• artsy fartsy,  giveaway,  my books,  party party

    Hootastic Cupcake Toppers!

    So who’s with me? Who’s gonna throw a Little Hoo party on Halloween? Are you getting in the mood? I am.

    You might be now that I’m going to give you some free Hootastic cupcake toppers! Hoot Hoot!


    Just print,


    punch (or cut out with scissors if you don’t happen to have a handy puncher thingy like I do) and attach toothpicks to the back with a little piece of tape.

    Then pop them into the top of your super delicious cupcakes!

    just so

    Ta-dah! Instant Hoo Party time!


    Whooooooo’s there? Hoo and all his friends of course!

    willing models

    It’s funny how willing kids are to pose when there is chocolate involved.

    Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!

    Now go be a real hoot and buy my book! Just kidding. No pressure from me. Just a friendly hooty reminder if you might have been thinking of it already. It’s actually selling pretty well which is AWESOME especially since I got some bad news from my editor yesterday. Secret Agent Josephine in Paris might not make it out in time for Christmas. I know, I’m sad too. But it will probably be better for it. Back to the drawing board for me.

  • giveaway,  sponsored post

    Water Rules!

    Britta Love

    We are lucky in this family. We don’t like soda pop. We like water. I’m not even pulling your leg. If you gave us a choice between the best-tasting carbonated juice from heaven and a tall glass of ordinary cold tap water, we would choose water every time.

    Bug is even more picky than I am about it. Her dad will take her out to a fancy restaurant and order her some kind of super delicious tea or juice with multiple layers and some kind of fruit-kabob on the side and Bug will totally turn up her nose and whine that she just wants water instead. I know. What a spoiled brat, right? It drives Toby crazy. Two dollars and change totally wasted.


    I don’t expect anyone to be freakish about water like Bug and I but I would love to preach about how great it is to get your kids to like the taste of water early on. Maybe it’s impossible for some kids. I know I’ve babysat kids who acted like drinking plain water was like drinking out of the toilet or drinking regurgitated spit or something. They think it’s bland or has no taste at all. But that’s not true, water tastes great. You just have to get used to it. Don’t shell out a ton of money on flavorings or carbonation machines, just force yourself to drink water straight for a week and eventually you will come to like it. At least that is my theory.

    Because water is better. Yes, I’ll agree that there are some pretty tasty drinks out there. I’m not going to just wipe out the whole beverage industry just because I like water so much. But if you can get your kids to like that taste of water early on, they will pass on all those sugary drinks that they don’t really need and hopefully not develop bad habits that will be terribly hard to break as an adult later. Drinks are a treat. Water is necessary.

    Okay, I’m stepping off my water soap box (sort of) (for now).

    I said all that above to lead up to the water bottle situation in our house. Since we like water so much, I have to pack it in Bug’s backpack every day. She needs it for eating her snack and lunch at school and just normal hydration. It’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and we can’t go anywhere outside without water. So we pack it.

    good on a hot day

    I’ve tried a lot of different methods. I’ve bought bottled water in tiny bottles and big bottles. I’ve tried every kind of sports top and screw top. They work but it kind of bums me out that we don’t have a better recycling system in our neighborhood. The city waste management system sorts the trash at the dump site and they recycle all plastics city-wide but it still bugs me to fill up my kitchen trash can with empty bottles. I’ve recycled myself but it’s a lot of work to collect bags and bags of bottles that fill up my entire car and then I barely get enough money back to cover the gas money it took me to drive to the recycling center in the first place.

    I’ve bought just about every kind of reusable water bottle on the market. All of them have one problem or another. Some are better than others but most of them either leak or they are too hard for Bug to open. That seems to be the most important deciding factor for us when it comes to water bottles. They can’t leak and a six year old must be able to open them without asking for help—because teachers don’t have time to open thirty-two water bottles every day.

    You can imagine my pleasant surprise when Brita asked me to review their Brita Bottle for Kids and we actually liked it. Neither Bug nor I loved the color choices (Pink Butterflies, Navy Blue with various sports balls etc or Green Squares…What? No black Hello Kitty?!!) but it actually turned out to be the perfect kid-friendly water bottle. Bug loves it.

    easy top!

    It’s just the right size for her to carry (13 oz.) in her backpack without weighing her down too much. Yet it still holds plenty of water for her day at school. Most importantly, she can open it by herself and it doesn’t leak!! Woo Hoo! That gets the mom approval right there. I hate unpacking soggy lunch bags. Cleaning cracker scum out of zippers? Not my favorite way to spend a busy morning.


    It’s made from BPA free recyclable plastic and it has a filter built into it. The benefits of the filter are sort of lost on us because our tap water tastes pretty good already but I know in some cities that is not the case. I grew up drinking Colorado River water myself as a kid and I can agree that it was pretty nasty. A filter would have been great, especially since my parents couldn’t really afford to buy water for us. So, I recommend this water bottle with flying colors! My only suggestion? How about some new designs? I’d gladly lend Secret Agent Josephine or Little Hoo to the cause!


    I’m also really happy to support Brita because they are teaming up with a non-profit called Alliance for a Healthier Generation to encourage kids to swap out sugary beverages and drink more water. You know how I feel about that. As part of their partnership with the Alliance, Brita will donate more than 4,000 Brita Bottles for Kids to schools across the country to encourage healthy habits in their students. Pretty cool, right?

    As part of this promotion I get to give away FIVE bottles to you guys! Well, five of you readers get to have a bottle. It’s not 4,000 but it’s still pretty cool. You can test it out and tell your friends and that will help. Never underestimate the influence of a well connected mommy-blogger. We can win this battle one water bottle at a time! Water rules!!!

    super athlete

    Just kidding around. But please comment below and let me know what you are doing to encourage your kids (or yourself if you don’t have kids, or your dogs…whatever!) to make healthy choices at home and on the go (or feel free to lambast me for my water snobbery, I’m cool with that too). I will pick five random winners on Tuesday the 16th of October and announce them here.

    Clorox (the parent company of Brita) is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me.