A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree {Christmas Traditions and Our Frozen Inspired Christmas Tree!}

What kind of tree decorator are you?

Are you a perfectionist? Each ornament in its perfect place, looking like it stepped straight out of magazine spread? Do you just throw on everything you have on with no rhyme or reason (or let the kids do so). Are you somewhere in the center- you have a color scheme but aren't overly particular about it being PERFECT.


Personally I fall somewhere in the middle. As much as I would love thosee magazine spread worthy trees, I'm also realistic...I have two little ones. Try as I might, those ornaments will at one point find themselves rearranged! Still, we do have a themed tree.

This is a tradition that goes back to my own childhood. Each year, we'd choose a theme and decorate accordingly. One year it would be Santa- we'd have red and white and Santa themed ornaments with a hat as our topper. The next it'd be patriotic with ornaments of red, white and blue. Then every few years we'd have the 'kids' tree...where there was no real theme other than we could pretty well add whatever we liked! Our trees may never have been super fancy, but we always had fun... and while I remember a few years where my sisters and I would have preferred to just throw it all on, looking back now I loved those themed trees and just had to keep the tradition alive.

We've had red and gold, we've had classic Christmas colors, we've had a small superhero tree...and this year we have what may very well be my absolute favorite tree theme of all time: Frozen!






Rather than fighting to get our hands on actual Frozen ornaments, we opted to do more of an 'inspired by' look. A pretty ice blue and silver with bits of purple and pink tossed in. Lots of shimmer and lots of snowflakes. On top of the tree, a pretty snowflake star and Elsa (a doll that had also been used to top Finley's birthday cake).



Despite our itty-bitty ol' tree, I absolutely loved how it turned out! The perfect Frozen tree!


Do you do themed trees? What type of tree do you have this year?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays With Young Living Essential Oils {A #HomeHolidays Giveaway}



Welcome to the Home for the Holidays Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!
We are right in the middle of the Holiday Season, stockings are hung by the Fireplace, the smell of an Evergreen fills your Home… I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers that want to fill your home with even more! The Home for the Holidays Giveaways are all centered around the perfect products for your home – whether it’s decorative gifts or appliances, each blogger has something for your home! Don't miss the amazing Grand Prize for this Event - a $150 Gift Card to The Ultimate Green Store - enter here.

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Oh there's no place like home for the holidays..but when you think of 'home for the holidays', what comes to mind? For many its the comfort of the fireplace, the pretty decorations, cozy beds and blankets and meals shared with loved ones. But if you're the one hosting the holidays, it can also mean preparing your home for the holidays- cleaning the home top to bottom in preparation for company! Today's giveaway is going to help you to do just that a little more naturally!

That's right...it's all about essential oils!!

By now you may have heard of many ways that essential oils can be of benefit for your physical and emotional health, but today we're just talking about how they can be used around the home! Here are just a few of the MANY ways they can be used around your home this holiday season and throughout the year:

  • DIY Cleaners. A simple mixture of vinegar, water and your favorite essential oils make a fantastic, simple DIY cleaner perfect for everyday uses. Want more in depth cleaners? A quick search will show you TONS of recipes to try!
  • In the Vacuum. Add a couple of drops of your favorite EOs to cotton balls and place inside the vacuum bag...it will leave your home smelling wonderful as you vacuum.
  • Room Refresher Spray. Mix water and EOs in a spray bottle, shake well and spray as needed for a little extra freshness.
  • Freshen Your Laundry. Add a few drops to your wool dryer balls for a little extra freshness! (I personally love using Lavender for our bedding and jammies!!)
  • Keep Out Unwanted Pests. Spider problems? It's been said that peppermint repels spiders. Spray a little peppermint/water spray around windows and doors to keep them away. 
  • Freshen closets and drawers. Put a few drops on a cotton ball and place in closets, drawers, etc to keep things smelling fresh!!
  • Diffuse. Diffusing not only has great emotional and physical benefits, but also just makes the home smell fantastic as well!!
These are just a few of the MANY ways that oils can be used around the home to keep it clean and smelling fresh. The possibilities are endless!!

If you're interested in purchasing or learning more about Young Living Essential Oils, or joining my team, please feel free to contact me at randi.amoderndayfairytale@gmail.com (or leave your questions/email in the comments).

And as part of the Home for the Holidays giveaway event, I am going to be giving away a few of my favorite oils: Peppermint and Lavender! I will also be including some samples of other great oils like Lemon and Thieves! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Winner will be contacted via e-mail after giveaway ends, and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. One entry per household, winning entry will be verified. Odds of winning depend on valid entries received. A Modern Day Fairy Tale is not responsible for prize delivery.  So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Home for the Holidays participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Monday, December 15, 2014

God Love You! A Berenstain Bears Review & Family Christian Giveaway

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



In today's culture, it seems like our little one's are bombarded with so much more negative than positive, doesn't it? From TV to movies, music and even the books we read, the negative seems much easier to find than the positive. It's a very sad reality.

As a mom, I want to let my kids be young and innocent as long as possible, and try to keep the negative to a minimum as much as possible, so I seek movies, books and TV shows that reflect that. One such book series that fits that criteria are the Berenstain Bears books. As a child, I remembered loving all these fun stories and wanting to take them all in. As a mom, I still love these stories and find myself appreciating them even more for the great positive messages in each story. So, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to receive one such book, The Berenstain Bears: God Loves You. Let's take a look:

The Berenstain Bear series helps children learn how God wants them to live every day. When the Bear family practices going to church, praying, and being kind, plus remembering how much God loves them, their lives are much more joyful. In God Loves You! Brother and Sister Bear discover that God loves them, not because they’re successful, but because he made them. This book helps children appreciate the many ways God shows his love to them.

If ever there was a positive book to add to your child's library, this is a great choice. It's all about things not going your way! In this story, both Brother and Sister Bear want something (to play basketball and star in a play) and are instead given lesser roles (team and stage managers). This is a kind of disappointment that we all have to face in our lives and can be quite difficult for us all-- but especially kids. I know it's certainly something my seven year old struggles with.



This book teaches them that things might not always work out as they have hoped, but God loves them just the same. He loves them despite their shortcomings, despite the times they may misbehave (we're all only human afterall) and despite not being the star of the show or the team. He loves us no matter what. Could there be a greater message to teach little ones of all ages?

This is just one of the many great lessons in the Berenstain Bears books, available at Family Christian! These books are sweet and inexpensive, and would make the ideal stocking stuffer for the holidays (or a fun gift throughout the year)! In fact, my son loved this book so much, we took a trip to our local store to buy more! Check them all out at Family Christian.

See more and connect with Family Christian at the links below:

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

And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a $25 Appreciation Certificate from Family Christian! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Save on Last Minute Gifts with Family Christian Christmas Doorbusters!!

A huge thank you to Family Christian for sponsoring today's post and for all the wonderful deals!


You all know by now that I absolutely LOVE Family Christian...almost as much as I love getting a great deal. So, great deals AT Family Christian? Yes, I'm there!

A few weeks back I shopped their amazing Black Friday doorbusters and couldn't imagine them coming close to those deals again...but they have. Once again, they are back with some super amazing, can't miss Christmas doorbusters from December 12-14 in store (deals are available NOW online)!! Select items are $5 or 50% off! Wow!!! Check it out:

$5 CDs

Choose from great selections like Matthew West's Into the Light, newsboys' God's Not Dead, Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights or the Saving Christmas Soundtrack...among several other great selections! I for one am looking forward to picking up some awesome music!!

$5 Planners

Stay organized in the new year with these beautiful planners for just $5!! Who couldn't use a little organization!?

$5 Gifts

Water bottles, phone cases, home decor, even Christmas cards...there is a great selection of $5 gifts for everyone on your list! These would be ideal stocking stuffers too!

$5 Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas

This is probably a personal favorite Veggie Tales Christmas DVD in our home and during this sale you can pick it up for just $5!!

50% off Bibles, Books and DVDs

In addition to all these fantastic $5 doorbusters, there is also a wonderful selection of Bibles, books and movies that are available for 50% off as well!! There are MANY to choose from but I particularly love the Veggie Tale's Beauty and the Beet and Christmas Collection DVDs. The Action Bible is also a huge hit in my home!

Aren't these some AMAZING deals? I want them ALL! And these are just a few of the selections available! If you're still on the hunt for some last minute gifts without breaking the bank, these doorbusters are sure to bring a little light to everyone on your holiday list. Deals will be available tomorrow at your local Family Christian store...or you can shop online NOW!

You can see them all, and see more from Family Christian at the links below:

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

What Family Christian doorbusters would make the perfect gift for the special people on your list?

Give a Veteran a Fresh Start with the 7-Eleven Franchise Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of 7-Eleven Franchising for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

At the end of September, our lives were forever changed when my husband got out of the Marine Corps after 11 years. I can tell you from personal experience that this transition can be exciting and scary, and well...just overwhelming! And I'm only the wife! Though things are starting to settle down a bit here, the transition out of the military can certainly be one filled with many questions. The biggest one being: What are we going to do NOW?

7-Eleven knows the hard work and dedication that our U.S. veterans have shown (their President and CEO, Joe DePinto, is himself a military vet) and have come up with a fantastic opportunity for one very lucky veteran...the chance to win their very own franchise!!
7e_vet_contest_2

Let's take a look at a few key points about veterans and the franchise industry:
  • 7-Eleven has been voted Best for Veterans Franchise
  • In the past four years: 203,890 new vet and military spouses have started franchising careers, 5,608 vets have become franchise owners
  • In the past year 50,000+ vets have found employment in the franchise industry
As you can see, this can truly be a great field for those getting out of the military, and this promotion makes it even easier for military vets to own their own FranchiseIt's turnkey, which means they provide the store, land, and equipment. The winner will receive extensive training and support from the franchise pros, and a gross profit split means they're invested in the success. And start up is fast – only 3-6 months -  with help from the experts through it all. Sounds pretty great, doesn't it? So, how do you enter? Follow these easy steps:
  1. Enter – fill out form on website to enter
  2. Apply – apply through January 25, 2015
  3. Finalists announced – top finalists will be announced in March 2015
  4. Make a video – finalist will create an impressive video explaining why they should be the winner
  5. Videos are posted to Facebook – all finalist videos will be posted to the 7-Eleven Franchising Facebook page
  6. America votes – the top three are flown to Dallas for a final interview
  7. We have a winner! – the 7-Eleven franchise winner is announced April 13, 2015

If you are or know a veteran who could use a fresh new start after their military career has come to a close, enter for yourself or spread the word. Our military veterans have worked hard and deserve this fantastic opportunity. Visit OPERATION: TAKE COMMAND to learn more.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Super Awesome BumGenius 4.0 Giveaway {Win SEVEN Cloth Diapers!!}



Welcome to the bumGenius 4.0 Giveaway, sponsored by Cotton Babies and hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro!
Cloth diapers have come a LOOOOOONG way over the last few decades. Pins and prefolds are a thing of the past. If you don’t believe it, check out bumGenius 4.0 One-Size Cloth Diapers! bumGenius 4.0 is a reusable diaper that is just as easy to use as disposables (except it's way better for the environment — and your wallet). From its “stretchy, butterfly tabs" that provide a comfortable, personalized fit to the trim pocket design, bumGenius 4.0 is a practical option for anyone — especially those who may be resistant to cloth.

Features

One of the great things about bumGenius is that you have options. With exclusive colors and prints to the closures and absorbency, YOU can customize your diapers to meet your needs.
  • Durable snap closures help keep diapers on. This is quite helpful when it comes to little fingers figuring out how to take off a diaper!
  • Easily replaceable elastic keeps your diapers fresh and secure.
  • Waterproof insert stopper* prevents leaking at the tummy.
  • Diapers are bundled with two inserts: a newborn insert for smaller babies and a one-size insert for growing baby.
  • Wide slot opening makes it easy to stuff and remove insert.
  • Slot cover* protects your baby from wetness.

Sizing

The bumGenius 4.0 is a one-size diaper, meaning it fits most babies from birth to potty training (7-35 lbs). It includes a 3×3 snap down setting so you can adjust it to a small, medium or large size.

Warranty

bumGenius has the best warranty in the industry. The workmanship of its products is backed for one year after purchase.

For first-time cloth diaper users, the bumGenius 4.0 is a good place to start. It's best-selling, top rated and loved by parents everywhere. Oh, and we forgot to mention — it's also on sale! Build your stash or stock up while bumGenius 4.0s are Buy 6, Get 1 FREE!

We want to help kick off your New Year with an AWESOME giveaway! One lucky reader will snag a prize package featuring SEVEN bumGenius 4.0 cloth diapers, valued at $125!! The giveaway will end on (12/26/14) at 11:59pm EST. It is open to U.S. residents only. Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!

Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro, and generously sponsored by Cotton Babies. Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro, and the participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact thriftyniftymommy(at)yahoo.com with questions about this giveaway. One winner will be randomly selected using the Giveaway Tools random selector and notified via email. Once notified, the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google. Void where prohibited.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chuck Pagano: Sidelined {A Book Review + Family Christian Giveaway}

**Product received for review.


I'll be honest, I'm not really much of a football fan. Or sports in general really. In fact, the fact that I know that a touchdown is a football term is nothing short of a miracle. Truly. I couldn't tell you one professional NFL team to save my life...let alone the names of any players or coaches. I may have grown up in Indiana, but I honestly had no clue about the Colts!

That all changed when we moved to Indianapolis. Okay, okay...I didn't suddenly become a fan or get a clue about what the sport was all about, but I did very quickly discover that this was a town that was CRAZY for football. Everywhere we looked there was blue, blue, BLUE. And every Friday, even MORE blue. Even in my husband's job as United States Marine Corps recruiter, Fridays meant showing their Colts pride. My husband was also not a big football fan before the move, but that all changed when he was given the opportunity to meet with some of the players. He came out seeing how genuine and kind the team truly was, and gained a new respect for them.



We began to really see the Colts spirit show after a few months when Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. Everywhere we looked we saw the community standing with him. It was a #chuckstrong movement. With all of the love and support being shown to the coach, I could only assume that he had been part of this community for many years. I truly didn't know the full story. So, I was happy to be given the opportunity to review Chuck Pagano's Sidelined. Let's take a look:

The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Chuck Pagano, has become one of the most inspiring, intriguing personalities in the game of football. Only three games into his rookie season in 2012, Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia, sidelined by the side effects chemotherapy and months of recovery. Undeterred, Pagano didn’t let the confines of his hospital bed keep him from coaching: texts, calls, and emails kept him in constant contact with players, staff, and assistants. Motivated to be just as strong and determined as their ailing coach the team started winning game after game, compiling an impressive 11-5 record. The players weren’t the only ones touched by Pagano’s hope and strength of character. 

Inspired by the tenacity and toughness of their beloved coach, a newcomer to town, thousands of fans united to form Chuckstrong, a movement that soon raised millions to help beat cancer. Pagano, fueled by his faith, his family, and his love of football, returned to lead the Colts to another winning season and the divisional playoffs in 2013. With Pagano’s practical lessons on living, loving, and leading, Sidelined, which includes an 8-page color photo section, inspires us all to stay in the game and never accept defeat.

Having seen the Chuckstrong movement firsthand, it was very interesting to read the full story behind it. I was shocked to discover that Coach Pagano had not-as I'd assumed- been there for many, many years but in reality not even a full season. To me, this made the support shown so much more incredible and inspiring. It made me proud to live in such a place that would stand behind one of their own...even if that one was a newcomer.

Again, I'm not a sports fan so there were perhaps a few places where I was a little lost on some terms, etc...but truly, you don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate this book. It is more than a story about a coach and his team, but really is a story of a family and a community. Whether you're a Colts or general football fan looking for the full story, or a sports novice looking for a great inspirational story- this book is definitely worth the read.

You can purchase your own copy of Sidelined at Family Christian!

You can learn more and see everything Family Christian has to offer at the links below:
Follow on Twitter: 
https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 

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


And one very lucky reader is going to have the chance to win a $25 Family Christian Appreciation Certificate! 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.