A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cloth Diapering Myths: Debunked

Making the decision to cloth diaper can be quite exciting. You do research, you find all the cute diaper options available and you are ready and willing to get started. Then you start telling people your plans. Immediately it seems, someone has something negative to say. "Why would you use cloth? It's inconvenient/gross/expensive. Your baby will have rashes. You'll pay more in water bills. They still DO that!?" I'm sure many of us have heard one or all of these comments, right? The funny thing...most are coming from people who have absolutely no cloth diapering experience! So, don't get discouraged...take a look at these common cloth diapering myths, debunked!

The Myth: It's soooo much work.
The Reality: Okay, sure, in some ways cloth diapering might be a little more work. If you use pockets you'll have to stuff (easy!), you'll have an extra load or two of laundry, and maybe have to put them away once in awhile (though I'll admit I'm guilty of grabbing straight from the basket...). But you know what else is hard work? Getting little ones dressed and ready, loading them into the carseats, trying to leave the store without a basket of toys you don't need...for those inevitable trips when you run out of diapers! Both require different kinds of work, but personally I prefer the kind of work I can do in my jammies! As for the diapers themselves, there may be a small learning curve but if my seven year old son can put a diaper on his baby sister, ANYONE can do it! And if there's concern about pins and baby getting poked? Well, just show them a modern cloth diaper. No pins required.

The Myth: Your baby WILL get rashes.
The Reality: Cloth diapers or not, some babies are just prone to diaper rashes. Some babies DO have sensitivities to certain cloth diaper materials just as some babies have sensitivities to disposable diapers. But just because a baby uses cloth does not mean they will have rashes. My daughter has extremely sensitive skin...look at her funny and she gets a rash. BUT she's been in cloth since the beginning and has never had troubles with rashes!

The Myth: They leak. All the time.
The Reality: The great thing about cloth diapers is that you can usually adjust the absorbency to fit your child's needs. Some diapers may be prone to compression leaks if baby will be sitting a lot- switch to a different insert and you're set! Aside from that, if you find the diapers that provide a good fit for your little one and change as often as necessary, leaks should not be a problem!

The Myth: You'll be doing laundry all the time. Your water bill will skyrocket.
The Reality: Depending on your washer and wash routine, then you may see a slight increase in your water usage but in my experience personally, it's very minimal. I've compared our personal water usage to the same time period before we were using cloth and have found it stayed fairly constant. In fact, there were some months we used even less. Besides that, have you ever found a disposable diaper that can contain an exclusively breastfed blowout diaper? When my son was in disposable, we could not...and we tried them all. I was doing just as much laundry (and cleaning just as much poop) as we do using cloth!

The Myth: It's too expensive.
The Reality: It's no secret that cloth diapering is the cheaper option in the long run, but there's also no denying the startup cost is much heftier as well. Still, there are many ways to make cloth diapering fit any budget. From using prefolds and covers, entering blog giveaways, buying used or buying slowly before baby's arrival. Cloth diapering on a budget IS doable.

The Myth: It's Gross.
The Reality: Well, to be honest I'm not quite sure how to respond to this one...why is it so gross? Oh sure, there's the poop. And the pee. But did you see my above story about the blowouts in disposable? Chances are as parents, we are going to get peed and pooped on whether or not we use cloth anyway. Is it the washing that's gross? Do you toss out every pair of undies your child has an accident on while potty training? Or every outfit that gets soiled? I'm guessing not! They are perfectly clean after each wash...nothing gross about that!! Being a parent is all about the gross!

The Myth: You can't use cloth while travelling.
The Reality: You may find you prefer not to use cloth while on the go out of convenience, but if you choose to use cloth full time, it's certainly doable. Pack a few extra diapers and a wet bag or two and you're ready to go. If baby will be sitting awhile (carseat or stroller) consider absorbency options other than microfiber to avoid compression leaks. We travel to visit family quite often, and while our diapers may take up more space, we've never had any problems using them on the road! But again, you can also use disposable OR hybrid options as well! The possibilities are endless!

What cloth diaper myths have YOU heard?

Finding the Perfect Unique Mother's Day Gift {+ The Perfect Gift for the Grown Up Hello Kitty Fan!} #Deal

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

Mother's Day is just weeks away! Have you started thinking about what to get the mother in your life?

Being a mother is such an important role to take on that we truly want to make sure we find just the perfect gift to show our love and appreciation... the gift that will make her smile. The gift that will let her know that you truly thought of her and wanted to find the perfect gift for HER.

But how do we do that?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • What does she NEED? 
    Now, some might argue that gifts shouldn't be needs, and perhaps there is some truth to that... depending on the mom. Me? I take of everyone else's needs before my own, so having someone else take care of those needs? Awesome. 
  • What does she WANT?
    Has there been something that she's mentioned wanting? That is naturally a great place to start! She might not come right out and say it, but listen for hints! You can even come out and ask, if she's the kind to actually answer.
  • What does she LOVE? 
    Us moms have our hobbies too. Maybe it crafting, maybe its working out, maybe its curling up with a good book and a glass of wine/cup of coffee. We also have our fandoms... yes, some of us are even a little nerdy about it. Whether it's a favorite TV show, movie or character... find something that incorporates all of these loves into one ultimate gift! 
Today I'm excited to share with you about one such gift that may just be that unique gift you're looking for for the fun loving mom in your life: Hello Kitty Wines!

Officially licensed Hello Kitty wines for distribution in the United States. Hello Kitty is a global pop icon with fans of all ages and an ever-growing selection of lifestyle products. Now you can find her on a new range of exclusive wines for around the world! Bold and iconic, cute and chic, Hello Kitty’s essence is celebrated with this sophisticated collection produced by Torti “L’Eleganza del Vino” and PAROLVINI Wines.

Now, I must admit, I don't drink... but I know many of my mom friends love nothing more than relaxing at the end of the night with a glass of wine. Hey, moms work hard... they should enjoy a little relaxation, am I right? And why not make it even more fun with their favorite character!? Let's be honest, Hello Kitty is NOT just for kids... people of all ages, all over the world have fallen in love with this cute face! Yes, moms too! There are even stores dedicated to nothing but Hello Kitty--- from clothing to housewares, she's got it ALL. Why not wine too?  This wine is beautifully packaged in a way that celebrates that adorable-ness... in a more grown up way! In fact, they're so stunning that they would make a lovely gift for ANY Hello Kitty collector (21+), even if they don't drink! It's a must have to any Hello Kitty collection. And this is not just a novelty wine either! These are high quality wines produced by Torti “L’Eleganza del Vino” and PAROLVINI Wines, so you can truly enjoy them too!

And right now you can save 10% on Hello Kitty Wines with the exclusive sitewide code RANDIKAYE! Head on over here to check them out now!

Do you have a mom on your list that loves wine? Or Hello Kitty? Or both!? Let me know which variety they would most love this Mother's Day and make sure to take advantage of this special deal while it lasts! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Raising Greener Kids: Tips & Tricks To Celebrate Earth Day

Some days it seems like we live in a world of disposables, doesn't it? Everything is designed to be the most convenient, easiest, cheapest...from diapers, to tablewear...even our furniture isn't made to last like in years passed. So, in this world of disposables, how do we raise our children to live a more green life? Here are a few quick and easy tips to get you started:

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse.

Recycling- yes, that's simple enough...but for kids make it more fun! Keep a box of items like cereal boxes, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, etc that can be used for fun projects later. Not only does it serve as a great lesson in recycling, it's also a fun way to inspire creativity! A few of my son's recycled creations: Lego portals and telescopes from toilet paper rolls!!

Grow a Garden.

In a world of processed, convenience foods, teaching your children where their food comes from is an important lesson to be learned. Planting a garden is a great way to teach them. Make it fun by allowing them to choose a few of their favorites to plant or picking out their own kid-friendly gardening tools. Don't have the space? Try a small windowsill herb garden or hanging tomato plants. It doesn't have to be huge. In fact, this year we only successfully grew tomatoes- but my son still loved going out and picking the food that he helped grow!

Buy Green/Healthy Food Options.

Given the choice between an apple and a cookie, most kids are going to go for the cookie, right?  Rather than packaged foods high in sugar, stock your home with healthy snack options like fresh fruits and veggies! Rather than chicken nuggets, offer them chicken breast! If you introduce your children and give them healthier options at a young age, they learn to appreciate those healthy, tasty treats and make better food choices.

Buy It Used.

Thrift shopping might not be the first thing of when talking about going green, but it makes sense. When you buy used, you have less packaging, meaning less waste. You are giving those items that may otherwise end up in a landfill a second life. Personally, I also find this a great way to teach your children the value of their money and to not put their value in material things. We may not be able to buy everything used, but we try to do what we can.

Lead By Example.

Perhaps the single most influential thing we can do to teach our children to lead more green lifestyles is to lead by example. I know I can personally TELL my son something 10 times and it goes in one ear and right out the other. Lecturing about living green? It's likely to be the same. Instead, by making efforts to live more green myself, my hope is that both of my children will pick up on these things and carry them on in their own lives.

What are your favorite ways to raise your children to be greener? Share them in the comments below.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Best Foods To Buy To Stretch Your Budget

Background image created by Topntp26 - Freepik.com

Whether it's an unexpected emergency expense, loss of income or ongoing struggles to get ahead--- many of us will at one time or another find our pantries getting as empty as our bank accounts! There's always the 'ramen diet' to fall back on... but we all want something a little more substantial and better for us, right? Today,I am sharing some inexpensive foods for when we really need--- or want-- to pinch those pennies.
  • Beans. Beans can be a great source of protein and are very inexpensive. Bagged beans are generally cheaper than your canned beans, but do take a little more work. Not only can these be used as a meat substitute, they can also be added in to help stretch your meat-- and therefore your budget--- much further.
  • Oats (Plain). Now if you start looking into instant oatmeal flavored packets, you'll find your costs rising, but a basic oat is generally very inexpensive and has many uses. It's a great breakfast food that can be personalized to your tastes, but serves many other purposes in the kitchen as well- baking, breading meat, even meatloaf to again help stretch that meat! They are high in fiber and keep you feeling full longer. In addition, oats can be used in many homemade beauty treatments saving you money not just on food, but on your self care routine too. 
  • Eggs. There is so much that can be done with eggs, isn't there!? Scrambled up with some fresh veggies, on a sandwich, hard boiled, egg salad, fried over potatoes and onions... the options are limitless! Eggs are generally very inexpensive, and can be a great source of protein too! 
  • Bananas. When it comes to fruit, nothing can quite beat the price of bananas! And what kiddo doesn't love bananas anyway! Eat them on their own, or take your PB sandwich to the next level and add them in! 
  • Potatoes. Another great versatile and inexpensive food--- potatoes! Fried, mashed, baked, homemade fries, in a soup, you name it! They can be quite filling and the perfect inexpensive side to any meal. I like to create one skillet meals with veggies and meat... always a hit! 
  • Frozen Vegetables. Now, we all know that canned veggies are generally cheaper, BUT frozen don't cost too much more (depending on brands and where you shop, they can actually be about the same or cheaper) and are healthier too! 
  • Rice. Rice is very inexpensive and a great source of fiber. It is ideal for bulking up meals, in casseroles, soups, as a side, etc... it's also a great inexpensive breakfast, just add in a hint of sugar and cinnamon! Yum! 
  • Green Onions. Not only do these add a flavorful topping to baked potatoes, soups, etc... they are also very inexpensive. A bundle is generally less than $1 in my area! Not only that, but when you use what you need, you can place them in water and it will actually regrow, so you can always have some on hand without the need to buy over and over! 
  • Peanut Butter. (Almost) every kid loves peanut butter, right? It's very inexpensive so PB sandwiches are a great, thrifty lunch options, but it's ideal for snacking too--- throw it on some saltines or on some celery for a nice protein filled snack.
  • Celery. Celery is a very inexpensive vegetable option. It's great in a roast or soup, but in our home, it's mostly for snacking. Peanut butter or ranch dressing... my family loves it either way! 
  • Popcorn. Speaking of snacks, when you skip the bagged and super buttered versions, it can actually be a very budget friendly and healthy treat. A bag of kernels generally costs $1-3 and lasts for a long while.Simply pop over the stove top with a little bit of oil. (Popcorn oil might give it a little more flavor, BUT can be pricier... we simply use our regular cooking oil and shake some salt on after!)

These are just a few of the great foods that can help stretch your budget when you're running out of pennies to pinch. What are your favorite budget friendly foods? 

Stay tuned for more great tips to stretch your grocery budget! 

For The Kid Who Loves Gross: Introducing Zits (EWWW!) + A Giveaway

**This is a sponsored post written my me on behalf of Zits (EWWW!). All thoughts are 100% my own.

10-year-old boys are gross.

Now, now... I'm not trying to start anything here... nor was my blog hacked by a 10-year-old girl... but let's be real--- as a mom to a said 10 year old boy... they like gross things. The grosser, the better. Honestly, from fake vomit to fake dog poop, my boy goes crazy for it all.A good ol' fart joke? Oh boy... watch out!

So, when I heard of a brand new game that takes the grossness to a whole new level, I just knew it was right up his alley.

Introducing Zits (EWWW!):

First came the whoopie cushion, then stink bombs, fake vomit, slime and poop emoji toys.  Now New York City’s NSI International, Inc. is taking “gross” to a whole new level. Introducing ZitsTM (EWWW!) pop n’ play pimples. Just press them on, squeeze ‘em, and gross out everyone! 
Zits pop n’ play pimples aim to move to the “whitehead” of the pack, disrupting a potty-crazed toy market that has brought kids everything from cuddly plush poop to electronic fart blasters. Now, Landi says, “It’s the pimple’s time to shine.” “With slime hotter than ever, we thought it was the perfect time to create the ultimate toy mash-up – adding some play compound to the thrill of pimple popping and the satisfaction of popping bubble wrap,” Landi says. “The result is the most disgustingly amazing toy ever.”

Can I get an EWWW!? But let's be honest--- we all have that one person in our lives that is fascinated with pimple popping, am I right? Hey, maybe it's even you... no judgement! There's even this strange internet fascination on the subject creating this craze of videos showing just that! One dermatologist, dubbed “Dr. Pimple Popper,” has 3.2 million YouTube subscribers and almost 1,000 videos, with a staggering 2 billion views. Say what!? All that for popping pimples!?

I suppose it only makes sense to bring the fun to life--- no real pimples necessary! And Zits does just that! My son- gross loving kid that he is- could not wait to try them out. How do they work? Simply peel off the backing, stick them on, and letting the popping begin! The slime oozes out and the laughter begins!

The good news for moms? Zits pop n play pimples are safe and non-toxic so even if you don't understand WHY the love them, you can at least feel comfortable allowing them to play safely. They come in variety of sizes and are being sold in a massive pack of 100 for $19.99 at IGotZits.com.

They will also be coming this March to Walmart and other major retailers and will be sold in packages of 25, with an MSRP of $4.99.

Want to try them out before you buy? One lucky winner can do just that! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who do you know what would love this pimple popping fun!?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Journaling 100 Days of Bible Promises: Days 1-7

I am currently journaling through a great new journal from Illustrated Faith creator, Shanna Noel. Each day offers a new promise and room to journal though I am personally doing the journaling in my Bible, as I would love to revisit again in years to come if needed. As I work through these days, I am excited to share my experience with all of you! I am using these 100 days to get out of my creative rut and try new techniques and styles that I might not have before so through these days you might notice that. 

Here are Days 1-7:

Day 1: His Grace is Sufficient

People often tell me I'm strong, and I must admit...I don't often feel it. More often that not, I feel like I'm failing at just about everything. Maybe that's the perfectionist in me. Through the chronic pain, the mental health issues, etc... many days I just feel like breaking down. Some days I do. (Okay, many days.) It is only through the grace of God that I can get back up and keep pushing forward. In my own weaknesses, He shines through. He gets me through it, one day at a time.

For this page, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I'm not much of an artist so I often stick to very simple pages with bright backgrounds and stickers or die cuts rather than drawing. But I felt that this journaling challenge should be about stepping out of that comfort zone. While it's certainly not perfect, I am very happy with the outcome. Even more so, I love this message- Though I am weak, He is strong!

Day 2: Don't Be Afraid.

This is a message that I have to remind myself each and every day. The Bible talks a lot about not being afraid, but I think it's something that many of us struggle with. I love this reminder that God is with us, we have no reason to fear. Does it stop the fear from creeping in? Not always, but it helps to keep it in check most days!

For this page, I'm a big fan of the Chris Tomlin song, 'Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)' based on Psalm 27:1 so I incorporated that into my day two journaling. If you have not heard this song, I highly recommend giving it a listen. I kept the page pretty simple but had some fun with clear cut letters, another new one for me! I did have some issues with my stencil so my background wasn't as crisp as I'd have liked, but... that's where I'm having to let go of my fear of imperfection and just go with it!

Day 3: Nothing Is Too Difficult For God

I often find myself feeling very overwhelmed. Honestly, I truly often feel like that weight of the world is on my shoulders and I have to figure it all out on my own. More than often, I find myself feel like I'm failing at most of it. This is a reminder that I need daily... I am not alone and God is more than enough to handle everything I am going through.

For this page, I kept it pretty simple. I loved this 'Hey Girl Hey' die cut from one of the recent Illustrated Faith collections, and wanted it to draw attention to those next word's... God's Got This. With Him, we truly can do and overcome the impossible.

Day 4: Be Still
Stillness is hard to find these days. More often than not, I would in fact say that my life and my home is... well, complete and total chaos. Be still!? I'm not sure I even know what that means sometimes. Still in the midst of all that crazy--- or maybe because of it--- I do need to find those moments of peace, however fleeting to remember that God is still here.

This is one of those pages where I tried something new with the lettering and background, and wasn't 100% happy with the results. Not my best work, but that's just part of the challenge, right? I did love the way the tip in on the opposite page turned out, and left myself plenty of room to come back and journal more thoughts on the subject.

Day 5: Your Desires, God's Purpose

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Now that doesn't mean He is going to give you absolutely everything you want... but perhaps He will work on our hearts and our desires will be more closely aligned with His purpose for us.

For this page, I really wanted it to reflect that idea of DELIGHT with bright colors and bold images. I must admit when I started this page I had a different idea in mind--- cotton candy and ice cream (part of the Delight in His Day Collection from Illustrated Faith), but as I worked I found that I really just wanted those old beautiful colors to speak for themselves. This is one of my favorite pages so far.

Day 6: Don't Worry

I must admit--- I'm a worry-er. This is something I struggle with every single day. I think as moms and women by nature we tend to worry to some degree--- add in anxiety issues... oh boy! I worry about everything! The verses in this particular devotion are all go tos for me when I start to feel it creeping in. I need those reminders daily, and multiple times a day... but thankfully I have many great verses to turn to and to pray on.

For this page, I just couldn't resist bringing in the Disney. This is not the first Disney-inspired journaling page I have created (I've also done pages inspired by Brave, Inside Out and Frozen), but is most certainly my favorite so far! The Lion King is my absolute favorite movie of all time, so naturally when I think of not worrying, Hakuna Matata came right to mind.

Day 7: Steadfast In Your Work

Sometimes it can be easy to feel like the work you do doesn't matter. Whether it's being a mom, a blogger or a typical 9 to 5 job... we don't often get the thanks we deserve. Or perhaps we just don't see how God can use us in the positions we're in. That can be discouraging. But if we use whatever we do--- from doing the laundry to running a company--- to bring the glory to God, that work is not wasted! This is something I strive to do in my writing, but as I worked through these verses I realized something I should try to be more intentional about doing in my work around the home as well.

For this page, I really focused on that role as a writer/blogger. I feel like this is a passion that God has put on my heart long before I was even able to put the words to paper, and my prayer is that he will use that for His goodness. The page on the right is again another tip in which actually features the prayer from the journal for a better reminder as I flip through my Bible.


After finishing week one, I am absolutely loving working through this journal.It has been a great motivation to get my Bible out and create more... but has also been great reminders daily of these amazing promises God has given us.

If you'd like to join me on the journey, check your local Lifeway stores or order online. This is a great way to get started in Bible journaling (with no need for an actual journaling Bible since you can do so right in the journal), or if you're like me and just need some extra inspiration, it's been amazing for that too. Stay tuned for more as I continue to work through this journal myself. 

Work Hard, Play Hard with A Fandango Giveaway {A Giveaway Hop Event}

Welcome to the Work Hard, Play Hard Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!
Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!
Being a mom is perhaps the hardest job in the world.

Yes, yes.. it's the most rewarding of course, but unlike a 9 to 5 where you can come home and leave your work--- well, at work--- there are no days off in motherhood!

There is laundry to be done.
Homework to be helped with. 
Extracurricular activities to keep track of.
Doctors appoints to be made.
Stories to be read.
Chores to be enforced.
Snuggles to be given.

Yes, we work hard...and we deserve to play hard too!

One great way to do that is by having a movie day! Go by yourself and enjoy that chick flick you've been dying to see. Make it a date night with the husband. Or make it a fun day out with the kids! Either way, it'll give you that much needed time out of the house to just enjoy the time alone or together...whatever you need! And if you happen to have one of those theaters with super comfy recliners and you just happen to nod off a bit--- hey, no judgement here!

To make it easier, I'm offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $25 Fandango gift card.Enter using the giveaway form below:

If you’re a blogger looking to connect with brands: Join The Hopping Bloggers database and get started today! If you’re a brand looking to work with a network of professional bloggers: Check out the creative campaigns The Hopping Bloggers has to offer!