This post is sponsored by PURA D'OR and 2MinuteClub. After my last sponsored post on 2MinuteClub's skin products (which I am still using, still loving, BTW), a wholllllllle bunch of people asked me if I'd tried their best-selling Facebook-famous shampoo and conditioner. I said that I had not, but really wanted to, and...well. Mayyyyyyyybe if they were happy with the skincare post they'd let me try the hair care line next. BOO YAH. First, here's what I'm dealing with: Super duper fine hair. I have a ton of it growing out from my oily-as-anything scalp, but thanks to the aforementioned fineness, plus coloring and heat styling, it gets increasingly dry and brittle as it grows out. Which means lots of breakage and fly-aways and split ends that require regular trims. Which also means I have been trying to grow my hair out to my Goal Length (of just below boob level) for approximately 700 years. I'm still several inches short, since I eventually end up having to cut back most (if not all) of the growth progress thanks to the dryness and breakage. Now I know I could stop 1) coloring and 2) heat styling, but y'all. Come on. Frizzy,... Read more →


This post is sponsored by thredUP. I've mentioned once or 100 times that I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping. I'm very impatient and get discouraged too easily -- I don't like the first thing I tried on! These dressing room lights are killing my self-esteem! This is boring and my feet hurt! -- and I also don't have that awesome "shopper's eye" that translate how something looks on the hanger with how it will look on my actual body. Obviously I love online shopping but I still get really indecisive and unsure about clothing. I am an e-commerce cart-abandoning nightmare. Jason, on the other hand, totally has the shopper's eye. He also finds shopping fun, and even relaxing, both online and in person. I know. He's either a gem or an insane person. As a result, I'd say he easily buys about 80% of my wardrobe these days. Which is admittedly awesome and convenient. So...shine on, you crazy diamond, I guess! So when thredUP expressed interest in a second sponsored post (along with a tempting $150 shopping credit), I knew I wanted to outsource the grunt work this time around, and I set Jason loose on the site... Read more →


This post is sponsored by NxN. A few years ago, I showed up at a client's office for a meeting and was immediately asked if I was feeling okay. Because (groan groan groooooan guys don't ever say this to people) I "looked really tired." I felt fine, and had actually slept very well the night before. What happened is that I forgot to put on any foundation or concealer, and -- GASP -- had inadvertently revealed my actual human face to my coworkers. This weekend, on the other hand, I went out on a date night with my husband and very much deliberately left the foundation (and concealer and bronzer and highlighter and all that other jazz) at home. Nobody said I looked tired, and instead Jason told me several times that I looked pretty. Yes, he's biased. THAT SAID, my skin! Look at my actual human face skin right now. It's 39 years old and it is happy. So let's talk a bit more about my skin, because this is a blog and that's what we do here: It is technically combination, though probably more on the oily side overall. Other than the occasional hormonal breakout, I've outgrown the... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Weekly Tasting. If anyone were to ask Jason and I what the secrets are to our long and happy marriage -- hypothetically, anyway, as absolutely zero people have actually asked us that question -- we'd probably list the following: 1) Regular date nights 2) A similar sense of humor 3) A mutual ability/willingness to apologize for being an idiot sometimes And personally, I'd probably add: 4) The occasional night away from each other 5) Wine Amazingly, for this post, I got to experience both #4 and #5 at the same time. So a couple times a month, Jason and I give the other person the night "off." Jason goes out to attend a sportsball exhibition of some kind, then the next week it's my turn to hang out with friends, see a movie, or just LEAVE THE DANG HOUSE for a change. Although as nice as it is to get out and socialize with other humans on a more regular basis, I kinda have to admit that I almost enjoy the nights in alone just as much. I make something fun/easy for the kids' dinner, then order take-out, assume total control of the TV remote,... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Best Fiends. By the time you read this, I will be visiting family in Killington, VT, having (hopefully) survived a seven-hour road trip with my children...and (even more hopefully) with my sanity intact. I'm not worried about the kids, by the way. The secret to traveling with kids is actually pretty simple: 1) Get a car with a DVD player in it. Procure many DVDs. And that's it. You're pretty much done. I mean, you'll also want some headphones for them, snacks and drinks but not too many drinks, because then you'll have a kid who needs to pee exactly five minutes after you leave the rest stop where he refused to even get out of the car (but I didn't have to go then!!!) and yet it's already at EMERGENCY LEVELS and then something unspeakable happens in an empty water bottle but hey that's an unexpected perk of having boys I guess. Okay, so there's also 2) Pack an empty water bottle, just in case. So my kids will happily spend all seven hours watching movie after movie while I slowly die of boredom in the front seat. Jason is a...bit of a control... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Man, last week was One Of Those Weeks. Jason's work kept him late almost every night, or had him commuting to D.C., while the boys all started different after-school enrichment programs on different nights of the week (naturally!). They'd come home extra crunched for time and INSANELY hungry, having missed their usual after-school snack break. They needed dinner STAT and waiting for Dad to get home wasn't an option. It was One Of Those Weeks where we just had to sacrifice our family dinner ritual. It happens. Kids got an easy, early dinner from the freezer or pasta shelf. All as healthy and homemade-ish as I could manage (I do a lot of big-batch cooking on weekends for nights like that), but certainly nothing too challenging or exciting. Jason and I, on the other hand, didn't have to sacrifice much at all: Every night was Date Night, thanks to Blue Apron. Usually when we have One Of Those Weeks, we end up ordering a lot of takeout or delivery, which is 1) expensive, and 2) too easy to blow through 2,500 calories in one sitting because oh look a two-for-one deal on large... Read more →


This post is sponsored by The Bouqs Company. I waited a long time to take the Christmas decorations down. The house looked so bright and cozy with them around, and they made me happy. I mean: Eventually, the number of pine needles all over the floor became less bright/cozy/happy-making and I finally dragged up the boxes and put everything away. Luckily, I had the perfect replacements already sitting on my doorstep. VALENTINE’S DAY HERE I COME. (Seasonal Affective Disorder say whaaaat? It's totally spring up in this place!) Bouqs.com is officially my go-to site for ordering fresh flowers now -- for myself or friends and family, since the flowers 1) aren't cut until you order them, so they last an impressively long time, 2) are absolutely bonkers gorgeous, duh, 3) are grown at sustainable, eco-friendly farms because I really do love this crazy planet of ours, and 4) giving/getting flowers that were grown on an ACTUAL VOLCANO is just kinda badass. (Third-party certified by both The Rainforest Alliance and my cat.) (Just making sure I trimmed the stems properly, of course.) Yep. Those'll do. (I kept the BB-8 ornament out. BB-8 just feels like a year-round decoration.) BAM (Officially sense... Read more →


This post is sponsored by thredUP. I was folding Ike's laundry recently and came across some clothing that had...seen better days, to put it nicely. Shirts and pants with permanent stains, worn-out seams, holes started to emerge at the knees and elbows. All clothing that had been passed down to him; most of it previously worn by both of his older brothers. Hand-me-downs are a wonderful thing, but we're definitely stretching the limits of them at this point. Ike so rarely gets new clothing that's just for HIM, he gets irrationally excited over new pajamas or a cheap souvenir t-shirt. One morning he came bursting into my room to thank me for the new bag of socks I'd emptied into his drawer. Socks! New ones! Look Ma, no holes! Poor third child. Enter thredUP. I shopped at thredUP a lot back in the day when it was a parent-to-parent kids' clothing swap service. It's since evolved to a really amazing online consignment store, packed with both kids' and women's clothing -- along with a pretty big selection of high-end and designer brands. (Which always makes my clicking finger start to itch.) The kids’ section is GREAT because I can buy... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Anybody remember all this, from the good old days, back before somebody taught Ezra how to put a hand on a popped-out hip, punctuate every sentence with a pointed "OKAY?" and a facial expression dripping with bershon? The little chef costumes had a pretty good run, but alas, he is officially far too gigantic for them now. Ike will wear it from time to time, unless Ezra hides in a fit of possessive pique GOD HE'S ONLY EIGHT SWEET MERCIFUL ADOLESCENCE. He recently got a styling new upgrade, though. (It was very important that I photograph him holding this pear, for some reason. He had a lot feelings about this pear.) Even more exciting was a proper grown-up cookbook, which he decided had to be for him, because Blue Apron must know what a good cook he is. I mean, they sent him an official chef-in-training apron and everything. And their Winter Cookbook, full of many of our favorite recipes and a whole bunch of new ones (including DESSERTS, which YAYYAYYAY). (The mushroom steam buns with purple potato salad are at the top of EVERYBODY's dinner wish list now. And I already have... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. With lots of travel planned and our garden overflowing, we decided our standard Blue Apron delivery of three meals a week might get a little overwhelming, so we switched to the four-person, two-meals-a-week Family Plan a few times this summer. One of the more charming surprises of this particular plan (besides all the delicious foooooooood), was the inclusion of a weekly "Kids' Cooking Camp." Every week, our box included cooking activities, games and challenges for the boys to try. It was a really great idea. One week covered easy food prep techniques (peeling garlic, washing produce, rolling pizza dough), another week challenged us to keep the dinner table a family-focused, screen-free zone (that was harder on the grown-ups than the kids), yet another taught kids what grows in what season and why it matters; all summer kids were encouraged to submit recipes and photos and stay hands-on in the kitchen. The best week, according to my kids, was this one: Not only were the recipes a hit (Moroccan lamb & beef pitas and a crispy cod with corn on the cob), but tucked inside our box of ingredients was a packet of pea... Read more →