A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Taking the Hit: A Lesson from Rocky Balboa {+ Creed II in Theaters This Fall} #CreedII

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Grace Hill Media. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

"But it ain't about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” -Rocky Balboa

Leave it to Rocky to give us a good quote about perseverance, am I right? Over the years, I've grown quite the appreciation for the Rocky movies. They happen to be my husband's favorite movies and so I've watched them time and time again. And I've come to the realization, they are not just boxing movies but a great lesson to live our life by: no matter what life throws at you, just keep on fighting.

At some point in our lives, we all need that lesson, don't we? We might not step into a literal boxing ring, but life certainly has a way of making us fight and we have to learn to just keep going. We have to keep our eyes on that moment of victory, that moment where we can raise our fist in victory...we have overcome!

For me, I have seen this in my battle with anxiety that I am currently fighting now.

Anyone who has ever dealt with mental health knows that it truly is a fight. Oftentimes I feel like those who have never experienced anxiety (or depression) have a hard time truly understanding this. After all, we all have moments where we feel anxious or blue but we get over it and move on. What many do not realize is that having those moments is completely different than having an actual mental illness. For those struggling with mental illness, it's not as simple as just 'getting over it'. Every day is a fight even for the simplest of tasks. It's a fight to get out of bed. It's a fight to get out of the house. It's a fight to get done what needs to get done. It's a fight to maintain some sense of normalcy. And every day it starts over again. And then when we come out of a particularly rough period? It truly is a victory. Cue 'Eye of the Tiger'... we've got this! Until the next fight, and then we start all over and do it again. It's not easy, but we have to keep on fighting anyway. Take the hits, but keep moving forward...and when those moments of calm come? Embrace them, celebrate them, live them. But keep on fighting, I know I will! In the midst of the fight, it's a whole lot of prayer and that moment of victory that I know is ahead that keeps me pushing forward...

Ah, yes... that Rocky really was onto something there wasn't he?

If you're a Rocky fan, great news! The story continues soon with the newest installment, Creed II:

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family's past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what's worth fighting for, and discover that nothing's more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can't escape your history.

Learn more and connect below:

Official Site | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Creed II will hit theaters everywhere November 21, 2018.

What hard hits have you had to fight through in your life? How have you overcome? What messages from Rocky/Creed can you take with you in those battles?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

100 Days of Bible Journaling Days 64-70

 Day 64: God's Ways Are Not Our Ways

Have you ever had a battle of words with a toddler/preschooler? We repeat ourselves over and over and over again, only for them to keep trying to tell us a different way thinking we must not have understood them the first time. They want it THEIR way...or no way! I can't help but wonder if this is how God sees US at times. Time and time again in the Bible we read that His way is the only way, and His plans are the best ones... and still like that stubborn toddler we keep on trying.

For this page I was reminded of Hilary Scott's song 'Thy Will Be Done' and so I wanted to incorporate that into my journaling. I used some simple lettering and background with bright bold colors... a simple reminder that it is His will not my own that is the best!

Day 65: The Fruit of God's Spirit Is Living In You

 Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Do these sound like words you would use to describe yourself? I will say there are a few that I can recognize in myself.. and others? Well, I could use some improvement! I pray that through practice, prayer and a whole lotta grace, those around me will be able to see ALL of the fruits of the spirit living within me.

For this page, I knew I wanted color! I had this washi tape that reminded me of 'fruit colors' so I kept it very simple with some letter stickers and fruit of the spirit die cut. Despite it's simplicity, I actually really loved how this page came out.

Day 66: Praise the Lord!

Did you know the Bible commands us to 'Praise the Lord' about 250 times throughout? Clearly this is something that is very important for us to do as Christians! It is certainly something that I try to do often myself too. When things are going well, I try to praise Him! When things aren't going so well, I still try to praise Him for the things He HAS given!

For this page, I wanted fun and bold! I always love bright colors against a simple black and white, and so that's what I went with for this page! I used a stencil for the background and then some bright letter stickers to make it stand out. I often think of music when I think of praise so I wanted to bring that in too...I love this message of 'Jesus is My Jam!' Talk about praise!

Day 67: You Are Gifted

What are your gifts? Now, for some of us those answers may come a little bit easier. For the preacher, their gift is speaking. Some have the gift of prayer. Some have the gift of teaching. Some have the gift of music. Oftentimes we think of these 'bigger' gifts that are much more visible and we feel down on ourselves that we are not gifted at the 'important' things. Still, God gave each and every one of us unique gifts--- no one more important than the other. We just have to discover what they are, and how we can best use them for God.

For this page, I wanted to incorporate writing as I feel that this is a gift and passion God has given me and one that I try to use to bring Him glory. Again I decided to go bright and fun.... not only because I tend to gravitate towards that anyway, but also to cover some bleed through from the previous page. Though the design ended up not being my favorite, I was very happy with the colors on this page!

Day 68: Touched By His Mercy

mer·cynoun1. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
How amazing is it that we are shown mercy by God, despite our shortcomings? He sees past that, and has already paid the price. Why then do we often fear coming to Him in our need? We feel embarrassed or that our needs are to small or don't matter. But the Bible reminds us we can always come to Jesus.

For this page, I really wanted a reminder of that message that there was no need too small to turn to God for. He wants to hear from us, always! I had fun playing with different color combinations and really found that I loved how the green lettering looked against that light purple.

Day 69: Forgiveness Is For You

Be honest: how many of us struggle with forgiveness?

Yes, we know we're supposed to and I'd like to think that many of us try... but it's HARD! We're human and when people have hurt us deeply, forgiveness doesn't come naturally. What have they done to deserve our forgiveness!? But... what have WE done to deserve God's? What can we do that can compare to the sacrifices made by Christ? And yet, He forgives us anyway.

For this page, again I wanted bold. I always love the way a black letter pops against this pink/yellow/orange scheme AND it just so happened to go perfectly with this 70 x 7 die cut.

Day 70: Pruned By the Master Gardener

The Bible refers frequently to God as a gardener. Now, I must admit, I don't have the greenest of thumbs. I'm not awful mind you... I just don't really know what I'm doing. So to be honest, some of those references kind of went over my head a little. When I opened the journal to this page I was a little uncertain on how this was going to go... but it actually really helped me to make a little more sense of the whole concept...

For this page, I wanted to feature some wording found directly in the journal that I connected with. How do WE grow in Christ? We need three things: good heart soil, Son exposure and pruning from the trials in our lives. I had had this idea of wanting to do a checklist in my journaling and this seemed the perfect way to do so--- a checklist of everything we need to truly grow as Christians!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Family Fun Without Breaking The Bank: Why You Should Choose Holiday World & Splashin' Safari for YOUR Family! #HolidayWithPepsi #AD

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #HolidayWithPepsi campaign, sponsored by Pepsi. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Don't you love a good theme park?  Throughout the years, my family and I have visited several and it's always such a fantastic experience. We ride all of our favorite rides, meet some fun characters and enjoy some delicious 'fair food'. How could it not be a blast? Then comes the moment of truth.. the moment we look at our bank statement and realize just how much that trip has cost us. When we plan our trip, we account for the ticket costs, a small budget for souvenirs and food and yet that final tally creeps up on us. It starts with the parking fees, then food, then drinks, then the kids ask for even MORE souvenirs! Yikes! As it turns out, the tickets can be the CHEAP part of the trip. Who knew?

Perhaps this is why the frugal side of me finds myself being drawn towards my personal favorite theme park: Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. With their unlimited FREE Pepsi products, sunscreen and parking, what you see on the ticket price truly is what you get.

But let's be honest, it's not the ONLY reason it's my favorite. In fact, it really is only a very small portion. For me, it's all about family. Growing up in Southern Indiana there wasn't a whole lot to do. Playing in the creek, riding bikes... at some point did get a little old. Holiday World & Splashin' Safari was a big deal. I remember making a visit to Holiday World every single summer--- or at least most summers anyway. Some of my earliest memories were those riding the train and hearing those beloved nursery rhymes time and time again. By the time of my last visit I had heard those familiar words so many times that I could have given the tour myself. I also remember hearing stories from my mom who grew up in Santa Claus and knew the park well, back when it was simply known as Santa Claus Land.

In junior high, Holiday World became my first real job. I worked as a sweeper and learned firsthand just why it's been called the cleanest and friendliest park in the nation! I wasn't the only family member to work there though, both my mom and my sisters also had jobs there at one point or another. I think I still have some cousins that work there the occasional summer even. As I worked I would often see Pat Koch- the matriarch of Holiday World- out and about working, just like us. Broom in hand, making the park a pleasant experience for all who visited. It truly was a park for families run BY families.

My sisters and I, Holiday World 1990.

Last week, I had the opportunity to continue this family tradition with my own family- taking my children on their very first visit to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.

Carrying on the tradition! My children, 28 years later.

We decided to start the day bright and early at opening. Okay, okay... they open at 10 CST, so it wasn't super early BUT we did arrive earlier even to ensure the best possible parking. Parking is free no matter where you park, but we knew at the end of a long day parking close was ideal. My best friend Brittany joined us for the fun and to provide an extra set of hands, just in case. (When traveling with an autistic child, it's always best to be prepared!)

As we entered the park, I was embraced by the familiar sights and sounds of my childhood. In the 12 years since my last visit, many things had changed but the fun had not. We were greeted by a large Christmas tree and our favorite carols playing in the background. Now as my daughter would say, we're a 'Christmas family'. I love Christmas and start preparing for months in advance. My tree is up November 1, but if it were acceptable I'd never take it down. I always loved having that little piece of Christmas in the middle of the summer. My kids did too, and were thrilled to have the chance to see every child's favorite person: Santa Claus!

But, it's not JUST Christmas. The main park is divided into 4 holiday sections (in addition to Splashin' Safari of course): Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July and Thanksgiving. Each section features a variety of rides, games and more that fit those themes perfectly. Even the restaurants stuck to the theme of the sections they were located in. We personally enjoyed some Mexican cuisine at The Alamo in 4th of July... but there were many fantastic options to choose from such as Kringles Cafe, Goblin Burger, etc. You can even grab a Thanksgiving meal! Not to mention snack shops throughout with my husband's favorite- fair food! Funnel cakes, Dole Whip, Fried Reeses, Dippin' Dots...you name it! Like the Pepsi Oasis throughout the park, all of the restaurants also feature those free unlimited drinks.

Before we hit any rides, we went straight to one of the several free sunscreen stations throughout the park. Yes, that's right...FREE! How many times have you gotten to a theme park (or pool or zoo...wherever) and realized that you forgot to pack the sunscreen? It happens to me ALL the time. In fact, I'd forgotten it for this trip too! I was extremely thankful they offered this so that I didn't have to worry about spending more money at the gift shops to make sure we didn't burn! Safety first, then the fun!

Before we had a chance to ride though, bad weather hit! This is Southern Indiana after all, so the weather can be a little bit CRAZY! All rides were shut down for about 15 minutes as we waited for the lightning to pass. Though the rides (or some rides) shut down a few more times during our visit, we didn't let that stop us! Those brief periods of waiting gave us a chance to check out shows, visit the gift shops or grab a snack! And the less than desirable weather off and on through the day kept many away which meant shorter wait times for us!

Once everything was opened back up, one of the first rides the kids rode was the Tippecanoes... which is--you guessed it: canoes! This is a ride I remembered and loved as a kid, and I loved sharing that experience with my own children. What can I say, I'm sentimental!

My sister and I, Summer 1990.

Next we headed off to the ride my almost 11 year old had been most excited for: The Revolution. Now, I don't know if you all know this ride, but you're standing the entire time as you spin crazy fast, while lifting up sideways. Yikes! It's pretty extreme, but there was a scene in Wimpy Kid where they'd gone on a similar ride so he was convinced it was going to be awesome. Then he saw it. Nope, no way, wasn't going to happen! In fact, we very quickly realized that Shaun and MANY rides didn't go well together. While it was certainly a disappointment to my thrill seeking husband who'd hoped to enjoy all the roller coasters together, there was still plenty to enjoy... there truly is something for everyone!

While my husband could venture off to The Voyage or The Legend (or any of the other more extreme rides), we hit up all the kid friendly rides. While there are kid rides mixed in throughout the park, there are also a few sections that are just for kids. The first one is a Christmas rides section with lots of cute rides perfect for my 4-year-old. I remember Dasher's Seahorses from when I was a child, but it was just one of several. My daughter's personal favorite Rudolph's Roundup! She was able to ride in Santa's sleigh, and SHE was in control of just how high it would go.

Then there is Holidog's Funtown located in the 4th of July. If the kids need a break from all of the rides, this is the place to go. While there are some rides (to include The Howler-a kiddie coaster), there are also splash pads and a playground area for kids to enjoy. Like I said, regardless of our level of thrill seeking, we were ALL able to find rides to enjoy.

And there were more than just rides. You can enjoy shopping at a number of gift stores, games throughout the park, and the shows! There are several shows throughout the day-- a dive show, a band that performs around the park, science with Holidog and more. One of the highlights of our day was the Mysterio show. This musical performance had our Finley absolutely captivated from the start. When they asked for a volunteer, she was THRILLED to have been selected and has decided that she is now destined for the stage. Now, I don't know HOW they made her float in the air, but it was pretty thrilling for her!

I know, I know... what about this 'Splashin' Safari' that I've mentioned? Splashin' Safari is the attached water park, so if you want a little cool down, this is the place to go. It is packed full of water slides and more water fun to enjoy. Personally, due to weather, we decided to skip Splashin' Safari during our visit, though we did enjoy some water rides in the main park like Ragin' Rapids- an all-time favorite of mine and Frightful Falls. But, had we decided to visit, we could have... no extra fees! Unlike other parks we've experienced where the different parks require different tickets, at Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, your tickets get you into BOTH. It's two parks...for the price of one. Ah, there's that frugal part of me getting excited again!

Let's talk about that frugal side for a minute, shall we? Like I said, typically when you go to a theme park those expenses add up very quickly and I have found for our family, aside from the parking, one of the biggest expenses is the drinks. We can control the meals and the souvenir shopping based on our budgets... but drinks? In the hot summer sun, they're pretty important in staying hydrated. So we bite the bullet and buy a drink. Then we get to the next ride and have to throw it out!  To be honest, I was probably guilty of not drinking as much as I should to stay hydrated just to save some cash.

This always drove me crazy, and is one of the big things that truly sets Holiday World apart from the rest... drinks are free AND unlimited thanks to their partnership with Pepsi. Throughout both parks we could find a Pepsi Oasis that offered a variety of drinks. My kids aren't soda drinkers, so they could enjoy pink lemonade or Powerade while us adults had a choice of our favorite Pepsi products.

From the rides to the extra perks, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari truly does seem to get how fun with the family should be! I know my family had a blast and cannot wait to head back next year. If you're looking for a vacation spot that is packed full of fun but still budget friendly, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari might be just what you're looking for...no matter where you're from! Skip the bigger parks, and get more for your money! Trust me, it may be a small town but the fun is as big as those larger, more crowded parks! And hey... free parking, free sunscreen, free Pepsi products... what mama doesn't love the sound of FREE!?

Ready to start planning YOUR trip? Learn more and connect below:

Visit the Website.
Instagram: @holidayworld
Twitter: @HolidayWorld

Have you experienced Holiday World and Splashin' Safari? How did free unlimited soft drinks from Pepsi help YOU save? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #HolidayWithPepsi campaign, sponsored by Pepsi. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Enjoy Groovy Lab In A Box: First Box FREE! Plus FREE Shipping!

** The links in this blog post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission from Groovy Lab in a Box.

Engineer some quality summer time FUN with friends and family!

Right now, Groovy Lab in a Box is offering their first month FREE when you purchase a 6 month or 12 month subscription.

With Groovy Lab in a Box, you will receive boxes full of everything you need to learn about and do hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiments for ages 8+.
Because children are natural engineers, Groovy Lab in a Box blends Scientific Inquiry and the Engineering Design Process which allows children to create ingenious inventions, enhance critical problem-solving skills and have FUN!
If this sounds like the perfect gift for your kids, you need to place your order today! All orders must be received by Saturday, June 30th at midnight and while supplies last.
Enter code FREEBOX
Apply to a 6 month or 12 month Subscription Plan at checkout

*FREEBOX code is good through June 30th, 2018 and while supplies last.

Cool Down with Starbucks {A Giveaway Hop Event} #TastyTreats2018 #giveaway

Thanks for stopping at our Tasty Treats giveaway; the hop is hosted by 
Savings in Seconds.  This event runs through July 2, 2018.  Please hop to all of the linked blogs for more chances to win!


Summertime has arrived! 

Do you have a favorite summer treat? For my kids, it's all about the ice cream! They don't care where its from or what kind as long as it's cold and sweet. They especially love hearing the jingle of the ice cream truck coming down our street. 

For me, nothing can beat my favorite Starbucks frappucinos. They have that great coffee flavor I love... but that chill to cool me down in the hot summer sun! Yum!

Today in celebration of the Tasty Treats giveaway hop, one lucky reader is going to win a Starbucks gift card. Enter using the giveaway form below:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Make a Splash with Alex & Me on Blu-ray! {A Giveaway Hop Event}

Welcome to the Make A Splash Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox .
From Now through June 30th, hop along to all participating blogs for the chance to win a variety of fantastic prizes. There is no limit to how many you can win so be sure to enter them all!


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

We've been seeing a lot of rainy days so far this summer. Yuck! We had such great plans of spending so much time outdoors, and now we're having to rethink our ideas! What do we do when the rainy weather keeps us stuck inside!? For us, we love a good movie day and are always looking for great family friendly movies that we can enjoy TOGETHER!

We also love a good sports movie. They always seem to have the best messages--- messages that I want to teach my own children, whether they choose to participate in sports or not.

So, today I am excited to share with you a fantastic new sports movie that your family is sure to fall in love with- Alex & Me:

Teenager Reagan Willis (Agudong) has one dream – to play soccer like her hero, Alex Morgan. Her bedroom is a shrine to all things Alex, including a life-size poster of the Olympic gold medalist. Yet in the Willis house, Reagan lives in the shadow of her prep football superstar brother, Logan. When Reagan fails to make the cut of the premiere local soccer club team and is humiliated by her rival Claire, she’s certain her ship has sailed. But after accidentally hitting her head, Reagan’s poster of Alex Morgan suddenly comes to life and everything changes! 
An Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with a penchant for goal scoring, Alex Morgan is one of the top soccer players on the planet, currently playing forward for the United States Women's National Team and the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League. Away from the field, Morgan is also an accomplished author of “The Kicks” series, a collection of chapter books filled with wonderful messages of empowerment for young girls. The first The Kicks book, “Saving the Team,” debuted at No. 7 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Fun, right? We couldn't wait to dive in, and it certainly lived up to our expectations. It had everything we love about a good sports movie--- a positive message, a fantastic underdog rising to victory tale, etc. But it also has that little bit of fantasy that makes for a fantastic kids movie. A poster coming to life? How fun is that? 

For those who are already fans of Alex Morgan, chances are this is going to be a must see movie. But what if you aren't the slightest bit familiar with her? Will the movie even make sense? To be honest, I know nothing at all about sports. I don't know teams, I don't know players, I don't know what is in season and what is not. Alex Morgan? No idea who she was before watching the movie... and honestly, it really didn't matter. The story very much stands alone without any prior knowledge on her or even soccer!

Overall, we really enjoyed this movie. It is packed full of fun and friendship... just as a good movie should be! Ready to experience it for yourself? Alex & Me will be available on Blu-ray (SRP $24.98), DVD (SRP $19.98) and Digital (SRP $14.99) on June 19.
Buy Alex & Me here: https://gowatchit.com/watch/movies/alex-me-671289

And one very lucky reader is going to win a copy of the Blu-ray for themselves. Enter using the giveaway form below:

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

3 Winners! Pizzer Time Subscription Box Giveaway! $165 TRV!

Who loves pizza!?

Silly question, right? I mean, who doesn't love pizza! Keeping reading this post for a chance to win an amazing pizza prize--- open to select states only! 

Sponsored By: Pizzer Time

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

*3 Winners* Will Receive:

a Pizzer Time Subscription Box with Extras!! 

($165 TRV Giveaway)

What's Included In The Subscription Box: Ingredients to make 2 pizzas Choice of topping for each pizza 2 Pan Pizzer Cooking Set Rolling Pin Pizza Cutter ($55 RV)
About Pizzer Time:
Pizzer was invented and collaborated on by 2 culinary trained chefs with over 30 years of experience in the pizzeria industry and owned one of the most popular pizzerias in New York City and Long Island. Our recipes go back decades and have been perfected through years of experience and culinary training. After years of our out of state customers at our Pizzeria would comment and say “you guys have the best pizza, I wish you delivered to Maryland or Florida or New Jersey”. At first we laughed it off but then we created a method that affords us the opportunity to deliver our pizza and maintain the exact same quality as if our customers got it right out of our oven in house. Whether you enjoy cooking in your home or love the taste of a hot fresh pizza right out of the oven or you want both, Pizzer offers, not “New York style pizza” but real and authentic New York Pizza with ingredients that were created and made right here in New York by New Yorkers with absolutely top quality products. We use the best tomatoes for our sauce and the best cheese money can buy and our dough recipe goes back decades. We hope you will take the opportunity to enjoy making your own pizza at home and more importantly enjoy having a hot fresh pizza right of your own oven. Buon Appetito!!

**Giveaway Eligibility**

Open To US residents ONLY in the following states; New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Must be 18+ to enter

Please Note: Sorry for the inconvenience, but the giveaway form will only give me the option to exclude a handful of states in the giveaway. Please make sure that you are not entering this giveaway from any other state other than the ones mentioned above. If you enter the giveaway anyway, and are chosen as a winner, you will not be able to collect your prize.
Giveaway Dates ~ 6/16 9:00 AM EST through 7/14 11:59PM EST
Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.