July 2013 - My WAHM Plan

3 things I'll miss on Blogger

** Oh no! I have hit a glitch in moving my blog with the company I hired, so instead of just deleting this post, I will say, I may be on Blogger longer than I thought.  And that's okay too. What will be will be. **















Our Safer Brand Lawn- Part 2

I received  free products from Safer Brand to facilitate this review. However, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Back in May, I wrote the first of a 3 part review series for Safer Brand products. This type of review is unique here on My WAHM Plan because a certain amount of time must elapse before using one or more of the products sent to us for review free of charge by Safer Brand. 


We are following this chart as closely as possible.

Apply Ringer lawn restore in April for fast green up.
Apply Concern weed prevention plus in May to prevent weeds.
Apply Lawn restore in July to maintain strong, healthy root systems.
Apply Ringer lawn restore in September to winterize your lawn.


To read Part 1, please go here. 


 Today’s post - Part 2 is the follow up of products used in May.


 About Safer Brand Restore:

Ringer® Lawn Restore 0% Phosphate organic fertilizer will give you a lush, thick, green lawn without the worries associated with traditional synthetic chemical fertilizers. This organic lawn fertilizer is also extremely easy to use! This 40 lb. bag will cover 4,000 square feet and will last up to 8 weeks per application. Ringer Lawn Restore will 'green' your lawn up quickly, usually within 3-5 days and will last up to 8 weeks.”


The Review:

We can really tell the difference in look, color and feel on the parts of our lawn that received the Restore treatment in late May.

lawn
Our lawn with 1 application of Safer brand products.

We are very pleased and will by utilizing more product next weekend focusing on the dryer patches in our lawn. Last review to come in  late September/early October.



About Safer Brand Weed Prevention Plus :

“An application of Weed Prevention Plus® in the spring will prevent weeds from taking over your lawn.  Weed Prevention Plus® is powered by all-natural corn gluten meal which contains naturally occurring substances that grow bacteria and starve weeds of the nutrients the seed's tiny feeder roots need to grow. It is a pre-emergent herbicide and causes the weed seedlings to die before their roots ever have a chance to become established. Apply Weed Prevention Plus® when soil temperature reaches 55ºF (10ºC).



The Review:

We are satisfied with the over-all weed control of this product, however, we still have some break through weeds. 
To be fair we must mention : heavy spring rains prevented us from getting this product on the ground during the optimum pre-emergent time frame and the type of weeds (crab grass) is one of the hardest to eradicate.  


weed prevention
Flower beds 

 Overall, we do think this weed prevention method worked far better than other prevention methods we have used in the past, especially in our flower beds. Last review to come in late September/early October.


The Takeaway:

We have and will continue to recommend the Safer Brand products  for all your organic gardening needs.

I invite you to check out Safer Brand products if you are looking for a safe alternative to harsh chemicals. Visit their website HERE or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

What is your late summer lawn and garden woe? 



Working the swing shift

It is hot everywhere in the United States right now, no doubt about it. Since this is my husband’s busy season, we are all home more in the summer, relying on our local power grid to keep us cool and powered up.

Two weeks ago, during a super-hot and humid time, I noticed our lights dimmed every time our AC kicked on.  Not quite a full on brown out, (which can sometimes be harder on electronics than full on blackouts) but enough dimming to make us all stop and take notice.


Erring on the side of caution, I decided to voluntarily cut back our electricity consumption during peak hours.  


77


Here’s what I did:


1. Make sure lights, radios, laptops, etc. are off if not in use.

2. Turn AC up a degree or two until I heard complaints about it being hot. (76 or 77 depending on humidity).

3. Turn up all ceiling fans. They run day and night here and make a big difference.

4. Run the dishwasher later in the evening, around 8:30pm.

5. Do laundry later in the evening as well and hang up light tops and shorts to air dry.

6. Keep my freezer stocked. A stocked freezer stays cooler longer thereby easing the power used by this power hungry appliance.



I know these are little things, but I feel like they are making a difference. And doing chores later in the evening has been a blessing, allowing me more time to connect with my family and friends, garden and do other tasks that I normally save until later or don’t get to at all because I’m tired.  


I find I don’t mind working the swing shift that much.



Do you have rolling brown outs or black outs in your area? If so, what steps do you take to help ease your electrical usage?

Reclaim your outdoor spaces with plants

Thank you to our sponsor One Kings Lane for providing this helpful information for me to pass along to my readers. This post contains affiliate links. However all opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. 



Outdoor entertaining is one of the great joys of summer. Until, of course, the bugs invade and have you wishing for a magic bug zapper. Tired of shooing bugs and getting bit? 

Check out this handy tip:


Instead of sprays, pesticides and candles why not try a cluster of mosquito-repelling potted plants?



plants
Courtesy: One Kings Lane
Grouped together near a seating area on your deck or patio, they make a pretty and lush addition to your outdoor landscape while also protecting you and your guests. 

Check out One Kings Lane's article Easy Update: Mosquito-Repelling Potagerie for more information about how a trio of lush potted plants will have you saying good-bye to bug spray. Using these plants is not only pretty, but it's a quick and environmentally friendly way to reclaim your outdoor spaces.

I didn't know Catnip was more effective than DEET at repelling mosquito's, did you?



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. However all opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. 

How to correctly enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway

Happy Monday dear readers. 

Some of you may be wondering why I am writing about using Rafflecopter today and the reason is quite simple:

 not all giveaway entrants are bloggers, so they aren't familiar with Rafflecopter. And more to the point, not all of MY giveaway entrants are using Rafflecopter correctly. 

If you are a pro at Rafflecopter, great and thank you! You make my life sublime, but for the others who may not be so sure of their entry skills, please read on. I want to make sure ALL entrants have a fair shake at winning.




How to enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway:

The Anatomy of a Rafflecopter Giveaway - Infographic
Courtesy of: Rafflecopter


The Take Away:

In order for your entry to be valid you must do what ever the mandatory entry option was. Just clicking the ENTER button isn't going to work. 

Random.org picks a random winner, but before that happens, I double check entries and manually disqualify those entrants who did not complete the mandatory entries.

I do my best to make my giveaways quick and easy to enter. For instance, my current giveaway HERE  has super easy entry options.  Follow that link and see for yourself. You may just win a 2000 flushes product and a $25.00 Walmart gift card for your effort.

I want you to have fun entering the giveaways here on My WAHM Plan. I love giving away products, it makes my day when I hear back from the winners who are always happy.

So please help me help you by entering my giveaways correctly. :-)

Still got questions? Please ask them!

2000 Flushes and $25.00 WalMart Giftcard Giveaway (sponsored)

Thank you 2000 Flushes for sponsoring this giveaway and the products listed below to facilitate my review and thank me for my time.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.


Last month I shared a giveaway not to be missed: a V.I.P. trip to the ACM Honors in Nashville, TN. If you haven't had a chance to enter, there is still time. Just go HERE  to read my post about and follow the link to enter. 

Today I want to share another giveaway with you, but first my review of 2000 Flushes Blue plus bleach.


About 2000 Flushes Blue plus Bleach:

blue
Courtesy: 2000Flushes
Kill bacteria and keep your bowl sparkling, sanitary and deodorized with blue toilet bowl cleaner.
2000 Flushes Blue Plus Bleach kills 99.9% of bacteria and continuously cleans so you can easily keep your toilet bowl stain-free and deodorized.

2000 Flushes Blue Plus Bleach uses the combined power of bleach and blue detergents to clean and freshen, keeping your water a sparkling-blue for up to 4 months. 
You can learn more about 2000 Flushes by visiting their website. 


My Review:

I don’t like cleaning toilets, but then again, who does? Anybody… anybody saying I do?
So reading that 2000 Flushes Blue plus bleach helps keep one of the busiest and yucky-est seats in the house clean for up to 4 months was a huge selling point to me. 

2000 Flushes is a 2 pack system, one blue with detergents and deodorizers and one white with bleach. They are easy to use, just plop them in the tank of your freshly scrubbed toilet and flush.

With the very first flush I noticed that this product doesn’t turn my toilet bowl super blue, it’s more of an Aqua color.  Also, the water in the tank doesn’t really stay Aqua in between flushes; you only see the color while you flush which I contribute to the bleach.

Speaking of bleach, don’t worry about your bathroom smelling of bleach with every flush.  2000 Flushes blue plus bleach leaves a light, clean scent in the air that is practically undetectable. I sniffed for the purpose of this review.   Since you can’t really see or smell this product in action, please remember to close the lid so Fido doesn’t drink this water.

So far, I am pleased with this product would recommend it. The toilet bowl is still clean after a week and a half of use. Only time will tell if it really lasts for 4 months, but I’m betting it does. If I find it stops working before then, I will update my review.


The Giveaway:

flushesGiftcard



Do you want to give 2000 Flushes blue plus bleach a try? Enter to win one box of 2000 Flushes Blue with Bleach and a $25.00 Wal-mart Gift Card by using the Rafflecopter entry form below. Giveaway open to United States residents 18+ years or older. Valid email address required. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prize.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!


Disclosure: Thank you 2000 Flushes for sponsoring this giveaway and the products listed below to facilitate my review and thank me for my time.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prize.

Celebrate Social Media Giving Day Givver Giveaway

Did you know Social Media Giving Day is the same day as Twitter’s birthday: July 15th?
We are partnering with Partnershub and  Givver.com to make social media matter! 

How you ask? 

By helping #Give with Givver set a world record for the most donations given in one day through social media!



Givver
Courtesy:Givver.com

About Givver:

Givver.com is awesome tool. It enables you to donate quickly and easily to your favorite causes with a single tweet. Whether it’s a non-profit, educational, or political organization you want to support, Givver is here to help you fund and raise awareness for the issues that matter, all by simply using Twitter. 

Givver is a great way to show your friends, family, and followers on Twitter that you care in a tech-savvy way!

Let's all tweet to #give to at least one organization that needs our help by using Givver and make social giving go viral this Social Media Giving Day on July 15, 2013. 


 


For more information and to sign up to be ready on July 15th,  visit: https://givver.com/organizations.




The Giveaway:

One lucky reader will win an Official  Social Media Giving Day Prize Pack which includes:

1 Givver #Give Limited Edition T-shirt and 1 Givver #Give Limited Edition Sticker. 


prize



Giveaway open to United States residents 18 years or old.  The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. 


How to Enter:

Play the What's Your Twitter Personality Quiz. What kind of Tweeter are YOU? Are you first with breaking news stories or does celebrity gossip fuel your timeline? Do you mostly retweet recipes, hashtag humorous one-liners, or are you a font of philosophical wisdom? 

Take the quiz to find out! And then enter your answer in the comments via the Rafflecopter entry form below. 



Enter Here and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: My WAHM Plan was not compensated to share this giveaway, nor are we responsible for shipping of prize. Thank you Givver & Social Media Giving Day for your generosity.

BlueBuds X Headphones from Jaybird Giveaway


Welcome to BlueBuds X Headphones from Jaybird Giveaway 


Have you heard of Jaybird BlueBuds X? I have had my eye on them as a Christmas present for my husband, so I was happy to team up with Review Wire Media and Jaybird to bring you this giveaway.


About BlueBuds X :

Bluebuds X
Courtesy: Jaybird


 BlueBuds X are the smallest Bluetooth headphones available, yet they pack an incredible 8 hours of play time. BlueBuds X rewrites the rules of Bluetooth audio, delivering outstanding performance and are the official training headphones for USA Triathlons. 


About the Giveaway:


1 Winner will receive the BlueBuds X Headphones from Jaybird {RV $170}. See form for Entry Details. Open to U.S. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. Ends 7.31.13

Good luck!

Giveaway Disclaimer: An email address is required to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly through Giveaway Tools and contacted via email. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person entering per household please. U.S. only. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 31, 2013. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.


Disclosure:  My WAHM Plan was not compensated for this giveaway, or responsible for shipment of prize.

The Back to School Countdown Begins


Happy Monday to you! Did you have a great fourth of July weekend? I hope so.  

We had a most excellent weekend, taking a less-is-more approach to it all.  We didn’t plan a thing, except to be together, cook good food and have fun.

This approach worked so well, that we all agreed that our 4 day weekend was like a much needed vacation.  Our souls needed this break in the action and we aren’t even a fast track family. 

It’s a good thing that we had this respite, because now there are only 32 days left of summer vacation. Oh my. The powers that be (the school board here in middle TN) have decided that a start date in the middle of some of the hottest days of summer would be A-Okay. 


bus

Pitching a fit is a waste of time. Planning now for a smooth back to school transition in our home is a much safer bet. 



Here is my plan of action:


1. Start the bedtime routine change now.

 If you are like us and take a more lenient summer bedtime routine, it’s time to nip it in the bud.  Don’t wait until there is a week or two before school starts or everybody will be tired and crabby all day.  Parents: this means we have to go to bed earlier too. No more late night TV.

2.  Set a dinnertime.

Make sure dinner time is early enough that food is digested before bedtime, but not so early that your family has powered through what they ate and need a snack right when they should be brushing their teeth. This is especially tricky for me with a growing teen and tween. They are always hungry! (Yes, girls are always hungry too at this stage.) I aim for 6:30pm to 6:45pm.

3. Clean out their closets.

 Do this early, if you haven’t already AND make them try on every piece they want to keep. With my girls, I go one step further and ask them to see how many outfits they can make. This is a true sanity saver when you are back to school  clothes shopping and they are looking at all the cute jeans when you know they really need tops.

4. Clean out or prep our drop zones.

Every family is different, with a different system in place, but I have found that having the kids place their backpacks, incoming papers, permission slips etc. in specified places daily works for us.
For instance, backpacks must be cleaned out, repacked for the next day and be sitting by the front door for the morning. Period.

5. Listen now.

School can be stressful with some years more stressful than others. Both my daughters happen to be entering a grade that is particularly stressful: 9th and 5th respectively. You can probably relate to the freshman nerves, but may be wondering about little 5th graders. Trust me: this is the year the cattiness and cliques start.  I have set aside private time and chatted with both my girls about going back to school.

They were very illuminating conversations that helped me map out this first plan of action, but I know it won’t be the last this year.  I still need to plan my back to school supply shopping strategy and then there is this biggie to think about:

there is only 169 days until Christmas. 



When do your kids go back to school?


Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic





challenge
My sweethearts

If I could go back in time, just for a day or two, I would go back here. When both my girls fit on the same seat and gladly shared their days and ring pops. This was a magical, happy time in a home we all adored.

Wordless Wednesday- Red, White and Blue


 Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, FUN Fourth of July!



fruit
Red, White and Blue


Celebrate with Suddenly Salad Picnic Pack #Giveaway

Thank you General Mills for offering this opportunity through My Blog Spark and for supplying the prizes listed below to facilitate this review & giveaway. My WAHM Plan did receive free product(s) in exchange for my honest review. My WAHM Plan isn’t responsible for shipping of prizes.


June is in our rear view mirror and it’s time to welcome in July! If your family is anything like ours (and I’m betting it is), you have several outdoor BBQ’s, picnics and celebrations to host and attend, starting with a biggie: 4th of July!


Make your life a little easier by whipping up one of Suddenly Salad’s yummy Pasta Salads. 

Suddenly Salad


My Mom used to make the Classic Pasta salad, which is still one of my favorites, but recently I made their Bacon & Ranch salad. It was a hit with my family members who love Ranch on anything. 


Bacon Ranch

Suddenly Salad
Bacon & Ranch Pasta Salad


Suddenly Salad has several varieties to choose from. 

options


The great thing about these pasta salads is they are so easy to work with. Going from side dish to main dish easily. You can add extra veggies or meat to any one of the Suddenly Salads to truly make it your own. There are several yummy recipes available at the Suddenly Salad website for even more options. You can also learn more about them by following them on Facebook and Twitter.



The Giveaway:
gift set
Your gift pack will contain:
One pack of Suddenly Salad- Classic
One pack of Suddenly Salad- Bacon & Ranch
One Cooler with Blanket
Retail value: $ 56

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US residents 18 +. Ends July 15, 2013.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck!


And from our home to yours: We wish you a happy and safe fourth of July! 



Disclosure - I received a free sample to facilitate my review.  No monetary compensation was provided.  All opinions are 100% my own. My participation is voluntary. I am disclosing in accordance with FTC 16 CFR Part 255.  The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prize.