2011 - My WAHM Plan

Life's Pieces


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as this year comes to a close and a new one nips at my heels. I do some of my best thinking when my hands are busy and my brain is free to wander and creep into corners I don’t visit in my busy times.
So as the stress of the Holidays was bearing down, I pulled out this jigsaw puzzle and got to work.



 I had this analogy forming about how my life was like this puzzle and how each piece is necessary. I was going to run with that (and I think it would have been a fitting end of the year post); but then I watched the news last night and learned of a tragedy here in our little world and my whole mood and tone has changed.
You see, a little 10 year old girl died yesterday in a freak car accident. She attended my daughter’s elementary school. Her younger sister is in my daughter’s class. While we don’t know this family personally, it has ripped at my heart all day. I am finding it difficult to type this, just thinking about the steps all involved are having to take instead of blissfully ringing in the new year. 
I can’t forget to mention that the man driving the other car; the one that slammed into the girls died too.
 What must his family feel right now? Not only did they lose him, but they must reconcile that he accidently took a child’s life when his ended.
Sometimes life’s pieces are tragic and sad and unimaginable. I for one know I would lose a part of my soul if something like this were to happen to my family.
I’m sure each and every one of us wouldn’t have to look too far to find a family hurting and in need.  Maybe we should look around more. Reach out more. Care about our fellow man more.
I will do whatever I can to help these neighbors in need and then I will do my absolute best to remember how lucky I’ve got it and how you never know what tomorrow might bring. I will do my best to live like I’m supposed to be anyway, leading with kindness, friendliness and faith and stop taking my life for granted.  
Life’s pieces are sometimes thinly veiled wake up calls.
I sincerely hope you and yours have a Happy and Safe New Year! Please do me a favor.  Make sure every single person you care about knows you do. Please don’t assume they know. Tell them today.

Winter and Happiness


Our Pond Winter 2010
 
  
 
Tomorrow is the official 1st day of Winter and I couldn't be happier! Not because I love snowy, blustery days. Not because tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and I can start counting the days until spring arrives. Not solely because of the joy and happiness the Holidays bring.

No, finding my  happy with this season most all of us dread, required some thinking.
Just reading the definition of winter puts me squarely on team anti-winter. Look at those Synonyms and you'll see what I mean. 


win·ter/ˈwintər/  



Noun:
The coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February and in the southern hemisphere from June to August.
Adjective:
(of fruit and vegetables) Ripening late in the growing season and suitable for storage over the winter.
Verb:(esp. of a bird) Spend the winter in a particular place: "birds wintering in the south".

Synonyms:
noun

adjective
verb. hibernate
. wintry - hibernal - winterly - brumal
. cold

 

While slathering on extra strength hand lotion last night to ease my drying hands ( that only get worse each day of this season), I decided to make a list of all the reasons I have to be happy and thankful this winter. If you are on team anti-winter, maybe a list is in your future too!
 

My List:


 
1. The girls are on Winter break from 12/21/11 until 1/5/12. Just having them home all day makes me smile! I enjoy their company immensely.

2. Getting end of year business tasks done feels good! Don't dread the shred is my motto as I clean out my filing cabinet and start a new storing and organizing method.

3. Dry skin gives me a good excuse to try new lotions! Maybe I'll write a review or two.

4. Christmas at home. Just the four of us. The girls in their new jammies all day. Traditions. Love. Harmony. Peace. Jesus. Food. Smiles. Laughs. Santa.

5. New Year. New Beginning. New Ideas. New directions. Wiping the slate clean is a good thing on so many fronts.

6. My youngest daughters birthday.

7. New cabinet jobs for my hubby. He's at his happiest when he's making sawdust.

8. New friendships. I've been invited to join some local groups and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to broaden my circle.

9. Free time. I have more of it in this season. I get crafty, I read more novels, I log on much less, I daydream about spring and how to design my flower beds, I laugh and sing and play with my kids more. I stay up late and watch sci-fi movies or talk and laugh with my hubby more. I connect more.

10. I have a really good feeling about 2012. Deep in my bones optimisim. The last few years have been hard and stressful for so many of us. Most of us truth be told, but I am a firm believer in the power of a Positive Attitude.

I am happy Winter is here because it forces me to slow down, think, be more present and in the moment.
Sure the weather outside may be frightful, but I'll welcome spring well rested and refreshed.
 
Happy Winter, Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy Holidays one and all!
I am so very thankful for all of you who read, comment and visit my blog.

Please let me know what you are thankful and happy for this season!
 
 
 

Torani Syrups Review & Giveaway



Since I’d never tried Torani syrups before, I was happy to learn I’d been selected to review their products via SheSpeaks.

 

About Torani


Torani flavored syrups are part of San Francisco’s heritage. With handwritten recipes from their Italian hometown, Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre introduced Torani syrups to San Francisco in 1925. In the back of their grocery store, they pressed fruits, nuts and spices, blended extracts with cane sugar and water in redwood vats and then fine-tuned the flavor.  A true labor of love that has paid off for Torani, now the # 1 brand of flavored syrups in America, offering over 100 flavors.
I got to try to wonderful flavors: sugar free Vanilla and Pumpkin Pie.

 

The Review


I tried the sugar free Vanilla in my coffee first, adding 1 oz. to my coffee as instructed on the bottle. The aroma was inviting and I couldn’t wait to try my morning cup, but yikes, was it ever sweet! Perhaps an ounce is for a venti. I’m slowly learning to use the vanilla syrup properly, it is delicious, and my daughters love it full strength in their café au lait.
However, I like the Pumpkin Pie flavoring full strength in my coffee. For my daughters, I made Pumpkin Pie floats with:
·        1 oz. Torani Pumpkin Pie flavored syrup
·        1 scoop vanilla ice cream
·        6 fl. oz. of ginger ale
Makes 1 float.

I highly recommend Torani syrups and will be purchasing them again, especially since I‘ve got my eye on their Blackberry syrup!

How would you like to try one of Torani’s amazing syrups? Well, just enter my give away below for two coupons for two free bottles of Torani Syrup! (maximum value $8.00 each).

Since there can only be one winner, I’d like to offer you a chance to save using  coupon code “shespeaks” to save 10% at www.torani.com!








a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday

What my daughters really want for Christmas
 Since we only like dogs, rather than love them we know they aren't a good match for our family, so I don't think this will ever happen... but never say never right?

Maybe another kitty is in order.

Are you giving a pet as a gift this year?

Drop Cookie Dough the kids can eat!



cookies
  Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies



Baking season is in full swing at our house and as December elbowed out November, I pulled out this tried and true drop cookie recipe. I clipped this from the local Williamson County Parent magazine in 2005.
You are going to love these simple, yummy cookies! Our plate didn't look like that for long.
The very best part is this is a no egg recipe so your kiddies~ and you can eat the dough!
Stir up a batch of fun and happy memories today with your family. Enjoy!


The Basic Chocolate Chip Drop Cookie


Yield: 3 to 5 dozen, depending on cookie size
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 9 to 11 minutes (longer with larger cookies)

Ingredients:

·         2 cups (1 12-ounce bag) chocolate chips
·         2 sticks butter, margarine or shortening, softened
·         1 ½  cups sugar (or brown sugar or both blended)
·         3 tablespoons water
·         3 tablespoons oil
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 ¼ cups flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.       Preheat oven to 375°.
2.       In large mixer bowl, beat margarine and sugar until creamy.
3.       Beat in water, oil, and vanilla.
4.       Stir together dry ingredients, gradually add to sugar mixture.
5.        Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6.       Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes, until golden.
7.       Leave on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.


I've also baked up a few dozen Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which turned out really well I think in large part because I used dark brown sugar.

What is your favorite cookie recipe? Please share!

Declaring Email Bankruptcy!

Email Overload


I have been a fan of Amy at Blogging with Amy for almost as long as I've been blogging. Her advice is spot on and usually very timely.  I have learned many tips and tricks from her and this post was just too perfect for me not to share.

 I logged on this morning to over 15,000 emails! That is not a typo... 15K staring at me and I knew I had to do something!

 Like a beacon in the night, Amy's post:  Increase productivity, Unsubscribe liberally caught my eye, thanks in part to my lame attempt to corral my inbox by setting up alerts so there was a handy yellow arrow drawing my eye to it.

Thanks Gmail and Thanks Amy.

After reading her tips, I'm hoping for a streamlined inbox soon.  I am say Yes! To Email Bankruptcy!

Need some inbox help? I invite you to read:


Increase productivity. Unsubscribe liberally.

I hope you find this as helpful as I did. Do you have an inbox tip you'd like to share?

Please leave a comment here!


12/5/11: Update: I did it! I am at ZERO in my inbox! Boy, that feels Good! Go ahead, take the plunge and declare email bankruptcy too! It's liberating and Gmail rewards with this sweet note:
No new mail! Want to read updates from your favorite sites? Try Google Reader

Friendship




I've been taking it easy the last few days, truly enjoying my dear family and the spirit of Thanksgiving.

I tried reaching out to some of my girlfriends before the craziness of the "holidays" set in, but sadly I found several already too busy, or worse too engrossed in their own " stuff" to really connect with me.  I got off the phone wondering if the call was even worth it.

This saddens me, because female friendships can be hard-won and tricky to keep, especially as we get older. I try to value the friends I have, but friendship must be reciprocal to thrive! I wondered why they couldn't see all they had to be thankful for? Was I living in my own rosy little world?
I know my best friend is happy and I am so very thankful for her.

 But the rest of my circle? I have doubts.

So when I saw this movie over at Simple Truths I just had to share it. Maybe one or two of my " friends" will watch it and realize that alot of the stuff they " talked " with me about is mentioned within.
 Oh, and they might also notice that they never stopped to ask me how I was. Maybe they just figured I was still happy-go-lucky me... but it would have been nice for them to check.

 In the end, it's all good because I really care about them and I've learned over the years to lighten up and not take everything personally .. but I am going to keep my heart open to new friends.

I hope you will enjoy
Simple Truths-it's not just me

and remember this little diddy:

Make New Friends
But Keep the Old
One is Silver
and the other Gold

How do to stay connected with your friends? How do you invite new friends into your circle?

From Our Home to Yours




Praise rises from thankful hearts, bringing heaven a little closer, making life a little sweeter.

 In this bounty of blessings we call family, friends, and home are found the very reasons that hearts can overflow with thankfulness, with happiness, with love.

 Wishing you Thanksgiving joy.

Purell Hand Sanitizer Review & Giveaway


I was only too happy to do a review for BzzAgent and Purell considering I buy hand sanitizers in bulk and we use them throughout the year.

I received this Bzz Kit:
4 Jelly  wrap carriers with mini oz. bottles of Purell and pass-along coupons that you can win in my 1st ever giveaway! 
 Do you like dollar off coupons as much as I do? How about ones with no expiration date?  
 Enter my contest below to win ( 5) $ 1.00 off coupons for Purell products * oz. or larger.



The Review:

Over the years, we have tried a plethora of hand sanitizers trying to find just the right combination of:
·         Scent: my family won’t use overly scented ones, especially my husband who never wants to smell like a scented candle.
·         Dry time: Those with Aloe or Lotion are nice, but they take forever to dry! Not good at lunch or snack time at school for my girls, or for a quick squirt after getting back in the car while shopping.
·         Ease of Use: A good pump and/or an easy open top goes a long way with us.


I am very happy to say Purell meets all of our needs and I would highly recommend this product!

·     Purell is easy and convenient to use: both my girls hooked theirs to their backpacks and use them at school daily before eating lunch or snacks.
I carry mine in my purse and use it all the time! Especially while shopping; after I see a runny nose or a cougher right by what I’m getting ready to pick up.
Hubby put his in his truck so he can quickly stash it in a pocket before he enters stores or meetings.
·    Purell has a mild, pleasant scent, gentle on our hands, not over drying with moisturizers and vitamin E and dry quickly without ever feeling sticky!

Thanks BzzAgent and Purell for giving me the opportunity to review, share and host my 1st giveaway.
 





Spring Forward

Courtesy of www.bhg.com



Since I've been slowly changing the scope and feel of my blog, I thought this would be a perfect time to introduce one of my favorite past times: Gardening.  You may be thinking my timing is off with the cold November winds blowing on many of us, but my favorite magazine, Better Homes and Gardens says otherwise.


They say: There’s Still Time to Plant Bulbs for Spring!
Don’t hang up your trowel just yet! There’s still plenty of time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. In fact, it’s better to plant them late this year than to try to store them for planting next year."

I  am very glad to hear this because I have been itching to do just one more project before Old Man Winter Takes over completely.  Are you a gardener too? Here are some BHG links for you:


Best Tulips for Your Garden

Deer- and Rabbit-Resistant Bulbs

Design Ideas from the Dutch

Add Spring Color to Your Lawn

Planting Tips


The first link, Best Tulips for your garden is where I discovered the amazing yellow Tarda Tulip above!

While you are there, don't forget to grab a free bulb and perennial plan here.  With it, you can plan and dream and have a garden like this next spring.

free bulb and perennial plan MyWAHMPlan.com


Isn't that pretty? It helps take the sting out of this blustery morning! I'd like it if you'd come back and let me know which Tulip you loved. I had such a hard time choosing just one.


Fall Back


courtesy of www.flickr.com
 Saturday night we set our clocks back and were thankful for the extra sleep we'd get after the busy, fun week we'd all had.

Usually, setting the clock back not only signals shorter days and my hubby getting home from work in complete darkness, but also a frenzy of activity in my business.

For the better part of the last 5 years, I was in direct sales, doing my best to keep my business hours " part-time" and not let the business interfere with family. With the " Holiday Sales" mantra so prevalent in our society, I can tell you that is easier said than done.

Looking back on those years now, from my new non-selling perspective, I see just how wrong my thinking was. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I must agree.

I thought I was happy with all that busy-ness. Even after I quit direct sales, I jumped into trying to earn from online channels, until I exhausted myself. It took me a while to hit the wall, but hit it I did.

And at the end of it all, our accountant always put down Homemaker as my Title. I didn't earn enough to warrant changing our filing status.
Rather than look back on this as a failure, I choose instead to see it as a learning experience, not only for me, but for my daughters. Sometimes in our effort to have it all, we fall short.

This is the first November in a long time where I am free to just be happy and in the moment. I'm just Linda, happy wife, mom, friend and it feels so good and liberating!

My to-do lists are not sources of frustration any longer because I can and do complete my tasks which are mainly home-centric now. Being a part time admin for my husbands business and a full-time wife and mom suits me and my family. I know that sets me up for ridicule by some who feel all Moms should be earning, but I don't care.
I think my happiness and that of my family is far more important. It is my job to teach my daughters how to cook and clean and nurture and build a happy home. It is what's in my heart, it's what my family wants. Does this paint me as a June Cleaver wanna be? Probably, and that's ok too.

To those who do work outside the home: I applaud you and lift you up high. I know yours is not an easy path. I pray that you are at a job that blesses you so that when you are home, you are content.

So, if you are reading this and are feeling stressed, please stop, if only for a moment and double check your course. You may be surprised to find you are on the wrong path. It's okay to stop and change directions.

If you could eliminate just one source of stress right now, what would it be?

Happy Holidays.
 
 
 

The Liebster Award


The Liebster Award

I received my first blog award yesterday from Carrie at www.inthesweetsunshine.com! Thanks Carrie for sharing your sunshine with me. If you need of dose of happy: go visit Carrie.

The Award:I had no idea what Liebster meant, but thankfully Carrie had done the leg work for me. She says she Googled the word and  discovered that the word liebster is actually German for friend, love, or dearest.
Ah, isn't that sweet?

The purpose of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

So let’s spread the love!

Here are the “official” rules for this award:

1.Copy and paste the award on your blog
2.Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
3.Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
4.Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
Thank you again Carrie!

Here are five up-and-coming small blogs that I think you should all check out:

1. Natural Living- http://naturallivingsc.blogspot.com

2.Minoaka Bebe~Ho'o maikai- http://minoakabebe.blogspot.com/

3. Apron Strings and holy things- http://apronstringsandholythings.blogspot.com/

4.  Dandelions and daffodils - http://ofdandelionsanddaffodils.blogspot.com/

5. Raising the Barrs-  http://www.raisingthebarrs.com

I hope you'll go visit them!

CuteKid Free Gallery Contest

It's November, one of my favorite months with all the cooking and baking and holiday prepping, but before we launch into full Holiday-ness, I wanted to let you know of a great contest .




 Enter those adorable Halloween Photos from now through Nov. 15, 2011.

 Send your friends & family the link you'll receive in an email once your photo is entered into the contest so they can vote for your cutie. The photo that receives the most votes wins a $500 Shopping Spree from Totsy, and 4 additional random photos will win great prizes. Go Enter today and good luck!

Please stop back by and share your link with us! Some readers may not have photos to enter, so they can vote for yours!






This post contains an affiliate link and I may receive compensation depending on readers participation.

Happy Halloween

Here's wishing you and yours a very healthy, safe and :




Happy Halloween
courtesy of: www.zoomwallpaers.com



Please be sure to watch out for all the littlest Ones who get excited and forget to watch out for us!


Trick or Treat
courtesy of : www.mi9.com


Remember to enjoy the magic of this day through your kids eyes, before you know it they will be too big to hang out with you!






Are you aware?



courtesy of http://www.ribbons.net/

If you ask most women, they would quickly say that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to the Susan B. Koman Foundation and it's pink army, we see pink everywhere in October and immediately know those wearing or showing their pink are proud supporters.

But did you know that October is also National Thank your Pastor Month?
 No?  Don't feel bad. Neither did I until I read my dear blogging buddy Donna Perugini 's post.
Donna is an Children's Book Author, so I've come to enjoy her posts full of wisdom and wit.

After reading her post, it got me thinking:

How many other causes are represented in October?

Here's what I found:


1. National Dental Hygiene Month www.adha.org/ndhm/index.html

2.National Disability Employment Awareness http://www.dol.gov/odep

3. World Mental Health Day, October 10th- http://www.wfmh.org/wmhday/about.html

4.  World Food Day, October 16th http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/

5. Stop America's Violence Everywhere Today,  October10 http://www.amaalliance.org/

6. Spinal Health Month http://www.allaboutbackandneckpain.com/index.asp

7.National Vegetarian Awareness Month http://www.jhsph.edu/

8.National Primary Care Week, (3rd week) http://www.strengthforcaring.com/

9. National Health Education Week,October 15 - 19 http://www.nche.org/

10.National Spina Bifida Awareness Month http://www.sbaa.org/

11.National Family Sexuality Education Month/Let's Talk http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

12.National Down Syndrome Awareness Month http://www.ndss.org/

13. National Chiropractic Month http://www.acatoday.org/

14. National Child Health Day, October 1, http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/

15.National Celiac Disease Awareness Month http://www.csaceliacs.org/

16. Mammography Day, National (3rd Friday)http://www.cancer.org/

17. Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/

18.  National Cybersecurity month  www.microsoft.com/security/resources/cybersecurity.aspx

19.  National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
October 22, 2011 http://www.october22.org/

20.  National Pizza Month, http://www.31daysofpizza.com/


Seems there are alot of worthy causes that need our attention to make this world a better place. Even # 20, because if we all support our small, local pizza places we are helping!

10/28/11 Update:

I love it when a blog post starts conversations! I will keep adding to this list from your comments, so thank you and please add a cause if you know of one not listed!

21. The Domestic Violence Awareness Month: dvam.vawnet.org

Monday and My Plan



I'll be the first to admit: my posts have been a bit angst ridden lately. Sort of wishy-washy, what should I do, searching for purpose, all over the place dribble.

Yeah, harsh I know, but necessary dear reader, because if I'm sick of it; I know you are.

No longer willing to be the Debbie Downer, I have properly licked my wounds, gave myself a good mental shake and resolved to no longer be buffeted around the blogosphere like some poor helpless ninny.
Somewhere along the way, I drank the "Make Money Blogging" Kool-Aid and this stopped being fun.

I like fun; so here's my plan.

1. Stop Whining.

2. Count my blessings. They are plentiful.

3. Quit Sweating the small stuff.

4. Wholesale delete all money/social media/pro's emails and feeds. They are my kryptonite.

5. Keep doing product reviews. I still think they are fun!

6. Hang out with like minded bloggers.

7. Stop trying to do it all.

8. Write what I know. Followers and money will come if they are meant to.

9. Visit every blog on my readers list, if it's not a good match or of interest to me. Stop following.

10. Invite all my followers to do the same. If you are here and don't wish to read about and talk about all things hearth and home, raising tweens, running a small home based business while being happily married, please feel free to stop following me.


Simple. Action. Plan.

To those who actually read this blog and comment: Thank you! You are a rarity in this blogging community. And if I should find myself without many like you over the course of the next few days or weeks, so be it. I  rather enjoy knowing where I stand and with whom.

Happy Monday.

Blissfully Domestic




All week I been busy with all things domestic. And it has felt so good to be in the moment;
in the zone as the pros's call it'; where your hands are busy and your mind is free to ponder and review at a much slower pace.  Multi-tasking isn't an option and we all need the down time ladies ( and gent's if your are reading this post).



I thought I'd shake things up a bit and tell you what I have accomplished this week.



Monday- Laundry and lots of it. I had done some consignment sale shopping on Friday
and needed to launder all those finds, plus the normal loads from the weekend.

Question- Do you ever get done with your laundry where all baskets are empty?I don't and I'm just not going to beat myself up about it!

I started sorting our closets and rotating our wardrobes for fall.
I also ironed several fall pieces. I don't mind ironing one bit, I actually rather enjoy it.
It soothes, especially on a dreary day. It also calls to mind memories of my Mom and Grandma ironing 
in the kitchen, which is probably why I iron there as well, with my radio turned on low, just like them.

Question: Do you iron, and if so, do you enjoy the task?



Tuesday- The girls had the day off from school due to parent-teacher conference day. Both girls were sent home with forms indicating no conferences were needed unless I requested one, which I didn't because I am in contact with their teachers and both girls are doing great scholastically. Not boasting, just complementing them. 
We spent the day together, playing Mario, visiting the library and grabbing lunch. Oh and laughing, alot!


Ah, yes, this is why I do what I do.. for them and family.


 

Question: When was the last time you belly laughed with your kids, hubby or friends? Try it, you will look and feel better!



Wednesday- I baked! I finally got the- much requested- first of the season- Apple Pie done! I love making apple pies, or any kind of pie really, but there is something so delicious about Apple pies.
 The house smells heavenly for hours afterwards and my family could not wait for dessert. I almost hated moving on to the cupcakes I baked next fearing the smells would intermix and be icky sweet, but no; my daughters assured me that it still smelled awesome as they counted the cupcakes and agreed on how many
they would get after we sent in the dozen requested for Ms. T's class reward day. I also sorted my magazines for recycling and/or sharing.
I always keep my Better Homes and Gardens, which is my favorite magazine! My big magazine basket on the mantle is full, even with the culling of lesser magazines, so I think it's time for a new plan on what gets saved and what gets shared.


Question: What is your favorite magazine?



Thursday- Today I will be scrubbing bathrooms and floors. We have 3 full baths and I have to deep clean, it's part of my DNA handed down from the afore-mentioned Mom and Grandma, so I feel no guilt in placing clean bathrooms as my headliner for the day.
It's my least favorite task of all. I'd rather wash mini-blinds and windows! Which are on my radar.  The floor scrubbing I don't mind, but I do wish it wasn't raining so I could hang my rugs outside to dry.



 

Question: How do you rank cleaning baths on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being love and 10 being hate?


Friday-  I'll take a stab at cleaning out the foyer closet. It looks like a mini-shoe store exploded in there. Now that we are in the midst of Indian summer, we have sandals, flip flops and slides vying for space with boots, Sperry's and sneakers. I have to push and shove to shut the door. A clear sign that I must take up this challenge! I won't even delve into the upper shelf where I store the hats, gloves and mittens, nope, I am picking my battles wisely so I'll have time to properly primp and arrive at my youngest daughters class fall party fresh as a daisy on time! ( which means 20 minutes early to help set up) and full of happiness!


Question:  Why must schools schedule all parties at the same time and in the afternoon when the kids are frazzled? We won't mention the adults here, that's got the makings of a great blog post later on.


So that's my week of domestic bliss, well almost bliss if I could do away with the bathrooms but that is highly unlikely isn't it?

I hope you'll take a minute to answer a question or two. Remember to laugh with your loved ones and pick one task and dive in!


Settling In

I love Fall! It is as simple and complete as that! Fall to me is a perfect time to settle in and prepare for the season ahead, just like all the furry critters scampering around on our property.



Fall Mums


Now that I've weathered the frustrating growth that all blogs must go through and settled on a clear and true course, I will happily share with you all the thing's near and dear to my homemakers heart.

 Like my new tag line says, I will be: Putting the focus on home on my daily adventures in Wahmdom.

Ah, it feels so good to be settled and have a clear action plan! I should have known better than to stray to far a-field from what I know and love.

I wish you all a very happy day, a blessed weekend and because I've been too busy until now to say it:

Happy

Fall by daughter
Painted by my 8 yr. old Ms. M.

P.S. LinkWithin assures me that my old posts will stop being shared once Googlebots visit my site again. I apologize for the outdated links.

Wordless Wednesday




Not exactly wordless I know, but I wanted to share this poem with you.  I very carefully extracted this from one of my magazines a few years back and scanned it in so I could share it with my friends. Today I thought I'd share it with my new friends: you.   My readers who have been lifting me up and helping me out lately, so read this poem and know I am thinking of you!





Ode To Women


If indeed it's a race
Then the chicks do the most
It isn't a brag
Or an estrogen boast
It's women who've led me
With big open hearts
If not for their love
I'd have failed at the start
And it's not just the mothers
I speak of them all
It's a woman there first when somebody falls!


The multi of tasking
That's easy to tease
I dare a great man
to try it all, PLEASE!
So this is my shout out
My rallying cry
To women all over
I hold you up high
And though there are others
Who think this poem strange
It's the women who plant
The root of big change.

Author: Jamie Lee Curtis



Hellmann's Chicken Challenge






When I received this invitation from One2One Network, I immediately signed up. I cook alot of chicken and just like most Moms I know, I love discovering new and tasty ways to serve chicken. While Mayo is not my favorite cooking ingredient, the rest of my family likes it, so these recipes would be easy for me to use in my weekly menu's.







Doesn't this Parmesan Crusted Chicken look good?



Hellmann's is on a mission to help moms break out of their dinner menu monotony by offering such easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes as Parmesan Crusted Chicken.  With only four ingredients and four simple steps, it's on of Hellmanns.com most popular recipe.

Join in the Hellmann’s Chicken Challenge each week at Hellmanns.com as Parmesan Crusted Chicken goes head-to-head with other tasty, juicy chicken recipes.

Cast your vote for your favorite and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four $250 grocery gift cards each week. Click HERE to vote now.  For more information on the Chicken Challenge or Hellmann’s products and recipes, visit Hellmanns.com .


Please stop back by and let me know what recipe you voted for. Do you share recipes on your blog? I follow several, so please feel free to add yours in the comment section below, I'd love to visit.

Thanks as always for reading and good luck on winning the grocery gift card.
Speaking of winning, by sharing this with you, my partner One2One network will enter me in their drawing for a $ 50 dollar gift card.





Wordless Wednesday- Are you serious??

I've always loved looking at and commenting on the Wordless Wednesday posts I've come across in my bloggy travels.  I've said countless times, " this looks like fun, I should do it".
On Monday I was going through the ba-zillon photos I've got stored on the family computer, when I happened upon this gem.



WW are you serious?


Now, I've just gotta say, I have no idea what I was saying or to whom. I know this was taken on Christmas day at my sis-in laws, so I know I was in complete control of all of my faculties, if you know what I mean.

There was no imbibing or adult type merry making, just a typical family holiday with a hostess who likes to stay on schedule.  ( Okay, I'm not pointing fingers, or judging, but for those without kids from those with kids, these events can't be rushed, you need to allot more time than you think; just a friendly F.Y.I.).   


Maybe I was reacting to the " Hey, who's ready to eat" question I seem to remember. ( Smile) We were still knee deep in unopened gifts at the time... just a thought, what do you think?


Have a wonderful, full of happiness and sunshine, over the hump day!

Offline is fine

                            


Oh, no! It's raining! That was my first thought when I woke up this morning. Not that I'm anti-rain, I usually love the rain ( just not big, nasty storms, thank you). I didn't want it to rain for entirely personal reasons.

I was meeting a dear friend for coffee, something we vowed we'd do over the summer, but never quite managed with our busy lives. I was hoping we could sit outside at the coffee shop, but in the end, inside was just fine! I got to meet my dear friend at a new place and meet new people in my neighborhood.

 I was networking, without even thinking about it that way. Sometimes we have to get off our computers my friends! I know, I hear you, social media is on every ones lips these days ( even mine as I pick up consulting jobs in social media), but read on and you'll see why offline is fine too! 

There is a great article about this over at:  Wahm.com.

It's a worthy read. I'd love for you to share with me your tips on how you balance networking on and offline.


Oh, and the sugar free almond latte was almost as good as catching up with my friend!