A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Encourage One Another...I Dare You! Join the #EncouragementDare ( #Dayspring #LiveYourFaith )

**Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are my own.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

As we see in the scripture above, we are called to offer encouragement to one another, to build one another up and not tear each other down. When we look at the world around us, it's clear that we need a little more of that, don't we? It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, that we forget this simple command. We go on about our days, working so hard to get done what needs to be done that we often miss those simple opportunities all around us to be an encouragement to others.

This is why days like the National Day of Encouragement on September 12 are so important. It offers us that little reminder to go out and make the effort. In celebration of this day, Dayspring is launching its first ever #EncouragementDare!

From today, August 30th through September 12, they are challenging all of us to actively go out and encourage those around us. Ready to take the dare? Here are a few very simple ways that you can offer encouragement:

  • Send a Card. Aside from birthdays, how often do you get cards in the mail? For most, it's probably not often, right? I don't know about you, but I personally love getting a handwritten card or note in the mail! It certainly beats bills. It doesn't have to be a long letter, just a quick note to say, "I was thinking of you!" 
  • Smile & Say Hello. Simple enough, right? So often when we are out and about doing our daily errands, we get so caught up in what we're doing that we don't pay much attention to those around us. Make the effort to greet people warmly, a simple hello or even a few kind words can be a simple way to brighten someone's day.
  • Lend a Helping Hand. Do you know someone that has a lot on their plate? Offer, even insist, on helping them lighten the load! Provide free babysitting to the overwhelmed mama that needs a shopping trip alone. Help with household chores like dishes or mowing the lawn that she just can't seem to get caught up with. Even provide a meal so she gets a night out of cooking. Look for ways to help a stranger when you're out too. Hold the door open, carry groceries to someone's vehicle...these simple gestures can mean the world and don't require money or much time at all.
  • Send An E-Card. No stamps in the house to send an actual card? Send an e-card instead. Dayspring has a great selection that are free to send...even some new ones just for the Encouragement Dare! Check them all out, and start sending!
  • Pray for Them. Perhaps one of the greatest ways we can offer encouragement to those who need it is to lift them up in prayer. God knows their full needs, even if we do not and I know personally it means the world to me when I know others thought enough to keep me in their prayers when I needed it most.
  • Give a Gift, Just Because. It doesn't have to be a large gift or cost a lot of money, but much like the cards can just be a nice gesture that lets someone know that you care about them enough to go that extra step! These gifts can also be a source of encouragement themselves, filled with kind words and encouraging messages that they can look at as they go through their day. From September 1-6, Dayspring will be offering amazing deals on selections from their Encouragement Gifts section, so be sure to look out for those. (I will be sharing more info on this sale in the coming days!)
  • Simply Be There. From near or far, just be a listening ear when it's needed. Sometimes, all we need is that knowledge that you've got someone by your side. 
  • Spread the Word. Kindness can be contagious, so help spread the word about the Encouragement Dare through your own social media using the hashtag #EncouragementDare and encourage others to join in! Be sure to tag Dayspring in your shares too:

    Facebook: @dayspringfans
    Instagram: @dayspringcards 
    Twitter: @DaySpring 
Want to learn more about the encouragement day and how you can offer encouragement to others? Visit here for more great ideas!

Will you be accepting the dare? Let me know how you plan to encourage others, and be on the lookout for more from me as the challenge continues.

Have Fun with Genesis: The Big Picture Interactive In The Beginning/The Great Flood Flip-Over Book Review

**Book received for review. All thoughts are my own.
For those that read my blog regularly, it is no surprise by now that the only thing I love more than a great children's book... is a great INTERACTIVE children's book. Even as an avid reader as a child, I remember being drawn to these myself. I would have read the books anyway, but having that extra element of fun made them even better. For kids who aren't as big of readers as my childhood self or my book loving son, they sometimes need that little extra element to make reading fun. Interactive books take reading from something that kids HAVE to do, and instead something they look forward to.

When it comes to Bible stories, what could be greater than a book that kids truly want to open up and explore?

So, when I heard about the Big Picture flip books, I knew they'd be a big hit. I was thrilled to be given a chance to review the In The Beginning/The Great Flood Flip Over Book. Take a look:

What’s better than a favorite Bible story? Two favorite Bible stories! Learn about how God created everything, and then flip the book over and learn about Noah and the flood! These Big Picture Interactive Flip-Over books offer coloring fun as well, so you can make the story your own.

These happen to be two of my son's favorite Bible stories, so of course, he loved it right off. I don't know what makes the idea of a flip book much more appealing than two separate books, but whatever the case, he loved it. But we'd had other flip books in the past, so what set this one apart and made it even more interactive? The coloring! Now, my son actually isn't much of a colorer, but most kids- my daughter included- love coloring, right? This drew her in. She's actually the one in my household that doesn't particularly care to sit and be read to, so that little extra motivation was a plus. She loved coloring as we read the story...and then her own works of art becoming part of the experience as we read it again! Much in the same way that I find I absorb Bible stories better when I'm creating art in my journal, this book gives kids that experience that will help them to also retain those stories a little better than strictly reading it through again and again. When they experience it, they take it in. Even with something so simple as coloring in a few graphics!

If you're looking for a fun way to have your little ones read AND enjoy their Bible, this is certainly one worth checking out! It is available to purchase now.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Why I Choose Illustrated Faith {New Products Now at Dayspring} #IllustratedFaith #Dayspring #BibleJournaling

**Products received for consideration. All thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

'What are your favorite Bible journaling supplies?'

When I'm talking to people about Bible journaling and how to get started, this is naturally a topic that comes up often. And it's a long one to answer! I have found so many supplies that I love and use for different reasons, that it truly is hard to choose just one. So I started thinking instead about what some of my favorite pages were. When I looked at those, I found a common occurrence. Nearly every single one featured at least one product from Illustrated Faith! As a matter of fact, I have my journaling supplies organized by types- die cuts in one box, stickers in another, project life type cards in yet another... but my Illustrated Faith products have a box all to themselves, and that is the FIRST box I reach for. Every single time.

So, why Illustrated Faith?

For me, it comes down to two things. First and foremost the style. There are many different collections available from Illustrated Faith and I honestly cannot say that there is one I don't enjoy. They all use colors beautifully, and the designs are not just cute, they're clever too. They play with words and make faith fun...as it should be! But, I could walk into any scrapbook or craft store and find a ton of die cuts and stickers that are just my style too. The problem? Finding the styles I love that work well for Bible journaling! I'm often finding pieces I like, but perhaps the phrases are not quite right. The other faith based collections out there? Personally I found that many of them were a bit old fashioned for my tastes. Illustrated Faith products are always fresh and fun, and give me a great starting point to journal from!

And now, with BRAND NEW products from Dayspring, I have even more inspiration! As part of Dayspring's Illustrated Faith Launch Team, I was given the chance to check out a few of these new products for myself. Take a look at these great items I received:

Give Me Jesus Paper Pad- This is one of the 3 new paper pads that just arrived, and it is pretty amazing! One of my favorite things about this particular new product is the versatility. I can create my own die cuts, I can scrapbook, I can create fun cards... there truly are limitless options! I've not yet jumped in with these, but look forward to having fun with my Silhouette with these gorgeous designs!!

Geo Clear Cuts- Okay, so I have to admit... cutting is not my thing. I have issues with my hands that can make getting intricate cuts a bit difficult. You may have noticed in my previous Illustrated Faith kit posts, that my die cuts aren't always perfect. So, when I saw these clear cuts, I was THRILLED! I don't have to worry as much about perfect cuts because instead of white, it's just clear. And the images themselves can be seen through as well! My favorite parts however are the backgrounds! These are going to be so fun to create overlays with. This is again one of three new clear cut pads now available, and I hope to add the others to my collection soon!

Black & White Washi Stickers- I've mentioned before that washi tape happens to be one of my favorites, and these washi stickers are no exception. Actually, I might love these even more than my washi tapes! First and foremost, the designs are fabulous. The black and white truly go with anything and help you add that much needed pop to any page. They- like washi- are easy to reposition as needed, and unlike washi where I find I end up with a whole roll that I may love, but really only needed for a page, I get just what I need! This is one of four sets of washi stickers.

Topics Tabbies- Confession- I'm not much of a tab person. When I'm looking at supplies for journaling, it's probably the last thing I look at. But I absolutely loved these! The designs were fantastic, of course, but I am often a topical Bible reader myself. I mean, I'll read the Bible aside from that too, but when I'm dealing with something in my life, I love being able to flip right to what I need when I need it. These tabbies a allow you to do that easily. And even if you don't use them as actual tabs but rather an extra element on the page (as I often do), it can be a great reminder of what was on your mind when you journaled these pages. This is one of six new sets available.

Words Designer Clips-
Talk about taking your paper clips to the next level! These are fabulous and fun! From marking your page to adding a fun element, for journaling, planners or just because... these are seriously the greatest! I am having so much fun using them for anything and everything! This is one of six gorgeous sets!!

Word Art Tip Ins-  I've talked about using the scripture cards in the monthly devotional kits as tip ins, but these are even better. They are perfectly sized to fit in the margins of your Bible, and can be applied with washi so that you can journal on the other side. They can be used as a fun bookmark! The styles are so fun, and again I cannot help but love the humor. This is one of three.

All of these new additions have been wonderful, and I've so enjoyed incorporating some of them into my journaling already. But this is only a small selection of everything new! In addition to these all new products, there are new stamps, die cuts and stickers too in all new collections. In fact, I loved these other collections so much, that I had to order them myself!!! The Bright and Brave collection is 100% ME- glasses and typewriters and beautiful vibrant colors, I cannot wait to play around with them! And the Christmas collection... well... it may be early, but I am already prepared to journal through the holidays!

These new products, and all of those old favorites, are available to purchase NOW at Dayspring online! And when you use the code IFSHIPSFREE at checkout, your Illustrated Faith order will ship FREE!

Stay tuned to hear more about September's new monthly devotional kit, Through Christ.

Friday, August 26, 2016

#WordsMatter with Letterpress Blocks From Dayspring {A Visual How To Guide}

** I received product in exchange for this post. All thoughts are 100% my own. Post contains affiliate links. 

Have you ever looked at the Letterpress Blocks from Dayspring and thought to yourself, 'Yes, they look nice in pictures, but I couldn't make them look like that!'

After all, they come in individual letters for you to arrange yourself, so getting them in all those fun arrangements? Difficult, right? I mean do you hang each one individually? How does it work?

Today, I'm giving you a quick little how to to help better understand how Letterpress Blocks work and how to bring the words that mean the most to you into your home.

First up though, the basics:

What are Letterpress Blocks?

Letterpress Blocks are beautiful wood blocks handcrafted in India, each individual block features a metal letter, number or symbol and give you the chance to create and customize your own wall or shelf decor with the words or phrases that mean the most to you. You can buy sets such as the Everyday Words that feature a variety of phrases in one box. You can purchase smaller sets that feature just one word and/or phrase. Or you can create your very own word to fit your needs- a family name or your one little word for the year. Whatever those words that mean the most are for you, Letterpress Blocks allow you to bring them into your decor.

So, how do they work?

When you purchase your Letterpress Blocks, you will receive not only the blocks but the clips to connect them as well. On the back of each block, you will find grooves on all 4 sides, these are perfectly spaced to allow you to clip blocks together...in any direction! They can be arranged vertically, horizontally, straight across in perfect order or with a fun staggered look. Because these grooves cover the entirety of each side, you can truly play around to get the look you love.

Confused? I'm a visual person, so let's break it down:

1. First up, on a flat surface arrange your letters to the look you're going for. Play around with arrangements to get just the look you love.

2. Once you've figured out your layout, flip the blocks over.

3. Snap two clips into the grooves on the back of each block, connecting the two blocks together. These aren't difficult to snap on, but may take a bit of practice at first. Personally, I found that two clips at each connection worked well for me, but if you're using bigger blocks and need a little more stability, go ahead and add a few more. These clips are incredibly sturdy. I found that I could hold my words by one letter and it would stay put just fine!

4. Continue snapping clips on until your word is complete.

5. Place on a shelf and you are set!

Want to hang it? Complete the steps as listed above, but rather than placing on the shelf, instead use at least two nails (one on each end) to hang. For longer words (6+ Letters), a middle nail will help it to hang more securely. Now, I must admit with different heights, etc hanging can be rather tricky, but you can use tape to measure and mark just where your nails need to go, making the process much easier!

Ready to bring Letterpress Blocks to YOUR home? Visit Dayspring to shop premade sets or to create your own word.

And until Sunday, August 28 you can purchase the 'Hope' and 'Eat' sets for just $10 in Dayspring's Surprise $10 Sale!!! This is an amazing deal that you do not want to miss!! Hurry over and shop now! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Favorite Things: A LuLaRoe Review & Giveaway {A Birthday Celebration}

**Product received for review. My love of LuLaRoe is all my own.

Once upon a time, I-like you- was browsing through some of my favorite blogs and stumbled upon a giveaway for a 'little' clothing company called LuLaRoe. I checked out the pictures, enjoyed the fun styles, joined the groups. I kept hearing people go on and on about how soft and comfortable these clothes were, but having not yet seen them for myself yet, I must admit, I was a bit of a skeptic. They couldn't possibly be as amazing as everyone kept saying they were, right?

And then I tried a pair.

Well, if you've ever tried LuLaRoe, you already know that it takes just one piece to start the addiction! Yes, they truly were as fun and comfortable as everyone made them out to be!!! And it's not just the leggings...yes, those might be what draws everyone in, but for me, it was the other styles that made me stay. These days, my wardrobe has been taken over by LuLaRoe, and I can honestly say that while there certainly are styles I prefer over others, I've not yet tried one that I hated!

Today, I want to share with you two of the latest styles I've tried- the Azure and Maxi Skirts!

First up, the Maxi. This is the skirt that started it all! I've always been a fan of maxi style skirts and dresses, but because I'm rather petite have always struggled with finding maxis that were the right length for me. This maxi was just right! It features a fantastic yoga waistband that not only makes it incredibly comfortable, but also folds over to provide just the right length. Because I'm petite, I can fold over and wear higher waisted. For those taller ladies that also struggle to find maxis in the right length, it can be worn unfolded too!

Like most LuLaRoe products, one of the best features of this skirt aside from the comfort and style is the versatility. In fact, a quick google search would provide many styling options to try! But perhaps the most common is wearing as a dress! I don't personal like strapless dresses myself both for modest and practicality (being a mommy to a toddler), but for those looking for a warmer weather look, this is ideal! It can even be carried on through winter with the addition of a Sarah cardigan!

From summer to fall, this is one of those styles that is going to be a wardrobe staple throughout the year!

Next up, was the Azure. If you love the maxis but want something a little shorter, the Azure is your girl! The azure offers the same yoga style waist band, the same comfort and even the same versatility, just in a shorter package. Again, for us petite girls, it can be worn as not just a skirt, but a dress too. Taller girls may find it to be a bit short to be worn in this manner, but with a cute pair of leggings, you can still create a beautiful look that is every bit as stylish as it is comfortable!

And truly, that is what makes LuLaRoe one of my favorite things! These clothes truly have a way of making every woman of every size feel absolutely beautiful. They offer beautiful styles that flatter and provide comfort unlike any others!! I can look beautiful and fashionable, and still be given the freedom to play with my children comfortably.

For many women, LuLaRoe offers not just fashion, but a rewarding career opportunity as well. LuLaRoe is one of the nation's fastest growing companies, on the fast track to becoming a BILLION dollar company. That's right, billion...with a B. And at just a little over three years old, they are just beginning. There is plenty of room for growth!

Whether you are wanting to learn more about starting your own journey with a LuLaRoe business or you just want to find your newest unicorn, our lovely sponsor Sylvia Martin will be happy to help! Visit her group to shop and learn more!

And she is giving one very lucky reader the chance to win a maxi and azure in their size as well!! Enter using the Rafflecopter 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, August 24, 2016

Greater {In Theaters August 26th} #Greater

**Gift card was received for this post, however all thoughts are my own.

Have you ever wanted to accomplish something, but been told those dreams were out of reach?

I think this is a story we are all too familiar with. People underestimate me because I'm very quiet. They expect that I am weak, or that I have nothing worth saying. For my husband, people underestimated him because of his size. He may look like a tough Marine now... but when he first joined he was a skinny little guy that people never thought would make it through boot camp. Throughout our lives, we will always have those people who doubt us for whatever challenges we may have.

This is certainly true for my son. With his autism diagnosis, people often have a preconceived idea of what he can and cannot accomplish. It is made evident when people make the simple, seemingly innocent comment like, 'But he's so smart!' People hear that he is autistic and they automatically underestimate what he is capable of achieving. They underestimate his ability to interact socially. They underestimate his skills. They underestimate his brains.

Sometimes, it's those naysayers saying you can't, that truly make us want to say, "Yes, I CAN. And I can prove it!"

That's the attitude that we want to teach both of our children, but especially our son, knowing all the roadblocks he will face. So, in our house, we never tell him he cannot accomplish anything. When he wants to go to space? Absolutely, that can happen. When he wants to create video games, we're 100% behind him. When he wants to be the next Bill Gates, we support it 100% (and his daddy makes sure to let him know he'll expect an allowance when it happens). When he wants to run Sony, Nintendo and Universal all at once, sure, you got this! From the simple to the extreme, we embrace these dreams, we encourage them, and we do whatever we can to make those dreams of his a reality. We want for him to one day have that story of overcoming, of facing the obstacles and coming out better on the other side. We all love those kinds of stories, right?

That's what makes movies like the new movie Greater so beautiful. Take a look:

GREATER is an inspirational movie based on the life of Brandon Burlsworth. Brandon had one dream – to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Unfortunately, Brandon was a clumsy player who lacked the physical prowess to make the team.  He was written off by coaches and teased by his fellow teammates.  Undeterred, Brandon continued to show-up for practice.  He woke up before anyone else and worked harder than anyone else, until his determination paid off.  Not only was he given an opportunity to walk-on and play football – he became one of the greatest players on the field, and was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts. 

I was given the chance to screen this movie in advance of it's theatrical release, and I loved it. It truly is a movie that you will leave feeling inspired by. This amazing movie will be in theaters Friday, August 26th, and you aren't going to want to miss it!

In celebration of this movie, I want to encourage all of you to think about those people in your life that have offered you encouragement to overcome great obstacles. Perhaps a parent, perhaps a teacher or coach, maybe even a pastor. Whoever that person may be, let them know how much it meant to you. Take them out for coffee, treat them to a Walmart shopping spree,  take them to see this movie! Encourage the encouragers and let them know they are appreciated. And be an encourager yourself, letting those in your life know that you believe in them, wholeheartedly just as someone once believed in you!

Is there someone in your life who has inspired you to be greater? Share your stories in the comments, and don't forget to head to the theater on August 26th to see the movie for yourself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Celebrate My Birthday with an ESV Leather Journaling Bible Giveaway! #MyFavoriteThings

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

When I first started my Bible journaling journey nearly a year ago, I don't know that I truly anticipated how much I would love it and how it would impact my life. I knew that I loved looking at pictures of the beautiful work that others have done, but I also knew I wasn't much of an artist either. I thought I might just try it for a few months and see what happened. That was almost a year ago.

Since then, it has become my passion. I have fallen in love with journaling in my own Bible and sharing this newfound form of worship with others. I have journaled hundreds of pages, and I became quite knowledgeable on what Bible journals were available on the market and have even built up quite the collection myself.

In all of my researching and looking for great Bibles, one kept appearing again and again. The dream bible. The one that everyone wanted. THE Bible. If you Bible journal yourself, you probably know the one I mean...it's a beauty!

Take a look:

About the ESV Journaling Bible®

The ESV Journaling Bible provides the perfect way for you to keep a journal of your spiritual life right inside the Bible that you read and study every day. With covers and formats that look like the finest journals, the Journaling Bible features two-inch ruled margins for writing observations, reflections, prayers, praises, and journal entries. This unique Bible makes a great gift and lasting keepsake for anyone who values God's Word.


Cream-colored paper
2" ruled margins
Book introductions
Ribbon marker
Smyth-sewn binding
Lifetime guarantee
Packaging: O-wrap, clamshell box, or permanent slipcase

Gorgeous, right? When I was working on coming up with the perfect giveaways for my favorite things birthday week, I knew that I had to include a journaling Bible, and I knew that there would be none greater than this! And let me tell you, it's even greater in person! Perhaps my favorite part is the tie closure. In my Bible journaling, I often use a variety of craft supplies, some of which are not completely flat. Over time, these elements can really add a lot of bulk to your Bible, making it hard to close. While I obviously haven't worked enough in this Bible to say for certain, I feel like this closure will allow plenty of room to grow.

 Aside from the beauty of this leather wrapped Bible, it's all about quality. It is beautifully crafted and made to last! One thing I have to say about journaling Bibles is that they can really take a little bit of a beating! Not literally of course, but they can certainly start to show some use the more they are used. This bible is made to withstand it. People often mention that journaling Bibles are a great way to document faith and pass down that record to their children. To me, no other Bible quite has that heirloom look and quality as much as this.

I also loved some of the extras that this Bible included that others in my collection have not. There is an intro as to why we should read the Bible. There are scripture references to help you discover scriptures based on topics that are important to you. There are introductions to each book in the Bible with a brief overview to help you better understand the significance of each book. And each of these pages still has a spot for journaling! This is great if there is something you're wanting to journal but perhaps have already journaled the page that scripture is on, or that is perhaps a more general topic rather than based one one scripture! I loved this extra added space and have enjoyed journaling in it already!!

Prefer single column or interleaved Bibles instead? You can also get this style in these versions as well! Whether you are just starting out with Bible journaling and want to start with the best of the best, or already have a collection and need the perfect Bible to complete it, this is certainly one you will want to check out!

You can see this and more great journaling Bibles available through Crossway at the links below:

Visit Crossway Online.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And in celebration of my birthday week, one very lucky reader is going to win one 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.