Announcement and Giveaway!

Dear friend,

Happy Feast of Saints Anne and Joachim! On this special day I am so excited to be announcing Family Friday! On Friday’s I will be sharing with you some of our family favorites. These favorites will include ways to strengthen family life as well as items that have been really helpful for our own family. I will be sharing things like: 

  • Catholic family prayers and practices
  • Talks and homilies
  • Faith and human formation of children
  • Frequenting the Sacraments together as a family
  • Books related to family life
  • Children’s books
  • Family activities
  • Podcast episodes related to family life 
  • Recipes for a growing family 
  • Educational activities
  • Clothing for mamas (pregnancy, nursing, and kid-chasing friendly) 
  • Children’s clothing
  • Pregnancy and postpartum favorites
  • Home items
  • And so much more! 

I am so happy to be sharing this exciting news with you all! I am by no means a family expert, but I want to share my experiences and what has helped me in this journey of family life. Please feel free to email me at any time to let me know what has strengthened your family as I would love to learn from you too! Whether you are single, dating, engaged, married and/or have children we all can greatly benefit from learning from one another. Everyone comes from some type of family and don’t forget we all are a family as adopted sons and daughters of God!

“The problem with our world is that we draw the circle of family too small” St. Mother Teresa.

I do want to add that affiliate links may be used at times for certain items I mention for Family Friday’s. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. I was really debating using these types of links, but as I thought about it more I realized that I will be sharing links with you all anyway so it would make sense for them to be affiliate as there is no extra cost for you! This will also allow me to arrange more giveaways in the future! Thank you very much for your readership, love, and support! 

Family Friday Favorites for Friday, July 26th, 2019

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“What Could Be Better Than This?” by Linda Ashman

This is a children’s book about a beautiful story of a royal couple who fall in love and have a baby. In their single days the king and queen were seemly happy and lived exciting lives, yet they both yearned for something more. When they met each other they fell in love and got married. The king and queen thought they had everything: a castle, power, wealth, royal events, pretty much anything they could ever desire. Yet, they both felt there was still something missing. They leave their castle, power, and possessions to live in a little cottage far from the castle. They have a baby boy and the rest of the story marks a transformation in lives of the king and queen. By the end of this book I was in tears as it was such a beautiful story. I have never teared up at a children’s book. 

From the author Linda Ashman, “I wrote this book when Jackson [her son] was very small, still marveling at the miracle of parenthood (okay, I still do that). I’d hold him in my arms or look at his sweet sleeping face and hear the refrain ‘what could be better than this?’ To which the answer was always ‘nothing is better than this.’ As any parent will tell you, having a child is a transformative experience. Your priorities change; the center of the universe shifts to this tiny being who relies on you for everything. And who, eventually, takes your hand – and with slow, unsteady steps – shows you a brand new world. Actually, it’s the same imperfect world it always was, but you see it in an entirely different and magical way through the grace of your new tour guide.”

You can find Linda Ashman’s book What Could Be Better Than This? here.

Mystic Monk Coffee

This may come as a shock to you, but I don’t actually drink coffee (people call me crazy, but it makes me jittery). My husband however loves drinking coffee and Mystic Monk is his favorite! Mystic Monk Coffee began as a small group of Carmelite Monks in Wyoming were looking for a way to support their growing community. After much discernment and prayer the monks had the inspiration to start roasting coffee and selling the beans online. Each coffee bean is roasted with love and prayer. So, by purchasing from Mystic Monks Coffee you not only get a great cup of coffee, but you support the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming. The Monks also offer Mystica teas, hot cocoa options, and other hot beverage merchandise, which are wonderful options if you don’t want to order coffee. 

You can find the Mystic Monks Coffee website here.

Complete My Joy by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

This is an apostolic exhortation to the husbands and wives, mothers and fathers of the Diocese of Phoenix. This exhortation by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted urges fathers and mothers to commit themselves and their families to a deeper relationship with Christ. It was promulgated on December 30th, 2018 on Holy Family Sunday. My husband and I read it together and discussed the readings as we went. Bishop Olmsted’s writing in this exhortation is simple and easy to read, yet so profound! My husband and I greatly enjoyed reading it together. I highly recommend that you read it with your spouse if you are married. 

Here is a beautiful video about Complete my Joy that the Diocese of Phoenix created.

Complete my Joy is available for free online if you would like to read this apostolic exhortation. If you are like me and would like a physical copy of the exhortation you can find it here. Again, I would highly recommend two copies if you are married so that you can read it together with your spouse.

Family Prayer Guide by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

This is a companion to go along with Complete my Joy. The goal for this companion is “to foster a home-life where all members of your family learn who they are and thrive as children of God, disciples of Jesus Christ, and instruments of the Holy Spirit.” It features many practical ways to incorporate prayer into the life of your family and how to live out the Catholic faith within your home, a domestic church. The Family Prayer Guide is broken up into seven parts: family spirituality, prayer in the family, praying over and blessing your children, family ritual meal, celebrating the liturgical year in the home, learning from the saints, and family record. It is a great resource to have in your home.

You can find the Family Prayer Guide here. I don’t believe that it is available for free online.

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Giveaway

For this first Family Friday I would like to gift one of you with four family Friday favorites that our family has greatly enjoyed recently. This is my way of thanking you for being so kind, loving, and encouraging to me since beginning my blog. Here is what you can enter to win:

  1. One signed copy of What Could Be Better Than This? by Linda Ashman
  2. A $25 Mystic Monk Coffee e-giftcard
  3. Two copies of Complete My Joy by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted (one for you and one for your spouse or friend if you are not married)
  4. One copy of the Family Prayer Guide

To enter the giveaway please:

  1. Follow me on this blog if you haven’t already – at the bottom or side of this page (depending on which device you are using) you can enter your email address and click the button that says, “Follow.” 
  2. Comment one thing that has strengthened your family life whether you are single, dating, engaged, married and/or have children. If you are having a hard time thinking of something just comment, “Can’t wait for Family Friday’s!” which will count as an entry.

The giveaway ends the following Friday, August 2nd at Midnight EST. Winner will be notified by direct message or email.

Disclosure: Participants must reside in the U.S. and be 18 years of age or older. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with WordPress or any of the companies listed above. 

I cannot wait to share more family Friday favorites with you all! God bless!

With love,

Nina

+JMJ+

14 thoughts on “Announcement and Giveaway!

  1. Being intentional about sitting down together for dinner even when our schedules are hectic has strengthened our family life!

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    1. Thank you so much Mary Clare! The Family Prayer Guide is wonderful! I first heard about it from my spiritual director, but he got an advanced copy before it was available for the rest of the Diocese. Bishop Olmsted also speaks about it at the end of his exhortation. I emailed the diocese to see if they had any available and they did! After reading it I definitely wanted to share it with others 🙂

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  2. This is beautiful, Nina!! I think I’m going to buy “What could be better than this?” for someone who could really benefit from it. It sounds like an amazing book- thanks for sharing!

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  3. Saying a nightly rosary and prayers with my husband has been a wonderful constant in our marriage ❤️ Thanks for sharing some new resources, Nina!

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    1. What a special thing to do with your husband Emily! I am sure you find that you greatly look forward to that time with him everyday 🙂 So beautiful and thank you for sharing! I am excited and grateful to be able to share what I discover as well!

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  4. Nina I just love this blog! Our family is strengthened by keeping our faith and family first and always remembering that it’s Gods plan… through challenges, changes and life’s daily adventures.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂 I have been enjoying putting this blog all together. What a great way to strengthen your family! You are always at family gatherings, which shows first hand that you are giving great importance to our family. Even your love and support for me shines forth so beautifully! You all are in our prayers and I cannot wait to see you again (hopefully soon)! 🙂

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