Tuesday and My Plan

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Happy New Year!

I had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year at home with my sweet husband and kids. We played Uno, snacked, laughed and before we knew it, midnight was here.   

How did you ring in the New Year? Did you make any resolutions? I used to make resolutions, but found I respond better and reach my goals more often when I make weekly & monthly action plans.

I’ve got big plans for My WAHM Plan, which is now officially a dot.com!
 I’ll keep the focus on home, sharing some of my DIY projects both inside and out.  I’ll share books and recipes, home office tips, the trials and triumphs of raising daughters and of course Reviews!

Here’s what I’m working on this week:

Finish boxing up holiday decorations. It’s a balmy 32 degrees here today, so the outside stuff can wait.
Clip coupons for the week and plan lunches for the girls returning to school on Thursday.
Change shower liners, wash shower curtains TODAY! (I have been putting this one off for a week).
Vacuum once all boxes are outta here.

Finish closing out year on Quick books.
Order hubby’s business cards after getting final approval for re-designed cards.  
Look into Google business listing.
Organize files on desktop, print out any drawings and file with correct job.
Upload new pictures for website.

De-clutter side bar.
Make a list of sites I love and review business affiliations & share with my readers.
Visit and comment on at least 5 new blogs.
Visit my blog buddies and comment.
Post at least once more this week.

Read one more chapter of Harry Potter book and discuss with Ms. T.
Read one more chapter of Edison’s Gold and discuss with Ms. M.
Take girls to the Dollar store for calendars. (The ones’ they got for Christmas are too small).
Play Uno, Sorry, or Spider wick Chronicles this afternoon.
Make loomed Potholders with Ms. M & Ms. T.
Make sure their backpacks are truly cleaned out before they go back to school.
Get them to bed early tonight to ease them back on school schedule.

So, that's my plan for this week. What's on your agenda?

Life's Pieces

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, December 30, 2011

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately as this year comes to a close and a new one nips at my heels. I do some of my best thinking when my hands are busy and my brain is free to wander and creep into corners I don’t visit in my busy times.
So as the stress of the Holidays was bearing down, I pulled out this jigsaw puzzle and got to work.

 I had this analogy forming about how my life was like this puzzle and how each piece is necessary. I was going to run with that (and I think it would have been a fitting end of the year post); but then I watched the news last night and learned of a tragedy here in our little world and my whole mood and tone has changed.
You see, a little 10 year old girl died yesterday in a freak car accident. She attended my daughter’s elementary school. Her younger sister is in my daughter’s class. While we don’t know this family personally, it has ripped at my heart all day. I am finding it difficult to type this, just thinking about the steps all involved are having to take instead of blissfully ringing in the new year. 
I can’t forget to mention that the man driving the other car; the one that slammed into the girls died too.
 What must his family feel right now? Not only did they lose him, but they must reconcile that he accidently took a child’s life when his ended.
Sometimes life’s pieces are tragic and sad and unimaginable. I for one know I would lose a part of my soul if something like this were to happen to my family.
I’m sure each and every one of us wouldn’t have to look too far to find a family hurting and in need.  Maybe we should look around more. Reach out more. Care about our fellow man more.
I will do whatever I can to help these neighbors in need and then I will do my absolute best to remember how lucky I’ve got it and how you never know what tomorrow might bring. I will do my best to live like I’m supposed to be anyway, leading with kindness, friendliness and faith and stop taking my life for granted.  
Life’s pieces are sometimes thinly veiled wake up calls.
I sincerely hope you and yours have a Happy and Safe New Year! Please do me a favor.  Make sure every single person you care about knows you do. Please don’t assume they know. Tell them today.

Winter and Happiness

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Pond Winter 2010
Tomorrow is the official 1st day of Winter and I couldn't be happier! Not because I love snowy, blustery days. Not because tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and I can start counting the days until spring arrives. Not solely because of the joy and happiness the Holidays bring.

No, finding my  happy with this season most all of us dread, required some thinking.
Just reading the definition of winter puts me squarely on team anti-winter. Look at those Synonyms and you'll see what I mean. 


The coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February and in the southern hemisphere from June to August.
(of fruit and vegetables) Ripening late in the growing season and suitable for storage over the winter.
Verb:(esp. of a bird) Spend the winter in a particular place: "birds wintering in the south".


verb. hibernate
. wintry - hibernal - winterly - brumal
. cold


While slathering on extra strength hand lotion last night to ease my drying hands ( that only get worse each day of this season), I decided to make a list of all the reasons I have to be happy and thankful this winter. If you are on team anti-winter, maybe a list is in your future too!

My List:

1. The girls are on Winter break from 12/21/11 until 1/5/12. Just having them home all day makes me smile! I enjoy their company immensely.

2. Getting end of year business tasks done feels good! Don't dread the shred is my motto as I clean out my filing cabinet and start a new storing and organizing method.

3. Dry skin gives me a good excuse to try new lotions! Maybe I'll write a review or two.

4. Christmas at home. Just the four of us. The girls in their new jammies all day. Traditions. Love. Harmony. Peace. Jesus. Food. Smiles. Laughs. Santa.

5. New Year. New Beginning. New Ideas. New directions. Wiping the slate clean is a good thing on so many fronts.

6. My youngest daughters birthday.

7. New cabinet jobs for my hubby. He's at his happiest when he's making sawdust.

8. New friendships. I've been invited to join some local groups and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to broaden my circle.

9. Free time. I have more of it in this season. I get crafty, I read more novels, I log on much less, I daydream about spring and how to design my flower beds, I laugh and sing and play with my kids more. I stay up late and watch sci-fi movies or talk and laugh with my hubby more. I connect more.

10. I have a really good feeling about 2012. Deep in my bones optimisim. The last few years have been hard and stressful for so many of us. Most of us truth be told, but I am a firm believer in the power of a Positive Attitude.

I am happy Winter is here because it forces me to slow down, think, be more present and in the moment.
Sure the weather outside may be frightful, but I'll welcome spring well rested and refreshed.
Happy Winter, Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy Holidays one and all!
I am so very thankful for all of you who read, comment and visit my blog.

Please let me know what you are thankful and happy for this season!

Torani Syrups Review & Giveaway

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, December 12, 2011

Since I’d never tried Torani syrups before, I was happy to learn I’d been selected to review their products via SheSpeaks.


About Torani

Torani flavored syrups are part of San Francisco’s heritage. With handwritten recipes from their Italian hometown, Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre introduced Torani syrups to San Francisco in 1925. In the back of their grocery store, they pressed fruits, nuts and spices, blended extracts with cane sugar and water in redwood vats and then fine-tuned the flavor.  A true labor of love that has paid off for Torani, now the # 1 brand of flavored syrups in America, offering over 100 flavors.
I got to try to wonderful flavors: sugar free Vanilla and Pumpkin Pie.


The Review

I tried the sugar free Vanilla in my coffee first, adding 1 oz. to my coffee as instructed on the bottle. The aroma was inviting and I couldn’t wait to try my morning cup, but yikes, was it ever sweet! Perhaps an ounce is for a venti. I’m slowly learning to use the vanilla syrup properly, it is delicious, and my daughters love it full strength in their café au lait.
However, I like the Pumpkin Pie flavoring full strength in my coffee. For my daughters, I made Pumpkin Pie floats with:
·        1 oz. Torani Pumpkin Pie flavored syrup
·        1 scoop vanilla ice cream
·        6 fl. oz. of ginger ale
Makes 1 float.

I highly recommend Torani syrups and will be purchasing them again, especially since I‘ve got my eye on their Blackberry syrup!

How would you like to try one of Torani’s amazing syrups? Well, just enter my give away below for two coupons for two free bottles of Torani Syrup! (maximum value $8.00 each).

Since there can only be one winner, I’d like to offer you a chance to save using  coupon code “shespeaks” to save 10% at www.torani.com!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordless Wednesday

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, December 07, 2011
What my daughters really want for Christmas
 Since we only like dogs, rather than love them we know they aren't a good match for our family, so I don't think this will ever happen... but never say never right?

Maybe another kitty is in order.

Are you giving a pet as a gift this year?

Drop Cookie Dough the kids can eat!

in , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

  Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking season is in full swing at our house and as December elbowed out November, I pulled out this tried and true drop cookie recipe. I clipped this from the local Williamson County Parent magazine in 2005.
You are going to love these simple, yummy cookies! Our plate didn't look like that for long.
The very best part is this is a no egg recipe so your kiddies~ and you can eat the dough!
Stir up a batch of fun and happy memories today with your family. Enjoy!

The Basic Chocolate Chip Drop Cookie

Yield: 3 to 5 dozen, depending on cookie size
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 9 to 11 minutes (longer with larger cookies)


·         2 cups (1 12-ounce bag) chocolate chips
·         2 sticks butter, margarine or shortening, softened
·         1 ½  cups sugar (or brown sugar or both blended)
·         3 tablespoons water
·         3 tablespoons oil
·         2 teaspoons vanilla
·         2 ¼ cups flour
·         2 teaspoons baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1 teaspoon salt


1.       Preheat oven to 375°.
2.       In large mixer bowl, beat margarine and sugar until creamy.
3.       Beat in water, oil, and vanilla.
4.       Stir together dry ingredients, gradually add to sugar mixture.
5.        Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6.       Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes, until golden.
7.       Leave on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.

I've also baked up a few dozen Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which turned out really well I think in large part because I used dark brown sugar.

What is your favorite cookie recipe? Please share!

Declaring Email Bankruptcy!

in , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, November 28, 2011
Email Overload

I have been a fan of Amy at Blogging with Amy for almost as long as I've been blogging. Her advice is spot on and usually very timely.  I have learned many tips and tricks from her and this post was just too perfect for me not to share.

 I logged on this morning to over 15,000 emails! That is not a typo... 15K staring at me and I knew I had to do something!

 Like a beacon in the night, Amy's post:  Increase productivity, Unsubscribe liberally caught my eye, thanks in part to my lame attempt to corral my inbox by setting up alerts so there was a handy yellow arrow drawing my eye to it.

Thanks Gmail and Thanks Amy.

After reading her tips, I'm hoping for a streamlined inbox soon.  I am say Yes! To Email Bankruptcy!

Need some inbox help? I invite you to read:

Increase productivity. Unsubscribe liberally.

I hope you find this as helpful as I did. Do you have an inbox tip you'd like to share?

Please leave a comment here!

12/5/11: Update: I did it! I am at ZERO in my inbox! Boy, that feels Good! Go ahead, take the plunge and declare email bankruptcy too! It's liberating and Gmail rewards with this sweet note:
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