Awakening to God App Review

It’s very common, in my experience for Christians to say things like “I wish I had more time to read the Bible” or, “I know I should be reading the Bible, but…” or, “my devotionals are taking a backseat these days because…” and I think that is true for a lot of people.  There is always a lot going on, and a lot of excitement.

From when we were newlyweds, up until while I was pregnant for the first time, I used to do daily devotionals with the Bible app on my phone.  It was excellent.  I would get up early, make myself a cup of coffee and sit down with my little Bible app and dive in.  The ones there had Bible verses, as well as things to think about.

That changed when the babies came, and I was up late with them, and I was waking up at the same time as them.. and on days when I tried to wake up early so I could do something like that… it’s like they sensed it and then they woke up early, too!  So… my devotionals have been taking a backseat these days 😉

But NO MORE.  I was recently approached to review a new app in exchange for an Itunes gift card, and I jumped at the chance.  Not just because of the itunes gift card (though I do have my eye on that Moana soundtrack 😉 ) but because of the app itself.  I’m so excited to share my review with you!

Awakening To God Today, or ATG Today app, is basically a mini-devotional.  There are daily Bible verses, and daily questions to reflect on.  There are questions you answer in the morning, and then more at the end of the day to look back on how your day went.

This app includes:
·         Ability to journal your walk with God on your iPhone, iPad etc.
·         Create and remember significant touches from God, everyday events, and prayers.
·         Build your faith through scripture memorization and by looking back at answered prayers.
·         Inspiration and guidelines to help you take your walk with God to another level.
·         Learn how to hear from God and to live your day out from 8 minutes with Him at the start of the day.
·         Evening entries to remember your day and give thanks to God.
·         Encourage your family and friends by sharing daily scriptures and thoughts.
·         Inspire and strengthen your family devotions.
It does cost money to buy, but you can feel good in your purchase because the profits are going to help people in India, which I really liked about it.
I also really like how there’s something you can do at the end of the day.  I have a blank journal that has been sitting beside my bed for a while.  More often than not, I have a bunch of things I need to do before I go to bed, and so my husband goes to sleep before me.  Well, I’m not going to come into the room and turn on the light!  This is perfect because I can sit beside him in the bed and do a nightly devotional and not wake him up with excessive light, because it’s all on my phone.
Plus, it truly is a journal because you can look back on what you said previous days, and reflect on that.  This app keeps all of that for you.  You can add pictures as well.
Mostly, I love how simple this is.  This app doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to make it great, it is simply a devotional.  And if it inspires me to read more of the Bible or pray for longer, great!  I think this app is a great starting off point for people who need to kickstart their devotional practices.
It’s something that I can even do with my kids at the breakfast table as we start our day.  At this point, they’re too little to really answer the questions, but I think that if they see me doing it, it might be something they’d think about, too.
If you would like to find out more, please check out the Awakening to God Website here!  This app can be used on apple or android products.
xoxo,
Alysa
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An Easter Basket for a Baby & a Toddler

Last year, I shared what we had in our one year old’s Easter basket (here).  This year, we have a nearly one-year-old and a nearly two-and-a-half year old!  Very different needs when it comes to their Easter baskets!  I know it’s a week after Easter, but I still really wanted to share.  I had so much fun putting them together!

First of all, can I just talk about how cute these little bunny baskets are?  I got the pattern from Sew Much Ado!  It’s a free pattern for personal use only, but here’s the directions to make your own!  I had only one bunny bag last year, and now that I have two kids, I needed to find a second one, or make two new ones.  I went with option B.  I really like the idea of Easter baskets that match each other.  Each child gets their own, but they also go together.  Also, if we have another baby, I can whip up a third one very easily.

Here’s what’s IN the baskets:

Toddler:
Easter Cup
I really liked giving my daughter a new cup last year at Easter.  So, I got them both similar ones for this year!  Unfortunately, last year’s cup didn’t last very long.  She dropped it and the lid shattered.  I hope to get more use out of the ones from this year.  They’re so much fun, especially with the curly straw!

Knit Bunny
I made knit bunnies for my shop as a free gift with purchase for those who purchased a bunny bonnet from me this spring, and while I was making those, I made a couple that were slightly bigger so I could put them in the Easter baskets.  You can find the instructions to make your own here!

Aero Lamb
I decided to get the same chocolate for the Easter basket this year as I did last year.  My daughter still isn’t having tons of sweets, and this was a nice small treat for her.  Plus, she’ll be getting a chocolate bunny from her Grandma, and she doesn’t need two! 😉

Big Girl Underwear
How much fun am I? I like to add these necessities in the Easter basket (and stocking) because she’ll need them anyway, and they’ll be fun for her to open up on Easter morning.

Shampoo
Told you I was a fun mom 😉 But for real, this shampoo has Frozen characters on it, so she’s going to love it.  She’s obsessed.  And she’s starting to have enough hair now that it might be a good idea to wash her hair with shampoo instead of the all in one baby soap.

Sunglasses
I was so excited to find these. My daughter has been really into putting on sunglasses lately, and these will fit her face!  She loved getting them and doesn’t ever want to leave the house without her glasses haha

The Story of Easter Book
Last year, I looked for a cute Easter book and I was so happy to find one this year!  It’s got a simple story that is easy for little ones to understand.  It also has great pictures.  It’s a lot of fun to read to them both.

Baby Basket:

Easter Cup
Aiden doesn’t really drink that much water out of cups just yet, so I thought this would be a great way for him to start learning, with his very own cup.  It’s also so cute, and it matches Autumn’s.

Knit Bunny
I made both the knit bunnies, and this one is Aiden’s! I loved the yarn I used, and I love how it turned out.

A Book of Bedtime Prayers
Such a cute little book.  It has gold around the edges of the pages, too.

Owlies
To be completely honest… I just put this in because his basket seemed a little … well… empty in comparison to his sisters.  I put this because he loves them and I wanted to give him something he could eat, too.  It actually worked out really well because Aiden didn’t really care about his basket at all, so I’m glad that we didn’t overdo it this year.

What did you put in your little ones baskets?

xoxo,
Alysa

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5 on (Good) Friday

What’s good this week?  So many things!  It’s been exciting around here lately!  Lots of things to go to and lots of things to do, and lots of fun to be had.

01 // BUNNIES!!
It’s Easter on Sunday (yay!) and I have been selling quite a few of my bunny bonnets.  I love it!  I had a really great start to the month with the May Market group.  Can’t wait to show off what I’ve been working on for the MAY May Market 😉  There were a lot of bunnies hopping around the continent to a whole lot of babies, and it’s brought me so much joy to see the little bunnies in their bonnets.  🙂

02 // 10%
It’s been my goal as a small business owner to give back.  And so, I’ve been setting aside 10% of sales to give to a local charity!  I have chosen a new charity every month, and I’ve been collecting so that I can give at least $20 to that charity.  AND THIS MONTH I WILL BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY GIVE IT!! I like to choose charities that support babies, mamas, and pregnancy.  This month, my charity of choice is the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba NICU.  The NICU does such amazing work for the tiniest babies and I’m so happy that I’ll be able to donate some money to them this month <3

03 // Sub Zero
There is an ice cream shop fairly close to our house that we LOVE, that went up for sale this past winter.  Luckily, someone bought it and is keeping it an ice cream shop.  I LOVE it.  The new owners seem to be making some awesome changes and stepping up their game.  I could go on and on about Sub Zero, because it’s so great.  This past week we went there for the first time and Aiden had his very first taste of ice cream.  It was a lot of fun to see.

04 // Moana
We just got our copy of Moana from the Disney Movie Club and we LOVE it.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should.  We’re considering going as the characters from Moana for Halloween.  I love the music, I love the story.  It’s such a great movie.  Seriously, watch it!

05 // Happy Easter!
This is a long weekend, and it’s super great because my husband gets to have a four day weekend!  It’s going to be great to be able to spend so much time together as a family.  What are you up to this weekend?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Dating in Marriage: Book Review

I was recently given the chance to review a book on date nights in marriage, and I’m so excited to share that review with you here!  This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on my links and then buy something, it will be a big blessing on our little family. <3

Dating in Marriage by Brittany Putman has 12 date ideas you can do with your spouse throughout the year.  Each date has a cute theme, and there are a number of questions you can ask each other during or after the date.  It’s a nice way to connect with your spouse every month!

Especially after having babies, it can be difficult to really go on a date with your spouse.  In this book, there are a number of dates where you don’t even have to leave the house, which is kind of my favourite kind of date.  My husband and I love our date nights-in, and this book has a few of those.  And, the other date ideas found in here are relatively cheap/easy to do.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on any of the dates in the book, which I really appreciated.  I also liked the fact that the dates are simple enough that Brittany doesn’t need to go on and on for pages.  It’s written in a way that is directly to the point, so you don’t need to go searching for what the actual date idea is.  It makes it easier to plan dates, because you can read a paragraph or two and then just go!  I like that it’s not overly complicated, because dating your husband shouldn’t be complicated.

Another thing I really liked is the part at the end.  Once you’re done your year of dates, there is a guide for a marriage retreat!  There are three mini-sessions you can do with your spouse at the location of your choosing.  All that is asked of you is that you go for 1 to 2 nights, and that you go by yourselves.  What a neat idea!  I love that you can have a little marriage retreat with your spouse and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and it’s totally guided by this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book, and I can’t wait to try out some of these dates with my husband. 🙂 You can read more information about this book from the author’s blog here!

xoxo,
Alysa

 

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Aiden at 10 Months old

Ah, in 2 months my little one will be ONE! That seems too fast.  Not fair.

Anyway, this month Aiden has done a lot of new things!! He’s crawling everywhere, and he’s getting much much faster at it, too.  He loves to chase after his sister, even if it takes him a while to get there (running is always faster than crawling haha).  He has said a lot of words, such as read and duck!  He loves to eat, and his favourite foods are meat, potatoes, and whatever his sister is eating.  He’s been eating lots of muffins for breakfast lately because Cheerios are not as good, and not what Autumn is having. 😉

He’s in size 9-12 month/12 -18 month stuff, depending on the brand.  It’s weird for me, especially considering how much longer it took Autumn to get to those sizes.  But he’s outgrowing all the smaller things!

Aiden still only has two teeth, but he’s definitely working on more right now.  For the most part, he sleeps from around 8:00pm to around 8:00am, but sometimes he wakes up for middle of the night cuddles, which I am more than happy to give.

His favourite toys are his Fisher Price blocks, a monkey in a barrel toy we have, and cars.  He LOVES looking at books, and flipping pages on books.  His current favourite is Baby, Baby (which I reviewed here).  He loves looking at himself in the mirror,  he loves brushing his own teeth, and he absolutely loves playing with his big sister.

xoxo,
Alysa

Autumn at 10 months <3

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Well SMURF!!

Did you hear about this yet?  There is a brand new Smurf movie!  I’m so excited to be able to share about this with out, because this movie looks super cute.  I used to love watching the Smurfs on tv as a kid, and I love being able to share a new version with my daughter now.

Smurfs: Lost Village comes to theatres this Friday, April 7th! You can find out more information about the movie on the Smurf movie website here!  Also, be sure to take a peek at the activities on the website.  There are some awesome colouring pages, and even a tutorial that teaches kids how to draw their own Smurf, as well as recipes, games, and a quiz!  I am most excited about the colouring pages, my daughter has started to really enjoy colouring so it’ll be fun to print those out for her to colour before and after we see the movie.

Here’s what it’s about:

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

Check out the trailer!

It looks like a super cute update to such a classic little story, and I am so happy they are going to address the fact that they’re ALLLL guys except for Smurfette haha. Maybe there are more lady Smurfs? That would be rad!  I’m so excited to watch this movie with my daughter, I think she is really going to love it.

And good news for you! I’m giving away two tickets so YOU can see it, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and Smurf ya later 😉

xoxo,
Alysa

This is a promotional post, I’m going to be able to take my daughter to see this movie for free in exchange for writing this blog post.  All the thoughts and opinions stated are my own.

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Five on Friday!

01 // May Market
I know it might seem like I’m talking about this quite a bit, but I am SO excited to share with you what I have in store for this months market! This month, it’s going to be TODAY AND TOMORROW!!  There are going to be a lot of Easter-y goodness in the market, and from Alysalovely Littles: BUNNY BONNETS!  I have three colours to choose from <3 Join the May Market group here!

02 // Pink eye
UGHHHHH.  THE WORST! What could be less fun than trying to give a squirmy, screaming toddler eye drops?  I can think of few things.  Last Thursday, Autumn woke up and could barely open her eyes because there was so much gunk there.  I felt so bad for her.  Her eyes were all puffy and pink.  I had a feeling that it might be pink eye.  So I did some research online to see.  I found that if it was pink eye, that it was likely bacterial, so we would need to go get some drops for her, with a prescription.  So, we bundled all up and walked to the walk-in clinic that is around the corner of our house.  The doctor looked at her for 1 second and said “yep, it’s pink eye” and we’ve been giving her eye drops.  She had to have them 3 times a day for 7 days, and thankfully, it’s all gone now.  But eye drops and toddlers do not mix.  Kind of like wrestling an alligator while trying to give said alligator a root canal.  NOT FUN! So glad it’s over.  And so glad she’s feeling better, poor thing.

03 // Decluttering for Lent/ 40 Bags in 40 Days
I have been MAJORLY slacking on this.  I have decluttered a few areas of the house, but I haven’t done it daily.  It’s been not that high of a priority, but at least I have it started a little.  I think I’m going to take it a little more casually for the rest of Lent and see how many bags I actually get.  I feel like I have a few bags in each area, so maybe that’ll make up for it?

04 // Buffy
Been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer again lately.  It just celebrated 20 years since the premiere, and that makes me feel ridiculously old… but it’s still so good! I’ve heard rumours that it is being taken off of Netflix in April, so I’m watching as much of it as I can before then.  It’s just so good

05 // Spring!
It’s finally getting to be nicer weather outside, and I’m SO happy.  There’s still a ton of snow on the ground in our yard, so we’re spending time in our enclosed porch.. but the kids love to play in there and it’s sunny and warm, so it’s perfect.  What are you most excited for about Spring?

xoxo,
Alysa

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whats up buttercup

dress: American Apparel // leggings: American Apparel // shirt: Bluenotes // socks: Joe Fresh // necklace: finity handmade on etsy

where the heck did March go though? I feel like it just started yesterday. Boom! It’s basically April.  We’ve been so busy around here, I haven’t had time to think, much less write anything.  I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Between taking care of babies, and making bonnets, and … let’s be real .. relaxing, it goes by so quickly and then all of a sudden it’s midnight and I’m exhausted.

I am finding myself in a little bit of a slump, clothing wise.  I feel like this is basically what I wear day in and day out.  It works really well for me.  It’s comfortable enough to sit on the floor in when I want to play with my kids, and it’s flexible enough to nurse in, or wear out.  But it gets boring to wear the same thing all the time.  I need more structured pants.  I love my leggings (which ARE pants, btw), but sometimes I feel more put together if my pants also have a zipper.  Anyone else feel this way?

xoxo,
Alysa

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5 on Friday!

01 // BUNNIES!
I’ve been hustling around here lately, trying to make something new to add to my etsy shop, Alysalovely Littles, and I’m so excited to say that these adorable bunny bonnets are listed!  You can check them out at the link just there <3

02 // Our poor dishwasher
Our dishwasher has been broken for over a week, and I know this is a #firstworldproblem but I miss it so much! I end up, usually, doing dishes multiple times per day, and so this is crazy annoying.  It makes me not want to do any dishes ever, which is not helpful at all, and more irritating.  But we’re getting a new one.. eventually.

03 // Riverdale
Are you watching Riverdale? Because YOU SHOULD! It’s SO GREAT!  It’s different from the comics, so if you’re expecting that it’s going to be exactly like the comics, you’ll be disappointed. But I love who they picked to play each character, and I just love it in general.  My fave new show for sure.

04 // Naptime
Y’all. Both my babies are taking naps during afternoon nap time and it is refreshing!  I get some time to myself and it’s amazing.  I hope it keeps up for a while.

05 // 40 Bags in 40 Days
Instead of doing my usual April Decluttering Challenge, I’m going to do this 40 bags in 40 days thing for Lent!  It’s so nice because while it does last a little longer, you also get breaks.  I’m not doing super great at it, but I’m trying.. and I think that is the important part 😉

What’s new with you this week?

xoxo,
Alysa

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Life Lately…

It’s been so busy around here lately.  There’s been so much going on, and I swear that these last few months have been on fast forward.  Of course it’s gonna feel like that, because it’s already March.  The last few months of a baby’s first year always seem to go by super fast, it’s science.

We’ve been doing a lot of things lately, and it’s been a lot of fun.   As I updated yesterday, Aiden has been crawling more and more, and getting into things.  It’s so much fun to see how curious he is about his surroundings.  Of course, that means that I need to get back on top of cleaning up.. because there’s nothing so talented and magical as a baby to find the one spec that you missed sweeping.  Oh well, it’ll build his immune system, right? 😉

We are a one vehicle household, and usually I don’t get to use the car, but lately, we’ve been able to!  So we did a bunch of different things as a little family during the day.  We went to the new Save On Foods, and it is fantastic.  We went to the Children’s Museum, which was a lot of fun.  We were also able to go visit friends during the day.  It’s nice to be able to get out and do things during the day, though it’s also a little nutty.  Luckily, for the most part, it’s been warmer lately, so Autumn will actually walk to the car.  It’s sooooo nice that she’s finally on board with the snow… you know, just as it’s about to be gone haha

The beginning of March, I had the May Market on facebook, and so I was working toward that a lot.  I’m also in general working on creating more bonnets for my etsy shop.  I’m excited to share the bonnets I’ve made!  Watch the shop, new things will be listed soon!

Otherwise, I’ve been working on my temperature blanket.  It’s nice to have a little bit of something to do every day.  I am pretty sure that my technique is improving, too.

What have you been up to lately? <3

xoxo,
Alysa

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