🌿 New Mommy Giveaway 🌿

🌿 GIVEAWAY TIME 🌿 


I have teamed up with 8 amazing mamas to give one New Mommy some of our favorite items!!!

▪️Winner will receive: DockATot Grand, Solly Baby Wrap, Eggie-bb Teether, Jellycat stuffed bunny, Ryan & Rose paci clip, Ollie Baby swaddle, and Gathre changing mat 💕

▪️The giveaway is simple ▪️ head over to my Instagram and…

1. Like the picture

2. Tag your mama friends in separate comments 🙌🏼

3. Follow me @courtney.tracy and head over to @brooklynnpitts to follow and like all photos until you’re back at me!

▪️Head to the next mama, and when you get back to me, you’re done!! Good luck 😘

▪️Giveaway closes on 6/9 at 10pm central and winner will be announced no later than 6/12.  This is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram terms of use.

Blog Hop GIVEAWAY!

 I am SO excited about this giveaway for you! I have teamed up with several wonderful businesses and artists to bring you an assortment of goodies you are going to love this summer!

Before I jump into what is up for grabs in MY giveaway, you must know about the 8 OTHER giveaways that are all happening right now. To see each gift up close, and to enter to win, visit each site to fill out the entry forms. It’s possible you could win more than ONE!

When you visit each blog take a look around. This is a great list of amazing bloggers, and I know you’ll love each one of them. These precious bloggers (who all love Jesus!) are tearing the blog world UP with their commitment to helping women know God more, serve their families well, and be encouraged on the journey. Plus, their giveaways are AMAZING, so make sure you enter to win their giveaways, too!

**Click any AND ALL of these links to enter to win the incredible giveaways going on at each of these fabulous sites!**

1. Happy Home Fairy // 2. Ale & Tere // 3. The Littles and Me // 4. Erika Dawson – Faithful Moms // 5. Filled with the Word // 6. The Olive Tree Blog // 7. The Purposeful Mom // 8. Meaningful Mama // 9. Frugal Coupon Living

Without further ado, here is what is up for grabs in MY giveaway!I am so excited to bless one lucky mama with some of my favs.

Here’s my list of giveaway goodies:

  1. @reagantwentyfive “Can I Get A Hallelujah?” black razor tank top – size small
  2. @wholeloveorganics organic bug repellant and lip balms (made with EO’s and other organic products!)
  3. @amethystlane clothing boutique $15.00 e-giftcard
  4. @themixshopping “Ain’t No Shame in the Mom Bun Game” coffee cup
  5. Starbucks $10.00 giftcard
  6. “Trust God to Provide” 10×6 wall or shelf decor (from my home to yours!)

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What do you think?!

Would you like to win all of these amazing prizes?!

To Enter This Giveaway subscribe to my blog then head over to my Instagram:

1. Follow me @courtney.tracy

2. Like the giveaway post photo 

3. Tag a mama friend!

That’s it!! HAVE FUN and GOOD LUCK!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (apologies to my sweet international readers!). The giveaway will end at 12:00 am on Monday, May 29 (EST). A winner will be selected shortly after and notified by e-mail. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a second winner will be chosen. Thank you for being a part of this fun giveaway!

I can’t wait to see who wins! Make sure to HOP to the other blogs and make some new, inspiring friends!

**Click the links below to learn more about these amazing bloggers!**

Julie Brasington is the wife of a South Florida Worship Pastor and mom of 2 boys. She writes at Happy Home Fairy where you can find easy craft ideas, FREE printables, simple recipes, corny jokes, holiday fun, thoughts on raising kids, and encouragement for moms.

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Teresa (Tere) from Ale & Tere is married to her high school sweetheart and they have three beautiful babies. They recently moved their family from sunny South Florida to the suburbs of Nebraska and are documenting their travel experiences, parenting journey, growing faith and pieces of their everyday life. You can find Teresa with a baby on her lap, homeschooling her five year old, chasing after a mischievous pooch and drinking cold coffee (because she never gets to it in time). Teresa’s hope is to encourage other moms to embrace motherhood in all of it’s beautiful and chaotic splendor and to always always always point others to Christ!

Ashley is the wife of her entrepreneur husband, Philip, and mama to two sweet girls. She’s also the arts and crafts lover, blocks builder, everyday celebrator, and mama encourager behind The Littles and Me—where she shares kids activities, simple ideas for family fun and encouragement for mamas. She believes in celebrating everyday moments, the power of play and spreading freshly squeezed joy along the way!

Faithful Moms – nurturing faith and faithfulness in our hearts and homes. Written by Erika Dawson

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A wife and mother after God’s heart, FilledWithTheWord tends to the hearts of women of all ages and shines a bright light to the Gospel of Jesus Christ while providing encouragement to all through the sweet promises that God has for His people. Courtney can’t wait to meet you right where you’re at and follow along!

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Christina married a music man, who also happened to be her high school sweetheart. Together they have four children and one crazy labrador. She blogs about faith, family, travel, baking, cooking, and everyday life. She blogs at The Olive Tree.

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At The Purposeful Mom, Jenn seeks to equip women to be strengthened in their faith, teach their children truth and grace, create a peaceful home (so they can keep the urgent from crowding out the important), and live purposefully without the pressure to be perfect.
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Parenting isn’t easy, but it’s so important. Meaningful Mama is a corner of the web that inspires an intentional and creative family life. While keeping it real, Jodi provides practical activities, tips and stories that encourage moms.
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Stretching your pennies, while saving your daughters. Frugal Coupon Living is a daily lifestyle blog featuring handpicked deals for fashion, recipes, crafts, coupons and more. Behind the scenes, Ashley Langston is a DC-metro blogger on the hunt for current trends and hot deals. As seen on Dr. Phil and the Rachael Ray Show.

Waiting For What’s Next


Do you have a time and place you like to sneak away to so you can reset? Clear your head? For me that’s outside. Last night after it taking an abnormally long time to lay C down, I snuck off to the edge of the dock. I just sat down, listened to the waves, the sounds of the birds, the wind. And I started to pray. I have been feeling more anxious lately about what is “next”. There have been some pretty exciting opportunities come up over the last few months, but God has placed me in a season of waiting.

As I was praying, I asked (like always lately) for Him to clearly SHOW me. Show me what it is He wants me to do next. But as I was praying, God breathed new life into my prayer. He changed my SHOW me to THANK you. He changed my anxiousness to gratefulness. He transformed my “show me what’s next” to “help me to be thankful for where you’ve placed me right now”. God reminded me that in all things, in all seasons, He is using every corner or dead end in our little life to change our direction and grow in obedience to walk faithfully with Him. And sometimes that means waiting. And sometimes that means unanswered prayers. And sometimes that means patience. And all times, that means trust.

One of the opportunities I have been waiting on is the chance to be a contributing writer for a blog for mom’s in the Twin Cities I love. I was able to grab coffee one morning with the owner of the blog about 2 months ago after she had stumbled across my Instagram and reached out to me. She shared some exciting options of how I could be involved with the blog! More than anything, I got to connect with another mom, doing her very best to be the best mom, wife, friend, coworker, blogger she can be for other moms, and I was so excited and eager to learn more. But as I  searched for a writing sample to submit for the contributing writer app, I came across my post titled “The Maze of Life” I wrote shortly after C was born. I was humbly reminded of the sweet words God used through Elizabeth George’s book I read in bible study last year titled, “Loving God with all your Mind”. As I reread my post, I was encouraged and reminded that God’s timing and faithfulness to us is perfect. No matter if He’s providing answers immediately or allowing us to go through a time of unanswered prayers and waiting, we can and SHOULD trust in God and know that His purpose for our lives is already lived out in Christ. We don’t have to fret about what’s coming next, because He already knows. He wants us to enjoy the good gifts that He’s giving us RIGHT now!

If you’re in a place of waiting, a holding period, at a seemingly dead end, BE there. Allow God to give you peace in your heart knowing He’s got all the details already figured out. He knows what’s next. He wants you to be present and enjoy the goodness of where and who He’s placed in front of you NOW! So take a few minutes to reset and SEE how much goodness God has provided for you RIGHT now, RIGHT where you’re at friends!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:4-7 🌿

-C

Superfoods Energy Bites


Happy Tuesday friends! I absolutely love Dana’s Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Granola Bars over at Minimalist Baker, but wanted to make energy bites instead this week for a quick and easy breakfast or snack around the house. So, I made this recipe my own by tweaking some of the amounts and adding in a few ingredients to create these quick and easy Dates and Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites! 

To make these you will need:
* 1 cup packed dates, pitted

* 1/2 cup honey (sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)

* 1/2 cup almond butter (if unsalted, add a healthy pinch sea salt)

* 1 cup raw nuts (such as pecans and almonds)

* 2 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)

* 1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (dairy free to keep vegan)

* 1 tbsp chia seeds

* 2 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides 

* Coconut flakes (optional) 

Directions:

1. Pit and blend dates in food processor or Vitamix until dates form a large ball. Don’t overblend them or they will get too sticky to work with.
2. Add honey + AB to small sauce pan and heat up just to warm and mix. 

3. In a large mixing bowl combine dates, oats, chia seeds, nuts, chocolate chips, Collagen Peptides.

4. When Honey and AB is warmed, mix and add to bowl. 

5. Blend all ingredients with a wooden spoon until combined.

6. With a small ice cream scoop or hand, roll combined ingredients into small balls. Can roll them into coconut flakes. 

7. Place balls in air tight container in fridge when not enjoying them! 
That’s it! These energy bites are quick to make and also quick to eat when you’re on the go or in a hurry! 

Enjoy my friends!

-Courtney 

Valentine’s Day Read Alouds and Craft Ideas!


Being a former teacher, I absolutely loved the month of February (and still do). February is “I love to read month,” and  also black history month, then there was the 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day, and President’s day! There was always something exciting to talk about next, and this winter month always seemed to go by fast because of that. I still get excited to take out my monthly read aloud stories and read them to my smaller audience here at home (which I love and means so much more with my own baby), and I hope one day C will love the excitement of new stories every month too! 💗♥️ 

We’ve been reading a handful of Valentine’s themed books over the past week and a half. These are some of my favorites, but I think my most favorite out of this bunch is “Love Monster and the Perfect Present”. One other book that I need my own copy of is “Love Splat,” which is a super cute Valentine’s Day story also that touches on showing someone you love them even more so than in physical gifts. One thing I loved about children’s literature is that there are great messages in children’s books and insights we can all glean from them. Below is a list recapping some of these stories, along with a craft idea you can do with your little ones after reading Love Monster and Love Splat. I did both with my students last year, and both might’ve been my favorite art projects we did all year! 😊 Happy Saturday everyone! 

Love Monster and the Perfect Present by: Rachel Bright

This story is about a little monster who is on the search for the perfect present to give to the girl monster he admires. What he finds while on his search ends up becoming so much more meaningful than any gift a store could offer. 

Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool by: Kimberly and James Dean

Pete the Cat is a wonderful series that children love. Pete is a funny cat, and similar to Love Monster, Pete is trying to figure out the perfect gift for a friend. This turns in to making the perfect gift not only for his friend, but for his other classmates, his teacher, the bus driver, crossing guard, and even his mom 😊. I love that this story emphasizes the importance of finding all the little ways others around us show they love and care for us every day and celebrating them and showing appreciation for them. 

Arthur’s Valentine by: Marc Brown

This is a fun story about Arthur trying to figure out who his secret admirer is. He tries to figure out if it’s Fern, Sue Ellen (who he hopes it is 😊), or his best friend Buster trying to play a prank on him. This is an exciting and slightly suspenseful story to read aloud to with your babes!

Olive My Love by: Vivian Walsh

This is such a sweet story of a little pup, Olive, on the search to return a special gift, a lost heart. As she searches for the owner, she meets many characters along the way that show her what it truly means to give someone all of their love. “Olive my love”… “all of my love” you and your babes will love this sweet story, and again, with a much deeper message behind it! 😊💗

Love, Splat by: Rob Scotton

Splat the Cat is another popular series like Pete the Cat. They are funny stories and children really like them. In this story, Splat is trying to win over his admirer, Kitten, from his class. Although, he’s not the only one! His rival, Spike, is also seeking the love of Kitten. This funny tale will make you laugh and keep you on your toes wondering if Splat’s heartfelt valentine will win Kitten over in the end! 

Craft fun after story time

Below are examples of two art projects you could do with your kiddos after reading Love, Splat or Love Monster. I also linked my pins on Pinterest to find step by step details to create these projects below the picture. The one part that young ones would need most help with is writing out their example of what love is, which you could easily write in for them after they told you their idea! They may also need help with cutting and gluing, depending on their age, so that may require a little more prepping beforehand for you. These projects just turn out SO cute afterwards, so a little extra prep up front is worth it! Enjoy and have FUN!  

Love, Splat Craft
Love Monster Craft 
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day everyone! 💗♥️

-C

pursuing minimalism

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Photo by Kimberly Williams Photography

2017 is here! A new year, new goals, new resolutions, new opportunities, new mindsets. I have always loved the refreshment that comes with the start of a new year. This time of year I always get the urge to do a total purge of my house around too, getting rid of all the clutter that has mounted up throughout the year (or years). That is one thing I am continually finding more enjoyment out of as I get older… having LESS STUFF! I am trying to become more of a minimalist- but have a looooong way to go. Truly living minimally is hard! Having less and being genuinely happy with less is totally countercultural and seemingly unproductive. BUT- I feel like God has slowly worked this idol out of my heart of my love for things. Yes, I still love a good pair of shoes. Yes, I still want C to have nice toys and books to read… but I’ve found more and more, I’m holding these things more loosely. It’s okay if I don’t have this or that every time we walk into a store- unless that store is named Starbucks, then it’s inevitable I will walk out with something. 🙂

As I think and pray about goals I want to pursue in the new year, simplify was a word that kept circulating. I want this word to cover all aspects of this coming year- whether that’s the amount of stuff we have in our home, the type of home we live in, and the things we fill up our time doing (or not doing) throughout this new year. I am quite notorious for saying yes too much and cramming in every little thing, just to make sure I don’t disappoint others or myself. More often than not, I catch myself feeling inadequate or purposeless if I don’t feel like I have my hand on everything. I have had to remind myself that trying to please everyone can also be an idol of the heart. Galatians 1:10 says

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

God’s truth reminds me here that if I spend this year seeking the approval of others, I will not be serving Him. I think I’ll also find myself to be more stressed and tired. So, I think there is more to this minimalism thing than just the amount of stuff we have in our homes. I think God, at the core, wants us to see more than anything the simplicity in serving only Him. Finding contentment in the minimalism of pursuing and loving only Him… not our stuff, not the idols that weigh our hearts down and make us lose our focus on Him.

So, this year I am going to try and simplify. I’m going to pursue minimalism- on the exterior and interior, stripped away of all the ‘stuff’ and filled with the life-giving word of God. Filled with the hope that His son Jesus offers us. Filled with thankfulness for the minimal and seeing the beauty of contentment in what I do have. Spending more of that thankfulness being present with my family and my God.

What are your goals and resolutions in 2017? Have you prayed about it? Maybe God is calling you to take away and simplify things for you this year too instead of adding more. I’d love to hear your goals and aspirations below! Happy New Year!

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Photo by Kimberly Williams Photography

 

failure by default

dsc01040yesterday after getting back from bible study I had a major bad mom moment. like, horrifying. like, I went in to grab my water bottle before going on a walk with C and Scout and forgot to put the lock on the stroller with our baby in stroller and finding baby in stroller across the street tipped over on its side in the grass. it was a terrifying and helpless feeling as I sprinted across the street to my crying baby. initially I was so focused on making sure C was okay that I really had no reaction. then the relief came as I learned she was okay, (praise God!) just very scared. almost immediately a woman who was at the park across from our house came to make sure we were okay and began consoling me. that’s when the tears started to swell. it had finally sunken in how miserably i had failed our daughter. how i had failed at my job as her comforter, protector, provider in that moment.

a surge of what ifs and could haves started whirling through my mind as I held C and listened to her calm down in my arms. and in that moment God gave me the power of His amazing truth that I so desperately needed to hear. Philippians 4:8 says,

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

as my mind started going down a destructive path, God reminded me that He tells us to think on things that are TRUE and REAL. and in that moment, I needed to remind myself that God had protected her, she’s safe, she’s unharmed, and she got very scared. even still, throughout that entire day I struggled with running over different scenarios in my head that were not true and my mind would move on to thinking about the next horrible injury she could’ve gotten after I would rule one out.

today reminded me of something very humbling and very important. I am a failure by default. I am a sinner. I will never be the perfect, flawless mother to C. we has parents will never be able to perfectly parent our children, despite our best efforts. I will fail her as a mother throughout her life in one way or another. but the good news that fills my heart with so much peace is that in my weakness, God intercedes. He fills my gaps, and then some. God is always caring, protecting, watching over, loving, and providing for our babies even when we fail to. and that He will always do a better job at all of those things more than I ever could. this is a humbling realization. I am deeply thankful to serve a God like that! I am grateful that

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
  they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. -Lamentations 3:22-23

stay filled with the word friends,

-C