A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate Reading with New Kids Books from Linda Ragsdale {+A Giveaway}

**Books received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.
At almost four year old, my daughter is learning all about letters.

Of course, she's known her ABCs for quite some time, but is to the point now where she can see a letter and know what they are, and even learning to write them. She's got a long way to go before she'll be reading, but she's getting those fundamentals down.

As a mom, I certainly want to encourage that--- and what better way to do that than with READING together. We love books in our house, so I'm always on the search for great new books to read together. Today, I'm excited to introduce two new books from Flowerpot Children's Press:



ALPHABETTER
Empower your vocabulary with this hilarious dictionary full of playfully re-paired words that motivate, uplift, and inspire. Laugh and learn as you read each new word, and discover the amazing power our words have when we use them to encourage others and ourselves!

 
HOW I DID IT
Curious and inspired, I was full of ideas. I turned adversity into adventure when I took a chance and tried to change. Readers young and old will be inspired by how I did it.

 
About the Author
Linda Ragsdale wants everyone to be a dragon, a Peace Dragon that is! As an author, illustrator, international speaker, and peace teacher, Linda has developed her Peace Dragon series to teach us how to harness our fiery energy into a peaceful and productive outlet by owning our human powers of view, voice, and choice. Linda invites you to be a peace dragon ambassador and join the 30,000 students she has taught around the world!


As you may have guessed from the titles, these are ideal options for every child learning to read. First up- How I Did It. Now, I have to be honest--- I don't know who loved this one more- my daughter or myself!? This was an adorable book! The letters transformed into characters, and let's be honest--- what child doesn't remember ALL of their favorite characters? As I said, my daughter is in this very stage of pre-reading so it was an ideal fit for her. It's entertaining, but still educational--- your kids will have so much fun they won't even realize they are learning.

But it's not just educational either, it has a great moral too! I don't know about you, but I love a book with a message and this one, in all it's fun and silliness serves as a great reminder that kids can be anything they set their minds too... just like I.

Next up, was Alphabetter.

For my daughter, this one wasn't as appealing, but for myself and my 9 year old we thoroughly enjoyed it! With each page we find a brand new word with a definition. These are combinations of other words, meshed together with new meanings. How fun, right? Like I said, at almost 4, my daughter didn't quite appreciate it, but she still loved the illustrations. My son and I were amused by both... and decided there were a few words we might have to add into our vocabulary! It's fun, it's a little silly and it'll encourage kids to think outside the box and have fun with words! As a writer, that's a lesson that I can certainly appreciate.

No matter where your child is in their journey to reading, these books are going to be a HIT! We loved them! You can find these selections and more at the links below:

Visit the Website.

And one very lucky winner is going to win a copy of both books. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:



Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. 

Celebrity Mothers Getting Involved to Prevent Ever-Growing Diaper Need Across the Country


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We all know how expensive diapers can be, but for many moms, we simply buck up and deal with the cost.

Some lower-income moms aren't quite as lucky, and instead have to deal with something that is known nationwide as "diaper need." More and more infants and children have to go without diapers every single day simply because the cost is too much for parents to bear. Sadly, this problem isn't going away.

That's where the National Diaper Bank Network comes in. The nonprofit gives many a mother free diapers for families in need. The group reports to Babble that a whopping 5.2 million children under the age of three grow up in poor or low-income families. On top of that, one-third of these families experience diaper need.

It is not easy to get diapers in the United States when you're broke. Diapers are not covered under welfare or WIC benefits, and considering that roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck (with 27% having no savings at all), many mothers and fathers simply cannot afford buying diapers for their child. And, unfortunately, without reliable access to new diapers, plenty of babies are suffering from sanitary problems.

For perspective, Mashable reports that the cost of diapers for low-income families is a staggering $936 per child, per year. Considering that federal minimum wage is $7.25, if the mother works full time, the cost of diapers alone will take up 6% of her gross wages.

Some families even have to choose between food and diapering their child. So, in order to gain awareness, some celebrity moms are getting involved.

Earlier in June, Scandal star Kerry Washington tweeted a video that boasted "No baby should have to wear a dirty diaper because their family can't afford clean ones." In a caption, she explained:

"It's a crime that that would be true, that you would have to choose between feeding your kid or changing their diaper."

Along with her post, she tagged an additional nonprofit organization, Baby2Baby. This Los Angeles organization also collects diapers to give to lower income families like the National Diaper Bank Network, but also donates other items such as clothing, cribs, and hygiene products for children up to 12 years old.

Washington isn't the only celebrity mom using her extensive Twitter following to promote Baby2Baby and raise awareness about the fact that not all mothers are privileged enough to afford diapers. These celebrity moms can be referred to as a small army in a sense: Molly Sims, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Kelly Rowland, and Jenna Dewan Tatum have all tweeted or posted on social media to show their support in trying to close the "diaper gap" the nation is facing. And with their help and promotion, donations have trickled in slowly but surely.


So while companies tend to use social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to increase brand awareness, this fierce group of moms is taking advantage of their celebrity for the greater good of others.

And for that, we applaud them.

Prayers Fit For a Princess {A Princess Prayers Book Review}


**Book received for review. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

It should come as no surprise on a blog called A Modern Day Fairy Tale that we are a family that loves princesses!

Of course, we love the fairy tales and the sparkles and the fantasy of it all, what little girl doesn't? But aside from that from the moment that I discovered I was having a little girl, I knew that I wanted to raise her to know that she IS a princess. That doesn't mean that she's spoiled. It doesn't mean that she gets everything she wants. It doesn't mean that she is the center of attention. Quite the opposite in fact. I wanted her to realize that she truly WAS a princess--- the daughter of the King.

Today, I'm excited to share a new book with you that helps to remind her of just that- Princess Prayers:



Good morning, Lord, it’s time to rise.
The sun is shining bright.
I’ve got my day ahead of me,
so help me do what’s right.

Help me to be kind and good
and do my very best
to show my love for you today
so others will be blessed.

Princess Prayers includes fifteen sweet prayers for little girls who want to live like princesses for God their King. Prayers are included for girls to be able to pray and learn alongside princess Grace, Hope, Faith, Charity, and Joy. Every little girl is a princess, and this padded cover board book will help them engage with Scripture and discover how to open their hearts to God.

If you have a princess loving little girl, this book is a MUST. We have many, many prayer books in our collection, but here's the thing when it comes to kids... you have to approach them from something they love. When you make it fun for them, they are interested and they learn more. When it comes to teaching my kids about important topics like faith and prayer--- what could be more important!?

This book does this beautifully. The illustrations are full of princesses and fairy tale scenes that my little girl loves, so already she is drawn in! The prayers are short and sweet--- perfect for a little princess. She might find herself memorizing a few even. The topics are varied, but all things that young girls would need to pray for. They flow easily, and truly are just all around beautiful. My daughter wanted to read each and every one--- over and over again! And I LOVE that!

If your daughter has read any of the stories from The Princess Parables, she will love seeing those familiar characters, but if not, this will be a great introduction. My almost 4-year-old loved in and I know many little girls will too!

Princess Prayers in available to purchase now.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trucks and Twirls: Dresses for Every Girl with Princess Awesome {A Wonder Woman Giveaway Hop} #WWHop2017 #giveaway



We all know a Wonder Woman -- the kind of girl who can tackle anything, and still has great hair. She makes beauty and life look effortless. Welcome to the Wonder Woman Giveaway Hop, an event hosted by Savings in Seconds. After you enter my giveaway, head to the other participating blogs for chances to win the wonderful items they've featured. This giveaway runs from 7/20 through 8/3.

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**Product received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.


My daughter is a girly girl.

If it's pink, if it sparkles, if it twirls... well, she has to have it.

But she's also growing up in a house of nerds, and well... it's contagious! Her big brother has taught her the awesomeness of science! She loves doing experiments with him! She loves creating cardboard rocket ships and flying to space. She loves transportation. And of course, she LOVES dinosaurs. These might be stereotypical 'boy' themes, but my girly girl doesn't care... she still loves them. And who says you can't have both!?



Why can a little girl not love science and still love dresses?

They CAN! But finding fun dresses to reflect those interests? That's a tough one. A look in the girls section will reveal princesses, kittens, and flowers. Those dino prints and science prints? You'll find them in the boys section.

Enter Princess Awesome.



Creators Eva St. Clair and Rebecca Melsky saw that void and sough out to create a fabulous line of dresses for those girls who loved both sparkles and sharks. Here's the story of Princess Awesome:

If you know a little girl, or you were a once a little girl, then you know.

Lots of little girls love dresses and rainbows and flowers and pink. And lots of those same little girls love cars and robots and pirates and dinosaurs.

But if you've ever tried to buy those little girls clothes that are pink and have dinosaurs, or are sparkly and have pirates, or even just a dress with a robot on it, then you know it's pretty much impossible.

Princess Awesome wants to change that.

We believe that if a girl likes purple and also likes trucks, she should be able to wear a purple truck dress. And if a girl likes princesses and also aliens, then an alien princess skirt is for her.

We also believe that if a girl would prefer to skip the "princess" and stick with the "awesome," she deserves some dress options that feature a range of colors and topics.

We are Princess Awesome because butterflies are awesome and so are airplanes. Because monsters are awesome and so are twirly skirts. Because girls are awesome and girls get to decide what it means to be girly.

When I first saw these adorable dresses, I was immediately in love. Like I said, my daughter may be girly... but she can still love science! Her favorite though was the dinosaur dress!




Seriously, how adorable is that!? From trips to the children's museum to playing with her dinos in the yard, this dress is ideal. I love the thought that goes into each of the designs. It would be easy enough I suppose to throw some dinosaurs onto a pink top and call it a day, but each of the designs is truly beautiful. They incorporate these themes into a gorgeous pattern that was feminine and pretty, and most importantly SMART. But I haven't even told you the best part! They have POCKETS! This is perfect for my little explorer! She loves picking up rocks and pinecones on our neighborhood walks so a dress with pockets!? Absolute perfection. This truly a dress that is just as awesome as she is.



Want to learn more? You can see all of the stunning styles available for your awesome girl at the links below:

Visit the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.
Follow on Instagram. 



And one very lucky reader is going to win a dress for themselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Pros and Cons of Grocery Delivery

Food image created by Mrsiraphol - Freepik.com

If you are a mom with little ones, you know that a simple trip to the grocery store can be anything but a simple trip. The kids start reaching for every bit of junk food they see. If you don't time it just right their sleepiness turns to crankiness. Have a special needs child? Add in the inevitable meltdown and dirty looks... and well, don't you just love grocery shopping?

Be honest, how many times have you wished you could just PAY someone else to do it for you?

These days, that dream of mothers everywhere has become a reality, and today I wanted to share my experiences using such a service.

Let's start at the beginning. Why grocery delivery? In my case, it just makes sense. First of all, the scenario above that so many of us moms face... shopping with kids. I have a toddler and an autistic child. Shopping is anything but relaxing. In addition, we had other obstacles. I have severe anxiety and panic disorder and let's just say I don't do so well when it comes to people. As if that wasn't enough, I also don't have a car! With my husband's insane work schedule, there were many times I was unable to get to the store for WEEKS! Like I said, for me it made sense.

But what are some things you should consider when making the decision to sign up for grocery delivery? Let's break it down.

The Pros.

The biggest pro to using online shopping is convenience. Whether it's lack of transportation, kids, or a busy schedule... sometimes getting to the store just doesn't work out. With grocery delivery, you pick out what you want online and someone else goes to the store, shops and brings it to you. Grocery shop in your PJs...and no one will be the wiser.

If you're a shopper who tends to toss things in your cart not on your list, it can keep you on track too. While you can browse all categories, it takes much longer (in my opinion) to do so than a walk through the store, so it's much easier to just stick to your list. You'll be thankful for no impulse buys at checkout!

It also allows you to see just how much you're spending as you go, which can be a little more difficult in the grocery store. Getting too close to your budget? It's easy to remove something from your cart without walking all the way back through the store.

The Cons.

As with anything, you PAY for convenience. I personally use Shipt, which costs $14 a month or $99 a year, but as long as you purchase a minimum of $35 there is no delivery fee. It's not just the subscription fees though, you'll be paying a small amount more on *most* groceries overall. The prices in store and the prices online will vary. In addition, you'll be unable to use coupons or any reward programs your store offers. To be honest, this made me hesitant to try grocery delivery initially. Being on an already super tight budget, that little difference makes a BIG difference. But think about this--- if you're unable to get to the store and there's nothing in the house to eat... what do you do? Order out! And that costs even MORE money. When I thought about it that way- and again given my personal circumstances- I decided the cost was worth it for us personally and we just had to cut elsewhere.

The other con for me is that I'm a comparison shopper. I like to check out all of the options available. Sometimes for price, sometimes just because I like some varieties better. That's a lot harder to do online. In fact, sometimes all of the available options aren't actually shown. You can put in special requests if you know there's something your store offers, but it's definitely not as easy! 

As with anything, there are definitely pros to it and cons to it. Ultimately it comes down to which makes the most sense for your family. Personally, I'm very happy with my decision, and love that even despite my husband's crazy schedule we don't have to worry about being forced to order in.

Thinking about getting started? Check your area to see what options are available.
Again, I use Shipt and would recommend them if available, but I would think all programs are fairly similar in how they work. If you'd like to check for Shipt in you area, you can use my referral link for a $10 credit and 2 weeks free to start out!

Do you use a grocery delivery service? What do you use? What do you like/dislike about it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

End the Summer Boredom with a Twist... Painting With a Twist {+ Other Fun Summer Ideas} #PaintingWithATwist #ad




"Mom, I'm BORED!"

*sigh*

Yes, summer is in full swing... and with the kids going crazy at home, this is the part of the summer that you might just find yourself counting down the days to back to school. The bike rides have lost appeal. The playground has lost its zest. The board games have become boring. There are weeks left of summer, but it feels like you've done it all! And so it begins... the dreaded boredom.

So, what are us moms supposed to do during these final weeks of summer to end it with a bang and not a yawn? Today I'm sharing some unique ideas to keep things interesting.

  • Have a Backyard/Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. Get creative with some finds around the community! You can even invite the neighbors to join the fun.
  • Have a Water Fight. Get the squirt guns, water balloons and plain ol' buckets of water--- the party isn't over until everything is soaked!
  • Have an Outdoor Movie Night. Okay, so this requires a projector, but if you can get your hands on one, throw up a sheet, pop some popcorn and sleeping bags and make a night of it! Who needs the drive in?
  • Learn a New Skill... Together. Learning during summer!? That doesn't sound like a great way to end the summer does it... but when you make it fun, it can create lasting memories that you'll cherish forever! 

When it comes to learning a new skill, there's no better place than Painting With a Twist!

Over the past several months, I've seen more and more of my friends sharing photos of their experiences at Painting With a Twist. From date nights to girls nights, they all seemed to be having a blast drinking a little wine and creating beautiful works of art. And it seemed like a great alternative to your your run of the mill nights out.

But did you know they also offer classes for kids and families!?

These daytime classes feature fun kid-friendly paintings and of course, no alcohol! Can you think of a more unique experience for you and the kiddos? Me neither! I sent my friend Brenda and her family on a little outing to create a fun Octopus canvas...





If those smiles don't convince you just how much fun Painting with a Twist can be, I don't know what will!

But what if you're not an artist?

That's the cool thing about Painting With a Twist...it doesn't matter. Yes, it's an art class, but it truly is more about the fun and the experience getting there than the finished product itself. Aside from that, you have art loving staff there to help guide you along every step of the way and show you how its done...while still keeping in fun and entertaining, of course!

Painting can be a huge stress relief too, which I know us parents often need at this point in the summer and before the back to school rush. For the kids, it's just fun... is there a kid out there who doesn't love arts and crafts? I don't think I've ever met one! The kids won't care if you're not the next Van Gogh... they'll just love the fun together!

I'm far from an artist myself, but I remember in art class in school- mandatory in junior high- it seemed my artwork was actually...well, not too bad to be honest. Having that guidance along the way helped me, so even though I wasn't an artist I was able to create fun artwork that I was proud of. That's the same experience you get with Painting With a Twist... except its MORE fun!

I mean seriously... how often do you get to see a former Marine in a mermaid apron, am I right? 




This is one summer experience that will stand apart from all the rest AND you'll have a cool memory to take home and hang on the wall too. Your kids will love it just as much as you will!


From girls nights, to date nights to fun with the family... I can't think of a better way to end the summer than with a trip to Painting With a Twist. Want to experience it yourself? Click here to find your local Painting With a Twist and schedule your first class!


Have you experienced Painting With a Twist? Who did you enjoy it with? Take a look around PWAT online and let me know which painting you'd most love! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Our Favorite Kids' Summer Hairstyles + A Rock the Locks Review & Giveaway {A #rwm #AlohaHop Giveaway Hop}


Welcome to the Aloha! Giveaway Hop
Hosted by Review Wire Media


From now through July 31, hop along to all participating blogs for some amazing family friendly giveaways that will make this the best summer ever! Once you've entered my giveaway, hop along for more chances to win!

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**Product received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Confession: When I found out I was having a little girl, I longed for the days when I could fix her hair with fun hairstyles. But that longing wasn't quickly realized. It took what seemed like FOREVER for her hair to actually grow long enough to do anything with it!

This summer I am happy to say that at almost 4 years old, her hair has finally gotten long enough to experiment with, and I found myself searching for the best hairstyles for her fine toddler hair!

Looking for some cute kid styles to try this summer...and for back to school too? Today I'm sharing my Top 4 Favorites!




The French Braid.
This classic will never go out of style... especially with hits like Frozen and The Hunger Games bringing them back to popularity. My daughter has a far side hair part, so we do hers to one side, but there are so many options- to the side, right down the middle, or even two! The french braid can be a little intimidating, but with a little bit of practice and some Youtube how-tos, your little miss will have the cutest hair around.


The Classic Pony w/ Headband. We love taking a classic ponytail and bringing it to the next level with a fun fabric headband. It helps tame those pieces that inevitably fall down and gives it a whole new fun, and adorable look.



The Side Pony. This look may be straight from the 80s, but I LOVE it. Especially on little girls! Again, because my daughter's natural part is so far over, this look works well for her. High or low, you can't go wrong!

Upside Down Topsy Tail. Do you remember the topsy tail style? I love this fun little twist rightside up, but for my daughter, I love it even more upside down. It's done the same way as your traditional topsy tail, just in the opposite direction. It creates a fun little updo look with minimal effort!


These are just a few of our go tos this summer, but we still love experimenting too. The thing I've found with kids hairstyles is that there is a lot of room to play and just have fun with it. But no matter what look you go with, you have to have the right products to get you started off on the right foot. For that, Rock the Locks has us covered:



The makers of Piggy Paint, a non-toxic, kid-friendly nail polish brand, introduce Rock the Locks. Piggy Paint is a brand that is recognized and trusted by parents to produce safe, quality products. Rock the Locks was founded on these same principles and created by Moms seeking natural hair products that actually work.
Rock the Locks is infused with essential oils and scented with super fruit extracts.  Say good-bye to artificial fragrances, alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.  Quality formulas developed and tested by salon professionals.  Rocks the Locks products are made in USA, cruelty-free, and yes, affordable!
Fun packaging and fruity scents that appeals to kids, with ingredients that Moms trust.  Finally, natural hair care that performs.  It’s time to Rock the Locks!

My daughter loves beauty products. From makeup to nail polish to hair stuff... she wants it all. As a mom, I want to allow her to enjoy these things but I also try to limit her exposure to harmful chemicals found in other products. It's this reason that we fell in love with Piggy Paint, a more natural nail polish option just for kids--- and one that was actually a high quality too... something not easy to find in kids' polishes. So, when I heard about Rock the Locks, we were equally excited to try them out. We received a selection of hair products to try:

  • Shampoo + Conditioner. When it comes to great hair care, you have to start with a great clean! This shampoo and conditioner does the job wonderfully. And it smells fantastic with it's Blueberry Blast Scent. 
  • Conditioning Detangler. Next up, for girls (or boys) with longer locks, a great detangler is a must! We really enjoyed this one with it's pineapple banana scent, and most importantly, it helped us keeping my daughter's hair tangle free! 
  • Curl Boost. Now, my daughter's hair is pretty straight, but if you have a little girl with curls, embrace them! They're adorable! And this spray can make them more manageable. Did I mention it has an amazing Orange Creamsicle scent!? Yum! 
  • Hairspray. Speaking of curls, on occasion I like to curl my daughter's beautiful hair just to mix it up. And for that, we need a great hairspray! Most hairsprays on the market are not ones I would prefer to use on my almost 4 year old, so I LOVED finding this kid-friendly alternative. It holds well without the unneccesary chemicals and the fruity fresh scent might just be my favorite. 
  • Texture Paste. We've talked a lot about girls hairstyles, but we can't forget the boys! For a fun spikey look, or that beloved mohawk, this texture paste can be a great choice! It has a great green apple scent that my son adores!
  • Flex Style Gel. Likewise, the Flex Style Gel offers boys a great hold in a delicious green apple scents so they can have their amazing locks too. 

We loved each of these products. They smelled great, the came in super fun packaging that my kids loved, and most importantly they WORKED. Plus, I could feel better about my kids using them, knowing that they were infused with essential oil and other more natural ingredients. And they're readily available online, or at select Walmart across the country!



Want to learn more or try for yourself? Check out the links below:

Shop the Website.
Like on Facebook.

And one very lucky winner is going to win a prize pack of 3 Rock the Locks products. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.