Monday and my Plan

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, August 29, 2011
Family work balance

It has been a while since I shared my plan for the week. What with the new school year starting, my social media manager position for Kinsman's Carpentry & Custom Cabinets
taking off, and the blessed relief from the heat, I was loathe to sit at the computer last night and type up my plan of action. 

 However, today is the last Monday of the month, so without further ado:

My plan for the week:


Bake banana bread
Go to Ms. T's schools open house tonight
start packing away some summer clothes
re-organize the front closet
move rocking chair project higher up on my list (since it didn't get done last week)
proof read Ms. M's school website and report findings to teacher
harvest basil to make pesto
take old magazines to library for share counter
clean out frig and freezer
continue company checks on security alerts for mother-in-law
update and sync all calendars with upcoming important school/family/church dates
start a new coupon binder/organizing system
stop everything and be grateful when each of my family members arrive home safely,
look into their eyes and be present and available.

Work: His:

Link husbands new website to all social accounts
advertise new website with ad credits received from hosting company, (Google AdWords, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, etc)
Update his profile picture
tag all photos in his gallery prior to ad placement
send follow up letters/emails to recent clients
upload latest project photos on Facebook and website
peruse September trade publications for interesting articles to share
continue to make sure he knows daily how much he is appreciated

 Work: Mine:

visit bloggy buddies, groups, websites and engage in all social media sites
learn more about my Google + account (ie. how to add it to my blog and other social sites)
look into hosting packages for my social media manager division
make a thank you for contacting me letter for initial inquires to hire me
research fee structure for my services
remember to not take it personally when a person or business does not follow up in the same manner or time frame I would
read blogs, take an e-course, continue to learn how best to move forward with my social media manager career
thank the Lord daily that I am blessed to be a work at home mom!

So that's my plan and it's a lofty one to be sure. No matter what, (unless it's billing, cause we need to eat) I will always put family first, so it won't surprise me in the slightest if some of these tasks are back on my list next week.

It is always nice receiving feedback on a project you've particpated in. Recently I was invited to take the  PepsiCo Women & Leadership survey. This was a very in depth, thought provoking survey and I was happy to lend my voice.

Here's a recent email I received from SheSpeaks, the company who asked me to participate:

Dear Linda,

Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in our recent PepsiCo Women & Leadership survey. As always, your feedback was incredibly helpful. We had an amazing response to this survey. It shows that female leadership is a hot topic!
What you said:
•71% of women believe that a woman will not win the presidency in 2012
•Most women think the greatest challenge to achieving leadership roles is the perception that women make less effective leaders
•Hillary Clinton was most frequently cited as the most inspirational female global leader, followed by Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey
•The majority of women have no preference between working for a male or female boss
•Women equally rank hard work and the ability to inspire as the most-needed leadership skills, as seen in the chart below
For more information, please visit the PepsiCo WIN site.

Thanks again for participating in this survey. We truly value your feedback and insights.
We look forward to offering you more opportunities to share your voice about products, services and the topics that are most important to you.

The SheSpeaks Team

Do you agree with the findings? Who inspires you?

As of this morning, my kids have been back at school 3 and one half days.  So far all is going well.  I will stop here and do something necessary and deserved: I will pat myself on the back and proclaim to all who can hear me (the cat) “Way to go Linda”, you’ve got this new schedule down!”

Okay, enough of that, back to reality where I pray most sincerely that we all can keep up the pace needed this year to ensure everybody gets to where they need to be every morning in a calm and orderly fashion.  On  time.  With all supplies needed for the day present and accounted for.  Amen.

All women, especially Moms juggle all day every day; this is a simple fact of life. As a work at home Mom,   I pride myself on my planning and time management skills, but as the title of this post suggests: middle school changes everything!

 Ms. T is in 7th grade this year with a new start time, bus route; dismiss time, dress code, etc. Everything changed because of the dreaded re-zoning that took place last spring. Our small community fought long and hard with the powers that be to stay at our nice K through 8 school, but change came anyway.

So, I do what I always try to do: I find the good in the situation! And, thankfully there is a lot of good to be found at our new schools.

Still, I have to say, the earliness in which we all must get up now is hard to get used to! Even with planning and practicing the new schedule 2 weeks prior to school starting, we all are dragging our collective behinds by 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. ( depending on the age of the draggy)!  

Ms. T’s alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. She immediately wakes up, turns it off and quietly comes in to see if I’m awake.  I’m smiling as I type this because my girl shows such responsibility and love in doing this. No sooner have we whispered our Good Mornings, than our alarm goes off. Hubby promptly says “ Babe” and hits the snooze.  Then I’m up and at’em with my first born.   Just my first born.

  This has been the gift in all of this. I get alone time with each girl every morning!!

 Ms. T and I talk in hushed voices for those precious 15 to 20 minutes we get every morning before hubby gets up and out of the shower. Her bus comes so early now, that her little sister is just getting up when Ms. T is getting on the bus. They don’t see each other until after school.

 Meanwhile, I’m packing  lunches , making breakfasts, feeding cats,  hugging, laughing, chatting with hubby and  Ms. M.   Simple, family “stuff” that I’m privileged to be able to do as a work at home Mom. I have several working Mom friends and I know their mornings don’t look or feel like this. 

Then, around 7:15 a.m., after hubby has left for his day,  the house gets quite again, and it’s just Ms. M and I.

 I get to spend quality time with her now.  With each daughter getting her own time and space there is no more crazy rush for the bathroom at the same time, no squabbling  putting on shoes or  bonking heads to grab backpacks at the same time, no more sibling interaction equals no more sibling grumpiness in the morning!

 Ah, blissful mornings, full of peace and happy thoughts and hugs all around!  I am blessed and thankful. And to think, I actually fought against this re-zoning! Silly Me.

Do you have school aged kids at home? If so, what time do you get up? Are you a working Woman? What time do you greet the day?

Reviva Labs Product Reviews

in , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Company description:

Reviva Labs The One " Health Food Store" brand used in over 1200 professional skin care salons.
A natural skin-care company who has introduced more skin-care firsts in the USA ( via health food stores) than many of the cosmetic giants.

My Take:

I was first introduced to Reviva Labs through a wonderful Mom Blogger Community I'm a member of  
Mom Says Aye.  Amber, the owner has worked tirelessly to provide a blogger friendly community complete with an Opportunity page, where Reviva Labs had posted a request for product reviewers.
One quick trip to Reviva Labs website and I was signing up.
I was approved and asked to choose a product for review. Since I am a gardener and a lady who cleans without gloves a vast majority of the time, I was very interested in their hand cream and treatments. 

 When I saw that the dry hand treatment was a 3 product process, I contacted my
helpful Reviva Labs liaison to ask her which product I should choose. I was pleasantly surprised when she said,   We'll send you all three so you can do a special "hand facial". 

 2 weeks later, I received 3 full sized products, a catalog, product information pages and a very nice letter
from my company liaison who also included a step by step guide on the hand facial. It's refreshing to have a company go above and beyond what is required of them. 

The Reviews:

Product 1: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Olive Oil & DMAE Hand & Body Lotion

My Take: I love this lotion! It is non-greasy, goes on nice and smooth, drys almost instantly ( a real plus on busy mornings). It has a pleasant almost fragrance free scent and it is non-irritating. I can use it right after shaving.  In fact, I started using this with my self tanning gel and it makes application 100% easier.
Because this hand & body lotion works so well I think it is worth $ 14.00 for 8oz and I would buy this again!

Product 2: Green Papaya & Hydrogen Peroxide Mask

My Take: This product worked wonders on my hands when I did my "hand facial".  It did as promised and exfoliated, conditioned and moisturized my hands.
This product has a nice, fruity scent that isn't overpowering. It's a little greasier than I like.
When trying this as a facial mask, I could not leave it on my face for the suggested 10-15 minutes. After 7 minutes, I started feeling a slightly uncomfortable itchy-tingling all over my face and washed it off. I had a couple of small bumps on my chin the next morning which may be because of the high moisturizing
properties of this product. I wouldn't buy it and/or use it in this summer months again, but I will use this product again in the winter months to see if that makes a difference.

Product 3: Pomegranate/Lactic Acid Peptide & Botanical Exfoliant

Reviva Labs product

My Take: Any time a product says it can gently remove dead, dulling skin and impurities, I'm interested. This product is amazing! It did just what it claimed it would. Not only did my face feel super soft, but it felt really clean without feeling scrubbed to death. Oh, and this product worked wonders on my dry hands
during my "hand facial"! The only thing that could make this product any better is purely aesthetic. The color and fragrance are bland. This product is $19.00 for 2oz, so I would buy again with my hand & body lotion to save on shipping, Reviva Labs currently charges $ 8.00 postage and handling per order.

The take away:  I liked working with this company and using their products. I would re- purchase 2 of the 3 products sent me .  Visit Reviva Labs HERE for more information.

Surviving Time Island Game Review

in , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Surviving Time Island Review
Sponsored by: MomSelect

I happily joined this opportunity to review and promote a non-violent, safe online game for kids in the 6-12 year old range. It's perfect for the girls I thought, who are, as some of you already know 8 and 12.
 Getting them to agree on a game or website, or video, or movie has grown trickier as they move further into tweenville. I was optimistic.
Ms. M -  my 8 year old was thrilled, and Ms. T-  my 12 year old was cautious at best. She was worried that if this game thrilled and 8 yr. old what could it possibly have for her?
More on that in a minute. :-)

Time Island game

About Time Island - From the Time Island Team

Time Island is a place of wonder and adventure. Your survival skills will be put to the test as you explore white beaches and lush jungles; tree-top terraces and dark underground caverns.
You will have to outsmart, out maneuver and outlast the troublesome green creatures that inhabit the island, known as the Goggs.
Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to stick together so you and your friends can create and join a tribe. Survival is always easier when you’re not alone. To survive you must also care for your cleanliness and hygiene, and keep your avatar well fed.
Most importantly, keep your eyes open and your wits about you. Around any bush and behind any rock, even in the giant trees and hidden in the darkest corners of the caves, you will discover countless games and activities.
To survive on Time Island is a challenge, but the fun is even greater!

Your Child's Safety
A safe, non-threatening virtual environment for your child is our top priority. Insofar as such, the virtual world and web site forums are supervised to protect against the use of bad language, inappropriate subject matter, cyber-bullying and otherwise predatory behavior.
Once a member is deemed harmful or unwilling to abide by the rules of behavior, the Time Island Team will immediately and permanently void the offending player’s membership and all Time Island privileges.
You and your child can take steps in order to help us provide a clean and safe environment. If your child is confronted with a player using offensive language or discussing inappropriate subject matter, you or your child can bring him to our attention. After a player is reported he or she will receive a warning e-mail. Following three reports against the same player that player will be removed from Time Island permanently.
Depending on the severity of the offense, a player may be removed after one warning or no warnings at all.
We suggest you discuss these issues of behavior with your child before he or she begins playing. Make sure they understand their own rights and obligations as well as those of other players.

We got our box full of goodies and Ms. M was,  as previously mentioned, thrilled!  Ms. T didn't bat an eyelash at the boxes arrival. Yeah, this type of reaction ( or lack there of), is becoming a staple for the 12 year old in my house. If it hints of little girl, she's not going near it.

Here's what it contained:

5 Time Island Wrist bands
5 Time Island Stickers
5 Time Island temp. tattoos
1 pair sunglasses
1 Time Island Backpack
1 Bandanna

The Review- My Take:

We visited and the girls took turns setting up their accounts. I was pleased with the safety measures in place. I opted to have Ms. M sign up in "supreme safe chat mode". which is a mode where players can only send & receive pre-loaded, kid-friendly messages. If a message is offensive, it will not show up. 

Ms. T however, being older used safe chat mode, where not only do you have the pre-loaded messages, players can type their own. There are filters to block bad messages, but they are not as strong.
 It looked like a fun game to me and I enjoyed the tropical soundtrack being played while the girls "survived".

Ms. T's Take:
  I think overall the game is a 6 1/2  out of 10. It's pretty fun, but because it's in Beta, I never saw another player or a Gogg, so it was a bit disappointing. Other 12-year olds may or may not enjoy it, but it will be MUCH BETTER when other people join up, so I think you should give it a try. I will keep playing, I'm Kalana on the game.

Ms. M's Take:

 I think the game is good for kids ages 4 yrs. old thru 11 yrs. It was really, really fun, but like my sister, Ms. T, I wished for more people playing so we could have a tribe and I want to see a Gogg! I think you should give this game a try. I will keep playing.
P.S. I'm Stella on the game if you want to play or start a tribe.

To start playing visit Time Island!

Thanks for reading this review. Come back and comment your kiddies user id's and I'll let the girls know to log on and form a tribe.

Thanks WonderDads!

in , by Linda A Kinsman, Saturday, July 30, 2011

We are pleased to be on WonderDads list of The Best Mom Blogs! To read the full list of the best blogs you should tell your wife about, visit WonderDads HERE.

Know a Wonder Dad? Why not share this great resource with him?

A Song for the Day

in , , by Linda A Kinsman, Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've been busy all week working on projects for my husband's business.

While I've been busy type, type, typing away; the girls and I have been enjoying the beautiful blue grass sounds and harmonies of Nickel Creek.  My all time favorite of theirs is The Lighthouse Tale. It is a haunting, beautiful, tragic love story. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Coming Up on My WAHM Plan: 2 reviews and my very first giveaway! Stay tuned and as always, thanks for reading.