A Modern Day Fairy Tale: March 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

Decorate With Intention with HolyArt.com

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of HolyArt.com. All thoughts are 100% my own.

As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I see a lot of negative. Politics, anger, crimes... it's everywhere. For every 3-4 negative posts, it seems there may be just one positive. Anyone else feeling the same? To be honest, it can be a little depressing and overwhelm us if we let it. We need a safe place- a happy place. A place where we can find inspiration and get away from the negativity in the world outside. For most of us, this place is our home. In my home, I strive to fill it with words of positivity, signs of hope, things that bring me peace. This is why I decorate with intention.

So, what is decorating with intention?

For me, it's all about glorifying God in the way that I decorate. If you think about it, this is something many of us already do with our holiday decor. We put up our nativities, our 'Jesus is the Reason' signs, etc to remind us throughout the holiday season the reason we are celebrating. Even at Easter we throw up crosses or a sign declaring 'He Lives!'. These are great too of course, but for me, I don't like to stop just at the holidays. I want my home to reflect my faith throughout the year!

Recently I discovered a fabulous company that will allow you to do just that, and today I am excited to introduce them to you: HolyArt.com.

HolyArt was the first religious art shop in Italy that sells exclusively on-line and they’ve expanded internationally now.  They offer a variety of unique, high quality religious pieces that will truly allow you to display your faith proudly. Here's a little bit of history on the company:

At the end of 2006, Pulchra Point Snc religious shop, due to the great success of its web-site Holyart.it, decided to devote exclusively to on-line sale of religious art and products, in order to offer the best service possible to its increasingly growing web-customer.

This was the beginning of Pulcranet Srl, a company entirely dedicated to the development of religious art, e-commerce with Holyart logo and the web-site Holyart.it. Keeping the activities carried out by Pulchra Point Snc, and inheriting its staff and values, Pulcranet Srl has today an established, expert company structure to satisfy those who desire the best service possible from the first Italian e-commerce selling religious products. Today Holyart.it online catalogue offers a range of thousands of products and it is still growing: a part from the religious items as iconsmadonnas crosses and crucifixes, there are consumables items for churches (incensescharcoalsliquid wax, etc.) accessories for the liturgy (thuribleschaliceslamp-holders, etc.),up to any need of a Catholic looking for prestigious religious products, and, at the same time, value-for-money (traditional rosary or electronic rosarybooks, DVD, etc.).
Taking a look through their website, I was impressed with the wide variety of products they offered. Some of them are definitely geared towards Catholic homes, but I found tons that are perfect for any Christian household. There are items featuring classic scenes like The Last Supper or Raphael's Cherubs. There are statues featuring various saints and angels and depicting epic scenes from the Bible. They even have the ever popular Willow Tree and Jim Shore figures. Aside from the wide variety of styles, I found there to be a WIDE variety of price ranges too so that you can best find the right pieces to meet your budget. Some I would definitely call luxury items, but there are plenty of options at a much lower price too. Personally, I love that!

Take a look at a few of my personal favorites:

And it's not just decor! Books, rosaries, jewelry, church supplies... they truly have a wide variety so you can shop for all of your religious product needs in one convenient spot online!

Whether you are looking for religious art to decorate your home with intention, or are on the search for quality religious products to strengthen your faith, HolyArt.com is a must see. Check them out and connect at the links below:

Shop Online.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Youtube.

Have you checked out HolyArt.com? What are some of YOUR favorites?

Celebrate Smurfs The Lost Village with Blueberry Pie + A Giveaway {#SmurfsMovie #AD #RWM}

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Sony Pictures. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Is your family excited about the upcoming theatrical release of Smurfs the Lost Village on April 7? I know my family certainly is! What's not to love about the Smurfs!? I remember watching them as a child, and I love that I can now fall in love all over again with my children! Aside from that, the story behind this new movie sounds like a great one:

 In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

Website: http://www.smurfsmovie.com/

Sounds amazing, right!? A little mystery, a little adventure, and a whole lot of fun! We cannot wait to see it and enjoy it together as a family! But we're so excited that we couldn't just wait for the movie to celebrate, we had to get ourselves prepared beforehand. Of course, you cannot think about Smurfs without thinking BLUE. Blue, blue... everything blue! So, in celebration of the upcoming movie, we whipped up another blue favorite in my house:

Homemade Blueberry Pie

  • Homemade or Store Bought Crust
  • 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 6 Cups Blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  1. Heat oven to 425.
  2. Prepare your pie crust if homemade, or spread store bought crust into a pie plate.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. (If you like cinnamon, feel free to sprinkle a little more in! I always do!) Stir in the blueberries. 
  4. Pour blueberry mix into your ready pie crust.
  5. Sprinkle top with lemon juice, and small sections of butter. 
  6. Cover with top crust. (I did a lattice top, but you can keep it simple too... just be sure to cut slits in the top!) Close edges.
  7. If desired, sprinkle top with a bit of sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. If desired, you can cover the edges with foil to avoid crust burning, foil can be removed in the last 15 minutes. 
  9. Allow to cool for about 2 hours.

That's it! This recipe is not only very easy especially using a store bought crust, but it's absolutely delicious too! The perfect BLUE treat to celebrate our favorite blue friends!

And the celebration doesn't stop there! How about a giveaway too!? One lucky reader is going to win a Smurfs prize pack, valued at $20! 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, March 30, 2017

Bible Stories for Courageous Boys {A Book Review & Giveaway} #EasterGiftGuide

**Book received for review. All thoughts are 100% my own. 
Boys love stories of courage don't they!?

Just take a look at some of their favorite things. They love Star Wars. They love superheroes. They love Ninja Turtles. They love all of these stories of action and adventure. Also in these tales? Stories of great courage!

That's not the only place that they can find stories of courage though! The Bible is full of these stories! Many of these stories can be found in the fabulous book, Courageous Bible Stories for Boys:

With animated and lively illustrations, Bible Stories for Courageous Boys offers an exciting way for young boys to study the courageous and godly men in the bible. Boys are introduced to eighteen male characters including Joseph, David, and Peter, in a simple and straightforward manner while additional helpful historical facts set the scene of each story.

This diverse cast of characters will encourage the faith of tween boys as they read about how these men, by God's grace and love, overcame doubt and fear to do what God asked of them. Recommended for boys ages 6 to 10.

Now, don't get me wrong... I love a good superhero story. And while I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of Star Wars or TMNT or any of these other characters that boys love and aspire to, there are greater things that I hope for my son to look up to. I would prefer he look at REAL men in history who have shown courage. Like these great men in the Bible! These are not men who have all lived perfect lives but they did great things, had great courage and were true men of God... that's just what I want for my son! These stories are everything that boys love, and are truly a great way to keep boys interested in reading the Bible!

This is also a great option for Easter baskets for your boys too! It will help to keep Christ in Easter in a way that is still fun! Bible Stories for Courageous Boys is available to purchase now!

And one very lucky winner is going to win a copy for the little man in their life. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bring The Spa Home with Pure Body Naturals {$100 Kohls Gift Card Giveaway} #giveaway #beauty #beautyful #beautytips

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pure Body Naturals. All thoughts and opinions are those of our own.

Did you ever feel like you just need a break? A quick moment away from the craziness of work and motherhood. A day at the spa...oooh, doesn't that sound amazing? But I don't know about you, but for me that's not an option... but I CAN bring the spa to me! Even better? With these amazing codes from Amazon, you can bring it home even cheaper.

 Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive the $100 Kohls Gift Card mentioned above! Open to US residents, 18 and up only. One entry per household/IP address. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway begins March 29th, 2017 at 12am Eastern and ends April 12th, 2017 at 11:59pm Eastern  

Disclosure: This blog was compensated for this posting. The sponsor, Pure Body Naturals is responsible for prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated or affiliated with any social media outlets. This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Greatest Story Started Once Upon a Time {A Review} #OnceUponaTimeBible #FlyBy

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

Once Upon A Time... Ooh, I love a good fairy tale! I suppose that's no secret, right?

My daughter has picked up on that love of princess stories and will often tell me, 'I want a once upon a time story...' I can't blame her, those tend to be among the very best. Still, it's not THE greatest story of all. That story is not a fairy tale at all, but the story of Christ and the sacrifice he made on the cross. The story of God and His creations. The stories we found in the Bible. Those stories are far from fairy tales... but they did happen. Once Upon a Time.

Given my love of both fairy tales and the Bible, I suppose it goes without saying that when I heard of the Once Upon a Time Bible and Bible Storybook, I was intrigued.

About the Story Book.
The Bible is not a fairy tale, but every great story happened “once upon a time.” The Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible highlights powerful and inspiring stories from the Bible, beautifully illustrated with fantastical artwork by Omar Aranda. Stories include: Ruth, Abigail, Esther, The Parable of the Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son, Mary Magdalene, and many more. Each captivating story is told in a way that will get children excited about reading the tales of real heroes of the Bible.

Like I said, my daughter was already a huge fan of stories that began Once Upon a Time, so I loved that we could introduce her to these amazing stories in a way that truly appealed to her. And honestly, reading through, I realized, they are stories that these epic fairy tales are made of--- heroes and heroines facing trials and overcoming great odds. And these stories all feature a 'Happily Ever After' of sorts--- lessons to be learned or promises of God fulfilled. The illustrations were the same type of stunning illustrations that she has come to love from her Disney movies, but the messages are so much more important.

About the Bible. 

The Bible is not a fairy tale, but every great story happened once upon a time. The NIrV Once Upon a Time Holy Bible contains a presentation page and also highlights six great stories from the Bible on 24 full-color inserts. Each story is told on four pages in full-color, illustrated splendor. Also contains the complete New International Reader's Version (NIrV) of the Bible.

Stories include:

God Makes Man and Woman
Isaac and Rebekah
Ruth Finds Happiness
Queen Esther
Mary and Joseph and an Angel
He Lives!
We all have our own tale to live and what better place to look for help and encouragement than the greatest story of all.

The Bible features some of the same great stories found in the story book, but in true Bible form. This is great for those older girls who still love the stories but want to dig in deeper into the full stories straight from the source.

My daughter is only three years old, and nowhere near ready to truly read the Bible on her own but already she is loving her Once Upon a Time Bible. For her, it makes her feel like a big kid, having a big Bible just like her mama and brother... but still having those pictures and stories throughout that are a little more her level.

I truly believe that when it comes to teaching children about anything, coming at them from something they love is the best way to go. This includes learning more about the most important story of them all. For my son, that was through Bible comics and I loved having that option for him. But for my daughter and other princess loving girls, this Bible and Story Book might be just what they need! We are LOVING these books and cannot wait to read them again and again.

The Once Upon A Time Bible is available wherever books are sold. The Story Book is available at Sam's Club or wherever books are sold. Click here to purchase now.

Monday, March 27, 2017

God Is Calling, Will You Answer? {A Look Inside Illustrated Faith's 'A Heart That Receives' Monthly Devotional Kit} #IF_AHeartThatReceives #Dayspring

** I received this kit as part of Dayspring's Illustrated Faith Launch Team. Post contains affiliate links. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

'I want God to use me. I want to make a difference for His kingdom. I want to see the BIG plans he has for me and my life... but I'm nothing special. I don't have time. I'm not the person for the job.'

Have you ever felt this way?

If I were to be honest, I have and I'm certain I'm not alone. When we look around and see people with great talents, using them to write best selling books or put out hit songs in His glory. We see people doing mission work and making a huge impact on the communities around them. In our own churches we see people doing amazing things, and we think to ourselves, 'But I can't do that.' Perhaps it's not in our skill range or we feel those roles are already taken.

When we look through the Bible, we see more of the same. Great people, doing great things. Noah building an ark. Abraham becoming a father of the nations. Esther saving her people. Mary giving birth to the Son of God. But that can't be us...we're just ordinary. That's what we tell ourselves, but the reality is these were all ordinary people too with one thing in common. They said yes. They had a heart of receivership, and answered God's call.

We'd like to think we'd do the same, right? But in reality, we don't always. When that call comes, there is no caller ID saying, God is calling, pick up. Sometimes it's a little more subtle than that. As much as we'd like to think that we would answer that call, our doubts and securities tell us no. This isn't for me. There is someone better for the job. This is just too much.

Let's be honest, sometimes doing God's work isn't glamorous. It isn't always traveling the country with loads of riches, giving to people in need and sharing the Gospel as you go. It doesn't mean a pain free or struggle free life all the time. Sometimes, it might not even make sense. When Noah started building the ark, there was no rain. Can you imagine what people must have thought- the talk around town? "Oh that crazy Noah...out there building a big boat. Oh, what a waste! He's done gone off his rocker!" Or what about Mary, an unwed teen girl, carrying God's earthly child. Even in our modern times there are sometimes whispers and rumors when a child is born out of wedlock, but in those days? Can you imagine. "Oh sure, the child of God!? I bet. And to a virgin? Yeah, nice try missy!"

It's easy to say yes when its easy... but when saying yes means being laughed at, struggling, giving up everything... can anyone say they really WANT all of that? Following God wholeheartedly into His plans is hard...if it weren't, everyone would do it.

Still other times, it's not the hardships or fears that keep us from stepping out onto the water, but our own pride. Sometimes, God's calling for us isn't to make a shout, but a quiet whisper instead. We're not meant to reach millions, but only 2 or 3. And that's okay too. Esther 4:14 tells us that perhaps we were put where we are, 'for such a time as this'. Be it to reach one person or millions, God has prepared us and put us where He wants us in this time. Maybe that one person we touch will be the one to reach millions, if only we lay aside our pride and hope for something bigger and just say yes, right now.

Today, I'm challenging myself and all of you to open your hearts and say YES! Receive the plans that God has for you, and see the amazing things He can accomplish through us. Maybe you've been feeling led to start a new small group at your church, just say YES! Maybe you've felt the need to share your story and your faith through a blog, say YES! Whatever God has been putting on your heart that you've been doubting, just say YES! God is calling, are you going to pick up the phone?

Still need some encouragement? This month's Illustrated Faith Kit, 'A Heart That Receives' will provide just that:

"It's pretty easy to receive the 'good' of life!  But what happens when the offering being presented is bad news, a heavy load?"  With Scripture and biblical insights, Kim Marquette invites all to join her on a 14-day journey of discovering a little about a heart of receivership.  "While we do not know what the future holds, we do know who holds the future."  —Kim
  • 1 plastic pouch
  • 1 devotional booklet
  • 1 clear stamp collection
  • 1 roll of washi tape
  • 1 sheet of cut-out paper pieces
  • 2 cardstock sticker sheets
  • 3 tip-ins
  • 1 magnet
  • 1 thank you card from Shanna
Every month when the new kit comes, I find myself once again saying that it's my favorite one yet... they just keep getting better. But truly, I cannot imagine that they can get better than this one. Esther is my favorite book in the Bible so I was thrilled to see Esther featured throughout. But aside from that, it's just a gorgeous kit! The florals are perfect for spring. The colors, the lace, the design. Everything just comes together beautifully. And that washi!? Oh my goodness! There was nothing about this kit that I did not love.

And of course, the devotional was perfect too. It gave us a look at 14 people in the Bible and how they had a heart of receivership. Following God wasn't always easy for them, but still they said yes. I think this is a great reminder for us all.

A Heart That Receives is available to purchase now.

Don't forget to use the code 25FORYOU to save 25% and receive free shipping! But hurry, this code expires March 31! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

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

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

Let's talk hair!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is one thing about motherhood that you never expected?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating Courageous Women: The Zookeeper's Wife Fandango Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And one very lucky winner is going to win a $25 Fandango Gift Card! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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

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

Springtime is here!

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

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

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

Lighten It Up. 

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

Bring in the Flowers. 

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

Put Up a Cross...Or Three. 

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

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

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

Inspirational Wooden Chalkboard Cross- Just $5!!

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

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

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

I love music!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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