A Modern Day Fairy Tale: 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Invited To A Winter Wedding? Here Are 3 Tips For Attending In Style

Invited To A Winter Wedding? Here Are 3 Tips For Attending In Style

If you're preparing to attend a winter wedding this season, you're certainly not alone. While it's true that June is still the most popular month to get married, accounting for 15% of all weddings, more and more couples seem to be opting for times of year that best reflect their personality and eclectic tastes. And as a guest, you're expected to attend with certain criteria in mind. Here are just a few style tips to keep in mind if you're preparing to attend a winter wedding.

Opt For Layers and Long Sleeves

First, layers and long sleeves are your best friends during winter wedding season. You have virtually unlimited options when it comes to materials and styles, and versatile layers make it easier than ever to get and stay comfortable throughout the night, even with multiple temperature changes. If you're unsure about what temperatures to expect, checking the weather can put your mind at ease, but inquiring directly with the couple or another guest for attire suggestions can also be helpful as well. And of course, when all else fails, there's absolutely no shame in bringing a backup coat or warm layer to keep in your car, just in case the weather turns out to be chillier than you expected.

Relax The Body And Mind

Weddings are definitely intended to be enjoyable and memorable occasions for everyone involved. That being said, there's often at least a small level of stress and pressure that comes with getting ready, choosing the right gift, and having to socialize for several hours on end. To put your mind at ease, consider taking a hot bath or shower to relax before getting ready for the big event. There's a reason why the global spa and wellness industry has been growing by 12% annually since 2007: these types of activities are absolutely perfect for relaxing both the body and mind simultaneously, helping you prepare for any mental or physical pressures you may have to deal with throughout the day. You may be surprised at just how much a hot shower can rejuvenate both the body and mind.

Don't Forget The Accessories

Believe it or not, winter weddings can be the perfect opportunity to show off any new and colorful jewelry or accessories you've recently acquired over the holidays. From dazzling bracelets to shimmering belt buckles, nothing is off limits. For an extra classy look, consider wearing a gold plated watch. A "gold-plated" watch has a coating of a gold alloy over a base metal by either electro-depositing and/or a chemical process. Recommended minimum thickness should be 10 microns thick. Gold-plated watches are the perfect accessories to add a distinct level of classiness to your look without the exorbitant costs that usually come with them.

Ultimately, keeping these tips in mind can help you make the most of your time as a guest at any winter wedding this season. After relaxing with a hot bath or shower, putting on your warm and cozy layers, and accessorizing with the season's latest trends, you'll be all ready to go out and truly enjoy the winter wonderland that surrounds you.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Last Minute Shopper? Save Big with Five Back Visa Gift Card {A #5Back17 Giveaway} #ad

Background image created by Jeshoots - Freepik.com
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tatu Digital Media. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Tick tock, tick tock...The clock is winding down to get your holiday shopping done! Have you finished yours yet, or are you still crossing off your lists?

The way I see it, there are two main types of Christmas shoppers.

We have the early birds like myself. We tend to shop throughout the year, catching the deals when we can. If we happen to not be done by then, Black Friday is usually the finishing point in our holiday shopping season.

And then there are the last minute shoppers... the shoppers who are in the stores on Christmas Eve trying to get their gifts finished up. If you fall into this latter category, chances are you end up resigning yourself to higher prices... after all, the best sales are already passed, right?

Surely there has to be a way that you can be both a procrastinator AND still be frugal, right?

With a a Five Back Visa Gift Card, you can have the best of both! 

First and foremost, I love using gift cards for Christmas shopping! When you're in the store shopping it can be very easy to just start filling the cart and spending double or triple what you'd intended to. When you use a gift card, you can put on just what you intend to spend so you won't feel as tempted to keep adding more!

But the Five Back Visa Gift Card does more than help you budget. It gives you money back on your purchases too! Five Back Users earn up to 5% back when they shop and dine at preferred retailers and restaurants! Stores include popular brands like AMC Theaters, Gap, Old Navy, Sephora, Bass Pro, Nike, Williams Sonoma, Outback and many more. You can see the full list of preferred retailers here. The Five Back Visa Gift Card is accepted everywhere Visa is accepted too, so you can easily get all of your shopping done with your card!

So let's do some math, shall we?

Load a $500 Five Back Visa Gift Card, with a purchase fee of $5.95. Spend that money at preferred retailers--- shop for everyone on your list, grab a new outfit or two for those holiday gatherings and treat yourself to dinner out after a long day shopping. You've now earned up to $25 in cash back! Subtracting your purchase price, that gives you a savings of $19.05 just from using the card alone. Watch for those holiday sales and add in coupons where you can to maximize your savings!

Ready to get started earning 5% back? Get the Five Back Visa gift card at Office Max, Giant Eagle, Publix, Lowe’s Hardware Stores and Albertsons Family Stores including: Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Shaw's, Jewel and ACME. Buy it online at giftcardmall.com. For more details visit, fivebackgift.com And one very lucky reader is going to win a $50 Five Back Gift Card! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The Perfect Family Gift {An I See Me Personalized Board Game Giveaway} #HolidayGiftGuide2017

Welcome the Sweet Holiday Memories Giveaway Hop
hosted by LeahSay's Views and Miki's Hope

From now through December 23rd, hop along to all participating blogs to enter family friendly giveaways valued at $15 or more! Hop along and enter them all!


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

Every year as I cross off my Christmas shopping list, I find that it looks pretty similar... the specifics may change from year to year, but the ideas are the same:

  • Toys of choice
  • Books
  • PJs
  • Bath Products with current favorite characters
  • A Family Gift.
Most of those are pretty easy. The kids always have a list of toys and books, and I can choose their PJs and bath sets (toothbrushes, etc) based on whatever interests them at the time. That family gift though... that can be a tough one! Still, I love finding some sort of activity that we can enjoy TOGETHER. Sometimes that means a movie or going to an event, but perhaps one of my favorite family gifts is a good ol' fashioned board game. 

There are many board games to choose from out there, but today I'm excited to share with you a game that is a little more unique from I See Me!- Our Family's Race Across the U.S.A. Personalized Board Game:

Our Family's Race Across the U.S.A. Personalized Board Game

Announcing a brand-new way to engage the family with your own personalized board game! Take an adventure across America as you move your piece along the game board. Personalize up to six game pieces with photos of your family member’s faces so they can “travel” from space to space. Your family’s names will also be incorporated into the game board artwork! Create lasting family memories with this uniquely personalized keepsake.

If you've followed A Modern Day Fairy Tale for long, you're probably already familiar with I See Me. They offer a wide variety of books and gifts that are personalized to each child. In the past, both of my children have gone CRAZY for these books. My son has learned about sportsmanship and being a big kid, while my daughter has had fun with custom Christmas songs and seeing her name in lights. They've both enjoyed personalized lunchboxes that were just their style. For a child, there is just something special about seeing your name in a story, right? 

But on a board game!? How absolutely cool is that!? I remember as a child when we played board games, we always went for the game piece that was 'us'. I liked to sew as a child so in Monopoly I was always the thimble. For Life we always chose our favorite color car.... you get the idea. Of course, there were always times when more than one of us wanted the same piece... this game gives each child a piece that is truly 100% uniquely their own--- featuring their face! No more arguing over who gets the best piece, right!? Kids are going to love playing this game because it's a game that no one else in the world has!

Like everything I See Me has to offer, the game is beautifully illustrated and flawlessly incorporates all the family names into the board itself as well. This truly is a family gift that is both unique and fun for kids of all ages!
Personalized Children's Books | I See Me!

Ready to take your family game night to the next level? Or need more inspiration for personalized gifts? Connect with I See Me at the links below:

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

Keep in mind that all orders must be placed by December 17 for Christmas delivery! 

And one lucky reader is going to win the game for their own family! Enter using the giveaway form below:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Keep the Christmas Magic Alive with PackageFromSanta.com {+ Save 25% Off}

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

I love Christmas. The sights, the sounds, the smells... it's all pretty magical, isn't it?  But the most magical thing about Christmas?

Seeing it through the eyes of a child!

I have always loved Christmas and could never imagine loving it more, but after having children... it just seems to give you a whole new outlook on the season. I love watching their eyes light up at the first sight of snow. I love hearing their theories on Santa and how the magic works. I love the excitement in their eyes as they see that red suit at the local mall. And yes, I even love those early morning wake-up calls Christmas morning, anxious to see what the man in the suit has given them.

Call me crazy, but I want to keep that magic alive as long as possible!

PackageFromSanta.com helps us to do just that:

Start a new and memorable tradition this Christmas with PackageFromSanta.com, the ONLY Santa memory service that does it ALL! Personalized LETTERS, PACKAGES, CALLS and VIDEOS from SANTA! 

Do you want to see your children's face light up in amazement when they get a personalized letter from Santa Claus? Of course you do! This not just a letter from Santa. It's an amazing experience - it's joy, memories, wonder and happiness in a box! You can choose a specific letter theme and then customize it yourself to include details that only Santa would know! 

I was recently given the chance to experience their Silver Package, which includes the following:

  • Personalized Letter from Santa
  • BONUS! Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
  • BONUS! Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone OR land line! (retail $9.99)
  • Personalized Nice List Certificate
  • Autographed Santa Claus Photo
  • Autographed Rudolph Photo
  • Genuine North Pole Stamp
  • ...and so much more!
First, the whole thing was super easy to set up. You fill in your child's name, upload some photos and you're all set. They offer a variety of letter styles to choose from and even allow you to edit and customize to best fit your child. The video allows you to add their name and photo and if your kiddo has been a bit of a stinker, even allows you to put them on the naughty list--- with some encouragement to turn it around.

When the package arrived, it truly is like magic! It was addressed to them, from Santa in the North Pole. My son kept saying, 'This is a VERY special delivery!' They loved it. It was fun, it was unique, it brought the magic of the north pole straight to our mailbox.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and christmas tree

The Silver package is just one of the options available. They offer three different packages to fit your needs and your budgets, and lots of add ons you can purchase to make your Christmas experience even more magical too.

Even better? It also comes with a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee. So, should your child not love it, you get your money back... but I'll be honest, I don't see THAT happening!

Ready to check it out? Order this holiday must-have for your child at https://www.packagefromsanta.com/ and save 25% OFF your order when you use FAMS17 at checkout.

How do you keep the magic of Christmas alive for your children? How can PackageFromSanta.com help?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Give the Gift of Fandango {A Two Turtle Doves Giveaway Hop Event} #HolidayGiftGuide2017

Welcome to the Two Turtle Dove Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!
Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!


When your kids are little, shopping for holiday gifts can be pretty easy! That first year or two, they don't typically have much of an opinion, so some cute little toys and even some essentials are perfect. Kids aren't picky at that age and are likely to be more interested in the box it came in anyway. Once they hit about 3-4, they really start to get their own opinions and loves... that's the really fun age, when you can see the magic through their eyes, and the toys are still relatively easy to shop for. Once they hit double digits and beyond though, it starts getting harder. For many children, this is the age where they still like toys but are maybe pickier... or start moving on from them entirely.

So, now what!? 

Of course there are still video games and collectible type things of their favorite characters, but another great gift idea for those days when kids start outgrowing toys is the gift of an experience. Treat them to an adventure that is out of the norm but suits their interest. Maybe it's an annual pass to the zoo or a science center. Maybe it's a family trip to a theme park. Or perhaps it can be as simple as a trip for them and their friends to see a great new movie!

Today's giveaway can help you with JUST that! One very lucky winner is going to win a $25 Fandango Gift Card! Gift it to the tween/teen in your life, OR use it to take a family trip to see the hottest winter films (hint: Star Wars). Enter using the giveaway form below:

If you’re a blogger looking to connect with brands: Join The Hopping Bloggers database and get started today! If you’re a brand looking to work with a network of professional bloggers: Check out the creative campaigns The Hopping Bloggers has to offer!

Enjoy a Silent Night this Holiday Season with VitalSleep {+An Exclusive Coupon Code}

**This is a sponsored post written by my on behalf of VitalSleep. All thoughts are 100% my own.

"What do you want for Christmas!?"

When asked this question, I so often find myself thinking... SLEEP.

I might be kidding, but only kind of. I really would love for one great night's sleep so I could be rested and refreshed come Christmas morning! For many of us however, snoring gets in the way.

No, not because we snore...but because we are married to someone who does. If you are married to someone who snores, you're probably nodding in agreement right now--- you know just what I mean! Just when you start to fall asleep... in starts the loud obnoxious snoring! Yikes! Some of us suffer through it and struggle to get a good night's rest while others find themselves having to sleep apart. That's no good either, is it?

If you are married to a snorer, today I have the perfect gift for them... but let's be honest, it's kind of for you too: VitalSleep!

VitalSleep is an FDA cleared Anti-Snoring mouth piece that is made to treat and quiet snoring quickly--- within the very first night of use! It is the only snoring solution with the patented Accu-Adjust System  to maximize comfort and effectiveness. And it does not require any costly doctor visits required, making it much more affordable for any budget!

Many of us probably hear 'mouthpiece' and think uncomfortable and awkward, but VitalSleep's design has your comfort in mind. They offer two different sizes--- “regular” for men and “small” for women. If it doesn't fit properly, they DO offer free exchanges. Once you get your correct size, it molds to the shape of your mouth for the most perfect fit. It offers a flexible design that still allows for side to side jaw movement--- this leads to reduced stressed and better effectiveness. And you can STILL sleep in any position without impacting effectiveness.

If the comfort wasn't enough to sawy you, check out these few quick facts:

  • Safe and FDA-cleared: FDA-cleared, BPA- and Latex-free and made from FDA-approved, nontoxic, medical-grade components for the ultimate in quality and safety.
  • Free replacements for a year: Comes with an unconditional, one-year warranty.
  • Low-maintenance care: Easy to clean with cold water and toothpaste or a denture cleaner.
  • Free protective case: Comes with its own hygienic, carrying case.
  • Same-day shipping: Fast shipping so you can treat your snoring and achieve sound, peaceful sleep as soon as possible.
  • Proudly made in the U.S.A.: Proudly manufactured in the U.S.A. to ensure our quality standards are met and to support the American economy.

Most importantly though, it's a proven solution to snoring! VitalSleep has already helped hundreds of thousands of users relieve their snoring--- allowing them AND their loved ones to get a better night's sleep! In fact, they even offer you a money back guarantee! Use VitalSleep for 60 nights, and if you're not satisfied, they'll refund your money! So... what's stopping you!?

With VitalSleep we truly CAN have that silent night and restful sleep that we dream about this Christmas and throughout the year! And I have an exclusive coupon just for you! Use code RANDIKAYE on your purchase to save $10 on VitalSleep. You can shop for yours now.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Stuff Your Stocking with National Geographic Kids { A Prize Pack Giveaway} #HolidayGiftGuide2017

Welcome to the Winter Is Coming Giveaway Event, hosted by  The Kids Did It &  The Mommy Island.

Now through December 16th, hop along and treat yourself with these amazing giveaways! After you enter my giveaway, hop along to other participating bloggers for more amazing prizes.

**Books Received for Consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Toys, toys, toys...

Let's face it... for most kids, Christmas is all about the TOYS. My kids certainly each have several on their lists. And that's great, I want my kids to have some good toys that they enjoy playing with. But as moms, we know the reality of toys... for the most part, they'll get played with for a few weeks, then collect dust in the toy box with last year's Christmas gifts.

So, each year while I do still buy those toys, I also try to think of some great non-toy gifts as well. For my kids, one of our go tos is of course books! My son especially loves to read so I always like to have a good variety of entertaining and educational books.

For that, we LOVE National Geographic Kids. Take a look at some of these great new titles:

Weird But True! Christmas: 300 Festive Facts to Light Up the Holidays — (ages 8-12, 208 pages) The PERFECT stocking stuffer! Ready for some totally festive facts? Even Christmas can be weird -- it's true! Did you know that Santa's reindeer are probably all female? Or that artificial snow can be made from seaweed? Or that "Jingle Bells" was the first Christmas carol sung in space? Every kid will ho ho ho when they unwrap this book that is chocked full of the most random and fascinating facts about their most favorite holiday. 

My son loves Christmas... of course, what kid doesn't right? But more than just the presents and the fun, he's always been really interested in learning everything there is to know about the holiday. Naturally, this book was right up his alley. He loved earning these more obscure facts that he didn't already know... and sharing them with his friends too. I'd always said that he was the biggest Christmas expert I knew, but with this book, he TRULY can be! 

Ultimate Dinopedia - (ages 7-10, 296 pages) Attention dinosaur fanatics! This is a big, gift-worthy hardcover that is also the most complete and comprehensive dinosaur reference ever. Although these amazing creatures roamed the Earth ages ago, new dinosaur discoveries are still being made today.  The new edition includes favorites, like the fierce T-rex and the gentle Brontosaurus, plus audacious new finds, like the Anzu, Kosmoceratops, and Yi. Every dino profile is colorfully illustrated and features descriptions of when they roamed the Earth, how they lived, what they ate, and more. There are more than 600 dinos featured in all, including 10 profiles of recently discovered dinosaurs and new entries in the Dino Dictionary. Reports from paleontologists present the latest news and insights from the field.

What kid doesn't love dinosaurs, am I right? I remember enjoying them as a kid and now both my son and daughter both share that same interest. There's something just really interesting in learning about this mysterious creature. And this book will certainly allow them to do just that. It is packed full of information and images.... over 600 dinos!? Who knew!? This is not some little book with a few fun facts, but a true comprehensive look at dinosaurs for the uber fan! It's certainly been a hit with my son, and is sure to be with my daughter when she's able to read too! 

Bet You Didn’t Know: Fascinating, Far-Out, Fun-tastic Facts - (ages 8-12, 192 pages) “...the whole outing is really tailor-made for dipping and flipping at random....A bodacious wellspring of random knowledge."— Starred review, Kirkus Reviews. BIG, packed with gorgeous photos and illustrations and guaranteed to keep kids occupied for hours and hours, Bet You Didn’t Know is the perfect holiday gift for the fact-lover or for your kid’s favorite teacher’s classroom. Did you know that the first stop signs were black and white? Or that a litter of kittens is called a kindle? Or that butterflies can see more colors than humans can?  Based on a favorite department in Nat Geo Kidsmagazine, this book is overflowing with fascinating facts, silly stats, and catchy little knowledge nuggets in all kinds of cool categories, from astronomy and sea creatures to revolutions and breakfast. Special features include Extreme Weirdness, Strange Places, Wacky World, and more. 

My son is kind of king at random facts. He's always telling me these strange little tidbits about anything and everything. Things he's read in books or the internet... or even from TV shows like Phineas and Ferb (surprising full of random information). So, this was another book that I knew would keep him entertained for hours. And it really does. On those winter break days where the weather keeps us inside- this is one great boredom buster. 

Just Joking Jumbo — (ages 7-10, 288 pages)  What do you get when you have 1,000 giant jokes and 1,000 funny photos?  A stocking stuffer that adds up to some seriously big laughs! If you have a budding stand up comedian on your list this year - this is the perfect book for them.  Knock-knocks, puns, riddles, tongue-twisters, photos of silly situations and even the craziest info about the history of funny business - it’s all here! 

Speaking of boredom busters, what kid doesn't love a good joke!? Both of my kids are constantly telling the latest they've heard or making up their own. A joke book!? Yes, please! He loves finding new ones to share with us and his friends... and sometimes just to get a good chuckle himself. This book truly is one that will have them rolling Christmas morning. 

Hey, Baby! A Collection of Pictures, Poems and Stories from Nature’s Nursery - (all ages, 192 pages) Sweet dreams are made of this! Join National GeographicKids on a trip around the globe to celebrate nature's nursery.This collection of stunning photography of wee ones of the wild world will inspire, awe and awww. With dynamic profiles, clever poems, time-tested folktales, amazing rescue stories, and unlikely animal friendships, this book will be a favorite with sleepy little ones, new parents and moms-to-be. Featuring everything from wobbly baby bison to teeny turtles, mini-monkeys to fluffy foxes, this is the perfect keepsake book for the baby animal lover in us all.  

Do you have a kid that loves baby animal photos? Or maybe that's you? This book is ideal! This has some great stories inside that my 10 year old and myself enjoy reading, but for my 4 year old, it's all about the cute pictures featuring all types of baby animals. Cute, right!? 

Like all National Geographic Kids books, these books all feature bright, vibrant images that are great for capturing and keeping kids attention. They offer a unique mix of useful information and fun facts to make them both educational AND entertaining. They truly are the perfect non-toy gift for the child on your list!

You can see these and more from National Geographic Kids at the links below:

* Like National Geographic Kids on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/NationalGeographicKid
* Follow National Geographic Kids Books on twitter - @NGKidsBks

And one lucky winner is going to win a prize pack including each of these books... a whopping $94 value. Enter using the form below:

Help Prevent Tree Fires with Evergreen Elf {An #EvergreenElf Review + Coupon Code} #ad

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

When I was a kid, I remember bundling up and heading to a local tree farm to choose the perfect tree. We didn't get a live tree every year, but those years that we did certainly held a special place in my heart. I still remember going out and searching and trying to find just the right one. 

Isn't that such a great family tradition!? 

Still, it seems more and more families are going to the more convenient option of a fake tree. I must admit, I am included in that. And let's be honest--- it does have it's benefits. You pay once, it's done. No falling pine needles to worry about. You can get them prelit. No transporting a real tree. Well, you get the idea.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns in using a real tree (at least for me), is the increased risk of tree fires. Did you know that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 200 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees in 2011–2015 (per NFPA.org)? 

While fires can occur with both real and fake trees, dryness in real trees can be a common culprit. The trees get dry and make them much more of a fire hazard, which is why keeping them properly watered is so crucial! But if you've experience a real tree, we know what a pain in the behind that can be... having to constantly move and reach over gifts and under a full tree just to check. Oh boy! There has to be a better way, right?

Enter Evergreen Elf

The Evergreen Elf has a very important mission... to protect your tree AND your family from tree fires! Simply attach this cute little guy to your tree stand and let him do the monitoring. When the water starts to get low, he will provide both a visual flashing as well as an audio alert. This lets you know it's time to refill before it's too late. I love that it provides both, as I know in my home, flashing lights could be easily overlooked at Christmas time! You no longer have to get down under the tree to check manually, just let this fun little dude do his job! 

Not only is the Evergreen Elf extremely handy and a great preventative tool, it's also a lot of fun! First and foremost, he's adorable. He is the perfect addition to your Christmas decor with his fun, festive look. And because he's cute and talks--- it makes even watering the tree fun for kids! Talk about a win/win!

If you use a real tree, the Evergreen Elf is a MUST! Head on over to purchase yours today. And use the code MODERNELF84 to save 15% on your Elf!!! 

Learn more and connect at the links below:

Make It a Pizza Night with Savings at Kroger #KrogerPizzaDeal #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company all opinions are mine alone. #KrogerPizzaDeal #CollectiveBias
As the holidays approach, schedules begin to become very hectic. Kroger stores have quick and affordable meal options available for the ultimate holiday meal solution.
Pick up a Deli Fresh ready to heat pizza at a hot price-point for $5.99 and a Coca-Cola 1.25L beverage or 1L Dasani and save $1 when you scan your Kroger loyalty card (valid through 12/3/17 - 1/3/18). Kroger Deli Fresh ready to heat pizza is available in the refrigerated section of your your local Kroger store deli.
Participating Coca-Cola beverages include:
  • 1.25L Coca-Cola Classic (any flavor)
  • 1.25L Coca-Cola Zero Sugar
  • 1.25L Diet Coke
  • 1.25L Sprite
  • 1.25L Fanta
  • 1L Dasani
Stop by your local Kroger store and pick up a refreshing 1.25L Coca-Cola or 1L Dasani and a ready to heat pizza for a quick and easy meal this winter to help you mark one thing off your to-do list.
Participating Kroger stores: Kroger, Fred Meyer, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smith’s, Fry’s, Fry’s Marketplace, Dillons, QFC, Baker’s Supermarkets, City Market, Gerbes Super Markets, Jay C, Owen’s, Scott’s, and Pay Less Super Markets.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Study: Poor Dental Health May be Contributing to Your Child's Obesity

Did you know that it's three times more likely for a child with poor dental health to miss school as a result of dental pain in comparison to a child with excellent oral health? While dental health can have a major impact on a child's day-to-day life, a new study goes so far as to suggest that poor oral health may be part of the reason some children are overweight.

The study out of Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden claims that there is a direct correlation between a child's oral health and their overall body mass index (BMI). Louise Arvidsson, a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, spoke about the findings.

“Weight can be a sensitive subject, but if you talk about eating behaviours alongside dental health, you are looking at the issue from a different angle,” Arvidsson said. “The question is whether a healthy diet can have effect also in young children. There has been a lot of focus on physical activity and mental health in children, but diet is an increasingly recognised aspect.”

In the study, 271 children had their body fat, eating behavior, and dental health analyzed. Each child was kept for one day of observation and had the cariogenic micro-organisms in their saliva checked out.

The study showed that a child who had more bacteria in their mouth also had a higher BMI.

"It clearly doesn't work, stopping your child from eating too much, or putting them on a diet, as some people were convinced. You really have to look at other methods to control a child's eating habits," Arvidsson said.

Along with the good oral health that healthy food brings children, it can also help increase self-esteem, improve relationships, and lead to fewer emotional problems.

However, it is important to note that any parent who restricts their child's food intake when they are younger may cause them to struggle with overeating or other difficult eating habits later in life. It is suggested that children eat 400 to 500 grams of fruits and vegetables each day, have a low intake of sugar and saturated fat, and consume fish only two to three times per week.

Shop With Your Heart to Help Farm Animals

We all care about animals but sometimes we don’t always think about the animals that help produce our food - especially during the holiday season. So, this season the ASPCA, Food Chain Workers Alliance, GRACE Communications Foundation, and the Natural Resource Defense Council are working hard to arm consumers with the information they need before they head to the grocery store for holiday shopping. And they are focusing on farm animal welfare by doing so. Here are some tips for being a savvy consumer while supporting humane practices!
Don’t Be Duped - Marketing schemes can play a huge factor when it comes to food purchases. So often consumers want to buy humanely-raised food, but labels can be meaningless or downright misleading at times! What’s the difference between “all-natural” or “free-range” or “cage-free”? That’s why the ASPCA has produced guides like this one to help consumers distinguish what matters.

Don’t Waste the Food You Have - Your family can reduce your holiday grocery bill - and food waste - by serving the right portion sizes and storing leftovers properly. A Good Groceries Guide will help you understand how all these elements fit together to help people, animals, and ultimately the planet

Buy Locally - Shopping locally, like from your local farmer’s market or CSA, can keep your shopping dollars in your local area and also decrease the need for factory-farmed foods. Check out the ASPCA guide for shopping locally and how to begin conversations with local producers in your area.

Shop With Your Heart - At the ASPCA Shop With Your Heart website you’ll find an abundance of options for healthy and humane food choices, along with tips on how to begin to implement them in your own family.

As consumers we have all the power to shift the focus of major companies and corporations. And that begins with understanding how our shopping choices can directly affect the lives of the animals that help bring us the meals we serve our family.

Enter for your chance to win some fun items from the ASPCA!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Save BIG on Bible Journaling with Dayspring's Countdown To Christmas Sale

***Post contains affiliate links. My love of Bible journaling and savings are all my own. 

Do you have a Bible journaler on your shopping list, or have you yourself been wanting to start? For many, the cost to start can be a little intimidating... the Bible PLUS all the supplies you need... but what if I told you that now through WEDNESDAY, you could purchase a journaling Bible AND supplies to start for LESS than the cost of a journaling Bible alone.

Guess what!?

You can. Dayspring JUST launched their Countdown to Christmas Illustrated Faith Sale with savings up to 65% off, valid through December 16. This alone is already an amazing deal and features a Bible journaling starter set plus Bible for just $50, a $95 value. Still, I like getting more for my money, how about you!? Right now, through Wednesday, December 6, you can also add on the code SHINEHISLIGHT for an extra $20 off your $60 purchase plus FREE SHIPPING. Here are a few deal scenarios I've worked out for you using this code!

Illustrated Faith Starter Kit & NIV Journal Edition Bible Gift Set Reg. 94.98 marked down to $50
Watercolor Paint Set Reg, $25, marked down to $10.
Total of $60 before coupon.
Add in coupon for a total of $40 plus local tax.
Total savings $80!!!!

This idea is perfect for anyone just starting, or who is ready for a new Bible. The starter kit features acrylic paint, journaling tips, stickers, die cuts and so much more... everything you need to get started, or to add to your existing collection. It comes in a gorgeous keepsake box perfect for storing supplies. This is valued at $50 alone. The Bible is valued at $45 and is one of my personal favorites and gives you the largest savings. Did you catch that!? Either of these items ALONE would cost more than this deal! There are however a few other Bible options available as well--- including The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible. All are $50 for this set. I personally love their watercolor so I thought it was a great add in to hit the $60 mark, you could add in some clippies, etc (marked down to $2) if you'd prefer.

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Newest Devo Kits, Regularly $20, marked down to $15.
Total of $60 before coupon.
Add coupon code for a total of $40 plus tax.
Savings of $40.

This deal is great for anyone who has been eyeing the newest devotional kits. The $5 savings might not seem like much on their own, but combined with the coupon, it's basically like getting two free!

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Genesis Kit regularly $75 marked down to $40, watercolor and acrylic paint sets, reg $25 marked down to $10 each.
Total of $60 before coupon.
Add code for $40 plus tax.
Savings of $75.

This is another AMAZING can't miss deal, appropriate for anyone who is just starting (and already has a Bible), or the seasoned journaler too. First of all, these paints are my personal favorites--- great quality and even at $10 are a steal! The Genesis kit is packed full of supplies--- with this deal you are paying $35 less for this PLUS the paints than what the kit would cost alone! That's crazy, right?

Of course, these are just a few examples of the possible deals you can score with these deals combined. There are many more great sale prices so you can mix and match to best fit your needs. This is a great time to shop for the journaler on your list or stock up for yourself. Remember, this also includes free shipping, so if you plan to order enough, make multiple purchases that equal the $60 minimum for the largest savings.

Ready to save? You can final sale items here.

***Illustrated Faith Sale Ends 12/16. SHINEHISLIGHT code expires 12/6... hurry over to take advantage of the super savings!!! ****

Frugal Homemade Christmas: DIY Cardboard Wrapping Paper Ornaments

This next installment of the Frugal Homemade Christmas Tree series is honestly an idea I thought of at the very last minute. After doing my garland, pine cones and cinnamon dough, I'd planned on actually just adding some simple balls, but it just didn't feel like it went. Still, I needed some color. I considered adding a cranberry garland, but that would have cost more than I could spend. I then thought of painted salt dough ornaments, but I wanted something different than the cinnamon dough. After a little brainstorming I came up with the perfect solution using items I already had in my home...

DIY Cardboard Wrapping Paper Ornaments

  • Cardboard
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Twine/Ribbon
  • Glue Stick
  • Stencil/Cookie Cutter
  1. First up, choose your shape. I decided to keep it simple with a circle, but you can have fun with it. I used a mason jar lid as my stencil, drawing circles onto an old cardboard box. Cut those out.
  2. Now, do the same with the wrapping paper. 
  3. Once everything is cut out, start gluing the wrapping paper onto the cardboard with glue stick. 
  4. Tie loops into your string/ribbon. Glue to the back. (I used the same Dollar Store twine I used for my cinnamon dough ornaments). If you have a strong enough hole punch, that could be a much better option too, but I did not. 
  5. Tie on a bow to the front for an extra festive look. 
  6. Hang on the tree. If you'd like, you can do a double sided ornament with the glued hanger in the center, but I just left them as they were and hung in a way that only the front was visible. 
Let's be honest, these are nothing fancy at all, but they were JUST what my tree needed! I had buffalo plaid wrapping paper which truly went perfectly with the look I was going for this year. As I mentioned before, I love doing themed trees, but theme ornaments can be very pricey- with the right wrapping paper, this is a VERY inexpensive option. You can also use old books or even sheet music too! 

Because I already had everything on hand, this particular project for me was absolutely free!

Find more from my Frugal Homemade Christmas series in the posts below:

DIY Popcorn Gardland

Sunday, December 3, 2017

She Reads Truth Bible

I was given this Bible to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media.  While I was given the Bible for free all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It's no secret by now that I love a good Bible.

My love for and collection of Bible started when I was a teenager and has only grown since. Throughout the years I have fallen in love with several great Bibles. Some I love for their beautiful illustrations, some I love for their well thought out devotions, some I love for studying and some I love for journaling. I have many Bibles that I use for many different purposes.

And then I discovered the She Reads Truth Bible. Take a look:

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The She Reads Truth Bible aims to live at the intersection of beauty, goodness, and Truth. Featuring devotionals by the She Reads Truth team, and Scripture reading plans that include supplemental passages for deeper understanding, this Bible invites every woman to count themselves among the She Reads Truth community of "Women in the Word of God every day." The She Reads Truth Bible also features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization.   

Features include: almost 200 devotionals, 66 artist-designed key verses, 35 full-color timelines, 20 full-color maps, 11 full-color charts, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, carefully curated topical index, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking. 

This Bible somehow manages to encompass everything I love about my other Bibles and combine them all in one great Bible. Each book starts with a beautiful illustration. These are simple word art designs that are beautiful in their simplicity, but could had color added in if that was of interest too. Then comes a great in depth intro giving the background history and a better understanding of what you are about to read. It also gives us a timeline with some more details on the events there. It also offers a great reading plan to help you read through each book--- giving a checklist with specified verses to read that day, including some verses in other books of the Bible to help you dig deeper. It also features devotionals throughout.

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As if that weren't enough to love this Bible, it can be used as a journaling Bible too. It has the wider margins we've come to expect from our favorite journaling Bibles, and even better--- completely unlined. This allows for plenty of room for taking notes, journaling your thoughts and even creating artwork if you'd like.

All of these features truly make it a very readable Bible. It has everything you need to read and fall in love with reading the Bible, in one lovely package.

Ready to experience it for yourself? She Reads Truth Bible is now available to purchase.

And they are given SEVEN copies to seven lucky winners! Want a chance to win? Head on over here to enter to win.