A Modern Day Fairy Tale: May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

A Camping We Will Go with Mabel's Label's Camp Pack #ICCAMPMABEL, #IC #AD @Mabelhood

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mabel’s Labels. I received a voucher to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

When I was a teenager, the highlight of my summer was going to camp each year! Oh what an experience those camp days were. The excitement, the adventure, the friendships. To this day, some of my closest friends are those who shared in that common camp experience. I love looking back and reminiscing about those fun times through the many photographs of those summer days. But as a grown up one thing that sticks out to me in those photos is the mess that was our room. I suppose when you put that many teenage girls in one room, with all those clothes- messes are inevitable. Still, it is truly a wonder that we all managed to come home with everything we left with!!

This year, my son is attending summer camp for the very first time... and while it's only day camp this year... I know my son. If he is able to lose something, it will be lost. Thankfully, I found the perfect solution in the Camp Label Pack from Mabel's Labels. This limited edition pack is designed to label anything and everything that your little one take to camp to keep them from getting left behind. They are ideal for clothes swim gear, backpacks, shoes, toiletries and more... if it goes in the suitcase, there is likely a label for it!

I could not wait to get them started! Designing could not have been easier! In fact, the hardest part was choosing the perfect design! There was truly a unique design to fit every child's style. Rockets? Trains? It was a tough decision, but we ultimately decided to go with a classic camping theme- perfect for Scout camp!! Once the design was chosen, it was time to customize with my son's information. We opted to keep these simple with just his name, but you can add room numbers, phone numbers, etc to suit your needs best. The whole process took just 5-10 minutes, tops! Super simple!

After placing our order, I was pleased to find that our labels came very quickly! I still wouldn't suggest waiting until the last minute to order, of course... but I know I can get a little impatient when waiting for something to come in the mail, so I certainly appreciated that. I was also impressed with the high quality! These labels aren't just cute stickers- these award winning customizable products are laundry, dishwasher and microwave safe and 100% guaranteed. They are certain to withstand all of the fun adventures ahead at camp!

Inside our package we found a variety of stickers that were perfect for all camp needs. There were also postcards for easy letters to home. But perhaps my absolutely favorite part were the included dog tags! These are perfect for attaching to luggage, sleeping bags- even shoes! Even long after camp is over these will come in handy for many, many purposes!! As a former camper myself, I only wish I'd have had these during my own camp days!!

With Mabel's Labels I can truly send my little guy and his stuff off to camp and know that he's going to come back with all that he left with! To see more great products for camp and everyday, join the Mabelhood community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Sign up to receive newsletters, a fun and reliable source for all things mom-related!

And as moms, we love to save money on the things our kids need, right? Mabel's Labels if giving you the chance to do just that! You
 can receive a coupon by completing social media sharing options from the contest tool below. From May 22-June 22, 2015, they are offering a chance to receive 15%-50% or free item coupons! By signing up for the Mabel’s Labels Newsletter and completing one additional social share, you will be given a one-time use coupon code. Go to Mabelslabels.com to find out which discount you received!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What Can You Buy For Just $10? {A Family Christian Giveaway- 3 Winners} #FCBlogger

I absolutely love being a Family Christian blogger.

Not only do I love this company personally, but I love having the opportunity to bring you so many great giveaways. If you've been following long, you've seen these giveaways for books and music and even appreciation certificates pop up often. And perhaps the most common prize is the $10 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate!

But did you ever wonder, 'What can you really buy with JUST $10?'

Believe me, I get it. $10 really doesn't sound like much! In many stores, finding something fantastic for $10 and under can be rather challenging. When I received my first $10 certificate, I wondered the same- what am I going to be able to get with THIS?

Boy, was I in for a surprise! The reality is- at Family Christian, $10 goes a LONG way! Take a look at just a few of the MANY examples of just what $10 can buy:

Veggie Tales DVDs.

Now, at regular price, most Veggie Tales DVDs range from $10-$15, which could still lead to an inexpensive/free DVD, but personally I love waiting for the sales! A variety of Veggie titles can often be found for just $6.97... and some even lower at just $5!! Amazing!

Books, Books, Books.

Who doesn't love books? I know my family certainly does... and Family Christian offers many great selections for every member of the family for $10 and under! I personally love picking up books for my kids like Veggie Tales, Berenstain Bears, etc. For the older readers there are great selections like a book from the 'Be Your Own Duck Commander series or two from Imagination Station series!

Clothing, Jewelry & Accessories.

$10 bracelets and umbrellas? Yes, please!! I love these fun, inexpensive finds. There are many great jewelry options at just $10 and below. How stylish are these?

Look out for sales and you can often find great tees to share your faith for under $10 as well!

Home Decor.

One of my favorite things to shop for at Family Christian is the adorable home decor... and while much of it IS over $10, there are several selections still available- fun plaques, decorative spatulas, cups, wind-chimes... so many options! And with frequent sales, that $10 can often be stretched even further!!


The clearance section is another favorite of mine to truly stretch my $10 as far as possible. You can often find home decor, holiday goodies, jewelry and so much more for 50-75% off retail!! There is always something fun to be found!!

$5 Deals.

Everytime you go in the store, you are going to find a super awesome display of $5 Deals. This can include CDs, DVDs, Bibles, Books, Cups and more! I absolutely love these deals! In the past I have purchased Veggie Tales DVDs, Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights, Francesca Battestelli's Christmas album and so much more!!

As you can see, while $10 may not sound like much... at Family Christian, the possibilities are endless!! So, the next time you see a $10 Appreciation Certificate giveaway and you're not sure if it's worth the time to enter- consider this! These are just a few of the many ways to spend! You can see everything Family Christian has 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

And to celebrate all the great buys for $10 and under, Family Christian is giving THREE lucky readers a $10 Savings Pass! (These can be used like cash in store and online... and unlike Appreciation Certificates, can be used with coupons!) Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Video from Michael W Smith: #SkySpillsOver {+CD Giveaway} #FlyBy

"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.

You cannot be a Christian fan without also being a Michael W. Smith fan, right? For years, he has been one of the greatest names in Christian music with too many fantastic songs to name! Earlier this month, he released his newest album Sovereign, and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it!

But today, it's all about the newest single, Sky Spills Over... and the fantastic new video that was just released today! Here's what MWS himself had to save about the song and video.

"I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER.  It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night.  My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project.  But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video.  This video was a lot of fun to make.  I hope people enjoy it!"

And I'm very excited to share it with you today!

(If the video does not load, click here.)

fantastic is this video!? I for one absolutely LOVE it!! It has me even MORE excited to see what the rest of the album has in store for me!!

And guess what? To celebrate the new video, one very lucky reader is going to win a copy of the album for themselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:
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.”

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.

Make Mealtime Fun with Silikids {A Review & Giveaway}

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

Have you heard of SiliKids- the innovative line of children's silicone kitchenware?

I was first introduced to this wonderful company last summer when I was given the chance to review the SiliKids drinking glasses- an eco friendly alternative to traditional plastic cups! These adorable glasses quickly became a favorite in our home, and at nearly a year later are one of the firsts that my son reaches for! You can read my original review on these glasses here, but here is a quick reminder on the benefits of silicone:

  • Silicone is made from silicon (an element found in sand, quartz and rock). It is the second most abundant element on earth. It does not react with food or drinks, produce hazardous fumes or transmit taste to food. It's hypoallergenic and does not promote growth of bacteria or fungus.
  • Silicone is nontoxic and does not contain bisphenol-A, lead, PVC and phthalates.
  • It's durable so it will last for many years...and when the time comes, it can even be recycled too!!

    As I said, we were already fans of the SiliKids brand for their drinking glasses, but did you know that they offer much more? Bowls, place-mats, bibs... so many great options! So, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out two new products- the Silispoon and Siliskin Bags.

    First up, the Silispoons:

    The perfect eating utensil for young children starting to eat solid foods. Silispoon features a textured handle to stimulate tactile experience and a wide spatula style head to make it easy to scoop up food. This fun easy to grip spoon is certain to encourage independent eating habits. Available as a 2 pack with Graze and Haze spoons and with two different textures in the set.

    First up, I could not get over how FUN these were!! This fun design not only served a great purpose (making them easy to hold and use), but also made them absolutely adorable! I wanted to use them myself and my kids were in complete agreement! They loved them! The vibrant colors, the fun textures, the ease of use... what was not to love? They were truly ideal for little hands learning how to eat!

    Next up, the Siliskin Bags:

    These translucent silicone sandwich/snack bags make it easy to see what’s inside! Silibags feature an embedded closure to keep the bag sealed shut. A gusseted bottom allows the bag to stand up for easy snacking and the bag can be written on with washable markers. The Siliskin® Bag isompletely dishwasher and microwave safe and can be boiled to sterilize. Available as a 2 pack.

    Now, when it comes to snacking on the go, we have tried a little bit of everything. Metal, glass or plastic containers serve their purpose but tend to be bulky and inconvenient on the go. Disposable snack bags are not only not an eco-friendly option, but they also get rather costly! Cloth snack bags worked well and offered more flexibility, but we found them to be rather difficult to clean. The Siliskin Bags were just the solution we were looking for! They were flexible enough to toss into my bag without taking up too much room, but much easier to clean than a cloth snack bags. Aside from that, they are also safe to use in the microwave, freezer, etc... making them incredibly versatile! I have found these to be ideal for both snacking on the go and at home, as well as a fun addition to my son's lunchbox- and since I can write on them as well, I can leave him fun lunchbox notes!! These are truly a fun addition to any kids' kitchenware collection!

    We were already Silikids fans in this house, but these products proved to be yet another reason to love them! You can see everything Silikids has to offer and connect at the links below:

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

    And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a set of Siliskin Bags 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.
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Hillsong United EMPIRES: A Music Review #FlyBy #Empires

    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.

    Do you have a favorite part of church services? For some it's the sermon itself. Or perhaps communion or even the fellowship with fellow believers before and after the service. Personally, my favorite part of any church service has always been the worship music. What a great excuse to get up out of your seat, celebrate and sing to the Lord. If a church service doesn't offer great music, chances are I'm not going to get very much out of it.

    My love of worship music doesn't end when I leave a church building though. I love it at home, in the car, wherever I am. It's such a fantastic way to connect with God as I go on about my day. For those like myself who love worship music, chances are you're very familiar with Hillsong UNITED and their amazing music. But just in case, here's a little more info:

    About Hillsong United:

    UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound, connect with churches, individuals and ultimately connect people everywhere with God. UNITED serve in church as a part of the wider Hillsong Worship and Creative team when they are home. When on tour, they are accompanied by the whole Hillsong team’s support and prayers that their ministry would arrest hearts and point people to Jesus, impacting individuals, local youth groups and local churches.

    Sounds awesome, right? I think so too, so I was thrilled to have the chance to review their new album EMPIRES.

    Now, in my opinion worship music tends to fall in one of two categories. There are those songs that make you get up and dance, praise the Lord and get loud about it (think 'Trading My Sorrows') and there are those that will bring you to goosebumps each and every time with their soulful sound and powerful words that move you deeply (think 'Here I Am to Worship' or 'Amazing Grace'). For me, this album most certainly fit into the second category. It was absolutely beautiful. 

    If you've already heard their song, 'Touch The Sky', you might already agree. Take a look at just a snippet of these lyrics:

    Find me here at Your feet again
    Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
    Come sweep me up in Your love again
    And my soul will dance
    On the wings of forever

    My heart beating, my soul breathing
    I found my life when I laid it down
    Upward falling, spirit soaring
    I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

    Absolutely beautiful. Listen for yourself on this video of their recent Good Morning America appearance:

    Hillsong UNITED - Touch The Sky - Live on Today Show from Post Production on Vimeo.

    While this has certainly remained my favorite on the album (so far), the rest of the album is just as inspiring!! I have found myself wanting to listen over and over again! But don't just take my word for it. EMPIRES is available to purchase now!

    Stay up to date with Hillsong UNITED and connect at the links below:

    Visit the Website.

    Check Out The Tour.
    Like on Facebook.



    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Never Say No: A Book Review & Blog Tour

    **I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group. All thoughts are 100% my own.

    Never Say No.

    If someone gave you this piece of parenting advice, what would you think? Chances are you'd think they were pretty crazy, right? I mean, that sounds like awful advice. Never say no? How will our kids learn boundaries? How will they learn how to overcome challenges? How will they learn that they are not the center of the universe? Never say no sounds like just the advice that would lead to a generation of spoiled kids who always get their way. Not the advice of parents raising Godly children who put others before themselves.

    And yet, when asked the question, "How did you raise your kids?" this is just the answer that Mark and Jan Foreman- parents of Switchfoot's Jon and Tim Foreman- gave. And this is the topic they discuss in their new book, Never Say No.

    About the book:

    The question Mark and Jan Foreman are most often asked is: How did you raise your kids?
    Mark and Jan Foreman’s adult sons Jon and Tim Foreman of Switchfoot have influenced their world not only by a successful music career but also through their positive impact on communities around the globe. The Foreman parents instilled in their sons a belief that they could make a difference by living beyond themselves.

    This powerful book gives readers an inside look at the process. It begins with both parent and child finding their identity in God. It then explores practical ways to encourage holistic learning while cultivating specific gifts, nurturing creativity in a media-saturated culture, and balancing structure with individual choice. Never Say No inspires readers to raise children to live in the wonder of life by loving others well. Parents will find encouragement for their own parenting journey as they guide their kids to live out God’s purpose in radical ways.

    About the author: 
    Jan and Mark Foreman live in the San Diego area, where Mark is lead pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel. Mark is the author of Wholly Jesus, and holds advanced degrees in Theology, Education and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Pastoral Care. Jan is a gifted teacher, artist, and she also facilitates partnerships with underprivileged women and children both locally and in developing countries. Together they love surfing, sailing, travel and especially being with their family.

    If you hadn't figured out from the description, this is not a book about not setting boundaries for your children. It is not a book about giving them every little thing they ask for. It's not a guide to raising children who never hear the word no. Instead, its a book that encourages us to never say no to encouraging our children. To raise children who have passion, interests and who believe that they can accomplish anything. To raise children who are about more than themselves.

    This is truly a wonderful book for all parents to read featuring great inspiration for raising big picture kids, questions to ponder and so much more. But beyond that, it is also a truly wonderful story about a family. Though I took a lot away from it to inspire my parenting, more than anything I felt it was a wonderful glimpse into the life of this family. It was less of a how-to, and more of a how-we-did. Inspiring, entertaining and truly a great read for all parents.

    Purchase a copy of Never Say No here: http://bit.ly/1PL7VrW

    Want more reviews? Check them out here as part of the Litfuse Blog Tour!

    Thursday, May 21, 2015

    DIY Gluten Free Aromatherapy Play Dough

    What kid doesn't love Playdoh? I know my oldest son certainly did! I knew my daughter would be a huge fan as well. There was just one little problem- Playdoh contains gluten! My daughter is gluten free due to worsening eczema, so we did not want to take any chances with Playdoh, so I set out to find a GF play dough recipe that would work for us.

    The good news is there are many great recipes out there. The bad news is that many require expensive gluten free flours. Thankfully I found a super simple cornstarch play dough that is gluten free and inexpensive. And to make it even more of a sensory experience, I decided to make it an aromatherapy dough!

    Want to create your own? Here's what you'll do:


    • 1 Cup Cornstarch
    • 1 lb Baking Soda
    • 1 Cup Water
    • 1/8 tsp Oil (I used grapeseed, but olive or whatever you have on hand will work!)
    • Food Coloring (optional)
    • Essential Oil of Choice (optional)

    1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
    2. Cook over medium heat until it becomes mealy. Stir constantly to avoid sticking/burning.
    3. Remove from heat, cover with damp cloth and let cool. (You may notice that parts will begin losing the color, don't worry, it will come back as it's kneaded and played with.)
    4. Knead well.
    5. Store in airtight container when not in use.


    • If your child has a tendency to eat the play dough, I would refrain from adding the essential oils. There are many great options for oils to try, but I love calming oils like Lavender, Vetiver, Sandalwood or a child safe calming blend. A little bit goes along way. Check out this site for more information on safe oil usage!
    • This is not as firm as typical store bought Playdoh. It gets crumbly and very messy! It cleans up easily, but be sure not to play on the carpet! If you have an outdoor table, this would be ideal for outdoor play as well.
    • Warning: May color hands! We added A LOT of food coloring for the more vibrant shade and found our hands ended up tinted after as well. It's a good idea to wear older clothes just in case!!

    While I originally opted to make this for my gluten sensitive daughter, I have found it to be just as wonderful for my sensory seeking son with autism. A perfect all around sensory experience! For even more sensory fun, pick up some little plastic animals or other fun toys to hide in the dough and let them explore!!

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Stubb's Spice Shrimp Kabobs {Recipe}

    With the warm weather now arriving, is there any better way to spend the summer than around the grill! In fact, May is actually National BBQ Month! And to celebrate, Stubb's BBQ has asked me to share one of their fantastic summer recipes- Spicy Shrimp Kabobs! The perfect summer meal!

    • 1 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks (preferably fresh) 
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares 
    • ½ cup Stubb’s Pork Marinade (or more if desired) 
    • 8 wooden or metal skewers 

    Cooking Instructions

    • If using wood skewers, soak in water for at least 15 minutes. Thread shrimp, pineapple, and red bell pepper in an alternating pattern onto skewers. 
    • Prepare your grill for direct high heat cooking. Oil the grates and place the skewers over the heat. Grill for 5-10 minutes, flipping often until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Baste the skewers with Stubb’s Pork Marinade every time you flip. 

    NOTE: To make the dish less spicy, baste less often.
    Now that you have this great recipe, I have to tell you a little bit about what sets this fantastic company apart from other BBQ brands! Take a look:

    Craft-made Stubb’s, the leader in authentic BBQ sauces, rubs and marinades, is the only nationally available BBQ sauce brand (available in 85% grocery stores) to carry the Gluten-Free Organization Certification seal and contain no high fructose corn syrup (the first ingredient in most national BBQ sauce brands.) The company is also working with the Non-GMO Project to verify its line.
    Sounds pretty fantastic, right? A BBQ sauce that I can feel GOOD about feeding my family... even my gluten sensitive daughter!! And it tastes so good that we can all enjoy it together! I cannot wait to enjoy all these wonderful products in the coming summer months!

    And to make summer griller even better, here are a few more tips and recipes from Stubb's!

    Rocky’s Grilling Tips
    • ·         Use indirect cooking for larger meats (indirect is cooking away from the fire), and direct cooking for smaller meats (direct is cooking over the fire).
    • ·         Soak vegetables in cold water before grilling – it keeps them from burning or drying out too fast.
    • ·         When using charcoal, allow coals to ash over before adding meat to the grill
    • ·         For a juicier steak, let your meat rest for at least 10 minutes after it is done to allow all the liquid that was forced into the center of the meat when cooking to distribute throughout the steak.
    • ·         Keep different meat types separated on your grill. For example, don’t cook beef and chicken together.
    • ·         When marinating, beef chicken and pork can marinated up to two days in a refrigerator.  You should only marinate seafood for a few hours.
    • ·         Clean grill after every use.

    Here are a few more recipes courtesy of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q:


    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    No Greater Love: A Memorial Day Printable

    Each year as Memorial Day approaches, I cannot help but think about how truly blessed I am.

    As a former military wife, I know that fear of saying goodbye to my husband and knowing there is that chance that he may not make it home. I know the worry that is felt when the phone is silent. Where is he? What is he doing? Is he okay? I've gotten phone calls telling me that they had been blown up, but that he was okay... don't worry! I know the pride of being a military wife, and I know the fear. But I also know the joy of a homecoming... a reality that all too many wives and families will never experience. As Memorial Day approaches, let's remember that this is not just a day to show your American spirit or grill out with your family, it is a day to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and to lift up their families in prayer.

    To honor those service members, I have created this pinnable/printable image for you to share and download featuring a verse that I feel is absolutely perfect for our military.

    You can download and print your free printable here.

    Monday, May 18, 2015

    Be The Best Mom You Can Be: A Book Review #FCBlogger

    **I received a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

    "Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise."- Andy Stanley

    What an idea this is in a world where our successes are so often measured by material scales- how much money you make, how much stuff you have, etc. that perhaps the great plan that God has for our life is simply to be the best mom we can be and raise our children to live for Him. But what a difficult task that is in a society like ours!

    If I were to be honest, I have many times wondered if our own mothers had it easier- raising children in a world without social media. Don't get me wrong, in many ways social media can be a great tool in parenting. I love knowing that if I'm having an issue I can call on my network of moms that have been there to get advice and input. I love that I can find fun activities to keep the kids occupied. I love that we can keep in touch with loved ones near and far.

    Still, it also opens up our homes for the world, allowing everyone to have an opinion on our parenting styles. It adds an unrealistic expectation that we have to be the perfect mom and live up to all those moms on Pinterest with their perfect parties and fancy lunchboxes . It gives us this notion that if we're not doing it like the other moms in our network, we must be doing it wrong. That's a lot of pressure we put on ourselves as moms.

    But it's not just social media that places challenges on us as mothers. The world in general, is well... crazy! Everywhere we look our children are being bombarded with messages of sex, drugs and violence. It's scary, and as a parent I wonder how to teach my children to love God in a culture where doing so isn't the popular choice. I wonder how to teach them to praise God, not praise stuff.  So, how do we mother our children in this world? This is the topic of Marina Slayton's new book, Be the Best Mom You Can Be.

    Marina Slayton and her husband, Gregory, best-selling author of
     Be a Better Dad Today, reveal the secrets to finding true joy in the sacred role of motherhood. Using story, humor, empathy, common sense, and straight talk--grounded in reality and personal experience--Be the Best Mom You Can Behelps readers from the best and most influential mothers in history. The book centers on a mother's desire for wisdom and her commitment to the well being of her husband and children and provides six time-tested principles (the Six Secrets) for being a truly great mom.

    In the tradition of Stormie Omartian's and Barbara Rainey's books, the Slaytons offer value-based inspiration, a warm and personal tone, and insightful secrets to both educate and equip moms to be the best mothers they can be. This book will help any mom who wants to grow in her sacred role. Women who need encouragement or advice or who feel ill-equipped to be mothers will find the straight-forward evangelical perspective and practical advice life-changing.

    Now, I'll admit, when I first started reading this it took me a bit to get into it. Honestly, it may have just been I wasn't in the right mood just yet... but it got off to a slow start. I somehow felt that this book was going to tell me what I was doing wrong. Like I said, this was probably my mindset at the moment more than anything I was actually reading, because as I kept reading I realized that this was not the case at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The book offers practical advice to help us as mothers to raise our kids the way God intended- and acknowledges that parenting is not one size fits all. We all have our gifts and our strengths, and trying to living up to the world's ideal of a perfect mom only leads to discontentment. It provides much food for thought on how we should teach our children to be of good character and strong faith rather than worried about being the best at everything or wanting the best of everything. And at the end of the day, isn't that what's really most important? If we teach our kids that they must be the best and have the most accomplishments, is that truly better than being a GOOD person?

    If you'd like to learn more about being the best mom you can be, the book is available to purchase at Family Christian!

    Find more great inspiration for Christian parenting and 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


    Saturday, May 16, 2015

    Getting Real: A Book Review #FCBlogger

    **I received an advanced copy of this book for this review. All thoughts are my own.

    When we invite people into our homes through the TV, we sometimes start to feel like we really know these people and sometimes, we really do get a pretty good idea of who they are. Other times, we make assumptions on the brief glimpses we are given to their lives. We often see someone with good looks and money and assume they must have it pretty easy. Add in a title like 'Miss America' and perhaps that assumption really hits home. Of course, we know- logically- that we shouldn't make this quick judgment, but we're only human, right?

    But do you ever wonder about the real story? Do you ever question what goes on beyond those glimpses or what brought these individuals to this point? Perhaps it's my natural curious nature, but I love hearing people's back stories- celebrity or not! I feel like our history is part of what makes us the people we are today. Our experiences shape our values and opinions- for good or for bad. I often feel like when you know where someone is coming from, you can better understand why they make the choices they make today. And when it comes to celebrities, it also makes them seem a little more human. Take Gretchen Carlson for instance! Former Miss America turned Fox News anchorwoman? What was her story?

    In her new book, Getting Real, she shared it all:

    Celebrity news anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson shares her inspiring story and offers important takeaways for women (and men) about what it means to strive for and find success in the real world. With warmth and wit, she takes readers from her Minnesota childhood, where she became a violin prodigy, through college at Stanford and her in-the-trenches years as a cub reporter on local television stations before becoming a national news reporter. She describes her rise to anchor of
    The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson on FOX News channel as a testament to personal strength and perseverance.

    Carlson addresses the intense competitive effort of winning the Miss America Pageant, the challenges she’s faced as a woman in broadcast television, and how she manages to balance work and family as the wife of high-profile sports agent Casey Close and devoted mother to their two children. An unceasing advocate for respect and equality for women, Carlson writes openly about her own struggles with body image, pageant stereotypes, building her career, and having the courage to speak her mind. She encourages women to strive for their goals, never give up, and always believe in themselves.

    In Getting Real, Carlson emerges as a living example of a woman not afraid to chase her dreams and embrace life fully.

    First and foremost, I found Gretchen to be a great story teller. As she shares recollections of her childhood in Minnesota, I found myself picturing and feeling the whole thing as if I were there watching. Her experiences were much different than my own, giving me nothing in life to draw off of, but she uses such detail that that really didn't matter! I've always found when telling a story, the story truly is in the details and that certainly proved to be the case here.

    Through the great story telling, I learned that there was a lot more to this former Miss America than meets the eye. I learned that it was not her beauty that got her ahead in her life and career but that she had worked hard to have those opportunities. At a very young age, Gretchen was trained as a classic violinist. It was that training and passion that pushed her forward and helped her to take home the crown. She talks often about how she was often not taken seriously because of those assumptions of being a pretty blond Miss America, and how she hoped to change those preconveived notions that are often placed upon every girl and woman, whether they are in the public eye or not. Her story does this beautifully. Gretchen is a role model for girls not because she became Miss America, but because she worked hard and earned everything she was given.

    If you'd like to read more about Gretchen Carlson, Getting Real will be available June 2015! But you can preorder now at Family Christian!

    Stay up to date with all new book releases and connect with Family Christian at the links below:

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    Friday, May 15, 2015

    Splash Into Cloth with AppleCheeks Swim Diapers! {A #cuckoo4cloth Giveaway} CLOSED

    The 2nd annual Cuckoo for Cloth giveaway event, hosted by Zephyr Hill Blog and ConservaMom, starts today! It's a fun way to visit lots of different cloth diapering bloggers and enter to win some wonderful prizes. The grand prize package is worth over $150 and includes items from Funky Fluff, GroVia, Wink Diapers, Margaux & May, Zookaboo and Geffen Baby!


    Aww, summer! Time for summer picnics, get togethers and of course, swimming! What little one doesn't love to spend time splashing about! But for the little one who is not yet potty trained there's that small issue of diapers in the water.

    So you head to the grocery store to pick up a pack of diapers made just for swimming. But have you ever actually tried a disposable swim diaper? Back when my son was a baby, we were given some and to be honest, I hated them! They seemed stiff and uncomfortable. They were less than pretty to look at. And they were expensive... especially if you are like my kids and in and out all day. One dip in the pool and the diaper was done. One run through the sprinklers and that's money down the drain! I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my extra summer money on treats from the ice cream truck than on diapers!! Is it any surprise that even those non-cloth users find themselves looking into cloth options like AppleCheeks Swim Diapers for their summer fun!

    How do swim diapers work?
    This is a great question, because honestly, if a diaper is supposed to absorb liquid, would it not get full and heavy as soon as baby gets in the pool. With a regular diaper, absolutely!! So, what makes a swim diaper different? Where a typical everyday diaper is meant to absorb liquids and prevent leaks, a swim diaper only needs to keep solids inside the diaper and out of the pool.

    Why choose cloth? Do I have to be a cloth diaper-er to use cloth swim diapers?
    We could go into all of the reasons on why cloth diapering in general is a fantastic option (better for the planet, etc), but let's just keep it simple: THEY'RE CHEAPER! Buy it once and use it over and over and over. When you're done, toss it in the wash and it's ready for next time. No more heading to the store to buy more diapers, one or two are all you need! As a cloth diaper-er, of course, this is the most natural option... but even for those who use disposable, it's ideal too. In fact if you've been curious about cloth but hesitant to start, it's a great way to get your feet wet. You'll enjoy the savings and benefits of cloth, but without the pressure! Afraid of laundry? No big deal! Because swim diapers don't contain PUL, you can just toss them in with the rest of your swimming wear! Super easy!

    Why AppleCheeks Swim Diapers?
    We personally love AppleCheeks for their unique envelope design that is super soft and very comfortable for my little girl. They used that fantastic design to design the perfect swim solution. Rather than PUL, the swim diaper features  two layers of 100% polyester Canadian-milled mesh that allow water to move in and out of the diaper comfortable while keeping any messes in! Their signature two-size system with snaps at the waist and separately adjustable snaps at the thigh means your little one is guaranteed a comfortable, long-last fit. Size 1 fits babies from 7-23 pounds and the Size 2 fits babies 18-35 pounds! With wide size ranges, it is likely that the diaper will last you all through the summer, and possibly for several summers to come!

    AppleCheek Swim Diapers truly are a fantastic swim solution for cloth and non-cloth users alike! See more of what AppleCheeks has to offer at the links below:

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

    And one very lucky winner is going to have the chance to win an AppleCheeks Swim Diaper for themselves as part of the Cuckoo For Cloth Giveaway Hop Event! 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.The Zephyr Hill and ConservaMom blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please refer to the terms and conditions particular to each giveaway. Good luck and have fun!

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Support Wounded Warriors with Your 'American Sniper' Purchase {A Movie Review}

    **I received a copy of American Sniper from Grace Hill Media in exchange for this post. All thoughts are my own.

    Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are you've heard all the buzz surrounding the movie 'American Sniper'. Maybe you've already seen it in the theater, perhaps you're waiting for the DVD release next week...or perhaps you're like me and a little apprehensive about watching it. But just in case you've been living under a rock, here's a little bit about the film:

    From director Clint Eastwood comes “American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield.

    But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.

    Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms. His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield, and as stories of his courageous exploits spread, he earns the nickname “Legend.” However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents. He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world.

    Despite the danger, as well as the toll on his family at home, Chris serves through four harrowing tours of duty in Iraq, personifying the spirit of the SEAL creed to “leave no one behind.” But upon returning to his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller), and kids, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

    Pretty powerful stuff, right? And having seen my husband through 3 (of 4) deployments, a subject matter that hit very close to my heart. To be honest, despite the hype and despite the amazing story I was certain it would tell, I wasn't sure about watching it. I wasn't sure I could handle it. And I wasn't sure how my husband would react either. Still, despite the difficult subject matter at hand, I knew it was important. For so many, this is not just a story- not just a movie, it is the reality that they come home to... and it must be talked about. Going to war changes people. Fighting a war, seeing the things they see, doing the things they do... it can't not change you. I have seen it in my husband.

    I was not wrong in my apprehension about watching. It was NOT an easy movie to watch. At all. It's powerful. It's raw. It's real. This is not a movie for the family. This is not a movie to watch if you have a loved one who is deployed. This is not a movie for the faint of heart. But this IS an important movie.

    It's also supporting an important cause. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina.

    The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To learn more about WWP’s life-saving programs and services, please visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.

    The Wounded Warrior Project is a fantastic organization that as a (former) military wife, I am proud to stand behind, and I am happy to see Warner Bros partnering with them on this.

    American Sniper will be available next week, May 19th.

    (Note: Because I tend to share primarily films that are family friendly and/or faith based, I do want to add that this film is Rated R due to the obvious violence and excessive language- which if you've spent much time with a group of Marines you know is pretty true to life. Despite the R rating, I still strongly suggest it!)