May 20, 2020

Summer Shoes

With most of the country functioning from home we've all had to turn to the internet to purchase things we would normally go to the store to buy. Clothing and shoes being among those items. So I decided to look for new places to find unique fashion items, and one of the sites I discovered was FSJ.

While perusing their site I discovered that they offer a DESIGN YOUR OWN SHOE option. How neat is that? I'm sure many women would love to design a pair of custom shoes for themselves. You submit a few photos, description of what you're looking for and Voila! How much fun would that be? Perhaps I'll try this in a future Youtube video. What do you think? Any takers?

They also have a bunch of really cute sandals for the Summer. I've included a couple photos below.



* This blog post is sponsored *

April 06, 2020

GIVEAWAY: CSB LIFE ESSENTIALS INTERACTIVE STUDY BIBLE

ABOUT:
In the CSB Life Essentials Study Bible, renowned Bible teacher, Dr. Gene Getz guides readers through Scripture by expounding on 1,500 life principles found throughout the Bible. Distilling these truths into life principles, Dr. Getz helps readers remember and apply the Bible’s wisdom to everyday life.The CSB Life Essentials Study Bible integrates a multimedia digital study system with more than 250 hours of in-depth video teachings from Dr. Gene Getz on these essential life principles (accessed through smartphone-accessible QR codes). Questions follow each principle to inspire personal reflection or group discussion. A topical index and cross references for all 1,500 life principles is included, and each book introduction provides a list of corresponding life principles found in that book.
Features include:
  • Commentary and application questions on 1,500 life principles
  • 250 hours of free in-depth video teaching to accompany each life principle
  • Two-color interior design
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation page
  • Two-column text
  • Topical subheadings
  • Black-letter text
  • 9-point type
  • Textual footnotes
  • Concordance
  • Full-color maps
The CSB Life Essentials Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

REVIEW:
I've tried a handful of different types of Bibles and translations in my lifetime, so I think I have a fairly good grasp on what I'm looking for. I've discovered I am not a KJV gal as it's too flowery and formal sounding for my taste, but CSB is a very readable translation that I enjoy. I've also discovered that while I like to read the Bible as a book, I'm not a fan of the chronological bibles because it is way too hard to find a referenced scripture without referring to the table of contents over and over and over. You can't just say Exodus is the second book and turn there. It could be the fourth, according to chronology.  I've also learned since using my husband's bible that I enjoy notes and extra information, which is why I've been enjoying this study bible. The extra commentary provides background information and context that helps explain the passage. I've been really enjoying this bible since it arrived in the mail, and I think it'll quickly become my go-to bible!

WIN IT: One reader will win this B-I-B-L-E for themselves!
HOW TO ENTER:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 12, 2020

Where I find Jewelry Inspiration?

Many of you have commented on my posts and videos asking where I find my jewelry or where I get my jewelry inspiration, so I thought I would make a dedicated post on this topic. For starters I have one piercing in each ear, and nowhere else, so we're strictly talking about earrings in this post because that's all I know. I love all types of metals for reference, so let's jump right in.

There are a few places that are my "to go" places for jewelry inspiration. The first place to check out is is a website called AURATE. I enjoy browsing this site, but the prices are a bit higher than I usually spend, but still, they have great pieces. I especially love their drop earrings. I've been obsessed with geometric jewelry lately, and they have a handful of bar earrings that look so flattering on me and many other people.  They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and  some even have embellishments at the end like a stone or pearl. They have a lot to choose from.

The second being CVS. Why, you ask? I often have store credits, gift cards or extra care bucks to spend at CVS and a few years ago I discovered they carry the iam brand of jewelry and I LOVE it! They had rings, necklaces, bracelets but mostly earrings. They have everything from simple studs to elaborate hanging designs. It's always fun to browse the rack when I stop by the drugstore.

The other place that I find my jewelry is at Kohls. I just adore the Lauren Conrad collection. I've loved her ever since the days of the "Hills" TV show in which she appeared, and even now I'm still enjoying her fashion and accessories. She has classy elegant pieces that really fit my aesthetic. It's slightly girls, but still mature yet stylish. 

So these are three places you can find fun trendy earrings if you were in the market for them. Let me know where you find your favorite earrings, in the comments below. Hope you enjoyed!

[This post is in partnership with Nakturnal] #auratenyc

March 11, 2020

Time to "Marie Kondo" my Makeup Palettes

If you know me at all you know that I love being artistic and especially love expressing myself through makeup. But sometimes this love get to be a bit too much, especially when my eyeshadow palette drawer is so full it doesn't close, or when the bin is overflowing. That's when I know it's time to de-clutter and make do with less. If you'd like to see what makes the cut, head on over to my channel to find out:

February 27, 2020

The perfect February palette!

I've been a big fan of Natasha Denona's eyeshadow palettes for a few years now, so when she launched the LOVE palette right before Valentine's Day I had to try it out. It has mattes, metallics and a few cream to powder shades that I absolutely adore. They are creamy to the touch, blend magicly, and have a great staying powder on the lids. See what look I came up with, along with swatches of every shade, below:

February 19, 2020

New Sarah Sundin Book: The Land Beneath Us



In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers' betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for--fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.


Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family--the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.



After Clay saves Leah's life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay's recurring dream comes true?


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I've been a fan of Sarah Sundin's books for awhile now. I really enjoy historical fiction and she does it so well. She takes the reader back in time and you feel the emotions of the characters and fall in love along with them. This book was no exception! I can't wait to read more by Sarah.

February 11, 2020

New Makeup At The Drugstore!!!

See what's popping up at the drugstores in the world of beauty, and what I think of them:

January 22, 2020

Raising the Challenging Child

About Raising the Challenging Child by Karen Doyle Buckwalter, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine: 

What's the worst you've ever faced as a parent? An all-out tantrum at the mall? A son who won't take out his earbuds to listen to you? A daughter who's failing at school and won't do her homework? A teen who constantly breaks curfew? A call from the police? Whatever you're dealing with, Raising the Challenging Child will help.


Building on their work at Chaddock, a nonprofit organization that has worked with some of the most challenging kids in the nation for more than 150 years, the authors empower frustrated parents with practical tips and real-life examples on how to



- minimize behavioral meltdowns
- reduce conflict
- increase cooperation
- promote healthy attachment
- improve family relationships



The strategies they share work both for the child who is going through a difficult phase brought on by life disruption or trauma, and for the child who faces chronic struggles. Parents, teachers, and those who work with children and youth will find positive, practical steps they can start taking today in order to understand and address the baffling behavior of the child under their care.

My Thoughts: If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I didn't need this book, but now I would say, without hesitation, Yes! I need to read this book! My kids are all very different. My daughter is sweet, eager to please, but can melt down with little notice over seemingly nothing at all. My youngest son has had an attitude since the day we met him at 1 month old, and while he's an easy going guy, when he gets mad, he refuses to do anything and stubbornly holds his ground with a scowl on his face. And my oldest son is silly and funny but he loves to get a rise out of people by doing the exact thing they asked him not to do. So like I said, they're all very different, and present different parenting challenges, which is why a book like this is so helpful. 

With my oldest son, my reaction is a reward to him; it's what he wants, so when I stay calm and ignore the behaviors they eventually lessen. He craves the attention whether it is positive or negative. So now that we know what's driving the behaviors, we can address it. The book says be sure not to "withhold affection" for misbehavior, which we don't do, but we tell him he can have a hug when he has calmed down, and that we still love him, just not his behavior. Giving him positive attention when he does the right thing hopefully fills his need for attention so he won't feel the need to act out and get negative attention as often.

My youngest son wants to have his way or nothing at all. For example if he gets mad because he can't have the blue crayon, he will say "Then I don't want anything!", so when that happens, we stick to what he says, and give him nothing just like he said. He gets upset and says he changed his mind, but we're teaching him that he needs to think  before he says things, instead of talking in anger.  We're modeling to him using feeling words, and taking a break before we answer and explain that we're thinking first then talking. All useful tools for him to learn.

My sweet daughter has meltdowns when she hears she can't do something, or 5 minutes after we've said no to a TV show, or 15 minutes after we've told her it's time to clean up the crayons and get in the car for church. Sometimes the melt downs come out of nowhere, as they can be much later, so that makes it hard to find the cause for these events. Being patient and loving has been key to helping her communicating when these events happen.

The book had some really useful, practical tips and suggestions for parenting children who can sometimes be a challenge. Let's be honest though, who's child hasn't been a challenge at one time or another, right? We could all use this book! ;-)

January 14, 2020

GIVEAWAY: Turbotax code to file 2019 taxes for FREE!

Do Your Taxes w/TurboTax® This Year. File Online With Confidence.

#1 Rated Tax Software · Free State Filing · No Tax Knowledge Required

...offers one of the simplest ways to file a tax return

We've been using TurboTax for the past few years and plan to continue doing so because it makes filing taxes easier. I wouldn't say it makes them "easy" because ours were very complicated, but it was such a huge help. Since we had a failed adoption in 2012 and then a successful finalized adoption in 2013 we had the adoption tax credit to figure out for 2012, 2013 and 2014. And then again with the adoption of our second and third children this makes filing SO much easier!!! Without the help of Turbotax we would be lost. 

What I like about TurboTax is that with just a click you can get explanations of what tax words mean, or in which situations you would quality. It leads you to answers instead of having to scour the web for them. It's a click away. I also appreciated that they cover EVERYTHING. They lead you through income and can even pull up records from employers (not all, but many). They ask about your investments, your loans, your deductions etc. You just keep pressing on until you're done.


New this year is TurboTax Live, which gives consumers on-demand access to personalized chat, phone, or video-based tax advice from a credentialed tax expert (CPAs, Enrolled Agents, or Practicing Attorneys) who can also review, sign and file the customer’s return.

...and now 2 of my readers will have a chance to file their taxes with Turbotax this year.  Each code below is good for one free federal + state preparation and e-file. See below...

WIN IT: 2 readers will each win a Turbotax Premier code to do their 2019 Taxes!!!!


HOW TO ENTER:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

January 02, 2020

Best Beauty Products of 2019

Click on the videos below to see what beauty products made my "Best of 2019" Lists. One video is more affordable options from the drugstore, and one is more expensive high-end products.



December 16, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Angela's Christmas DVD

Netflix original short film, Angela’s Christmas is a new, family-favorite Christmas classic that celebrates the magic and generosity of the holiday season. Through one little girl's will to keep Baby Jesus warm for one night, little Angela teaches us all something about the warmth of the holiday season and the true meaning of Christmas. 

To go along with the Spirit of this film they're launching the #SpreadTheWarmth campaign in order to encourage people around the world to be loving, generous and warm during this magical time of year.

To kick this off, I'm offering 2 WINNERS a copy of this movie!


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