November 6, 2018

Spooktacular Night - Kids Night In

Spooktacular Night - Kids Night In Review
*This post does contain affiliate links. I do make commission when any purchases are made using these links.

I know Halloween has passed, but since October was such a busy month, we just finished up enjoying our Kids Night In Spooktacular Night Box! If you've been following along, I don't need to tell you how great this subscription service is, but I will give you all the details on this Halloween box and how you can sign up to get the November themed - Give Thanks box. If you are new around here, check out this link, it give you all the information you need to decide if this service is right for you..and for my regulars--don't forget, they have a Date Night In, as well as Faith options!

As always, I love starting these post with going over what all is included in each box. It varies from month to month as the activities are different, but they pack these things with such awesome supplies! some of the items are ones that can be used long after the box is done such as markers, or crayons.

What's Included:
Night In Itinerary
Pack of tissues (for ghosts!)
Soft Pastels
Tissue paper
Drawing Paper x2
Plastic hand glove
Corn cob/popping bag
Buildable foam haunted house
Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell

Seriously, so many fun things! They also include a themed menu, I don't always get to the menu but it always sounds yummy. This month's menu was so great for Halloween, and even though my kids tore through the box before I could even see it, they are perfect to save for next year.

Spooktacular Themed Menu:
The Great Pumpkin Cheese Ball
Spooky Chocolate Covered Oreos

The cheese ball is exactly what you're thinking, a yummy mixed cheese ball perfect for a cracker/pretzel platter. And the Oreos...maybe we won't wait until next year...

And of course, in Kids Night In fashion, a yummy snack is included in the box. This box had Popcorn On The Cob! We placed the corn cob into a popping bag, placed it into the microwave, and listened as the kernels popped, turning to yummy popcorn. My oldest son thought it was the neatest thing ever! And of course, we filled up the creepy glove hand for an afternoon snack.

The first thing my son wanted to do was the streamer obstacle course. We changed it up a bit because we wanted to do it outside in the gorgeous weather, so we didn't hang the tissue ghosts from the course. I used lawn chairs and a play set to wrap the streamers around, and created a little space for both kids to crawl and step through. They played and squeezed through the streamers until they just wouldn't hold anymore! I did make them the tissue ghosts while they were busy in the obstacle course, and after carrying them through a few rounds, they ended up just throwing them in the air repeatedly. Hey, it's entertainment!

Another activity was to use tissue paper to make a "dancing" ghost with the included balloon. Decorate and cut the tissue paper to look like a ghost, fill the balloon with air, rub it on your head to get it ready with static, and then watch as the tissue paper ghost dances from the static of the balloon. Clearly my boys thought this game was hilarious and could have done this for hours if I would have let them. There was also a foam haunted house that could be put together, it did require the use of hot glue (we tried school glue but it just wouldn't stick) so many of those pieces had to be put on by me because hello hot glue! But both kids loved watching and they helped to pop out the foam pieces from their backing.

The biggest activity was creating by drawing and coloring, the haunted house from the included story Ten Timid Ghosts. My kids are still young, so they definitely needed assistance. If I had let them go for it, you may have gotten a single rectangle from my oldest, and s bunch of random scribbles from my youngest. Normally I wouldn't care about "perfection", but my oldest knew what the picture was supposed to turn out as and randomness wouldn't have flown. This activity did take patience, as well as markers and pastels, but kids love art so it was a win.

We also enjoyed the included book. We actually already had this one in our Halloween arsenal, but getting a second one just meant my kids didn't have to share, ha! It is a simple and silly Halloween book about a witch moving in and scaring away the 10 ghosts who already live there. You count down as each ghost is scared away, and the pages are fun to read and rhyme. Eventually the ghosts realize that something is up and they aren't going to let a little witch take over their house. We read this book so many times, my oldest even started rhyming along with me!

I think that covers everything! These boxes are seriously packed full of goodies and we just love them. I am really looking forward to getting November's box and teaching my children to be thankful. You shave until the 13th to get yours in time too, so click my affiliate link here: Give Thanks

I did receive this box for free as part of the Night In Boxes Affiliate Program, and will make a commission if you decide to purchase a subscription using any of the links listed in this post. As always, I appreciate the support and all opinions are my own!

October 18, 2018

*Giveaway* The cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush by Smile Brilliant - Review + Giveaway

The cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush by Smile Brilliant
Review + Giveaway

Notice: This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a new toothbrush using these links, I will make a small commission.

Fun fact: At 30 years old, I have never had a cavity. And no, I don’t visit the dentist every 6 months like I’m supposed to, nor do I floss more than the 3 days after a dentist appointment because I feel guilty…you know what I’m talking about! I’m a soda and coffee lover, and eat my fair share of sweets, but I’m also a stickler when it comes to brushing my teeth, I can NEVER skip a brushing and I LOVE using an electric toothbrush.

Before Smile Brilliant sent me the cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush, I was already using an electric toothbrush and have been for years. I feel as if this experience has really helped me to be able to compare the differences between a regular electric toothbrush and an ultrasonic. I have used cheap non-name brand electric brushes, and most recently I have been using a Crest Spin Brush. Honestly, I have no complaints except for the fact that I have to replace the batteries in it so often as it does not have a charging station. Though, with that being said, I would definitely recommend the cariPRO over a basic electric toothbrush, and I’d love to tell you why!

For me, I have always felt that an electric toothbrush did a better job at cleaning my teeth than a manual toothbrush. I love getting that after dentist silky smooth feel and having something that rotates on your teeth while you move the brush is doubling that cleaning action. I feel like they reach into places that a stiff manual brush can’t get to.

Most electric toothbrushes have a single on/off switch, and that’s it. On to brush, off to stop. The cariPRO has 5 different settings once the toothbrush is on. The toothbrush lights up indicating which setting you are in and is easily changed with the push of a button.

Brushing Modes:
Clean: normal day to day cleaning
White: stronger brushing than the clean setting, good for buildup and stains
Massage: use on the gums after normal cleaning
Gum Care: gentler care for cleaning gums
Sensitive: if you suffer from sensitivity or the Clean mode is too intense, this mode is much more gentle

I often find myself switching between the Clean and Sensitive modes for regular brushing, while using the Gum Care setting for my gums. The back of the toothbrush head has a grooved surface for tongue cleaning as well! I love love LOVE that the toothbrush head is only a single piece, I can't tell you how many times I have hurt my tongue with my Spinbrush because it has a space between the brush head and the moving parts. Seriously, ouch. The cariPRO can't do that because it uses vibrations and not extra moving parts to clean your teeth.

Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, for 2 minutes each time, but do you set a timer? I certainly don’t. This toothbrush has a built-in timer that turns off at 2 minutes, but it also pauses briefly every 30 seconds for those 2 minutes, so you know when it is time to switch to the next quadrant of your mouth. I love this feature and so wish that it was a feature that kids electric toothbrushes had…it would be such a great learning tool! And honestly, kids could use the cariPRO, I just don’t think my son could resist playing with all of the features, ha!

Another awesome feature is that on a full charge, the toothbrush can last about 30 days. That means you can take it on vacation and not have to worry about bringing extra batteries (because it doesn’t take them) or the wireless charging dock. It is also waterproof for if you are a shower brusher and it is so incredibly light, even compared to my Spinbrush.

electric toothbrush
You have a couple of different options when purchasing your cariPRO toothbrush. Here is a brief look at what each package includes:

Individual Package ($119):
1 cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush
2 replacement heads
1 wireless charging dock

Deluxe Package($129):
1 cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush
4 replacement heads
1 wireless charging dock

Couples Package ($199):
2 cariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrushes
4 replacement heads
2 wireless charging docks

I have the Individual Package which comes with everything that one person would need, but if you are looking for purchase for you and a significant other, the Couples Package would be your best deal. All packages do come with a 2-year limited warranty and a 60-day trial, so you really can’t lose. While doing some quick researching, I found that some other name brand Sonic toothbrushes start at $220 so this truly is a great value for an Ultrasonic toothbrush.

I have been using the cariPRO for about 2 weeks and I LOVE it. The Spinbrush got my teeth clean, but I really can feel a difference after using the cariPRO and it is wonderful. I’m pretty sure it reaches to new places giving an even cleaner feeling, and I don’t feel as guilty about not flossing (btw, you should totally be flossing!). As mentioned above, I switch between the Clean and Sensitive settings, but I have tried out all of them and can truly see how this is a toothbrush for everyone. 

Want to win one of your own?! Click HERE! And if you can’t wait to see if you’ve won, use code buglittle20 for 20% of cariPRO Toothbrushes at Smile Brilliant!

*I received this product for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
Notice: This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase a new toothbrush using these links, I will make a small commission.

October 7, 2018

Kids Night In - Common Bonds

"Smiles are the same, and hearts are just the same, wherever they are, wherever you are, wherever we are.." - Mem Fox (author)

If you've been following along with us, you already know how much my kids love getting a Kids Night In box every month. It's fun and educational, so what's not to love? The September theme was called Common Bonds, and title says exactly what it was about...learning about common bonds between everyone, everywhere. Though me may look different, speak different, live in different parts of the world, there are so many traits that make us all the same. A message that needs to be heard AROUND THE WORLD because differences really are what bring us together.

Before I dig in a little more to the September theme, October has a spooky Halloween theme so be sure to click here if you’d like to give it a try and get yours delivered, you won’t be disappointed! (Order cutoff for the Halloween box is Oct. 13th.)

If you need to read a little more about Night In Boxes, click here, otherwise let’s get going and see why last month's box was truly a great topic, especially for kids, but even for adults. 

What’s Inside?
night in itinerary*
book related to topic – Wherever We Are by Mem Fox
This Bar Saves Lives x2 (kids chocolate chip)
Recipe with shopping list
Inflatable globe
Pen Pal Letter
Game Cards
Game figurines x2

Common Bonds Themed Menu
Friendship Mix
Minestrone Friendship Soup

One of my favorite aspects of the Kids Night In box is that the included books are always top notch. This month's Reading Rainbow book was titled Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. It is a beautifully illustrated book with great meaning. It is a simple way to teach children about differences around the world, while also focusing on things that make us the same such as smiling, our hurts, and our happiness. When the little boy has a scraped knee, my son was able to connect with that because he too falls and gets hurt sometimes.
We also enjoy the little snacks that are sent each month. This month has the This Bar Saves Lives Kids Chocolate Chip bar. If you have never heard of them, you should check them out! When you buy a bar, This Bar Saves Lives gives food aid to children and families in need. How amazing is that?! They were also very delicious.

The itinerary also had some great questions related to the book and could easily be adapted to any age. There were pre-reading, during, and post reading questions that helped to dig a little deeper into what this book was trying to tell us. For example, one of the questions to ask during reading was - what does "love the same" mean? 

After reading we used the inflatable globe to talk about different places. We just moved halfway across the country, so showing our son where we used to live and where we are now just showed him how big our world actually is. The globe was great to use for the included Spotify soundtrack, listening to the music and finding the country that the songs represent was a fun and useful learning game!

Another activity was writing to a Pen Pal about yourself in order to connect with other kids in other places who also love getting their Kids Night In boxes. Although my son can't write whole words other than his name, he had fun answering the questions while I wrote down his answers. What a fun way to learn about others!

At the end of the itineary was a fun Around the World game, which is when the 2 little figurines came out to play! My 2.5 year old was a little too young, but with my help we were able to all play together. The game was great for recognizing colors and counting, as the game cards had pictures and colors, and although no one actually won (because kids), we all had a fun time and my oldest has played a few solo games since.

Are you ready to give Night In Boxes a try? I'd love for you to use my link to shop, and be sure to let me know how you like it! Click here to try out your own Kids/Date Night In: Sign me up!

*I received this Kid’s Night In box for free in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. This post DOES contain affiliate links, which means if you click on them and purchase your own Night In Box using the links posted, I may make a commission.