Showing posts with label Sponsored Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sponsored Posts. Show all posts

Four Reasons To Love Sports Movies (GREATER The Movie Recommendation)



This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and GREATER Productions. but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GREATERMovie #GreaterTheMovie  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Confession: I have absolutely no sports ability; but despite this fact, I love sports movies.

There is something about a good inspirational sports movie that makes me wish I could have been on a team.  (But then that thought flits out of my head, because trust me, I am doing everyone a favor by staying off the field.)  Sports stories appeal to a few things that touch my heart, things that I want to teach my own kids - maybe while watching a good sports movie.






Sports movies remind us that we weren’t meant to do life alone.   

Sports movies reflect this in the most poignant way, because no player really succeeds unless the entire team succeeds.  And when when player is successful, it’s because their teammates have been there to help them along the way.  God didn’t make human beings to live alone, raise their families alone, or do life alone, and I think sports teams and movies are a good reflection of a deeper truth.

Sports movies remind us that hard work and doing the right thing pay off.  

Though sports movies are obviously about successes, it’s the parts where the players have to overcome obstacles to achieve greatness that are most poignant.  Does hard always pay off with your dreams becoming a reality?  No, not always, but it always pays off with good character, and I love when sports movies reflect that.

Sports movies remind us that true teammates are there for you even when you fail.  

One of my favorite parts about sports movies is seeing how the main character develops relationships with teammates, and how those teammates are there to pick them up and encourage them when they fail.  Everyone will want part of your successes, but true teammates are the ones who are there to give you a hand up and slap on the back when you fail.

Sports movies speak to that intrinsic desire to be a part of something greater.  

I think the main reason I love a good sports movie is because the best ones make your heart swell as you watch the individual players work together to achieve something greater, a goal none of them could reach alone.  I love that.  I believe that all of us were made to do something greater than just strive for our own success on earth - I believe we were made to bring glory to God, and we were made to do that together with others, and there is something about sports movies that speaks to that truth that God hid inside us.  


With fall and football season coming up, I am ready to break out all my sports movies and be inspired!  And if there is one sports movie that encapsulates everything I listed above, it is the new film, GREATERThis movie follows one of the greatest walk-on stories in college football, how Brandan Burlesworth went from an underdog to an All-American football player.  





The Brandon Burlesworth story incorporates everything I love about sports stories, and his story in GREATER makes the perfect inspirational sports movie.  It reflected the support Brandon had from his mother and family in achieving his dreams, and how he supported his teammates and they supported him in the wins and losses.  It showed his consistent hard work it takes for players and teams to be great.  It showed how respect and friendships develop among teammates.  But my favorite part of GREATER was the reminder that our lives serve a greater purpose than just what we can see on the surface.






GREATER was such a moving movie for me, and a wonderful one for a date with my football-loving spouse!  When the kids are a little older, I am going to love watching this movie together as a family!  There are so many good lessons and examples in GREATER, and I think it is a wonderful way to teach our kids about what is most important. After watching the movie with Derek, I was inspired to put together a few discussion questions to get the conversation going.



GREATER Discussion Questions:

1. When Brandon was a child, he was discouraged and bullied.  When did things start to turn around for him?  Do you think he would have been able to achieve so much if he hadn’t had some voices of encouragement around him?

2.  Brandon was told over and over again that he didn’t have what it took to play college football, and he experienced some failures - but he used that to inspire him to work harder.  Even if he was never successful on football, what other advantages do you see from his determination to work hard against the odds?

3. Brandon’s coach said character is what you do when no one is watching.  How did he display good character?  How does a person develop good character?

4.  Brandon faced a lot of bullying and name-calling, but he persevered in kindness and doing what was right.  Why do you think he did that?  What effect did it have on his teammates?

5. One quote from the movie is “Our loss is great, but God is greater.”  How did Brandon’s football journey serve a greater purpose beyond himself?






GREATER comes out on August 26th in select theaters (check to see if it will be available in a theater near you) - just in time for football season!  I highly recommend this movie and hope you all get a chance to see it!  Come back and tell me what you think when you do - this is definitely going on my list of favorite sports movies.

Watch the trailer below, and follow GREATER The Movie on social media for updates on when and where the film is released! 







What is your favorite sports movie?  Are you planning on seeing GREATER?




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15+ At-Home Date Night Ideas


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Milo’s Tea, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TastetheMilosDifference  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to sit on the porch with Derek in the evening.  As the winter months come to a close, and the air turns warm, I am so looking forward to spending some time together as a couple outside.  The evening air is gorgeous in the mountains.  I have visions of sitting on the porch together, listening to the hummingbirds whizzing by, talking and drinking iced tea.

Are you ready for a confession?  It has been a long time since my husband and I have gone on a date.

Holiday Tea Recipe: Cranberry Orange Spiced Tea



There are certain tastes that we associate with certain memories.  For me, the tastes of different drinks conjure memories of different seasons of my life.  I specifically associate cranberry, orange, and tea with winter and Christmas memories, so I thought why not combine all three into a family tea recipe that would fit perfectly into a Christmas family gathering or party menu?  And so this recipe was born.

Managing Baby And Toddler Schedules




A few months ago I went to a party of a friend.  She used one of those e-invite systems (I'm still not sure what I think about them, because I'm old-school and still send party invites through the mail).  With e-invites you can usually see everyone else's comments about their RSVP - and I was in a curious mood, so I read through some of the responses.

One comment in particular caught my eye - someone said they couldn't come to my friend's party because the party was in the evening, and their toddler usually went to bed at 7:00 PM.  

The comment struck me, I think in part because I understand even more than most how miserable things can get when your child is cranky and tired.  I have four kids under five, three of whom still nap and also go to bed at 7:00 PM.  When one of the kids cries, at least a couple more join in.


Why You Should Know Your Neighbors' Names




Last year, I found myself feeling restless, particularly about my walk with the Lord. Was this all there was?  Was my current pattern in life how things were always going to be?  It didn't seem like enough.  I wanted to do more to serve the Lord, and I had no idea where to start.  It seemed to me I would have to do something radical to break out of my rut.

Then one Sunday, I sat in church and listened to a guest speaker talk about how to be a good neighbor.


Five Uncommon Weekend Family Activity Ideas



Labor Day is coming right up, and we all know what that means - a three-day weekend!  Where I live, it also means lots of traffic as people travel for camping, parades, and other events.

Out of curiosity I looked up the history of Labor Day, because if I'm benefitting from the holiday it seems that I should know a little bit about it.  It turns out that Labor Day originated in the 1800's, when people often worked 12-hour days, seven days a week.  We don't have that some problem anymore, but it's still nice to have an extra day off to spend time with our families.

If you are like me, you are not crazy about the idea of braving the traffic and crowds to do some of the traditional long-weekend activities - so why not do something different instead?  Here are a few ideas of things you can do with your family this weekend!


A Letter To My {Future} Teenage Daughters


When I was a little girl, my mom had a notebook that she used to write down some of the cute things that I did.  As I was sorting through my baby box a couple years ago, I found it and started reading through it.  In addition to all the words about my cuteness (which was abundant - what can I say?), my mom also wrote notes of different things she was thinking and feeling through my toddler years.  I loved reading through it.


5 Easy Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids

5 Easy Cleaning Tips For Keeping A Clean House With Young Kids |Through Clouded Glass



I once read somewhere that it is a good idea to keep your house in a decent enough state that if someone were to ask if they could come over in fifteen minutes, you wouldn't freak out.  

Whoever said that obviously did not have young children.  Between picking up toys, making and cleaning up after meals, and handling all the messy situations my kids find themselves in, sometimes I feel like most of my day is spent cleaning.  Having three kids under five will do that to you, and we're about to add another one to the mix!  

Still, I have never forgotten that fifteen minute clean up goal, and I can appreciate the idea behind it.  I love finding quick cleaning ideas, because I like the idea of keeping my house in good enough order that I wouldn't be totally embarrassed if someone were to stop by unexpectedly.  

Housekeeping is still something I want to maintain, even with all the little ones we have running around.  Will my house be as perfect as I could get it pre-kids?  No, but I also don't think having young children is an excuse to let your house go to shambles either.  These are a few easy cleaning tips that have helped me maintain a (relatively) clean house, even with our growing tribe.


Every Person Is Valuable | Where Hope Grows Movie


 This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Godspeed Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #wherehopegrowsmovie http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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A couple months ago, I read a news story related to people with Down syndrome.  I won’t go into all the details of the story, but it reflected the attitude of some people that those with disabilities such as Down syndrome wouldn’t have fulfilling or meaningful lives because of their disability.

That story irked me at the time, and it has stuck with me since then.  I don’t have any friends or family with Down syndrome, but I have met many people with Down syndrome, and I had a friend growing up with a mental disability.  They are often the happiest, sweetest people you will ever meet.  To suggest that they are somehow less valuable because they don’t fit into someone’s idea of perfection is just ignorant.

I believe with all my heart that every person has intrinsic value.

That’s not just a bumper sticker sentiment, it is the truth.  Every person is created in the image of God, and that automatically gives them value.  To me that’s a given, but it’s not a given in our culture today.  It has become common to try to quantify the worth of people, to the point where some even dare to deem certain lives to have little value.

But who are we to think we can determine that?

I don’t think you even have to look too hard to see the value of those with Down syndrome.  The joy they so often exude, the friendship they offer so easily, their ability to look past the faults of others (despite whether or not those people can do the same), the fact that they can thrive despite the challenges that most of us will never face - all these things are sources of inspiration to those around them.

I recently had the opportunity to see a movie that I think illustrated this beautifully. In Where Hope Grows, Calvin Campbell is a washed up baseball player and an alcoholic.  In the grocery store one day he meets a kid named Produce, who has Down syndrome.  He is drawn to Produce’s happy spirit, and as Campbell gets to know Produce better, he is able to find hope for his own life and relationships.

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Hope grows movie
(My parents and me enjoying the movie!  Derek was there too, he just missed out on the pictures.)

Where Hope Grows comes out in theaters this Friday (the 15th), and I highly recommend seeing if you can catch it at your local theater!  You can watch the movie trailer here:



And this was a part of the movie that we thought was fun!



The Christian influences in this movie were subtle, which I think makes it a movie that anyone can appreciate, even if they are not believers.  But I loved how it was clear that Produce’s joy was because of his faith, and his faith was a beacon for Campbell through the movie as he started to see the changes he needed to make in his own life.

Where Hope Grows has message of hope - that even when you hit your lowest point, there is always hope to turn things around with help from God, and friends and family.  I loved the example of Produce’s character, that every person has the potential to impact other people and show them the love of God, even when you might least expect it.

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Produce invested his days well, even as a grocery store clerk.  He used the place where God had placed him to reach out to others.  I think many times we get so caught up in the busyness of the day to day that we forget that God has us where we are for a reason.  We get so caught up in our own selves that we forget, or are too scared, to reach out to others.

I don’t think Produce’s character even realized how he impacted the life of Campbell, or his role in helping him get back on track.  That’s the beauty of influence.  You might never know how you or anyone else may influence others through your life, but you can bet that God can and does use anyone He chooses to change stories.

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Derek mentioned how he liked the courage Produce showed at different parts of the movie, even in protecting and standing up for those he cared about. There was something innocent and refreshing about the way Produce’s character impacted those around him that I think is reflective of many people with mental disabilities. It is a beautiful thing.  It is something to be valued, something the world needs.  I think this movie showed that in a compelling way.

Joni Eareckson Tada has said that people are made for one purpose - to make God real to those around them.  The beauty of that truth is that any person can do this.  Someone who lives a hundred years, or a baby in a mother’s womb.  The healthiest person in the world, or the one with the most challenges.  The smartest person on the planet, or the one you would least expect.  I think those with Down syndrome and other mental disabilities in particular can touch souls in ways that others never could.

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Every person in the world has the capability to make God real to those around them.

Every person in the world has the potential to make an impact on someone else for eternity.

Every person is valuable, not because any human says they are, but because God says they are.

Where Hope Grows drove that point home for me again, and I think the DVD will be joining our movie library in the near future!  Definitely check it out!

Where hope grows movie

Time For An Afternoon Treat!

 This afternoon treat idea and recipe is brought to you as part of a compensated opportunity by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KreateMyHappy #CollectiveBias



Naptime. As a mom of young children, I know that whether I use the time to check things off my to-do list, or relax and enjoy a fun snack, it is the one time of day when I can do something (anything) uninterrupted.

Don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with my kiddos!  They are ask much fun to be around, and I love watching them play or learn new things.  I can't even get too annoyed when they are wanting my attention, because I love that they do want my attention - I love that as a parent I am the most important person in their lives, the person they can count on, the one they want to share all their precious little news with first.  I love being that person.  I love being their mom.

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

But it is also nice to have a little time in the afternoons to just regather my energy for the rest of the day.  My mom once told me that she wanted to cry when I told her I was done with nap time, and now I understand why!  I am pretty lucky that my kids all nap at the same time (I'm pretty sure my luck will run out by the time Baby #4 gets here), but even when Wyatt doesn't nap, I have instituted "quiet time", which is a time for him to play in his room - quietly!  Because sometimes moms still need a little chance to re-couperate in the afternoon.

I used to try to squeeze everything possible into my limited nap time window, but with the fatigue that comes with being pregnant, lately I've been mostly using nap time to just rest, and maybe enjoy a snack.  So today, I want to share one of my most recent snack creations!

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

I am calling these Smothered Rice Krispies Treats.  I recommend buying the packaged Rice Krispies treats, because they make this recipe a lot quicker and easier!  I found mine at King Soopers.

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass


Smothered Rice Krispies Treats

2 Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats squares
1/4 c. Milk Chocolate M&M's
1/4 c. Peanut Butter M&M's
1/2 c. Jet Puffed miniature marshmallows
1 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. Strawberry preserves
1/4 c. chocolate chips
Servings: 2

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farhenheit.

2. Unwrap the Rice Krispies Treats, and place them onto an oven-safe plate.

3.  Spread either peanut butter or strawberry preserves over the top of your Rice Krispies Treats.  Add a layer of M&M's on top of each Rice Krispies Treat.  I used Peanut Butter M&M's for the Treat with peanut butter, and Milk Chocolate M&M's for the Treat with strawberry preserves.

4.  Add a layer of marshmallows over the top of the M&M's.  Put Rice Krispies Treats into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the marshmallows start looking toasted.

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

5.  In the meantime, put the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl.  Heat the chocolate chips in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and repeating the 20 seconds until they are completely melted.

6.  Once the marshmallows on top of your Rice Krispies Treats look toasted, remove them from the oven, and immediately drizzle the melted chocolate chips over the top of the Treats.  Enjoy your Smothered Rice Krispies Treats while they are still warm!

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

One of the reasons I liked this invention was because they are so easy and quick to make, but they taste decadent!  The peanut butter chocolate version is so gooey and good, and the one with preserves tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry.  I let Derek have a taste after I made one for myself, and he asked me to make one for him later too!  They are perfect for nap time because of how little time they take to prepare - and because if you have them during naptime, you don't have to share!

Smothered Rice Krispy Treats | Through Clouded Glass

You can also visit Kellogg's website for more Rice Krispies Treat ideas - you can also vote for your favorite recipe as part of a contest they are hosting - and there is a chance for you to win prizes - just by tweeting, pinning, or Instagramming your vote with the hashtag #RKTreatSweeps and sending a link to RKTreatSweeps@Kellogg.com.  Check out the website for more details!

What do you like to do during your kids' naptime?

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Colgate-Palmolive. All opinions are mine alone. #OpticSmiles #CollectiveBias.


5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass



As a dental hygienist, I am asked quite often about whitening.  And that is totally understandable - who doesn't want whiter teeth? There are a lot of professional-grade treatments that are available, but the truth is, there is no such thing as a one-time whitening treatment.  Most likely you are going to have to repeat any whitening treatment within 6-12 months, and treatments have the potential to be quite expensive.  

I think a lot of times my patients are wondering if there are any easier things they can do to keep their teeth looking whiter.  And I have good news - there are a few daily habits you can create to maintain whiter teeth and a more beautiful smile!  Here are my tips.


1. Brush and floss.  And I'm not just mentioning this because I am a hygienist and it is hard for me to talk about anything dental-related without recommending more brushing and flossing!  Cleaning your teeth properly helps prevent staining.  If you want a more beautiful smile, brushing and flossing daily is the foundation. Even super-white teeth aren't pretty if they are surrounded by puffy, red, bleeding gums.  And whitening won't do you much good if periodontal disease (inflammation of the tissues surrounding your teeth) puts you at a higher risk for losing your teeth.  It's important to keep your teeth's foundation healthy first, and that means regular and proper brushing and flossing.


5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


2. Avoid staining foods and drinks.  Some foods are going to cause staining and yellowing of your teeth more than others.  A few of the big ones are coffee, tea, red wine, and blueberries.  If you want to keep your teeth whiter, you might limit how much of these staining foods and drinks you take in.  

3.  Rinse after staining foods and drinks.  Even though avoiding foods and drinks that stain your teeth is your best bet, let's be realistic here - you can't avoid these foods completely.  As a young mom, I know that personally I can't live without my coffee! So what do you do if you do consume something that might stain your teeth?  If it's a drink, see if you can use a straw to avoid contact with your front teeth - then after eating or drinking a staining food, rinse your mouth out with water or a fluoride rinse.  

4.  Use an electric toothbrush.  As a personal observation, I notice my teeth look whiter when I am using my electric toothbrush (as opposed to when I am just using a manual toothbrush).  Not only that, but electric toothbrushes are also great for your gum tissue, so it is definitely something to check out.

5. Use Colgate® Optic White® Express White toothpaste.  This toothpaste has twice the amount of whitening ingredient (vs. Optic White Sparkling Min toothpaste), and can even give you results in three days*!  Just with brushing.  That sounded like a winner to me!

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


I went on a hunt at Walmart for the toothpaste, and the box looks really similar to the seven day version - so make sure it says "Express White", and "Results in three days*".

5 Daily Practices For Whiter Teeth | Through Clouded Glass


I'm excited to keep using Colgate® Optic White® Express White to see what kind of difference it makes in the whiteness of my teeth!  Derek recently stole it from me to give it a try too.  It's nice because I haven't had the extra cash or time to use any sort of professional whitening treatment in a while, and this is a great option for maintaining and hopefully improving the color of my teeth.




If you are interested, I know that there is going to be a store demo in Walmarts, and representatives will be handing out coupons, so that might be something to check out!  You can see this store list to see if there is going to be a demo near you.


What do you guys think?  Have you ever whitened your teeth?  What do you do on a day-to-day basis to keep your teeth whiter?


*For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks.

Chewy Almond Granola Cookies

 This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker®. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

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The week before Christmas is baking week around here!  When I was growing up, my mom always had big variety of Christmas goodies spread out on our table on Christmas morning.  We would have a simple breakfast and dinner, and then snack the rest of the day.  It made it easy on my mom since she didn't have to cook this huge dinner.


I've kind of done the same thing for Christmas around our house.  I usually make a breakfast casserole, an easy dinner, and 4-5 Christmas treats for us to enjoy through the day.  Derek really loves having a good Christmas spread, and I'm loving being able to include the kids in the baking a little more this year.

I got most of my baking done last week, and I tried a new recipe.  It's good to change things up a little and keep the husband and kids guessing!  So in addition to some of our favorites, I created this cookie recipe.  They turned out nice and chewy, and I love that the Quaker® Simply Granola adds fiber to the cookies! I know Walmart has this cereal and all the other ingredients for this recipe.



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Chewy Granola Almond Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. Quaker® Simply Granola cereal
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup extra chocolate chips (for drizzle - optional)

Chewyalmondgranolacookies1

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda with a hand mixer until the mixture is well blended.  Add in the egg and almond extract, and mix until blended.

2. Add in the flour and mix well.  Add in the Quaker Simply Granola and chocolate chips.  Mix until blended.  The batter will be sticky.

3.  Use a spoon or your fingers to form 1 inch balls - space them two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the pan.)

4.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.

5.  Let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes.  If desired, melt the extra white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the cookies.  Enjoy!

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(These cookies are kid-approved.)


I think these cookies are best warm out of the oven, with a glass of milk!  It probably would be the perfect cookie to leave out for "Santa" on Christmas Eve.


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I was really debating whether to use the Quaker® Simply Granola or  Quaker® Real Medleys® for these cookies - specifically the Cherry Almond Pecan one.  I ended up choosing the Simply Granola, but I think the Real Medleys cereal would be great for some variety!

Quaker® makes one of my favorite cereals ever - Quaker® Life - but I recently learned of Quaker® Oatmeal Squares, which we have never tried before.




We picked up a box at Walmart the other day when we got the Quaker® Simply Granola, and it's a yummy cereal too!  It is filling and not too sweet, and it stays nice and crispy in the milk.  Anyway, I was letting the kids snack on the Quaker® Oatmeal Squares and Quaker® Simply Granola while I baked.  They are my sweet little baking buddies!

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What are some of your must-have Christmas treats?  Are you trying any new cookie recipes this year?
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