currently | talking crackers

Currently is a weekly feature with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been borrowing, dancing, building, throwing, buying this week? Over here, we have been...

Borrowing family time. My mom and dad are visiting this week and we are all just enjoying the heck out of having them here. Otto most of all, pure heart that he is, is in heaven spending buddy time with his Papa Mike. My heart will break when they have to leave tomorrow :(

Dancing in the kitchen. Etta loves music and will dance and smash her basket of child-safe dishes around on the floor to entertain herself while we cook. So that is a daily activity. She dances by holding both hands straight up in the air and slowly spinning in a circle. Her other signature move is "the Flashdance" where she stares you in the eye and jogs in place so fast her whole body shakes. Amazing.

Building a nice bedroom (squeeee!) for maybe the first time in my life for my project-per-month project. I am coming down to the wire getting it together but I couldn't be more excited to show you the results and it looks like I'm going to be about $97 under my $100 budget because I got just enough gift cards for my birthday and I've been so freaking frugal with them. Yay! And guys, I wired together a pendant light and hand-wrapped the cord in twine. It is so pretty! ::electric air guitar::

Throwing down mad vocabulary and it makes my heart sing. Loretta's best word, the one she pretty much only screams (while lunging and reaching) is, "CRACKERS!" Annie's cheddar bunnies are her jam. She says the word like she is a demon from hell named Crackers; it is awesome.

Buying Otto a haircut. I showed Otto this picture of the repulsively unhandsome David Beckham and asked him what he thought of the haircut. His face dropped into the biggest scowly frown and then he looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, "Well, I don't really want to have a beard."


That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
coveting, imagining, asking, saving or saving for, fearing


long weekend

We are in the middle of a nice loooong weekend with my parents visiting and the kids are being spoiled rotten by their nana and papa. So much time spent playing on the front stoop, taking walks for ice cream, drinking cup after cup after cup of coffee, and everyone napping when the kids nap because the kids are wearing everyone out. I have been high as a kite on cold medicine and am about ready to be done with this headcold already. On Saturday I'm pretty sure I was tripping at the mini-golf and pizza place (I took a dose of cough syrup before leaving and had a beer while there, and then all the pretty colors...). Fact: the mini golf place seems extra magical when you are drunk on cold medicine.

Sniffles and cough aside, it's just been magic to have my mom and dad here, doting on my kids. Loretta is getting to know them and is happily bossing everyone around. Otto is just in heaven with his best bud, Papa Mike. He has been downright rude, in fact, "I'm going to go ride my bike now. Just me and Papa Mike, no one else is invited."    


currently | rocking the rooster sauce

Currently is a weekly link-up with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been eating, loving, missing, moving, taking this week? Over here, we have been...

Eating sriracha on my sriracha. I have a headcold (or something, gah) and nothing sounds better when you've got a throat condition than hot sauce on your everything and an icy cup of cherry 7up. Mmmm ::cough cough:: mmmmm.

Loving my birthday cake. Did you see? Sweetest boy and sweetest cake ever.

Missing everyone I've known and loved my whole life. How incredibly sad is that? There is a silver lining. My parents are visiting starting tomorrow and it will be the nicest thing to have them here, kicking around with the kiddos, and they are always so good to let Rob and I have a night or two out on the town. I am hoping karaoke and a movie theater are in my near future! Then, my best friend is visiting in just a few weeks with her 5 year old. That will be an epic weekend of friends hugging friends. Then, my other best friend is visiting in July with her two small boys and husband (who is also a best friend of ours) and that will be an epic weekend of more hugging and a Portland visit to see more best friends  Then, I'm going to try so hard to figure out how to get to BlogHer and see as many of you as possible. And then in September I am leaving on a jetplane to visit more best friends to celebrate a housewarming and hug away on some girls I love love love and miss like crazy. We are also going to try to fit a California trip in there somewhere to meet up with my sister-in-law and her fam and in-laws and whoever else can make it for possibly-Disney but maybe just a couple beach days. Summer Lovin around here people. Much needed as my heart misses all of these people so much.

Moving my bedroom around and using my birthday funds to decorate it for my project-per-month project. I gave up on the Anthro comforter that caught my eye; it was just way too costy. But I am hoping to find something nice and energetic at TJ Maxx or Kohl's this week. Wish me luck! I am also hoping to figure out how to DIY a pendant lamp. Wish me luck! I want to plug the chord into the overhead light socket and then run it along the ceiling to over where the chair (that I need to find at the thrift still) will be. This project is based probably too much around luck, and I've waited til the last minute like whoa, but whatever, that room can only get better. Can't wait to share the after pics!

Taking meth. Just kidding. But the government probably thinks I am cooking it, I've bought so much high dosage sinus medication lately plus a bunch of household cleaners last weekend (it's incredibly lame how excited I am to crack into the J.R. Watkins lavender dish soap). Obviously I know all the ingredients of meth; I watch Breaking Bad, yo. Loretta has been taking a break from veggies, unfortunately. Girlfriend can take a bite of soup, casserole, whatever, and manage to isolate the veggies inside her mouth and single them out for spitting. She's a spitter and a vegetable deny-er! Where did this sassy pants pain-in-the-butt child come from? I love her, but for real, eat your veggies, girl, and simmer down with the spitting.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
borrowing, dancing, building, throwing, buying


a surprise cake

The afternoon before my birthday Otto found out they would be making me a surprise cake. It was all he could think about for the next 24 hours, but he knew he needed to keep the cake a secret.

That night, when we were talking about his day, I asked him what his favorite part of the day was. "Well, when we got off the bus we didn't go anywhere. We didn't go to the store." Then he looked at me with the most excited face and rolled away from me, burying that poker face in a pillow. Then, to himself, mumbling in this excited run-on kind of way, "and it's a mix and I don't know what it is except you can make WHATEVER YOU WANT with it like maybe you can make cake, but not cake, but maybe you make pizza and you don't put anything on it, or cupcakes, or whatever you want, and it's going to be so yummy, hahahahaha!"

He had me fooled, I suspected Rob and Otto were plotting to surprise me with homemade pizza. Until the next afternoon...

Otto had an early afternoon appointment at the audiologist and afterwards we had about an hour to spare. It was my birthday and I was off work early, so I decided to take him to a local bakery for a treat. Try as he might, he gave me some clues about the cake that was waiting at home...

"We can go to the bakery, but I don't want cake how about a cookie or anything but cake."
"Too bad THIS will be our last sugar of the day!"

I was beginning to suspect. After we'd picked up Etta she was a little grumbly on the drive home.

Otto: Oh I think Etta is feeling bad because she wants to see Daddy and have cake!
Me: Cake?
Otto: What?! Oh there's no cake. Etta doesn't know that there isn't any cake ::nervous laugh::

While we waited for Rob to come home for dinner (and there was a mysterious item, covered in a cloth, on the kitchen counter) Ot mentioned, "Mommy, we'll have some more sugar soon! But nothing. We're not having anything."

Keeping the secret was burning him up. Once Rob got home the winking started. Otto and Rob winking and winking to each other, hilarious. We went out to dinner and then came home. "Just lay down on the couch Mommy and go to sleep. Your birthday is over, that's the end. Stay right there, don't come in the kitchen." He and Rob ran off to the kitchen...
My surprise cake. The best cake I've ever seen. Kept completely secret by the sweetest boy in all the world. We all gobbled cake and ice cream. The end.



So many blessings. Whenever a birthday rolls around it's impossible not to take stock, look back, look forward, do all the emo things...

Favorite things right now? Well, my kids. And my family. Our front walk. And this blog. And cookie butter on thick toast, twice a day. In that order.

This song, this song so much:

Growing out my hair. Window shopping for expensive baby clothes. Meal planning. Sleeping with the windows open. Cherries in season. Otto waking up early to say happy birthday and to paint blocks. Loretta giggling and rolling around in bed, letting loose for just a handful of minutes every evening. Watching Mad Men with Rob and having an apricot ale. Scouring the yard for flowers and having flowers around the house. Remembering to smile and have fun. That is not the easiest sometimes, honestly. Catching Terms of Endearment on tv.

Just feeling all around thankful for the blessings. I can sweat the little things day and night (and I do; I am the sweatiest). Yeah yeah, I am a little freaked out at the milestone-y-ness of a number like thirty-five. That's true. Thirty-four felt like thirty-one... Thirty-five feels like thirty-five. I have arrived here. Oh hey there, thirty-five, you sort-of-a-bitch of a number, you're gonna be awesome 


currently link up | I'm Darth Maul

Currently is a weekly link-up with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been hoping, reading, wearing, making, playing this week? I hope you all had amazing Mother's Day weekends! Over here, we have been...

Hoping for sunshine, day by day. We got spoiled by an early summer, but it really is usually chilly and rainy here until about July 4th... so now that the weather is back to "normal" we are all ::frown, grumble, scratch head, stamp foot, shake fist::

Reading the same book I've been reading since February and it is ALL ABOUT CORN! (Meg if you're reading this bwahaha! ps. See: Weezin the Juice, below, always makes me think of you!) The book is called The Omnivore's Dilemma and it's great, an exploration of the path from "farm" (or factory farm/science lab) to fork. Unfortunately my best friend and I who are book clubbing the book are incredibly bad at making our book club dates and so we are only 6 chapters in and so far it's been a LOT of corn talk. We joke that we are unwilling corn experts. Because. Dudes. For real. We know a lot about corn now. The book has already made a big impact in the way I eat and shop for my family though, mainly when it comes to organic meats. I realized that it is healthier and more ecologically responsible and less cruel to eat organic meat occasionally than it is to be a vegetarian who eats non-organic eggs or dairy every day. It's counter-intuitive, but true. My husband is that kind of vegetarian and I am working on getting him on the organic bandwagon -- I don't care if he ever does or doesn't eat meat but I do care about the things that are IN the food my family eats and I also care about what happened TO the animal during its life. Moderation, for sure, but when I have the option I'm choosing organic always now... and I feel really great about making that choice for me and my fam.

||end corn talk thank ya for your time|| ps. If you want to talk more about food stuff just let me know or if you have questions about it or the book, I'm happy to go on and on and on, clearly :)

Wearing closed toe shoes but I want to be wearing open toe ones! I need to deal with these half-painted, beat toes of mine, like yesterday. Otto is wearing tanks again, at least on the warm days, and I secretly love that they are his passion and that they are so tacky, vom vom vom! It's an area where I can smile and let him be independent while shaking my head because he looks like an early 90s slacker from Southern California. Like Encino Man. I just need to find him pint-sized flojos.

ps. Weezin the Juuuuuuice ::wiggles fingers at YOU:: ::makes cheek/air sound over and over and over::

Making banana bread in a few minutes. Yum! Loretta has been making strides in learning words and babbles the most sweet-sounding Lilliputian gobbledeegoo while pointing and nodding and waving her arms around. LOVE. Otto has been making insanely great jokes, like mind-blowing. Here, see:

Otto: Want to hear a joke?
Rob: Okay
Otto: Say 'macaroni'
Rob: Macaroni.
Otto: You said 'smack a pony' I'm calling the police.
Rob: Haha
Otto: [pretending to be on the phone] Hello police, my daddy is going to smack a pony.
Rob: Um
Otto: The police are coming.
Rob: Is this still part of the joke?
Otto: YOU'RE UNDER ARREST [karate chops his dad]
Rob: Ow, police don't just hit people!
Otto: I'm not the police, I'm Darth Maul.
Rob: Huh?
Otto: Can I have a popsicle?

Playing in the front and back yard every single day and hope to keep doing just that, every non-rainy day, til the end of time. This weekend we will be playing with Katherine's girls at Rylee's Angry Birds birthday and I'm excited about that and Otto, well he is ecstatic! I'm also freaked out that so many of Otto's buddies are turning 5 and 6 and entering grade school.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
eating, loving, missing, moving, taking



this boy and this girl

This boy...

popped into the bathroom while I showered this morning and asked if he could make himself a snack. "Of course," I said, "have a good snack." "Ok, thanks Mom," he said, "have a good shower." What a capable, sweet little person who stole my heart with his shower wishes.

This girl...

has strawberry blonde hair and seagreen eyes and a lumberjack's appetite and nommable thighs and fierce independence and a love of being barefoot the likes of which I've never seen and roughed up toes.


win win win Uncommon Goods! *CLOSED*

Congratulations to WeeMasonMan's Mom! You are the winner of this giveaway! I will reach out to you to coordinate getting you your prize. Enjoy!

Give us an excuse to turn a meal into a picnic, even a meal of Annie's mac and cheese, and we will take it! Noodles noodles everywhere. So long as there is sunshine and bare toes...

Today I am so excited to bring you guys a giveaway from an online shop I have loved for years and years. Uncommon Goods specializes in unique and thoughtful items for you, your house, and everyone in it. You can find a whole selection of their Father's Day gift ideas here. Yes some of their items are fancy and pricey, very much to die for, they also have a whole selection of gift ideas under $50 here. I myself am super enamored of their custom family drinking glasses (we got one for Otto and one for Etta, pictured, along with the photo card deck of the elements which we received c/o Uncommon Goods). I plan to complete our family drinking glass set very soon and also to give custom sets as gifts left and right!

See just some of the lovely things you can find at Uncommon Goods...

I could go on and on. I mean forget about that baby quilt, amaaazing!

Now it's your turn because one lucky Ot & Et reader (U.S. only) will win a $50 gift certificate to Uncommon Goods. There are a few ways to enter.

- Visit Uncommon Goods and tell us your favorite finds. Include a link in your comment to the item you just love. You can do this up to five times (one comment for each of your up-to-five favorite items).
- "Like" Uncommon Goods on Facebook.
- Sign up for Uncommon Goods emails.
- Pin Uncommon Goods items to your Pinterest. Include a link to your pin. You can do this up to five times (one comment for each of your up-to-five Pins).
- Follow Ot & Et on Bloglovin or Facebook (each an entry).
- Tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post and mentioning @OTandET and @UncommonGoods (can do daily until giveaway closes).

Just be sure to leave a comment with your contact information (email) for each entry you choose to do. I'll choose a winner soon so this giveaway is open until it says it's closed. Good luck!


currently link up | fruit water yeah

Currently is a weekly link-up with  Randalin of Harvesting Kale  and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been learning, gathering, giving, working, playing this week? Over here, we have been...

Learning the names of everything. Loretta can't sleep at night without first touring her room and pointing to every little thing... "Oh this? This is a baby doll. Night, night baby doll." Some of the time she will try to say it back to me, "bay daw, yeah." Other times just, "yeah!" and then onto the next thing. It makes me personally excited about things like hangers, for the first time in years, haha. It just makes everything seem so fresh and new to be able to share the names of things with her. So anyways, I just love this new nighttime routine.

Gathering dates. This summer's social calendar is filling up fast. We already have people planning visits and plans of our own to visit Portland for various events and also, hopefully (fingers crossed like crazy) a little trip to Disneyland. Travelling solo, I want to visit Chicago in July (BlogHer, hello!) and NYC in August. This summer there are weddings and weekends and all of it fun, but until I sit down with a calendar and plot it all it's feeling a little overwhelming to me. I am easily overwhelmed though. So whatever.

Giving killer massages. I have always used Berts Bees oil (it smells amazing) on my kids and done baby massage... The whole concept of loving touch just really hits home with me and so they get foot massages and arm and leg massages and back massages. There is an irony in this; as no one on the planet enjoys a nice massage more than this mama and I haven't had one in a few years. I will let a single, solitary teardrop roll down my face about that.

Working at my new, old job and loving it. The stress of changing jobs twice in the past few months has not escaped me but I am lucky to be back in the groove and appreciating that it was the right choice to return to this gig. I think in a week or so we'll be back on track. There's been a weird lag between paychecks that means we're on a "spending freeze" and doing "fun" things like eating up food in the cupboard versus lovely meal planning this week. I don't mind it, but please don't interview Otto about his feelings on baked potato, broccoli, and chili/cheese bowls night. RE: That: My thought is that whining your way through a meal or two builds character, right? Also, don't whine. We had a lot of "do-over" moments during that dinner. Once we have a food budget again I am excited to start cooking my way through the It's All Good cookbook my mom sent me for Mother's Day. The recipe I'm most excited to try is the mint watermelon agua fresca! I used to get agua fresca occasionally when we lived in AZ and it is so good! But I have never made my own. I may add a little cream to mine. Wild and crazy plans for fruit water! Don't slow me down, haters. Nom nom nom nom nom!

Playing in the front and back yard every single day. Sometimes eating meals out there as well. The difference in my kids' personalities is so well illustrated by our sidewalk chalking and water gun adventures. Loretta will happily sit in a puddle of ice cold water she made on the sidewalk (splashing away in a water bucket) while she roughs up her hands and feet by clumsily chalking the path all the while trying to sneak-eat chalk every minute or so. This sweet, bold girl! Otto will meticulously draw rocketships, ninja turtles, and dinosaurs and attack us with the watergun with the most devilish grin. However, he has yet to learn grace under fire. In other words, he gets incredibly upset every time we super soaker him in return. There is also lots of daredevil scootering where he toes the safety lines we created on the sidewalk (keeping him off the neighbor's driveway and always in sight)... It will be hard for me to let him grow up. My heart races in a panic every time he puts a toe over either safety line. Le sigh. Well anyways, my favorite games to play outside are with the big bouncy ball because both kids can participate and I love seeing them start to play together.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
hoping, reading, wearing, making, playing



spring blog cleaning and announcing some winners

I used to always be that person who beat you to the restaurant, planned outfits the night before, kept plants alive... That fancy person! She had her ish together, what a powerhouse. Well she is buried around here somewhere under a garbage heap of laundry and dirty dishes and books and toys and oh there's my other flipflop! Oh wait, where's is my first flipflop again?

I've seen quite a few blogs lately doing these laundry lists of things they are up to and loving and I thought I would do one too and consider it a fresh start for spring. So here we go...


The random.org winner of the From My Hand to Your Art giveaway is Jaimee at Craft, Interrupted! Congrats, lovely Jaimee! I will reach out to you tomorrow to put you in touch with Kat about your prize you lucky lady.

You can get a 10% discount at From My Hand to Your Art using the code "OTANDETROCKS"

Everyone who did a Project-Per-Month Project in April was a winner ::wink to you doers for getting things done:: Dear everyone else, You should join us for the May projects!

The random.org winner of the $20 gift certificate for their April project goes to Rebecca at Musings of a Manic Mama. Congrats miss Rebecca! I will reach out to you about your prize as well, lady friend! Perhaps we can figure out a way to make yours an Ikea gift cert :)

I am enjoying the heck out of these warm-with-a-breeze summer evenings and letting my kiddos sleep in their undies. I wish I was rich! If I was I would buy my kids every color of these American Apparel undies to sleep in all summer long.

I made this lemon spaghetti with zucchini recipe (found on Pinterest) last week and it was absolutely great.

I found the bedding I want for my room but alas it is four bajillion dollars at Anthropologie. Wishing I was rich is the new skinny jeans.

Pyramid Apricot Ale is my favorite!

Still loving this brilliant marriage proposal. Whenever I need a smile it's my go-to video and has become one of my favorite songs.

Oh, I have a new giveaway coming up this week. To Uncommon Goods! We love them. I once interviewed to be a buyer for them, years and years ago when we lived in NYC. I always wish I hadn't wanted that job so bad because I was completely nervous and had a horrible interview. While there, though, they pointed out the apartment across the way to me and it was Hugh Jackman's apartment (and looked big and amazing) and then while walking to the subway on my shameful walk home I came across Maura Tierney walking a cute, old pug dog and I was like, "New York City you fancy town!"


currently link up | what would tim gunn do?

Currently is a weekly link-up with the lovely  Randalin of Harvesting Kale and I am her happy co-host each week. 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. What have you been admiring, caring, loving, cleaning, and creating this week? Over here, we have been...

Admiring Tim Gunn. He is kind of my hero. When I find myself frustrated with Otto ("psssst, four year olds are freaking craaaaazyyyyyytowwwwwwwn," she said in a super high pitched voice) anyways, during those moments and really just in dealing with people in general, I find myself thinking, "how would Tim Gunn handle this?" He's so eloquent, poised, caring, contemplative. I find things coming out of my mouth like, "I see what you mean, Otto. Smashing this box over and over with the pen might seem like a fun idea. My concern is, if you destroy the box we won't have a place to store the threading spools. Let's think of something else we can do that would be fun instead. What ideas do you have?" See what I did there? I Gunned it. WWTGD? I'm getting the bracelet.

Caring for my two sweet kiddos. Cop out answer? Maybe but it's really the focus of all my non-work time. Let's feed them nutritious things and keep mold from growing on them and exercise their brains and bodies and hope they take concurrent naps please and everyone stop making whine sounds because grrrr whine sounds!

Loving sunshine. Otto's summer ultra-blonde hair is starting to appear already. Etta looks freaking adorable in shorts. Sidewalk chalk is our daily thing. We eat tofurkey dogs on a blanket in the yard. Summa summa summatime is just around the corner! Oregon kills it in summatime. Heck yeah.

Cleaning sorry what? yeah, not so much.

Creating a nice mantel, did you see? And now creating a bedroom oasis, or at least starting to.

That was this week. Here are next week's themes: 
learning, gathering, giving, working, playing


the project-per-month PROJECT month 2

Hey! Ok, here it is, the second (count em, two!) installment of this monthly thing we're doing called the Project-Per-Month Project. Welcome to a place where we are taking on manageable to-dos and getting them done, woohoo!

This pic is my May inspiration but as I mentioned before I found it on Pinterest and can't find the source, or I'd source the heck out of it. 

Project-Per-Month Project HOW IT WORKS... If you want to join in the fun, you totally should! Here are the rules...
  1. Pick a single, manageable project off your to-do list, just one.
  2. Decide, "I can do it!" ps. You really can. Yes you can!
  3. Give yourself goals.
  4. Give yourself a deadline: the end of the month.
  5. Give yourself a budget.
  6. Do it. Do it.
My April project was my living room mantel, with a goal of plants and finally printing pictures of Loretta since this house has five bazillion Otto pictures and like two Loretta ones. My budget was $50 (I came in at $52, so shoot me) and you can find a garbage-y "before" picture of my wreck of a mantel here. ::drumroll:: Here is the end result.

Yay! It feels so nice to sit in my living room and have a nice, bright mantel with pictures of my kiddos and some plants to bring joy and energy into the room. I'm really pleased with the results and super thankful to St. Vinnie's for all the treasures I found there on the cheap.

Now onto May (because cripes, it's freaking May already, how did this happen?)... My project for May is going to be our master bedroom. I won't shock you with horrific "before" pictures but let's just say it's a bad scene. I'm  giving myself goals of a new comforter set, a reading chair, a plant, and that the room look charming when it's done. My budget is going to be $100 plus whatever gift cards I get for my birthday because I'm going to ask for gift cards to help me with this project.

Ok, that's me, now you... First, did you do an April project? If you did, include a link to your post in the comments here so everyone can check you out. One person will be selected to receive a $20 gift card to their choice of Amazon or Target.

Will you be doing a May project? I'd love to hear about it! And we'll do another $20 gift card giveaway at the end of each month to help everyone support their Project-Per-Month Projects. Three cheers for productivity!

Oh ps. who knew I did so many giveaways? Yeesh and stay tuned... this blog needs some serious housekeeping. Coming up in the next week I'll be announcing the winner of the From My Hand to Your Art Etsy shop giveaway, announcing the winner of the Project-Per-Month Project April gift card giveaway, and posting a great $50 gift card giveaway to Uncommon Goods (do you love them? I love them!).