Love, Juliebug: February 2014
Today is the anniversary of the day that my Memere passed away. 11 years ago. How is that possible? Sometimes I look at my daughter and think "Memere would have loved knowing you." Then, our awesome five year old breaks out in song "Jingle bells, jingle bells..." and it's like I am staring into the face of her big Memere. Just like that. My Memere was prone to singing that song in July.


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

You may have heard of the brand KIND already. They have delicious and good for you snacks. Well, they have launched into a new category of snacks with KIND Healthy Grains Bars, a line of chewy with a crunch granola bars made from five grains mixed with yummy ingredients like pumpkin seeds, toasted coconut flakes, dark chocolate chunks, and more. Each KIND Healthy Grains Bar packs one full serving of 100% whole grains. I received 10 bars of five flavors; Dark Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Blueberry, Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, and Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut! Each KIND Healthy Grains bar contains 18-22 grams of whole grains from a blend of 100% whole grains including amaranth, quinoa, gluten-free oats, millet and buckwheat making them the perfect snack for any busy lifestyle.

I've got to say that granola bars in general tend to fly under my radar. My daughter is five and doesn't usually flip over them. Well, there is something special about the KIND Healthy Grains Bars. They are flavorful and just sweet enough to satisfy her sweet tooth. Her favorite flavor was the Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate. Mine was the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt. Highly different and yet both so good for you. I even used some of them as a topper for snacks. Imagine this, an apple sliced width wise - spread with peanut butter and topped with a Dark Chocolate Kind Healthy Grains Bar. Oh yeah. Even I couldn't resist that snack!

In honor of the launch of the new super grain-packed granola bar line, KIND Healthy Grains Bars, KIND is encouraging you to recognize your own personal super hero who makes life #kindawesome. My personal Super Hero is my husband. He would probably roll his eyes and that's okay because he is humble. Even though he is not perfect he does everything in his power to be a kind, loving, responsible, super dad, husband and friend. He is #kindawesome in my book.

For more information or to make a purchase, visit the KIND website or the KIND online store. You can also follow KIND on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.





This too shall pass. You will make it through.


The other night while at a birthday party I was involved in a conversation with some gals from our local MOPS group. I know them but we don't know the intricate details of each other's lives like, you know, age. It was common to hear early to mid twenties with slight complaints on their end at which point I think I chortled. 


I went to bake today and my brown sugar was as hard as rocks. Little sugary sweet rocks. No fun. So, instead of pitching a fit, I simply took a slice of bread and put it with the sugar in a sealed container.
Within a couple hours the sugar is soft and fluffy again. The bread...not so much. Granted it isn't an instant solution but it definitely helped since I didn't have any more brown sugar on hand.
Try it next time your brown sugar has turned into sugary sweet rocks!
Sponsored by:  Erin Condren
Hosted by:  Momma Lew's Blog

Erin Condren is a lifestyle brand that adds style and personalization to life planners, cards, iPhone cases, calenders and much more!  

Momma Lew recently had the chance to become organized with Erin's very awesome Life Planner!  Check out her review here

Erin Condren wants to give one lucky reader a $50 Gift Certificate so they can organize their life in style too!  To enter, follow the steps in the Giveaway Tools below.  Giveaway is open to US Residents, 18+, one entry per household.  
Good luck and thank you for entering! 

Momma Lew's Blog and particiating bloggers in this giveaway are not responsible for prize shipment.  Only Momma Lew's Blog received compensation for this post. 





I love shopping. I love things. Cute little adorable things. I would love to have my house be perfect. Decorated to the nines. But here's the thing about me. I tend to attempt to find my self-worth in those things. In other words, the more cute adorable things I have, the better I feel.

This goes against what I feel I should be focusing on. After all, the bible clearly talks about being content. Here is just one example; Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? (Hebrews 13:5) I want to live simply. To not always seek the next cool thing. I want to be happy with what I have and where I am in life. 

I am fairly certain I'm not the only one struggling with living simply. It's not even about being a Christian but living on this earth we do need things. How do we decide how much is enough? Where do we find the balance? I must constantly evaluate what I see, hear, and even what I think, because only then will I find the truth. The truth is I need very little. Did you get the same grip of fear that I did?

So, it comes down to this question; how do we live simply?

1. Appreciate what we have. When we are thankful for what we have, we see that we often have more than enough.

2. Know what is most important to us. If you are like me then you have lots and lots of stuff. Stuff you thought you needed but now, you don't really care for. Pick a room and select the items you absolutely adore. Things that make you smile.

3. Let go of unimportant things to bless others. I'm not saying to give things away although that's an option. But, even if you sell things there are people that need them. People that need them instead of just want them.

4. Don't set yourself up for failure. Figure out your what your weaknesses are and plan accordingly. Don't carry all your credit cards with you. If you know you are prone to impulse buying then don't go to the store alone. Only you can decide what the best plan is for you.

5. Tell someone about your decision to live simply. Accountability is important for anything. A friend, a spouse, your mom, your sister...whoever will keep you from breaking your decision.




Sponsored by:  Pink Lemonade 
Hosted by:  Momma Lew's Blog 

Over the last few years, I have noticed that products like cloth diapers have become very popular.  Many of my friends who use cloth diapers for their children, also speak very highly of their "mama cloth" as well.  I have to say I have been very intrigued, but just never took the plunge.  I'll be honest, I like to stick to what I know and am intimidated by trying new things.  If you are like me, you probably have been using the same brand of feminine product your whole life.  With that said though, I have been very unhappy with every brand of disposable feminine products over the last year or so.  I had been seriously contemplating making the switch when I was approached by Pink Lemonade!  Problem solved - I was forced to try some "mama cloth"!

Pink Lemonade offers women a reusable, hand made cloth menstrual pads.  Like Sue, the WAHM who is the creator and owner of Pink Lemonade, I too have am a "fabric snob".  Sue uses nothing but the very best products to create her pads.  You will find pads and liners from 6 inches to 13 inches in fabrics like hand dyed Bamboo Velour, Soft Minky and Cotton Woven prints.

Some of my favorite prints!
I wasn't really sure where to start with my "mama cloth" so I went with the Set of 2 Minky Pads with Fleece Backs .
FRONT & BACK 
After it's initial washing, my pads looked brand new still.  I really like the snap fasteners.  One of the reasons I have been so unhappy with disposable feminine products as of late is because I do not like how uncomfortable it is to have them always moving around.  I found the snaps kept the pads in place.

The back of the pad is made with a water resistant Windpro fleece that has an absorbent core of Bamboo fleece.  I've seen bamboo to be a very absorbent fabric, as many of my friends swear by it with their cloth diapers.    And I myself found this to be the case.  Of course, when it comes to "that time of the month" you are always trying to protect your dignity and leaks are a source of concern for all women.  The first time I used my new cloth pads, I just stayed around the house.  I found them to be comfortable and non-irritating, another issue I have been having with disposables.  They worked perfectly (although I really wasn't surprised).

They are very easy to care for, just rinse in cold water and wash and dry with cool temperatures.  The wetbag is a good idea as well to hold your soiled pads until it is time to do the wash.  Now that I have my stash starter, it's time for the expand!  I think Pink Lemonade's prices are really very reasonable as well, especially compared to the very high costs of disposables!  Sue has some pads last for over 8 years, so these are an investment that gets their money's worth for sure!

How would you like to start your own Mama Cloth Stash or add to yours?  Win a $25 Gift Certificate to Pink Lemonade!  Giveaway is open worldwide to readers 18+, one entry per household.  Enter through the Giveaway Tools below.  


Good luck & thank you for entering! 

Momma Lew's Blog and this blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment.  Momma Lew was compensated for this post, but all opinions and views expressed are her own and were not influenced in anyway.  


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I've always thought of myself as a good singer. Okay, maybe not always but for the last 20 years or so. When I was in high school I was in choir and loved it. Every day our teacher had us do breathing and voice exercises. My voice was getting stronger with each lesson. Fast forward to now. I have been out of school for 20 years and though I still remember some skills from choir, my voice has weakened significantly. I feel it. People compliment my voice but they have not known how strong it can be. 
So, when I got the chance to review Roger Love Singing Academy I was stoked. He is vocal coach to the stars. Roger Love's Singing Academy has already helped thousands of people, including stars like Jeff Bridges and Anthony Robbins, Selena Gomez and John Mayer, find their voice and learn to communicate effectively. Whether you are a professional singer, sing in your church choir, or just want to hear how good your voice really can sound, Roger Love's Singing Academy can coach you. In five weeks he can teach you the basics of mastering all three of your voices - Chest, Middle and Head. 
I knew he could give me the skills I want. The skills I used to have once upon a time. The site is really easy to navigate. Take a look at the menu.

The main course tab is where you spend a lot of time. Each week's videos are linked there. He walks you through the lessons and gives you valuable information. He covers many topics; things like diaphragmatic breathing, chest voice, vibrato, and even how to audition.There is an exercise studio as well that has daily warmups. I hadn't done those in years. They make a difference too. 

A section I love is called Love Notes. It takes you through popular songs and tells you how to sing them. It tells you when to breathe, when to use vibrato, and even which voice you should be singing in. I think it's awesome! 

If you love to sing, I recommend checking out this program. You won't regret it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.




It's no surprise that our five year old daughter loves all things pink and Strawberry Shortcake fits the bill. She was ecstatic when I told her we were getting the new Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Big Help DVD from Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. 
It's being released on February 18, 2014 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. There are three fun episodes on this one DVD. It's Strawberry to the rescue in "Babysitter Blues" when the princess asks her to look after a very special Baby Berrykin. Orange and Lemon take on the role of "Fashion Elves" in "A Stitch of Time" to help Raspberry with her fashion design dreams. And there's no place like home when Orange adopts a bitty fish that turns out to be a homesick tadpole. Join in the sparkly fun as the girls learn that lending a helping hand can be a berry big deal.

The winner has been announced HERE!
And here is a fun coloring sheet to download and print! 
Just click on the photo to take you to the download page.

This time of year there is a lot of talk of love. Being Valentine's Day there are a lot of cards, jewelry, chocolates, and stuffed animals sold to declare love. We are told if we love one another we will buy buy buy. Oh well, not directly most of the time but the message is there just the same.

Wait, don't leave! I'm not a naysayer of Valentine's Day. I love love. I love chocolate, jewelry, and all that. I do. It's just...what about the people that can't afford to show their love in that manner? I'm not afraid to say it people, we aren't rich. I'm assuming most of you are the same way. 

I'm going to share something revolutionary here. You don't need money to celebrate Valentine's Day. All you need is a shift in your thinking. Here are five things you can do to celebrate.


1. Go on a picnic.

It can be something as simple as sandwiches. No cheese and wine necessary.

2. Sit and talk around a fire.

There's something soothing about the fire, not to mention romantic.

3. Take a walk somewhere pretty.

As you can see, lots of my ideas have to do with being outside. There's a reason for that. Being outside tends to make you step away from technology - except those pesky phones - and move closer to each other.

4. Make dinner and eat it in a different room than normal.

I'm just saying it's nice to mix it up sometimes.

5. Put on romantic music and dance.

Just slow dance. Hold each other. Yes, you. I know most people haven't danced since their wedding but change that!  

These ideas may seem cheesy to you but I challenge you to open your mind. Think of your own ideas too! Spend time with each other and just be together. Your relationship will thank you.


I was given the chance to have a fun Free Birds Pizza Party from Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. They supplied a Pizza Hut gift card, the movie, and fun prize packs. The prize packs included a cup, plate, activity sheets, t-shirt, and crayons. The kids loved them! Here are some photos that were taken of our party.
Our prize packs

Abby thinks they're cool.

Her Free Birds cup.


What pizza should we pick?

It's starting!

Cute shirt.

These shirts were more like dresses but don't they look adorable?!

Pizza yumminess!

Mmm.

Fun Free Birds pizza plate.

Loving their pizza!
Dance party! They loved the music too!

Trying to get to the center of the maze.

This was fun! Can we do it again?
Needless to say, we had a blast! We hadn't seen Free Birds before and it was a cute flick for the whole family. I laughed at so many parts. Having a twitter party at the same time was neat. I loved reading everyone's comments on the movie while we were watching the same part.

Don't forget we have a giveaway going on for your very own Blu-ray combo pack of Free Birds! Enter HERE!

Enter the word of the day in the Giveaway tools widget.

Monday: win
Tuesday: love
Wednesday: entertainment
Thursday: movie
Friday: fun
Saturday: giveaway
Sunday: fun

More from Julie:

We all have a story to our life. Some of them seem more painful but all of them are just as important. For so many years I felt trapped in mine. Like my present and future could never be more than what happened in the past. Even as a Christian I have continued under the delusion that I need to overcome my childhood. 

Overcome? Yes, many things happened in my childhood that are legitimately bad. I'm not trying to make light of that. But, this overcoming I'm speaking of? It has been done for me. When Jesus came into my life I was wiped clean. Clean like a hard drive that has mysteriously lost all it's contents. Clean like the landscape after a sudden winter storm. This clean is complete and includes the childhood I so desperately long to overcome by myself. 

So, then why do I and many others live our lives like we need to overcome something? I can't speak for everyone. I believe God made me new but I cling to the old because I never fully feel worthy of the new. The more I cling to the old, the more I feel unworthy. It's seemingly never ending.

Once again, I remind myself that this overcoming or being worthy is not up to me. Each day I have to set it down and pick up the truth of Jesus instead. He reminds me that a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life. He is the songwriter.


Build-A-Bear Workshop $25 gift card Giveaway

Build-A-Bear Giveaway


Build-A-Bear has offered one lucky reader a chance to win a $25 Bear Buck$ gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop to experience the magic of creating your own furry friend! Don't forget to check out So Sew Mamas Pink Hearts Hello Kitty review too!

This giveaway is open to US residents 18+. Enter using the giveaway form below. Each entry will greater your chance at winning. All entries are verified. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
There is a mandatory comment entry. Please leave a comment below letting me know is you have ever been to Build-A-Bear, if so, which is your favorite stuffed friend?


The Blogs involved in this giveaway have not been compensated. Build-A-Bear is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment. All comments and concerns can be direct towards So Sew Mama at sosewmama(at)gmail(dot)com
This Saturday, February 8th we will be having a Twitter party. The party will be to celebrate the release of the movie Free Birds on February 4, 2014. 
So, you might be wondering, what is a Twitter party? Well, we will be munching on pizza, watching the movie, taking photos and chatting about it all! Doesn't that sound like fun? I know we are looking forward to it! If you have the movie, please join us! 
Follow to get updates:

@lovejuliebug
@FHEInsiders

and hashtag #FreeBirdsPizzaParty

Here is the party info:

Saturday February 8, 2014

3PM PST/6PM EST

#FreeBirdsPizzaParty

Hope to see you there! Don't forget to enter to win your very own copy of Free Birds on Blu-ray HERE.




From the Academy Award®-Winning producer of Shrek* comes a hilarious animated adventure about two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who travel back in time in order to keep their species off the Thanksgiving menu. Featuring an all-star voice cast, including Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler, Free Birds is loaded with laughs and stuffed with fun for the whole family!

Free Birds is being released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 4, 2012!



In celebration of the release of this movie we are giving away one copy of the Blu-ray to one lucky reader! There is one simple mandatory entry and the others are optional.


The giveaway ends 2/15/14.

Also, as a bonus, we have a printable for you! Just click on the picture to download it.


Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. Love, Juliebug will be receiving a copy of the DVD as a Fox Home Insider. No Social Media mentioned is affiliated with this giveaway or posting. This blog and Love, Juliebug are not responsible for prize shipment. Winner will be emailed and has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond within the time frame a new winner will be chosen.

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