We hosted our second-ever Friendsgiving potluck on Saturday, and once again, I forgot to take any pictures to prove that it actually happened and people actually showed up, or that the whole thing isn't just a yearly shared delusion of ours, where Jason and I serve multiple turkeys to a collection of brooms and mops we've placed around our dining table. (Traditional roast turkey on the left; deep fried on the right. Possible sighting of a human guest's arm in the background.) But seriously, we had about 25 friends and neighbors this time, which was much, MUCH more reasonable than last year's ALMOST FORTY, most of whom never left the kitchen because we stupidly put all the booze and appetizers in there. This year I was a lot more strategic in food/alcohol placement so we more or less avoided any bottlenecks, although setting up the bar in the lower-level family room meant every time you wanted a refill you were going to have to deal with some stairs. So you know, drink responsibly folks, or you're gonna end up as a party foul anecdote on the Internet. No one fell, but the night before the cat did this: On Friendsgiving... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. I just had to do math on my fingers to figure out how long we've been using the Blue Apron service. It was either that or count the recipe cards, which, I mean: Hahahaha. It's been about 19 months, a whole bunch of posts and even more awesome meals. Less shopping and food waste, fun recipes to choose from, excellent and unusual ingredients, impeccable customer service. And my hippie side appreciates how hard the company works to constantly improve/streamline/reduce the packaging and sources food from sustainable fisheries and humane, responsible farms. Definitely makes how CONVENIENT the service is feel like even less of a trade-off. (And yes, I am typing this praise of my own genuine authentic free will and not because of some required list of talking points. SO THERE.) And now, for something maybe slightly different, I present 20 completely random cooking and life lessons that Blue Apron has taught me: 1) My children will eat ANYTHING if it's encased in a calzone. 2) Make kiddo-sized calzones for double the dinner yield, reheat the leftovers in the oven during breakfast, wrap in foil, and toss in their lunchboxes. Your children will... Read more →


This post is sponsored by The Crock-Pot® Brand. I received my very first Crock-Pot® slow cooker at my bridal shower. We didn't register for anything and really didn't want a ton of stuff, but a slow cooker was one of the few items I requested my mother and future MIL suggest if anyone asked for a specific idea. (Being completely broke college students with loans and rent and two big do-it-ourselves moves scheduled within our first six months of married life, we admittedly hoped the lack of registry would signal that HEY CASH WOULD BE GREAT to our friends and family.) (Most people got the hint. Everybody else bought us the exact same set of casserole dishes.) Today, we own three different slow cookers: small, medium, and large. Clearly, we have truly arrived. When I was little, my mom would make these beef-and-vegetable stews in her slow cooker that even I, a horribly awful no-good picky eater, would devour. I think because the way the house would slowly start to smell all savory and delicious throughout the afternoon, and my stomach and taste buds would involuntarily start to crave whatever I was smelling. When I was working outside the home,... Read more →


Let's Talk About Food & Then Let's Also Not

So this week is off to a FLAMING good start, with a nice little stomach bug that knocked us all over, domino style. Ezra, then Ike, now Noah, and oh right, MEEEEE, somewhere right in the middle of everybody else. So it's been great! Just super great. Very ready for the winter stomach flus to move along so we can get to all the spring colds and allergies and hay fever crap. But I do have some good news today, for anybody who is like, "why am I reading about someone else's vomiting children I have taken a very wrong turn on the Internet," by (apparently!!) popular demand, I have a new post series launching at AlphaMom. And it's about food! And cooking! Specifically, healthy cooking for (and with) kids. First recipe is for Ezra's absolute favorite food to eat and cook: an easy citrus sweet potato mash that works as a grown-up side dish, a step-up puree for older babies (provided they can handle a touch of orange juice), and can be modified and rolled into a homemade sweet potato puff. (Without the excessive sugar/salt/preservative crap.) I make this shit by the truckload, freeze it, use it for school... Read more →


So I get that Valentine's Day is a cheesy, unnecessary holiday birthed from crass marketing and consumerism, and it's cool to be all, "whatever, we don't do anything for Valentine's Day because we don't celebrate Hallmark Holidays blah yadda blah." But I married a romantic with a penchant for big gestures and special occasions. Not doing anything for Valentine's Day goes against his very DNA. So we celebrate Valentine's Day, but to prove that we're not complete lemmings, we don't celebrate it specifically ON Valentine's day. This year we went with February 13th. Yeah, that'll show 'em! Stick it to the man! (On Valentine's Day Proper we took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda 3, which wasn't technically terrible or anything, but I feel like the storytelling possibilities and overall concept of a kung fu fighting panda have officially run the full course and it is time to move on.) (Next up: Jujitsu Shrimp! Crossfit Honey Badgers!) On Saturday, Jason woke me up with the news that he'd booked me a surprise massage appointment, because he is amazing and also loves to ignore our "no gifts this year, right?" agreement every single time. Probably just to make me look... Read more →


Okay, let's take a brief break from MOVEAPALOOZA 2015 and get back to what's really important. Self-indulgent photo essays about my kids. Ezra's been working his way through his Pretend Soup cookbook for a couple years now, but just recently became quite taken with the recipe for Bright Pink Fruit Dip. But he didn't just want to make it any old time. He wanted to make it for company. For guests. And so he waited. Every week he'd ask if any guests were coming to our house, and unfortunately once the moving stuff kicked into high gear the answer was always no. I couldn't have people coming into my house, unless they agreed to take their shoes off, use only paper plates and also declutter at least one closet during their visit. This weekend, though! Friends offered to come hang out and help with packing, which was completely awesome. And Ezra's moment had finally arrived. He got right to work. 10 oz. package of frozen raspberries, defrosted. Plus half a package of cream cheese, softened. (Unorthodox knife skillz are optional.) Blend! Transfer to a bowl, add one cup yogurt and two teaspoons of lemon juice, then whisk. Taste test time... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. If I may brag a little, just for a moment (lolololol), I am pretty proud that in spite of all the bonkers-level craziness of the past month, I've managed to keep life fairly stable and predictable for the kids. True, we weren't able to spring for a ton of camps or trips to the beach this summer, but we had lots of playtime and fun in the backyard, bubbles and running through the sprinkler and making the most out of a $10 inflatable kiddie pool. And family dinners out on the back deck every single night, without fail. Of course you know I had some help with that last part: What's always been a convenience turned into a godsend for us this summer. If I'd been left to menu plan (while my brain short-circuited over all the moving crap) and grocery shop (with all three kids in tow) on my own, I am pretty sure this summer would have been all about lousy delivery pizza and nugget-based food forms and stress-eating on the couch. Instead it's been more like: I will cop to making everybody eat off paper plates for a few days... Read more →


So I know I've danced around the "I LOST WEIGHT!" topic a bit. I've mentioned it but haven't really gone into any specifics since I wrote about our grown-up behavior chart, which was...Jesus, last JULY. I was down about 10 pounds then; I've since dropped another 15. I'm now really and truly back to my "pre-pregnancy" weight -- and I'm talking the FIRST pregnancy, 10 years ago. It's a good weight, a comfortable weight, and smack dab in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height and frame size. (I am made of Bird Bones.) After I posted that photo on the Social Media Thingies this weekend, a few people asked me to share the How. It's sadly, nothing extraordinary, earth-shattering, nor guaranteed to get you a bikini-ready body in 30 days. I have no magic bullet or snake-oil supplement or One Weird Trick to share here. I lost 25 pounds because: 1) I ate less. 2) I exercised more. 3) And I kept doing these things even after I hit my weight loss goals, and moved gradually into a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan that STILL involves eating less and exercising more, compared to my old habits.... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, and SPOILER ALERT: There's a code for free meals at the bottom, if you prefer to skip my ramblings and get right to the good stuff. The best part about being asked to write about Blue Apron is that — as anyone who knows me in real life can attest to — ALL I DO SOME DAYS IS TALK ABOUT BLUE APRON. I have converted my sister, several close friends, a bunch of Facebook acquaintances, at least one coworker, and also this one girl I met at a party one time, who accepted my referral email invite probably out of fear for her life. “BLUE APRON,” I’ll say, wide-eyed, while grabbing your arm in a way that makes you a little uncomfy, “IS THE GREATEST THING ON EARTH.” I mean, don’t mind me, but here are just some photos of my three and a half year old eating Chef Mei Lin’s winning meal from the season finale of Top Chef: Crispy Chicken Thighs with Braised Lettuce, Kimchi and Maitake Mushrooms. And here is a photo of him LIKING IT. And here is a photo of my plate, which looks a little fancier but... Read more →


Congrats to Neena and Courtney, who won the 6-month subscriptions to NatureBox! I am officially pretty jealous. For anyone who didn't win, you can still try for free via this link. Ezra's love affair with school lunch ended somewhat predictably, and abruptly. Cafeteria-style pancakes are better in theory than reality, as anyone who has ever gotten their little hopes up over a bad hotel breakfast buffet can attest. "I would like you to pack my lunch tomorrow. I will buy lunch again in five days. When I'm six. On Tuesday." (Leftover chicken banh mi with extra pickled carrots and cucumbers, go-to granola bar of laziness, and a freshly-baked chocolate-chip banana muffin.) Jury is out on whether his dissatisfaction with the school lunch offerings was the deciding factor or, you know, the freshly-baked chocolate-chip banana muffins. I feel like I've mentioned this before, but in case I'm senile: We make this outstanding recipe from King Arthur Flour, ommitting the rum/coconut flavor, walnuts and cinnamon chips. We use mini muffin pans instead of the standard size, and also found that nine times out of 10, you can skip the paper liners if you just grease the pans really well. (And even they... Read more →