Sunday, June 26, 2016

Confessions of a Planner Addict {Review and Giveaway}



I have a confession...

.... I'm a planner addict.  I LOVE to plan.  I currently have three planners, all for different things going on in my life - one for my personal stuff, one for my business and one for blogging.

I've been wanting (and looking) at getting a planner to use as my faith journal/planner.  Something that I could put personal things in, but also one that would have scriptures and a place for my daily prayers.  You know, something fancier than just a 3-ring notebook.

Finally Found "the Planner"


I had looked at a few planners at the local craft store and online, but nothing really "spoke" to me. Well, that was until I was asked to review the Daily Planner by Anchored Press.

Anchored Press was founded by Deana who found the inspiration for creating the Daily Planner by using her day planner as a way to keep her schedule, devotional, prayer journal, meal plan, goals and memory keeper in one spot.  After many prayers, Anchored Press Daily Planner was created to help others who were looking for a way stay organized, but firm in God's Word.

The day I received the Daily Planner was one of those days - you know, then things are going bad and just get worse the further the day went on.  But I can tell you, as soon as I opened the box and unwrapped the Daily Planner, it was pure joy.

Why Is This Planner So Special?


The Daily Planner is beautiful.  The pink, blue, gold and white colors on the front and back cover are beautiful and the pages themselves has plenty of room for writing appointments.  But there were a few things that stuck out that were in the Daily Planner that were not in my other three planners.



First off, there is a section called "My First Four" where you are to put the four things that are most important and have to get done that day.  Secondly, the scriptures and daily devotions are short, speak to your heart and make you think about the Word. Third, a place to put meals that are family favorites and what is planned for dinner that day.  Lastly, the "Pray-Ponder-Pencil" section for the day where you can write out your prayer to the Lord for the day or your thoughts for the day or even just to doodle.



There are so many other aspects of the Daily Planner that I am in awe of.  Yes, it can be used as a planner, but can also be used as a memory journal to write those special things that happen that day. The end of the month has a section to write any prayer requests.  On Wednesdays, there is a special prayer to pray for your child(ren) and on Saturday, there is a spot to write down what God has blessed you with during the week.



Special Discount


Now even though I reviewed the 2016 edition, and 2016 is almost half way over, there is still almost 7 months planning left to enjoy and is on sale for 40% off.  If you plan to wait until 2017, the 2016 Daily Planner edition will be available late August and will feature 2 formats, more color options and a separate prayer journal.  One of the planners has 52 devotionals, 1 for each week written by some amazing women of God such as Christine Caine and Jenni Catron!  

Getting Your Own Daily Planner


If you plan, or are wanting to start planning, or maybe even just looking for a prayer/devotional/journaling planner, I highly recommend the Daily Planner.  I know it will become a part of my time with God for years to come.

As a way to say thank you for allowing me to review the Daily Planner, you are able to enter in the giveaway to win one of ten Anchored Press Planners of your own.



Enter you email for a chance to win 1 of 10 Anchored Press Planners!

* indicates required




Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Anchored Press 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 Anchored Press in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.




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Sunday, June 19, 2016

A New Paleo Approved Snack Option {Review}



When you are trying to eat Paleo and/or healthy on the go, snacks are either fruit or veggies.  But what do you do when you are craving something on the sweet side but you don't want to ruin your healthy way of eating or cave into eating something that has artificial flavors or processed ingredients?

I had heard about a new product that was being discussed in one of the Paleo groups called Merry Bites.  They are Paleo approved, non-GMO, vegan and free of peanuts, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, wheat and gluten and made with coconut oil (which, as you know, is very healthy for you and helps to increase your metabolism).

Who is Hail Merry?

I was given and opportunity by Hail Merry, the company that produces Merry Bites and Miracle Tarts, to have a taste test of their products.  I wanted to find out more about Hail Merry and found that Hail Merry has a women-led kitchen, and dedicates a portion of their time and resources to help charities that help victims and survivors of human trafficking.

Merry Bites Taste Test



Hail Merry graciously sent a package of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Salted Brownie, Pure Vanilla and Lemon Merry Bites.  I tried the Pure Vanilla and was hooked.  Merry Bites are about the size of a golf ball, yet are packed full of flavor.  I didn't think that something so small would cure my craving for something sweet, but it did.  Not to mention, a serving size are 2 bites, which you wouldn't think would be enough to cure any snack craving, but it did.

The Verdict


Now, honestly, I'm used to eating healthy, so anything made with pure, natural ingredients is nothing new to me.  I decided to have my mom and aunt try them to see what they thought.  Let's just say that they were hooked and had me go to our local health food store to purchase more.

But my biggest skeptic, my daughter, who shrugs her nose at every new food I buy to try, tried the Chocolate Chips Cookie Dough bites.  I didn't tell her it was healthy, but was a new snack product to try.  She, at first, new that it was healthy because it didn't taste like any of the not-good-for-you cookie dough products that she has eaten in the past.  However, after her second bite, she said that she actually liked them and would take something like this with her to work to have on her breaks.  

If you would like to try Merry Bites, you can find them in your area at hailmerry.com/where-to-buy.


 I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.



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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Stuff Nose Relief For Your Infant - Fast {Review and Giveaway}



Let's face it, having kids means at any given time one of them is bound to come down with a cold or, depending on their age, they may be teething, which is what my little one is going through.  When she is teething, she gets the same symptoms of a cold - stuffy, running nose, crabby and just not feeling well.

Of course, the day that my daughter had her ballet recital, my little one woke up from her nap running a low grade fever and stuffy nose.  (No one ever said getting sick or having a sick child was going to be at a convenient time.)  These are all typical symptoms for her when she is teething, which she was due to cut her eye teeth soon.

As most parents know, having a child with a stuffy, runny nose, often means little to no sleep for both you and your child.  They can't breath through their nose or they have drainage making them cough, which makes for an all around not so fun night and lots of coffee in the morning.

Enter Into The World of Nasal Aspirators




Now, a few weeks prior, I was approached by NeilMed to try a kind of nasal aspirator for infants and young children that didn't require something being stuck up the nose and is safe to use.  I remember when my two younger children were sick and had stuffy or runny noses, I would just use the blue nasal aspirator bulb that you get when your child is born or from the store.  It seemed to work, but was nerve-wracking for me because I was always afraid I was going to poke them in the eye trying to use it, which often resulted in making them mad and crying.

So when my youngest started to get her first second of teeth in and had a cold, I decided to try NeilMed's Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator. I trusted the NeilMed brand to work because I have used their NetiPot when my sinuses start to act up.



The Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator's design is unique in that most aspirators have the only option to squeeze some type of "bulb" to suction your baby's nose (similar to the traditional blue bulbs we grew up with).  But with Naspira, you have another option to use a hose attached to the bulb whereby you can create suction by sucking on the mouthpiece at the end of the tube, which, in turn, helps to get rid of a stuffy nose.

Honestly, at first, I was concerned that using the suction created by using the mouthpiece would cause the mucus to go into the mouth (gross, right).  But it doesn't.  Naspira is designed with a filter in the line that stops any mucus from entering your mouth.

The Results Are In



After testing it out a few times and getting a feel on how to use it, I tried it on my daughter, who, at this point, wasn't happy with something around her nose, but within a few uses, and clearly getting some mucus out, she was able to breathe a little better.  I was impressed by how well it worked and how you can clean it by putting it in boiling water or the microwave to sanitize it.  I will definitely use it again (but hopefully not any time soon).


Bonus Time


NeilMed has gracious awarded me two opportunities to share with my readers so that you can try out the Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator the next time your little one is ill.

You can save $3 off the purchase of Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator when you order through NeilMed's web store at neilmed.com

Or, instead of going to one of the big retail stores such as Babies R Us, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Target and others to buy the aspirator, you can enter in the giveaway below to win one of THREE NeilMed Nasal-Oral Aspirators for free.





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




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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Learning About God With The Owlegories {Review and Giveaway}




Growing up, we typically went to church every Sunday for Sunday School and what we called "big Church."  I remember in Sunday School having little coloring sheets, some kind of crossword puzzle or even a craft that encompassed what we were going to be learning about that Sunday.  

It was those types activities that helped kids to learn more about God, but in a way that we could understand.  But let's face it, once those activities were done, they were typically shoved in our Bible and may not have been looked at for some time.

Fast forward to the present where there are resources online, in bookstores and even on television that teaches kids about God and His word.  Don't get me wrong, having all of this available information to help me teach my children about God makes it easier for me to do just that, but it can sometimes be overwhelming even thinking where to start.

For me, my daughter LOVES videos with any kind of cartoon with animals in them (and my 1 year old will actually stop for more than a few seconds to pay attention).  So when the opportunity to review the Owlegories Season 3 dvd, I did my research and felt that this would be perfect for her to watch.


Owls Teaching God's Word?

The Owlegories series was created by Thomas and Julie Boto as a way to make learning about God fun.  I mean, shouldn't learning about God and his love for us be fun and enjoyable?  Not to mention that the characters (yes, they are owls), Joey, Nora, Violet, Gus and Twitch and the Professor, are wonderfully drawn.

Each Owlegories dvd contains 3 short stories is around 10 to 15 minutes in which the owls are given a lesson, which focuses on a specific element of nature, given to them by the Professor in which they travel to different lands to learn about this element and along the way, they learn not only about nature, but about faith and God.  Each short story also centers around a key scripture and is recapped at the end, which is hosted by a well-known musician or actor.


The Fire, The Duck and The Seasons




My daughter's favorite was The Duck, which guest stars Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty as the duck, Uncle Fly, and the owl's adventure to the swamp to learn about the three gifts that God has given to everyone.



 I personally thought that all three stories were great - the stories were perfect for little kids to enjoy and understand, and the recap at the end was a great way to go over the message of the story.  I know Owlegories will become a part of our learning of God's Word and can't wait to watch more episodes in the future.

Paying It Forward

As a thank you for reviewing Owlegories, I have the opportunity to offer two great ways you and your family can also enjoy Owlegories.

You can use this coupon code for 20% off anything in our online store using code FRONT20 and you can enter below for an awesome giveaway of your own Owlegories dvd.


Enter your email for a chance to win 1 of 10 DVD copies!

* indicates required





I hope you too will love Owlegories as much as we have.



Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to FrontGate Media and Owlegories for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Selection of winners are chosen by random.org and require no purchase to enter.  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.





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Thursday, April 21, 2016

3 Ways to Educate and Celebrate Earth Day With Your Kids




The other day I was planning out my daughter's homeschool lesson for this week.  I tend to look at any upcoming "important" days, such as National Chocolate Day or something like that so we can do a fun activity for that particular day.  When I realized that Earth Day was this week, I knew we had to do something fun, yet educational.

Now conveying the importance of Earth Day to a five year old without giving them the gloom and doom of "if you don't clean up our act, the Earth will not be a nice place to live" speech isn't easy.  So, I did what most moms (and possibly dads) do - turn to Pinterest to find activities and information (well, at least that is what I do most of the time).

It was amazing (and at times overwhelming) the amount of ideas and information you can find on Earth Day activities to do and information to learn about.  Not to mention, learning that Earth Day isn't just about planting trees or learning about recycling, but also focusing on simple things such as planting your own food and using fewer chemicals.

So I chose five general topics that were both fun and educational (even for me too) to focus on that involved crafts and/or learning about : Recycling, Gardening, Food, Home and Personal Products.


1.  Recycling

When looking for ideas about recycling, I wanted to look at something that wasn't mainly about how to recycle (only because she knows why we recycle), but what you could do to products that are recyclable.  Basically turning something used into something new and different.



I found a great post by Mom's Messy Miracles, 5 Ways Preschoolers Can Go Green, post, which was perfect for ideas on turning common household food containers into something new and fun. The upcycled jar to vase and recycled milk jug planter are just two of the projects that will be added to our Earth Day fun.


2.  Gardening

My daughter loves to help me garden, but I wanted to do something different than just planting seeds (which we have already done in preparation for this year's gardening season).  So why not talk about how vital good bugs are to the garden, which is a perfect into to teaching about the use of pesticides.  

But then the thought of bugs, especially ones that fly, well, let's just say that it would become a disaster REAL quick.  But for some reason, she thinks worms are cool (as long as she doesn't have to touch one).  

Now, growing up, we had a worm composting bin.  I must say it was pretty cool to just dig around for worms in the bin and not get in trouble for digging a hole in the yard looking for worms.  But I also wanted to teach about the importance of good soil condition and the benefits of worms in your garden, not to mention how and why we compost.



So I turned to my friend and fellow blogger at Do-It-Yourself Danielle and her excellent tutorial on Worm Composting.  I must admit that this project will be fun and even one that my 11 month old can enjoy too.


Growing Safe Foods




Now the idea of growing safe foods isn't necessarily something that is probably considered an Earth Day project or learning experience, but since we will be working outside on our worm composting, it would be the perfect time to touch on the aspect of keeping our foods in a more "natural" state and learn about GMO crops and how they are not healthy for us.


3.  Healthy Living



On Earth Day we focus on keeping Mother Earth clean.  But I wanted to take it one step further and discuss how using chemicals to shampoo with or even wash our clothes can be harmful to us.  I plan on using the information in my guest post that I wrote a guest post for Whole Life Service, Are you Living Healthy?, which discusses how you can eat organic, non-GMO foods, but if you are still using chemical laden shampoos, laundry detergents or even room deodorizers, then you are still exposing your body (and others around you) to dangerous, toxic chemicals.  


Cleaning the Home 


In keeping with the Earth Day theme, my daughter will learn about using homemade cleaners and even essential oils in keeping the home clean.  Since one of her chores is to help clean the house, we can use this opportunity to learn about why we use chemical free products and instead use ones with essential oils for not only disinfecting, but also making the home smell good.  

When talking about essential oils, I contact my friend Angel at Whole Life Services.  She knows a ton about essential oils and what they can be used for.  


These are just a few of the things that we are going to learn about and do as part of our Earth Day celebration.  How are you going to celebrate Earth Day?

For all You Moms (and Dads) - Here is an Awesome BONUS




Whole Life Services has so graciously offered a discount on her Try It and Love It - Green Home collection at a 22% off savings for Earth Day.  Just use the promo - EARTHDAY.   I use a lot of her products and trust me, you won't be disappointed.  



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