How to Change Your Cabin Air Filter [tutorial]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FRAMFresh #CollectiveBias


Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: I love DIY but I am not a DIY car person. In fact, my current vehicle has only ever visited the dealership for work. I know what it sounds like.

In fact, it’s because I know what it sounds (and looks, and is) like I decided to do the unthinkable: change my own cabin air filter and engine air filter.

The difference between a cabin air filter and an engine air filter is one filters air in your vehicle’s interior and one filters air in your vehicle’s engine. The engine air filter is straightforward so I’ll skip to the cabin air filter change.

How to change your cabin air filter (because if I can do it, I am quite certain you can too)

What you’ll need:

  • Cabin air filter (you’ll have to check the book for your vehicle’s make and model to get the correct sized/shaped filter)
  • Screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • The guts to remove your glove box

That’s it! Wondering if your vehicle even has a cabin air filter? If it was built after the year 2000 you have an 80 per cent change of having one installed. Again, check the book to be sure. When I purchased my FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter and FRAM Extra Guard Air Filter I checked the book at Canadian Tire for my exact make, model, and year so I knew I was getting the right products.


The box instructions say this change can take you 15 minutes but for me it was longer. The filter case is snapped in tight and because you’re up under the glove box there are other thingies in the way. Here, perseverance plus my pink utility tool were the keys. I worked away at the top of the filter until it was far enough out for me to grab it. Except for that, the entire process was a breeze.

I was curious when the last time my cabin air filter was changed so I looked through my past receipts. You know, I don’t think it has ever been changed! I see my engine air filter having two changes (yay!) but nothing for the cabin air filter (boo).

FRAM Engine Air Filter

Changing the engine air filter is straightforward because it’s easy to get to. And bonus, my vehicle’s filter only has a lid to snap off, no finicky screws or tight jammed-up spaces. I expected a bit more trouble here but it took less than five minutes once I got started.

The most time consuming part? Figuring out how the heck to open my hood and find the thingy to make it stay up.

Here’s a few reasons why you should think about changing your air filter.

  • Air filters act as your vehicle’s first line of defense
  • Air filters block dust, allergens, and dirt
  • Dirty air filters restrict airflow, which can affect your vehicle’s overall performance

This was an awesome challenge and I pass the torch to you. Need inspiration? See other #FRAMFresh stories and find additional tips for changing your cabin air filter.

The Time I Toured the Food Bank

It’s funny how you can be so exposed to the community programs in your area but still it washes over you and you don’t notice its impact.

I know about the food bank (who doesn’t?) but what I didn’t know was how to help. What sort of food are they looking for? And why? And who uses the food bank anyway?

Once the opportunity to participate in a campaign looking into these very questions arose I knew I had to do it.

The food bank in my city is located on a main road and is well signed. I haven’t been there before but had no trouble finding it.

I thought it would be pretty straightforward to volunteer at the food bank as part of my education but it didn’t work out. My husband volunteers at a food bank but it only operates one day a week, and during the hours I already work.

But I was not deterred. There’s another food bank near me and they’re open five days a week!

…and open only when I’m already at work. So volunteering was out, but I could still donate.

First, since I wasn’t sure what exactly to do, I went on the food bank’s website. I read page after page of ways I could donate (with food, money, or time) and realized the food bank does so much more than hand out food. They run summer sports programs for kids, nutrition programs, and even a dental clinic.

I found a “what to donate” list, but it was from April so I called the office to see if they had any recent updates. From there I built my shopping list and was off!

I wrote my shopping list for what I wanted to pick up for my food bank donation and also my own fridge. I find I can stick to my budget a lot better when I write a list first.

The top items the food bank in my area needs are rice, peanut butter, and protein drinks.

It seemed easy enough but I always seem to make everything more complicated. First I couldn’t find the protein drinks (they were in the pharmacy) but that was child’s play compared to the peanut butter.

Do you know how many types of peanut butter there are?

Which one is right? After a few minutes of pondering I went with regular. The safe choice.

Not only is peanut butter high in protein but it doesn’t require a fridge or a stove. This ensures families without appliances can still have healthy food options in their diets.

I’ve donated items to the food bank before, but I’ve never gone to the store specifically to purchase items to donate. I felt a joy about the whole thing. I think it was because I was being purposeful, not just clearing out my cupboards and ditching the stuff I was never going to eat anyway.

Also I was looking forward to going to the food bank to make the donation. I had arranged to take some photos and had a few questions to ask while I was there. So I prepared my donation and set off.

Here is a sample of the items I brought to the food bank: Chunky soup, Kraft peanut butter, rice, Boost protein drink, instant noodles, canned tuna.

The first thing I saw was a table filled with produce—I was told they are working with several local farms to provide enough fresh fruit and vegetables for everyone. Along with local produce they also provide recipes so people can learn how to prepare items they may not have tried before. (Great idea!)

For more photos from my day at the food bank visit my Google+ album.

The back store room was filled with cans of food organized and stacked by type. A volunteer showed me how the hampers were packed and why it was important for them to be well-balanced and health-promoting.

I learned there are about 9,000 people (this number includes families) in my area who make use of the food bank, and in the summertime their need increases somewhat because children are out of school and don’t have meal programs in place.

When I phoned to ask what the critical needs were I was told the food bank was completely out of rice. They weren’t exaggerating!

My visit to the food bank was short but I learned a lot. For instance I knew people used the food bank but I did not know it was 9,000. And I did not know how much the food bank adds to a community with programs, education, and community support.

Spending my lunch break at the food bank is one of the most memorable half hours I’ve had in ages. I can’t wait to donate again!

Husbands, Makeup, and Self-Portraits

Sometimes I just love hanging out with my husband.

That didn’t come out right. I mean, sometimes I love going on shopping adventures with my husband.

Most of the time I’m a scaredy spender—so the thought of going shopping doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. But! My husband makes it fun, and he inspires me to purchase things!

So this time around the mission was simple: purchase new makeup. The brand in question was e.l.f cosmetics (#eyeslipsface), new to me.

There aren’t too many stores carrying the line but I had arranged for a crazy trip to Ottawa via Seattle and there was a store between Seattle and home, which sold what I was looking for.

So, really, everything was lining up. The plan was to fetch my car after a marathon day of flights, and stop to shop on our drive home.

Before hitting up the shop I did some browsing for e.l.f cosmetics at, which was great for information but a bit daunting for prices. I had originally planned to spend $30 or so on new makeup but after my brief research I upped the budget a bit. Cause the products looked good, and like something I would use daily (I suppose that’s why they call e.l.f everyday cosmetics).

So imagine my surprise (joy!) when I saw the price tags in the massive e.l.f section—everything was between $1 and $3! Amazing!

Quickly I purchased 10 items, completely replacing my makeup collection (I’m kind of a minimalist) and spent a grand total of…wait for it…$20.

Under budget!

So here is my basic routine. And please keep in mind I’ve learned all I know about makeup from Carmindy (What Not to Wear) and my friend Poonam.

Mostly I love eyeliner and mascara but even more than makeup I try to use moisturizer with SPF, neutral toners/highlighters, and put most of my money into good cleansers.

I know, how boring.

However, I’m OK with it.

Here is my honest-to-goodness just-woke-up-6am-face.


But this will give you a pretty good idea of the before/after difference I go for. OK why put it off. Here’s the after (but pre-hair and getting dressed so have mercy).

Just for fun I documented my start to finish makeup makeover, over in my Google+ album called “E.L.F. Shopping Spree.” I have to say, this process took three times as long as I kept trying to remember to take pictures of everything. So even if it wasn’t flattering, I only did it once.

Since the price point was so low I picked up a few products I wouldn’t normally take a risk on (what if I don’t like it!) like concealer/highlighter, oil blotting sheets, and cream eyeliner. The items I took risks on turned out to be OK, but I’m actually the most happy with my regular items—mascara, tinted moisturizer, and eyeliner.

In fact, I’m completely in love with the mascara. Every time I use it I think about all the money I’ve spent on overpriced name brand mascara, which promises not to clump, streak, fade, etc. but never fails to underdeliver. This $1 (or $3, I can’t remember exactly) item doesn’t clump, and I really like the brush.

So that’s a win.

My husband thought my makeup documentation was funny so I locked him out while I did the transformation. But he still caught me on my way to work, saying I was obviously struggling with the self-portraits (true). So I guess he makes more than shopping fun.

I am a member of the Collective BiasTM Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective BiasTM and e.l.f. #CBias #SocialFabric

VH Sauce, Shopping Misadventures and Kitchen Victories

If you’re anything like me (and I think you are), you look at your fridge and take a moment to sigh.

Because everything is so BORING!

It’s at this moment, which happens more than I care to admit, I go to the computer and start looking up recipes.

This time around, I was searching on VH Sauces for recipes and stumbled across on particularly delicious dish.

Yellow Thai Curry

In fact there were more than a couple tasty-looking Asian inspired easy meal ideas so I narrowed down my dinner selection down to which ingredients I had the most of.

Unfortunately I had to fetch the linchpin ingredient before I could start cooking: the #delicioussauces saucey sauce, so I took a quick trip over to Walmart (I’ve seen it spelled Wal-Mart too, is this a language progression? Just curious) as it was already getting late.

Before I left I made sure my Walmart stocked the sauces and took a quick screenshot to remind myself of what I was getting. Because I tend to forget why I go places.

This is also why I generally make a list and check it twice before going to the store. But I was embarking on a marathon cooking session and was dangerously low on sugar…so I went outside of my regular routine and set off for adventure!

Finding the sauce was easy—the VH brand covers the aisle quite completely.

My only real problem was I didn’t take note of the actual sauce or recipe I was shopping for so I was overwhelmed when looking at the sauce aisle. I finally came home with two: Sweet Thai Chili and Korma. Yum!

Oh, and I remembered the sugar too.

How did this happen? Well I think it’s obvious. I didn’t make a list, I didn’t check it twice, and I didn’t remember I was going to get YELLOW CURRY SAUCE.

But I still needed dinner. So I made the original recipe with the sweet chili sauce and it turned out…AMAZING!

So saucy, so spicy, so tasty.

I’ve added more photos from this shopping misadventure in my Google+ album so feel free to check it out/shower my cooking prowess with compliments. You can also see what else I accomplished in my midnight cooking marathon.

Oh, and my original photo for this post was kind of boring so I baked up some kale chips (first time attempting—easy and tasty!) for garnish. Highly recommended.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias

Quests, Gnomes, and #EqualCanada

I would like to begin this tale with the end. I went to Wal-Mart to find some Equal sweetener on Rollback and I got it. Eventually.

Now let’s get to the rest of the story.

The Quest: To shop for the brand new yellow-packed baking sweetener, Equal, at Wal-Mart.

So far, so good.

My husband joined me for this mini-adventure, which is good because the biggest part of the adventure went down in the parking lot and I would never have had the guts to take it to the next step if he wasn’t there.


We saw a guy.



So awesome.

And unexpected.

And awesome.

Here’s how the conversation went.

Husband: “You have a gnome!

Guy with Gnome (GWG): “Yeah it’s amazing!”

Me: “Can I take a photo?”

GWG: “Yeah!”

Husband: “How much did you pay for that?”

GWG: “Does it matter? It’s priceless now!

Pft. Priceless? We’ll see about that.

Keeping our original intention in mind we managed to immediately locate the last gnome in the store.

My husband did a price check. Sixty bucks. Yikes.

GWG was right. Priceless. We had to get it.

But now, let’s get to the task at hand. We walked over to the baking section (with the gnome in tow of course), which is where I expected to pick up said sweetener and hightail it to our next appointment (it was a busy night). But alas, there was no trace of it alongside the sugar, sweeteners, or otherwise.

So we continued searching throughout the middle aisles where the Rollback items were in bins…we searched in all the food aisles…and then started searching in more creative places.

And, since I already ruined the ending, we did find the yellow baking bin—in the vitamin section, over by the pharmacy.

So random!

Any idea why it would be there?

But I chose not to dwell on it for too much longer. After checking out the health info (there don’t seem to be any effects, good, bad, or otherwise) we departed our neighbourhood corner store and our new gnome waved goodbye, one last time.

Then we buckled him in for the long drive home.

What a random night.

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias