A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Thursday, July 30, 2015

This Is Not A Test: A TobyMac CD Review & Giveaway #FlyBy #ThisIsNotATest

**I received a download of this CD in exchange for review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

If you listen to contemporary Christian music at all, chances are you've heard of TobyMac. His unique sound is hard to miss...and hard not to love too!

I first fell in love with TobyMac as a teenager at church camp. Before each worship service, they would always have some sort of music playing- Christian rock, Christian Hip Hop...you name it, we heard it. On this day, a song came on that I had to stop and listen to:

Hush little baby baby don't you cry
Daddy's gonna sing you a lullaby
Everything's gonna be alright
The Lord's gonna answer your prayer tonight

Now, I tend to like a pretty broad variety of music- oldies, pop, rock, country... pretty much everything. Except rap or hip hop. Typically speaking, I could not stand it. And yet here was this song that I found myself having to know more about. That song was Irene by TobyMac.

Once I returned home from camp, I had to go out and buy the album. Given the style of music, I thought I'd probably only ever listen to that one song, but I had to have it. Imagine my surprise when I realized I loved every single song! I even introduced his music to some of my friends who didn't typically listen to Christian music and found that they too were loving it. This is NOT your grandma's gospel music! The music and performances were amazing, and the lyrics and messages behind them were even better.

At almost 28 years old, I am STILL a TobyMac fan. Throughout the years, he has continued to impress with his catchy songs and touching lyrics. I always recommend his music first to those looking to get their preteens and teenagers into Christian music, but he really does have music that the whole family can enjoy! Needless to say, I could not wait for the chance to experience his 6th studio album, 'This Is Not a Test'.

Six albums later, and he's still rocking!! Rather you are a longtime TobyMac fan or just being introduced, this album will not disappoint.I enjoyed every song, but there were certainly a few that stuck out to me. First up, if you're one who likes to hear a familiar tune, you might recognize the first single from the album, Beyond Me. This song has a great message and is one I have come to enjoy listening to on KLove! The true 'Jesus Freaks' will love the inclusion of DCTalk on Love Feels Like. I love the beautiful messages behind by Move (Keep Walkin') and Love Broke Thru. And you cannot help but get up and move when Feel It (the next single to be released) comes on. (Check out this link to listen and find out how you can win #FeelIt merchandise in the Feel It Giveaway!)

I've said before that when it comes to Christian music, I feel like there are two different groups that I enjoy. Those songs with beautiful words that make me want to stop and listen and just enjoy the quietness...and those songs that lift your spirit and make you want to celebrate. This album certainly fits into the second group! I love it, and I truly hope you all will too!

This Is Not A Test will be available on August 7, but you can preorder now on iTunes and receive 4 songs instantly!!

Stay up to date with the latest from TobyMac at the links below:

And one lucky reader is going to win a copy for themselves!! Enter using the Rafflecopter 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, 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.”

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, July 29, 2015

Breastfeeding When It's Not Easy #MyBFStory {+ A MAM Contest!}

Breastfeeding my son was easy. He was an absolute natural. In fact, many of the nurses at the hospital where he was born commented on how great of a nurser he was. From birth to 6 months, it was smooth sailing. At six months old, I developed mastitis. Thankfully we'd had plenty of time to establish a good breastfeeding relationship, so we were able to push through the pain and get through it. I did lose most supply on one side, but was able to keep it going until he reached a year old at which point I continued to nurse only one side until he reached just over 3.5 years old. At that point he went from frequent daily nursing to stopping on his own... basically overnight. Yes, despite a few bumps in the road, nursing my son was EASY. So, when my daughter came along, I was prepared. I'd done this for over 3.5 years already, I knew the ups and downs, I was ready.

But breastfeeding my daughter? It was a completely different experience. All that experience I had did little to prepare me for the battles ahead. It started out well for her as well. In the hospital, she had a great latch and like her brother took to nursing very naturally. Then my milk came in. I had been told before leaving the hospital that engorgement was often more of an issue for second time moms, and boy was that true! It was unbelievable painful! Not only that, but it led to a poor latch and cracking and bleeding. I truly felt sick every time I nursed my daughter because of the awful pain. Still, I knew that this was only temporary and if I just pushed through it would get better. So I did... but it didn't.

On that same side that had given me troubles with my son, the pain persisted... and despite my best efforts to keep nursing on that side, I could tell that once again my supply was dropping. Given my experience, I knew that it was possible to nurse exclusively on one side, but my son had been much older as well. Could I truly produce enough milk to feed a newborn using only one breast!? So, I continued to try to push through. When my daughter reached 2 months old, my 'bad side' had had enough. It was still cracked and bleeding and had dried up completely. I had no choice but to go exclusively to the other side. 

The good news is, it worked! At almost 2 years old, my daughter is still nursing with no signs of stopping. We have never had to supplement and she's had more than enough milk to thrive and grow. Despite our rocky start, we DID it.

In the end, our story had a happy ending, but it certainly taught me a lot. It taught me that EVERY breastfeeding story is different. You can have one awful breastfeeding experience and one great one. It taught me to be more compassionate to those who have had struggles and who ultimately decided it wasn't worth the fight. And it also inspired me even more to want to encourage other moms who desire to breastfeed. To let them know that it's not always easy, but that it will get better.

In anticipation of World Breastfeeding Week next week, MAM is asking moms like me and you to share our personal breastfeeding stories to help and encourage new moms and moms to be and giving you a chance to win too:

Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful and healthy; what breastfeeding is not is easy for all moms like most of the conversations online would have you believe! MAM believes that we all can benefit from honest, candid dialogue about breastfeeding between real moms so please share your personal story and your advice for new/expectant moms at http://bit.ly/MAM_MyBFStory with #MyBFStory. MAM will choose their three favorite stories to win a $100 gift card!

Contest ends August 3.

Do you have a #MyBFStory? I'd love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Wait Is Over: Dark Rising by Monica McGurk {Win a Signed Copy!!}

**I received a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

Last year, I had the chance to share with you a fantastic book called, 'Dark Hope'. Though this was actually a young adult fiction, I-as a 20 something year old mom- found myself being drawn into this world of mystery, angels and human trafficking. I loved it, and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. In fact, in my previous review, I stated that the worst part of the book WAS the ending, because it truly left you hanging, waiting for more.

Well, guess what?

The wait is over!

The second book in the Archangel Prophecies- Dark Rising- has arrived!!

Hope Carmichael is on the run. The only question is, from whom?
The mark on her neck has branded her as part of an ancient prophecy, the Bearer of the Key. But the Fallen Angels have misunderstood and think Hope is their long-awaited way to regain Heaven by force. Now Hope is chasing down the artifact that could open Heaven’s Gates, while seeking to destroy it before the Fallen catch up with her. Will the Triad crime ring track Hope and exact their punishment before she gets the chance? Is the ragtag band of angels surrounding her now there to protect her, or imprison her? And will Michael, the Archangel sworn to defend Heaven at all costs, be forced to deny his love for Hope and take her life, instead, so that the artifact won’t fall into enemy hands?
The epic narrative introduced in Dark Hope continues in Dark Rising as Hope crisscrosses some of the most ancient sites in Europe and plumbs the depths of history in search of the truth about the Key, herself, and love. Exploring themes of identity, fate, jealousy, trust, and forgiveness, Dark Rising’s mythological scope and moral urgency deepen as we come to understand the choices and consequences faced by a young woman determined to follow her heart and chart her own destiny.About the Author: Monica McGurk started out writing fan fiction based on Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series under the pen name Consultant by Day. She has been recognized for her prequels and alternate versions by her fans, winning the Twific Fandom "Undiscovered Gem" award for Morning Star in 2013. Since her fan fiction days, she has left the consulting firm at which she was a senior partner and remains a full-time business executive based in Atlanta. While this is her first novel of any sort, she has been published in the business press on numerous topics.She is married and the mother of three children, for whom she creates elaborate bedtime stories that sometimes last for over a year. She has already completed her sequel to Dark Hope, which she hopes to publish soon.

This fantastic follow up continues right where the first book took off, so while there is some recapping of previous events, I do highly recommend reading book one first! If however you are like me and have already finished Dark Hope and found yourself waiting, you will not be disappointed! This is truly a wonderful follow up filled with more mystery, more drama and more romance. Though I have not yet made it to the end, I am already loving what I've read so far!

If you- or the young adult in your life- enjoy a little supernatural fiction, this is one you do not want to miss!

Want to keep up with Monica McGurk?
Follow her at the links below:

To celebrate the newest release, I have a signed copy of Dark Rising to share with one very lucky reader! 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.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Confident Kids Start With GoodNites #ConfidentKids #Ad #CBias

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ConfidentKids #CollectiveBias

"Mommy, I want to do it myself. Like the other kids."

These were the words my almost eight year old son told me as we headed for the pool on the final day of Cub Scouts camp. As you all probably know, my son Shaun has autism. What you may not know, is that because of this, he still struggles with certain self care tasks that come easily to his peers- such as dressing himself (or more specifically not getting distracted and coming out naked!) and potty training. At Scout Camp, they take the boys' safety very seriously. This meant that boys under 17 had a locker room for the pool all to themselves. No grown ups allowed. And to get to the pool, you HAD to go through the locker rooms. No exceptions. Needless to say, this worried me a bit. What if he needed help getting dressed? What if he came out naked? What if he lost his things, as he's known to just leave things tossed about? What if he'd had an accident and the other boys made fun of him? To be honest, this was my biggest concern. So we came up with a game plan. He'd wear his swim clothes there, so no changing required before pool time and afterwards we'd change in the life guard's bathroom before going through the locker room. For much of the week, this plan seemed to work fairly well. But on that last day, I heard those words.

In all my efforts to try to help him, I wasn't really giving him what he truly wanted- to be just like the other kids. Though I had the best of intentions, I must admit I felt awful. So on that final day, I let him do his thing, all by himself. Now, that's not to say it was without his challenges-he had to make multiple trips back inside to get everything he kept forgetting- but he DID it, and he felt good about doing it.

Perhaps you have never had this experience with a child with special needs, but it's not a desire exclusive to just my son. All kids want to be one of the crowd. They don't want to feel isolated or made to feel like a baby. They want to be big. They want to be a confident kid!

Bed wetting can certainly put a damper on that!

Did you know that bed wetting affects approximately 7 million children in the United States alone? It's an issue that is not uncommon, but telling that to children does not make it any less embarrassing. No big kid wants to wear diapers like a baby. Just like my son at camp, they want to do it just like everyone else. They want to enjoy sleepovers and overnight camps with confidence, not with fear of being made fun of. What can we as parents do to help them stay dry AND confident? We took a trip to our local CVS to find a good nighttime solution. What we found was GoodNites TruFit Starter Pack.

So what sets GoodNites TruFit apart from other overnight 'big kid' diaper products?

Simply put, it's NOT a diaper. They are actually UNDERWEAR! 

This unique design looks and feels just like real underwear on the outside, but on the inside features a leak-resistant insert pocket. Simply tuck in the disposable insert before bed and toss it in the trash in the morning and wash the underwear like normal.Your kiddo stays dry without feeling like a baby. And because they really are REAL underpants, they are even great for overnights away from home! No embarrassing 'diaper' waist bands to be seen! Our kids will feel like a big kid, and be encouraged to believe in themselves not just as bedtime, but throughout their day to day!

As I discovered with my son at summer camp, kids just want to be kids...and with GoodNites, they can be!

And you can help your child gain confidence for less at CVS. Click here to download your coupon for $4 off your starter kit!!

And be sure to stay up to date with GoodNites at the links below:

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

How do you help keep your kids dry and confident throughout the night? How can GoodNites help?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You Know You're a Cloth Diapering Mama When...

Perhaps the title of this post should be 'You Know You're A Cloth Diapering ADDICT When...' because let's be honest, it's hard to be a cloth diapering mom without also becoming an addict. Sure, we mostly all start with great intentions- save money, save the planet- but for many of us, that love cannot help but grow. Trust me, I get it! So, today I'm sharing this fun list of ways that you truly know you've got the cloth diaper fever!

  • You get more excited over a new print/color than you do a new pair of shoes. And believe me, I love me some shoes too!
  • You actually look forward to diaper laundry! The rest of the laundry on the other hand can wait!
  • Seeing another baby out and about in cloth is like seeing a celebrity. Brad who?
  • The word 'unicorn' has taken on a whole new meaning.
  • You choose shirts and dresses based on how well it will match your favorite diapers. And in the summer, pants are completely optional.
  • You've excitedly shared your fluff mail photos via social media.And don't forget your stash shots! (And you love seeing other peoples too!)
  • You've learned a whole new language- AIO, AI2, FST... you know what these mean without a second thought.
  • You dread the day your baby potty trains! What will you do with all those diapers!?
  • You want to have a new baby so you can continue using cloth...and buy newborn cloth too! (Too extreme?)
  • You get super excited every time you discover a new cloth diaper giveaway. Never mind that you don't NEED anymore diapers!
  • You have enough diapers to diaper 3 kids... and you just have one!
  • You have a sticker on your vehicle celebrating cloth diapering. (No, really, I have this!!)
  • You said, 'Just one more diaper'...5 diapers ago! Too many diapers? Never!
  • You cannot wait until the next Great Cloth Diaper Change.
  • You've read through this list and saw yourself on more than a few!

Are you a cloth diaper addict? How would YOU finish the sentence, "You know you're a cloth diapering mama when..."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

From the Store to the Table: Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy with MyPlate from Fresh Baby!

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

Let's talk nutrition.

Like most moms, I strive to provide my kids with delicious, well balanced diets...covering all their food groups each day, and I like to think I mostly do a pretty good job. But more than just serving my kids healthy meals, I also want to teach them to do the same for themselves. I want to teach them where their food comes from, how to prepare it and how to create a well balanced diet. But how can I do that? Sure, my son knows the food groups and the food pyramid. He generally knows which food group they belong to. Remembering to eat from each one? Not so much! He's the type of kid who-if given the choice- would take his meat with a side of meat. So, how can we as parents help to guide our children in the right direction when it comes to making great food choices?

Thankfully, Fresh Baby has a variety of product to help with that! I first shared Fresh Baby last month in this review featuring some of their fun snack options. But in case you missed that, here's a look back at what Fresh Baby is all about:

Fresh Baby supports parents with simple and natural solutions to reducing a child's risk of obesity by promoting the development of healthy eating habits from the first bite of solid foods. The recipes included in the books, newsletter and online were developed to be convenient for anyone, no matter their income or location. With research concluding that children's eating preferences are established by age 3, it is clear that parents play a crucial role in getting their children off to the right start. Fresh Baby was founded, and continues to operate, on the belief that all parents want to raise healthy children, but when it comes to healthy eating habits, they often lack the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to be effective.

Perhaps the greatest product they offer for helping to teach kids about the importance of a well balanced meal is the MyPlate! This fun plate does not just divide and label each section with the necessary food groups. Those sections are actually designed to be appropriately sized portion compartments! I'll admit this is something I myself struggle with, I prepare well balanced meals but don't always have the real idea of how much an appropriate portion size would be. These plates provide the perfect visual example for both of us. I can see how much to serve, and my son learns what types of foods he should be eating at each meal. It even has a reminder to him to drink his water too! Having a child who learns much better visually, this is a huge plus. Though my daughter is still too young to read or understand what these sections mean, I love that she too is getting an early start in learning! But aside from being educational and practical, they are also super cute and fun! If you want kids to truly learn, I've found making it fun helps!

As much as I adore the MyPlate, it is not the only product that is helping me teach my kids to eat right! In fact, Fresh Baby sent me a few more great products that aid in my goal. You see, awhile back I read an article that stated that many kids today do not truly know where their food is coming from. They didn't know about farming or the effort that it took to get their food to the grocery store and onto their plates. I did not want my kids to be among this group. This is one of the reasons that we had hoped to start our own garden as a family. While gardening is a great way to help teach kids, there are still options for those who cannot for whatever reason. Perhaps the best way is to include kids in the meal planning, shopping and preparation.

Perhaps you're thinking, 'If I let my child help plan our weekly meals, we'll be eating dessert for breakfast!'. I get it, sometimes when I ask my son's input, I get the same response. But other times he'll surprise me! (In fact, one of his most requested meals is pot roast!) Give them the chance...and give them boundaries! Pick out a few options and let them choose. Once the meal plan is done, they can help with the shopping list! The MyPlate Grocery List is another great aid. Not only does it allow me to again remind my son which food goes into which group and give us another visual example of the variety of food we are buying, it also makes shopping super easy! Everything is already pretty well sorted into various sections of the grocery store! As busy moms, we need that time saver, right? The MyPlate Grocery Bag also helps us on our trip with a fun design and a convenient guideline to reading nutrition facts on the labels and a price chart for calculating the price of produce by the pound. Even when the kids are not with me, this is great to have on hand! As an added bonus, reusable shopping bags are a great way to teach kids to take care of the earth as well!

Once the food is home, it's time to prep. Do you remember those old commercials, "It's Shake-n-Bake and I helped!". Kids love to feel like they have helped in the kitchen. Even if only in the smallest of ways like measuring ingredients, they feel as if they had a part. Finding age appropriate ways that your little one can assist is another great way to teach them more about their food and eating healthy... but it can also be messy! The MyPlate Apron is perfect. I'm a collector of aprons myself so when my son helps me in the kitchen, he loves putting one one. We loved that this apron was easy for him to put on and take off on his own...and wasn't girly at all! It also covered more than a typical apron- perfect for kids. My daughter-while not quite old enough to help in the kitchen much- loved it as well- so bright and fun! While it's designed to help keep kids clean while cooking, I also couldn't help but think it would be very handy while eating particularly messy foods as well!

As you can see-from the store to the table, Fresh Baby truly has thought of it all when it comes to teaching kids about proper nutrition. These are still just a few of the many great products available. You can see everything they have to offer at the links below:

Shop the Website.
Free E-Books & Tip Sheets
In Depth Recipe Collection
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And check out these links for menu inspiration:

To help you encourage your children to eat better, Fresh Baby is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a 6-PC. KID’S MYPLATE DINNERWARE!! 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.

Scooby Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Activities & #ScoobyDoo Giveaway!!

Did you watch Scooby Doo as a child? 

I think for most of us, the answer is probably yes. Oh, we may not have been the die hard fan who saw every episode but most of us have at least experienced a handful of them. Perhaps some of my favorite episodes were those that featured real life celebrities. A quick internet search will show you the long list of special appearances throughout the years- from fellow cartoon icons to actors and musicians too! They've had some of the greatest!

And did you know they are still making them? If you're a rock and roll fan, you are not going to want to miss the latest celebrity teaming up with Mystery Inc:

Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World – the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang's cunning and Kiss's power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!

Sounds like fun, right? But the fun doesn't end there! If you love Scooby Doo and KISS, you  will LOVE The Scooby Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery Soundboard App:

• Scooby Dooby Doooooo! Click around on the soundboard and trigger classic sounds from the Scooby Doo series.
• Click the box art to bring the film home today!

Plus check out these fun downloads for even more fun:

Of course, the app and downloads are great, but nothing can beat owning the movie for yourself, right? Well you are in luck! I have a Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD with UltraViolet copy of Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery to award one lucky reader!!! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Scooby Doo and KISS Rock & Roll Mystery Blu-ray Combo Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

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.