My WAHM Plan

Final Day to create free ICE cards for your children #nationalpreparednessmonth

Friday, September 30, 2016

I didn't know until yesterday that September is National Preparedness Month, so forgive the tardy share of this important information. Keeping our kids safe is always top of mind in our family; it was one of the main reasons I chose to work at home, but they still attend public school and go to public events that I have no control over. I'm happy to partner with Save the Children.org and Mom Bloggers club today. For posting and sharing, I will receive two complimentary emergency go-bags as a thank you. 




Emergency go to bag for kids #nationalpreparednessmonth



According to Save the Children,  our children are the most vulnerable in emergency situations.  That’s why Save the Children encourages everyone to act to better protect kids before disaster strikes. 


Did you know: 

  • Every day, 69 million U.S. children are separated from their families while they are at school or child care.

  •  After Hurricane Katrina there were more than 5,000 reports of missing children.  It took 7 months to reunite the last child with her family. (Here is a video of one such family:  https://youtu.be/KJ64WmgT7Gk)

  • Your child’s ICE card should include 3 emergency contacts -- including an out-of-town contact, because during emergencies, local communications are often down.




ICE contact card form


Make your ICE contact cards at www.SavetheChildren.org/ICE.  It’s free and easy!  Fill out one form for your whole family online (Save the Children will not store your child’s info anywhere).  Print out the cards (you’ll get two copies for each child), cut and fold.  Put one copy in a luggage tag to keep inside your child’s bag.  Keep the other copy in your wallet. 


What's next?  

Make an emergency plan and practice as a family.  For helpful tips and checklists visit SaveTheChildren.Org  here .





I plan on re-evaluating my families in case of emergency plan this weekend to make sure it is still relevant to the age and stage my kids are in now. Here are some points I'll be reviewing.



Emergency communications checklist



It is my hope that an emergency situation never separates you from your children, but now is the time to get prepared before an emergency happens!  Please share this great resource with other parents. Thank you!


Please share in comments: Do you already an in case of emergency family plan? If yes, when was the last time your practiced it? 

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Wordless Wednesday: after school snack time

Wednesday, September 28, 2016



Chips and Guacamole #snacks






Cheerios Trail Mix #snack








Tropical Yogurt and pineapple parfaits



Please share in comments: Which snack would you pick?

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Yoplait Go Big pouches are the perfect snack for amazing teens!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

To all the moms of teenagers, I want to stop right here and give you a round of applause! We have finally gotten to an age and stage in parenting where we get to be a little more hands-off. We get to watch our not-so-little kids’ blossom into amazing young adults with full schedules and the healthy appetites to match. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to Yoplait’s newest product: Yoplait ® Go Big ™ yogurt pouches, the perfect snack for amazing teens! 





My 13 year old daughter, rocking her homework


My thirteen-year-old puts in long days. She gets up at 5:20 am for school and often isn’t home from school until after 5:00 pm when she has theater rehearsal, or an after-school choir event.  I try to pack her a healthy lunch and snack to help keep her fueled up until she gets home.  I’m thankful to have another healthy snack option in my arsenal.



The new Yoplait Go Big pouches come in a handy fridge box for easy grab and go snacking. They’re made with real fruit in two tasty flavor combos: Strawberry/Mixed Berry or Peach Mango/Cherry.  They have no artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup, and are a good source of calcium. 


#YoplaitGoBig yogurt pouches in handy fridge box



As most moms can attest, it doesn’t matter how well-thought-out the lunch and snack options we give our teens are ‒ some days they come back home with our busy kids, and that’s when we need to get creative with snack and homework schedules. 



#YoplaitGoBig peach mango yogurt is a perfect homework snack



Now that Melissa is thirteen, I’ve loosened the reins on how and where homework can be done. As long as it gets done, I can let some of my guidelines and parameters of elementary school days go.  I allow her to set up their homework area where and however makes her feel most comfortable.  If she wants to sprawl out on her bedroom floor, or the family room, I now say, go for it!  One day, she may prefer sitting at the table with a snack, a candle, iced coffee and music from her playlist, and now I can say, why not?  




Let teens choose how best to crush their homework schedules #YoplaitGoBig


For all the moms with kids in sports, band and dance programs, these cool, easy grip and rip yogurt pouches are perfect for on-the-go snacking, too!  Since they have a cool design on the package that’s not at all kiddie-like, you don’t have to worry about giving them a lame snack they don’t want to be seen eating.



#YoplaitGoBig pouches have easy grip and rip openings



Plus, the awesome pouch doesn’t have a huge opening, so your teen can squeeze as much as they want in their mouths, making them a perfect, one handed, and no-spills kind of snack! 



#YoplaitGoBig no spills pouch!



There’s no doubt about it ‒ our teens are leading fast-paced lives, doing amazing things at school and after. I truly am amazed at all the balls my thirteen-year-old daughter keeps in the air daily! She’s a great student, a caring and giving friend and family member, an awesome actress and singer, and budding photographer and videographer.  She and her peers are crushing being a teen in today’s busy, go for it lifestyle.  Honestly, Melissa’s commitment to excellence inspires me to re-think what I accomplish in a day!



#YoplaitGoBig the perfect snack for amazing teens



Do you have an amazing teen in your life too? Why not let Yoplait Go Big spotlight their amazingness? It’s easy, parents ‒ just visit the Go Big Facebook page and share how your teen inspires you. Go Big will select three teens with amazing stories and give them a platform to show the world! You can find more information and full contest details on the Go Big Facebook page as well.


Raising teens in this day and age may keep us on our toes, moms’ ‒ but we got this! If our teens can crush their days, so can we!


Please share in comments: Are you raising an amazing teen? Will you enter the Yoplait Go Big contest? 

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Three easy ways to stay connected with your teens

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Busy. Our teens are busy kids! Which usually means parents are busy with our teens activities too. For instance, both my daughters are in choir and both enjoy doing theater when their schedules allow it. Both girls are involved in clubs, fundraisers, attending school related events (football games, etc.),  so free time during the week to just sit and chat is hard to come by. Today, I’m sharing three easy ways I’ve found I can still feel connected with my teens during the busy times.



Books and CD's help you connect with your teens



1. Read their books:

Young Adult, or YA books, are written with your 15+ teen in mind, but don’t let that stop you from reading them! Some of THE best books I’ve read this year came directly from my teen daughter. When you see your teen engrossed in a book, take notice. Better yet, ask if you can read it when they are done,  and then talk with them about the plot and characters as you read.  

Not sure where to start? Popular picks are: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, The Selection series by Kiera Cass- (start my daughter’s reviews here). The much anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and two by J.K. Rowling and our personal pick and hands-down favorite , The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.




teens and earbuds, this is what they do!



2. Listen to their music:

Most parents know this time all too well: You’re in the car with your teen, taking them to their after-school activity again.  They make small talk with you for five minutes, and then in go the ear buds and you’ve been tuned out. The same thing can happen when you take them out to eat. 

Keep the conversation and the fun going by inviting them to keep some of their Cd's in the car, then pop one in while you are driving them to their destination. Once you get to your destination, if you see those ear buds come out again, ask them who they are listening too. 

The point is to engage and connect in their world often!  Some of the best and funniest conversations I’ve had with my girls is talking about the lyrics to some of their favorite songs. Our top pick right now is “25” by Adele, followed closely by "Blurry face" by 21 Pilots. 




my teen helping me with work photos for a brand



3. Include them in your work:

I have the privilege of working from home. Both my businesses- blogging and Avon are businesses I work mainly from home, so my teens have gotten used to seeing me work on a daily basis. I’m inviting them in and keeping this part of my day open to connecting possibilities. They respect what I do and actually look for ways to help me.

Teens are plugged in to what’s in, what’s trendy and relevant to them which is invaluable to anyone in a marketing field. Which is why my oldest daughter didn’t mind helping me with a recent photo shoot at Toys “R” Us for a brand I was working with.

Asking your teen for their opinion on a related topic to your industry can be a great way to connect with them as well.  My teens know it's not all fun and lip gloss in my businesses because they see me doing the back office work too. We bounce ideas off each other often and they have opened up my eyes to a newer, fresher way of seeing the world. Why not show your teens what you so all day as well? Bring home an assignment to work on after dinner and ask them to check it out. 


There you have it! Three easy ways to stay connected with your teens. Try one or all three over the next week and you may see your teens in a whole new way, you may even score some cool parents points!


Please share in comments: How do you connect with your teen?  Do you use one or more of my strategies? 

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The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today DVD Giveaway

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Friday! It is crazy hot still here in the south and it has been another busy week with my girls after school activities, so I thought it would be a perfect day for a giveaway to get us set for the weekend. And this cute little DVD, which I received a complimentary copy of, will have you ready for National Talk like a Pirate day On Monday, September 19th! My thanks to Sony Home Video who provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post and giveaway. The opinions I share are my own. 



The Swan Princess DVD giveaway




About The Swan Princess- Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today movie:


"In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail,Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by herself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!" 


Now for some fun! I have to ask you: Be ye' a princess, or be ye' a pirate? Let's find out! Just take this fun little quiz!






I'm a pirate! Yo, ho, ho! My girls are pirates too!








This fun and engaging story from Sony Pictures is available for purchase here and you can share in the fun as kids everywhere cheer on Princess Alise on Facebook here



Do you have a favorite Swan Princess movie? While we loved getting in touch with our inner princess and pirate, we still love the original story and the Christmas DVD best! We feel sure your kiddos will have a swash-buckling good time watching this movie too. Okay, enough of my lame pirate humor- on to the giveaway!




Win It: 

Thanks to Sony Pictures and Tether Group, one lucky reader will receive their very own copy of The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today DVD!

Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter form below! 


Terms:
No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter from below.  My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel. 
Each household is only eligible to win The Swan PrincessPrincess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Good Luck!





Please share in comments: Would you prefer the princess or pirate life?

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Cheesy Sausage Bites recipe, perfect tailgate food!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I made these tasty cheesy sausage bites last year for Thanksgiving and wished I’d discovered the recipe sooner in the year for all the fun fall tailgates, potlucks and picnics happening from September on.

They were such a crowd pleaser! I had several family members ask me to make them for this Thanksgiving too, but I didn’t want to wait that long.  Now that the nights are getting cooler, I’m in the mood for tasty, oven baked goodies! Today I’m sharing a simple recipe I’ve adapted from a Pillsbury recipe. I think you’ll love taking these cheesy sausage bites to your next tailgate or family get together too. 



Cheesy Sausage Bites recipe, perfect tailgate food!


With only 5 ingredients, it’s easy to add what you need to your shopping list and these bites are easy on the budget too! 



Ingredients:

Makes 40 bites (depending on size of bite you make)

  • 1 pound Roasted Red Pepper Sausage (or any bulk sausage flavor you like)
  • 2 cups (8oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (8oz) Pillsbury Crescent dinner rolls (choose your favorite brand)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed



Cheese and sausage for recipe



Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray, set aside.
  • Cook sausage on medium heat until just brown, drain and put in mixing bowl.
  • Add cheese and rosemary to bowl and mix with hands or spoon.
  • Unroll crescent dough onto floured work surface; coat each side of dough with flour.
  • Cut dough into about ¼ -inch pieces with a pizza cutter or knife.
  • Mix crescent dough pieces into bowl of sausage mixture in small amounts until well blended.
  • Shape mixture into 40 inch sized balls. Place on pan.
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.


Fresh from the over Cheesy Sausage Bites




My Cheesy Sausage bites recipe takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish, but are well worth the time. They taste fantastic straight from the oven or room temperature. If your family is a fan of finger foods, you’ve got to try these sausage bites. 

Another great thing about them is you can make them two or three days ahead of time because they store well in the fridge. I just lined a large plastic container with a paper towel and put in the fridge and watched the amount of sausage bites dwindle as my family snacked on them.



Please share in comments: What is your favorite fall tailgate food? Do you make it, or does a friend or family member bring it?


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Hallmark Fabulous Friends collection giveaway

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Did you know that September is International Women’s friendship Month? It’s true! Women’s Friendship Day, started in 1999 by Kappa Delta sorority, was changed to a full month celebration of women’s friendships in 2009 because the day of celebration became so popular. I was thrilled to learn that I’d been selected to review and give away the new Fabulous Friends collection as part of the Love, Hallmark blogger group.  While I  did receive complimentary products for my post today, all opinions, love of beautiful products and friendships are 100% my own.



#LoveHallmark Fabulous Friends prize pack, journal, home decor, soap and cards



Not to toot my own horn, but over the years friends and relations have told me I’m a witty lady, so it's only natural that my eye was drawn to the lovely pillow in the Fabulous Friends collection first.  



Let's get happy up in here pillow #Witty #happy #homedecor


Isn’t it the cutest? 


Here’s more information about each piece in the Fabulous Friends Collection and my ideas on which of your friends would love to receive them.


Pretty Witty Happy Large Pillow: “Bring happiness into your life with this oversized, embroidered pillow. The pom-pom attachments are sure to put a smile on your face!”

This pillow really does make us smile each and every time we see it. In fact, my girls and I have decided that this shall be our traveling pillow, moving from room to room because it is just that witty and stylish


This pillow would be perfect for your women friends who love:
  • Home d├ęcor shopping - (Hello, Pottery Barn!)
  • Decorating - (Do you move her pillows when you visit? She needs this one, too!)
  • Being crafty - (The attention to detail will have them admiring this pillow.)




Never Quit. Unless you hate it.  journal #Witty #gifts




Pretty Witty Never Quit Journal: Perfect for jotting quick notes or logging the day's events, this softcover journal has metallic accents and a satin ribbon bookmark.” The aspirational yet optimistic quote on the cover reads “Never quit. Unless you hate it.” 



This journal is so cool and stylish, it is almost too perfect to mar by using it. But, writing in it is what your women friends will want to do if they are:

  • Journal keepers - (Look at witty me, pointing out the obvious!)
  • Students or teachers - (They are processing tons of information all day; help them get it down in style.)
  • Organizers or list makers - (Raises and waggles hand fervently!) I do so LOVE a good list and a game plan! Oh, and the doodling I would do while talking on the phone? Yes!




Orange and Amber scented hand soap #friendship #gifts




Crafters & Co. Liquid Soap: “Give your skin a treat! Made with essential oils, these soaps are available in eight soothing scents and feel as fresh and comforting as they smell.” 


We received the Orange Amber scented hand soap and it smells like fall weather feels!  It smells and works fabulously!! Give this gift to your women friends who love:

  • Gardening - (Got a deadheading friend? A digger of dirt? Then her hands deserve this soothing and fragrant hand soap!)
  • Cooking - (Hello garlic and herbs, I’m looking at you and your tasty, yet odorific selves!)
  • New mom - (She is going to be washing her hands a lot, like, all day and night! She’ll appreciate the little hug for her hands.)



Keep your friends close picture frame #witty #homedecor #gifts




Pretty Witty Keep Friends Close Framed Art: “Express your style and spunk at home or the office. This painted frame showcases the quote “Keep your friends close and your wine closer.” 


I’m not much of a wine drinker, unless a friend makes sangria, but I am a lover of a good quote and this lil’ frame has got a killer quote. Your women friends will love this if they:

  • Wear green - (Fashionistas tend to decorate their homes and offices in colors they wear and this shade of green is on trend this fall.)
  • Shares quotes and memes - (I see you, Instagram friends, smiling because I notice your efforts!)
  • Drinks wine - (Again, I must point out the obvious gift recipient, for continuity in my witty post!)




Pineapple freindship cards #witty #oldschoolcool




Signature Greetings Pineapple Card: “This adorable embellished card is blank on the inside, leaving plenty of space to write a personalized note to a special friend! “ 



I have never met a woman who doesn’t love receiving a special card, especially if it’s got a heartfelt note written inside. I love the pineapple on the front because it’s the universal symbol for welcome or hospitality, making these cards a perfect gift for your women friends who are:

  • The hostess with the mostest - (Her face popped in your mind when you read hostess, because she is the best at tailgates, parties and last minute anythings. Send her this card and watch her shine!)
  • Realtors - (I can’t think of a better card for a realtor to leave on the kitchen counter with thanks for working with her, can you?)
  • Techies - (Make that one friend who does EVERYTHING via her phone put it down and ponder the beauty of old school cool when you send her this card in the mail with a stamp!)




Now that I’ve got you thinking of all your different Fabulous Friends, why not take a chance and enter to win your very own #LoveHallmark Fabulous Friends collection? Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter form below.



If you are all set to make a purchase, which is fantastic of you and your take-action self -- head on over to Hallmark.com and shop away.  Be sure to get social on Facebook and Twitter, too to stay in the loop on sales and the latest collection of cards and gifts.



Win It!

#LoveHallmark 5 piece Fabulous Friends gift collection prize



One lucky reader will receive a five-piece Fabulous Friends collection set from Love, Hallmark -- containing one of each product mentioned in the post (your products may vary slightly from mine).

Terms: 

No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter from below.  My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is not associated with nor endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel.



Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Please share in comments: Which Hallmark Fabulous Friend product is your favorite and why. 

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Nashville, TN- Come get lost in Shuckles Corn Maze at Fiddle Dee Farms

Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy Friday and happy September dear readers! It was a glorious 66 degrees outside this morning, so I took full advantage of the coolness by spending time in my neglected flowerbeds. The breeze felt so good and listening to all the birds and squirrels in my yard reminded me Fall is coming! I can't think of a better way to spend a pleasant fall day with my family than at a local farm. If you live in the greater metro Nashville, TN. area, you are going to want to visit Fiddle Dee Farms in Hendersonville!




About Fiddle Dee Farms and Shuckles Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch:


Fiddle Dee Farms in Hendersonville, TN





"Shuckles Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch located at Fiddle Dee Farms has been getting families lost in the corn for over seven years. Come spend the afternoon and have hours of fun. New this year is our large Fiddle Dee Jumping Pillow (see photo below) and Rope Maze. Pet the animals and ride the 40' Super Slide. Come buy a pumpkin, decorate it and race it in The Great Pumpkin Derby -- new this year at Fiddle Dee Farm. Over twenty-five activities included in General Admission."



Check out the new jumping pillow at Fiddle Dee Farms



Mark your calendars now because the Fall fun starts September 24, 2016 and goes through  November 6, 2016!




Pumpkin bowling for the little ones at Fiddle Dee Farms, Hendersonville, TN.




Important Updates and Savings:

Visit Music City Kids to get $2.00 off Shuckles Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch! Shuckles corn maze and pumpkin patch has moved, but not very far! Come see their new pumpkin town, wild Fiddle Dee kingdom and Fiddle Dee sticks hollow! This sounds like lots of Fall fun for the whole family! I'll be sure to share photos when my family and I visit soon. 



Disclosure: My family and I will receive complimentary admission to Fiddle Dee Farms as part of the blogger family at US Family Guide, for sharing this announcenent post and after visiting, sharing our family day! All opinions and love of local fun spots are my own. 

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