Weekly Chore Prompt: Organizing Shoes

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Monday, June 08, 2015
Happy Monday dear readers! As I was trying to get out the door to my very first blog conference on a recent Saturday morning, I tried multiple times to shut our foyer closet door but couldn’t because there was a rogue sneaker blocking the door. I picked the shoe up, looked for a free space to call its temporary home and found zero free space. Zip, nada. I couldn’t even find the sneaker's mate, so I did what any sane mom would do when she’s pressed for time - I chucked in the shoe and slammed the closet door. I knew the weekly chore prompt had to be organizing shoes!

Time To Corral Shoes:


5 easy ways to keep your yearly business goals on track

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, June 02, 2015
It’s hard to believe it, but here we are- starting the sixth month of 2015! It wasn’t that long ago that we were all dreaming and setting goals for the New Year.  The first week of June is the perfect time for a mid-year check in with those goals. I did this on Sunday and while I have met some goals in my most areas of my life; I found I needed to re-route my path in other areas. Here are my 5 easy tips to get my yearly business goals back on track. 

On My WAHM Plan tips to keep business goals on track

1. Make planning time a priority.
It’s not enough for me to say I want to re-work how I’m tracking my blog and social media assignments; I need to formulate an action plan. By setting aside 30 minutes to review what I’ve been doing so far this year, figure out what parts work and what parts are making me dislike this necessary task, I’ll be able to finish 2015 strong and have a true workable solution moving forward.

2. Purge,  Often.
This goes for all incoming items in your life: junk mail, emails from companies you might shop with in the summer, company catalogs, group invitations that don’t fit into your wheelhouse, etc.  Allow yourself to pass on a request or business event if it truly isn’t a good fit. Purging is easy once you allow yourself to make a decisive decision and then stick with it, which leads me to number three.

 3. Decide.
In business you can’t sit on the fence for long when it comes to making decisions to approve or reject money making projects, because at the end of the day- all businesses need to have money coming in at all times.  Set aside 15 minutes to list the pros and cons of a given situation and then make your choice. Then take an actionable step: make that call, or send that email, something that will put forward motion on your decision so you won’t talk yourself out if it.  

4. Write it down.
You’ve made your decision; you’ve set your goals in motion. Good! But did you know that the simple act of writing them down helps your brain store them in your memory, making them much easier for you to remember and stick with? Try it! Write out one goal on a piece of pretty stationery, or jot it down on a colorful post-it note (my personal favorite), and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll remember to focus on that goal.

My WAHM Plan: grab a good pen and write it down!

5.Ask for help.
This tip is still a work in progress for me.  I still struggle with asking for help from my family. As a work-at-home-mom, (WAHM), I felt if I managed my time better, I could still do it all and take on a bigger work load. Wrong! 
Now, my goal is to let my family and co-workers know when I have a big assignment, and then be ready to delegate when people ask me how they can help me. It’s easy for us to shrug off offers of help, but we really shouldn’t. Whether we need task oriented help, like please unload the dishwasher, or we just need an ally to help us remember to drink more water, by asking others to help you, you are inviting them into your life on a more personal level, which helps you be a better you!

Hopefully, my 5 easy tips will help you stay, or get back on track with your yearly business goals! 

Please share in comments: What goal do you hope to accomplish before the end of the year? 
My thanks to Influenster and Hellmann’s® for sending me complimentary product to try and share my thoughts with you today. All opinions are my own. 
Lots of fun and happy things happen at our home around Memorial Day.  I took a week off work to help welcome the unofficial start of summer, the girls end another year of school, I celebrate a birthday (of course I am 39 again!) and we kick off grilling season, usually with big, juicy burgers like this one. 

burgers,fries,#Hellmann's, Mayo
Notice the mayo on that burger? My husband wouldn’t have one any other way, and his go to Mayonnaise brand is Hellmann’sWe use it on everything from burgers to potato salad this time of year but it is a challenge to get the very last bit out of a jar of squeeze bottle; until now. 
The nice folks at Hellmann’s came up with a new bottle design that will help put an end to the battle with your mayo container!

mayo, bottle, squeeze, flip, top, lid

About Hellmann’s new bottle: 
"Hellman's new and improved squeeze bottle provides a best-in-class squeeze experience with less waste, less mess and more control. Its unique design allows you to get more mayonnaise out without all the shaking, banging and mess and with the same unmistakable taste of Hellmann’s®. The new Hellmann’s® squeeze bottle allows you to squeeze more out, complete with three main improvements:
A Precision Tip, for pinpoint mayonnaise deployment
A Clean-Lock Cap, custom designed for a cleaner experience 
A Sleek New Design including unique slip agent technology for getting more mayonnaise out."

A photo posted by Linda Kinsman (@ismilefirst) on

I’m really enjoying the no mess feature! Making sandwiches for my girls or watching them make their own is no longer a messy task! Plus, the cap really does stay clean, so I don’t have to wipe it off or run it under water with each use making it a perfect go to Mayo container, for home, picnics, BBQ’s and more. 

I invite #SqueezeMoreOut this summer by learning more about this product by visiting Hellmann’s website where you can find recipes and tips and by following them on Twitter, or visiting them on Facebook

Please share in comments: What is your favorite summer recipe that uses Mayo?

To say that it is an honor to review Barb Webb’s newest book on sustainable living is an understatement.  As an avid reader of her blog Rural Mom, I grew to love Barb’s quick wit and clever writing style years ago. 

Simply put- Barb teaches without every preaching. She is a pro-earth, sustainable living chick who is out to show all us modern ladies that this lifestyle can be sexy in her newest book: Getting Laid- Everything you need to know about raising chickens, gardening and preserving. I received a digital copy of this book to share my thoughts with you today. All opinions are my own. 

chickens, gardening, preserving, sustainable living

About Getting Laid from Amazon:

"Sustainable living boasts no boundaries. You don't need massive amounts of acreage or even a fenced-in backyard. We may not be 100 percent sustainable in our lifestyle, but we can become better in-tune with our environment and conscientious of our actions. Like all aspects of life, it's about balance, finding ways to live a greener, cleaner life within the parameters of your current lifestyle. 
Top blogger for country living, Rural Mom, shows us the (actually very easy) way to live a sustainable lifestyle without making ourselves crazy in the process."

My thoughts:

Reading this book was fun, enlightening and motivating. Barb says that sustainable living is not only practical, it’s doable! That our sustainable living mission is of the utmost importance to ourselves, our environment and future generations! 

Excerpt from Getting Laid:

In this ten chapter book chock full of helpful guides and tips Barb takes us by the hand and helps us understand:

How making one small change today and then another tomorrow can lead to a lighter, greener, sexier lifestyle.

Choose the correct chicken for our personality (I got raise chickens for eggs) and master the art of Chicken Zen by following Barb’s guides to caring for your chickens.

What organic gardening means and how to get started with step by step guides on choosing plants, caring/watering/harvesting and preserving.

And so much more!

I spent a lot of time in Barb’s gardening chapters. I loved her quick Chick Tips like this one: 

"For sweeter tomatoes, sprinkle baking soda around the base of the tomato plant once a week prior to watering. The baking soda lowers acidity in the soil, which translates to plump, sweet tomatoes on the vine."

I also found her Gardening Themes Guide helpful.  She shows you how to plant and grow by culinary themes like an Irish or Italian garden. 

I’ve starred and highlighted so many sections of Getting Laid for later reference! Chapters on, composting with worms and how to make an indoor Vermicomposter and canning were of special interest to my husband (worms) and canning (me).

Dotted throughout this book are over 100 mouthwatering recipes!  Everything from an Old World Irish Mince meat pies to a delightful sounding Cucumber and Green Bean Salad our showcased. 

Excerpt from Getting Laid:

I couldn’t help but think of my parents and my grandparents while reading and in some cases re-reading the pages of this guide book. I had the privilege of growing up in a family that loves the earth and what it provides us. 

My family always had large gardens and one of my earliest and fondest memories with my Dad was working in the garden until the Whippoorwills called. That was my cue that dusk was at hand and it was time for me to put down my hoe or spade and go in for the night. 

Reading Barb’s words, feeling her sentiments, so aligned with mine- made me long for a cup of tea at my Grandmothers table once more, where I could share this book with her and listen to her stories and now, as an adult, share a few of my own tales.  

If you’ve ever longed for simpler days, if you’ve ever wished you could have lived like your grandparents did- gardening/hunting/preserving/thriving – this book is for you

You can purchase a copy for yourself by visiting Amazon. This book would make a perfect gift for friends and family who have expressed a desire to raise chickens, garden or live a more sustainable lifestyle.

You can learn more about the author, Barb Webb by visiting her author’s website Sustainable Chick. You can also join us on our sustainable living journey by visiting Rural Mom owned by the incomparable Barb Webb. 

It has been my privilege to work on Rural Mom for close to a year; first as a regular columnist and now as the assistant editor. I’ll be joining the Rural Mom team more often this summer so I hope to see you there.

Please share in comments: Do you raise, or want to raise chickens? If so, what kind?

Hello and happy Monday! The much needed rain has passed in my area for now so I enjoyed looking out my front windows at all the pretty green. There is something so perfect about spring green after a rain. While enjoying my view, I decided that it was the perfect time to tackle inside windows, we’ll tackle outside soon.

I’ve received valuable feedback from friends online, and surprisingly offline regarding my chore prompts.  You prefer my quick call to action prompts versus a how-to write up, so I’ll stick with that moving forward. Thanks again for the emails and chats friends!

Time To wash Windows:

windows, clean, prompt , cat
Fiona in her favorite spot

Color of the Month - May 2015- Minion Yellow

in , , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Wednesday, May 13, 2015
My oldest daughter had declared our May color of the month should be a happy yellow weeks before Pantone announced that Minion Yellow was the color this season. I applaud my teen daughter for her on point choice and give you our picks for this happy color and season! 
minion, yellow, wildflowers, #gardening #design
Minion Yellow Wildflowers in our yard

And here's my Pinterest board for the month. I hope you like it.  Go outside and enjoy the sunshine today!

Follow Linda A.'s board Color of the Month - May 2015- Minion Yellow on Pinterest.
Please share in comments: Do you have anything yellow in your wardrobe right now?

Welcome to my new blog series! As you may have read last week, the idea for this series stemmed for a from a conversation over lunch with a friend who needed a quick chore prompt to help her tackle chores over and above her daily cleaning.
This week, we are tackling the refrigerator folks. That over stuffed, sometimes smelly place we rely on daily. 

Time To Clean out the Refrigerator:

food, frig, stuffed, clean, organize
A peak inside my over-stuffed Fridge