Etc

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.”) 

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91 Comments

  • Reply kelsey October 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm

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

  • Reply Abby October 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    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!

  • Reply melbh4284 October 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    playing cards!

  • Reply Kelly October 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    going on hikes together…

  • Reply april October 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

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

  • Reply Rebekah October 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    love it!!

  • Reply Camille October 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

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

  • Reply Stephanie October 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    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? 🙂

  • Reply Megan October 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    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!

  • Reply djoy October 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

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

  • Reply heather October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

  • Reply Anne October 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    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!

  • Reply Jenn October 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm

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

  • Reply Maren T. October 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I love mail!

  • Reply Kimberly October 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Sweetened Style October 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    This is so fun!

  • Reply eden October 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    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… (:

  • Reply Jenae October 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

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

  • Reply Liz October 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    We would love to try it out!

  • Reply Shelly October 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Looks fun and sounds like a great present!

  • Reply Stephanie Fosmo October 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    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

  • Reply preethi October 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Amen to lazy parenting. This sounds so fun!

  • Reply Jill Sorensen October 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    What a great idea!

  • Reply Rachel October 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm

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

  • Reply AEK October 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Dance Parties!

  • Reply Shay October 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

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

  • Reply emily October 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm

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

  • Reply Carolyn Francom October 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

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

  • Reply chapfan October 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm

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

  • Reply Lisa {MoneyHipMamas.com} October 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply Morris October 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    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.

  • Reply Meg October 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Looks pretty awesome!

    • Reply Meg October 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      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 🙂

  • Reply Amanda October 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    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.

  • Reply Mary October 11, 2013 at 5:09 pm

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

  • Reply Emily October 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    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!

  • Reply JoLee October 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm

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

  • Reply Christina Adams October 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm

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

  • Reply Kerry October 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    How fun! My nephews and niece would like this! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Reply jpetroroy October 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    We love the playground.

  • Reply S October 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    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.

  • Reply Katherine October 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm

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

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring October 11, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    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?).

  • Reply KT October 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

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

  • Reply Rhi October 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm

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

  • Reply wtiger9 October 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    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.

  • Reply Jen October 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm

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

  • Reply Christine October 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    This would be awesome!

  • Reply Jessie October 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    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.

  • Reply Lindsey J October 11, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    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

  • Reply Mrs Gray October 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

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

  • Reply Allison Ruth October 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    We love to read together – it's something we do every single day!

  • Reply Meg C October 11, 2013 at 10:59 pm

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

  • Reply Laura H October 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    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.

  • Reply Brit October 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm

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

  • Reply Allison October 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Oooh, so clever!

  • Reply Erin October 12, 2013 at 12:12 am

    What a fun idea, nothing beats fun mail!

  • Reply Kristin October 12, 2013 at 2:32 am

    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!

  • Reply Janet October 12, 2013 at 4:33 am

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

  • Reply Little Gray Pixel October 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

    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.

  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country October 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

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

  • Reply Karen October 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

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

  • Reply alli October 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    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.

  • Reply Jocelyn October 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    looks fun

  • Reply The Churn Mistress October 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

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

  • Reply Kayla FrecklesinApril October 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    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.

  • Reply Jessica Pieper October 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    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.

  • Reply nique October 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity.
    Eating!

  • Reply Alyson October 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    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!)

  • Reply Jessica October 13, 2013 at 12:34 am

    we love movie night!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  • Reply Amanda October 13, 2013 at 1:04 am

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

  • Reply Andrea Yun-Springer October 13, 2013 at 2:06 am

    We love to cook & bake together!

  • Reply haverlee October 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    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.

  • Reply Erin G. October 13, 2013 at 9:10 pm

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

  • Reply M. Edwards October 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

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

  • Reply Tamsen October 14, 2013 at 2:51 am

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

  • Reply Unknown October 14, 2013 at 2:54 am

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

  • Reply bea0d140-3484-11e3-a22d-000bcdcb471e October 14, 2013 at 3:57 am

    I love an idea that includes the whole family in on the fun! 🙂

  • Reply Jessica October 14, 2013 at 4:03 am

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

  • Reply Kathleen October 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Aw, what a fun idea!

  • Reply Annastacia October 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    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!

  • Reply Jen B. October 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

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

  • Reply Natalie October 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm

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

  • Reply MonstorB October 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    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.

  • Reply Bookworm1919 October 15, 2013 at 2:29 am

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

  • Reply beth October 15, 2013 at 5:18 am

    We are always looking for fun activities for the winter!

  • Reply Melissa October 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Would love some fresh and easy ideas!

  • Reply minted meagan October 15, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    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!

  • Reply Sammy October 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    We love our Sunday walks!

  • Reply amylynne October 16, 2013 at 1:17 am

    My three little boys would love this!

  • Reply Sherry October 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    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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