This post is sponsored by FilterEasy. “Air filters? What in sam hill am I supposed to say about air filters?” That’s the G-rated version of what I said to myself after reading the sponsored post proposal from FilterEasy. But after thinking about it, I decided to take the challenge. I would find something funny to say about air filters. I mean, if I could make air filters entertaining, I am probably some sort of god among bloggers. Sponsor me, all ye mundane household items! Pay me in paper towels and caulk! Let me synergize your brand, lemon-scented dusting spray! Then I looked at the ordering instructions and I was like, “I’m supposed to buy air…filtersss? Like more than one?” Prior to my experience with FilterEasy, the entire scope of my air filter knowledge was: I dunno, that’s a husband thing. I mean, I knew they were a thing that existed and needed to be purchased and changed regularly, but I had zero idea what variety or size we’d need and how to change it or how often and wow, stop being such a wuss and SACK UP AND LEARN ABOUT HOW THINGS WORK, AMY. (It’s like that time we ran... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Adams™ Flea & Tick Control Products THINGS CEIBA NO LIKE: 1) MAILMAN 2) FOOD THAT IS NOT WAFFLES 3) CHILDREN WHO NO SHARE WAFFLES 4) WHEN CAT STEALS BEST SUNBEAM SPOT 5) FLEAS AND TICKS Things Max is not particularly a fan of: 1) Online meme-y catspeak that really demeans us all, if you think about it 2) Not being fed right this second 3) Or this second 4) Dog getting up in his face while he’s just trying to chill in a sunbeam 5) Fleas and ticks I remain neutral on the great sunbeam turf war but at least I’ve got them thoroughly covered on number 5, thanks to Adams™ Flea & Tick Control Products. Oh yeah. IT’S ON. While I can’t think of ANYTHING that ISN’T terrible about a flea infestation, I will say the WORST part is the re-infestation, right when you think you’ve got the situation under control. Or noticing the OTHER pet, who was just fine the first million times you checked, suddenly scratching like crazy. COME ON. We’ve been really pretty fortunate that our pets have stayed mostly pest-free, but I like to think it’s because we’re not idiots... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Munchkin. Today I am writing about the most disgusting room in my house: My children's bathroom. Don't get me wrong, I try. I clean it more than any other bathroom in the house. We haven't been able to invest in a real update/makeover but I at least painted it, bought the coordinating towels/shower curtain/bathmat things, added extra storage, and hung cute-slash-funny-cuz-they're-true prints on the wall. (It's like a SAT question in action: Rank these three activities in order of Always, Sometimes and Ha Ha Yeah Fat Chance.) And yet every time I go in there it's disgusting all over again. Why is there toothpaste everywhere? What is splattered all over the mirror? How did all these Cheerios get stuck to this hand towel? Why are there two dozen band-aid wrappers piled in the sink? Is that lipstick or blood on the wall, oh my God, and WHY IS THE FLOOR SO STICKY? Sometimes I am tempted to just stop going in there. Just cede control of the bathroom to the children, close the door and never speak of it again. Maybe tie a white disinfecting wipe to the doorknob as a flag of surrender. That's... Read more →

This post is sponsored by NatureBox. The last time I ordered a delivery of snacks from NatureBox, I specifically picked out lunchbox-friendly snacks that my kids would like. From over 100 snack options! Which was like, ACK SO MANY OPTIONS! But it was a hit! I stole one bag of vegetable chips for myself and watched as the other four bags were quickly inhaled by my ever-ravenous pack of calorie monsters. This time? I was like, NOPE IT'S ALL FOR MAMA. We had an economy-size box of cheddar crackers, five varieties of cereal, and a dozen boxes of granola bars in my pantry (they were buy two get one free oh yeaaaahhh). I'd just made and froze a double-batch of mini banana muffins and we were fully stocked on bananas, apples and oranges. So with the kids clearly set on snacks for like...oh lord, the next 24 hours...I decided to see if I could find some snacks for me, and for my New Diet World Order (of Not Eating So Freaking Much and Backing Away From the Crap). Good snacks have been absolutely essential to my food plan: Since I'm eating much smaller meals, I need *something* to hold me... 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 →

Back in July, we tried Blue Apron out for a week. Well, three nights, originally. We prepped, cooked and snapped pictures of three pretty fabulous meals, and I wrote my sponsored post. Turns out that wasn't quite the end of things between us and Blue Apron, though. We signed up about a month later, after constantly talking about That One Week and how great it was — not having to menu plan or shop for the weeknights, the different take on old standby dishes, the recipes we NEVER would have tried otherwise, the new ingredients the kids gobbled right up like it was no big thang. We've been cooking with Blue Apron every week since, and you guys. I am so in love with this service I would write this post for free. (I am not. But hey. Gotta pay for my Ricotta & Lacinato Kale Calzones and Chicken Hiyashi Chuka fix SOMEHOW, right?) (Our full recipe stack of happy meals past. Pretty sure I'd save this in a fire.) Every Saturday, our beautiful boxes of ingredients arrive — we do a meal plan for four people, which is PLENTY for our family, with lunch leftovers for someone the next... Read more →

This post is sponsored by OneDay and the OneDay Instant Movie Maker App. (Almost) every time I upload and share one of my boys' birthday montages, I get comments and emails asking how I make them. And I generally respond with a hybrid of truth and a lie: 1) I use iMovie currently, although Noah's earliest videos were made with Windows Movie Maker, so basically: I use whatever what program that done came free with my computing lapbox. 2) It's easy! Okay, so maybe "It's easy!" isn't a complete lie, but definitely oversimplifies the time commitment involved. Here's how the production cycle usually goes down: 7 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: La la la la la 6 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: Hmm, I should probably start getting all the video clips togeth-la la la la la 5 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: *hears song on radio, cries in car, declares it PERFECT* 4 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: *goes online, reads perfect song's actual lyrics, discovers it's actually about butts* 3 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: *spends entire day waiting for 146 different video clips from three different recording devices to import into iMovie* 2 DAYS BEFORE BDAY: Thumbnail processing? WHAT IS THUMBNAIL PROCESSING AND WHY DOES IT REQUIRE... Read more →

This post is sponsored by NatureBox. As I have previously, excruciatingly, thoroughly documented, my children are hollow. Possibly hobbits.They are never NOT HUNGRY. They eat and they eat and they eat. An entire box of cereal can be emptied by the end of breakfast, and apparently fully digested an hour later, which is when they start pestering me about lunch. Can I have a snack? Is dinner ready? What's for dessert? Last night, after a dinner of fish, sweet potatoes and corn, they finished off all the ice cream in the freezer, and THEN mass-demanded the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches I'd just finished making for their lunchboxes. Fine. I'll make more. Just don't eat me. (In other words: If I'm asked to do a sponsored post that involves me getting free food, I'm going to hurl myself at said sponsor and hug their leg while quietly weeping on the floor. Save me! Feed them!) So let's talk about snacks. So, so many snacks. When Noah was little he liked to ask for "a tiny, tiny snack" while scrunching up his face and pinching his fingers together, supposedly to represent the minuscule tininess of the snack he was requesting. Just a few bread... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Fancy Feast® Broths. This post is also going to talk about cat barf. Like a lot. Sorrynotsorry. Maximillian Thunderdome will be celebrating his 16th birthday this year. 16 years of being RIGHT HERE, directly underfoot, begging for food. Food that — in most cases — would not agree with his system, and would promptly get regurgitated all over the throw rug. Or the bathroom floor. Or our bed. My office chair, a pile of laundry, you name it, this cat has barfed on it. After a ton of trial-and-error, we eventually figured out a diet and feeding schedule that works — wet food ONLY, fed in small, dainty portions spaced out five to six times a day. Ceiba now must be fed outside, and outside ONLY, lest Max gain access to her kibble and wreak havoc on his digestion, because he has not a single lick of sense. No treats whatsoever, and definitely nothing special, like licking a mostly-empty tuna fish can. It's really pretty sad. Food is like, all this poor guy has** and we have to micromanage all the fun out of it. And don't even get me started on how skinny he... Read more →

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Just a few of the things I learned last week, during our three-night dinner adventure with Blue Apron: 1) Ike loves jicama. 2) Ezra loves eggplant. 3) Noah loves forbidden rice. 4) They ALL love quinoa. 5) I love quinoa. I just haven't been cooking it right. I also learned that I really need to challenge my kids more often. And myself. And also grocery shopping can bite me. Three (recyclable, biodegradable) boxes of food were delivered to our door, each containing three nights' worth of meals for two people, plus recipes. (Click here to see the current delivery zones.) All the ingredients are locally sourced, labeled and perfectly portioned, along with any special oils, sauces and spice blends. I'd rounded up to six servings for our family of five because I have hollow children, but we totally did not need the third box, like AT ALL. My bad, Blue Apron. I unintentionally scammed you. Two boxes easily fed all of us, with enough leftovers for me to get a really satisfying lunch out of the next day. (Not that box number three is going to waste or anything. We’re zipping through recipe... Read more →