Embracing Imperfect http://embracingimperfect.com Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:13:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kid’s Book Review: Whatever Wanda by Christy Ziglar #Giveaway http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/kids-book-review-whatever-wanda/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/kids-book-review-whatever-wanda/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:08:19 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19994 Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC, for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winner & options 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. If you have a tween or tween, you are probably familiar with the following word: Whatever. I can tell you, I sure am!

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Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC, for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winner & options 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.

whatever wanda

If you have a tween or tween, you are probably familiar with the following word:

Whatever.

I can tell you, I sure am! For a girl who doesn’t speak very well, Amelia sure has mastered this word in all it’s forms:

  • the under-the-breath “whatever”
  • the flat out “I’m letting you know I’m not gonna do this in any kind of Christian spirit whatsoever” version in answer to telling her to do something
  • and she’s really mastered this one>> “What.      EVER.”

Yikes. Never has a single word struck so much…angst in a parent.

Now a children’s book comes along from Shine Bright Kids and Christy Ziglar. You may remember this author from my review of “Can’t Wait Willow.” In “Whatever Wanda!” a family trip to the Rubber Duck Day festival leaves a girl in a surly mood. From the moment she rolls out of bed, Wanda approaches everything with a bad attitude, from waking up (“WHATEVER!”) to when kids wave hello at the event (a quiet “Whatever.”) Oh my gosh, I recognized my child in every page of this book! While Amelia pouted through the reading, my barely-verbal child became more and more engaged as I acted out the “whatever’s.” Zoe thoroughly enjoyed this book even the ending. I won’t ruin the details but I can tell you that Wanda’s attitude adjustment is helped by a grown up – so yes, you even get tips on how to help a child through a bad attitude.

Like all Shine Bright Kids books, “Whatever Wanda!” begins with advice for adults from author Christy Ziglar, financial planner, mother of twins and niece of legendary motivator, Zig Ziglar. Through the book, kids can look for the star (Zoe noticed it straight off) and figure out how the star is feeling – which tracks along as a reaction to Wanda’s attitude. Funny thing is, I read this book and thought of my own childhood and the times I refused to give up the pout at events that *could* have been fun, if I had let them. Wanda’s experience rings true for kids who are in a bad mood and get “stuck” and shows how a helpful adult can bring around change – without wimping out and with letting her know gently how her mood ruined her own day.

whatever willow

I recommend this book! Bright, beautiful and engaging, “Whatever Wanda!” is perfect for kids to understand before they have attitude issues. Zoe got a kick out of it. This hard cover retails for $14.99 (U.S.) and is available April 1, 2015.

GIVEAWAY

Right now, you can win a copy of the book to give your child.

Giveaway Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Open to residents of USA and Canada 18 years of age and older.

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Happiness is Homemade Linky #64 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-linky-64/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-linky-64/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:08:42 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19983 Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! You all rocked last weeks party!! There were so many awesome posts! I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and check out some of the link ups; don’t just link and run! Have fun and make new friends! We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to

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Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! You all rocked last weeks party!! There were so many awesome posts! I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and check out some of the link ups; don’t just link and run! Have fun and make new friends!

We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to pay them a visit on their blogs! Also if you are a blogger and are wondering on how to become a co-host with us, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

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THIS WEEK’S MOST VIEWED LINKS

rain-boot-door-decor Rain Boot Door Decor by Lemon and Laughs

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snickers-3Snickers Brownies by Simply Stacie

Salted-Toffee-Pistachio-Cranberry-Saltine-Bark-mommylikewhoa.com_-681x1024Salted Toffee, Pistachio and Cranberry Saltine Bark by Mommy Like Whoa

Pink-Peeps-Cookie-CakePeeps Cookie Cake by Growing Up Gabel

Follow A Peek Into My Paradise’s board Happiness Is Homemade Link Party Favorites & Features on Pinterest.

MEET YOUR HOSTS

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MARCH CO-HOST’S

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Do you have a blog and are interesting in Co-hosting Happiness is Homemade? Simply fill in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a co-hosting spot with us!! FOUR lucky winners will co-host the Happiness is Homemade Link Party for the following month! You will co-host with us for the entire month! We will also let you have first chance to enter your links into the party for more exposure. As always it is free to sign up and helps bring more viewers to your page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Now that’s enough talking let’s get this party started!!!

 

A Peek Into My Paradise

The rules are really simple! Make sure you visit a few other blogs and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to link up your favorite recipes, crafts or your latest DIY project. We want you yo share it all! As always, please make sure to follow your hosts and co-hosts!! Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured at Happiness Is Homemade Link Party! We will feature the favorite posts each week! Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to A Peek Into My Paradise and Mommy On Demand, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Happiness Is Homemade, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to your original source. Therefore, linking up you agree to allow us to use your images on each of our blogs in features relating to Happiness is Homemade Link Party.


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Allergy Friendly Candy for Your Holiday http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/allergy-friendly-candy/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/allergy-friendly-candy/#respond Sat, 28 Mar 2015 09:00:36 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19937 I received products from Surf Sweets to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own. For parents raising kids with food allergies and sensitivities or on special diets, holidays can be a burden because your child is exposed to so much junk candy: at school, at events, at respite care, even at holiday faith services. A parent has to be extremely vigilant, engaged and even get

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I received products from Surf Sweets to facilitate this review; all opinions are my own.

allergy friendly easter basket

For parents raising kids with food allergies and sensitivities or on special diets, holidays can be a burden because your child is exposed to so much junk candy: at school, at events, at respite care, even at holiday faith services. A parent has to be extremely vigilant, engaged and even get on board (or into the activity) to make sure your child doesn’t indulge.

The Dangers of Toxic Treats & Artificial Colors

But even if your child does not have allergies or sensitivities, you may want to consider allergy friendly candy for one reason: some of the top mainstream candy brands contain the worst toxins. For example, at this time of year, candy is notorious for being artificially colored. Studies have linked those colors to ADHD and hyperactivity – and parents are learning this the hard way: by watching extreme behaviors mysteriously appear.

Not only that, but artificial dyes Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6 contain a known cancer-causing agent called benzidine. The FDA has approved this chemical for use only at  low levels, but as anyone knows, a kid can consume candy until they are sick. Artificial dyes are so suspect in a number of diseases that we have banned them from our house for good.

At first, this meant no more candy for the kids. I’m not a big advocate of candy but it’s a fun part of childhood in moderation. There should be no reason not to occasionally indulge them – like on a holiday – but I still want to avoid artificial colors. What can a parent do?

Parent Observations

I recently interviewed Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy, about this issue. She is a clean food advocate and author of “Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks,” as well as a mom. Early on, Andrea had the inclination that colored and artificial foods were “wrong” somehow. So she did her own research as she studied to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist – including observing her own children.

Andrea noticed her son and daughter exhibited disruptive behavior around candy. “It comes down to how they act after they’ve eaten it.” She shared the story of how her husband bought candy from their local 7/11 one day and within 10 minutes he noticed the kids had “the crazies.”

She’s not alone in this observation. Take away a food from your child for a few weeks and then reintroduce it in one sitting and you may be surprised to see how they act. Or, just remove  artificial dyes altogether. If your child is affected, I bet his teacher will contact about how much better he is doing within a few weeks. Artificial dyes and preservatives were a stumbling block in my daughter’s ability to socialize. I encourage you to remove these dyes from your child’s diet and see if it makes a difference.

Since Andrea lives in Canada, she has an even more difficult time sussing out chemicals in food. The only legal requirement there is to name “color” as an ingredient – no “artificial” listing required. What can you do when you don’t know the ingredients?

So, No More Candy?

Of course, our kids still want candy – and to that end, we are lucky. Manufacturers are starting to take notice and take out the dyes. That’s great but know what’s even better? A candy company that has taken steps right from the start to help parents give their kids safe options.

Bert Cohen

Surf Sweets Founder Bert Cohen with his children.

 

That company is Surf Sweets and its sister company, TruJoy Sweets. I talked with marketing director Lisa Dempsey about their origins and mission. Lisa shared her belief that “the food we eat is so important,” and that philosophy is true for founder Bert Cohen. Raised by a mom with numerous food intolerances, he grew up eating real food and has been a “natural food devotee” all his life. He was co-founder of Enjoy Life Foods but amicably parted ways later. As he awaited the birth of his first child and looked for his next investment, he discovered a tiny West Coast brand – Surf Sweets – originated by surfer dudes so that’s where the name comes from!

Clean, Allergy Friendly Candy at Last: Surf Sweets

surf sweets candy

Some of the yummy flavors we got to try!

 

Surf Sweets are truly your top allergy friendly candy option. They are free of the top 10 allergens and are created in a dedicated facility. All their candy is organic, some of it is vegetarian and some is vegan. But Bert didn’t stop there. You see, he too is a parent raising a child with an allergy. He knows how critical details are when you are looking for safe and healthy food choices that will not trigger a reaction or behavior in your sensitive child. In fact, Surf Sweets candies are safe for kids on Stage 2 of the Feingold diet, which may help parents combat ADHD in their kids.

I’m going to give you first hand perspective on this. Last month, I wrote a piece for Mamavation about Valentine’s Day candy. You would not believe how difficult it is to get information on the ingredients of the most popular candies, particularly on a website – never mind an ingredient that is not broken down.

This is not an issue at all at Surf Sweets. Not only do they list ingredients, their FAQ  has the most comprehensive discussion of what those ingredients mean that I’ve ever seen. For example, their products are free of corn proteins, however, they use “molds made out of corn starch” to create candy so it may contain “trace amounts of corn starch.” Also some of their flavors are diluted with corn alcohol. Although those products do not contain corn protein (often the root of the allergy), Bert felt compelled to share that information. He states, “We need to tell consumers everything and let them make the choice.” Their FAQs cover gelatin, lactic acid, citric acid, pectin, carnauba wax, confectioners glaze and natural flavors. This is the MOST detail I’ve ever seen on ingredients and how they are made or derived – no excuses or justifications like other brands do.

This is why *I* am so excited about recommending Surf Sweets to you. This is not about “what the law allows.” This is about a concerned parent wanting to be completely transparent so that other parents can make their own decisions. Trust me, that is both rare and refreshing.

More Options: TruJoy Sweets

trujoy candy

I’m saying ‘NOM NOM’ to these!

 

If you don’t have as many allergies, there are other options too. In 2011, Whole Foods asked Surf Sweets to create organic candy canes, and they started a new brand, TruJoy, at a new facility for safety. While not as allergy friendly as the Surf Sweets brand, these candies are all organic versions of classic candies, like Choco Chews, Fruit Chews and Lollipops. They are all vegan, vegetarian, kosher and free of artificial colors & flavors and corn syrup. These are also approved for different stages of the Feingold diet. I know we will buying these candy canes – and the Choco-Chews are to die for!! Lisa got me super excited when she mentioned that they will be releasing Peppermint Choco Chews in time for Christmas 2015…my mouth literally watered! Can’t wait…

The Taste?

Oh my gosh, my kids love this allergy friendly candy! They don’t even miss those artificially dyed little fruit pellet brands they use to scarf down when these are around. Lisa assured me they do as much R&D and testing as they can to make sure they have the BEST options. Andrea also told me she these were one of the first companies she came across when seeking clean options for her kids. “Their products taste good. Many kids even think they taste better.” Our family agrees!

If you are hunting for allergy friendly candy to fill that holiday basket or bucket, check out Surf Sweets. First, visit their website or Facebook page to learn more. Then check your local market. I know you can find them at Whole Foods and Wegman’s. (More bulk items are coming to Wegman’s in the fall!)

One More Thing…

Want to feel even better about this brand? Surf Sweets is a company that participates in 1% For The Planet, which takes 1% of every single sale, right off the top, and donates it to environmentally worthy causes. Lisa mentioned some of the top groups they work with:

  • Rozalia Project, which cleans debris off the ocean floors on the East Coast, something I truly care about
  • Sustainable Surf, whose mission is to transform the surf culture into a community that protects the environment with projects like ECOBOARDS and styrofoam clean up & recycling
  • My friends at Healthy Child Healthy World, which informs people how to protect their kids from harmful chemicals

What’s not to love about Surf Sweets? You should note that Surf Sweets do contain organic sugar – again, they want you to make the decision – so, as always, review their ingredients to ensure they comply with your child’s food restrictions. As for my family, we might take a breather from GAPS for this holiday and enjoy this top notch, safe candy!

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Healthy & Gluten Free Coupons, 3/27/15 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-32015-2/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-32015-2/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:31:40 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19957 This post contains my affiliate links. Welcome to another week of organic, healthy, dairy free and gluten free coupon codes for you! In addition to these coupons and rebate apps, I recommend you join the following apps for additional savings: Snap, Checkout 51, Savings Star and Berry Cart. MAMBO SPROUTS: Don’t forget to check their savings every week. This week, save on DeBoles Gluten Free Pasta,

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This post contains my affiliate links.

Welcome to another week of organic, healthy, dairy free and gluten free coupon codes for you! In addition to these coupons and rebate apps, I recommend you join the following apps for additional savings: Snap, Checkout 51, Savings Star and Berry Cart.

MAMBO SPROUTS:

Don’t forget to check their savings every week. This week, save on DeBoles Gluten Free Pasta, $1.00 coupon from Mambo Sprouts, plus $2.00 cash back on Checkout 51. Checkout 51 also offers a rebate on Marley Coffee this week – $2.00 back on K-Cups or $1.00 on  bagged coffee. Combine with $1 or $1.50 cash back on Ibotta and be sure to sign up at Marley Coffee for your $1 or $1.50 coupon, for a combined savings of up to $5.00 on this fantastic organic coffee!

COUPONS.COM:

 Snacks

$1.50 off any two Crunchmaster crackers or chips

SAVING STAR:


Save 75¢ when you buy THREE (3) any flavor/variety LÄRABAR™, ÜBER™, ALT™, JOCALAT™ bars OR RENOLA™ pouches..Expires 3/31/2015.Save $0.75.

REDPLUM:

SAVE $1.50 on ONE (1) Tate + Lyle® Fairtrade Certified Sugar product

SMARTSOURCE:

Save 55¢ on ONE (1) Florida Crystals® Sugar product   Save $1.00 on any ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE Pastas from Explore Asian. Additional recipe ideas can be found at www.explore-asian.com/recipes

HOPSTER:


Homeopathy:

Save $1.00 on any Boiron Calendula Cream   Save $1.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's Oscillo

Save $2.00 on any Boiron Calendula Cream. Unlock when you complete 1 Boiron® USA activity.

Food:

$1.00 off of one (1) Barbara's product 4.4oz. or larger   $1.50 off of one (1) Barbara's Snackimal Cereal
$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Saffron Road Chicken Nugget Product   $1.00 off any one (1) Saffron Road product

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50¢ OFF any jar of Greenview Kitchen Organic Pasta Sauce

$1.50 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods product. Unlock when you complete 2 Rhythm Superfoods activities.   $1.00 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods product

$1.50 off any one (1) Orgain Shake. Unlock when you complete 2 Orgain activities.   $3.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake 4-Pack. Unlock when you complete 1 Orgain activity.

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$1.00 off any one (1) Once Again Nut Butter product

Cleaning:

$1.00 off any one (1) 64 oz. Biokleen Laundry Liquid   $1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Bac-Out Product

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IBOTTA:

Sign up & download the app at my referral link.

Don’t forget to double up coupons and app rebate with Saffron Road, Boiron and Marley’s Coffee!
Earn $1.00 when you purchase Saffron Road™ Simmer Sauce   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Saffron Road™ Frozen Entrées

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Ian's® Frozen Products   Earn $2.00 when you purchase Ian's® Family Pack

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Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Single Medicines   Earn $3.00 when you purchase Boiron® Arnicare® Arthritis

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Earn $1.00 when you purchase O.N.E.™ Coconut Water   Earn $0.50 when you purchase Silk® Vanilla Almond Creamer

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Udi's™ Gluten Free   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Beanfields™ Bean & Rice Chips

Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®

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Earn $1.00 when you purchase Nature's All Foods® Freeze-Dried Strawberries

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Organic & Fair Trade Black Chia Seeds   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Himalayan Pink Salt

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You Have the Power to Save Others – TODAY #YourPower http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/you-have-the-power-to-save-others/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/you-have-the-power-to-save-others/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:21:38 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19940 This post is sponsored by NRG Home Solar. All opinions are my own. We are all imperfect, but I believe that we can all be extraordinary every day in the little things we do. Those details add up to make a big difference, especially when you are teaching your kids stewardship. It’s not necessarily the big sweeping overhauls that teach them to care for something, but

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This post is sponsored by NRG Home Solar. All opinions are my own.

kid and earth

We are all imperfect, but I believe that we can all be extraordinary every day in the little things we do. Those details add up to make a big difference, especially when you are teaching your kids stewardship. It’s not necessarily the big sweeping overhauls that teach them to care for something, but the small, day-to-day actions that reveal how we can champion the things we we care about.

And one of those things we should care about is Planet Earth. We all know that toxins are harming our one and only home: from toxic waste to greenhouse gases to deforestation and so much more. What’s really hurting our Earth? The belief that one person can’t make a difference but the truth is that small actions add up. If one person in just every few households made tiny, energy-saving changes, think about what a huge difference that would make! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but it’s the little things that count  – and add up – to good stewardship of our planet.

Teach Your Kids to Be a Super Hero

As a mom raising energetic kids who go to a school with a mission of sustainability, my kids have a leg up but I must remember to teach my girls at home as well. Actively take steps with your own kids and show them how to use their power to be a super hero and save the Earth:

  • Teach them to turn off the water when they are brushing their teeth or washing dishes. My kids are pretty good at this – they’d rather walk around and do stuff while they brush anyway!
  • Turn off the lights. This is always a struggle for my kids but it’s important they know to turn off the lights – and the radio, TV, air conditioner, and all electricity – when they leave a room. We’re still working on this one – including using energy saving night lights!.
  • Shorter showers. My daughter brought home a conservation kit last year which had an egg timer in a sticky holder so you put it in your bathroom and time your showers. My kids love to indulge, so this is a key area we all need to work on. And less frequent baths are a good idea too, according to a Washington Post article!
  • Get your children to write a letter to elected officials supporting a transition to renewable energy or other initiatives locally. This is such a great project for schools and homeschoolers. A few years back, the kids in Amelia’s class wrote a letter to leadership in Emmaus about better recycling and their suggestions put into practice! That will make your child really feel like a superhero in their own community.

Be a Super Hero Yourself

Those are great ways to teach your children, but modeling is one of the most effective teaching tools we parents have – and one of these easiest! Show your kids how you can use #yourpower by trying or investigating some of these ideas for your home.

solar paneled home

Can’t wait to do this to my home! Photo Credit: CoCreatr on Flickr

  • Start switching out regular bulbs for LEDs. They are pricy but they last longer and they are available everywhere. We’ve already started our switch over – buying these whenever we can as a bulb goes out. And bonus? They are safer than mercury-filled CFL bulbs which are dangerous to clean up should they blow! Keep an eye out for coupons and sales to save money.
  • Get a smart thermostat. A tool like the Nest Thermostat can help you regulate your home better and possibly save you money by smartly adjusting temperatures while still keeping functions like cooling your home on hot summer days.
  • Buy a solar powered battery recharger. This is a great idea for smart phones and tablets, which suck a lot of energy!
  • Use an energy saving power strip for computers, printers and other office equipment.
  • Install solar on your home. This is something we are trying to budget for ourselves and we are doing our research too. (Solar is gaining popularity around where I live, that’s so exciting!)

Join Together for One Earth Hour

earth hour

One little way you can use #yourpower with your family this weekend is by joining Earth Hour this Saturday, March 28th. This is a global movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – love them! This annual event encourages people, families, businesses and communities to turn off all non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30PM TO 9:30PM (local time). Pick up some candles and have a nice, cozy time with your family this Saturday evening – sounds like fun to me!

How to Be a Superhero Today & Win

Right now, you can visit the NRG Home Solar Facebook right now to make a pledge to increase awareness about climate change by finding out more about solar energy. When you do, you’ll have a chance to win 1 of 10 Earth boxes! What’s inside an Earth box? Each box includes a $300 Visa Gift Card, a Goal Zero Torch and Rechargeable Speaker, a throw pillow, and seed bombs, all together valued at $500.And if we reach 1000 pledges, we will donate $20,000 to Grid Alternatives – an organization that provides solar for low-income families across the United States. Give your pledge and make a difference this Earth Month.

So c’mon, this stuff is easy – and you can get your kids on board! (Capes, anyone??)

What’s #yourpower?

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Happiness is Homemade Link Park #63 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-link-park-63/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-link-park-63/#comments Sun, 22 Mar 2015 03:00:41 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19865 Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! You all rocked last weeks party!! There were so many awesome posts! I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and check out some of the link ups; don’t just link and run! Have fun and make new friends! We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to

The post Happiness is Homemade Link Park #63 appeared first on Embracing Imperfect.

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Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! You all rocked last weeks party!! There were so many awesome posts! I encourage you to pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and check out some of the link ups; don’t just link and run! Have fun and make new friends!

We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to pay them a visit on their blogs! Also if you are a blogger and are wondering on how to become a co-host with us, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

H is H logo

THIS WEEK’S MOST VIEWED LINKS

one-pot-caramel-brownies | APeekIntoMyParadise.com Loaded One Pot Caramel Fudge Brownies Nestle Toll House Delightfuls by Living Better Together

Apple-Cider-Pancakes-with-Apple-Crumble-Topping-recipe1Apple Cider Pancakes with Apple Crumb Topping by Lizventures

slow-cooker-thai-spicy-peanut-chicken-titleSlow Cooker Thai Spicy Peanut Chicken by Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Lucky-Treats-like-rice-crispy-treats-with-lucky-charms-Perfect-for-St-Pats-snacksLucky Treats by Sweet CS Designs

Follow A Peek Into My Paradise’s board Happiness Is Homemade Link Party Favorites & Features on Pinterest.

MEET YOUR HOSTS

Brittany from Mommy On Demand Mommy On Demand | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #HappinessIsHomemade Link Party

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise APeekIntoMyParadise Button

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

 

MARCH CO-HOST’S

Susan from Little Shack on the Hill

1

FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST |TWITTER | GOOGLE + | INSTAGRAM

Erin from Just a Few of my Favorite Things

1

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Gina from Embracing Imperfect

20150124_smile

FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

Lisa from Bloghetti

1 FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

Do you have a blog and are interesting in Co-hosting Happiness is Homemade? Simply fill in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a co-hosting spot with us!! FOUR lucky winners will co-host the Happiness is Homemade Link Party for the following month! You will co-host with us for the entire month! We will also let you have first chance to enter your links into the party for more exposure. As always it is free to sign up and helps bring more viewers to your page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that’s enough talking let’s get this party started!!!

A Peek Into My Paradise

The rules are really simple! Make sure you visit a few other blogs and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to link up your favorite recipes, crafts or your latest DIY project. We want you yo share it all! As always, please make sure to follow your hosts and co-hosts!! Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured at Happiness Is Homemade Link Party! We will feature the favorite posts each week! Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to A Peek Into My Paradise and Mommy On Demand, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Happiness Is Homemade, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to your original source. Therefore, linking up you agree to allow us to use your images on each of our blogs in features relating to Happiness is Homemade Link Party.

The post Happiness is Homemade Link Park #63 appeared first on Embracing Imperfect.

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Healthy & Gluten Free Coupons, 3/20/15 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-32015/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/healthy-gluten-free-coupons-32015/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:04:07 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19853 This post contains my affiliate links. Welcome to another week of organic, healthy, dairy free and gluten free coupon codes for you! In addition to these coupons and rebate apps, I recommend you join the following apps for additional savings: Snap, Checkout 51, Savings Star and Berry Cart. COUPONS.COM:  Snacks SAVING STAR:      REDPLUM: SMARTSOURCE:     HOPSTER: Homeopathy:     Food:      

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This post contains my affiliate links.

Welcome to another week of organic, healthy, dairy free and gluten free coupon codes for you! In addition to these coupons and rebate apps, I recommend you join the following apps for additional savings: Snap, Checkout 51, Savings Star and Berry Cart.

COUPONS.COM:

 Snacks

$1.50 off any two Crunchmaster crackers or chips

SAVING STAR:


Save 20% on any single purchase of loose Pears at participating retailers. See offer info for complete details. Check back every Tuesday for a new Healthy Offer..Expires 3/23/2015.Save 20%.    Save 75¢ when you buy THREE (3) any flavor/variety LÄRABAR™, ÜBER™, ALT™, JOCALAT™ bars OR RENOLA™ pouches..Expires 3/31/2015.Save $0.75.

REDPLUM:

SAVE $1.50 on ONE (1) Tate + Lyle® Fairtrade Certified Sugar product

SMARTSOURCE:


Save 55¢ on ONE (1) Florida Crystals® Sugar product   Save $1.00 on any ORGANIC, GLUTEN-FREE Pastas from Explore Asian. Additional recipe ideas can be found at www.explore-asian.com/recipes

HOPSTER:

Homeopathy:

Save $1.00 on any Boiron Calendula Cream   Save $1.00 on any size Oscillo or Children's Oscillo

Save $2.00 on any Boiron Calendula Cream. Unlock when you complete 1 Boiron® USA activity.

Food:


$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Saffron Road Chicken Nugget Product   $1.00 off any one (1) Saffron Road product

Save $1.00 on any Opal Apple product   Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Quinoa product, excluding polentas. Unlock when you complete 1 Quinoa Corp activity.

$1.00 off any one (1) Pamela's Products 4oz or larger. Unlock when you complete 2 Pamela's Products, Inc. activities.   50¢ off any one (1) Pamela's Products 4oz or larger

$1.00 OFF any ONE (1) Marley Coffee Product - 8 oz bag or Single Serve Box (10,12,16 ct)   50¢ OFF any jar of Greenview Kitchen Organic Pasta Sauce

$1.50 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods product. Unlock when you complete 2 Rhythm Superfoods activities.   $1.00 OFF one Rhythm Superfoods product

$1.50 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product. Unlock when you complete 1 Glutenfreeda Foods, Inc. activity.   $1.00 off any one (1) Glutenfreeda product

$1.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake   $1.50 off any one (1) Orgain Shake. Unlock when you complete 2 Orgain activities.

$2.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake 4-Pack   $3.00 off any one (1) Orgain Shake 4-Pack. Unlock when you complete 1 Orgain activity.

$3.00 Off any two jars (2) SunButter product. Unlock when you complete 1 SunButter LLC. activity.   $1.00 off of any one (1) SunButter product

 

Cleaning:

$1.00 off any one (1) 64 oz. Biokleen Laundry Liquid   $1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Bac-Out Product

$1.00 off any one (1) 32 oz. Biokleen Dish Product

IBOTTA:

Sign up & download the app at my referral link.

Don’t forget to double up coupons and app rebate with Saffron Road, Boiron and Marley’s Coffee!


Earn $1.00 when you purchase Saffron Road™ Simmer Sauce   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Saffron Road™ Frozen Entrées

 

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Ian's® Frozen Products   Earn $2.00 when you purchase Ian's® Family Pack

Earn $1.50 when you purchase Ian's® Frozen Products   Earn $2.50 when you purchase Ian's® Family Pack

Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Single Medicines   Earn $3.00 when you purchase Boiron® Arnicare® Arthritis

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Boiron® Coldcalm® tablets   Earn $2.00 when you purchase Boiron® Oscillococcinum®

Earn $1.00 when you purchase O.N.E.™ Coconut Water   Earn $0.50 when you purchase Silk® Vanilla Almond Creamer

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Udi's™ Gluten Free

Earn $1.00 when you purchase MELT® Organic Spreads   Earn $1.00 when you purchase MELT® Organic Spreads

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Beanfields™ Bean & Rice Chips

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Uncle Sam® Fiber Cereal  Earn $1.00 when you purchase Uncle Sam® Fiber Cereal

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Peace Cereal®

Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Marley Coffee®   Earn $1.50 when you purchase Marley Coffee® RealCup™

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Nature's All Foods® Freeze-Dried Strawberries

Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Organic & Fair Trade Black Chia Seeds   Earn $1.00 when you purchase Himalania® Himalayan Pink Salt

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Praying for Answers: Be Careful What You Ask For http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/answered-prayers/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/answered-prayers/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:37:12 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19818 The last two weeks at church have been difficult. Normally we gather and then, when we’ve all arrived, we launch into worship but these Sundays our leader has done a mini-lesson on getting our heart right. I’d been frustrated at the first one and this week, I was so distracted by reviewing my week that I couldn’t immerse myself in worship at all. Maybe it was

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answered prayer

The last two weeks at church have been difficult. Normally we gather and then, when we’ve all arrived, we launch into worship but these Sundays our leader has done a mini-lesson on getting our heart right. I’d been frustrated at the first one and this week, I was so distracted by reviewing my week that I couldn’t immerse myself in worship at all.

Maybe it was because I believed I’d had a pretty good week, spiritually. I had been praying continually.  Well maybe not all the time but far more than usual and doing on-the-spot drop-and-pray moments for any prayers requests. I conquered a big temptation with a chunk of scripture I memorized (it was still hard fought even after that but I managed). I also got an answer to something critical that’s been weighing on me. In God terms, it had been a better week than most.

Wasn’t that enough?

On Monday morning, I awoke, overtired but in a good mood.  I was alone after everyone left for work and school and took the time for an extended worship. I was singing Hillsong’s “From the Inside Out” when I had a lightbulb moment.

It hadn’t been enough.

Sure enough, as I looked back through the week there were ok choices and ones that could have been better. And while I can sit here and say I’m not even remotely the person I was a few months ago (all changes to conforming better to being Christ-like), I’m  not anywhere near to perfect. While that may sound harsh to you (“you’re doing the best that you can!”), the fact is I ASKED FOR THIS.

Be careful what you ask for….

You see, we’ve been studying the book of Daniel in our Monday night Bible study. Daniel was an Old Testament prophet that had visions or divine interpretations of dreams, some of events in his time, other of events that would come later, many dual prophecies and some of events seen from a different perspective by John in Revelation. He lived in Babylon in 600B.C. when the Jewish nation was in captivity. During his captivity, he’d been called on to help a Babylonian leader in his youth. Then, 70 years later, the Medo-Persian empire defeated Babylon, and those leaders called on him as well – when he was in his 90s – to work for them in a high position as he had done for the Babylonian king. He was their #3 person, after the king and co-regent. Naturally, the higher-ups around him DID NOT like that, so they dug around to find some dirt on him. I mean, for 70 years, from the time he was a teenager, he was a captive and in a position of power (although he probably retired at some point) so, there must be some dirt, right?

Nope. Nothing. They couldn’t find a thing on him. 70 years and the guy did not so much as steal a paper clip from the supply closet. Can you imagine? In fact, they had to devise a way to trap by getting the king to write a decree that stated no one could pray to anyone except the king. (Those crazy ancients all thought they were god, heh!) So when they did toss him in the lion’s den, it was for worshiping God. (Read the full story of how Daniel landed in the lion’s den – and what happened next in Daniel 6.)

I was totally blown away by this. Can you imagine any politician nowadays being so squeaky clean that someone would have to create a law to outlaw something good they do just to get dirt on them? Yea, me neither. It stayed with me, the thought of how pure Daniel chose to stay all those years. He was human and so, naturally, had sin, but it seemed like he was pure from willful sin. Crazy.

And I’m crazy too, because that’s what I prayed: to work towards being that pure. That’s insane -I must not have been in my right mind!

So here I am weeks later, listening to Hillsong sing:

In my heart, in my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out

And then it occurred to me. I *hadn’t* done enough. I was vain and proud this week and that caused me pain. I had to scramble to read the Bible at the last minute to my kids while I made sure I had Candy Crush “relaxation” time. I shortened my morning worship routine to get to work, and rushed through night time prayers/scripture, just to get to my fiction book. There were other failings, too, and, yes, I needed to work through this stuff. Some of it requires a plan, like training my kids. Some of it just requires more focus, more attention to what’s important. Some of it requires me to do hard, unpleasant challenging things I don’t want to do or want to postpone. There’s a whole ocean, too, of selfishness that I need to start shoring up.

And that’s not all…

I’ve also been praying for my family to be saved, of course, and have been really mindful that I’m not quit doing enough here as well. I can’t answer all my husband’s questions -and I don’t want to, either. Not only do not have the answers at times, I can’t approach it from a man’s perspective and I don’t want to be the “All-God-All-the-Time” channel. (Internally, yes, but not putting it out so much it’s sickening to others. Be all things to all people, yea?)

And here is a MAJOR issue: my kids. I totally struggle with all kinds of teaching, especially teaching kids with disabilities. (Girls, can’t we just read together? PLEEEEASE? No??) But the dynamic of our church doesn’t really fit with my family’s needs and I’m feeling…I’m feeling like they should be with me, not at home eating leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning.

In the meanwhile, I’m feeling rather like I’m stepping into my own kind of lion’s den, making decisions that are uncomfortably stretching me. Is it what it is, it is what I asked for and I need some help facing my own lions.

Meanwhile, I encourage you NOT to be careful what you ask for, but to earnestly pray to God for that which you need and spiritual desires of your heart. Be prepared to do a difficult haul once you – but in this, God will be faithful and it will be worth it.

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Cinderella: Celebrating the Girly Girl http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/cinderalla-celebrating-the-girly-girl/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/cinderalla-celebrating-the-girly-girl/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:23:27 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19827 I have 2 daughters and as I have often said, they are day and night. One is a tomboy, for sure, although puberty has stretched Amelia into starting to think about personal style. But Zoe? Zoe is all, pure girly girl. Yea, she loves her sports too but she may decline time outdoors if it means removing her fingerless Frozen gloves. All scarves are skirts, head coverings

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CINDERELLA

I have 2 daughters and as I have often said, they are day and night. One is a tomboy, for sure, although puberty has stretched Amelia into starting to think about personal style. But Zoe? Zoe is all, pure girly girl. Yea, she loves her sports too but she may decline time outdoors if it means removing her fingerless Frozen gloves. All scarves are skirts, head coverings or princess trains, after all, weren’t they made for that. So while she, like so many kids, loves “Frozen,” it’s no more special to her than “Cinderella,” one of her long time, tried & true favorites for years now.

So, OF COURSE, I had to take to her to see “Cinderella.”

I had my worries, of course. She still struggles with 2 hours in a movie, especially live action – she’s still more of a cartoon movie fan. What really concerned me was that she’d be devastated after the “Frozen Fever” short (or what my hubby calls, the “super short”) was over.

I didn’t have much to worry about though. The theater was crowded so Chris and I each took a child and we at in 2 rows. About a third of the way through the movie, she got up and I thought “uh oh,” but as Chris later confirmed, she just “wanted to sit with Mom.”

I’m TOTALLY ok with that.

She got a little antsy in the plotline leading up to the fairy godmother and when when the stepmother and stepsisters strip down her dress, she got upset.

Ah but then….the magic started. Except for the tense green house scene, she didn’t make a PEEP from the time the mice turned into horses until THE BALL WAS OVER. When Cinderella lost her shoe, she had raised her hand…and in it was her OWN shoe, to which she yelled, “Slipper!” I quieted her down and she repeated “slipper” over and over, holding her own sneaker until Cinderella safely hid the shoe.

0317-slippers-Cinderella54da938126420

And glass slippers! “I swear, they are comfortable!”

 

Yes, she talked a bit too much (repetitive phrases) during the film, but some people brought babies to see this film (??), so I wasn’t going to feel so bad. And honestly, she was quieter than she’d been through any long film we’d seen ever  (I’m talking to you, “Boxtrolls”) – and she was so happy.

And as LONG as we are discussing the virtues of the new “Cinderella,” I’m going to recommend it…and here’s why:

  • The mother gets a voice! Cinderella had two awesome parents, and her mother is a gem. OK, maybe a little too perfect, yea, but the memory of a beloved parent lost in youth WOULD be like that. I’m not sure Walt would approve, but it’s nice to see that it was a whole family that raised that lovely child.
  • Lots of homage to the original film, even with plot changes. I actually thought the altered plot lines made it more interesting, but I LOVED how they staged scenes RIGHT out of the 1942 cartoon. For example, the tableau of her father and her as a child in front of the fountain (which is a sketch in the cartoon movie) and the scene of her crying in the dark at the water fountain before Fairy Godmother shows up were lifted directly from the cartoon and we all knew it. Nicely done.
  • We learn why the dad remarries and it’s not for the reason in the cartoon. Makes a better turn of events, IMO.
  • The coach, the beautiful, beautiful coach! Wow, no words for what a good job the set designers did on this – even Chris was impressed.
  • The dress. Beautiful and in this version, Fairy Godmother REWORKS Cinderella’s ruined dress at her behest, because it was her mother’s and she couldn’t imagine going to the ball without it. She spins, she lifts, the way it magically changes is revisioned – so awesome and another beautiful scene.
  • The prince doesn’t fall in love with her just because she’s an enigma he must solve (like in the cartoon) but because she’s witty, smart and kind (they have a pre-ball encounter) ….and not the cookie cutter princess his father wants him to marry. Although, yes, it is still a kind of silly, love at first sight thing, it’s more believable than the original.

Surprisingly, I really liked this movie and it had a good theme. We see Cinderella’s true nature – how she does not let dark times compromise her spirit – and we also see the heart of someone who takes tragedy and allows it to ultimately corrupt them. It was an interesting play: the movie reveals how Lady Tremaine’s loss of her husband turned her into a bitter abuser who despises even her own children, while Cinderella’s loss of BOTH parents simply entrenches her faith in hope, courage and kindness much more deeply.

I dare say (as I have maintained about the cartoon as well) that there are good, Christian values that can be learned from the tale of “Cinderella,” and they are even more evident in this live action version.

Now, I know some will say this is not their cup of tea, that it’s not a forward movie, that it’s still “boy saves girl,” blah blah blah.

All I know is Zoe was happy as a lark after this movie and Amelia enjoyed it too. There were 2 hours without even so much as a hidden adult innuendo. (Starting to really HATE that, let’s talk about “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” sometime, grrr.) It’s totally a feel-good movie and I recommend it for anyone who has a Girly Girl OR  a princess fan in their home!

 

 

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Happiness Is Homemade Link Party #62 http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-link-party-62/ http://embracingimperfect.com/2015/03/happiness-is-homemade-link-party-62/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:00:00 +0000 http://embracingimperfect.com/?p=19815 ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO ENTER! #LuckOfTheIrishGiveaway ENTER HERE Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to pay them a visit on their blogs! Also if you are a blogger and are wondering on how to become a co-host with us, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below. THIS WEEK’S MOST VIEWED

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ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO ENTER!

#LuckOfTheIrishGiveaway ENTER HERE

Luck of the Irish Giveaway | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #paypalcash #cash #giveaway #stpatricksday

Welcome back to another great week at Happiness is Homemade!! We have a terrific group of co-host’s so I encourage you to pay them a visit on their blogs! Also if you are a blogger and are wondering on how to become a co-host with us, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.

H is H logo

THIS WEEK’S MOST VIEWED LINKS

peanut-butter-jelly-blondies-1-3Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies by Living Together Better

Cupcake CookiesCupcake Shaped Decorated Cookies by The Mandatory Mooch

Lemon-blueberry-bars...a-hint-of-lemon-combined-with-the-delicious-taste-of-blueberries-over-a-yummy-oatmeal-crust.-Perfect-for-a-sweet-tooth-cravingLemon Blueberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars by A Dish Of Daily Life

copycat-olive-garden-toasted-ravioliCopycat Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli by Shibley smiles

Follow A Peek Into My Paradise’s board Happiness Is Homemade Link Party Favorites & Features on Pinterest.

MEET YOUR HOSTS

Brittany from Mommy On Demand Mommy On Demand | APeekIntoMyParadise.com #HappinessIsHomemade Link Party

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise APeekIntoMyParadise Button

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+ | TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN

 

MARCH CO-HOST’S

Susan from Little Shack on the Hill

1

FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST |TWITTER | GOOGLE + | INSTAGRAM

Erin from Just a Few of my Favorite Things

1

FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Gina from Embracing Imperfect

20150124_smile

FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

Lisa from Bloghetti

1 FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | PINTEREST | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | INSTAGRAM

Do you have a blog and are interesting in Co-hosting Happiness is Homemade? Simply fill in the Rafflecopter for your chance to win a co-hosting spot with us!! FOUR lucky winners will co-host the Happiness is Homemade Link Party for the following month! You will co-host with us for the entire month! We will also let you have first chance to enter your links into the party for more exposure. As always it is free to sign up and helps bring more viewers to your page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that’s enough talking let’s get this party started!!!

 

A Peek Into My Paradise

The rules are really simple! Make sure you visit a few other blogs and make some new friends along the way. Feel free to link up your favorite recipes, crafts or your latest DIY project. We want you yo share it all! As always, please make sure to follow your hosts and co-hosts!! Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured at Happiness Is Homemade Link Party! We will feature the favorite posts each week! Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to A Peek Into My Paradise and Mommy On Demand, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Happiness Is Homemade, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to your original source. Therefore, linking up you agree to allow us to use your images on each of our blogs in features relating to Happiness is Homemade Link Party.


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