Welcome to my new series of home improvement, D.I.Y. and housekeeping posts! We are doing projects on a budget, happily applying common sense and a healthy dose of elbow grease.  I hope you’ll stop by often to see what we’ve been up to.  

Kitchen Cabinet Help on a Budget:

Are you tired of your drab kitchen cabinets? Wish you could replace them? That’s where we are too. 
When we bought this house several years ago, it was our plan to update the whole house starting with the kitchen and baths. My husband is a professional cabinet maker/woodworker, so finding the right person for the job isn’t the problem. Time and money is. 

With company coming soon, I decided to do something about my kitchen cabinets.
First I borrowed my husband’s Formby’s Lemon Oil furniture treatment and one of his soft cloths. He said it was the best choice for what I wanted to do. He's the pro, so I knew our cabinets wouldn't get damaged.

As you can tell by the label, this stuff has been used and around for a while. It has a nice, mild lemony scent and isn’t real greasy.


After reading the simple directions, I squeezed a small amount on my cloth and set to work. 

Lemon oil
You can barely make out the little yellow spot in this picture.  

This is a before picture of my 1st cabinet:


As you can see, the cabinet doesn’t look dirty, just a bit drab.

But the cloth after applying the Formby’s on this one cabinet tells a different story: 

applying Formby's

I keep a pretty neat and tidy home if I do say so myself, so I wasn’t prepared for this yuckiness! I got back to work, applying a liberal amount of enthusiasm to the task. For me there is just something elemental and comforting about doing a task with my hands that allows my mind to work on other stuff. That’s called being in the zone and I like it.

See how shiny the cabinet door looks?

shiny with Formby's

I am very pleased with my new shiny, clean kitchen cabinets! Formby’s even shined up the hardware without making it greasy to the touch. I smile each time I walk in the kitchen. 

This is such a quick and inexpensive way to brighten up your kitchen.
Total project cost = Zero, because we had the Formby’s on hand. I found several companies selling this product online for less than 10 dollars!
Total project time: To complete 13 upper and lower cabinets, inside and out plus drawers = 2 hours. 

I hope you will try Formby’s on your kitchen cabinets too and stop back by and let me know what you think. I’ll be doing the bathroom cabinets next.

What are you working on around your home? 

Rod Stewart is "Time"less!

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, May 10, 2013
I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.

I was hooked on Rod Stewart from the first time I heard his gruff voice on my radio singing 
"Wake up Maggie, I think I got something to say to you". 

So when I got the email from One@One Network saying that his new album Time was available for review, I happily joined the campaign. A big thank you to One2One Network for giving me the opportunity to listen to Rod Stewart's first original content CD released in almost 20 years!

About Time:

time CD
Courtesy: One2One Network
  • Rod Stewart has spent four decades being a rock star, three being a parent, and has a new album's worth of rollicking stories to tell. Time is his first album of new material in almost 20 years (and his hairstyle hasn't changed one bit!)
  • Time, releasing May 7th, 2013, marks Stewart's long-awaited return to his songwriting roots and features 12 tracks, 11 of which he wrote and produced.
  • The album was born from a burst of inspiration that came while Rod was reviewing his life for his recent memoir.
  •  Rod rediscovered his voice as a songwriter and rekindled his gift for writing the honest, nerve-touching narratives that have been the cornerstone to the first three decades of his career.

Rod on Writing Time: 

Time CD
Courtesy: One2One Network

  • "Suddenly ideas for lyrics were piling up in my head," he says. "Next thing I knew, I had a song called 'It's Over' about divorce and separation. And now I was getting up in the middle of the night and scrambling for a pen to write things down, which has never happened to me. I finished seven or eight songs very quickly and I still wasn't done, and it became apparent that I would eventually have a whole album of material to record."

My Review:

 I believe song placement on an album is very important and I can see why the powers that be started us off with the up-tempo song She Makes Me Happy. It made me happy just listening to it.
Go HERE to listen to the song and then please come back and tell me what you think.   
The frolicking, fun tempo continues on the second track Can't stop me now where Rod sings about his early career days and I loved that he shared when he met Maggie May!

On the next two tracks, Rod gets serious. On It's Over, his song about divorce, I admired him for remembering his children and saying he'd do whatever suits her. You can really feel his heart in this song. 
Then Brighton Beach is written from the loved and lost eye of youth where he asks "Do you ever stop and think about me? So relatable because who among us hasn't wondered if a high school sweet heart still remembers us?

A few of the tracks didn't resonate with me. They were good musically, but being a lover of a great lyric, I wanted more of the writing I'd heard in the first few tracks. I think my favorite songs were the one's in which he wrote about children. 
They touched on such strong emotions that you feel honored to feel his heart through his words.
 Pure Love, the final and best track (in my humble opinion) is a perfect example of that and this song moved me to tears.

My Take Away:

Time was well worth the wait! Rod Stewart invites us into his life over the last couple of decades with his well written and performed songs. He remembers and honors those that have left a mark on his life and heart. He admits to not being perfect and that he's not done living and having fun, just in a more mature way. 

I would highly recommend this CD to any Rod Stewart fan or anybody who loves a good love song! There are several to choose from on this CD. 

To buy Time please visit iTunes, or Amazon and be sure to follow Rod Stewart on Twitter.
You can also catch him on Katie – Airing 5-10-13 at  3pm EST / Check Local Listings on ABC.

I hope you found this review helpful. Are you a Rod Stewart fan? If so, what's your favorite song?

The Garden Patch Growbox Giveaway

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Friday, May 03, 2013

During one of our recent family meetings, we all agreed that we grow our veggies in containers again this year. This frees up some of our summer and gives us a chance to bargain shop for a much needed rototiller and a few other gardening tools we're missing.

Do you container garden as well? Then you are going to love this giveaway! I've partnered with some great bloggers to bring you:

The Garden Patch Growbox Giveaway

grow box

My blogging buddy Colleen at My Vegan Gluten Free Life shares her experience with The Growbox below:

"Garden Patch was having a photo contest. I sent in a photo of the tomato plants that I grow using Garden Patch Growboxes. I put them in my south-facing windows of my home in Homer, AK. To my delight and surprise I was one of the photo winners in The Garden Patch Photo Contest, with your voting help! My picture is in their mailing flier.

Courtesy: My Vegan Gluten Free Life

I just love to Garden and since it's rather difficult in our Alaskan climate I love these Growboxes! I grow cucumbers and green beans also in my house! Of course these Growboxes are used outside but for those of us with challenging growing conditions it is so nice to have one of these inside to grow in! I now have 7 Growboxes & LOVE them!
I LOVE the fact that it has a water reservoir at the bottom of the Growbox. It is large and the access is through the easily seen pour spout. I can leave my home for a week after filling the reservoir, which I do frequently, and when I return the vegetables are in fine shape and condition! The roots grow through the planting media and into the water. It is a fantastic system.
When I received notice from The Garden Patch telling me I had won and they would send me a Growbox, I asked if they would give one as a giveaway instead of sending me one since I use them already. Again to my delight and surprise, The Garden Patch said they would gladly send one as a giveaway prize but also would send me one! Isn't the Garden Patch absolutely fabulous? So one lucky winner will get to have one of these great Growboxes!"

The Garden Patch Growbox Giveaway:

The Garden Patch Growbox comes complete with fertilizer, easy instructions and planting guide. It is made of Tough UV construction lasts a long time! You can see by my picture below. I just hosed off and cleaned my Growboxes getting them ready for use here shortly. Our Alaskan sunshine is lasting at least 12 hours already. All you have to do is just add plants and potting mix. They are a nice 28"L x 14"W x 12"H in size and green or terra-cotta in color. I have the terra-cotta ones. They are USA made.

This Garden Growbox giveaway is open to the US.

Giveaway closes May 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST . 

Enter on the Rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you Garden? 

Thank you to The Fast Metabolism Diet for sponsoring this blog post. I was selected for this sponsorship by SheSpeaks.com  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Like most women I know, our weight is often on our minds. We go back and forth in sizes and usually draw a mental line in the sand that says " I will not go past this number on the scale! 
That's where I was at the beginning of this year. I was determined to get healthy and stay that way, so reviewing and following the Fast Metabolism Diet plan came at a wonderful time in my life. I had already changed my mindset, was making good progress and was mentally ready to start a new plan. That is the key to success in my opinion. 

About The Fast Metabolism Diet:

Courtesy: FastMetabolismDiet.com

The basic idea of this diet plan is to keep your body and metabolism guessing by rotating what you eat throughout each week. This is a simple and proven plan carefully designed to induce precise physiological changes that set your metabolism on fire. 

This is done in 3 phases: 
  • Phase 1 ( Monday-Tuesday)- Lots of carbs and fruits
  • Phase 2 ( Wednesday-Thursday)- Lots of proteins and veggies
  • Phase 3 ( Friday-Sunday)- All of the above, plus healthy fats and oils

The Science Behind the Diet:

Fast Metabolism

About The Author: Haylie Pomroy:

Haylie Pomroy has spent more than 17 years helping people lose weight, improve fertility, overcome health challenges and reach optimal health while still enjoying real food and not going hungry. With clinic locations in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Irvine, and Fort Collins, Haylie is highly regarded in Hollywood and in the medical community.  You can learn more about Haylie here.  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter

My Review:

I was a bit sceptical of the books claim that I could lose up to 20 pounds in 28 days. Not only did it sound unfeasible, it sounded unhealthy. Also, as the Mom of two impressionable daughters, I try to not use the term "diet" and I do my best to have a healthy body image so they will too. 
But, the truth is: I need to lose weight so I gladly accepted the challenge of change. 28 days is such a short time in the grand scheme of things. 

Here are my thoughts and tips:

  • Be prepared to read before you start this diet! Haylie spells out the science behind the diet and mentally prepares you for your 28 day journey. You'll need that information for what she asks of you, so please don't skip ahead.  
  • Once you are ready to start, double check your grocery list and shop for a full weeks worth of groceries. This book has lots of healthy recipes and a master food list for each week,  which I found very helpful.
  •  Be prepared to drink lots and lots of water! I thought I was good on my water consumption, but no. This diet has you drinking half your weight in ounces per day. Talk about flushing ~ literally and figuratively! So don't start this diet if you are not going to be able to take frequent bathroom breaks. 
  • Speaking of drinking, you aren't supposed to drink alcohol or coffee for 28 days.  I was fine with no alcohol, but no coffee? No way! I get up way too early to not have my morning coffee. I did concede to the plan and stopped using my normal fat free creamer and cut way back on my sugar.
  • Be prepared to keep this book with you for the 28 days. Since you are changing eating patterns and exercise patterns every 2 days, I got a little frustrated with trying to plan family meals and events around this diet, so having the book with me helped me get back on track if I slipped up and ate a piece of fruit on the wrong day.  The great thing about this plan is if you do mess up, just start over! 

My Take Away: 

I followed this diet to the best of my ability and found it easier to follow than first anticipated. The key is to plan! 

Now, to answer the big question: Did I lose 20 pounds in 28 days? 

No I didn't, but I did lose 9.2 pounds, 3 points off my body fat, 1 inch loss overall and gained a new healthy respect for my body and what I am asking of it. To me, that is priceless, so I do recommend this book and The Fast Metabolism Diet for those that need to kick start a new healthy way of eating and living. 

There are lots of resources and tools available to help you decide if this diet is right for you. I invite you to read the FAQ's here, check out the handy app here.  

I hope you found this review helpful. I would love to hear your feedback if you have tried this diet plan or want to. 

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist Review

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My mailbox brings an assortment of products, letters and parcels that my family and I look forward to opening. Books hold a special place in my heart and I always open them first. Nothing beats that new book smell I say to my daughters and thankfully, they agree. 
This week I'm sharing another ARC book courtesy of Zondervan media. This free book was sent to me to read and share my thoughts with you, which are 100% my own.

About the book: Bread & Wine - A love letter to life around the table with recipes.

Courtesy: Zondervan Media

"As a follow up to her two bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Shauna Niequist returns with the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table. 

Bread & Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. 

Bread & Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. 

It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two. With wonderful recipes included, from Bacon-Wrapped Dates to Mango Chicken Curry to Blueberry Crisp, readers will be able to recreate the comforting and satisfying meals that come to life in Bread & Wine."

About the Author: Shauna Niequist:

"Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. (These are my Amazon affiliate links, I may receive compensation if you purchase from them).

Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
She is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy .  Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.
Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God."

My Review: 
I love this book! The title and cover photo speaks of happy times and this book doesn't disappoint. I laughed, I cried and I shook my head in total agreement as I happily read. Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine spoke to my heart in several ways and made me want to start my own cooking club. Or at the very least, a book club so I can share this book with others. Shauna makes it easy to do both, sharing her entertaining tips, sample menu's, recipes, pantry lists and even a four week book club discussion guide! 
Click here to download a free download/printable sample of Bread & Wine. Click here for a free audio chapter.
I highly recommend this book and will keep this in mind for gifts for a few of my friends and family. I loved Shauna's writing style so much that I am going to read her other books as well. 
You can learn more about Shauna by visiting her blog here.
You can purchase Bread & Wine at my Amazon affiliate link below: (see full disclosure here)

I hope you found this review helpful. Do you belong to a book or cooking club? Please share your views in comments. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation should you purchase this book via my links. 

$300 Home Depot Gift Card and Brood X Giveaway

in , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, April 29, 2013
I was not compensated in any way to share this giveaway. All opinions are my own.  This post does contain affiliate links, which may provide a small monetary payment should you purchase the book via my links. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for shipping of prizes. 

Welcome to the Brood X $300 Home Depot Gift Card Giveaway!

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.
Sponsored by author Michael Phillip Cash.

I love working outside this time of year. I have a list of projects awaiting my attention. Everything from weeding flower beds to replacing patio chair cushions, to getting rid of bugs. There is hardly a weekend that goes by during the busy warm months that you won't find us visiting Home Depot. Sound familiar? That's why I couldn't pass up this opportunity to partner with some awesome blogger to bring you this giveaway!

Every outdoor enthusiast has met up with the loud and destructive Cicada, but are  you prepared for the invasion of Brood X? It's here and you need to get ready!

Courtesy: Michael Phillip Cash

Nothing will stop this 17 year swarm from happening. All humanity can do is hope that they will not stay around long.

Introducing Michael Phillip Cash's new book, Brood X. It is available on Amazon and coming soon to online book stores near you. Now you can win a copy of Brood X and a $300 Home Depot Gift Card or $300 USD via PayPal to help you get prepared for the invasion!

About Brood X:

Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder.

During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) are expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast.

Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade.

During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone.

Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed.

Will Seth grow up and take responsibility for his family? Or will the devastating bugs destroy humanity?

About Michael Phillip Cash:

Born and raised on Long Island, Michael Phillip Cash has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films.
He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

gift cards
Courtesy: Giveaway Promote

Enter to win a $300 Home Depot Gift Certificate and a copy of Brood X.

Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
Refer your friends using your unique link at the top of the Rafflecopter for even more chances to win.
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a $300 Home Depot Gift Card or $300 USD via PayPal and a copy of Brood X (English version). Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on May 12th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers, we'd love for you to join an awesome group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.