My WAHM Plan

Trick or Treat- List of top 20 U.S. Cities for the best candy haul, including Nashville

Saturday, October 22, 2016

We are just nine days away from the second most celebrated holiday of the year in the United States! Whether you go all out with your decorations, host an epic block party, or are known for your crazy witch cackle, Halloween spending across the country is expected to exceed 8 billion dollars!
 That’s a whole lot of decorating and candy buying for our trick or treaters. If you plan on heading out with your family for a night of fun, check out this handy list of the top 20 cities for the best candy haul courtesy of my friends at Zillow. Did your city make the list this year?

Trick or Treat list of top U.S. cities for candy haul

There were some major shifts in the top ten city ranking from last year’s trick or treat map folks. Philadelphia came on strong and took the number one spot from San Francisco! My beloved bay area did well in overall standing with San Jose keeping its number two spot of the list and San Francisco coming in a respectable third. Click here to see my map share from last year. 

Top ten U.S. cities for trick or treating 2016

As you can see from this infographic, Zillow comes up with their lists by using four equally weighted variables: median home value, housing density, population age and crime. 

The Top 20 Cities for trick or treating 2016 are:

Top 20 cities for trick or treating 2016

I’m proud to see that Nashville moved up one spot in the rankings to 19th! If you are in the greater metro Nashville area, here are the top five neighborhoods to go trick or treating in for the best candy haul, walkability and safety.

  • Green Hills
  • Tulip Grove
  • Cherokee Park
  •  Sylvan Heights
  •  Historic Old Hickory Village

I love that Zillow compiles this yearly list and hope they make this an annual Halloween tradition! I invite you to stop by Zillow today to read their trick or treat post for even more neighborhood rankings, and to learn more about their mission to help you find your way home by helping you find your perfect home in the perfect neighborhood.

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe Halloween!

Please share in comments: Did your city make either list? Are you surprised to see a certain city or region listed? 

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Dark Before Dawn by Monica McGurk Book Review and Giveaway

Sunday, October 16, 2016

By Tera Kinsman

Hi, everyone! It’s YA book review time again. I’m reviewing Dark Before Dawn, the third and final book in Monica McGurk’s Archangel Prophecies series. (To read my reviews of the first two books in the series, Dark Hope and Dark Rising, click here and here.) As a thank-you, I received compensation and a free copy of the book, but all opinions are my own. And, cue book-lover squeal, there’s a giveaway for a copy of the book, thanks to the lovely author, Monica McGurk.

Dark Before Dawn book by Monica McGurk

Summary from Publisher:

It’s darkest before the dawn…and that can be very dark indeed.

Twelve years have passed since Hope Carmichael helped fulfill the ancient prophecy that permitted the Fallen Angels to return, forgiven, to Heaven. Now a lawyer at twenty-eight, Hope ‒ along with a resurrected Michael, the archangel who loves her ‒ has been presented with a choice: one that could either result in Hope never seeing her family again, or the world losing its greatest angelic protector. At the same time, Hope’s young sister Aurora struggles to help a school friend resolve her dark personal issues while being observed by a sinister adversary from Hope’s past, working on a plan for revenge that may soon plunge the entire Carmichael family into tragedy.

The culmination of the saga, which began in Dark Hope and continued in Dark Rising, Dark Before Dawn returns to the world of the Archangel Prophecies, telling one final story of adventure, moral urgency, and the ultimate choice Hope and Michael must make between the human and the divine.

My thoughts:

Reading outside

Dark Before Dawn takes the reader twelve years ahead of the loss and sacrifice of Dark Rising, from Hope’s teenage years to her adulthood.  Years of healing and progress have left the Carmichael family safe and happy. Mona, Hope’s mother, her younger sister Aurora, and their family friend and protector, Arthur, live a content life in a quiet Atlanta community. Hope is a successful lawyer and has a long, loving relationship with Michael. But there is a tension lingering in their every interaction ‒ Heaven has offered Hope a life-altering choice ‒ one she’s running out of time to make. And something is waiting in the shadows for the Carmichaels and those they care about, waiting to strike.  Hope and Michael may have won important battles, but they soon learn that the war is far from over.

As I was reading Dark Before Dawn, I was struck by the complexity woven into the story. Every character, even angels, and each relationship, is shown as complex and flawed, while still being appreciated. For me, it was fascinating to see just how human the divine can be. The series also asks important questions about redemption ‒ can there be true forgiveness for those who don’t want it, don’t deserve it? And, very importantly, this final installment of The Archangel Prophecies goes deeper than ever into the world of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST), showing the disturbing reality of what victims of this “industry” go through every day.

While this book dealt with some very serious issues and had moments of tragedy that were difficult to read, its slightly bittersweet ending was a satisfying close to the series, and hopefully opened eyes to the reality of modern-day slavery in the United States and around the world.

To learn more about human trafficking and what we can do, go to

Ready for a new addition to your bookshelf? Enter to win a copy of Dark Before Dawn below!

Dark Before Dawn book giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Comments! In nearly every book or series I read, there’s at least one character that stands out from the rest. For me, my TAP favorite is Tabby, Hope’s loyal, loving, and hilarious best friend. What is a recently-read character that you love…or love to hate? Fangirl with me in the comments below! And, follow me on Instagram for more books and an abundance of pictures of the sky. 


Hearty Buffalo Blue Cheese Dip, perfect football fan food

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hello from Tennessee Titans territory! Are you ready for some football this Sunday? We are heading into week six of seventeen and our Titans are starting to come together after a nice win last weekend!I thought it was a good time to show our team some love and share this great recipe my husband I came up with for the super bowl last year. Our hearty buffalo blue cheese dip is our take on the classic entrĂ©e, it’s a dip that eats like a meal and is easier to clean up after. 

Hearty buffalo blue cheese dip recipe

Doesn't this look tasty? Here's what you'll need to add to your shopping list: 


 Makes 3 cups

  • 1 Large can of Chicken Breast meat in water
  • ¾ jar  Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) Cayenne based Hot sauce (think Tabasco®, Franks® or Texas Pete®)
  • 1 cup celery, diced small (reserve celery greens for garnish)
  • 1 package Neufchatel Cheese or softened Cream cheese

Hearty Buffalo Blue cheese dip recipe


In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together until Chicken breast meat is broken apart and ingredients mixed in.
Garnish with celery greens and chill for at least an hour before serving.
Serve with your favorite chips, crackers, carrots, celery sticks or any dip-able veggie.

Serve hearty buffalo blue cheese dip with corn chips #football

My husband loves this dip best with big dipper corn chips and celery sticks. He’s requested it for this week’s game and since it takes just 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes to make, I’m happy to oblige his request! Another great thing about this recipe is it is easy to double, or even triple the serving amount to feed a crowd!

Whether you watch the game from home, or are heading out to do some tailgating, try making and serving our Hearty Buffalo Blue Cheese Dip. It really is perfect football fan food!

Do you watch football games with your family? Do you have a favorite NFL team, or do you enjoy college games more? Please let me know in comments!


Comforting Fig Bath & body set giveaway hop

Monday, October 10, 2016

Breast Cancer Giveaway Hop

To Honor Breast Cancer or Any Cancer Research, Support
And The Loved Ones Whom We Lost To This Ordeal

Welcome to my first Avon giveaway on my blog! I am so proud and honored to be joining this amazing group of bloggers who are adding their voices to this amazing cause. As some of you may know,  the Avon Foundation is a leader in supporting breast cancer awareness worldwide and has contributed more than  $800 million to breast cancer programs around the world through 2015. That is truly amazing! With all of us doing small things, we can become a mighty force! 


I'm happy to giveaway an Avon Senses Comforting Fig 4 piece bath and body set

Avon Senses Comforting Fig 4 piece bath and body set

One lucky winner will receive from me this lovely set just in time for fall pampering. With the comforts of sweet figs, juicy plums and warm amber you will feel and smell divine! 

This set includes:

  • 1 hydrating shower gel
  • 1 creamy body lotion
  • 1 body spray
  • 1 bubble bath 

Avon Senses Comforting Fig 4 piece bath and body set

Win it!

One lucky reader will receive the Avon Senses Comforting Fig 4 piece bath and body set! 

No purchase is necessary to enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  My WAHM Plan is responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners will be notified by email used on entry form and have 48 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. 

Once you've entered my giveaway, hop to the other phenomenal prizes any women would love to have in her life!


Wordless Wednesday: Fall Flowers

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Mums for potting for my porch and deck

Purple wildflowers by our pond #fall #flowers

Sunset Daisy bloom #fall #flowers

Please share in comments: What's blooming in your garden now? Or what are you potting in your containers?


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 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:

  • 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  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? 


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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