A Modern Day Fairy Tale: August 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Encourage One Another...I Dare You! Join the #EncouragementDare ( #Dayspring #LiveYourFaith )

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

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.- 1 Thessalonians 5:11

As we see in the scripture above, we are called to offer encouragement to one another, to build one another up and not tear each other down. When we look at the world around us, it's clear that we need a little more of that, don't we? It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, that we forget this simple command. We go on about our days, working so hard to get done what needs to be done that we often miss those simple opportunities all around us to be an encouragement to others.


This is why days like the National Day of Encouragement on September 12 are so important. It offers us that little reminder to go out and make the effort. In celebration of this day, Dayspring is launching its first ever #EncouragementDare!



From today, August 30th through September 12, they are challenging all of us to actively go out and encourage those around us. Ready to take the dare? Here are a few very simple ways that you can offer encouragement:

  • Send a Card. Aside from birthdays, how often do you get cards in the mail? For most, it's probably not often, right? I don't know about you, but I personally love getting a handwritten card or note in the mail! It certainly beats bills. It doesn't have to be a long letter, just a quick note to say, "I was thinking of you!" 
  • Smile & Say Hello. Simple enough, right? So often when we are out and about doing our daily errands, we get so caught up in what we're doing that we don't pay much attention to those around us. Make the effort to greet people warmly, a simple hello or even a few kind words can be a simple way to brighten someone's day.
  • Lend a Helping Hand. Do you know someone that has a lot on their plate? Offer, even insist, on helping them lighten the load! Provide free babysitting to the overwhelmed mama that needs a shopping trip alone. Help with household chores like dishes or mowing the lawn that she just can't seem to get caught up with. Even provide a meal so she gets a night out of cooking. Look for ways to help a stranger when you're out too. Hold the door open, carry groceries to someone's vehicle...these simple gestures can mean the world and don't require money or much time at all.
  • Send An E-Card. No stamps in the house to send an actual card? Send an e-card instead. Dayspring has a great selection that are free to send...even some new ones just for the Encouragement Dare! Check them all out, and start sending!
  • Pray for Them. Perhaps one of the greatest ways we can offer encouragement to those who need it is to lift them up in prayer. God knows their full needs, even if we do not and I know personally it means the world to me when I know others thought enough to keep me in their prayers when I needed it most.
  • Give a Gift, Just Because. It doesn't have to be a large gift or cost a lot of money, but much like the cards can just be a nice gesture that lets someone know that you care about them enough to go that extra step! These gifts can also be a source of encouragement themselves, filled with kind words and encouraging messages that they can look at as they go through their day. From September 1-6, Dayspring will be offering amazing deals on selections from their Encouragement Gifts section, so be sure to look out for those. (I will be sharing more info on this sale in the coming days!)
  • Simply Be There. From near or far, just be a listening ear when it's needed. Sometimes, all we need is that knowledge that you've got someone by your side. 
  • Spread the Word. Kindness can be contagious, so help spread the word about the Encouragement Dare through your own social media using the hashtag #EncouragementDare and encourage others to join in! Be sure to tag Dayspring in your shares too:

    Facebook: @dayspringfans
    Instagram: @dayspringcards 
    Twitter: @DaySpring 
Want to learn more about the encouragement day and how you can offer encouragement to others? Visit here for more great ideas!

Will you be accepting the dare? Let me know how you plan to encourage others, and be on the lookout for more from me as the challenge continues.

Have Fun with Genesis: The Big Picture Interactive In The Beginning/The Great Flood Flip-Over Book Review

**Book received for review. All thoughts are my own.
For those that read my blog regularly, it is no surprise by now that the only thing I love more than a great children's book... is a great INTERACTIVE children's book. Even as an avid reader as a child, I remember being drawn to these myself. I would have read the books anyway, but having that extra element of fun made them even better. For kids who aren't as big of readers as my childhood self or my book loving son, they sometimes need that little extra element to make reading fun. Interactive books take reading from something that kids HAVE to do, and instead something they look forward to.

When it comes to Bible stories, what could be greater than a book that kids truly want to open up and explore?

So, when I heard about the Big Picture flip books, I knew they'd be a big hit. I was thrilled to be given a chance to review the In The Beginning/The Great Flood Flip Over Book. Take a look:


What’s better than a favorite Bible story? Two favorite Bible stories! Learn about how God created everything, and then flip the book over and learn about Noah and the flood! These Big Picture Interactive Flip-Over books offer coloring fun as well, so you can make the story your own.

These happen to be two of my son's favorite Bible stories, so of course, he loved it right off. I don't know what makes the idea of a flip book much more appealing than two separate books, but whatever the case, he loved it. But we'd had other flip books in the past, so what set this one apart and made it even more interactive? The coloring! Now, my son actually isn't much of a colorer, but most kids- my daughter included- love coloring, right? This drew her in. She's actually the one in my household that doesn't particularly care to sit and be read to, so that little extra motivation was a plus. She loved coloring as we read the story...and then her own works of art becoming part of the experience as we read it again! Much in the same way that I find I absorb Bible stories better when I'm creating art in my journal, this book gives kids that experience that will help them to also retain those stories a little better than strictly reading it through again and again. When they experience it, they take it in. Even with something so simple as coloring in a few graphics!

If you're looking for a fun way to have your little ones read AND enjoy their Bible, this is certainly one worth checking out! It is available to purchase now.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Why I Choose Illustrated Faith {New Products Now at Dayspring} #IllustratedFaith #Dayspring #BibleJournaling


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

'What are your favorite Bible journaling supplies?'

When I'm talking to people about Bible journaling and how to get started, this is naturally a topic that comes up often. And it's a long one to answer! I have found so many supplies that I love and use for different reasons, that it truly is hard to choose just one. So I started thinking instead about what some of my favorite pages were. When I looked at those, I found a common occurrence. Nearly every single one featured at least one product from Illustrated Faith! As a matter of fact, I have my journaling supplies organized by types- die cuts in one box, stickers in another, project life type cards in yet another... but my Illustrated Faith products have a box all to themselves, and that is the FIRST box I reach for. Every single time.


So, why Illustrated Faith?

For me, it comes down to two things. First and foremost the style. There are many different collections available from Illustrated Faith and I honestly cannot say that there is one I don't enjoy. They all use colors beautifully, and the designs are not just cute, they're clever too. They play with words and make faith fun...as it should be! But, I could walk into any scrapbook or craft store and find a ton of die cuts and stickers that are just my style too. The problem? Finding the styles I love that work well for Bible journaling! I'm often finding pieces I like, but perhaps the phrases are not quite right. The other faith based collections out there? Personally I found that many of them were a bit old fashioned for my tastes. Illustrated Faith products are always fresh and fun, and give me a great starting point to journal from!

And now, with BRAND NEW products from Dayspring, I have even more inspiration! As part of Dayspring's Illustrated Faith Launch Team, I was given the chance to check out a few of these new products for myself. Take a look at these great items I received:


Give Me Jesus Paper Pad- This is one of the 3 new paper pads that just arrived, and it is pretty amazing! One of my favorite things about this particular new product is the versatility. I can create my own die cuts, I can scrapbook, I can create fun cards... there truly are limitless options! I've not yet jumped in with these, but look forward to having fun with my Silhouette with these gorgeous designs!!



Geo Clear Cuts- Okay, so I have to admit... cutting is not my thing. I have issues with my hands that can make getting intricate cuts a bit difficult. You may have noticed in my previous Illustrated Faith kit posts, that my die cuts aren't always perfect. So, when I saw these clear cuts, I was THRILLED! I don't have to worry as much about perfect cuts because instead of white, it's just clear. And the images themselves can be seen through as well! My favorite parts however are the backgrounds! These are going to be so fun to create overlays with. This is again one of three new clear cut pads now available, and I hope to add the others to my collection soon!





Black & White Washi Stickers- I've mentioned before that washi tape happens to be one of my favorites, and these washi stickers are no exception. Actually, I might love these even more than my washi tapes! First and foremost, the designs are fabulous. The black and white truly go with anything and help you add that much needed pop to any page. They- like washi- are easy to reposition as needed, and unlike washi where I find I end up with a whole roll that I may love, but really only needed for a page, I get just what I need! This is one of four sets of washi stickers.






Topics Tabbies- Confession- I'm not much of a tab person. When I'm looking at supplies for journaling, it's probably the last thing I look at. But I absolutely loved these! The designs were fantastic, of course, but I am often a topical Bible reader myself. I mean, I'll read the Bible aside from that too, but when I'm dealing with something in my life, I love being able to flip right to what I need when I need it. These tabbies a allow you to do that easily. And even if you don't use them as actual tabs but rather an extra element on the page (as I often do), it can be a great reminder of what was on your mind when you journaled these pages. This is one of six new sets available.


Words Designer Clips-
Talk about taking your paper clips to the next level! These are fabulous and fun! From marking your page to adding a fun element, for journaling, planners or just because... these are seriously the greatest! I am having so much fun using them for anything and everything! This is one of six gorgeous sets!!


Word Art Tip Ins-  I've talked about using the scripture cards in the monthly devotional kits as tip ins, but these are even better. They are perfectly sized to fit in the margins of your Bible, and can be applied with washi so that you can journal on the other side. They can be used as a fun bookmark! The styles are so fun, and again I cannot help but love the humor. This is one of three.



All of these new additions have been wonderful, and I've so enjoyed incorporating some of them into my journaling already. But this is only a small selection of everything new! In addition to these all new products, there are new stamps, die cuts and stickers too in all new collections. In fact, I loved these other collections so much, that I had to order them myself!!! The Bright and Brave collection is 100% ME- glasses and typewriters and beautiful vibrant colors, I cannot wait to play around with them! And the Christmas collection... well... it may be early, but I am already prepared to journal through the holidays!

These new products, and all of those old favorites, are available to purchase NOW at Dayspring online! And when you use the code IFSHIPSFREE at checkout, your Illustrated Faith order will ship FREE!

Stay tuned to hear more about September's new monthly devotional kit, Through Christ.

Friday, August 26, 2016

#WordsMatter with Letterpress Blocks From Dayspring {A Visual How To Guide}


** I received product in exchange for this post. All thoughts are 100% my own. Post contains affiliate links. 

Have you ever looked at the Letterpress Blocks from Dayspring and thought to yourself, 'Yes, they look nice in pictures, but I couldn't make them look like that!'

After all, they come in individual letters for you to arrange yourself, so getting them in all those fun arrangements? Difficult, right? I mean do you hang each one individually? How does it work?

Today, I'm giving you a quick little how to to help better understand how Letterpress Blocks work and how to bring the words that mean the most to you into your home.

First up though, the basics:

What are Letterpress Blocks?

Letterpress Blocks are beautiful wood blocks handcrafted in India, each individual block features a metal letter, number or symbol and give you the chance to create and customize your own wall or shelf decor with the words or phrases that mean the most to you. You can buy sets such as the Everyday Words that feature a variety of phrases in one box. You can purchase smaller sets that feature just one word and/or phrase. Or you can create your very own word to fit your needs- a family name or your one little word for the year. Whatever those words that mean the most are for you, Letterpress Blocks allow you to bring them into your decor.




So, how do they work?

When you purchase your Letterpress Blocks, you will receive not only the blocks but the clips to connect them as well. On the back of each block, you will find grooves on all 4 sides, these are perfectly spaced to allow you to clip blocks together...in any direction! They can be arranged vertically, horizontally, straight across in perfect order or with a fun staggered look. Because these grooves cover the entirety of each side, you can truly play around to get the look you love.


Confused? I'm a visual person, so let's break it down:


1. First up, on a flat surface arrange your letters to the look you're going for. Play around with arrangements to get just the look you love.






2. Once you've figured out your layout, flip the blocks over.



3. Snap two clips into the grooves on the back of each block, connecting the two blocks together. These aren't difficult to snap on, but may take a bit of practice at first. Personally, I found that two clips at each connection worked well for me, but if you're using bigger blocks and need a little more stability, go ahead and add a few more. These clips are incredibly sturdy. I found that I could hold my words by one letter and it would stay put just fine!



4. Continue snapping clips on until your word is complete.



5. Place on a shelf and you are set!



Want to hang it? Complete the steps as listed above, but rather than placing on the shelf, instead use at least two nails (one on each end) to hang. For longer words (6+ Letters), a middle nail will help it to hang more securely. Now, I must admit with different heights, etc hanging can be rather tricky, but you can use tape to measure and mark just where your nails need to go, making the process much easier!

Ready to bring Letterpress Blocks to YOUR home? Visit Dayspring to shop premade sets or to create your own word.

And until Sunday, August 28 you can purchase the 'Hope' and 'Eat' sets for just $10 in Dayspring's Surprise $10 Sale!!! This is an amazing deal that you do not want to miss!! Hurry over and shop now! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Favorite Things: A LuLaRoe Review & Giveaway {A Birthday Celebration}

**Product received for review. My love of LuLaRoe is all my own.

Once upon a time, I-like you- was browsing through some of my favorite blogs and stumbled upon a giveaway for a 'little' clothing company called LuLaRoe. I checked out the pictures, enjoyed the fun styles, joined the groups. I kept hearing people go on and on about how soft and comfortable these clothes were, but having not yet seen them for myself yet, I must admit, I was a bit of a skeptic. They couldn't possibly be as amazing as everyone kept saying they were, right?

And then I tried a pair.

Well, if you've ever tried LuLaRoe, you already know that it takes just one piece to start the addiction! Yes, they truly were as fun and comfortable as everyone made them out to be!!! And it's not just the leggings...yes, those might be what draws everyone in, but for me, it was the other styles that made me stay. These days, my wardrobe has been taken over by LuLaRoe, and I can honestly say that while there certainly are styles I prefer over others, I've not yet tried one that I hated!

Today, I want to share with you two of the latest styles I've tried- the Azure and Maxi Skirts!




First up, the Maxi. This is the skirt that started it all! I've always been a fan of maxi style skirts and dresses, but because I'm rather petite have always struggled with finding maxis that were the right length for me. This maxi was just right! It features a fantastic yoga waistband that not only makes it incredibly comfortable, but also folds over to provide just the right length. Because I'm petite, I can fold over and wear higher waisted. For those taller ladies that also struggle to find maxis in the right length, it can be worn unfolded too!


Like most LuLaRoe products, one of the best features of this skirt aside from the comfort and style is the versatility. In fact, a quick google search would provide many styling options to try! But perhaps the most common is wearing as a dress! I don't personal like strapless dresses myself both for modest and practicality (being a mommy to a toddler), but for those looking for a warmer weather look, this is ideal! It can even be carried on through winter with the addition of a Sarah cardigan!


From summer to fall, this is one of those styles that is going to be a wardrobe staple throughout the year!


Next up, was the Azure. If you love the maxis but want something a little shorter, the Azure is your girl! The azure offers the same yoga style waist band, the same comfort and even the same versatility, just in a shorter package. Again, for us petite girls, it can be worn as not just a skirt, but a dress too. Taller girls may find it to be a bit short to be worn in this manner, but with a cute pair of leggings, you can still create a beautiful look that is every bit as stylish as it is comfortable!


And truly, that is what makes LuLaRoe one of my favorite things! These clothes truly have a way of making every woman of every size feel absolutely beautiful. They offer beautiful styles that flatter and provide comfort unlike any others!! I can look beautiful and fashionable, and still be given the freedom to play with my children comfortably.


For many women, LuLaRoe offers not just fashion, but a rewarding career opportunity as well. LuLaRoe is one of the nation's fastest growing companies, on the fast track to becoming a BILLION dollar company. That's right, billion...with a B. And at just a little over three years old, they are just beginning. There is plenty of room for growth!

Whether you are wanting to learn more about starting your own journey with a LuLaRoe business or you just want to find your newest unicorn, our lovely sponsor Sylvia Martin will be happy to help! Visit her group to shop and learn more!

And she is giving one very lucky reader the chance to win a maxi and azure in their size as well!! Enter using the Rafflecopter below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Greater {In Theaters August 26th} #Greater

**Gift card was received for this post, however all thoughts are my own.


Have you ever wanted to accomplish something, but been told those dreams were out of reach?

I think this is a story we are all too familiar with. People underestimate me because I'm very quiet. They expect that I am weak, or that I have nothing worth saying. For my husband, people underestimated him because of his size. He may look like a tough Marine now... but when he first joined he was a skinny little guy that people never thought would make it through boot camp. Throughout our lives, we will always have those people who doubt us for whatever challenges we may have.

This is certainly true for my son. With his autism diagnosis, people often have a preconceived idea of what he can and cannot accomplish. It is made evident when people make the simple, seemingly innocent comment like, 'But he's so smart!' People hear that he is autistic and they automatically underestimate what he is capable of achieving. They underestimate his ability to interact socially. They underestimate his skills. They underestimate his brains.

Sometimes, it's those naysayers saying you can't, that truly make us want to say, "Yes, I CAN. And I can prove it!"

That's the attitude that we want to teach both of our children, but especially our son, knowing all the roadblocks he will face. So, in our house, we never tell him he cannot accomplish anything. When he wants to go to space? Absolutely, that can happen. When he wants to create video games, we're 100% behind him. When he wants to be the next Bill Gates, we support it 100% (and his daddy makes sure to let him know he'll expect an allowance when it happens). When he wants to run Sony, Nintendo and Universal all at once, sure, you got this! From the simple to the extreme, we embrace these dreams, we encourage them, and we do whatever we can to make those dreams of his a reality. We want for him to one day have that story of overcoming, of facing the obstacles and coming out better on the other side. We all love those kinds of stories, right?

That's what makes movies like the new movie Greater so beautiful. Take a look:


GREATER is an inspirational movie based on the life of Brandon Burlsworth. Brandon had one dream – to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.  Unfortunately, Brandon was a clumsy player who lacked the physical prowess to make the team.  He was written off by coaches and teased by his fellow teammates.  Undeterred, Brandon continued to show-up for practice.  He woke up before anyone else and worked harder than anyone else, until his determination paid off.  Not only was he given an opportunity to walk-on and play football – he became one of the greatest players on the field, and was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts. 


I was given the chance to screen this movie in advance of it's theatrical release, and I loved it. It truly is a movie that you will leave feeling inspired by. This amazing movie will be in theaters Friday, August 26th, and you aren't going to want to miss it!

In celebration of this movie, I want to encourage all of you to think about those people in your life that have offered you encouragement to overcome great obstacles. Perhaps a parent, perhaps a teacher or coach, maybe even a pastor. Whoever that person may be, let them know how much it meant to you. Take them out for coffee, treat them to a Walmart shopping spree,  take them to see this movie! Encourage the encouragers and let them know they are appreciated. And be an encourager yourself, letting those in your life know that you believe in them, wholeheartedly just as someone once believed in you!

Is there someone in your life who has inspired you to be greater? Share your stories in the comments, and don't forget to head to the theater on August 26th to see the movie for yourself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Celebrate My Birthday with an ESV Leather Journaling Bible Giveaway! #MyFavoriteThings


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



When I first started my Bible journaling journey nearly a year ago, I don't know that I truly anticipated how much I would love it and how it would impact my life. I knew that I loved looking at pictures of the beautiful work that others have done, but I also knew I wasn't much of an artist either. I thought I might just try it for a few months and see what happened. That was almost a year ago.



Since then, it has become my passion. I have fallen in love with journaling in my own Bible and sharing this newfound form of worship with others. I have journaled hundreds of pages, and I became quite knowledgeable on what Bible journals were available on the market and have even built up quite the collection myself.

In all of my researching and looking for great Bibles, one kept appearing again and again. The dream bible. The one that everyone wanted. THE Bible. If you Bible journal yourself, you probably know the one I mean...it's a beauty!

Take a look:



About the ESV Journaling Bible®

The ESV Journaling Bible provides the perfect way for you to keep a journal of your spiritual life right inside the Bible that you read and study every day. With covers and formats that look like the finest journals, the Journaling Bible features two-inch ruled margins for writing observations, reflections, prayers, praises, and journal entries. This unique Bible makes a great gift and lasting keepsake for anyone who values God's Word.

Features:

Cream-colored paper
2" ruled margins
Book introductions
Ribbon marker
Smyth-sewn binding
Lifetime guarantee
Packaging: O-wrap, clamshell box, or permanent slipcase

Gorgeous, right? When I was working on coming up with the perfect giveaways for my favorite things birthday week, I knew that I had to include a journaling Bible, and I knew that there would be none greater than this! And let me tell you, it's even greater in person! Perhaps my favorite part is the tie closure. In my Bible journaling, I often use a variety of craft supplies, some of which are not completely flat. Over time, these elements can really add a lot of bulk to your Bible, making it hard to close. While I obviously haven't worked enough in this Bible to say for certain, I feel like this closure will allow plenty of room to grow.




 Aside from the beauty of this leather wrapped Bible, it's all about quality. It is beautifully crafted and made to last! One thing I have to say about journaling Bibles is that they can really take a little bit of a beating! Not literally of course, but they can certainly start to show some use the more they are used. This bible is made to withstand it. People often mention that journaling Bibles are a great way to document faith and pass down that record to their children. To me, no other Bible quite has that heirloom look and quality as much as this.


I also loved some of the extras that this Bible included that others in my collection have not. There is an intro as to why we should read the Bible. There are scripture references to help you discover scriptures based on topics that are important to you. There are introductions to each book in the Bible with a brief overview to help you better understand the significance of each book. And each of these pages still has a spot for journaling! This is great if there is something you're wanting to journal but perhaps have already journaled the page that scripture is on, or that is perhaps a more general topic rather than based one one scripture! I loved this extra added space and have enjoyed journaling in it already!!



Prefer single column or interleaved Bibles instead? You can also get this style in these versions as well! Whether you are just starting out with Bible journaling and want to start with the best of the best, or already have a collection and need the perfect Bible to complete it, this is certainly one you will want to check out!

You can see this and more great journaling Bibles available through Crossway at the links below:

Visit Crossway Online.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.


And in celebration of my birthday week, one very lucky reader is going to win one 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, August 22, 2016

Shh! It's a Surprise!! {A $10 Surprise Sale from Dayspring, That Is!}

**Product received for consideration, all thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links!


Surprise!!


Is there anything greater than a nice surprise!? Maybe it's a phone call from a friend you hadn't heard in awhile, finding money in a pair of jeans you haven't worn in ages, or perhaps a sweet gift from a friend just because. Yes, surprises can be the BEST!

And today I have a WONDERFUL surprise for you... Dayspring is having a Surprise Sale!!! All included items are on sale for just $10... talk about a surprise!


Been eyeing this Grateful Heart Chalkboard that was regularly $45!? It's $10!!

Or maybe your kitchen needs just the extra special touch that these Eat Letterpress Blocks or Daily Grace Sugar Bowl (regularly $27 and $30) would provide? Still, just $10 each!

Or perhaps like me, you want to display your faith proudly and take those reminders with you as you go on about your day with some fun jewelry like the My Hope Pendant Necklace? You got it, it's $10 too!!


While there are many wonderful products included, this necklace is perhaps my favorite. It's serves as such a simple reminder of where our hope comes from. It's the same great quality I've now come to expect from Dayspring and the perfect way to finish off every fall look, and shine my faith wherever I go.

From jewelry to home to journals, this $10 surprise sale has a little something for everyone! Stock up for yourself, or take advantage of these super amazing prices to stock your gift closet! The holidays will be here before we know it, and with these prices, you won't have to break the bank!! In fact, with these prices, perhaps you can surprise a friend in need of a little extra encouragement just because!

Christmas, birthdays, weddings, just because... no matter what you're shopping for, this $10 Surprise Sale is a must see!! But hurry, the deal only last until Sunday, August 28th!

Have you visited the $10 Surprise Sale? What are your favorite products featured?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Finley Grace, Three Years.



It seems as though we just welcomed out sweet Finley Grace into our family, and I must admit I'm in a bit of denial... but here we are at THREE YEARS OLD! 


My girl is the sweetest, though admittedly often stubborn- girl in the world! She loves her Barbies, dress up, princesses, playing pretend. She's 100% girly girl...anything pink and sparkly... she's in! (Though she also loves Star Wars and Superheroes and Thomas!) She is- as the following questions will show- quite the talker. I love our conversations, as silly as they may sometimes be. She has the greatest imagination and I cannot wait to see where that takes her.

As I did with big brother, I decided to ask her the following questions on her birthday (my input in italics):

1. What is your favorite color?
Purple. Her actual favorite color is 'Elsa Blue'.

2. What is your favorite toy?
My Barbie toys and Ariel.

3. What is your favorite fruit?
Um, grapes!

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Ummm...I don't know. Merida (Brave). Mommy, can we watch Barbie and the Dreamhouse? Barbie is definitely a favorite, and My Little Pony, Veggies in the House, Peppa Pig, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins. Movies she loves anything princess, 'Scary Monsters' (Hotel Transylvania 2) and Minions. 

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
*sings* Tuna salad!!!

6. What is your favorite outfit?
Um, I don't know, mom. Cinderella on Halloween. Cinderella's not scary!

7. What is your favorite game?
Stitch & Merida (Disney Infinity) The kids just got this one for their birthday. She has no idea how to play, but she loves it! 

8. What is your favorite snack?
Crackers. Just like my picnic. 

9. What is your favorite animal?
A monkey. A monkey goes outside. Silly animals got in our trash can outside. She actually prefers cats or pigs, I'm not sure where monkey came from! Ha! Also, we don't have monkeys...we have raccoons that won't leave our trash alone!!

10. What is your favorite song?
Let It Go.

11. What is your favorite book?
Barbie and the Dream House book.

12. Who is your best friend?
Bubby This answer made me smile!

13. What is your favorite sport?
Shopping. And I love my games and my Barbie toy over there. Hahahaha... the girl does love to shop! 

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
I want to play outside on the slide.

15. What is your favorite drink?
Lemonade.

16. What is your favorite holiday?
Um, I don't know. *explains a holiday* Christmas. She does talk about Christmas often, which she comes by naturally!! 

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
Um, Teddy... but I can't have Teddy. Brother takes Teddy. This response inspired by Shaun saying, 'Oh, a teddy!?'. In reality, occasionally she'll take a stuffed animal or dolls, but usually just mama! 

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Bacon.

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
I don't know, Mom. I want to eat pizza on my birthday! To be honest, I expected her to say cake... she's very excited about the cake!!!

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to sleep!! This grown up completely agrees!


Happy Birthday, Miss Finley! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Top 5 Ways To Use Inspirational Journals from Dayspring {$5 Journal Weekend Flash Sale!}

**I received journal for consideration. All thoughts are my own. Post contains affiliate links.




Confession: I absolutely, positively love cute notebooks and journals.

Perhaps it's the writer in me, or maybe it's the fact that I'm crazy forgetful and need to write everything down... but whatever the case, I'm a journal girl. If I see a beautiful journal (and especially if it's a great price), I have to have it! But this sometimes means that I wind up with a stack of journals that just sit... more than I can use! What's a girl to do?

Sound like you? Then today's post if for you! In celebration of Dayspring's $5 Journal Flash Sale, I'm sharing my Top 5 ways to put those journals to good use!



Prayer Journal. 
We all know that prayer is one of the most important things we can do to strengthen our relationship with Christ is to pray. After all, what is a relationship without communication? But, so often I find myself forgetting certain things I want to pray for in my daily prayers. How do I organize these thoughts? A prayer journal can help. It gives us a space to write down all of those prayers we think throughout the day, and a chance to go back over them and pray all over again for things that we may otherwise have forgotten. Not only that, but it gives us a chance to look back at what we have prayed for in the past and see how God has answered those prayers. Perhaps even reflect upon that. Of course we know that God answers prayers, but sometimes when you are tirelessly praying for something that just never seems to happen, looking at those past prayers big and small that have been answered can give us hope that God will take care of us and that He is listening.

Illustrate Your Faith.
It's no secret that I am all about Bible journaling! But what if you cannot afford a more expensive journaling Bible, or you don't feel comfortable with the idea of drawing in your Bible? Use a regular journal!! You can still create beautiful art and worship God in this unique way that so many have fallen in love with, just in a separate book. (And the Illustrated Faith kits and products from Dayspring will still work perfectly too!)

Stay Organized.
Did I mention that I have a horrible memory? If it weren't for lists, I'd probably go crazy! Or at least, I'd walking around rather confused anyway! Journals are great because they are not only cuter than a typical notebook, but they tend to be smaller too! Make your lists and take them wherever you go! There are even some pocket size journals that are perfect for this! I personally love those for my grocery shopping and errands lists because as a mom to littles, my bag is always full enough as it is!

Encourage a Friend.
Another great things about journals is that they make great gifts! They're not overly expensive, but they are the perfect way to show those you love that you were thinking about them. You can even leave them a note on the first pages to remind them just how much you care. If you have a friend who is struggling and needs that extra bit of encouragement, pass along an inspirational journal to offer just that. Give them a place to vent, a place to reflect, a place to get it all out.

Study the Bible.
When I was in high school, I was a crazy note taker. I had bulleted notes from whatever I was studying at the time so that I could easily go back through and remember what I had learned and read... writing it all down helped me to absorb it all. Why not use that same idea when studying the Bible? Whether you are reading it on your own, following a Bible study or devotional, or even just want to take notes from your pastor's sermon, a journal is a great place to do that! You will be able to look back upon these pages for years to come and remember your thoughts and see how your faith has grown.

These are just a few of the fun ways that you can put journals to good use outside of typical journaling. The possibilities are truly endless! No matter how you choose to use them, inspirational journals from Dayspring are a must see.


And starting today, they are offering a flash sale! Select journals are on sale for just $5! There are some gorgeous selections to choose from including this lovely Fringe Hours journal! At this price, there has never been a better time to buy! Stock up for yourself, or get a head start on Christmas- it'll be here before we know it! But you have to hurry, the sale ends Sunday, August 21! Get them while you can! 


Are you a journaler? What other creative ways have you found to use your journals? Take a look at the Weekend Flash Sale, and let me know which styles are YOUR favorite! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

School Days in Style with Zoocchini Backpacks! {A Giveaway Hop Event}



The bloggers in the School Days Giveaway Hop want to make it easier to head back to school this fall. Be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway at Savings in Seconds. Will you be the one to win the $50 Amazon gift card? After you enter my giveaway, head to the other participating blogs for chances to win the wonderful items they've featured. This giveaway runs from 8/16-8/30. Good luck!

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


When it comes to back to school shopping, one of my favorite things to shop for is the backpack! It truly is the one place that you can let your kids personality and interests shine- especially when- like mine- your child has a uniform dress code. I can remember throughout my school days, being on the search for the perfect backpack for myself, and that's something that has continued on through motherhood as well. I just love finding cute new backpacks!

And when it comes to cute, nobody can beat Zoocchini!



Get ready for back to school with our NEW backpack pals. Our backpacks are the perfect size for kids 3+ years of age.Our characters have 3D features which make these oh-so-fun for kids! Zoocchini backpack features include: mesh water bottle holders, mesh pockets, pencil and utility holder, adjustable straps, easy to find name tag, large enough for homework folders, unique zipper pulls.



The moment I saw these adorable backpacks, I knew my daughter had to have one--- never mind the fact that she's not yet in school!! She has been obsessed with unicorns lately, so Allie the Alicorn was just up her alley! Seriously how adorable is this!?




But it's not just cute- its well made too! I cannot tell you how many times with my son I have had to replace his backpack halfway through the year. Even in his preschool and kindergarten days when he didn't have daily homework, they just seemed to not last a year! He was rough on backpacks! He's a bit old for these fun backpacks now, but they seem as though they would hold up very well to whatever he put them through! Very well made, and absolutely adorable! I only wish I had known about them when he was younger!

But let's go back to the cuteness now! You know, those early days of preschool and even kindergarten can be very scary for little ones! For many it can be the first time away from their parents. It's intimidating. But much in the same way that a favorite blanket or plush toy does, these fun backpacks can be a source of fun and comfort too--- a friend that goes with them, not to mention a real conversation starter among their peers.


If you're looking for a fun way to send your little one off to school, look no further than Zoocchini! You can see more and connect at the links below:

Shop the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.


And one very lucky reader is going to win one 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, August 15, 2016

I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Woman's Guide to a Man's Brain {A Book Review}


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

It's hard to believe, but I am very quickly approaching 10 years of marriage to my husband. Crazy, right? Having been together for so long, it would seem that by now, we've got each other completely figured out. We should automatically know what each one of us is thinking, how we will react to various situations, and how to get our points of view across to one another. After so long, it should only be natural.. RIGHT!?

But let's be honest, more often than not, I still find myself scratching my head wondering what on earth is he thinking? I mean sure, I've gotten better at understanding him over the years, but still so often I feel like I've been given a box of ideas, of quirks, and ways of doing things that somehow go together but cannot find the instructions. Wouldn't it be great if we could just have THAT? A little book of instructions to give us some insight into a man's brain.

Now, there is in 'I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Woman's Guide to a Man's Brain'. Take a look:


What Is He Really Thinking? 

When a woman begins a relationship with a man, she may think she's found her knight in shining armor. As the relationship continues, that armor can begin to feel like a barricade she just can't get past it. What's he hiding in there, anyway?

Relationship and communication expert Mike Bechtle offers women an insider's guide to the puzzling male brain. Simple and practical, this book provides women with a roadmap for better conversations and improved relationships. Bechtle reminds readers that men and women share many similarities, and by embracing those similarities they can better deal with differences. He explains how men think, act, communicate, and grow in relationships, and even offers tips for communicating in a toxic relationship.

Wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, friends, and coworkers will find real help within these pages.

First and foremost, how about that title, right? There are many books out there on this topic of communication and the differences between how men and women communicate, and while they say you should never judge a book by its cover... well, it's only human nature! When I see this title, I laugh...I want to read it because I know that it's going to have that little bit of humor that makes the reading much more enjoyable. And it was, but it was also very informative! It gave me some much needed insight to the inner working of a man's mind.

Is every word going to apply to my husband, or even my son as he grows older? Of course not. Men, like women, have a lot of variances and don't truly all come with a one size fits all instruction manual. However, it serves as a great starting point to consider when communicating with the men in your life. While everything might not be exact for my boys, it gives me something to go on rather tan jumping in blindly as I so often feel as though I'm doing.

Whether you are a wife wanting to better understand your husband, a mother hoping to get a glimpse into her son's head, or even a daughter hoping to build a stronger relationship with your father, this book can be a great starting point to get you off on the right foot.

'I Wish He Had Come with Instructions: The Woman's Guide to a Man's Brain' is available to purchase now.

Friday, August 12, 2016

#WordsMatter {Dayspring Letterpress Blocks on SALE Until 8/18}

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

I think it goes without saying, but I love words!

Photo from Dayspring

Perhaps it's the writer in me, but I seriously just cannot get enough! Words have such a way of encouraging and inspiring. This is why when you walk into my home you'll see these words of inspiration everywhere. These words we see every day help to remind us that we are home, that we have hope and grace, that we are loved...they remind us who we are.

Which is why today I am thrilled to share with you an amazing can't beat deal from Dayspring!



Their Letterpress Blocks Everyday Words and Inspirational Words Sets are on sale for just $50!! That's 60% off!!! 


These fun blocks are the greatest. First and foremost, I absolutely love the style... they're gorgeous. But the best part is they are versatile! Each box contains letters to make a variety of words, and if you have both, you can create even MORE great words that will help make your house a home! (And of course, you can always create your own words too!) They include metal clips that allow you to think outside the boring straight across layout to make a look that's truly your own (although, boring is fine too and still looks great!) From creating cute bookends to spelling out your family name--- these blocks are so fun to incorporate into your home decor! Check out this link to see some fun ways to use them!

Sounds fantastic, right? If you want to start sharing the words that matter to your family, head on over to Dayspring to take advantage of this amazing offer! Hurry- the sale ends on August 18! 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Win Waffles for a Year and MORE in this Van's Back To School Giveaway

**** This giveaway was facilitated by Van’s Foods. I was not compensated for this post but did receive free product samples and all opinions are my own. 

Back to school... what comes to mind when you hear those words? Back to school shopping? New clothes and supplies? More time to get housework done? Earlier mornings? Oh yes, that last one is pretty rough. My family is a family of night owls, not morning people in the slightest. In the summer we take full advantage of that ability to sleep in. So when school comes around, it's quite the adjustment getting used to waking up and getting ready.

And I'm not the only one! 
Van’s conducted a survey of 1,000 moms and asked them to describe their mornings:
  • o    58 percent said they rush through their morning hair or makeup routines
  • o    Nearly 40 percent admit to wearing pajamas to drive their kids to school
  • o    17 percent who apply makeup in the car.
  • o    Nearly 70 percent of moms said they feel better about themselves when they serve a hot breakfast, and they count protein, whole grains and kid-friendliness as the lead factors for making good choices for their families.



But waking up and making a fancy breakfast!? Um, no...that's just not going to happen these days!? Thankfully, Van's comes to the rescue! 
Quick, wholesome options like Van’s waffles offer protein and whole grains that are so delicious moms feel great about serving them and kids love eating them.  Van’s offers a variety of options for all types of eaters, from kid-favorite Van’s Minis (with 27 grams of whole grain per serving) to Van’s Gluten-Free Waffles (free of gluten, dairy and egg) and Van’s 8 Whole Grains Waffles (with 7 grams of fiber). Just as importantly, they are done in minutes giving your little one a great nutritious meal to start their day off right. Now, that's something we can feel great about as we send our little one's off to school, right?

We like to keep our waffles simple, but to take it to the next level (without too much time), check out these easy waffle topper ideas: 
  


Banana and Honey Minis

·         Sriracha Avocado waffle (Image & Recipe credit: Back to Her Roots)

Van’s waffles are available at grocery stores, mass merchandisers and natural food retailers nationwide. To find Van’s waffles in a store near you, visit: http://www.vansfoods.com/store-locator

To celebrate modern moms and make her life a little easier, Van’s is hosting a Back-to-School giveaway for a year’s worth of free waffles (52 coupons) and three signed cookbooks from celebrity nutritionist and best-selling author Joy Bauer! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:
·         a Rafflecopter giveaway

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