A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mommy Needs a Raise (Because Quitting's Not an Option): A Book Review

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

Whoever said that parenting was easy...well, either they've never been a parent or they just flat out lied. Parenting- though rewarding as it may be- is perhaps one of the toughest jobs that any of us will ever face. It has endless hours, no breaks and well... the pay...if only love and kisses would pay the bills, right? Sometimes the best way to get through those moments of motherhood is to just have a laugh...and that's just what you'll find in this new book by Sarah Parshall Perry:

Mommy Needs a Raise
(Because Quitting's Not an Option)

Um, excuse me, but . . . do these children come with dental?

Sarah Parshall Perry knew that raising kids would be different from climbing the corporate ladder. But she wasn't ready for just how different. Wasn't a job just a job? And what was that on her shirt? Sarah left the corporate world with a plan to win at mothering and was downright blindsided. Nothing went as planned, everything was foreign, and her bosses didn't always understand her value to the organization. 

With her signature wit, lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mommy Sarah says what all of us are thinking when we trade annual reports for homework help and sleepless nights. Sarah invites you to laugh alongside her in the "Are you kidding me?!" moments that come with the job of growing people. Crossing the divide between "employee" and "mother" is hard. But thankfully, it's also hilarious.

This book isn't just her story. It's your story. The story of every mother who gives up one thing to get something better--and ends up finding out what she's worth along the way.

Now, I'll be honest, I'm probably not the most ideal audience for this book. You see, I was married very young- just 19 years old- and had my son just before turning 20. I had not had time to establish a career before becoming a mother, so I wasn't really giving anything up. Don't get me wrong, I'd had jobs before- fast food, working at a theme park, tutoring... but these are simply jobs. They were not careers I had studied for and worked towards, they were not my life. They were simply a way to have a little extra spending money. When I started my family, I knew right away that the plan was for me to stay home with my children. It was never even really something I had to give much thought to, that's just what seemed most natural for myself and my family. My experience in becoming a mother was vastly different that of Sarah Parshall Perry.

Though I couldn't relate to every of her story, there were many parts that I think were truly universal to us all...the unexpectedness of it all, the challenges, the joys, the laughs. I found myself laughing and nodding right along with her. So, while I may not be the target audience, I still enjoyed it. Still, I know that this is one that those mamas who did give up a career will enjoy even more. They will see themselves and some of their own experiences and come to the realization that they are not alone in this motherhood journey and those thoughts and feelings that they have felt.

Ready to laugh right along the journey from career woman to mom? Mommy Needs a Raise is available to purchase now.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Who Inspires YOU? {Born This Way Season 2 Premier & Target Gift Card Giveaway} #BornThisWay

 **Gift card received in consideration for this post. All thoughts are my own.

Let's talk inspirational people!

When you hear that term 'inspirational people', who comes to mind? Maybe it's an athlete who has overcome great obstacles, a teacher who saw something in you that you didn't know existed, a friend that has been through hard times and kept their faith, the person who never gave up. Maybe it's someone famous, or maybe it's just an every day person you know or know of in real life.

When I hear this term, there are many people that come to mind for many different reasons. I think of my mom who has fought and beat cancer and kept her faith through it all, who opens her heart and her home to those she loves. I think of my dad who many may think is a little rough around the edges, but who in reality is a big ol' softie who loves his family and does everything he can to make sure they are cared for. I think of my husband who is perhaps the hardest working person I know, putting his whole self into whatever it is he is doing to provide for our family.

And I think of my son, the boy who first made me a mom. Shaun was diagnosed with autism at age two and I must admit, the last 7 years since that diagnosis has certainly had its ups and downs. I have watched him struggle with those things that come so easily to most... making friends, focusing on tasks, potty training, even every day things like just going to a busy store. But he just keeps right along doing his thing. He's smart, he's sweet, he's just altogether amazing. He has faced struggles that no child his age should have to face...and for that he truly is an inspiration to me. I know that as parents we are supposed to teach our children, but the reality is he has taught me. He has taught me patience, he has taught me to keep on moving, he has taught me to overcome, he has taught me to love wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Just by being just as he was born- just as God made him. That's something worth celebrating, isn't it?

AE's fantastic show Born This Way does just that. BORN THIS WAY chronicles the lives of a group of young adults born with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions while defying society's expectations. The series also follows their parents who share their own journey of joy, sacrifice, and unconditional love.  It shows that being born differently does not mean that they cannot overcome and pursue their dreams. With so much negativity in the world and on TV, this is the kind of show I want to watch...and the kind I want my son to see too! 

If you missed the first season, now is a GREAT time to get caught up. The seconf season will be premiering on AE 
next Tuesday, July 26.

And in celebration of the Born This Way Season 2 premiere, we have a giveaway celebrating the inspirational people in YOUR life. Share your stories for a chance to win a $25 Target gift card. 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.

#WhatMattersToU During That Time of the Month: An Essential Oil Bath Salt Recipe {+ U by Kotex® & @walmart Deal} #ad

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

Ladies, today we're getting real...and real personal. We're talking about that time of the month.

As women, this is something we all experience, but I can't say there is one of us that looks forward to it. No, we count down those days in dread. For some, maybe that dread is purely out of inconvenience...maybe it limits our fashion choices or interferes with plans. But for many of us its also a matter of how it makes us feel. Honestly, having a period stinks. It leaves you feeling achy all over, lacking energy and just plain ol' blah. Am I right?

U by Kotex® and Walmart care about what matters the most to us during our periods, which is why they are asking women everywhere, 'What Matters to U?'

When that time of the month rolls around, what helps to make you feel like yourself? Do you indulge on sweet cravings? Perhaps you have found yoga or another exercise routine that helps keep you feeling your best? Maybe it's a beauty routine that makes you feel beautiful even when you don't feel at your best?

For me, nothing is more important than just feeling better. I want to find those solutions that truly help me get back to my every day life. As much as I would love to just lay in bed for those first few days and veg out with a favorite TV show and comfort food, with two little ones to care for, that's simply not an option! One thing that has always made me feel a little better no matter what ails me has been essential oils. Thankfully there are also many great oils that are ideal for that time of the month too! So, I created a bath salt to help us all get back to us.

'That Time of the Month' Essential Oil Bath Salt

  • 1 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 Cup Sea Salt
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Clary Sage Essential Oil
  • Jar for Storage

  1. First up, blend your salts together.
  2. Slowly mix the essential oils in with the salt, making sure to blend well so that all salt comes in contact with them.
  3. Store in a jar or other closed container for use.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of your salts to a warm bath and allow to dissolve.
  5. Soak in a warm bath and forget about those period pains.

This super simple essential oil recipe truly can help make you feel more like your old self and get you back to your real life, no matter what time of the month!


Now that we've found some relief we also have to talk about the other products that we need to get through that time of the month... pads and liners! I know that I can trust Walmart to have everything I need at a great value including personal care items, so I headed to my local store to find just the right products to get me through, which I found with U by Kotex®!

As I mentioned earlier, for me, nothing matters more than getting back to my every day life. I want to be pain free and comfortable. I don't want to feel like I'm wearing a diaper, I want products that make me feel like myself--- to keep me comfortable and confident as I go on about my day.  It's not just about leak protection, it's about finding a product that makes you feel good...that makes you feel like your best self... not just you during your period self! Products that don't make us feel limited or like they affect our lives in a negative way. Your period is truly such a personal thing for women and U by Kotex® at Walmart offers a variety of great products that fit your needs and your life... check out these great new products:

U by Kotex® Cleanwear® Ultra Thin Pads

  • Unique 3D Capture Core* with Xpress DRI* cover for crazy fast absorption to help stop leaks.
  • They stay secure with uniquely shaped Tru-Fit® wings
  • Super soft sides for your comfort

U by Kotex® Barely There® Liners

  • So comfortable you’ll barely know it’s there!
  • Made to feel just like your underwear to help you stay clean and fresh every day – or when your period is light.
  • Bold colors and designs

The Style N' Store packs are new at Walmart and feature 4 unique designs that make that time of the month a little more fun and personal! They even feature a convenient drawer for easy storage! With U by Kotex® at Walmart your period doesn't stand a chance! You'll save money, live better, feel confident and make every day matter!

And for an even greater value, who doesn't love to be rewarded for the products they are already buying!? Get up to $25 in custom rewards when you buy 2 U by Kotex® products at Walmart!! Here's how it works:

  • Offer is live through 9/30/16
  • Purchase 2 packs of U by Kotex® products at Walmart (Any Variation)
  • Text UbyKotex to 811811 and upload a photo of your receipt
  • Go to UbyKotexrewards.com and register to choose your customized reward!

U by Kotex® & Walmart = Trust, Value & Convenience!

Now you know what matters to ME during that time of the month and how I feel better.. but Walmart and U by Kotex® want to hear YOUR answer too! Share your thoughts on social media with the hashtag #WhatMattersToU and don't forget to tag @Walmart too.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Finding Strength in God {Journaling Through Illustrated Faith's I Am Strong Monthly Devotional Kit} #IllustratedFaith #DaySpring #IF_IAmStrong #Biblejournaling

**I received this devotional kit as part of the Illustrated Faith Launch Team with Dayspring. All thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

Today I have a little challenge for you. I want you to go stand in front of the mirror and repeat these words:

I Am Strong.

That's easy enough, right? Now, do it again... but this time, I want you to truly MEAN it.

That's a little bit harder isn't it?

I must admit, I hadn't been feeling very strong lately. In fact, more often than not, I've felt like I'm barely keeping it together. I have dealt with issues with anxiety for as long as I can remember, and for the most part have been able to deal with it pretty well. Oh sure, I have my rough moments but was generally always able to stay pretty positive through it. I have lived by those words, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I would repeat it in my head over and over and over again and I would get through whatever was causing that anxiety at the time.

Lately more than ever my strength has been tested. As many of you may recall, my husband recently got out of the military rather unexpectedly. This was never part of our plan. The plan was that he would stay in for 20 years so that he could retire. At 12+ years in, he was just 8 years away. But that plan like so many fell apart. Due to military downsizing, that just wasn't an option anymore. The military is certainly not without challenges of course, but having married straight out of high school, it was the only adult life I knew. I was comfortable with it, and despite the unpredictability, there were many things we could depend on. We could depend on a steady paycheck, always knowing the dates they'd come and how much they'd be. We could depend on great health coverage should we need it. We could count on special pay JUST for our housing. For a long time, we thought we could count on a job that would be there. There was a security in the military that we had grown accustomed to. Losing that truly felt like our world was turned upside down. To say it has been a struggle has been an understatement. We have struggled to keep afloat and try to figure out what this new life outside of the military will look like.

If that weren't enough to figure out, add in a special needs child going through a serious regression and a toddler entering those terrible threes (which seem to be much worse than terrible twos). So often I find myself feeling like I just cannot catch a break...and I just cannot do it all. When I look in the mirror, it's hard to say "I am strong". I see the dark circles from sleepless nights, I see hair in desperate need of some work that I cannot afford or have time for, I see bruises from dealing with aggressive meltdowns. I see weakness. I feel like saying instead, '"I'm just not strong enough".

When I heard that August's Illustrated Faith Devotional Kit from Dayspring was called 'I Am Strong', I truly felt like it could not have come at a better time for me. I needed that reminder that I knew deep down but was having trouble finding... that I do not have to be strong enough on my own, because God was strong enough for us both. That through Him all things were possible. Through Him I could once again find my strength and my bravery. With Him, I can and I will get though this. This devotional reminded me of these truths...

As I made my way through the devotional, journaling along the way, I was reminded that I AM strong, and I CAN be brave and overcome whatever life throws at me because I am not in this battle alone. My strength doesn't come from me, it comes from Him and Him alone. Even when I don't feel like being strong, He is there with my 100% so that I don't have to be. I was reminded to lean on Him and to hand it all over. I may not be able to handle it all, but He can.

To me, this is what Bible journaling is all about and why these kits are so amazing.They allow us to take a deeper look at ourselves and our relationships with God. They are not just pretty art supplies (though they are certainly that too), they truly are tools to help us spend time with Him in the word.

For me, this month's I Am Strong devotional kit was just what I needed. If you need a little reminder of just how strong you are, this is one that you must check out. Take a look at what you'll find inside:

Feeling spiritually weak...overwhelmed...worried?  Embrace this 14-day devotional journey with all your heart, expecting God to meet you right where you are and to empower you with His strength for all things!  Wilna Furstenburg welcomes you to join her in trusting and discovering God as "my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invicible army..."  —Habakkuk 3:19 AMP

Devotional message:
My Personal Bravery
Wilna Furstenburg
I am Strong

Items in kit:    
1 devotional booklet (14 devotionals)
1 stamp pad
1 clear stamp collection with 1 sheet of cut outs enclosed
1 roll of washi tape
1 package of 3 Scripture sharables
1 sticker
1 bow clip

This kit was packed full of vibrant pinks, oranges and yellows--- a few of my personal favorites I must admit. While some of the elements themselves may have been more understated than kits in the past (the die cuts and stamps primarily featuring words for example, or the very subtle washi design), but in this simplicity it allowed for the messages inside to truly be the star. (You can take a deeper look inside with my unboxing video here.)

Throughout our lives, we will all be faced with tough times and we will all need that little reminder that through Christ, we are strong. If you- like me- are going through that time now- this is definitely the kit for you. Illustrated Faith I Am Strong Kit will be available to purchase TOMORROW at Dayspring.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Make Heart Hands For Farm Animals #ShopWithYourHeart

Aside from the people who are vegan, most everyone I know buys meat, eggs, or dairy at some point during the week/month/year. And those of you who do – have much more buying power than you probably even realize. By buying welfare-certified animal products, or more plant-based products, you send a strong message to food companies that you care about the treatment of farm animals.
Just an average size family spends hundreds of dollars a month on meat. Imagine if every single consumer used that buying power to purchase welfare-certified meat instead of the meat from inhumane factory farms. What a difference that would make!
As you may already know, most of the nearly 9 billion animals raised for meat, milk and eggs in the US are suffering in inhumane factory farms. And animals are not the only affected, as factory farms impact human health—they can be breeding grounds for dangerous pathogens and the antibiotics used to prevent disease create the potential for dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria to develop.
To fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals, the Shop With Your Heart initiative launched by the ASPCA gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.
Everyone who signs the pledge also gains access to an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands.
Make Heart Hands for Farm Animals!

Pose with your hands in a heart shape and post a photo using the tag #shopwithyourheart and @ASPCA to let your friends know you believe in a more humane world for farm animals. Don’t forget to tell them where you shop to find more humane products—give the stores a shout-out by tagging them, too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

All Things Bright and Beautiful: A Kids Book Review & Giveaway #FlyBy

Little kids pick up everything.

Seriously, they are like little sponges... you may not think they are paying attention, but they're absorbing it all...the good and the bad. I don't know about you, but I would much rather they pick up those good things! So, even before my children could speak let alone read, I started introducing them to books and music that glorified God. Though I knew that they would not fully understand everything I was reading yet, I wanted these little sponges of mine to start absorbing these basics from the beginning.

Perhaps one of the earliest lessons that children can truly understand is the idea that God created it all. I know this was certainly my son's first understanding about God! So, I am always looking for those fun ways to help remind them of this. Today, I am excited to share with you a sweet new book that will do just that: All Things Bright and Beautiful.

About the book:
First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:
Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.

Jacketed hardcover
Page count: 32
Reading age: 4-7
Category: juvenile fiction/Christian
Retail price: $15.99

Now, if you are already familiar with this old hymn, of course you are going to love this book that takes you through each lyrics with beautiful illustrations depicting it all and captivating little eyes. Personally, this is not a hymn that I was familiar with so I loved turning each page to see what came next. With each page I was drawn deeper and deeper into both the beautiful words and the gorgeous artwork inside. Through it all my children were getting this beautiful reminder that from the birds in the sky to the mountains and everything in between, God made it all. It reminded us to take a moment to take in the beauty all around us and to truly stop and appreciate God creation. He is the ultimate artist.

When I first read the title of this book, I for whatever reason assumed that this would be a book more suitable for my daughter...I thought of flowers and butterflies...those things that little girls tend to love. But though two of the three children we see throughout the book are little girls, this book truly is a great one for every child. I know that this is one that our family will enjoy reading time and time again for many years to come.

All Things Bright and Beautiful is available to purchase now.

And one very lucky reader is going to win a copy for their own family. 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.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spoiler Alert: God Wins! #BibleJournaling #IllustratedFaith

Here on A Modern Day Fairy Tale, I really try to keep it a positive place! Rather than focus on anything negative that may be going on in my life, I try to focus instead on what is going well and the many blessings I have to be thankful for. I do the same on my personal social media accounts. And let's be honest, that little bit of positive space is much needed these days, isn't it?

Every time we turn on the news we are bombarded with more negative, more tragedies, more hate. It's everywhere we look. And it can be so easy to get caught up in that. I'll be honest, many times I find myself worrying about what our country is becoming and what it is going to look like for my children's future. It truly is a scary time. But in times such as this, it's such an important time to remember that we already know how it's going to end....

Several weeks ago I saw a fun graphic with this saying... 'Spoiler Alert: God Wins'. I loved that.

I've been dealing with a lot of personal anxiety issues in my own life, completely unrelated to those things going on in the world around us. I've truly been struggling to keep it all together and to just hang in there. It's just been one of those times in life where things seems to be piling on one after the other and though you try it's hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. These words spoke to me. Yes, it's a little humorous, but it's also 100% true. No matter what hard times we are going through, there IS hope. God has already won this war... It may be difficult right now, but one day that day will come.

When I heard these words, I knew I had to journal them so I went straight to those last pages of Revelation. The end of the Bible, but not the end of the story. This page was done very simply- the background created with a black dotted Illustrated Faith washi tape (found in the List By Faith devo kit) and a simple focus not on the art being over the top, but on the powerful words on the page.

This page was created just days before the shootings in Dallas. Again, this was created in an effort to help me get through my own personal struggles with anxiety but as I thought about these events, I could not help but think that this was an important message for ALL of us to keep in our minds and our hearts right now. Though we may not see it yet, one day we will see that happy ending...and so I share these words and this page with you in hopes that they touch you as they have touched me.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21:1-5 ESV