Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist Review

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My mailbox brings an assortment of products, letters and parcels that my family and I look forward to opening. Books hold a special place in my heart and I always open them first. Nothing beats that new book smell I say to my daughters and thankfully, they agree. 
This week I'm sharing another ARC book courtesy of Zondervan media. This free book was sent to me to read and share my thoughts with you, which are 100% my own.

About the book: Bread & Wine - A love letter to life around the table with recipes.

Courtesy: Zondervan Media

"As a follow up to her two bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Shauna Niequist returns with the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table. 

Bread & Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. 

Bread & Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. 

It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two. With wonderful recipes included, from Bacon-Wrapped Dates to Mango Chicken Curry to Blueberry Crisp, readers will be able to recreate the comforting and satisfying meals that come to life in Bread & Wine."

About the Author: Shauna Niequist:

"Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. (These are my Amazon affiliate links, I may receive compensation if you purchase from them).

Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
She is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy .  Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.
Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God."

My Review: 
I love this book! The title and cover photo speaks of happy times and this book doesn't disappoint. I laughed, I cried and I shook my head in total agreement as I happily read. Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine spoke to my heart in several ways and made me want to start my own cooking club. Or at the very least, a book club so I can share this book with others. Shauna makes it easy to do both, sharing her entertaining tips, sample menu's, recipes, pantry lists and even a four week book club discussion guide! 
Click here to download a free download/printable sample of Bread & Wine. Click here for a free audio chapter.
I highly recommend this book and will keep this in mind for gifts for a few of my friends and family. I loved Shauna's writing style so much that I am going to read her other books as well. 
You can learn more about Shauna by visiting her blog here.
You can purchase Bread & Wine at my Amazon affiliate link below: (see full disclosure here)

I hope you found this review helpful. Do you belong to a book or cooking club? Please share your views in comments. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation should you purchase this book via my links. 

$300 Home Depot Gift Card and Brood X Giveaway

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, April 29, 2013
I was not compensated in any way to share this giveaway. All opinions are my own.  This post does contain affiliate links, which may provide a small monetary payment should you purchase the book via my links. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prizes. 

Welcome to the Brood X $300 Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway!

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.
Sponsored by author Michael Phillip Cash.

I love working outside this time of year. I have a list of projects awaiting my attention. Everything from weeding flower beds to replacing patio chair cushions, to getting rid of bugs. There is hardly a weekend that goes by during the busy warm months that you won't find us visiting Home Depot. Sound familiar? That's why I couldn't pass up this opportunity to partner with some awesome blogger to bring you this giveaway!

Every outdoor enthusiast has met up with the loud and destructive Cicada, but are  you prepared for the invasion of Brood X? It's here and you need to get ready!

Courtesy: Michael Phillip Cash

Nothing will stop this 17 year swarm from happening. All humanity can do is hope that they will not stay around long.

Introducing Michael Phillip Cash's new book, Brood X. It is available on Amazon and coming soon to online book stores near you. Now you can win a copy of Brood X and a $300 Home Depot Gift Card or $300 USD via PayPal to help you get prepared for the invasion!

About Brood X:

Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder.

During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) are expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast.

Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade.

During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone.

Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed.

Will Seth grow up and take responsibility for his family? Or will the devastating bugs destroy humanity?

About Michael Phillip Cash:

Born and raised on Long Island, Michael Phillip Cash has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films.
He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

gift cards
Courtesy: Giveaway Promote

Enter to win a $300 Home Depot Gift Certificate and a copy of Brood X.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a $300 Home Depot Gift Card or $300 USD via PayPal and a copy of Brood X (English version). Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on May 12th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers, we'd love for you to join an awesome group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.

Olay Regenerist Lash Duo Review

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, April 26, 2013

I wrote this post while participating in a campaign by Vocalpoint  on behalf of Olay Regenerist and received a promotional item to thank me for my time. All views and opinions with regard to the products, or company are my own and were not influenced, nor reviewed by the company prior to posting. 

I am a make up and skincare fan. The health and beauty aisles at any retail establishment will draw me in like a moth to a flame. I enjoy trying new brands, but there are a few tried and true brands that I always rely on, Olay being one of them.

eye cream

About Olay® Lash Duo:

"Double-team aging eyes with the New Olay®Regenerist Micro-sculpting Eye Cream & Lash Serum Duo. The dual-ended applicator softens the appearance of lines and gives you smoother-looking lids and instantly thicker-looking lashes—a powerhouse duo against aging eyes."

My Review: 
Eye Cream:

I have tried many, many eye creams over the years so when I say there was nothing I didn't like about this eye cream, I really mean it.

  •  It was light and non -greasy. It felt soothing on the eye area including the eye lid. Zero irritation! 
  • It absorbed into skin quickly, allowing me to move on with my routine without having to wait for the product to dry. 
  • The eye cream played nicely with my concealer allowing the concealer to glide smoothly over eye under-eye area.
Lash Serum:

I haven't used a lash serum before so I didn't know what to expect. I knew I didn't want clumpy eyelashes or eye irritation from product overload. I very tentatively  applied a small amount to one set of lashes and waited. Here are my thoughts:
  • No eye irritation but your lashes will feel thicker than they usually do when applying mascara.
  • Wait time for serum to dry is about one minute. Do another part of your face while you wait.
  • Bonus beauty tip: After applying serum to your eyelashes, run brush over your brows for a quick and pretty grooming. 
  • No clumps formed on eyelashes or eye brows!
  • Serum worked beautifully with mascara.
  • I didn't feel like I had a ton of product on my eyelashes.
I am completely in love with this duo! The skin around my eyes is much softer and smoother and my lashes have never looked better!  I will happily purchase again and I highly recommend this to you. I feel sure that even those with sensitive eyes will be able to use these products.

This product is currently on sale at Target.  Or you can save more and purchase this online at Amazon:

I hope you found this review helpful. Please let me know if you have a favorite Olay product that you always buy.

Disclosure: This post contains affliliate links. I may receive compensation should you purchase products via the store links listed above. 

Wordless Wednesday- Purples and Blues

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

purple with moon




Adventure Treks Summer Camp Contest

in , , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, April 22, 2013

 It's Earth Day and I have an amazing contest that showcases two things I love: Mother Nature and Children! While this is not a compensated post, I do get a free t-shirt for sharing this contest as part of the USFG Bloggers team.  

Here is your chance to Win a Summer Camp Experience at Adventure Treks! 

Courtesy: Adventure Treks

Scale snow-capped peaks you’ve only seen in postcards. Shoot towering rapids with your new best friends. Walk wildflower-laced trails by day and wonder at a twinkling sky by night. Cook crazy concoctions around a campfire and laugh more than you ever thought possible!  

About the Camp:

Adventure Treks is all about making memories, fostering lifelong friendships and creating more confident and capable young men and women. We are a small and personal company and getting to know you is our biggest priority. But Adventure Treks isn't just about outdoor fun; it's about YOU! We want you to discover your best self, and we believe that the great outdoors is just the way to do it! 

summer camp
Courtesy: Adventure Treks

Adventure Treks is more than a summer adventure camp.  Our two, three and four week outdoor adventure programs for teenagers ages 12 - 18, help great kids build skills for future success. 
While our students are having the time of their lives rafting, climbing, hiking, and biking in some of the greatest scenery on the planet, something else is happening. They are growing in numerous ways: self- confidence, social achievement, teamwork, leadership and new outdoor skills, to name just a few. Get Quick Facts About Adventure Treks Here!

About The Contest: 

Win a Trip Valued from $2,995-$3,795.  You can choose a Trip Destination!

How To Enter:

New Student Eligibility: 
Contestants must be between the ages of 12 and 16 and eager for outdoor adventure, challenge, and being part of a close community of friends.

Enter Your Video or Essay:
Videos can be no longer than 60 seconds. Essays should be no more than one page in length. 

Click here for the official contest entry: Adventure Treks Essay Contest Announcement!

Good Luck!

Have you sent your kids to summer camp in the past? Think you are ready to book with Adventure Treks instead of entering the contest?
Then here is a coupon for you to save and receive a free t-shirt! When booking your trip, please mention you heard about Adventure Trek on MY WAHM Plan!

Disclosure: I received no compensation to share this contest. As part of the USFG Bloggers team, I will receive a free t-shirt for sharing this with my readers. If a reader chooses to book a trip and all criteria is met including listing my name as their referrer, I may receive a small portion of the booking amount.

Lighting a candle for America

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, April 19, 2013

The news... I had to turn it off.

My heart breaks for everyone who has lost so much in this wonderful country of ours this week.

God Bless the people of the United States right now and help us through.

We will light a candle again tonight, and pray and try to make sense of all of this ugliness.

We will remember that today, as we breathe in and out together is a gift and shouldn't be wasted on anything but love and kindness and all good things.

Blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

Candle of Hope

Do you judge other Moms? It is in our nature to quickly size up a situation, so I'm not talking about the quick flashes of judgement that cross your mind when you happen to see another Mom in your daily life. 
Those flashes are more like a quick categorizing: new Mom, happy mom, mom who can't find her keys, mom with cute shoes, etc. Those are harmless and we could never stop them. We are wired to do it.

I'm talking about the darker judgements that most Moms won't come clean about. Being a Mom is one of the hardest roles any of us will ever take on and yet, we Moms can be cliquish, catty and judgemental. 

I wanted to join this wonderful empowering movement because I know how it feels to be judged and excluded. I also know first hand how right it can feel to pass judgement. 

Take the StrongMoms Empowerment Pledge

I am a work at home Mom, heavy emphasis on the word work, but to some Moms within my community the term work at home translates to "lazy". 

I see it cross their faces at school events when the meet and greet time starts. I hear it in their thinly veiled (and sometimes not so thinly veiled) comments like " Oh, how lucky you are to be home all day! I bet you get everything done! 

Or, they assume I should take on every school project because I don't have anything better to do. I want to say to them, I DO plenty daily. I want to SHOUT" I am doing it all" and I am no where near lazy! But, instead I fume and I judge them right back.

This cycle has to stop Moms! And it stops with each and every one of us taking a good look at ourselves and seeing if there is room for improvement and change.

I invite you to read some other Strong Moms who have taken the pledge with me. Please read this moving post " Dear Mom on the iPhone  and the Scary Mommy Manifesto

Then go to and join us. 

North of Hope Book Review

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, April 18, 2013
I am an avid reader, usually having more than one book started at any given time, so I was pleased to partner with Handelbar Publishing via to review books.
This is my first ARC (advanced reading copy) book, which was sent to me free of charge to facilitate this review. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are 100% my own.

About the book:
Synopsis: courtesy:
When Shannon Huffman Polson’s parents are killed by a wild grizzly bear in Alaska’s Arctic, her quest for healing is recounted with heartbreaking candor in North of Hope, as she retraces her parents’ final days along an Arctic river searching for her own sense of peace and meaning in the journey.


About the Author
Shannon Polson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. She was a contributing writer to More Than 85Broads, and her work has appeared in Seattle and Alaska Magazines, Cirque Journal, Adventure Magazine, and Trachodon, among others. Polson graduated with a B.A. from Duke University in English Literature, an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and an M.F.A. from Seattle Pacific University. She served eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the Army and worked five years in corporate marketing and management roles before turning to writing full time. Please visit Shannon’s website to learn more.

My Review:
I am a fan of an eclectic blend of book genres, usually picking stories from the synopsis, rather than genre alone. When first approached to review North of Hope, I read the synopsis for it and thought “I will love this book”. But I didn’t.  I only liked it and only some parts. 
While Shannon Polson had a very moving and  cathartic journey to share in North of Hope, I found it dragged in several places.

To me, it seemed the author would get lost in the sharing of information about bears, or indigenous Alaskan people. So much so, that I would have to go back and re-read previous paragraphs to pick up the context of her first thought.
This particular writing style made it slow going, and I found myself growing tired of reading North of Hope after a chapter or two. I just couldn’t sync up to this author’s writing style and felt I slogged through this book.
I did finish it, but will confess to skimming over passages that felt more like “teachable moments”.
 One of my favorite passages, which spoke right to my heart, was: “How can we ever begin to appreciate the full depth of each moment? Is there any way not to look back on those last conversations, last meetings, wishing we had let them seep into us completely”?
While North of Hope was not my ideal read, there were enough bright spots and eloquent writing that I do favorably recommend it to those who may be experiencing the untimely death of a loved one. I also recommend watching the video , which may help you decide if this book is right for you. 

As always, I hope you found this book review helpful. I strive to offer my true and honest opinion on everything I review here. Stay tuned for more book reviews soon! 



Almost Wordless Wednesday

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring was here in all it's glory last week, so when my oldest daughter Tera got done with homework and wanted to go outside, I suggested she "capture" spring for me. I told her I would share her pictures on my next Wordless Wednesday. She was happy to accept this project because she is a budding photographer.
Below is Tera's Sunset Spring pictures from our home place. I hope you enjoy them.
Sunset on our home place.

Lilac leaves & buds, front yard.
Weeping Willow by pond.
Iris Buds.

     Lilac buds, back yard.

Apple Blossoms.
 And last, but not least, she even found the beauty of the lowly Dandelion.


Follow My WAHM Plan on Bloglovin'

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, April 11, 2013
Since Google Reader is shutting down July 1st, I wanted to invite to follow me on bloglovin'.
Bloglovin' is easy-peasy to sign up with (one click easy) and makes it super easy to follow and read all your favorite blogs.  Also, bloglovin' can help you import all the blogs you follow with Google Reader. Go HERE to learn more. But before you do, please click the picture below to go sign up and follow me.
Thank you and please leave a comment with your blog name so I can follow you back!
Follow on Bloglovin

Spring Cleaning Giveaway- $100 Walmart Gift card

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
 Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way to participate in this giveaway. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping/mailing of gift card. All opinions are 100% my own.

If you are like me, you have been busy checking off your spring cleaning tasks and still have lots to do.  I know in some regions spring is just now showing up, so you might still be in the planning stages. Either way, I have the perfect giveaway for you!

Welcome to the "Spring Cleaning" giveaway event sponsored by Tip Hero, featuring some wonderful bloggers and the opportunity to win a prize that's sure to help you with your spring cleaning efforts!

spring cleaning giveaway

We've featured many tips here at Tip Hero that can help you save money on spring cleaning. Our free homemade cleaners ebook, for example, features some great homemade cleaner recipes from us and from our extremely helpful readers. But if you're in need of some of the basics for cleaning up or redecorating, a $100 Walmart gift card is sure to come in handy!

This giveaway begins on April 10th and will run until April 24th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It will be open to residents of the US only, 18+. Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and be sure to take advantage of the many entries you can gain. You can also come back daily for more chances to win.

Good luck!
$100 Walmart Gift Card

Health and Beauty products Review

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Disclosure: Thank you Vitacost for sending me these products free of charge to facilitate this review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinions, which are 100% my own.

You may remember my health and nutrition bars review for Vitacost in March where I explained that I had received a box full of goodies from them and I wasn’t told upfront what I might receive.  The products in the March review were well received and were a good fit here on My WAHM Plan.
I can’t say the same about this second batch of products, some of which I would have never purchased for myself or agreed to review here. However, I am a “product reviewer and brand awareness builder” so I will fulfill my obligation as such. 

clay mud

Product Description:
Redmond clay facial mud helps to clarify your skin, remove excess oil, shrink pores, draw out toxins, tone skin, remove impurities, and deep clean. Redmond Clay Facial Mud is safe for all skin types.
 Redmond Clay is naturally absorbent and very gentle. Acting like a sponge, it draws dirt, grime, oils, impurities, and other harmful toxins into its internal structure. Free of chemicals.

My Review:
 I really liked this product! It did all that it claimed it would without drying my face. I loved that it was fragrance free. When you need to leave a product on your face for 15-30 minutes, scent is important. I highly recommend this product and would purchase it again.


reading glasses


Product Description:

Go Green! Readers:  Eco-friendly reading glasses made with recycled materials. Optical quality frames made from recycled polymer plastic.  Flex-comfort spring hinges made with recycled steel.  Recycled water used in lens manufacturing.  Package contains four fashionable frames styles for women in the same reading power. Available in reading powers +1.00, +1.50, +2.00, +2.50, +3.00. Readers come with coordinating protective eyeglass case.

My Review:
This product was not a good match for me. I do not require +2.50 readers and if I did, I would have never picked this style for myself. In an effort to do an honest review, I asked my daughter who wears glasses to try a pair on. She said the lenses worked fine but the glasses arm broke right off as she was trying to put them back in their case! At $23.99 for a 4 pack, you are paying $5.99 for a pair, so these might be perfect for somebody who misplaces or are hard on their readers.
I recommend you proceed with caution because of how easily the arm broke off these glasses.


Product Description:
Innersense color radiance daily conditioner revitalizes and nourishes color treated hair. 100% color safe. Pure ingredients of rice bran oil, pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil and rooibos tea combined with Shea butter to provide high antioxidant protection from color fading.
My Review:
Here is another product that I normally wouldn’t have purchased because I don’t have color treated hair. However, I wound up really liking this daily conditioner as a weekly deep conditioner. It is that thick and luxurious with little beads of pulp that leaves your hair super soft and nourished and it smells so good! I did notice it had a tendency to make my natural copper highlights look a bit brassy.

I highly recommend this product to those that color treat their hair.
* Product may be temporarily out of stock, since it is not available for purchase on website. I used another inneresense product link and picture out of necessity in order to give credit to inneresense.*


Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl defining Gel:


Product Description:

Certified Fair Trade Shea Butter, handmade by Alaffia, herbal extracts and plant gels hydrate and define waves and curls. With natural vitamins for shiny, lustrous, long-lasting curls, this all natural gel reduces frizz and provides residue-free soft hold for natural styles of all kinds. Also great for finger styling, twist-outs and braiding.
My Review:
 Since I don’t have curly hair, nor do my daughters, this product gave us a challenge. But, we rose to the occasion and again my daughters were game to help me with a review. They used the product on their hair while braiding. They used it very sparingly and surprise! Their hair looked smooth and shiny, not greasy at all. But, I could not abide the scent! It was so over the top herb-ally, it reminded me of something I would put on my salad! 
I would recommend this product for those with thick curly hair who need control and moisture and don’t mind a highly scented product.
Honey Girl Organics personal lubricant:

Product Description:
Organic Skin Care from Hawaii's Rich Beehive Harvest This organic personal lubricant softens and smooths skin, while enhancing sensual intimacy. It helps relieve dryness. Created from pure and organic ingredients. Completely free of parabens, glycerin's, fragrances, hormones, silicone's and petroleum products.
My Review:
Another surprise product in the box I would have never agreed to review here on my family friendly blog.
I used this product as a skin softener in my delicate under bra area after a workout. It did sooth, soften and moisturize if I used a very small amount. It caused irritation if applied in more than a scant amount.
I would not recommend this product because I did experience irritation on delicate skin.

Product Description:
America's #1 Selling Weight Loss Supplement Brand, Lose Weight, Stimulant, Free Great Tasting, Natural Flavors. Losing Weight Can Taste Great. All-New! The 1st Weight Loss Gummies from Hydroxycut™. Lose Weight and Reduce BMI with Clinically Proven Key Ingredients.
 New Pro Clinical Hydroxycut Gummies are a delicious new way to get the clinically proven key weight loss ingredients in Pro Clinical Hydroxycut in great-tasting gummies.
 Average weight loss with key ingredients (lady's mantle, olive extract, cumin extract, and wild mint) was 20.94 lbs. in the 12-week study and 16.50 lbs. in the 8-week study. All groups followed a calorie-reduced diet.
My Review:
I wanted to like this product because it I want to lose a few pounds and these gummies are stimulant free.
I tried taking the gummies as per the instructions (2 gummies before meals, 3 times a day). By the second day, I noticed I had a headache at lunchtime. At first I didn’t contribute this to the Hydroxycut, but when my head hurt again at dinner time I took notice. I also noticed no discernible difference in my appetite.
On day 3, I only took 1 gummy at breakfast and I still had a headache so I stopped using them.
I don’t recommend this product unless you read the ingredients listed at Vitacost and know you won’t have a reaction to one of the ingredients. I couldn’t take this product long enough to offer a valid opinion on whether it helps with weight loss.
 Please be sure to visit Vitacost to discover their low prices on name brand items and to learn more about any of the products in my review.
I hope you found these reviews helpful. I would love to hear from you if you’ve used any of these products.