Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites & Giveaway

Hello Friday! We are getting pretty excited about Thanksgiving being so close. When Steve gets home from work today, he will have a week-long break from teaching. Though he'll still have plenty of grading and planning to do, hopefully he can tackle some projects at home, or just relax with us! That would make for a very happy holiday :)  Let's jump into the favorites from the week:

Today, I'm offering a chance to win a copy of this book, I'm Happy for You (Sort of. . . Not Really). The subtitle is: Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison. Who doesn't struggle with this?! Reading this book has made me realize that comparison is everywhere, and I get caught up in it all day, every day. Comparison truly is a "thief of joy", and being discontent can really lead into more serious problems. 

It's so easy to get caught up in comparing appearances, clothes, body types, kids, homes, jobs. . .  In this world of extensive social media, we are constantly receiving the highlight reels of our friends' lives. And the danger is comparing them to the behind-the-scenes images of our own lives.

The author, Kay Wills Wyma, is a writer for numerous media outlets, a blogger, and mom of five living in Dallas. With humor and plenty of personal stories, she suggests that the easiest way out of the comparison trap is through GRATITUDE. We are too busy looking at what we don't have that we don't see all the small joys in our own life. We have to realize what we're doing and embrace our own wonderful reality.

She also says that when a friend has something good happen to them, the best four words to use are "I'm happy for you." And if you can say them sincerely, they have the power to shift your attitude away from envy.

I've really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to finishing off the last few pages this weekend. To buy a copy for yourself, here it is on Amazon.

I got a kick out of the cute yellow "I'm happy for you" M&Ms that they sent me with the book :)  Scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter to win!

I mentioned this Pumpkin Dessert a few weeks ago, and finally got around to making it on Sunday. It was a big hit with our boys and our friends at church! It tastes so much like pumpkin pie, but instead of crust, it's a dense yellow cake with a buttery cinnamon topping :)

Yesterday, I posted about a few of the turkey crafts that Nolan and I have done to get into the Thanksgiving spirit! Check them out here

On Tuesday, I wrote about my favorite volunteering experience: a week at Give Kids the World in Orlando, giving back in Hannah's memory. (Post is here.) I mentioned how Perkins accepts donations for GKTW at their restaurants, and I also wanted to share this bracelet. Alex and Ani will donate 20% of each purchase of their "Sweet Treats" charm bangle to GKTW through December. I have loved mine!

Someone suggested this California Baby "Tea Tree & Lavender" shampoo to me when Ephraim was three months-old and had a bad case of cradle cap on his scalp. It was the one thing that worked for us, and I was very happy! So last month when my dermatologist told me that the redness on my nose and forehead is seborreheic dermatitis (same as cradle cap and dandruff), I ordered a bottle of this soap again from It's not cheap stuff; I bought it for $11.49. And the warehouse accidentally sent three bottles to me! When I called to let them know of the mistake, they couldn't care less and let me keep all three. Now, has a bottle selling for $15.79! Thanks Target for the bonus :)  

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a free copy of the book, I'm Happy for You!
Thanks for reading today!

Follow our adventures on Instagram @floralandfudge

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions 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. 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.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Turkey Crafts

'Tis the season for TURKEYS! Nolan and I have been doing some simple turkey painting and crafts the last couple of afternoons. Since he's not great with scissors yet, I admit to doing most of this turkey toilet-paper-roll creation while he watched. I found the most beautiful scrapbook paper on clearance at JoAnn's, entitled "The Harvest House Stack", and I am so glad I snatched the book up! Some of the papers have accents of gold foil, and they're just gorgeous. Doesn't he make the cutest little turkey?


We painted some turkeys on cardstock with fun, bright colors. Though I envisioned my turkey with a brown body, Nolan insisted his have a pink body. This made for an unusual, but very cute turkey :)

He is the perfect age for these kinds of activities. I love it!

And of course, we did the traditional turkey handprint. I am a sucker for hand and foot art made by my babies :)  Someday, it will make for such a tangible memory of how small they once were!

Come back tomorrow for my Friday Favorites, and a book giveaway that you won't want to miss!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Give Kids the World

Every November, I think back on two very special trips to Orlando, Florida. In November 1994, my mom, my sister, Hannah, and I flew down to Disney World for the first time. Make-A-Wish had granted Hannah a wish for a week's visit to the Disney parks. All of our expenses were paid--the limo to the airport, the flights, the passes to get into Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and MGM, and the hotel. But the hotel wasn't just any ordinary hotel, it was Give Kids the World, a non-profit "storybook" resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. This 79-acre village is a magical place, and I went back in November 2009 to volunteer for a week and see it again with adult eyes :)

My mom and her sister Sally had volunteered in previous years, but this was my first time volunteering, and we brought my cousin Dayna along too!

The gorgeous outdoor pool and splash pad weren't there in 1994, but Hannah and I would have loved them!

Thousands and thousands of stars line the ceiling inside the "Castle of Miracles". Each star has the name of a child who has stayed at Give Kids the World in its twenty-six-year history.

These are a couple of the cute villas that families stay in.

Dayna and I worked a couple of shifts at the "La Ti Da Royal Spa" where we had the privilege of painting little nails and applying temporary tattoos :)

"Amberville" has a model train, billiards, an arcade, and other activities.

Here's my mom driving the passenger train :) 

There's a small movie theater for movie nights.

I LOVED working at the "Ice Cream Palace".  Free ice cream is served here morning, noon, and night. It was a blast to serve the kids whatever flavors and toppings their little hearts desired!

I don't know if they still do this, but six years ago, they had a weekly Christmas parade (all year long), because who doesn't love getting into the Christmas spirit?

Posing in front of the spot of our 1994 family Christmas photo.

Mom, Hannah, me. We have the best home video from our trip to GKTW. I was seven and Hannah was ten, and the video shows us so in awe of this place (and Disney too)!

Another favorite job while volunteering was running the carousel. Seeing those kids with so much joy on their faces--- amazing!

Dayna and I at the airport on our way home.

It was such a memorable trip!

As I am writing this, I'm poking around on the Give Kids the World website, and they have some incredible new attractions like horseback riding, a fishing pond, a Candy Land playground, and this building:

The new Towne Hall is a 53,000 square-foot building with several restaurants and other gathering areas. It looks incredible!

We haven't been back to volunteer at GKTW since 2009 (Dayna and I started having babies), but my mom and I did become Make-A-Wish volunteers a few years ago, and we have been able to grant a couple of wishes to children in our area. I think Hannah would be proud of us taking these opportunities to give back. I have so much empathy and love for families who are experiencing similar circumstances of what we went through years ago. (For those who are new here, we lost Hannah to childhood cancer when she was 17. And goodness, do we ever miss her!)

If you're interested in volunteering at Give Kids the World for a week, click here to learn more. If you've ever been to a Perkins, they collect money for GKTW in the front of the restaurant. They have helped provide free meals for families staying at GKTW since 1989!

Linking up with Andrea today for a link up on mission trips and service projects. 


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