Fall Boredom Busters With #QuartoKnows

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

Autumn is coming. That means that as time goes by, more time will be spent in the house. Also, it will be getting dark earlier. All this means that adults and children alike will need more things to keep them busy. Instead of turning to computers and all electronics, let books and crafts lead the way.

23 Things to do Before you are 11 1/2 by Mike Warren

23 Things to do Before you are 11 1/2Are you a dare-devil? Learn to make stilts, a rope ladder, and even a go-cart! Budding adventurer? Learn how to put together a survival bag, campfire and fishing net. Aspiring conservationist? Learn to build your own bird nesting box and wormery. From basic woodworking skills to constructing a kite, this brilliant guide is full of fantastic activities you can enjoy with a parent or grandparent. Learn about science and the eco side of an invention as you work through the 23 fun projects. Outdoor activities have never been such fun - and if it's raining, there are plenty of other fun things to do too!

I knew this was going to be the perfect book for Tbomb and I was right. He is already planning things to do with his daddy. Even though most things need to be built outside, he is reading it inside and staying interested. Some things can be done inside and some things are the perfect time to do them to get done in time for next spring and summer. I love that it shares a lot of practical projects and fun projects. 

Stuck On fun

Stuck on Fun!
From washi tape, patterned paper, and stickers to stencils and punch-outs, Stuck on Fun is a perfect gift for crafters of all ages!

Stuck on Fun introduces young crafters to the creative possibilities of decorative tape and patterns. This interactive book comes with fully illustrated punch-out cards and characters, as well as stickers, sticker tape, patterned paper, and stencils to decorate, embellish, and personalize each punch-out in a unique and colorful way. Also included is a project book filled with simple instructions for designing and creating unique patterns from the included materials as well as an assortment of common craft supplies. Kids will have a blast creating their own unique character designs, doodles, and patterns. From washi tape, patterned paper, and stickers to stencils and punch-outs, this book is a perfect gift for crafters of all ages!

This is the perfect book for snapper. Not only does it introduce her to the world of crafting, but it makes it simple and keeps things slow. She can also create puppet shows and everything she needs is in this book. 

Make Pompom Fun Shapes

Make Pompom Fun ShapesLearn to make fun and fluffy pompom shapes with this all-in-one kit!

Make Pompom Fun Shapes is an adorable do-it-yourself kit includes a step-by-step, 16-page booklet that contains illustrated instructions for learning basic pompom construction. With 6 exciting projects and 6 different yarn colors, crafters will have endless fun with just one kit. The tools and techniques that are found in this kit can be used to create future pompom projects.

The Make Pompom Fun Shapes kit also comes with lightweight acrylic yarn in 6 different colors- 30 yards each and pompom makers in 2 sizes.

With this kit, the whole family can get in on the crafting. The book contains easy to follow diagrams for all of the projects so even kids can do them. It contains all you need for the projects and hours of family fun in a box. Just add scissors (and ice cream, of course)! 

Learn To Crochet Kit

Learn to Crochet KitWith all you need to start crocheting your very own scarf, this kit includes a step-by-step, 32-page booklet that contains illustrated instructions for learning basic crochet stiches. Even if you're a beginner, you'll have a 5.5" wide and 58" long scarf when you're done!

Crocheting expert Deborah Burger will teach you about hooks and other crochet tools, yarn, and all the basic stitches. You'll understand crocheting instructions, symbols, and diagrams so that you'll have a handy list of abbreviations for all your future crochet projects.

The Learn to Crochet Kit also comes with worsted-weight yarn in two colors (150 yds. each), a size H (5 mm) crochet hook and a yarn needle.

This little kit will keep me busy for a while. I can chain stitch, but that is it, so I am really looking forward to learning some new stitches and trying them out. I may be able to get some extra projects finished this year for Christmas after I learn these stitches! 

Aromatherapy Kit by Iside Sarmiento

Aromatherapy Kit A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Everyday LifeStart enjoying a healthier and more sustainable life with essential oils, all from the comfort of your own home!

Essential oils are an all-natural way to bring about peace, calm, energy, and many other states of being. An alternative route to stress relief and preventative care, these oils can truly help heal.

The Aromatherapy Kit contains information on all of the most common oils used in home remedies: orange, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, lemon, frankincense, geranium, and cedarwood. They are each profiled so you can use their individual attributes to create a unique blend for exactly what you need, with instructions given on whether oils are to be used topically or diffused around your home.

You'll find ideas on how to use essential oils for cleaning appliances or freshening up clothes and musky closets. The book also includes advice on how to purchase and store essential oils for all of your aromatherapy uses. Find the aromas that best suit your lifestyles and develop a love for them that will last a lifetime.

Head on over to QuartoKnows.com for these and other books to stop fall boredom in its tracks!

What You Need To Teach Your Toddler: Just a Few Things and A Magna Doodle

When I first started teaching Tbomb school, he wasn't quite two yet. By the time he was 2, he knew his alphabet and could count to 10. He could tell you what sound each letter made, identify them, and even tell you what letter many words started with.

I only had a few things to teach with, most of which we all have lying around the house.

1. I had index cards with each letter written on them.

2. I had a spiral notebook that we would "write" in together and I would write letters really big, then he would color on.

3. I had crayons

4. I had a magnadoodle.

  • We got the magna doodle out every day. To Tbomb, it was a toy, so I was teaching him to have fun learning. 
  • I would write the letter and he would tell me what it was
  • We would take turns writing on it- it helped him learn to grip a pencil.
  • We drew letters, shapes, and numbers. 
We still use the magna doodle in school with Snapper, but Tbomb has graduated to the boogie board. 

10 Things To Repurpose For Organizing

Organizing is not only something I enjoy doing, it is something I have to do. In order to homeschool, work at home, have projects going, live in a small space, and have room to move, staying organized is a must.

Over the years, I have found several things that I can repurpose that make perfect tools for organizing. I'm going to share those with you today.

1. Ice Cream Buckets: those 1-gallon plastic bins that ice cream come in- they are perfect for storing blocks, art supplies, and more in. You can even label them! They stack perfectly and have handles. I like that they are clear and I can easily see what is inside!

2. We use coffee creamer containers to store small pieces to sets like legos, Polly pockets, and more. They work perfectly and can fit inside a larger container.

3. Kitty Litter Buckets: My husband's aunt buys the kitty litter that comes in the yellow buckets. She sends them to us when they are finished. I use them to organize toys (legos, small dolls, play-doh, matchbox cars, etc) and my husband uses them to organize plumbing fittings, screws, and other items used for his work.

4. Crystal Lite containers are perfect for plasticware, colored pencils, picnic supplies, popsicle sticks, and more.

5. Twist ties can keep cords together, reseal items to go in the freezer (like large bags of french fries), and so much more. We have a mug that we put them in when we empty something.

6. We have a huge bag in our spare room that holds grocery bags- we use them to line wastebaskets, clean the animals' litter and dragon cages, and so much more. We save them all because we go through a lot of them.

7. Small mayonnaise jars are perfect for storing activity popsicle sticks, counting objects, letters and more, plus the label comes off easily, making it easy to label.

8. Mason jars are incredibly versatile, as well as pickle jars, jelly jars, and any other glass jars you bring into your home.

9. When we buy spray bottles (Windex, Odoban, Clorox Spray, etc), we wash the bottles out and save them for mixing our own cleaner, ammonia with water (to spray on trash cans), and water (to make cats go away when we feed ours).

10. Baby food jars are perfect for storing brads, thumbtacks, nails, staples, and other small things. You can put a magnet on the lid to store just about anywhere, or put them in a drawer and label the lid!

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!