I have an expansive collection of belts — here’s an obi-inspired one I’d love to add to cart.
This 3.5-inch-wide belt is crafted with Italian calfskin leather and has closures in the front and back. The pretty, versatile “dune” color will work now and into the spring. Add definition to high waisted trousers, dresses, and even your longline coats for a completely different look.
Lafayette 148 New York’s Ob Soft Calfskin Leather Belt is $498 at Nordstrom and comes in sizes S–XL (just a few sizes left of each).
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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
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- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
- Zappos – 28,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off kids’ camp styles; extra 50% off select sale
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- Old Navy – 30% off your order; kid/toddler/baby tees $4
- Target – Kids’ swim from $8; summer accessories from $10
Misfits Market? says
Anyone done misfits market or similar service and have strong opinions about whether it is worth it? I’m not that hung up on organic options, but I do like the idea of minimizing food waste. I’ve looked into local CSAs and there is nothing within a reasonable driving distance other than a berry farm or two.
We’ve done Imperfect Produce on and off for a few years. IMHO, it’s not worth it for a family of more than four people. We canceled about a year ago because they started sending produce we could get at the grocery store and I was going to the store to buy produce anyway. If you’re not already making trips for bananas and blueberries, it’s probably worth it, but for us it just seemed silly to have bell peppers delivered to my house when I could just get them on one of my multiple weekly trips. Also, sometimes you have to get creative to use up the random stuff they send you, like lychee. So if you or your family isn’t into creative cooking, you’ll end up with a fair amount of food waste.
We do imperfect foods because my husband wanted to. I’m not convinced it is reducing food waste, and I think it is just encouraging him to get random treats and convenience foods he would not otherwise. But he likes it. It’s very supplemental to our normal grocery shopping.
We (well, me, I do all the planning) feed 2 adults plus 1 preschooler on a weekly Imperfect Foods box and a roughly bi-weekly grocery shop. It took several months of practice, but now it works well. I obviously heavily customize the box so we get exactly what I want and nothing I don’t.
Downsides: I am stuck with their delivery schedule, so I have to do my weekly meal planning based on that; they have pretty good selection and you can count on a lot of staples, but some things cycle in and out
Upsides: It definitely saves us at least half of our grocery trips, but like I said, that took deliberate work, and it wouldn’t do that for people who meal plan less than I do, I suspect; it’s way cheaper than any other grocery delivery we could get in our new small town in that we buy enough to have no delivery fee; a handful of items are noticeably cheaper in the box than at the grocery store, but most are about equivalent
I’ve done misfits for years and generally like it. In the beginning, they would send you a random box of produce. Now, you have to build your box and meet a shipping minimum (maybe $35?), which is great in that you can choose only things you want, but non-great in that you have to do the work of building your cart.
We had it delivered bi-weekly, and it’s a nice refresh of produce several days after we’ve been to the regular store. The prices and quality are also very good. In response to the poster above, the reason to have them delivered even though I also shop in person is because they cost less, and also because I don’t want to go to the store multiple times a week (with three kids in tow).
They do seem to be expanding quickly into meat, dairy, pantry etc and maybe that stuff isn’t quite as good a deal as the produce, but it is convenient.
I’ve done Hungry Harvest for four or five years now, with pauses during the summer when I’d rather go to the produce stand. I think “worth it” depends on what you’re hoping to get out of it. I’m not convinced about the environmental impact of these businesses, to be honest. I think minimizing food waste on a household level is better achieved through meal planning and eating from the fridge and pantry, etc, and having no-buy weeks. For me the number one thing that I like about it is that the produce comes to me. Hungry Harvest is also fairly customizable, so I can choose what I want, and it can be cheaper than the store. (Though it is not cheaper than my local farm stand) It also gives me a starting place for meal planning, which I find easier than starting with a blank slate.
If you are at all picky about your produce, I don’t think it would be a good option. I don’t mind produce that is slightly over sized or undersized or ugly or doesn’t taste at it’s peak. Hungry Harvest is pretty good about giving you a credit if produce shows up in inedible condition, and I find myself writing for a credit every few months.
My Husband does not like the box. He doesn’t like all the packaging, he doesn’t like having to eat what comes. He doesn’t like carrots the size of your forearm that are not sweet like the organic ones he prefers from the store. He doesn’t like that most of the produce is not in season.
I also do Hungry Harvest with similar feedback. For me it is worth it because if it’s in my house I will not waste it, but I am bad at putting stuff in my cart at the store.
Does anyone have a super messy kid?? My almost 6 year old DD is an extreme crafter (great! We love her creativity!) and a collector/part time bag lady carrying collections around the house. We love how independent and self-directed she is. But I spend A LOT of time cleaning up these messes. She does clean up nightly as asked, but there’s still parental cleanup required. This morning she spilled dozens of teeny tiny seashells that I had to vaccuum up. I know the answer is to “lower my standards of cleanliness” but it seems like me and DH just cannot change this part of our personality. We like an orderly house so we clean up every evening. We have biweekly cleaning. Our house isn’t huge so we can’t just relegate crafting to an area that won’t be used by adults. She also likes to be near us, so this all occurs in our main dining and living space. Add on top a whirling dervish of an 3yo DS :) Advise or commiseration?
Our house is large, so this may not be a fair comparison, but we have rules about where certain things can be used/taken. For example, markers can only be used in the playroom, unless supervised by an adult (we have a 1 year old and a 4 year old, so this rule will eventually evolve). No food upstairs at all, no food in the playroom unless supervised. No paint unless supervised.
I think you can set more boundaries without damaging your daughter’s creativity. You are a person with needs and desires, too! After the seashells incident, I think it would be appropriate to tell her that you will be limiting what and where she can do crafts until she is more able to be careful and clean up after herself. For example, tiny seashells can only be used within a large plastic bin (like a “sensory bin”). If they wind up on the floor, they go away.
Commiseration. My 5 year old DD is like this, your description of bag lady made me laugh as we have that too. She’s never met a piece of cardboard she didn’t want to save and make something with. It bothers me especially after visiting people who somehow maintain a super neat house with similar age children.
What helps me is this is a season of life. And to appreciate the creativity. Clean up every night is what we do too, but I still get anxiety over my house some days (also small, live in city).
Yes. DS is 5 and recently, for example, tore apart a stylophone container for a special Christmas decoration (on purpose). He had to vacuum it up. I still had to do a final “clean” up, but he did do a lot of it. I do hide the messiest craft supplies (I could NOT leave glitter out, for example. Nor would I leave out any small beads). If it is a “messier” craft and I remember my own hack, I’ll give them my biggest cookie trays to try to contain the mess. The 3yo could probably have messy craft stuff out and be fine, but DS needs close supervision for extreme crafting. DH and I have also just started throwing away some of the annoying, tiny pieces to various toy sets if we find ourselves cleaning them up every. single. night. (How many pieces of play fruit do two kids need? Sorry plastic pineapple, you’re out.) Also, at 6 maybe you can ask her to engage in a “how to keep this tidier” discussion. Maybe she can display her collections in a set spot? DS is also a bag collector, and loves taking clean, folded clothes “on vacation” and leaving them stuffed inside various bags all over the house. It’s a little maddening. I’ve convinced him to just “pack” his PJs and only put so many a week in his drawers. If he “runs out” of PJs during the week, he now knows to go find where he “packed” them. You may have to be a little creative here. Just commiserating, and throwing out some of my “better than nothing” ideas, lol.
We have an art table in our main living space for our 3 kids. Art project stuff has to stay there. It’s just a long ikea desk. It’s regularly a disaster area on the top but I vacuum the floor nightly so that’s the only messy area. They have to clean it up if they want space for more arts/craft making. If you don’t have space for an art table I would do a large tray or baking sheet on your dining room table. You can get baking sheets that are the same size as an oven rack. Like that size and then a box for art supplies.
6 yo is old enough to use a vacuum — either a full size one with supervision or a dustbuster alone. If she cleans up nightly, you’re doing something right – so is the issue that she doesn’t clean up all the way? If so, you need to start the cleanup process earlier and have her take on more responsibility. If the issue is that you can’t stand mess in the moment, can you try lowering your standards to let the mess wait (within reason, obviously not like spills) until the cleanup time at the end of the day?
For my own very messy kid, it was a long process of forcing cleanup, and talking about how it’s so much more fun to make messes than to clean them up, and how it always takes longer to clean up than to make the mess, for months before it finally clicked that if he is just more careful when he is making things, he will have less cleanup to do.
Not much advice, because I’m still living this lifestyle. LOVE my daughter’s creativity. But my gosh, does she leave a trail in her wake. I need a neat, tidy space to function, so it’s a delicate balancing act. I have had some luck repurposing old baking sheets for her workspace. At least the tiny beads are contained and it’s easiery to move the tray.
If your kids are anything like mine, get them a dustbuster. They will fight over it because there’s only one, and will become obsessed with vaccuming stuff up.
lol this is so true.
My daughter loves crafting – we got her a craft box from the Container Store. It has multiple little compartments and she *also* loves organizing, so the satisfaction of having everything just-so in its spot really incentivizes clean-up.
OP here – thanks for this tip!! My DD got the Arts & Crafts vault from Amazon which was such an awesome gift for her creativity but is cardboard and not holding up. She would love an official big craft box
No advice; major commiseration. If it helps, we have a huge house and the art/messes still mainly occur at the kitchen table, where all the action is. I’ve had success with putting a kid desk in my now 6 year old’s room and letting him keep a few art supplies in there – mostly paper and washable crayons since he’s not supervised in there all the time. Maybe try that?
My 7 year old is definitely messy. He’ll throw his bookbag down anywhere rather than hang it up in its designated place. The kitchen floor is a disaster after he eats. Snack wrappers pop up all over the place. So, commiseration.
BUT for things with tiny pieces, in our case Lego and puzzles, my parents bought from Target giant, rimmed sheet pans. Project du jour can be conducted on the sheet pan, which can then be removed from the table for meals. We have two sheet pans, and when he wants to do a new tiny-piece project, he has to clean up one (with our help) first.
Also, art supplies and other messy stuff can be done at the kitchen table or peninsula only. If I think it’s going to be a messy project, I cut up paper grocery bags and put those down first.
Shouting into the void today: I hate having to have my whole summer planned in January! Camp signups opened today and I still haven’t figured out our vacation days (or even where we are going for certain) and my whole brain hurts. That is all.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Yep. It seems like once the new year hits, I’m off planning for summer. We don’t even get our last day of school until April or so because it varies depending on how many snow days we get. We apparently don’t seem to be getting much snow in January so far, but how can I predict what February will bring? That is a whole extra week in June to cover! And yeah, camp sign up is happening now.
Yep. And I cannot get my DH to commit to vacation dates so that I can begin this lovely game of Tetris. He says he gets it but he clearly doesn’t.
Preach. Highly competitive camp lottery open tomorrow, and DD has multiple “desired” camps but will only do them with friends. She doesn’t want to hurt any friends’ feelings by letting them know that she’s going to OTHER camps with OTHER friends. And DS just wants to go swimming at the cheap and easy camp nearby, but not every week. The parental coordination involved (IN JANUARY) is ridiculous.
Us, too! This is how my husband spent his morning at work (ironic that for working parents the registration times are during core work hours, but I digress).
At least our county camps are refundable up to a certain point so we can register then cancel when we finalize summer plans. Also…the cost?! Over $4k for two kids for 8 wks at the county camps — not even the fancy private school camps that are also popular around here (Nova). It’s cheaper than daycare was, but just barely.
That’s so cheap! $250/week/kid. Even our YMCA camps are more expensive than that, and we are in a LCOL area. Our county camp is cheaper but it only runs from 9 to 2 and the registration form actually says “this camp is not designed to substitute for child care.”
It varies so much. $250 is expensive to me, that’s more than we pay for fancy private camps. Our city-run day camps are $150/week.
My daughters most highly sought after camp opened registration in November. Luckily got into that one, but opening day for returning campers had waitlists for other sessions on the first morning!
But kids are older and husband is WFH full time. The kids don’t need to be in camp every workday. Gone are the days of color coded, elaborate spreadsheets! Now the kids pick a few high impact camps which they love and spend the rest of the summer doing their own thing at the pool or with a friend or whatever….last summer was the first enjoyable, (mostly) stress-free summer and it was awesome. Hang in there!
So Anon says
Agree, as I sit here with my summer spreadsheet, work calendar that also tracks parenting time, and multiple websites open. I have not caught my breath from the holidays, and now I’m trying to figure out if I really want to drive two towns over for a summer camp. I already missed swim lesson sign up last week, so I’m cranky/bitter about this aspect of parenting. For the record – swim lesson sign-ups opened at 6am, and the lessons were full at 6:15 when my login finally worked. Yes, I am cranky about that. Also – another scream into the void that summer camps that run for 2-3 hours are NOT helpful (see my town’s arts programs that run from 9am to noon).
Unsolicited advice: In my experience, the last week before school is nearly impossible to find summer camps because college kids are back to campus, teachers are prepping for the year, etc. This year, I’m calling it early and planning on taking that week off of work and traveling for part of it.
Eh, I get that 9-noon camps aren’t a good solution for people with full-time jobs and no backup childcare, but there are people (SAHMs or people who work part time, people with nannies or grandparent care) for whom these camps are ideal. They meet a need in the community, or they wouldn’t exist. I actually wish there were more of them since they work really well for our family.
+1. We love the half-day camps too.
We do standard vacation weeks, which helps a bit. We almost always take off the Memorial Day week and the July 4th week (camps are limited then, at least in my area), and one of those is our big trip, usually Europe, and then we go to a family vacation home the last week of summer when camps are also limited.
We’re planning to start TTC and figuring out the timing for that around vacations sucks too (we’re planning a trip I don’t feel comfortable doing pregnant, but do I start trying before then in case it takes forever…??). I can’t even imagine how much worse this advance planning is going to get when daycares and camps are in the mix.
Honest question. Does anyone else just default to their Y/JCC for this, or is that just me? Or is this different depending on the size of your city/town? I live in a major city and you can literally do a billion kinds of camps but I didn’t even research because this is a huge part of why we signed up for the Y.
This is the first year we have to camps, and only for a minimal time, but it just wasn’t…that big of a deal and a lot cheaper than private preschool…
I don’t think it’s that big a deal either. Most people I know who need care all summer default to the Y or the camps run by the local university. We have flexible remote jobs and usually spend at least half the summer traveling (some vacations, some us working remotely while grandparents or camps in friends’ cities provide childcare) so we only need a few weeks of local camps and do put them together piecemeal, but it just hasn’t been a big deal? We find a few things that sound fun and sign up. I’ve never heard of camps selling out within minutes where I am. In fact, we do dance at the Y and last year they were still begging people to sign up for their summer camps in June.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I think it gets trickier the older kids get, and when they want to do specialty camps, or only want to be with their friends but their friends are in 11 separate 1-week camps. For K-maybe 3rd grade, the standard YMCA camp (which is what we’re doing for our 1st grader this summer), is fine, but I imagine we’ll be in spreadsheet territory when he has specific interests and there are two kids.
By 3rd or 4th grade, many kids go to sleepaway camp for most of the summer, at least in our circles.
Mine goes to the summer-long Y camp. It’s outdoors and very “traditional camp” and super cheap. Also they bus there from our local elementary school. Even if she wants to do specialty camps someday I’m not sure I’ll acquiesce given how easy it is. We’ll see.
Local camp options are so crap in my area – school cafeteria from 9-5 or a really sporty camp a 50 minute bus ride away. There’s an awesome sealife camp but it’s 9-3 for a week. Kiddo and I are going to Lisbon for a few weeks, he can go to a day camp with swim lessons in the am, camp activities in the afternoon, I can work and cosplay southern European life. We’ve got Home Exchange credit, so it’s only marginally more expensive than staying local (my parents live north of Lisbon so we’d end up flying there at some point anyways).
Ha I’m the opposite. We nail down our summer vacation plans by winter break at the latest and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the camp announcements to make sure we can find camps that fit our plans.
Eyebrow gel or product recommendations for Brooke Shields style eyebrows? I really just need to tame and or fluff them, not draw more/new ones. Currently using a toothbrush so clearly I’m desperate lol.
I like Kosas Air Brow.
yasss, Brooke Shields style eyebrows for me, too. I use the 24-hour brow setter at Ulta
I like the NYX eyebrow mascara. It’s cheap and does the job.
I am a longtime fan of Benefit brow gel. I use the colored one, but they have a clear one if you don’t want the color.
my 4.5 year old is obsessed with sweets. like asks all the time or complains, “we aren’t going to have any sweets today.” i talk about sweets just like any other food, all foods do different things for our body, some have lots of nutrients and vitamins and help fuel our bodies more than others. we talk about how we can’t eat only one food, whether it be chocolate or broccoli because then our bodies wouldn’t be getting what it needed. on sunday we went to a birthday party and she couldn’t focus on the activity bc she just wanted to know when it would be time for cupcakes and then after eating said cupcake she was licking the wrapper to make sure she didn’t miss a crumb. i mean i get it – i have a HUGE sweet tooth and would love to subsist on ice cream and cookies, but obviously don’t. any ideas?
Do you regularly serve dessert? Not sure if this is a panacea for all kids, but we typically serve dessert a few times a week, including both weekend days. Dessert could be anything from a handful of yogis (those freeze-dried yogurt melts) to 5 m&ms to one scoop of ice cream to 1 oreo. Very small portions unless we’re at a restaurant or it’s a birthday or holiday or something. By making it pretty frequent, I think we’ve taken some of the mystery out of sweets. Of course they still do ask for sweets but don’t seem super fixated on them, and if we say there’s no dessert tonight, we typically say “we’ll have dessert tomorrow,” and they accept that.
yes, there is often something sweet in lunch or we’ll have it as part of a snack, or go out for ice cream, etc. she definitely has something sweet multiple times a week
Idk but this has always been me and it’s also my daughter. I ignore all the trendy parenting stuff because left to our own devices we’d each eat 7 brownies every time.
Lol same!!! I’m an abstained because I could eat 7 brownies every day. Everyone makes fun of my sweet tooth (I am a 5’8” size 6-8 if that matters).
This. I’m an abstainer too. We don’t keep a lot of sweets in the house but regularly go out for hot chocolate at Starbucks, the ice cream shop In the summer or pop by the bakery for a treat on a Saturday afternoon.
In case this is real and not just pot-stirring … have you tried offering a small treat every day?
Get over yourself.
Isn’t that how all preschool birthday parties go–kids complain and refuse to participate in the activity, repeatedly ask when cupcakes are being served, and then demand seconds and thirds on cupcakes?
In my experience kids run and play with each other for most of the party, eat three bites of frosting and leave all the cake part, then run off to play again
My kid has never wanted to skip an activity for cake, but she definitely eats the entire cupcake and asks for seconds and she’s not alone.
That’s the kids that grew up in households that don’t control their sweets intake. The kids who are super restricted at home are the ones who watch the cupcake table like hawks and take thirds if it’s offered.
That’s just not true. I have three kids, all have grown up with the same access to sweets. I have one who eats only the frosting and then runs, one who would take thirds, and one who’s anywhere in the middle, and it changes each time.
I agree with HSAL. I only have one kid, but she has a wicked sweet tooth like her mom and would eat 10 cupcakes if offered. Sweets have never been restricted and she and I do a ton of baking together and have dessert with or after dinner most nights (husband doesn’t have a big sweet tooth). We have never been to a birthday party where she didn’t ask me if she could have a second cupcake. Genetics is a huge component here, and it’s tempting to say it’s only kids who’ve been severely restricted from sweets who would love to binge but it’s just not true.
This isn’t my experience at all.
A few families I know (from their social media), are very into the ‘no bad foods’ and basically no restrictions – those kids seem to think it’s normal to gorge on cake at parties. Based on how many treat snacks they bring in their lunches at school – it’s definitely not a lack of treats at home.
My kid went through this exact thing at around this age. He’d always been very into sugar, but it intensified around then. What helped most was making it a very predictable, regular part of his routine so he didn’t feel like he needed to constantly be negotiating for it. I’m trying to remember exactly how that was — we aren’t really a dessert family so I think we did something sweet in his lunch every day (candy or whatever).
Also, every time we let the kids eat as much candy as they want on Halloween, they are off sugar for *months*.
How often are you serving sweets? If it’s something like once a week, it’s not going to be enough for a kid with a sweet tooth. I’d offer some small sweets every day (yes, every day) in addition to staying hands off for things like birthday parties. The key IMO is avoiding making it a “forbidden fruit.” It’s also good to talk about sweets in the same way you’re talking about other foods. “Foods do different things for our bodies! Sweets can give you energy before sports practice and this candy especially reminds me of my childhood. Sweets are part of our diet just like fruits and vegetables, although it’s better for our teeth to make sure we don’t go overboard.” Your kid will be totally fine if you allow more sweets and will VERY likely have a healthier relationship with them later.
+1. We keep very small sweets like mini kit-kat bars or mini chocolate chip cookies around so that when our kid asks for something sweet we can offer him that. After a while of us saying yes whenever he asked, he doesn’t actually ask much any more because he knows he could get one if he wanted. Also, talking about different foods when it’s not meal time helps. Like “remember when we ate pound cake for breakfast and then went to the zoo? We were all grumpy and hungry because we forgot to eat protein for breakfast!” works better for us than saying no to more sweets in the moment at meal time.
yes i don’t want to make it a “forbidden fruit” bc i have TERRIBLE self control when it comes to sweets, that it is honestly hard for me to keep them in the house. she probably has sweets like anywhere from 3-7 times a week. and then also has protein pancakes or waffles with syrup for breakfast 1-2 times a week.
Protein pancakes don’t count as a treat. Maybe you can focus on getting your kiddo some treats that you personally don’t enjoy? Intuitive eating worked for me to feel much more self-control around sweets (and trust me, I used to go hog wild), but I know that’s a sensitive topic for many.
What part of ‘cake’ in pancake do you not get? It’s literally in the name – cakes made in a pan – sugar/flour/egg. Pancakes are a treat. Adding a bit of protein powder to the mix doesn’t make a health food.
Yikes…your poor kids.
Virtually all bread products are made with sugar, flour and eggs. This is getting really eating disorder-y really fast (are you the poster who said only obese kids would want a second piece of pizza at a party? Based on syntax and content, I’m thinking yes…), but I’ll just say that I think the vast majority of parents put desserts like cakes, cookies and candy in a different category from bread products like pancakes and bagels and toast.
Your bagels sound super gross if you make them with as much sugar as pancakes.
Are you the poster who insists kids must be allowed unlimited candy at home?
All I said was that sugar is a staple ingredient in all bread products. I make homemade bread, including savory breads, regularly and they all have sugar in the recipe. Yeast needs it to grow. I don’t like super sweet pancakes so I don’t actually put that much sugar in them but certainly recipes vary.
“Your kids must eat unlimited candy” isn’t the sick burn you think it is, but for the record, no, we don’t generally have a ton of candy in our house. Lots of it on Halloween night and occasional pieces that come home from school or a play date, but it’s not something we buy or eat regularly on the 364 days that aren’t Halloween.
I feel sorry for you and your kids that you have such disordered eating habits. Bread products and desserts add SO much joy to my life and I can’t imagine depriving myself of them just to meet some gross diet culture standard. I’m a healthy weight, active and my kids are the same. There’s no reasons desserts and bread can’t be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Not to wade in here, but you don’t have to put sugar in pancakes!
Different Anon, but I put pancakes/waffles with syrup in the category of sugary cereals. I let my kids have them (fairly regulary) but they are definitely more like a dessert/treat than toast. I think the point is restricting sugar can lead to disordered eating, not the semantics of calling something a “treat” or not. And OP is not overly restricting sugar.
Telling your kids “you can’t have a piece of candy because you already had your treat when you had homemade pancakes” will absolutely lead to disordered eating in many cases.
We had “party rules” for birthday parties, holidays, and special events in which there were no rules.
We also have “dessert” every night. Sometimes it’s fruit, most of the the time it’s actual dessert. With dessert fruit though, we keep it separate from regular fruit that the kids have during other times of the day (berries as morning snack and apple or banana h lunch, usually). For example, last night we had canned peaches in sugar free syrup. Last week we got a pomegranate and split it. If we do berries for dessert we’ll add a spray of whipped cream. That way even dessert fruit feels special. Other nights we have Oreos or ice cream.
My 5 year old is very similar. I think it’s normal, but I also have a big sweet tooth and eat way more sweets than most adults so maybe I’m not the best judge.
FWIW I think you’re doing the right things. My almost 6 year old has told me several times that when he grows up he is going to live in an apartment and eat all the candy he wants. He regularly gets candy in his lunch box or after dinner. Maybe AwayEmily has a point in offering it at set times so he knows it’s coming. I’ll try that because mine seems similarly obsessed despite receiving it regularly.
very tired anon says
This is my early elementary school aged kid, so eagerly watching for some ideas that we haven’t tried. She gets a small treat in her lunch box every day (a few skittles, sour patch kids, M&Ms, whatever), and we have various treats as a family plenty of times throughout the week. We’ve had a lot of struggles with food, including issues with her intensely craving and basically only wanting sweets and carb-type snacks. I’m so tired of all the “you as the parent control what is offered, she controls what she eats,” “just don’t make it a big deal,” and “if she’s truly hungry she’ll eat what’s available” type advice. She won’t. She’ll beg and whine and cry for the sweets and snacks, eventually end up in her room having a total meltdown, and still refuse to eat the other food. There is recently diagnosed ADHD in play, and I’m wondering if that’s the root of a lot of it. Also wondering if we’re at the point of needing OT.
Yeah, the conventional advice doesn’t work with strong-willed kids or those with sensory sensitivities, both of which overlap with ADHD. Those kids will absolutely starve themselves if they aren’t offered the food they want, and once they get into starvation mode they lose their appetites and it’s just a spiral of eating less and less.
Does she differentiate between types of sweets? Like a cookie vs. fruit snacks vs. a square of chocolate vs. Skittles? We’ve started having “candy days” because in the post Holiday haze, our 3 year old seemed to be constantly with some kind of sugar in her hand an always wanting more. So now, she can have a piece of candy on Wednesday – she’ll ask in the morning, “Is today a candy day?” And if the answer is “No”, she won’t ask again that day. On the otherhand I do pack a cookie or muffin or a square of chocolate in her lunch on a daily basis.
FWIW, I feel like my kids would behave similarly over birthday party cupcakes.
Spring Break says
Has anyone been to Panama with kids? Thoughts? good places to stay? activity recommendations? I’m considering it as a spring break location because I’m unenthused about a Caribbean beach and it looks like the flights aren’t too much longer or more expensive. Kids are early elementary age.
Alternatively, I’m open to other warm locations in Eastern or Central time zone that are a <8 hours travel time!
I used to live there although it’s been 15 years since I was back. What kind of experience are you looking for? The beaches are fine but not amazing if you are beach-focused. The canal locks are extremely cool and the old cities (both the Spanish colonial ruins and the intact French/Colombian colonial district) are neat as well. Just be aware that because the country is long and skinny, if you want to go some place that isn’t close to Panama City (like Boquete or Bocas del Toro), you’re looking at a long (5-7 hour) drive or an internal flight.
Spring Break says
I’m not beach-focused, but we’d probably want to go for one day. My kids are most familiar with Rehoboth beach, so they’re not spoiled by other Caribbean spots! We’d definitely visit the canal, since my kids learned about it in school and are obsessed.
Ideal vacation would include the canal and a day or two each at the beach, rainforest, and some kind of history/cultural exploration. Is there a spot where all of those would be day trips, or would we need to pull up stakes and relocate to a different hotel halfway through?
So the canal and history stuff you would do all from Panama City. The most interesting historical sites are either in the city itself or easily visited on a day trip. I would look for a tour that will take you to Portobelo and the Spanish forts on the Caribbean side (Panama City is on the Pacific side); it’s about a 90 minute drive and is really cool and interesting. I don’t know if tours like that include Fort San Lorenzo these days (you used to have to do that by private car) but if they do, it’s def worth seeing.
There are beaches that are day trippable from Panama City although they are not amazing. Panama’s best beaches are on the Azuero peninsula and the coast of Chiriqui, and that’s further afield. If you want a very authentic Panamanian beach experience, Isla Taboga (in the Bay of Panama) is a ferry ride away, it just isn’t going to blow you away or anything. But there is sand and water and it’ll be warm. There are also some resorts an hour or so from Panama on the Pacific coast.
For jungle, the easiest option would be to spend a few days at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, which is 30 minutes from downtown Panama in the national park that abuts the canal (Parque Soberania). You’ll see monkeys and stuff, and they have some tours that get you into more jungly areas. A very cool and special thing is to visit Isla Barro Colorado, which is a scientific research reserve managed by the Smithsonian. You’d have to research how non-scientists can visit it (I worked there so not sure). Soberania isn’t Brazil-style rainforest with huge trees but you’ll see interesting animals and stuff. If you are willing to go further afield, you can take a one-hour internal flight to David (in Chiriqui) and then go to Boquete, which is in cloud forest. It’s a popular mountain town with coffee farms, rafting, horseback rides, hiking, etc. Also, an extinct volcano you can climb. That’s more impressive from a forest perspective, but again – central American rainforest isn’t like South American rainforest in terms of wow factor.
The canal is super easy to visit from Panama City and your hotel can help you arrange a taxi to get there, or you can find a tour. You can find tours that do partial canal transits, where you go through one of the sets of locks. I have been through the locks but for work, so not sure of the details of the tours, but it’s a cool experience to go through the locks. It’s also cool just to see them in action, though.
Spring Break says
This is so helpful, thank you!
I’m confused because Panama is primarily a carribean beach destination.
It’s central/south America, and primarily not a beach destination. I get what OP is saying.
I took a Panama Canal cruise with my parents in high school. I think it would be cool now, but I was bored to tears by the locks as a teen and I can’t imagine elementary schoolers being interested unless they had aparticular interest in engineering.
What about Costa Rica? Lots of good stuff there for younger kids, including wildlife, volcanoes, hot springs and cool (black sand) beaches. I would say it has overlap with Hawaii but is more undeveloped, and also a lot closer if you’re coming from eastern or central time. I believe it’s central time zone, at least this time of year.
Spring Break says
Oh, agreed! I love Costa Rica and it is also on the short list. The strikes against it are that the flights are significantly more expensive at the moment, and we really want to do a family surf camp and feel like our younger son’s swimming skills aren’t quite there yet.
I’m the Panama poster above and I will say that Costa Rica is definitely quite easy as a family vacation destination (I call it “training wheels Latin America”). If you are interested in going to Costa Rica later, I would focus in your Panama trip on things that are really distinctive to Panama and not something you’d get in CR. That would be the canal, the colonial ruins in Panama City and the forts around Portobelo/Colon (CR doesn’t have a ton of that stuff ), and something like Barro Colorado if you can make it happen. Also, I didn’t mention this bc I never did it, but a really unique Panamanian experience is visiting the comarca (self-governing indigenous province) of Kuna Yala on the Caribbean coast and staying at a lodge there (Sapibenga is supposed to be good). The Kuna have a super interesting history (they ended up in Panama after losing a war of conquest that they launched against another indigenous community a few hundred years back) and culture (they’re matriarchal).
I feel like surf camp is unique enough that you could do a Costa Rica vacation now and do a surf camp later and there wouldn’t be much if any overlap. But I’m also not someone who minds going back to places. We’ve even repeated specific resorts that were big hits. So YMMV.
the best thing I did in Panama was stay on a chocolate farm, but you have to be 8 (so depending on your kids age). https://www.thejunglelodge.com/info
The San Blas islands are rugged and amazing and won’t be here forever.
Any recs for a moisturizing concealer? Or do I just need to put on more eye cream before I put on concealer?
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
I’d keep them separate, but I also want to shout out to Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.
The answer is probably more eye cream and I’m no help there. Everyone swears by Tarte Shape Tape but it creases for me (I’m 37 so I’m not complaining, just stating a fact) and the color just isn’t quite right anyway. Today I tried Kosas concealer and that seems to fit me better.
Has anyone been to Key Largo with kids? We want a last minute warm weather escape, but we’re doing the Caribbean all-inclusive thing with my parents for spring break, so I’d rather keep this trip in the continental US and I think that pretty much limits us to Florida. We have a 5 year old who will be content to swim all day, but interesting stuff for the adults would be a plus. Or other areas in FL that would be better? We have no interest in Disney and I’ve spent a lot of time in Miami and been to Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Naples/Marco Island so not those places. We’ve also been to the Destin/30A area a couple times, but it’s probably too cold for swimming there this time of year anyway.
Hey! We just booked key largo for very similar reasons. I’d been looking at Miami and needed up finding a nice place in Largo for not much more. My kids are 5-9. We are staying on the beach in a place with a blender and the kids and I have big plans to read under the palm trees with mocktails. We are bringing fins & snorkels.
We will probably do either the turtle rescue in marathon or one of the dolphin visits in Largo to change it up/if they weather is bad. If we get antsy we may daytrip to key west for an evening.
Another thing on our radar is a glass bottom boat, but we may not bother if they are having fun at the beach with snorkels.
We’ve done a bunch of theme parks/big action vacations lately so this one is just to unwind. We are skiing the weekend before.
This sounds like exactly what we want – where are you staying?
Just as a note, Largo, FL is a place (near Clearwater) and is not the same as Key Largo.
Have you thought about Sarasota? It’s typically nice this time of year.
I’m not very familiar with the Tampa/Sarasota area. Is there a resort you would recommend there? A nice pool is a must for our kiddo, and we’re hoping to keep the hotel budget under $500/night. What kinds of things are there to do there besides pool and beach?
I’m from Sarasota and would say it is probably too cold to swim in the Gulf at this time of year, although YMMV. In terms of things to do, Sarasota is a “cultural mecca,” but more for wealthy retired people. So there is opera, ballet, art museums, and a major performing arts center, but less infrastructure for kids. (Caveat that I haven’t lived there in 25 years and it has probably changed a lot). Selby Gardens and Mote Marine lab are the kid-friendly things I can think of. The Ringling Museum has a nice collection and the grounds are beautiful and probably conducive to kids running around. In Venice there is a beach with a lot of shark’s teeth. Watching the draw bridges to Siesta Key go up and down can be entertaining to little kids. The Sailor Circus is a very well-established kids circus school that offers performances. (Sarasota was the winter home of the Ringling Bros. circus for many years; I went to school with the daughter of trapeze artists, and you could find some interesting costume things in local thrift stores). Tampa has its own group of museums, which I am less familiar with.
We’re just looking for swimming in a heated pool, not the ocean (my kid isn’t comfortable in the ocean yet). But I’m not sure it will be warm enough for that either. Google says average high in January is 71 which feels a little cold to me for swimming. Thanks for the detail about things to do!