Girls best friends:shoes and chocolate (Contests)

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, September 30, 2013
Note: This post contains affiliate links which help support this site. Please read my Disclosure Policy for more details.

Happy Monday Readers! I simply can not believe we are putting September to bed and staring October in the eye.  Let the pre-holiday planning begin!

But before you get too busy, how about a couple of quick contests to enter while you're on Facebook today?

First up: Shoes! Not just any shoes ladies, Sole Rebels!
Love these shoes!
5 Grand Prizes exclusively from Whole Mom & soleRebels! Plus, an awesome sole Rebels Walk Naked tee shirt. Click HERE to enter.  Good luck! 

Next up: Chocolate! 

Enter to win Sjaak's organic Chocolates Holiday Giveaway!

Doesn't this chocolate look amazing? You could give it as a gift or keep this prize for yourself. Either way, you got to click HERE to enter to win! 

Good luck! 

Which contest would you rather win? It's a really tough call, but I'm going with the organic chocolate.

While you are on Facebook, I invite you to stop by and "like" my blogs page. Once you have, leave me a comment with your link and I will return the favor!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which help support this site. Please read my Disclosure Policy for more details.
Disclosure : I am a member of the Tennessee State Fair's blogger outreach program and received complimentary tickets to facilitate this post.

Saturday, September 14th couldn’t have been more picture perfect here in middle Tennessee.  It was a warm, almost fall day where you want to spend as much time as possible outside. Thankfully for us, we had the Tennessee State Fair to attend.

If you haven’t been to the Tennessee State Fair in a while, boy, are you missing out! First of all, the venue is huge with all sorts of events to attend. The online scheduler was a handy tool for us. Still, we got sided tracked by another event and wound up missing Hedrick’s racing pigs!

Even though we missed those cute pigs, we got to meet a real sweet young lady and her Black Ram Yearling.
This is Savannah Williams and her ram Lovey

She was kind enough to let me take her picture. Even Lovey liked me and decided it would be okay for me to take a photo or two.
I think Lovey Likes us

They went on to win first place in the Ram yearling event! 

Lovey wasn’t the only animal we got to meet. There was sweet Caesar, the softest, sweetest rabbit we've ever petted.
We love Caesar

My youngest daughter wanted to adopt Caesar. My oldest daughter would have settled for any of the rabbits there. But, it wasn’t in the cards.

Next up, we walked through the calves and cows and found ourselves in the poultry building.  I can’t remember the last time I saw so many roosters and hens and fowl of every type in one building like this. Tennesseans showed up and brought their best animals to the fair for our enjoyment and for a prized ribbon or two. 

 After having our fill of the sights sounds and smells of the critters, we made into the Creative Arts Building. We found all manner of creative arts being represented.

Here are a few pictures of our favorites:
Unique Batman Quilt
Beautiful Aloe Vera Plant
Beautiful dress

 Finally, before the kids burst, we went to the ride section, or Thrill zone.  There were a lot of rides to choose from this year. The Ferris wheel, a fair favorite no matter where you live, was a must. The Tennessee State Fair placed the Ferris wheel up high on the hill, so when you are on it, you got a beautiful 360 degree view of Nashville.
Best seat in the place- On this Ferris Wheel

The girl’s favorite ride was Mouse House.  Calm enough to take the little ones on, with just enough twists and turns to keep it fun for the big kids and adults riding along. My Husband loved Mega Drop and Fire Ball too. For me, my joy was in the watching all the happy people around my happy family. If life is getting you down- go to your state fair. It will take 20 years off you!

By now, we are getting hungry and thirsty and there were tons of vendors to choose from serving up everything from corn dogs to turkey legs and of course, funnel cakes!
Fair Food
We rode and walked and played and laughed our way through the day and before we knew it, the crowds slowly started switching from family and kids to the Saturday night couples and singles vibe and we knew it was time to head home. 

We didn’t get to see the entire fair, but that’s okay. We’ll be back next year.

As we were walking back to the car, my husband was drawn to the sound of racing cars. They look like a lot of fun to watch, so we are thinking of bringing the girls up to a race. 
Want to join us? The dates are below.
Let's go Racing boys!

Thanks Tennessee State Fair for giving us of super fun Saturday! Has your state had it's big fair yet? Did you go? Leave a comment and give a shout out to your fair.

Disclosure : I am a member of the Tennessee State Fair's blogger outreach program and received complimentary tickets to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

Fall Crafts Inspiration

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's fall and that means time for decorating! My daughters and I love, love, love this time of year.

We finally got our Fall/Halloween stuff down from the attic (thanks hubby!) and while we were digging through the boxes, each of us trying to find our favorite piece, I noticed something. 

I haven't really made time for crafting lately. Oh, don't get me wrong, I've baked and cooked up a storm, I've glued and colored a few things too, but nothing like I used to.

I think I'm in a crafting rut. 

So to break out of my craft funk, I turn to the mother of all creativeness: Pinterest.

Here are some ideas that sparked my interest:

1. Autumn Leaves Wreath- We have lots of trees with leaves starting to change color, so this is a project I can do with the girls in afternoon. Pretty!

2. No pin time would be complete if I didn't visit my perennial favorite Better Home and Gardens. Just look at these cutie patootie owls! Another craft I can do with my daughters~ win!

3. Here's another cute Owl project. Now we're getting those creative juices flowing!

And just like that, I know what my theme will be for my fall crafts this year: Leaves and Owls! I may even do an owl themed carved pumpkin, you never know. Whatever I decide on. I'll be sure to share it here.

Thank you Pinterest and all the crafty people who pin! I invite you to follow me on Pinterest and please leave your account link in a comment so I can follow you back.

What crafting/decor project are you working on right now? Please share!

Almost Wordless Wednesday

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I couldn't work on this post without a particular song running through my head again and again. So, I decided to share my pictures and some lyrics with you today.

Any Classic Rock fan reading, may have already guessed the song running through my head: Led Zeppelin's Ramble On.

                 Ramble On 

Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way. 
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay. 
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way. 
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way. 
Sometimes I grow so tired, but I know I've got one thing I got to do... 

Ramble On, And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song. 
I'm goin' 'round the world, I got to find my girl, on my way. 
I've been this way ten years to the day, Ramble On, 
Gotta find the queen of all my dreams. 

Got no time to for spreadin' roots, The time has come to be gone. 
And to' our health we drank a thousand times, it's time to Ramble On. 


Mine's a tale that can't be told, my freedom I hold dear. 
How years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air. 
T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. 
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her....yeah. 


Gonna ramble on, sing my song. Gotta keep-a-searchin' for my baby... 
Gonna work my way, round the world. I can't stop this feelin' in my heart 
Gotta keep searchin' for my baby. I can't find my bluebird!

Happy Wednesday, Happy Fall.  Feel Free to sing along!

Kroger helping me by a Lunchbox Hero

in , , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Saturday, September 21, 2013
Disclosure: I received the products mentioned below for free along with coupons to hand out via BzzAgent sponsored by Kroger. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions are my own. Thank you to our sponsor, Kroger.

School has started all over the America now so that means Moms and Dads are shopping for healthy, affordable and good tasting lunch items.  It doesn’t take long for our kids to become bored with everyday lunch fare, so we need to mix things up and Kroger’s products help make it super easy to be a Lunchbox Hero.

Yummy snacks from Kroger

Recently, I received coupons for all these lunchbox goodies. The girls got to select flavors and varieties of these products to review :

  • Kroger Extreme Fusion Waters
  • Kroger Brand Cookies
  • Kroger Snack Pretzels
  • Kroger Fruit Snacks
  • Kroger Chewy Granola Bars

Our Reviews:

Kroger Extreme Fusion Waters- The girls chose Tropical Punch and loved it! They said the tasted better than our regular brand. They said you can really taste the banana in these.  I was happy they have 25% less sugar and no artificial flavors and you can’t beat the price! $1.99 per 10 pack.

Kroger Brand Cookies- The girls chose original Chocolate Chip cookies.  Store bought cookies usually play second fiddle to my baked goods, but we were all game to try these cookies and they were surprisingly good! Sometimes packages cookies taste stale or bland and while you know you aren’t eating a homemade cookie, these chocolate chips were a hit. If I don’t have time to bake, I will purchase these cookies again because the price is right at $2.99.

Kroger Snack Pretzels- Next up is Kroger’s snack size cheese-flavored peanut butter filled pretzels. That’s a mouthful I thought as we put these in the shopping cart and I wondered if there might a little too much flavors going on and for me, yes there was. I could eat them if they were cheese or peanut butter, but not both. However, I am the only one in my family who though that.
The girls loved them and though they were super tasty, but it was my husband who asked that I keep these in the house for when the munchies strike. These come in single serving bags for $1.29 making them a perfect for lunchboxes.

Kroger Fruit Snacks- Shapes won out over Stars & Moons on this product. I will tell you honestly, my youngest daughter is HARD to please when it comes to fruit snacks. She has rejected many a box of fruit snacks, so I wasn’t sure how she react to these. But, amazingly enough, both daughters loved these! Kroger’s fruit snacks are made with real fruit and vegetable juices, so I can feel good about putting them in their lunchboxes. Plus, they are only $1.00 for a box of six and the bags hold a lot of pieces! One bad had 16 snacks in it. Plenty for your kids to share or trade with friends.

Kroger Chewy Granola Bars- Chocolate chip won again, but I figured they would because these granola bars have been a favorite around our house for a while.  My girls say they taste like a cookie.  We all enjoy the fresh tasting quality of Kroger Granola bars and recommend them for your family.


Kroger receives an A+ from us on their lunch box products and their prices.  Not a Kroger shopper? Look for these Lunchbox Hero products in your area at these Kroger-owned stores: Ralphs, Smiths or Fred Meyers.

So now that you’ve got some lunchbox food ideas, what else can we parents do to send a little love from home with our kids? Here are a few ideas. 

Sending Love:


Keep your kids guessing- Put a mystery bag in your child’s lunchbox every day. They can’t look inside until it’s time to eat. Put in a new fruit or veggie for them to try. * Perfect for Pre-K and Elementary school kids.*

Give Food a Facelift- Use cookie cutters or a knife to take sandwiches from snoreville to coolness quickly and easily.  *Perfect for kids of all grade levels.*

Wrap it Up- Kids get so bored with sandwiches, so switch up those tired PB&J’s with a wrap.  Grab some whole gain or plain tortillas and spread thin layers of peanut butter and jelly, roll like a burrito, pinch the ends closed so you don’t have leaks. My girl’s love Peanut butter and Apple jelly wraps.

Leftovers are your friend- My kids LOVE left over day. Yesterday I sent them a burrito with the leftovers from dinner the night before. I had leftover chicken one night so I sent in grilled chicken salads.

Still send love without the love note- Once your kids get to middle and high school, you have to stop sending in love notes. Sad, but true Moms and Dads! So, do the next best thing. Decorate their Ziploc baggies with a silly smiley face, or your “text” code to wish them luck on their tests, put X’s and O’s along one side of the baggie.

I hope you found the review and lunchbox tips helpful. Tell me in the comments, what do you enjoy making or adding to your kids lunchboxes?

Disclosure: I received the products mentioned below for free along with coupons to hand out via BzzAgent sponsored by Kroger. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions are my own. Thank you to our sponsor, Kroger.

Fisher Nuts - My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which may result in a small monetary payment which helps keep this blog running. Thank you in advance for your support.

Calling all cooks! Here is a wonderful Contest for you! 

my wahm plan

About The Contest:

Enter the My Fresh Twist Recipe Contest by submitting a recipe and picture of your signature dish prepared with pecans, walnuts, almonds and/or peanuts for your chance to win a trip to New York City and meet Chef Alex Guarnaschelli.


  • One grand prize winner will receive:

    A trip for two to New York City including airfare, dinner and accommodations.
    Meet Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
    Opportunity for Chef Alex Guarnaschelli to sign a copy of her debut cookbook: Old-School Comfort Food
    $500 cash

  • Nine semi-finalists will receive:

    $100 Visa gift card
    A signed copy of Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's debut cookbook: Old-School Comfort Food

  • Every week we will select five random entrants who will each receive a Fisher Prize Pack which includes:

    Fisher Nut Products
    A copy of Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's debut cookbook: Old-School Comfort Food

How to Enter:

This contest spells fun for the whole family! I know my family loves cooking together.

Get your gang together, brain storm a winner of a recipe and don't forget to take a picture of it and upload right HERE to enter!

Good luck! 

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, which may result in a small monetary payment which helps keep this blog running. Thank you in advance for your support.

Welcome to the
"Alone Yet Not Alone"
Movie Ticket Giveaway!!
Sponsored By FlyByProductions


A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of sharing my review of the book Alone Yet Not Alone. My daughter and I loved the book and were excited about the movie release to follow. 

About Alone Yet Not Alone:

"Alone Yet Not Alone" is an amazing historic story about faith and family, based in the fall of year 1755 during the French and Indian war and is recommended for children ages 8 and older. It's a book that they are guaranteed to love, you will also enjoy the story just much as your kids, I promise you that. It combines great adventure with even greater values - they won't even realize that they're learning!
Such a wonderful history lesson!

To learn more about the book "Alone Yet Not Alone", I invite you to read my book review here and/or the hosts book review on her blog, My Kind Of Introduction. 

Now I'm partnering with a few Fab Southern Bloggers to bring you this giveaway!

About the Giveaway:

Opening Weekend for "Alone Yet Not Alone" the movie is September 27 - September 29!! It's only going to premier in a selected amount of cities.

Is your city one of them? 
If your not sure, check the theater city list below to find out!

If you happen to live in or near the Franklin TN area, YOUR IN LUCK!!!

 You host My Kind Of Introduction was offered a wonderful opportunity to host a giveaway for 2 tickets for the movie "Alone Yet Not Alone"! The tickets will be for opening weekend, on Saturday 9/28!! After the winner is chosen, the tickets will begin to be shipped out this Wednesday!

This giveaway runs from 9/16 - 9/17 8pm EST
Open to TN Residents Only 18+
See full giveaway rules in Terms and Conditions in Giveaway Form

Good Luck to you All!!!!

In accordance with FTC guidelines
The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received.
** This promotion is no way sponsored, endorsed/administered by, or associated with ANY Social Media Network.**
Must be aged 18+ to enter and win.
Tennessee Residents Only.
Bloggers are NOT responsible for delivery of prize.
*Void Where Prohibited*

Wordless Wednesday - Purr

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My WAHM Plan

My WAHM Plan

Photos taken by my 10 year old daughter. She and Catty Cat are buds. 

Instagram Blog Hop 9/10

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I am happy to be co-hosting this Instagram Blog hop! I have joined in this hop before and was so happy with my new connections. I know you will be too.

About Instagram Blog Hop:

Welcome to the Instagram Blog Hop. If you're new around here, the Instagram Blog Hop is a party where you link up your Instagram account, find and follow new Instagram friends, and be continually inspired by what you see in your Instagram feed! No need to have a blog, just an Instagram account!

Blog Hop

The Rules Are Simple

1. Follow your HOSTS:

Kimberly of A Night Owl | Instagram: @anightowlblog 

Emily of The Pink Elephant | Instagram: @mrsemshhh

Angie of Little Inspiration| Instagram: @blogali

2. Follow your CO-HOSTS:

Taylor | Instagram: @pnkheelspnktrk


You can find Taylor here:

Blog :: Facebook ::  Twitter :: Pinterest

Or Me!

Linda | Instagram: @ismilefirst


 You can find Linda here:

Blog :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: Facebook

3. Link up your Instagram Web Profile:
Just link up your new Instagram Web Profile ( -OR- your web viewer of choice in the linky below!

4. Check out and follow a few fellow Instagram friends.
Tell folks you follow that you found them through the IGBH!

5. Spread the word!
Tweet about it, share it on Facebook or post about it on Instagram!

Now let's link up!

That's it! I hope you have fun making new Instagram friends!

September means Fair time

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Saturday, September 07, 2013
Disclosure : I am a member of the Tennessee State Fair's blogger outreach program and received complimentary tickets to facilitate this post.

It's that time of year again in middle Tennessee! The kids have been back in school about a month now, we've all got our normal routines established and the leaves are just starting to fall.

So what time is it?

Tennessee State Fair time!  This has been a fun family event for us for years now and it just gets better every year!

Did you know the Tennessee State Fair has been held every year (with the exception of the 4 year span during World War II) since 1906! The fair has entertained Tennessee families for more than 100 years. It attracts more than 230,000 visitors annually.

Ferris Wheel at the TN. State Fair

There are some big things going on this year including the Tennessee Two-Crust Apple Pie Contest, Hendrick's Racing Pigs, tons of livestock events, live music daily, and of course the rides and games! This is the big draw for my girls!

Games at the TN. State Fair

For the hubby and I,  it just wouldn't be a fair without all that not so good for you fair food!
The Fair is boasting their world famous fried Goo-Goo cluster, a local delicacy. You MUST try it! Of course they will have all your all time faves... funnel cakes, cotton candy, corn dogs and every other yummy thing you can think of. I love the way the aromas meld together, in the air, at the fair... can't you just smell it now?

My family is so excited to go to the fair. We plan to make an entire day of it.
Seeing all the attractions, tasting all the food and playing a few games. The Tennessee State Fair is a fun, family friendly event that has a little something for everyone.
Check out their easy to use scheduler and plan your family's day at the fair today!

Admission ticket prices are listed below:

On-Site Tickets – Available During the Fair Admission Tickets
Adults (19-54): $8
Youth (3-18): $6
Seniors (55+): $6
2 & Under: Free

*Bring any non-winning Tennessee Lottery ticket to the gate to receive $2 off one adult admission. You can purchase your tickets online, on site, or at participating Kroger locations.

Unlimited Ride Wristbands: $25 The Fair starts Friday September 6th and wraps up Sunday September 15th so make A day of it!

I hope to see you there enjoying the great music and fun in the sun!

Disclosure : I am a member of the Tennessee State Fair's blogger outreach program and received complimentary tickets to facilitate this post.

Your kids are going to love Flipeez hats

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, September 06, 2013
I received this product free of charge to facilitate my review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

With crisp fall weather fast approaching, I’m excited to share this cute hat with you. This is the first interactive hat I’ve ever seen and I must say, it’s so cute I would consider wearing it to the park.

Have you heard of Flipeez? I see their commercials on TV alot when my daughter is watching her favorite Disney show. If you don't know about Flipeez yet, read on.

About Flipeez: 

The Super fun action hats that come alive right before your eyes! Brought to you by the makers of Stompeez.

My Review: 

Aren't these the cutest hats? It was so hard for me to choose one for my daughter to try, but I finally decided on Twitchy the Kitty.
My sweetie wearing Twitchy

See those cute pink plushies? You squeeze one and you have an interactive hat!
Tail up! 

Some hats have arms and ears that flap too.  These hats are sure to please any kid (or kid at heart) on your gift giving list. They are well made knit on the outside and super soft flannel lining on the inside. One size really should fit all too because these hats will stretch.

You can learn more about Flipeez by visiting their website HERE or watch this video.

I love this hat and so does my daughter. She's having tons of fun making the tail stand up and would probably wear it to school if the weather was cool enough. Once she breaks out her boots, watch out world. She will be sporting her Flipeez with style! She wants us to get one for her bestie for Christmas and at $19.99, I think I will. 

As always, I hope you found my review helpful. 

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge to facilitate my review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.

Wordless Wednesday- Late Bloomers

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, September 04, 2013

my garden
Clematis blooms

my garden

September finds me shifting gears

in , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Happy September dear readers. Fall is almost here, can you feel it? I enjoyed a wonderful relaxing Labor Day weekend and hope you did too. 


I needed to relax, because my August zoomed right on past me with a full plate of work, family and school activities leaving very little time to fret about the state of my blog.

But fret I did. 

See, in the blogging world, August was a really bad month for me. Truth be told, the whole summer was bad. And while I had originally thought I would share all the details with you because the devil is in the details; ultimately I decided on a condensed version.

So here goes: I had my na├»ve little bubble popped and was schooled on how blogging and networking with the big girls and boys really goes down. 

From buying Twitter followers to ghost writers, to whole teams churning out content and then sharing it  24/7, I have had my eyes opened.  I naively thought that some of the bloggers I aspired to be like actually wrote most of their content or at the very least, shared their own Pinterest pins. But no, most of them hire others to do that.

I’m not saying all bloggers are doing this, and I’m not saying that outsourcing and delegating are bad - I’m saying I don’t want to do this to be a professional blogger. I don’t have the time or the money to feed the blogger beast. 

So, now what you say?

I’m totally taking the pressure of myself and my little blog that could by adding another income stream. One I know from past experience works well for me, Avon. 

Yep! I’m an Avon lady! 

Shop my store

I just rejoined on the 28th of August and on the 29th I got my first order! Now that is a positive ROI (return on investment) I can handle.

 I won’t change things up too much here on the blog, but I will share a product of the week with you.

 If you have been thinking of adding a new income stream, I invite you to join my Avon team. You can read more about it here. It’s only 10 dollars to join and I know lots of Bloggers who are also in direct sales. Inbox me at 4lkinsatgmaildotcom with any questions you may have or fill out my contact form here

I hope September finds you safe and secure financially and otherwise. But if you are discontent, I urge you to take out a pen and paper and plot a change of course. September is the perfect time of year for new beginnings.