Sunday, December 30, 2018

Save 25% on Your Pier 1 Purchase! {Ends Tonight - 12/30}

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I wanted to share this amazing deal that's going on at Pier 1 until 11:59 pm CT.

I love Pier 1, and this would be a great time to start early on Valentine decor shopping, or purchase that perfect piece of furniture you've been saving up for!

All you have to do is enter code OFF25 at checkout. This coupon code is good for regular-price-only items.

*Affiliate links included in this post. 

Valentine Decor 

Furniture By Category

Or you can shop clearance holiday decor and use code FREEHIP49 to get free shipping on orders over $49. Offer ends tonight at 11:59 CT.

Such a pretty festive wreath - now only $19.98.

And so much more.

 If you love Pier 1, now's the time to shop!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Fun Activities For Kids During Winter Break {Guest Post}

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Fun Activities For Kids During Winter Break

Winter Break can be a hard time for parents to keep the kids actively learning but also having fun and enjoying their break. Here are some simple ideas and things to do to keep the kids busy all winter long.


Playdough is such a simple activity and if you make it at home it can be a fun math and science activity too. The recipe is really simple and if you store it correctly it will last a lot longer than store bought dough.

Give your kids some cookie cutters and let them have fun molding and creating new things.

Art Day

Get out all the art supplies and let the kids have total control over a drawing or a picture. Kids don’t get much time to be totally creative anymore so this would be fun to use their skills to draw or create something cool. You could even look up cartoon character drawings online to help give them ideas if needed. Let them water-color or even have a painting day!

Practice Reading/Math Skills

It’s always a good idea to keep the learning skills up while on break. Something easy and fun for the kids to do is a wordsearch like this Christmas word search. Kids will practice their reading and spelling skills as they search for the words. 

Click the image below to download the word search.

Check out for more learning resources, games, and activities just like this word search!

This is a guest post from aims to empower parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to help their children build essential skills and excel. With over 12 million members, provides educators of all kinds with high-quality learning resources, including worksheets, lesson plans, digital games, an online guided learning platform, and more.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Gift Ideas for the Guitar Player

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All of these gift ideas remind me of my hubby. He's a great guitar player and gifted singer and has faithfully used his talents to serve in the churches we've attended over the 24 years we've known each other. In fact, he's pretty much my favorite worship leader!!!

If you also have some special guitar players in your life, here are some unique gift ideas I found from Uncommon Goods. I hope you find the perfect gift. :)

Happy Shopping!

Affiliate links are included in this post. I make a small commission for purchases made through these links.

This looks so cool - you can create your own custom picks using items like old credit cards.

Get a 7-day Free Trial at PicMonkey

You can find more guitar gift ideas, including jewelry, journals, and even baby toys by visiting Uncommon Goods.

Shop over a 1000 Quality, Unique, Handmade Products at The Makers Jewelry, Fashion, Kids, Home Decor, Food, Gifts

Thursday, December 06, 2018

When Do I Love You? By Tommy Nelson Books {Book Review}

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When Do I Love You? 
Written by Tommy Nelson Books
Illustrated by Marta Cabrol


Animals declare their love and devotion for their little ones in all kinds of ordinary and not-so-ordinary places.

About the Book

In When Do I Love You? each 2-page spread begins with the question, "When do I love you, little ___________?" Blanks are filled with all kinds of animals such as duck, moose, dog, raccoon, and more. Each answer points to somewhere the animals go together or something the animals do together. Examples include riding in a truck, sitting in a caboose, sailing on a boat, walking through the city, and so on.

Here's an example of what the first two sentences on each page look like:

When do I love you little dog?
When we're trotting through the fog!

Text continues with two more rhyming sentences that either assure the little ones of their parent's love and devotion or explain the fun they'll have together.

Here's an example of what the last two sentences on each page look like. These are from the same page as the first two sentences above:

If the air gets thick and we cannot see,
I'll call your name. You can count on me.

After reading through 9 different little animals, you come to the very last page which shows a human mama holding her toddler. It's the perfect ending with the mama telling her child that she'll love her today, tomorrow, whenever, and forever!

My Thoughts

Sweet book with a heartwarming message. All children need to be assured of a parent's or guardian's love, and this book gets the message across in a fun, child-friendly way.

With only 20 pages and simple, rhyming text, this book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. And it's great for reading any time of the day!

I love the charming illustrations. They're simple with a touch of whimsy. Plenty of color, yet the colors are muted and have a chalk-like appearance which gives the book a cozy, rustic feel.

This particular story doesn't mention anything about God, which is totally fine. However, after reading the book, it could be an opportune time to mention God's perfect love for us. If I could go back in time and snuggle my kids while reading this book, I might ask something like, And do you know who loves us the most? God does! Or something like that.

Board books are such wonderful gifts for new moms or moms-to-be. I'm so glad relatives gave my kids lots of books - such a treasure and worth keeping forever. :) When Do I Love You? is a winner in my opinion.

Book Rating: 5 stars.

Purchase the book here. 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 03, 2018

Christmas Ornaments for Book Lovers

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Do you have an ornament tradition? We do. Every year right before we decorate our Memory Christmas Tree, I give my kids new ornaments. 

This year I'm LOVING the book ornament I got from InkandShrinkSwag!

I ordered a mixed stack book ornament from InkandShrinkSwag for my daughter this year, and I LOVE it. My daughter's a book lover like me, and one of her favorite series is The Maze Runner series. So glad I found this Etsy shop to personalize her 2018 ornament!

My kids opened their ornaments over Thanksgiving break, and the book ornament was a huge hit!

Pictured above is my daughter's ornament. I really love the way it turned out!

Below, I've listed a few more book ornaments that I found on Etsy. I've not ordered any of these, but I thought I'd share a variety of ornaments to fit all the different types of book lovers out there. Etsy is usually one of my first stops when I'm looking for neat, unique ornaments for my kids. 

I wish I could've posted sooner, but I didn't want to give away any surprises should my kids have happened to see. So, if you love any of these ornaments, you'll have to order SOON! 

Just click on the shop names to view each ornament and more!

Affiliate links included in this post.

These would be super cute for the teachers on your Christmas list.

Friday, November 30, 2018

All-In Organic Smoothie Powder

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Thinking about New Year's Resolutions yet? Most of us would love to get healthier, right? We all know we should eat better, but it's easier said than done. SWEETS are my biggest temptation. I love to make and eat them. What about you?

I'm not a big fan of diets, but I do try to eat fairly healthy. I also try to pay attention to portions, and I try not to eat after 6:00 p.m. When I fail, it's usually because of dessert. Or candy. Or homemade hot chocolate. Ok, I'm sure you get the idea. ;)

One of the best health decisions I've made is to start my day off with a nutritious Nutribullet smoothie. I've been drinking a smoothie almost every single morning for the past 1 1/2 years or so. It's made a huge difference in my health.

When I started drinking smoothies, I didn't know about ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™. I found out about it through a sweet, young mom in my Bible study group.

I was really curious when she mentioned that her dad launched his own business in 2016. (I love hearing stories about entrepreneurs!) Anyway, over lunch one day, I got to hear all about her dad's search for the perfect whole food smoothie powder and how he eventually created his own. I loved listening to my friend share that she and her 5 siblings were often her dad's guinea pigs for all of his smoothie creations. You can read more about their story here.

Since I already make delicious and nutritious smoothies every morning, I jumped at the chance to try ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™ for myself. And that's what I want to talk about in this post. First, I want to show you what's in this whole superfood powder, and then I want to share with you how I used it and what I thought.

*affiliate links are included at the end of this post.

As you can see from the image above, ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™ is an organic, plant-based, superfood powder. There are approximately 14 serving if you use 2 scoops of powder per serving.

It contains lots of essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals necessary for optimal health. Did you notice the 8 grams of fiber?! Now that's a great way to start the day!!! Ten grams of protein isn't bad either. No added sugar, too, which is a huge plus for me since I'm really trying to watch my sugar intake. 

Here, you can see the exact ingredients. I think it's interesting that the first ingredient is hemp powder. I actually have hemp powder in my fridge, since I sometimes add it to my smoothies for an extra health bonus. But THIS powder has SO much more! 

It smells nice, too. It has a sweet, earthy aroma, which makes me think of hemp and matcha powders mixed together.

You can really use this powder however you wish, but pictured above you will see the recommended recipe. I've used ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™ two different ways so far:
  1. I've been adding 1/2 scoop of powder to the smoothies I already make with my Nutribullet every morning.
  2. I've also followed the above recipe with just a couple of alterations. (I didn't use coconut oil in the smoothie, although I love using it for baking and tons of other stuff! I also added a little more liquid with almond coconut milk.)
Here's a video of how I make my everyday morning Nutribullet smoothie. (Please know that this was the first time for me to make and edit a video like this!)

Adding only 1/2 scoop to the smoothies I already make didn't change the taste much, if at all. It's a wonderful addition of healthy goodness!

Here's a much shorter video of following the recipe on the container.

I was expecting this recipe to taste quite a bit more earthy, but it tasted just fine. I liked it! This recipe will be great for when I run out of fresh, leafy greens and don't want to run to the store for more.

Overall, I really like ALL-IN SMOOTHIE powder and plan to keep on using it in my morning smoothies!

So, if getting healthier in 2019 is one of your goals, let me recommend something super simple: start each day with an ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™

To help you get started, ALL-IN SMOOTHIE is offering 10% off to my readers until the new year. Just use promo code BRANDIRAAE to receive 10% off your order. 

Order here.

*If you don't have some type of blending device, you can mix the ALL-IN powder with water or juice. OR you can order a nutribullet from Amazon for a great price!

I mentioned in the first video that you're supposed to switch up your greens to avoid alkaloid poisoning. Here is a link to the book I have that talks about that:

Disclosure: I received free product in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

The beautiful ALL-IN SMOOTHIE™ family. My friend is the one in the middle with the super cute toddler. :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How Do You Say Good Night? by Tommy Nelson Books {Book Review}

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How Do You Say Good Night? 
Written by Tommy Nelson Books
Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri


The sun is setting, and Zoey Zebra can't go to sleep until she finds out how other animals say good night. She searches across her African homeland to find out which way is best.

About the Book

Zoey Zebra encounters all kinds of animal families as she searches Africa for the best way to say good night. Lions, warthogs, and elephants - oh my! Plus ostriches, monkeys, and hippos - all the animals you'd expect to see on an African safari.

Besides enjoying a fun story and zany, cartoonish illustrations, kids will learn what different groups of animals are called. For example: a pride of lions, a herd of elephants, a troop of monkeys, and so on. Even I learned a thing or two! Children will also learn the different sounds animals make such as roaring, snorting, and squawking.

Not only is this book a fun way to prepare children for bedtime, but it's also a great way to help children celebrate differences. Children can follow along as each animal family says good night in a slightly different way. Some roar, some preen feathers, and some float in the lake. Some swing through trees, some spray off their backs, and on and on it goes.

However, the animals do share something in common - their love for each other and God. All of the animals spend time together and end their day by honoring God in some sort of way. Some sing, some read stories, and some give thanks.

In this book, some of the text rhymes, especially the parts where the animals answer Zoey Zebra's question, "How do you say good night?" Sections of text are also in different colors to distinguish between what Zoey says and does from what the animal families say and do.

In the end Zoey doesn't pick a favorite way to say good night. She thinks each good-night is great.

My Thoughts

I can't seem to say no to good-night picture books! I used to read to my kids all throughout the day, but bedtime reading was my favorite!

How Do You Say Good Night? is fun and silly, which is sure to be a hit with little ones! It would be super fun to use different voices for each animal family while reading aloud. I'm pretty sure my kids would have loved this book when they were little.

The message of the book is great for kids. It shows that there isn't necessarily one best way to do something. It's possible to appreciate others' differences while still treasuring your own routines and traditions.

After reading this story at bedtime, I think it would be fun to ask your own kids, "How do you say good night?"

If you and your kids like reading together at night, I recommend giving this book a look!

Book Rating: 5 stars.

Purchase the book here. 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, November 12, 2018

Literary Book Gifts {Guest Post & Coupon Code}

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Get ready to decorate the tree, stuff stockings, and sip hot apple cider! The holiday season is almost here; a time for gatherings between family and friends, baked ham, and of course, presents!

I don't know about you, but I am always on the hunt for new and interesting gift ideas. DIY gifts are great when you have the time. However, the holidays are so busy that I often think I'll be able to crochet a scarf but end up scrambling for a last minute gift.

In the spirit of literature and all things bookish, here are a few gift ideas that will bring a smile to any reader's face.

This The Secret Garden T-Shirt is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic. It's a simple vintage design that portrays the protagonist Mary in a garden. It comes in a cream print on many different color options.

As often as books begin, they always end. Great novels last forever in our hearts and minds but on paper we will always end up at the last pages sooner or later. This Tote Bag is an ode to all book endings. With a floral ivy design the writing 'The End' is clearly visible. This tote bag is a deep green color with black handles and lining. It comes in three sizes so you can choose just how many books you'd like to carry.

I love reading Charles Dickens during the holidays. We can all be reminded of why we should not be a Scrooge in a A Christmas Carol. His other novels such as Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby are great tales to read aloud over the fireplace, and stories the whole family can appreciate. This A Tale of Two Cities T-Shirt is perfect for any Dickens fan. If you peek very closely into the center of the image you can see the guillotine, a key aspect of the novel.

As a special discount for readers of Brandi Raae, the exclusive code BRANDIRAAE20 can be used checkout to receive 20% off on your entire order! There is no minimum to purchase and this coupon code does not expire.

Written by Melissa Chan, designer at Literary Book Gifts, and lover of all things bookish.

*This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission for purchases made through the links in this post. Thank you! (Please note that I do not make any commission from purchases made on the Literary Book Gifts website.)

Friday, November 09, 2018

Chocolate Chip Pie

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This pie is delicious and super simple to make. 

I pulled out my 20-year-old, handwritten Chocolate Chip Pie recipe from a friend the other day. I actually had all of the ingredients in my pantry to make for our church small group gathering. I hadn't made it in a long time, but now I remember how yummy it is!

If you like chocolate chip cookies, I'm guessing you will like this pie. :)

Again, it's SO simple to make.

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission for purchases made through these links. Thank you!

Early Black Friday Starts NOW - Up To 60% Off! Shop now!


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Refrigerated pie crust


Roll out crust and put in pie pan. I used a glass one. Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie shell. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 45 minutes is plenty for my oven. No need to cover edges of pie crust with foil since the pie is baked at a lower temperature.

Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for an extra sweet treat!

Would make a lovely addition to all of those yummy holiday pies. :)

T-fal 2pk Medallion Silicone Oven Mitt - image 2 of 2


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