April 2015 - My WAHM Plan

Wordless Wednesday: Blooms abound

The weather calls me outside and into my flower beds who need my attention desperately! Still, I have blooms aplenty in my front flower bed that make me smile and simply ignore the weeding I must do this weekend.


pink, Prim, Roses
Light Pink Prim Roses
pink, flower, blooms, gardening
Pink Azalea

Clematis, blooms, #gardening, #WordlessWednesday
  Dark Purple Clematis

 Happy last Wednesday of April! Share in comments: What's blooming in your flowerbeds? 

Hydrate your dry hands with Dial Marula Oil infused hand soap & giveaway


I’ve finally started my spring cleaning in earnest, both inside and outside. While I love to make my home sparkling clean, my hands sure do pay the price.  Thanks to my sponsor, Dial, who supplied a free bottle of their latest hand soap, not only do my hands feel better, I’m able to host this great giveaway, so you can hydrate your hands as well.

#marulaoil, hand soap, hydrates, moisturizes,

If you are in to health and beauty products like I am, then you have probably heard of Marula oil, which is being praised as the oil to use this year. Found in everything from high end cosmetics to shampoo and conditioners, this miracle oil has been used for years in its homeland of South Africa. 

The Marula tree grows in abundance in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The oil from these trees is rich in fatty acids and antioxidants and is highly nourishing and hydrating. I can see why Dial would add it to their newest soap in their Boutique Collection.


My Thoughts:

The first thing I noticed and admired was the rich color of this hand soap.  I took a close up photo so you could see the color as well. It reminds me of beautiful a Tigers’ Eye gemstone.


hand soap, #MarulaOil,


Once I smelled Dial Miracle Oil hand soap, I had to give it a try right away. I loved the light scent so much; I decided to put it in our mudroom bathroom so that my husband and family could have a moisturizing soap to use after working in the yard.

Like me, my girls loved using this soap and remarked on how well it worked yet didn’t dry out their hands. 

My husband doesn’t like highly scented soaps, especially if they smell feminine, so I awaited his reaction. While he did like how well the soap worked and made his hands feel, he didn’t care for the smell as I feared.

There was an easy fix for that; I just put this lovely soap at the kitchen sink, where it can be used by family and guests alike. 

My girls and I agree that our hands really do feel softer and more moisturized when using this soap, so we'll be keeping it in stock.


boutique, collection, Dial, handsoap



I invite you to add a personal touch of style to your home by trying one of Dial’s new Boutique Collection hand soaps. You can learn more about this collection and other Dial products by visiting their website here.


Win It:




Thanks to the generosity of Dial, one lucky reader will receive 3 coupons for Free Dial hand soap products with a maximum retail value of $4.00 each! Entering is easy using the Raffle copter form below.

Terms:

No purchase necessary to win. Open to U.S. residents 18+ years. My WAHM Plan will mail coupons to winner. This contest is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social channel. 

Additional Entry Terms:

If it comes to this blogger’s attention that the winner of this giveaway has won on an additional blog for this same prize, this blog reserves the right to choose another winner. 


Good Luck!


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Taking care of my Fur Baby with #RoyalCanin at PetSmart #spon

A special thank you to Royal Canin and PetSmart for sponsoring today’s conversation. All opinions and love of my fur babies are my own.


Earlier this month our fur princess Dottie turned 8. Like all princesses, she deserved a special birthday gift.  If my non-fur children would have gotten their way, Dottie would have received a birthday party fit for a true princess. 


cat, fur baby, mature, health


I convinced them that a trip to PetSmart for a new toy and some special cat food would suffice. 



petsmart, logo, help, pets


We love going to PetSmart! Their staff is always so friendly and knowledgeable about all types of pets, not just our fur babies. We always look at the beautiful birds and fish before heading to our main department: Cats.


On this special occasion, I wanted to give Dottie a special treat that would also be good for her changing needs. No longer a kitten or young adult, we were noticing a subtle change in how Dottie ate and enjoyed her food. She was showing signs of discomfort after eating; I was looking for a food just for digestive health and nutritional needs for an adult indoor cat.


The Cat food section at PetSmart offers a variety of products for all ages, stages and nutritional needs.  As we walked down the aisle, we were drawn to the Royal Canin food section because it was one of the largest there.


pet, food, health, nutrition


Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition and they strive to bring the most precise nutritional solution for cats and dogs. Through extensive research, Royal Canin has identified the needs of our cats and dogs. 

They live by the conviction that, no matter how much we love our fur babies and treat them like family- our pets are not people and they require unique nutritional needs.


We decided to gift Dottie some Royal Canin for made just for the digestive health of a mature cat. Thankfully, Dottie loved her special gift and will buy her more on our next PetSmart trip.



pets, love, furbabies


Royal Canin and the PetSmart staff are here to help you make the best possible food choices for your cats and dogs as well. No matter if they are large or small, pure bred or mixed breed, there is a specially formulated food made just for them.  I invite you to visit PetSmart’s store locator to find a store near you. 

If you would like to learn more about all of the Royal Canin cat foods available prior to going to PetSmart, please visit their cat food page.


Please share in comments: Do you and your family celebrate your pets birthdays? If so, how?


Wordless Wednesday- Happy Earth Day


I wrote about our Earth Day movement here, so to honor our beautiful Earth, I thought it only fitting I share a few photos of the beauty in my yard. I hope you enjoy them and will join us in our efforts to make our world a better place.



Iris, blooms, purple, spring, earth day, #garden
Purple Bearded Iris




flowers, planting, bugs, buds, #earthday
Bug on Peony Bud




Lilac, flower, shrub, gardening
Purple Lilac Buds




apple, tree, earthday, gardening,
Apple Tree Blossoms


Please share in comments: What's blooming in your yard this Earth Day?

Giving the gift of confidence this Mother’s Day #underwareness #sp

If you would have asked me just one year ago what I was going to give my Mom for Mother’s Day, I would have said flowers, or a new outfit. Or maybe the whole family would surprise her with a special brunch because she just loves it when all her kids and grand kids are together. But we won’t suggest a brunch this year, or try to pick out a nice outfit, because for the last year or so, Mom has been struggling with bladder leakage. 



It is nothing to be ashamed of we say- but she is ashamed just the same. So this year, I’m giving her a box of Depend Silhouette Active fit briefs and I’m hoping they will give her the bladder leakage protection she needs so she’ll regain her confidence and independence


bladder, leakage, protection



I don’t want my Mom to feel she is alone anymore in her struggle to find a product that offers her discreet protection. Gone are the days where she needs to feel ashamed by a bulky pad, which may or may not protect her as she moves. She’s moving less and less these days, when she should be out there enjoying her retirement! Bladder leakage isn’t about your age or stage in life and it’s time we all tried to help break down the stigma associated with this condition. 

Here are some truths on Bladder Leakage according to Depend you may not be aware of:
  • More people with bladder leakage are in their 20’s than their 80’s
  • The average age of someone with bladder leakage is only 52


These truths mean my Mom needs to stop thinking this is a curse of getting old and try these Depend briefs so she can get busy living the life she always dreamed of after retiring!


About Depend Silhouette Active Briefs:

briefs, smooth, bladder leakage help


Depend is a trusted name in bladder leakage products so you can expect the same level of quality in their new Active Silhouette briefs. Made to fit smooth under clothes and sit just below the waist, these briefs offer moderate absorbency to trap and lock in odor.


Depend Active Silhouette briefs in beige and black


Active Silhouette thin design briefs come in beige and black and are made of a  cotton like fabric that looks and feels more like regular briefs than any other I’ve researched for my Mom. She’ll be able to wear her Capri’s and dresses with confidence now.  

Join the Movement:


I’m glad I joined the #Underwareness social movement and charitable cause on behalf of my Mom and all women who suffer with bladder leakage. You can join too.


The Depend brand is encouraging people to show their support for this important cause by going to Underwareness.com and joining the Underwareness movement by sharing a photo or video using #Underwareness and featuring Depend products. Depend will donate $1, up to $3 million through 2016 to fun charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage.

While visiting Underwareness.com, you can request free samples of Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs.

It is my sincere hope that this Mother’s Day gift, while unique, may help my Mom regain her confidence and be able to get back out there and by this time next year, we won’t have to wonder if a brunch date would be ill advised.


Please share in comments: Do you or someone you know need help getting back to their more active lifestyles? 

Easy Lemon Yogurt Mandarin Orange Shortcake Dessert recipe #YogurtPerfection #spon

I’ve been enjoying lots of yogurts lately after re-discovering how much I like having them with breakfast; so when Linqia asked if I’d like to try Liberté® Méditerranée #YogurtPerfection and make a recipe to share here, I quickly said yes! 





Lemon, Yogurt, dessert, easy


The first order of business was to visit Liberté® Méditerranée #YogurtPerfection to learn more about this brand. The delightful sounding names on their yogurts had my mouth watering! Their new flavors include:

  • Méditerranée Cappuccino
  • Méditerranée Caramel
  • Méditerranée Blackberry
  • Méditerranée Coconut
  • Méditerranée French Vanilla
  • Méditerranée Lemon
  • Méditerranée Strawberry

Liberté® Méditerranée says their #YogurtPefection is a luscious whole milk yogurt, with live active cultures, real fruit and no gelatin, sugar substitutes or preservatives. That really does sound like yogurt perfection so I can see why they use that hashtag.


Once at Publix, I found the hardest part of the trip was picking a flavor for my dessert recipe. I stood there in the yogurt isle for quite some time while different recipe ideas popped into my mind with each new flavor I picked up. I finally chose the Méditerranée Lemon!


lemon, yogurt, good, delicious



All that lemon goodness i could see at the bottom of the container and their description-  Whole milk yogurt enlivened with the sharpness of lemon. Bracing but silky , had me longing to try it and dreaming of a warm weather treats, like Orange Crème bars! Armed with my yogurt and a perfect dessert idea, I completed my shopping at Publix, easily finding all the ingredients I needed since there are only 4!

This recipe is super quick and easy to make, you’ll have dessert ready in no time. Here’s what you’ll need to make Lemon Yogurt Mandarin Orange Shortcake Dessert


Ingredients:

Serves 4-6

easy, dessert, warm, weather, recipe


  • 1- container Liberté® Méditerranée Lemon yogurt
  • 1- container of shortcake dessert shells
  • 1- container Lite whipped topping
  • 1- 15 oz. can Mandarin Orange Segments in light syrup


Directions:


yogurt, lemon, manderin orange, dessert


  • Spoon stirred container Liberté® Méditerranée Lemon yogurt into large mixing bowl
  • Drain the can of Mandarin Orange Segments reserving syrup and 4-6 Mandarin Orange Segments, pour in mixing bowl
  • Add two heaping tablespoons of Lite whipped topping
  • Gently stir all ingredients until well mixed

dessert, ingredients, easy, mix


  • Place 1 shortcake dessert shell on a dessert plate and fill with Lemon Yogurt Orange filling
  • Top with a small dollop of Lite whipped topping
  • Add one Mandarin Orange Segment to top of dessert and drizzle a teaspoon of Mandarin Orange syrup on dessert
  • Serve chilled


Enjoy!


lemon, yogurt, mandarin orange, shortcake, dessert



This dessert really is a tasty way to kick off the warmer days that have finally arrived! Why not make this treat for your family this weekend? Just head on over to Publix readyplansave.com to clip and print your coupons. Available while supplies last.



Win! 

It’s Friday, it’s spring and we are talking desserts, so let’s celebrate all that by having a giveaway! One lucky reader will receive a $15.00 PayPal transfer, sponsored by  Liberté®Méditerranée #YogurtPerfection

Terms:

Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter form below. No purchase necessary to enter. Must live in the United States and be 18+ years or older to enter. My WAHM Plan will email winner, whom must respond with valid PayPal email address or another winner will be selected. This contest is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social channel. 

Good Luck!


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What a Girl Needs from her Mom by Cheri Fuller is helpful

As part of the Family Christian bloggers network, I was recently asked if I would like to review this book and since I love working with Family Christian and I love my daughter’s I said yes. I received a free copy of What a Girl Needs from her Mom and a thank you item for my time. Thoughts shared today are my own. 


book, helpful, Mom, Daughter
Source


I’ve read many books on general parenting and a few exclusively for the often lovely, yet often trying relationship between Moms and Daughters.  I didn’t want another hard hitting, just the facts style parenting book- I wanted a parenting book that spoke to the Mom I’m learning to be now- a guide book of sorts. 

That’s exactly what I found in the pages of What a girl needs from her Mom. I’ll share more of my thoughts in a moment, but first let me share with you the details of the book from Family Christian’s website where you can purchase this and other helpful books and learn more about the author, Cheri Fuller if you'd like to.

What a Girl Needs from her Mom by Cheri Fuller:

“Mystified by the situations girls face today? There's a good reason, Mom. Our girls are growing up in a completely different world than we did. But whether your daughter is very young or a teenager, you can equip yourself with the wisdom and practical help she needs for the pressures and decisions ahead. With keen insight and warm encouragement, Cheri Fuller shares how you can become a more welcome influence at every stage in your daughter's life. Drawing from her own experiences and the expertise of others, Cheri answers all the top questions, including
  • "How can I help my girl avoid the dangers of social media and navigate the digital world?"
  • "How can I counter society's unhealthy messages about body image and sexuality?
  • "How can I help my daughter (and me!?) deal with her emotional ups and downs?"
  • "What are the best ways to instill good values?"
  • "How can I help her grow a firm faith in God?"


Filled with trustworthy suggestions, this book will help you steer your daughter toward becoming a healthy, confident young woman.


My Thoughts:


quotes, books, parenting, girls, Moms


Very early on in the book (page 16), I read a simple message that I shared immediately. Cheri said there are No perfect Moms. There is no magic formula. No doing this will equal a perfect daughter, or a perfect Mom. After reading that,  I knew I was going to really like this book!

What a girl needs from her Mom covers all ages and stages, so I found myself flipping to relevant chapters depending on the day and what was on my heart for my relationship with my teen and tween daughters. 

One particularly helpful chapter for me was A Mom who listens with her Heart and specifically the Roadblocks to Communication section.

Cheri’s Communication Roadblocks are:

  • Giving advice before hearing her out.
  • Finishing her sentences.
  • Jumping in with positive thoughts to cheer her up when she’s expressing sadness or anger (I raise my hand on this one!)
  • Tossing orders and giving little lectures. (I must raise my hand on this one too)
  • Criticizing her.


Here I revisited a few problems with communication in my relationship with my Mom when I was a tween and teen. I spent time each day unpacking each point, or roadblock;  to see if I needed to work on these areas to better communicate with my daughters.

While I do give myself an overall good grade on this Mom thing- I do have areas I need to improve upon. Just like our kids do, so in my humble opinion, we should cut each other some slack here. I have been intentional in my parenting since reading this chapter and found it has helped me slow down and be present and mindful in the moment. 

Both Mom and daughters (and sons for that matter) are growing up in a different time than we did! Our kids have it tougher than ever! But you Moms already know that. 

If you need help understanding where your daughters are now, I offer you some tips I've learned along the way. 

Spend an afternoon volunteering at their school if possible and watch how their peers talk, dress etc. Go to the mall with them and actively listen to kids their age, get in touch with what goes on around them. Host a sleep-over with one or two of your daughters closest friends and let them be themselves. You would be amazed at what these kids share if they feel comfortable and safe. Be that safe place, please. 

And then read this book.  It will not only help you be a better equipped, more understanding Mom, it just may help you be a better adult as well. 


With Mother's Day rapidly approaching, I would like to take a moment to wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day

Food for thought- Antioxidant Facts you should know #AntioxidantFacts

When I was asked to join a virtual briefing with today's sponsor, ConAgra Foods via The Motherhood blogger group, I immediately said yes. While I do consider myself a savvy consumer, I know I have more to learn, especially when it comes to additives and preservatives in our food. While I will receive compensation for my time, all opinions in this post are based on information I learned during the briefing and are my own. 

fish, fillets, good food, Cajun,

Providing our family with good for us food has become a lot more complicated the last few years.  Gone are the days when you just went to the produce section and picked up a head of lettuce. Now you have choices, sometimes too many choices.

It gets even more confusing when you leave the produce section and start buying staples.  The store isles are usually full of label readers, just like me trying our best to pick the healthiest food we can afford.  I always look for the sugar, calorie, protein numbers, but one of the important factors I may be overlooking is Antioxidants


Getting to know Antioxidant facts:

Antioxidants are our helpers. We have many antioxidants naturally produced in our body every day. 


  • They prevent oxygen from damaging other molecules.  
  • They can slow the aging process. 
  • They boost your body’s natural defense /immune system, combat heart disease and other diseases.  
  • They also protect our cells and function in foods to protect oils from damage that can lead to rancidity. 

These are all very good things- we want Antioxidants to show up in our bodies every day and the best way to get them there is to eat them. 


Antioxidants in Food:

Natural:

Certain foods contain natural antioxidants like Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopheral).  Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables like my spinach salad here. 

Spinach salad, green, leafy, veggies, good, food


Another natural antioxidant you’re sure to recognize if you are a food label reader like me is Ascorbic Acid, a.k.a. sodium ascorbate, a.k.a. Vitamin C.  Strawberries are loaded with Vitamin C

strawberries, natural, foods, Vitamin C


Sometimes those very clinical, almost chemical sounding names we find on our labels are really nothing to be worried about. 


Man Made:

Learning about man made Antioxidants was the highlight of the virtual briefing with ConAgra Foods. The more we learned and asked as a collective group of bloggers, the more I realized I wanted to know more! 

ConAgra Foods did a wonderful job explaining man made antioxidants are and why we may find them on our food labels and in our food.

You may have seen one these before on your labels:

BHT: A tasteless, colorless man made antioxidant is used to help maintain freshness in grain-based foods like crackers and cookies.

TBHQ: A tasteless, colorless man made antioxidant used commonly to keep vegetable oils and other packaged foods fresh.

I would love to share the whole Q & A section with you because I’m sure you have your own questions about man made antioxidants- but that would be a very large blog post to read so I’m going to share ConAgra Foods information below.


Natural v. Man Made Antioxidants and why they are used from ConAgra:

  • Man-made antioxidants, like BHT and TBHQ, are used because sometimes natural antioxidants throw off flavors of foods we know and love, or because a certain antioxidant might perform best with a certain food.
  •  One type is used over another based on performance – for example TBHQ is often used in fryer oils as it is more stable at higher temperatures than BHT, thus preserving these foods more effectively.
  • Natural and man-made antioxidants are sometimes used together in our favorite foods.
Food makers, like ConAgra Foods, choose certain preservative ingredients based on what they know will deliver the best flavor, while keeping your foods safe and fresh.


If you'd like to learn more about Food preservatives,check out 6 Facts about Preservatives video.






My Take Away:

My take away from the conversation was that whether natural or man-made, all antioxidants are safe for our food and our bodies when eating a balanced diet. Antioxidants help us enjoy the foods we love without having to compromise on taste or quality.

Please share in comments: Are you a label reader too? How much time do you allow yourself to spend reading labels when grocery shopping?


Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and I make no health claims in my opinions.


Color of the Month April 2015- Lilac

Spring might have officially arrived on March 20th, but in my mind spring really arrives when the final threat of a freeze comes and goes. Here in middle Tennessee that's early April. I know it's really spring when my Lilacs bloom! So to honor spring and my dear departed Grandma who always allowed me to play and pick her Lilacs to my hearts content- I give you April's color of the month!


Here's a picture of one of my Lilac Bushes.


Lilacs, spring, blooms, gardening


And here's my Pinterest board for the month. I hope you like it and will remember to get out there and smell the beautiful spring blooms around you. Dig in the dirt a little. Laugh in the sun a little. Spring is the time to renew your soul!


Follow Linda A.'s board Color of the Month - April 2015 - Lilac on Pinterest.


Please share in comments: Do you have Lilac bushes in your yard?


Our Earth Day 2015 Take Action Movement- Join Us!

My husband, kids and I were outside walking around our land and planning our spring and summer goals on a recent sunny day. We were down by our pond listening to the birds, while the kids were watching toads jump in the water. I was standing under the fronds of our Weeping Willow Tree and I thought how very lucky we were to own this land, this home place where nature and green abound.  


Weeping Willow, Tree, pond, land, earth day, green

It struck me as it often does in spring, how beautiful our land is. How fresh the air, how star studded our night skies are here in this little rural hamlet. How beautiful the green grass is that my kids get to run on whenever they want. In that moment, living a rural lifestyle seemed idyllic. All thoughts of  the extra work it takes were lost.

And while I was smiling at my good fortune, a whisper of sadness for all those who don’t enjoy these things pulled me back to the present. What can I do to help preserve this for our kids and their kids? What can I do to make the air sweeter and the grass greener for all families?


The answer to these questions was just a click away. I went to EarthDay.org and read about the progress made over the year and as I do every year, I chose our Take Action movement.

earth day, 2015, join, help, save, conserve
Source


Last year, we chose to plant trees and recycle even more than we usually do. That’s saying a lot since we recycle everything and don’t even have trash pick- up service here. My husband handles all our trash and recyclables each week by taking them to our community Convenience Center. It’s a dirty, smelly job, but he knew that was part of the cost of owning land. He thought and still does think it's worth it.



This year we chose to Reduce our Energy Consumption.


Earth Day, green, sustainable, energy, reduce, turn off,
Source

Since we don’t live in an urban area, our electricity is a bit higher in price per kilowatt because it takes more lines and power poles to get it to us. We have been warned for months that our electric bills will go up dramatically this summer, so our reasons for wanting to reduce our energy consumption is both economic and environmental. 

By going to the EarthDay.org’s Take Action Page I found we were not alone in our desire to save money and the environment. This was the 3rd listed movement! 

Here are some facts from EarthDay.org regarding using less energy:

The Issue
Did you know that nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US are generated from the energy we use to power our homes and cars? That adds up to a big environmental impact and a hefty toll on our wallets at the end of the year - close to half a trillion dollars!
What we can do:
The good news is that we can all take small actions to manage our collective energy appetite. This Earth Day, we have teamed up with WattzOn to provide their leading energy management tools to our community free of charge. Take action by creating an Earth Day Energy Center account and start saving energy and money - typical monthly savings are as high as 20% through simple habit changes and small projects!

It took me seconds to take the pledge and get started. 



Our first task will be as they suggested, cleaning our dryer vent. When the weather warms up, we will be putting up an outside clothes line! I’m excited about this because that’s how my Mom and Grand Mom dried their laundry and I can remember running through the fluttering sheets on a warm summer’s day. The feeling and the scent of those perfectly clean smelling sheets stays with me to this day!
Join Us April 22nd!
Whether you want to reduce your energy consumption, help restore the forests, or support environmental education there is one simple thing you can do today to help make our world a better, cleaner, greener more sustainable world for ourselves and for our kids-
Go to EarthDay.Org and read. 
That’s it. I feel confident that you will be inspired and the cause you feel most strongly about will find you.
And please remember no matter where you live, urban landscape or rural hills, take time to step outside and take in the beauty of the day. 
If you don’t like what you see- help be the change!

Please share in comments- What will you do to help on Earth Day this year? Do you support Earth Day every year?