A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Save Money on Groceries with These Simple Tips {+ Food Storage from Ozeri}

** Product received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
How much do you spend on food in the average month?

If we're be honest, I'm sure most of us at times wish we could bring that number down! It's right up there with rent/mortgage, utilities, etc as far as importance, but it's at least one of those things we can take some control over. When finances are tight and budgets change, grocery spending is one place that I would always recommend taking a look at.

But how can we stretch our tight food budgets? Today I'm sharing a few tips:

  • Buy On Sale/Use Coupons. Let's start with the most obvious. Buy what's on sale and mix with coupons to get the best prices possible in the stores. Check your sales fliers and plan accordingly.
  • Meal Plan & Stick To Your List. I must admit, sometimes I find myself slacking on this one lately, but if you have a plan, you can shop for just what you need... and you won't have any nights where you find yourself ordering in because you don't have anything planned!
  • Buy Meats in Larger Quantities. Often when you buy the larger family packs of meat, you end up paying less per pound than you do with smaller packs. When possible, I try to do this, then repackage and freeze separately for individual meals. 
  • Make in Bulk and Freeze. Now, I don't like doing this for everything, but for things like soups, making a larger quantity and freezing smaller batches works well. I can grab them and toss them over the stove or in the crockpot throughout the year. 
  • Eat Leftovers. This is one that some prefer not to do, but it can truly save a TON of money... make a night or two throughout the week that are dedicated to using up those leftovers. OR use dinner leftovers for lunches instead. 
  • Invest in GOOD Food Storage. Along the lines of leftovers, you'll want to make sure that you have good food storage containers. These aren't just great for leftovers, but for produce etc as well. I often feel like I am constantly throwing out food that seems to go bad quickly in my fridge. That's money thrown in the trash. But with good food storage, they will stay fresh longer so you can get the most use out of them and waste less! 

When it comes to great food storage, I love Ozeri INSTAVAC Nesting Food Storage Container Set. Take a look:

  • Instant vacuum freshness without pumps, motors or confusing parts. Simply press down on the lid and air is forced out via the one-way valve.
  • Patented valve removes excess air to reduce naturally occurring bacteria; It also releases pressure to prevent spills and splatters in microwaves.
  • Wave pattern on bottom of each container keeps cut fruit and vegetables elevated from water and juices.
  • Handy date dial allows you to record when food was first stored and monitor days kept in the refrigerator.
  • BPA-free, stain-resistant, shatter-proof and as transparent as glass
  • Freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe
  • Satisfaction guaranteed.

Sounds pretty great, right? I've heard great things about vacuum sealing for freshness, but didn't want to have to invest in any fancy equipment... nor did I have a place to put any of that! These give you that same vacuum freshness at a great deal, and the nesting storage takes up less room in my kitchen. The various sizes give me plenty of options for anything I might need it for- fruits, veggies, leftovers... you came it, I'm covered! With my forgetful mind, the date dial is genius too, allowing me to know what to eat up faster and when things need tossed.

At about $25 for the set, this is a good quality set at a great value.... especially when you consider how much you will save on your grocery bill by keeping your food fresh longer! You can order yours here. 

What tips do you have for saving money on your grocery bill? How could food storage from Ozeri help you? 

Picturing Heaven: A Coloring Devo Review

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

It's no secret by now that I love a good coloring book... except for maybe a good coloring devotional that is! Today, I'm excited to share with you an all new coloring devotional to fall in love with, Picturing Heaven:

Imagine Heaven the way the Bible describes it―a place of exquisite beauty brimming with marvelous detail and intricate patterns; a special dwelling place free of corruption and sin; and a place of both rest and enjoyable, meaningful work.

Let the power and majesty of Heaven fill your heart with joy as you color these 40 designs carefully interpreted from the pages of Scripture. Savor a respite from daily life as you read and meditate on devotions from best–selling author Randy Alcorn, a leading authority on Heaven. Picturing Heaven will offer you comfort and relaxation, while filling your heart with restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.

Throughout the last several years I have reviewed many devotionals. I've also reviewed several coloring book devotionals. They all have their various themes, but all tend to focus on our time HERE on earth, and our relationship with God in the here and now. They might mention Heaven, but I've never had either that focused purely on the topic. Until this one... and it does it beautifully.

Many of us use coloring books as an escape... a way to relax and separate ourselves from the stresses of the world... and let's be honest there are a LOT of stresses out there. But this coloring book provided that escape in such a beautiful way. It reminds us that this world is all just temporary and that one day, we will go to this magnificent place that God has prepared for us. There will be no stresses, no pain... just beauty.

The illustrations are as beautiful as the devotions featuring a variety of stunning styles to choose from. I loved the addition of the gold throughout the illustrations... I'm a big gold fan, and I've not personally found a great way to incorporate that into my coloring pages, but with this it's already done for me. And it fits beautifully with the theme too!

If you're looking for an escape, this is a great coloring book to check out. It is available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Into Reading with New Books from Silver Dolphin Books {A #PumpkinPatchesWin Giveaway Hop Event}

Welcome to the Pumpkin Patches & Wins 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!
**Books received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Aww, fall... I just love fall, don't you!? The leaves are beginning to change, pumpkin everything is everywhere and we slowly but surely find the cooler weather creeping in!

With that cooler weather we sometimes find that our time outside starts to go down. And with littles inside, we need MORE to keep them from being bored inside. For us, I find we do a LOT of reading through Fall and Winter, so we are always on the hunt for books that make learning fun! Today, I'm excited to share with you 4 new books that will do just that.

Join your favorite dinosaur friends on an adventure in the seas in Gareth Lucas Noisy Books: Dinos on Deck! Hoist the sails, press the sound buttons, and laugh along as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a T. rex and more search for treasure. With humorous art by Gareth Lucas and charming rhyming text, this sound book will be a perfect addition to story time. What will these dinosaur friends find when they open the treasure chest?

Dig, dig, dig…and dig some more with your favorite animal friends! In Noisy Books: Dig, Dig Digger, children will be amused by the hilarious antics of the animals as they build an adventure playground. Young readers will delight in Gareth Lucas's artwork and in finding the sound button on every spread. Each turn of the page will bring humor and fun with hippos, bears, camels, and more on their day at the construction site.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! This brand-new playset featuring the classic children’s singalong song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" will be the perfect addition to your child’s library. With a chunky board book, a wooden tractor, and a playmat, little ones can read and play along as they go through the farm and meet cows, ducks, horses, and more! Join Old MacDonald and his farmyard friends for a reading adventure in Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Old MacDonald.

The wheels on the bus go round and round! Climb aboard the yellow bus with this sweet playset featuring a chunky board book, a wooden school bus, and a playmat for added fun. Young readers will enjoy reading and playing along with their favorite nursery rhyme as they drive around the town and sing their way through Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Wheels on the Bus.

Sound fun, right!? And they definitely were! First up, the sound books. I remember as a child loving sound books... they really just brought every book to life in a new, fun way. But these are not your traditional sound books--- rather than all the sound buttons on the side, they are within the pages for little ones to find and push as you read! My dino loving girl was of course more drawn to Dinos on Deck--- I mean- Dinosaur PIRATES!? What kid isn't going to fall in love with that! Still, both books were cute and fun little stories that we go back to again and again.

Next up were the playset books. Talk about bringing the books to life! My daughter loved these! Let's be honest, these books are based on a couple of every child's favorite songs anyway so going in, the books alone would have been a big hit. But she loved that she could act them out as we read and sang too! I think Wheels on the Bus was her absolute favorite, but honestly, she loved them both. Have a child that loves wooden trains? These would be a great addition to their towns too... just the right size!

For kids, making reading fun is perhaps one of the best ways to make them fall in love with reading and these books truly do that! Not only do they make the stories come to life, but they feature themes and songs that kids tend to love! These are truly great books to add to your home library this fall! Your kids will thank you!

And one very lucky reader is going to win a set for themselves. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below:

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Go All In This Fall with Matthew West's New Album {+ A Giveaway Hop}

The days are shorter, the temps are cooler. It's time for fall break! This giveaway hop is hosted by Savings in Seconds. Enjoy the giveaways at the blogs linked below. The event runs from September 21-October 3. Good luck! Note: Savings in Seconds and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.


So, I step to the edge and I take a deep breathWe're all dying to live but we're all scared to deathAnd this is the part where my head tells my heartYou should turn back around but there's no turning back now 

I'm going all inHeadfirst into the deep endI hear You callingAnd this time the fear won't winI'm going, I'm going all in

Wow! Talk about some powerful words. These lyrics from the title song 'All In' from Matthew West's new album are the very reason that I love contemporary Christian music so very much. They have the power to reach us, to speak to our hearts, where we are and where we want to be. I find myself often wanting to do more, but my anxiety holds me back. It's something I've been working on, but I loved this reminder to truly go all in and give it ALL to God. I think we all sometimes need that reminder. A reminder to get off the sidelines and live our our faith--- all in with God. We are sometimes are our biggest boundaries in becoming the people that God created us to be. That is just why Matthew West wrote this new song and album.

I needed this. This song, this album... all of it. I needed the encouragement, the inspiration... I needed these words. I'm certain I'm not the only one. Music has the power to lift us up, to inspire and yes, even to challenge us to rise up and do something. This album is certainly proof of that. Every song is just as beautiful and powerful as the next.

I've been a Matthew West fan for some time so I had big hopes for this album and it by far lived up to and exceeded those hopes. I cannot get enough. But the inspiration doesn't stop with the music Matthew has also launched a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives.

What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most? I for one am excited to see where the next 6 weeks and beyond take me. I am excited to work through my fears and try to be the person God wants me. Head on over to his Facebook to follow along and join in.

Want to experience the album for yourself? Head on over here to check it out.

And one very 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 on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
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, September 20, 2017

The Countdown To Christmas Has Begun {A Look at Dayspring's Annual Christmas Preview}

** Products received for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Okay, okay... if you're one of those people who start reading that and think it's much too soon... well, you might want to bookmark this post and come back later when you're in holiday mode, because today's post is ALL about Christmas!

This post is for:
  • The Christmas obsessed.
  • The ones already counting down the days.
  • The ones who've already started their holiday shopping.
  • The ones who've started pinning must try recipes for the holidays.
  • The ones already planning their decor. 
  • The ones who are secretly still watching Christmas movies.
  • And for the ones listening to the music too.
  • The ones who get excited at the first signs of Christmas growing nearer.
You know who you are... and this is a post just for YOU!

Those who know me know that I am most certainly in the Christmas obsessed category. In fact, some might argue that I'm the queen of Christmas obsessed. I'm counting down the days, I'm planning ahead... I am READY for Christmas to arrive!

And so, I am SUPER excited to announce that Dayspring's Annual Christmas Preview is now LIVE. Every year in September they give us just a peak of the amazing Christmas goodies to come this year. And every year I look forward to seeing it with excited anticipation.

You see, I may have boxes and boxes filled to the brim with holiday decor but the ones I reach for every single time are those from Dayspring. What better way is there to remind us the true reason we celebrate than with decorations that celebrate the birth of Christ!? I could not wait to see and share just a small collection with all of you! Take a look:

First up, the Glory to God – Porcelain Christmas Ornament. I instantly fell in love with this. The colors are fantastic and that gold gives them just the right amount of shine! I personally love to put together themed Christmas trees with new color schemes each year and I instantly loved the idea of this blue, red and gold... very pretty! I'm thinking this would look fabulous with some cranberry garland too, right!?

Then comes the Christmas Countdown. When you're already counting down the days, a countdown is a MUST! I love this simple design and that we can write our own days so if we wanted to put it up say...now... we'd be all set to do so! This will definitely become a favorite in my Christmas anticipating household!

What's Christmas without cards? And no one does religious cards quite like Dayspring, am I right!? I loved the O Come Let Us Adore Him – Boxed Cards. This simple design was stunning, and that lettering? I cannot get enough! These are a great way to share your faith through the holiday season.


Speaking of sharing your faith- how about this Jesus is the Reason – Christmas Door Banner. This goes over the door to share a great message with anyone who comes to your home. You can use this in place of a traditional wreath on the door, OR you can hang the wreath over. This is a great one for church decorating too! A simple fun way to bring in the message!

You know what they say, save the best for last and I've certainly done that with this AMAZING NEW Christmas Hurricane Trio. If you've shopped Dayspring Christmas decor, you know their nativity hurricane is a classic. I've talked about it here on A Modern Day Fairy Tale in past years and it's been on my personal wishlist for awhile too... but this one might just be even more spectacular! It is GORGEOUS! It has that gorgeous nativity silhouette look that I loved about the other, but with a stunning gold and the addition of names of Jesus on one side and Bible verses on the others. Pictures cannot do these justice. From tablescapes to mantel displays, these are going to be a great focal point for your holiday decor and I for one cannot wait to set it up!

These are just a few of the amazing new products available in Dayspring's Christmas Preview! Head on over to check them all out and let me know YOUR personal favorites. 

A Very Thankful Prayer {A Kids Book Review + Giveaway}

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

Fall means a lot of things to a lot of people.

For some it means football. For some it means baking. For some it means pumpkin spice everything. For some it means traditions- trips to the apple orchard, etc. It seems fall, more than any other season has all of these things that we associate with the entire season.

Like giving thanks.

Sure, Thanksgiving may be the day of thanks, but I don't know about you but as soon as those leaves begin to change my mindset seems to focus even more in that direction than it is throughout the year. Being thankful is something that is talked about in the Bible often. We are told to be thankful ALL the time, not just when things are going good. That can be tough for some of us, right? But that's why I try to teach my kids this at a very early age. Anytime my children are given a gift or receive a compliment they are reminded to say thank you. Every single time. To me, it is that important. We live in a world that likes to take things for granted and I don't want that for my kids. I want them to be thankful for what they have, and to give that thanks to God.

Today, I am excited to share with you a book that celebrates that thankful heart: A Very Thankful Prayer.

Every day I wake up with a happy, thankful heart.

From watching the leaves fall to picking pumpkins from the patch, from sharing a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones to learning how to give—there’s so much to be thankful for! Join these adorable animals as they say a prayer of thanks to God, who gives us every good thing.

This adorable little book is perfect to teach toddlers and preschoolers all about being thankful. It truly encompasses everything that so many of us love about fall- we see the colored leaves, pumpkin patches, apple picking, bonfires and of course, Thanksgiving too. All of these great things that are specific for fall, but mixed in with things likes friends and family that we can be thankful for all throughout the year. It is beautifully written in a way that kids can enjoy and short enough that it makes for the perfect bedtime tale to be read over and over again. I am absolutely loving this book at the fall season kicks off and cannot wait to read it as we go!

If you're looking for a great fall book, this one is a must see. It is available to purchase now.

And they are giving you a chance to win a copy for yourself. Head on over here to enter. 

What ways have you found to help teach kids about being thankful through fall and beyond? 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Moms- Snack on the Go with Perfect Bar {A #MomsMeet Review}

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links

Hey moms--- do you ever feel like you're always on the go? 

With extracurricular activities and work schedules... sometimes it can seem like for many families today we spend more time on the road than at home. Whew, that can be exhausting. Is it any wonder that we so often find ourselves running through the drive through or stopping at the convenience store for an extra bit of energy to get us through these busy days.

Let's be honest, if you're trying to eat better... these are not the best places to do so! So, what's a mama to do?

For me, it's all about keeping a well stocked purse! As moms, we're used to keeping out bags stocked for the kids, but we have to make sure to do the same for US too. When we take better care of us, we'll be better equipped to care for the kids too. In addition to our other essentials like lipstick, our cell phones, wallets and a planner... why not also add a grown up snack too.

For healthy snacking on the go, is there anything more perfect than Perfect Bar? 

So, what is Perfect Bar? 

Perfect Bars are refrigerated protein bars made with delicious nut betters with only organic honey as a binder. But don't let the refrigerated part scare you... they can stay fresh for a week outside the fridge. These delicious bards are creamy and smooth, and absolutely delicious. And they're good for you too. Each full size bar is packed with up to 17g of whole food protein. No wheat or soy in these tasty treats. Minis offer 5g. Packed with protein, these are certainly sure to keep you going. They also contain 20+ nutrient dense superfoods- for instance kale, apple and spinach- all excelent sources of vitamins and minerals. They are non GMO, gluten free, soy free, kosher and as an added bonus- made in the USA.

But the real question of course is... how do they taste?

I must admit I'm a bit of a picky eater. I have tried MANY protein bars in the past and have found very few that I actually enjoyed. These were some of those few! They were delicious and surprisingly filling too! Even my kids loved them too- and as we know kids can be a little picky too! These truly are delicious and something that I can feel much better about snacking on.

Perfect Bars are available in more than 12,000 fridges nationwide. Minis are only available online at PerfectBar.com or in select retailers. To find a store near you, visit: perfectbar.com/where-to-buy

Find out more and connect at the links below: