A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Friday, February 16, 2018

Whole Heart: A Passion Music Experience {+ Giveaway Hop Event} #PassionWholeHeart #FlyBy

Welcome to the Full Hearts Can't Lose Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox.
From now through February 28th, hop along to all participating blogs for a variety of giveaways just for you! There is no limit to how many you can win, so be sure to enter them all!


Full heart.

When I think about that term, I cannot help but think of the Grinch at the end of the story. His heart so full of love and Christmas spirit that it suddenly cannot be contained and just bursts. Yes, that's a pretty full heart.

Our hearts can be full for many reasons... perhaps it's watching a young couple in love (or an older couple still in love). Perhaps its seeing your new baby for the first time. Perhaps its cuddling up to the little ones as they drift to sleep. For me, one instance in which I always have a full heart is when I'm worshiping God.

I grew up in a very small country church. They loved God, but the music... well, it was good don't get me wrong, but it was subdued. It wasn't overly passionate, you didn't see a lot of people swaying... it was a beautiful piano medley and some traditional hymns and that was that. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but when I first encountered a more lively music service at camp as a teenager? Well, let's just say it completely changed my view of what worship could be.

I saw people having fun with worship. There was dancing, there was jumping... of course we were young and it was summer, but it was more than that. We were letting go of all the things that were holding us down, we were giving it to God, lifting our hands and just singing his praises. There was laughter, there were tears... it was such an emotional experience that is so hard to explain. I can only say that you could certainly feel God's presence in that place. It was life changing.

It's amazing the power that worship can have on a person isn't it? Is it any wonder that worship music and contemporary Christian have such a large part in many Christian's lives? That is just what Passion is all about: “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”

If you've been lucky enough to go to a Passion event, you probably understand all too well the kind of worship experience that that can bring. But what about those of us who are not able to attend? With the new Passion album, we can bring in that worship wherever we are.

WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA.  Passion Conference 2018 was a beautiful worship experience, and the live album captures each powerful moment, allowing those who were not in attendance to experience it. Featuring Passion Artists: Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder.

As a fan of worship music, I am always excited for any new CD, but there is certainly something to be said about these live albums. No pun intended, but you can truly hear the passion captured in that moment. This album was no different, take a look at the wonderful songs you will find:

01. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
02. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran)
03. God, You’re So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill & Melodie Malone)
04. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone)
05. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran)
06. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
07. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker)
08. Ghost (feat. Crowder)
09. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone)
10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman)
11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells)

First of all, I was so happy to see some familiar names from some of my favorites. Each song is absolutely beautiful--- sharing God's goodness in a way that can only be done through music. I found myself closing my eyes and swaying as I did dishes and listened. Sure, it might not be quite the same as being there, but it's certainly a great way to worship at home!

Want to bring home the Passion experience for yourself? It will be available to purchase February 23rd. Follow the link below to pick up your own copy.

Buy Link: • http://capcmg.me/PassionWholeHeart 

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

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  
Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

On Loving One Another

Heart image created by Freepik

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. - John 13:34

Love one another.

Pretty straightforward as far as commandments go, but so often it seems like it's one that we still struggle with. It's easy enough to love our friends and our families most of the time, but what about our neighbors, our coworkers who we don't always agree with, the person on the other side of the fence. How do we love them? And more importantly, in such a broken world... what does it even mean to love?

Thankfully, the Bible also gives us a great example on how to love like Christ:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A few years back, I spotted an article floating around that as meant to encourage young girls to find the right kind of love. It suggested replacing the word love with the name of that crush or potential boyfriend. I loved that idea as I feel that we all too often settle for a person who doesn't treat us as we deserve to be treated. But as I thought about that, I also realized it was a great way to take a look at our own lives and relationships, and ensure that WE too are showing love to those around us--- be it our spouses, our children, or a stranger at the checkout line.

Love is Patient. Oh boy... when you have kids, this one is tested often. And let's face it, most of us lose that patience more often than we'd care to. Hey, I have very strong willed children... I GET IT. It's something we might have to work on daily, but make it a goal... take a moment to pray before approaching situations that are going to try that patience.

Love is Kind. In theory of all of these, I always found kindness to come very easily. It's not hard to offer a smile or open a door. Still, these days it seems that kindness does not come as easily to many. With social media, there's a sense of anonymity that encourages us to be speak our minds without regards to the feelings of others. Of course there is nothing wrong with expressing opinions, but I believe as Christians we must strive to do so with kindness. I recently heard a quote--- "The world doesn't read the Bible, they read Christians", and I always hope that if people are reading me, kindness is what they find.

Love Does Not Envy. In a world of Pinterest, this is TOUGH! It's hard not to want better, and to feel like the grass must be greener. Especially when things aren't going well. And you know what? I think it's absolutely fine to set goals and work towards those things. But just dwelling on what you don't have harbors resentment for those who do... and that can really get in the way of being able to love them.

Love Does Not Boast. There's a fine line between sharing and showing off... so fine in fact that often it's hard to tell the difference. We see this around holidays in particular it seems. So, are we supposed to keep things to ourselves... or is it okay to celebrate the successes and blessings we have been given? I think in this case, maybe it's just something we need to check ourselves before posting/sharing--- Am I sharing because I'm excited? Or am I sharing because I want to show someone else up? If it's the latter, perhaps we ought to think twice.

Love Is Not Proud. It's hard to admit when you're wrong, but I think in any relationship, it's so important. Sticking your ground when you know you made a mistake can only lead to more arguments. It's a tough thing to do, but I think it can only be good for any relationship to say, "Hey you know what... I screwed up, I was wrong and I'm sorry." Even as a parent, if my patience is lost with my children, I try to apologize.

Love Does Not Dishonor Others. How many times do you see someone taking to social media to blast their spouse? Or maybe conversations overheard at work? One thing that has always been really important to me as a wife is not speaking negatively about my husband. To me, that is not honoring him. Every couple disagrees at some point and most marriages have peaks and valleys... but if we put them on blast, once the fight is over, we move on, but those we complained to will hold onto it. I have long said the only person you should complain about your spouse to is their mother--- they already know their faults and love them anyway, just as you do at the end of the day.

Love Is Not Self-Seeking. When you're carrying out acts of love, are you truly doing them to show your love or because you want the accolades for doing so? I think this is another that can be very tough, because when you work hard at something you do want some sort of recognition. Honestly, I can't tell you how happy it makes me when my kids tell me I'm the best cook ever. Still, that's not why I do it. Much like being boastful, I think this is another place where we need to be mindful of our intentions.

Love Is Not Easily Angered. Love one another. That's the verse. Not 'Love one another, EXCEPT the person we disagree with... or the jerk who cut us off in traffic.' Oh yes, even road rage is not exempt from love. We live in an angry world, where every little thing can set us off. Sometimes you just have to take a moment... breathe... ask God for help.

Love Keeps No Records of Wrong. We're human, we make mistakes... and having those mistakes brought up at all times? That's no good for any relationship. I think maybe if we take a look at our own past mistakes, perhaps we will be better able to offer grace to others. It's tough, but we're not in it alone.

Love Does Not Delight in Evil, But Rejoices in Truth. Sometimes it seems like we live in a world that is just waiting for everyone to fall. Look at celebrity gossip magazines and it's clear to see--- drama, drama, drama. People seem to thrive off of it, and almost seem to find joy in seeing the negative. Sin is celebrated, even glamorous. Being a 'goody-goody' is looked down upon, and when you speak out against such things you're accused of being judgmental. Instead of giving into it, let us all try to look for the goods--- disregard those things that bring us down.

Love Always Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres. Love Doesn't Fail. I love that word--- always. Not for a day, not for years... always. Love isn't easy. Sometimes it's easier than others, but there are always those moments. Whether it's a trying time in a marriage, struggling with your children or issues with a stubborn coworker... love just keeps on. It's headstrong, it's stubborn... just as we should be.

When you break it down, how do you stand up? We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. We all have moments where we fall short, but if we revisit this verse and apply it to our day to day lives, it can serve as a great reminder of what it truly means to love one another. So today, I want to encourage you to do just that. Take a look at yourself. How are you showing your love? What can you change to better show that love? What can you pray to be stronger in?

Shop Online and Save {No Gimmicks!} with jClub! + Exclusive Coupon Code #ad

***This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of jClub. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

It should be no secret by now that I LOVE a good deal! My theory is--- if you can get it for less, why would you pay more?

So, whether I'm shopping for gifts, clothes or the newest electronic device on my family's want list, I am constantly scouring the web to find the best of the best when it comes to getting it done cheap. Needless to say through the years, I've encountered many, MANY discounts sites. And let's get real, some of them are more than a little questionable on whether it's truly WORTH it.

Sure you can get the great deals, but first you have to-

  • Pay a hefty membership fee and hope that it pays off in the long run.
  • Purchase bids. Win or lose, you still have to pay.
  • Jump through hoops to unlock the savings--- surveys, social shares, dress in drag and do the hula--- you get the idea. 
  • Pay upfront prices and wait for a rebate. Sure, this is great if you have the money up front, but for many on a budget, that can present an issue.
  • Pay a 'low price' for the item, only to discover shipping fees are outrageous. 
  • Use questionable websites, where you may or may not really be getting what you're looking for.

Have you ever experienced any of these types of websites? I'm not saying that these sites can't be very useful if you have time to figure it all out, but I'm a busy mom... I simply do NOT. There has to be something better, right?

Introducing jClub.

jClub is an all new online shopping website that is perfect for us deal lovers who don't want to be bothered with the tricks, gimmicks or fees just to get the deals we love. They are dedicated to simplifying the shopping experience, while still allowing us to save money. They offer a variety of products from many categories to include items for home, pets, kids, clothing and electronics. They are already available at low prices, but also offer exclusive sale events that drop those prices even lower! Sounds pretty great right? Here are a few fun deals I found available at the time of this posting:

If you're like me, you're likely wondering, what's the catch? Is the shipping crazy? Do you have to pay to join? Is the customer service awful? No, no and no. Shipping is FREE! There are no hidden fees. And they are committed to customer service. They even offer free 30 days returns all the time. No catch, just great deals, plain and simple.

If you ask me, that's just what online shopping SHOULD be. Simple. Convenient. No need to get dressed or face the crowds. Just hop online, click and done. No fuss. That's just what jClub provides us.

And right now you can save even MORE with an exclusive coupon code! Enter the code RANDIKAYE at checkout to take off an additional 20% from your order! Head on over to shop now! 

Are you an online bargain shopper? What are your favorite deals from jClub?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Favorite Romance Movies {+ A Movie Night Giveaway Hop} #MovieNight

Welcome to the Movie Night Giveaway Hop hosted by The Review Wire Media!

From now through February 28, hop along to participating blogs for great giveaways that are perfect for your next movie night! There is no limit to how many you can win, so after you've entered mine, hop along and enter them all!


Happy Valentine's Day!

We all know that Valentine's Day is all about the romance and I--- like so many of you I'm sure--- cannot help but love a good romance movie! So in honor of the day, I'm sharing my personal favorite romance movies of all time- in no particular order.

  • Titanic. I mean, has there been any other romance that is quite as epic!? It's beautiful, it's tragic... it's the ultimate romance I could watch it over and over again.
  • Moulin Rouge. For me, this one is all about the MUSIC. It's beautifully done and I love watching it and singing along. 
  • A Walk to Remember. Clearly, I have something with the tragic romance stories, but no one does it quite like Nicholas Sparks. The Notebook might get all the glory, but for me it's all about A Walk to Remember (which also happens to have a pretty amazing soundtrack too!)
  • Fireproof. It might be cheesy for sure, but I love that this is a romance movie that shows us AFTER the honeymoon. Not the blooming of a new romance, but the rekindling of an old spark. It's hope for a marriage that is struggling. 
  • Beauty and the Beast. This list wouldn't be complete without some Disney magic, and of all the great princess tales they have to offer, none of the love stories can quite live up to Beauty and the Beast. While I love the new version too, you cannot go wrong with the classic cartoon. 
Do you have a romance movie that you can watch over and over again? Which movie, and why do you love it?

And as part of the Movie Night giveaway, I'm giving one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 Fandango gift card. Enter using the giveaway form below:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Get Engaged For Less with These Tips { + A Deal from JewelsOnFire} #ad

**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of JewelOnFire. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Did you know that Valentine's Day is the second most popular day for marriage proposals in the year- second only to Christmas? I suppose this comes as no shock to most of us. After all, this is a day that is all about love and romance, and what could be more romantic than an elaborate engagement.

But here's another stat that might shock you. Did you know that (per The Knot) the average cost for an engagement ring is over $6000!? Crazy, right? Personally, I don't know many people that have that kind of money laying around. Still, we as women love showing those rings off, don't we? So how can we find a gorgeous ring we love, while still keeping within our budgets? Today, I'm sharing a few tips:

  • Keep It Simple. Who says its all about the ring? Yes, the ring is nice, but truly it is all about the marriage, so if all you can do is simple, go simple.
  • Know Your Limit. Figure out how much you can truly afford to pay--- be it up front or via monthly payments. If you know your absolute max, it's much easier to stand your ground once you start looking. 
  • Go with Cubic Zirconia. Okay, okay, I might take some heat for this one, but if you want the bling but don't have the budget, this can be a great solution. You'll be able to get the gorgeous ring you want for a fraction of the cost. But guys, make sure to be upfront about this. Don't try to pass it off for something it isn't. That will get you into trouble for dishonesty. But if you're up front about it, see the first tip. At the end of the day it IS the marriage that matters. You can always replace with the real deal when you're better able to do so.

  • Go With Something Less Traditional. Not a diamond person? You might consider going with a different gemstone. Not only will it be unique to you, but it could be cheaper too!
  • Shop for Discount Jewelry. Oh sure, that blue box might look nice, BUT it's gonna cost you! Instead, shop discount jewelry retailers for great high quality pieces at a fraction of that cost.

For that, JewelOnFire has you covered! Cut out the middle man. Buy directly from jewelry craftsmen and manufacturers, from the comfort of home with up to 90% off retail pricing. So much of that added cost is from the markup for retail--- hey they have to make their money too, right? But by going straight to the manufacturers, you can avoid that added markup. Sounds pretty great right? I know you might be a little skeptical--- so many sale sites might claim up to __%, but the reality is most things are 10%, with just 1-2 at those deeper discounts. Not JewelOnFire! As I browsed through I found TONS of selections at 85% off, and saw that the largest majority were still more than 70%. Wow, those are some real discounts. Why pay $1000 when you can pay $200!? Am I right?

As if those savings weren't great enough, right now you can save 25% off sitewide when you use the exclusive code RANDIKAYE at checkout. 

Whether it's an engagement, an anniversary or just because, JewelOnFire has you covered for all your genuine diamond and genuine gemstone jewelry needs! Head on over to check it out and shop today! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Inspiring Creativity in Kids {+ #FollowYourArt with Gymboree}

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post.

I think by their very nature, kids are mostly born creative.

Sure, some may be more creative than others, and some may even struggle at the idea of it, but compared to adults, they have the minds to go to the depths of the sea and the far off spaces of the universe with something as simple as a cardboard box. As a creative mind myself, I love seeing my kids' imaginations at work, and so I strive to encourage that imagination.

But how do you encourage kids to be creative? Here are a few simple tips:

  • No Rules. Whoa, whoa, whoa... let's not get too crazy here, I'm not suggesting you have no rules in their every day life--- just in their creative time. If they want to mix crazy colors, let them mix crazy colors. If they tell the most outlandish over the top stories that don't make sense, let them. It's not about perfection, its just about letting them explore there own imaginations. 
  • No Judgments. This goes along with that no rules. When you're a perfectionist, it can be hard not to try to help your child 'do it better', but it takes some of the creativity out of it. There's a time and a place for that.
  • Find What They Love. My daughter loves telling stories and creating artwork. My son loves to draw comics. Use these interests to inspire their creativity. Maybe your child enjoys cars? Grab a box and some paint and let them create their very own race car. Just have fun with it.
  • Take an Interest. I don't care for comic books, but my son does, so I take an interest anyway. I ask him to tell me about his stories, his favorites and so much more. With my daughter, she is always telling a story so I am always showing my enthusiasm and disbelief of these crazy adventures. I ask questions, I encourage the stories to go on. She loves when you stop and pay attention, and her imagination soars even further. 
  • Give Them Opportunity. I'm not saying go and enroll your child in every type of creative class out there, you can introduce things at home. Buy some paints and simple paper. Enjoy some toy instruments, or just throw on some dance music and let them go. Ask them to write a story or tell it to you if they can't yet write.
  • Let Them Make Decisions. What toys do they want to play with? What do they want to paint? How do they want to dress? These are simple decisions that kids are more than capable of making on their own, and in allowing them to do so, encourages them to think on their own and show the world what matters to them. 

Like I said, kids by there very nature are so creative and with these simple ideas we can help them to best explore wherever that imagination takes them. Perhaps we'll even be inspired by it themselves.

Gymboree knows this too and is celebrating all the things that inspire kids everywhere with their #FollowYourArt Campaign:

There is so much new to see at Gymboree. We are getting set for spring with hundreds of bright, new styles and fresh ideas—it’s a season full of possibilities. We are inspired by all the ways kids get creative, from putting their one-of-a-kind spin on an outfit to telling a funny story to painting their own masterpiece. We want to know what inspires you and your family. What do your kids want to create this spring? Because it’s the perfect time to #followyourart.

Take a look at some of these fun outfits:

I love how these fun styles allow children to show off their own unique styles and personalities through fashion. They love the look, and as a mom, I love the quality! I know that wherever their imagination takes their play, their outfits will hold up to the challenge. That's just what we've come to expect from Gymboree. Head over to Gymboree to check out more fun spring styles to match your child's style!

How does your child #FollowYourArt? Which outfits or pieces from Gymboree would they love? 

How To Be a Perfect Christian {A Book Review}

***Book received for consideration. Post contains affiliate link. All thoughts are 100% my own.

The Perfect Christian.

What does that mean to you?

Okay, okay, logically we all know that such a thing does not exist. If there was the perfect Christian, there would be no need to a savior. But if there were such a thing, what would that look like?

  • Would they carry their Bible at all times?
  • Would they eat only at Chick-Fil-a and shop only at Hobby Lobby? 
  • Would they know never to pass up a good social media hot topic debate?
  • Would they attend only a super hip mega church?
  • Would their Instagram feed be filled with photos of a well-placed Bible?
  • Would their car be filled with Christian bumper stickers?
  • Would they be all love and no cares about sin?
  • Would they be all about the sin and not about the tolerance? 

No matter what type of Christian you might be, there are a lot of pre-conceived notions from all sides about what that perfect Christian might look like. You might even see yourself in some of these ideas. And you know what... sometimes we just need to laugh at ourselves and the absurdity of it all. That is just what the upcoming book 'How To Be a Perfect Christian' from the folks who brought us The Babylon Bee aims to do:

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

Let's be 100% clear again and repeat that this book is completely satirical and not to be taken at all seriously. But if you enjoy a little satire and don't mind poking fun at yourself, this book is a hilarious read. It truly pokes fun at all types of Christians. At one point it might talk about how finding the perfect church means finding one that makes you feel good and justifies how you live your life. If a sermon has you squirming and feeling convictions, you've clearly not found the right church. At another point it talks about protesting at events you don't believe in with hateful messages. Two very different extremes, right? But both are very real views of Christianity in our culture today.

In its absurdity and humor, this book serves as a reminder that living our Christian faith is not about what the culture seems to think is required at any given time in history, but what the BIBLE says. Trends--- Christian and otherwise--- will most certainly change. The hottest Christian music will change. The Christian mom look of a #blessed tee and messy bun will (sadly) pass with time. posting a picture of your Bible and coffee... yep, that too will one day be a thing of the past. But God's word and the instructions given for our Christian lives? Those are unchanging.

Want to experience How To Be a Perfect Christian for yourself? It will be available on May 1, but you can preorder now at many of your favorite book retailers.