Category - Literature

10 Things I Heart in Winter

I know it’s not “officially” Winter yet, however the things I love all have to do with Winter or the Winter season, so I’m posting my 10 Things I Heart in Winter.

10 Things I Heart Winter MommyB

Here we go!

1. Warm coffee, yummo!!! Here are my favorite varieties:

    • On-the-go –  Starbucks, (My favorite is Hazelnut Macchiato with soy milk)
    • At home – Real Cup Coffee, they have awesome coffees and teas that work great with my Keurig and both hubby and I love. I personally love flavored coffee (see above) and for the Winter season they have a great Winterfest flavor.

Real Coffee MommyB

    • For stocking stuffers – Craft Coffee’s Coffee DNA Project™, if you know a coffee lover this great coffee subscription features coffees you probably won’t find anywhere else in a great sampler size (not too small not too big). Answer some questions, customize or get their recommendations.

2. The Spirit of Giving.

I reviewed and posted about this awesome book last year – The Sparkle Box Book Review and we fell in love. Without giving any of the storyline away the book encourages families to do for others. It not only gives a great incentive to have a giving spirit, but it reminds us what Christmas is all about. I love seeing our sparkling box this time of year and love that my girls desire to fill it up with good deeds for others. Hope you check it out!

3. Smiling Faces, Fun Experiences, and Cute Pets.

Where do all those things appear?? Instagram. Yep, I heart Instagram. Probably my most loved version of social media. It’s less controversial than Facebook can be at times and rather than all the words on Twitter I can see fun, sweet, beautiful pictures that embody the lives of family, friends, and coworkers (aka other bloggers and pr companies).

Recently I received an opportunity to check out #Cube™. Basically it’s a large 8” square LCD touch screen display, that taps into Instagram. #Cube™ delivers real-time and instant continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips, has built-in Wi-Fi, free wireless software updates, and is rechargeable. You can put #Cube™ anywhere in your house and move it around easily because it’s wireless (and really cool too.)

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If you know someone who would love this as a gift, or want to buy it for yourself (that’s okay too), head to hashtagcube.com/#cube and for a $15#cube discount use coupon code: CUBE71 at checkout (affiliate link).

4. Christmas Cards

I love making our Christmas Cards each year, but even more so I love receiving them. We’re thankful for any cards we receive this time of year, but I’m especially partial to those with pictures of beautiful families, awesome couples, fun kids, awesome babies, and sweet pets. This month we’ve already received a bunch and I can’t wait to see new ones that come each day and hang them up.

5. Elderberry

Each time we get sick (which I feel like for a family of four isn’t too often, but often enough), I have a couple of dear friends who remind me the power of Elderberry. Well just last month I decided to get on the Elderberry train and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t realize all of the great benefits of Elderberry especially when you’re fighting an illness.

Norm’s Farms (locally in NC but ships worldwide), has an AMAZING selection of Elderberry products, that we used and loved (okay the girls didn’t like the taste but I thought it was similar to cranberry and loved it). My favorite product is their Elderberry Extract which is great for boosting your immune system, and has 2 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries. They also have some great jellies and jams you’ll want to check out as well.

Norms Farms Elderberry MommyB

I also found some Elderberry products in health stores like lozenges that included zinc which I’ve heard is also another great, homeopathic way to treat a cough/cold. So don’t put it off like me, try Elderberry and then come back and thank me when you fall in love too!

6. Gettin’ Crafty.

Now that my girls are older, they want more hands-on activities and learning opportunities that a coloring book just won’t achieve. We often keep recycled materials in a bin in their “kids’ office” but we also buy science experiment kits, and craft sets.

We were able to try CreatorBox, a built-it-yourself subscription box that includes a new toy each month. The box comes complete with instructions and quality materials and feature some really cool things you wouldn’t normally think to create like a trebuchet/catapult, paper airplane launcher, and smart house.

For us, this was a great project for the girls to do with DaddyB because I often work on arts, crafts and projects with them, but due to DaddyB’s work schedule the quality time he does have is on the weekends. We saved our catapult for the girls to put together with him and they had a blast with it! I highly recommend this for great family bonding, and learning too!

7. Holiday Shopping

We don’t go big for Christmas presents but we do buy each of our girls 3 gifts (want, need, read) and this year we also bought most of our family 3 gifts as well (one thoughtful gift, one gift card, and one handmade gift). While at a recent BJ’s Holiday event, my assistant Lil’ C and I were introduced to quite a few great gift sets and learned a little more about BJ’s Wholesale as well.

Though we were members for several years, mostly buying diapers and paper products, I never realized how much larger BJ’s Wholesale is than their competitors, carrying more than double typically. They also have a great charitable foundation that gives back to the community and each store also participates in several outreach opportunities throughout the season including an angel tree. Did you know that???

Here are some of the great gifts for two-legged family and friends (and some four legged ones too):

BJs Holiday MommyB

 

8. Fun Movies

I love fun winter and Christmas movies, don’t you? The problem with fun movies though is that there are so many to choose from, so I’m gonna try to keep my list simple. Try is the operative word people. In no particular order:

  • Elf, for obvious reasons.
  • Iesodo’s new JOY themed video
  • The Grinch (good lessons in here)
  • Home Alone (and Home Alone 2 but if I have to pick, I’d go with the first one)
  • Any Veggie Tales Christmas, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas is a great one to teach your kiddos about who St. Nicholas really was, and the Ultimate Christmas Collection has a bunch of great holiday DVDs in one great set.

9. Goodies

Yep, it’s the season of candy and sweets, cookie exchanges, and delicious stocking stuffers. One of my favorite places to pick up sweet treats for my family is CVS/pharmacy. They have the usual treats like candy canes, gold coins (which I always put in the girls’ stockings), and other great candy bars, nuts, and trail mixes to name a few, plus the sales and prices are….awesome.

CVS Gold Emblem Select MommyB

10. You! 

The biggest thing I love this Winter is you!! I always try to remind you, my readers, that I’m so thankful and blessed to have you stopping by my site, reading, and sharing my posts. I hope that you have a great winter, a Merry Christmas and of course an awesome New Year. Thank you for being so amazing for yet another year end. I heart you!!!

 

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, however I have worked with some of the above brands in various ways and received some product to showcase on my blog. Any and all opinions expressed in the above post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

How to Take the Spooky Out of October

Let’s face it, some families just do not like the spooky aspect of October. My girls aren’t into the skeletons or creepy zombies {one more than the other} and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older, but as the years go by the more I’m turned off by scary things too. {I used to enjoy horror films growing up, now not so much.}

We have tons of friends, neighbors, and family who don’t mind a little spooky and some who totally love it, but for those of you who are like us, not fans, here are some ways to “Take the spooky out of October“.

How to Take the Spooky out of October MommyB

Celebrate Fall – Below are some ways your family can focus on Autumn and the Harvest.

  • Pick pumpkins at a local farm, it’s a fun activity and provide great decorations.
  • Leaf Art. Whether you’re making a banner from paper leaves or you’re using leaves for a leaf rubbing collage, there are a lot of things that you can make using one of Fall’s most beautiful gifts. {I pinned a bunch on my Holiday Themes pinterest board.}
  • Talk to your children about harvest, what it means for farmers, and the importance of it.
  • Host a Fall celebration with bobbing for apples, warm cinnamon donuts, and pumpkin painting.
  • Decorate your home with leaves, pumpkins, hay bales, maize corn, and other fall favorites.
  • Buy deliciously scented Fall candles. October is a great start to an awesome smelling home, in my opinion.
  • Enjoy warm drinks including hot cocoa, apple cider, and pumpkin spice anything.
  • Host a pie night with friends and create awesome Fall flavors, half the fun is baking and the other is eating.
  • Have a Fall family photo shoot. Make sure you choose a location that will highlight the weather and Fall changes.

Non Spooky Fall MommyB

What are some of the ways your family celebrates October in a non spooky way?

In honor of an un-scary October, I’m giving away a great book by Tommy Nelson, “Good Night, Little Pumpkin”. This adorable, not terrifying board book is great for children ages 1 to 4 years. It’s a sweet story that talks about the sounds, and smells of Fall that your kiddos will love to sit with you and read.

Good Night Little Pumpkin Giveaway

I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Enter here to win:

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This is not a sponsored post. I received a copy of Good Night, Little Pumpkin to review and all prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the brand hosting the giveaway. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest thoughts, your experiences may vary.

Tips for Parenting a Fearful Child

There are many reasons that children are fearful. Some reasons are based on their age, some reasons are a reaction to an event, some reasons are learned, and some are just a part of that child’s personality.

God gives us the exact child(ren) that we are supposed to parent. He knows us and He knows that child and He doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember when my children were full of worry and had fears about bugs, animals, the day ahead of them, I asked their pediatrician if their fears were normal. Each time I asked he assured that it was okay and normal for them to feel the way they did.

Some part of me however felt like I needed to fix them, to take away their fears, and I found myself praying that I could find a solution to calm their anxiety.

God had a solution for me, it wasn’t what I expected though.

God reminded me that He made my children JUST THE WAY THEY ARE for a purpose. I don’t need to “fix” my kids, I don’t need to do anything other than pray for them, thank God for their strengths and realize what I might consider weakness God will bring blessings to His name through every part of them if they allow Him to.

My biggest piece of advice to parents of fearful children would be to remember God is in control and your child His child is exactly as they are meant to be.

There are ways to not change, but helping your kiddos through tough situations. Tools that can be helpful for them and you to use to calm down or remind them also to trust in God include:

Prayer – Help them create a prayer or elements of a prayer that they can say when they are worried or scared.

Communicate – Often times your fearful child may not want to talk when they are afraid, but remind them that you are available to listen and help if they feel comfortable in that moment.

Read – Grab your Bible and find verses on fear and print them out on an index card and post them where your child (and you) will see them.

Online websites, and books have a wealth of knowledge to help you parent and help your child. I especially like God is Always Good, this book is perfect for children ages 4-8 and helps to comfort children through showing different situations where they may be scared as well. I love that each situation also has a corresponding Bible verse that you can remind your child of.

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This is a really sweet book, and I really enjoyed reading it to my girls, but also the communication and questions that came up as we were reading were invaluable. Kids can even read to each other!

 

Tips for Parenting Fearful Children

{Read a few pages HERE and Buy your copy HERE}

 

Also enter here to win your copy:

 

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As a Tommy Mommy I received a copy of this book. I am not compensated and all opinions expressed in this post are, as usual, my own.

Back to School – 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading

Are you in Back to School mode? Miss A has already started 2nd grade and Lil’ C is getting ready to start Pre-K for the first time this week. Though we encourage our girls to read with us and read independently throughout the Summer we often find that schools recommend or require a form of reading throughout the school year, which, being a book-worm, I love. We recently received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples to work on Summer reading lists to challenge our kiddos and keep their brains going through the Summer. We also realized it’s coming in handy for the school year for Independent Reading.

Here are 10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire for Independent Reading:

10 Reasons to Use Kindle Fire HD Tablet for Independent Reading on MommyB

 

1. Set a time limit for reading/use. While I don’t ever want to stop Miss A from reading, sometimes it’s necessary to move on to our next task or work on another piece of school work. The Kindle Fire allows us to create profiles for each child and set time limits with Kindle FreeTime.

2. Technology encourages reading. While we have our own library and occasionally check physical books out from our local library, often times our girls want “screen-time” aka to play on technology. We have noticed that even though books are often the same on the Kindle Fire, the novelty of having the book in electronic version makes it more appealing, and however we can get our girls excited about reading we’ll take.

3. Easy access to books. Another great thing about the Kindle Fire are no last minute trips to the library and books are never out of stock like bookstores or libraries. We love heading to storytime and the bookstore, but we also enjoy the Kindle Fire’s easy access to a variety of books.

4. Features to personalize their reading experience. Kindle Fire HD offers your child adjustable fonts, line spacing, text-to-speech, built-in reference and dictionary. Students can also add their own notes, highlights, and bookmarks that they can access from their Kindle or any device with the free Kindle app, personalizing their reading experience and making an even more enjoyable experience.

5. Reading incentives made easy. Recently, we decided that we would offer Miss A even more incentives to read {aside from her school work} and give her the opportunity to earn screen-time through reading. The Kindle Fire is an easy way for her to transition from her reading time to her screen-time and has a number of free and paid apps including educational games and fun apps alike.

Miss A Independent Reading with Kindle Fire HD MommyB

 

6. No returns necessary. Have you ever forgotten to return a book by the due date? Kindle Fire allows you to skip the process of returning a book even when you’re just e-borrowing a book.

7. Teach new vocabulary. With some books Kindle Fire can read content with their Text-to-Speech feature. This feature isn’t meant to replace reading for your children, however in some cases it can help your child learn how to pronounce words and read along with books that are above their reading skill.

8. Find a good fit. Sometimes it’s hard to find a book that fits both Miss A’s reading level AND maturity. If you’ve ever been in the same situation you’ll understand that having the option of choosing a new book immediately is a huge relief. I love that Kindle Fire allows us to make that change without having to research, go to the library or store and get a new book, it’s an easy swap.

9. Read on-the-go. Of course you can take a book with you wherever you go, but Kindle Fire HD allows you to take up to 6,000 books* with you, that’s a lot of choices and a lighter load than a bag of books.

10. Shared classroom content. Kindle now allows classrooms/schools to share content using Whispercast. Whispercast allows schools to centrally manage Kindles, provide internet access, control settings, and meet the unique needs of students.

Do your children use Kindle Fire HD for Independent Reading? What are your favorite benefits?

Check out the Kindle Fire HD at Staples.com for more specs and details, protection plans, financing, free ship-to-store, and if you’re not a member already, check out their Rewards Member program for possible discounts. Also

College students – Save up to 80% when you rent and up to 50% when you buy Kindle eTextbooks.

*Kindle Fire HD can hold up to 6,000 books alone or less when you add apps, music, or movies. Wi-fi is needed to upload new books to your Kindle Fire HD.

 

I received a Kindle Fire HD from Staples in order to test out and review the product. I did not receive compensation and any and all opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

NEW BOOK: Fearless Speaking & Author Interview

If you’re an adult, in most cases you’ve been in either one situation or another:

a. You’ve been made to speak in front of a group of people about a topic or

b. You’ve had the opportunity to speak in front of a group of people about a topic

Even though one is usually “forced” both situations for some people can be very frightening.

I remember in high school and college when I would be required to present a project or give a speech I would always have butterflies floating around in my stomach. Some presentations would be successful (in my mind at least), and others would crash and burn. As I spoke more and more in front of people I felt a little more comfortable, but depending on the situation, topic, preparedness of my speeches I still have moments where I feel I shine and others…well….not.so.much.

If you’ve ever felt this way {I know I’m not alone}, never fear! Dr. Genard has recently published his fully self-guided book on overcoming stage fright, Fearless Speaking.

Fearless Speaking Book Interview

This book comes with over 50 practical tips and tricks, along with other knowledge to set you free from a fear of public speaking, or at least get you on the right path.

Here are some answers from Dr. Genard himself regarding the topic of conquering stage fright and fear of public speaking:

Can your book help with all types of speaking opportunities?

Absolutely! Any speaking application can bene”t from the techniques in Fearless Speaking. Whether it’s situational anxiety that comes from talking to your boss, to high-profile appearances such as delivering a major address, appearing on television, or being interviewed by the New York Times, the Fearless Speaking System will help you stay poised and professional. After all, giving a toast at a wedding or impressing someone you’re on a date with requires you to come across honestly and credibly, while being at your very best!

Why did you write this book?

I wrote Fearless Speaking because I believe it’s time to start dealing head-on with the fear of public speaking. It’s an enormous problem in our society. The best figure we have is that between 56% and 70% of us suffer from some form of speech anxiety. That means that in the U.S. alone, millions of Americans suffer from a phobia that negatively impacts their lives. There are hundreds of books on public speaking, but only a handful address the actual fear of public speaking—and none of them spend more than a few chapters on the topic.

Who is Fearless Speaking meant to benefit?

This book is for anyone—and I really mean that literally—who has jitters, nervousness, anxiety, or self-doubt concerning their speaking skills. Some people only get butterflies, of course, while others suffer full-blown panic attacks. This book is for any one of those speakers.

Fearless Speaking really provides a practical toolbox of hands-on skills that can be applied in any speaking situation from interpersonal communications to presentations to formal speeches. It empowers people to focus on the task at hand so they can speak with confidence, comfort, and control.

In fact, the book could have been titled “Speak with Confidence.” Learning how to speak fearlessly allows you to regain your momentum, pursue opportunities you’ve been avoiding, and reconnect with the world personally and professionally.

About the Author: Dr. Genard brings decades of experience as an actor, teacher, and speech coach to helping clients conquer their stage fright. With Fearless Speaking, you can learn the same performance-based techniques that form the basis of his in-depth fear reduction system. In fact, this book is the only fully self-guided approach to overcoming fear of public speaking inspired by the theater.

Interested in overcoming your fear of public speaking or know someone who might benefit from Dr. Genard’s tips and tricks?? Check out or Purchase Fearless Speaking on Amazon.com for more details. {I do not receive any compensation for this link, just providing it so you don’t have to do an additional search.}

Why You’ll Want to Read a Book about Trash {Guest Post}

All children are recyclers at heart. They are inventors, creators and magicians when it comes to re-using things lying about the house. An old towel becomes a cape, boxes are space ships or racing cars, an empty soda bottle makes a super submarine and a cardboard tube is a pirates telescope. When children look at the world of waste they see endless possibilities.

At Retrash we can totally relate to that wonder of creating things from unwanted waste. Retrash is a book all about reusing waste to create beautiful pieces of art and practical items. It inspires creativity and imagination through stories of upcycling, recycling and living sustainably.

The book, show cases over 80 artists from all over the world who are looking at waste in new and creative ways.

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This gorgeous dress and others like it are the work of Australian designer Danette Rowse, and are made by recycling fabrics found in charity shops including table cloths and pillow cases.

“I am inspired by my desire to make comfortable, versatile and quality clothing for children.” says Danette.

Copyright Robyn Stewardson Retrash 3

Robyn Stewardson creates these beautiful owls using found objects, mainly kitchen utensils which are assembled using wire.

“I have been an avid op-shopper for years and thrive on giving something discarded a new lease on life. Now visiting op shops and trash and treasure markets is a must to find the materials I need to create my ever expanding parliament of owls.” says Robyn.

10 year old Olive Reichel makes ‘Miss O’s’ off cut bears using fabric off cuts from her mum’s design studio.

“I really, really, like making teddies. I get inspiration from random things everywhere and I like basing my ideas on pictures in my head.”

Copyright Brady-Anne Cushing Retrash 2

Brady-Anne Cushing creates hand made products from fabrics that are repurposed or salvaged.

“We gather our materials in many ways (salvage shops, remnants left over from friends, home decor projects, yard sales, etc.). We enjoy the challenge of finding unique materials in unconventional ways. We take great pride in the quality of our original items and create them with strength and integrity to bring years of
enjoyment!”
says Brady-Anne.

I believe that Retrash can inspire a small step for change and I am passionate about getting his book into the world.

Retrash Logo

We are currently running a funding campaign to raise money to print Retrash. You can get a copy of Retrash at a reduced price during the funding campaign, and you can even have your name printed in the book to show your support. Visit the website for more information: retrash.com

 

This is not a sponsored post, I thought the idea was cool and was honored that Founder of retrash, Nathan Devine, was interested in authoring this blog post.

My Favorite Christian Christmas Books and Bibles for Families

Looking to add a few new books to your family library? Whether you want to add a couple of new Christmas books that will become life-long favorites, or if you want to be able to look at your Bible in a different way I have 4 books that you will definitely want to check out.

Christian Christmas Books

The First Christmas NightI love the variety of books that depict the birth of Jesus, there are so many great books that tell the Christmas story in their own way. First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher and illustrated by Christine Kornacki tells the story of the sweet baby in a manger, but not only through words. The beautiful images in this book come to life, so much so that Miss A asked if they were photographs. The book is simple enough for young children to understand and yet timeless, lending itself to be read year after year.

Another book that has cemented a place in our Christmas family traditions is The Sparkle Box: A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas by Jill Hardie.

If my job wasn’t to describe this book to you, I may be speechless. The story in this book is one that we have been talking about the past few months. Helping others and placing their needs before our own.

This book had moments that touched my heart so deeply that I was moved to *almost tears. I loved that Lil’ C {age 3} was following along with the story and that it enhances our desire to teach our children to have a servant heart. I won’t spoil the story, but the Sparkle Box we got from our book is now sitting on our fireplace mantle and will reappear each year without a doubt. Perhaps it can spark a new tradition in your family, too.

The Sparkle Box

Christian Children’s Storybook Bible

Do your kiddos like reading the Bible but you wish they would really get into the stories a little more? The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook brings favorite Bible stories to Life.

The really cool thing about this new storybook is that it features scannable QR codes highlighting videos featuring key Bible stories, narrations from Jenna Lucado, {daughter of popular faith author Max Lucado}, as well as 145 colorful illustrations depicting favorite Bible stories and even more pages full of stories your children will really get into.

The Big Storybook Bible Collage

This is a great book to read with your child and discuss.

Check out this video to see the augmented reality that The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook brings your family.

 

Christian Family Bible

CEB Study BibleThe Common English Bible released its new Study Bible on October 1. Because the CEB made the top ten translation list and has held it’s place, the’ve now introduced their Study Bible. The CEB Study Bible is a great Bible for families with children of all ages. This Bible includes historically-based notes, 210 sidebar articles, parallel verses, maps by National Geographic and five articles written by Christian scholars.

Not only does this Bible help family members understand the words of the Bible, but it also allows thought provoking discussion giving our faith feet and helping our children really understand the Word of God as they learn and grow and build their own relationship with God.

 

Do you have some great Christian Christmas books or new Bibles that you and your family love? Share them here by leaving a comment and make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Twitter too.

 

Be sure to pin the following image to save and share:

Christmas Books and Bibles for Christian Families

 

I received review copies of these books, I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts. Yours may vary.

The B Family Reads

In the B Family between the 4 of us we are reading all throughout the day. When I was growing up I was quite the bookworm and really got into the Ramona books, Babysitter’s Club, and so many more!!

I wanted to share some cool books that each member of the B family is reading right now. Be sure to leave a comment on what books you are reading at the end of this post too.

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Lil C {age 3} has really started loving words lately, she wants to know what letters spell, what sound letters make and reading to herself. I love that she’s in this word mode and am running with it! Miss A was very similar with learning about words too.

We were sent some pretty cool, age appropriate books featuring a cute stuffed monkey named Rufus and a sweet redheaded boy named Ryan. The Rufus and Ryan books by Kathleen Long Bostrom, are great for teaching children about life and faith. In Rufus and Ryan Go to Church they teach children about church and encourage them to ask us questions too. We also love reading Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers especially at bedtime.

These books are awesome because they’re board books and are great for children ages 2-5.

Miss A {age 6} is really into the Magic School Bus and Cam Jansen books these days. She also loves books about science which surprises me, but is totally awesome! She loves learning and I love helping feed her desire to learn.

Bea is for Business CoverWe received the book Bea is for Business and not only is it written by two awesome, local ladies, Jamie A. Brown & Meg Seitz, but it’s really cool. If I was a little girl this would definitely be my favorite book for a lot of reasons. Not only are the illustrations really well done, but the content of the book isn’t something you’ll find in other books for this age group.

Obviously, you can tell by the name that the book’s objective is to put a fun spin on teaching children about business. The book does a great job of explaining business-y words, teaching kids to think outside the box and it also empowers them to learn that they can take action on their ideas too.

As for ME, I’m taking an amazing class and our study book is Dancing with the One You Love, by Cindy Easley. The book is an amazing look at marriage and how God has intended for us to partner with our spouse. I’m learning so much about lifting my husband up, supporting him, and feel that this book and class are helping me become a better wife.

Right now I’m on chapter 5, and I definitely want to write a post in general on some things I’m learning, but if you are wanting more in your marriage, I highly recommend checking out this book. I have the Kindle version on my iPad and it’s great.

Let Hope In Book CoverI’m also reading Let Hope In: 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life, by Pete Wilson, which so far is a great book that makes you take a look at how you think about yourself, letting things that have happened to you not define how you are, and remembering God always has something bigger and better for us through trials and life’s twists and turns.

I’ve been hearing a lot through the Women of Faith conference, church, and through this book about taking a look at guilt versus shame, and realize we put a lot of unnecessary shame on ourselves and how much that really affects how we live.

As I get older, not necessarily wiser, but I’m always trying to learn more about the way I think, behave and live and wanting to improve myself for a better quality of life and the people around me, most importantly my husband and children.

I’m excited to see where this book will lead especially in conjunction with other books I am reading.

DaddyB has been enjoying the War of Art lately as he has lots of cool ideas swarming in his head. He loves that the author personifies resistance to starting something and taking the next step. He was excited to hear so many great people recommend it including Seth Godin. He thought it was interesting that the author mentioned he “prays to the muse”, but other than that enjoying some of the suggestions to reach his future goals.

I wanna know, what are you and your family reading right now??

Think Beyond Act – Life Lessons for Kids {Guest Post}

author1-250As a single father of three young sons, Adam, Chase and Kyle, I always tried to foster kindness. When one of my sons would be bullied I would call those parents and invite that boy for a sleep over. By Monday, they were BFFs. Problem solved. It’s about separating the pack leader from the herd.

I also encouraged my boys to “Think Beyond the Act” and reinforced this message whenever they would get into trouble; making it a teachable moment. I had a Leave to Beaver mind-set. I would sit them down and discuss why they did what they did. Having a conversation with them and showing them where they went wrong was more educational and informative than punitive.

Helping them evaluate the consequences before they acted, wasn’t always achievable.

My middle child once said to me, 4th grade I believe, “Dad, I thought about what might happen to me but I decided to risk it anyway.” Hey, you have to know I held back the urge to laugh out loud. But at least he was thinking on his own and taking his medicine too. Owning it.

Linking a consequence (or many consequences) to an impulsive act was the message of the day I always conveyed. I attempted to get my boys to think what might happen. The worst possible scenario. Most of us do (or did) things never expecting to get caught. I assured them, they would always be caught. (We live in a small Southern Oregon town and the eyes are upon them.)

Once, I had this same son draw up a Consequences Chart. It was outstanding. revealing that his one lone act of poor decision making, created many consequences. Eventually I think 15 consequences as a result of one minor incident as a high school freshman. His diagram was so good, the school used it to further educate students and has been used widely by other organizations.

As the world evolves into a more connected space, and now that my three sons are grown and out on their own with their own children, I began writing my children’s books, as bedtime stories. I want to continue doing my part to help kids feel warm and cozy and safe at bedtime.

Stevie Tenderheart booksOne mom shared how their daughter, Isabella, 4, who used to sleep in her and her husband’s bed every night, now sleeps in her own bed after reading her Stevie Tenderheart bedtime storybooks. Isabella says she’s a big girl now. Stevie is changing lives, one page at a time.

 

I think SMOG is a beautiful thing. (Stevie’s Messages of Grace)

1. Try a Little Tenderness
2. A Change of Heart Changes Everything
3. Choose Integrity as Your True North & You Will Never Get Lost

By sending out positive messages to children at an early age, it is my hope we can instill a sense of self and confidence along with “integrity” within their hearts and souls. By integrity, I mean, doing the right thing even if no one is looking. I believe once we get children to own this core value, we will have turned the corner with our youth.

Steve Laible, MBA is a retired USAF Captain and Creator/Author of the Stevie Tenderheart Comic Strip and Stevie Tenderheart children’s series of bedtime stories. Check out Stevie Tenderheart’s website here: stevietenderheart.com

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day Gift Guide MommyB CollageI personally can’t believe Mother’s Day is less than 2 weeks away! If you are looking for a great gift for your mom, your wife, mom-to-be, or a special woman in your life here are some of my suggestions for perfect presents this year.

Mother's Day Gift Guide MommyB

For the technology loving mom: 

The new Plus Motif Tablet Case is offered by Papier de Maison and is available in 4 sizes to accommodate tabletsand e-Readers.  It comes in 16 colors and is complimented by 72 different Motif Designs.  The Motif Design snaps easily on the cover to give a customized look to your tablet cover.

  • The large case that fits the iPad case retails for $39.99 with Motif Designs for $5.99 each.  
  • The medium size fits the iPad mini retails for $34.99 with Motif Designs for $4.99 each.  
  • The small size fits eReaders retails for $29.99 with the Motif Designs for $3.99 each.  
  • There is also a journal that retails for $17.99 with the Motif Designs for $3.99 each.    

Buy one here: www.PlusMotif.com

For the healthy mom:

I love Edible Arrangements fresh selection of quality fruits. Their Mother’s Day products come in beautiful, reusable vases, and you can also add a stuffed animal or balloons as well. This gift is great because it can be delivered right to her door and she won’t have to worry about how she’s going to work off those extra calories!!!

Edible Arrangements for mom start at $29 and you can pick the bouquet of fruit that she likes best. Take a look at the wide selection here: Edible Arrangements Gifts for Mom

For the earth conscious mom:

We all have one, two, or one hundred of the plastic reusable totes, but be you be true cotton bags are adorable, washable, and inspirational. For an additional fee you can personalize the tote and add mom’s name. Best of all you can fill with a few of mom’s favorite things, like a book, bath products, her favorite candies, what a nice way to spoil her.

This tote without personalization is $28. Check out more totes and other be you be true products here: beyoubetrue.com

For the mom who loves to read:

We all need a little humor in our lives. Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir: How I Got Pregnant, Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs by Tracy Beckerman is all about the many things in motherhood that make us laugh. Any mom is sure to relate to Tracy’s stories of kids mistaking adults for being pregnant, fishing toys out of the toilet and more!

Find Tracy’s book on Amazon.com

For the mom who wants to smile:

I know Invisalign isn’t an obvious Mother’s Day gift, however the more I chat with mom friends, other moms at my daughter’s school, and people in playgroups I hear mom’s wishing they could “fix” their smile. Some moms had braces as a child but didn’t wear their retainer, some of their families couldn’t afford braces when they were little, and some have seen overcrowding issues as they get older.

As a mom, often times we put our own health and appearance on the back burner to care for our children. If you know a mom who would be interested in making her smile shine as bright as her personality, consider arranging a consultation to see if she’s a good fit for the Invisalign treatment program.

Invisalign pricing ranges depending on the case. Average treatment is around $3,000-$5,000 but is often less depending on length of treatment. Find a doctor here: Invisalign Doctor Locator 

For the mom who wants to give back:

Prosperity Candles are beautiful handmade candles manufactured by female entrepreneurs in and from distressed regions of the globe. My favorite Mother’s Day gift is the Gem of a Woman gift set that comes with a uniquely scalloped bowl soy candle and a fair trade summer scarf, both made by underprivileged women from around the globe. 

Each set comes with a gift box and story card, and burns for 40 hours. There are three scents to choose from: Himalayan Bamboo, Magnolia Blossom, and Sea Mist. Each candle/scarf set retails for $54.00 Purchase yours here: Gem of a Woman gift set.

 

There you have it, a few great ideas for Mother’s Day gifts. Now what will you get your mom for her special day??

 

This is a compilation of products that I have received for review, and products that I have not personally tried out but think are a great idea for Mother’s Day. In any regard I chose these specific gifts on my own as Mother’s Day gifts that I thought would be a good fit for shoppers. Any opinions in this post are my own, honest words written with integrity.