A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Monday, February 20, 2017

Organize Your Journaling Supplies with These Simple Tips {+ New Products from Illustrated Faith & Dayspring} #Dayspring #IllustratedFaith

**I received these products as part of the Dayspring Illustrated Faith Launch Team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

"An hour, I found one hour!" As a mom to two little ones, my time for journaling is often...well, hit and miss! I have to find time wherever I can, so when I find time to actually get a page done, I have to make the most of it. When time and inspiration line up, I just need to sit down and do it while I can.

But where did all my supplies wind up? I know just what I need, but WHERE is it!?

I must admit, that until recently, this is how many of my journaling sessions went. I would finally find the time, but with so many supplies to sort and no sense of organization at all, I'd spend most of that time trying to round up everything I needed. What was supposed to be a fun stress release for me on some days had become a bit overwhelming. You see, over the nearly year and a half that I have been journaling my supply collection has grown from just a few pens and colored pencils to a huge assortment of journaling supplies- stickers, washi, more pens, gelatos... you name it! While I love having all of these options at my disposal to make each page fun and unique, I knew I needed some sense or organization to make it work. It took some time, but I think I've finally figured out a system that works for me. Today, I wanted to share some of these tips with you so that you can get back to journaling too:

  • Zipper Pouches are a MUST! One of my favorite tools for organizing are zipper pouches. They come in a variety of sizes to best fit your organizing needs, and can be quickly tossed into your bag for journaling on the go. 
  • Keep It Separate! When you have a wide variety of supplies, separating by type can be really beneficial. This is where those zipper pouches come in handy. I have one with stickers, one with die cuts, one with paper clips, etc. If I know I have a die cut that would be perfect for a page that I am working on, I love not having to sort through stickers and clips to find the die cuts. 
  • BUT Keep Your Most Used Supplies Together. Though most everything I have is separated by type, there are some supplies, those I use most often, that I keep together separate from the other like supplies. This could be pens, glue stick, alpha stickers, scissors, a particular paint color or washi... whatever you feel like you want the easiest access to! For me, my most used supplies are Illustrated Faith, so I actually have those separated from the rest of my supplies, then further organized by type among them. Still all are kept in a central location so they can be easily grabbed as needed.
  • Plan Ahead. Sometimes, I get this great idea for a Bible page as I'm listening to music or reading, even just working around the house... but I don't have time to actually journal in that moment. Still, it can be helpful to set aside those things I do need when the idea comes so that when I make time to journal, it's already ready. Likewise, if I am working through a devotional (such as the Illustrated Faith monthly devotionals), I will keep things I need for those together so I just have to grab bits and pieces from elsewhere. Once I finish, they go back to their rightful place.

It really is such a simple system, but it has worked well for me in helping to make my journaling time as productive as possible. Today, I'm super excited to share with you two great new products from Illustrated Faith and Dayspring that will help: the Kangaroo Pouch and Organization Bag.

One of the reasons that this zipper pouch system works so well for me personally, is that while I have my craft table where my supplies are stored, primarily I actually journal elsewhere. I can be found on the couch, sitting at the kitchen table, joining my kids on the floor, journaling while they color with me. Very rarely am I actually AT my craft table. That makes these two products perfect for my personal journaling needs.

First up, the Kangaroo Pouch. Like I said, I already love and use a zipper pouch system, so it is no wonder that I would like this one. But what sets this apart is the fantastic elastic band that allows you to wrap the pouch around your Bible. This is great for those most used products, or for keeping supplies for the project you are currently working on, so when you don't need your full bag of supplies, you can use this! Again for someone who is on the move while journaling, this is ideal. And even when I don't want to put it on my Bible, the strap makes it easier to manage, just throw it on my arm and go!

Next up, the product I am most excited about- the Organization Bag! First and foremost, this bag is gorgeous! I love the fun design featured on both products, but I particularly love the verse. The first thing you see when you walk up to my house is a sign featuring just that sentiment. My makeup bags, jewelry rack, and mirror...all also featuring Ecclesiastes 3:11. It is one of my personal favorites, and so I loved to see it featured. But aside from that, the bag is also very practical. On the outside, you will find a pocket on each side. These are not especially wide, but perfectly hold a paper pad, or several sheets of stickers, or even a devotional. Inside is even more space! When you've been journaling awhile, your Bible tends to double in size it seems! Mine certainly has, but I still had plenty of room left for supplies. Even when using my much larger Interleaved Bible, there was still space. (You can watch my video here to see just how much I was able to fit...with still more room.) The mesh pockets are perfect for smaller items like scissors, paints, washis... easily accessible and you can see just what you're getting. There is also a larger interior pocket that is the perfect size for stickers, devotionals paper pads, etc. This is deeper than the outside pockets so you can fit much more! And again, back to my own zipper pouch obsession, I love that this includes two different pouches, that coordinate perfectly and are just the right sizes for everything I need.

Whether you are journaling on the go or just want to better keep organized at home, these new products are ideal.

And these are just a few of the new products available today through Dayspring. In fact, they have just launched over 100 new Illustrated Faith goodies! Wow! New collections, new products... you do NOT want to miss any of this! I will be sharing more throughout the week, but don't wait! Head on over to check it all out now!

Don't forget to use the code 25FORYOU to save 25% off your purchase + free shipping. There is no minimum purchase so whether you want to stock up, or just grab a few new pieces, this is a great deal! Offer expires March 31, 2017. 

Do you have a system for Bible journaling organization? How can these new products make journaling easier for you? 

Friday, February 17, 2017

NKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers Bible {An Easter Gift Guide Review}

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

Yesterday, we started off my first ever Easter gift guide with a fun new Bible that was perfect for children- boys and girls- around the ages of 6-10. But what about the younger kiddos?

As I mentioned, my son and I are both collectors of Bibles, and this is something that my daughter has seen. So, though she is only 3 years old and not able to read on her own, it truly came as no surprise to me that she asked for a Bible of her own. Not a story book bible as she already had, but a true 'big girl' Bible. When I saw the NKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers Bible I knew that it would be a great fit for her:

Young children will delight in the pages of NKJV Precious Prayers, a Precious Moments® Bible. Full of the beloved Precious Moments® artwork and dozens of pages of full-color bonus material, this classic Bible will be a family treasure for years to come.

Written in the trustworthy New King James Version, this full-text Bible includes a special eight-page personalization area to record each child’s very own precious moments and events. Sixty-four color pages of classic children’s prayers are spread throughout NKJV Precious Moments® Precious Prayers, including themes of thanks, prayers of praise, prayers for school, for mealtime, for bedtime, for family, and so much more.

Young children will learn and embrace these prayers that will become lifetime favorites. Write down your little one’s prayers on full-color pages, creating a beautiful way to forever capture the innocence of their early faith journey! Featuring adorable Precious Moments® characters, this beautiful plush padded Bible with soft, eye-catching embellishments will be a treasured keepsake in any child’s library. 

Children will be drawn to the soft, inviting illustrations, and parents will enjoy teaching the heartfelt prayers and the scriptures from the trustworthy New King James Version®. 

Since 1978, Precious Moments has grown into an evergreen brand recognized worldwide, with more than 13 million books and Bibles sold. It is one of the most recognized and beloved licenses on the market today.
Now, I must admit, I wasn't 100% sure about this Bible at first for one simple reason--- the translation. Personally, I don't prefer the NKJV translation for every day reading. Still, I know that it has its place and we loved the style of the Bible itself, so for her first Bible, I thought it would still be a great choice.

My daughter was already fairly familiar with Precious Moments through our church. In fact, one of her favorite blankets is her 'church blanket' featuring a sweet Precious Moments design. So, I knew that the artwork would catch her attention. And I was right! She was so thrilled to have her very own Bible featuring this look she already knew and loved.

Inside, we found even more Precious Moments illustrations with sweet prayers for children to read and learn. Some of these were prayers I had read before, others were new, but all certainly fit the description of 'precious prayers'. Again, at three years old, my daughter isn't going to be reading the Bible... but she IS at a stage where she is learning to pray and this Bible is the perfect re-enforcement for that! We are loving reading these prayers and so look forward to learn and use them as she grows older. This truly was the perfect starting Bible for my little girl, and the perfect addition to any Easter basket!

The NKJV Precious Moments Precious Prayers Bible is available to purchase now.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

NIV Investigator's Holy Bible {An Easter Gift Guide Review}

**Book received for review. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
Easter will be here before we know it, and for those of us who like to plan ahead, that means its time to start thinking about Easter baskets. So, in celebration I am introducing my first ever Easter Gift Guide- featuring family friendly products that are ideal for Easter baskets! Outside toys, fun jewelry and toys, and of course- inspirational gifts to remember the reason we celebrate! What better way to start this guide off than with Bibles perfect for kids of all ages!?

In our household, Bibles are a big thing. I have personally been collecting them since I was in high school, and my oldest child started his own collection just a few years back at around 8 years old. He is always searching for unique new Bibles to add to his collection. The NIV Investigator's Bible was a perfect fit:

Have you ever used a magnifying glass? It makes everything bigger and easier to see, right? Detectives and scientists magnify things to understand them better. Well that’s just what this Bible does—it’s a magnifying glass to help children understand the Word of God better.

The Bible is a gift from God, but many of the things written in the Bible are hard for kids to understand. In fact, sometimes they’re downright mysterious to kids. Using kid-friendly language and a detective theme, the two color NIV Investigator’s Holy Bible explains the Bible text for kids ages 6–10. Two central mystery-solving characters invite children to investigate the Bible using the following features:

  • Evidence—Bible book introductions answer what kind of book it is, who wrote it, what happens, and the “best part”
  • Breakthrough—answers questions kids might ask, such as “Who were the Philistines?” and “What is The Spirit of God?”
  • Scene—includes descriptions highlighting geographical information pertinent to a verse
  • Witness—explains the meaning and history behind Biblical names
  • Detective—quizzes students on what they have learned
  • Case Closed—explores how the events of a particular book of the Bible relate to children as individuals

As a child, I LOVED a good mystery! It was so fascinating to me to look at the clues and try to figure out how it all went together. Even now, I love a good law show. From these we know there are many key factors that work into a good mystery. What is the evidence? What are we looking at? Why is it important? What was the scene? What clues can we gather from where it all went down? Who were the witnesses, and what do they have to do with the case at hand? And when all is said and done and the case is closed...what did we learn from it? What a fun and unique way to take on the Bible. If you think about it, for kids today, the Bible really IS a bit of a mystery! These stories are so foreign from the world in which we are living- where everything is technology based and information is so readily available to them. How can these people, these places and the events mean anything to them? That truly is the mystery and this Bible can help to break it down and solve the case in a way that not only makes sense to children, but is fun for them too. My son is already loving his new Bible and looks forward to continuing to work through it.

If you have a little one who loves a good mystery, this Bible is a GREAT choice to help them dig deeper into the Word!

NIV Investigator's Holy Bible is available to purchase now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Journaling Through Exodus

Next up in my journey in reading and journaling through the Old Testament: Exodus!

Much like Genesis, Exodus- the story of Moses- is one of those books of the Bible in which the stories are all very familiar. We know all about the plagues of Egypt, the 10 commandments, the burning bush. These are all very familiar images for Christians. To be honest, as I was reading through, I was a little shocked that before this moment, I had actually only journaled one page in Exodus! There are so many great reminders of God's keeping his promises and the protection of His people. I really sought to capture that in my journaling. Take a look at some of my pages:

The burning bush in the story of Moses is one of those iconic Bible stories. One of those stories that is at least somewhat familiar for even those NOT familiar with the Bible. This was one moment I really wanted to highlight in a big, bold way. Though honestly, this page is not at all what I intended it to be. You see, though I have no issues with unreadable words in journaling Bibles (after all, I- like many of my Bible journaling friends- keep seperate Bibles for studying and journaling), I do personally try to keep my words readable when being painted over. That was my intention here... a bold fire, but still readable...with much smaller lettering too. But my paint had other ideas. For whatever reason, it went on thicker than normal... so I just decided to go with it! It wasn't the look I was initially going for...but it most definitely was BOLD!

Just as iconic are the plagues of Egypt, but for these, I went with a much simpler entry...a few pen drawings and list of the plagues in order. It doesn't have to be fancy!

So much of Exodus is talking about God's protection of His people as they were led out of Egypt... these few simple pages reflect just that. He protects, He delivers on His promises.

A familiar verse and one I personally loved. I loved the soft colors of this page (created with gelatos and dampened cotton balls).

Isn't it amazing how much grumbling there was on the journey to the Promised Land? God had delivered His people from Egypt and yet...complaints! Reading through it's easy to say, 'Why are you acting like that? Don't you know how much you have to be thankful for!?' Yet, if we were to be honest... don't we all have those moments? Even when things are not going our way, God has already done so much for us. I think working on complaining less is something we all could use some help with.

The burning bush, the plagues of Egypt...all very familiar but if we had to choose THE most iconic image in Exodus, nothing can top the 10 Commandments. I had some fun journaling a few specific commandments rather than the list as a whole... like this vibrant page!

As I was reading through some of these rules that God had given his people, the word obedience came up a few times... and I was reminded of this classic hymn. I love using hymns in my journaling, so I decided this would be a great spot.

Overall, I really enjoyed rereading and journaling through Exodus. I actually found it less of a struggle to journal with many themes and stories that hit home with me. Next up, I moved onto Leviticus... now talk about a challenge. Stay tuned to see how I journaled my way through.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Get Rid of Boy Stink & Support Veterans Too with Hero Clean {A Review & Giveaway}

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

If you have a boy in your house you know one thing to be true--- boys are MESSY!

I grew up in a house with just sisters, and while we could create or fair share of mess and disorganization, it was nothing compared to the mess that boys can create! Little boys, big boys... they all make them. And we need cleaning products that can keep up with them! Today, I'm excited to share with you a company that has sought out to do just that:

Founded in 2013, the Hero™ Clean men’s household cleaning product line is available for subscription at hero-clean.com. A kit (one of each product) can be ordered to ship every month, every other month or every third month.  Hero™ Clean products are also available on Amazon.com and Target.com. Visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HeroClean/, Twitter via @HeroClean or Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/heroclean/. A portion of purchase proceeds benefit Iraq and Afghanistan military Veterans of America (www.iava.org), the most diverse and rapidly growing group of post-911 veterans.
Following are the current line of products and new features of each:

Laundry Detergent: Available in 50 oz. and 100 oz. bottles, this laundry detergent now includes a patented Odor Defeater malodor technology specifically created to target laundry odor caused by male sweat and bacteria. The reformulated product now also includes a six enzyme package to: combat proteins, such as blood and grass; starch, such as pasta and rice; thickeners, such as locust bean gum and pectin; and oil and fat, such as salad dressing and food grease. These new enzymes also brighten white laundry while reducing contrast fading properties in colors. This detergent can be used for everyday laundry cleaning and even to wash sport uniforms. It is HE and non HE compatible.

All Purpose Spray Cleaner:  This 32 oz., low streak cleaner is effective for cutting dirt and grease, but flexible enough to be used on all hard surfaces, including glass.  There is no need for 17 different surface cleaners, this bottle does it all.

Dish/Hand Soap: This 22 oz. pump is phosphate and bleach free as well as dermatologist approved. It is ultra-concentrated and super aggressive on grease and dried on food. This multipurpose soap is great for use in a bucket of water for car washing, mopping, bathroom cleaning, etc.

Odor Eliminating Spray:  As opposed to deodorizing sprays that simply mask odor, this 17 oz. spray bottle contains odor killing probiotic microbes as well as HEro Clean’s Odor Defeater technology. For use on most fabrics, gear and cars, it is effective on anything that needs a little freshening up between cleaning. This product can also be used as a very effective laundry malodor pre-treatment.

All of the products continue to feature the original Hero™ Clean scent, a fresh, subtle aroma that's not fruity or flowery. Carefully designed by fragrance experts responsible for the world's finest colognes, Hero™ Clean's scent profile is based on Juniper, and a primary ingredient in Gin bringing a masculine sophistication to the cleaning products aisle.

Let's be honest, when we think of cleaning supplies, we primarily think WOMEN. Every cleaning ad you see on the TV--- geared towards women. If you take a look through a popular women's magazine, you're likely to see several ads for various cleaning products. But in a men's magazine? Not likely. Or just got for a walk through the cleaning aisle. The scents, the packaging... again, screams women! If we truly want to encourage our boys to clean, shouldn't we give them a cleaning product geared towards them?

When I opened the Hero Clean products, I could immediately tell these were different. They bottles were darker, much more man friendly and the scent? Definitely masculine! I had to put these products to the test right away.

First up, the laundry detergent. If ever there was a test for getting out the boy stink and stains, it's in the laundry- sweat, dirt, yuck- we've seen it all. So, I tossed in some of my son's clothes with the Hero Clean detergent. Not only did the clothes come clean, they smelled great too. The detergent left them with just a slight scent--- which to me smells very much like a men's body wash or the like. I loved that it was noticeable, which I think made my 10 year old boy feel a little more grown up, but not overpowering... one of your tops get thrown in with the boys' things? It's not going to be a huge deal.

Next, I had to use the Odor Eliminating Spray. Another area where you'll find a lot of boy stink... their bedrooms! I truly didn't expect this to begin until the teenage years, but well... boys will be boys right? A spritz around my son's room was just what we needed to keep his room smelling fresh.

The all purpose and dish/hand soap? Yes, those were fantastic too! My son actually WANTED to do the dishes...and wash his hands! Awesome!  But more than the great smell or packaging, the real test was...did it work well? To answer it simply, YES! They worked wonderfully on any and all boy messes I came across in my home. And because you can have them shipped automatically, this is a great option for men who don't often like to shop for such things too. In fact, I couldn't help but think that this would be a great options for bachelors, college students, or even service-members. We can make sure the boys in our life are being taken care of, even when we're not there to do it in person.

As a military wife, I of course also loved that not only did these products work, they support a great cause too! This is a product that I can truly feel good about using. I know that it is helping to keep my home clean (and boy friendly) AND that my money is going to make a difference in the life of veterans like my husband.

Ready to learn more and start getting your home Hero Clean? You can learn more at the links below:

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

And one very lucky reader is going to win a prize package of Hero Clean products to try 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. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Spoil Your Little Girl with Gifts from SmitCo LLC {A Review}

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

When I first learned that I was having a baby girl, I was ECSTATIC! Don't get me wrong, I had so loved being a boy mom, and would gladly have taken another boy had God so chosen to give me one, but let's be honest--- girls are soooo much fun to shop for! You don't just have toys, you have jewelry and makeup, nail polish, dress up clothes, fancy journals... Often when I am shopping for gifts for my children, I notice that I can always find so many more things I love for my little girl!

Do you have a little girl you love to shop for? Maybe a daughter or niece or granddaughter? Today I'm excited to share with you a company that has just the gifts you're looking for- SmitCo:

Smitco offers quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12. SmitCo has several different diaries with lock and keys and diary sets for girls in Emoji and Diva themes, as well as several different nail art sets to provide hours of fun. SmitCo products also include rose gold, gold or rhodium plated jewelry and sets, as well as very popular stretch sets for little girls - all packed in cute gift boxes. 

They sound fun, right? I was recently given the chance to choose just one SmitCo product to try out for myself. Oh, what a decision that was! Immediately, I fell in love with...well all of it! I loved the affordable dress up sets, perfect for my little girl who dreams of being a princess. I loved the cute journal sets--- mermaids? emojis? My daugher loved them both. (Though being just 3, they seemed a little out of her skill level.) I fell in love with the jewelry, both the more kid-friendly styles and the metal necklaces too. Like I said, it was a TOUGH choice, but ultimately, I HAD to go with the Emoji Scratch and Sniff Nail Art Set!

My daughter LOVES having her nails painted. It truly is one of her favorite things--- up there with, well, emojis! What a fun fit! So, I knew she would love this set! Boy, was I right! She immediately fell in love with everything! She loved the fun nail polish bottles, the cute stickers, and while they were too large for her toddler fingers she loved the nail patches too. Mostly, she loved the fun added twist that these were scented! Theyy had fun fruity smells that made painting our nails even more fun.

One other thing about my daughter and her love of nail polish? She loves to CHANGE it. Pink one day, blue the next... I loved that this is a kid friendly nail polish that just peels right off whenever she is ready to make the change!

Overall, we both really loved this set and look forward to seeing and buying more from SmitCo in the future. You can see everything they have to offer here

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mommy Scene Be Mine Giveaway

Be Mine Giveaway for families, kids and babies - Mommy Scene
We are excited to bring you a fun giveaway from Mommy Scene filled with wonderful prizes for your family and cute little ones!

Prize Collection

Re-Play Valentine's Day Tableware Set
Yummi Pouch Brights Reusable Food Pouches
Pacific Baby 3-in-1 Insulated Baby Bottle (7 oz Cherries) + 1 piece Yellow and Green Straw Top
Taster pack of Amara Baby Food and reusable grocery bag
Four PaigeLauren Baby Caps and a Classic Layette Converter style of choice
Buttons Diapers Cloth Diaper Cover style of choice and Two Daytime Inserts
Handsocks Baby Mittens
One Infanteenie Beenie Newborn Hat (Excludes monogrammed items)
Cozy Blanket Pouch size and color of choice
NogginSeek Peek & Seek Rattle
Babo Botanicals Natural Kisses Lip Tint Trio
Thinkbaby Sunscreen
Bella B Foaming Face Wash and Nipple Nurture
Sleep Zzz Pillow for kids ages 3+
The Shrunks Indoor Tuckaire Toddler Travel Bed

Enter to Win these Valentine's Day Inspired Family Essentials!

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway page after the giveaway ends on February 24, 2017. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!

Mommy Scene Blog Street Team
a Rafflecopter giveaway