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Friday, November 20, 2015

Perfect Holiday Read ~ I’m Happy For You (Sort Of…Not Really) #HydrateForTheHolidays #FLYBY

I wish I had a review here for you, but the USPS delivered a battered, empty envelope to my house last week.  Not sure what happened on its way to me, but I will get a replacement copy to review soon! I  wanted to get this post up asap so I can give away a copy to one of you, as well! Here is a little more about this book - I can't wait to get my hands on it!

I am excited to introduce you to blogger-turned-author Kay Willis Wyma.  Kay asks an important question: Is comparison-living hijacking your life?

Thoughts from Kay...
Tired of performing? Feeling weighed down by the pressure to be Pinteresting? Does your friend’s wardrobe, body, marriage, paycheck, vacation plans, or photoshoot-worthy home décor leave you wishing your life looked more like that? 
You’re not alone.
With its focus on smarter, faster, thinner, and ever-better, our cultural obsession with comparison is undercutting relationships and sapping contentment. Our friends become our audience (or judges), and our titles, activities, even kids become part of our brand. Factor in social media’s constant reminder of what everyone else is doing, and no wonder we feel drained, discontent, and isolated.  
Thankfully, we don’t have to live this way!
The book title says it all!! 

About I’m Happy For You (Sort Of…Not Really)
Our cultural obsession with comparison is undercutting relationships and sapping contentment. With disarming candor and humor, Kay Wills Wyma explores how to trade comparison for compassion and rediscover what life is all about.
It’s easy to get caught in the comparison games we play with our appearances, our kids, and our homes. Kay reminds exhausted families about tried and true remedies from the pressures of competitive living.
In her warm, relatable style, Kay confronts the comparison epidemic raging in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our social-media feeds, offering remedies along the way.
With candor and humor, I’m Happy For You (Sort Of…Not Really) explores the troubling effects of living in an excessively competitive culture—and reveals simple yet effective ways to escape the comparison trap.

About the Author
Kay Wills Wyma is a blogger, mother of five, and the author of Cleaning House through which she has appeared on The TODAY Show, CNN, Glenn Beck, The New York Times, Focus on the Family, and more. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, she held positions at the White House, the Staubach Company, and Bank of America. Kay lives in the Dallas area with her husband, Jon, and their family.

Join Kay and her family as she’s started to #HydrateForTheHolidays on her blog posts to learn how to recapture contentment and joy, especially in Nov. & Dec.!!  She’ll be sharing thoughts throughout the season!

Want to read this book now?  You can purchase it from Amazon. (This is my affiliate link!)

#HydrateForTheHolidays #flyby

You can enter to win a copy of I’m Happy For You (Sort Of…Not Really) through the Rafflecopter widget below.  Make sure you complete the mandatory entries first - otherwise no other entries count.  
Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Giveaway: ESV Men's Devotional Bible

Can y'all believe Thanksgiving is next week?! It's gotten here so fast this year.  I am excited to be spending this holiday with my Dad and his sweet wife up in North Carolina. Lots of planning and packing going on here to get ready for our trip. (We appreciate your prayers for safe travels next week, too!)   

In the meantime - here is a really great giveaway and a short review.  Wouldn't this Men's Bible make a fabulous gift for someone on your Christmas list?

I was given a copy of this beautiful ESV Men's Devotional Bible to share with one of the men in my life. It didnt take me any time to know that I wanted my brother Jon to have it! He has only had this Bible for about a week, so he hasn't had much time to use it.  Here's what he had to say about using this Bible and what he likes most about it. 

I really like this Bible. I like the font and the size, as it makes it easier to read than the Bibles at church.  I also like the fact that the devotions put into context what you are reading and give a detailed account of the author of each devotion.  I like how it breaks up the flow of scripture.  It is very thick and heavier than most, but that is OK because of the extra info that is inside.   I haven't had a chance to read very much of it but I look forward to being able to use it more. 

I'm so happy he is enjoying this new Bible. Thanks Jon, for reviewing it for me.  

And now, some more information from the publisher:

About the ESV Men's Devotional Bible:
Our world presents daily distractions that can easily displace Christ as the center of a man's heart and life.  The goal of the ESV Men's Devotional Bible is to strengthen and encourage men through the life-giving Word of God and sound devotional content aimed at nurturing godliness.  With 365 theologically rich and gospel-centered devotions drawn directly from the Bible, this all-new resource was created under the editorial oversight of Dr. Sam Storms with contributions from over fifty Christian leaders.  Introductions orient men to each book of the Bible, exploring its unique contribution to a man's walk with God.  Thoughtful and instructive articles address the importance of sound doctrine, life in the local church, leadership, the heart, calling, and a host of other relevant issues for today.  The Men's Devotional Bible will strengthen men in their walk with Christ, helping them apply the gospel and the truths of God's Word in their homes, churches, and workplaces. 

- 365 brand-new devotions
- Brand new book introductions
- 14 brand-new articles
- Dictionary of key terms
- Ribbon marker
- Smyth-sewn binding
- Lifetime guarantee on TruTone edition
- Packaging: slipcase (TruTone), L-card (HC), permanent slipcase (Cloth over Board) 

Retail Price: $34.99
You can purchase from Crossway at the link above, or through Amazon.  (This is my affiliate link)

Propeller/FlyBy Promotions would like to give one of my readers a copy of this awesome Bible.  Enter for your chance to win via the Rafflecopter widget below.  If you don't see it, click the link and it will open up the entire post for you.  PLEASE make sure to complete both of the mandatory entries.  I hate it when Rafflecopter chooses a winner, but they didn't complete the mandatory options and are disqualified! So please make sure you do those first, then any of the optional entries you want to do, too. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Giveaway: Stone Mountain Christmas 2015

Despite the crazy weather we are dealing with (hot, rainy, cold, rainy, windy, rainy) it's time to start thinking about Christmas!  For my family, one way we usher in the holiday season is a visit to Stone Mountain Christmas at Stone Mountain Park.  Everything there is designed to put you in the Christmas spirit!

The lights are the first thing you'll see as you enter the gate.  There are lovely snowflakes on light poles, Christmas lights on all the buildings, and don't forget to take a quick drive down Snowflake Lane. Everything is sparkling, merry and bright.   And look up - you just might spy mistletoe, so keep your honey close by!

Stone Mountain Christmas is offered on select dates from November 7 - January 3.  On those dates, check out the fun and festive Christmas Parade that delivers Santa & Mrs. Claus to Christmas Corner. You'll enjoy the performers from the shows, plus catch a glimpse of the beautiful Snow Angel!

After the parade, we always head straight to the Singalong Christmas Train.  It's a little different this year (no onscreen antics with elves - just lyrics for the songs playing). We enjoyed the selection of carols, including White Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, and other family favorites. And if you like seeing the performance of "The Gift" midway through the ride, you will really love it this year. This year was my favorite performance of all the years we've attended  - really beautiful and heartwarming.

After a fun train ride around the Mountain, we usually visit Santa, do a little shopping, and check out the characters you might see in the park.  Gingerbread Man, Rudolph, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, and even Mrs. Claus got a picture with David this year!   We love watching the glassblower at work, and looking at his beautiful glassware in the store next door. You'll also find a fantastic toy store, candy store, and a few other gift stores to visit!  You can also visit the Snow Angel, and decorate yummy cookies.

Did you know Stone Mountain Park was named by USA Today as one of the ten best places in the country to catch Santa Claus?!  My son humored me and had a quick talk and then a picture with Santa. 

Time for the 4D movie - it's right across the walkway from Santa.   This year SMP is offering Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas.  Can a handful of prehistoric misfits really save the holiday? Find out in this hilarious adventure featured in 3-D with added in-theater effects that will transport you back to the Ice Age.

The shows being offered this year include A Christmas Carol,  Forever Christmas, and Holly Jolly Cabaret.  We especially enjoyed the Christmas Carol - David got such a kick out of it!  The actors in all of the shows are great, and the music is festive. This year's new show is The Littlest Christmas Tree.  It’s Christmas Eve and the smallest tree on the lot has been passed over and is feeling low. Good thing his new friends Betty the Bunny, Sammy the Skunk and Nutty the Squirrel are there to help him see his inner worth! The tale of The Littlest Christmas Tree is sure to be a new, family favorite.

The night ends with the lovely Snow Angel flying through the courtyard and her magical snowfall, plus a fireworks finale! If your kids can stay up til 9:45 it is truly worth staying for - a really beautiful ending to a fantastic night with your family!

And finally - the food!  I must share that The Campfire Grill has some seriously good comfort food ready for you. We tried the Sausage Skillet, Pot Roast with veggies, Chicken Tenders, (they also have Fried Chicken) and a huge Cranberry Apple Salad.  Sides were mac-n-cheese, baked beans and mashed potatoes with gravy. Plus they throw their delicious yeast rolls to you!  It was all awesome, but David's favorites were the chicken and mac-n-cheese.  Mine were the yummy, tangy salad plus the pot roast and the baked beans.   I wish I'd remembered to get a picture of the yummy dessert they sent home with us. Stone Mountain's new buttery, delicious cinnamon bread is to die for!  Make sure to pick up a loaf while you are there - it's warm, gooey and oh so good!

We had such a fantastic time at Stone Mountain Christmas this year.  And we left with Christmas Spirit! I'm working on getting our trees finished up this week, and wrapping gifts.  I am determined to get things done early so I can enjoy December with my family this year - no last-minute stressing! If you are ready for a big dose of Christmas spirit and family fun, please pick a date to take your family for a fun evening at Stone Mountain Christmas!  You can find out ticket information here. However..... one lucky reader will win a family four-pack of tickets to attend!! Enter my giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below.  (Click the link if the widget isn't visible!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Travel - Fun things to do in Kissimmee: Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory!

If you will be in Orlando, you are probably visiting the theme parks. But what else is there to do in Kissimmee?  We were very happy to find this family-friendly ice cream shop that has a great play space, too!

Last month David and I went on an amazing trip to Disney.  We signed up for this Disney Youth Series trip with a new friend who is also a GCA mom.  She organized everything so well! We were able to purchase discounted tickets that allowed us to stay longer than I normally could have afforded.   We rented a nice big house in a resort community to hold us, my aunt, my sister-in-law and her four kiddos, plus her friend and her daughter.  I have some fun things to share about this trip over the next months, and hope that some of these tips, ideas, etc will help you in planning your next trip to Florida!

Today I want to share a fun little dessert spot that we visited twice during our week in Florida. Located in downtown Kissimmee, it's a must see!

Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory  is a unique ice cream shop.  Instead of  scooping out your favorite flavor, they use liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze your ice cream right in front of you.  They take fresh ingredients, add your mix-ins, and suddenly have ice cream!  It's a fun "magic" show that both kids and adults will enjoy.

I took David on Sunday to get some ice cream and bring some home to Aunt Anne.  I got the Mocha Madness - it is divine!   We also went back on Tuesday after a trip to the former Downtown Disney, now known as Disney Springs.

There are plenty of toss-in options, and they also have some Suggested Combinations listed on the menu board.   The small size that we all chose was actually pretty big - it was more than enough ice cream for each of us. 

My son loved watching them add the nitrogen and then quickly scrape everything into a frozen concoction. 

Here is a video I took of the process.  

They also sell pizza and other foods.  There is a nice little arcade in the building while you wait for your ice cream.  

After we paid for our ice cream, we enjoyed our treats out back, where there is plenty of covered seating and several bounce houses and playground equipment for the kiddos to enjoy.  It's a perfect stop along the way in Kissimmee!

If you will be in the Kissimmee/Disney area,  I highly recommend you check out this fun ice cream shop.

Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory is located at: 520 N Main Street, Kissimmee, FL 34744

What is your favorite thing to do (besides the theme parks!) in Florida? Please leave a comment below...