Is Your Water Safe? Let EnviroTestKits Answer That!

Disclaimer? I was sent a sample to review. All opinions are my own.

We live out in the country, but we still have "city water." Although we do not have a well, we still worry about the quality of water coming into our home for our kids to drink. We also wonder about our pipes and how safe it all is for our family. Does our water have lead or bacteria in it. Until now, this was testing that the average person did not have access to.

Thanks to Safe Home Drinking Water Test Kits, which are now widely available on Wal-Mart shelves, we can now answer these questions in the comfort of our own home. Wal-Mart is the first major retailer to carry these kits and they are available in South Carolina.

I got to test out the kit and wanted to share with you how simple and useful these tests are.

The instructions are clear and precise, definitely making them a winner.

This is what I received. I decided to do the bacteria test first, completely in-home and very easy. I'm happy to report that there is no bacteria in our water!

Next up, I did the lead test, which must be registered and sent off. You do not have to worry about shipping. EnviroTestKits takes care of all that!

I finished the test, following the directions carefully and got it ready to send off.

I will report back when we get the results. With all the crazy in the world and the possibility of our drinking water becoming contaminated, I encourage you to test the water your children drink! 

Magical Mermaids Around The World

My Snapper loves unicorns, mermaids, fairies, and many other mythical beings. She was playing dress up the other day and pulled out her two-piece swimsuit to be a mermaid. She cleverly put on a skirt over it. She's been begging me to make her a costume, so I'll have to see what I can do about that (she is clumsy so the traditional costume may not work, but this one should.)

She has been asking a lot of mermaids lately, so Google has often come to my rescue. Then, something magical happened. The Costume Superstore sent me a really cool email about mermaids!

Costume SuperCenter

Thank you Costume SuperCenter for this awesome infographic. (You can read more here)

Boy/ Girl Room Inspiration: Whimsical Tribal

I have a confession to make: I have not yet decorated the kids' room. Yes, Tbomb is almost 7 and Koda just turned 4. Right now, their rooms are just a mash-up of the things they love- there is no design to it. Well, we are getting ready for the kids to have new beds (Junior Lofts so there is more room for them to play) and put some gorgeous carpet down, so I thought I would start planning a great design and start projects for them. It's organized, so decorating is the obvious next step.

The kids have some great things that I wanted to work into the room, like the items below:

I have one of these rattles that belonged to my dad's mom- Carrie Jane

My son received one of these tents for his birthday a few years ago and I've been dying to use it in their room for a reading tent

I have a set similar to this that belonged to my grandmother. I definitely want to use the shelf and possibly the mirror for Snapper.

I bought one of these towels last year on clearance. I wasn't what I would do with it, but knew I wanted to make something for the kids- I think I will make a pillow for their beds. 

I have always loved this quote for snapper and will make her some wall art with this quote on it. 

I know this is a crazy mix of decor, but I want it all to work. I have been thinking about it a lot but hadn't come up with anything. I know the room will not be finished until after the new year, but I do want to get started with decor items. I was browsing Oriental Trading and found the solution!!! 

As soon as I saw this baby shower theme, I knew this would be my kids' room. I love it and I know they will too! 

Adorable Brother/ Sister Halloween Costumes from #OrientalTrading + More Ideas

Disclaimer: I received costumes and accessories from Oriental Trading. All opinions are my own.

I love dressing the kids as a pair for Halloween, especially while they are young. Sometimes they go along with it, but sometimes they do not. This year, I surprised them with costumes and they love the skeletons!

These skeleton costumes from Oriental Trading were perfect for pairing, as well as for our Skeleton Halloween Party.  Snapper wore "Funky Punky Bones" and Tbomb wore the bloody skeleton costume.

I love the little skull buckets too! I thought they would be perfect for their dolls... maybe I should make matching doll costumes?!

I found some amazing options for accessorizing, as well. Something fun I did this year was to accessorize myself. I usually wear a witch hat headband to go along with them, but this year, I decided to match. I wore my lego skeleton shirt and some fun accessories from Oriental Trading:

Image result for oriental trading day of the dead groom hatImage result for oriental trading day of the dead dangle earringsImage result for oriental trading skeleton finger tattoos
    Image result for oriental trading skeleton finger tattoosImage result for oriental trading skeleton ponchoImage result for oriental trading halloween makeup

I wore the Day Of The Dead Bride/ Groom Hat, Skeleton Hand Tattoos, and the Day of the Dead Dangle Earrings, but there are a ton of Halloween accessories at Oriental Trading that will make you Halloween and costume amazing!

A post shared by Cari | Chief This Handlerđź’­ (@cari_on) on

 The kids are loving these costumes and they are so fun. I'm always thinking of costumes that can be paired for the kids. They are often not amused by my ideas, so I thought I would share them with you. Here are 10 ideas I love!

  1. Pirates (girl and boy)
  2. Witch and Warlock
  3. Movie Characters
  4. Superheroes (They were Spiderman and Wonder Woman one year)
  5. Cat and Mouse
  6. Doctor and Patient
  7. Two-headed monster
  8. Lamb and Sheep
  9. Dr Frankenstein and Monster
  10. The Adams' Family Characters (I want the kids to be Wednesday and Pugsly so bad) 
I hope these ideas help and I would love to hear about your costume ideas! 

Skeleton Halloween Party For Kids

Disclaimer: I received items to organize this party from Oriental Trading. Opinions are my own. Thank you Oriental Trading for allowing me to do this project.

I wanted to do a Halloween party for the kids this year. It would be like a play date- just something fun for the kids and their friends. While trying to think of a theme, I found an adorable skeleton garland that I knew would be perfect. The theme was born- "Dem Bones" would be perfect, classic, and non-scary, but the perfect Halloween vibe. I got to work and it sure was fun. (I love throwing kid parties!)

Image result for oriental trading skeleton garland
The party was born and I was so very excited! Probably even more than the kids. I knew that I had to have a few structured elements for the kids because after they run and play, my kids need structure and many other kids do well with that. I figured out a few things and set up. 

Image result for skeleton crew craft oriental trading1. I decided to teach the kids the song "dem bones." I loved it when I was a kid and what is more fun than teaching kids a new song and watching them dance around. I found a cute video on YouTube and set up my tablet for them to watch and listen to while they danced around after they learned the words. 

2. Craft Station: I love doing crafts with kids and think a craft is a great party favor, especially a picture frame. We made picture frames and I'll print photos of each kid and deliver to their homes to put in the frame. TIP: do the craft yourself before the party- this will help you know what the kids may need help with and make sure you have all the supplies you need. 

3. After the craft station, I let the kids all have a dance party to get the ants out of their pants and so that I could get ready for the snacks! The kids were absolutely adorable spinning, jumping, and dancing to classic Halloween songs. 

4. Now it was time for the food! I really had fun with this! 

I was pretty excited about setting up the food "table." The plan was to have the party outside, but we had to bring the food inside because of weather uncertainty. Luckily, we didn't get wet and the kids still got to be outside- just eat inside. We had plenty for the kids to choose from: 
  • Popcorn Fun: We put popcorn in the Halloween Silhouette Treat Stand with Cones. The cones made it easy for the kids to hold and made serving really easy. We used the mini skull buckets at the planters from the Skeleton Pumpkin Decorating kits to put popcorn add-ons in, like black jelly beans, sweet-tart skull and bones, marshmallows, sprinkles, and more. The kids really liked that. 
  • I made skeleton cookies: chocolate cookies cut out with a small gingerbread man and white icing skeletons drawn on. I served these on gorgeous black and white chevron plates. 
  • The black/ white/ orange theme of the food table was gorgeous. The bone markers and Halloween paper lantern set added to the look. 
  • I used an Oriental Trading large tabletop chalkboard with a gold glitter border to add a little more fun to it all. 
  • Drinks were served in a barrel dispenser that holds 3 1/2 gallons of tea. We used black and white skeleton disposable cups. The dispenser made things much easier. It isn't always easy to pour drinks for kids while doing everything else, with the barrel, they could do it themselves. 

I had just as much fun putting the party favors together. 

Each child received in a black and orage celephane bag: Ghost poof marshmallow treats, sweet tart skull and bones candy, a skeleton pencil, skeleton stickers, and an extra cameo craft as a thank you for coming to our party. 

While we were cleaning up (because my lovely friends enjoy helping), the kids got to do a skeleton puzzle and I could not believe I found these on Oriental Trading because I have not seen them in years- I bet you haven't either. 

Image result for interlocking skeleton candy

I just loved throwing this skeleton themed party for the kids and they loved it as well. 

Book Review: It Starts With A Seed

Disclaimer: I received a book to review. All opinions are my own.

My children love learning about nature. Most of their time is spent outside and almost every day they discover a new plant, rock, bug, or feature of the land that grabs their attention. I love this and love encouraging their love of nature, discovery, and adventure. When I come across books that can do the same, I can't wait to read it with them.

Gardening is also one of their favorite hobbies and It Starts With A Seed ties all of that together, especially since they have just discovered buckeyes and have been picking them up anytime they see them.

Take a journey through the seasons and years as we follow the seed’s transformation from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page.

As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple, enchanting message of life and growth.

Snapper and Tbomb's eyes were filled with enchantment as we read this book and they saw the changes to the tree and how the trees affect the ecosystem. This book really shows how important trees are and how many animals call them home. With the focus on the Sycamore's life cycle, children learn to love these little seeds and what they become. They want to plant trees of their own now.