My WAHM Plan

Three easy ways to give back to your community on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is my third year as an ambassador #GivingTuesday,  the global day of giving back to our community, or the world depending on which causes and organizations you choose to support. My family and I choose to support globally during most of the year, but during the holidays, we love to give our support locally. Read on for my three easy ways to give back starting today.


#GivingTuesday


1. Donate Funds:
The first way we give is by putting a donation in nearly every Salvation Army bell ringers collection. Sometimes it’s just the change in our hands from our recent shopping trip. Other times we give a more meaningful amount, it really depends on where we are in our lives. Every little bit helps!  We smile and thank  the volunteers who are out in all sorts of weather promoting the Salvation's Armies promise to America to “Do the most good”. Our daughters, now in their teens,  have watched us do this so often over the years, that now they reach in their purse or pockets to see what they can give as well. This makes us very proud parents because we never asked them to give, they want too.  If you would like to learn more about volunteering this holiday season as a bell ringer, please visit www.ringbells.org where you can do a search to find local volunteer opportunities. 


2. Donate Food:
Feeding America #GivingTuesday
source

The second way we give is by supporting local food banks. The need is greatest this time of year, second only to summer when kids are out of school. The idea of not having enough food is a scary and growing situation on our country.  It’s hard to fathom that 42 million people in America face hunger each day- that’s 1 in every 8 Americans!  Sadly, school age children are the most severely affected by hunger. 
One of the easiest ways to help is to look for a collection bin at your local grocery store and put one of your BOGO’s in it all year. If you have the resources, perhaps you can adopt a family in need off of the giving tree in your community.  My local stores have them up all season. If your grocery store doesn’t, just look up your local food bank at Feeding America  and ask what they need.  


3. Donate Time:

Volunteer #GivingTuesday
source

Last but certainly not least, we want to help seniors in our community this year. I’m contacting a local assisted living community today to see how we might help brighten residents days. Simple acts like visiting for 30 minutes, smiling and saying hello to each resident we see, writing greeting cards for a hallway of residents, giving out free hand massages since I’m an Avon lady.
If you don’t have an assisted living center in your community, contact your local senior center or visit the National Center on Aging  which has a wealth of resources to help you plug in and help.


More Ways to help:

find local events #GivingTuesday

My three ways of helping may not be the best fit for you, so I invite you to visit the #GivingTuesday website where you can find countless ways to get involved today, next month or next year.

 Freebie:

The one thing you can give freely, multiple times a day is your smile. It costs you nothing, but to the receiver it may mean everything, especially in our social media savvy world! Look up from those phones when you are in public and Smile! Speaking of smiling- are you following me a.k.a. ismilefirst on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? I'd love for you to join me! 


Please share in comments: Which way do you and your family help give back to your community?

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Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm taking a few days off for Thanksgiving, so I wanted my post for the week to be a fun one, so here is a giveaway for subscription box lovers. This post does contain an affiliate link, so I may receive a small payout depending on your participation. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog! I am thankful for each and every one of you. 


Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!

Our friends at Groovy Lab in a Box are hosting a sweepstakes where you can win a one-year subscription! All you have to do is type in your email address, and you are entered. Read on for details!



About Groovy Lab:

Groovy Lab in a Box, the award-winning educational kits about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is presented in partnership with Popular Mechanics for kids. Their STEM subscription box is interactive, hands-on and incorporates scientific inquiry and the engineering design process. Science made FUN for kids ages 8+.



About Groovy Labs Subscription Boxes:


Groovy Lab subscription boxes

Each month, they send out a themed box filled with investigations that are fun and hands on. The investigations culminate into an Engineering Design Challenge, where your STEMists must apply what they've learned from the investigations (and use their critical thinking skills) to complete the challenge. 

 Unique Gift Giving Idea for kids on your list:

The boxes contain everything you need to complete all of the activities, including a groovy retro-themed lab notebook. The box activities are supplemented with their Beyond...in a Box web portal where your children will find videos, interactives and additional activities. Head over to Groovy Lab in a Box's website to learn more about this great service! 



Win It:


Win a One-Year Subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!

Click here to enter to win a one-year subscription from Groovy Lab in a Box!


Sweepstakes ends 12/18/2016; 11:59 pm EST. 

Good luck! We hope you win!

From our house to yours- we wish you a happy, safe and fun Thanksgiving!

Please share in comments: If you won, who would you give this gift too?

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Nourishing Meals- 365 Whole foods recipes book review

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My husband and I love to cook good, wholesome meals for our family of four, but lately, we’ve fallen into a bit of a mealtime rut.  We both agree that adding more fall vegetables and good for you grains was a must- but even those small changes didn’t feel like quite enough to get us back on a healthy eating track. While working online one day, a cookbook title caught my eye- Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre (husband and wife) and I thought this would be a great way to add fresh ideas to our meal planning.



Read on to learn about Nourishing Meals 365 Whole foods, allergy free recipes for healing your family one meal at a time


Nourishing Meals book cover



Clearly this book was written for those who are trying to eat better, I expected that from the title. What I didn’t expect was that all those inviting meals I’d seen on the cover were really gluten-free, dairy-free and soy free dishes. Nobody in my family has a dietary restriction, so you may be wondering why I would select this type of cookbook. It was the promise to help me ditch the processed foods one allergy-free meal at a time that grabbed me and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve learned so far.




Nourishing Meals offers 365 whole foods, allergy-free recipes for healing your family one meal at a time. I’m educating myself, or rather, re-educating myself while reading this cookbook, starting off with the preface-   7 steps to sustainable dietary change. These are do-able steps that aren’t meant to be hurried through, or done all at once. The author’s idea is restorative nourishment, which can gently and gradually nurture our systems until unhealthy foods and habits naturally fade away.



My family and I are spending more time on step one, which is Add more vegetables. We know we eating vegetables is good for us. Our parents told us to eat our vegetables when we were kids and chances are if you are a parent- you are saying it to your kids now. Sometimes though, it can be challenging to get kids to eat their veggies. Never fear, this book is loaded with tips- from pregnancy through childhood- on how to deal with and prevent picking eating behaviors. 




You are invited into recipe chapters during the 7 steps. For instance, in step 1, there is a Smoothie chapter that can aide in getting kids to eat their veggies. look at the tasty Chickpea vegetable curry recipe highlighted in the photo above. Doesn't that look like a delightful way to eat more vegetables?


Step 2 talks about making your own salad dressings while step three- (where I am this week) discusses the importance of replacing processed grain foods with whole foods. In this step, the recipes I’d like to try are Fluffy Cashew Pancakes and Chicken Breakfast sausages.



Another chapter I’ve found very helpful and timely is Packing a healthy lunchbox. Now that my daughters are teenagers, they pack their own lunches. Keeping a variety of good for them lunch foods on hand can be daunting, so I’m thankful for the fresh ideas in this chapter. With their easy to read lunch and snack lists, I can just turn to this chapter and make my shopping list, choosing what I know my kids will eat. Same goes for my husband’s lunchbox. He’s always pleasantly surprised when I add celery stalks or pepper slices to his lunch, and now I’m armed with even more healthy lunchbox ideas.



If one of your goals is to feed your family healthy, nourishing, tasty meals, I am happy to suggest this all-inclusive book. I’ve learned so much already in the short time I’ve had it.  I’m educating myself on why living a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free lifestyle is perfect for some and that it may not be perfect for me and mine- it is always good to know the WHY behind each choice. The next time I am hosting a dinner or sleep over and learn that one of our guests does have a food allergy, I will be better equipped to cook and serve them food that tastes good and is nourishing to them. 



Another great part of this book is how hands on it helps you become. Check out this cool DIY recipe for homemade herbed sea salt on the Nourishing Meals Facebook page. 


DIY homemade herbed sea salt Nourishing meals
Source

Learn More: 

I invite you to learn more about the authors by visiting their website and by following them on Facebook and Twitter.  



I highly recommend this book and will keep this book as an eating healthier recourse and may even gift a copy or two this holiday season. You can purchase a copy today on Amazon




Please share in comments- Do you or somebody in your family have a food allergy? How has that impacted the way you cook?


Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions stated are my own. 


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Maximize your shopping trips for a stress-free holiday season

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We have finally reached November, and with that we welcome in the holiday season. For most of us, that means GO time. We take out our planners and phones and we start juggling. We vow that this year, we will wag more, and bark less! We promise we will be one cool-as-a-cucumber, organized lady from now until New Year’s Day! And then reality sets in and we start to feel a little less confident in our superwoman capabilities! Even more so if we have LBL (light bladder leakage), which can cause an entirely different type of stress altogether. 

This is a sponsored post for Acorn Influence. All opinions are my own. 



Maximize shopping trips list



I’ve touched on LBL a time or two in the past here on my blog because I feel it is such an important topic that shouldn’t be taboo. Over the course of this year, I’ve experienced LBL while doing strenuous gardening, to my dismay, and also when making myself wait too long to find a restroom. I kept telling myself, I’ll get just one more item off my list and then I’ll break for the bathroom. Sound familiar?



One shopping trip to @Walmart and I'm done! #ad #PoiseLinerLove


Since then, I’ve devised a new way of shopping. Armed with my master shopping list (that my family helps keep current), I decide what local store would have most, if not all, of the items on that list. More often than not, I find myself shopping at my local Walmart. Not only does most Walmart’s have two convenient bathrooms at the front and rear of the store; I love that I can pick up lettuce for a salad, boot socks for the kids, a holiday card and my newest accessory, Poise Microliners, all in one shopping trip. 


Another tip I’ve started implementing is writing out my shopping list in the order I’ll find products in the store. So worth the prep time when you don’t have to walk all the way through a store again for a forgotten item! That’s saves me time, which helps me be stress-free


#PoiseLinerLove found @Walmart #ad



Ladies, if you are starting to experience occasional LBL like I am ‒ it’s time for you to make the switch from your regular pantyliner to Poise Microliners. The lightest absorbency liners are just as thin as my regular brand of pantyliner, and just as cost-effective. I got this two-month-supply box at my local Walmart for $4.68. I found the liners on the top shelf, but you’ll see the whole line of Poise near the feminine care aisle. 



Make the switch to #PoiseLinerLove @Walmart #ad


One thing I noticed right away when I made the switch was I couldn’t feel a difference at all! Poise liners have thin-flex technology, so they move with your body and they stay put in your underwear, too. They offer 3-in-1 protection: dryness, comfort, and odor control, making them my perfect go-to liner from now on. Each box comes with a number to help you efficiently and discreetly choose which product is best for you. 

If this is your first time purchasing Poise liners and you don’t want to stand in the aisle reading each box, I suggest visiting Walmart.com, where you’ll find helpful information on all the Poise products they carry. 


By setting aside time each week to think through what you need to accomplish, making a master shopping list, routing your path through the store and using your new accessory, Poise liners for LBL, you should be able to maximize your shopping trips for a stress-free holiday season. 

Let’s all endeavor to wag more, bark less, enjoy more and stress less this holiday season.


Happy Holidays!


Please share in comments: What’s your best holiday shopping tip? 

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Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package Giveaway

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Before we know it, the cold and flu season will be here again, so now is the time to restock your families care package supplies. I have relied on Vicks VapoRub for years and years, taking the advice of my Mom to always have a tub on hand for sniffles and stuffy noses. Today, I'm partnering with a great group of bloggers who want to make sure you are prepared for the cold and flu season too.




Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package





Welcome to the Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package Giveaway!

Hosted by: Southern Mom Loves



One winner will receive a Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package (ARV $131) to help you stay well and feel better all though the winter. Holly from Southern Mom Loves received a Vicks winter wellness care package and came up with her 6 Best Tips to Avoid Getting Sick. Check it out here.



The care package includes:
  • 1 Vicks® Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
  • 1 Vicks® SmartTemp™ Wireless Thermometer
  • 1 Protec Humidifier Antimicrobial Cleaning Fish
  • 2 packages of Vicks® VapoPads
  • 1 Vicks® Humidity Monitor
  • 1 2-pack of purse-sized Puffs Plus® Lotion
  • 1 Vicks® VapoRub™ Topical Ointment


Enter below, and good luck.


Terms:

Giveaway begins on 11/3/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 11/25/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open to US residents only (void where prohibited.) Once winners are confirmed, they will be added to the Winner's List here.





Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Southern Mom Loves will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.


Contact Holly at southernmomloves@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

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JOY & IMAN leather Best Friend City Satchel review

Monday, October 31, 2016

Can a new purse really become your best friend? If you are like me and need a large, can fit everything and still look stylish purse- the answer is yes!, especially if you are lucky enough to own the new JOY & IMAN genuine leather "Best Friend" City Satchel ! I had the good fortune to receive a complimentary best friend city satchel in demi-matte black from Phoenix Trading Company to try and review and I couldn’t be happier. While I did receive this satchel free of charge, all opinions, love of a good leather bag and fashion are my own.  






Do you see why I love this stylish satchel? Even my teen daughter (modeling the satchel in the photo above) loves this beauty of a bag!  I usually carry black purses because I feel they work well with any outfit and the demi-matte black pebbled leather with gold-tone hardware makes this satchel trendy while the overall size and shape profile lends a classic vibe.  



Joy & IMAN Logo on best friend city satchel




Here is a run-down of the features of the satchel from Phoenix Trading Company

  •  Size/Profile: Large satchel 
  •  Walls: Genuine pebbled leather
  •  Handles/Strap: Double rolled handles 
  •  Hardware: goldtone; signature goldtone front metal logo plate 
  •  Construction: Open top; flat bottom with metal feet 
  •  Closure: Zipper 
  •  Lining/Trim: Polyester 



Interior of Joy & IMAN Best friend city satchel



The interior is a purse lover’s dream come true. Look at all that room! I can easily carry my tablet and Avon brochures and samples when out working my business. I can fit my planner and notebook for taking notes when I’m attending important school meetings, or blogging ideas and the best part- everything has a home. No fiddling around at the bottom of your purse for your pen or keys! 


Here’s the rundown of the interior:

  •  1 front wall compartment with 2 patch pockets
  •  1 plain compartment with 8 card slots
  •  1 center zippered compartment
  •  1 zipper pocket and 1 patch pocket
  •  1 compartment with 1 patch pocket 1 back wall compartment with 1 zipper pocket (1 inside  pocket for mirror), 1 patch pocket, 1 elastic pocket and 2 pen slots 
  • 1 adjustable square watch (located on front of purse in leather case)


Plus- this satchel truly reaches best friend status with the super helpful flashlight attachment! Just open the satchel, click on the handy flashlight that’s attached to the side and you’ll find your glasses, phone, wallet or gum in a flash! Need to know the time without looking at your phone? This satchel has you covered with a small square black and goldtone watch concealed in a small leather pocket attached to the front.



 Joy & IMAN best friend city satchel with flashlight attached


There is even a zipper back pocket on the back exterior to place those items you want to grab quickly before going into a meeting or running into the corner bodega for a snack. 



The Take Away:

The JOY & IMAN genuine leather "Best Friend" City Satchel is a big, roomy satchel that can and will carry almost everything you need for a long day in the city. It feels nice on your arm. The sturdy double rolled leather handles assure you they can carry the extra weight of your tablet and heels effortlessly. Joy and IMAN nailed fashionably functional with this satchel and it holds its own within that line.  This pretty, classy yet trendy bag will serve you well all season long! If you are looking for a solid satchel with style, I invite you to learn more at PhoenixTrading Company where you can purchase it as well.


Please share in comments: What is your favorite purse go- to style and color? 

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Ten Succulent plants for your indoor garden

Friday, October 28, 2016

At the beginning of each season I promise myself that this will be the season I have a garden to be proud of.  My flowers will bloom glorious bloom after bloom, my herbs will never wither or go to seed and my succulents will remain perfectly pleasing to the eye. Then reality sets in and I muddle along with an okay garden space- but my succulent game is strong so I can take heart. 


Ten succulent plants for your indoor garden



If you’ve never known the joy and beauty of a succulent garden, then why not give it a try as our Indian summer days slowly ebb into winter?  Maybe it’s already more like winter where you live- all the more reason to start this easy indoor garden full of succulents



What is a Succulent Plant?


Succulent plant leaves



Succulents are fairly easy to identity because of their leaves and stems. The most widely recognized succulent is probably the Aloe Vera plant and my personal favorite the Jade plant. The Jade plant in the photos above is 10 years old and was born from clippings my mother in law took from her mother’s Jade plant.  I treasure this Jade plant because it is an heirloom; one that I can pass on to my daughter’s when they move to their first place. I’ve started several pots of Jade from this one and will be doing a quick tutorial soon. Another thing I adore about Jade is it produces delicate white or pink flowers once a year!



Jade plant pink flowers



Succulents would be a perfect first time plant for teens, or anybody that loves having greenery around them but forgets to water their houseplants because succulents are drought resistant and require very little water or hands on care. Just read the care tag and put your plant in the correct light and you are almost guaranteed success with your indoor succulent garden!


The one drawback of succulents is choosing the right one for your personal tastes and your homes lighting. Some points to consider before buying succulents:

  • Low levels of natural light and cooler temperatures mean you’ll need to adjust how much water and fertilizer you give.
  •  
  • Some plants adapt to hanging planters and terrariums better than others.
  •  
  • Some succulents can even be toxic to your indoor animals.



As you can see, while succulents may be easy to grow, you need to do your homework first. That’s why UncommonGoods, one of Brooklyn’s favorite online retailers of home and garden decor, has researched and compiled a list of 10 best succulents to brighten up your home this fall and winter.


Ten best succulent plant infographic



I was happy to see my favorite succulent, Jade second on the list. I think I will add a Mistletoe plant to a hanging basket in my bedroom and I love the look of the string of buttons plant. 



I adore growing and spotting succulents wherever I go. I saw this beauty at my grocery store and had to share a pic on Instagram. 


You will find a huge succulent fan following on IG, so hop on over and follow me and UnCommonGoods there.






Please share in comments: Which succulent plant from the infographic would you like to grow in your indoor garden?



Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way to share this information today. I just love succulents and UnCommonGoods was kind enough to ask me to share that love via their infographic. 

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Happy Thanksgiving $50 Giveaway

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Hello dear readers and welcome to the first, of what I hope is many holiday giveaway's here on My WAHM Plan. I've teamed up with a fabulous group of bloggers again to bring you this one!


Thanksgiving $50 giveaway





Welcome to the $50 of Choice Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Hosted by: Southern Mom Loves

Co-Hosted by: Dorky's Deals


One winner will receive $50 via Paypal cash or eGift Card of choice! If I can purchase an eGift card or code online and email it to you, you can choose that store, or you can choose Paypal cash!


Enter below, and good luck.




Terms:

Giveaway begins on 10/27/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 11/23/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open Worldwide (void where prohibited.) Once winners are confirmed, they will be added to the Winner's List here.





Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Southern Mom Loves will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.


Contact Holly at southernmomloves@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

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