Friday, April 20, 2018

Ain't Nobody Got Time For Blog Drama

I must not be on the up and up because I don't know the specifics but I've been reading a lot lately about blog drama.  Either readers are making snide remarks about how a blog's content isn't relatable or other blog owners are dissing about who's doing what.  I've even been reading how some bloggers are so stressed out because of all the demands and trying to keep their readers happy that it's making the rest of their life miserable.  SAY WHAT?!!

I know some bloggers stay at home and receive most of their income from blogging.  Project deadlines are expected.  But if a person is going to be so stressed out that their head starts spinning and they're spitting pea soup, I say TAKE A BREAK. 

There's thousands upon thousands of blogs out there.  Some have been here a while (I'm almost nine years in) and some fade as quickly as they come.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a person's blog should be about what they want to write about.  It's their piece of the world.  It's not mine and I have no right to tell them what they want to talk about.

A few years ago there was a blogging community that thrived on bashing others.  It was a Mean Girl's Club.  After the popularity wore off, it died down.  Or so I thought....

I'm 41 years old with six kids, a husband, one dog, and two cats.  I also have a full-time job, on graveyard shift.  Try to tell me what I can and can't write about.

People who hide behind keyboards and take pleasure in degrading others are cowards.  It's the same people who wouldn't say it to your face.

I have no problem if someone doesn't agree with what I type.  They even have a right to tell me that.  But they better have some couth in doing it. 

In a time where women are supposedly building each other up, we ought to be actually doing it.  Everybody put on your big girl panties and play nice.  Word.

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The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains a referral link.

Get Crafty for Earth Day! | Go Organically® Organic Fruit Snacks - Giveaway

In honor of Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, Go Organically Fruit Snacks wants to share some creative ideas to switch up snack time.

You know what they say: "One man's trash is another man's treasure." This rings even truer as we approach Earth Day and think of ways to teach our kids about keeping items out of landfills. For us, it's the perfect excuse to get creative and give new life to everyday objects by turning them into upcycled crafts. Check out the step-by-step instructions for making this awesome DIY dreamcatcher, then read on for additional super-simple craft ideas using household items like paper tubes, coffee cans and plastic water bottles. What better way to celebrate Mother Earth?

DIY Dreamcatcher

Originating in Native American culture, dreamcatchers are believed to offer protection to little ones by "catching" bad dreams in mid-air while they sleep. With a web-covered hoop to snare nightmares, dreamcatchers traditionally feature natural decorative accents like feathers and wooden beads. Try your hand at making your own upcycled dreamcatcher with our easy tutorial!

What You'll Need:

A piece of decorative fabric from an old shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner
Embroidery hoop
Sharp scissors
Wooden or plastic beads with a 1/8" hole or larger
Feathers and/or ribbons
Safety pins

What You'll Do:

Dig through your closets to find an interesting old T-shirt, shawl, scarf or table runner that you no longer use. Look for an eye-catching graphic or interesting material that's lacy or crocheted. Cut your fabric so that it's slightly wider than the embroidery hoop, and at least twice as tall.

Unscrew the top of your embroidery hoop and separate the two hoops. Drape your fabric over the inner hoop, lining it up so that plenty of extra fabric hangs down at the bottom.

Place the outer hoop on top and press down into place, adjusting the fabric and pulling it tight. Once you're happy with the fabric placement, tighten the top screw.

Take your scissors and cut the fabric hanging from the bottom of the hoop into long, thin, vertical strips. Trim any excess fabric from around the rest of the hoop.

String beads onto the ends of your fabric strips and knot them in place. Use safety pins to attach feathers and ribbons onto your fabric strips at random places for an eclectic effect. Loop a longer piece of ribbon through the hardware at the top and hang with pride!

Repurposed Household Items

Why toss these everyday objects when you can turn them into useful, kid-friendly crafts?

Paper Towel/Toilet Paper Tubes

Birdfeeder: Spread peanut butter on the outside of the tube using a butter knife. Roll the tube in loose birdseed, covering it completely. Slip your birdfeeder onto a tree branch, then compost tube once birds are finished snacking.

Wrapping Paper Cuffs: Prevent rolls of wrapping paper from unraveling with paper tube "cuffs." Simply slit tubes lengthwise with a pair of scissors and slip over either end of your wrapping paper roll to keep it contained.

Cord Corral: Roll up power cords and stuff them inside decorated tubes for a cute storage option that will prevent cords from tangling.

Coffee Cans

Pencil holder: Remove the lid and label from an empty coffee can. Cover the entire outside with colorful duct tape in a fun pattern. Fill with pens, pencils and highlighters for an instant desktop accessory.

Bank: Remove the label from an empty coffee can and paint the outside a bright color. Add a dollar sign with stick-on gems. Cut an opening in the lid to use as a coin slot.

Planter: To make a rustic-looking planter, wrap the outside of an empty coffee can with a sheet of burlap and glue in place. Tie a simple raffia ribbon around the center and fill with dried flowers.

Plastic Water Bottles

Sensory Bottle: Calm rowdy kiddos with a mixture of water, glitter glue and loose glitter inside a plastic water bottle. Just add the ingredients, put on the cap, and let kids shake the bottle like a snow globe for an instant dose of zen.

Bowling Pins: Fill 10 plastic water bottles with two inches of water or a bit of sand at the bottom, then put the caps back on. Arrange your "pins" on the floor and let kids roll a ball to knock 'em down.

Penguin Pal: Fill an empty clear water bottle with cotton balls, then use foam sheets or sturdy construction paper to add the wings, head and feet. Don't forget the googly eyes!

Happy Earth Day from Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks. Made with real fruit, the gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free kids snacks are a great choice for your on-the-go life. Be sure to follow Go Organically on Facebook for more kid-friendly ideas.

Win It!

One person will win three boxes of Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks (one box of each flavor).

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received no products or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 118

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I believe in a God that hears prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 118.  If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Faith Journey: 52 Week Guided Devotional with Scripture - Review

Book Overview:

Keep moving forward on your personal faith journey with this inspiring new devotional journal.

Inside My Faith Journey you'll discover a full year of spiritual activities, designed to help you to grow with God week by week.

Gifted artist Robin Pickens provides 52 beautiful line drawings, based on Scripture verses and uplifting messages, ready to color with markers, gel pens, colored pencils, or watercolors.

Each illustration is accompanied by insightful prompts that will guide you to reflect on what faith means to you, and the role that God plays in your life. You'll find plenty of lined space to write, and opportunities to pray, in this finely crafted journal.

My Review:

I have no shortage of adult coloring books.  Spending quiet time filling in lines with color is relaxing to me.  Due to time restraints, I haven't really delved into my coloring lately.  Until recently...

My Faith Journey has several inspirational scripture designs to be colored, and I've been spending quiet time coloring in the pages.  There's lots of pretty designs and uplifting sayings.  The paper itself is archival-quality and acid-free.  I haven't used markers in this book because I don't want to take the chance of the ink bleeding through, but gel pens and colored pencils are perfect for coloring and jotting your thoughts.

You can use this devotional in a way that works for you.  If you want to go ahead and color all the pages before finishing the spiritual prompts, it's quite okay.  I've been working with this devotional a week at a time, front to back.  For instance, one week I may be prompted to answer the question about why hope is an anchor for the soul.  Or, I may be asked to write down the difference between joy and happiness.  There's plenty of lined writing space to answer the questions, and the pages are for you to write your own answers, thoughts and reflections.  Once I am finished with this devotional, I am going to keep it in my cedar chest and hopefully bring it out from time to time to go over what I learned and what my reflections were during that period.

I received product for review from Fox Chapel Publishing.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

TowelTails - Mermaid Tail Towels Review and Giveaway

If you have kids, chances are you know mermaids are all the rage.  There's no shortage of mermaid merchandise, and products with the theme are in high demand.  TowelTails was thought up in 2016, and the company appeals to those with a mermaid fascination.

Toweltails® Towels are a great product for children between the ages of 3-16.  Although they are designed for kids in that age range, I've found that teens and adults can use them too.  I know plenty of adults who wanna be a mermaid. #MeIncluded

 Toweltails are 100% cotton, machine washable, and crafted at the highest quality.  They are approximately 55" long and 23" wide.  That means most anyone can fit in them.  Because they're made of cotton, they will shrink just a little bit after washing.

There are currently nine fun and attractive styles to choose from.  I'm personally excited to see more added.  I think the color and style combinations are endless.  There are seven total mermaid designs, some more patterned than others.  If you're a boy (or a girl who doesn't like mermaids), the company offers a shark and dragon tail pattern.  

TowelTails can be used as beach, bath, or pool towels.  They're also long and wide enough to lay on while sunning.  Or, if you just want to cozy up inside one and pretend you're a mermaid, that's cool too.

The fins at the bottom of the towel have openings for your feet to go all the way through.  TowelTails are just that - towels.  They're super cute and super fun to wear, but they're not meant to walk around in or go into the water with.  To make them even more appealing, these towels are packaged in an adorable box.

Win It!

One person will win a TowelTails towel of choice.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

I received product for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
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My First Book of Lacrosse - Book Review

Book Overview:

My First Book of Lacrosse, the fifth book in the best-selling Rookie Book series from Sports Illustrated Kids, explains this fast-growing sport to young readers.

A fun guide for beginning readers, My First Book of Lacrosse introduces kids to the plays, positions, and basics of lacrosse through a visual retelling of a professional game. From the face-off to the game-winning goal, checking, scooping, passing, and more are all explained using simple text, cool graphics, and real Major League Lacrosse and college level photography to help young kids feel like they are on the field experiencing the game. Illustrated “rookie” characters—a girl and a boy—appear on every page to guide kids through the book as they read alone or along with their lacrosse loving (or bewildered) parent. 

My Review:

A hardcover book that's being released today, April 17th, My First Book of Lacrosse explains the basics of the sport in a fascinating and understandable way.

Did you know that the rules and equipment used by men and women are different?
Or that a lacrosse game is usually divided into four quarters that are 15 minutes each?
You'll learn that and more in this book about lacrosse.

I confess I don't know a lot about the game, so I admittedly thought this book was interesting (even if it was written for the younger crowd).  If I ever view a game of lacrosse, I'll at least know what I'm watching out for.  The realistic pictures of people playing the game, coupled with the cartoon characters and thought bubbles, make this book even more engaging.

Have you ever played lacrosse?
What sport do you have problems understanding?

I received book for review.  The opinions within t his post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.