A Modern Day Fairy Tale: January 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Must Watch Football Film: A 23 Blast Review & Giveaway {#23Blast #23BlastBowl}

"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.

I've said it once and I'll say it again...sports fans or not, there's not a person out there that cannot appreciate a good inspirational sports story, is there? Rooting for the underdog, watching the player and/or team overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds...what is not to love? And when the story is based on a true story? Even better! Which is why I could not be more excited to share with you another great example in the new movie 23 Blast!

Take a Look:

Rated PG-13 (brief drinking of alcohol on school property)  / 1h 42m

As a typical teenager, Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) is a local hero both on and off the high-school football field in his small Kentucky town, but in 1997, Travis contracts an infection that destroys his optic nerve and renders him blind overnight. With the loving help and concern of his parents, physical therapist, coach and best friend, Travis demonstrates what true bravery is: He continues to compete on the gridiron and helps his team advance to the state finals.

In addition to enjoying inspiring sports stories, as a mother to a child with special needs there is something particularly wonderful when its a story of a differently-abled individual overcoming these obstacles and proving the naysayers wrong. Now, my son may not have any physical limitations holding him back as Travis did, but he will inevitably still face the naysayers. He will have people tell him that he will not succeed and that he cannot do something because of his autism. Quite frankly, there is too much ignorance in this world to believe he will not. But people like Travis Freeman or my friend Jen Bricker who have overcome these physical differences to succeed in the world of sports where physical fitness is key give me stories of hope to show my son that no matter how differently-abled, the only limitations we truly face are those we set upon ourselves!

Of course, with the PG-13 rating due to brief alcohol it may not be quite appropriate for him just now at seven years old, but it is certainly one we will go back to when he's a bit older. This is truly an amazing story of a boy who refused to let his limitations allow him to give up on something he was passionate about. Can you imagine suddenly losing your sight and then being asked to give up something else you loved, that made you YOU? I certainly could not, it would be easier to feel sorry for myself and fall into a downhill spiral! But Travis kept fighting. He kept playing. Despite the struggles, despite the naysayers, he DID IT! Amazing! I loved this movie and found it was a really great one to watch with your (older) kids, athletes or not!

It's ideal for watching at home, with your team or in your small church groups! In fact there is even a #23BlastBowl campaign to make it even easier, complete with discussion guides! You can learn more and check that out here.

Learn more about the movie at the links below:

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

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, 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.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

Noah's Ark: A Very Veggie Review & Family Christian Giveaway #FCBlogger

Thanks to Family Christian for providing an advanced screening copy of Noah's Ark for this review. Post may contain affiliate links. All thoughts are my own.

I was first introduced to Veggie Tales when I was about 10 years old, with a silly little song called, 'I Love My Lips' played during Vacation Bible School. The love was instant, and only the beginning...

Oh sure, this may have been a show designed for young kids, but if there was one thing I soon discovered it was that Veggie fans knew no age...little kids loved it, big kids loved it, even teenagers loved it. In fact, I remember one morning at church camp being woken up to Veggie Rocks (a super fun album featuring silly songs sang by popular Christian artists like Relient K!)...and we all LOVED it. What was not to love?

When I became a mother, I loved that I now had a valid excuse to love my Veggies, and could not wait to share my love with my kids! Thankfully, they've both become huge fans as well. Such a fun way to share a little piece of my childhood with my kids! And after 22 years, they're still creating new, fun shows!

Throughout those years they've retold many great Bible stories in their fun Veggie fashion...and yet, it took 22 years to make perhaps one of the most popular Bible stories there is: Noah's Ark! Take a look:

Noah and his family together with a zoo full of animals take an adventure aboard an orange slice ark. After 40 days and nights of rain, everyone's faith has been tested, and they're ready to jump ship. Will they chart a new course, or will they remember to trust God's promises?

It may have taken a long time...but this one was certainly worth the wait. I The kids absolutely loved it! They could not wait to pop in the DVD and watch right away. In fact, at the time of this writing, we received the DVD less than a week ago...and have already got it memorized! Perhaps a new Veggie favorite!? Of course, in true Veggie fashion, there was some creative liberties taken leaving it not quite historically or biblically accurate. I mean, do we think the ark looked like an orange slice? Or that the two pigs aboard were named Bacon and Porkchop? Of course not! But isn't that what makes Veggie Tales so appealing? It uses that silliness to draw kids in and help to teach them the important lessons that these stories have to teach us- like trusting in God and knowing he will keep his promises! Great lessons for kids to learn!

And of course, no Veggie Tales DVD would be complete without a Silly Song!! This Golden Egg song was wonderful, and perfect for Easter...making this a great addition to any Easter basket...if you can wait that long, that is! (My son told me this was his favorite silly song ever!)

Noah's Ark will be available soon, BUT you can preorder now through Family Christian! Not only can you get it for just $12.97, you will also receive a copy of Rack, Shack and Benny FREE! (Another great Easter basket addition!) How wonderful is that? I've got my copy ordered already!

You can see even more great Veggie Tales deals at Family Christian! Connect using the links below:

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And to help make it an even better deal, Family Christian is offering one very lucky reader the chance to win a $10 appreciation certificate. That means you can get these TWO DVDs for just $3! (Or spend it however you like, of course!) 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.

Stay tuned for a few fun activities (and FREE printable) to celebrate the upcoming release with your children!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Easy DIY Melted Bead Crosses #FCBlogger

Thank you to Family Christian for sponsoring today's craft! Be sure to check them out for all your kid crafting needs!

On these cold winter days (or even warm rainy days), I'm always on the lookout for fun ideas to keep the kids entertained inside. Crafts can be a great way to do so, but to be quite honest- I'm not super talented in the crafting department...so I need our craft projects to be super easy...but still fun and colorful! Today's project is just that- we're making melted bead crosses!

These super simple crafts are easy to do, inexpensive and can add a splash of color to any decor. We decided to go with crosses, but you can really choose whatever shape you like for any occasion!

Pretty, aren't they? And super easy. Let's get started:


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cookie cutters onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
  3. Fill the cookie cutters with a single layer of beads. Create a fun pattern, use a single color, throw in at random...it's completely up to you! Have your little ones make it their own and have fun with it! Don't worry if they aren't all facing one direction, they'll melt just fine!

  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until melted. Bake time may vary by oven. (Hint: Be sure to keep your fan on while beads are baking...or open a window when possible as these can be a bit smelly. I found with the fan going, it wasn't too bad for us, but it may be worse when doing more creations!)
  5. Allow to cool and then pop out your designs.
  6. You're done! Want to have more fun with it? Drill a hole for hanging, add ribbon, create a fun wooden plaque to glue your creation to, use small cookie cutters to create jewelry...get as creative as you want! Or use them as they are to add a little splash of color to your decor!
That's it! Didn't I tell you? Super simple! These crosses are ideal for Sunday school or Easter, but truly you can create fun designs for any and every season! Shamrocks for St Patrick's Day? Eggs for Easter? Flags for the 4th of July? The possibilities are endless!

Looking for more fun craft ideas to do with your children at home or church? Check out this great Pinterest board from Family Christian for more inspiration!

Follow Family Christian's board Arts & Crafts on Pinterest.

And don't forget to check out Family Christian for all your kids crafting needs:

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On The Go in 2015: A Green Scene Mom Giveaway

All moms understand that it's really hard to travel with kids, even if only going to the park or the store. Here are some great products to make getting out of the house a little easier, whether it's just for an afternoon or for a whole weekend. We are excited to bring you this awesome giveaway in collaboration with Green Scene Mom!

Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway

Make taking kids on the go a little easier, and definitely more fun!

Wally Inflatable Bed Rail, from The Shrunks giveaway
The Shrunks Wally Inflatable Bed Rail - $25
At The Shrunks, we believe that kids are cool. Creating stuff that makes bedtime fun and safe for them, wherever they are, is what we love to do. Keep your child safe from rolling off the bed with The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail! Its slim design allows the bed rail to slip conveniently under any fitted standard sized twin, queen or king size bed sheet. Each package comes with a bed rail, foot pump, and a carrying bag for easy transport to all of your destinations. Recommended for kids 2 years and up. Shop @ theshrunks.com.
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch giveaway
Milkdot Popdots Go Pouch - $20
Popdots Go Pouch is the perfect carryall for everyday or for travel. Plus, it's insulated so it makes a great snack bag too. Use it as a toiletry bag, storage bag or quick change diaper bag. With one large elastic pocket and three smaller elastic pockets, your items will stay in place and organized. It's the versatile pouch for children, teens and women to take on the go for school, work or travel with plenty of room for school supplies, arts and crafts, toys, cosmetics, medicine, toiletries, first aid, baby essentials, snacks, drinks and much more! Shop @ milkdot.com.
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch giveaway
Poncho Baby Pack-N-Run Organic Diaper Pouch - $35
This eco-friendly and portable organic diaper bag pouch is perfect for those times when a diaper bag is too big. Made in the USA with 100% Cotton Muslin Imported. Use it for a quick trip to the supermarket, the park or an airport bathroom. It's been carefully sized to hold just the necessities. Also works great as an insert in a purse or diaper bag. Shop @ ponchobaby.com.
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate giveaway
Poppy Drops $30 Gift Certificate
Poppy Drops was created due to a dilemma lots of us face — when to pierce a little girl's ears? Poppy Drops earrings really are the perfect solution that is practical for parents and super fun for kids! From our signature earrings came other solutions for modern kids! We now offer Tattoo Nail Art, Mix & Match Tattoo Jewelry, Perfume Sticks & Lip Luster — all of which are designed for little ones but are great for EVERYONE! All of our products are made with natural ingredients — 100% safe for any age. We make staying young even more fun than growing up! Shop @ poppydrops.com.
yummi pouch reusable food pouch giveaway
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches set of 6 - $15
Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Yummi Pouches are easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and are great for taking healthy snacks on the go. Shop @ yummipouch.com.
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas
Zippyz Baby Footed Pajamas - $27.99
Zippyz are baby footed pajamas with a patented design to make diaper changes quick and easy. Zippyz have a zipper from foot to belly so parents can change diapers quick and easy while keeping their baby covered and warm. Shop @ shopzippyz.com.
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set giveaway
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers set of 2 - $12.50
Pacidoodle Personalized Pacifiers are the Cute, High Quality Solution to Accidental Paci-Swapping! Baby's name, monogram or cute saying is engraved on pacifiers and will not rub off or fade. "A little paci love made with a lot of His love". Shop @ pacidoodle.com.

Enter to win this Amazing Prize Set!

This giveaway is open to United States and Canada.

Green Scene Mom On The Go in 2015 Giveaway
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You Make My Heart Go Pop {A Valentine's Day Printable} #PopSecretForts #sp

Today’s post is sponsored by Pop Secret, by my love for their popcorn is all my own!

Are you on the hunt for the perfect treats for Valentine's Day, but don't particularly want to give kids candy? I'm right there with you- they already get so much! So this year rather than passing out something sweet, we opted to go with something a little salty instead- popcorn!! What kid doesn't love popcorn? It's fun, it's easy and it's inexpensive! The perfect non-candy treat.

These popcorn goodie bags are the ideal Valentine for your little ones. Here's how to create them for yourself:

You will need:

  • Pop Secret popcorn
  • Treat Bags
  • Cardstock
  • Printer
  • Scissors 
  • Hole Punch
  • Ribbon/Twine/Yarn

  1. First things first, pop your popcorn and set aside to cool. (Visit Pop Secret on Facebook to print a coupon for $1 off 2 Pop Secret products!)
  2. After Popcorn has cooled, put desire amount in your treat bags. (For a fun treat you can add in sprinkles, candy hearts, etc to make it more festive but we opted to keep it simple here!)
  3. Print this free printable and cut out!

     Feel free to back with colored cardstock for more dimension, if desired! Use a hole punch to punch a hole or two to attach to your popcorn bags.
  4. Attach with your ribbon (yarn or twine will work well here as well).
  5. Enjoy!

Don't forget to visit Pop Secret for a coupon for $1 off 2 Pop Secret products...and share your best fort photos for a chance to receive a free goodie bag from Pop Secret!

Monday, January 26, 2015

God > Me {A Glory Hunger Review & Family Christian Giveaway}

**Product received for review. All thoughts are my own.

Ah, social media. It can be a really great thing, can't it? It allows us to keep up with our friends and family who live far away. It allows us to make connections with new friends. It allows us to seek advice and support from friends who've been where we are. It allows us to ask for prayer and have friends all over the country come together when needed. It allows us to learn and expand our horizons. Yes, it truly can be a GREAT thing.

But, it can also have its negative points. It sucks in our time. It makes it easy to give in to gossip or drama. It keeps us from living our real life to its fullest at times. But more than anything it feeds into our culture of keeping up with the Joneses. We strive to have the pinworthy parties and homes. To have the most retweets or likes. To take the best selfies. We see everyone putting their best foot forward...and strive to keep up! It can be exhausting...and a little bit narcissistic, right? In Glory Hunger, pastor JR Vassar takes a deeper look into that culture and hunger for glory. Take a look:

Everyone wants to be significant. To a certain extent, this is natural and good--evidence of our God-given desire for meaning and purpose. However, our longing for significance can easily twist into an insatiable craving for approval, recognition, and praise--and, if left unchecked, this craving will enslave us.

In Glory Hunger, pastor JR Vassar challenges Christians to reevaluate their priorities when it comes to leaving a legacy, pointing to the gospel as the key to freedom from the bondage of narcissism and insecurity.

Addressing cultural obsessions such as physical beauty and the goal of cultivating a "perfect" digital reputation via social media, this book will help readers refocus on what really matters: living a life marked by the passionate pursuit of God's glory above all else.

Now, social media may throw a spotlight on the issue of seeking approval, but its not the root of it. As the book points out, this need for approval has been there since the very beginning. It's part of our human nature. Even the pastor himself admits several times throughout the book, several instances where he himself felt the glory hunger. He uses real life instances, pop culture references and most importantly lots of biblical references to back up his points and really encourage us to reconsider our glory seeking ways. I found myself throughout really relating to everything that was written and evaluating my own self. I could certainly tell that this was written by a pastor, as it read very much like a great, well-researched sermon.

That's not to say that I agreed with everything that was written 100%. In fact, in an effort to give a truly unbiased review, I'll admit there were a few points later in the book that I found went against some of my own personal views. (Seemingly making it sound as though our freewill is not truly freewill and that all Christians were already predetermined to be believers...) This could just be my own interpretation of what I was reading being off, of course. But I did find myself scratching my head a bit.

Still, overall, the points made were very good and gave me a lot to ponder personally...and the most important message came through.We must become less so that God may become more. We need to worry less about receiving glory ourselves, and more about giving glory to God. It's certainly worth the read! The good news is, it was a fairly quick read too! I was personally able to finish it in a weekend!

You can purchase Glory Hunger and many more great Christian nonfiction books at Family Christian. Stay up to date with the latest by connecting at the links below:

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And Family Christian is offering one very lucky reader the chance to win a $10 Appreciation Certificate! Use it towards Glory Hunger, or whatever else you choose! 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, January 23, 2015

Bring the Great Outdoors Inside with Pop Secret! {+ Coupon! #PopSecretForts #sp}

Thank you to Pop Secret for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to try building a pillow fort!

Winter is in full force. Cold air, winter storms...and snow days!! We just LOVE snow days...but after awhile, we start running ideas to keep us entertained. My little man starts missing outdoor activities and we all start going just a little bit stir crazy! So, what's a mama to do?

Last year, my little guy went camping for the first time...and he absolutely loved it! Of course, camping right now would be a recipe for disaster (in the form of frostbite)...so instead, we decided to bring the fun of camping inside!

As a child, I remember my sisters and I building forts with our close family friend in her kitchen. We'd cover the tables with sheets and blankets, drape them over chairs or whatever we could find and camp out...right there in the kitchen. I don't even LIKE camping and I had a blast each and every time...so surely my Cub Scout son would enjoy it even more! So that's just what we did! Take a look:

So, what do you need to make the perfect indoor camping fort?

  • Blankets/Pillows/Furniture. Oh sure, you can get all fancy and buy one of those fun kits that have already done the work for you...but there's really no need. Use your imagination and make it your own..get your comfiest blankets and pillows, drape sheets over furniture...use whatever you have! Not only is this a great way to encourage your little ones to use their imaginations...it also doesn't cost a dime!
  • A 'Campfire'. What's a camping trip without a campfire? We many not be able to really bring the fire in (unless you have a fireplace, of course!)...but some old wrapping paper tubes and construction or tissue paper can make it feel like you're in the great outdoors! Really want to get creative? Make trees out of cardboard boxes or construction paper too!

  • Campfire Entertainment. Bring in the fun! Play guitar, play campfire songs? (Don't play guitar...just pretend! Or grab some CDs. Bring in a tablet for a fun filled movie night. Read stories about camping and the great outdoors. The possibilities are endless!
  • The Snacks! Of course, no camping expedition would be complete without fun snacks! Cooking over the campfire might not be an option, but popcorn is always a must in our home! Keep it plain, add in fun mixings like teddy grahams, marshmallows and chocolate chips (for a popcorn s'mores snack mix) or stay tuned for more fun recipes to REALLY make it exciting! No matter how you serve your popcorn, Pop Secret is sure to satisfy your taste buds!

  • Don't forget the Flag! No fort is complete without a flag to stake your claim! Visit Pop Secret on Facebook and download one of their fun designs...How fun! And the fun doesn't stop there! In addition to the flags,you'll also get some fantastic coupons for $1 off 2 Pop Secret products!! Indoor entertainment your kids will love AND within your budget? You cannot go wrong! 
Do you build forts with your little ones? Visit Pop Secret and post your photos and you might just get a surprise pack of popcorn goodness! Head on over to Pop Secret for more fort building inspiration now!

Are you a master fort builder? What tips do YOU have for the ideal fort building experience?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DIY Perler Bead 8-Bit Valentines (+ Free Printable)

My son loves his video games...and his favorites are the old classics. Pac-Man, Mario, Sonic...he loves them all. So when he sees something in an 8-bit style, he goes CRAZY! And thanks to Perler Beads, he can make his own fun 8-bit designs easily and inexpensively.

With Valentine's Day coming up, we decided to bring his love of 8-bit into some super fun video game inspired Valentine's Day cards for his classmates. These are super simple and perfect for the gamer in your life!

Here's how you can make your own!

What You Need:

What You'll Do:

  • Make Your 8-Bit Heart. Start by creating your hearts! Perler beads are very simple to use, using your peg board, create a small heart design, like this:

  • Iron. Cover the design with wax paper and iron until beads have melted together. Set aside to cool.
  • Create your Valentine. You can use this super cute design I came up with, or get creative with your own design... 'Be My Player 2', 'Push Start, Sweetheart'...the possibilities are endless. Use a fun 8-bit style font (there are many available!) Download Printable Here,

    • Print and cut. If you have a Silhouette, you use the print and cut feature to save time, or you can cut by hand.Or do as I did and open the whole PNG file in Silhouette studio and cut the letters out too, giving it this fun look! I did a combination of the two to show you how both options could look.
    • Cut Cardstock. To give the Valentine a little more color, we're going to back with some fun colored cardstock. We went with classic Valentine's Day colors, but feel free to get creative! Again you can use your Silhouette, or cut by hand. Cardstock should be slightly larger than your Valentine design.
    • Glue Them Together. Glue your Valentine to the cardstock backing, attach the heart and let dry!

    And you're done!! Give as they are, or add some fun treats for a fun goody bag! Enjoy!

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Finley Grace, 17 Months.

    Another month has come and gone and Miss Finley just keeps on growing! Here's a look at what she's been up to this month.

    • Holding steady in 2T clothing. She's gotten a bit taller perhaps, but she's definitely reached the point where her growth has slowed down a bit, at least for now.
    • At 17 months, Finley has most definitely reached that stage of repeating everything! She talks up a storm! I'm not sure how many words she's up to now, but I cannot keep up! Some of my favorites are 'thank you!', which she politely tells us whenever it's appropriate. 'Bubby!', said with a squeal! 'Minnie', perhaps her favorite word! 'Finnie', yes, she even says her own name. 'Pone' (phone), though I wish it weren't accompanied by trying to steal our phones! 'Eeeewww', which is how she tells us that something is dirty...to include her diaper! 'Bus', also often with a squeal of excitement as bubby has gotten home! Of course, these are just a few of many, and honestly, everything she says is adorable!
    • She loves singing- particular music from Frozen or the theme song from Veggie Tales. She has also recently learned Ring Around the Rosie...and likes to go around singing 'ashes, ashes!'.
    • The winter weather has taken its toll on her poor skin lately...her eczema is causing a lot of itchiness. Aside from the scratching, she doesn't let it get her mood down and is a happy, sweet girl!
    • Frozen and Minnie are her favorites, but she's loving Veggie Tales more lately as well...or of course any other princess movies too!
    • Her play kitchen is one of her favorites! She also loves her toy vacuum and baby dolls. She adores her Frozen ride on toy...but prefers to give other toys rides rather than ride herself.
    • She loves helping people- so full of love and nurturing already!
    • She has learned to high five.
    • She still loves pretty things like frilly dresses, jewelry and headbands/bows.
    • She has recently begun showing interest in the potty- saying pee and potty appropriately. We're not pushing the issue (frankly, this mama isn't ready for that), but did buy her a potty chair which she has peed on twice!

    Each day it seems our girl learns something new and fun! I never know what to expect next. It is so fun to watch her develop her own personality and see how she interacts with those around her. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Winter Cloth: Indoor Alternatives to Line Drying Cloth Diapers!

    No matter how simple or complicated our wash routines may be, there is one thing that most cloth diapering parents can agree on when it comes to laundry--- hanging outside is the best way to dry! For starters, it covers both primary reasons most of us choose to use cloth...it uses less energy making it eco-friendly AND better on the budget. Beyond that, the sun is also a great natural stain remover and line drying is gentler which keeps our diapers in better shape longer. It seems like a no brainer, doesn't it?

    But then comes WINTER!

    And let's be honest, for most of us hanging our diapers out right now to dry would lead to diaper popsicles. (That's not the type of Frozen diapers we like to wear around here!) So, what are we supposed to do?

    The good news is that there are many great solutions that allow us to hang dry inside, no matter the weather outside! Take a look:

    • Clothes Drying Rack. Perhaps the easiest, most classic solution at all. These can be found for anywhere from $10-$15+ and can come in handy for drying needs long beyond the cloth years. Place in front of fan or fireplace/heat for faster drying.
    • Ikea Octopus Hanger. A clothes drying rack might seem like the ideal for most, but if you're limited on space may not be the best solution. We personally use this wonderful hanging rack from Ikea that is perfect for diapers! It will hang anywhere, takes up little space and quite honestly, is absolutely adorable! We even take this along when we travel! Once the diapering days are over, this would still come in handy for hanging delicates...or for drying kids crafts!
    • Use What You Have, Are drying racks and fancy hangers not in your budget? No need to worry, just toss them over your shower curtain rod...no need to buy anything additional, use what you already have. Other options could be hanging in your laundry room, curtain rod...whatever works. (I don't suggest this method when expecting company, but hey...what a conversation starter!)
    • When all else fails, use the dryer! Honestly, yes, hang drying may be better for your diapers, but drying in the machine isn't going to kill them. Use the lowest heat setting/most delicate cycle and they'll be just fine! (We actually always dry our inserts and just hang the covers. If you use pockets or all in twos this is a great time saving option as well!)

    Do you continue to hang dry diapers in the colder months? What tricks have you found?

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Easy DIY Kids Table Duct Tape Makeover

    A few years back, my son received an adorable little folding Thomas table for Christmas. This table was the perfect addition to his Thomas room and came in very useful for so many things- arts and crafts, coloring, reading...even snacking. We loved it. Unfortunately, it didn't hold up well against my destructive little man. The table itself was in great shape, but the plastic covering was ripped and torn...and just looked awful! Still, we needed a little table for him so rather than toss it out, we decided to give it new life...and all it took was a little time and a little duct tape. Take a look:

    Have a table like this that could use a makeover? Here's how we did it:

    What You Need:

    • Table
    • Screwdriver
    • Duct Tape
    • Scissors

    What You Do:

    1. Use a screwdriver to remove tabletop. Remove plastic covering and padding. (If you prefer, you can keep or replace the padding as well. Ours was torn, and we wanted a more solid surface for Legos anyway!)

    2. Carefully begin covering your tabletop with the tape you've chosen. Go slow to keep tape straight and avoid bubbles. If you're using a patterned tape, make sure you are careful to line up pattern. (We personally went with a simple red so that it would go with anything. You can use fun patterned tape, create fun designs yourself-multiple colored stripes, chevron, we even considered a Minecraft creeper! You can make it as simple or as in depth as you prefer! We even found chalkboard tape that could make a super fun craft table.)
    3. Reattach the tabletop. I found that I'd accidentally bent a few of the metal attachments during the taping. If this happens to you, don't worry, they bend right back.

    That's it, you're done! Super simple, it just take a little time and patience. This super simple solution took our tattered old table and gave it a new life to last my son for a few more years...for just the cost of one roll of duct tape!

    Do you have a similar table that could use new life? What other unique ways have you found to use colored/patterned duct tape around your home?

    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Same Diaper, Different Day {A Cloth is Cool Buttons Diapers Giveaway}

    Welcome to the first annual Cloth is Cool giveaway hop! Cloth is growing in popularity because of money savings, environmental benefits and just plain enjoyment (it's fun to pick from all the styles, prints and colors).
    Check out the list below for all the cloth diaper giveaways you can enter during this hop. Your hosts, the Zephyr Hill Blog and Cloth Diaper Addicts, and all the participating bloggers and retailers, wish you a successful and enjoyable year of cloth diapering in 2015!
    The grand prize giveaway, open to both US and Canadian residents, features a package containing several different styles to try out: One lucky winner will receive:
    • Best Bottoms "Flurry" Cover and 3 Inserts (choose your size)
    • bumGenius Limited Edition Elemental AIO Diaper
    • Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag
    • Imagine One-Size Diaper Cover
    • Imagine SmartFit Prefolds, 6-Pack (choose your size)
    • Imagine Indigo Pocket Diaper
    The Cloth is Cool giveaway hop runs from January 16th to January 26th. Good luck!


    A huge thanks to Buttons Diapers for sponsoring today's giveaway. All thoughts are my own.

    If you've been visiting A Modern Day Fairy Tale for long, you probably already know that we love Buttons Diapers around here! A lot! In fact, my sweet girl's picture has even been featured on their website and Facebook page on a few occasions!

    We were first introduced to Buttons Diapers when Miss Finley was just 4 months old. I immediately fell in love. They provided a great fit, worked well and were just the absolute cutest diapers I had ever seen. You can read my original review right here.

    Of course, it's easy enough to see the good points in a cloth diaper after only a few months of use, isn't it? They haven't had a chance to see wear and tear to test durability. They haven't been through the growth spurts of your little one to judge how well they grow along. There are several diapers we have used throughout the past 17 months that worked wonderfully at one point, but became fairly useless over time- due to either wear or just lack of maintaining a good fit.

    So, how does Buttons hold up?

    I have to say, we truly love Buttons just as much now as we did then. Perhaps even more thanks to the addition of new fun colors and prints! As you can see in the photos, fit has not been an issue. We adjusted the rise as my little one grew and replaced the small inserts with a larger size and she has been wearing them comfortably throughout the past year.

    After a year of use, some of our diapers have shown signs of wear- loose elastics, etc...but our Buttons Diapers still looks and feel as they did when they first arrived. The colors are still vibrant, elastics still tight and PUL still in tact. Admittedly, we have a good sized stash so our diapers may not see quite as much use as someone with a smaller stash, BUT they've still been used frequently and have held up better than some of our other newer diapers with less use.

    Overall, I have been very pleased with our Buttons diapers and recommend them to anyone looking for a great all in two system for a great price! So today as part of the Cloth is Cool giveaway hop event, I'm thrilled to announce that Buttons has offered one lucky reader the chance to win two diaper covers!! Exciting!! 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, January 15, 2015

    Mama's Got A Brand New Look with Pink Basis {A Review & Giveaway)

    We just rang in 2014 and with a New Year comes the chance to develop a new YOU!
    Welcome to the [3rd Annual] Mama’s Got a New Look Giveaway Hop Event. A fabulous group of bloggers have come together to give all you special, deserving Mamas a chance at a New Look for the New Year so be sure to hop around to all the blogs participating at the bottom of this post.

    **Product received for review.

    I just love fashion. Pretty dresses, fun prints and colors, unique jewelry! There's just something fun about getting all dressed up and looking your best...but I'm also a mom. And yes, like many moms, I find myself staying in my jammies all day long. I find myself paying more attention to how my kids look than how I look...something I certainly want to change in the New Year.  Still, quite honestly, I also find myself not wanting to spend money on myself that could be spent on my kids instead. I want to look fashionable, but I need to do it on a budget. So, when I was contacted by Pink Basis to review one of their fun fashions, it seemed like a great solution.

    New to Pink Basis? Here's a little more info:

    PinkBasis.com is your one stop source for first-quality fashion products at unexpected prices.
    PinkBasis.com is an incorporated women's clothing shop based out of one of the nations hottest fashion capitals in Southern California. Our purchasers keep their fingers on the fashion pulse, the result is that they know what is hot, what is not and we bring it online to you. The hard part is done for you and all that is left for you to do is visit our uniquely designed women clothing shop and shop until you drop. As a company we have always had a tremendous interest in new clothing lines, finding the newest trends and best of all; styling outfits that will make you look your best. Each season we travel to designer showrooms and pick out up-and-coming styles to keep the assortment fashion forward. We will always include new styles from our popular lines but plan to continue to look ahead to new designers,introducing the newest lines without sacrificing the classic styles PinkBasis.com is known for. Each season we plan to add more styles from more designers, so everyone will have access to the newest looks. With new items being added to the site every week, keep checking back you never know when a celebrity fashion trend may go "From the red carpet to your closet." As a proven trend spotter, we believe our boutique will always be ahead of the current trends making our customer a trendsetter in their own circle.

    Now, when I first took a peak at Pink Basis, I wasn't entirely sure if this was the company for me. The clothes were super cute, but they offer a lot of great clubwear, and I tend to dress very conservatively. Still, I took a deeper look around and found that they really offer quite a wide variety of options that were perfectly suited for me. They offered many adorable cardigans, boots, jewelry and much more. Take a look around and I'm sure you'll find something great to love. I actually ended up finding several great pieces, but my favorite by far had to be this adorable maxi dress:

    Personally, I believe you cannot go wrong with a maxi dress...they give that easy, effortless look and feel of a dress, but are much more practical for the busy mom- crawling on the floor with the little ones. I particularly loved this one for its fun color, effortless style...and it was even breastfeeding friendly! I could wear it as is for a cute, simple look...but I loved mixing it up and adding more color by combining with a nice chunk belt! This is a great dress to dress up or down...throughout the year!! The best part? It's only $20.99!!!!

    Pink Basis truly does offer fabulous fashions that won't break your bank! Dress fashionable without guilt? Yes, please! Whether you're a mom looking for effortless fashion on a budget, or a single lady heading to the club- Pink Basis is sure to have something to help you create the new look you desire!  You can see everything they have to offer at the links below:

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

    To help make it easier, they are offering one very lucky reader a $50 gift code to shop their website! 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 Mama’s Got a New Look participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.Disclosure: I received the product in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Fight Winter Colds With Essential Oils {A Kid Safe Alternative}

    Winter is in full swing, and for many of us, that means winter colds and congestion! Rather than rushing to the drugstore for over the counter medications to battle the winter icks, our family likes to try some more natural at home remedies first. Perhaps my favorite natural aid for congestion and colds are essential oils!

    Now,  when you think of appropriate oils for colds, perhaps one of the first oils many of us think of is eucalyptus! It truly is a great oil for congestion and one that I personally find myself carrying around to sniff as needed. Unfortunately, as great as it is, its also not recommended for children under 10! With two little ones in the house, its not worth the risk for me! So, what are we supposed to do? The good news is, there are many great kid-friendly substitutes available!

    Here is my super easy kid friendly blend that is perfect for winter colds!

    Oils Needed:
    • Fir Needle
    • Spearmint
    • Lemon
    • Lavender (optional)
    I use equal parts of each oil, but the great thing about creating your own blends is that you can adjust to your personal preferences. During the day, I tend to stick with the first three only, but at night, I add in the lavender for a little extra relaxation.

    How to Use:

    • Diffuse. My favorite way to use oils is diffusing...especially around my children! Not only is it super effective and a safer option, it also helps EVERYONE at the same time! Don't have a diffuser? You can also add a few drops of your oils to a tissue and place beside your bed as you sleep, or in a plastic baggie to sniff throughout the day as needed. The diffuser is certainly preferred, but this can be an inexpensive alternative for those who don't yet have one. 
    • Personal Inhaler. For on the go relief, a personal inhaler is ideal. Use as needed, or teach your (older) child to use themselves!
    • Topically. Personally, I prefer to use oils topically in moderation...particularly on my children (and especially my toddler!). However, if you need to use topically, please do so safely! Always remember to dilute properly...regardless of brand used! Check out this link for some very helpful information about proper dilution.
    Please Note: While essential oils are a great supplement to natural health, they are not a replacement for proper medical care, and should be used with caution. Natural does not mean without precautions. Please do your own research on essential oil safety and remember to consult your doctor for any health issues!
    Do you use essential oils to fight winter colds? How do you use them?

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    A Valentine for Jesus {A Valentine's Day Craft & Lesson for Kids}

    A huge thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post! Be sure to check them out for all your Christian crafting needs!

    Aww, Valentine's Day...the day that's all about LOVE!

    For most of us when we think of Valentine's Day, we think about our husbands or signifigant others...we think of a romantic love. As parents, we also often take the chance to remind our little ones just how very much we love them.

    But what is love?

    The answer can be found right in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8:

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. 

    While I love reminding my husband and kids both of my love for them, this year I really wanted to take the opportunity to teach my son what love truly is...to teach him to love others as God has loved us. So, in the nature of The Sparkle Box, we set out to create a Valentine for Jesus. Take a look:

    In addition to being a really fun and simple craft to do with your children, these Valentines for Jesus boxes are also a great lesson. You see, it's not just a pretty box, but a place to share how we have displayed the biblical definition of love. On slips of paper, we have written down ways in which we have shown patience (such as waiting for something we really wanted) or kindness (like opening the door for a stranger). We have written how we did not anger when something didn't work out as planned or forgiven someone who wronged us. These acts of love are great examples of loving as Jesus has loved.

    Want to make Valentines For Jesus with YOUR kids or Sunday School class? It's super easy!

    Here's What You'll Need:

    • Small Boxes of Choice (You can use old shoe boxes, tissue boxes or even pick up some unfinished craft boxes. We used paper mache boxes.)
    • Craft Supplies of Choice (Yarn, ribbon, beads, paint, stickers...use your imagination, the possibilities are endless! Get creative with it!)
    • Glue
    • Scissors
    • Small strips of paper

    Here's What You'll Do:

    1. Decorate Your Box. Of course this step will vary greatly depending on what craft supplies you choose. We started by painting to give our simple boxes a more festive look. Alternately, you could use wrapping paper, wrap in yarn and ribbon or even cover with mod podge and apply glitter! Now that we had our base it was time to make it unique. My son is a huge video game fan, so we went with a perler beads to create a fun 8-bit heart look. (These beads are super fun and easy- simply create your design on the peg board, cover with wax paper and iron until beads have melted together for the finished project.)

       For my daughter's box, I wanted something a little more cute and feminine. We found these great Melissa & Doug Sweetheart Beads were absolutely ideal. Let your little one's decorate to their liking. (Consider using words from the verse to really drive the message home: 'love is' or 'love never fails', 'patience', 'kindness', etc). Again, don't be afraid to get creative! These boxes can be a fun reflection of your little one's personality!

    2. Cut A Slit in The Box (optional). If you have a box with a lid, you may prefer to just have your child lift the lid as we did. But if you prefer, you can create more of a 'piggy bank' style where the kids can drop their acts of love. Carefully cut a slit large enough for your slips of paper.
    3. Share Acts of Love. Encourage your children to get their Valentine box started by thinking of ways that they've recently shown love. Go over the definition found in 1 Corinthians and give examples of what each word/phrase could mean. Write these acts on the paper slips and drop them into the box. Encourage them to continue adding as they perform acts of love throughout the Valentine's season. Share with them how showing these acts of love to others is just what Jesus wants us to do, and how it is the best Valentines gift we could give Him. Also remind them to continue to share that love beyond February!

    That's it! Super simple, and super fun! A craft and a Sunday School lesson all rolled into one!

    If you would like more fun ways to incorporate God's love into your celebrations, be sure to check out Family Christian's Valentine's Day Pinterest board for some more creative ideas:

    Follow Family Christian's board Valentine's Day on Pinterest.

    You can also connect with Family Christian 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