A Modern Day Fairy Tale: January 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Nicholas Sparks' #TheChoice {A Giveaway Hop} #ChooseLove



Welcome to the BMN Loves Giveaways Hop, hosted by Lindsey Blogs and Viva Veltoro. We're celebrating the upcoming holiday with something everyone loves... giveaways! Be sure to hop around to all the bloggers involved in the Hop, including the two Grand Prize giveaways, in the linky below!

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Lionsgate. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


How do you spend your Valentine's Day? A fancy night out? Dancing? Dining?

For me, I could skip all the fanciness, and settle for a good old fashioned romance movie. Could there be anything better than a little reminder of how great love is!? I would take a night at the movies over dinner or dancing any day!

And when it comes to epic romances, no one tells a love story quite like Nicholas Sparks. I first fell in love with Nicholas Sparks novels and movies back in high school with A Walk To Remember. To this day it remains one of my favorites. But through the years- through The Notebook, The Last Song, Dear John... my love has only continued to grow.

Needless to say, I am very excited about the newest Nicholas Spark book turned movie, out just in time for Valentine's Day date nights- The Choice:



About the Movie:


When feisty medical student Gabby Holland moves in next door to perennial ladies’ man Travis Shaw, they embark on a surprising romantic journey neither imagined possible. Travis has always believed a serious relationship would cramp his easygoing lifestyle, while Gabby is preparing to settle down with her long-term boyfriend—until an irresistible attraction between the unlikely couple upends both of their well-planned lives. Spanning a decade and tracing the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life's most defining events, this story features a memorable ensemble of friends and family in Sparks's beloved North Carolina setting, culminating with the question that every couple must ask themselves: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? 



Now, I must admit, this is not a Nicholas Sparks book I have read yet, but it sounds absolutely amazing! And honestly, is there a Nicholas Sparks story that is not? He truly knows how to create an epic love story that inspires us all. They make us root for these couples. They pull at our heartstrings and yes, they usually require a box or two if tissues for both the happy and sad tears! Nicholas Sparks has a way with love stories that cannot be matched.


One of the aspects I love about many Nicholas Sparks romances- this one included- is that they don't just show the meeting. They don't just show that initial falling in love. Yes, falling in love can happen very quickly. As a matter of fact, I personally fell in love with my husband and was planning a wedding before ever meeting him in person. Love can happen very quickly. But it also grows and evolves over time, and I cannot wait to see that in action with this movie.


The Choice will be in theaters on February 5th. You can learn more and connect at the links below:


Website: 

Facebook: 

Twitter: 
To celebrate the movie, one very lucky reader is going to get a fantastic movie prize package to include a $25 Visa eGift Card (sent to your email), The Choice Tie-In Movie Book, Sea-Shell Wind-chimes and The Choice Bookmark. Open to US only. 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, and the BMN Loves Giveaways participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.


Now that you've entered my giveaway, don't forget to hop along for me- including the wonderful GRAND PRIZE!





Friday, January 29, 2016

Love Is... Paper Wreath: A Valentine's Day Kids Craft



Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


When you think about Love and the Bible, this is probably the first thing most of us think about right? And with good reason, it's such a beautiful definition of just what love should be...and so easy to understand, even for kids! So, this Valentine's Day, I wanted to create a fun craft to do with my kiddos that would serve as a fun lesson to help them remember what love is all about. Check it out:


Love Is... Paper Wreath Kids Craft

  • Paper Plate
  • Cardstock/Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Glue
  • Marker

  1. First up, we need to make the base for our wreath. To do so, cut the center out of the paper plate so that just the edges remain. (Alternately, you could create a base from another piece of construction paper or cardstock, but I like that the paper plate gives us a perfect circle to work with.)
  2. Now, cut out some hearts. If you have a Silhouette, you can use that to save time. You will need enough hearts to go all around the wreath.
  3. Glue the hearts around your wreath base.
  4. On a center heart (top or bottom), write 'Love Is'. You can make this heart larger than the others, if desired. On the other hearts write other words from the verse- patient, kind, etc.
  5. Finish up by adding a ribbon for hanging!

This super easy craft is a fun way to remind kids what love is all about, and ideal for home or the classroom!

What other ways have you found to teach your little one's about what the Bible says about love? Share your ideas in the comments!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jesus Loves Me Thiiiis Much: A Valentine's Day Kids Craft #FCBlogger

** A huge thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post. All thoughts are my own.

With Valentine's Day coming up, love is in the air!

So, what better time to teach our little ones about the greatest love of all? The love of Jesus!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

To celebrate this amazing love, I am sharing a super fun Valentine's Day craft perfect for home or Sunday School. You may remember I shared a similar idea for Veteran's Day last year, but this time it's been given a festive holiday makeover and comes with a very important reminder- how much Jesus loves each and every one of us!

Jesus Loves Me Thiiiiis Much Kids Craft



  • Construction Paper
  • Elastic
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  1. First up, trace your little one's hand onto the construction paper and cut out! You will need two hand prints for this project.
  2. Next, get your elastic ready. I personally love the decorative elastic that is used for making headbands- they come in a variety of colors and prints so you're sure to find something festive and fun! If you cannot find these, any elastic you have will do. 
  3. Glue one hand onto each end of the elastic.
  4. On one hand write, 'Jesus Loves Me' on the other write 'This Much'.
  5. Decorate with festive hearts and stickers, if desired.

Not only is this a super fun, super easy craft, but it's a great lesson too! It serves as a fun reminder that just as the elastic stretches to incredible lengths, so does God's love. During Valentine's Day and always, there is no greater message and no greater love!


Looking for more fun ways to remind your children/class of God's love this Valentine's Day? Check out these fun books:


The books above are all available at Family Christian. See them all and so much more at the links below:

Need more inspiration? Check out this board:
Follow Family Christian's board Valentine's Day on Pinterest.




What other fun ways to you remind your children about God's love at Valentine's Day and throughout the year? Share your ideas in the comments.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids {A Review & Giveaway} #JesusTodayKids #FlyBy

In case you had not already figured it out, I have to tell you- I absolutely LOVE kids devotionals! I truly believe that if we teach our children to know and love God at a young age, this is something that they will take with them throughout their lives. That is not to say that they will always be perfect Christians or won't make mistakes, but my hope is that should my children find themselves in these situations, they will think back on these lessons they learned as a child.


But even on a not so serious note, they are also super cute and a ton of fun! Over the past few years we have owned many and looked at many more... and with each one I seem to find something fun and unique to love about it. They all are a little bit different and have something to offer kids that is unique. Just as there is bound to be at least one devotional out there that every adult will find is an ideal choice for them, there is also a kids devotional that every parent will find to be ideal for their child! So when I hear about a new devotional, I always look forward to checking it out for myself. Today, I'm excited to share with you another fun new devotional-Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids.



About Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids
Jesus is the Friend who is always with you.  Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids will pour this powerful truth into your children's hearts as they learn that He knows everything about them and loves them more than they can imagine.  Each devotion is based on Scripture and is written as though Jesus is speaking directly to you, assuring that He is in control, that He is good, and that an amazing future awaits all who put their hope in Him.  Adapted from the ECPA 2013 Christian Book of the Year-winner Jesus Today, this devotional has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures.  It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together.  

Hardcover: 368 pages
Age Range: 6-10 years 


About Sarah Young: 
Sarah Young's devotional writings are personal reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying and writing in prayer journals.  With sales of more than 14 million books worldwide, Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists.  Sarah's writings include Jesus CallingJesus TodayJesus LivesDear JesusJesus Calling for Little OnesJesus Calling Bible StorybookJesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence -- each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ.  Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years.  They currently live in the United States.  

Many of you have probably already heard of Sarah Young and her Jesus Calling books. Perhaps you've even heard of or read the Jesus Today devotional for adults. These books are all extremely popular! Now, I must admit that I actually have not read her books myself yet, but have heard a lot of positive reviews on them! I think for all of us- but kids especially- Jesus can seem like this big, unreachable figure. We know he exists, we know he loves us and is listening, but it's still really hard to actually grasp that fully. I love that this devotional really makes Jesus a little more reachable. Because it is written as though Jesus himself were talking, I think this could be a really great tool to help children realize that Jesus is not some magical figure in the sky- he truly is a friend that they can count on and speak to.

If you're looking for a great devotional that will help your children grow closer to God, Jesus Today: Devotions for Kids is certainly one to check out!

You can learn more and purchase at the links below:

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Show God's Love with a Random Act of Kindness #FCBlogger

**A huge thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post. All thoughts are my own.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness?

If you haven't yet had the experience, I must say- it's a pretty wonderful one... and one that I've been blessed with on more than one occasion. There was a time during my husband's ever-so-busy days as a Marine Corps recruiter that my family went out to lunch together only to have our meal cut short when my husband had to rush back to work before we even ordered. A fellow diner saw and paid for our meal. There was a time that I allowed someone to go before me in line at a drive thru and they thanked me by paying for my order. There was even a time when a kind lady whom I'd chatted with while shopping gave me money to buy my son some Valentine's Day goodies at a post holiday clearance when my husband had somehow ended up with my debit card for the day, saying she didn't want my son to miss out on his goodies if they sold out before I could return.

Yes, there are some truly kind people in this world! Those little acts may not seem like a lot, but they can truly make such a difference in someone's day. You never know what someone is going through and when they just need that little bit of a fun surprise to turn their day around. Is there any better way to show God's love than through these little random acts of kindness? Where we expect nothing in return, but just want to make someone else smile?

Performing a random act of kindness can be very simple, and doesn't have to cost a ton of money either. Here are just a few simple ideas:

  • Hold open a door for a mom with full hands.
  • Buy a stranger a cup of coffee.
  • Leave a dollar or two in your Redbox return- snacks are on you!
  • Help a stranger load up their groceries (especially appreciated in cold weather!)
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Allow someone to go before you in the checkout line (especially nice for moms with little ones!)
With the help of Family Christian, I was recently able to make a trip to my local store and do a few random acts of kindness myself! I was given $50 worth of Appreciation Certificates to bless others with. A few were given to people who I knew could benefit from that little pick me up, but the others have been or will be taken into the store to be given to random shoppers.What a fun surprise, right? Can you imagine shopping for something you want or need and being given a gift certificate to help fund that purchase? I truly hope that the receivers have been and will be blessed by this simple, random act of kindness.



And can I be honest? As wonderful as it is to be on the receiving end of an act of kindness, being on the other side feels just as wonderful! So this Valentine's Day, and throughout the year- I want to encourage all of you to pay it forward. Show God's love with a simple random act of kindness.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. - John 13:34

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Greatest Love of All {Valentine's Day Bible Journaling}

What is love?

When I hear this question, I can not help but think about one of my favorite Bible verses, defining just what love is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This is perhaps one of the most popular Bible verses out there, and with good reason. It truly is a wonderful definition of what love is...and of what God is too. But it's not the only great verse about love...there are MANY!

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I have enjoyed having the chance to do a little Bible journaling that is perfect for the season. Want some Valentine's Day journaling inspiration? Here are a few verses to get you started, and a look at some of my own pages too!



1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all that you do be done in love.

1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


Colossians 3:14 
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Ephesians 5:25 
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.




Do you have a favorite verse about love? Share in the comments below.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mary's Treasure Box: A Book Review & Giveaway #FCBlogger

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

Like most moms, I get pretty sentimental when it comes to my children. I have those boxes with filled with little momentos for each child. I have hospital bracelets, birth announcements, cards from family, welcome home outfits... well, you get it. Be honest- we all have those, right? If we took a look at them all, we'd probably see some similarities, but there would also be some unique differences- special tokens that have meaning only for us though they may seem like nothing to others.

Have you ever wondered if perhaps Mary kept such a box of treasures to remind her of Jesus? Tokens from his birth and his childhood. And if she did, what would we find if we took a look inside?

That's just what we find out in Mary's Treasure Box:



Doesn't every mother have a box filled with treasured mementos and trinkets? If sweet memories aren't hidden in a closet or an attic, perhaps they are tucked away in a corner of her heart. But Mary's treasure box is unlike any other. She has filled it with bits of straw from a manger, a little gold from the Magi, and other dear reminders of one silent night in a Bethlehem stable. Now, decades later, Mary opens her treasure box once again and shares her most cherished memories with her granddaughter, Hannah. Join them as they revisit the simple splendor of the Nativity story.


The splendor of the Nativity story? Perhaps you're wondering, why on earth am I posting this review in January!? Christmas is over, let's leave the nativity in December.... but why? If you ask me, the story of the nativity is one that should be remembered throughout the year, not just at Christmastime. It's too important to only think about once a year. This sweet book is a great way to do just that. It may tell the story of the nativity, but it's not overly Christmas-y. Instead it is a sweet story about relationships- the love of a mother and her child, and of a grandmother and her grandchild.

I'll be honest, when I think of Mary I- like many others I'm sure- tend to think about that story we all know. The angel coming to her. The miraculous birth of Christ. Of course, I do think about her presence at the cross as well, but mostly the image in my mind is that at the manger. But what about the toddler years? The crazy teen years? All the in between that we do not see or hear about? While this is of course a work of fiction, to me it was wonderful to have the chance to look at Mary more like any other mother...and to see her as a grandmother. It made her sacrifices all that more relate-able to me as a mom.

Of course, the kids didn't care anything about all that! For them, it's a sweet, simple story. During the holidays it gives us a unique reminder of the events of the manger- how it all happened, the gifts that were received following. Instead of telling the whole story over and over again, it gives us a completely new look at it. But throughout the rest of the year, it serves as a reminder of the greatest gift of all-the gift of Jesus... and that's the true treasure!

Whether in December or throughout the year, this is one book that I know my family will come back to again and again. It is available to purchase now at Family Christian.

Find more great children's books 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 win a copy 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

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Moms Stress Less with Lyfeline Milestones {A Review}



As moms, if there is one thing we are good at- it's worrying! Now, I'll admit, I was a worry-er before becoming a mom, but after having children it kicked into hyper-drive. Was I doing it right? Were my kids developing as they should?

Being a young mom with my oldest, I didn't really have any mom friends to talk to about these things. I was the first of my friends to have children, and while I'd babysat some in the past, I really didn't know too much about baby development. When my son was diagnosed with autism at two years old, I looked back and realized there had been more signs early on that I had not recognized, and I wondered had I know more about what to expect, we might have gotten my son started in speech therapy sooner than we did. With my daughter, I was much more aware about what to expect and what to look out for... I only wished I'd have had that advantage with my son too.

Today, I'm excited to share with you an app that can provide that knowledge and peace of mind that all moms need- Lyfeline Milestone!

So, what is Lyfeline Milestones?

Milestones provides a first ever opportunity for parents to track their child’s development directly on a smartphone. Utilizing an American Academy of Pediatrics recommended series of development questions, parents gain an in-depth look into their child’s fine and gross motor, language, social and self-help progression. Parents also receive percentile benchmarking relative to the child’s age group.

Utilizing assessment results, Milestones creates a targeted program tailored to the child’s developmental needs and forthcoming milestones. Derived from leading edge research and proven medical practice, parents are provided fun activities and information cards that encourage healthy growth. 



Sounds pretty amazing, right? It truly is no wonder that it is one of the only pediatrician recommended parenting apps... or that there were over 10K users during the soft BETA launch! There are even regular weekly contests where users can win Amazon and Target Gift Cards, just for using the app! Keeping track of our little one's developments? Helping them learn and grow through hundreds of fun, age ­appropriate activities created by pediatricians? AND the chance to win too? Awesome.


I was lucky enough to have the chance to try the app out for myself...and I loved it! While this is truly designed for those with little one ages 0-2, I could see that there were a lot of great aspects that I certainly would have appreciated when my little ones were younger. This is not just a guideline that says, 'Hey, this is what your kid SHOULD be doing, but it actually helps you to help them learn and grow. As a mom, I appreciate this peace of mind of knowing just where my kids are developmentally and knowing that I am doing what I can to help them more. I want to do what's best for my kids, and this app allows me to know where to begin!



Ready to get started? The app is free to download from Google Play or the App store, but a monthly subscription is required for full access to all the features available. You can learn more and download at the links below:

Lyfeline | Milestones App | Facebook | Twitter

Do you have a little one ages 0-2? How can Lyfeline Milestones make mothering a little easier for you?

**A huge thanks to LyfeLine Milestones for sponsoring today's post. All thoughts are my own.

From the Imagination of Finley Grace, Age 2.

If there was one word I would use to describe my Finley, it would have to be imaginative. This girl can play pretend like no other!

With my Shaun, games of pretend and elaborate imaginary scenes weren't even on his radar. Like many kids on the spectrum, pretend play did not come easy to him- and still doesn't. Instead, he focused on more concrete things- things he could see and touch. Things like his trains, his reading and his logos. Perhaps that makes Miss Finley's imaginary adventures all the more exciting for me as a mom to watch. Just take a look at some of the scenarios she comes up with at just shy of 2.5 years old:




  • During bathtime, she is always a mermaid. She often uses her magical powers to create a floating TV in the air, where she watches her favorites-like Wall-E.
  • She loves cats and dogs (mostly cats) and always pretends to be one of the other. She will make animal noises, crawl on her hands and knees and only answer to 'cat' or 'dog'. If mealtime should happen to fall among those animal playtime, she won't eat unless you tell her its pet food.
  • She wears imaginary gowns. Now, Finley actually has quite the dress-up collection already, but it's made larger by her vivid imagination. If she doesn't actually have the type of dress she's looking for- she'll make it up. She'll wear her invisible pink sparkle dress with pride, and even completes the outfit with invisible shoes, tiaras and jewelry!
  • She decorates imaginary Christmas trees. Yes, Christmas may be over, but she's still crazy for it! Our real tree may be down, but she keeps the spirit alive with her own! She even has invisible presents that she loves to unwrap and give too!
  • She opens surprise eggs. Now, if you have a little one that is into these- you know just how crazy kids can go for them. While she will often create her own Playdoh surprise eggs with actual toys too, if those aren't available, she'll just pull them out of thin air. Her imaginary surprise eggs tend to be filled with Barbies and Shopkins. 
  • She goes to school. If her sleeping bag is available, she will wear that as a backpack, otherwise it's again all in her mind. She will say, 'Going to school! Love you, bye!' and walk to her 'bus'. Not to be ordinary, her personal school bus is Let It Go Blue- as is the school itself she says!
  • She loves to drive. She will get in her car, buckle her seat belt and make all the driving motions perfectly. This one is particularly funny to me- being rear facing still, she does not actually see anyone drive firsthand, yet she does so quite perfectly!
  • She has an imaginary Humpty Dumpty. He falls quite often, but thankfully she is there to fix him all up with her ice powers.
  • She loves pretending it's raining or snowing. In the rain, she will splash in puddles. The snow is her favorite though- she'll build snowmen and start snowball fights too! If she should get tired of the rain, she will just use her ice powers to turn it into snow!
  • She will buy ice cream- pulling 'dollars' out of her pockets, in exchange for an ice cream cone. She will of course then eat the cone, though on occasion they do fall on the ground. If this happens, she will either use her ice powers to fix it- or lick it up anyway!
These are just a few of the many scenarios that she comes up with each and every day! She is ALWAYS pretending something, and always keeping me guessing. And I love it! It helps make keeping her entertained that much easier! Can't find a toy she wants to play with? We'll just make one up!

In a way, she's also teaching her big brother about playing pretend too. Now, I will say that most of the time when she starts in with one of her little play scenarios he gets very frustrated insisting that none of this is real, and reminding us he doesn't like pretend... but on other rare occasions he will join right in and toss an imaginary snowball at her too!

Do you have a little one with a big imagination? I'd love to hear all about their pretend adventures in the comments! Have a child that's NOT into pretend play? Stay tuned- I'll be sharing tips to help encourage creativity and imagination soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Discovering God's Purpose: A Captive DVD Review & Giveaway #CaptiveMovie #FlyBy

When it comes to choosing a movie to watch, you'll find that my taste tends to stick with fairly positive movies. I don't like movies with drugs or violence. I love movies that just make you feel good- light comedies and sweet romances, for example. Crime movies? Not usually my first choice.

But when I heard about the new movie Captive, I knew I had to see it:



Based on a miraculous story about the power of faith, Captive is an "amazing, inspiring" drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls, Brian Nichols (Golden Globe Nominee David Oyelowo), on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith (Kata Mara) hostage in her own apartment.  Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life for guidance.  Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation hailed as "powerful." 

Having been a fan of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, this inspirational story had caught my attention and stuck in my head after hearing it shortly after it happened- yes, this is a true story! And a pretty amazing one. So, naturally, I thought the movie would be a great watch too. And it was!

Now, because I typically only share movies that are more family friendly, I do want to warn you that this movie is not safe for children. As you can imagine from the description of the film, it's a violent subject matter, but there is also drug use shown as well. Like I said, I don't typically like films with drug use at all, but with this one, it made sense. It was in no way glorified, but being based on a true story, this is just part of that reality. While there is no language, this film was not sugar coated. And honestly, I think it was better for that. Had it been a watered down/ Christian film version, it just would not have had the same impact. So, even if you don't typically watch these types of films, I do encourage you to give it a shot- just know what to expect!

In my Sunday School class over the last several weeks, we have been discussing some of the lesser known characters in the Bible. One of the most common traits of these people we are studying is that they were unlikely choices. They weren't all kings, they weren't all important or perfect, but in their weaknesses, God's grace was made even greater. As I watched this movie, I could not help but see that to be true here too. Though I'd heard this story before, I really hadn't heard all the details. I had heard it and assumed that Ashley Smith was a Christian strong in her faith, who had it all together. I did not know that she was in fact a recovering addict, just trying to get her life back on track...and knowing that, I think I admire her even more. She was not perfect, but God used her anyway- just as he can and will use each and every one of us, despite our shortcomings.

If you're looking for a great movie for your next movie night (without the kiddos), this one is certainly one to consider. I really enjoyed it, and hope you all will too.

You can find out more at the links below:



And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a copy of the DVD 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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bible Journaling Through Psalms & Proverbs

Perhaps one of the most common questions I receive about Bible journaling (aside from what do I need, of course) is... where do I begin? In the past, I shared this list with some prompts to get you started, but today I wanted to share another great place in the Bible to start your journaling:

Psalms & Proverbs

I don't know about all of you, but I find myself constantly looking for topical verses. If I'm feeling anxious, I search for verses of comfort. If I'm feeling thankful, verses on giving thanks. Well, you get the idea. And most times when I'm in need of a little inspiration- there is some to be found in Proverbs or Psalms. These books are stuffed full of wisdom and memorable verses that truly are perfect for Bible journaling inspiration!  If ever I find myself in the mood to journal, but don't have any particular idea in mind- I head to these books to find something that speaks to me.

Here are just a few example of my own journaling through Proverbs & Psalms:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. - Psalm 139:14



Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!- Psalm 95:6


The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. -Psalm 34:10





But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. -Psalm 131:2


Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.- Proverbs 19:20


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. - Psalm 136:1 




Need a little journaling inspiration? Head to Psalms or Proverbs and you're sure to find a verse you will love!


Do you have a favorite book in the Bible to read or journal? Share in the comments!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Girls Rule in the New LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray #Girlz4Life {An #AllThatGlittersHop Giveaway}

**Warner Bros. Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.**
 
Hop
Welcome to the first Hopping Bloggers Giveaway Hop of 2016 - the All That Glitters Giveaway Hop!
A group of bloggers has put together some amazing giveaways for you (with the minimum value of $15 each - but some are much more than that!). Be sure to enter them all - there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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If you came into my home, it wouldn't take you very long to discover that my kids love Legos! Both of them! My toddler has her own set of princess Duplos and my son--- well, he has Legos hanging on his wall! He's obsessed! But they don't just love the toys, they love the shows too! From Star Wars to Clutch Powers, they cannot get enough. Needless to say, when they heard about the new Lego Friends Girlz 4 Life, they were pretty excited! (Even my son, who said his sister would LOVE it!) Take a look:



True Friendship in the Glamorous World of Pop!

Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia and Andrea, as they learn about friendship, fame and pop star fun in Heartlake City.

The girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi comes to Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, it’s time for a cunning plan.

As the girls try to tell Livi the truth about her latest hit single, they all learn that fame isn’t everything and sometimes friendship is the most precious thing in the world.

Own LEGO® FRIENDS: GIRLZ 4 LIFE on digital HD 1/19 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD 2/2

Also be sure to visit the official L2M website to stay updated with all things L2M! 
www.L2MOfficial.com

Want to start the fun BEFORE the big release? You can get the fun started now below:



My kids are loving all the fun to be had and cannot wait to get the Bluray for themselves! If you have a Lego girl in your life, this is definitely one they will want to see!


And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a copy of the BluRay DVD combo pack to enjoy themselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

Each household is only eligible to win LEGO FRIENDS: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be 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

Get Game Ready with Stubb's BBQ {A Recipe & #CupOfLove Giveaway Hop}



Welcome to the Cup of Love Giveaway Hop event, hosted by 
Planet Weidknecht and  Mom Does Reviews


From January 18- February 4, the bloggers below have teamed up to give you the chance to hop along and win a ton of great prizes! Each prize is family friendly and valued at at LEAST $15 or more! So, after entering my giveaway be sure to hop along and enter them all! Good luck!!


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

Are you a football fan?

If you are, you're probably already looking forward to the big game coming up in February. Not a fan? Then perhaps you're looking more forward to the food than the game itself! Believe me, I get it! To be honest, I'm lucky to know that a touchdown is good, but I love seeing all the delicious spreads that my friends come up with for the festivities!

Whether you're in it for the game or the food, Stubb's can make your Super Bowl parties even better! 
Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has recipes for simple, delicious game-day dishes that are sure to please the whole gang AND can be made quickly and easily in the kitchen. As if the taste wasn't reason enough to love them,  Stubb’s sauces, spice rubs and marinades are all-natural and certified gluten-free, with no high fructose corn syrup (the #1 ingredient in many leading sauce brands.) It's a brand you can feel great about serving to your family and your guests!

Today I'm excited to share one such recipe that is right up my boys' alley:


Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Ribs

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 lbs baby back ribs
1 large yellow onion, small diced
1 cup Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce
1 tbsp Stubb’s Pork Spice Rub (optional but recommended)
1 tsp minced garlic
special equipment: 5 qt. Slow Cooker

Cooking Instructions
Using a sharp knife, slice rack of ribs in half so you have two small racks. Generously sprinkle and rub the Stubb’s Pork Rub all over ribs. If you don’t use the dry rub (which I recommend because it’s delicious!), rub your ribs down with a tsp of salt and pepper.
Place both racks at the bottom of your Crock Pot.
Place diced onions on top of ribs in the pot, followed by minced garlic. Finally, pour barbecue sauce over everything.
Place lid on Crock Pot and turn heat to low. Cook for 7 hours—meat should be definitely falling off the bone at this point!
NOTE: serves 3, but recipe can be doubled easily

This recipe was developed for Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q by Jenna Weber of Eat, Live, Run.  For more recipes by Jenna, please visit her website at: www.eatliverun.com.


Need more inspiration? 
Consider BBQ Mini Sausages,Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken SlidersSlow Cooker Beef Dip HoagiesStubb’s Sloppy Joes, plus  more at www.stubbsbbq.com that will make the home team cheer.

And to make your big game or everyday cooking a little easier, Stubb's is giving one very lucky reader the chance to win a Stubb’s tote, t-shirt, hat and coupons for free product (Check out some available options in the photo below!) ! 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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Plans I Have For You: A Kids Devotional & Journal {Review & Giveaway}



Welcome to the Baby It's Cold Outside Giveaway Hop Event,
hosted by LeahSay’s Views and Planet Weidknecht


From January 16-31, hop along to all participating bloggers to win lots of great family friendly prizes!!! All prizes are valued at $25 or more, so you're sure to find something you love! Enter my giveaway and then hop along to find more! Good luck!

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For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.- Jeremiah 29:11

I absolutely love this verse. In fact, if I had to choose just one verse that reminded me of my son, this might just be my top choice! As many of you already know, when my son was 2 years old, he received the diagnosis of autism. This diagnosis- especially at a young age as he was- comes with a lot of uncertainty. Will he ever carry on a conversation? Will he be able to thrive in school? Will he be able to live on his own? Get married and start his own family? Many parents say that the diagnosis comes with a mourning period of a life that they envisioned for their child... while I cannot say I ever mourned anything for my son, I did come to the realization that the plans I had for him would be changed greatly.

In the midst of our biggest struggles, Jeremiah 29:11 came to mind. It gave me peace that while the plans I may have hoped for him would change, God's plans for him would be even greater.

So, when I saw that there was a new devotional based on this scripture, I knew it would be an ideal fit for him:



The Plans I Have For You Devotional


Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for YOU! is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children’s book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love and joy and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.

Now, if you know anything about my son... you know that even the cover appears to be made just for him! He loves science and space! As I said, this truly was an ideal choice for him.

At eight years old, my son is definitely in the stage where he's really starting to truly understand more about Christianity. He knows the Bible stories, he knows about God, but what does that mean for him? What about the big picture? What are God's plans for HIM? This devotional helps him to understand a little better what it all means. It shares Bible stories of people in the Bible that God has had incredible plans for- people who were just regular people- just like him. It's an age appropriate guide that teaches a great lesson- that God uses us all to make a difference in the world.

To help them understand even better, there is also an accompanying journal available as well:

The Plans I Have For You Journal


Part of a new brand in the Zondervan family, The Plans I Have for You journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place.

This journal takes the lessons from the book and gives them a place to think and reflect more deeply. It again asks age appropriate questions that help kids truly understand the meaning of the scriptures and stories old, and even has fun areas for doodles too- a bi plus in my son's book! Together the devotional and journal are an ideal way to help children learn more about God's plans for their lives.

If you have a little one, these books are a must see! They are available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers.

Want to learn more? Visit and connect at the links below:





And one very lucky winner is going to win both books! 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