A Modern Day Fairy Tale: October 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stroller Shadez Couture + $100 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the Stroller Shadez Couture, PLUS $100 Target gift card giveaway! These beautiful covers are sold for $44.99-$49.99, making this prize package worth $149.99!
Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades were created by a mom for moms! Since infant and children's skin is extremely sensitive and sun burns can occur within minutes in direct sunlight, regardless of temperature, these shades are useful and necessary in all types of seasons and weather. Because they fit on both strollers and infant car seat carriers, only one product is needed as your child grows. They have been tested to be compatible with nearly all brands of infant carriers, strollers, and joggers, and the full list of compatible brands can be found on Stroller Shadez Couture's product info page. Here is a little more information on the shade shades from the Stroller Shadez Couture website:
Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades are a fashionable mesh framed sun shade used on strollers and infant carriers that offers front and side protection from the sun's piercing rays. All Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades are engineered to fit on most strollers and infant carriers, so as your child transitions from an infant carrier to a stroller, the same sun shade can be used. Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades protects your child from the heat and glare of the sun. While at the same time keeping your child cool, safe and comfortable. Stroller Shadez Couture shades allow you to extend the shade forward or backward so it covers the right amount of sun depending on the time of day and angle of the sun. It also provides your new born infant with immediate privacy when needed. Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades are spot cleanable, light weight and can easily be attached to most strollers and infant carriers. Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades can quickly be unbuckled, twisted and placed in its convenient carrying case within seconds. The carrying case can be placed in your diaper bag, purse or stroller basket for easy access when needed. Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades are also registered with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), our product also complies with all federal requirements. The protection of your child is our greatest concern. All components on our sun shades have been tested and passed lead content testing by a CPSC- accepted laboratory. In addition, Stroller Shadez Couture sun shades are sewn and assembled in the USA. Now parents can enjoy walks, strolls and outings to the beach, zoo and amusement parks while protecting their children from the sun's harmful rays. There is no longer a need to use a blanket to shield your child. Now there is Stroller Shadez Couture!
Stroller Shadez Couture Camille, from Viva Veltoro, recently had the opportunity to review the Shabby Chic shade cover, and was impressed with the excellent quality and structure of her new cover. Check out the full review to see how easy it is to attach these fun covers onto your infant car seat and stroller! You can purchase Stroller Shadez Couture covers on their website, PLUS we've got a discount code! Use coupon code Save10Today for 10% off!

Stroller Shadez Couture will have your baby covered (literally!), but they also want to give away a $100 Target Gift Card so you can pick up those other baby necessities!
Open to the US only, ages 18 and up. Ends 11/11/14 at 11:59 PM EST. Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and generously sponsored by Stroller Shadez Couture. The participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact vivaveltoro(at)gmail.com with questions about this giveaway. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Google. Void where prohibited.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Surviving Daylight Savings Time: Sleep Tips with Pampers (Plus a Giveaway & Twitter Party) #DDDivas #PampersSleepChat #sponsored

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Ah, it's nearly that time of year again- Daylight Savings Time. As adults, even knowing about the time change, it takes a bit for our bodies to catch up, doesn't it? I know it certainly does for me. So it's no wonder that many moms find themselves stressing over how this change will affect their little one's sleep patterns.  How will baby adjust to the time change? Will that mean an earlier wake up time for both little ones and their parents? As moms, we know just how important sleep is to a child's development, health and mood.

Yes, this can certainly be a stressful time for parents, but don't worry too much. Follow these few quick tips to help your little ones adjust.

  • Create a Calming Sleep Environment/Routine. If you don't already have a great calm down routine, now is a great time to start. A warm bath, a bedtime story or lullabies, cuddles with mommy, aromatherapy (lavender is fantastic), or even a little good night massage. Different methods work for different children, so find what works for your little ones and stick with it. It's also a good idea to set a time 30-60 minutes or so before sleep time to make sure all video games, electronic devices, etc are turned off...this certainly helps my oldest settle down! 
  • Prepare them early. For older children, that might mean talking with them about the upcoming time change. Create a little story to read with them so they know what to expect. Of course, for the littlest ones, this won't make much difference...so what do you do? Rather than springing the time change on them on that day, make it a bit more gradual. Each day on the week (or two) leading up to the time change, start your bedtime routine just a little earlier. 5-10 minutes the first day, 15-20 minutes the next. By making this much more subtle change over several days, rather than one major change at once, it makes it a little easier to adjust.
  • Stay Calm. I know, I know...easier said than done...but if you're stressed about the time change, your little ones will know, and it will show in their sleep. Remember, there is bound to be a bit of a transitional period, but it's only temporary. Soon your little one's sleep will adjust to their new schedule, so don't stress too much!
  • Keep Them Comfortable. If baby is uncomfortable, sleep is not going to come easy. Find a nightgown or set of pajamas that your little one loves and that is appropriate for the weather. Use sleepsacks when necessary to keep little ones warmer in the winter months...and of course, most importantly, make sure their diaper is dry! A 2013 survey conducted by Pampers found that nearly a quarter (24%) of mothers felt that this was the number one most important factor in allowing their little ones to get a good night sleep. For this reason, Pampers is committed to keeping baby dry throughout all parts of their day: play, love and sleep. Through extensive research, they found that babies were more likely to wake up when wet. Unlike other diapers that feature only two layers, Pampers offers THREE absorbent layers providing up to 12 hours of overnight protection. It is their hope to minimize sleep sleep disruptions so that all little ones (and their parents) get the sleep they deserve.

Want to get more great sleep tips and enter to win some great sleep prizes? Join the Pampers Sleep Chat Twitter Party:

The Twitter Party will take place on Wednesday October 29th at 9pm EST.
Join in and RSVP:
 To participate, follow your hosts @DoubleDutyDivas, @BridgetteLA, @CeceliaMecca @AngieKcom @WhatMommiesNeed @RamblingChick, and our sponsor @Pampers.
 Twitter Party Prizes Include:
·         Prize 1 - Twinkles Nightlight in Blue, 148 ct of Pampers diapers and a pack of wipes.
·         Prize 2 - Pottery Barn plush security blanket, $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, a pack of Pampers diapers and wipes.
·         Prize 3 - A gift card to The $125 Children's Place for pajamas, a pack of Pampers diapers/wipes
·         Prize 4 - A Kindle Fire so parents can purchase baby bedtime books, an $100 Amazon gift card to purchase the e-books, a pack of Pampers diapers and wipes.
 You can also stay up to date with ALL the latest Pampers news at the links below:

Visit the Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.
And to help you give YOUR little ones a good night's rest, Pampers is offering over very lucky reader a free package of diapers AND wipes too! (Prize will come as FREE product coupons, so you can choose the size you need). 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.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Christian Music That ROCKS {A Manic Drive VIP CD Review & Giveaway} #manicdrive

**Product received for review.

When you think Christian music, what comes to mind?

Do you think of those classic hymnals we all grew up singing in church? I know as teenager, I certainly did. Now, I have come to appreciate at enjoy those old hymns as an adult, but as a teenager I wanted something a little more energetic and fun. Christian music did not seem all that appealing. I know I am not alone in my pre-judgement either. So many hear those words and are automatically seeking the door.

That all changed for me when I went to church camp the summer after my Freshman year of high school and was introduced to the world of contemporary Christian music. I learned that not only could Christian music be fun...but that there is literally something for everyone, regardless on their musical preferences. Including rock!

I still love Christian rock as an adult, and find that it truly is the perfect solution to get younger generations more interested in Christian music...it certainly did the trick for me. So I was thrilled to be given the chance to review the new album from Canadian Christian Rock group, Manic Drive- VIP.

New to Manic Drive? Here's a bit about the band:

Manic Drive has been widely known as a Canadian band who always delivers a great show, but over the past few years and project releases, they have added to their extensive touring of Canadian and US markets multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on CHR & Christian Rock Radio. Manic Drive is clearly very intentional about reaching their generation and inspiring them to pursue a deeper walk with Christ and to get involved in changing the world they are inheriting. And they are uniquely equipped to do so. The band members, all in their early-mid twenties, have made sacrifices to pursue God’s call on their lives. Their life experience, spiritual maturity and ministry have opened doors to speak into the lives of their own generation and that is perhaps the most defining characteristic of this group of guys.

Listening to the album, it would come as no surprise that these guys would put on a great show. The songs are fun and upbeat. Personally I found it to be a great album to keep me motivated during my day to day chores or driving in my car. It was something I could listen to without worry of my children hearing lyrics they should not, but while still being fun for them too. I don't believe there was a song on the album I did not enjoy (though the techno sounding opening of Electric had me a little apprehensive in the beginning). I'm not sure I really have chosen a favorite just yet, but I Hide You Seek seemed to stick with my memory!!

If you're looking for a great new Christian rock album to add to your collection, VIP is certainly one to consider. Learn more and keep up with the band at the links below:

Official Website- http://www.manicdrive.com/
Official Twitter-  http://www.twitter.com/manicdrive
And one very lucky reader is going to get the chance to win a copy for themselves. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"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 the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finley Grace, 14 Months.

As much as I try to fool myself out of believing that Miss Finley is no longer an infant but a toddler, reality is sinking in more and more as she continues to learn and grow each and every day. At 14 months old, our girl has continued to entertain and amaze us at how quickly she is learning. Here's a look at where she's at this month:

  • We'd moved her into 24 month clothes a bit early last month (to avoid buying more fall clothes that she would outgrow before then end of the season), and this month has certainly proved that was a good plan she has started to outgrow some of the 18 months she had left! So, I think it's safe tto say she's officially more in 24 months/2T clothing now! Whoah!
  • Her vocabulary is expanding all the time. Granted many words sound the same at this point, the intention is clear. For example, 'mimi' is typically milk...but could also mean Minnie Mouse at times, when said while holding, pointing to or wearing Minnie! 'Nini' means nose and is generally accompanied with a finger on or in her nose...not to be confused with 'nana' which means Anna or 'nananana' which means Frozen (from the opening song). 'Bebe' when pointing to a tummy means belly/belly button or baby when playing dolls. Mama, dada and bubba have now become mommy, daddy and bubby, though she used both phrases. She says 'hi' and 'bye'. Perhaps my favorite of her new words is 'dini', which means Disney. Adorable.
  • She loves singing along to Frozen songs (generally meaning 'nananana' to the general tune of each song, though there are points in some songs where she's a little more accurate- such as the 'tick toc' in Do You Want to Build A Snowman?. 
  • In addition to the 6 teeth she already had, she has two more making their way through. She has also recently discovered the art of taking off her teething necklace. The combination of the two has been quite interesting, to say the least.
  • She has become quite the little climber! If there is a way to climb something, she WILL find it. 
  • She loves all things pretty and girly- princesses, sparkles, shoes, jewelry, headbands...you name it! We like to give her options for clothing and have found she almost always gravitates towards the most frilly option (unless it features a Disney character, of course!).
  • Did I mention Disney? She LOVES it! Of course Frozen is #1, but she loves Princesses in general, as well as Minnie Mouse and The Muppets.
  • She also really enjoys Veggie Tales and Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • She loves shoes. I know I've said this already, but it's worth mentioning twice. She likes putting people's shows on them, wearing her own shoes and even putting things in shoes. You have to watch your boots around here lately. 
  • Her favorite game is 'Where'd Finnie Go?'...her version of peeek-a-boo, covering her face with whatever is handy. He also loves doing the motions for itsy bitsy spider and pat-a-cake. 
  • She also loves looking at books. Her favorites are of course her Frozen books, but she'll 'read' anything...from instruction manuals to Bubby's Captain Underpants.
  • She loves food. Her favorites are still probably black beans- she goes CRAZY for them! Adorable. She also loves munching on carrots and apples. Guacamole is a huge hit as well. Unfortunately, she cannot eat anything with wheat/gluten as it makes her eczema horrible. No fun!
Overall, Miss Finley is the happiest, sweetest little girl we could ever ask for. I so love watching her develop her own interests (and love even more how drawn she naturally is to all things girly) and her sweet, loving personality develop as well. She's growing much to quickly but I cannot wait to see what she learns next!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Gift for the Little Gamer: Petz Beach 3DS Game Review { #PetzBeach #CleverGirls #sp}

When it comes to my son's holiday list this year, he is all about the video games! Like many boys (and girls) his age, he would play all day if given the opportunity. So as a mom, I am always on the lookout for kid-friendly game options...something that I can feel comfortable with my son playing- no violence, language, etc. One such game option is Petz Beach for the Nintendo 3DS.

This popular franchise has sold over 23 million copies worldwide and is back and better than ever just in time for the holidays! Players can embark on the ultimate adventure with Petz Beach- caring for animals and completing quests to expand their village and connect. Sounds pretty great, right? I thought so too, and was thrilled to receive a copy for my son to try out for himself. Let's take a look a what makes the game so great:

Tons of Variety. Petz Beach offers a wide variety of playing options. From dogs and cats to dolphins and whales, there are plenty of animals to choose from- more than 50 as a matter of fact! Every child will find an adventure to suit their tastes, The game environment changes with each season so they can have fresh adventures all year long. With all the variety, it certainly keeps kids short attention
spans going and keeps the game from getting boring!

The Game Expands. The more you play, explore and meet new friends, the more the game grows. When you help those new friends, the game expands further. If the variety didn't keep the game interesting, this certainly will!

It's educational.Video games and educational are not terms usually found in the same statement, are they? But this game certainly is both. Petz Beach has actually partnered with Encyclopedia Britannica  so not only will kids have fun taking care of their pets and completing their mission, but they will actually learn real facts about animals, plants and insects. I must say this is perhaps my favorite part of the game. My son has actually been very into animal science lately as well, so this is great for him.

It's FUN! Of course, for the kids, this is the most important factor isn't it? My son enjoyed exploring the island. I'm not much of a video game player myself, but found the game to be super cute and appropriate for kids of all ages. The game is a little slower moving (less action packed) than some other games on the market, but I think that's actually a great thing, and a welcome change in my son's game collection...and one he didn't seem to mind.

Overall, this is a fantastic game for kids and one your child will sure to have hours of fun playing. It's perfect for both the video game addicts like my son, or those who are more casual gamers as well. It is certainly a great addition to the holiday list for the little gamer in your life. And if you think they'll love this one, be sure to check out Petz Countryside- the same great adventure with a whole new environment. You can learn more and purchase at Amazon.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cloth on a Budget: Selling Your Used Cloth

Selling your used diapers can be a great way to make back a bit of your investment and make cloth diapering even more affordable. You can sell those that you've tried and didn't work as well to purchase those that do...or to clear out your stash once baby is out of diapers. This is certainly one of the great advantages of using cloth...who wants to buy a used disposable!? Personally, I prefer to sell locally- either via an online yard sale type site, Craigslist or my local cloth diaper store. I'm lucky enough to be in a larger area where I've never had any troubles selling my used cloth...but many are not in that position and instead have to sell them online. This is still a great way to destash your old diapers, but is not without its risks.

A few weeks ago, I shared some tips for buying cloth diapers used online. Most of these steps were to insure that you knew exactly what you were getting and avoid getting scammed. Sadly, there are all too many scammers out there, and it's not just the buyers getting taken. Sellers are not safe from scammers either.So, how does the SELLER manage to get scammed? The most common ways I've heard are either claiming the item was received not as described...or not received at all. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to protect yourself as the seller as well:

Give Detailed Descriptions & Photos.
For buyers, its important to ask questions, but for the seller it's important to be forthcoming with every last detail of the diaper(s) you are selling. Is there is small, barely there stain, a slight stretch in the elastics? Anything that can be seen as a flaw, make notice of...with pictures ideally. Describe the quality to the best of your ability. It's better to over describe than risk someone claiming item was not as described. Many groups ask that posts be removed once an item is sold, if this is the case, consider taking screenshots before deleting. Also be certain to include the full description in your invoice.

Always Use Paypal.
Paypal is there to protect buyers and sellers, so be sure to use it! If seller offers to mail a check, send via Western Union, etc...just say no. You are likely to be out your money and your product.

No Money, No Shipping.
Always make sure that the payment has cleared before heading to the post office. Unfortunately, if you ship first before payment is received, there is really no way to get your money if they decide not to pay. Of course we want to believe the best in people, but unfortunately, that's not always the case.

Get Tracking.
As I said, one of the common scams on the seller is for the buyer to claim the package was never received...if you include tracking, this will let you know exactly where your package is going and provide proof that you did in fact ship. Of course, sometimes accidents truly do happen and packages are lost in the mail, so purchasing insurance is a good idea as well.

Keep Track of Everything.
Hold on to your correspondence with the buyer, take screenshots, keep the photos of the product before shipping, etc. Chances are your transaction will go smoothly with no issues at all, but on that chance that something goes wrong, this will help to prove that you were in the right and protect your from scammers.

Have YOU sold cloth diapers online? What tips and tricks do YOU have to share?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Place To Call Our Home {A Dayspring Review & Giveaway}

**Product received for review.

In our nearly eight years of marriage, my little family has lived in five different homes. FIVE! Getting to experience new and exciting places was a fun part of the military life, but it was also very tough. It's hard to put down roots and truly call somewhere home when you never know when the next change of duty station will come along. Still, it was a sacrifice that we made.

Earlier this year when my husband learned that after 11 years of service he would not be staying in the Marine Corps as he'd planned, the news certainly came with a mix of emotions. Of course, we were sad to be saying goodbye to the life that had truly been an amazing blessing for us and scared of what the future would bring. Still, there was certainly one silver lining we could see...

Finally, we could put down roots. We could stop renting and (once things are settled of course) buy a home of our own. We could stop paying rent and really, truly settle into the home where are children will grow up. As scary as our future still might be at the moment, it is this thought that keeps us moving forward. I look forward to finding that forever home and making it 100% ours, 100% unique.

So, when I saw the Letterpress collection from Dayspring, I knew that it could be the perfect addition when that home comes along. A way to personalize that home and make it our own. Unlike other inspirational type word art pieces that we've seen, this collection allows US to choose the words that have meaning to us. Words are pretty powerful aren't they? I wanted it to be the perfect reflection of us. So, what word would we choose? I had a few ideas...

Home? Family? Faith? Strength? All were great words and meant a lot to our family. This would be the place we called home, where we raised our family and it was our faith in God's plan for us that has kept giving us the strength to get there. Still, all of those words seemed generic...words we could find anywhere and in any house. And so the answer seemed quite clear...

Our last name. There was no better way to say that THIS will be our home...100% OURS! This will be where our memories our made and our lives are lived. It truly was the perfect word to make that house a home.

For now, it sits and waits for the forever home...Will it be on the wall- held together easily by the handy connecting clips and surrounding by family photos? Will it be on the mantel of a stunning fireplace where we will gather each Christmas morning? Time will only tell, but wherever it ends up, we know it will be exactly where God intends us to be and these blocks will help us tell OUR story!

Want to see more from the Letter Press collection or create your own word? Follow the links below:

Shop the Collection.
Like Dayspring on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And one very lucky reader will have the chance to win a $50 Dayspring gift code. You can use it on your word, or on many of the other great gifts and home decor available! 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.

How would you use Letter Press blocks from Dayspring to tell YOUR story?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Color Your Way Through The Bible: A What's in the Bible? Coloring Book Review & Giveaway {+FREE Printables!}

**Product received for review. Post contains affiliate links.

A few weeks ago, I shared a fun DVD Series called 'Buck Denver Asks What's In The Bible?'. In case you missed it, this fun series by Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer takes a fun, but very informational look through the Bible...sharing the history of the books and helping kids to better understand its words. Unlike Veggie Tales which tends to put more focus on the lessons rather than historical accuracy, this series truly tries to share the facts (with some silliness thrown in of course!). I absolutely loved the series, so when I heard there was an accompanying coloring book, I was thrilled to have the chance to receive a copy to review.

The coloring book features all the great characters and stories available in the series, making it the perfect compliment to your bible lessons. All 200 pages are reproduce-able. Personally, we are using our copy at home, so this makes no difference to us, but because this series is a great resource for Sunday school, this is a great feature for those that use it as such. Your little one (or students) can color along as they watch...making learning about the bible even more fun! They will love the fun images and you'll love that they're learning something important.

Personally my favorite pages were those with the bible verses. I love the idea of having your little ones color these pages and having them framed in their play areas/bedrooms. Not only is it an adorable piece of artwork by them, but can also serve as a great reminder for them as they go through their day.

Whether you plan to use at home or in church, this coloring book is ideal. Use it in addition to the DVD series for a complete bible lesson, or on its own for some super fun and inspirational coloring pages. It is a great addition to your collection!

Want to try for yourself? Enjoy this FREE printable coloring page featuring one of my personal favorite verses (pictured above)... or download more here.

Find the DVD series, coloring book and much more at Family Christian Stores. See everything they have to offer and connect at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
Follow on Tumblr: http://family-christian.tumblr.com 
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

You can also follow What's in The Bible? at the links below:

And one very lucky reader will win a $10 Gift Certificate ro Family Christian! You can buy this fun coloring book, the accompanying DVDs or whatever else you like! (Psst, the Veggie Tales Christmas combo packs are $10!!) 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.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Treat Yourself with Initials Inc {A #TreatYourself Giveaway}

We’re just a couple of weeks away from Halloween and there’s one thing that’s on everyone’s mind… treats! Welcome to the Treat Yourself Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network! In this Hop, you’ll find lots of special treats to keep your entering giveaways until it’s time to go out and gather your own, so be sure to hop around to all the giveaways in the Hop Linky below and don’t miss the AMAZING Grand Prize Giveaway - from Step2!

A huge thanks to Initials, Inc Independent Consultant, Mandy Mills for sponsoring today's giveaway.

When you think treating yourself, what do you think of? For some it might be a dinner out and a fancy dessert. Maybe a new look or a massage...or maybe a little retail therapy? Oh yes, retail therapy tends to be my treat of choice...and generally I find that when I shop for myself, my purchases come from one of two categories home or fashion. So, today I'm excited to feature a company that features products for both- Initials, Inc. with  Independent Consultant Mandy Mills.

For those unfamiliar with Initials, this is a direct sales company that offers fun personalized products like bags, home storage and even jewelry! The best part? Personalization is always free! They also offer great specials like this month's: Spend $35 and you can purchase a Townie, Soho Sling, Out & About or Day Tripper for 1/2 off!! With so many fun styles and prints to choose from, there is sure to be something to fit every need!

Personally, I love the home organization. Everyone could use a little more organization in their life, right? (And I know I tend to feel more motivated to get organized when my organization is cute!)They also feature many fun products that are ideal for holiday entertaining like the Double Dish or Party Tub! Looking for something a little more for everyday? There are lots of totes and fashion styles to choose from too!

Of course, as a direct sales company, that also means you have the chance to earn free/reduced products by hosting a party with your friends...or make money by becoming an independent consultant yourself.

You can find out more about all the great products from Intitials, Inc...or about hosting your own party or starting your own business by connecting with Mandy at the links below:

Shop Mandy's Website
Like on Facebook.

And as part of the Treat Yourself giveaway hop event, Many has offered one very lucky reader the chance to win a $25 gift certificate to shop with her! 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. So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Treat Yourself participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Support Autism with One Simple Vote

As an autism parent, wandering is perhaps one of the biggest fears we face. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no worse feeling than the panic of discovering your child has gotten out of the house. You can take all the precautions and be the most attentive mother in the world, but it takes only minutes- a quick bathroom break, preparing supper, loading the dishwasher. When you are near a body of water, this fear is even worse. This is why it is so important for kids on the spectrum be taught to swim. It truly saves lives. So, when my good friend and President-Elect of Autism Society San Diego -Cindy Facteau contacted me about a wonderful opportunity to show support to an amazing woman doing just that, I knew I had to help get the word out:

One click. One vote. One chance at $100,000 to improve the lives of all affected by autism!!!

Please take a moment to read this post, cast your vote, and share with your friends.

Tammy Anderson-Lee is the founder of Aqua Pros Swim School and the Autism Society San Diego's Surf Camp for individuals with autism. She's written a book called "Swimming With Autism," and has made it her life's work to teach people with Autism how to swim and navigate water safely. She currently sits as a director at-large on the Autism Society San Diego's board of directors, and has selflessly given her time and expertise to this organization and our community.

As many of you likely know, wandering is very common with individuals who have autism. Many times, they are also attracted to water, and this can be a recipe for tragedy in many cases, particularly when the individual cannot swim. Tammy's programs are saving lives, and to date, she has taught hundreds of persons affected by autism how to be safe in the water. This is a gift more precious than gold to our community, and Tammy is even more special to us all because she has no direct connection to Autism herself. She's just a great person with a phenomenal heart and one heck of an inspiring mission. She cares about each of our kids like they are her own...and it shows in the quality of the programs she develops.

Tammy is also a NASCAR fan, and every year, the NASCAR Foundation awards the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to one NASCAR fan who exemplifies the spirit of the foundation's philanthropic efforts. If she gets the highest number of votes, she will win $100,000 for the Autism Society San Diego, her chosen grassroots charity. The Autism Society San Diego is a 501C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all affected by autism. Their entire board is all-volunteer, and they have only one paid employee. This enables the organization to dedicate nearly 100% of donations directly to serving families and individuals through bilingual support groups in multiple locations, family recreation programs, summer camps, information/awareness and support training for local businesses and institutions that service families, grants and scholarships, and many other opportunities that families would otherwise not have access to. 

Voting is open until December 4th, and you can vote daily. Tammy is the only finalist who represents an autism organization, so we ask all of our friends and fans to please...vote for Tammy using the link below. Share with your social networks (copy and paste this description to share with the link), and vote daily. Thank you so much in advance for your support! For more information about the Autism Society San Diego and the inspiring work they're doing to make the world a better place for those affected by autism, please check out their website at www.autismsocietysandiego.org 

Thank you in advance for your support! A vote for Tammy is a vote for ALL of our families!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Autism & Halloween {Preparing Your Child}

When you have a child with autism (or other special needs), holidays of any kind can be a little nerve wracking. What can be exciting and fun for most children-like dressing up or trick or treating on Halloween- can be extremely overwhelming for our kids. Still, that doesn't mean we have to miss out on the fun! Here are a few quick tips to help prepare your child for Halloween:

Start preparing early.
Individuals on the spectrum tend to like to stick to their routines. Even something fun like Halloween that mixes it up can be a disaster waiting to happen if they aren't properly prepared. We have found that for my son, telling him well in advance about anything different in routine makes the transition a lot smoother. Visual calenders can be a great aid in this.

Write a Social Story.
Social stories are a great way to show our kiddos what to expect for just about anything in their day to day life. Halloween is no different. Share with them the dos and don'ts of Halloween- what to expect, how to trick or treat, etc. This is a great way to remind them the appropriate social behaviours and remind them that costumes are just that!

Practice, Practice, Practice.
At seven years old, my some pretty well has trick or treating down (aside from still trying to enter people's homes), but it hasn't always been that way. Perhaps the single best thing that we did for him in the early years was practicing trick or treat. He would knock and go through the whole script of trick or treating. For many kids, this hands on modeling is much more helpful than even a social story.

Try On The Costume.
We have been quite lucky that my son has never had any issues with clothing, but that is certainly not true for every child on the spectrum. If your child has issues with various fabrics/clothing, be sure to try the costume in advance and make sure they are comfortable in it. If your child won't wear a costume, that's okay too...let them go anyway!

Keep It Safe.
Many children on the spectrum- my son included- have a tendency to be runners. Halloween night in the rush of children, that can be quite scary. Many years I found holding hands to be enough, but others we opted for a stroller instead. If you have a child harness, don't be afraid to use it. Your child's safety is priority one.  We usually prefer to go out as soon as trick or treat hours begin- it's usually a little less crowded and gives us a bit more daylight as well.

Follow Your Child's Lead.
If there is a house that makes them uncomfortable, let them skip it. If they seem to be getting overwhelmed after just a few houses, take a break and try again later...or just go home. If they truly don't want to (or cannot handle) trick or treating, consider doing something different at home- treat them to a bag of their favorites, decorate to their liking, plan sensory friendly Halloween festivities!

Remember, Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for all kids, even if you have to do it a little differently, all of our children can have a safe and happy Halloween that works for them!

Do you have a child with autism or special needs? How do you prepare them for the holiday? Any tips and tricks for other moms?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Adventure Meets Technology with GoPro Cameras {#GoProatBestBuy #HolidayGiftGuide}

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. #GoProatBestBuy 

The time has come once again to start planning for the holidays...they'll be here before we know it, so what better time to start gift shopping than now? Personally, I love shopping for holiday gifts...but there are always those few people I just completely and totally am at a loss of ideas for. Among them- my husband! He's an adventurous guy and loves being outdoors and camping (things which I know nothing about) and a tech guy who loves all of the latest technology (again, things I know nothing about) and above all tends to buy most little things he wants for himself anyway! He's certainly tricky! But when I heard of the new GoPro cameras available at Best Buy, I thought they might be the perfect solution for men like my husband. Let's take a look:

·         GoPro HERO4 Black: the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.

·         GoPro HERO4 Silver: the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.

·         GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

12x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates

Sounds pretty great right? But how are the pictures? See for yourself:

Now, I love my DSLR, but let's face it...it's bulky size makes it less than ideal for lugging around on adventures like these! These fun memories are some that I certainly would not have been able to capture myself. The GoPro cameras on the other hand offer a wide variety of mounting options that truly make them ideal for the adventure seeker on your list! They can capture the memories without missing out on the experience!

For me, my husband springs to mind, but these great cameras aren't just great for men. Men, women, teens and perhaps even kids! I know my son LOVES making videos and taking photos...what I wouldn't give to see the world through his eyes for a day! With the GoPro and head mount, I CAN! How fun! The possibilities are truly endless with this unique, must have camera!!

Learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person.

Who on your list would love the GoPro cameras? What adventures would YOU capture?

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Ultimate Gift for the Ultimate Disney Fan {Disney Legacy Collection Review & Giveaway} #disneymusic #enmnetwork

I received a set of the Legacy Collection CD’s as a member of the Entertainment New Media Network. No further compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

I absolutely, positively LOVE Disney! (Shocking, right?)

From Mickey Mouse to Cinderella, Lion King to Frozen...I love them all! I love the stories, the illustrations and of course, the MUSIC! Disney movies always have the best music, don't they? In fact, I love Disney music so much, I have a whole playlist dedicated to it on my phone. Not only are they super fun, but it's something the kids and I can both enjoy in the car without worry that they may hear something on the radio I don't want them to hear. Disney music is truly the best!

So, I was thrilled to be given the chance to receive three fantastic selections from the new Disney Legacy Collection- Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty and my all time favorite The Lion King!

Now, these are no ordinary soundtracks. Not only do they feature the classic songs we all know and love from the films, but they offer and even deeper look for the hardcore Disney fans like myself. They offer a look at some of the songs that didn't make it into the film, the demos and the stories behind it all. It is the ultimate Disney soundtrack for the ultimate Disney fan! Aside from the amazing content, the artwork is absolutely stunning as well. Art is by Lorelay Bove, "a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios (“Tangled,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Wreck-It Ralph”). The illustrations, inspired by the original properties, will celebrate Disney’s rich heritage and create a unified look for the entire collection."

Just to give you an idea of what to expect, here's a look at the track list of my personal favorite, The Lion King:

Disc One
1. “Circle of Life/Nants’ Ingonyama” Performed by Carmen Twillie, African Vocals Performed by Lebo M
2. “Didn’t Your Mother Tell You Not to Play With Your Food” Score
3. “We Are All Connected” Score
4. “Hyenas in the Pride Land” Score
5. “I Just Can't Wait to Be King” Performed by Jason Weaver with Rowan Atkinson and Laura Williams
6. “Elephant Graveyard” Score
7. “I Was Just Trying to Be Brave” Score
8. “Be Prepared” Performed by Jeremy Irons with Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings
9. “Simba, It’s to Die For” Score
10. “Stampede” Score
11. “Mufasa Dies” Score
12.” If You Ever Come Back We’ll Kill You” Score
13. “Bowling for Buzzards” Score
14. “Hakuna Matata” Performed by Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella with Jason Weaver and Joseph Williams
15. “We Gotta Bone to Pick With You” Score
16. “Kings of the Past” Score
17. “Nala, Is It Really You?” Score
18. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” Performed by Joseph Williams and Sally Dworsky with Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella and Kristle Edwards
19. “Remember Who You Are” Score
20. “This Is My Home” Score
21. “The Rightful King” Score

Disc Two
1. “The Morning Report” Performed by James Earl Jones, Jeff Bennett and Evan Saucedo
2. “Warthog Rhapsody” Performed by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella
3. “We Are All Connected “Score Demo
4. “I Was Just Trying to Be Brave” Score Demo
5. “Stampede” Score Demo
6. “Mufasa Dies” Score Demo
7. “This Is My Home” Score Demo
8. “The Rightful King” Score Demo
9. “Circle of Life” Instrumental Demo
10. “Circle of Life” Performed by Elton John
11. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” Performed by Elton John
12. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (End Title) Performed by Elton John

If you're a Disney fanatic like me...or are looking for the perfect gift for one, these soundtracks are a great place to start! Currently, you can purchase The Lion King (released June 24), Mary Poppins (released August 26th) and Sleeping Beauty (released September 7). But the fun won't stop there, on November 17, Little Mermaid will be available as well...and many more coming in 2015!

Learn more and connect at the links below:

Visit the Disney Music Emporium Website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.

And one VERY lucky reader is going to have the chance to win all three CDs for themselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

If it comes to this blogger’s attention that the winner of this giveaway has won on an additional blog for this same prize, this blog reserves the right to chose another winner.
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, October 9, 2014

An Allergy Friendly Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time, isn't it? The kids (and grown ups too) get to pick out their favorite costumes and walk door to door for free candy!? It's truly a child's dream! But when you have a child with food allergies, trick or treating is not all fun and games. To be honest, until a few years ago, this isn't something I gave much thought to, even though I myself was allergic to nearly everything as a child as well. Still, I don't recall for me personally that trick or treat candy ever posed much of an issue. But for many, that's not the case..how disappointing for a child to get all geared up for a great night only to be greeted with a bowl full of candy they can't touch. As a mom, I know that this can hard for us to deal with as well. So personally, I have made the decision to take more consideration to make the holiday great for EVERY child. I had a chat with my friend Ashley whose son has severe allergies (including peanuts) to help me come up with a few ways to do so. If you'd like to join me, here are a few tips for an Allergy-Friendly Halloween.

Buy Allergy Friendly Candies.
There are many candies available that are safe for most including things like Dum Dums, Skittles, Starburst, Twizzlers and Smarties. You can see a longer list provided by Ashley at the end of this post. Of course these are not ALL of the candies available, but certainly a great place to start. Be certain to read labels and watch out for anything that is packaged in the same plant with peanuts. The list at the bottom is milk, egg, peanut, and tree nut free.

Use Separate Bowls.
If you just can't resist buying those Reese's (I can't blame you, they're addicting!), consider using two separate candy bowls. In one, put all your allergy friendly candies and in the other those contaning peanuts. First of all, it makes it much easier for those with allergies to get what they need, BUT remember for those with EXTREME allergies, even the slightest bit of peanut dust on the packaging from the plant can lead to an allergic reaction...no fun for anyone!! 

Skip The Candy Entirely.
Who says you HAVE to give candy for trick or treat? Instead consider inexpensive party favor toys like spider rings, erasers, etc. You can have these in a separate bowl for those that need them, or give them to ALL your trick or treaters. Parents will be thankful for something less sugary too!

Let Children Choose.
Before tossing a handful of random candies into each child's bag, consider allowing them to choose a piece or two they prefer instead. Not only is the candy less likely to end up uneaten this way for ANY child, but it allows those who might have allergies to have the chance to choose something they can eat!

And finally a tip for the parents of children with allergies-

The Great Pumpkin.
Another fantastic tip Ashley shared with me is one for those of you who have a child with food allergies. After trick or treating, she goes through her children's candy and sorts out what they can and cannot eat. They leave the 'bad' foods out and the next morning wake to find that 'The Great Pumpkin' has replaced them with candies they can eat. Now, this may be geared towards food allergies, but I happen to think this is a GREAT idea for anyone who tries to avoid sugary treats. Kids still get the experience of trick or treating, while allowing mom and dad to monitor their food choices better!

Looking for Allergy Friendly Candy? This list is a great place to start. (Ingredients, manufacturing are subject to change, so while this list is a good starting point, always be sure to double check product labels.)

  • Wonka Nerds 
  • Wonka Bottle Caps 
  • Wonka Laffy Taffy (only the small ones – not chocolate flavored) 
  • Wonka Sweettarts (not chewy) 
  • Wonka Tart N Tiny 
  • Wonka Pixy Stix 
  • Wonka Candy Canes 
  • Wonka Runts 
  • Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips 
  • Enjoy Life Foods Boom Choco Boom chocolate candy bars 
  • Air Heads (only the small ones – not chocolate flavored) 
  • Sour Patch Kids 
  • Ring Pops 
  • Dots 
  • Bubble 
  • Yum 
  • Jolly Ranchers (not the suckers) 
  • Jolly Rancher 
  • Gummies 
  • Tic Tac (Mints, Orange Flavor, Strawberry Fields) 
  • Jelly Belly 
  • Jelly Beans 
  • Jelly Belly 
  • Candy Corn 
  • Jelly Belly 
  • Peach O's Gummies 
  • Extra Classic Bubble Gum 
  • Surf Sweets Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms 
  • Haribo Gummy Bears and Alphabet Letters 
  • Twizzlers Licorice 
  • Swedish Fish 
  • Life Savers 
  • Starburst - Original and Favorite Reds 
  • Skittles (all flavors) 
  • Spangler Candy Canes 
  • Spangler Dum Dum Pops (original and chewy center) 
  • Spangler Smarties 
  • Necco Sweathearts (heart shaped candies) 
  • Necco Candy Buttons 
  • Necco Original Candy Wafer 
  • Lifesavers (Gummies and rolled fruit candies and mints)
  •  Pez

Do you have children with allergies? What tips do YOU have to make Halloween a little more allergy friendly?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maxwell Designs Diaper & Go! {A Cloth Diaper Giveaway}

Welcome to the Diaper & Go Giveaway
If you're a cloth diapering mama chances are when you go out you love to show off your adorable diapers. When heading out to the doctor or to a friends house you usually pick the cutest ones. Here's your chance to add them to a gorgeous wet bag you can take anywhere you go! Maxwell Designs is Canada's leading purse & accessory designer. Maggie, the creative genius behind Maxwell Designs, makes the cutest most versatile purses and accessories around. You will not only find amazing purses but some of the cutest prints around. Check out some of the fun wet bags you'll find at her store!


Courtesy of Maxwell Designs

Need a purse or a clutch? Maxwell Designs has you covered :)


Courtesy of Maxwell Designs

Courtesy of Maxwell Designs

Aren't all of them gorgeous? Here's your chance to win your very own Maxwell Designs wetbag along with 3 BumGenius 4.0 Cloth diapers! One winner will get their choice of 3 solid color Bum Genius 4.0 diapers in their choice color and a Surprise Maxwell Designs wet bag chosen by Maggie herself! This giveaway is open to US & CA and ends on 10/27 at 11:59pm. Good luck!!

Disclosure: 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 Conservamoms. Open to US & Canada must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by 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 shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Conservamom will be responsible for prize fulfillment. 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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Finding Time to Worship with Music {A Kim Collingsworth's Majestic Review & Giveaway}

**Product received for review. Post contains affiliate links.

Do you ever feel like there is just not enough time in the day to get it all done? The housework, making more time for the children, errands, family time, shopping...how are we to fit it all in? In the rush of our day to day life, sometimes even the important things gets pushed to the side...like making time for God. I hate to admit it, but it happens to me as well. Of course I want to make the time, but as I go on and on and on I realize another day has come and gone. It's hard to make the time when there is already so much to pack into an already busy day! So, what are we to do?

For me, I have found I feel closest to God when I am worshiping through music. I've often likened it to a sort of prayer. The words so often say exactly what I want to say, but am unable to put into words myself. As I listen or sing along, I find myself being filled with a sense of peace. My stress from the day takes a backseat and the music takes over. The best part? I don't have to carve out a special time, I can simply turn on the radio and worship as I'm going on about my day to day...in the car as I'm driving to and from soccer practice. At the sink as I'm scrubbing dishes. In the shower, washing away the worries from the day. Not only does it allow me to have that much needed time, but quite frankly makes those otherwise boring tasks a little more bearable as well. (And in the car insures that my kids aren't unintentionally hearing something on the radio that they shouldn't!)

For this reason, I am always on the hunt for great Christian music choices...and there are certainly many out there! From country to rock to pop and of course to the classic gospel, there are options to fit whatever musical tastes you might have. Personally, I love a variety and my music collection reflects that. So, I was thrilled to have been given the chance as a Family Christian Stores blogger to experience a wonderful new album, Majestic by Kim Collingsworth.

If you're unfamiliar with Kim Collingsworth, here's a little more info on the CD:

The choice of a live recording was an easy one for Kim Collingsworth, because she considers it such an encouraging event to share. "The audience is invigorating! I love the excitement and spontaneity that a crowd brings, and the emotion from a live audience." Long-time and new fans alike will appreciate the project's great value (more than 15 selections), and are sure to experience artistry at a new level as they enjoy the unforgettable evening captured on this new "Majestic" live CD.

Now I'll be honest, 'Instrumentals' is not the first category I usually browse when looking for a new album. In fact, it's probably the last. Not that there is anything wrong with instrumentals, I just tend to find them to be not the most exciting option. This particular album makes me rethink that mindset. First and foremost, Kim is so beyond talented...the energy is evident in each and every song and you truly cannot help but enjoy it. Though it might not have been my first choice had I went to the store to choose something for myself, I was thrilled to experience the music and the compelling stories told throughout as well. As mentioned above, this was recorded from a live concert event, and as great as the CD was, I know the show itself (not to mention the DVD) must be even more impressive. You can feel the energy of the crowd, and I love hearing them sing along on various songs as well.I also love getting to know the Collingsworth Family and hearing their voices sing along as well. That's right, though this IS primarily an instrumental, there is some singing here and there...and it's beautiful! I also loved the few non-Christian songs thrown in such as 'Some Day My Prince Will Come/Once Upon A Dream'. As a huge Disney Princess fan, that was a welcome treat as well.

Overall, I was really happy with the experience and look forward to hearing more from Kim Collingsworth in the future. For me personally, I have found this to be the perfect relaxation music. Sure, it's upbeat and energetic...but I'm also one who likes to sing along when the words are ther, so this just allows me to have that wind down time to reflect on Him without that temptation.

No matter what type of Christian music you prefer, Family Christian has something to fit your needs too. You can check them out at the links below:

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/ 
Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
Follow on Tumblr: http://family-christian.tumblr.com 
Follow on Instagram: http://instagram.com/familychristian

Want to experience Kim Collingsworth Majestic for yourself? Great news! 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.