A Modern Day Fairy Tale: September 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Save Money on Groceries with These Simple Tips {+ Food Storage from Ozeri}

** Product received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
How much do you spend on food in the average month?

If we're be honest, I'm sure most of us at times wish we could bring that number down! It's right up there with rent/mortgage, utilities, etc as far as importance, but it's at least one of those things we can take some control over. When finances are tight and budgets change, grocery spending is one place that I would always recommend taking a look at.

But how can we stretch our tight food budgets? Today I'm sharing a few tips:

  • Buy On Sale/Use Coupons. Let's start with the most obvious. Buy what's on sale and mix with coupons to get the best prices possible in the stores. Check your sales fliers and plan accordingly.
  • Meal Plan & Stick To Your List. I must admit, sometimes I find myself slacking on this one lately, but if you have a plan, you can shop for just what you need... and you won't have any nights where you find yourself ordering in because you don't have anything planned!
  • Buy Meats in Larger Quantities. Often when you buy the larger family packs of meat, you end up paying less per pound than you do with smaller packs. When possible, I try to do this, then repackage and freeze separately for individual meals. 
  • Make in Bulk and Freeze. Now, I don't like doing this for everything, but for things like soups, making a larger quantity and freezing smaller batches works well. I can grab them and toss them over the stove or in the crockpot throughout the year. 
  • Eat Leftovers. This is one that some prefer not to do, but it can truly save a TON of money... make a night or two throughout the week that are dedicated to using up those leftovers. OR use dinner leftovers for lunches instead. 
  • Invest in GOOD Food Storage. Along the lines of leftovers, you'll want to make sure that you have good food storage containers. These aren't just great for leftovers, but for produce etc as well. I often feel like I am constantly throwing out food that seems to go bad quickly in my fridge. That's money thrown in the trash. But with good food storage, they will stay fresh longer so you can get the most use out of them and waste less! 

When it comes to great food storage, I love Ozeri INSTAVAC Nesting Food Storage Container Set. Take a look:

  • Instant vacuum freshness without pumps, motors or confusing parts. Simply press down on the lid and air is forced out via the one-way valve.
  • Patented valve removes excess air to reduce naturally occurring bacteria; It also releases pressure to prevent spills and splatters in microwaves.
  • Wave pattern on bottom of each container keeps cut fruit and vegetables elevated from water and juices.
  • Handy date dial allows you to record when food was first stored and monitor days kept in the refrigerator.
  • BPA-free, stain-resistant, shatter-proof and as transparent as glass
  • Freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe
  • Satisfaction guaranteed.

Sounds pretty great, right? I've heard great things about vacuum sealing for freshness, but didn't want to have to invest in any fancy equipment... nor did I have a place to put any of that! These give you that same vacuum freshness at a great deal, and the nesting storage takes up less room in my kitchen. The various sizes give me plenty of options for anything I might need it for- fruits, veggies, leftovers... you came it, I'm covered! With my forgetful mind, the date dial is genius too, allowing me to know what to eat up faster and when things need tossed.

At about $25 for the set, this is a good quality set at a great value.... especially when you consider how much you will save on your grocery bill by keeping your food fresh longer! You can order yours here. 

What tips do you have for saving money on your grocery bill? How could food storage from Ozeri help you? 

Picturing Heaven: A Coloring Devo Review

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

It's no secret by now that I love a good coloring book... except for maybe a good coloring devotional that is! Today, I'm excited to share with you an all new coloring devotional to fall in love with, Picturing Heaven:

Imagine Heaven the way the Bible describes it―a place of exquisite beauty brimming with marvelous detail and intricate patterns; a special dwelling place free of corruption and sin; and a place of both rest and enjoyable, meaningful work.

Let the power and majesty of Heaven fill your heart with joy as you color these 40 designs carefully interpreted from the pages of Scripture. Savor a respite from daily life as you read and meditate on devotions from best–selling author Randy Alcorn, a leading authority on Heaven. Picturing Heaven will offer you comfort and relaxation, while filling your heart with restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.

Throughout the last several years I have reviewed many devotionals. I've also reviewed several coloring book devotionals. They all have their various themes, but all tend to focus on our time HERE on earth, and our relationship with God in the here and now. They might mention Heaven, but I've never had either that focused purely on the topic. Until this one... and it does it beautifully.

Many of us use coloring books as an escape... a way to relax and separate ourselves from the stresses of the world... and let's be honest there are a LOT of stresses out there. But this coloring book provided that escape in such a beautiful way. It reminds us that this world is all just temporary and that one day, we will go to this magnificent place that God has prepared for us. There will be no stresses, no pain... just beauty.

The illustrations are as beautiful as the devotions featuring a variety of stunning styles to choose from. I loved the addition of the gold throughout the illustrations... I'm a big gold fan, and I've not personally found a great way to incorporate that into my coloring pages, but with this it's already done for me. And it fits beautifully with the theme too!

If you're looking for an escape, this is a great coloring book to check out. It is available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Into Reading with New Books from Silver Dolphin Books {A #PumpkinPatchesWin Giveaway Hop Event}

Welcome to the Pumpkin Patches & Wins 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!
**Books received for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Aww, fall... I just love fall, don't you!? The leaves are beginning to change, pumpkin everything is everywhere and we slowly but surely find the cooler weather creeping in!

With that cooler weather we sometimes find that our time outside starts to go down. And with littles inside, we need MORE to keep them from being bored inside. For us, I find we do a LOT of reading through Fall and Winter, so we are always on the hunt for books that make learning fun! Today, I'm excited to share with you 4 new books that will do just that.

Join your favorite dinosaur friends on an adventure in the seas in Gareth Lucas Noisy Books: Dinos on Deck! Hoist the sails, press the sound buttons, and laugh along as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a T. rex and more search for treasure. With humorous art by Gareth Lucas and charming rhyming text, this sound book will be a perfect addition to story time. What will these dinosaur friends find when they open the treasure chest?

Dig, dig, dig…and dig some more with your favorite animal friends! In Noisy Books: Dig, Dig Digger, children will be amused by the hilarious antics of the animals as they build an adventure playground. Young readers will delight in Gareth Lucas's artwork and in finding the sound button on every spread. Each turn of the page will bring humor and fun with hippos, bears, camels, and more on their day at the construction site.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! This brand-new playset featuring the classic children’s singalong song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" will be the perfect addition to your child’s library. With a chunky board book, a wooden tractor, and a playmat, little ones can read and play along as they go through the farm and meet cows, ducks, horses, and more! Join Old MacDonald and his farmyard friends for a reading adventure in Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Old MacDonald.

The wheels on the bus go round and round! Climb aboard the yellow bus with this sweet playset featuring a chunky board book, a wooden school bus, and a playmat for added fun. Young readers will enjoy reading and playing along with their favorite nursery rhyme as they drive around the town and sing their way through Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Wheels on the Bus.

Sound fun, right!? And they definitely were! First up, the sound books. I remember as a child loving sound books... they really just brought every book to life in a new, fun way. But these are not your traditional sound books--- rather than all the sound buttons on the side, they are within the pages for little ones to find and push as you read! My dino loving girl was of course more drawn to Dinos on Deck--- I mean- Dinosaur PIRATES!? What kid isn't going to fall in love with that! Still, both books were cute and fun little stories that we go back to again and again.

Next up were the playset books. Talk about bringing the books to life! My daughter loved these! Let's be honest, these books are based on a couple of every child's favorite songs anyway so going in, the books alone would have been a big hit. But she loved that she could act them out as we read and sang too! I think Wheels on the Bus was her absolute favorite, but honestly, she loved them both. Have a child that loves wooden trains? These would be a great addition to their towns too... just the right size!

For kids, making reading fun is perhaps one of the best ways to make them fall in love with reading and these books truly do that! Not only do they make the stories come to life, but they feature themes and songs that kids tend to love! These are truly great books to add to your home library this fall! Your kids will thank you!

And one very lucky reader is going to win a set for themselves. Enter via the Rafflecopter 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!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Go All In This Fall with Matthew West's New Album {+ A Giveaway Hop}

The days are shorter, the temps are cooler. It's time for fall break! This giveaway hop is hosted by Savings in Seconds. Enjoy the giveaways at the blogs linked below. The event runs from September 21-October 3. Good luck! Note: Savings in Seconds and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.


So, I step to the edge and I take a deep breathWe're all dying to live but we're all scared to deathAnd this is the part where my head tells my heartYou should turn back around but there's no turning back now 

I'm going all inHeadfirst into the deep endI hear You callingAnd this time the fear won't winI'm going, I'm going all in

Wow! Talk about some powerful words. These lyrics from the title song 'All In' from Matthew West's new album are the very reason that I love contemporary Christian music so very much. They have the power to reach us, to speak to our hearts, where we are and where we want to be. I find myself often wanting to do more, but my anxiety holds me back. It's something I've been working on, but I loved this reminder to truly go all in and give it ALL to God. I think we all sometimes need that reminder. A reminder to get off the sidelines and live our our faith--- all in with God. We are sometimes are our biggest boundaries in becoming the people that God created us to be. That is just why Matthew West wrote this new song and album.

I needed this. This song, this album... all of it. I needed the encouragement, the inspiration... I needed these words. I'm certain I'm not the only one. Music has the power to lift us up, to inspire and yes, even to challenge us to rise up and do something. This album is certainly proof of that. Every song is just as beautiful and powerful as the next.

I've been a Matthew West fan for some time so I had big hopes for this album and it by far lived up to and exceeded those hopes. I cannot get enough. But the inspiration doesn't stop with the music Matthew has also launched a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives.

What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most? I for one am excited to see where the next 6 weeks and beyond take me. I am excited to work through my fears and try to be the person God wants me. Head on over to his Facebook to follow along and join in.

Want to experience the album for yourself? Head on over here to check it out.

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

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Countdown To Christmas Has Begun {A Look at Dayspring's Annual Christmas Preview}

** Products received for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."

Okay, okay... if you're one of those people who start reading that and think it's much too soon... well, you might want to bookmark this post and come back later when you're in holiday mode, because today's post is ALL about Christmas!

This post is for:
  • The Christmas obsessed.
  • The ones already counting down the days.
  • The ones who've already started their holiday shopping.
  • The ones who've started pinning must try recipes for the holidays.
  • The ones already planning their decor. 
  • The ones who are secretly still watching Christmas movies.
  • And for the ones listening to the music too.
  • The ones who get excited at the first signs of Christmas growing nearer.
You know who you are... and this is a post just for YOU!

Those who know me know that I am most certainly in the Christmas obsessed category. In fact, some might argue that I'm the queen of Christmas obsessed. I'm counting down the days, I'm planning ahead... I am READY for Christmas to arrive!

And so, I am SUPER excited to announce that Dayspring's Annual Christmas Preview is now LIVE. Every year in September they give us just a peak of the amazing Christmas goodies to come this year. And every year I look forward to seeing it with excited anticipation.

You see, I may have boxes and boxes filled to the brim with holiday decor but the ones I reach for every single time are those from Dayspring. What better way is there to remind us the true reason we celebrate than with decorations that celebrate the birth of Christ!? I could not wait to see and share just a small collection with all of you! Take a look:

First up, the Glory to God – Porcelain Christmas Ornament. I instantly fell in love with this. The colors are fantastic and that gold gives them just the right amount of shine! I personally love to put together themed Christmas trees with new color schemes each year and I instantly loved the idea of this blue, red and gold... very pretty! I'm thinking this would look fabulous with some cranberry garland too, right!?

Then comes the Christmas Countdown. When you're already counting down the days, a countdown is a MUST! I love this simple design and that we can write our own days so if we wanted to put it up say...now... we'd be all set to do so! This will definitely become a favorite in my Christmas anticipating household!

What's Christmas without cards? And no one does religious cards quite like Dayspring, am I right!? I loved the O Come Let Us Adore Him – Boxed Cards. This simple design was stunning, and that lettering? I cannot get enough! These are a great way to share your faith through the holiday season.


Speaking of sharing your faith- how about this Jesus is the Reason – Christmas Door Banner. This goes over the door to share a great message with anyone who comes to your home. You can use this in place of a traditional wreath on the door, OR you can hang the wreath over. This is a great one for church decorating too! A simple fun way to bring in the message!

You know what they say, save the best for last and I've certainly done that with this AMAZING NEW Christmas Hurricane Trio. If you've shopped Dayspring Christmas decor, you know their nativity hurricane is a classic. I've talked about it here on A Modern Day Fairy Tale in past years and it's been on my personal wishlist for awhile too... but this one might just be even more spectacular! It is GORGEOUS! It has that gorgeous nativity silhouette look that I loved about the other, but with a stunning gold and the addition of names of Jesus on one side and Bible verses on the others. Pictures cannot do these justice. From tablescapes to mantel displays, these are going to be a great focal point for your holiday decor and I for one cannot wait to set it up!

These are just a few of the amazing new products available in Dayspring's Christmas Preview! Head on over to check them all out and let me know YOUR personal favorites. 

A Very Thankful Prayer {A Kids Book Review + Giveaway}

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

Fall means a lot of things to a lot of people.

For some it means football. For some it means baking. For some it means pumpkin spice everything. For some it means traditions- trips to the apple orchard, etc. It seems fall, more than any other season has all of these things that we associate with the entire season.

Like giving thanks.

Sure, Thanksgiving may be the day of thanks, but I don't know about you but as soon as those leaves begin to change my mindset seems to focus even more in that direction than it is throughout the year. Being thankful is something that is talked about in the Bible often. We are told to be thankful ALL the time, not just when things are going good. That can be tough for some of us, right? But that's why I try to teach my kids this at a very early age. Anytime my children are given a gift or receive a compliment they are reminded to say thank you. Every single time. To me, it is that important. We live in a world that likes to take things for granted and I don't want that for my kids. I want them to be thankful for what they have, and to give that thanks to God.

Today, I am excited to share with you a book that celebrates that thankful heart: A Very Thankful Prayer.

Every day I wake up with a happy, thankful heart.

From watching the leaves fall to picking pumpkins from the patch, from sharing a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones to learning how to give—there’s so much to be thankful for! Join these adorable animals as they say a prayer of thanks to God, who gives us every good thing.

This adorable little book is perfect to teach toddlers and preschoolers all about being thankful. It truly encompasses everything that so many of us love about fall- we see the colored leaves, pumpkin patches, apple picking, bonfires and of course, Thanksgiving too. All of these great things that are specific for fall, but mixed in with things likes friends and family that we can be thankful for all throughout the year. It is beautifully written in a way that kids can enjoy and short enough that it makes for the perfect bedtime tale to be read over and over again. I am absolutely loving this book at the fall season kicks off and cannot wait to read it as we go!

If you're looking for a great fall book, this one is a must see. It is available to purchase now.

And they are giving you a chance to win a copy for yourself. Head on over here to enter. 

What ways have you found to help teach kids about being thankful through fall and beyond? 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Moms- Snack on the Go with Perfect Bar {A #MomsMeet Review}

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links

Hey moms--- do you ever feel like you're always on the go? 

With extracurricular activities and work schedules... sometimes it can seem like for many families today we spend more time on the road than at home. Whew, that can be exhausting. Is it any wonder that we so often find ourselves running through the drive through or stopping at the convenience store for an extra bit of energy to get us through these busy days.

Let's be honest, if you're trying to eat better... these are not the best places to do so! So, what's a mama to do?

For me, it's all about keeping a well stocked purse! As moms, we're used to keeping out bags stocked for the kids, but we have to make sure to do the same for US too. When we take better care of us, we'll be better equipped to care for the kids too. In addition to our other essentials like lipstick, our cell phones, wallets and a planner... why not also add a grown up snack too.

For healthy snacking on the go, is there anything more perfect than Perfect Bar? 

So, what is Perfect Bar? 

Perfect Bars are refrigerated protein bars made with delicious nut betters with only organic honey as a binder. But don't let the refrigerated part scare you... they can stay fresh for a week outside the fridge. These delicious bards are creamy and smooth, and absolutely delicious. And they're good for you too. Each full size bar is packed with up to 17g of whole food protein. No wheat or soy in these tasty treats. Minis offer 5g. Packed with protein, these are certainly sure to keep you going. They also contain 20+ nutrient dense superfoods- for instance kale, apple and spinach- all excelent sources of vitamins and minerals. They are non GMO, gluten free, soy free, kosher and as an added bonus- made in the USA.

But the real question of course is... how do they taste?

I must admit I'm a bit of a picky eater. I have tried MANY protein bars in the past and have found very few that I actually enjoyed. These were some of those few! They were delicious and surprisingly filling too! Even my kids loved them too- and as we know kids can be a little picky too! These truly are delicious and something that I can feel much better about snacking on.

Perfect Bars are available in more than 12,000 fridges nationwide. Minis are only available online at PerfectBar.com or in select retailers. To find a store near you, visit: perfectbar.com/where-to-buy

Find out more and connect at the links below:


Monday, September 18, 2017

Crafty Celebrations: DIY Ideas For Your Child’s Birthday Party

No one child is alike, but they all have one thing in common:

They all love their birthday parties.

When this magical time of the year rolls around, your child likely buzzes with excitement. Turning another year older is a big deal, and the perfect party will help them celebrate the beginning of another revolution around the sun. And this all starts with choosing the right decorations and activities.

If you are tired of the same store-bought decorations that ultimately sit in storage, it’s time to shake it up. These crafty ideas will help you capture your child’s personality while giving them a party they will never forget.

  • Creative Chalkboard Art: You may have noticed this trend popping up at weddings and baby showers, but you can also use it for a child’s birthday party. Decorate an a-frame board to place outside of your home, welcoming guests before they even enter the door. You can also use smaller chalkboards to point out where to place the presents, to declare your child’s age, or to display fun facts about your the birthday kid.

  • Confetti-Filled Balloons: These colorful orbs are a birthday party staple, but there are ways to make them less standard. Take white balloons and fill them with colorful confetti before blowing them up. Add helium and watch these fun features float the the ceiling. Add strings so your child’s friends can take them home at the end.

  • Homemade Temporary Tattoos: Rather than buying tattoos from the store, you can make your own with several different methods. Generally, 1.5 x 1.5 inch tattoos are perfect for kids, since they fit well on cheeks and hands. You and your child can either make these themed tattoos ahead of time, or you can make it a party craft.

  • Funky Cake Toppers: The possibilities for DIY cake toppers are seemingly endless. You can attach tissue paper flowers, paper letters, cute cutout shapes, or even a photo of your child’s face to a stick, then just stick it in the cake. This simple craft can make even the simplest cake look lovely.

  • Fun Party Crowns: Your child will already feel like royalty at their party, but that doesn’t mean their guests can’t too. Start the party by encouraging every child to make their own unique crown. Either provide stencils or pre-bought crowns, and then scatter the table with all sorts of glitter, stickers, markers, and other craft supplies.

While the specifics of these crafts will vary based on the age of your child and their party theme, they will surely have a blast when they see these decorations and activities. If your child is old enough, they may even want to be involved in the planning.

The bottom line is to express your child’s personality and create a memorable experience for all of their friends. Even if it doesn’t play out perfectly, your child will still be overjoyed. And that’s what matters.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Make It A September to Remember with Paparazzi {A Giveaway Hop}

Welcome to the September to Remember Giveaway Hop hosted by
MamatheFox and the co-hosts; The Kids Did It, and The Mommy Island.  From now through the end of the month, hop along to all participating blogs for a chance to win some amazing prizes.


Oooh, I just love Fall!

It's such a great time of the year... the weather is cooling, but not so cold that you have to be bundled up. The leaves begin to change creating beauty all around. The baking, oohh... all the delicious flavors and their accompanying scents of fall! And of course, who could forget the fall fashions!

This year- my first fall with Paparazzi- I must admit I'm even more excited about fall Fashion. After all, you cannot complete any outfit without the proper accessories! And there is so much great happening with Paparazzi this fall! Where to begin!?

First, for those new to Paparazzi, here's what all the excitement is about:

  • Everything is just $5- it's fashionable jewelry that is affordable to every budget! Our necklaces also include matching earrings, making them even more budget friendly. 
  • Everything is lead and nickel free!
  • Everything is limited and we have new items released every single week day. There is literally always something new to shop! 

Now onto the new, the fall colors! I am just LOVING the fall color palette this year. We are seeing some traditional fall colors of course, but also these stunning selections:

Gorgeous, right!? These are already beginning to make their appearance and we'll see even more as the season goes on! I mean just take a look at these pieces currently in my inventory (as of this posting).

Can you believe these are just $5!?

Paparazzi will always be known for their $5 jewelry, but what about those who want something a little fancier? Each year at convention Paparazzi has the Zi Collection- a fancier more expensive collection that has until now only been available to those consultants who attended. But not anymore! On October 2, they will be releasing 20 Zi Collection Necklaces to EVERYONE! These pieces are heavier and more blingy, so will cost $25, but when you compare to similar styles elsewhere!? Still a steal! These will be ideal for fancier events such as weddings or the holidays! Take a look at 10 of these amazing pieces:

I for one love them, and cannot wait to offer these along with our usual $5 jewelry! Like I said, there is a LOT to be excited about with Paparazzi this fall!

Want to see more? Check out the links below:

Shop My Website.
Join My Group.

Want to learn more about joining my team before the busy holiday season? Kits start at just $99 for 35 pieces of jewelry, and you'll earn 45% profit... OR just buy your own Christmas gifts 45% off! Send me an email at randi@amoderndayfairytale.net if you'd like to chat. Or click the website link above.

And I am giving one very lucky reader the chance to win 2 pieces of Paparazzi 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.
http://www.MamatheFox.com">MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let's Keep It Going {Daypring #EncouragementDare}

The Dayspring Encouragement Dare is coming to a close!

All this week I have so loved following along with fellow participants to see how they are spreading the encouragement around. There truly are so many great ways to spread encouragement around and you never know just how much it can mean to someone.

Have you ever been out and about and gotten a compliment on the outfit you were wearing that day? Worked hard on a project and received a job well done? Have you ever gone to grab your morning cup of coffee and found the car in front of you had paid for your drink?

Isn't it amazing what those simple acts of kindness can do to turn your whole day around?

A few weeks ago, we took our family out to eat at my husband's favorite restaurant. My husband had just gotten back from a month of military training- we were celebrating but admittedly exhausted. During our meal, my daughter decided to give a show singing 'This Little Light of Mine' for anyone around. And they loved it... just her in her childlike innocence offered encouragement to the families around us. They thanked her for the show and let us know how much they appreciated it. We thought that was that.

But as we were checking out our waitress came up to us with two to go boxes. The couple sitting next to us had so enjoyed the show that they bought dessert for both of our children as a thank you. It wasn't something they had to do, but it was something that we very much appreciated. They were encouraged by our daughter, and in turn turned around and offered us encouragement too. That's the thing about encouragement.... it's contagious! When you make someone's day with your encouragement, they want to pass it along.

And so, while the official dare may be coming to a close... I want to challenge all of you to keep it going! Keep on encouraging. Keep on paying it forward. Let's make encouragement week last all throughout the year!

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

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Baby Safety Tips from MAM + Giveaway #NationalBabySafetyMonth

September is #NationalBabySafetyMonth, sponsored annually by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This month-long event increases consumer awareness of baby safety issues and the safe selection and use of baby products. For the past 40 years MAM’s top priority has been the development of products for the well-being, safety and health of babies that make life easier for parents and allow them to focus on the joy of family. Check out some recommendations & Tips from MAM to help raise awareness of key things we can all do to protect our babies:
  • Strap in for Safety. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children ages 0 to 19? Daily about 8,000 children in the US visit the emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This September, JPMA is focusing on strap safety! Safety belts and straps should always be used when available, whether it’s on the go, in the car, and even at home. Visit www.babysafetymonth.org to learn more about how to create a safe environment for your child!
  • Always place baby to sleep on their backs. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that about 2 in 10 babies are placed to sleep in incorrect positions that greatly increase the risk of SIDS. Babies should *always* be placed to sleep on their backs. Placing babies to sleep on their sides is just as dangerous as placing babies to sleep on their stomachs, since they are likely to roll over on to their stomachs while sleeping.
  • Consider pacifier usage when placing baby down for sleep and remember that the pacifier may not be reinserted once baby falls asleep.Pacifier use is shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. MAM supports the AAP published guidelines for pacifier usage.Read more here if you’re interested in more information about pacifiers and how they reduce the risk of SIDS
  • Before placing a pacifier in baby’s mouth, check to see if there is any damage or signs of weakness. Pull the nipple in all directions and throw away the pacifier at the first sign of damage or weakness. Pay extra attention to your child’s pacifier as teeth emerge, which can occur as early as 1 month. Be sure to replace your baby’s pacifier frequently – once a month or every two months.
  • Always monitor your baby’s body temperature. Your baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing. One of the best ways to ensure your baby can regulate their body temperature while they’re asleep is to dress them in natural fibers like cotton, bamboo and merino.
  • ErgoPouch is a great choice when it comes to correctly dressing your baby for sleep. The correct, tog (warmth)-rated swaddle or wearable sleep bag/suit will allow you to not use blankets, which can place babies at risk of SIDS. You can see the complete ergoPouch collection at www.ergopouch.com.
  • Ensure that your baby’s crib meets CPSC standards and that everything in your nursery is free of harmful chemicals and toxins. Check that the crib of your choice is not on the CPSC recall list, here . Just as important is ensuring that your baby’s crib is placed away from (1) windows, where drafts and sunlight can put your baby at risk, and (2) drapes/blinds, which are strangulation hazards. Micuna_Usa offer a collection of safe, stylish cribs made of sustainable materials like solid Beech Wood. Check out their wide variety of cribs.
  • Place baby to sleep on a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. Remove ALL soft objects from the crib: bumper pads, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys. A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that almost 15% of babies are placed on non-recommended sleep surfaces each night while over 90% of babies have loose, soft objects in their cribs that pose suffocation risks. Please make sure to carefully check your baby’s sleep environment for these dangers to protect their safety.Looking for a great, breathable crib mattress? Newton Baby make Greenguard Gold Certified breathable, washable and recyclable crib mattresses that are specially designed for baby’s health, safety and comfort. The innovative design allows air to flow freely for optimal breathability and temperature regulation.
  • The SIDS institute says give your baby plenty of interactive tummy time. This should never be in a bed, a good place for this is on the floor. Never leave baby on their stomach unattended. Play with baby as he/she does baby push-ups. Gathre offers a great selection of wipeable, waterproof bonded leather mats -- functional pieces that appeal to the modern mom's personal aesthetic.

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and on six continents. To find out more and view MAM’s baby care range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets visit www.mambaby.com.

Stay social with MAM on:
Facebook: facebook.com/MAMbabyUSA Twitter: @MAMBABY Pinterest: Pinterest.com/MAMUSA Instagram: mam_usa

Now for the Best part! One lucky winner will have the chance to win a $50 MAM gift pack filled with some amazing goodies from this amazing line of products. Just head below for your chance to win. Giveaway is open to US &CAN and ends on 9/28 at 11:59pmEST. Must be 18+ to enter. Good luck!!!  
Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network.All opinions and experiences are Conservamom‘s. Open to US & CAN Residents only, must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted through email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Elia At Conservamom

Finish Off Your Fall Look with New Glasses from GlassesShop.com {+ A Coupon Code}

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

Here in Indiana, the signs of Fall are starting to arrive. The weather has cooled down a bit. Here and there we see leaves starting to change. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks.

Oh yes, I think it's safe to say fall is HERE!

One of my favorite parts about getting ready for fall is changing out my wardobe. I love fall fashion... cozy sweaters, scarves, leggings with my dress, boots. For me, a big part of changing my look for fall includes changing my glasses! When you wear prescription eyeglasses, they become a part of you... and I for one want to keep them every bit as trendy and fashionable as I try to be.

And with GlassesShop.com, I can shop eyeglasses online and not only find great styles, but great deals too.

GlassesShop is an American owned and operated online retailer of eyeglasses. Since the website launch in 2004, we have delivered over a million pairs of eyeglasses while maintaining our standard of providing the highest quality at affordable prices. We are a group of eye doctors that understands your struggle with the high cost of eyeglasses. We strive to make your experience with GlassesShop.com one that is not only user-friendly but also professional and reliable. Being able to deliver superior eyeglasses at an unbeatably-low price has allowed us to help people all over the world see clearly and, in turn, has provided our team with a more rewarding experience than we could have ever anticipated. We guarantee your satisfaction.

I have been getting my glasses from GlassesShop.com for about two and a half years now, and honestly could not imagine going anywhere else. You see, I like mixing my glasses up day by day and with GlassesShop's great prices, I can actually do that! I can buy several pairs here for the price of one elsewhere--- they even have great deals on prescription sunglasses! Here are a few of my current favorites from their website:

Of course my absolute favorites were the Evansville Rectangle Blue. I couldn't resist them for myself.

All of these glasses frames feature stunning colors that are not only gorgeous, but fantastic for fall too! And they hold up very well too. Why would you pay more for glasses when you can grab such great bargains from GlassesShop? Grab a few pairs to switch around and keep your look fresh and fun all autumn long. 

In addition to their already fantastic prices, right now, you can use the code GSHOT50 at checkout to receive 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses(sale frames excluded). Amazing! These are truly too great of a deal to pass up!

Ready to learn more or start shopping? Head on over to see everything GlassesShop.com has to offer!
You can also learn more and connect at the links below:

Facebook | iGlassesShop
Twitter | @glassesshop
Instagram | @glassesshop_com
Youtube | glassesshop
Pinterest glassesshop

Have you ordered from GlassesShop.com? How was your experience? What glasses on their site would you most like to wear?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tips to Ease Morning Sickness Naturally {with Sea-Band Mama!} #MomsMeet

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Aw, pregnancy!

It's such a beautiful and special time in a woman's life... but let's be honest... as wonderful as the idea of and the outcome of a pregnancy is... the getting there... well... it can be anything less than glamorous! Morning sickness!? Well, whoever came up with that name clearly had never experienced it. If only it was JUST morning! So, what's an expecting mama to do? Today I'm sharing a few tips that might just help ease the discomfort and nausea associated with morning sickness.

  • Ginger. Ginger is perhaps one of the most well know natural remedies from morning sickness and nausea in general. Try ginger ale or some natural ginger candies for relief.
  • Something Sour. I'm not sure what it is, but there is something about sour candies, lemons, etc that can help ease nausea. 
  • Keep Saltines Handy. With my pregnancies, I found that if I got too hungry, the nausea grew worse. Still, when you feel sick, it's hard to eat, right? Saltines are great because they tend to be more bland and a little easier to stomach... so munch on them between meals if you are able. (I was always told to keep them right be the bed and to eat a few before standing up!)
  • Aromatherapy. I'm a big fan of essential oils for most ailments as an added form of relief. Be sure to research well on oils appropriate for use during pregnancy. 
  • Accupressure Bracelets. Now I'm not a scientist, so I cannot say exactly how this works, but for many- it does! These bracelets apply pressure to the wrist that has been shown to reduce nausea not just in pregnancy but also motion and travel sickness too.
Sea-Band has been offering nausea support from motion/travel sickness and morning sickness for many years through their accupressure bracelets. These are knitted elastic wrist bands that apply pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure. Don't know what that means? It's a point between two central tendons near your wrist that scientific studies have shown is one of the most effect drug-free treatments for morning sickness! No wonder it's recommended by midwives and pregnant women around the world. An Italian study has also found that morning sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used Sea-Band acupressure bands. Wow! For Instructions on positioning the Sea-Band Mama! bands, please see this page: sea-band.com/mama/sea-band.

Now, chances are if you've been pregnant before you've at least heard of Sea-Band, if not tried them for yourself. But did you know that Sea-Band Mama! also offers MORE great products for natural morning sickness relief.

First up, Sea-Band Mama! Ginger and Spearmint Rollette. As I mentioned above, aromatherapy can be a great relief to many ailments, morning sickness included!  Inhalation of essential oils stimulates the body’s olfactory system, transferring a signal to the limbic system thus triggering the release of natural chemicals that relieve tummy upset. This was specially formulated by healthcare professionals with lime, spearmint and ginger oils in a prediluted mix. Mamas to be can simple roll onto wrirsts, temple or chest as needed for relief. 

And finally, Sea-Band Mama! Ginger Lozenges. As I said, natural ginger has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to counteract the pain associated with stomach upsets. How does it work?  By stimulating the production of digestive juices, it acts quickly to neutralise stomach acids and soothe tummies. Again, I'm not a doctor, I don't completely understand all that, but it does help many people. These lozenges are free of artificial colors and flavors and instead use natural Zingiber Officinale, full of essential oils gingerol and shogaol. You can take one lozenge in the morning or as needed throughout the day, no more than 10 a day. 

The thing with morning sickness relief is that we are all so unique and these remedies may not all work for every single person. Still, these are natural remedies that are tried and true by fellow mommies. Together or alone, Sea-Band Mama! has everything you need to try and combat morning sickness naturally!

Sea-Band Mama! is available to purchase at CVS pharmacy, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and many other drug stores and pharmacies. To find Sea-Band Mama! in your area, visit: sea-band.com/where-to-buy-in-the-usa for the full list of locations.

You can learn more and connect with Sea-Band Mama! below:

Have you or are you suffering from morning sickness? Did you try any Sea-Band Mama! products? Any other must try tips that worked for you? 

Mix Up Your Crockpot Routine with Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker {A Cookbook Review}

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

If there is one thing that every busy family needs in their kitchen... it's a crockpot! In my house, my husband works late most nights and my kids well.. they don't like giving me much time to cook in the evenings anyway. A crockpot is a perfect solution. I can put everything in in the morning before my daughter wakes up (or at least while my son's at school), and it'll be ready by dinner. On those nights when my husband is home later, we can still eat on time, and he can grab a plate when he gets home--- still hot!

Needless to say, I've developed a deep appreciation for my crockpot... but often times feel like I'm just making the same meals over and over again. Don't get me wrong- my family loves a good pot roast or some BBQ pork, but with as many late nights as we have, we need more variety. Thankfully Martha Stewart comes to the rescue with Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker:

Cook it slow, cook it smart

Leave it to the experts at Martha Stewart to figure out the best ways to use this favorite appliance. The 110 recipes in this book make the most of the slow cooker’s assets (low heat, hands-off cooking), while also uncovering its hidden potential. Readers will find that they can not only braise cuts of meat until meltingly tender and let soups and stews simmer away untended, but also gently poach fish, cook up creamy scalloped potatoes, and bake a perfect cheesecake. This book has everything home cooks need to maximize flavor and make life a whole lot easier.

Now, like I said as much as I love my crockpot... I find I always reached for the same ingredients. I was stuck in a crockpot routine that I just couldn't shake myself from, but this cook book features so many great flavors and recipes that I truly could not believe these were all made in one! Seriously! Every page I turned I found yet another recipe I had to add to my list. It wasn't just pot roasts and pulled porks but soups and fish... even deserts! So many options! If you aren't already a crockpot fan, this is one cookbook that will sway you! I absolutely love it and cannot wait to mix up my menu with these slow cooking dishes!

Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker is available to purchase now at your favorite book retailers. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fatal Trust {A Book Review}

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

If you've been following and reading my book reviews for very long, chances are you've noticed that my genre of choice is Christian nonfiction. It's honestly my most reach for subject. Still, sometimes I like to mix it up a little with some fiction thrown in there. And for that nothing can beat a great mystery- a thriller that will have you anxiously flipping each page wondering what was going to happen next!

Do you love a good mystery too? Today I have just the book for you. Todd M. Johnson's Fatal Trust:

A Simple Job. An Unbelievable Payout. But in Risking It All On Blind Trust, He May Just Lose Everything . . .

Ian Wells is a young, ambitious Minneapolis attorney struggling to build up a law practice while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. As the stress and bills mount, Ian is nearing the breaking point when everything changes with a single new case. All Ian must do, the client demands, is judge whether three men qualify for nine million dollars of trust funds soon to be paid out by determining whether they've been involved in any criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unfathomable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

The job seems too good to be true, and Ian wants to turn the offer down, but his needs weigh more heavily. He warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust money to an illegal enterprise dating back to Prohibition and the greatest unsolved crime in Minnesota history. Ian soon finds himself the target of a swiftly tightening criminal investigation--realizing too late that this so-called simple job has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

Now, I must be a little honest, when I first started reading, it took me a little while to get into this one. I'm not sure if it was just my mood, the kids distracting me, or if it truly was just the book itself, but after a few chapters I was just about ready to give it up. I just couldn't get drawn into the characters as I could with other books. Still, I gave it a chance and read on and after a few more chapters I did find myself drawn deeper and deeper into the story and wanting to know what happened next. So, if you find yourself in the same boat... give it a chance, keep on reading... you'll be happy you did!

I don't want to give too much away, but this truly was a great read. If you love reading legal drama or watching shows like Law & Order and the like... well, chances are it's going to be right up your alley! It's thrilling, it's suspenseful, and it truly is a great story. If you're looking to mix up your reading routine, this is definitely one book worth checking out.

Fatal Trust is available to purchase now at your favorite book retailers.