A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Friday, January 19, 2018

How To Have Fun with Your Fashion {+ a Deal from Top Tier Style}

Looking to mix up your look this year? Perhaps the greatest place to start is by changing up your wardrobe! But where do you begin? It's no secret that I love fashion and most importantly, having FUN with fashion, so today I wanted to share some of my personal tips for looking your best and enjoying fashion in the new year and beyond.

  • Play With Color. One thing that can be said about my personal style is that I LOVE color. Rarely do I wear black, but when I do, it's always a pop of color. Might as well have fun with clothes, right? I love mixing together unexpected colors--- blue with orange, yellow with purple, you get the idea. One of my go to combinations lately is olive green with plum. Play around with it though, find what works for you and have fun! 
    High Split Maxi Dress in Olive Green. I love pairing this gorgeous green with plum, and a cute pair of booties! You could dress this look up with a cute black belt, heels and a gunmetal necklace. 

  • Know Your Sizes. The best way to look great in your clothing is to get the right fit. Sizes change from company to company, so always take appropriate measurements and follow size charts accordingly. Don't stress about the numbers--- choosing the proper fit, regardless of size, will help you look your best and cause less fashion stress! 
  • Enjoy patterns. While solids certainly have their place in our wardrobes and are definitely staple pieces, don't be afraid of fun patterns either. You can never go wrong with a great floral throughout the year. Plaid is also a must have in my closet, especially during the winter months!
    Long Sleeve Bohemian Plaid Dress with Bow. Plaid is a staple in the winter months, much like a gorgeous scarf! Pair the two for a warm and cozy look! 

  • Use Accessories Wisely. You can start with gorgeous pieces, but it's the accessories that truly make an outfit! Not only are they a great way to bring in some color, a cute scarf or a fun pair of boots can truly take a simple dress and elevate it to the next level. With proper layering accessories, you can also take your typical 'summer' wear and give it new life during the summer months, giving you even more great options! 
  • Mix It Up. Don't feel like you need to stick to just one style if you don't want to! Mix it up--- have some boho looks, some more classic looks, casual, dressy... wear what you like!! My closet is an eclectic mix of various styles I enjoy. Sometimes I can even mix them together for some really fun, unique looks! 
    Bohemian Style Mini Dress with Tassel Detail. Black and olive is another favorite color combination. I made this mini dress a little more cold weather appropriate with some olive leggings. This versatile style can be worn with leggings, jeans or on it's own with some cute boots. 

  • Most importantly, have FUN! Fashion, in my opinion, is supposed to be fun, so don't take it too seriously. Play around, find what works for you... experiment! You may have a few 'what was I thinking?' moments along the way, but as long as you enjoy it, that's all that really matters, right? 
    High Neck Bohemian Maxi Dress with Tie Detail. I loved mixing it up with this higher neckline. This one size dress is flowy and soft--- absolutely gorgeous! I love it on its own, but also looks amazing paired up with yellow for added fun (as seen on Instagram). 

Love the styles featured in this post? I know I do! They are fun to style, beautifully made and just overall gorgeous!  Top Tier Style: Fashion & Clothing provided all of the bohemian summer dresses. If you would like to purchase your own use the coupon code BLOG15 for 15% OFF everything on their store!

Do you love fashion? What are some of your simple tips to encourage? Which pieces from Top Tier Style are your favorites and how would YOU style them?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winter Comfort Food: Homemade Black Bean Soup

Here in Indiana, winter has arrived in FULL force.

It is COLD. As I write this post, I am covered in a total of three blankets to attempt to keep warm, and can say it's only half effective! But you know what DOES work to warm the body on these cold winter days? A nice hot bowl of soup!

Recently, I decided to try a homemade black bean soup. I'd scoured the web for the perfect recipe, and wasn't able to find one, but instead decided to combine the elements I liked from several to make my own perfect recipe! I shared the photos online and had many asking for the recipe.

Today, I'm sharing that with all of you:

Homemade Black Bean Soup

  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 can (or equivalent) veggie or chicken broth
  • onions
  • green peppers
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • smoked paprika
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
  1. Chop onions and green peppers. Saute in olive oil until tender.
  2. Pour in 2 cans of black beans (undrained) and the broth. I used veggie broth myself to make this a vegetarian meal, but if that's not important to you, chicken will do just as well. 
  3. Add in your seasonings. I do not measure on this, just added to taste. Like it spicy? Add more spice, need something more mild and kid-friendly? Add more slowly! 
  4. Heat to boiling, then allow to simmer for approximately 45 minutes- tasting every so often and adding seasonings as need. 
This soup is absolutely delicious on it's own, but you can have fun with other pairings too-- top with cheese or a drop of sour cream, serve over rice, or as we did--- serve with some corn chips! There are plenty of delicious options to choose from. 

This would also be great in the crock pot too! Just toss in all your ingredients and let it cook all day! 

Do you love soups in the winter? What are some of your go to soup recipes? 

Julep Mystery Grab Bags- Just $20 ($140 Value) + More Great Deals!

**Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas this year?

I must say, I didn't want a lot anyway, but I did get the things I asked for...aside from ONE thing. Some new makeup/nail polishes! But let's be honest, that IS something I like to buy myself anyway, as I can be just a little bit picky on those! Besides... we all know the best time to buy is after the holidays when it's all marked way, way down!

Today, I am sharing a few cannot miss deals from Julep.

End of Season Sale

Right now, you can grab a mystery grab bag for just $20 ($140 value!). Each bag includes a random selection of 10 mystery nail polishes. These are valued at $14 EACH, so talk about a bargain... not to mention a great way to expand your collection and possibly add some colors you would not have chosen otherwise!

As though this were not a great enough deal, it doesn't end there!

While supplies last, Julep is offering a free gift with any purchase of $30 or more with code GLOSSME! GWP, Glossed in Translation, with any $30+ purchase with code GLOSSME features a duo of our Sheer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in two delectably wearable shades. Plus, a bonus cosmetic bag to stash all your lip goodies in style. This is a $49 value, absolutely FREE! With other great gift sets on sale up to 75% off, you can stock up to reach your $30 minimum to apply this additional freebie! The deals are still great without this extra of course, but who doesn't love extra freebies!? 

Take advantage of these amazing offers today! Supplies are limited and when they are gone, they are gone.

If you are needing to refresh your nail polish or lip gloss collection, this deal cannot be beat! We're talking hundreds of dollars worth of product for just $30, and shipping is FREE over $10. Hurry over, these deals are only available while supplies last!

FINE PRINT: End of Season Sale offers valid while supplies last. No additional discounts allowed. All items purchased from the End of Season Sale catalog are final sale, absolutely no exchanges or returns. No adjustments on previous purchases. Offer expires 1/22/18 at 11:59 PM PT, or while supplies last. Promotional code GLOSSME must be entered at checkout, and is valid for 1 free gift per order. To receive free gift, add the Glossed in Translation set to shopping bag, in addition to $30+ of other julep.com products. End of Season Sale offers valid while supplies last. No additional discounts allowed. All items purchased from the End of Season Sale catalog are final sale, absolutely no exchanges or returns. No adjustments on previous purchases.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

3 Induction Cooktop Recipes To Try During Your Next Family Camping Trip

It's no secret that proper nourishment is essential for any type of camping trip, whether you're
pitching a tent or renting a cabin. That's just one reason many seasoned campers are investing in
portable induction cooktops to make cooking easier than ever during any camping endeavor. The
basic principles of induction heating have been applied to manufacturing since the 1920s, but
induction heating technology is also used in culinary applications due to the fact that it provides
an even cooking surface that doesn't require wood or charcoal or emit smoke. If you're heading
out into the wilderness for a camping trip anytime soon, it's important to be prepared. Here's a
quick appetizer, entree, and dessert idea to try on your induction cooktop during your next
camping trip.

Appetizer: Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

This recipe is particularly popular with kids. Plus, it's very versatile -- the recipe calls for bacon
but can easily be substituted with a variety of vegetarian ingredients to suit all dietary needs. It's
easiest to prep the mashed potatoes used in this recipe beforehand, especially if you're working
with limited space. Plus, only 1% of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking, so doing as much
preparation as you can before leaving for your trip can help cut back on the amount of fresh or
bottled water you need to lug along with you. This recipe is available at Spend With Pennies and
yields about eight servings. Feel free to get creative with what you add!

Entree: Honey Glazed Chicken

Staying energized is critical during a hiking or otherwise physically demanding camping trip, so
it's important to make sure your body has enough protein throughout the day. Chicken is one of
the best low-fat protein options, and when combined with honey, creates a delectably sweet and
savory dish that you're sure to love. Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person
per year, so there's a very good chance that you already have a bottle of honey in your cupboard
at home. After that, there are just a few required ingredients, including red pepper flakes, olive oil,
soy sauce, and of course, chicken breast. This recipe is provided by AllRecipes, can be prepped
and cooked in about 20 minutes, and yields about four servings.

Dessert: Fried Apple Rings

As a delightful alternative to s'mores, this kid-favorite recipe will make you feel like you're at the
fair again. It just requires a few simple ingredients: granny smith apples, flour, salt, sour cream,
buttermilk, and beer. It helps to prep the apples beforehand by washing, peeling, and coring them.
If you want, you can even slice them and prepare the batter ahead of time as well. If you come
prepared with the batter and the sliced apples, this recipe, provided by Just A Pinch, can literally
be ready to devour in a matter of minutes!

Ultimately, there are countless ways to take advantage of your induction cooktop's convenience
and versatility. It just takes a bit of experimentation and creativity in the kitchen. With some prep
work, you can whip up delicious camping meals for your entire family in no time at all!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

12 Strong in Theaters January 19 {A $50 Fandango Giveaway} #12StrongMovie #ad

Welcome to the Ice, Ice Baby Giveaway hop hosted by MamatheFox and  Rita's Reviews.

Cold weather keeping you in? We've got you covered! Hop along to all participating blogs from now through January 31st to win some great giveaways! There is no limit to how many you can win so be sure to enter them all!


**This post was written by me on behalf of Warner Bros. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

If we were asked to name one moment in our lifetime that would forever change the course of history--- what moment would come to mind?

For so many of us, that moment would of course be 9/11. It is a moment that will stick with us throughout our lives. I was only in junior high, but I remember that moment hearing about the attacks so vividly and even at that young age remembering that our world would be forever changed by those attacks, even if I did not fully understand the full scope of that in the moment.

When we speak of 9/11 we often share our personal stories, or we hear the stories of those living in New York on those days. We hear about servicemen and women who decided to join after 9/11, knowing the risks they were going into. Thinking about it however, I cannot say that *I* often hear the stories from those who were already enlisted--- those very first troops to go in. What is THEIR story?

The new movie, 12 Strong offers us a glimpse at those moments:

Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers” films) and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals”) star in “12 Strong,” a powerful new war drama from Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Based on Doug Stanton's best-selling book, "Horse Soldiers," it is story of heroism based on true events that unfolded a world away in the aftermath of 9/11.

“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

What a powerful movie this is certain to be! I must admit that while war movies are not typically my go to choice, I look forward to experiencing this one. I know that it will help us to gain a better understanding of the amazing sacrifices and acts of heroism shown in those days by our military. It might not be an easy one to watch- especially as the wife of a Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, but such a worthwhile film to see. This is however not one for the children, of course. It is Rated R for war violence and language throughout.

12 Strong will be in theaters everywhere on January 19.

A soldier is as strong as his word. Tickets on sale now for #12StrongMovie: bit.ly/12strongtix

Learn more and connect at the links below:

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #12StrongMovie

In celebration of the film's theatrical release, one very lucky reader is going to win a $50 Fandango Gift Card to see the film for yourself plus a 12 Strong sweatshirt perfect for these snowy days. Enter using the giveaway form below:

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

4 Simple Ways to Update Your Home Without Breaking the Bank {+ A Deal from Lock & Hinge}

** This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lock & Hinge. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

With the new year, there's certainly a feeling of NEW in the air! We want a new look, a new wardrobe... even a new home. But let's get honest... while the look and clothes might be a little easier to come by, a new home? Well, that's not something most of us can do on a whim, am I right?

Still, that doesn't mean we cannot make our existing home feel like new, right? Today, I'm sharing some simple ideas that can help bring new life to your home--- without a complete renovation required:

Photo Credit: Lock & Hinge Facebook

  • Paint. One super quick and simple way to change the look of your home is to do some painting! Paint the walls a fresh new color, give the cabinets a face lift with some simple paint--- even paint your front door for some more curb appeal. Old furniture that just doesn't match the look you now want? Paint it. The possibilities are endless.
  • Change the linens. It truly is amazing to me how much difference things like curtains can have on a room. And while buying a new couch when the mood strikes may not be an option, some new pillow (or covers) can bring in new life and new colors. You can also throw in some pretty throws for texture and warmth! Super easy, and if you look for deals, can be pretty reasonable too. 
  • Move furniture. I am constantly rearranging furniture in my house because it truly is another great way to change the feel of a room using what you have on hand. Sometimes I'll mix up pieces from one room to another, other times I'll just experiment with the layout with what's already there. Either way it keeps things fresh and fun. 
  • Look at the small details. Be honest, when is the last time you gave much thought to little details throughout your home--- like the switch plates, doorknobs, vent covers, even the handles on your cabinets? These might be small details but can have a HUGE impact on the overall look and feel of your home. Switching the handles on your cabinets can completely change the look---with or without fresh paint. Switch plates and vent covers may not be something we look at often, but if you gave them a fresh new look it can take the whole room to another level--- it gives it a look and feel that every last detail was taken into consideration. Even the simple detail of a door knocker or an updated house number can add great curb appeal to your home too! Take a look at these small details around your home and consider changing some out too!
To help you with that last bit, Lock & Hinge has us covered. Lock & Hinge is a division of Real Metropolitan Hardware. Real Metropolitan has been providing commercial, residential, and builders’ hardware to some of New York City's finest interior decorators, builders, and contractors for more then 55 years. Their online store offers all shoppers from professionals to DIYers, a wide array of high quality Brass Accents Door Hardware, Knockers, Handles, Push & Pulls, catalog includes Renaissance Collection Accessories, Bathroom Accessories, Cabinet Hardware, Door Hardware, Door Knockers, Floor Register, Hinges, Kick Plates, Knobs & Levers, Mail Slots, Push & Pull Plates, Switch Plates, etc. Everything you need for those finishing touches on your home. They offer a wide variety of designs to best match your personal style and give your home a complete and polished look.

And I am excited to offer you all an exclusive deal!

Use the code RANDIKAYE to take 10% off your total purchase! Head on over and update your home for the new year today! 

Looking to update your home without breaking the bank this year? What other ideas do you have? How can Lock & Hinge help? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Making Bible Learning FUN for Kids!

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

Kids are like sponges.

Seriously. Sometimes I look at my 4 year old and am truly astounded at just how much she picks up from the world around her. For example, as I was starting the post, she came to me pretending to shop and announced... "Oh no! I forgot my money at home! That's okay, I'll pay with my phone." Now, I don't personally pay with my phone, but this was something she'd picked up from commercials in passing. Hilarious. 

But just goes to show you just how much kids truly do pay attention... even when you think they aren't. So, there truly is no better time to introduce them to the Bible than right now! Not only will they pick it up easily, but it can inspire a love that they carry with them as they grow.

But how can we make learning the Bible more fun for them? Today I'm sharing a few ideas:

  • Read Fun Books. There are many great Bible storybooks that draw kids in with their fun illustrations and easy to understand stories. Find one that your children love.
  • Act it out. Whether its through finger puppets or dress up, bring it to life!
  • Create Bible Crafts. Another great way to bring stories to life is through simple crafts that go along with the stories you are reading.
  • Play Games. Use fun trivia games or even silly games to make learning exciting! You're sure to find lots of great ideas on Pinterest to get you started, or recreate basic kids games to go along with your theme.
  • Reward them. Now, I'm not saying you should bribe your children to learn the Bible, but kids DO love rewards--- even as simple as a sticker for remembering a verse or answering trivia questions correctly can be a huge motivator! 
  • Sing it! My kids love music, and more importantly, they remember music! Find some fun Bible songs, or if you're creative--- rewrite some old kids favorites yourself. The sillier the better! 

As you can see through these tips, the best way to make learning the Bible more fun for kids is to make it an interactive experience. I don't know about your kids, but mine hate being lectured, so often times trying to just read or explain the Bible to them with simple words can seem much like that...and they tune it out. By keeping it interactive, they will better take in what you are teaching and enjoy doing so, and that is something that they can take with them throughout their lives- knowing that reading the Bible does not have to be so serious!


Today, I also wanted to share a fun new resource that can help, THE BIG PICTURE INTERACTIVE BIBLE STORY COLORING AND ACTIVITY BOOK:

Filled with more than 200 coloring pages and more than 150 activity pages for young children, this Bible Story Coloring and Activity Book from The Big Picture Interactive provides hours of fun. Here are some of the great activities your kids will love: word searches, mazes, connect the dots, hidden messages, fill in the blank, secret code, matching, find it, unscramble, and more!

If your children already have and love The Big Picture Interactive Bible, this will be the perfect compliment to their collection. It features more of the same great artwork they have come to love, but with more interactive activities--- from coloring to word searches and more. 

Not yet experienced The Big Picture books? That's okay too! It truly is great as a stand alone too. It offers a wide variety of different activities--- from simple coloring to fun searches. My daughter loves the various mazes, while my son is a big fan of the word games--- searches, scrambles, etc. Something for everyone. 

The Bible Story Coloring and Activity Book is available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers. 

What tips and tricks do YOU have for teaching kids about the Bible?