A Modern Day Fairy Tale: August 2017

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Finley Grace, 4 Years.



Oooh, where does the time go!? It seems as though it were just yesterday that we were welcoming this sweet girl into our lives and suddenly she's 4 years old. She's a girly girl who loves all things pink and sparkles, but who has learned to appreciate a good potty joke from her brother. She loves Barbies and lipstick and dinos... twirling and singing and glitter. Here is a look at what Miss Finley is up to at 4 years old.

1. What is your favorite color?
Pink.

2. What is your favorite toy?
Pumpkin (Palace Pets Toy), but her tail is missing. (She's also a big Barbie fan!)

3. What is your favorite fruit?
Um, vegetables. And all kinds of stuff. And grapes.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Doc McStuffins

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
Pizza

6. What is your favorite outfit?
A fashion dress. And a married dress. 
7. What is your favorite game?
Um, I think... princesses. 

8. What is your favorite snack?
Crackers.

9. What is your favorite animal?
A kitty.

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

11. What is your favorite book?
Uh Oh Bunny

12. Who is your best friend?
Mommy.

13. What is your favorite sport?
Um, baseball.

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Play!

15. What is your favorite drink?
Orange Juice.

16. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas... and Church Day! 

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
Minnie Mouse... and Mommy.

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

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
Pizza and orange juice. And actually, chocolate milk. Homemade chocolate milk. (as she sings a song about chocolate milk)

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A mommy. But I'm growing up right now. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Wheels on the Bus {A Back To School Kids Craft}


Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's back to school we go!

And what better way to celebrate than with a fun back to school inspired craft!? This simple craft is inspired by a favorite song around our house- The Wheels on the Bus!



DIY Popsicle Stick School Bus

  • 3 Large Craft Sticks
  • 5 Typical Size Craft Sticks
  • 2 Wooden Circles
  • Paint (black and yellow)
  • Glue

  1. Paint your sticks. We will need 3 of the larger sticks for the body of the bus and 4 regular sticks for the windows painted yellow. The remaining stick and the wheels will be painted black. Allow to dry.
  2. One dried, flip the large sticks over. Apply glue to bottom of the three yellow smaller sticks and use this to create the windows and hold the bus together. Allow to dry, then flip over and add the final yellow stick to the top. 
  3. Add the wheels. If you don't have the wooden circles, you can just use black construction paper or whatever you have on hand. 
  4. Finally, we added a black stick to give it a finished school bus look. Alternately, you can instead paint on your child's school, their name, etc.


That's it! This super fun craft is perfect for back to school, or for any Wheels on the Bus fan! They will have so much fun crafting and singing along with the finished project!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Score the Best Freebies On Your Birthday

Background image created by Freepik
This month is birthday month in my house! Both of my children and myself all celebrate our birthdays in August! That's a lot of celebration in one month--- and can be a lot of money too! Thankfully, come August 1, my inbox starts filling up with deals and freebies just for our birthdays! Did you know that many companies offer their reward members and/or subscribers freebies on their special days? Here are just some that I have found:

  • Coldstone Creamery. One of my favorites. They will send a coupon for a BOGO ice cream creation just for you! Yum!
  • Applebees. Sign up to get a free treat on your birthday. 
  • Barnes & Noble. This one is just for the kids. Sign up for their kids club and get a coupon for a free treat on your kids birthdays. 
  • Toys R Us. Another great kid freebie, sign up for the birthday club to get a free gift (coupon) every year. You can also go in store for a free balloon, crown and recognition on their special day too! 
  • Starbucks. Get your coffee fix for free on your birthday when you sign up for the rewards club! This is one freebie I can get behind!
  • Sephora. Become a Beauty Insider and get a free gift on your birthday. 
  • Papa Johns. Papa Rewards members will get 10 free bonus points to be used once during their birthday month. These can be combined with your existing points or be used towards a free side! 
  • Denny's. Stop by Denny's on your birthday and show your ID for a free Grand Slam. 
  • IHOP. Join the Pancake Revolution for a free meal on your birthday and throughout the year too! 
  • Victoria's Secret. Angel Card holders get a free gift (value of $10) on their birthdays. 
  • Steak 'n Shake. Join the eClub to get a freebie on your birthday! 
  • Redbox. Play Pass members will get a free DVD rental on their birthdays! 
These are just a few of the many great freebies and deals companies offer to help you celebrate your birthday! Know of more? Leave your favorites in the comments. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Look Cool for Back To School with Paparazzi {A School Days Giveway Hop Event} #SchoolDays2017




Welcome to the School Days giveaway hop! This event runs from August 16 through August 30. After you enter my giveaway, visit the other linked blogs below for more chances to win. This hop is hosted by
Savings in Seconds, who is giving away a 1-year membership to Faithful Workouts!

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

When I was a preteen and teen, my favorite part of the back to school shopping was naturally the clothes shopping.  Now, being on a very limited income with three kids to shop for, we didn't usually get a whole lot but we'd at least always get that one outfit for back to school. I for one loved searching for just the right look to get the year started off right!

Right down to the accessories!! Whether it's for the teen or college student heading back to school, the teacher who wants to look professional and put together or the mom who just doesn't want to wear yoga pants in the car lane- the right accessories have a way of taking any outfit to the next level! But when you're on a tight budget- that can be tough.

This is what I am so excited to have found Paparazzi!

So, what is Paparazzi?

We offer adorable and affordable jewelry that everyone can enjoy. Everything is just $5! Rings? $5! Bracelets? $5! Earrings? $5! Necklaces? You got it, still just $5... and our necklaces even include matching earrings! Everything is lead and nickel free! From simple pendants to extravagant statement pieces- we have a little something for everyone! As a consultant, I must admit that it's tough not to keep each and every piece! Take a look at a few of my favorites in stock as of this posting! Can you believe they are just $5 each!?




Want to experience Paparazzi for yourself? Connect at the links below:

Shop My Website.
Join My Group on Facebook.

And one very lucky reader is going to win three pieces! 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.

Enjoy Back to School with a Fandango Giveaway { #rwm #backtoschool }


Welcome to the Back to School Giveaway Hop

From now through August 30, hop along to all participating bloggers to enter all their great giveaways! Good luck and happy hopping!

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School is back in session! Well, for many of us anyway! Moms, give yourself a pat on the back. You survived! You survived the bug bites! You survived trips to the grocery store with all the children in tow. You survived the summer boredom. Maybe you even survived a family vacation. Whatever it is, you made it!!

Of course it won't be long before things pick back up with fall activities but well- let's think positive shall we!? We have at least a few week to recoup and have some US time- at least if you happen to have all school aged children. So... what are you going to do with this new found time? Why not a trip to the theater!?

Now I love a good family movie as much as the next mama (maybe more!) but sometimes it's nice to go out on your own or with a couple girlfriends and enjoy something a little more grown up. Maybe a horror film you've been dying to see or the latest romance!?

And so as part of this back to school giveaway hop, one very lucky reader is going to win a $25 Fandango gift card!! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Altar Egos on DVD September 5 {A Review + Giveaway} #AltarEgosL3

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

Tradition.

Tradition can be a great thing! There are many traditions within my own family that I love... especially at the holiday time. Still, there's something to be said about mixing things up too. While there are important traditions that need not be changed- particularly in the church- there are other areas that it's okay to mix up a little bit. I once had a chat with a preacher and was told that in many churches there were arguments over such things as the wall or carpet colors. Now, that seems a little silly to me, right?

So often we get stuck in our old ways that any change, even the smallest, seems like a catastrophe. Today I want to share with you a new movie that explores just that within the church- Altar Egos:



Desperate to see their church grow, Pastor John (Robert Amaya, MOM’S NIGHT OUT, COURAGEOUS) and wife Betsy (Erin Bethea, FIREPROOF) do the unthinkable and change their church Christmas pageant. Flabbergasted, elderly choir director Mary Margaret (Sallie Wanchisn) leads the choir to boycott. Facing termination, Pastor John resorts to disguising himself as an old man to bridge the generation gap, win over Mary, and lead the choir back to the church. When he discovers that the wounds run deeper than he first suspected, Pastor John must learn to love the unlovable or risk the ruin of his church and family. Also stars Victoria Jackson (SNL).

Check out this exclusive clip: 




If you're looking for a fast paced drama, this probably isn't going to be it. But if you're in the mood for a good clean movie that you can watch with the family without worries of what they will see or hear, this is a great choice. And let me tell you, it's packed full of laughs. I must admit that I have found that with many Christian films such as this, they lean a bit more on the cheesy side... and this is no exception. Still, I must admit I'd prefer a little cheesy humor over some of the other things we see in the TV and movies these days! Especially for holiday movies! The upped cheese factor only lends to make holiday movies all that much better, and while this would be a great movie to watch year round, it DOES take place over Christmas. There is humor, there is romance and of course there are great messages. It proves as a prime example on loving the unlovable- something I think we as Christians really should focus on! We also see those examples of the clash of tradition and new ideas that is so relevant in our churches today from a fun perspective.



If you're looking for a positive movie to laugh along with, Altar Egos is worth checking out. ALTAR EGOS will release on DVD nationwide on Tuesday, 9/5/17. You can find out more by visiting their website here.

And one very lucky winner is going to win a copy for themselves. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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

Mickey and the Roadster Racers: Start Your Engines on DVD TODAY!

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

M-I-C-K-E-Y. M-O-U-S-E.

If you sang that out loud as you read, chances are you have a little one that loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In our household, we've been Mickey fans for many, many years now. My son fell in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at just a few years old and would watch it over and over again. When my daughter came around, she shared that love. It truly is an adorable show that kids cannot help but love and sing along with.

And today, they are BACK with an all new DVD! Check it out:



Mickey and the Roadster Racers are back with more fast-paced adventures on wheels!

Join your favorite characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy  – and their high-speed transforming Roadsters as they compete in thrilling races stretching from Hot Dog Hills to Hawaii…and all the way to London, England!  You’ll meet the world’s greatest spy, zoom through the skies in a revved up hot-air balloon race, and even return the Queen’s stolen Royal Ruby!  It’s all about great friendship, teamwork, a little competition and humorous high-spirited adventures!

If you're little ones loved previous Roadster Racers episodes, they are naturally going to fall in love all over again with this new DVD. Haven't yet seen those? No problem! This will stand all on its own. Little ones will love the fast paced adventures that Mickey and friends take us on. These always happen to be my son's favorite Mickey stories. Sure, he's older than their target preschool audience, but he still loves it. It has all the fun, all the learning, all the music that we have come to love and expect from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but with a fun car theme that I know MY boy loves... and my girl too!

If you have a Mickey fan in your house, this is one DVD they are going to want to add to their collection. It is available on DVD TODAY!

Have even more fun with the Roadster Friends with these fun activities too!

Download Mickey And The Roadster Racers - Start Your Engines Activities

Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 Summer Baby Shower Essentials {A Mommy Scene Giveaway}

Having a new baby this year? We know choosing baby gear can be overwhelming. We are excited to share Mommy Scene's Baby Shower Essentials & top picks for feeding, clothing, diapering, and setting up baby's nursery! Don't miss entering this fabulous Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway for the chance to win these must-have baby products!
Baby Shower Essentials Gift Guide Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Baby Shower Essentials Giveaway - Prize Collection

LILLEbaby COMPLETE Airflow Baby Carrier
Baby K'tan Chevron Diaper Bag
Babo Botanicals Convenient 3-in-1 Cleansing Wipes
Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper
Yummi Pouch Brights Reusable Food Pouches & Cloth Snack Bags
Pacific Baby Bamboo Feeding Spoons
Baby Comfy Kit: Snot Trap Baby Comfy Nasal Aspirator - Baby Comfy Nail Deluxe Safety Clipper - Baby Comfy Hydrator - Baby Comfy Gummi Chewy Jewelry
Active Essentials Unscented Healing Baby Balm
Crane Drop Humidifier
Cover My Heart Chevron Nursing Cover
NogginStik Developmental Light-up Rattle
BabyIt Perineal Massage & Postpartum Comfort Gel
Tottigo Pack 'n Potty Travel Potty Seat
One Z Pillow for Nursing & Support
NOURISH by BeliBea Pumping/Nursing Bra
Snuggle Me Organic Co-Sleeping Baby Lounger
Buttons Diapers Trial Pack of Diapers (1 Cover + 3 Inserts) + Hanging Wet/Dry Bag


This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One (1) winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on 8/31/17. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 11, 2017

Coloring as Creative Worship: A Look Inside The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible

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

Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are you've heard about the latest craze that's taking everyone by storm- it's all over the internet, it's in craft stores, it's in bargain bins, it's in the grocery store checkout lines... that's right, I'm talking about adult coloring! These books are everywhere! Every day it seems that new ones are coming out or new people are getting started. It's hard to miss. We've all also probably heard why adult coloring books are so popular-

  • They're fun!
  • They're a great stress reliever.
  • They take you back to childhood.
  • They're a creative outlet. 
  • It's something parents can enjoy with their children.
These are certainly all great reasons to fall in love with coloring all over again, but today I want to talk about one more reason that you might not have considered.

  • Adult coloring can bring us closer to God.
Wait, what? What does something like coloring have to do with God? With the right approach...everything! Colossians 3:17 says it well:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

My own personal coloring experience began as an extension of Bible Journaling. To be entirely honest, I'm not much of an artist, so while I would have these big ideas in my head, I just didn't have the skill to put it onto paper. When I came across some Christian coloring books, I thought 'this is perfect!'. I may not be great at drawing...but I certainly could trace from these! So, I picked up a few. As I colored the pictures, I thought about the words I was coloring or the scriptures these pictures were based on. I reflected on what those words meant for me and how I could apply them to my life. I wasn't JUST coloring. I was praying. I was reflecting. I was spending time with God. I was worshiping. 

Worship doesn't have to be confined to a church setting. Worship doesn't have to be JUST music. By definition worship is merely showing reverence or adoration or honoring with religious rites.... and that means worship can be exactly what you make it! Maybe for you worship is music or dancing. Maybe it's art or serving others. Or perhaps it can be something as seemingly simple as coloring.

These days there are more and more Christian coloring books making their debuts each and every day. While those are great, as I said, my experience started with Bible journaling. And now there are many options available that allow you to color right in your Bible! Today, we're taking a look inside one of those: The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible:

With hundreds of inspiring verses illustrated in detailed, ready-to-color line art, the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible employs the proven stress-relieving benefits of adult coloring to help quiet your soul so you can reflect on the precious truths of Scripture. Perfect for all ages, the thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins, provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.

 The NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible is a perfect gift that will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.

 Features of this treasured Bible include:


  • Hundreds of verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art
  • Thicker white paper for enduring note-taking
  • Lined, wide margins for notes, reflections and art
  • Full text of the most read, most trusted modern-English Bible – the New International Version (NIV)
  • Easy-to-read black letter text in single-column format
  • Lays flat in your hand or on your desk
  • Ribbon marker



If you've been reading long or if you've reached out about Bible journaling, chances are you've heard me talk about The Beautiful Word Bible. It is my personal go to Bible for reading, taking to church, etc. You see, I'm a very visual person so even though I prefer to have an unjournaled in Bible to read, I still loved the illustrations that The Beautiful Word provided. And honestly, that name said it all. It was beautiful. But the pictures were already colored for you. Sure, there were blank margins to do your own journaling in, but as far as the illustrations, there wasn't much to be added. The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible takes those stunning designs that I had fallen in love with, but gives us the chance to personalize them. More than any other Christian coloring book, as we color these beautiful words IN our Bible, we are truly drawn into the Word like never before.

If you're looking for a great way to creatively worship, The Beautiful Word Coloring Bible is a must see. It is available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Make A Difference, One Bar of Soap At A Time {A SoapBox Soaps Review}

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

School has started for us this year, as it has for so many across the US with more starting every day. With the back to school season comes many things, some of them good and some of them not so good. In my house, it never fails that within just a week or two of my son going back to school, my daughter and I end up sick! And that's exactly what I'm dealing with now.


Sometimes that passing along of germs is inevitable. My kid is a touchy, feely kid... always right up in his friends' faces. It goes without saying that while his immune system may be strong enough to fight it off, he's bringing those germs home to us! What can you do!? Kids will be kids! The only thing we can do is encourage regular hand-washing to reduce the spread of germs. 

We're pretty lucky to live in a place with access to good soaps and clean water, don't you think? Just take a look through your soap aisles and we have an abundance of choices to fit in every budget. Sadly, this is not the case elsewhere. According to a 2012 Report from Unicef and WHO, over 3000 children's lives could be saved just by having access to a bar of soap and clean water! Diarrhoeal is the second leading cause of death among children under five years old, and is the result of unsafe drinking water and lack of access to basic hygiene needs. They say that washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom could reduce those deaths by 35%.


A bar of soap and water.

Can you imagine? These things that we take for granted each and every day have the power to save lives!

Enter SoapBox Soaps.


SoapBox Soaps offers a variety of soap products--- shampoo, body wash, hand soap, bar soap and bundles. With each purchase, they donate a bar of soap to someone in need! I just love a company that gives back, don't you? You're already buying these products, so why not give back as you do? Each product features what is called a Hope Code. This unique code can be entered online so you can see exactly where your donation went. Awesome.

And they work well too! I was sent a bottle of their Sea Minerals Gentle Moisture Liquid Hand Soap. We loved it! It smells fantastic and is strong enough to stand against my mess making 10 year old! And they are animal friendly, vegan, gluten free, and free of harsh chemicals and parabens. These are truly products I can feel great about my family using! 

Hygiene and health are human rights, so join the SoapBox movement and help make the world right, one bar of soap at a time.


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

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back To School on A Budget

School image created by Freepik


Back to School Season is HERE!

Every morning as I browse through my newsfeed, I see more and more children heading off on their first day of school. It's such an exciting time for kids...and sometimes us parents too, but it can also get pretty expensive! Of course you know by now I am all about saving money--- so how can you save money on back to school? Today I'm sharing my tips!


Watch for Sales. Throughout most of the year, school supplies can get rather pricey, but back to school sales are the time to buy! Crayola crayons for 50 cents! Glue sticks for 40 cents! Notebooks for 25 cents! The deals are pretty amazing, so make sure you're shopping those for a huge savings. I also use this opportunity to stock up on those things for home too.

Re-Use What You Can. Now some supplies you are going to have to buy each and every year, but there are some that can be used over again. If their backpack is in perfect shape, use it again. Same with pencil boxes, scissors, lunch bags, etc. If you have a child that's rough on things that might not always be an option, but re-using what you can can be a huge savings.

Buy Used. I always like to try to get my son at least one brand new outfit (on sale) for the first day of school, but aside from that, we try to buy used when we can. My son is really rough on clothes, so while we want him to look his best for school, we cannot afford to replace them with brand new all the time. We love Once Upon a Child for used kids clothes.

Check Dollar Tree...for SOME Things. Now, I'm a big fan of Dollar Tree for many things, but I'll be completely honest, most back to school items you can find elsewhere for cheaper with deals. However, there are a few things I do head to Dollar Tree for--- earbuds and kleenexes for instance! You can also find some great items for locker or desk organization and even classroom wall decor for the teachers and homeschooling moms out there. I make Dollar Tree my last stop for those things I cannot find cheaper elsewhere.

Shop Early for NEXT Year. The only time you can find better deals on school supplies than the back to school sales are the clearance sales after! Stock up on what you can for NEXT year, or to replenish throughout the year.

Talk To Your Child's Teacher. When all else fails and you just cannot find the funds to get everything right now- talk to your child's school/teacher. They can tell you which are most important to start the year and which other things you can send in later as you are able. They probably aren't going to use ALL those kleenexes in the first few weeks, so wait a month or so and send them in then! Same with things like dry erase markers, etc. They may also know of local programs that can help those who truly need it.

Do you have a little one heading back to school this year? What are your best tips and tricks for saving on back to school expenses? 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Declutter Your Counter AND Your Beauty Routine with Simplicity Skincare's Reversal Protection Complex {+ Win A Year's Supply} @simplicity_skincare #simplicityskincare



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


I have a little confession to make--- I'm going to be THIRTY this month.

Okay, okay, that's really not much of a confession at all. Anyone who knows me knows that, but here's a real confession--- until recently I never really thought much about skincare. I mean, I wear sunscreen every day, but aside from that... nope, nothing! I'm the person who washes her face in the shower and will go to bed with makeup on my face.

And in the past, that's worked out okay for me. But over the last several months and as I'm exiting my 20s, I've begun to realize that that needs to change! I've had some issues with dry skin and well... just less that perfect skin. So, I started seeking out some skincare that would work for me.

But here's the thing... I'm a busy mom! When I started looking into skincare routines, I must admit I was a little overwhelmed. Everything came in these multi step processes... a million different products to buy to get a great looking face! Honestly, who has time for that? I certainly don't! And not just time.. I don't have the space for it either! My already too small bathroom lacks storage space, so more on the counter? Not really an option. Why can't skincare just be SIMPLE?

With Simplicity Skincare... it IS!

Simplicity Skincare Reversal Protection Complex mixes two great formulas (Moisture and Superior Serum) in one bottle with a dual pump for an all in one skincare product! Let's take a look at what you're getting in these great products:


About Moisture:
Originally created for use as an eye cream, we knew this formula would be perfect not just for the eyes, but the face and neck as well.  We know that finding the right balance in a product for the eye area is critical.  It needs to be not too heavy, not too light.  It needs to absorb easily but also leave a layer of protection.  It needs to have active ingredients at high percentages yet not so much that skin can become irritated or inflamed.  With so much going for it, we translated this formula into becoming our Moisture.
Cutting edge peptides like Matrixyl 3000 and Tripeptide-5 with an ocean based Retinol are the reasons it is so good. Fleshing out these heavy hitters are dozens of botanical actives, pure plant oils, and organic vitamins and minerals. The combined effect is one of powerful and deep cellular rejuvenation, collagen boosting, wrinkle repairing, and inflammation reducing activity for your entire face and neck and of course, your eyes. This formulation is effective and safe for daily use, for both daytime and nighttime repair and protection. 
About Superior Serum:
Serums are the delivery system for ingredients.  The benefits of peptides in this concentrated delivery system are the stimulation of collagen 1, collagen 111, and elastin fibroblasts. This stimulation supports the healing and repair response in the skin, increases skin thickness, refines the appearance of wrinkles, evens skin tone and texture, and restores elasticity and firmness to the skin. With efficient moisturizing via Hyaluronic acid, this peptide serum is at the top of the market.
So, for us skincare novices...what does all that mean? Honestly, it's a little like a foreign language to me, but here's what I do know: for me, it worked. Now, I can't speak for the wrinkle or line reducing, as I haven't quite encountered that yet. Looks wise, I really didn't see much difference at all. But in feeling... it was fantastic! In the past few months, I'd been dealing with some dry patches on my face... you couldn't see them, but they felt itchy and a little rough. After just a few days of using Simplicity I felt a huge improvement. My skin felt better and that made me feel even more confident.  I also know that now is the time to start with anti-aging products... it's so much easier to prevent now than to fix later, so I can use this product confidently knowing it is keeping my skin in great shape as I enter my 30s...


And it was EASY. The products are separated and have an individual pump for each... simply squirt a little of each on your hand, mix and apply. One bottle, one application... that's IT! I'm done within minutes...no trying to figure out which step goes next or what product I just used. And when you have kids distracting you and needing you 24/7, that is a must. And my bathroom counter is happy too!



Ready to try it for yourself? You can find out more and connect by visiting their website here

And they are giving away an entire year's supply of Simplicity Skincare's Reversal Protection Complex! Enter using the form below:





Monday, August 7, 2017

DIY Cinnamon Vanilla Lip Scrub

It's no secret that I love my homemade beauty products! I'll be honest, I love pampering myself, but my budget doesn't always allow for splurges, do why not utilize the products already in my kitchen?

Today, I'm sharing my newest creation that I am obsessed with:

Cinnamon Vanilla Lip Scrub



  • Brown Sugar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  1. Mix ingredients to the proper consistency. As with most of my DIY recipes, I don't tend to use exact measurements, but rather eye it until it has the right consistency. For this scrub, you'll want it grainy enough for a good exfoliation, but not too rough as lips are a little more sensitive.
  2. Store in airtight container. (See some great ones here: Infinity Jars)
  3. Use as often as desired.
While I created this primarily as a lip scrub, I actually use it all over my face as well...it truly is just a great all around exfoliater. But your lips will most definitely thank you. They will be softer than ever before... and if you happen to get a little taste...well, there will be no complaints there either!

Now that you've exfoliated your lips, why not treat them to some great color! Head on over and enter the Lipsense Giveaway ending TODAY! 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sesame Street Creates App To Help Military Families With Moving Woes



The average American moves approximately 12 times during their life, but it can be tough for children to acclimate to a whole new community. And if you have a family member in the military, those difficult moves may be extremely frequent, which can disrupt necessary routines and cause high levels of stress for kids.

Now, one of the nation's most beloved television shows, Sesame Street, is trying to sweep those clouds away with the creation of a new app made specifically for military families who want to help their children during a move.

The app, called Big Moving Adventure, is meant to foster engagement and positivity, rather than the anxiety and sadness many kids feel when they have to uproot their lives and go to a new place. The app is highly interactive, educational, and entertaining. Not only does it help kids get more excited about a move, say its creators, but it also helps parents communicate with their kids. Sesame Street also suggests that parents frame a move as an exploratory adventure, make packing belongings more exciting by decorating boxes, and provide reassurance and patience when needed.

Repetitive moves are difficult for many young children, but for older kids, it can be even harder to feel secure and make new friends at their new school. Although 67% of American teens say they actually want to spend more time with their parents, moving to a new place on a yearly basis can make teenagers feel extremely isolated from their peers. There are also many logistics involved in a summertime move, like early registration requirements and drastically different rules from state-to-state. These issues can even cut into summer vacation, which can add insult to injury for young people, regardless of age.

Experts advise that military families shouldn't hesitate to reach out to their relocation assistance office and sponsors to help ease the transition. But while that may help adults feel more comfortable in a new place, it won't really help ease their kids' worries.

That's why open lines of communication are key. While an app may not seem like it could do much, Big Bird and the Sesame Street gang have facilitated countless important conversations in the past. With help from app creators and willing parents, kids may become more comfortable with the idea of embarking on a new experience. A move will never be easy, but by downloading the app on Android, iPhone, or Kindle, it may become a little bit more fun.

Image Source: Sesame Street for Military Families

Friday, August 4, 2017

Shaun Taylor, 10 Years Old.



Ever look at your children and find yourself wondering where the time went? That's where I am today. It seems like it was just yesterday that I heard those bells ringing throughout the hospital, announcing that a new Marine baby boy had made his arrival. And yet, here we are. A decade has passed and my sweet baby boy is TEN YEARS OLD.

I seriously find myself in disbelief today that that can truly be possible, but one thing I do know is that that little baby boy has become a pretty awesome little man. Here's a look at what Shaun is up to at 10 years old.



1. What is your favorite color?
Blue

2. What is your favorite toy?
Legos and Sonic Plush

3. What is your favorite fruit?
Grapes

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Sonic the Hedgehog and Phineas and Ferb

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
Cheeseburgers

6. What is your favorite outfit?
I don't know.

7. What is your favorite game?
Sonic.

8. What is your favorite snack?
Cookies.

9. What is your favorite animal?
Stella (his cat)

10. What is your favorite song?
All the Sonic game songs.

11. What is your favorite book?
Diary of A Wimpy Kid

12. Who is your best friend?
I don't know.

13. What is your favorite sport?
Baseball.

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
Climbing trees.

15. What is your favorite drink?
Milk

16. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?
Sonic

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

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?
Chili Dogs

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
A video game maker.


As you can see, he's all about Sonic right now! It's his favorite. But he still loves his Legos (particularly mini figures), Thomas, Ghostbusters and more... if it's typically thought of as a little nerdy, chances are he's a fan. And he's proud to be a nerd! He loves technology and movies. He loves fart jokes. And he LOVES all kinds of logos. He has big dreams, and is constantly amazing me with his incredible mind. Year 10 is going to be a great one and I cannot wait to see how it goes!

Happy 10th Birthday Shaun!

Plan the Perfect Trip with These Travel Tips

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, but with travels also come a lot of preparation and planning. You have to plan where you are going, think about what you are going to do, pick out outfits to fit those plans, pack, head to the airport early, or take a long car ride, and then you can finally start the ‘fun’ part of your travels (although who doesn’t love buying new clothes for an upcoming trip?!). :) Over the years, I have come up with tips to make my travels easier and more fun and I wanted to share them with you today. Here are the questions I ask myself each time I am traveling:

PREPARING
Before anything else, you have to prepare for your trip. There are a few things that go into it, some of which I named above:

  • Where are you going?
Figuring out where you are going is the first step to your travels. First of all, think about who is traveling with you. If it is just yourself, you have the flexibility to go where you want to go, when you want to go. If you are traveling with someone else, always consider what they want, as well. Other than personal preferences, you also have to consider how much money you can spend. If you do not have a big budget, maybe take a short road trip. Write down what is most important to you and plan from there.

  • What are you going to do?
Once you have a place, you need to figure out what you are going to do there. Are you going to the beach, are you going to the mountains to hike, or are you going to a place like Nashville where you will be bar-hopping, or exploring local businesses? Either way, figuring out what you are going to do is your next step to a successful trip! I love to plan out a rough itinerary and research the location that I’m headed so that I don’t have to waste time and do it while I am there. Instead, I can hit the ground running and spend as much time as possible exploring the town!

PACKING
  • How much space do I have?
Step 1 in packing is figuring out how much space you have. Do you have a carry on and a checked bag if you are flying, or do you have all the space you could want in your car? If you have just a carry on, it is possible to pack in that alone!

  • What do I need to pack?
This is the fun part! Plan your outfits based on where you are going and what you are doing. If you are going to the beach, make sure to pack some cute kimonos and maybe a trendy one piece. If you are headed to Italy, make sure you grab your sundresses and comfortable walking shoes. I love shopping for new outfits depending on where I am going.



TRAVELING
  • What to wear when traveling
Most people try to stay comfortable while traveling no matter if on a plane or car and while that is great, I always try to look cute, as well. There is a way to be comfortable and cute! Try opting for some jeggings, which are leggings that look like jeans, or stretchy jeans instead of sweatpants or leggings. For shirts, try wearing a simple shirt with maybe a cardigan for warmth, if it is needed. When it comes to shoes, try to wear some that are easy to slip on and off.

  • What to bring in your carry on
When packing your carry on (if you are flying, of course) make sure you pack only items that you will actually need or use so that you are not weighed down by your bag and can easily enter and exit the plane. Some of my favorite go to items for my carry on are: book(s), chapstick, face wipes, hand sanitizer, a water bottle from the airport, a small change of clothes, and my phone charger.


COLLECTING
  • How to find the best items to bring back

When you are done having the best trip of your life, you need to figure out what to bring home as a souvenir. If you are headed to a place like Hawaii, you could bring home some macadamia nuts, coffee, or jewelry. If you are going to Italy, you can bring home cheese, paintings, or leather. When in Mexico, bring home salsa or tequila. In China, you can order a sword from Swords of Northshire. All of their swords are hand forged in Longquan, China, which is located in the remote, green mountains of Qinxi. Longquan is famous for sword making with over 2,600 years of sword making experience, making Longquan swords the most traditional ancient weapons of China. If you are looking for the best sword product out there to remind you of your trip to China, look no further than Swords of Northshire.

A Lesson in Loving Your Neighbors {An All Saints Fandango Giveaway}

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

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

Loving your neighbor. As Christians we talk about this a lot, after all Jesus said in the scripture above... there is NO greater commandment. But what does that really mean? For many when we think about 'loving our neighbors', we think about those working on the mission fields. We support these missions with our time and our finances to support missionaries all around the world... but what about the needs right in our own backyards? Often times it seems those needs are forgotten about... we think to make a difference it has to be grand, but forget that we can reach people in our own community. We forget to show love to our literal neighbors.

Today I'm sharing with you a movie based on a true story that is truly an ideal example of what it is to love your neighbors, All Saints. Check it out:





ALL SAINTS is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

After trading in his corporate sales career to become a pastor, Michael’s first assignment is All Saints, a quaint country church with a dozen members. It comes with a catch: he has to close the church doors for good and sell the prime piece of land on which it sits. While developers eagerly eye the property and the congregation mourns the inevitable, Michael and his family look forward to moving on to an established church where they can put down roots.

But when the church hesitantly begins welcoming Karen (kuh-REN) refugees from Burma—former farmers striving for a fresh start in America—Michael feels called to an improbable new mission. Toiling alongside the Karen people, the congregation attempts to turn their fertile land into a working farm to pay the church’s bills and feed its newest people.

Jeopardizing his family’s future by ignoring his superiors, Michael must choose between completing what he was assigned to do—close the church and sell the property—or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community.



I love a movie with a good message, don't you? It seems these days those types of movies are getting harder and harder to find. Yet the way I see it, this one has two very big, very important messages. First of all, it goes back to loving your neighbors. One complaint we so often hear about churches is that they are unwelcoming. I'll be honest, I've had that experience in previous churches I tried to attend. You're made to feel like an outsider, and that you really don't belong. All this talk of growing the church and spreading God's word, but the reality is many seem to be content with the same group and no one else. The complete opposite of what the Bible calls us to be. When you find one that truly DOES welcome all, that's when you know you've found a good one. And that is just what this little church in the movie does. They showed love to their neighbors by opening their doors to those who needed it most- refugees from Burma.

As if that lesson weren't great enough there is also the lesson of God's plans. As I was reading the synopsis of this movie, and watching some clips, a very famous Bible story came to mind for me. Perhaps it did for you too. Do you know who that was? Noah. Noah- like many people throughout the Bible, was called to accomplish an astonishing task--- to build an ark. There was no rain, and people surely thought he was crazy, it would have been easier to just quit and shut the whole thing down, but he followed God's calling...and well, you know the rest. I see this same attitude in this story.

This is one movie that I for one cannot wait to see! All Saints will be in theaters August 25, 2017.

You can learn more and connect at the links below:

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