A Modern Day Fairy Tale: March 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

3 Simple Tips for Combatting Bad Hair Days with Finesse #finessehaircare #ad

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Finesse and Brandbacker. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Let's talk hair!

To be honest, I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with my hair! Surely I'm not the only one right? When my hair is being cooperative and doing what I want it to do, I'd consider it one of my best features. But when it's being uncooperative and doesn't want to do anything I try to make it do.... well, I find myself wishing I could just chop it all off!

Sadly, more often than not... I'm dealing with the uncooperative hair! So, how do I battle that uncooperative hair? Today I'm sharing my three simple tips to combat your bad hair days:

  1. Pull It Back. If you're dealing with a bad hair day, perhaps the quickest fix is to just pull it back... a messy bun, a simple ponytail... keep it simple!
  2. Add in Accessories. One side of your hair just not laying right? Use a simple flower clip. Go with a fun headband. Or if it's an extremely bad day, just throw on a cute scarf or a hat! 
  3. Prevent. Perhaps the best thing you can do for bad hair days is to prevent them before they start! For me, that means starting with a great shampoo and conditioner, like Finesse® Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner.

I was recently given the chance to try these out for myself to see how they would work on my own stubborn hair... but before I share my experience, here's what you need to know:

  • Infused with active proteins, Finesse® Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner help restore and strengthen hair that is dry, damaged, stubborn, or sometimes frizzy. The active silk and soy proteins penetrate deep into the hair shaft, leaving your hair more moisturized and manageable. Your hair will feel clean and silky soft, while being easier to detangle and easier to style.
  • Featuring Finesse' cult-favorite clean, fresh scent
  • SRP: $3.99 each (and only $1.99 at Walmart)
  • Available at: Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and grocery chains such as Kroger, Shoprite, HEB, and Publix
But the real question is of course--- how did it work? For me, very well! I'll be honest, while I am pretty open to most other products (in that I will always go for the cheapest of the cheap), shampoo and conditioners are one of the few things that I really am very picky about. I'm not saying I go for salon products, but I do need products that WORK. So, when I say that I loved my hair after using these, I mean it! My hair was more manageable, felt better, looked better... everything I need my shampoo and conditioner to provide. Due to my longer hair, I'd recently starting having more problems with tangles, and I found after use I was also able to brush through more easily! That's a major win in my book! But what I loved most is that it's also still affordable AND readily available. No need for salon prices or a trip to the salon to find a shampoo that worked!

Ready to say goodbye to your hair days, Finesse® Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner is available at Walmart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and grocery chains such as Kroger, Shoprite, HEB, and Publix.

Home is Wherever Mom Is: Creative Coloring and Hand Lettering {A Book Review}

What is one thing about motherhood that you never expected?

Let's be honest, that can be an awful lot! Motherhood in and of itself is full of the unexpected! Before becoming a mother, you have all of these expectations of how you are going to be that perfect mom--- the one that never leaves the house in sweats or yoga pants, that bakes the perfect birthday cakes, that has Pinterest worthy parties and holidays, that never loses her patience with her children, ever. And then you actually become a mother... try as you might, some of those things fly right out the window. Motherhood is much harder than expected!

Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely the greatest experience in the world too, but still it can be exhausting! Sick kids, extracurricular activities, sleep troubles, sibling arguments... the list goes on. I think as mothers, we need to be able to find that time to unwind... even if- like me- that unwinding time has to be done with the kids. For many, adult coloring books can provide just that. And today, I'm excited to share the perfect coloring book for every mom- Home is Wherever Mom Is: Creative Coloring and Hand Lettering.

This is the perfect gift for mom to celebrate the role of motherhood through uplifting quotes, by spending time enjoying a favorite hobby of coloring, and by learning a new craft in hand lettering.

With adult coloring books continuing to expand, Home Is Wherever Mom Is: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering shows moms how much they are loved with uplifting quotes and messages about motherhood, surrounded by more than 100 intricate and beautiful pages to color. In addition, she will love the simple tutorial and templates for hand lettering, which add a wonderful and unique element to the book.
Treat your mom to something special this Mother’s Day with a new Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering book. Combining two major trends of coloring and DIY and by adding hand-lettering guides and stencils to the beautiful pen-and-ink artwork, this book will generate hours of peace, reflection, and enjoyment.
Mothers are truly the heart of the home, so take a moment to thank your mom for who she is and all she does with Home Is Wherever Mom Is: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering.

Now, I must admit, I have quite the large collection of adult coloring books these days and I love them all. But this may be my new favorite. First and foremost, the pictures are gorgeous. So many stunning details and themes- elephants, hummingbirds, arrows. Perhaps one of my personal favorites shows the front door of the home, coats and backpacks hung and shoes scattered... a common site for most moms but illustrated so beautifully. While this is one of the few coloring pages that really portrays motherhood, the quotes and Bible verses throughout are a different story. So many great words of encouragement and inspiration throughout, either about motherhood, or very much relevant.

I must admit, I was hoping for some more hand lettering instruction through out as this is something I really want to improve on, but there is a simple practice page at the end, and of course the pages throughout that you can trace, practice on, color, etc. I love that unique aspect of this particular coloring book...something to set it apart!

Rather you are looking for a greeat coloring book to help you find a moment to relax with your children, or are on the search for your mother or a mom in your life who could use some relaxation and encouragement, this book is sure to be a hit!

Home is Wherever Mom Is: Creative Coloring and Hand Lettering is available to purchase now

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating Courageous Women: The Zookeeper's Wife Fandango Giveaway

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

Have you heard of the new movie coming to theaters March 31- The Zookeeper's Wife?

In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care.

When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War).

To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.

Doesn't this sound like such an amazing and inspiring story? I love these wonderful stories of overcoming amazing obstacles, that show us how real life heroes and heroines exist. The film focuses on courage and doing what is right in the face of danger. The true story also shows us an incredibly strong protagonist in the zookeeper's wife.

That makes me think about the courageous women in my own life? We all have them right? Women who have gone through so much and still came out on top. Maybe it's a friend, a grandmother, an aunt.  For me that woman is my mother. I think I've always know my mom was a strong woman, but it wasn't until becoming a mother that I truly understood just how strong she was.

These days, having a special needs child, well, I can't say that it is easy... but there is more awareness, more understanding. (A far cry from where it needs to be but still better than it was 30+ years ago.) We have internet for support and connections, we have a better understanding of diagnosis's like autism. But my mom did it in the 80s. She had a child- my brother- diagnosed with mental retardation and suspected autism in addition to health issues. At just 3.5 years old, my brother passed away and my mother had to face something that now, as a mother myself, is something I cannot fathom. For anyone who has gone through that, it could be so easy to give up your faith, but she never did that. At all. Her faith stayed strong throughout anything life sent her way. I have seen her go back to school as an adult, I have seen her fight cancer and win... I have seen her do so much and have so much sent her way, and yet to me that is the most amazing thing of all- that through it all, she remained strong in her faith. She has shown me what it is to be strong and courageous, and I can only hope to be half the woman she is.

Who is the strong woman in your life? I want to hear all about her!

And in celebration of the theatrical release of The Zookeeper's Wife, why not treat her or another great woman in your life to a trip to the theater? The Zookeeper's Wife will be out in theater March 31st.

And one very lucky winner 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, March 21, 2017

3 Simple Tips to Give New Life to Your Home Decor {+ Dayspring's Spring Decor Sale Starts Now!}

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

Springtime is here!

The season of all things new! New season, new life. And of course the celebration on the Christ's resurrection and our ultimate rebirth in him. When you truly think about it, there really is a lot to love about spring!

For many, Spring is also the time for spring cleaning... out with the old, in with the new... with all the new life going on outside, it's a great time to bring new life inside. But that doesn't just have to mean cleaning! It can also mean redecorating- bringing the Spring inside!

Today, I'm sharing a three simple tips to get your home decor Spring ready:

Lighten It Up. 

My living room is done in fall colors- lots of browns, reds and oranges...so that can get a little dark at times. As much as I would love to be able to redecorate with each change of the season, that's just not an option... but I can bring in the light through throws, pillows, or changing out small decor throughout- coasters, etc are a small change that can make a difference. Even something as simple as opening up the windows can do a lot to add light to a room!

Bring in the Flowers. 

Nothing says spring like flowers! Real or silk, doesn't matter, just find a pretty vase (or pitcher) and bring in the color and beauty! Or find decorative pieces with lovely floral designs!

Put Up a Cross...Or Three. 

Spring is the season of new life, and what better way to signify that than with a cross--- a symbol of the new life we have been given in Christ. It's such a simple addition to your decor that can have a true impact on how you go about your day. When you are having a rough day, you can look up, see that cross and remember the sacrifice. The best part is that there truly are different crosses to best go with your style too! Choose something fresh and springy, or bring on the burlap. You can even get a chalkboard cross, great for creating messages of God's love for your family or for a weekly Bible verse!

Ready to give your home new life for spring!? Great news! You can do so even cheaper thanks to Dayspring's Spring Decor Sale-now through March 31, you can find savings up to 65% off! Check out some of these amazing deals:

She Is Clothed With Strength and Dignity Cross- Just $15!!

Inspirational Wooden Chalkboard Cross- Just $5!!

Inspirational Clip Frame and Art Print Set- Just $15!!

Because these prices are already so amazing, no further discounts apply... but on non-sale purchases, be sure to add the code 25FORYOU at checkout to save 25% off, and free shipping for the whole order!

How do you make your home Spring ready? How can the Dayspring Spring Decor Sale help?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Finding the Right Direct Sales Company for YOU {And Why I Chose Paparazzi Jewelry}

"I'm just not cut out for sales. I just don't have it in me!"

Yes, this is a statement that I have personally made many, many times over the last few years. Every time a friend would ask me to join their team, or ask why I wasn't selling a brand- like Scentsy or LuLaRoe- that they knew that I loved.

But here's the thing, as much as I loved these products and others, and I truly did- I'm cheap. I absolutely hate spending money on things that are not necessary, and so the idea of asking other people to do the same? Well, that was really hard on me! I just could not bring myself to be that person that was able to close the sale. Like I said, I make a horrible salesperson.

And so, for those who've seen my Instagram in the last few weeks, or who know me personally... it might seem like quite the shock to see that I've signed up for Paparazzi Jewelry!

For those unfamiliar with Paparazzi, we offer fun and affordable jewelry that fits in every budget. Every piece is just $5! Earrings, rings, bracelets... just $5! Even necklaces, and as an added bonus all necklaces include free earrings as well! Awesome, right?

I will write more about the fashion aspect of it all soon enough, but for now I bet you're wondering why on earth would I--- a self proclaimed non sales person--- sign up? For me, it just seemed like I'd finally found the right fit. And when it comes to success in direct sales, I think that's really the most important thing. Today, I wanted to share some of my tips for finding the right fit for you, and why I found Paparazzi to be that for me. My goal is not to recruit anyone- though I am happy to talk to anyone interested- but to help you make the choice be it Paparazzi or elsewhere that is right for YOU.

  • Find a Company You Love. First and foremost, if you don't love the products and the company behind it, it's going to be really hard to make others fall in love with it too.
    For me, I love fashion. I love styling outfits and finding that finishing touch to complete the look. It would take just one look at my overflowing jewelry collection to know this. The styles they offered were just my style. Check one.
  • Find a Company You Feel Comfortable Selling. Loving a product is not enough if you don't feel good about selling it. For instance, I love essential oils! They are amazing and I use them personally, so one might think that that would be a good fit for me. BUT I'm also a very cautious essential oil user and don't like some of the recommendations given by consultants out there. I felt that without being a licensed aromatherapist, I wouldn't feel comfortable making safe recommendations. That's just one example. With others it might be the price point. I may love a product, but if I wouldn't pay it myself, how could I expect others to be willing to do so?
    With Paparazzi, that wasn't an issue! Did I mention every piece was just $5!? Like I said, I am cheap and even I would pay $5 for a great statement necklace! I knew that this was a company that I would feel comfortable selling because I knew people would be getting a great deal for their money.

  • Consider Start Up Costs. Most direct sales have some sort of kit to be purchases when you join. The typical price seems to be right around $99, but some are more, some less. These kits generally give you everything you need to get started. Take a look at the starter kit contents and price and consider these in your choice.
    With Paparazzi, I loved that there were different options to better suit your budget. The kits start at $99 and go up to $499. When I signed up, I went with the $99 kit, which included 35 pieces to get me started. This is great for anyone who is on a tighter budget or who just wants to test the water a bit first. If you can swing it however, I would highly recommend going up to one of the larger kits... you get more for your money (though all are good deals), and will truly have enough to hit the ground running with your business. I was truly stunned at how quickly things were selling and in retrospect had wished I had gone a step up!

  • Consider Other Expenses & Inventory Requirements. Some companies require you to keep inventory, others you may do completely online. Consider which you prefer, space available and any reinvestment costs. Also think about any other equipment like shipping supplies, catalogs, etc. Don't forget website fees too, many companies charge a monthly fee for these.
    With Paparazzi, I again love that there are options. After your initial start up kit purchase, purchasing inventory is truly up to you. It is definitely recommended however as with an ever-changing inventory, you'll be more likely to offer customers something different. Still, if that's not an option for whatever reason, customers can also shop your website. Even better? There is no charge for your website! So, if you are having a slow month and have no or minimum orders, you aren't losing money on that! There are also no catalogs as inventory is updated daily. I did have to purchase shipping supplies, but searched for great deals and have been able to account that into shipping costs while still offering low cost shipping to shoppers. When you do choose to purchase inventory, there is no minimum purchase requirement as there is with other companies. Buy one piece or buy fifty, it doesn't matter. (Though purchasing in multiples of 10 is recommended as you receive one free random piece for every 10 you buy!)
  • Consider Your Commissions. Let's be honest, most often when we join these types of businesses its for they money. So, take a look at the commission. Can you earn money just selling on your own, or is team building the only way to go? Do you WANT to build a team?
    With Paparazzi, I make 45% as a consultant. That is $2.25 per piece sold.  Now, on paper that doesn't sound like much right? But let's say another company offers only 10%, you sell $20... you make $2. Another company offers 25% commission, on a $20 purchase, you earn just $5. With Paparazzi, a $20 purchase would be a $9 profit. Of course in those smaller amounts it may not seem like as much of a difference, but they add up. And with the cheaper prices, I've found more are willing to buy!Of course, there is the opportunity to build a team and earn additional money through your downline if that is your goal, but you can also make money all on your own too.
  • Consider the Quotas. How much must you sell a month to remain a consultant? What happens if you have a slow month- family emergency or the like? If I have a team, what happens if my sales temporarily drop?
    With Paparazzi, there are no month to month quotas at all for the average consultant. Take a month off and there will be no consequences. You JUST have to sell 100 items within a year. This includes the items you purchase for your stock, or website orders. At the price they are, that's attainable. Now, with a team that changes slightly. To receive the commission check that month from team sales, you do need to be considered an active consultant, which means 25 pieces sold. Again, not too difficult. One party a month could very well do that. But again, say there is that slow month... if you've made director, you won't lost that rank... you just won't get that extra pay THAT month. I personally loved this because I know that life happens! 
  • Consider the Variety. Are there a lot of options for your shoppers to choose from with items in varying price ranges for a variety of budgets? How often are new products release? Is there enough variety to appeal to various customers and keep them coming back?
    I sold Thirty-One for about a year and a half- two years, and I loved it. I still love the products and have a ton myself. And I did pretty well with it... twice a year. Every 6 months when that new catalog would release there was lots of excitement over the new and I'd get a bulk of orders to keep me active. And then just the random order through the year here and there. When it wasn't new, people grew bored with it... especially when every other consultant had the same things too. With Paparazzi, they release new items EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. during the week! There is truly always something new for your shoppers to see, and because items are limited, there's a good chance that you will have items in your inventory that your customers will not get from the website or another consultant. That keeps things interesting and definitely keeps people coming back for me! And again, at $5, they can afford to!

When I really took a look back at all of the reason I had not done as well long term as I would have liked or what I didn't like about others, I realized that for ME Paparazzi fit all those needs. And so I took a chance in hopes of bringing in some much needed extra income for my family. While I am still just getting started, I have to say that already I feel better about the opportunity than others in the past and am already having more success than previous ventures.

If you've read through this and think Paparazzi might be a good fit for you too, I would love to chat with you about it. Send me an e-mail, comment/message on Facebook, leave a comment here with your email. No pressure at all, again... I know that it HAS to be the right fit if it's going to be a success. You have to feel good about it, and being pressured into it does not accomplish that!

You can also learn more, or just shop my website here: https://paparazziaccessories.com/64649/

Or you can find my in stock inventory posted here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/randispopupgroup/

If you've read through this and are ready to join a direct sales company, but don't feel like Paparazzi is a good fit, that's completely fine too. I just encourage you to take all of these things into consideration before making the decision that fits you best!

Are you in direct sales? What company are you with and what other tips do you have for anyone else considering starting? 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Keeping Christ in Your Easter Celebration {+ Easter Basket Ideas from Dayspring}

**Products received for consideration. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own.
I love holidays. Everyone know that when it comes to Christmas I go a little crazy, but if I had to choose a runner up. Easter is a close second. When thinking about Easter and how we celebrate, something has always struck me... at Christmas we so often talk about keeping Christ in Christmas, but at Easter? Not as much. Why is this? Perhaps it's that 'Christ in Christmas' rolls off the tongue much more smoothly. Maybe it's the the Easter celebrations in general tend to be more toned down than the madness of Christmas. Or maybe we just don't think about it as much. I don't know the reason, but I do know this--- as Christians, Easter is by far the most important day on the calendar. If not for Easter, why would we celebrate Christmas? Without Easter, where would we find our hope?

It is for that reason that even more than Christmas, I want to try to really remind my children even through the fun stuff like the candy and egg hunts that there is a reason we celebrate this day. Today, I am sharing a few simple ideas to inspire you to have a Christ-filled Easter.

  1. Celebrate Lent. This is a celebration that is most often seen as a Catholic tradition, much like Advent at Christmas. Still, like Advent this can be a great way to truly put the focus on Christ and his sacrifice on the cross on the days leading up to Easter. You don't have to do the 'no meat Fridays' or anything like that, but use those 40 days to consider the sacrifice, make your own sacrifices and really focus your mind on the cross. 
  2. Read the Bible. As a child, I always knew the story of why we celebrated Easter. I did not always fully understand the gravity of the sacrifice that was made. Still, as I grew into my faith having that foundation helped me. Likewise, I want to be certain that my kids know it's not about bunnies or eggs but about Jesus. What better way to remind them than straight from the source? 
  3. Do Easter Kids Crafts. My kids love doing crafts throughout the year, but especially for holidays! Find Christian Easter crafts to help them learn as they have fun! Not so crafty? Color-Your-Own Cross, Placemats, and Stickers can be a great option too. All of the fun of Easter crafts, but simple enough for even the non-crafty!

  4. Use Resurrection Eggs. Perhaps one of my favorite things about Easter as a kid was opening up those eggs to see what fun surprises they held inside. The candy, the little toys... what would it be!? And that's all fine too, but why not also use this excitement to teach kids the story of Easter!? With Resurrection Eggs, you read through the story and open eggs to reveal tokens that tell the story of Easter. How fun is that!? (And if you have a little one that loves surprise eggs like mine does, they'll be even more excited!)

  5. Easter Baskets with Intention. Whether or not you choose to do the Easter Bunny with your kids (we do not), Easter baskets can still be a huge part of the day! I have always loved having an excuse to spoil my children just a little bit. But each year, I also make sure to try to include a gift with meaning. Maybe a new Bible, or some Christian story books. (Like 'When God Made You' or something more Easter focused like 'Really Wooly Easter Celebration'). Add in some activity sets or fun plushes to go along with those books, it'll give them the fun of a new toy and encourage them to love those new books! Have a little girl? A cross necklace or other inspirational jewelry will be a great addition to her Easter basket and Easter dress too! For older kids and teenagers, a great devotional or journaling Bible can be a fun way to encourage their faith.

    Need the perfect gift for your child's Easter basket? When it comes to keeping Christ in Easter, no one does it better than Dayspring. Head on over to see what's new for Easter this year!
Don't forget to use the code 25FORYOU at checkout to receive 25% off, plus free shipping on your purchase. No minimum required. Hurry, this deal expires March 31!

Do you try to keep Christ in your Easter celebrations? What other ideas can you share? Which Easter gifts from Dayspring would your little one most enjoy finding in their basket?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fences {A Movie Review + Giveaway} #FencesMovie #ad #RWM

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

Chances are, if you follow the movie award shows at all, you've heard of the movie Fences. The movie and it's actors has been nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe's, Critics Choice and more! But if I were to be entirely honest, aside from these nominations, I'd really not heard much about the film itself... perhaps I'd just been living under a rock. But after I watched the Oscars I had to know... what was Fences all about!?

Adapted by legendary writer August Wilson from his own renowned play, FENCES follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. An unforgettable and timeless masterpiece, FENCES “connects with people on a deep, emotional level” (Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times) and pulses with the universal truths of love and forgiveness, despite what lies beyond your own fence.  

The FENCES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes over 30 minutes of fascinating bonus content. With interviews from the cast and crew, including actor/director Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, discover how August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was adapted from stage to screen. Plus, visit the movie’s Pittsburgh set, learn how Davis prepared for her award-winning performance, and much more. 

But, how was it? I was recently given the chance to watch and experience for myself. Right away I could see why both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis had been nominated for their roles in this film. I couldn't deny their talents right from the start. Having seen interviews, I knew how they spoke in life, so it was astounding to me to see and hear the transformation. I truly believed them to be a couple living in 1950s Pittsburgh. Those nominations/wins were well deserved that's for certain.

Now, I must admit, this isn't usually my preferred type of movie- it's a little slower moving and definitely a drama where I prefer romances or comedies--- lighthearted and fun. Still, it truly was a great story. Despite being in another time and place, there are many common themes that we see today. Betrayal, family struggles, etc. The circumstances may change but many of these struggles exist in their way today. There are definitely a few good laughs in there too, but if you're looking for a feel good movie, this probably isn't going to be it. But if you want just a GOOD story, this is definitely the way to go!

There are a lot of twists and turns that will keep you intrigued, but I can't go into those without giving it all away, so just trust me when I suggest giving this one a watch. (Keep in mind this is not one for the children.)

Want to learn more? You can connect at the links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FencesMovie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FencesMovie

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Experience Laura Story's Open Hands {A Music Review + Giveaway} #OpenHands #FlyBy

I love music!

When I'm in the car, when I'm cleaning the house, even when I'm giving my daughter a bath I can be found singing a song. Most of the time, it will be a Christian song. There is just something about a beautiful melody accompanied by words that truly have such truth and such power that I cannot help but love.

I am always on the lookout for great new walnuts to add to my collection. Today I'm excited to share with you the newest addition to my personal collection- Laura Story's Open Hands:

Open Hands is the follow-up to 2013’s critically-acclaimed God of Every Story, and in the years that have passed since her last release, Story has given birth to twins, making their brood a family of five. Now, as a mom to three kids—Josie, Benjamin and Griffin—the posture of “open hands” feels more necessary than ever before as she juggles ministry and motherhood.

“We never get to a point where we can do life apart from complete and total daily dependence on Jesus,” Story admits. “The irony is the less control we have, the more peace we have and the more, I would even say, success and joy we find. It’s a contrary picture to what the world tells us, but it’s gaining through letting go.”

Open Hands’ fresh collection of originals blends Story’s signature congregational worship with intimate moments. “I wanted to make an album so that each song I write would be just that seed of hope or that lifeline that someone listens to during that tough moment and thinks, ‘I’m going to choose to trust God, even during this,’” Story shares. “I pray that God would speak through me in the midst of the music.”

I was first introduced to Laura Story a few years ago through her song Blessings. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful words and the incredible voice behind them. There was something just so classic about her. The songs simple, but the words powerful. I was excited to be able to experience her newest music! It did not disappoint! Once again I found myself falling in love with these songs. Listening to Laura sing, you can tell that she sings with her whole heart, giving it all to God...and isn't that what worship should be? I didn't feel as though I was purposefully being entertained (though her music certainly is entertaining), but instead felt as though I was being taken along this worship experience with her.

As I listened through, I found choosing a favorite was extremely difficult... I loved each song. Still, as a mother the lyrics of 'Give You Faith' truly stuck out to me, reminding me of what I truly want to leave my children with- not material possessions or loads of money, but a foundation of faith to carry on:

I wanna give you faith
I wanna leave you hope
That you would know a love that
Never let's you go
More than wisdom or wealth,
More than happiness or health,
May you say I gave you faith
How absolutely beautiful is that? But it truly is just one of the many great songs you can enjoy on this album. I've often said there tend to be two categories that Christian music most often falls into. There are those albums that make you want to shout for joy, dance and sing praises to God. Then there are those who make you want to stop, listen to the words and just find peace in God's presence as you worship. For me, this album was certainly the later.

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


Ready to experience it for yourself? Open Hands is available to purchase now.

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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Gospel of Mark on DVD TODAY {+ a Giveaway} #TheGospelOfMark #RWM #ad

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

When I'm reading, my imagination is always at work. I start to picture the characters in my head... how do they look, how do they sound, what does the scene look like? Oftentimes, I've found that it's like watching a movie play out in my own head. It truly is one of those things that I absolutely love about reading a good book.

But if I were to be honest, when I read my Bible I don't necessarily have that visual. We are so removed from these days of the past, that I find it hard to picture what these places and these people might have looked like. And when I struggle to visualize, I also struggle to remember what I've read. Those images I've created help me to fully understand and recall the stories at hand.

So, when I heard about the upcoming film- The Gospel of Mark- I was intrigued:

Following last year’s The Gospel of John comes the second installment in the renowned Gospel film series, The Gospel of Mark, arriving on DVD at Walmart, Digital HD and On Demand March 14 from Lionsgate. Just in time for Easter, the second book of The New Testament comes to life for the first time with a truly unique, word-for-word adaptation that uses the Gospel narrative as its script. Shot on location in Morocco with consultation from expert theologians and biblical scholars and produced by the Lumo Project, the film was given the Dove Faith Friendly Seal for 12+. The Gospel of Mark DVD is packed with behind-the-scenes bonus features and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

According to The Gospel of Mark, Jesus is a heroic man of action, an exorcist, healer, and miracle worker — the Son of God who keeps his identity secret. This critically acclaimed, epic production — five years in the making — is based on the latest theological, historical, and archaeological research, and offers an unforgettable, highly authentic telling of the Jesus story — ending with the empty tomb, a promise to meet again in Galilee, and Jesus’s instructions to spread the good news of the resurrection.

To be entirely honest, I'd completely missed last year's The Gospel of John. I hadn't watched it, or even heard of it. But if you haven't seen it, you won't be lost. Much like the books in the Bible, they each stand on their own... though if you're like me, you might feel inspired to check it out too.

But let's get to the movie. Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of 'Bible movies'. Honestly, they can be a little cheesy... not to mention boring. It's not the content, that's just how I feel about many historical movies in general. But I actually found this one really intriguing. Unlike other Bible retelling films, this one doesn't have dialogue directly from the characters but instead we hear a narrator telling the Gospel of Mark straight from the Bible. We see it acted out in the background of course, but the words are straight from the source. I love knowing that nothing is getting lost in the interpretation, because I can find these same words on the pages. Not to say that this is or should be a replacement for Bible reading, but it is a great companion to help us bring the pages to life, perhaps even inspire someone to pick up their Bible for the first time.

I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it, my 10 year old was excited about it too, and I loved that it was okay for him to watch! Those movies that we can watch together are few and far between.

The Gospel of Mark is available on DVD at Walmart, Digital HD and On Demand TODAY, March 14. You can find out more and connect at the links below:

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

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Moms, Take Care of YOU with Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® {A #MomsMeet Review}

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Let's get real for a moment and talk about our health!

Do you ever just feel... blah? I know I do, and for good reasoning. As moms, we take a lot onto our plates. No, not our actual plates, but those metaphorical ones that we are constantly juggling. We're constantly on the move, taking care of children, taking care of the home, taking care of our husbands... taking care of everyone but ourselves. All the running (and if you're like me, worrying) can seriously take its toll on your body... but what can we do to improve our health?

The addition of a probiotic can help!

You've probably heard people talk about probiotics in the past, but...what are they?

Per WebMD, probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. 
When you lose "good" bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them. They can help balance your "good" and "bad" bacteria to keep your body working like it should.

Now, we know what they are, but who needs them? What conditions can the aid in?

We mostly think of conditions of the stomach when we think of probiotics--- irritable bowel, diarrhea, issues stemming from use of antibiotics. But these bad bacterias in our body can cause other issues such as:

  • Acne, Eczema, Skin and Foot Problems
  • Allergies and Chronic Food Sensitivities (such as Lactose Intolerance)
  • Bad Breath and Gum Disease
  • Chronic / Unexplained Fatigue
  • Chronic Yeast problems; Candida Albican overgrowth
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Faulty digestion / Acid Reflux Disease
  • Frequent colds, flu, and infections
  • Frequent constipation and diarrhea
  • Joint pain or inflammation
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Poor sleep patterns / nightmares
  • Extreme menstrual or menopausal symptoms

Now, that we know what they are and who they might benefit--- which probiotics should we try?

There are many great products on the market but not all products are created equal. Today, I'm excited to introduce you to the award-winning Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®.
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® is an all-natural, SUPERIOR PRO-BIOTIC developed to support digestive comfort, nutrient absorption and a healthy immune system. Unlike most other probiotic products, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are not cultured or grown in a laboratory. Ingredients such as mountain spring water, fruits, and vegetables are fermented for three years with 12 distinctive probiotic strains. This rich culture medium (PRE-BIOTICS) is then encapsulated along with the probiotics that have grown together over the three-year period, and the resulting nutrients from this fermentation process (POST-BIOTICS). This allows the supplements to deliver viable probiotics and that encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria.

But the real question I know that you want to know is--- does it work? 

I was given the chance to try out these great probiotics (and more), and I have to say that yes, I did see some improvement. I'm not saying that it was a miracle cure for everything that ailed me. Many of my health issues have another known cause, but I did find some relief, and that is definitely something! In combination with a healthy diet, this truly can make a difference in how we feel in our day to day. And as moms, we need that. We need to do this simple little thing that will help us to feel better not just for ourselves, but for our children too.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® might be what they are best know for, but they also offer more great products worth checking out too for even better overall health, inside and out. 

Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Living Oils offers a vegan alternative to fish oil. Supplements contain eight natural plant and seed oils that are coldpressed, extracted, and prepared to provide plant-based essential healthy fats.
Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis PLUS fuses antioxidants with immune supporting components that support immune health, digestive function, and antioxidant support. Supplements contain Brazilian green propolis, flax oil Omega-3, prebiotic and probiotic support, and antioxidants vitamin E and astaxanthin. This vegetarian certified supplement supports joint comfort, immune support, healthy nervous system function, cardiovascular wellness, and overall digestive health.
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic Kampuku Beauty Bar nourishes skin by maintaining appropriate surface dermal pH and the appearance and integrity of collagen fibers. The beauty bar promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation, hydrates and replenishes the skin, and supports the skin’s healthy barrier function. With 14 natural plant extracts, Kampuku provides chemical-free moisturizing, probiotic support, and natural deodorant benefits. This gentle but effective beauty bar is suitable for daily use on all skin types, especially very sensitive skin.

Ready to start taking the steps to better care for you? You can learn more about 
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® and connect at the links below:



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Snack Healthier with Once Again Nut Butters {A #MomsMeet Review}

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

There is nothing that beats the comfort of a good ol' fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich, is there? It's perhaps one of the easiest things in the world to prepare and it just tastes great. I cannot imagine never being able to have another in my life. But with so many food allergies, special dietary and healthy eating needs these days, that for many is reality.

Thankfully, there are other options! Once Again Nut Butters is a great source for these. This employee owned company has been manufacturing nut butters, seed butters, and honeys since 1976. They offer a variety of products that are all gluten free certified, non GMO verified, certified organic, vegan, and kosher. They also follow Fair Trade and Sustainability standards for their farm partners, suppliers, and prices.

Sounds great, right? I had to try them for myself, so I was thrilled to be given the chance to receive 4 varieties to share:

  • Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter is made by roasting organically grown sunflower seeds. The seeds are milled smooth with sugar and salt added to create a delicious sunflower seed butter.

    Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Sugar Cane and Salt
    Gluten Free Certified, Non GMO Verified, Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher, Paleo
  • Once Again Peanut Butter uses organic peanuts that are dry roasted and milled. Oil separation occurs naturally. To prevent, stir and refrigerate or freeze.

    Ingredients: Organic Peanuts
    Gluten Free Certified, Non GMO Verified, Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher

  • Once Again Almond Butter uses only the finest organic almonds available. They are dry roasted and milled with nothing else added to produce delicious organic almond butter

    Ingredients: Organic Almonds
    Gluten Free Certified, Non GMO Verified, Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher, Paleo
  • Once Again Cashew Butter uses only the finest organically grown cashews to create a super creamy organic cashew butter. 5%-8% expeller-pressed organic sunflower oil is added to enhance the spreadability of this butter.

    Ingredients: Organic Cashews and Organic Sunflower Oil
    Gluten Free Certified, Non GMO Verified, Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher, Paleo

First up, we had to stick with the classic- peanut butter. Now, if you've never used a natural peanut butter before, you might notice it looks a little bit different than your more mainstream peanut butters. Don't let the consistency and the look scare you away. It was every bit as delicious! We could not get enough. Paired with our favorite jelly on a PB&J or in a classic peanut butter cookie, we could not get enough!

But for a little variety we had to give the others a chance too! All of them were fantastic, but our favorite had to be the almond butter. While it worked great as a substitute for peanut butter, we also loved it as dip. Pretzels, graham crackers, celery sticks... so many delicious combinations! We could not get enough. They make a great healthy snack, and allow you to mix it up from plain ol' classic peanut butter too.

They also make a great lunchbox pick too. Many schools now have a no nut policy due to severe peanut allergies within the school. We don't want to be that parent that causes harm to another child, right? But for those eaters who love they peanut butter and little else, we can substitute with a sunflower seed butter that is school safe and tastes great!

Ready to learn more or learn where you can purchase some yourself? Connect at the links below:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Finding Balance in Motherhood {Tightropes and Teeter Totters Book Review}

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

As a child, I remember loving to play on the teeter totter. 

Up and down, up and down we would go without a care in the world. Even when we were down, we knew that in just moments we would be heading towards the sky once again. But my favorite part, oh my favorite, that place in the middle. You know what I mean, right? When you positioned yourself just right, a little to the front, a little to the back, and threw those legs up to see if you could balance. 

Life and motherhood is a lot like that isn't it? There are days when we are at the very top, flying high. There are days when we are at our lowest, struggling to make it back to the top. And mostly there are those times in the middle when we are just trying to keep everything balanced. The only difference? That teeter totter we played on as a child was a lot more fun! Balancing adult responsibilities? Yeah, not as much. Most days we're just doing what we can to keep one side from crashing down. 

Does this sounds like you too? If so, I have the perfect new book for you- Lisa Penninton's 'Tightropes and Teeter Totters':

Do you wonder if you will ever find balance?
Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:

-Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods
-Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around
-Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities
-Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude
-Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God's purpose.

For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.

I don't know about you, but I needed this book! It seems like every time I turn around, I've got something else added to my plate. Trying to balance the needs of my husband, the needs of my kids, the commitments I've made to my church, blog work, photography work, housework. Some days it comes easy, and other days you just feel like giving up. How are we supposed to do all of this!?

As mothers, we take a lot upon our shoulders and if we're not careful we will find ourselves off balance, cranky and quite honestly, no fun to be around. 'Tightropes and Teeter Totters' can help us find that balance with practical and entertaining tips, as well as biblical truths. It will also serve as a great reminder that no matter how put together and balanced all the other moms seem to have it, we truly are not alone in feeling like we're high on that rope and one tiny breath could knock us right over.

'Tightropes and Teeter Totters' in available to purchase now. Learn more and purchase a copy.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fill Your Basket with Little Bunny Books {An Easter Gift Guide Review + Giveaway}

**I have received this book from WorthyKids/Ideals for free in exchange for an honest review.
Is there a book in your home that your little one wants to read over and over again... so much that long before they have learned to read, they've started to memorize it?

Until recently, we had never really found that for my daughter. Don't get me wrong, she had books she enjoyed, but none that she had to read over and over again. That is, not until just a few weeks ago when a few new board books about a little bunny and the lessons he was learning arrived on our doorstep...

 This March, WorthyKids/Ideals will expand its roster of board books with the release of a new series featuring a playful bunny. Aimed at children ages 2 to 5, No, No, Bunny and Uh-Oh, Bunny provide a friendly setting where children can learn gentle life lessons about positive and negative behavior.

In No, No, Bunny (March 7, 2017; ISBN 9780824916510; $7.99; 16 pp), Little Bunny has been taking things that don’t belong to him: pennies from Mama’s purse, a friend’s toy car, and a candy bar from the store. Taking everything seemed like a good decision at the time, but now Little Bunny feels sad. He confesses to his Mama and returns the items to their owners, learning that doing what’s right is always best.

Uh-Oh, Bunny (March 7, 2017; ISBN 9780824916503; $7.99; 16 pp) finds Little Bunny being a bit careless: drawing on walls, knocking over a plant, tearing pages from a book. When Mama asks him about the messes, Little Bunny chooses to be honest, which makes Mama happy. With Mama’s help, Little Bunny cleans up each mess. Preschoolers will learn, in a gentle, non-didactic way, that telling the truth is always best.

Remember I mentioned that my daughter wanted to read these over and over again? Thankfully, they are short books, with simple words so that we can with no problems. They aren't in depth stories, but instead reach kids on their own level with simple words and simple illustrations that they can understand and relate to. Though my daughter loved them both, I would say Uh-Oh Bunny was the favorite. With each turn of the page we found Little Bunny getting into some trouble--- drawing on walls or accidents happening left and right. And each page was followed by a simple "uh-oh bunny". After just a few times through, I found I would read the first page and my three year old would finish with "uh oh bunny", she'd picked up the pattern and loved feeling as though she was reading herself. Who wouldn't want to encourage an enthusiasm for reading at a young age?

Aside from being a really cute story, it was also a really good message. In the end Little Bunny is confronted about these mistakes made throughout the book, and each time rather than taking the easy way out, he tells the truth and does the right thing. What a great lesson to teach our children! Each book is also closed with a scripture relating to that message, which is a really fun and relate-able way to introduce children to the Bible.

This book has quickly become a favorite in our home, and I hope to see more books being added in the future! If you're looking for a fun Easter basket addition for your toddler or preschooler, these Little Bunny books are ideal.

Pick up your copies and learn more at the links below:

Uh-OhBunny: Amazon & Barnes & Noble
No, No, Bunny: Amazon) & Barnes & Noble
Company website: www.idealsbooks.com

And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a copy of both book. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Celebrate National Reading Month with National Geographic Kids Leveled Readers {A #MomsMeet Review}

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Did you know that March is National Reading Month?

The month kicked off March 2, with Read Across America Day a day that encouraged kids and adults alike to celebrate by unplugging and picking up a great book. As an avid reader, I love this! I remember loving books as a child and that is something that I want to inspire in my own children. I want them to develop a love of books and reading at a young age.

But how do we do that?

For some kids, like myself and my son, that love of reading comes rather naturally, but for many others, we need to nudge them along a little bit. We need to find just the right books to grab their attention. So, what should we look for in a great kids' book?

  • Eye-catching Illustrations. They say never judge a book by its cover, but for kids for whom reading doesn't come naturally- they need something to draw them in!
  • Topics of Interest. If your child loves animals, get them books about animals. If they love space, go with books about space. 
  • Look for Fun. Jokes, silly stories, etc... let kids know that reading doesn't have to be boring!
  • Keep At Their Level. Nothing could be more discouraging that trying to push a kiddo into a book they are not yet ready for. Find books that are ideal for their reading level instead.
  • Make It Interactive. Don't just read, bring books to life! Find books with fun challenges that help kids to learn by doing.

One such type of books we can always count on to provide all of this?

National Geographic Kids Leveled Readers!

National Geographic Kids are not just a favorite in my home, but in homes everywhere. In fact, they are the leader in nonfiction children's publishing! The Leved Readers were developed with experts in literacy education, with that knowledge that informational reading is crucial to children's success in school and beyond. 

As we have come to expect from all things National Geographic, they are filled with beautiful, vibrant photos, bold and bright text and colorful boxes with important information. Not only does it make reading all the more exciting, but visual stimulation can actually adds to reading comprehension, so your child understand and remembers more of what they have read. They are also filled with fun facts that appeal to a child's natural curiosity, jokes to keep kids laughing and interactive activities to draw them in. And that interaction doesn't stop at the last page. 
Kids can interact even more with the books through the National Geographic Kids Super Readers website, where they can download free posters, sticker sheets, and other prizes and activities as they chart their own reading accomplishments.

But most importantly... kids truly love them! No matter where they are in their reading ability, there is a leveled reader to meet them where they are. Kids will be learning, and enjoying it as they do! What could be better than that?

Want to learn more? You can connect with National Geographic Kids at the links below:


Do you have a little reader in your home? What tips do you have to inspire reading? How can National Geographic Kids Leveled Readers help?