A Modern Day Fairy Tale: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Decorating with Intention: Keep God at the Center of Your Home with Family Christian in 2015

Thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post. All thoughts are my own.




A new year is upon us, and for many of us a new year can bring big changes. This is certainly true for my own family. 2014 brought what was perhaps the biggest change our family has undergone when my husband got out of the military after 11 long years. What a change! In fact, it's a change that we are still adjusting to as 2015 begins. There are many things we miss about the military life already, but there are many great things that come along with it as well...like the chance to put down some roots. The chance to buy a house. Our hope for 2015 is that this will be the year that we will finally become homeowners! This is another change that is both a little scary, but super exciting too...and being the decorator fan that I am, I naturally look forward to having the chance to decorate this new home and put a little bit of my own style into it.


When it comes to my decorating style, I have a bit of a mixed taste. For my living areas, I like warm colors- reds, browns and oranges...cozy blankets, all about the family and feeling at home. In my kitchen I love fun colors and everything retro. In the bedrooms and bathrooms I like a mix of classic and modern...with fun pops of color. I love signs, chalkboards, birds, chevron and even a little shine. But more than anything, I love decorating with intention!

So, what is decorating with intention?

For me, it's all about glorifying God in the way that I decorate. If you think about it, this is something many of us already do with our holiday decor. We put up our nativities, our 'Jesus is the Reason' signs, etc to remind us throughout the holiday season the reason we are celebrating. For me, I don't like to stop just at the holidays.

Perhaps you're reading this thinking it sounds like a great idea in theory and feel like pictures such as The Last Supper are gorgeous...but not your style and not something you want hanging in your home. And I don't blame you one bit...but decorating with intention doesn't have to mean just throwing up those classic religious paintings or a bunch of crosses...it can be subtle, fun and even stylish...Take a look around my home...

Here in my kitchen, it's all about the fun retro look. I love having this reminder as I'm cooking or washing my dishes that God is good, always. I don't sacrifice fun for these cute designs!



As I said earlier, I love for my living room to be warm and inviting...and all about the family. Nothing brings in warmth like candles (even if they're LED candles- safer for babies...and forgetful mommies too!) This lantern brings in very subtle messages of faith and family...words to live by.



Perhaps my absolute favorite piece of decor is this gorgeous 'Did You Think To Pray?' wall decor. The design is super simple, but the words are a powerful reminder for my entire family to remember to take time in our day to stop and pray.



In the playroom, we keep the messages subtle, but still inspirational and focused on the family in this fun chalkboard.



As you can see, these designs are FAR from boring or old fashioned, and these are just a few of the many possibilities, all purchased from my local Family Christian store.. I love knowing that my decor is reflecting my love for God, and providing daily reminders of faith for not only myself but my children as well. If you'd like to start decorating YOUR home with intention in the new year, check out your local Family Christian store (or shop online) to find tons of great options to fit each and every style.

You can find out more and connect with Family Christian at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
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Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014: A Look Back

Another year has come and gone and this one has been one of the biggest for my family. Here is a brief look back at some of the highlights- good and bad- from 2014:





Goodbye Military Life. Had you told me one year ago today that in just one year's time my husband would be out of the Marine Corps, attending college and working at a garage...well, I'd have looked at you like a crazy person. You see, that was never the plan. The plan was to reenlist and stay in another 9 years, after which time he would retire. But God had other plans for us, and due to military downsizing, those well thought out plans went right out the window. It's been a rough transition, but we have also been incredibly blessed to be in a place we love and opportunities available. For a brief time, my husband considered going into the police department- a logical next move out of the military...but ultimately decided that he would rather change gears- go with a career where being shot at wasn't a job hazard. So he decided to take his hobby of working on cars and make a career out of it instead... he's currently enrolled in college to become an auto technician and manager, and is learning on the job as well at a local tire and auto shop! What a change!

Hello Mainstream. 2014 was a big year for Shaun as well! He started 1st Grade...in a mainstream classroom! Since moving to Indiana, school has been a bit of an up and down struggle for Shaun, so we were thrilled for him to have reached the point where his previous teacher felt he was ready for this step. It was a scary transition for sure, but I am happy to say that Shaun is doing very well! He still has some struggles of course, but has grown in leaps and bounds! I could not be more proud of how well he has done.


And Other New Experiences. In addition to mainstreaming, Shaun has also finally felt ready for more extracurricular activities! He joined soccer for the first time and did really well (not to say he was a champion soccer player, of course, but he certainly went out there and gave it his heart and soul!). He also recently joined Cub Scouts and has already earned his first two badges. It's such a wonderful thing to see him experience new things!!


Welcome to Toddlerhood. Miss Finley turned one this year and has naturally grown in leaps and bounds!!She is keeping us on our toes these days, but it's fascinating watching her learn and grow every day!

It seems the biggest theme for our family in 2014 was change. So many changes- some of them good...some of them not as good. But if there is one thing that all those years in the military taught us, it's that change is inevitable and you just have to keep right on going. This year was all about change, and I'm confident that 2015 will be all about new beginnings! I cannot wait!!

Any big changes for your family in 2014? What were the highlights? What do you hope 2015 has in store for you?

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Resolutions: How Did You DO?

Th year is almost over, and the time has come to start considering our plans and goals for the new year...but first, let's look back on the resolutions you made for 2014! Were you able to keep them? How did you do?

Here is a look back at my resolutions, and how I did with them:

1. Attempt a Garden. Well, now let's just say I'm glad I worded this as 'attempt'...because attempt I did! Success? Not really. Oh sure, we had a few tomatoes out of it, but mostly did not have a ton of success...from a less than ideal tiller for our previously unbroken ground to constant flooding, we certainly ran into a lot of issues. Still, it was our very first attempt and a learning experience for sure! I certainly feel as though we will be better prepared this year!!

2. Clean Greener. Yes, I think this was certainly a success! I'm learning more and more ways to maintain a green household!

3. Get Back in the Kitchen More. Eh, this one is perhaps so so. I'm definitely in the kitchen more now, but it got off to a slow start with my husband's unpredictable schedule and kids requiring near constant attention. Still, I find myself going to the same few tried and true dishes I always prepare, so I'd still like to improve in this area and really get back to being more creative in the kitchen.

 4. Be More Organized. I am more organized than I was a year ago...but not as much as I could be! This is one I will certainly be carrying onto 2015!

5. Continue to Grow & Improve My Blog. Yes, I think this was a success as well! This year has brought many great opportunities for me as a blogger including being able to really use it to help support my family. It has truly been a blessing, and another goal that I will strive to improve upon!

Overall, I feel I did fairly well on my resolutions. Sure, some are only partial successes but a little improvement is always better than none at all, isn't it?

How about you? Were YOU able to stick to your resolutions?

Friday, December 26, 2014

It's a Bible, It's a Comic Book...It's The Action Bible:The Battle Begins {+ A Family Christian Giveaway}

**Product received for review.

When it comes to teaching children, I've always been on the opinion that you have to make it appealing to them. Math in and of itself can be boring, you have to make it exciting...come at it from something they like. When my son was younger, we saw this firsthand with his love of trains. It was through them that he learned his colors, his numbers and even to read! Now that he's gotten a little older, he still loves his trains, but his tastes have evolved a bit as well.

Like many boys his age, he's all about the comic books. And it's not just boys HIS age either. Even my husband at 31 years old is all about the comics and graphic novels! To be honest though, my husband is not usually much of a Bible reader. He'll read books on the History of the Bible and religion. He'll watch shows on the same subject. But actually sitting down and reading the Bible? He's not likely to do it. So I was a bit surprised a few years ago when we came across The Action Bible series and he insisted on buying the first...and reading it too!


But The Action Bible series was not like any other Bible stories we'd ever seen...it was the story of the Bible...written as a graphic novel! And let's be honest, it WORKS. The Bible really isn't a cutesy little story that is sometimes seen in children's Bible storybooks. It's filled with action and adventure and acts of heroism...everything a good graphic novel should have!

So of course when my comic book loving 7 year old became obsessed with Bibles and Bible stories, he took over his Daddy's Action Bible. He was thrilled when I was given the opportunity as a Family Christian blogger to review a copy of The Action Bible: The Battle Begins- one of his favorite Bible stories-the story of creation. His response? "Awesome!"



A simple word but it about sums it up. It truly is the coolest way to 'read the Bible'. Now my son already likes Bible stories but that's not true for every child. Not only are the Action Bible books perfect for the comic book fans who love Bibles, but also for those who like my husband might not typically be drawn to read it. It makes it interesting and new and most importantly gets kids of all ages excited about the Bible. At the end of the day, isn't that what we should be striving for? For my son, I particularly liked this particular book in the series because not only was it again a favorite story, but in its smaller selection was much more manageable for his small hands, compared to the original his daddy had!

If you're looking for a way to get your little guy (or girl!) excited about the Lord, this truly is a great place to start...from the beginning! The Story of Creation and other Action Bible selections can be found at Family Christian! See more and connect at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
Follow on Tumblr: http://family-christian.tumblr.com 
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a $25 appreciation certificate to Family Christian for themselves! 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.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All I Want For Christmas {A Shaun Video}

At seven years old and no wigglers in sight, we were truly beginning to wonder if Shaun was ever going to lose his first tooth. Earlier this month, one finally started wiggling! On December 14, it came out! Two days later, the second came out too! Just in time for Christmas...and you know what that means...a little song for your holiday entertainment:

A video posted by Randi (@randikaye) on


To be honest, he's not 100% toothless...his grown up teeth actually came in a bit before the milk teeth fell out (a little something called 'shark teeth'!)...still, losing his two front teeth so soon before the holiday...we couldn't resist!!

From Shaun to all of you, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Songs of the Season {My Favorite Christmas Songs}



I absolutely, positively LOVE Christmas music...there is something about those old familiar tunes (and new hits too) that I just cannot get enough of! To be honest, I'd probably listen to it year round if I could! In fact, when I was a teenager, I worked at a theme park in Santa Claus, IN called Holiday World and I so enjoyed those days when I was scheduled to work in the Christmas section so that I would have the excuse to listen in the middle of the summer, without judgement! I also couldn't wait to get started practicing holiday songs in choir at school or for performing at church- giving me a few extra months to enjoy them!!

Needless to say, this time of year, my radio is almost always playing holiday tunes!!

To celebrate the season, I wanted to share just a few of my favorites! Want to listen for yourself? I've linked to some YouTube videos so you can hear them:


Do you love holiday music? What are YOUR personal favorites?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree {Christmas Traditions and Our Frozen Inspired Christmas Tree!}

What kind of tree decorator are you?

Are you a perfectionist? Each ornament in its perfect place, looking like it stepped straight out of magazine spread? Do you just throw on everything you have on with no rhyme or reason (or let the kids do so). Are you somewhere in the center- you have a color scheme but aren't overly particular about it being PERFECT.


Personally I fall somewhere in the middle. As much as I would love thosee magazine spread worthy trees, I'm also realistic...I have two little ones. Try as I might, those ornaments will at one point find themselves rearranged! Still, we do have a themed tree.

This is a tradition that goes back to my own childhood. Each year, we'd choose a theme and decorate accordingly. One year it would be Santa- we'd have red and white and Santa themed ornaments with a hat as our topper. The next it'd be patriotic with ornaments of red, white and blue. Then every few years we'd have the 'kids' tree...where there was no real theme other than we could pretty well add whatever we liked! Our trees may never have been super fancy, but we always had fun... and while I remember a few years where my sisters and I would have preferred to just throw it all on, looking back now I loved those themed trees and just had to keep the tradition alive.

We've had red and gold, we've had classic Christmas colors, we've had a small superhero tree...and this year we have what may very well be my absolute favorite tree theme of all time: Frozen!






Rather than fighting to get our hands on actual Frozen ornaments, we opted to do more of an 'inspired by' look. A pretty ice blue and silver with bits of purple and pink tossed in. Lots of shimmer and lots of snowflakes. On top of the tree, a pretty snowflake star and Elsa (a doll that had also been used to top Finley's birthday cake).



Despite our itty-bitty ol' tree, I absolutely loved how it turned out! The perfect Frozen tree!


Do you do themed trees? What type of tree do you have this year?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays With Young Living Essential Oils {A #HomeHolidays Giveaway}



Welcome to the Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!
We are right in the middle of the Holiday Season, stockings are hung by the Fireplace, the smell of an Evergreen fills your Home… I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers that want to fill your home with even more! The Home for the Holidays Giveaways are all centered around the perfect products for your home – whether it’s decorative gifts or appliances, each blogger has something for your home! Don't miss the amazing Grand Prize for this Event - a $150 Gift Card to The Ultimate Green Store - enter here.

*******************************


Oh there's no place like home for the holidays..but when you think of 'home for the holidays', what comes to mind? For many its the comfort of the fireplace, the pretty decorations, cozy beds and blankets and meals shared with loved ones. But if you're the one hosting the holidays, it can also mean preparing your home for the holidays- cleaning the home top to bottom in preparation for company! Today's giveaway is going to help you to do just that a little more naturally!

That's right...it's all about essential oils!!

By now you may have heard of many ways that essential oils can be of benefit for your physical and emotional health, but today we're just talking about how they can be used around the home! Here are just a few of the MANY ways they can be used around your home this holiday season and throughout the year:

  • DIY Cleaners. A simple mixture of vinegar, water and your favorite essential oils make a fantastic, simple DIY cleaner perfect for everyday uses. Want more in depth cleaners? A quick search will show you TONS of recipes to try!
  • In the Vacuum. Add a couple of drops of your favorite EOs to cotton balls and place inside the vacuum bag...it will leave your home smelling wonderful as you vacuum.
  • Room Refresher Spray. Mix water and EOs in a spray bottle, shake well and spray as needed for a little extra freshness.
  • Freshen Your Laundry. Add a few drops to your wool dryer balls for a little extra freshness! (I personally love using Lavender for our bedding and jammies!!)
  • Keep Out Unwanted Pests. Spider problems? It's been said that peppermint repels spiders. Spray a little peppermint/water spray around windows and doors to keep them away. 
  • Freshen closets and drawers. Put a few drops on a cotton ball and place in closets, drawers, etc to keep things smelling fresh!!
  • Diffuse. Diffusing not only has great emotional and physical benefits, but also just makes the home smell fantastic as well!!
These are just a few of the MANY ways that oils can be used around the home to keep it clean and smelling fresh. The possibilities are endless!!

If you're interested in purchasing or learning more about Young Living Essential Oils, or joining my team, please feel free to contact me at randi.amoderndayfairytale@gmail.com (or leave your questions/email in the comments).

And as part of the Home for the Holidays giveaway event, I am going to be giving away a few of my favorite oils: Peppermint and Lavender! I will also be including some samples of other great oils like Lemon and Thieves! 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.  So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Home for the Holidays participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Monday, December 15, 2014

God Love You! A Berenstain Bears Review & Family Christian Giveaway

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



In today's culture, it seems like our little one's are bombarded with so much more negative than positive, doesn't it? From TV to movies, music and even the books we read, the negative seems much easier to find than the positive. It's a very sad reality.

As a mom, I want to let my kids be young and innocent as long as possible, and try to keep the negative to a minimum as much as possible, so I seek movies, books and TV shows that reflect that. One such book series that fits that criteria are the Berenstain Bears books. As a child, I remembered loving all these fun stories and wanting to take them all in. As a mom, I still love these stories and find myself appreciating them even more for the great positive messages in each story. So, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to receive one such book, The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You. Let's take a look:

The Berenstain Bear series helps children learn how God wants them to live every day. When the Bear family practices going to church, praying, and being kind, plus remembering how much God loves them, their lives are much more joyful. In God Loves You! Brother and Sister Bear discover that God loves them, not because they’re successful, but because he made them. This book helps children appreciate the many ways God shows his love to them.

If ever there was a positive book to add to your child's library, this is a great choice. It's all about things not going your way! In this story, both Brother and Sister Bear want something (to play basketball and star in a play) and are instead given lesser roles (team and stage managers). This is a kind of disappointment that we all have to face in our lives and can be quite difficult for us all-- but especially kids. I know it's certainly something my seven year old struggles with.



This book teaches them that things might not always work out as they have hoped, but God loves them just the same. He loves them despite their shortcomings, despite the times they may misbehave (we're all only human afterall) and despite not being the star of the show or the team. He loves us no matter what. Could there be a greater message to teach little ones of all ages?

This is just one of the many great lessons in the Berenstain Bears books, available at Family Christian! These books are sweet and inexpensive, and would make the ideal stocking stuffer for the holidays (or a fun gift throughout the year)! In fact, my son loved this book so much, we took a trip to our local store to buy more! Check them all out at Family Christian.

See more and connect with Family Christian at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
Follow on Tumblr: http://family-christian.tumblr.com 
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a $25 Appreciation Certificate from Family Christian! 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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Save on Last Minute Gifts with Family Christian Christmas Doorbusters!!

A huge thank you to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post and for all the wonderful deals!


You all know by now that I absolutely LOVE Family Christian...almost as much as I love getting a great deal. So, great deals AT Family Christian? Yes, I'm there!

A few weeks back I shopped their amazing Black Friday doorbusters and couldn't imagine them coming close to those deals again...but they have. Once again, they are back with some super amazing, can't miss Christmas doorbusters from December 12-14 in store (deals are available NOW online)!! Select items are $5 or 50% off! Wow!!! Check it out:

$5 CDs

Choose from great selections like Matthew West's Into the Light, newsboys' God's Not Dead, Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights or the Saving Christmas Soundtrack...among several other great selections! I for one am looking forward to picking up some awesome music!!

$5 Planners

Stay organized in the new year with these beautiful planners for just $5!! Who couldn't use a little organization!?

$5 Gifts

Water bottles, phone cases, home decor, even Christmas cards...there is a great selection of $5 gifts for everyone on your list! These would be ideal stocking stuffers too!

$5 Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas

This is probably a personal favorite Veggie Tales Christmas DVD in our home and during this sale you can pick it up for just $5!!

50% off Bibles, Books and DVDs

In addition to all these fantastic $5 doorbusters, there is also a wonderful selection of Bibles, books and movies that are available for 50% off as well!! There are MANY to choose from but I particularly love the Veggie Tale's Beauty and the Beet and Christmas Collection DVDs. The Action Bible is also a huge hit in my home!

Aren't these some AMAZING deals? I want them ALL! And these are just a few of the selections available! If you're still on the hunt for some last minute gifts without breaking the bank, these doorbusters are sure to bring a little light to everyone on your holiday list. Deals will be available tomorrow at your local Family Christian store...or you can shop online NOW!

You can see them all, and see more from Family Christian at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
Follow on Tumblr: http://family-christian.tumblr.com 
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

What Family Christian doorbusters would make the perfect gift for the special people on your list?

Give a Veteran a Fresh Start with the 7-Eleven Franchise Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 7-Eleven Franchising for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

At the end of September, our lives were forever changed when my husband got out of the Marine Corps after 11 years. I can tell you from personal experience that this transition can be exciting and scary, and well...just overwhelming! And I'm only the wife! Though things are starting to settle down a bit here, the transition out of the military can certainly be one filled with many questions. The biggest one being: What are we going to do NOW?

7-Eleven knows the hard work and dedication that our U.S. veterans have shown (their President and CEO, Joe DePinto, is himself a military vet) and have come up with a fantastic opportunity for one very lucky veteran...the chance to win their very own franchise!!
7e_vet_contest_2

Let's take a look at a few key points about veterans and the franchise industry:
  • 7-Eleven has been voted Best for Veterans Franchise
  • In the past four years: 203,890 new vet and military spouses have started franchising careers, 5,608 vets have become franchise owners
  • In the past year 50,000+ vets have found employment in the franchise industry
As you can see, this can truly be a great field for those getting out of the military, and this promotion makes it even easier for military vets to own their own FranchiseIt's turnkey, which means they provide the store, land, and equipment. The winner will receive extensive training and support from the franchise pros, and a gross profit split means they're invested in the success. And start up is fast – only 3-6 months -  with help from the experts through it all. Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? So, how do you enter? Follow these easy steps:
  1. Enter – fill out form on website to enter
  2. Apply – apply through January 25, 2015
  3. Finalists announced – top finalists will be announced in March 2015
  4. Make a video – finalist will create an impressive video explaining why they should be the winner
  5. Videos are posted to Facebook – all finalist videos will be posted to the 7-Eleven Franchising Facebook page
  6. America votes – the top three are flown to Dallas for a final interview
  7. We have a winner! – the 7-Eleven franchise winner is announced April 13, 2015

If you are or know a veteran who could use a fresh new start after their military career has come to a close, enter for yourself or spread the word. Our military veterans have worked hard and deserve this fantastic opportunity. Visit OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND to learn more.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Super Awesome BumGenius 4.0 Giveaway {Win SEVEN Cloth Diapers!!}



Welcome to the bumGenius 4.0 Giveaway, sponsored by Cotton Babies and hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro!
Cloth diapers have come a LOOOOOONG way over the last few decades. Pins and prefolds are a thing of the past. If you don’t believe it, check out bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Cloth Diapers! bumGenius 4.0 is a reusable diaper that is just as easy to use as disposables (except it's way better for the environment — and your wallet). From its “stretchy, butterfly tabs" that provide a comfortable, personalized fit to the trim pocket design, bumGenius 4.0 is a practical option for anyone — especially those who may be resistant to cloth.

Features

One of the great things about bumGenius is that you have options. With exclusive colors and prints to the closures and absorbency, YOU can customize your diapers to meet your needs.
  • Durable snap closures help keep diapers on. This is quite helpful when it comes to little fingers figuring out how to take off a diaper!
  • Easily replaceable elastic keeps your diapers fresh and secure.
  • Waterproof insert stopper* prevents leaking at the tummy.
  • Diapers are bundled with two inserts: a newborn insert for smaller babies and a one-size insert for growing baby.
  • Wide slot opening makes it easy to stuff and remove insert.
  • Slot cover* protects your baby from wetness.

Sizing

The bumGenius 4.0 is a one-size diaper, meaning it fits most babies from birth to potty training (7-35 lbs). It includes a 3×3 snap down setting so you can adjust it to a small, medium or large size.

Warranty

bumGenius has the best warranty in the industry. The workmanship of its products is backed for one year after purchase.

For first-time cloth diaper users, the bumGenius 4.0 is a good place to start. It's best-selling, top rated and loved by parents everywhere. Oh, and we forgot to mention — it's also on sale! Build your stash or stock up while bumGenius 4.0s are Buy 6, Get 1 FREE!

We want to help kick off your New Year with an AWESOME giveaway! One lucky reader will snag a prize package featuring SEVEN bumGenius 4.0 cloth diapers, valued at $125!! The giveaway will end on (12/26/14) at 11:59pm EST. It is open to U.S. residents only. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro, and generously sponsored by Cotton Babies. Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact thriftyniftymommy(at)yahoo.com with questions about this giveaway. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chuck Pagano: Sidelined {A Book Review + Family Christian Giveaway}

**Product received for review.


I'll be honest, I'm not really much of a football fan. Or sports in general really. In fact, the fact that I know that a touchdown is a football term is nothing short of a miracle. Truly. I couldn't tell you one professional NFL team to save my life...let alone the names of any players or coaches. I may have grown up in Indiana, but I honestly had no clue about the Colts!

That all changed when we moved to Indianapolis. Okay, okay...I didn't suddenly become a fan or get a clue about what the sport was all about, but I did very quickly discover that this was a town that was CRAZY for football. Everywhere we looked there was blue, blue, BLUE. And every Friday, even MORE blue. Even in my husband's job as United States Marine Corps recruiter, Fridays meant showing their Colts pride. My husband was also not a big football fan before the move, but that all changed when he was given the opportunity to meet with some of the players. He came out seeing how genuine and kind the team truly was, and gained a new respect for them.



We began to really see the Colts spirit show after a few months when Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Everywhere we looked we saw the community standing with him. It was a #chuckstrong movement. With all of the love and support being shown to the coach, I could only assume that he had been part of this community for many years. I truly didn't know the full story. So, I was happy to be given the opportunity to review Chuck Pagano's Sidelined. Let's take a look:

The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano, has become one of the most inspiring, intriguing personalities in the game of football. Only three games into his rookie season in 2012, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia, sidelined by the side effects chemotherapy and months of recovery. Undeterred, Pagano didn’t let the confines of his hospital bed keep him from coaching: texts, calls, and emails kept him in constant contact with players, staff, and assistants. Motivated to be just as strong and determined as their ailing coach the team started winning game after game, compiling an impressive 11-5 record. The players weren’t the only ones touched by Pagano’s hope and strength of character. 

Inspired by the tenacity and toughness of their beloved coach, a newcomer to town, thousands of fans united to form Chuckstrong, a movement that soon raised millions to help beat cancer. Pagano, fueled by his faith, his family, and his love of football, returned to lead the Colts to another winning season and the divisional playoffs in 2013. With Pagano’s practical lessons on living, loving, and leading, Sidelined, which includes an 8-page color photo section, inspires us all to stay in the game and never accept defeat.

Having seen the Chuckstrong movement firsthand, it was very interesting to read the full story behind it. I was shocked to discover that Coach Pagano had not-as I'd assumed- been there for many, many years but in reality not even a full season. To me, this made the support shown so much more incredible and inspiring. It made me proud to live in such a place that would stand behind one of their own...even if that one was a newcomer.

Again, I'm not a sports fan so there were perhaps a few places where I was a little lost on some terms, etc...but truly, you don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate this book. It is more than a story about a coach and his team, but really is a story of a family and a community. Whether you're a Colts or general football fan looking for the full story, or a sports novice looking for a great inspirational story- this book is definitely worth the read.

You can purchase your own copy of Sidelined at Family Christian!

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And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a $25 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.



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.

Deck the Halls...Without Breaking the Bank {Holiday Decor on a Budget}



If I had my way, come Christmastime my house would be decorated from floor to ceiling! I just ADORE holiday decorating. Unfortunately this is another one of those areas that can put a strain on our budget! Holiday decor is NOT cheap! But that doesn't mean us frugal shoppers have to give up our dreams of decking the halls. Here are a few quick tips for holiday decorating on a budget:

Shop Post Holiday Sales. Perhaps the best way to get great deals on holiday decor is to shop after for the next year! You can get great decor for 50-75% off...or more!! (This is also a great time to stock up on wrapping paper and cards!)

Buy Used. Yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find super cheap holiday decor! Stockings, ornaments, even Christmas trees. And because yard sales are typically in the summer this also helps spread out your holiday budget throughout the year making it less of a hit at once!

Borrow From a Friend. Tired of the same old ornaments you use year after year after year? Consider swapping with a friend for the year (or find a Christmas obsessed friend who has more than they need). You both get fresh new looks without having to invest in all new decor! Win/win. 

Shop Dollar Stores. Stores like the Dollar Tree actually have some really cute decorations for a fraction of the cost! Even Target's dollar spot has some really cute options. It doesn't have to be expensive to look festive. 

Do It Yourself. If you're super crafty you can go all out of course. But for those novices like myself there are plenty of super simple holiday decor ideas. Bring in the kids to make red and green construction paper chains. Make snowflakes from paper to hang from the ceilings! The possibilities are endless.

What ways have YOU found to deck the halls without breaking the bank?

Monday, December 8, 2014

#OwnTheGalaxy with Guardians of the Galaxy Fun at Walmart #Ad #CollectiveBias

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

Tomorrow, December 9th, is the big day. The day that kids and grownups alike have been anxiously awaiting...the release of Guardians of the Galaxy on Bluray and DVD!! I know in our house we have certainly been impatiently waiting! You see, superhero movies are a big deal in our household. Both of my boys- my husband and my son- live and breathe superheroes. They love the comics, they love the movies, they love it all. So, when a great new movie like Guardians of the Galaxy comes out, it serves as a great bonding experience for the two of them...and the whole family too! We could not wait! No, really...we could not wait to start the 
Galaxy fun for even one more day, so I took a trip to my local Walmart to see what kind of merchandise we could find to enjoy during the wait.




The options were endless. Should I go with a Lego playset that my boys could build together? Some 2-way radios so they could chat from a distance? Maybe a couple of t-shirts to show off their love of the characters, or perhaps even the soundtrack to take in some of the great music before the release. Action figures, pillows, even bath sets... Walmart had everything we needed to bring the Galaxy home! You can even receive a $5 gift card when you purchase a Groot, Drax or Rocket Raccoon figure for Disney Infinity!! (Just take it to the register as normal. The cashier will be alerted and you'll receive the gift card instantly! Super easy! Deal expires 12/13.)

For us, I knew there was only one thing that both of my boys loved as much as 
superhero movies: video games!! So, I picked up a few figures from the movie for Disney Infinity 2.0. Now, they can bring the action and adventure to life while they wait...and still get in some valuable father/son time that both can enjoy!! And enjoy it they have... it has certainly made the wait a little easier!

Still, they are both glad the wait is almost over...and who can blame them? I can't wait to bring the movie home myself! Not only for the movie itself, but the awesome DVD features available: 
Exclusive Character O-sleeve and exclusive music zinepack and a 64-page magazine with cast and crew interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and trivia PLUS a custom “cassette" laptop decal.


Of course, in our household we couldn't wait to get our Galaxy on...but if you can hold the excitement for just a few more weeks, these great products along with the movie will be the PERFECT holiday gift for the ultimate Guardians of the Galaxy fan...of any age!! Don't miss out on all the Galaxy goodness available at your local Walmart this holiday season! And don't forget to pick up the movie yourself TOMORROW!! 


Do you have a Guardians of the Galaxy fan in our life? Which of these great products would you like to gift them this Christmas?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

November via Instagram

Another busy month around our household! We have been getting into the holiday swing...and enjoying every minute. Here's a look back at our November via Instagram:



We made pumpkin pies!




We got into the Christmas spirit! 



We dressed up...just for fun!



We had silly hair days!



We went to Cub Scouts!!





We put up our tree!



We played in the snow.




We enjoyed delicious Gluten Free goodies.



We slept...and we played.





We played with Minnie.



We tried to escape.



We got our first loose tooth.


Capture Holiday Memories with Best Buy {@BestBuy #HintingSeason @CanonUSAimaging #CanonatBestBuy}

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


For as long as I can remember, taking photos has been a big part of my life. I remember as a young child I would go to my great grandma's house and the first thing she'd do was grab the camera. My mom was the same way, where family and friends were gathered, so was the camera. To be honest, I always thought that was just the norm- that everyone took so many photos. As I got older, I picked up the love of photography myself. My friends came to call me the paparazzi in high school as I was always snapping away, capturing those moments...which I am forever grateful for.
When I became a mom, capturing those moments became even more important. I wanted to remember every detail in years to come. So, when my little man was just a little over a year old, I received my very first DSLR...and I loved it! Looking back, I only wished I'd had it sooner. Through the years, my beloved DSLR has helped me capture many memories- birthday parties, road trips, family gatherings, a new baby... for me, it was truly my must have item!


If you have someone on your holiday list that loves to capture the moments, Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras. They have many options available to fit many budgets and skill levels, including the best-selling Canon EOS Rebel T5i. It makes advanced photography easy and fun, while giving you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression, such as:

•      Capture Hollywood caliber full HD video  
•      Continuous autofocus while taking HD video
•      Features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images.
•      The 3" vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.



Whether you're looking for a great camera for yourself or someone on your list, a great camera like this is truly a must have for every household. And Best Buy is making it easier than ever to afford. Right now you can save 
$150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy*. Visit Best Buy to learn more.

*offer valid 12/7-12/20

What memories would you capture on your new Canon EOS rebel T5i from Best Buy?