Love, Juliebug: May 2014
Abby had her last day of Pre-K yesterday. That's just crazy. Do you want to see something even crazier?

Who gave her permission to change this much? Her baby face is disappearing fast! And yes, it says "First Day of Kindergarten" and "Last Day of Pre-K". If you've not been around very long this may be confusing. This post should help clarify things. Obviously, we did decide to put her in Pre-K. I was so worried about it at the time and honestly, it has been a really good decision. Her Pre-K teachers were amazing. She has grown in so many ways and I can tell just how much more she is ready for Kindergarten this coming school year. I can't say this is the right decision for everyone but for us it definitely was.

WiseDecor Decorative Lettering is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to add a personalized touch to any room in your home or office!  With thousands of ideas to choose from, you are sure to find one that fits your needs!  Or maybe, you would like to have something custom made.  Read Momma Lew's full review here to find out more information about this family-owned Made In The USA company - Wise Decor! 

Wise Decor has so generously offered to give one reader a $75 Gift Card so they can choose their own decals from their shop.  This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+, one entry per household. To enter, follow the steps below in the entry form!  This giveaway will end on 6/12 at 11:59pm EST.

Momma Lew and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  Only Momma Lew was compensated for this giveaway.  

I tend to be one of those moms who doesn't like her child to get dirty. Don't ask me why. Part of it is this insane thought that she should appear presentable at all times. Guess what? This is not real life. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that I try to live in a "perfect life snapshot". In other words I try to live my daily life based on a perfect moment. It ain't gonna happen folks. It makes me tired and jaded. It also makes my family stressed and cranky. There aren't many times that you would hear me say "let kids be kids" but now is one of them.

I was reminded yesterday as our five year old was playing in the water and mud with her friends that dirt washes off. These memories won't. Letting her play and have fun outside is good and she will always remember it, even if she doesn't remember this particular day.

I love technology as much as the next guy. Honestly, I do. If it were up to me I'd have all the new stuff. Technology makes everything easier and it's fun to use...well, as long as it is acting right. I have to say though that I've been wondering something lately. What if technology makes things too easy?

Take texting for instance. You can type something to someone at any moment without the time investment. Heck, you could even text on the toilet and nobody would know. That makes me gag to think about but I know people do it. I can text someone many times throughout the day carrying on a conversation continually. It's awesome. 

The thing is...and don't beat me over the head...that talking to someone is more personal. You can hear the words. The tone. The laugh instead of the "lol" which never sounds quite right when read. Talking on the phone is less convenient and that's why I think I should be doing it more often. My friends and my family deserve more of my time. Why do I feel like I have to do a billion things at once? Setting aside time to call people makes it mean more.

Once again these are things that have been weighing on my heart. I definitely don't intend to scold anyone for texting. I just feel the need to cut back on it for myself.

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My Devotional Thoughts, Simply Sherryl and Dividing by Zero,

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May 26 12:01am EST. To June 9 11:59pm EST.
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Void where prohibited
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Kindle Fire HD Giveaway Event

Hosted by Summer That

Kindle Fire HD 8GB - WiFi Retail Value - $139

Open to US Residents - 6/16 - 6/30
Free link with announcement post OR pay $5 fee (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest) Get announcement HTML here
Additional Links $2/ea. (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest)
Host/Follow Pages - $10/ea.
Co-Host Pages - $20/ea. - Includes 4 links, 1 host/follow page, and a backlink on all participating blogs
Referral Prize - Refer the most people to sign up and get 2 free links!


Contact with any questions.

The actual giveaway will be 6/16-6/30 for my readers!

 A few times a year Shutterfly offers a great deal on prints and it's happening NOW! Until Wednesday 5/28/14, you can get 101 4x6 prints for free (pay for shipping) using the code 101fun. Just a hint, if you get 99 prints instead of 101 you will pay $2 less in shipping! ($5.99 instead of $7.99) So, get those digital pictures printed already!! 

DVD Soars on May 27 with Exclusive Codes for
The School of Dragons Online Game and Movie Money for
How to Train Your Dragon 2 in Theatres on June 13

LOS ANGELES, CA (April XX, 2014) – The race to save Berk is on when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases on DVD the second part of the award-winning top-rated TV series, DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK. Available everywhere May 27, the DVD continues the “Year of the Dragon” which will soar even higher when DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 arrives in theatres this June, along with Dragon game apps, books and other fan experiences releasing throughout the year. The DVD of the 2013 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Television Production for Children is loaded with exciting bonus content for the whole family to enjoy and contains 10 epic adventures and all-new dragons.

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Academy Award® nominated movie How to Train Your Dragon, there’s action at every turn and excitement on every ride in DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: DEFENDERS OF BERK PART 2 as Hiccup and his fearless friends embark on new adventures and battle to protect their island home. The young Vikings must put their dragon training skills to the test to defeat dangerous and surprising new enemies! The series features original voice talent from the film including Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse and will include Zack Pearlman and more.

Defenders of Berk, and the previously released Riders of Berk, is a must-own for any Dragons fan to catch up before the summer event when How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theatres June 13th! The DVD is jam-packed with special features that dive deeper into the exciting world of Dragons, including Dragon Tracker Part 4 featuring an in-depth look at Skrill, Baby Thunderdrums and Speed Stinger dragons, along with a special sneak peek of Snaptrapper, a dragon that will be seen in How to Train Your Dragon 2; Evolution of Skrill, a featurette with visual effects supervisor David Jones who explains the history behind this mysterious and scary dragon; and the “Here Comes the Fire” Dragon Mash-up music video. When it comes to action and excitement, the sky’s the limit in this high-flying animated TV series.

Fans that purchase the DVD will also get a Digital HD UltraViolet code for the title and Movie Money ($7.50 value) to redeem for tickets to How to Train Your Dragon 2 when the film hits theatres in June, as well as a chance to win a free dragon racing saddle or a mystery box code for exclusive battle gear and powers to School of Dragons, the online game from JumpStart based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise. With cinema-like graphics and an immersive 3D world, it takes more than courage to train a dragon but brains as well. For more information, visit

DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 DVD Features:

·         Dragon Tracker Part 4
·         Evolution of Skrill
·         "Here Comes the Fire" Dragon Mash-Up

DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list.  All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 28 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots and The Croods.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Since 1991, JumpStart has been dedicated to enhancing children’s lives through engaging educational games. Today, JumpStart designs games under its two flagship brands JumpStart® and Math Blaster®. These games immerse children in magical 3D worlds filled with adventure, exploration, and most importantly, learning. JumpStart’s products are available online and through various platforms such as Nintendo Wii™, iOS® and Android™. JumpStart has become a prominent force in children’s educational gaming and is trusted and tested by teachers and parents alike, helping millions of children learn. A subsidiary of Knowledge Holdings, Inc., the company is privately held and based in Torrance, California. For more information, go to

As a celebration of Memorial Day weekend and for FOUR Days ONLY we are offering this Flash Giveaway! 
One lucky reader will receive $50 USD Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card!! Seriously, who could NOT use $50? I know I could!
As I said, this giveaway is for Four Days Only so enter now!
We are making it easy peasy to enter! Just use the form below.
Remember, this giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on May 26, 2014! Tell your friends so they can enter, too!
Good Luck!
Putting Abigail in Kindergarten (again) next year has really got me in a tizzy. I don't necessarily want to homeschool but I wish there were more options in our town. It's disturbing to see all these changes that I don't agree with and she will be in the middle of it all. I don't want to be a hover parent but holy moly I want some sort of control over what she's learning. I know I'm not alone in this. While I agree the education system should be overhauled, I don't agree with the changes being made.

"I love you more than chocolate, candy, and...avocado!" said Abigail tonight.

She makes my heart melt. 

I've kept no secrets about the fact that some days my patience is thin. Where I feel like I need to escape. Just for a moment! Honestly, I think it's a normal part of parenting. Still, I strive and pray to be the mom that is there with her child. You know, there. I find myself distracted with trying to be it all but mostly trying to not to have anxiety freak out moments. When she asks me to be there with her in that moment I need to remember that once upon a time, not too long ago, she was this baby.
A little 6 lb 7 oz baby born a month early. A baby that we prayed so desperately for. And now, she is five (and a half) getting ready to go into Kindergarten. A big girl. A big girl with her own thoughts and feelings. Before I know it she will be fifteen and, most likely, not want to play games with her dear old mom. I still hold out hope that it will be different for us but teenagers tend to go their own way.
How many more Saturdays do we have cuddling under the covers? How many more bedtimes do I have to tickle her and read her a billion books? The answer...not nearly enough. So, I am making a commitment that my schedule of daily activities reflects the things I hold dear. God. My family. And, not just internet based activity. Cause this girl...she's growing up fast! And no, she refuses to slow down. Haha, I've tried.

As the school year is coming to an end, you might be searching for the perfect gift to say "Thank You" to your child's teachers, bus driver, aides, or other type of caregiver who might have left an impression in your lives this year.

Have you ever thought about a box of chocolate?  How about a box of really delicious high-quality chocolate, such as Guylian Belgian Chocolates?

If you are searching for that extra-special touch, Guylian offers it.  Known throughout the world as the most favorite Belgian chocolate, you might know them from their unique seashell shape.  I have had Guylian chocolates in the past, but never actually could put my finger on what that delicious taste was.  The chocolate seashells are marbled with 100% pure milk, dark and white Belgian chocolate and are then filled with their rich and creamy hazelnut filling.  Even in today's ever changing society, Guylian is still using their original recipe and using the same manufacturing method of using small-batch copper kettles as they did back in the late 1950's.

I am a chocolate lover through and through and I have never had a chocolate "experience" like Guylian before.  Chocolate and wine go perfect together in case you didn't know and wow Guylian hits the spot!  It's nice to be able to savor something and be able to only eat one at a time.  That is how you know something is high-quality in my opinion - a little goes a very long way.

You can purchase your own Guylian Belgian Chocolate HERE and use coupon code Chocolate10 to save 10% off through the end of the year.  

Stay Connected with Guylian Belgian Chocolates
Newsletter Sign-Up  / Like on Facebook  / #guylianchocolate on Instagram

How would you like to win a Guylian Prize Pack?  One lucky reader will win a Prize Pack that includes:

  • 22 piece marbled chocolate seashell truffles with signature hazelnut filling
  • 22 piece extra dark chocolate seashell truffles  with signature dark hazelnut filling
  • 19 piece Le Gourmet classic Belgian chocolate assortment
  • 11 piece marbled chocolate seahorse truffles individually wrapped with signature hazelnut filling
  • Gift wrapped 11 piece marbled chocolate seashell truffles with signature hazelnut filling
  • 6 piece marbled chocolate seashell truffles with signature hazelnut filling
  • 6 piece extra dark chocolate seashell truffles  with signature dark hazelnut filling
  • 4 - 2 piece marbled chocolate seahorse truffles with signature hazelnut filling
  • No Sugar Added Milk Chocolate Bar
  • No Sugar Added 54% Dark Chocolate Bar

This giveaway is open to US Residents Only, 18+, one entry per household.  Giveaway ends 5/28 at 11:59pm EST.

Momma Lew received product to facilitate this review.  Momma Lew and participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  

Last week I went to the movies with some of my MOPS pals. We went to see Mom's Night Out. I considered it appropriate although it was a morning out for us. This movie has Sarah Drew and Sean Astin among many other talented actors. The fact that Sean Astin played one of the husbands won me over instantly. I am a Goonie you know but I digress.

The main character is a Mom named Allyson. She wit's end and to me, a very typical mom. Worn out and sort of losing it. I related to her. Of course, I don't ALWAYS feel this way but it was perfect timing for me, honestly. Her husband encourages her to do this Mom's Night Out and from there the movie gets wacky. 

I did have a bit of a hard time making the switch from relating with this mom to watching the insanity of Mom's Night Out unfold. It became less real though hysterical at times. Little did I know that all the hilarity was leading up to real encouragement. 

But there was more encouragement. So much more. I left the movie thinking some powerful thoughts. I am not alone in this craziness. It's okay to be a mess. We are all beautiful messes. God knows exactly what our kids would need and He gives us exactly what we need to do our job.

I have to say that Christian movies are not always looked at fondly but it is a nice change to leave the movie theater feeling inspired.

As I sit here unwinding after a particularly stressful day I find my mind racing. In the bedroom above my head, I hear the pitter patter of little paws. Or, not so little paws. Banjo, the new puppy has been a source of daily joy and frustration. Much like a child, I suppose. So far I have lost a roll of paper towels, a part of one of Abby's games, one pair of shoes, and one slipper to this cute dog. 

He is very lucky I already love him. Also, can I just say he is weird? I've never met a dog that attacks snow and ice the way he does. It's like he wants to rid the world of snow and ice. He just eats it up and then stands there shaking because he's cold. Duh. 

Today was one of those days when I felt like I was yelling a lot. I hate when I do that. Honestly I do. I don't like being that person and usually I can rise above. Something about today made me lose my cool. When the hubby came home, we went for a walk around the block and I felt better. It's amazing how that works.

Well, it's time for me to shut this computer down and head to bed. Night all.

Approximately six months ago I started incorporating Chia Seeds into my diet and my daughter's diet. I blame it on Dr. Oz... And now we are hooked. We put Chia Seeds in smoothies, puddings, yogurts, oatmeal and so much more. And along comes Mamma Chia products - so many new products that I never knew existed...   Chia seeds are a terrific source of Omega 3s, a perfect source for fiber, a complete protein and a rich source for antioxidants. My favorite reason for incorporating them into my diet is the fiber. Both my daughter and I need to add as much fiber to our diet as possible. All the other reasons are simply an added bonus for us.   

Check out my full Mamma Chia Review at The Stuff of Success.
Fitfluential Giveaway 
Mamma Chia wants you to experience chia seeds. One lucky winner will win:
One week’s supply of Mamma Chia products - 7 Chia Squeezes (varied flavors) and 7 beverage vouchers
One copy of Janie’s book – Chia Vitality
One Mamma Chia T-Shirt
Total retail value: $75

Enter through the Giveaway Tool below:


Disclosure: The prize sponsor will send prize to the winner.  This blog is not responsible for prize. If you have any question please send an email to  All entries are optional, if you do any of the tasks you can collect the entries.

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for State Farm. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

Neighbors helping neighbors is very important, especially living in a smaller city. We help out our community through our church and will be raising Abby to give in ways that don't just include money. I am also involved with my local MOPS group which gives back in different ways. Of course, there is always more that we can do to help each other out. I was specifically excited to hear about the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program. Overall, 41 states and Canadian provinces have causes in the top 200. The states with the most submissions in the top 200 were California (26), Illinois (17), Texas (13), Michigan (12) and Florida (10). It's awesome to see so many great causes to choose from!

About the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program

Communities across the United States and Canada answered the call from State Farm® to help create a positive impact in their community and submitted 4,000 causes as part of this year’s State Farm Neighborhood Assist. Now the top 200 causes have been selected by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board® and they need your “assist” to help vote them into the top 40. From April 28 through May 16, anyone who has the free State Farm Neighborhood Assist Facebook application can vote daily for their favorite cause, or causes, and help bring $25,000 to the top 40 vote-getters.

Voting is open for a few more days! Now’s your chance to decide which 40 causes will receive a $25K grant!  You can vote up to 10 times each day from April 28th through May 16th. Invite your friends and family to help because only the 40 causes with the most votes will receive a grant.

I selected Food for Thought in Colorado. It is not exactly in my neighborhood but I find it very important. So many children have no food at home on the weekend. 100% of the 25K would be used to buy food for these kids.

Take a look at the following infographic:

State Farm Neighborhood Assist Infographic

Please download and share the following free Facebook app so you and your friends can vote on your favorite causes in this years Neighborhood Assist program. You can find the app at the following link:

1. They will chew anything. Now while most kids I know don't chew on shoes, or in our case my fuzzy blue socks, I do remember our now five year old finding the smallest things on the floor to attempt to chew. I had forgotten what a huge motivation they both are for keeping my house picked up.
2. They need your attention. You can't just tune out and do whatever you want as a parent. The same is true for raising a puppy. You need to be paying attention to their cues for potty training as well as giving them lots of playtime.
3. They cannot be locked up in a crate all day. If you live in a situation where everyone will be gone all day than a puppy probably isn't for you. See #2. I do think it's important to make the kennel a safe place for breaks throughout the day and to have him/her sleep there as well. And, I hope I don't need to say that you should NEVER put a child in a crate. What I mean in relation to kids here is that being stuck in the house all day every day is no fun for them. 
4. Positive reinforcement works way better than punishment. That's not to say discipline has no place, it does. I've just found that both kids and puppies would rather please people if you give them a way to do so.
5. A little bit of training can go a long way. Though I've not seen many training schools for kids (or any) I still believe it's important to "train your child up in the way he should go". A dog is no different. 

Oh, and a bonus...6. Both love and playtime are a necessity. Need I say more?

Obviously, this is supposed to be a light hearted comparison. I know that not everyone treats their pets as family like we do. If we can't laugh at parenting, then what will we laugh at? 
If you hear me talking about warm weather, stuff a sock in my mouth! This is yesterday and today in Wyoming. On the other hand, our dog seems to have taken it upon himself to rid Wyoming of all the snow and rain. He keeps trying to lick and eat it all up. What a nut!

Strawberry Shortcake: Fun Under The Sun
Join Strawberry Shortcake and her berry best pals on some sweet sunshine adventures! Blueberry makes a berry big blunder when she overhears Strawberry and thinks her friend is taking all the pals on a tropical vacation. After Blueberry makes some very funny attempts to make things right, Orange Blossom tries to build the girls their own fabulous resort. When they all work together to make it Berry Bitty City-style, it’s perfect, in fact, that TV host Mavis Maraschino decides to do a segment on Cherry Jam right then and there! Will the girls ever get the Fun Under the Sun they’ve been dreaming of?
Special Features
·      “It’s A Beautiful Lovely Wonderful Day” Music Video 
·      Printable Coloring Pages
Strawberry Shortcake: Fun Under The Sun DVD
Street Date:                 May 13, 2014
Screen Format:            Widescreen 1.78:1
Audio:                         English DD 2.0 Stereo/Spanish (Latin Spanish) DD 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:                     English SDH/Latin Spanish/Latin Spanish TXT
U.S. Rating                  PG
Total Run Time:         71 minutes
Closed Captioned:      Yes
About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

It has actually been feeling like Spring around here. Amazing! Today was about 78 degrees. I refuse to talk about the forecasted temp for Thursday (44). Other than that though it is supposed to stay mostly in the 60's & 70's. Super exciting! 

Here are some pics from our awesome warmer weather days. We may be enjoying them quite a bit! Also, we may need to remember to wear sunscreen, ouch!

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