25 September, 2018

Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

This post is sponsored by Flyby. I am not paid for this post, but I did receive a copy of this book to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

We have several storybook Bibles for my two younger girls, but this one has to be one of my favorites! Each night at bedtime, they grab this Bible to read their nightly Bible story. I love reading this one myself. :-) 

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible brings to life more than 40 Bible stories that help readers understand that God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today. From the glory of creation through the powerful letters of Paul, God’s Spirit is living in his people. Old and New Testament stories such as Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, the Baptism of Jesus, and Pentecost come alive with dramatic illustrations by Fernando Juarez and moving text by Doris Rikkers. With a cover that sparkles and shines with foil, this is a special storybook Bible that will appeal to both children and parents alike.

21 September, 2018

Tori Kelly CD

*Disclaimer* I am not paid for this post, but I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. All opinions expressed are my own.

I don't often not care for music...which is why I'm surprised (and a little sad) that I didn't enjoy Tori Kelly's new CD. It's not bad, it's just not my style. I will be sending my copy to a friend.

Do you want to purchase the new Tori Kelly cd? you can do so by clicking here ---> https://torikelly.lnk.to/HidingPlacePc

 #TKHidingPlace #FlyBy

While working on the follow-up to her debut album Unbreakable Smile—a 2015 release that premiered at #2 on the Billboard 200—Tori Kelly felt compelled to include a track that honored her lifelong passion for gospel music. With the help of her manager, Scooter Braun, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter soon connected with Kirk Franklin, a 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and one of Kelly’s musical idols. “I flew to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he’d written, and I fell in love with all of them,” says Kelly, a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist. “Next thing you know, one song turned into us doing a whole album together. It just took on a life of its own.”

With its R&B-infused, deeply melodic take on classic gospel, Hiding Place offers up what Franklin refers to as “hope-pop”—a classification that fully resonates with Kelly. “One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen,” she says. “I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart.” 

As Kelly explains, the title to Hiding Place draws inspiration from a line in one of her favorite psalms (“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance”). “That always stuck with me: this idea of God being a place of safety, a place where you can hide from all the crazy things that this world can throw at us,” she notes.

Produced by Franklin, Hiding Place unfolds with a lush yet simply adorned sound beautifully suited to Kelly’s incomparable voice.“I’ve worked with Mary J. Blige, Bono, Yolanda Adams, and I’ve never seen anyone that’s a monster behind the microphone like Tori Kelly,” says Franklin. “She’d nail one song in three takes, and all those takes were amazing. It set the bar higher for my whole career.”

While half of the songs on Hiding Place were penned solely by Franklin, the remaining tracks came from a collaboration between him and Kelly—the first time that Franklin’s ever co-written in a decades-long career that’s seen his songs performed by legends like Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston. (“It blew me away that she wanted us to co-write, because she’s a phenomenal songwriter and could’ve easily done it herself,” Franklin says.) And at Franklin’s urging, Hiding Place was mostly recorded at his studio just outside Dallas. “The most important thing to me was that if Tori wanted to do a gospel album—a real, authentic, heart-throbbing gospel album—she’d have to come to the South,” he says. “Then she showed up at my studio with no entourage, no handlers—just Tori and her guitar, standing at my front door.”

With its sonic palette gracefully rooted in live instrumentation, Hiding Place first reveals its unbridled spirit on the album-opening“Masterpiece”(featuring Houston-bred hip-hop artist Lecrae)—a joyfully uptempo track that instantly sweeps the listener into a more radiant state of mind. From there, Kelly delivers her slow-burning lead single “Help Us to Love,” whose breathtaking harmonies feature the famed Hamil Tones(official background vocalists for Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton). Proving her versatility as an artist and musician, Hiding Place then shifts seamlessly from the silky groove and playful scat singing of “Sunday” to the sweetly ethereal soul of “Just As Sure” (a duet with chart-topping gospel star Jonathan McReynolds) to the quiet intensity of “Psalm 42.” “So many of the songs on this album are so intricate, I wanted a song that I could play completely stripped-down, just me and my guitar,” says Kelly of the tender piano ballad.

One of the most profound moments on Hiding Place,the hushed yet urgent ballad“Questions” finds Kelly tearfully examining the current state of the world(sample lyric: “What happens when the healing never comes?”). “It’s about trying to make sense of all the dark and heavy things that keep happening, sort of crying out to God and asking, ‘What’s going on? I don’t like what I see down here,’”says Kelly. Then, on the subtly determined “Never Alone,” Kelly recollects her own struggles(“I’ve cried many rivers/I’ve walked through some pain/Seen my world crumble”)and ultimately re-discovers comfort and peace through her faith.

On “Soul’s Anthem,” Kelly closes out Hiding Place with an a cappella, full-choir-driven rendition of the beloved hymn “It Is Well.”Perhaps the most powerfully captivating track on the album, “Soul’s Anthem”also gave way to what Kelly considers a landmark moment in her musical career.“Before we started, Kirk said to me, ‘Don’t look at me or the choir, just look down and get into your own world,’” says Kelly, who recorded “Soul’s Anthem” at the iconic Capitol Studios. “So I sang it all the way through, and at one point there’s a part where the choir takes over. I looked up and saw all these incredible singers, and it finally hit me that this was really happening. You can’t hear it on the recording, but I’m crying at the end of the song.” 

Looking back on the making of Hiding Place, Kelly still marvels at the experience. “I always thought I would do something like this, but I thought it would be much further down the line,” she says. “It’s been in my heart for some time, but the timing didn’t feel right until now. I didn’t think I’d get the chance to work with someone like Kirk just yet, and that people would be so excited and accepting.” And though the album marks a stylistic departure from her work in the pop world, a commitment to uncompromising artistry carries through all of Kelly’s music. “No matter what genre you’re working in, there should be a level of excellence, and Tori definitely brought that excellence to this album,” says Franklin. “A lot of artists out there will rely on Auto-Tune or studio tricks, but there’s no button you can push for emotion, and there’s no button for skill. Tori is excellent in everything she does, because she’s a real, pure artist.”

As she gets ready to share Hiding Place with the world, Kelly hopes that it might give others the same sense of solace and joy she’s found in gospel in her entire life. And as the album’s creator, one of the most rewarding aspects of Hiding Place was embracing gospel’s boundless intensity, and pushing her vocal performance like never before. “With gospel music, you can’t sing without all your heart being in it,” says Kelly. “This album was an opportunity to not only express my faith and my love for God, but to do what I felt and never hold back. I could just be free and let the song take me over.” 

15 September, 2018

SmitCo- Scented Nail Collection

*Disclaimer* This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & SmitCo. I am not paid for this post, but I did receive the mentioned item free in exchange for my honest review.

This is the first time I’ve ever ordered anything from SmitCo, and I can say that I’m definitely impressed! I gave this scented nail kit to my 14 yr old who looooves it!

I was excited about the scented nail polish. It’s not a very strong smell, but it’s still there...which is nice. The scents are; Grape, Candy (?), Cupcake, Strawberry, and Peach. I would have to say that my favorite color and scent is the Peach polish.

Next up are the press-on nails, nail strips, and nail stickers (all scented btw).
I'm not going to lie, I totally wanted to take the nails....but sadly, they wouldn't fit my nails. :-(

The nail strips and nail stickers are pretty cool looking. I want to use the nail strips...but do I think it would be a huuuuge fight to get them from my daughter. :-/


Lastly we have these two cute little nail files! How adorable are these?!? I don't think I'd ever use them.


Have you ever ordered from SmitCo? If so, let me know in the comments below! If you haven't ever ordered from them and are in search of the perfect gift for that little girl or tween girl in your life...make sure to use the code below at checkout!!

My readers get to save!
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28 August, 2018

Owl Creek Pumpkin Patch- San Antonio, Texas

*Disclaimer* This post is sponsored by U.S Family Guide & Owl Creek Pumpkin Patch. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive free admission for myself and my family in exchange for my honest review. 

Owl Creek Pumpkin Patch is now open for Fall Family Fun, Birthday Parties, Field Trips! http://www.fiestafarmlc.com/Owl-Creek-Pumpkin-Patch September 29 - October 29. Saturdays 9-6, Sundays 10-6

Birthday Party Packages for up to 50 people including pony rides and use of pavilions and picnic tables.

We are all decked out and ready for groups! Mom Groups, Field Trips and More! Included would be a hayride, play areas, scavenger hunt, giant slide, pumpkins for purchase and painting and great photo ops. 

Pony rides and potato shoot are each $2 extra. Group rate midweek is $6 instead of $8 regular price and kids 2 and under are free.

With your admission, enjoy many photo ops with scarecrows and farm decorations, a scenic hay ride, children's play areas, hay and haybale mazes, hay and tire climbing areas and more. Also enjoy a live petting zoo and games. New this year, pig races, a big corn play box and a giant slide!

There is a small fee for pony rides, a potato launch contest and face painting. 
There is a free hay ride for you to enjoy through decorated woods and fields. We have refreshments available and shady sitting areas to enjoy them. Enjoy some fun autumn farm time with your family and take home photos and great memories!

13 August, 2018

SmitCo - Gifts For Everyone!

*Disclaimer* This post is sponsored by U.S Family Guide & SmitCo. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive a free product in exchange for my honest review*

Quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12. SmitCo has several different diaries with lock 
and keys and diary sets for girls in Emoji and Diva themes, as well as light up diaries to provide 
hours of fun.

A huge hit is the new Pony and Mermaid themed scrapbook kits. SmitCo products also include 
very popular stretch jewelry sets for little girls - all packed in cute gift boxes. 

Find all the great products here:

We trust you will find some or all gifts here for the princesses on your list!

My readers get to save!
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SmitCo sells all kinds of practical products as well which includes the following:
5 star Exfoliating gloves
5 star Bamboo baby towel set
Various glue and epoxy adhesives for use in and around the house and car
4. 5 star wood wine glass racks for under cabinet installation

SmitCo has been selling on Amazon for 8 years and has a 5 star customer feedback rating
Find all the great products here: http://amzn.to/2a3d3v8

My readers get to save!
Get 20% Off Entire Cart Of Gifts! Go to: http://amzn.to/2a3d3v8 and use coupon code N3CQD6AE 
on checkout

Water Works Denton, Tx 2018

*Disclaimer* This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & WaterWorks water park in Denton, Texas. I was not paid for this post but did receive free passes in exchange for my review*

On Tuesday, 31, July, we went to Water Works in Denton, Texas. We’ve gone to waterworks every year since we’ve moved back to Texas in 2013, but this year was the most fun we’ve had yet.

In addition to the free passes, we were given a free cabana rental & a bucket of ice, & 4 bottles of water. We rented a locker for our important stuff like wallets & phones for just $3. 

I wasn't able to get pictures/videos because I had forgotten my go-pro at home & my phone was in the locker until we were ready to leave.

There is a new wave pool that has opened up there. I didn’t go in because of my littles....but my husband did and he loved it. 

I had a blue raspberry snow cone & fried pickles and both were amazing (weird combo...I know). My husband and girls shared a huge plate of nachos. For being a waterpark, their prices honestly aren't that bad & the food was good.

My favorite part of the water park is the lazy river. It’s just so relaxing. Of course, my younger girls loved everything there but loved the kiddie area. My husband loved the wave pool and the lazy river.

18 July, 2018

Frontier City and White Water Bay - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

*Disclaimer* This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide, Frontier City, & White Water Bay. I am not paid for this post, but I will receive free passes for myself and my family.

Frontier City celebrates its 60th anniversary being the largest theme park in Oklahoma, offering over 40 acres of fun for the entire family! Great shows, great rides, great times! COMING SUMMER 2018: Soaring Eagle! This Zip Line paid attraction takes you and a friend on thrilling ride back and forth across the park. 

Less than 20 minutes away, White Water Bay is Oklahoma's largest water adventure park in Oklahoma with over 30 rides, slides, pools, and activities, including Dive-In Movies and Late-Night Wednesdays