Monday, November 16

10 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

I am SO SICK of gift guides. To counteract all the holiday gift guides I'm already seeing (even pre-Thanksgiving) here's a list of non-toy/pointless material object gift ideas for kids. I'm not saying all toys are bad--we have  fun with so many of them and we have a playroom-ful, so no judgment here. But I want to make an effort to be less concerned with the material things and more focused on enjoying each other's company this holiday season. Maybe I'm hopping on the REI bandwagon, but that's fine by me.

A few notes on my ideas (these aren't sponsored):
-One monthly box subscription that I think would be great for kids is We Cook, but there is also Citrus Lane, Kiwi Crate, etc.
-Carter's taking a theater class, which is different, and he loves it! So there's an idea.
-Kid salons are so fun. I take Carter to one and every time he gets his hair cut, they spike the front with gel and make it green. So this works for boys too! The one near us also does manis/pedis in big pink chairs. So cute. 
-Shows are the greatest. Disney on Ice is awesome. There's also The Wiggles, Peppa Pig has a stage show, Veggie Tales Live is fantastic; you could look into kids' concerts, etc. So many possibilities. I could throw out a cliche like "the sky is the limit," "the possibilities are endless," but you get the idea, I think. Right?

So anyway, what are YOUR non-toy ideas? What has gone over well in the past? Tweet your non-toy ideas to me @Positively_Amy with #NoMoreToys

I almost hit a tree and PINCHme review

So we all know how I love to get mail, right? Not junk mail. I hate that. It makes me want to go on strike like Kramer and just never collect my mail again. But packages are totally different.

So Carter was safely buckled into his car seat, I had my seat belt on, I put the car into reverse and (thankfully) *inched* backward down our driveway while backing into our turnaround. You know the whole diagonal reverse thing? When suddenly, a package...a package(!) caught my eye as it rested on the stone wall.

Unbeknownst to me, as I was busy rejoicing at the package lying in wait, my foot had not positioned itself correctly on the brake pedal and we were still inching backward into our turnaround, when I heard squeaking on the side of the car. Panicked, I slammed on the brakes and shot my eyes into the back window where I was greeted by a tree, not but two inches away, seemingly ESPing to me, well that was close!!

So we didn't hit the tree. The squeaky branches alerted me and saved us (well I don't know "saved us" is the correct phrase. We were probably driving at exactly 1 mile per hour, so backing into the tree wouldn't exactly have been catastrophic). But, darn you packages, for being so exciting.

So what was this package, you ask? Well it was a PINCHme box of course, filled with delightful samples of every kind. This box was a success because there was a good mix of things I like (nail polish and popcorn, particularly) and things for Carter (Elmo sensitive shampoo, the popcorn--we'll fight over that later).

So the fun-ness of PINCHme is that it's a free sample box that comes to your door for your mail receiving pleasure. And what do they want in return? After you receive your box, you fill out a short survey with your thoughts on the products. So if you like getting packages and you have thoughts in your brain, PINCHme is for you.

If you do not like getting packages and/or you do not have opinions about anything, skip it.

And here was Carter being super strong and lifting the box. We opened it in the pre-school drop-off line because what else is there to do at drop-off?

Tuesday, October 20

Top 5 Daily Supplements

So just a little introduction: I'm not recommending these things in any sort of medical fashion. This isn't sponsored. This is what we do in our family and it works for us. Consult your doctor, do what works for you.

I'm sharing it because I like posts like this and I generally like to know what other people prefer before I buy something. Sometimes I don't care. But if a fish oil tastes horrible, I want to know that going in.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. The following is what we take daily. The vitamin D we cut down on and sometimes take a break from over the summer. The prices I found are current as of today on VitaCost (not sponsored, no affiliate links here!). That is where I purchase these items and I think they have the best prices (other than Amazon, but sometimes I wonder about the safety of buying supplements from Amazon). Hm. Anyway...

Untitled #16

1. Carlson's Arctic Cod Liver oil (liquid, not capsules) in strawberry flavor. 
Why we take it: Do I need to go into a big tangent on Omega 3s or do you get it? My favorite explanation of the importance of cod liver oil is in this book. I also like the discussion of bone broth in there and it's the reason I make chicken broth almost weekly in the fall/winter! (Also because it's easy and not time consuming like you'd think, and that works for me).

I like to use the liquid because I can just half the dose for Carter (it's the exact same nutrition facts for the kids' version, just doubled). Plus it's more economical than the capsules.
How we take it: In a little splash of green juice! Usually Naked or Odwalla brand just because they're fruit-heavy and totally cover the taste and texture of the oil. I've taken the oil straight and honestly the taste is great, not at all fishy and super strawberry-ish, I just don't like the texture of oil.

2. Garden of Life probiotics for kids.
Why: Carter takes one tablet a day. I chose these because they have a 5 billion dosage and a lot of kids' probiotics only have 3 billion. I say bring on the billions. I give it to him for immunity, and also because he has a sensitive stomach and it seems to help him.

How: Chewable! He takes it either with breakfast or dinner. Whenever we remember.

3. Adult probiotics. Pretty self-explanatory! I usually only take 1 capsule a day, but I up it if I feel like I'm coming down with something.

4. Vitamin D3 for kids.
Why: Why not?! Even if you take a little too much vitamin D, it's not a bad thing. Also, you can say "go out in the sun" all you want, but in New England that's not going to be enough from basically October through April. And even in the summer, Carter would burn before he ever got his 45 minutes in so a supplement it is. I don't take sun burn chances with his super fair skin and melanoma in our family. Eek.

How: I usually add this to the same green juice as his fish oil. The probiotic he takes has d3 too so I don't go crazy with this one and it lasts a long time.

5. Adult vitamin D3
I feel so much better when I take vitamin D. Happier, more energy. I mean it's no cup of coffee, but the way I feel during the winter when I take it regularly compared to how I've felt in the past with no vitamin D to speak of, is a huge difference. Also, I feel like superwoman when I go get my blood drawn at my doctor's office and they're all, "You'll probably be low in vitamin D, everyone is," and then I get the phone call, "Your vitamin D levels are perfect." Yeah. OBVS. Am I the only one who feels accomplished when I hear this? Ha!

It might seem pricey when you add it all up, but both of our bottles of vitamin D last over a year because we forget some days (doesn't everyone?) and we go easy on it in the summer. The fish oil lasts about 3 months with three of us taking it (Carter regularly and Tom and I sporadically). Same with the adult probiotics. The only thing we replace often (monthly) is Carter's probiotic. 

Monday, October 12


So I signed Carter up for a theater acting class. He hated the first one. Or so he says. I think he just didn't like the fact that it's a drop off class and parents don't stay (although I hung out on the front steps and in the car in the parking lot because that's just the kind of mom I am). I actually went about 1/4 mile down the road to get gas at one point and felt extremely guilty about it.

I've been getting a kick out of funny shirts and sweatshirts recently. I just like clothes that put me in a good mood.

I really want this sweatshirt from ModCloth

and I've seen this t-shirt in kids' sizes and it kills me.

I had a bad parenting moment recently. Veggie Tales in the House Season 2 was released on Netflix and Carter may or may not have watched 11 episodes in one day. I mean, I'm hoping he was sick that day, I can't remember. That's about 4 hours and 20 minutes of TV in one day. So I'm not advocating for that type of T.V. watching, but I'm totally advocating for the show. He loved it and it kept his attention (clearly). We're VeggieTales lovers anyway though. You can stop judging me now.

I started watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Phryne is the greatest character. If you have any affinity whatsoever for strong female characters who also wear fantastic outfits, live in a fancy house, and are smart as a whip, you'll love her. She's so unique and intriguing.

Also, if you haven't realized that Call the Midwife Season 4 is out, you best get on that.

So in this random, hodgepodge of a post we've discussed theater class, funny clothes, and Netflix shows.

So lastly I'm going to tell you about one of the greatest people to follow on instagram.

My absolute first person to go to when I need to see some uplifting posts is Keep Going Kat. She's a fitness and healthy eating inspiration as well, but she's just all around one of the most positive people out there. I've done her #KGKFitSisters group in the past and it's awesome. P.S. The link to her instagram is not sponsored. I just think your life will be better with her in it.

I shall leave you with this blury, non high quality photo that sums Carter up perfectly:

This post is part of a year-long partnership with the Netflix #StreamTeam. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 6

Giveaway: Glasses from

Hey, friends! Today we have a fun giveaway from for one pair of eyeglasses. Enter in the Rafflecopter below. These are my favorite. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Only. Giveaway ends at midnight on 9/10. Good luck!

Monday, August 31


I'm sad it's almost time for school. I'm not a sappy, tear-streaked mess about it being time for school, but I'm also not in the get them out of here! camp either. I'm somewhere meandering in between. I'm ready to be back in a routine again (and if the number of time-outs is directly proportional to how badly one needs a routine), Carter is too.

But don't you always feel like you didn't quite squeeze enough fun into the summer? Maybe it's because we started our summer off on a huge high note (Disney), but now that it's the end, I don't feel like we did all that much. There were playground trips and lots and lots of swimming days; we got to see a lot of family, but we didn't go to the beach even once. ONCE! Nope!

We have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks, so in my mind it's summer vacation until the end of September. Carter's never gone camping. And I think in the decade that Tom and I have been together we've gone precisely once, for two nights. And it involved way too much hiking. I'm looking forward to it because we'll be with family. And I love camping only for the reason that Tom hates it as much as I do and so in its inherent badness it will be good. We'll be on the same page (and Carter, being the exact combination of the two of us, will be, too. I'm too hot, where's the air conditioner? I need to go to the bathroom! I don't want to walk there! I need a fan. You packed the wrong toothpaste. My air mattress is too squishy. The ground is too hard! The bugs are biting me! I'm itchy! I need Claritin!)

So, to document our summer. We found a turtle,

relaxed on the hammock (this was early summer, hence the blanket),

ate A LOT of raspberries,

got to see Carter's shy face plenty of times,

and actually put all the makeup on one day. Hey, typical highlighting/contour photo.  

For 99.9% of the summer I either wore no make-up at all, or I wore Jane Iredale tinted moisturizer, IT cosmetics concealer, bronzer and the greatest mascara of all time.

Also, if your kids are in need of a new show, this is a cute one:

Carter's been into it lately.

I personally have finally just finished season 6 of Parks & Rec, so that's where my free time has gone. I want to get this for my sister: 

This post is part of a year-long partnership with the Netflix #StreamTeam

Monday, August 3

JULY: What We Did

Just in case I ever want to remember what we did in July of 2015:

+ Lots of swimming. Carter's been using a bubble instead of his puddle jumper and he only needs two bubbles now. He can swim a little bit on his own without any bubble at all, but I need to be right next to him. It's exciting to see his progress though. He changes so much just throughout the week!

+Reflected on our Disney Trip. haha I never wrote about it in June, but that's when we went! It was so  much fun. Carter is a ride lover. His favorite rides were:

1. Splash Mountain (I think we went on it 5 times, literally)

2. Thunder Mountain (only took him on it once because I thought he was going to fly out)
3. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (we were lucky enough to sit in the front row!)
4. Tower of Terror (I know, you think I'm a bad parent. He doesn't mind the dark and he thought the whole beginning part was funny. You know, the old T.V. the "scary" voice, the building. He giggled through the whole thing. The success of this ride is totally personality-dependent though.)

I have pictures of the other rides somewhere, but they're in the abyss of the hundreds of photos of our trip, so this will have to do. Below is my poorly timed shot of Buzz Lightyear trying to give Tom a jump high five.

We saw a green army man lurking in the shadows and got a hug and an autograph without waiting in line. It made Carter's morning at Hollywood Studios.

This face that Carter makes melts me. It's his excited/shy/embarrassed face and we got a lot of these poses--especially with princesses! So bashful, that one.

When we got home, lazy days were on the schedule. Disney is tons of fun, but it takes a lot out of you. All that walking, sun, and excitement.

So we got ourselves some new Netflix favorites.

Carter and Tom have turned early Saturday morning into a ritual of Dragons: Race to the Edge. Carter got a box with Hiccup and Toothless masks, a blow up sword, fleece blanket and all other sorts of cool dragon stuff so he was sucked in immediately.

Tom has always been a fan of How to Train Your Dragon so he's all over the new Saturday routine.

My new show has been Parks & Rec. I know I'm late to this one, but it's fantastic. I'd recommend starting on the second or third season because the first season is a little slow. It was tough to get into at first, but when Tom told me to skip ahead I couldn't stop watching.  I put it on my iPad and balance it precariously on the coffee maker (don't do that) when I do the dishes. To me, dishes are one of the most painful chores so I need a distraction. Folding laundry is another Netflix-necessary chore.

It's one of those shows that leaves you in a better mood after you've watched it. Especially if your kitchen is clean when the episode ends. Clean kitchen always equals happy mood, at least for me.

This post is part of a year-long partnership with the Netflix #StreamTeam
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