Wordless Wednesday - Color my world

in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Purple and white flowers
Bearded Iris'

brightly colored flowers
Petunia's, Marigolds, Celosia's

White Azelea
White Azelea

What's blooming at your house?

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?
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.

Spring is here, spring is here- it’s the best time of the year! Except for when you can’t breathe like me and my daughter. We live in the fourth worst place in the United States for seasonal suffering, so I am always interested in learning about products that offer relief without unwanted side effects. That’s why I am really happy to work with our sponsor, Zarbee’s Naturals, today to share this information with you!  

Have you heard of Zarbee’s Naturals? If not, I’m happy to introduce them to you.

Founded in 2008 by pediatrician Dr. Zak Zarbock, Zarbee’s Naturals manufactures the nations # 1 natural cough syrup and a line of family safe health and wellness products that are free from drugs, alcohol, gluten and dyes so. Zarbee’s Naturals are recommended by more than 40,000 pediatricians nationwide. 

I’m all for safe, natural, pediatrician recommended products, so I was excited to give Zarbee’s Seasonal Relief a try.  I received this cute little box that held much needed tissues and a box of seasonal relief tablets.

seasonal relief tablets, tissues, box

About Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief Tablets:

seasonal relief tablets
Courtesy: Zarbee's Naturals

Americans seeking a natural solution to congestion could benefit from natural Butterbur, an extract benefiting Europeans for centuries. Zarbee’s offers a natural defense against pollen and congestion relief that is All Natural, won't cause drowsiness or jitters and is made with natural Butterbur which is farmed organically in Germany.

Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief is intended for children 12 years of age and over. 

Our Thoughts:

The question I’ve been asked several times this week is does it work? And the short answer is YES!

My oldest daughter suffers from congestion this time of year, so she couldn’t wait to try this product. Not only does Zarbee’s Naturals help her breathe, they do so quickly with no drowsiness. She found that one tablet taken in the morning before school helps her much longer than other products we’ve tried.  She takes another tablet in the evening and she breathes so much easier at night. As a Mom, it is a relief to know we have finally found a product that does what it claims to do and does it well!

I’ve tried this product myself and while I didn’t get the same length of relief my daughter did- I immediately noticed a difference in my breathing and within 40 minutes I forgot I was having trouble with congestion at all.  

I highly recommend this product to anyone who suffers from seasonal congestion.  I will buy this product again and keep it in the house to help my family breathe easy.  Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal relief is available over the counter at CVS and Target so you can buy it easily while running errands. 

 I invite you to learn more about Zarbee’s Naturals Seasonal Relief Project where you can get customized seasonal congestion tips, free samples, find educational information including wellness tips and more.

Plus every time someone visits the site to share how Zarbee’s Naturals’ Seasonal Relief helped them, Zarbee’s will donate to 1 of 4 causes promoting exposure to and protection of fresh air.  I’ll be sharing our experience there soon. 

As always, I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share it with family and friends who may need this important information.

Please share in comments: How does seasonal congestion affect you and your family?

Disclosure:  I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a promotional item and a product sample as a thank you for participating.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." 

Happy Earth Day

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It’s a rainy morning here in middle Tennessee, but I for one don’t mind the rain. April showers do bring May flowers and there’s just something so fresh and serene about an April morning after a little rain.

I’m sitting at my desk, looking out my the window and I can see our trees filled with birds and squirrels, the edge of our pond with our resident musk rat and all the green, green grass and I am thankful for this piece of land we call our home.  

Here's a sunny day picture from my front walk.

Our Tennessee Home.

In honor of Earth day we decided to plant peach trees this year. It was a good family day, with all of us pitching in to pick the right trees. 

planting, Peach, Tree
Our Elberta Peach Tree.

Marking off the area we wanted to plant them and assisting my husband in whatever way we could while he dug the holes. 

Tree, planting, hole, digging, husband
My Husband makes digging holes look easy.

peach, tree, semi, dwarf
Our Elberta Semi-Dwarf Peach tree is doing better than the regular one.

We also attended Nashville’s Earth Day Festival this past Saturday. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weather day and the festival was very well attended. We walked around all the vendors gathering information on recycling, protecting our parks and streams and talked with local gardeners at the Farmers’ market.  There was good music and food and lots of happy families and dogs. If you are looking for a wholesome, family fun day that is budget friendly, attend an Earth Day Event this weekend. 

On the 26th, we are going to take the girls to our local library where they are having an Earth Day Celebration as well. We may even bring home a new Dogwood tree to plant since they are free.

Celebrating Earth Day is as simple as getting outside and being a part of nature. Go for a walk, plant a tree or flowers, visit a local park or farmer’s market, start recycling, pick up trash, and get involved in your community by volunteering to beautify a green space, school or help out at your church. Check your local newspaper or your cities website to find out about Earth Day events in your area. Or go to the Earth Day Network for valuable resources.

Please share with me in comments: Do you celebrate Earth Day? What will you be doing to celebrate this year?

We are a family of Marvel fans, so we are very excited about the new Spider-man movie coming to theaters on May 2, 2014! One of the things we love about Peter Parker is he always fights the good fight- he is selfless in his actions and deeds.  And it sounds like we will see more of the same in The Amazing Spider-man 2. 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

About The Amazing Spider-man 2:


We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

Here’s a review from MovieGuide:

“Movieguide® gave an award to the first Amazing Spider-man by director Marc Webb, and the second looks quite good as well. Though we haven’t seen the entire film, the clips show a theme of standing up for what is right even in danger,  even though no man is eternal, not even Spider-man. “

I received a family discussion guide that provides excellent family style conversation starters on topics like making good personal choices, living a life that counts, doing for others first and the power of nature. It is inspirational and challenges all to think outside ourselves- much like Peter Parker does.

To learn more about The Amazing Spider-man 2 please visit:

Official website for the moviewww.theamazingspiderman.com/ 

The Giveaway:

My WAHM Plan

One lucky reader will receive a Spider-man 2 T-shirt, phone case and paper mask as shown above. No purchase necessary to enter. Open to U.S. residents 18+. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. My WAHM Plan is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment.  Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter form below, where you can read all terms and conditions.

Good luck!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

I'm feeling a little #Fargo

in , , , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Seeing April 15th on your planner makes a lot of people stressed because they are still scrambling to get their taxes filed and so there is a trickle down stress effect- from CPA's to postal workers the heat is on.

So why not chill out tonight with FX's newest show Fargo?

on FX

At first I didn't think we'd watch it, but I've got to say- the commercials have been just quirky enough to intrigue me, so I'll DVR-ing to watch this weekend.

About Fargo: 

"Fargo features an all-new “true crime” story and follows a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and “Minnesota nice” that made the film an enduring classic. Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by BAFTA Award® winner and Emmy®-nominated Martin Freeman.
Colin Hanks plays Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman when he comes face-to-face with a killer.  Allison Tolman also stars as Molly Solverson, an ambitious Bemidji deputy."

Speaking of quirky- #Fargo is bringin’ some Midwestern warmth to NYC. Watch for the sweater-wearin’ bus! 

Fargo premieres 4/15 at 10p on FX . To learn more visit FX and follow Fargo on Facebook.

I'll be sharing my thoughts on #Fargo in the near future.  Please share in comments:
Are you planning on watching Fargo? Do you live in Fargo?

By all accounts spring is officially here in middle Tennessee so I should be out there digging in the dirt, happily planting flowers and veggies. And trust me, I really want to be doing just that- but I know better.  I’m in a gardening holding pattern waiting for that last frost warning to come and go.

spring, signs, birds, Robin #garden

You see, I am a firm believer in all the old farmers and gardeners around here. The ones who read the weather patterns and can tell you if we’ve gone through the Dogwood winter, or the blackberry winter, or whatever winter remains well after the calendar says spring has begun. 

I wasn’t always a believer though. When we first moved to the Nashville area in the 90’s, I still had a west coast gardening mentality and I lost a few plants before I decided I best take heed.  

There are several good resources for you to find out the true planting and growing season in your area.

Naturally, you can Google it, but you may not get an in depth answer.  You can buy a Farmers Almanac, which I would like to do some day- but let’s face it, I’m not a farmer, and so the almanac isn’t exactly riveting reading for me.  You can listen to your daily weather forecast, but most TV stations cover a large viewing area, so again, you may not get the best information for your specific neighborhood.

So what’s a gardener to do? So glad you asked. Go hyper local for your information.

tree, leaves, spring

1. Go to your local Co-Op, Nursery or Farmers Market and ask questions. There will always be somebody there happy to answer them.

2. Join a local Gardening club or befriend a neighborhood gardener. I have two lady gardening friends who give me extra plant starts almost yearly. I pay it forward when I can.

3. Get to know your neighborhood. While you are driving from point A to point B, take notice of who is doing what in their yards and gardens. For instance, I noticed the lady who has a lovely border of Buttercups, Irises and other early spring bloomers out in her beds every morning when I went by to take my daughter to her early Glee practices.

I’ve also noticed that 3 of the local vegetable gardens I admire in the summer have tilled but not planted. And I’m betting if I were to stop and chat with the owners, I'd learn that they’ve had their seeds started for weeks and have been tending to them, just waiting for the last frost to come and go. 

Please share with me in comments, what are you planting this year?