A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

You will need:

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FamilyChristian 
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Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyChristian?ref=bookmarks 
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And Family Christian is offering one very lucky reader the chance to win a $10 Appreciation Certificate! Use it towards Glory Hunger, or whatever else you choose! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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

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

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

Here's how you can make your own!

What You Need:

What You'll Do:

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

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

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

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

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Finley Grace, 17 Months.

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

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

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

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Winter Cloth: Indoor Alternatives to Line Drying Cloth Diapers!

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

    But then comes WINTER!

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

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

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

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

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Easy DIY Kids Table Duct Tape Makeover

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

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

    What You Need:

    • Table
    • Screwdriver
    • Duct Tape
    • Scissors

    What You Do:

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

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

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

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