This Gal’s Journey Re-Launch Giveaway!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to my new home! Isn’t it lovely??

A huge thanks to Johann at The Interface Studio for all his work behind the scenes setting it up! If you’re looking for someone to do quality hosting for your blog, send me a message because Johann has a great deal for you!

I am so excited about our new space here, and I’m looking forward to meeting with you here much more often!

Although this blog started 6 years ago, the past few years have been fairly hit or miss as our family has undergone so much transition. However, now that we are back, I plan to get back to writing here on a regular basis and reconnecting with all of you!

To celebrate the re-launch of This Gal’s Journey, I am so excited to announce this amazing prize! So many of my favorite people from around the web have donated some truly incredible prizes that one special reader will win!

Just take a look at all of these goodies:

 

 

From the super sweet Angie Tolpin from Courageous Mom, this adorable “I Love Being a Mom” t-shirt, AND access to her 11 Day Parenting Course!

Next up is a copy of Remembering You by Tricia Goyer

From our friends at Dayspring, a double prize pack—one for you and one for a friend! Each pack includes a copy of Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker, an adorable tea towel, a pencil case/pouch and a compact mirror with Colossians 3:14 on it.

Elisa Pulliam is giving one of you a PDF copy of her book, Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified, as well as access to her Online Impact Mentoring Course!

Ruth Schwenk—founder of The Better Mom—has a copy of her book!

Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker is giving you these gorgeous art prints!

 

The giveaway runs from September 18 – September 29 at midnight. Click the link below to enter!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

How to Make Christmas Truly Meaningful and FUN!

What comes to mind when you think of the Christmas season?

Joy? Reflection? Family?

Stress? Shopping? Pressure? Chaos? Is it over yet?

For those of us in the western world, Christmas seems to bring quite the hodgepodge of emotions, and conjure a myriad of thoughts and expectations. Particularly in the Pintrest-Crazy Internet Land, it can be easy to succumb to the notion that our homes must spotless, decorated to the nines and our children perfectly behaved and able to recite the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth from heart as well as sing Here Comes Santa Claus with the best of ’em.

My heart is racing just thinking of it all. The cooking, the shopping, the shipping of packages (and the trips to the post office it requires – gag me with a  spoon, please!), more cooking. Don’t forget the teacher gifts – handmade and all organic and fair-trade of course, the church play and those six dozen brownies we agreed to make for the class party at school. Anyone else beginning to feel like a zombie yet??

Yeah, me too.

That’s why a few years ago I was really searching for a way to make Christmas a truly meaningful time for our family. A time when we set aside the chaos that the busy-ness the season can bring and really focus on why we were celebrating. I was thrilled when I found an Advent curriculum complete with Bible readings, devotional thoughts, and even hymns to go with it! My little heart pitter-pattered as I envisioned our family circled around the fire, cocoa in hand, all listening quietly to the 50-verse Bible readings and then each one in turn offering a thoughtful insight. I’m talking revival right there in our living room!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Truth in the Tinsel GiveawayOh, sorry. It’s just that that particular curriculum required sitting still for more than five seconds.

Enter Truth in the Tinsel.

This is more than an curriculum – its an adventure!

It is designed to begin December 1, and you do one lesson, with a small craft, per day until Christmas. Before you’re eyes glaze over at the thought of a craft every.day., hear me out.

Amanda White, the creator of Truth in the Tinsel, created it when her kids were very small. She gets it. Not only has she lined out amazing, fun lessons, she’s made it as easy as possible for mom (and dad)! Each lesson has a short Bible reading, a short devotional thought and then the craft. There is even a hyperlink to the Bible verses, so you can just click through to read them if you’re not familiar or comfortable with flipping through a paper Bible.

There is also a master supply list for the crafts, as well as a daily list so you can easily look and see what you need for a particular day. She has also created a couple of different schedules. If every day is a bit overwhelming for you, you can just study the main characters. She has really taken all of the guess work out of really celebrating the Reason for Christmas.

Flexibility is the key here. If you don’t have the things for that day’s craft, no problem! Skip the craft, or use what you do have. Or, you can also download printable ornaments for each day. Print and color. Simple, no? (If you want to see more in-depth details about the lessons and crafts, check out the Manger Mondays tab at the top of this page.)

Perhaps the thing I love most about Truth in the Tinsel is how it instills in my children – and in myself – a deep understanding and connection to the Christmas story – the birth of Christ – and it’s meaning. My kids understand not only that Christmas is important, but why. And it was all done in about 20 minutes each evening, having fun.

*This post contains an affiliate link.

So You Want To Learn Irish? {GIVEAWAY}

****ENTRIES NOW CLOSED****

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CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER, COMMENTER #3: CRYSTAL B.!!

Whenever I post here or on Facebook about how we live our everyday lives through the medium of the Irish language, I always get loads of response. There’s a massive connection and draw for Americans to all things Irish. And the Irish language is no different. For some, they have no idea a language other than English is spoken here.

However, if you’ve ever listened to an Enya album, you’ve heard it and probably didn’t even realize it! (As a teenager I thought it was Latin! Ha!) Irish shows up in film after Hollywood film. In fact, there are some phrases in Irish uttered from the fox in Mary Poppins!

Granted, it is not the everyday language everywhere in the country. There are pockets around the country that are a bit like language reservations. It’s in these areas that Irish is the first language of most, with many children speaking little to no English before entering school.

We have invested a total of six years so far learning this beautiful language and we absolutely love it. Our kiddos are completely fluent, and we are fairly so. And I absolutely love introducing people to this lyrical, beautiful language.

So, imagine my excitement when I heard about an online company called Bitesize Irish Gaelic! They do online Irish lessons, with real, native speakers! How cool is that??

What’s more, they realize not everyone is in a place to sign up for a monthly subscription of lessons, so they have decided to create an album- “Learn Irish With Eoin” – that will teach you Irish to the point where you can hold a basic conversation. The album, which explains the concept to you in English, is created by Eoin (pronounced like Owen) who is a native Irish speaker and is fluent in the Irish (Gaelic) language.


The album is just over 16 hours long and includes lessons such as: learn-irish-with-eoin_3d-cd

  • Greetings and Introductions
  • Your First Conversation
  • Counting From 1 to 10
  • Greeting an Acquaintance
  • Countries and Nationalities


What I love about this album idea is that you can do the lessons when it suits you, where it suits you! The album is available on iTunes and is download-only which means you can listen to it absolutely anywhere.

Now the really exciting part!!

Bitesize Irish Gaelic have given me a copy of the album to giveaway to one of you awesome readers!! So if you’re interested in learning your ancestors’ native tongue, or just want to learn the beautiful Irish (Gaelic) language, be sure to enter!

Simply leave a comment below telling me what you would most love to learn in/about the Irish language!

You can earn more entries by sharing this giveaway on Twitter and Facebook. You will get one entry for each share (once for Twitter, once for Facebook). Be sure to come back and leave separate comments letting me know how you shared!

Entries will remain open until midnight EST, Tuesday, January 8.

A Wee Bit O’ Irish {GIVEAWAY!!} (updated)

***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED***

Congrats to our winners: Donna and Joyce! I have emailed you. 🙂

Living in rural Ireland, as you might imagine, can be just as idyllic as is sounds. Lush green hills, rugged coastline, lilting voices, vibrant music.

The area in which we live is a hotbed for culture, language and arts. Music, creativity, and arts of all genre – music, dance, painting, knitting, pottery, weaving, word crafting, and more – is highly valued. And celebrated. This area is renowned nation, and world, wide for it’s festivals, concerts and artsy vibe.

You’ve heard me talk many times about how much of our life happens over cups of tea and coffee; in a place where personal relationships still hold precedence over accomplishing tasks. And you’ve heard me mention numerous times about our favorite little cafe which we frequent.

What you might not know is that that amazing little cafe is located in the back of an entire craft village! This village houses several artisans all creating and selling their wares. One of our favorite shops, and one of the favorites of those who come to visit us, is An Spailpín Fánach (translates to The Migrant Worker).

This shop started selling badges (lapel pins) 30+ years ago. They traveled around in their caravan selling these Irish-Language badges at festivals, concerts and summer language camps. Over the years they have expanded their inventory to home decor, t-shirts, cards, stickers, etc.

Tourists love this shop because they can take home a piece of the culture – and language – to stump show their friends. He he. Locals love this shop because they can give gifts that reflect their heart language, and support local business.

Well, An Spailpín Fánach has just launched their new website and its worldwide! That means that you can now get a piece of their awesomeness without the expense of a transatlantic ticket! I mean, just look at some of these gorgeous items:

How gorgeous are these throw cushion covers?

Celtic Spiral cushion covers

Celtic Spiral cushion covers

You can also get some great Irish music!

Rosin Elsafty - a truly silky smooth voice carrying lilting tunes. Oh, and I know her. She's full of awesome.

Rosin Elsafty – a truly silky smooth voice carrying lilting tunes. Oh, and I know her. She’s full of awesome.

There’s much, much more on their site. You simply must go check them out! One thing I love is that they are the only Irish-language merchandise shop online that is fully bi-lingual! That’s right, you can experience their site in full Irish, or English! Seriously. It’s rad.

Now, the very best part! An Spailpín Fánach has generously donated two t-shirts for two of our awesome readers to win!! We have one of these:

Irish Place-name T-shirt

Irish Place-name T-shirt

This regular-fit tee has place names of Irish cities and towns in Irish, in the shape of a map of Ireland! We have one of these in this lovely moss green color, size XL to giveaway!

And we have one of these:

"Miss Happy" fitted tee

“Miss Happy” fitted tee

This adorable teal fitted tee donning “Ms. Sona Sasta” (Ms. Happy) in teal. We have one of these in size L to give away!

There are many ways to enter:

* MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit An Spailpín Fánach online. Leave a comment telling me which item from their website you like the most.
* Easy entry for all An Spailpín Fánach fans on Facebook!
* Easy entry for all This Gal’s Journey fans on Facebook!
* Follow me on Twitter.
* Subscribe to This Gal’s Journey via email or RSS.
* Tweet about this giveaway (do this once a day!) You can copy and paste this into your tweet: Win a wee bit o’ Irish loot from @thisgalsjourney ! 
* Share this giveaway on Facebook/Pintrest/Your blog.

Simply leave a separate comment for each entry you complete. Be sure to leave me your email address in your comments (you can write your email in this format: name at hotmail dot com). I will then use a random number generator to pick the two winners!

Entries close at midnight EST, Tuesday, December 11.

Open to US/CAN residents only.
Good luck, and have fun gettin’ your Irish on!

I’ve linked this post up with The Better Mom, Time Warp Wife

First Birthday Bonanza!

Image by findstuff22

It’s so crazy that This Gal’s Journey is one year old today!! This year has been both extremely long, and insanely fast! I have so loved this first year of blogging, and have been so blessed by your conversations, friendship and support! I love having a place where I can share my heart and soul and you all have been so gracious with it!

I appreciate your patience as well, as things have been a bit quiet around here the past couple of weeks. They will pick back up again at the end of July, but until then, I’d like to invite you to join me for a little birthday celebration! I wanted to show my appreciation to you all for helping make the first year here at This Gal’s Journey so great! To help me celebrate, some very generous blog friends have given some great gifts for YOU! Let me show them to you!

Tricia Goyer has so graciously offered not one but THREE copies of her amazing novel, Songbird Under a German Moon! It’s a riveting story set in post-World War II Germany! You’ll love it, I know I did!

Daniele Evans, of Domestic Serenity, is giving one copy of her eBook, Honoring the Rhythm of Rest. You know how I feel about rest, folks!! You don’t want to miss out on this one!

Ashley Schnarr, of Stay At Home Daughter, is giving us a copy of her book KeepingHouse…While Keeping Sane along with a CD! I don’t know about you, but housekeeping can drive me a bit crazy at times!

Kara Chupp, of The Chuppies, has an amazing gift for you all! A set of 5×7 prints of monthly nature prints. You can see an example of these prints here.

You can enter by clicking the link below to get to the Rafflecopter form. The contest will close at midnight Friday, July 13. Winners will be announced Saturday, July 14.

Spread the word, have fun, and thanks for a great year!!

Click here!! ——> a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m linking up with Time Warp Wife, The Better Mom

Hope for The Weary Mom Review and GIVEAWAY!!

***This giveaway is now closed***

Are you a mom? Or do you know a mom – Particularly one with kids still at home?

Weary? Worn down? Need some encouragement and hope from other moms who’ve been there are there?

I was so excited when I heard about the eBook Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess! What started as an awesome blog series is now a fabulous eBook! When I got the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance!

This book is full of stories from real moms Brooke McGothlin from the MOB Society (Mothers of Boys) and Stacey Thacker from The MOD Squad (Mothers of Daughters) of real life frustrations, times of struggle, and confusion, even heartbreak. Stacey and Brooke don’t stop there, though. They offer hope from God’s Word, and their own experiences, of how God meets us right in the messiness of Motherhood to build up, strengthen and refine.

I especially related to the chapter, “Why You Can’t Live at the Spa,” as a refreshing day spent alone this week just wasn’t enough to carry me through even that very evening with grace, patience and poise.

One of my favorite features of this book is the section at the end full of Scriptures for the Weary Mom. It’s a handy, quick reference guide to so many life-giving drinks of Water from His Word.

If you are a mom, weary down in the trenches of diapers, laundry, marriage balancing, work, and more I highly recommend this book! It is written in such a way that you can eat a chapter a day as part of your devotional times, or read as a traditional book. The discussions questions at the back make it super easy to use with a mom/toddler group, too! This book would also make a great gift for the new mom in your life!

If I was going to change/add anything, it would be to put who wrote each chapter either at the beginning or end of each chapter. Since it was a collaboration between Brooke and Stacey, I would’ve loved to have known who I was reading with each story.

And now to the really fun bit!! Brooke and Stacey have graciously offered to give one of YOU a free copy of Hope for the Weary Mom!!

Simply leave a comment and tell me your biggest need as a weary mama! The winner will be chosen randomly and announced next Wednesday, April 11! You can enter before midnight EST Tuesday, April 10. One entry per person, please! (Comment moderation is on, so don’t flip if your comment doesn’t show up right away 😉 )

I received a free copy of Hope for the Weary Mom for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated in anyway, and the opinions expressed above are my very own straight from my heart to yours.

I’m linking up with Women Living Well, The Better Mom, Growing Home

Baby Days Celebration!!

I’m taking a break from the Manic Monday series to announce a really fun celebration happening over at One Fun Mom. In honor of her childhood friend’s first baby, she’s doing a fun Baby Days series throughout the rest of October and all of November!!

There will be some great giveaways (ahem…Moby Wrap anyone?? — I know, right?!?)! Also, I will be guest posting along the way, so check back here often for the low down on that!

Why not head on over to One Fun Mom now, and spread the word! Let’s not hog all the fun for ourselves!

Baby Days

I’ve linked up with
Growing Home

The Better Mom Launches Today!!

I’m so excited to announce that a new site for Moms is launching today over at The Better Mom ! Whether you’re a new mom, an experienced mom, single or married, there will be something for you here! There’s an amazing group of contributors over there and I’m humbled that I get to be one of them! I will be posting there once a month!

This week, to celebrate the launch, there are going to be some amazing giveaways! Be sure to head over there and check it out, and be sure to tell your friends!

If you’re looking for today’s Manic Monday post, just scroll down and you’ll find it. 🙂
I’ve linked this post up with