We've made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations and are heading straight for New Year’s Eve parties this week. And while making merry with beloved friends and family is a very good thing socially,  all the delicious, and in most cases, rich and fatty foods we’re consuming this time of year can leave our digestive track begging for mercy.  That’s why I was happy to accept Smiley 360’s invitation to try accuflora Probiotic supplements free of charge to share my thoughts with you. All opinions are my own.

accuflora #Probiotic supplements

As my family and I start our new Family Fit lifestyle journey, I’ll be sharing posts here on the blog to help my readers who may be interested in getting to a healthy place in 2015 as well. I can’t think of a better way to kick off this new series than with our stomachs and digestive systems because we rely on both so much in our everyday life. 

If you’ve been stressed, eating at odd hours, eating richer foods than you normally do then taking a probiotic supplement like accuflora can help support your digestive health and help regulate your bodies internal balance and get your gut back on track quickly; in as little as 14 days in fact.

About accuflora Probiotic Supplements:

accuflora probiotic supplements

Accuflora Probiotic supplements contain 5 beneficial probiotic strains including Lactobacillus acidophilus, the live culture found in yogurt. Accuflora may help replenish your body’s good bacteria and maintain a healthy digestive system. *

If you aren’t a fan of yogurt, accuflora may provide the digestive health support you have been missing out on. Accuflora provides up to 12 hours of probiotic support through a controlled delivery system. The accuflora caplets form a gel layer that allows the probiotic to survive harsh stomach acids releasing the probiotic throughout your gastrointestinal tract.*

Why may accuflora Probiotics be helpful for you?

Rich meals, dairy products, preservatives, stress and age can all affect your body’s digestion. I was so surprised to read age played a role in this, but I shouldn’t have been. My dear mother in law has been experiencing digestive health issues recently and one of the first things her doctor did was suggest she take a probiotic supplement and cut back on hard to digest dairy products.

As a result of one or all of these triggers, you may experience stomach upset, bloating and changes with regularity just as my mother in law did. Accuflora may help you get your digestive health back on track too.

Having a health digestive system not only makes you feel your best, it could very well keep you healthier as well because when your gut is in balance, your immune system is working at its best;  which may help you ward of colds and other bugs. 

Ready to try accuflora Probiotics?

accuflora coupon

Head over to their website here to learn more about them and about the 14 day challenge. While you’re there, why not download a money saving coupon too. You can also visit them on Facebook to hear how accuflora is helping others who have taken the 14 day challenge.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*

Please share in comments: Have you ever taken a probiotic supplement before?

From our home to yours

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, December 24, 2014

starry night sky Merry Christmas

It's the day before the day before Christmas and I am happy about that. I'm happy my daughters are out of school, my husband's work load is winding down, presents are mostly wrapped, greeting cards have all been sent and Christmas cookies are baked and yet... I found myself drawn to this happiness info-graphic. 

Even though I am by my nature a "happy-go-lucky" person; I recognize the need to improve on several of these tips and will be adding them to a list of topics I'd like to cover on the blog next year starting with number 1. 

Finding time for fitness for our family will be a priority. I'm going to spend time over my brief holiday break to think about these ten steps and see what I can do to improve my happiness level. 

10 signs of happiness
Source- used with permission

Please share in comments: Are you happy enough? Are their certain areas you'd like to work on in 2015? 

Like #10? Me too! That's why my user name on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest is ismilefirst. I'd be happy to have you follow me on these social channels. I'll follow back with a smile. 

We are a family that loves playing board and card games, so I was delighted when FlyBy asked if I’d like to try a new faith based board game that also comes with interactive DVD’s. One thing that stood out to me about Wisdomantics is that players of various faiths can play and enjoy it.  

About the game: For 2-4 players, ages 12+

Wisdomantics board game

Wisdomantics–New King James Version (NKJV) is an interactive DVD board game for players of various faiths who desire to gain the vast wisdom of King Solomon. Wisdomantics-NKJV utilizes the proverbs of Solomon and blends chance, knowledge and strategy to create a fun experience while you learn! 

The game’s intent is to bring individuals together to learn how to cope with numerous situations in a fun and relaxed environment. Inside the box you’ll find 2 interactive DVDs with 400 questions, score cards, blessing cards, and more!

First we set up the board game:

Wisdomantics board game

Then we read the instructions and popped in a video. We actually started with disc two on accident, but it didn’t make a difference. The DVD’s are there to help make the game fun and more interactive. 

Start Wisdomantics DVD

After you start the DVD, you’ll be given questions like this:

question on King Solomon

You are timed, so be prepared to pay attention. If you don’t answer in the allotted 25-30 seconds, you get a wrong answer. Thankfully, my daughters seem to know the book of King Solomon and did fairly well.

correct answer screen

 If you answer correctly, like my daughters did, the DVD will then share the book and verse of King Solomon that reinforces the lesson.

bible verse screen

If you get it wrong, no worries! The DVD will keep giving you choices to help you figure out the answer. It can be a little frustrating with the timer, but it is all in good fun. I do suggest that you play this game with mature tweens, teens and adults though.

To play Wisdomantics correctly, you are supposed to use the board game and DVD together, but we would forget to go back to the board game often because we would get caught up in the questions and the conversations they sparked.

A healthy dose of competition was shown on some questions as well, when one player wanted to help another before the timer ran out. Since it was all in good fun and we seemed to be enjoying the Q& A on the DVD more than prayer requests, blessings etc. on the board game, I decided that was perfectly okay option. 

You can watch a How-To on playing Wisdomantics to see what I mean. 

Our Thoughts:

We’ve only had one opportunity to play Wisdomantics during this busy time of year, but I know it will be a favorite in our home soon enough. We all really liked it, especially the interactive DVD part. 

If you would like to learn about the wisdom on King Solomon or test your knowledge of this great King, I invite you to learn more about Wisdomantics by visiting their website here

Win it:

One lucky reader will win their own Wisdomantics Board Game/Interactive DVD! Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter form below. 


Open to U.S. residents 18+. No purchase necessary to win. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way endorsed affiliated or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This event will end on 12:00 AM (EST) 12/27/14.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


My thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. I’m disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

I recently had the privilege of being part of a virtual conversation hosted by Dr Pepper Snapple group in partnership with The Motherhood. As part of this blogging group, we learned a great deal about Dr Pepper Snapple and their continued commitment and support of local and/or national programs that encourage active lifestyles. Special thanks to both The Motherhood and Dr Pepper Snapple for sponsoring today’s post. While I will receive compensation for my time, I only share content I feel is of value to you. All opinions are my own. 

DPS beverages

When you read or hear the names Dr Pepper Snapple, you probably think of drinking one of their delicious beverages and with good reason.  I know I love an ice cold glass of Dr Pepper from time to time and I’d be lost if I suddenly couldn’t find a chilled bottle of Snapple Peach ice tea.  With so many drink options available, you probably have a Dr Pepper Snapple product in your home right now. 

DPS Let's Play logo

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group:
  • The leader in flavored carbonated soft drinks
  •  Sells more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, teas, juices, mixers and other premium beverages
  • Out of our 14 biggest brands, 13 are #1 or #2 in their respective category·6 of top 10 non-cola soft drinks brands in the business
  • 19,000 employees
  • Fortune 500, publicly traded (NYSE:DPS) operations in North America, Caribbean 
  • The DPS R&D is spread across 4 Locations: Plano, Texas (headquarters), St. Louis, Missouri , Irving, Texas (pilot plant) and Mexico City, Mexico

Those are very impressive stats from a business perspective, but I learned so much more about the very heart of the Dr Pepper Snapple group during our hour long conversation.  While we did touch on flavors and fun facts about what goes into making a great tasting beverage, the true focus of our conversation was to share their commitment to healthy lifestyle choices. 

They (DPS) want us, the consumers, parents, teachers, community volunteers and most importantly our kids to know about their take action plan, starting with the 2015 Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) Calories in; Calories out program and industry led changes, commitments and initiatives. 

There’s a lot of information to share, so I will break it down into sections that hopefully will help you come away with a better understanding of this amazing company and brand.

DPS commitment:

"We believe that healthy lives depend on balance, balancing the calories you consume through food & beverages with the calories you burn through physical activity and by supporting local and national programs that encourage active lifestyles and fitness."

DPS Calories In information:  

 “Our initiatives as a company to promote balance reflect a larger commitment by the beverage industry to deliver meaningful solutions to obesity.”

Industry-led Initiatives: 

  • As an industry, we took full-calorie beverages out of schools voluntarily through the School Beverage Guidelines, which have reduced the calories in beverage shipments to schools by more than 90%. 
  • DPS and other leading beverage companies launched the Clear on Calories Initiative: put calorie counts on the fronts of all beverage containers. 
  • Balance Calories Initiative with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association goal: reduce the calories consumed in beverages by 20% over the next 10 years by focusing on smaller package sizes, innovation, marketing and distribution of low-and no-calorie beverages. 
  • Mixify: a multi-year national consumer awareness and engagement program by the beverage industry to talk to teens about the importance of balancing what they drink and eat with what they do.

Consumers have been talking, and clearly
Dr Pepper Snapple has been listening. I for one am happy to know that the industry is doing all they can to offer healthier beverage options in our schools! 

DPS understands what’s important to us, the consumer and has worked hard towards answering our needs by understanding consumers are diversified! 

For example- men prefer not to purchase low calorie or “diet” beverages, so DPS responded to consumers who want products with only natural sweetenersThey’ve been testing naturally sweetened versions of Dr Pepper, 7UP and Canada Dry, sweetened with a blend of stevia and sugar, with only 60 calories per 12 oz. serving.

They didn’t forget to improve their juice and tea either. Earlier this year they introduced a line of Mott’s with  bold new flavors that offer 40% less sugar than fruit juices with 100% Daily Value of Vitamin C in three kid-preferred flavors.

And for us Snapple drinkers, they’ve rolled out diet half & half (half lemonade, half iced tea) and this year have been testing a straight up tea, otherwise unflavored, with a touch of sugar and 80 calories per bottle.

All I can say is- Thank you DPS! 

DPS knows we expect great tasting beverages at an affordable price that our packaged for convenience for active, busy lifestyles, especially Moms! They know we don’t want to say no to the beverages our kids ask for, so they are helping with the Calories Out part of their initiative.

“Balance is key, both to fit physical activity into their routine and to have food and beverage choices that have health benefits and are low in calories.”

Calories out: Commitment to Active Play 

Playability with KaBoom!

The Physical Activity Deficit:

  • Only 20% of children live near a park
  • Two-thirds of kids get less than an hour of play a day
  • They’re increasingly time-crunched, with 12 fewer hours of free time per week
  • Disadvantaged inner-city youth participate 40% less in sports and fitness
  • And recreational time is increasingly spent on devices. Kids 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day on media
The consequence of all this is poorer eating and drinking habits and an obesity rate that has tripled! 

DPS says “To help address the decline of active play in communities across the U.S., Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) launched Let’s Play to provide the tools, spaces and inspiration to make play a daily priority.”

Let’s Play: A Meaningful Part of the Solution -DPS has:

      To date, built or improved 2,000 playgrounds
      To date, have provided 5 million children with the opportunity to play
      Worked in partnerships with our retailers and bottlers
      Involved government officials
      To date, have engaged more than 2,300 employee volunteers
      To date, have donated more than 18,000 volunteer hours

I was very impressed with the amount of hours and the overall level of commitment from DPS employees! The Let’s Play program is doing well, in fact, it’s expanded!

Let’s Play timeline and how we can get involved:

Playability let's get #involved and #active!

  •   DPS launched Let’s Play in 2011 with a $15 million three year partnership to build or improve 2,000 playgrounds with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated promoting active play.
  •  In 2014, DPS and KaBOOM! extended their partnership through 2016 with an additional $10 million commitment from DPS to continue providing kids the active play they need.
  • This year, DPS made a $1 million commitment to Good Sports, a national non-profit dedicated to promoting active play among older children by providing athletic equipment to disadvantaged young people nationwide.

Let’s Play has expanded to include older children who lack the opportunity to participate in organized sports due to the cost of equipment, uniforms and entry fees. I encourage everyone to go to the Let’s Playgrants page, and see what grants are available! By the end of 2016, we will have donated more than $26 million to Let’s Play since we started three years ago.

I left the DPS conversation with a new outlook on the brand and company as a whole and was inspired to visit KaBoom! and Let’s Play to see how I could become active in my own community. I encourage you to do the same.

Before we left our virtual conversation, our merry band of bloggers had decided that a road trip to the DPS facility in Texas was in order so we could walk around and see all the amazing research and development in action and yes, we did ask this question:

What are the 23 flavors in the formula for Dr Pepper? The DPS answer was as interesting and funny: Only two people in the world know the formula to Dr Pepper. We can’t tell you who they are, but they are not in this room! It’s very, very top secret – that is for sure. “

It is my sincere hope that you have gained a better understanding of Dr Pepper Snapple from my post today and will take a moment to visit them and the Let’s Play sites and then- log off your computer and get outside and play with or without kids!

Happy Holidays!

Please share in comments: Does your community have enough playgrounds? How would you like to see your community improve in this area?  

Disclosure: My thanks to The Motherhood and Dr Pepper Snapple for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

I’m updating this post from a 2012 edition to include texts and private message options. Even back then, I could see the trend toward online greetings growing, but never did I think these two options would become "normal" to some. 

a few of my 2014 greeting cards I'm mailing out

I have always enjoyed the giving and receiving of Holiday Greeting cards. I am a classic; less is more kind of card sender, preferring to send a festive card with a short hand written note inside, just like my Mom did. I’m a true southern, manners matter type of lady, so please don’t think I mean this post to be a rude call out, it’s actually quite the opposite.

As I sat down to start on my cards this week, I realized I needed to re-vamp my list completely since my master list was riddled with notes beside almost every name. This person got divorced so I can’t address their card to Mr. & Mrs., this person moved to I don’t know where, so send an e-card, this dear soul just had a nasty break up, so send something happy, this person’s card was returned last year, so send an e-card. You get the idea.   

It was time for the Greeting Card cut list.

I don’t enter into this area lightly, because I know how I would feel if I were off the list. But wait a minute, I think that shipped has sailed if my notes are any indication!
Over the course of the last 3 years, we have received more e-cards from friends and family who once sent out mailed cards. Is this just a product of our societies need for all things “online”? Is it the downed economy? Have we Kinsman’s somehow fallen off the short list of worthy stamped greetings? Maybe, probably and I hope not!

The point is,  I feel obliged to follow the path in front of me and do my own form of cutting.

Here's my method:

  • If we haven’t heard from you in any form or fashion, like you have fallen off the face of the earth in 4 years: you are cut completely.
  • If you always thank me for my Christmas card in your e-card on my birthday in May:  you are cut from my mailed list and bumped to e-card status.
  • If you have never us sent a mailed card, preferring e-cards, but haven’t sent me one in 2 yrs.: you are cut from my mailed card list, put on my e-card list, but only for this year.
  • If you send us your annual newsletter, complete with a call to donate to your charity: e-card!
  • If you sent us an e-card last year: e-card.

And now I give you the 2014 additions to greetings:

If you text me a Merry Christmas! You are off my mailed greeting card list and my e-card list. We are all busy, but that is no excuse! Be a dear and think ahead next year. 

But my truly least favorite holiday greeting so far this year- a private message on Facebook.  

Listen, I'm really not trying to be the "holiday greeting police" and this list is all rather tongue in cheek- but can't we just agree not to do this one unless we are just “online” friends? Then I can see you preferring to send an online greeting. May I suggest an e-card? There are several freebies available. 

But to just copy and paste a generic Hello, Happy Holidays, type of greeting to everyone you know on Facebook? It’s just bad form in my humble opinion and I would prefer to receive no greeting at all from you because this form of greeting puts me in a pickle. How does one respond to someone who doesn't even address them by their first name? My answer is, I don't. 

Did making these cuts make me feel Grinchy? Nope, it was liberating! In fact, my to be mailed greeting card list actually grew this year, which makes this old school is cool ladies heart happy!

My new Greeting card list is clean and tidy and shows me that I have a nice balance of mailed cards at 60% and e-cards at 40%. Zero texts and private message greetings!

Please share in comments:

How does your Greeting Card list look? Did you update it? Have you had to make cuts as well?

I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for L’Oreal Age Perfect. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, I only share information that I feel will benefit my readers.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with L’Oreal Age Perfect and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. 

Last month I wrote a review on L’Oreal’s newest skincare line, Age Perfect. I was in love with these products then and I can happily say; I’m still using them with great results. If you’d like to learn more about this new line, please read all about them on my review here, but here’s a quick overview:

#L'Oreal Age Perfect skincare #beauty

Why try L’Oreal Age Perfect cell renewal? L’Oreal says:

"As your skin ages, skin cell renewal decreases significantly, leaving your skin looking dull and dry. Age Perfect cell renewal accelerates skin cell turn over, bringing millions of new cells to the surface each day. The result?  Fresher, re-plumped, visibly renewed skin." You can learn more about the ingredients and product usage by visiting www.lorealparisusa.com/cellrenewal .

Since the love is still there for me, I want to share that love with you by offering you a $2.00 off coupon for any L’Oreal purchase!

#L'Oreal Age Perfect skincare #beauty


Just click on this link and you’ll be able to print of the $2.00 coupon. This is such a luxurious and beautiful looking skincare line, it could be a great present for that special someone on your list who loves looking their best and enjoys trying new skincare products.

Happy Holidays from myself and L’Oreal!

Please share in comments: Do you follow a daily skincare regimen? If so, please share your tips on saving time in the morning.

Disclosure: My thanks to Vibrant Nation and L'Oreal for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

If you are between the ages of 1 and 99, you have probably heard Tony Award winner, Idina Menzel as the voice of Elsa in Frozen. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard her sing Let It Go, I would be a happy blogger indeed. So when the nice folks at One2One Network sent out a request for bloggers to review Idina Menzel’s Christmas CD, I hopped at the chance. Disclosure: I received a complimentary CD to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link to my Amazon account.

#IdinaMenzel Holiday Wishes CD

About Idina Menzel- We know her most recently as the voice of Elsa, from the super box office smash- Frozen, but Mrs. Menzel is a Tony award winning star of such Broadway hits as Wicked, Rent, Glee and If/Then. My daughters and I would have loved to see her in the starring role in Wicked, but can only dream that she will return to her Broadway career soon. In the meantime, we can listen to her sing some beautiful renditions of classic Christmas/Holiday hits on her new CD.

About Holiday Wishes: 

On this 12 track Cd, Idina teams up with Michael BublĂ© for a cute duet of Baby its cold outside. And Mr. Kenny G makes a special appearance on Idina’s rendition of White Christmas. While both these songs are special in their own right, I loved that Idina added When you wish upon a star to her Holiday Wishes CD. 

Songs in order of appearance on Holiday Wishes:

  1. Do you hear what I hear?
  2. The Christmas song
  3. Baby its cold outside
  4. Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  5. All I want for Christmas is you
  6. What are you doing New Year’s Eve? 
  7. December prayer 
  8. When you wish upon a star 
  9. Silent night 
  10. River 
  11. Holly jolly Christmas 
  12. White Christmas

My thoughts: 

Even though you’ll recognize some of these songs, in true Idina Menzel fashion, she has added her own special style to each song. Some are old school cool, some tracks have a bit of a Blues influence, but I think you will love what she has masterfully created just as much as we do. We have shared this CD so much; I never know which daughter has it in her room. We take it with us while running errands because the songs are so catchy and fun to sing along with. 

If you like adding new songs to your holiday play list, you should check out Idina Menzel’s Holiday Wishes CD. This would make a perfect secret Santa or teacher’s appreciation gift! You can find it at major retailers or online at Amazon using the link below. *This is my affiliate link, so if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission on the sale.

Please share in comments: What is your favorite Christmas/holiday song? Read through the songs on Holiday Wishes and let me know if Idina sings your favorite!

Disclosure: My thanks to One2One Network for sponsoring today’s review. I did not receive monetary compensation to promote or endorse this brand by reviewing this CD. I've added my Amazon affiliate link to offset time and expense in posting said review, should somebody make a purchase from my link. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”