I almost missed the first color of the month for 2017 because I was trying to talk myself out of my first color choice, because it would mean for the third year in a row, I've picked a shade of blue for January's color of the month. But, the more I let this post sit, the more I knew this was my pick, so without further delay I give you my January color of the month: Blue Gray. 

My inspiration came from a photo of this amazing door. 

Blue-Gray door Diamond Vogel 2017 Color of the Year

Once I clicked over to learn more and saw that this door represented Diamond Vogel's 2017 Color of the Year, I was hooked!

Here is my Pinterest board collaboration. I hope it inspires you to embrace the blue-gray days of winter and look forward to springs thaw!

Happy Nesting!

Please share in comments: Would you paint a room in your home this color> If yes, what room?

Habit Changers by M.J. Ryan book review

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, January 23, 2017

What would you like to change in your life? Be more focused at work? Communicate more effectively? Find work-life balance? Those three questions were in the introduction email review request I received from Blogging for books for Habit Changers- 81 game changing mantras to mindfully realize your goals by M.J. Ryan. My answer to all three questions was yes!  Is your answer yes to one or more of those questions too? Then this book may be for you.

Habit Changers by M.J. Ryan book review

About Habit Changers- 81 game changing mantras to mindfully realize your goals by M.J. Ryan:

“Often, the biggest obstacle to change lies in our most deeply ingrained habits:  those automatic thought processes that operate outside our consciousness, and yet have a profound impact on our behavior, shaping everything from how we respond to challenges to how we engage with others. 

The good news is that we can literally rewire our mental habits for the better.  In Habit Changers, executive coach M.J. Ryan shares the secret weapon that has helped her highest performing clients improve their focus, better manage under pressure, enhance their emotional intelligence, become more effective leaders, and more.

Inspired by the Buddhist tradition of Lojong, or "slogan practice," habit changers are simple, one-line aphorisms that, when recited, reprogram your brain’s automatic responses. Here, Ryan explains how to use the 81 Habit Changers that have demonstrated the most profound and lasting results. They include:

  •   You can’t say yes if you can’t say no
  •   Don’t push buttons that don’t need to be
  •   Handshake your fear
  •   Stand where you’d rather not
  •   Remember your highest intention
  •   Outsource your worry 
  •   Reach for the better thought

My Thoughts:

Even though I’ve never used slogans, or mantras to improve my life or work goals, I was open to the idea of trying a new way of improving myself. As soon as I received this book, I flipped through the table of contents and landed on the chapter for happiness. I think I’m a pretty happy person, so I was intrigued at the idea of learning something new.  

The two mantras under happiness are:

  • Reach for the better thought
  • Change it, leave it, or accept it

According to the How to Use Habit Changers chapter, I was off to a great start. The author, M.J. Ryan explains to begin you are to scan the table of contents which are grouped together by the issues they address. Pick one topic, (like I picked happiness) don’t pick ten, or even two! It’s the single-pointed focus that makes this work says M.J.  Now- this is the tricky part, stay with the phrase that resonates the most with you, adapting it so it feels right for you and your situation. Turn it into a question if you need to.  There is no right or wrong way here. Just stay focused on one key mantra before you move on to another. 


As happy as I am- or thought I was, I’m still on the happiness chapter. Folks- this is deep stuff that is working! I’m allowing myself to analyze my work/life balance and ask myself tough questions like is what I’m doing today is truly making me happy? That’s me reaching for the better thought and fully exploring the change it, leave it, or accept portion of this chapter.

Final Takeaway:

I feel confident in saying that while this book isn’t to be read or used in the traditional read chapter one and move forward style we are accustomed to, I will read and utilize every page in this book this year because I want 2017 to be a good year in ALL aspects of my life. 


M.J. Ryan states that our capacity to change is our greatest gift as human beings. Habit Changers will help you take control of your destiny and more easily achieve the success and happiness you desire. That sounds like a fantastic plan to me!

I invite you to learn more about the author here  and on Good Reads here . I’d love for you to follow me on Good Reads too here.

Please share in comments: What goal would this book help you achieve this year?

Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for books for this review. No other form of compensation was given and all opinions stated are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Winter was here

in , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, January 18, 2017

out exploring our land beyond the fence line

I wonder how many snows this tree has seen #gardening #land

Sun on the pond winter was here

Please share in comments: Is your yard covered in snow and ice?
During my holiday off time, I made plans to share more homemaking posts here on the blog like I used to do with my weekly chore prompts.  If you want to have a cleaner, more organized home in 2017, please visit each week for project inspiration! In an effort to go as green as possible with my cleaning, I'm continuing my partnership with Grove Collaborative so you can get a fresh start in 2017 and save on Mrs. Meyer's products too!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small percentage of sales earned on each fresh start bundle sold via my referral link. 

#ad Mrs. Meyers fresh start bundle sale

Going green is something I’ve been working on for a while, but it’s taken some time as I finish off old products and introduce new greener ones. If you’ve ever bought a brand new cleaner only to realize you have a half-used bottle hanging out in the back of your cabinet, then you know what I mean!

Fortunately, this new customer offer from Grove will help get us off to a great start. The set includes a super cute enamel cleaning caddy stocked with supplies from Grove Collaborative and Mrs. Meyer’s. It’s a chic and easy way to keep all my products organized and close at hand, whether I’m pulling it out to clean the kitchen or toting it up to the kids’ rooms. How much more excited would you be about scrubbing the stove if all your supplies were organized in something this pretty? I certainly am. 

I was thrilled to see that the caddy came with a Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, hand soap, and the brand new hand lotion too. Mrs. Meyer’s soaps were some of the first natural products I switched to, and they’ve been a sink-side staple ever since. I always wanted a matching lotion for my Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, and now they just released it! The lotion is wonderfully rich and smells amazing — perfect for post-dishwashing hand care! (The lemon verbena scent is my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with the honeysuckle or lavender either.)  

#ad Mrs.Meyer's fresh start bundle on sale!

The kit also comes with these Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges. They’re actually made from crushed walnuts, so they’re non-scratch and non-toxic. I stashed one by the sink and one in my cleaning caddy, and I know I’ll be ordering more.

I’m looking forward to stocking up on more great supplies from Grove Collaborative throughout the new year. Grove Collaborative makes creating a greener, more organized (and beautiful!) home effortless and affordable.

 Sign up and Save:

Once you sign up, Grove will ask you a few questions about your home and recommend products you’ll love from brands like Seventh Generation, Method, and Mrs. Meyer’s (don’t miss their house brand too!). They deliver everything you need right to your doorstep, on your schedule so you never run out. I’ve been a member for almost a year, and I’ve been so impressed with the quality of their products, the fabulous customer service, and how easy the whole process is. 

Right now, when you sign up for Grove and place your first order of $20 you’ll get this Fresh Start offer for free:
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s lotion
  • Free Grove Collaborative Enamel Cleaning Caddy
  • Free Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Free shipping

If you’re already a Grove customer, you’ll get a free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap with your next order when you use my link

#ad Mrs. Meyer's fresh start bundle with #freebies

Choose your favorite scent — honeysuckle, lemon verbena, or lavender — when you check out. These brand new lotions are only available at Grove, so don’t miss out on your chance to try them! The offer ends Sunday January 15, 2017 at 6pm PT and supplies are limited.

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here . You will receive the Fresh Start Kit for free when you sign up!
2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket -- this takes under 30 seconds!
3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Once you have submitted your Grove order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. (I decided to keep the VIP membership after my trial ended, and I can say it’s well worth it! It has paid for itself in free shipping alone.)

I hope you'll take advantage of this great offer and come back each week as I help you keep on track with your homemaking in 2017. Because you can't cute clutter!

Please share in comments: Which Mrs. Meyer's scent will you choose?
I have received information and materials from Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinOverWinter #CollectiveBias

We got our first snow of the season this weekend in the greater Nashville Tennessee area. Some of our neighboring states would scoff at the small amount of winter precipitation we received (2 inches or less), but in our hilly communities, that’s enough to shut us down. 

Getting active in the garden to #WinOverWinter doldrums #ad

Thankfully, my girls hadn’t returned to school from winter break so we were able to get out and enjoy the prettiness Mother Nature provided.  The girls loved walking and playing around in the winter wonderland, snapping photos as they went and a host of them were of me getting active in the garden to win over winter doldrums. 

Getting healthier is a top priority for me and my family this year. We’ve all made a plan to move more by embracing some of our favorite outdoor activities and for me that means more gardening! I don’t want to wait until spring to get out in the fresh air and thankfully, living on acreage means there is always something to do in the garden, no matter the season.  Over the course of the weekend, I bundled up, went outside and found ways to move.

Get Active:

1. I picked up all the sticks and downed branches from a recent storm. As you can see from the photo above, I've got a nice pile started!

Time to fill the birdfeeders again #WinOverWinter #ad

2. I checked on all the bird feeders I have throughout my garden and found, not surprisingly they were all empty again! 

3. I walked down to the pond and back up through the trees across our large yard several times each day. 

Walking in snow is a good workout! #WinOverWinter #ad

I walked and moved a lot and it felt so good being active and outside! But once I got inside each afternoon, boy did I ever feel the chill and little aches and pains of over doing it in the snow and ice! Fortunately, I had just restocked one of my must have winter toolkit products, Ultra Strength BENGAY® Cream on my recent shopping trip at Target

Ultra Strength BENGAY® Cream to #WinOverWinter @Target #ad

Have you ever tried it?  I'm really happy with the way this product works and I found the light, minty scent refreshing. What’s great about the ultra-strength cream is that it has three pain relieving ingredients, more than any other BENGAY® product. 

Here are some key facts you should know:  

Ultra Strength BENGAY® Cream temporarily relieves the minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with: simple backache, arthritisstrainsbruises and sprains. For adults and children 12 years and older. Use only as directed.  Please visit Target.com to learn more about this product and be sure to follow Target on Facebook for special offers and promotions.

My #WinOverWinter toolkit #ad

After my busy weekend of gardening and communing with nature, it was nice to come inside and warm up with a nice mug of peppermint tea. Having Tylenol 8 hr. and Ultra Strength BENGAY® Cream on hand to combat my achy muscles helped me power on through my day and will remain in my winter toolkit

Getting active in the garden is helping me win over winter doldrums and allows me to enjoy curling up with a good book and relaxing all the more. No matter how you and your family get active this winter, be sure to remember to stretch before you start and be fully present in the moment!

Relaxing after a day of gardening #WinOverWinter #ad

Please share in comments: What is your favorite winter outdoor activity? How do you and your family #WinOverWinter doldrums?

I can’t tell you how happy I am that my first blog post of 2017 is one that aligns with my desire to become more active and healthy this year. I don’t make resolutions; I make plans and set goals to better myself so I can be my best self for my family, friends and business partners. In order for me to make these positive changes, I needed to start with my breakfast habits and go from there. When I don’t feel like eating regular breakfast foods, I can still eat a healthy breakfast, thanks to belVita breakfast biscuits. They are an excellent way to power your day! 

Serve tasty #belVitaBreakfast Biscuits shop #belVitaWalmart #ad

If you’ve never tried belVita Breakfast biscuits, you will be pleasantly surprised at their great taste and how well these small packages stay with you. Believe it or not, belVita Biscuits give you four hours of steady nutritious energy when you serve them with fruit and a dairy product like milk or yogurt. That’s one easy way to get through the morning!

Our current favs of #belVitaBreakfast Biscuits! Find your fav #belVitaWalmart. #ad

These tasty biscuits aren’t just for breakfast either; my girls love to nosh on them before an afternoon choir or theatre rehearsal, too. Because belVita breakfast biscuits come in individually wrapped packs, they make the perfect grab-and-go snack. I can put one in their lunch box, or they grab one and toss it in their backpacks, and they are all set. 

 #belVitaBreakfast Biscuits are tasty and pretty! #ad Try them! #belVitaWalmart.

While we usually buy the Blueberry or Golden Oat flavor biscuits at Walmart, we were really excited to see all the new flavor options like Strawberry Yogurt and Vanilla Yogurt Crème. This week we bought Vanilla Yogurt Crème, which we found to be delightfully crunchy, sweet, and delicious!

#belVitaBreakfast Biscuits are on the cracker isle at Walmart. #belVitaWalmart #ad

There’s also these new flavor choices: belVita Breakfast Biscuit Bites in Cinnamon Brown Sugar and belVita Breakfast Biscuits in Toasted Coconut.  The next time you’re shopping at Walmart, head on over to the cracker aisle and look for the belVita Breakfast Biscuits section. I think you’ll love the selection and the price per box. Be sure to check out your Ibotta offers to save even more on the tasty, convenient belVita Breakfast products.  

#belVitaBreakfast Biscuits new flavors at #belVitaWalmart. #ad

Want to try before you buy? You are in luck! Visit your local Walmart on Saturday, January 7th for exclusive savings, tastings, and more. Want to know if your store is participating? Just head on over to Walmart here and check your store.

Here’s to our health and happiness as we start the new year.  I hope you’ll try belVita Breakfast Biscuits to help you power through your day too!