October 11, 2013

Good Mail Days + A Giveaway

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a skirt and a shirt, and when the box arrived, Ella was devastated it wasn't for her.

Then, when I pulled the skirt out of the packaging, it turned out they'd accidentally sent me a mini-skirt version of the pencil skirt I'd ordered. Ella, who was standing right next to me, started hopping up and down, exclaiming, "It WAS for me! There WAS something for me in that mail." I haven't burst her bubble yet; when she tried it on, she seemed genuinely shocked that it kept falling straight off.

That girl; she loves her mail. She insists on opening every envelope that shows up, even if they are just pretend letters addressed very personally to "Current Resident." The joy of not being able to read.

So, you can only imagine the shrieks of delight from our house when a TogetherBox showed up on our front porch (oh, you heard them? From Colorado? I'm not surprised).

TogetherBox is a monthly subscription box with activities for the whole family to do together. Two of our closest friends in Texas started it, and it's been so fun to watch from the first phases of development to an actual box getting tossed (not all that gently) on our doorstep by the mailwoman.

This picture, from the TogetherBox website, makes me MISS
my downstairs neighbors. I used to see them every single day. 

I tend to be the most critical of items from people I know (if you write a novel, I promise, you do not want me as an early reader), so I was amazed by how impressed I was by our first box. It was full of clever and easy activities, with super clear instructions, and legitimately nice supplies (no junky things to throw away immediately).

I am a fairly lazy parent, entertainment-wise (when your child gets super excited about getting to draw with a PEN, you know you've set the bar very low), and none of the activities seemed daunting or complicated to me.

Ella was most enamored with the magnifying glass - she's taken it to preschool with her every day for the last two weeks and appears to think it's a camera. The first day, she insisted on taking a "picture" of every page of every book we read. She also really enjoyed "capturing" pinecones on an afternoon walk with the butterfly net, when we couldn't find any butterflies. They were pretty rascally pinecones that resisted being caught by. . .lying there like rocks.

This would be the best holiday present; something that is fun month after month, rather than immediately forgotten ten seconds after being opened on Christmas morning. Especially when those post-holiday winter months have you stuck inside for weeks on end (it was 60 degrees yesterday, so obviously I know ALL about freezing winter months and being stuck inside (actually we went to Whole Foods and ate 15 free samples and bought bulk cranberries with a gift card)).

I'm giving away two free boxes - just follow the rafflecopter instructions to enter (or you can get 50% off your first box with the code "everydayreading" through the end of October).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(This post isn't sponsored. I just really loved our TogetherBox, which they sent me to check out, and I offered to write about it. But if YOU'D like to sponsor this post, I accept $100 bills in unmarked envelopes. Address them to "current resident.") 

92 comments:

  1. We love to go on walks to the nearby farm to buy fresh milk. Or play endless games of Bingo and Memory.

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  2. This looks so, so fun! I know the site says the activities are designed for a large age range, but what would you say is the low end of that age range? i.e. My best friend's little boy just turned one (they have no other kids yet). Is he too young, do you think? They live out of town, so this would be a really fun Christmas gift!

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  3. That looks like a lot of fun! We go to Disney a lot, and play Uno.

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  4. I love your blog! This looks like a fun idea.

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  5. This looks so cute. My 3 AND 5 year old love magnifying glasses as well. Can't say I blame them- its pretty cool to see things close up. And hey- maybe Ella will start reading with a magnifying glass like my grandparents and their Reader's Digests? :)

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  6. Every time we get the mail, my boys ask, "Did we get a new Friend?????" Even if we just got one the day before (the Friend is the only mail they ever get)--so we would love to get something new in the mail for them!

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  7. What a great idea! I wish I'd thought of it! Fingers crossed that I win this giveaway!

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  8. We've got a pretty low bar for activities in our house too. Play doh is a HUGE deal!

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  9. Our daughter is only 9 months (and so is most amused by plastic kitchen equipment) but when she gets a little older, I can see this being a great idea!

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  10. This would be a great gift for my nieces and nephews!

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  11. i love this idea! i don't have any kids, but i'm thinking this would be a great Christmas gift for a sibling or two... (:

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  12. Awesome! I am so into this. I'd happily let a mystery box help me entertain my toddler!

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  13. We would love to try it out!

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  14. Looks fun and sounds like a great present!

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  15. I am so far a lazy parent... though my baby is less than 7 weeks old I'm okay with that... but as a couple before the baby was born Josh and I loved going to the Bellagio and checking out the new set up of the Atrium

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  16. Amen to lazy parenting. This sounds so fun!

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  17. Great idea!! How awesome to have entertainment show up on my doorstep.

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  18. This is such a cute idea, one of our favorite family activities is making desserts together.

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  19. Sounds like such a cute idea! I'm always looking for new ideas.

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  20. These boxes sound really fun. You are right about them being a fun gift. I just may have to do that!

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  21. Sounds like a lot of fun! I wish your friends much success. sarahrebeccachapman at gmail dot com

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  22. One of my favorite family activities is apple picking. We're about to go this weekend! I don't even like apple pie but my mom always made it so I make it just because it smells amazing and is one of the strongest reminders of home in the fall for me. :)

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  23. We are a pretty low maintenance family. We like reading books and going on walks to the park. This fall my daughter has become completely enamored at the idea of a hay ride, which she calls a "tracta wide". So, we have been enjoying any and all available local hay rides.

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  24. Replies
    1. Also, one of our favorite family activities is playing with blocks since it entertains daddy, the 3 year old, the 1 year old, and my 7 month old can happily chew on them as well :)

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  25. We like to play board games. Our kids' new favorite is rummikub, I think because we do teams (obviously, since our kids are so little) and it usually goes boys against girls.

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  26. Such a great idea! Love it for Christmas presents too.

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  27. We love reading aloud and playing games (even if they want to always play the same one) but I have a boy who must be craft deprived because when we've done it he goes on and on about how it's the best day ever. I love that the Together Box looks a bit crafty like KiwiCrate but also active play. Thanks!

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  28. Togetherbox sounds awesome. What a good idea. I'd love to try it out.

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  29. This sounds so fun! It would make a great gift!

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  30. How fun! My nephews and niece would like this! :) Thanks for the chance to win!

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  31. So glad I'm not the only lazy parent. I'm always so impressed by people who are creative enough to come up with stuff like TogetherBox.

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  32. I bet my daughter would love this! What a fun concept!

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  33. Ella is going to be pretty excited when she opens the box I just taped up! Assuming she likes clothes (or is my kid the only weirdo who LOVES clothes?).

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  34. Such a cool concept! I love clever people that have clever ideas. I am not one of those people.

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  35. Such a great idea! Always looking for more things for the three of us to do together.

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  36. One of my favorite family activities growing up was my mom reading books to us... this continued into our teens. Of course, we read a lot on our own, but it was fun to have the whole family gathered together absorbed in a book rather than a TV show. Now, with my own little family... we tend to enjoy anything that takes us outdoors.

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  37. I can see this being a great Christmas present for my siblings...after I try it out myself, of course. :)

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  38. What a great giveaway!! We would all love this! Our favorite activities usually end up being the simplest ones. I need to remember that more often.

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  39. Fun idea! I may have to let the grandparents know about this...
    One of my favorite family activities is our walks after dinner, simply fun and relaxing for everyone

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  40. We have been doing a Citrus Lane box, but these sound super fun. My son also LOVES his mail!

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  41. We love to read together - it's something we do every single day!

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  42. This is a great idea! I will definitely be putting it on our Christmas List too.

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  43. My kids' favorite family game is hide and go seek inside the house. They are part scared and excited because my husband is a crazy good hider.

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  44. I've seen a few of these type of boxes and would love to try it out with my little girl.

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  45. What a fun idea, nothing beats fun mail!

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  46. My kids like to open up the "fake" letters, too. It backfired on me last week, though, when I let them open the envelope with my insurance cards in it. Later when I went to put the cards in my wallet, they were gone. I asked my son if he knew anything about it and he ran to his toy box and found the cards for me!

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  47. hey wait, I'm from Colorado but never heard of them. :) Sounds cool though!

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  48. LOL, thinking about people sending you $100 bills in junk mail. It would pretty much be a dream come true. Guess I should stop shredding the junk unopened, or I'll never know if it happens.

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  49. If my sons aren't outside, it gets ugly. I'm really bad at inside activities--unfortunate, given our wretched winters . . .

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  50. Sounds like a great idea. I would love to get more info.

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  51. I am all for simple, fun activities. This sounds perfect since I have the hardest time coming up with new activities on my own. I am a creature of habit.

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  52. I think the boxes would be fun to use as part of home school

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  53. As someone who is terrrrible about entertaining my children ("There are rocks outside. You should go play with them.") I'm sure my children would think this was the best thing ever.

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  54. Thanks for the introduction to such a great product! Checking the mail is also my little boy's favorite thing, and if it included something for him it would rock his tiny world.

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  55. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Eating!

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  56. This sounds really cool. I would love to be chosen as the munchkins have Ella's same affinity for all things that come in the mail. (Okay who am I kidding, I get pretty excited to see something with my name on it too!)

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  57. we love movie night!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  58. We're into hiking! Our son likes to hang in the back carrier still, so it's an easy activity and always educational!

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  59. Glad to know I'm not the only mom who could use a little help in the activity department :) I feel like a rockstar mom when I make hoop (corn starch and water) for my boys. They love to play with their plastic animals in there. And I've learned if you strip them down and place the pan in the bottom of the empty bathtub, cleanup is a cinch. Literally the only thing that will keep my 4 yr old busy for a full hour. Also, thanks for the idea about this being a great xmas gift! Love it.

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  60. This looks really cool! Love to bake with my family!

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  61. We love getting packages and doing fun family activities. This sounds perfect. Would love to try it out!

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  62. What a great idea! Who doesn't love getting mail? (The non bill kind of course:)

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  63. This would be a lot of fun to use with my godson!

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  64. I love an idea that includes the whole family in on the fun! :)

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  65. Looks like fun! My four-year-old would LOVE it.

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  66. We are also pretty low key when it comes to family activities, but we love doing family fun night on the weekends. We get a $5 pizza and watch a movie, simple, but so fun!

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  67. Lately we've LOVED puzzles and my 6yr old has a new found love for the 100+ pieces. Love it.

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  68. This makes me feel better about being lazy. Drawing with pen is a big deal here too!

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  69. We are big on dinning picnic style as a family. Just a blanket on the grass near our tree swing and lounging around while we eat our dinner. It's great and so relaxing for everyone. Plus it's easy peasy.

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  70. I'd love to check this out for my nieces and nephews.

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  71. We are always looking for fun activities for the winter!

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  72. Would love some fresh and easy ideas!

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  73. My husband and I love to go hiking together. Even if it is a short one, it is nice to get out of the house and go outside!

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  74. My three little boys would love this!

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  75. Such a clever idea! Our favorite family activity is going on walks, especially to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point. We do it a few times a week.

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