Showing posts with label moms

Recently, I was talking with a Mom friend who is in the thick of the back to school schedule. Since she knows I’m on the other side of the back to school stress, she asked if and when things got better. I assured her they would as her kids get older, and that now would be a perfect time to practice mental rest. Today, I have the privilege of sharing insights on this topic from Shiela Mie Legapsi, President of Cyberbacker and contributor to Newsweek and Pop Sugar. 

Moms Need Mental Rest:

Moms practice mental rest

Many good things are happening this month in the US, abroad,  and on the blog as we continue celebrating Women’s History Month. If you caught the  95th Oscars on Sunday night, you probably noticed women supporting women throughout the ceremony and I was thrilled to see the subtle shift. Women supporting women is top of mind today as I share a woman-owned business that offers free tax filing and tax credit help for Moms and families. 

Free Tax Help! 

Free tax filing help for 2022


Last month I had the opportunity to try and new to me soup company and I’m still eating and loving their soups.  I've been raving about them on my socials, so naturally, I wanted to share this amazing soup with you here on the blog. I know there are lots of busy Moms here with younger kids and tight schedules, who more often than not, eat a quick bite here and there. Today, I’d like to offer you a way to upgrade your at home lunch with a healthy, heat and eat bagged soup. It is a game changer!

Lunch is Served!

Soup and sliders for lunch

Happy Friday friends! We are slowly inching closer to the most wonderful time of the year! Today I'm sharing a list that was fun and easy to put together since I’m a mom of two daughters that are 22 and 18. By this point, I’m basically a professional daughter gift shopper!  I thought it would  helpful to share some of gift ideas for moms and daughters that have been a hit in the past or are on gift lists this year.

Gifts For Moms and Daughters!

Gift Ideas for Moms and Daughters

Mother’s Day is almost here and I just had to share a great gift idea that I recently discovered while working my other job as an Avon Representative. I know most of you have heard of this iconic beauty brand, but do you know the giving side of Avon? The Avon Foundation for Women launched its Speak out against Domestic Violence program back in 2004.  One of its main pillars is to fund shelters across the United States that provide safe spaces for women and children in imminent danger where they can heal emotionally and physically, move toward self-sufficiency, and learn positive coping skills.

Avon Reps at Sanctuary for Families New York

School has been in session here for two and half weeks and the long, hot August days feel never ending. I was sharing with my daughters how I wished I could pull together some more "back to school" outfits for myself quickly.  That's when my stylish teen daughter Melissa, set to work on Polyvore curating some lovely sets for me. She did such a great job, I asked her to make her collection available for my readers.  

By Melissa Kinsman:

When the kids go back to school, it can be stressful for everyone. This year, moms should shop for their back-to-school wardrobes, too! We have put together some super-cute and functional outfits we think you will love!

Back to school outfits for Moms

Outfit one:

Where we live, school starts in August, and it’s very hot.  So, shorts are a great way to keep cool. These Bermuda shorts are the perfect length for moms. Yellow is a great summer color and the lace adds a very sophisticated and grown up feel to the shirt. These Wedged sandals are super cute and grown up. Every mom needs a big purse, and this black, leather one will hold everything you need.

Outfit two:

Jeans rolled up as Capri's are a great way to use jeans in every season. Keds are a preppy tennis shoe alternative. The Solid tank gives you lots of opportunity to dress up with a fun jacket, or (like we did) add some bling! A nude tote adds elegance to a casual-chic outfit. If these colors are too dark for you, jeans go great with any color, you could wear a bright color and go light on accessories or you can add a patterned scarf to the dark tank top.

Outfit 3:

A soft denim, drawstring skirt gives you the comfy feel of sweats, rising just above knee length it’s very appropriate for a school event. The baby doll top is a great cut for any body type. While being a bit shapeless it doesn’t appear boxy on anyone and it can hide a muffin top. We loved this one because it’s supper affordable and comes with your super cute bling! The flats add a really cute touch, but a nice nude wedge or strappy sandal would look really good too! We loved this tote it added a nice beachy feel to the outfit!

If you'd like to learn more about the items in my sets, please visit me on Polyvore and follow my Mom, Linda there too!

Please share in Comments: 

Which outfit would you like to wear "Back to School" and why? Can you guess my favorite?

I helped kill the Ladies Home Journal

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, April 25, 2014

There, I’ve said it. I’ve owned right up to the fact that even though I am a homemaker and a devout lover of magazines and print media- I never read or subscribed to the Ladies Home Journal.  Never once found myself flipping through the pages while waiting anywhere and today was my very first time visiting their website, just so I could see their cover.

Magazine cover

Ads sell magazines, pure and simple- and you can read what the Ladies Home Journal Magazine parent company Meredith said to The New York Times to fully understand the drop in numbers. But to sell ads, a magazine has to have readers. 

Looking at this cover I have to ask myself why didn't I read this magazine? 

The sad answer, in my opinion,  is the very reason the Ladies Home Journal is laying people off, stopping monthly printing and going to quarterly - it was my Grandma’s magazine.  It was proudly displayed on her highly polished coffee table; right beside the big ashtray nobody ever dared use.

My Mom got it only when somebody gifted a yearly subscription to her (usually my Grandma) and I can remember watching her flip through it while she was on the phone. She wasn’t really reading it, just looking- and as a teen, I picked up on her cues and figured that was one boring magazine- so I didn’t bother picking it up.

Even though I didn’t read the Ladies Home Journal, the reality is this is another blow to the art of Homemaking and that saddens me. I know so many women who have shared with me in confidence that they don’t know how to cook or clean or sew or “do” anything domestic and they blame their Moms. 

I’m not saying I agree with all that blame- I know most Moms need to work outside of the home. I get that.  What I am saying is our children need resources on how to be a homemaker even if that is after working 8 hours a day.  My Mom worked outside the home and still managed to instill in me the love of a clean home, a hot meal and freshly washed sheets. My Mom taught me because her Mom taught her so I teach my girls.

But what if you are one of the countless women whose Moms didn't get taught domestic skills to pass down to you? What resources do you have? What about our kids? 

Most schools don’t teach home economics anymore, most Moms work outside the home as did their Moms and maybe even their Grandma’s- so is the art of homemaking going the way of print magazines?

I hope not.

It is my hope that we Moms will get in touch with our inner domestic goddess and pass that on to our kids so they don’t grow up, move out and then blame us for not equipping them with basic life skills. 

Our kids already move easily in this digital age- why not toss them a curve ball and put a broom in their hand and teach them to properly sweep a floor? And if you are already teaching homemaking skills to your children, I say thank you!

I'll be adding more homemaking posts here on my blog to help Moms who may need another resource too, so please check back in.

I am sorry to say I won’t be subscribing to the Ladies Home Journal just to try and save it.  Now, if my favorite magazines, Better Home and Gardens and Good Housekeeping find themselves in trouble?

Count me in.

Share in comments: What magazines do you subscribe to and read in print form?

I am really happy to work with our sponsor, ShopperIncite, today to share this information with you because I would have loved receiving their free shopping planner and coupons when my girls were babies and toddlers.

About ShopperIncite Life Moments New Mom Planner:

"Having a child is an incredibly special “life moment” where Mom spend, on average, and additional $10,400 in the first years of their child’s life on items like clothes, diapers, wipes, detergent, food and more. The pretty Life Moments Planner is perfect for busy new moms to make notes, plan meals and keep track of special offer coupons included all in one neat little planner fits easily into your purse or bag."

Another neat feature of this life moments planner are the helpful tips found throughout the pages like Did you know that newborns are nasal breathers? Babies prefer to breathe through their noses their first 4-6 months. So having a good humidifier on hand is important.

As a matter of fact, I plan on using the $15 off coupon for a new Crane humidifier from the planner I received this weekend. There are other coupons Moms with older kiddies can use too like savings with Dr. Seuss book club, and baby Einstein Crane and more. This planner doesn’t leave us Moms out either; there are coupons for Jenny Craig, Bio Oil and Zulily too.

I invite you to sign up for your free Life Moments planner today by visiting Just for Moms Savings and filling out their quick form.

You’ll receive your planner right away and then receive a new planner once a quarter. And please share this freebie with your expecting Mom friends and family too because the more planners they send out, the more coupons they will be able to offer in the future assuring savings on more of those special life moments.

Share with me in comments, what coupons do you use most often for your babies/kids?

Now hop on over and get your free planner and coupons at Just for Moms Savings. 

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free along with compensation in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good for my readers. 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."

Moms- Win a $10,000 Scholarship

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, December 06, 2013

Is going back to school on your dream list? Balancing life, family, and your career can be overwhelming. Give yourself the tools you need and go back to school and take control of your future.

Enter to win before December 13th by clicking on the picture above or use this link. Please note- this is an affiliate link which means I may be compensated if you choose to sign up. I am only sharing this offer because I feel that it is of value to my readers. 

If going back to school is a goal for you in 2014- click on over to today and Good Luck!

Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link which means I may be compensated if you choose to sign up. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good for my readers. 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."

The Back to School Countdown Begins

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, July 08, 2013

Happy Monday to you! Did you have a great fourth of July weekend? I hope so.  

We had a most excellent weekend, taking a less-is-more approach to it all.  We didn’t plan a thing, except to be together, cook good food and have fun.

This approach worked so well, that we all agreed that our 4 day weekend was like a much needed vacation.  Our souls needed this break in the action and we aren’t even a fast track family. 

It’s a good thing that we had this respite, because now there are only 32 days left of summer vacation. Oh my. The powers that be (the school board here in middle TN) have decided that a start date in the middle of some of the hottest days of summer would be A-Okay. 


Pitching a fit is a waste of time. Planning now for a smooth back to school transition in our home is a much safer bet. 

Here is my plan of action:

1. Start the bedtime routine change now.

 If you are like us and take a more lenient summer bedtime routine, it’s time to nip it in the bud.  Don’t wait until there is a week or two before school starts or everybody will be tired and crabby all day.  Parents: this means we have to go to bed earlier too. No more late night TV.

2.  Set a dinnertime.

Make sure dinner time is early enough that food is digested before bedtime, but not so early that your family has powered through what they ate and need a snack right when they should be brushing their teeth. This is especially tricky for me with a growing teen and tween. They are always hungry! (Yes, girls are always hungry too at this stage.) I aim for 6:30pm to 6:45pm.

3. Clean out their closets.

 Do this early, if you haven’t already AND make them try on every piece they want to keep. With my girls, I go one step further and ask them to see how many outfits they can make. This is a true sanity saver when you are back to school  clothes shopping and they are looking at all the cute jeans when you know they really need tops.

4. Clean out or prep our drop zones.

Every family is different, with a different system in place, but I have found that having the kids place their backpacks, incoming papers, permission slips etc. in specified places daily works for us.
For instance, backpacks must be cleaned out, repacked for the next day and be sitting by the front door for the morning. Period.

5. Listen now.

School can be stressful with some years more stressful than others. Both my daughters happen to be entering a grade that is particularly stressful: 9th and 5th respectively. You can probably relate to the freshman nerves, but may be wondering about little 5th graders. Trust me: this is the year the cattiness and cliques start.  I have set aside private time and chatted with both my girls about going back to school.

They were very illuminating conversations that helped me map out this first plan of action, but I know it won’t be the last this year.  I still need to plan my back to school supply shopping strategy and then there is this biggie to think about:

there is only 169 days until Christmas. 

When do your kids go back to school?

Prayers and a Pledge

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, December 18, 2012
So many worlds were forever changed last Friday. Even though my home is states away from Newtown Connecticut, I can almost see it; and the people in this beautiful New England town having spent a summer in the area years ago. 
  I wish I could have attended the candle-light vigil last night in Charleston, CT. to show my support.


I have felt helpless in the wake of this tragic, ugly event.
Yes, I have prayed and cried and gasped in horror and grieved right along with the rest of the world, but until this morning I felt powerless to do anything of true value.
 I had no plans to write about my feelings, because, honestly, this tragedy isn’t about me.
  And then it came to me - yes it is about me in one small but meaningful way. I am a Mom raising future Moms. 
Parents- this is our call to action!
 I can’t change the whole world, but I can change my part of it.  
The very best and most useful thing I can do for this grieving town full of families just like my own is to be a better me.
 Make my world- right here, in my home, on my street and community, in my children’s school, in my relationships with every single person I come in contact with starting right now: Better.
I can be a brighter light in this dark world and in turn I can enable my children to be bright lights as well.
It is the only true gift I have to give.
If we all went forth from this moment on with love and kindness in the fore-front, wouldn’t all our worlds be a brighter place?
You are in our thoughts and prayers Newtown.  We will light a candle for you on Christmas Day and I pledge to be a better me from this day forth.

Say Anything Game Giveaway

in , , , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, December 06, 2012
friends fun game

 Don't let the kiddies have all the fun this holiday season! Have some fun of your own and find out what your friends are really thinking with Say Anything!
 Whether you are having company come stay for the holidays or just having a get together Say Anything from North Star Games is a great game to play to have some entertainment!
This game will also help you get to know each other a lot better, so why not try it at your next Mom's Night In and invite a new Mom or two and share the fun?
Playing this game is super easy:
One person is the "Selector" each round. The Selector reads a question and everyone writes an answer. All answers must be different so, whoever displays first has that will just have to think of something else if you did not display your answer fast enough.
Then, the Selector will use the Select-O-Matic 5000, that would be the will looking thing, to pick which answer he/she agrees with the most. You don't let anyone see what you picked.
Next, everyone else uses their two tokens to put them on the answer(s) they think the Selector will pick. You don't have to put your tokens on your own answer and you can put them together or divide them.
Turn over the Select-O-Matic 5000! The Selector gets 1 point for each token placed on the answer she/he selected, up to a max of three. The other players get 1 point for each token they placed on the answer that was selected and the player who wrote the answer that was selected gets 1 bonus point.
Pass the Question Cards and the Select-O-Matic to the left and start the next round.

Say Anything is available at Target and Toys-r-Us.
For ages 13+ and you can have between 3 to 8 players.

One Lucky Reader will win a Say Anything Game
Hosted by: Baby Costcutters
Must be 18+ to enter this giveaway. Open only to the US. Ends Dec. 15, 2012 at midnight est.

Good Luck!! Just use the form below to enter.

Back To School

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yesterday was the first full day of school for us.

watch out for buses
Watch out for school buses and school zones!

Ms. T and I start our days at 5:35a.m. It is hard to get up that early! No amount of prepping and doing dry runs can truly make you feel happy about greeting the day at this hour. But, we try.  

Ms. T is a good sport.  She sets her own alarm and then actually gets up and turns it off. Not many 8th graders do that. I didn’t. I relied on my parents. Since both of them worked, I could lay there for “just one more minute” knowing one or both of them would rouse me.

As a work at home Mom, I know I am blessed to have the ability to stand in my kitchen each morning, cup of coffee in hand, talking with my girls and husband, helping them be prepared for their day. 

It was and still is the lifestyle choice that works best for our family. I am a work at home Mom- a Hybrid, balancing both, but putting more emphasis on home than on career. Still,  I can see both sides clearly. And can honestly say:  All Moms Work Hard!  No Mom judgments’ here!

As our girls enter 8th and 4th grade this year, I know it’s not going to be all peaches and cream, but I’m trusting in the Lord and a good, solid routine. 
To me, routines are just as important now as they were when my daughters were babies. Sameness when it comes to waking, eating, homework, sleeping;   etc. is a very good thing!

Have your children started back to school yet? If so, what do you add or subtract from your routine during the school months?  Do you have a set routine, or do you wing it?

For me, I add volunteering at both schools, getting together with girlfriends for a quick coffee and going to small business owner meetings. I subtract late night movies.

Here's wishing you and your children a happy, safe, productive school year!


in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As I got ready to place the Blog with Integrity Badge here; it occurred to me that somebody should make a Life with Integrity Badge for those of us who seek to live it.  Now, let me say right from the start: I do not think I am better than you! I am not here to judge, I’m here to be the best me I can be and if something I say jangles a nerve, well, maybe you ought to take a little time to explore your reaction. 

What is Integrity?
I  grab my Webster’s Dictionary from the bookcase (yes, I am old school and still rely on books that aren't attached to an electronic device). There are 3 definitions for integrity.  I am referring to # 3 which states integrity is:
The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty and sincerity.

I have tried to live my life by these guiding principles. I have been praised and loved by those who find these qualities admirable. I've also had my fair share of names tossed my way whenever I  called attention to a person's lack of integrity in their dealings with me and those I love.
In my teens and early 20's,  I was called “volatile" and "hostile" and a female dog because I dared to stand up against the liars, backstabbers and chameleon like game players that were prevalent in my neighborhood and high school. 
Later in my 20’s and 30's I was labeled "unfriendly" because I would not stand around gossiping about my co-workers, nor would I stand for being flirted with. I was and am a very happily married woman and didn't find it harmless or amusing.
When I had my first child and became a stay at home Mom, I was labeled "mean" by the other Moms because I would not listen to or participate in idle gossip about whatever Mom wasn't in ear shot, or my husband, or my child, or my mother in law. 
FYI:   Mean girls grow up to be mean moms who then raise mean girls and the feeding frenzy continues. As a Mom it is my job to raise my girls not to fall prey to this and to warn them that yes, leading with Integrity will put you on some lonely roads. But all will be well if you can look yourself in the eye and not flinch at what you see.

Now that I'm in my 40's, I've come to realize that these types of people will never, ever change.  I no longer “fight the good fight" with them, I keep my own council and I just quietly dis-engage.  Their opinion of me does not matter.
Take last week for instance. I was asked to do a favor for somebody that at first blush looked like a good deal.  Just add some items to an order and I would get Free stuff and they would get points towards their trip.  This person was very assertive: using lots of if I were yous and what I need you to do for me  and blah, blah , blah ... I stopped listening when my gut said “Wow, if this is how she got to be a team leader in her business;  I want no part of it."
 I could have told her what she was asking was unethical, but I've learned there is no point in wasting my breath, so I dismissed her with " Thanks, but No thanks”!  and hung up on her before she could point out my lack of "team spirit" because I wasn't allowing myself to be used by her. 
No, I am not a perfect pillar of society, but I sure do sleep well at night and I'm not a frazzled mess trying to keep track of all the lies and schemes I've got going on.  I like my simple, uncomplicated life with Integrity. 
 I also like the blogging community and will blog with Integrity.