A Modern Day Fairy Tale: 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Trust & Surrender: A Look Back at 2016 & Look Ahead to the New Year


Do you have a One Little Word?

Rather than a resolution that so often get broken before January ends, a OLW is a simple word that you focus on throughout the year- something you want to work on and improve upon, something you want to keep in mind as the year goes on.

Last year, I chose the word Trust.



When I chose this word, it was based upon the lyrics from my favorite song 'Oceans: Where Feet May Fail':

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.

I wanted to trust in God to use me wherever He could to do good for Him. I wanted to use my blog to reach others through my writing. I wanted to become more involved in my church in whatever way I was needed. I wanted to put my trust in Him through all of that, and know that he would put me where I was needed.

That was what I had in mind... but as it turned out, that is not what 2016 had in store for me. Yes, I continued to use this platform to bring Him glory, yes I did become more involved at my church- taking over their social media account and joining the outreach team- but this was not that only way that my trust was tested throughout the year.

It seems for many, 2016 was a year of great loss and hardship. In recent days with the increase of celebrity deaths, I've seen it referred to as 'The Year of the Reaper'. Unfortunately, for myself, that loss has hit much closer to home.

Early this year, my husband lost his job. Aside from my limited blog income here and there, this was our main income. For over a month, we had no income whatsoever. Thankfully, my husband was able to find a new job, but despite searching for other options, the best he could find meant taking a massive pay cut--- less than half of what he was making in the military. We found ourselves stuck in contracts and bills that were based upon that previous budget, that we could not get out of despite our new, much lower budget. Throughout the year we have cut down where we could, exhausted our savings, and worked hard to improve the situation. I wish I could say that the situation has improved, but unfortunately, that's not the reality right now. And so I find myself having to trust in God, that we will find a way to get through the next month, that we will find a way to keep the power on and food on the table. I have had to trust that it WILL get better.

Through all that, I found my health going downhill. I have always suffered with severe anxiety, which has increasingly gotten worse over the past few years, but this year it really took its toll. The situations we have faced would be difficult for anyone to deal with, but certainly is not made easier by this anxiety. And so my health- physical and mental- took a hit. I've struggled with migraines and issues in my hands and feet, my ears and eyes--- all of the physical symptoms that anxiety can bring. But also the mental ones, I have struggled to leave my home and found myself cutting myself off from relationships, and having daily panic attacks. In addition to the anxiety disorder that I have had for as long as I can remember, I was given the additional diagnosis of panic disorder. Once again I found myself having to trust God with my health.

In September, came perhaps the biggest blow of all for me. My oldest sister was killed in a car accident. Now, I must confess, I hadn't seen my older sister in several years--- we were always missing one another when we visited. Every time, I would think to myself, we'll catch her next time. I never could have imagined there would never be one. My sister was much older than my sisters and I and we didn't grow up together (she was my father's 'daughter' from his first marriage), but I idolized her. She was the cool, much older sister and I wanted to be just like her. I had to trust in God's plan, because this was certainly one that I could not make sense of.

As I said, 2016 has been a tough year, perhaps the worst I've experienced (though many GREAT things have come from it too, and I thank God for those blessings through the turmoil daily). It is a year that has put that little word to a huge test. When I selected that word a year ago, I was in a good place, I could not have imagined how much that word would come to mean.

I kept this all in mind as I searched for the perfect word for 2017.

I contemplated strength, knowing I would certainly need it in the coming months, but it just didn't seem to be the right fit. I contemplated contentment to adjust to the downsizing that we continue to try and do, but the reality is I'm generally a very content person when all of the immediate needs are met. Finally, I arrived on the perfect word for me: SURRENDER.



Maybe its the anxiety, but I must say, I'm a bit of a control freak. I like to know when things are going to happen and how they are going to happen. I do not handle uncertainty or doubt well. I don't like surprises. While I know deep down that God is in control of everything, actually giving it all up and handing that control over to him...well, that is the hardest thing for me. This year has certainly tested me in that respect. Suddenly, everything that had been laid out and planned so well, fell apart. I didn't and don't know how things are going to work out, I don't know how bills are to be paid, I don't know how we're going to make it through. But HE does. And so, while it may be difficult, that is my aim for the year...to let go of that control and lay it at His feet.


Did you have a OLW for 2016? How did it impact your year? What word have you chosen for 2017?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ring in the New Year with DIY Confetti Poppers {Kid Craft}

New Years Eve is almost here! Are you ready to party? With the kids, that is! Whether you actually stay up all night or just trick the littles with a Netflix countdown earlier in the night, I wanted to share a simple craft that will make your New Year's  celebration a little more fun!

DIY Confetti Popper




  • Toilet Paper Roll
  • Confetti
  • Wrapping or Tissue Paper
  • Ribbon/String
  • Tape
  • Scissors

  1. First off, let's prep the toilet paper rolls by cutting in half. When we pull the popper apart, this can give them a spot to break more easily...though don't be surprised if it breaks on an end too.
  2. Now, place some confetti into the rolls. (Don't have confetti on hand? Use a hole punch and construction paper to make your own. Or use scissors to cut tiny scraps of paper.)


  3. Next, it's time to wrap. I used wrapping paper because I had some extra on hand, but you can use tissue paper as well... you basically just want something that will tear easily. When taping, be certain to do one piece on each side rather than the center... you'll want it to break apart easily!
  4. Use rubbon, twine, yarn...whatever you have on hand... to tie the ends closed.
  5. Trim edges as desired.
  6. When the party time has arrived, pull on both ends and watch the confetti fly!!
This craft is easy to create and are the perfect compliment to New Year's Eve celebrations, or birthdays, etc! The supplies are some that many of us probably already have on hand, and if not, they are inexpensive to buy!

How are you celebrating with the kids? Will these DIY confetti poppers make the celebration?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Introduce Your Little Ones to the Bible with a #TheBeginnersBible Giveaway #FlyBy

It is no secret by now that my son loves Bible stories. He has a collection of both story books and actual Bibles that he goes back to time and time again. But where did this love start? For him, it all started with The Beginner's Bible:



The Beginner’s Bible® has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold. Now it’s redesigned with fresh new art that will excite children for many more years to come. Full of faith and fun, The Beginner’s Bible is a wonderful gift for any child. The easy-to-read text and bright, full-color illustrations on every page make it a perfect way to introduce young children to the stories and characters of the Bible. With new vibrant three-dimensional art and compelling text, more than 90 Bible stories come to life. Kids ages 6 and under will enjoy the fun illustrations of Noah helping the elephant onto the ark, Jonah praying inside the fish, and more, as they discover The Beginner's Bible just like millions of children before. The Beginner's Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children's Nonfiction.

As you can see, this Bible has been around for a long time. My son is not the only child to first fall in love with these beautifully illustrated stories. Many of you probably have and had this in your home for your kids, perhaps you even read it yourself as a child. It is a classic!


But now that classic is even more fun, with its new stunning illustrations! When it first arrived, my son couldn't wait to check it out. Now, as I've said, throughout the years, his story Bible collection has grown and so he has quite the variety, but with every new one added, The Beginner's Bible remained a favorite. Even now at 9 years old and the ability to read his real Bible, he still enjoys going back to them. His reaction to the new look? He loved it! He was so excited to pass along his love of these stories to his three year old sister to enjoy in a fun new way. He of course noticed the new look, but while the styles are updated, it has those same familiar characters that little ones associate with The Beginner's Bible. This is simply an updated look, not a completely different one. My son is pretty particular about things like that, but he was a fan!



And my daughter was too! Now, she wasn't as familiar with The Beginner's Bible just yet, so it was all new to her, but she loved it. The pictures were beautifully illustrated and fun and the stories kept in line with the Bible, but in a shortened, easier to understand version. Already we have enjoyed reading about the birth of Christ, and we cannot wait to keep reading throughout the year. The stories are broken in to small sections, making them perfect for bedtimes and short attention spans both.

If you have a Beginner's Bible fan in your home, they will most definitely love this new and improved version too. If you're still looking for a way to encourage your little one to learn about the Bible early, this is a great choice...there truly is a reason that it has been around for as long as it has!

You can find out more at the links below:

Official website: www.TheBeginnersBible.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz.Beginners.Bible

Twitter: www.twitter.com/BeginnersBible

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Bible-Timeless-Childrens-Stories/dp/031075013X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479158662&sr=8-1&keywords=9780310750130


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, 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, December 21, 2016

Bring Rudolph to Life with These New Interactive Books {A Review + Giveaway}

**Books received for review. All thoughts are my own.
Rudolph the red nose reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows.

We all know and love this classic Christmas song, don't we? Even the littlest of children know the song and the story of this favorite reindeer! I know my children certainly do! Most of us also know and love the characters from the classic Christmas movie based on that same song. Every year, we gather in front of the television and watch this timeless tale as a family. It's hard not to fall in love with it.

This year, I am excited to introduce you to two new books celebrating this family holiday favorite:




Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop Up Book

First aired in 1964, the stop motion animation follows the adventures of Rudolph as he travels to the North Pole and the Island of Misfit Toys, meeting an unforgettable cast of characters. From Yukon Cornelius with his signature red beard and the kind-hearted doe Clarice to Hermey the beloved elf and aspiring dentist, the beautifully illustrated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop-Up Book ($19.95; ISBN: 978-1-62686-197-8) revives everyone’s favorite characters in six large-scale pop-ups created using actual images from the original television special.

This anniversary edition is a fun and engaging way to introduce a new generation of children to the timeless tale of acceptance and Christmas spirit. Whether as a gift or as part of a new holiday tradition, this stunning memento will be treasured for years to come. Fly along with Rudolph as he joins in the reindeer games, flees from the Abominable Snow Monster, and guides Santa’s sleigh one foggy Christmas Eve. Like Rudolph himself, this book is sure to go down in history as a new classic.

Who doesn't love a good pop up book? I know I did as a kid and my kids do now as well. Okay, okay... I STILL love them now even as an adult. The beautiful artwork that goes into these beautiful 3D designs? What's not to love!? I knew this book would quickly become a holiday favorite in our house, and I was right. We loved seeing these beloved characters brought to life in a whole new way. I also loved that it truly makes reading with the family fun. My son loves to read, but my daughter needs a little extra encouragement sometimes and these fun designs do just the trick! I know that we will continue to enjoy it year after year!




Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Crochet

From bouncing Bumbles to Yukon gold, you'll love these adorable amigurumi figures from the classic television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! This cheerful Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Crochet ($24.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-657-7) kit contains all the materials you'll need to create Rudolph and Santa. Colorful photos and step-by-step directions in the 76-page instruction book will also guide you through crafting the Bumble, Charlie-in-the-Box, Dolly, Spotted Elephant, Hermey, Moonracer, Mrs. Claus, Clarice, Sam the Snowman, and Yukon Cornelius. Warm up your crochet hook for this group of charming holiday characters!

Now, I must admit, I don't crochet myself, although this adorable characters certainly have me wanting to learn! But for the friend or child who does, what could be greater!? They will truly be able to bring these characters to life for a fun toy for the kids to create reenactments with, or to incorporate into your holiday decor! This will truly be a great gift for the crafty one on your list.

Whether you want to bring these characters to life through crocheted toys or 3D pop ups, these books have you covered in enjoying our favorite Rudolph characters in a fun new way!

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

Buy Pop Up
Buy Crochet Book
Follow Thunder Bay on Twitter.
Follow Silver Dolphin on Twitter
Like Thunder Bay on Facebook
Like Silver Dolphin on Facebook.


And one very lucky reader is going to win both books! These won't arrive until after the holidays, of course, but will give you a head start to next year's celebrations! 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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dark Before Dawn {A Book Review and Giveaway} #HolidayGiftGuide

**Book received for consideration, all thoughts are my own.

A few years ago, I introduced you all to the first book in the Archangel Prophecies by Monica McGurk, Dark Hope. (Review here.) I was immediately drawn into this supernatural world she had created and could not wait to read more. I was not let down when the second book Dark Rising made its debut (Review here), but still I found myself waiting and wondering... how was it going to end?

Finally I am happy to say, the answers are here! The third book in this fantastic series has finally arrived:



It’s darkest before the dawn . . . and that can be very dark indeed.
Twelve years have passed since Hope Carmichael helped fulfill the ancient prophecy that permitted the Fallen Angels to return, forgiven, to Heaven. Now a lawyer at twenty-eight, Hope—along with a resurrected Michael, the archangel who loves her—has been presented by Heaven with a choice: one that could either result in Hope never seeing her family again, or the world losing its greatest angelic protector. At the same time, Hope’s young sister Aurora struggles to help a school friend resolve her dark personal issues, all while being observed by a sinister adversary from Hope’s past, working on a plan for revenge that may soon plunge the entire extended Carmichael family into tragedy.

The culmination of the saga begun in Dark Hope and continued in Dark Rising, Dark Before Dawn returns to the world of the Archangel Prophecies, telling one final story of adventure, moral urgency, and the ultimate choice Hope and Michael make between the human and the divine.


Now, I must admit with the busy-ness that this time of year brings, I haven't yet had the time to finish and find out exactly how it ends. But what I am reading so far? It's definitely every bit as intriguing  as the first two, perhaps even more so! I am loving it! With each turn of the page I once again find myself being drawn into this world and wondering and waiting to see the final conclusion. With the passing of 12 years in the characters' lives, there certainly is a more mature feel to them, which I think works really well for this story.

I have always been a fan of supernatural fiction, but perhaps what drew me in to this particular story was that in the midst of these fictional tale, arose and brought awareness to the issue of sex trafficking. With that, I cannot say that these books have always been the easiest to read with this dark subject matter, but it truly is a wonderful story that I believe will truly open the eyes of so many to the horrors going on in our own country. I know it certainly did for me.

If you have read the first two books, you definitely will not want to miss this conclusion. Haven't read the first two? Now is a great time to pick up the entire series and start reading. You will not regret it.

Ready to learn more? You can connect at the links below:


And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a copy of Dark Before Dawn 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.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Music for the Fancy Girl on Your List {A Holiday Gift Guide Review}

**Product received for review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

My daughter is a girly girl! She loves all things glitter, all things that shine... all things fancy! Needless to say, she also enjoys Fancy Nancy! And she's not alone, little girls everywhere love her!

And like most little girls I know, she also loves music! She is always singing, dancing, even making up her own songs and putting on shows.

So, when I heard of the Fancy Nancy: The Musical (Original Off Broadway Cast Recording) CD, I just knew that my daughter would love it. Take a look:



Fancy Nancy and her friends, Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, "Deep Sea Dances." Nancy is positive, that's fancy for 100 percent sure, that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role of the mermaid, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. Can Nancy bring fancy flair to her role, even though it isn't the one she wanted? 


Fancy Nancy was originally a 2005 children's picture book written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The book spent nearly 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list and spawned a series that now includes over 50 books, selling 20 million copies across the series. Fancy Nancy: The Musical ran from 2012 to 2014 at the Vital Theatre in New York City and is currently on a national tour.

Immediately, my fancy girl could not wait to put it in! And it was love at first listen! She loved dancing along to all these fun songs! They truly are great for little girls... not only are they catchy and fun to sing along to, but it also truly is a great message too. It helps remind little girls that we may not always get the roles we want, but we can still have importance in the roles we are given. It reminds them that all little girls can be fancy and just provides a fun sweet message to our girls.

If you have a girl in your life that had seen the show and enjoyed it, they will love bringing that music home to enjoy again and again. Didn't see the show? Honestly, we hadn't either, but we still enjoyed the music anyway! You don't have to be familiar with it to enjoy it! Though once you hear the music, you'll certainly find yourself wanting to experience the show in its entirety too.

If you have a fancy little girl on your Christmas list, this CD is certainly worth checking out. And my Readers Get 15% Off and Free Shipping #FancyNancyTheMusical CD. Use code USFAM at http://www.sh-k-boom.com/fancynancy.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Have a Personalized Christmas with I See Me! {A Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop Event}



Welcome to the Best of 2017 Giveaway Hop hosted by MamatheFox! At each stop in this hop you can find a fun prize. Be sure to come back for your daily entries to increase your chances of winning! Good Luck

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

When I was a kid, I remember looking at those personalized gifts with your name written on them with longing. You see, with a name like 'Randi', they NEVER had my name. On occasion, I'd find a 'Randy' but did I really want the boys version of my name when people already so often saw my name and expected a boy? No, not really! I just had to resign myself to never having my name on anything.

So, as a mother, surely I would not do that to my children, right? I'd give them more common names? That might be what was expected, but no, I did the same to my own children! Shaun, while a more common name, is perhaps the least common spelling- named after his dad. Finley, a beautiful name (and okay, admittedly, yes it's an Irish boys' name), but not a very common one in the least. It seems I resigned my kids as well to a life without personalization... well, that is if they too were kids in the 90s.

Thankfully, we're not living in the 90s! We're living in the age of TRUE personalization... where you can buy gifts and completely customize the spelling. And when it comes to those personalized kids' gifts, for me none are better than I See Me Kids Books!

We were first introduced to I See Me a few years ago. My son instantly fell in love. There is just something about seeing your name within the story and within the artwork that makes reading that much more fun. With every new I See Me book added to his collection, he fell more in love. Last year, we decided it was time for my daughter to start her I See Me book collection. While she liked her book and still reads it now, at just two years old at that time, I don't think she was quite at a point that she could truly appreciate just how cool these books were. After all, she can't read on her own, so how does she really know that her name is all over the pages?

This year, when I saw 'My Christmas Sing-Along Book and Songs', I knew that THIS would be the perfect I See Me book for her:


The book features all the lyrics from popular holiday songs, all personalized with your child’s name! It is sure to be a treasured gift to put you in the holiday spirit! Gift givers can also include a custom dedication and a photo to make the book extra special. You and your child will enjoy singing the songs together and making Christmas memories to last a lifetime!

Jingle Bells
Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Here We Come A-Caroling
Deck The Halls
12 Days Of Christmas
Up On The Housetop
Over The River And Through The Woods
Toyland
We Wish You A Merry Christmas


You see, this wasn't JUST a book, it was a CD too. As soon as it arrived, she could not wait to put it in. Imagine her surprise that within the lines of some of our favorite holiday tunes, she heard her own name... straight from the radio! Excited does not even begin to cover it! She was ecstatic! She may not be able to read her name on the pages of the accompanying book, but she clearly knew they were singing about her! Absolutely amazing!

I must say, even my 9 year old loved it. At his age, I thought perhaps he had outgrown the I See Me craze... but he couldn't believe his ears! In fact, he was a little envious and wanted his own!! He may be a more advanced reader, but perhaps that fun is one that cannot be outgrown just yet!



From Christmas to birthday or just because, we love I See Me! And it's not just books, they also offer a fantastic selection of personalized kids gifts such as Lunchboxes / Puzzles /Coloring BooksPlacemats / Stickers and Growth Charts


You can see them all and connect at the links below:




Email promos/discounts and updates:  http://www.iseeme.com/preference-center.html

And one very lucky reader is going to win a book of their choosing. 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.
MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Doodle Closer to God {A ScriptureDoodle Review}

**I have received these books for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

Are you a doodler?

I may not be much of an artist, but I could certainly call myself a doodler. I'll be making my lists, or taking notes on a sermon and find myself drawing little scribbles along the margins of my paper. Sometimes it's based upon whatever I am reading or hearing, but other times I find its just like a reflex... I am just making scribbles at random.

Doodling can be a great way to pass the time, but do you ever wish you had a little more purpose behind it? If so, I have just the devotionals for you- ScriptureDoodle and ScriptureDoodle God's Promises:




About the books: 

ScriptureDoodle: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, October 2016)
With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.
Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.
More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle.  

Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodlegives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader's imagination and helps integrate God's Word into everyday life.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gUdlHF

ScriptureDoodle God's Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)

Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God's promises and faithfulness to His children.
ScriptureDoodle God's Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God's Word in all circumstances.
This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.


Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2gUhyLR



I fell in love with Bible journaling because I found it to be a creative way to worship God. Creating fun art in my Bible margins allowed me to have a unique form of worshiping and praising God that worked for ME. Still, just because that form of worship suited my spiritual needs, I realized that its not the perfect fit for everyone... but it is that same reason I fell in love with these devotionals. Maybe bible journaling isn't the right fit for you- perhaps you aren't comfortable writing in your Bible or you just need somewhere to start from. These might just be that creative worship outlet you need. They are more interactive than a typical devotion might be and again just provide that unique way to celebrate God's goodness!

If you are looking for a new way to grow your relationship with God, or if you're still looking for the perfect gift for the Doodler on your holiday list, these devotionals are a great place to start!

Visit the links above to purchase them for yourself.

Have a Comfortable Christmas with Coobie Seamless Bras {A Review & Giveaway Hop}


Welcome to A Beary Merry Holiday Hop Event
Hosted by LeahSay's Views and Planet Weidknecht

From now through the end of the year, hop along to participating blogs to enter a variety of great prizes...all those gifts that you didn't get for the holidays, now you can win! Enter my giveaway then hop along to win more.

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

Those who know me well know that I love fashion! I love shopping for beautiful dresses. I love shopping for cute sweaters and shawls. I love finding cute accessories to complete any outfit, and just the right shoes too. When it comes to shopping, there is very little I don't like shopping for!

But the one thing I really don't? Bras!



Who is with me on this? I mean I can go into any number of stores and find dresses that I would love to wear and that fit well... but finding the perfect bra? Now that's a little bit harder!

For more it comes down to 3 key features I look for:

  • Style. Now I know, no one is going to see this but myself, but honestly... I still want something that is kind of cute! I'm going to see it and I have found that when every part of me looks better- even those unseen- I feel better about myself! So while I may not turn down an otherwise fabulous bra that just happened to be dull and un-stylish, if given the choice I would most definitely go for something with a cute factor- fun colors, lace or cute designs!
  • Sizing. I am very petite so finding clothes in general can often be difficult, but bras may perhaps be the most difficult. You see, I wear a 30A... a size that is very difficult to find without heading to the little girl's section, or paying a tremendous amount of money for! Neither of these are great options for me. First and foremost, I am not a little girl and don't want my bras to look like such. But I also don't have the money to pay a ton for just one bra either. Certainly, you can see the frustration.
  • Comfort. Finally, comfort is perhaps the absolute most important. It can be cute and fit great but if its not comfortable, I'm not going to want to wear it. 

When I recently heard of Coobie Seamless Bras, I knew I had to put them to the test. I mean, with a tagline like 'The Most Comfortable Bra Ever' it'd be silly not to try, right? So I put their Lace Bralette to the test.



Right away you can see it meets the style requirement! It's beautiful! And the comfort? Oh yes, it certainly hits that too. It's very soft, no underwires to poke or cause issues, and it slips on easily like a top...no pesky hooks to worry about. But the feature I was most curious about was the size. The size Small Bralette claimed to fit from sizes 28A-32D... how was that even possible? But it actually quite surprisingly fit pretty well. I would have liked the straps to adjust just a bit more, but they stayed up, and overall it fit really well. There was plenty of stretch so I could see it having a lot of room for someone larger than myself. My guess would be that the best fit would be those somewhere in between those sizes, but regardless it DID work for me. Of course, as a bralette this doesn't have a ton of coverage--- no padding, etc--- but it is a very comfortable bra and I really like it! I look forward to trying more styles from Coobie in the future!

Ready to buy your own? Save 25% on any order of Coobie Seamless Bras at www.shopcoobie.com Use code: USFG

And TWO very lucky readers are going to win one for themselves. 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.  LeahSay's Views, Planet Weidknecht, and the participating hop bloggers are not responsible for companies who do not fulfill prize obligations or injury from said prized.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sweeten Your Holidays Naturally with YumEarth {A Giveaway}

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

At Halloween, we talked about how Candy & Halloween pretty much go hand and hand... but Halloween is most certainly not the only candy heavy holiday. If you made a trip to any grocery store right now, you'd find aisles of Christmas candy... all or our favorites dressed up in a bright red and green, ready for stockings! And we all know that those classic Christmas candy commercials mark the arrival of the season. Yes, candy is a huge part of the Christmas festivities too!



When it comes to filling those stocking and supplying treats for holiday parties, I want my kids to have those fun treats, but I don't want to load them up with artificial flavorings and dyes! So, once again I turned to YumEarth for the best of both worlds--- sweet treats that I can actually feel good about giving my kids:



YumEarth is the #1 organic candy brand in the US with international distribution in over 30 countries. Honestly Crafted. Always Irresistible. Gluten-free, dairy-free & peanut-free. Naturally flavored, no synthetic colors & no high fructose corn syrup. 


YumEarth crafts mouth-watering lollipops, gummies, fruit snacks, licorice and other treats in over 20 unique flavors, including Pomegranate Pucker, Strawberry Smash, Mango Tango and Perfectly Peach.


The thing that I truly love most about YumEarth is that it tastes fantastic! All of the other better for kids benefits aside, I would still choose YumEarth over every other brand! There truly is a reason they are called YUM-Earth. Give me a Perfectly Peach over other brands and flavors any day! And it's not just me, my kids love them too. In fact, I have to hide them out of view so they won't try to eat them all at once! For the holidays, they even have festive flavored peppermint pops. Yum!!!

If you're looking for a sweet treat for class parties or to fill your little one's stocking, YumEarth is a MUST! You can see all varieties and learn more at the links below.
Visit the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And one very lucky reader is going to win a $25 YumEarth prize pack. 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. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

DIY Emoji Salt Dough Ornaments

When I was a kid, I remember making salt dough ornaments all the time! I don't know if we made them every year, but we certainly made them often. Many of you have probably done the same. These cute ornaments are not just fun and easy to make... chances are most of us already have everything we need to make them right in our pantries. No wonder they are such a common DIY holiday craft!

This year, I decided I wanted to have some fun with these salt dough ornaments and get a little more creative with them. Today, I'm sharing one of these ideas we came up with:


DIY Emoji Salt Dough Ornaments



For the Salt Dough


  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water

  1. Preheat Oven to 325.
  2. Mix flour and salt. Add water gradually, stirring with a large spoon. Finish mixing with hands, kneading until soft and pliable.
  3. Roll out on floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters (for this particular design, use plain circles).
  4. Use a toothpick to make a hole for stringing ornament.
  5. Place on cookie sheet and bake until hard- about one hour. 
  6. Allow to cool.
Once your ornaments are baked and cooled, it's time to start decorating!

For Decorating

  • Yellow Paint
  • Permanent Markers
  • Wooden Shapes (optional)
  • Hot Glue
  • String for Hanging
  • Varnish
  1. Start off by painting your circles yellow. Allow to dry.
  2. Use a permanent marker to draw on the faces of your favorite emojis.
  3. Paint some wood shapes (like tears and hearts), and glue on for finishing touches. (We happened to already have these on hand, if you can't find any or would prefer not to use them, you can just paint these finishing touches on.)
  4. Spray with varnish to help preserve your ornaments. Allow to dry.
  5. Add string and hang.


Now, I don't know what it is about emojis, but kids cannot get enough! They love anything and everything emoji. And, while I am certainly no artist, they are not too difficult to recreate. They may not be perfect mind you, but they are fun for kids, and easy for kids to make on their own too! This truly is a fun way to make that age ol' salt dough ornament tradition a little more modern! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Make Winter Mornings Easier with Scrape-A-Round {A Review}


**Product received for review, all thoughts are my own.

For many across the country, this past weekend brought the first true sign of winter's arrival.

SNOW!

Now, I love snow! I love seeing the excitement in my children's faces when they see those first flakes of the year coming down. I love the days when the snow is so piled up that we get that wonderful call- SNOW DAY! I love sitting in my warm home with a warm blanket and nice hot mug of coffee and watching the winter-y beauty from the windows. Yes, from the inside looking out, snow is magical and beautiful!

But actually going out INTO the snow, well, now THAT is something I could go without. Still, if you live in an area where it snows, that's just the unfortunate side of winter. At some point, you're going to have to go out in it. You're going to have to walk through the cold and stand outside trying to get the ice and snow off your windows. *sigh* Isn't there an easier way?

Good news, there is! Recently, I was introduced to a great new product that I am excited to share with all of you- the Scrape-A-Round:



The Scrape-a-round is a brilliant feat of ice scraping engineering. The simple explanations why Scrape-A-Round is the best ice scraper are as follows:
Best ice scraper because of the softer plastic, allows the scraper to conform to the window curvature!
18" of ice scraping surface.
The comfortable grasp provides relief for the arthritic or carpal syndrome sufferer.
Direct pressure to the window, no pressure lost through the ice scraper!
The circular rotational motion of ice scraper.
Double ice scraper action, leading edge and trailing edge.
Multi functional, remove the cap and it doubles as a funnel. 
This scrapes windows frost and ice free in half the time!
Makes the perfect gift for the Holidays! 



http://www.scrapearound.com/



Over this weekend, I had the chance to experience the Scrape-A-Round for myself, and I must say- I am a fan! It was comfortable to hold and did a great job in getting the ice and snow off of my windows. Now, I must say this wasn't a major case of ice as we might see later in the year, but I have no doubts that even during those crazy ice days, it will work better than a typical ice scraper. While I only needed to use the one, the set of 3 together works perfectly on all of those stubborn icy needs! For me, it seemed as though it covers a larger surface to make clearing faster, but also because of its shape and size, allowed me to add more pressure too--- no wonder it worked so well.



I will say the one downfall for me personally is that I am very petite and even with a typical ice scraper I have problems reaching all areas of the windows. Still the benefits outweighed that!

Now, I still cannot say that I look forward to scraping those icy windows as winter continues...BUT I certainly am starting to dread it a little less at least!

Want to see the Scrape-A-Round in action? Check out this video:



My readers get to save! Get FREE Shipping at http://www.scrapearound.com/ Use code LU8FBEZREU2 at checkout. 
http://usfamilyguide.com/coupons.php?bid=13171&dealid=3099

Friday, December 9, 2016

Easy DIY Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Do you have a tree in your yard that loves to drop pine cones? Ever wonder what to do with all of these pine cones? Recently, my daughter and I went on a pine cone hunt! I was in charge of church decorating this year and had decided on a simple outdoorsy look for our windows and so we loaded up on pine cones...and ended up with more than we could use! So I started brainstorming more fun ways to put them to use. Today I'm sharing one of these ideas...

Pine Cone Christmas Trees


  • Pine Cones
  • Green Paint
  • Pom Poms
  • Glue
  1. First and foremost, be sure to prepare your pine cones. Remove any debris, and bake at 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (keeping a watchful eye to avoid burning). This will help to kill any bugs that may have found their way into these pine cones. 
  2. On some old newspaper, pour out some green paint. Roll your pine cone through the paint to apply to all edges. Allow to dry (you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process if desired). 
  3. Glue the pom poms onto your 'tree' as ornaments. 

This simple craft is tons of fun for the kids, and can be a cute way to incorporate some natural pine cones into your holiday decor.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Donate to Goodwill, Create Jobs #DonateStuffCreateJobs

#donatestuffcreatejobs The holidays are a time of love, joy and pure magic for most of us. But if we are really being honest, there are a lot of people who struggle through the holidays. While everyone is celebrating, cooking, gathering with friends and shopping – there are those out there who are struggling to find jobs and keep the lights on. So in a time of giving – a time that is a joy for some and a struggle for others – how do you help? It’s simple. When you donate your stuff to Goodwill®, you create opportunities for individuals in your community looking to find a job and build skills, including veterans and military families, single mothers and many others. Last year, people helped local Goodwill organizations collectively place 312,000 people in employment in the United States and Canada. In addition, more than 35 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill education, training, mentoring and online learning services to strengthen their skills. WE did that. Those of us that are donating our items and shopping at Goodwill. That is all it takes – it really is that easy.

So how do you help, exactly?

Step 1: Gather Your Stuff Walk around your home and collect items you and your family no longer need — that shirt that’s been hanging in the back of your closet for three years, the toy trike your five-year old has outgrown, the holiday gift from grandma you never quite found a place for, etc. Step 2: Give Them a Look Over Donating items that are in working condition, contain all of their pieces and parts, and are free of stains and rips is the best way to ensure that your goods do the most good. While they accept most clothing and household items, there are a few things they can’t accept – if you are unsure, it’s best to give your local Goodwill organization a call first to find out any rules or restrictions around these items. Step 3: Go to Goodwill Ready to drop off your items? Just use the Goodwill locator app and check the box for “Donation Site” to find your nearest Goodwill drop-off location. Donating a lot of items? Some Goodwills offer donation pickup services – give yours a call to find out what’s available in your area. While you are there – shop around! They have so many gently used and even new items that you may find that you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. When you shop at Goodwill, you are also shopping for a cause.

Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway #giftguide #mommyscene

Mom Faves multi-brand holiday giveaway and gift ideas - Mommy Scene
We know moms work hard to make Christmas special for their families. This Mom Faves Holiday Giveaway coordinated by Mommy Scene features great gift ideas to keep moms healthy, happy, pampered, and moisturized! One lucky winner will win them all! Giveaway ends December 18th, 2016.

Mom Faves Prize List

Full Details »
Aurorae Printed Yoga Mat
How to Raise Great Kids - 101 Fun & Easy Ideas
Moon Valley Organics Herbal Heal Gift Set: Herbal Heal, Moon Melt Lotion Bar, Herbal Lip Balm
Signs.com Custom Canvas 12" x 12" print
Duo Diary Health Journal
Revelae Kids Yummi Pouch Cloth Snack Bags
CiPU Diaper Bag in Heather Grey
Paperless Post 1,000 coins (Retail Value $90)
The Picket Fence $50 gift certificate

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. 1 winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway page after the giveaway ends on December 18, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!

Mommy Scene Blog Street Team

Light Up Your Christmas with 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights {A Review}


**Product received for review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Every year at Christmas time, it seems our toy collection just triples! Every year I ask myself, where are we going to put them all!? So, while I still love shopping for toys, I also love finding fun new gifts that my kids will love that AREN'T toys. I look for gifts that are both practical but still fun. Things such as blankets, cool pillow and even lights.

When I first discovered 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights, I knew that they were perfect:

DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights are the perfect gift this holiday season. They have a full range of comic book, super hero, Disney Princess, sports and car lights that look as though they are popping right out of the wall! They are battery operated and cool to the touch so you can place them any where in the room! Your kids will loves having these in their rooms and they're also the perfect editions to a den, family room, man's cave or office! Find all of these amazing products here: http://bit.ly/TargetUSFamily


My oldest son is a bit afraid of the dark, so nightlights are a must in my house. But we don't want boring old nightlights, we want something fun that adds a little something special to the room. What could do that for the Star Wars fan than the Death Star coming straight out of the wall!?

This light truly is amazing. The details on the Death Star are fantastic, down to the last one. It truly does look like the real deal (on a much scaled down level of course). The included crack sticker helps eeven more to give that illusion that this famed ship has just crashed through the bedroom wall! How fun is that!? It's also 
cool to the touch, cordless, and battery operated so you don't have to worry about visible wires to trip over or your little one burning themselves when they inevitably want to get a closer look.


It may not be a toy, but it is every bit as much fun! Not a Star Wars fan? There are many styles to choose from to best suit your little one's tastes! This is truly one non-toy gift that EVERY child would love to unwrap Christmas morning!

Want to check them out for yourself? They are available to purchase now at your local Target, or Target online.

Which 3DLIGHTFX 3D Deco Lights would YOUR little one like to find under the Christmas tree?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winter is Coming with a Periwinkle's Journey Prize Pack Giveaway {A Giveaway Hop Event} #HolidayGiftGuide

Welcome to the Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop Hosted by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island

From December 7-21, hop along to all participating blogs to find tons great giveaways! Enter my giveaway, then hop along for more chances to win! ***********************
Winter books are my favorite. Especially children's winter books. Perhaps its that cold winter air that makes me want to do nothing more than curl up on the couch, cuddle my two favorite kids while reading a book and sipping hot cocoa. When I look at some of our favorites to read together, they do tend to have that winter focus in one way or another. So when I heard about the new book Periwinkle's Journey, I knew it would be a must read for my family:

About the Book: Periwinkle has lived her whole life in Australia, surrounded by other blue penguins just like her. However, when she gets an invitation to her cousin Crystal’s birthday party in Antarctica, she realizes she looks different than the rest of her black-and-white cousins. With some encouragement from her mother, who tells her “it’s what’s inside that matters”, Periwinkle sets out on an adventure to Antarctica to meet the rest of her family and learns to appreciate what makes her unique along the way.


Children will want to cuddle up with the adorable animals depicted in Spafford’s full-color illustrations, from penguins to koalas to albatrosses to whales, as they read this entertaining and educational tale. Young readers will learn about the 17 types of penguins, illustrated by Periwinkle’s numerous cousins, as well as discover fun facts such as their inability to fly, penchant for rock collecting, and variety of habitats from Australia to Antarctica to the Gal├ípagos (but not the North Pole, where the polar bears live!). Periwinkle makes many new friends on her journey to the South Pole, and along the way discovers the depths of her own bravery as well as the important truth that what makes us different also makes us special.

I don't know what it is about penguins, but kids love them, right? Or at least my children do. When we lived in the San Diego area, our family would take frequent trips to Sea World, and do you know what my son's favorite part was? No, it wasn't the sharks or the dolphins. It wasn't seeing Nemo or Dory in real life. It was the Penguin Encounter. Nevermind the shivers as we checked out the arctic exhibit... he could not get enough! In fact, he still has his penguin plush from his very first trip. Any time we visit a zoo of any sort he has to know--- are there penguins? I'm not sure I'd say they are his favorite animal, but they certainly make the list!

If you too have a child that loves penguins, this will of course be one book that they will want to read, just for that alone. But for me as a mom, I love the message behind it. Unfortunately in this world we live in, there is a lot of judgement. If you're not the same color, if you don't wear the same clothes, if you are different, you are judged. That's a sad reality, but one that I as a mother strive to keep my children away from. This book offers a great, kid friendly way to share that message.

If you're looking for a fun book with a positive message to share with your children, this is definitely one worth checking out. It is available to purchase now.

And one very lucky winner is going to receive an amazing Periwinkle's Journey prize package.  The prize pack includes a SIGNED copy (by both author and illustrator) of Periwinkle’s Journey, and an official, copyrighted Periwinkle pendant that is perfect for necklaces or charm bracelets! Amazing, right? The pendant is designed by Scott and Marla Berger at Addison Taylor Fine Jewelry, LLC, and The Tree of Life Foundation, who recently launched a special jewelry collection in collaboration with StarShine Academy to benefit Pope Francis’ A Chance In Life charity, supporting its mission of giving refugee children opportunities of education to help them become self-confident, creative and responsible leaders in their communities.


Want to win? 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.