A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Decluttering At the Speed of Life: A Book Review

**Book received for consideration. Post contain affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
When my husband and I were first married, we had absolutely nothing.

No, no, I don't mean money wise (though there was that too), but today, I'm just talking about things. He'd been living in the barracks and I'd moved from my parent's home in Indiana to California with whatever fit in my suitcases. We had our respective clothes, but aside from that... absolutely NOTHING.

The day we signed the lease on our first home, we had to go to the store to buy just the essentials that we could on our limited budget. A couch, a loveseat, a TV and a mattress and box spring--- just on a frame, no headboard or anything. We were given a few pots and pans, a few plates, etc to get us started... but the reality was for that first year or so, our home was pretty empty. Just the bare essentials--- sometimes not even that. It was awful.

But if I were to be 100% honest, sometimes I wish we could go back to that. Because after 11 years of marriage and two kids, we have been overrun. Not by the kids... but by the stuff! After a few years of marriage, we'd finally gotten to a position to where we could actually shop a little more. I could buy all the kitchen essentials and non essentials my heart desired, Christmas and birthdays brought on piles of toys, and even blogging started to bring in more and more items to review. It was still manageable as a family of three, but once we added our second child into the mix. Forget it! Suddenly I find myself longing for the days where we had no clutter, nothing to organize, nothing to put away. Let's be honest, clutter has a way of weighing us down... and it can very quickly take control of our lives if we let it.

But aside from burning it down and starting all over... how do we even begin to get it all together? How do we tackle the clutter that threatens to drive us absolutely crazy?

Today, I'm sharing a book that just might help, Decluttering at the Speed of Life:

You don't have to live overwhelmed by stuff--you can get rid of clutter for good!
While the world seems to be in love with the idea of tiny houses and minimalism, many of us simply can't purge it all and start from nothing. Yet a home with too much stuff is a home that is difficult to maintain, so where do we begin? Add in paralyzing emotional attachments and constant life challenges, and it can feel almost impossible to make real decluttering progress.
In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out--for good!
But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader's clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter--the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn't seem urgent--as well as how to make progress when there's no time to declutter.
Sections of the book include

  • Why You Need This Book (You Know Why)
  • Your Unique Home
  • Decluttering in the Midst of Real Life
  • Change Your Mind, Change Your Home
  • Breaking Through Your Decluttering Delusions
  • Working It Out Room by Room
  • Helping Others Declutter
  • Real Life Goes On (and On)
As long as we're living and breathing, new clutter will appear. The good news is that decluttering can get easier, become more natural, and require significantly fewer hours, less emotional bandwidth, and little to no sweat to keep going.

If you, like me, are in a seemingly never ending battle with clutter, this book is a MUST read! When I chose the word Renew for my word of the year this year, one of the big goals on my mind was to get rid of some of the excess stuff. You see, a few years ago, we moved into our current home into a smaller home. Until that point, I had always been really great about doing a massive purge before every move, but this one came on us very quickly with no time to prepare so rather than doing the sort beforehand, it all came with us, and I just had to find places to stuff it. And stuff it I have! I always thought I would get to it eventually, and I have for many things--- clothes, and outgrown toys, etc--- but here we are two years later and more has come in than gone out.

I needed this book! 

This truly is a great read, It's practical, it's fun... it has me inspired to just get it done. And not only that, but to keep it done! Some of these were tips I already knew, and some were new to me, but all made perfect sense! It truly helped to break it down to make tackling the job a little less overwhelming. This is one book that I am certain to come back to time and time again throughout the years, whenever I need that extra motivation again.

Do you need to declutter? Need help knowing where to start? Decluttering at the Speed of Life is available to purchase now:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Win Easter With These Easter Egg Decorating Hacks

Easter time is almost here!

If you're like me, when you think back to those Easter childhood memories, the eggs are at the forefront! Finding them, opening them... and of course, dying them! Oh what wonderful memories of the vinegar smells and the stained hands that lasted for days on end. I loved it!

As a mom, I still love doing it with my kids, but I also want to be smart about it--- limiting the messes to a manageable level, making it easier for little hands, etc. Feel the same? Today I'm sharing a few Easter egg dying tips that might just help make your Easter a little more stress free!

Pattern image created by Freepik

Preparing to Decorate

  • Do it outside! We all know egg dying can be messy, so if at all possible- head outside to do it! You'll have less mess to clean up and you'll get some sunshine too!
  • Use a disposable table cloth. If you can't head outside, prepare your space to avoid stains and make clean up easier with a disposable plastic table cloth. You can usually find these at your local Dollar Tree so it's very inexpensive and a great way to save your table (or floor) from spilled/dripped dyes.
  • Use a muffin tin. Don't want to clean a million dishes? Muffin tins can be a great way to dye your eggs-- one color in each opening! One dish to clean! 
  • Add baking soda. Want to make your eggs easier to peel? Adding baking soda to your water when boiling is said to make the peeling easier--- a tip to keep in mind for deviled eggs as well!
  • Use a Whisk. When it comes to actually dying your eggs--- getting the eggs into and out of the water can be quite the challenge. Most dye kits come with a little wire tool that is intended to hold the egg, but I find they don't always work the best... instead, pop those eggs inside a whisk for easy holding and more control. Much better for those littlest of hands too!

Dying/Decorating Methods.
  • Skip the box. Create an easy DIY dye with 1 cup water, 1 tsp vinegar and food coloring. Add more coloring to get the bright, bold colors you desire, or less for a more subtle look. By creating your own you can truly customize to get the colors you want.
  • Use Kool-Aid. Mix 1 cup of water with 1 package of Kool-Aid to create a fun DIY dye that smells MUCH better than your typical vinegar mix.
  • White Crayon Designs. Before dying, draw a fun design in white crayon! Once you dye, the design will shine through.
  • Rubber Band Designs. Wrap a rubber band around your egg to create fun designs, after they are dyed, remove and you'll see a fun striped design left behind.
  • Rice Dye. This is a fun method that skips the liquid dyes altogether! Mix dry rice with food coloring. Add your egg and give it a shake! It gives a beautiful color with a fun speckled look. 
  • Shaving/Whipped Cream. Mix food coloring with either shaving cream or whipped cream, roll your egg, let sit and wipe off for a fun marbled look. 
  • Draw Sharpie Designs. Sharpies are great for everything, right? Decorating Easter eggs is no exception. Skip traditional dyes (or add to them) with beautifully drawn Sharpie designs!
  • Use Temporary Tattoos. Not much of an artist, but want to add some beautiful art to your eggs? Pick up some temporary tattoos and add to your eggs instead. These go on just as they would the skin, press, apply water and remove backing... super easy! 
  • Create an Ombre Effect. Start by placing your egg in just a small amount of dye---enough to cover just a portion. Let sit a few minutes, add a bit of water to the mix, repeat until the egg is complete covered. The bottom part of your egg will be darker, and gradually lighten at the top as water is added! 

Tackle Your Spring To Do with a Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway {A Green Thumb Giveaway Hop}

Let's get your green thumb going with a giveaway hop, hosted by Savings in Seconds! Each participating blog has a prize to help you welcome spring. Visit the linky below to hop with us. The event ends April 1, 2018. Good luck!


Spring is almost here, and I don't know about you, but my spring to do list is a LONG one!

- Spring cleaning inside.
- Getting the yard spring ready.
- Garden planning.
- Garden planting.
- Spring break adventures.
- Walks around the neighborhood.
- Church events.
- Easter

Well... you get the idea! Sometimes I wonder just how I'm going to find the energy to get it all done! Ever feel the same? Great news, for one lucky winner, the coffee is on me! One very lucky winner will receive a Starbucks gift card to give you the boost you need to get those spring days started! Enter using the giveaway form below:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Rock Your Daughter's Easter Basket with Gifts from SmitCo! #EasterGiftGuide

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

Quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12. SmitCo LLC has several different diaries with lock and keys and diary sets for girls in Emoji and Diva themes, as well as light up diaries to provide hours of fun.

A huge hit is the new Pony and Mermaid themed scrapbook kits.

SmitCo products also include very popular stretch jewelry sets for little girls - all packed in cute gift boxes. 

Find all the great products here:


We trust you will find some or all gifts here for the princesses on your list!

My readers get to save!

Get 20% Off Entire Cart Of Gifts! Go to: http://amzn.to/2a3d3v8 and use coupon code N3CQD6AE on checkout

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ditch the Screen with OneByTwo Quality Time Kits: Part Craft/Part Game! {A Review}

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

Spring--- and spring break--- is almost here!

You know what that means, don't you? More time outside! My son is already enjoying time riding his bike through the cul de sac with his friends now that the weather is starting to turn.

But if you live in the midwest like we do, those spring days also mean rainy days! Nothing to kill the spring break fun quite like being trapped inside with nothing to do. And let's get real, that doesn't stop with spring either, but all through summer too. And I for one certainly do get tired of hearing the dreaded, "I'm bored!" And while screen time can be great on occasion, we don't want to spend ALL of our time sitting in front of a screen!

So, what do you do? In our home, there are two favorite non-screen activities that my kids always enjoy--- crafting and board games! Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to combine these two loves into one great family activity!?

Introducing OneByTwo Quality Time Kits:

Our Quality Time Kits© are designed to be opened, built and played in less than an hour by one adult and one child (from the age of 6 and up). The Creativity of a Craft, the Engagement of a Board Game and the Spatial Thinking of Three-Dimensional puzzle, all packed into a single kit, delivered straight to your home.
And when your time is up, you can store, unfold it or recycle it to save space. The next design is on its way.

Sounds fun, right? I was recently given the chance to try out their Desert Rock game. Take a look:

A group of determined Desert Mountain Goats (Nubian Ibex) want to get to the water holes on the desert plane. But three sly Foxes have other plans. Who will win the survival game of the Desert Rock? A 3-dimensional challenge for one adult and one child from ages 6 and up. 

So, what sets these games apart from your run of the mill board game? It's not JUST a game! It's a craft too. It comes completely unassembled. The fun starts with putting it together! It's not a difficult assembly, but definitely not for the youngest kiddos. It took a couple of tries to figure it out, but after he got the hang of it, it was very easy for my 10-year-old. He loves building crafts, so this was right up his alley.

Then came the game play! Now, something to know about my son is that for most things he has a very short attention span... so while he may enjoy some more classic board games, the longer play times usually have him looking to quit before a winner has been declared. The beauty of this game is that all in all, it can be played in a little under an hour--- and because part of that is the building and the other part is game play, it even further manages to hold his attention even longer. Moms with busy kids know that this is GREAT news! The rules are easy to follow, the game play is fun... the perfect way to spend the rainy day!

When the game is over, you can unfold and store away to be used again. This is another huge plus in my house. As much as we enjoy games, they tend to take up a lot of space that we simply do not have! This fits in about a 5x7 inch envelope, relatively flat, so you could fit several easily in the place of one typical board game. Awesome, right?

These kits are available individually, or as a month to month subscription so you can have a brand new game delivered to your door each and every month! Whether you're looking for a rainy day activity or just a great way to spend non-screen time with the kids, these kits are a great way to go.

Learn more and get your subscription started at the links below:

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

Get Spring Fashion Ready with Paparazzi {A March Into Madness Giveaway Hop}

Welcome to the March Into Madness Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFoxFrom now through March 31st, hop along to all participating blogs to find even more great family friendly giveaways you can enter and win! Happy hopping and good luck!


Can you believe spring is almost here!? Or that March is already halfway through!? 

Where oh where has the year gone?

With spring fast approaching, it's a great time to start refreshing our closets for the warmer weather. And that means changing out our accessories too! For that, Paparazzi has us covered with the perfect $5 accessories to complete every spring outfit. Take a look at these fun pieces for spring:

These are a few pieces left over from last spring, but there are new perfect spring pieces being released each and every day! There is always something new to shop so we can keep our spring wardrobes perfectly fresh and fun! For just $5!!!

Want to see more? Check out the links below:

Shop My Website.
Join My Group.

And one very lucky winner is going to win a jewelry set, perfect for Spring. Enter using the giveaway form below:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Celebrate Easter with a Movie Themed Basket {+ Hoppy Easter Giveaway Hop} #hoppyeaster

Welcome to the Hoppy Easter Giveaway Hop hosted by The Review Wire

From now through March 30 hop along to all participating blogs for a variety of fun giveaways! There is no limit to how many you can win, so hop along and enter them all.


Ticket vector created by Frimufilms - Freepik.com
Easter is quickly approaching! Have you finished your kids' baskets yet?

Coming up with basket ideas for the littlest ones is always super easy--- little toys, books, candies, in a cutesie little basket... but what about as they start to get a little older? What do you do for the tweens and teens?

How about a MOVIE basket!?

Kids of ALL ages love movies, so this is the perfect solution. In fact, it could be even be the perfect basket idea for the entire family. Here are a few ideas on how to put together the perfect movie themed Easter 'basket'.

  • Popcorn Bucket. Skip the traditional Easter basket with a fun popcorn bucket to hold all their goodies! 
  • Microwave Popcorn. Toss in a couple bags of their favorite microwave popcorn.
  • Theater Candy. Grab a variety of their favorite theater style candy for home.
  • DVDs. Is there a movie they've been wanting to see for awhile? Add it to their basket. This is one way to truly customize this basket idea for any and every age group, just by changing out to a more age appropriate movie.
  • Movie Tickets. While this basket makes a bit more sense for an at home movie night, movie tickets or a theater/Fandango gift card can be great for the teenagers to enjoy with their friends.
  • Redbox/ Rental Coupon. Buying movies can be a little expensive, so this can be a great option! You can either rent the movie beforehand, OR create an IOU and allow them to choose their own. It saves some money, but they still get a great movie night experience. 

If you have an older kiddo who likes movies, or you just want to venture away from the traditional Easter basket ideas, this is a great way to go.

And to get you started, I am giving one very lucky reader the chance to win a bluray copy of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Enter using the giveaway form below:

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