This post is sponsored by Natural Cycles There was a time in my 20s – like there was/is/will be a time in your 20s – when I briefly enjoyed being “ahead of the curve”, technology-wise. After leaving for college with a new budget laptop that broke constantly and only a vague understanding of the internet (TUBES), I tackled my steep learning curve and learned to embrace new gadgets and tech and before I knew it, I was suddenly considered tech-savvy by friends, coworkers, and family. Not that the benchmark was set all that incredibly high, back then. I knew how to troubleshoot my parents’ printer and modem, I knew how to use a bunch of software programs and HTML, and I could patiently explain the concept of digital cameras and why no, you don’t just “pop the roll of film” somewhere into a computer like a disk or CD-ROM to put photos on the internet. (Legit conversation I once had once.) I MEAN, I HAD A BLOG. And a sweet Motorola RAZR flip phone. I was hip and with it and totally saving up for an iPod. I’m saying all this now because now I'm in my 30s and regularly... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Legacybox. After my dad died and my mom downsized to an apartment, I inherited multiple bags and boxes of family albums, loose photos, random clippings and mementos. I believe the idea was that as I am laughingly (lolingly) considered to be one of the more "tech savvy" types in the family, I was best suited for the task of scanning and digitizing the sprawling heaps of ephemera. That...never happened. You're shocked, I know. I went through everything and did my best to sort it into categories, but ultimately it all returned to the various bags and boxes and ended up on a shelf in the basement. A terrible place for such delicate, irreplaceable items, a fact I knew perfectly well (humidity! floods! fire! snakes!) and felt plenty guilty about, but ugh. Where to start? Our scanner is soooooo sloooowwwww and really doesn't do a great job with the older, poorly color-corrected photos, plus there were all kinds of old VHS/video tapes from various camcorders that I didn't know what to do with. Plus this: In August of 1997, my dad underwent surgery to remove his larynx due to cancer. The surgeon planned to create a... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. We skipped three straight weeks of Blue Apron during the kitchen remodel. We didn't want to, especially since each of those weeks would've included at least one of our all-time favorite meals from last year, plus something new that we were dyyyyyyying to try. (Queso and pepper arepas, anyone?) But, you know. NO KITCHEN. We took a couple weak stabs at using the grill, but even that only worked if the meal required little to no prep work, which we were doing on the dining room table, surrounded by clutter and construction dust. Dirty dishes piled up in the bathroom, I rinsed cutting boards off in the bathtub upstairs, and all the drains were getting clogged by even the most minuscule bits of food. We started eating out or getting delivery, or buying whatever packaged/pre-prepared food options we could find most nights instead. The results: Immediate and somewhat drastic weight gain for both me and Jason (I jumped close to seven pounds over my goal/ideal weight). AND OH MY LANDS MY CHILDREN LIVED ON NOTHING BUT PIZZA. To the point where if we dared go to a restaurant that didn't have pizza, they'd... Read more →


This post is sponsored by LOLA. GO AWAY BOYS. THIS POST IS ABOUT LADY BUSINESS. So here's a thing that happens to me. Tell me if this happens to you. I realize I am running dangerously low on a Certain Essential Item. I make a mental note to purchase Certain Essential Item the next time I'm at the store. Fast forward to the next time I am at the store: There's a thing that I need. What was that thing? I feel like it was important OH LOOK THERE'S A SALE ON GOLDFISH AND SCENTED CANDLES. And then I come home without my Certain Essential Item, and less than 24 hours later it's like HO HO HO AND GOOD MORNING GROWN-UP LADY IN HER REPRODUCING YEARS, WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT THIS? And then it's a frantic search in hopes of finding an old, beat-up Certain Essential Item in the bottom of a handbag somewhere, followed by a mad dash to the store where Certain Essential Items are never on sale, but OH LOOK BULK HALLOWEEN CANDY IS 50% OFF LET'S EAT SOME FEELINGS. (Tampons, yes. I am talking about tampons here.) One of the reasons (among many) we switched to... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. (Tomato, watermelon & farro salad with seared halloumi) In the comments on my last post for Blue Apron, a few of you cried foul on the claim that all the recipes can all be made in under 45 minutes, and wanted to know if I was some kind of knife skills wizard, or if I was just straight up lying like a dirty lying liar, a fraud, a cog in the Blue Apron Misinformation Machine. To which I say, calm your tin foiled butts, I don't cook with a stopwatch running, maybe sometimes it takes 50 minutes, also it's really all about practice and prepping tools. My knife skills are DEFINITELY nothing spectacular -- I've always wanted to take a class, because right now if I were to go on Next Food Network Star I'd totally be that contestant that I shout at every season, like you got cast on Next Food Network Star! Take a damn knife skills class before you get on the plane, idiot! (Does no one else do that? No? Okay.) I will absolutely admit that the very first meal I cooked with Blue Apron -- while undeniably delicious... Read more →


This post is sponsored by Leesa. Stay tuned for big ol' discount at the end! Somewhere (admittedly low) on our New House Features priority list, was space for a proper, grown-up guest bedroom. Our friends and family have endured years of sleeper sofas and futons, less-than-ideal bathroom set-ups and minimal privacy. I really hoped we might end up with a house that at least allowed us to offer them a room with an actual door. That's a tall order for a family of five, especially since any bonus bedroom or den would need to serve as my office. So it looked like it was gonna be futons in the basement playroom for houseguests again. But after setting up my modest bit of office furniture, I realized we could absolutely fit a full-sized bed in the room as well. A room with a a door, a generous walk-in closet and was steps away from a full-sized bathroom. A bathroom that was NOT my children's primary bathroom, and thus not completely disgusting. It would be snug, but worth it. (My last office was technically a small "bonus room" off our master bedroom, and so small that most of the homeowners with our... Read more →


This post is sponsored by BarkBox. YO FELLOW DAWGS. CHECK OUT MY NEW CRIB. So we're not the only ones who got a new house. In preparation for moving Ceiba into a place chock full 'o carpet (because Ceiba likes to pee on carpet, loves to pee on carpet, is valedictorian of peeing on carpet), we decided to try re-crate training her while still at the old house. I admit I wasn't really sure how to go about crate training an older dog, especially since the LAST THING I wanted to do was stress her out right before the move came along and CHANGED EVERYTHING ABOUT HER ENTIRE LIFE. And obviously our first go at crate training her as a puppy wasn't very successful, since if there's anything she enjoyed more than peeing on carpet, it was peeing in the crate. (YO DAWG WHY U SO GROSS?) So I read some tips online and then focused on making the crate as cozy and pleasant for her as possible. We moved her bed inside and left the door open, then gradually started closing it at night, or while we were out for very short, then longer periods of time. We also... Read more →


This post is sponsored by NatureBox. So a long long time ago (I can still remember) when planning out possible topics for another NatureBox post, I decided I would write something workout and weightlifting related. Maybe go through my routines, and then talk about the diet changes I’ve made (no more hardcore calorie restrictions for this gal) and my favorite pre- and post-workout snacks (carbs first, protein after). Which conveniently, I get delivered from NatureBox! See? Easy post that writes itself! Maybe I could try my hand at some super #inspirational #fitness #selfies. (Turns out I’m not the sort of person who puts on a full face of makeup before working out, which kind of tipped any #selfies away from #inspirational and towards #haggard and #splotchy.) But about five minutes after I took that picture (and consumed that entire bag of Sriracha Pop Pops), we sold our house and life went into a complete tailspin. Weightlifting was replaced by packing and moving boxes. Cardio became our mad race to find a new house, and a general elevated heartrate from all the stress. On our first solid day of house-hunting, we were…ill-prepared, to say the least. I’d grabbed a half-empty box... Read more →


This post is sponsored by TheBouqs.com. A couple weeks ago, I bought some flowers. For myself. In the grand tradition of Treat Yo Self, I ordered not one, but TWO giant bouquets of gloriously happy-colored flowers. I ordered two because I received two promo codes as part of the compensation for this post, although I THINK MAYBE TECHNICALLY they gave me two codes so I could send a bouquet to someone else. Yeah. Screw that. (oooohhhh) (ahhhhh) However, I was kind and generous enough to write myself a note to accompany my flowers: Dear Self of Next Week, Congratulations of finding a new house! If you did not find a new house, please quietly weep into these beautiful flowers. Love, Self of Last Week P.S. Get your roots done. (I found a house! AND got my roots done. Clearly I earned both of these bouquets as a reward for such unparalleled productivity.) And now my Self of the Week After That is STILL enjoying both the relief of finding a house and my happy orange-y blue white flowers, which Jason and I have affectionately taken to calling Amy's Volcano Flowers. Because yes. These are literally grown and shipped directly from... 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 →