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 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 →

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Since we signed up for Blue Apron last summer, we’ve only skipped a small handful of weeks. Usually because of holidays and travel schedules, when we knew we wouldn’t be able to prepare the meals when the ingredients were still super fresh. We skipped a week this month because we were going to have a string of back-to-back weeknight plans, so it didn’t make sense to have three meals’ worth of ingredients sitting in the fridge until the weekend. Besides, Jason said, he had a few recipes bookmarked he’d like to try the other nights. Of course, our weeknight plans all fell through in semi-rapid succession, and by Sunday afternoon we were looking at a week with no Blue Apron delivery scheduled and multiple meals to plan and shop for on our own. You know, like 99.999999% of the rest of the adult population manages to do each and every week. Yeah. Here’s how that went… DAY ONE, SUNDAY We spend a LOT of time on different recipes sites, going back and forth about different recipes and meal ideas. I repeatedly, gently at first, then increasingly shrill-like, point out that every recipe Jason... Read more →

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 →