JOY & IMAN leather Best Friend City Satchel review

Can a new purse really become your best friend? If you are like me and need a large, can fit everything and still look stylish purse- the answer is yes!, especially if you are lucky enough to own the new JOY & IMAN genuine leather "Best Friend" City Satchel ! I had the good fortune to receive a complimentary best friend city satchel in demi-matte black from Phoenix Trading Company to try and review and I couldn’t be happier. While I did receive this satchel free of charge, all opinions, love of a good leather bag and fashion are my own.  






Do you see why I love this stylish satchel? Even my teen daughter (modeling the satchel in the photo above) loves this beauty of a bag!  I usually carry black purses because I feel they work well with any outfit and the demi-matte black pebbled leather with gold-tone hardware makes this satchel trendy while the overall size and shape profile lends a classic vibe.  



Joy & IMAN Logo on best friend city satchel




Here is a run-down of the features of the satchel from Phoenix Trading Company

  •  Size/Profile: Large satchel 
  •  Walls: Genuine pebbled leather
  •  Handles/Strap: Double rolled handles 
  •  Hardware: goldtone; signature goldtone front metal logo plate 
  •  Construction: Open top; flat bottom with metal feet 
  •  Closure: Zipper 
  •  Lining/Trim: Polyester 



Interior of Joy & IMAN Best friend city satchel



The interior is a purse lover’s dream come true. Look at all that room! I can easily carry my tablet and Avon brochures and samples when out working my business. I can fit my planner and notebook for taking notes when I’m attending important school meetings, or blogging ideas and the best part- everything has a home. No fiddling around at the bottom of your purse for your pen or keys! 


Here’s the rundown of the interior:

  •  1 front wall compartment with 2 patch pockets
  •  1 plain compartment with 8 card slots
  •  1 center zippered compartment
  •  1 zipper pocket and 1 patch pocket
  •  1 compartment with 1 patch pocket 1 back wall compartment with 1 zipper pocket (1 inside  pocket for mirror), 1 patch pocket, 1 elastic pocket and 2 pen slots 
  • 1 adjustable square watch (located on front of purse in leather case)


Plus- this satchel truly reaches best friend status with the super helpful flashlight attachment! Just open the satchel, click on the handy flashlight that’s attached to the side and you’ll find your glasses, phone, wallet or gum in a flash! Need to know the time without looking at your phone? This satchel has you covered with a small square black and goldtone watch concealed in a small leather pocket attached to the front.



 Joy & IMAN best friend city satchel with flashlight attached


There is even a zipper back pocket on the back exterior to place those items you want to grab quickly before going into a meeting or running into the corner bodega for a snack. 



The Take Away:

The JOY & IMAN genuine leather "Best Friend" City Satchel is a big, roomy satchel that can and will carry almost everything you need for a long day in the city. It feels nice on your arm. The sturdy double rolled leather handles assure you they can carry the extra weight of your tablet and heels effortlessly. Joy and IMAN nailed fashionably functional with this satchel and it holds its own within that line.  This pretty, classy yet trendy bag will serve you well all season long! If you are looking for a solid satchel with style, I invite you to learn more at PhoenixTrading Company where you can purchase it as well.


Please share in comments: What is your favorite purse go- to style and color? 

Ten Succulent plants for your indoor garden

At the beginning of each season I promise myself that this will be the season I have a garden to be proud of.  My flowers will bloom glorious bloom after bloom, my herbs will never wither or go to seed and my succulents will remain perfectly pleasing to the eye. Then reality sets in and I muddle along with an okay garden space- but my succulent game is strong so I can take heart. 


Ten succulent plants for your indoor garden



If you’ve never known the joy and beauty of a succulent garden, then why not give it a try as our Indian summer days slowly ebb into winter?  Maybe it’s already more like winter where you live- all the more reason to start this easy indoor garden full of succulents



What is a Succulent Plant?


Succulent plant leaves



Succulents are fairly easy to identity because of their leaves and stems. The most widely recognized succulent is probably the Aloe Vera plant and my personal favorite the Jade plant. The Jade plant in the photos above is 10 years old and was born from clippings my mother in law took from her mother’s Jade plant.  I treasure this Jade plant because it is an heirloom; one that I can pass on to my daughter’s when they move to their first place. I’ve started several pots of Jade from this one and will be doing a quick tutorial soon. Another thing I adore about Jade is it produces delicate white or pink flowers once a year!



Jade plant pink flowers



Succulents would be a perfect first time plant for teens, or anybody that loves having greenery around them but forgets to water their houseplants because succulents are drought resistant and require very little water or hands on care. Just read the care tag and put your plant in the correct light and you are almost guaranteed success with your indoor succulent garden!


The one drawback of succulents is choosing the right one for your personal tastes and your homes lighting. Some points to consider before buying succulents:

  • Low levels of natural light and cooler temperatures mean you’ll need to adjust how much water and fertilizer you give.
  •  
  • Some plants adapt to hanging planters and terrariums better than others.
  •  
  • Some succulents can even be toxic to your indoor animals.



As you can see, while succulents may be easy to grow, you need to do your homework first. That’s why UncommonGoods, one of Brooklyn’s favorite online retailers of home and garden decor, has researched and compiled a list of 10 best succulents to brighten up your home this fall and winter.


Ten best succulent plant infographic



I was happy to see my favorite succulent, Jade second on the list. I think I will add a Mistletoe plant to a hanging basket in my bedroom and I love the look of the string of buttons plant. 



I adore growing and spotting succulents wherever I go. I saw this beauty at my grocery store and had to share a pic on Instagram. 


You will find a huge succulent fan following on IG, so hop on over and follow me and UnCommonGoods there.






Please share in comments: Which succulent plant from the infographic would you like to grow in your indoor garden?



Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way to share this information today. I just love succulents and UnCommonGoods was kind enough to ask me to share that love via their infographic. 

Happy Thanksgiving $50 Giveaway


Hello dear readers and welcome to the first, of what I hope is many holiday giveaway's here on My WAHM Plan. I've teamed up with a fabulous group of bloggers again to bring you this one!


Thanksgiving $50 giveaway





Welcome to the $50 of Choice Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Hosted by: Southern Mom Loves

Co-Hosted by: Dorky's Deals


One winner will receive $50 via Paypal cash or eGift Card of choice! If I can purchase an eGift card or code online and email it to you, you can choose that store, or you can choose Paypal cash!


Enter below, and good luck.




Terms:

Giveaway begins on 10/27/16 at 1:00 am CST and ends on 11/23/16 at 11:59 pm CST. Must be 18 years or older, open Worldwide (void where prohibited.) Once winners are confirmed, they will be added to the Winner's List here.





Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per IP address. All entries will be verified. Void where prohibited by law. Winner will be contacted by email; Please add southernmomloves@gmail.com to your whitelist. Southern Mom Loves will be responsible for prize delivery to the winner. This giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.


Contact Holly at southernmomloves@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments, or would like Southern Mom Loves to organize your next giveaway.

Help your pets have a stress free holiday season

For many families, Halloween has become the unofficial start of the holiday season. We decorate our homes, ourselves, our kids, and our pets, if they will allow it. While the holidays can be a fun and happy time for us, they can be very stressful for our pets. Today I’m sharing helpful tips with my fellow pet owners, which hopefully, will help us avoid potentially hazardous situations and keep our pets (and us!) safe, healthy and stress-free throughout the holiday season. 


This post is sponsored by Royal Canin®, #royalcaninhealthypets. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin’s veterinary-exclusive gastrointestinal diet this #Halloween, but all opinions are my own. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this post.



Dottie at the door help your pets have a stress free holiday


Meet Dottie ‒ our 9-year-old indoor cat who loves to be in the same room with you while you go about your day. She loves seeing outside and we captured this photo of her looking out the front door onto the porch recently. Her sweet face seems to ask ‒ why are you out there in the scary dark? Please don’t stay out there. Changes in her routine, like me not working from home one day, or visitors, can really stress out Dottie.



Do you know some of the other signs of stress in your pet? According to MyPetReference.com they are:

  • Poor Appetite
  • Decreased interaction with their owners
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances



With Halloween less than a week away, I know my cats will be stressed and upset every time the doorbell rings! We may do trunk-or-treat again to relieve this problem.  Do your pets run in fear of trick-or-treaters and holiday guests too?


If yes, here are a few tips to help prevent stress in your pet:



Royal Canin pet products



1. Make sure you feed your pets at their regular feeding time and spot. Now is not the time to change things up! Feed them their preferred food type in a line that provides all the nutritional support your pet requires, like Royal Canin®

2. Provide a stable living environment for your pets. They need routine! Try your best to keep your pet’s schedule and routine as normal as possible.

3. Reinforce positive behavior in your pets like using their scratcher, or not clawing furniture etc.



Dottie, happy cat in the window




4. Make sure their favorite spots are available to them! Dottie adores seeing out the windows to our front yard, which is full of birds, squirrels and nature. We added a ledge to the dining room window for her and our other indoor cat, Fiona.




Fiona, happy cat in the window



This ledge is the preferred cat seat in our home, but when the holidays come and guests arrive, both our cats dash for the safety of our bedroom instead, so we added an additional viewing ledge in our bedroom window just for them. It’s a little thing for us humans, but to our cats, it’s a welcome gift of security and routine




Another tip to a less stressed pet is to keep holiday décor and foods that are hazardous to our pets away from them! 


The holidays are also a time when there are more treats and food around the house. Guests may not realize that your dog or cat shouldn’t eat table scraps or that they should keep their appetizer plate out of the pet’s reach.




Here is a quick reference list of the most toxic holiday foods for pets to eat:

  • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate
  • Unbaked bread dough
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free candy and gum, jelly and baked goods (when ingested, artificial sweeteners can cause a sudden release of insulin in an animal’s body, leading to dangerously low blood sugar)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Turkey, bones, and other meats with fatty portions
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Onions and garlic



It’s very important to let your holiday guests know that no matter how sweetly our pets may ask for food, we should never give in to temptation! Make sure pets can’t raid the garbage can or eat treats left on plates sitting around the house.


My Cat, Fiona asking for my food, but I resist!



Even with our best efforts, our pets can show signs of stomach upset and GI issues. Here are four signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Regurgitation
  • Diarrhea
  • Refusal to eat

If you notice these symptoms in your pet you should contact your veterinarian immediately to determine the best course of action. They could actually be signs of an infection, chronic illness or a more serious condition. 


In many cases there are simple solutions. Ask your vet about Royal Canin’s line of veterinary-exclusive gastrointestinal diets. Royal Canin offers multiple options to help veterinarians provide individualized nutritional solutions for pets experiencing gastrointestinal issues. You can learn more about Royal Canin products by visiting their website and by getting social with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Don’t forget to check out My PetReference.com for a host of valuable resources. With a little education and prep work, we can help your pets have a stress-free holiday season which will make ours jolly and bright as well!



Please share in comments: How do you share the holidays with your pets?

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

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? 

Dark Before Dawn by Monica McGurk Book Review and Giveaway


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 www.monicamcgurk.com.


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

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 entrée, 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: 


Ingredients:

 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




Directions:

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

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! 



breast_cancer_awareness_giveaway_hop_2016






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! 


Terms:
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. Can't ship to P.O. boxes.  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




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?