A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Friday, December 9, 2016

Easy DIY Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Do you have a tree in your yard that loves to drop pine cones? Ever wonder what to do with all of these pine cones? Recently, my daughter and I went on a pine cone hunt! I was in charge of church decorating this year and had decided on a simple outdoorsy look for our windows and so we loaded up on pine cones...and ended up with more than we could use! So I started brainstorming more fun ways to put them to use. Today I'm sharing one of these ideas...

Pine Cone Christmas Trees

  • Pine Cones
  • Green Paint
  • Pom Poms
  • Glue
  1. First and foremost, be sure to prepare your pine cones. Remove any debris, and bake at 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (keeping a watchful eye to avoid burning). This will help to kill any bugs that may have found their way into these pine cones. 
  2. On some old newspaper, pour out some green paint. Roll your pine cone through the paint to apply to all edges. Allow to dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process if desired). 
  3. Glue the pom poms onto your 'tree' as ornaments. 

This simple craft is tons of fun for the kids, and can be a cute way to incorporate some natural pine cones into your holiday decor.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Donate to Goodwill, Create Jobs #DonateStuffCreateJobs

#donatestuffcreatejobs The holidays are a time of love, joy and pure magic for most of us. But if we are really being honest, there are a lot of people who struggle through the holidays. While everyone is celebrating, cooking, gathering with friends and shopping – there are those out there who are struggling to find jobs and keep the lights on. So in a time of giving – a time that is a joy for some and a struggle for others – how do you help? It’s simple. When you donate your stuff to Goodwill®, you create opportunities for individuals in your community looking to find a job and build skills, including veterans and military families, single mothers and many others. Last year, people helped local Goodwill organizations collectively place 312,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills. WE did that. Those of us that are donating our items and shopping at Goodwill. That is all it takes – it really is that easy.

So how do you help, exactly?

Step 1: Gather Your Stuff Walk around your home and collect items you and your family no longer need — that shirt that’s been hanging in the back of your closet for three years, the toy trike your five-year old has outgrown, the holiday gift from grandma you never quite found a place for, etc. Step 2: Give Them a Look Over Donating items that are in working condition, contain all of their pieces and parts, and are free of stains and rips is the best way to ensure that your goods do the most good. While they accept most clothing and household items, there are a few things they can’t accept – if you are unsure, it’s best to give your local Goodwill organization a call first to find out any rules or restrictions around these items. Step 3: Go to Goodwill Ready to drop off your items? Just use the Goodwill locator app and check the box for “Donation Site” to find your nearest Goodwill drop-off location. Donating a lot of items? Some Goodwills offer donation pickup services – give yours a call to find out what’s available in your area. While you are there – shop around! They have so many gently used and even new items that you may find that you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. When you shop at Goodwill, you are also shopping for a cause.

Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway #giftguide #mommyscene

Mom Faves multi-brand holiday giveaway and gift ideas - Mommy Scene
We know moms work hard to make Christmas special for their families. This Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway coordinated by Mommy Scene features great gift ideas to keep moms healthy, happy, pampered, and moisturized! One lucky winner will win them all! Giveaway ends December 18th, 2016.

Mom Faves Prize List

Full Details »
Aurorae Printed Yoga Mat
How to Raise Great Kids - 101 Fun & Easy Ideas
Moon Valley Organics Herbal Heal Gift Set: Herbal Heal, Moon Melt Lotion Bar, Herbal Lip Balm
Signs.com Custom Canvas 12" x 12" print
Duo Diary Health Journal
Revelae Kids Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack Bags
CiPU Diaper Bag in Heather Grey
Paperless Post 1,000 coins (Retail Value $90)
The Picket Fence $50 gift certificate

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. 1 winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway page after the giveaway ends on December 18, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!

Mommy Scene Blog Street Team

Light Up Your Christmas with 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights {A Review}

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

Every year at Christmas time, it seems our toy collection just triples! Every year I ask myself, where are we going to put them all!? So, while I still love shopping for toys, I also love finding fun new gifts that my kids will love that AREN'T toys. I look for gifts that are both practical but still fun. Things such as blankets, cool pillow and even lights.

When I first discovered 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights, I knew that they were perfect:

DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will loves having these in their rooms and they're also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man's cave or office! Find all of these amazing products here: http://bit.ly/TargetUSFamily

My oldest son is a bit afraid of the dark, so nightlights are a must in my house. But we don't want boring old nightlights, we want something fun that adds a little something special to the room. What could do that for the Star Wars fan than the Death Star coming straight out of the wall!?

This light truly is amazing. The details on the Death Star are fantastic, down to the last one. It truly does look like the real deal (on a much scaled down level of course). The included crack sticker helps eeven more to give that illusion that this famed ship has just crashed through the bedroom wall! How fun is that!? It's also 
cool to the touch, cordless, and battery operated so you don't have to worry about visible wires to trip over or your little one burning themselves when they inevitably want to get a closer look.

It may not be a toy, but it is every bit as much fun! Not a Star Wars fan? There are many styles to choose from to best suit your little one's tastes! This is truly one non-toy gift that EVERY child would love to unwrap Christmas morning!

Want to check them out for yourself? They are available to purchase now at your local Target, or Target online.

Which 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights would YOUR little one like to find under the Christmas tree?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winter is Coming with a Periwinkle's Journey Prize Pack Giveaway {A Giveaway Hop Event} #HolidayGiftGuide

Welcome to the Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop Hosted by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island

From December 7-21, hop along to all participating blogs to find tons great giveaways! Enter my giveaway, then hop along for more chances to win! ***********************
Winter books are my favorite. Especially children's winter books. Perhaps its that cold winter air that makes me want to do nothing more than curl up on the couch, cuddle my two favorite kids while reading a book and sipping hot cocoa. When I look at some of our favorites to read together, they do tend to have that winter focus in one way or another. So when I heard about the new book Periwinkle's Journey, I knew it would be a must read for my family:

About the Book: Periwinkle has lived her whole life in Australia, surrounded by other blue penguins just like her. However, when she gets an invitation to her cousin Crystal’s birthday party in Antarctica, she realizes she looks different than the rest of her black-and-white cousins. With some encouragement from her mother, who tells her “it’s what’s inside that matters”, Periwinkle sets out on an adventure to Antarctica to meet the rest of her family and learns to appreciate what makes her unique along the way.

Children will want to cuddle up with the adorable animals depicted in Spafford’s full-color illustrations, from penguins to koalas to albatrosses to whales, as they read this entertaining and educational tale. Young readers will learn about the 17 types of penguins, illustrated by Periwinkle’s numerous cousins, as well as discover fun facts such as their inability to fly, penchant for rock collecting, and variety of habitats from Australia to Antarctica to the Gal├ípagos (but not the North Pole, where the polar bears live!). Periwinkle makes many new friends on her journey to the South Pole, and along the way discovers the depths of her own bravery as well as the important truth that what makes us different also makes us special.

I don't know what it is about penguins, but kids love them, right? Or at least my children do. When we lived in the San Diego area, our family would take frequent trips to Sea World, and do you know what my son's favorite part was? No, it wasn't the sharks or the dolphins. It wasn't seeing Nemo or Dory in real life. It was the Penguin Encounter. Nevermind the shivers as we checked out the arctic exhibit... he could not get enough! In fact, he still has his penguin plush from his very first trip. Any time we visit a zoo of any sort he has to know--- are there penguins? I'm not sure I'd say they are his favorite animal, but they certainly make the list!

If you too have a child that loves penguins, this will of course be one book that they will want to read, just for that alone. But for me as a mom, I love the message behind it. Unfortunately in this world we live in, there is a lot of judgement. If you're not the same color, if you don't wear the same clothes, if you are different, you are judged. That's a sad reality, but one that I as a mother strive to keep my children away from. This book offers a great, kid friendly way to share that message.

If you're looking for a fun book with a positive message to share with your children, this is definitely one worth checking out. It is available to purchase now.

And one very lucky winner is going to receive an amazing Periwinkle's Journey prize package.  The prize pack includes a SIGNED copy (by both author and illustrator) of Periwinkle’s Journey, and an official, copyrighted Periwinkle pendant that is perfect for necklaces or charm bracelets! Amazing, right? The pendant is designed by Scott and Marla Berger at Addison Taylor Fine Jewelry, LLC, and The Tree of Life Foundation, who recently launched a special jewelry collection in collaboration with StarShine Academy to benefit Pope Francis’ A Chance In Life charity, supporting its mission of giving refugee children opportunities of education to help them become self-confident, creative and responsible leaders in their communities.

Want to win? 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.  

Find the Perfect Gift for Your Cat with The Cat Ball #HolidayGiftGuide

**Product received for review. All thoughts are my own. 

Before becoming a pet owner, I don't think I realized just how much stuff there truly was for cats! Don't get me wrong I knew the basics- litter boxes, food, etc... but the other things like cat beds and trees and scratching posts... I could not have imagined there was so much variety available. But I also soon realized that I was going to be one of those pet owners who didn't want anything 'basic'. If I was going to bring a cat bed into my home, I'd love it to be cute! I'd love it to be a fun addition to my decor that was as functional as it was stylish. So, I went on a search and one of the great products I found was The Cat Ball:

The Cat Ball® manufactures and sells unique pet beds made from our original designs. Our two main product are The Cat Ball® bed and The Cat Canoe®. All of our products are made from high quality designer fabrics and comfy high-density foam. Our goal is to make fantastic beds and toys that your cat will love AND will look great in your home.

In addition to being the perfect cat bed, we have learned that the Cat Ball® is also a fantastic play space. Cats love launching sneak attacks out of either of The Cat Ball's two openings and squishing their unsuspecting slumbering siblings.

Now, I must admit, I don't know who enjoys this more- my son Shaun or his emotional support kitten Stella. Immediately upon opening it, both had to check it out. Stella climbed in to see what this new hiding spot was all about. And she loved it. Then my son stuck his head in to check it out too. And yes, it was love for him too. In fact, if Stella isn't sleeping or playing inside, you can bet that Shaun is sticking his head...or his whole self in. Oh what a sight this is! (Unfortunately, due to my son's distaste for pants, this a sight I cannot share! Ha!)

They love it for the fun, playful design, but for me it was all about the style! This isn't just a boring old cat bed... it's seriously gorgeous! The Cat Ball I received was the Woodlands Floral. The exterior features a fun floral pattern that I adored, while the interior featured and even more beautiful woodland design. They complimented each other beautifully and really just gave this functional cat bed a stylish look that I loved. I don't mind this sitting around my home because it adds visual interest. This is just one of the many gorgeous designs available to fit your tastes and your decor. For even more fun, you can even get a cool shark design! How fun is that!?

And when they get dirty? It's machine washable. For this busy mom, this is most certainly a MUST! I may be a new cat owner, but if there is one that that I know is inevitable it's messes!!!

Another great feature for me is that it can be folded down for easy travel. For my family, Christmas means traveling... and we always have a trunk load already--- especially the trip back with a trunk full of gifts from 3 sets of grandparents! Perhaps many of you can relate. This year being our first traveling with Stella, I've been trying to figure out how we can give her some of these comforts of home during our travels with her, without taking up that space. This is perfect! While this might not be a feature that is important to everyone, for us, it's definitely a huge perk!

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift for your furry friend, or the cat lover on your list who has everything, The Cat Ball is definitely one to check out! From kids to cats, it will surely be a hit!

You can see more and connect at the links below:

Shop the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

What feline friend or cat enthusiastic on your list would love The Cat Ball? Which style is YOUR favorite?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Build Up Their Imagination This Christmas with Magformers #HolidayGiftGuide

**Product received for review. All thoughts are my own.

My son loves to build. From as early as I can remember he was stacking and constructing. As a mom, this is something I want to encourage. It can be such a great thing for expanding their imaginations and helping them bring those imaginations to life in whatever they are building.

Still, they can only have so many blocks, right? This year with the holidays approaching I wanted to find something a little different! Something that would still encourage building and imagination, but something unlike other construction sets that he already had. During that search, I found Magformers:

Magformers® Mission Statement
MAGFORMERS® is the industry leader in magnetic building toys for children. We believe it is vital for children to develop through creativity and our patented, ‘always attracting’ magnetic technology delivers a unique constructional play experience. It is MAGFORMERS® commitment to providing a high quality, reliable product that inspires the creators of the future.

Magformers® Competitive Advantage

Here at MAGFORMERS® we pride ourselves in the quality of our product and the play experience it delivers. Each shape contains rotating Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, the strongest of their kind for guaranteed connectivity. Every magnet is kept safe and secure in Sonic welded, BPA free, HQABS plastic. This process of manufacturing ensures each magnet is encapsulated with the utmost security, providing a safe, long lasting play experience.

Now, right away just with the addition of magnets, I was intrigued. If there is another thing that my son has always loved, it's science and that includes the science of magnetism. So, these now combined two of his loves in a unique toy unlike any he had. At 9 years old, I knew that he would still love these, but I also loved that they were something that were safe for my 3 year old to play along with too. The pieces are large enough for little hands to grab, but still small enough to store easily, which us moms know can be just as important! I could not help but think these would be a great option too for the little builders that love to build, but maybe have issues with fine motor skills that make other construction toys more difficult.

Most importantly, I love all of the fun styles available. My son personally loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles set that he received... a fun way to build with characters he loved. But aside from favorite character like TMNT or Shimmer and Shine, there are vehicles, there are dinos, there are general building sets that allow the imagination to shine. There are even sets that incorporate gears and hi tech features like lights to make the perfect sets for every STEM kid (and some that my son would certainly love to add to his collection). There truly is a little something for EVERY child to love and enjoy.

If you have a child who loves to build, this is one toy they would love to find under the tree this year!

You can see everything Magformers has to offer and connect at the links below:

Shop the Website
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

Do you have a builder on your list? Which set would they most love?