A Modern Day Fairy Tale: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jewelry Fit For a Little Princess with Lily Nily {A Review & Giveaway}

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

At not quite 3 year old, my daughter Finley is already quite the girly-girl. As I type this, I sit watching her play dress up in her pretty princess gowns and play makeup. The frills, the glitter, the glitz... she loves it all. She has quite the little stash of dress up clothes and jewelry, and yet still more often than not I find her heading towards my own jewelry box. She doesn't want the play stuff- she wants the real deal...and cutesie plastic jewelry wasn't going to do! Why could their not be an option for high quality REAL jewelry, made just for little girls?

Jewelry designers at Jasco designs- brothers Mark & Jay- saw the need for just that, and so Lily Nily was born:

Lily Nily’s mission is to bring joy to little girls everywhere with joyous, adorable jewelry that offers a wondrous selection of delightfully girly designs. We take great pride in what we do, striving always to create quality pieces of jewelry that combine old world charm with the modern world of fashion couture.

All the Lily Nily girls jewelry is randomly tested and conforms to all CPSIA requirements for cadmium and lead content in children’s jewelry. - See more at: http://www.lilynily.com/pages/kids-jewelry-about-us

Now, I'm sure many of you have seen Lily Nily around on other blogs as well. I know I certainly had myself, and found myself falling more and more in love with the styles! So, I was thrilled to be given the chance to try them out for myself- or rather my daughter!

Choosing just one piece was tough! There were so many adorable pieces to choose from!! And there truly was a little something for every girl. From princesses to sports, every girl was covered! In the end, we decided to go with the Unicorn Link Bracelet. My daughter had been fascinated with unicorns lately so it seemed like a fun choice! Check out these details:

  • 18k gold-plated brass and enamel
  • Hand-painted
  • 10.88mm width
  • Length: 5" plus 1" extension
  • Weight: 5.4g
  • Item comes pre-boxed
  • Imported
  • Lobster claw closure

The bracelet arrived beautifully packaged in a cute pink box- just how mommy's jewelry came packaged. My daughter loved that! But not as much as what was inside! It was beautiful!! It truly is high quality piece of jewelry- just in a child sized package! But don't take that to mean fragile. My daughter is 2 years old and plays hard but her bracelet held up beautifully. (I still wouldn't recommend wearing during sports or playing in mud, etc, but it's fine for everyday wear and play!) And it fit perfectly! Oftentimes we find that even with kids play jewelry, bracelets seems to be too big and just fall right off. With her Lily Nily bracelet, we had no such problem! The adjustable closure gave her a perfect fit now, and still room to grow as she gets a little older!

If you have a little girl who loves jewelry or a special occasion you want to celebrate, this truly is a fabulous company that is worth checking into!! My daughter is absolutely crazy about her unicorn bracelet, and hope to add more to her collection in the future. These are one type of kids jewelry that we know will actually last and not need to be replaced in just a few short weeks! She feels like a big girl...and looks like a princess too!

You can see more of what Lily Nily has to offer and connect at the links below:

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

And one very lucky reader is going to win a $50 gift code to shop Lily Nily 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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Introducing The Eleventh: Now on Feeln {A Review} #Feeln

**I have received a complimentary screening and subscription to Feeln in exchange for this review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

Let's talk TV!

On those lazy days, there is nothing I love more than curling up on the couch and enjoying a good show. But like so many others, we have opted to do away with satellite or cable in an effort to save money. Instead, we use streaming services. While I enjoy these services, I must admit on occasion I miss certain channels and programming that aren't as readily available on other streaming services--- like the feel good, inspirational Hallmark types of movies and shows.

Sound like you too? Today I am excited to share with you another wonderful streaming service that just might be what you're looking for- Feeln:

About Feeln: Feeln is the leading streaming service that brings you heartfelt stories of love and togetherness, anytime, anywhere. All movies are handpicked so you spend less time searching and more time with the stories you love. Feeln brings home the exclusive library of Hallmark Hall of Fame features, Hollywood movies and TV series, and award-winning originals you won’t find anywhere else.

Sounds pretty fantastic, right? I thought so too, so I was thrilled to have the chance to experience their new original series 'The Eleventh':

This May, Feeln launched its original series “The Eleventh” which stars a trifecta of TV legends including Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch, Dancing With The Stars), Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roots, Up), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Malcolm In The Middle), and newcomer Ren Harris.

“The Eleventh” focuses on a young girl’s journey to getting to know her estranged grandmother in order to bring closure to the past and unite her family. The series has heart-warming themes of family, forgiveness, healing, and love.

If I had to describe this show in just one word... well, I'd probably have to go with intriguing! From the very start I found myself wondering what was going on, what had happened in the past and what was going to happen next. We are introduced to a young woman who has recently lost her mother who seeks to reconcile with her estranged grandmother... only why are they estranged? This is the story that slowly begins to unfold in the very first episode. Now, I don't want to give anything away--- this is one show that you want to experience firsthand yourself--- but I will say as amazing as the first 20 minutes or so of the show was, the last few will have you begging for me! I found myself staring at the screen wanting more, more, more! It's a cliffhanger ending that will grab you and make you HAVE to continue watching!

Now, I don't have many must watch shows- mostly I could take them or leave them. However, I can see this one quickly making its way onto that short list. It was dramatic and mysterious, it had twists and turns, it had great talents. And through all of that it was also a show that I felt comfortable having on while my children were home... which isn't easy to say about most dramatic TV shows out there. I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Would you like to check out The Eleventh and everything that Feeln has to offer? Visit here to learn more about this affordable and uplifting streaming service.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summer Boredom Busters

Today is the first day of summer vacation for my son...and for many other kids around the country too! Don't you just love summer vacation? It's so wonderful to have the chance to sleep in (in theory) and just enjoy more time with your littles! But with all this free time comes the inevitable 'I'm bored!'.

Today, I'm sharing a list of summer activities that are sure to make this summer the best summer ever! Most of them that you can even do right in your own backyard, without breaking the bank! Check it out:

  • Have a Picnic. Nothing can make summer meals more fun than packing them up for a picnic! It doesn't have to be fancy- even pb&j is more exciting when eaten outside!
  • Backyard Scavenger Hunt. Create a fun scavenger/nature hunt for your kids to enjoy! Combine easy/normal outdoor items like leaves, rocks, etc with more creative options that inspire your kids to use their imaginations and give it more thought.
  • Free Movies? Some theaters offer free movie showings during the summer months (or beyond). These movies are typically ones that have already been released to DVD, but this can still be a really fun way to get out of the house and do something a little different! Check with your local theaters to see if they offer anything like this!
  • Paint with Bubbles. Check out this fun post for instructions.
  • Make A Volcano. My kid loves science experiments, as did I as a kid. All it takes is a little baking soda and a little vinegar to do this fun experiment! You can also search for more easy kitchen science experiments to try too!
  • Have a water fight. Buy some inexpensive water guns, water balloons, etc and have a ball! You'll cool down and make a memory!
  • Visit the Library. Many libraries have events for kids throughout the year- like movies or story times, even classes! Visit the website to your local library to see what free/cheap events they have scheduled!
  • Vacation Bible School. VBS was always a highlight of my summer. Fun lessons, games and treats...and absolutely free! Check out your local churches to find a VBS that fits your needs!
  • Make A Movie. You don't have to have a fancy video camera to create a fun movie! Use your smartphone and let your kids write, star in and produce their own movies!!
  • Tie Dye. Making matching tees for the family or liven up your pillow cases. Tie Dye kits can usually be found at craft stores for as low as $5 or so!
  • Have A Lemonade Stand. This is not only super fun way to spend a day, it's also a great way to teach kids about money!!
  • Build a Fort. Rainy days keeping you inside? (Believe me, I feel your pain!) Fort can bring the outdoor fun inside!
  • Make Your Own Play Dough. Check out this fun recipe for a Gluten Free Aromatherapy Dough.
  • Plant a Garden. Not only is this a great outdoor activity, but it also helps teach kids to make great food choices too! And it will hopefully save you some money on produce!
  • Visit the Farmer's Market. Can't plant your own garden? Take a trip to your local farmer's market instead.
  • Go Yard Sale-ing. At just 8 years old, my son has already developed an appreciation for yard sales. Give the kids each a few dollars and let them see what kind of treasure they can find!
  • Have a Movie Marathon Day. This is another one for those rainy days... pick a favorite movies series or category and make a day of it...and get creative with it! Have a superhero movie day and dress as your favorite! Have a Disney only day and start off the morning wit Mickey Mouse pancakes! Have fun with it to help those gloomy days shine brighter.
  • Create An Obstacle Course. This can be as simple or as complicated as you wish...you know your kids best! You can find inexpensive supplies like hula hoops at your local Dollar Tree. Lay out a jump rope as a 'tight rope/balancing beam', use pillow cases for a sack race experience... it doesn't have to be fancy, just be enthusiastic about it and encourage kids to use their imaginations with it and have fun.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but there are many great ways to beat the summer boredom! How will you be spending your summer days? What would you add to this list?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Survive Allergy Season with NeilMed Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirarator {A #MomsMeet Review + Coupon Code}

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.  

Hello, Allergy Season!!

Ah, yes...warm weather has finally arrived... and with it, allergies! My daughter is the biggest sufferer in my family. Summer is only just beginning and already she is an itchy, snotty mess. A lot of you can probably relate, right?

If so, then you probably can also relate to the struggle to clear those snotty noses. At two years old, my daughter just isn't a big fan of blowing her nose... but that's what nose aspirators were made for, right? To clear out noses when your little one is unable to blow... except, when they see that bulb headed towards them, in my experience, the instinct is to fight. So, now we're struggling to keep this bulb squeezed and ready, position it in their noses, keep them from squirming...well, it's just not an easy task, is it? There HAD to be a better solution!

With the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator, there is!! What sets the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator apart from the rest? Take a look at these few quick facts-

  • It's unique design. It is the world's most uniquely designed nasal aspirator. It allows parents to use a suction force created by their mouth (like using a straw) to clear out the nasal congestion in babies and little ones, safely and effectively.
  • It's versatile. While of course the key feature is the ability to use your mouth to create the correct suction...maybe that's not always an option. Perhaps there are multiple caregivers and you haven't had a chance to sterilize... or somewhere in the sterilization process a piece has gone missing... whatever the case, it can also be used simply as a NeilMed® NasaBulb aspirator. 
  • It's easy to clean. So, we've all seen those pictures of what it looks like when you cut open a typical nasal aspirator, right? Yuck!!! Those hard to clean bulbs are just better off tossed out! But this aspirator features a high-grade, all-silicone design that pulls apart easily for cleaning of all components and allows you to sterilize through boiling water or microwave disinfection protocol! The transparent design also lets you know when it needs cleaning too!
  • It features disposable filters. So, perhaps you're wondering, isn't that gross? Will you end up with snot in your mouth? A valid concern for sure, but they thought of that too! It features a disposable in-line filter that prevents mucus from inadvertently entering the tubing and reaching parent's mouth. There are 7 of the filters included.
  • It won't break the bank. With a retail price of just $9.99 to $14.99, it is of course higher in cost than your typical nasal aspirator... but for the benefits it provides and the fact that you are able to sterilize and use again and again, it truly is a great price. NeilMed products can be found at Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harmon, Kinney Drugs, Shop Rite, Brookshire’s, amazon.com, drugstore.com, neilmed.com, and myotcstore.com

Sounds great on paper, but what about in practice? Does it really work?

Well, with warm weather arriving, allergies showed up in full force this week for my 2-year-old, so we had the chance to put it to the test ourselves!

As I said earlier, typically when my daughter sees a nasal aspirator, she runs! But something about this one intrigued her! She held the bulb in place herself and thought it was the coolest thing when mommy used the 'straw'. Rather than running, she kept begging to do it again and again, long after the mucus was actually cleared from her nose. My son- lover of gross things- also thought it was pretty cool that you could see clearly everything that was suctioned out. Gross, I know, but boys will be boys... and truthfully as a parent, it is helpful to see that you are having some type of impact. It was easy to use and much gentler than what a typical nasal aspirator would be. This has already been a very welcome addition to our medicine cabinet- clearing out noses gently and naturally.

You can check out more great products available and connect with NeilMed at the links below:

Ready to buy your own? Visit Neilmed.com and use code “MOMSBLOG” for $3 off
the purchase of NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator. Awesome, right?

Does your little one struggle with summer allergies? What other tips and tricks have helped you get through? How can the NeilMed® Naspira® Nasal-Oral Aspirator help?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gardening with Kids: Our DIY Swimming Pool Garden

Teaching kids to make healthy food choices is a topic that I have talked about often here on the blog. You see, some time ago I read that when asked, many children had no idea where their food actually came from. They didn't know that meat came from animals or fruits and vegetables from plants. I found this interesting, and decided that I was going to make an effort to make sure that my kids knew otherwise! Having a husband that grew up on a hog farm, the meat part was actually pretty easy to explain. Next came produce. I didn't want to just tell them...I wanted them to experience it firsthand. So we planted a garden. 

Honestly, I can't say that this was all the successful. We found our soil wasn't that great at the home we were living and we struggled with flooding. We ended up with some tomatoes, but that was about it. Still, we didn't give up. We decided this year we wanted to try again... but we did things a little differently!

As you may recall, we moved last summer and our new yard- while a good size for the kids to run and play- didn't really have an ideal spot for a true garden. And because we moved only a few houses down, we knew we might experience some of the same soil issues we ran across before. So, we decided to go with a container garden instead. I looked into raised garden beds, but found they were out of our budget...so I got creative. I looked around to find what types of containers we had that might work to re-purpose! What I found was my kids old kiddie pool from last summer!

At 8, my oldest had certainly outgrown this tiny pool, and honestly my toddler wasn't far behind... so we decided to create a small garden inside! Want to create your own? It's super simple!

  • First up, prepare your pool. Drill many small holes throughout the bottom of the pool so that water can drain. 
  • Next fill with soil. I found for our little pool it took about 3- 3.5 40 pound bags of soil to fill.
  • Now get to planting! You can plant seeds, or have plants already started as we did! 
  • You can add any fun little fences, garden decor etc if you like.

This little pool garden was super simple and inexpensive and truly is a great way to get the kids involved too! It's also ideal for renters like ourselves. Now, I cannot yet say how well our garden will turn out, but we are hopeful! We decided this year- instead of attempting several varieties as we did before- we would pace ourselves and keep it small. We will have tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peas and eggplant. We are looking to add some sweet peppers too, and may find another place for some watermelon...maybe! We are excited to watch our garden grow and will keep you updated on the progress as we go!

Do you have any more creative gardening tips? I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Make Moving Easy with CORT Furniture Rental {+Other Moving Tips} #CORTforMilitary #ad @CORTFurniture

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

With military life, life can be pretty hard to predict. In fact, the only thing you truly can predict is the unpredictable. You never know when your spouse will be training, deployed or when those orders would come to move. 

I will admit that for this girl who had lived in the same place her whole life, that initial move was rough. Still, while I cannot say that I ENJOY moving, I have picked up several tips and tricks along the way that have made these inevitable a little easier to deal with! Today, I wanted to share a few of these with you.

Some of these tips may be better suited for military families, but others are great for anyone!

Love It or Leave It

I must admit, I'm a natural pack rat. It's in my blood. I can attach a sentimental value to just about everything... but frequent military movies have forced me to really think long and hard about which things I keep. Packing stinks, so do you really want to be packing and moving things you know you won't be using over and over again? I find it helpful to sort through things periodically and clear out what you're not using. This will help to lighten the load- in more ways than one- if and when a move does pop up.
Be Organized

Again, another confession- I'm not organized in the slightest! But with moving, you have to be! Pack things by the room, and label them well so that when you get to your new location you know JUST where they go. If it's something you will need right away, be certain that it is clearly marked so that you won't be in such a rush to unpack everything right away. Make lists if it helps!
Know Your Packing Order

When I get the first indication that we're going to be moving, I immediately start gathering boxes and packing up what I can. I start with things I know we don't need in the meantime- like books for example. I'll start taking down knick knacks or wall decor... things that aren't actively being used. By packing up these unused items, it makes packing the more important items go more quickly on moving day...and also gives you time to sort and part with anything too. 

Pack the Kids' Stuff Last

This may go in part with the previous tip, but it warrants a mention all on its own. Moves can be really rough on kids, so anything you can do to help make the transition easier is definitely a plus! If kids see their toys, etc disappearing for weeks before the move, they may begin to worry... so in our family, the kids' rooms really don't get touched until moving day. Yes, I might go in and clear some unused things out before then, but as far as actually packing, we wait. These are also among the first rooms we unpack once we are settled. Favorite toys that your little ones love? Consider keeping them with you rather than on the moving truck!
Consider Furniture Rental

I don't know about you, but one of my least favorite parts about moving is moving the furniture. Seriously. Not only is it going to weigh the most and be the most costly to move, but there is always that chance that it could be damaged in the move. We've seen this personally many a time- a piece of furniture you love getting scuffed and scratch...no good! Aside from that, some moves- military or otherwise- we know will be short term. Take recruiting duty- you know that in just 3 years you'll be packing up and moving yet again. Or even less time...maybe you're a wife who has decided to move closer to home while your spouse is deployed... do you REALLY want to move all that furniture again in such a short time span? It is for these situations and many more that furniture rental can be an ideal option. It's such a convenient option...there when you need it and gone when you don't!

When you need that flexibility of furniture rental, 
CORT Furniture Rental can help. They are the nation's trusted solution to rent furniture. But don't just take it from me, take a look at this video:

Sounds great, right? And they even offer special military pricing too, with military packages starting at $119 a month. (*Military pricing is only available on military packages. Customer must present valid Military I.D. before delivery.) 

Ready to start renting your furniture? You can see everything that CORT has to offer, learn more and connect at the links below:

CORT Furniture Rental
Are you a frequent mover? What other moving tips and tricks do you have? How can CORT Furniture Rental help make the transitions easier?

Visit Sponsors Site

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Explore Outdoors with a DIY Binoculars Kid Craft

Warm weather seems to finally be arriving here in Indiana, and the kids and I are taking full advantage!! We want to spend as much rain free time outside as possible. We may not have the money in our budget to go on fancy adventures elsewhere, but we have found there can be adventure in our own backyard if we look for it!

Today, I want to share a super simple kids craft that will help make exploring even more exciting: DIY Toiler Paper Roll Binoculars!

  • 2 Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Glue
  • Ribbon/Yarn
  1. Prepare your TP rolls...remove any leftover toilet paper, etc. For this post, we just left out rolls very simple, but if preferred, you could paint or decorate to your liking.
  2. Apply glue to one side of a roll. Glue the two rolls together. If you are making for the kids, you can use hot glue to speed up this process. We used a simple tacky glue and found we did need to hold together for a few minutes to keep it together. You can also use a hair dryer to speed up the process. Allow to dry completely undisturbed.
  3. Add a ribbon or yarn so your little one can wear them.
That's it...a super simple craft that will help prepare every child for some backyard exploring.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Life Verse Creative Journal: A Book Review

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

Often when I talk about Bible journaling, I hear the same ol' comment.

"It sounds great, but why does it have to be IN the Bible? Why can't you just use a regular journal?'

For me personally, I never had any issues with the idea of marking in my Bible so Bible journaling didn't bother me at all... but I realize that for some it does.They want the experience of journaling as a form of worship, but in a seperate journal. And that's perfectly okay!

If this sounds like you, I have a book set that might be a perfect for you: The Life Verse Creative Journal.

Are you ready to discover your life verse? Choosing a life verse from Scripture is a powerful way to aim your steps toward God. This two-pack of beautiful journals (64 pages each) will guide you to choose a life verse and to make it your own! In journal 1, fifteen verses are explored through text and journaling prompts and combined with beautiful line-art illustrations for you to color and make your own. Journal 2 is blank and ready for your imagination, your art, and your story!

This journal set is absolutely fabulous.

First up, the first journal. This one features predrawn artwork that is ready for you to color and make your own. If you are a fan of adult coloring books already, this will be a welcome addition. The artwork features verses that are perfect for reflecting upon and applying to your life. But what really sets this apart from a typical coloring book are the journaling prompts. Some pages have plenty of room to write down thoughts based on the given prompts, or to doodle your own doodles. It truly is as much a journal as it is a coloring book, and will really inspire you to get creative and grow closer to God.

The next journal can be used however you please. It's completely blank. You can do typical journaling and write your thoughts (though it is unlined), or you can get creative and create your own artwork. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!! Truly a perfect gift for anyone who is interested in coloring and Bible journaling!

Life Verse Creative Journal is available to purchase now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Finding Strength During Hard Times {Bible Journaling Inspiration}

One of the things I love most about Bible journaling is that- much like typical journaling- it allows me to express what I'm feeling at any given time. It inspires me to find verses that suit what I'm going through. And in the process gives me a chance to reflect and pray on it.

Lately, I must admit...I've been having a rough time. The circumstances aren't important, but I will just say that we've been hit with some unexpected troubles being thrown our way and to say it's been a rough few months is quite the understatement. I've been feeling rather down at times, but trying to remain faithful during it all and trust Him that everything will be okay. Taking a look through my recent journaling entries certainly reflects that.

Today I wanted to share a few of my personal journaling entries from the past few weeks, and offer some verses that are perfect for anyone struggling. These are ideal for Bible journaling, or just as words of comfort...

Some Verses for Inspiration:

Hebrews 6:19
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Philippians 4:6-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Psalm 50:15
And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Do you have some favorite verses that you turn to when you're struggling? Share them in the comments below.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Try Products For Free!!! {A Look Inside My Influenster #SuperMomVox Box}

One of the fantastic perks of being a blogger is having the opportunity to try out a variety of products and sharing my thoughts on those products. It's a lot of hard work, of course, but I still love it!!

But did you know that you don't have to be a blogger to have the chance to try and review products yourself? There are many companies that will send you full sized products right to your door to try for free- just to hear your thoughts. Today, I wanted to share with you one of my personal favorites: Influenster!

Take a look at this quick overview-

A community of over 2 million social savvy shoppers that:
Stay on top of the latest product news & expert tips.
Review products, share honest opinions with brands and the community.
Test products for free based on social media influence.

Sounds pretty great, right?

And it really is! It's a simple way to try new products and share them with those in your own network. You can sign up now by following this link.

So, what can you expect to find inside each Vox Box? Each one is different of course, but I can't say that I've ever been disappointed. To give you just a little idea, check out what came in my #SuperMomVoxBox:

  • Palmolive Fusion Clean with Baking Soda and Lime

    I love cleaning with baking soda- seriously, nothing gets the job done better, so I loved discovering a new dish soap that uses that same secret! It smells great too!
  • Suave Kids Purely Fun

    Suave is such a great brand because the products work great without breaking the bank. I love that these products are free of dyes and parabens as well- great especially for my daugher's super sensitive skin!
  • Plackers Flossers
    My kids love these! They truly do making flossing not just much easier... but more fun too!!
  • Secret Outlast Xtend Invisible Solid

    With summer months coming up, a great deodorant is especially important, so I loved having the chance to try this one out!!
  • Pilot Acroball Pens

    This was perhaps my favorite thing in my package, believe it or not! I am a list maker, so I am always going through pens like crazy. These pens were great...they didn't just work well, but they looked great too!!
  • Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream

    This came in the form of a coupon which I am excited to redeem! So many great recipes calling my name, and this will certainly help lower our grocery bill!

Sounds pretty great, right? Like I said, this truly is a fantastic network for bloggers and non-bloggers alike!! And this is just one of many great programs like it. In fact, I will soon be working on a blog post to share more of these great sites with all of you!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Kick Off Summer with New Products From Van's + A Giveaway #CeliacAwarenessMonth

Did you know that May is Celiac Awareness Month?

If you've ever tried to go gluten free- by choice or by necessity, you likely already know how difficult it is! Gluten is in everything!! My daughter was gluten free for some time due to it worsening her eczema and let me tell you, it was especially challenging finding child-friendly foods that were delicious AND gluten-free!

Difficult, but not impossible- thanks in large part to Van's!! Their foods were readily available right at our local grocery store, and truly tasted great! Even my husband who tends to turn his nose every time he heard 'gluten free' agreed! We've had the chance to try many great Van's products and I have to say we haven't found a bad one yet! So we were super excited to hear that they were introducing more new delicious snacks to their line up to kick off summer. They've now introduced two new snack bars (Banana Bread and Gramwich- a chocolate stuffed graham cracker sandwich) and Soft-Baked Whole Grain Granola Clusters in Double Chocolate and Banana Nut.

First up the granola cluster! These are fantastic for a quick bite after school or between meals, and even great for on the go! I loved these just as much as my kids, and they truly are a snack I can feel good about! Take a look at the details-

·  Van’s decadent, bite-sized gluten-free granola – perfect for family road trips, an easy addition to breakfast or anytime on the go – are a soft and chewy portable snack perfect with frozen or Greek yogurt or by the handful when a craving hits. Van’s Double Chocolate and Banana Nut Granola are baked with delicious, gluten-free, whole grain oats and offer 12-14 grams of whole grains per serving – with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Next up the snack bars! To be honest we've not yet personally tried the snack bars, but I've no doubt that they are every bit as wonderful as every other Van's product we've experienced. These are another great treat that are ideal for us moms to toss into our purse or diaper bag for healthy snacking on the go. Check it out:

Van’s Chocolate Gramwich Sandwich Bars pack as much favorite-treat nostalgia as they do delicious flavor. Made with real chocolate sandwiched between two whole-grain, graham-style bars, they’re a one-of-a-kind pick-me-up. Van’s Banana Bread Bars blend banana flavor with gluten-free oats and flaxseed to create a tasty and portable version of banana bread that’s wholesome enough to enjoy as part of breakfast.

They all sound great, right? I think so too! Be sure to head over to their website to learn more. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

To celebrate these great new products, Van's is having an amazing giveaway for all of you! One lucky reader will win a Van's prize pack for you AND a friend. The winner will receive the $100 Visa gift card, Van’s water bottle, tote, two reusable snack sacks and coupons for free Van’s Foods. The winner will also receive another set of swag and coupons but doesn’t include the visa gift card for a friend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Read the Bible as a Family: An ESV Family Devotional Bible Review & Giveaway #ESVFamilyDevotionalBible #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.

Let's talk Bible reading!

We all know that we SHOULD read the Bible... but do you actually enjoy it? Do you look forward to it? Or is it a task that we do because we are supposed to, not because we want to?

If I were to be entirely honest, I go through stages... there are parts of the Bible (primarily the New Testament) that I love reading over and over again...if not full books, passages that mean a lot to me. Other parts- like some of those Old Testament books? Well, yes, those seem to be more of a chore. 

As a mom, I don't want my children to see Bible reading as a chore. I want them to love learning about all of these amazing stories. I want them to better understand why these stories are important and how we apply them to our every day lives. I want them to grow up reading and loving the Bible.

How can I do that? One great way is reading it together! For that, the new ESV Family Devotional Bible is ideal: 

The ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. This full-color edition features the complete ESV text interspersed with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories—guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year. Each devotion also includes discussion questions and suggestions for additional reading, helping families develop a habit of reading the Bible together and applying its truth to all of life. 

As much as I want my child to know their Bibles, I must admit, I'm not always sure where to begin teaching them. Of course I know many of the stories, but how do I make sure they are understanding what they read? What questions can I ask to make sure they heard what I was telling them? How do I best remind them how those stories apply to our lives today?

This Bible truly is perfect for that. Throughout the pages we find devotionals with some of the great stories in the Bible. Each one features a full page color image to help bring in little one's attention and shares a brief summary of the Bible story at hand- as well as the reference so we can read more in depth into the story. Each reading is also followed by three questions to help further the conversation. These questions not only help us all to better understand what we have read, but also to understand how those lessons can be applied to our life today. Each devotion is ended with a key verse that truly sums up the story we've read, and can also serve as a good memory verse too.

As much as I love the actual devotional part of the Bible, the first thing that caught my eye were the illustrations. When I was a child, I remember going to my doctor's office where they had these old Bible story books... they must have been older even then 20 some years ago. But they were classic and timeless and truly stuck with me through all of those years. The illustrations in this Bible remind me very much of those old picture books from my childhood. These are pictures that will feel dated in just a few years, but will really hold their appeal throughout the years, making it great not just to read now with my own family, but to pass down to theirs as well.

This truly is a fantastic Bible that will help your family read and learn about the Bible together. You can learn more and connect at the links below:

Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
 Purchase on Amazon

And one very lucky reader is going to win a copy 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.

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 10, 2016

From Baby Steps to Playground Play with See Kai Run {A #HelloBabyHop Giveaway}

Welcome to the Hello Baby Giveaway Hop hosted by Karen’s Got Mail! I have teamed up with a fantastic group of bloggers to share some awesome giveaways with our readers. Be sure to hop around to the participating blogs listed below and enter some fabulous giveaways, all of which are worth a minimum of $25!


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

With Mother's Day having just passed, I cannot help but think back on those early days of the boy who made me a mama... my oldest son! As a first time mom, I remember waiting ever so impatiently for those milestone moments to come. We'd wait for those first holidays, the first words, the first foods. Perhaps one of the most anticipated firsts are those very first steps...and I remember my son's vividly!

He was around 11 months old. We were staying with my mom at the time while my husband was deployed. During that particular deployment, we didn't have much communication at all- we'd be able to talk maybe once a month if that. Naturally, we cherished those moments we did have like no other- giving my son every chance possible to see daddy. At this point, he'd been standing unassisted for some time but had never made that extra effort to make the first step. You can imagine the excitement when during a video chat with Daddy, he made that step.

Having left when our son was just 9 months old- and having had a ton of training even before that so he missed a lot of those firsts. He missed the first words, he missed the first birthday... so those first steps, seeing them from across the globe- we could not have asked for a better moment. It's a moment I cherish...and a moment I wish I could go back to!

While that seems like just yesterday, my son is now approaching 9 years old, and running at full force! He's no longer taking those tentative baby steps, he's running, jumping, skipping...constantly on the move!

From those first steps to the school days on the playground, our little ones need the right pair of shoes to get them through those special moments! And for that See Kai Run is ideal!

See Kai Run was created in 2004 when a Seattle mom saw the need for a great pair of kids shoes that are both adorable AND good for little one's healthy foot development. When nothing else was to be found, she created See Kai Run. Today, a dedicated team of footwear makers and designers carry on this mission. Their experience and footwear knowledge ensures that every style they produce is fun, fashionable and features the finest in materials and craftsmanship.

Taking a look around their website, it's hard not to fall in love with the great style, so I was thrilled to have the chance to review a pair myself. My son chose the Strive shoes in blue. Of course, he just loved them because they were his favorite color, but for me there was much more to love- the design truly had his growing feet and shoe needs in mind-

  • Breathable leather lining is healthy for developing feet
  • Rubberized leather toe cap and heel for protection
  • Lightweight and flexible outsole
  • Adjustable strap make on/off easy

My son was so excited about these shoes that as soon as they came in, he decided he had to put them on and go straight outside...right into the mud! Before I even had a chance to take a picture for this review, they were put to the durability test that I'm certain every boy will put them through too. When I say he played in the mud- I don't mean it was a little bit muddy- I mean it was the kinda muddy day where the mud just cakes onto the shoes and has been known to destroy many a kids shoe! But See Kai Run withheld the test, passing with flying colors!! I was impressed! I know that if they can withstand my crazy child, they are sure to last a long time!

This particular pair of shoes is also part of the Hustle Kindness collection:

In July 2011 Peach’s Neet Feet (PNF) began providing customized, hand-painted shoes to children living with disabilities and fighting serious illness.  The PNF shoes help create awareness, allowing the children to be recognized for who they are beyond their diagnosis or disability.  The shoes became a gateway, connecting people from all over the world.  These personalized, one of a kind gifts lift the spirits of these children and their families.  Today, what began as a love of art and giving has grown into a movement of kindness. The only thing that PNF asks for in return is that the children and their families pay it forward and “Hustle Kindness” themselves.

See Kai Run has been providing shoes to Peach’s Neet Feet since 2014. This February we hope to support PNF in a different way by donating 10% of proceeds from select Spring Summer ’16 styles to Peach’s Neet Feet and their movement to “Hustle Kindness”.  On our website, seekairun.com, look for the Hustle Kindness logo;* this indicates a shoe in which 10% of proceeds will go to support Peach’s Neet Feet.  The select shoes will be sponsored by one of our See Kai Run Superstars, each of whom face unique life challenges, but each of whom are on the quest to “Hustle Kindness” themselves.

For more information, please visit www.peachsneetfeet.com.   

That's pretty amazing, right? I love that not only are my kids getting great quality shoes that I'm confident will last, but it is also helping to give back through this amazing program! Awesome!

This is just one of the many great styles available from See Kai Run, you can see them all and connect at the links below:

Twitter - @seekairun
Website - http://www.seekairun.com

And one very lucky is going to win a pair of their choice for themselves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Karen’s Got Mail and the Hello Baby Giveaway Hop participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media are not affiliated with this 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.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Looking For Lovely {A Book Review & Giveaway}

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

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.- Philippians 4:8

We've all heard this verse a million times right? It's a beautiful verse that is a personal favorite of mine. I always find myself going back to it as a reminder of what I need to surround myself with. Things that are good, things that are right, things that are lovely. 

But let's be honest... sometimes that's a little easier said than done. Life doesn't like to surround us in lovely all the time. More often than not it seems as though we are struggling with issues in our lives. Maybe it's a job situation or financial troubles. Maybe its school troubles with your children or feud issues with your family. Maybe there are health issues. All of these things can cloud our vision and keep us from seeing the lovely around us. It's still there, we just cannot see it.

Does this sound like you? If so, I have the right book for you- Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs:

“I want you to take every step of your life with excitement for where you are headed. And I want you to feel beautiful and confident as you do.”
But how? When the enemy whispers lies that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, or rich enough? Or you are too dumb, too loud, too quiet, too thin, too fat, too much or not enough? What if you don’t have what it takes to be who you really want to be?
In Looking for Lovely, Annie F. Downs shares personal stories, biblical truth, and examples of how others have courageously walked the path God paved for their lives by remembering all God had done, loving what was right in front of them, and seeing God in the everyday—whether that be nature, friends, or the face they see in the mirror.
Intensely personal, yet incredibly powerful, Looking for Lovely will spark transformative conversations and life changing patterns. No matter who we are and what path God has us on, we all need to look for lovely, fight to finish, and find beautiful in our every day!

I try to be a very positive person...you'll find here on the blog and on my personal social media, I tend to keep things pretty upbeat. This is in part my effort to live that verse, to find whatever is lovely. But if I were to be entirely honest, lately that has presented more of a challenge. There have been many hits our family has taken of the last two years and a lot of them just within the last few months. It has been rough and has pushed my anxiety to levels that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. It is so easy to find those lovely moments when things are going great, but not as much when it seems everything else is falling apart, right? Looking for Lovely came at just the right time- with personal stories and biblical truths, I flt as if Annie was writing just to me, reminding me that even in the midst of the chaos all around, there is STILL lovely to be found, and that truly is what we need to focus on. It is beautifully written, as though from one friend to another...sharing a message that I think we could all use every now and again! No matter what you are going through, lovely is all around us, we just have to be willing to look.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who may be struggled to find the lovely around them too.

Looking For Lovely is available to purchase now at your favorite Christian book retailers.

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

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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

National Day of Prayer 2016 {Prayer Post Round Up} + Giveaway

Today is the National Day of Prayer!

Prayer is such a crucial aspects in our life as Christians, isn't it? What kind of relationship can we truly have with God without speaking to Him? That is just what prayer is- taking time out of our days to come to God in conversation.

Prayer is also a topic that I have talked about often- in book reviews on the subjects, in crafts for kids and just because. Today, I wanted to take a moment to share some of these posts again!

Teaching Kids to Pray (+ Prayer Jar Printable)
On Praying for Teachers
An Irish Inspired Prayer Journal for Kids (can be adjusted to be less seasonal!)
Praying For Your Prodigal (Book Review)
Let's Learn the Lord's Prayer (Childrens Book Review)
War Room Books for the Family 
Before Amen (Book Review)

In addition to sharing these old posts, I also want to give one lucky reader the chance to win something that I hope will enrich their prayer lives: Battle Plan Prayer Cards (inspired by the movie War Room). Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

Have something you need prayers for? Please let me know in the comments below, or send me a message. I would love to prayer for you, and I'm sure others would love to as well!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

HALO Mother's Day Give One, Get One Giveaway {#HALOBassinest #HALOSwaddle} @HALOSleep

There are 3 things that babies are pretty known for- eating, sleeping and pooping! They have the last one pretty well taken care of on their own, and the first one...well, that tends to come pretty naturally too. But the sleeping, well, that can be a struggle! For new mothers, a common question is, 'How do I get my baby to sleep well and safely?'

One of the the most common tips I've personally heard is to swaddle! We loved swaddling with both of our children, and they both loved feeling the comfort and security it would bring. But with so many swaddling products on the market? How do we know which is best for us?

Many parents find themselves trying numerous different swaddle products to find that right match for their baby.
  The HALO SleepSack Swaddle’s unique 3 way swaddle feature matches baby’s sleep style right from the start– swaddle arms in, arms out or hands-to-face.  As the swaddle adjusts to baby’s sleep style, baby is more likely to sleep well (meaning Mom and Dad can sleep too!).   The HALO SleepSack Swaddle is also the #1 choice by hospitals for safer infant sleep.

I've personally used these products with my daughter and highly recommend them to all. They're soft, they're comfortable and they help baby to sleep- safe and sound!! Even after my babies are long past the swaddling stage, I find myself gifting these to friends and family who are expecting!

This Mother’s Day, HALO wants to bring you and a friend the gift of safe sleep for your infant. Enter the HALO Mother’s Day “Get One, Give One” giveaway on Facebookhttps://gleam.io/fb/kI7Mv  for a chance to win a HALO Bassinest LUXE for you and an additional one for your friend!  The giveaway will close on May 6 at midnight.  The HALO Bassinest is the only bassinet that moves to bring baby to you. Your little one can sleep as close as you want – even right next to you in bed – and still sleep safely in his own separate space.  The more the HALO Bassinest moves the less you have to – which makes taking care of baby at night a lot easier.

In addition to that fabulous giveaway, they are giving you another chance to win right here! One lucky reader will win TWO Halo SleepSack Swaddles- one for yourself, and one for a friend! 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.

And don't forget, you can see more and connect with HALO at the links below:

·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         Pinterest
·          Google+
·         YouTube