and double-date with us for a picnic lunch and take these beautiful pictures. i tear up just looking at my babies. they are always so beautiful to me and i wish i had a camera embedded in my eyeballs for all the moments i want to capture forever on a daily basis! but i feel so lucky to have this set of beautiful images from this perfect day with my sweet little family.
like tonight at bedtime. and i have to admit bedtime was a little rough tonight. rob is busy with midterms and it was just me and the kiddos. i work guys, so i had been up-and-at-em since 5am and tonight Loretta wanted to nurse nurse nurse and Otto tricked me into reading books to him until it was almost a half hour past his bedtime. suddenly every small body was incredibly upset and tired and bedtime felt a little sour. but once i got Otto settled into bed we decided we'd sing Aiken Drum  while i sat by his bed nursing Loretta. i was petting Otto's hair and he was coming up with all of these crazy things for Aiken Drum's clothes to be made out of (this song, by the way, is so great for imaginative singing, it's like mad libs for toddlers) and we were just singing into each other's eyes and i wanted SO BADLY to run down the hall and grab a camera or my phone to capture the moment! but the truth is that whenever i try to do that it rockets me OUT of the moment and i'd rather be present for Otto and Et, enjoying those moments, sometimes, than worrying about capturing them on "film". so bedtime tonight will just have to live in my memory and it totally will. i will always remember petting that sweet boy's hair and singing about Aiken Drum's pants that were made out of "maps" - with Loretta there in my lap. such a perfect way to close the day.
i really love how genuine and candid the photos came out. i couldn't be happier! and can't wait to use these both for Loretta's birth announcement (is it super bad that she's 10 weeks old and i haven't done this yet?)(also that i haven't vacuumed in approximately 10 weeks?) and can't wait to hang them up in our new house. we're moving somewhere bigger and cheaper (#hoping) at the end of June and getting photos printed, framed, and hung up will be a first priority project for the new house. i just want to look at these happy images every morning when i wake up and all day long.

our last family photo shoot was a year and a half ago. so crazy how time flies so quickly. i cherish each and every one of those photos to this day and now i have these beautiful new pictures of my family of FOUR(!) to cherish forever too. i mean seriously? my kids are freaking cute... like came-with-the-frame levels of cuteness...
hurray hurray hurray for family pictures! i've been drinking from a Target wine cube while i write this (no! not straight out of the cube, i have a little self respect, although that does sound like fun, but anyways, ahem) i am getting sleepy and running out of things to say beyond just making goo goo sounds at the pictures because i love them so much. goodnight.



wassup hippies? bbq tofu, that's what!

i mentioned in my last post that i have recently tried two, count em 2! tofu recipes that turned out perfectly and i'm going to be sharing both recipes here. word to your mother, it has been a long and painful road with me and the bean curd. way back when, when we were vegan, i tried multiple recipes and outside of one yummy olive dip, nothing tofu-based ever tasted right to me. and tofu without the right consistency is like the most unyummy thing ever. but as of late i've figured this bidg out.

this recipe for barbecued tofu is quick to make, easy, baked (not fried), and tastes as good as or better than bbq tofu i've had at vegetarian restauarants. also? cheap! and? the toddler ate it UP. so like one thousand points of winning on this recipe. without further ado...
bbq tofu: what you need...
- 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
- cooking spray (oil)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter, almond butter, or for nut-free use sunflower butter
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 bottle of bbq sauce (we like Trader Joe's  Bold & Smoky Kansas City Style - has a little kick to it!)

the trick to a great tofu consistency...
the night before you make this recipe, cut a slit along the top and one side edge of your tofu package. drain all of the water out of the package, then gently press the still-covered top while holding the package over a sink so that you are squeezing and draining some additional liquid out of the tofu. don't press too hard or the tofu will buckle and start to crumble, but use a firm pressure with your whole palm. don't worry about getting all the liquid out, but do what you can.

then throw that bad boy in the freezer, still in its package, for at least 12  hours.

when you're ready to cook, remove the tofu from the freezer and remove it from the package to a microwave safe plate. cook the tofu on "defrost" (times vary depending on microwave, ours takes about 8 minutes on the defrost setting). once defrosted, use your whole palm to squeeze remaining liquid out of the tofu. you'll be surprised how much comes out.

voila! you've now created a tofu with that wonderful restaurant-style consistency that you get at good chinese restaurants. whoot!

bbq tofu: what you do...
- preheat oven to 350'
- cut your thawed/drained tofu into 1/2" strips
- do a nice layer of your cooking spray on a cookie sheet
- lay your tofu strips out on the cookie sheet
- in a small bowl mix together the ingredients water-through-black pepper to make a nice paste
- ladle the paste evenly over your tofu strips and then use the palm of your hand to mash the paste into the tofu
- bake for 15 minutes
- turn over the tofu strips, spray lightly with cooking spray, and bake another 10 minutes
- pour barbecue sauce over the strips (we use about 1/3 of the bottle) and then cook another 10 minutes

done! serve on its own, on a sandwich, over brown rice, or however you like to eat your barbecue. so good!

NOTE - if you stop at the 2nd to last step, you've made delicious tofu strips that are great in salads, over pastas, etc. even without the bbq sauce.

both this recipe and the other one i'll be sharing are modified from this awesome cookbook i found at the thrift store "Tofu Cookery" copyright 1982 & 1991. we've made several other of the recipes as well and they are all rock and roll. if you spot it in your travels, i would highly recommend picking it up!

now go eat your barbecue. enjoy! :)


snap snap


thank you to everyone for your kind words about georgia. losing her so suddenly has really thrown this mom for a loop. i just feel so "blah" and out of it. like a standing-beside-myself-watching-everything-i-do and being-super-awkward kind of feeling. it's very annoying! snap snap! i am trying to snap out of it. so far the snapping plan isn't working.

my sunshines...
in munchkin land things have been just darn awesome, though. Loretta is a bright little ray of sunshine. she smiles now, coos, babbles, looks at you sometimes, and is just generally so very snugly and cuddly. she is still quite bossy! much bossier and easier to anger than Otto ever was and i just love how we can see her personality already. she is a sassy little miss and i just love her to bits. she is 8 1/2 weeks old already. how in the world did that happen?
Otto is still the coolest kid on the block. he never ceases to amaze me with his sweet, loving spirit, his creativity and intelligence. yesterday he counted with me to 100... 100! fyi: that's amazing. tonight he sat down with Rob and dictated and illustrated a book about pigs, wolves, a volcano, lots of lava, hiding in a toilet, spiderman, and a happy ending. haha! and he loves doing pre-k and kindergarten workbooks with us. just a super cool little dude who loves his little sister so much and seriously is such a ham sandwich.
i'll continue to work on this snapping out of it business and hopefully will be feeling like less of a dud. womp! i am excited to say that coming up soon on this blog is a veritable "tofu week" with, count em, TWO different yummy tofu recipes i've made lately that both turned out awesome. it took me years to figure out tofu, and i've finally got it D-O-W-N. also, our family photo shoot a couple of weekends ago went so great. i should have those pictures to share soon. hurray! also my bday is coming up in a few weeks and i was thinking of asking for a new wallet so i thought i'd do a post on some cute wallets i have my eye on and share that with you. AND! (yep, there's more) i found this cool mom on Etsy who just happens to be a local Eugene mom and she agreed to let me feature her on the blog and to provide you guys with a discount code (more on that soon). ANNND!! well finally, my girl Jaimie recently tagged me in a blog post so i'm looking forward to replying to that with some random facts about life in our wild little home.

so is anyone else obsessed with the show Girls on HBO??? I am dead obsessed. So good!

ps. and for reals if you're on instagram, find me, i'm highly addicted and my name is "otandet".


goodbye sweet georgia-bella

not quite eight years ago the sweetest, most meat-headed, gassiest puppy (with a real thing for frozen cat poop) became a part of our family. we were living in brooklyn at the time and would take puppy Georgia up and down 6 flights of stairs every day for walks around the neighborhood. she was teeny and oh so funny and she warmed our hearts with her ridiculous escapades. every friend we knew who came to visit and stay with us would leave with a Georgia story. word spread among friends and family that we might just have the dog with the smelliest gas on the planet.

time passed and we moved from new york to tucson. three years later, we welcomed Otto into our home. and three years after that we moved to eugene. this spring, we welcomed Loretta into our home. a lot changed from Georgia's puppyhood until now. she rolled with it. she was so good with Otto. she loved running through snow in new york,  through the park in tucson, and exploring the ivy in our backyard here in eugene. 

and no matter where we were or what we were doing, people would just take one look at Georgia and smile. she was an awesome friend and we are so sad that she got sick. it happened so suddenly; really too suddenly. it doesn't feel real yet. but already we miss her.

goodbye sweet georgia-bella.