October 17, 2014

$300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Time for another giveaway! This week Alli from Cupcake Diaries is turning 30 and we are continuing the celebration with ANOTHER giveaway! YAY!

This time we are giving away a $300 Amazon gift card! How awesome would that be to have on hand for all your holiday shopping?!? 

$300 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I’m so excited about this giveaway!! Amazon is such a great way to do so much shopping. (Pretty sure I use Amazon on a weekly basis for things around our house! Such a lifesaver with a three month old!)

Check out the amazing group of bloggers participating in this giveaway! I’m excited to be collaborating with such a fun group of ladies. You will love their blogs!

To win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The more entries you complete, the better the chances of winning. Good luck!!

Giveaway begins 10/17 and will end 10/24 at 10pm MST. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years and older to win. Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and winning entry verified. If winning entry is not complete, prize will be voided and another winner will be chosen. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.

October 15, 2014

$300 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Who's ready to win some cash? This week Alli from Cupcake Diaries is turning 30. And to celebrate, I’m teaming up with her and some of my other blogger friends to give away $300 PayPal cash! 

$300 PayPal Cash Giveaway
I’m so excited about this giveaway!! There's nothing quite like getting free cash. And just in time for holiday shopping! Check out the amazing group of bloggers participating in this giveaway! I’m so excited to be collaborating with such a fun group of ladies. You will love their blogs!

PayPal Giveaway Logos

To win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The more entries you complete, the better the chances of winning. Good luck!! 

Giveaway begins 10/15 and will end 10/22 at 10pm MST. Open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 years and older to win. Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and winning entry verified. If winning entry is not complete, prize will be voided and another winner will be chosen. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize before a new winner is chosen.

October 13, 2014

Meet This Mormon

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We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as "The Mormons". We are proud of this part of who we are! We are excited to team up with over 65+ of us strong... to extend an invitation to see a film. A film entitled "Meet The Mormons". This film is not meant to be an "in your face" - you must join our church film. It is simply designed and produced to uplift and inspire you through six stories of those of our faith who have followed promptings to follow Christ more fully in their lives. We hope you take the opportunity to enjoy this film. We hope your hearts are made light as you feel the goodness that comes from following our Christ and Savior. All proceeds from the film will be donated to The American Red Cross. So not only will you be uplifted and inspired, your money will be going to an amazing charity!!

We also would like to take a moment and share our personal testimonies, stories of our own personal conversions, and our own stories of how following our Savior, Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The light of the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a joy and hope that only following him can provide. We hope as you click through and read our stories and testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you will feel uplifted and encouraged. We are by you! We love connecting with our readers, that is why many of us do what we do! Please be kind and considerate in your comments. It takes great bravery for us to open our hearts and our mouths to share with you such a tender and personal part of who we are. We share because we feel strongly the need to share the peace and the hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here is my story...

For those who are new readers to the site, you will quickly learn I wear many hats these days. I am a wife to a doctor who works crazy hours, I am a military wife (my husband is in the Air Force), I am a mother to our five year old and 3 month old, I am a student currently studying Healthcare Administration, I am a homeschooling parent teaching our son who is Kindergarten age, I am an employee of Freebies2Deals (I work about 20 hours a week on average), I am the manager of our home, I am a Gospel Doctrine teacher every week in our church, and I am a Mormon!

Pass me in the grocery store, talk with me at a flag football game, etc. and you probably wouldn't even be able to tell my religion. Just like I probably wouldn't be able to tell yours. :)

I know religion is a personal thing and the last thing I want to do is bombard people with something they didn't ask for and so I rarely discuss my religion in depth on this site or on social media in general.

If you are a reader of this site though, and if you ever have questions about the mormons, I am happy to answer!

I was raised in the LDS church and I am now raising my family in that same church because I find comfort, peace and happiness in it's teachings. Are all my questions about this life and the next answered? No. Enough have been answered though for me to continue to want to live the gospel and to continue to strive to be a better person than I was yesterday and the church helps me to do that. I believe you can find elements and portions of truth in all religions and beliefs. For me though, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has provided the most truth and the most answers. I believe it to be the most correct and true of any of the churches on the earth today. And that is not a statement I make lightly or just out of a borrowed testimony. It's a testimony I've had to come by on my own through my own personal experience.

So, again, if you have any questions of your own, or are just curious about any aspect of the mormon church, please feel free to message me. I am pretty much an open book! :)

Or. you also might find the answer to your question on one of the other amazing sites participating in this link up. :) Enjoy!

I'm A Mormon #1
Anita | Live Like You Are Rich, Landee | Landee Lu , Tara & Devin | Salt & Pepper Moms , Mallory & Savannah | Classy Clutter Kelli & Kristi| Lolly Jane
McKenzie | Girl Loves Glam , Pam & Lisa | Over The Big Moon , Melanie | Forty Eighteen , Sky | Capital B Adell | Baked in Arizona
I'm a Mormon #2
Andie | Maybe I Will , Shatzi | Love and Laundry , Robyn | Create it Go , Rachel | R & R Workshop
Tiffany | Feel Great In 8 , Katelyn | What Up Fagens? , Brittany | BrittanyBullen , Ginger | Ginger Snap Crafts , Stephanie | Crafting In The Rain
Chelsey | Cee Me Be , Amber | Crazy Little Projects , Kallie | Smitten By, Elyse, Kristen, Lauren, Steph, Kendra & Camille | Six Sisters Stuff Annette | Tips From A Typical Mom
Kierste | Simply Kierste , Tayler | The Morrell Tale, Jennifer | My Daylights , Cambria | Live To Be Inspired, Danielle | Today's The Best Day
I'm a Mormon #3
Nat & Holly | My Sister's Suitcase, Britni| Play.Party.Pin , Montserrat | Cranial Hiccups , Heidi | A Lively Hope , Ashley & Meegan | Flats to Flip Flops


PS: Need an uplifting and motivational minute today? Listen to this song by David Archuleta. It's incredible! (It's one of the main songs in the movie Meet the Mormons. It's a great song and message though not matter what your religion is). 

October 01, 2014

September Favorites 2014

Happy October 1st everyone! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for this month. It is literally my most favorite month of the year!

Today I thought I'd hop on real quick before we begin out Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix and our Halloween decorating, to share with you some of my favorite things from September. Because as much as I love October, September was a pretty great month as well.

First up, one of my favorite things about Fall is all the new scents! I love scouting out what new scents come out each season.

Some of my favorite scents right now are Acadia Sweet Vanilla & Pumpkins by Air Wick & Pumpkin Pie Dinner by Glade. (I also came across a Cashmere Woods scent by Glade as well that I only passed on because it didn't look like it was limited edition like these others. It's definitely on my shopping list for this Winter though!)

The past week or so I've been using the Pumpkin Pie Diner wax melts and I have been amazed at how much scent one of those little wax melts packs! One fills up almost our entire house! (Maybe my Scentsy cubes are just old, but they don't give off nearly as much scent as these ones from Glade?! I am still using my Scentsy warmer though).

And those scented oils will be getting plugged in down in the basement and upstairs... just as soon as I can find my holders for them! We still have some unpacking to do around here!

(Note: To find these scents in stores, look for a Limited Edition display on the air care isle. That's where I found them at our local grocery store.)

Second, I am really enjoying the book The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family's Method to College Ready by Age Twelve. If you are a home schooling parent or even just someone interested in different ways to educate, this is a great read! Love reading about their philosophies, experiences, etc. So much great information!

I actually picked this up at Barnes & Noble a couple days before I had Chayse and have slowly been making my way through it since then. It's taking me a while, not because it's a hard book to get through, but because it's hard to find longer than 2-3 minutes to read each day with everything else that's going on. :)

Looking at this photo also reminds me of another favorite thing, my leopard print coasters from the Dollar Store! So cute and useful!

Third on my favorites list, is our new car seat cover for the baby girl from Ivory Kate! I ordered this limited edition cover right when they came out and I about died when it arrived. So gorgeous and well made! Plus, it's a thicker material so it will be perfect for winter!

I don't believe you can order these anymore (I think only like 3 or 4 were made) but what you can do is follow Ivory Kate on Instagram and Facebook to see if the owner ever does another set. (Side Note: The owner of Ivory Kate, also has an Instagram account called latewithkate where she shares random tidbits about life and she is hilarious! When I'm up late nursing Chayse, her account is one of the first I check!)

Fourth, are these ridiculously addicting and yummy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Trader Joe's. When we went to Pittsburgh for Chayse's appointment with the Ortho Specialist we were right by a Trader Joe's and decided to stop in real fast for a couple things.

The store was PACKED and crazy busy so we literally ran in and out, but I did manage to grab a couple things on my list...and these delicious things! If you ever find yourself in a Trader Joe's, grab these and then thank me later! :)

Fifth, are these garbage bags from Glad that neutralize odors with Febreze freshness. Maybe I'm late to the party but I seriously am so excited about these and I came by them on accident.

I purchased these really fast one day on Amazon because they were a good price and we were out of bags for our kitchen. When they came and I opened them I was really surprised by the scent they had. They smelled SO good! (Like I wish you could smell through the computer screen good!) I hadn't realized I had purchased ones with any thing extra on them, I thought I'd bought just plain old garbage bags.

I'll definitely be watching for another deal on these to pop up. I mean, now that I know these exist...not so sure I can go back to the regular ones! (Especially when the price is comparable!)


Last on the list for this month is this Chevron Chenille Throw from Kohl's that I was able to grab for around $5.00! (Reg. $50!) We have slowly been putting our house together little by little. And while we want it to feel warm and inviting, we also don't want to invest too much in things just for this home because we will only be here another 8 months. 

Enter the accessories! I love blankets scattered around our home for the fall and winter months and this one was perfect for this little area. 

That sums up my favorites for this month, well a few of them any way! I also want to put together a post of New Mom Must-Haves and a post of Favorite Baby Items and so I tried to stay away from those categories! Hopefully I'll get those done sometime this month as well though. :)

What were your favorite things in September? Please share in the comments below! I love hearing about other things people have found and love! 

This post contains affiliate links and sponsored content. All opinions and comments are my own though and I only share things that I personally use and love.

September 29, 2014

Are You Beautiful?

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!


Holding my daughter Chayse the day she was born, July 11, 2014.
When I first heard about the Brave and Beautiful project, I immediately knew I wanted to take part. As I thought about what I wanted to share, two experiences came to my mind. The first took place a couple weeks after my daughter was born this last July. 

I was looking through all the photos we had taken the day she was born and I hesitated at the photo above and then quickly passed over it deeming it not "social media worthy". Why? Well, because on any given day you can look on Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram and see other moms with their new babies looking a whole lot more put together. Their hair is perfectly curled and cascading just right, their makeup is impeccable, they have cute pajamas on, their baby is in a new adorable onsie and wrapped in a super cute luxurious blanket, there are floral arrangements from friends focused just right to the side of them, etc.

Comparing myself to those photos, all I could notice was that while I had showered my hair wasn't done, my makeup wasn't done, baby girl was still in the hospital onsie and blanket, the lighting was awful...want me to go on? I was so stuck in the comparison trap that I was forgetting the joy and beauty of that night when Chayse was finally released from monitoring and I got to have her in my room and hold her as much as I wanted. How sad is that?! 

Sure, I looked tired in this photo and the lighting is awful, but you know what I brought that little girl in my arms into the world just a few hours earlier and that took work! HARD work! And it was scary, and intense, and it took more than I thought I had during some of it, but I did it! (With the amazing help of some doctors and nurses of course)! Our little girl was safe, healthy and finally in my arms. 

That's what I should have been focusing on and remembering when I looked at that photo. How strong, brave, and truthfully amazing I was during her delivery. Not how my photo doesn't compare to everyone else's.

With my son Titan in Disney World
(May 2014 | 36 Weeks Pregnant and no makeup because I just did not have the energy!) 
The second moment is from a few years ago, I was sitting in a conference/lecture and the speaker 
caught me off guard by asking me directly, "Are you beautiful? Are you pretty?" and then she waited for a response in front of the other 100-120 attendees. You know, nothing like being put on the spot. All around me I had people very nicely and politely whispering, "Say, yes. You should say yes." 

What was my response? I really wasn't quite sure what to say, so I said, "Well, I guess it depends on who you ask?" To which she replied, "Because you know in some cultures you could be too skinny, right? Or in others too fat? And some might think you are too pale, while others might think you are too tan. It's all about perspective...." (And then she transitioned into something else probably about how at any given moment we can change our perspective and change our attitude).

Looking back on that experience, my answer should have been "YES! Yes, I am beautiful." And that should be the answer we all have any time anyone asks us that question or even any time we look in the mirror and ask ourselves that question! 

That's the way I know I want my daughter to answer that question as she gets older. No matter her hair color, weight, makeup expertise, the labels on her clothing, etc. I want her to always be able to say "Yes, I am beautiful." without hesitation. And I want her to know that she is beautiful because she is one of a kind, because she is a daughter of God and because she serves and loves others. Of course, the first step in teaching her that is to model that behavior myself. 

So... "Yes, I am beautiful! Yes, I am brave!" 


share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in? Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!