Pirate Ships & Magical Frog Milk

If you’re a parent and have experienced 3.5 years old, you know it’s something else. It’s basically like a roller coaster of highs and lows of (strong) emotions and demands, which can change at the drop of a hat. Even though this age can be semi-frustrating at times, it’s also the sweetest age and my favorite to date. Quinn is such a gentle and imaginative kid, and he surprises me everyday with his kind gestures and amazingly creative ideas and pretend play.

Just recently, our neighbors “who are getting older” (as Quinn tells everyone) gave him some of their hand-me-down toys, including THE BEST pirate ship. Quinn has played with it NON-STOP for almost a week now. It’s the first thing he plays with when he wakes up and the last before he goes to bed. He absolutely loves it, and we love listening to the stories he makes up using the various pirates and other figurines. (Batman and Robin frequent this pirate ship!)

Also adorable: Flood water pants and “Magical Frog Milk” that makes you hop and ribbit when you drink it. Have I mentioned how much I love this age? And when it’s terrible, I just drink more wine. 😉

After I drop Qman off at school, I swing by Starbucks to do a little work. While there, I drink my iced coffee and eat a vanilla almond Atlas Bar (GMO-free, low in sugar, made locally, and delicious). I don’t usually eat bars for breakfast, but the morning got away from us, and I never had time to make something. I grabbed it to go, and it did the trick!

After spending some time at Starbucks, I head to CrossFit for a workout. It was a good one – challenging, but not soul-crushing either. Ha! I love a tough workout on Monday morning because it definitely sets the tone for the rest of the week. Never miss a Monday!

After CrossFit, I ran a couple of errands and then headed home to shower and GET TO WORK. I usually hit up the 5:15 AM class on Mondays because they’re my “get sh*t done” days, but I figured with the Patriots loss on Sunday night, hardly anyone would show up for the early-morning class. Well, it turns out the 5:15 AM and 9:00 AM classes were pretty quiet. I guess everyone was feeling pretty bummed about the outcome of the game. Hey, I’m just glad I got in a good workout! #mehfootball

While working, I had a protein shake made with SFH vanilla, iced tea (the one that tastes sort of like coffee), and iced decaf coffee. I guess I was in the zone because I didn’t stop for lunch until almost 2:00 PM. On the menu: Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potatoes (will share the recipe soon), Parmesan Roasted Fennel, sauted kale with Green Goodness Dressing from Trader Joe’s, and some homemade Almond Butter Protein (Collagen) Cookies (will also share this recipe soon). Lunch was all of my favorites – as much as healthy eating is about good nutrition, it’s important to “feed” your taste buds, too!

Love your lunch

The day ended up flying by, so I took Murphy for a quick walk and then picked up Qman from school.

The end.

Stitch Fix Giveaway

A big THANKS to everyone who entered my blog birthday giveaway. Here’s the winner of the $200 Stitch Fix gift card:


Updated! Need some new maternity looks!!

Congrats, Melissa! Please email me at tina@carrotsncake.com with your Stitch Fix account email address to claim your prize.

Question of the Day

If you have kids, what was your favorite age? Any advice for surviving 3.5 years old – both serious and joking ideas welcomed! 🙂 


  1. Oh, man! I have a 4 and 6 year old. I love 4 years old! I love it! They are just so damn cute! Surving, geeze, drink more wine? I have no advice really I can tell you pet peeves of mine! We all have moments that aren’t our best, we have crying stages, kids just get upset easier because maybe you cut their sandwhich wrong, or didnt get the right colored fork. They still should feel validated with their feelings instead of being recorded. I CAN NOT stand how parents record their kids meltdowns. It’s sad to me. So my one advice let little Qman have his meltdowns in peace. (FYI, I dont ever recall seeing you record him, thats not why I am saying this). But, Kids do deserve privacy too. Sorry for the rant.

  2. Thank you for sharing your frustrations as a parent! I’m on my 2nd glass of wine after a challenging day with my newly 3 year old. it’s really unreal. No advice here. Just want to encourage you that you are doing a good job mama and you aren’t alone.

  3. Love this post. Love that you’re returning to your old style! I have a 4 year old and almost 3 year old. Agreed on the highs and lows!!

  4. I’m sorry New England lost, but……….Go Eagles!!! Woo hoo!! Going to the parade tomorrow! On that note, I missed my Monday 5 am class because I was exhausted!
    I’ll be waiting for the bacon wrapped sweet potato recipe! Yummy!

  5. My 3.5 yr old will cry because she doesn’t want to do something (ex: put on her hat), and then in the same flood of tears – cry because she DOES want to put on her hat. It’s infuriating, but fortunately quick, so we just try to let her ride it out. After the bad tantrums, we always try to talk through what she was feeling, why she couldn’t use her words, and how to do it differently next time. Even though next time might look just the same, she has become very good a recognizing when she needs to apologize! She’s super empathetic.

    She’s also recently discovered playing cards, and is OBSESSED! I’m teaching her how to play solitaire, and we made up a game called Foursy Daisy. Seriously – we play for an hour every day. It’s a great winter activity!

    1. @Ashley:

      Have you tried Spot It Jr? It’s an easy card game that you can play together or a child can play alone. My son loves it! It also comes in a little tin, so I keep in my bag for restaurants, etc. I bought it on Amazon!

  6. OMG We still have that pirate ship!! It’s on a shelf in the playroom/tween hangout room and has been used by many different characters over the years.

    So far 11 is my favorite age. I’ll let you know when it changes to 12;-) I’ll admit I get a little nostalgic for years that were a little less smelly though. The elementary years were pretty special. Just typing that broke my heart a bit, realizing that those are behind us.

    Tips for surviving 3 1/2? I remember using colors to describe feelings around that age. Can you tell me what color you’re feeling? You’re feeling red? Is it still your whole body or just a bit? Can we sit and breathe and be problem solvers til the red gets smaller? And definitely talking about being problem solvers a lot both during easy and difficult times.

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