Diamond Candles Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Diamond Candles giveaway!  I’m happy that this was a prize that a lot of people were interested in.  I don’t do very many giveaways by my own choice; I am very discriminating on what I decide to throw my support behind and I only work with companies and products that I think y’all will love.  Diamond Candles was great to work with and I couldn’t be happier to be able to give away such a great prize.

I’m delighted to announce that the winner of a free candle from Diamond Candles is………………….


Kimmy, I’ll be e-mailing you shortly with instructions on how to claim your prize.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed mine.  Thanks for hanging out with me, and thanks again to everyone who entered this fantastic giveaway!


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We Remember {September 11, 2001}

I make this post every year on September 11.  It weighs heavy on my heart each year, even though I was nearly 1,000 miles away when it happened.  I really don’t have much else to say about 9/11 that hasn’t already been said much more poignantly than I could say it.  I just want to post the names of those who were lost so that they remain fresh on our minds and in our hearts.

After the jump is a list of every victim of the 9/11 attacks.  I will never forget these people and I hope our country will honor their memories today and every day.  I will never forget.



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The Worst Part of Aging

I like to think that I’m pretty realistic about my appearance.  I’m definitely no beauty queen, but I give myself a solid 6-6.5 when I’m done up properly and at my fighting weight {which hasn’t been for a looong time, but I’m slowly getting there}.  I have pretty green eyes, long dark hair that has the potential to look very nice, and I’m really tall, or statuesque when I want to fancy it up a bit.  I definitely don’t walk around like I think I’m some kind of schlub.  Self esteem has never really been an issue for me, surprisingly.  I think I’m really awesome, and I think everyone else should be aware of that.

Having said that, I am keenly aware of the fact that my body is getting older.  The creaking knees, crow’s feet, that wrinkle that pops up when I furrow my brow, and the occasional grey hair give it right away.  I’m not overly worried about it though.  I color my hair sometimes just for a change and not to combat an onslaught of grey hair.  I use a night cream, but that is mostly because I can’t stand dry skin.  I probably won’t ever drop a lot of coin on fancy serums or peels or spa treatments to make me look younger.  Not that there’s anything wrong with doing so, and I might change my mind about it, but I just don’t see my face as being amazing enough to try to keep it in amazing condition.  Call it aging gracefully, call it not caring about my appearance, call it whatever.  I’m pretty cheap and unless something is an absolute miracle worker, I would rather hang on to that money than smear it all over my face.  {Disclaimer: I am considering Botox for this brow furrow thing I’ve got going on.  I look like Andy Griffith, for reals.}

Although I don’t really spend a lot of time worrying about aging, there is one little aspect of it I absolutely hate.  It’s not my rapidly fading looks.  It’s not my creaking joints.  It’s not the fact that I don’t bounce back as easily from sickness or injury.  It’s not even the knowledge that I am rapidly hurtling toward my impending and inescapable death.  That’s morbid, but I’m all about real talk, yo.

The thing I hate most about aging?  Two words:  wild hairs.

They are The.  Worst.  I am generally not a hairy person.  The hair on my arms is generally very fine and light and doesn’t bother me enough to do anything about it.  I do have to shave my legs any time I want to wear shorts or a skirt, but years and years of shaving have made those hairs dark and coarse, of course.  Clever.  So imagine my shock and dismay when I look in the mirror and see that one big fat dark hair proudly displaying itself like a brazen harlot on my chin.  Where the heck did it come from??  It certainly wasn’t there yesterday, and now it’s long and thick and gross and I want it gone gone gone!  So it gets plucked.  But this is only a temporary solution.  I know it will come back.  Just like the three other crazy wild hairs that I get.  Oh yes, the chin hair brought friends!  One hangs out on the side of my neck, one bounces from forearm to forearm, and the other one grows out of a freckle on my upper arm.  It is the strangest and yuckiest thing I currently have the displeasure of dealing with on a regular basis.

The absolute worst is when I leave the house without checking for the usual suspects before I go.  I will glance in my rearview mirror or touch my chin for whatever reason, probably plotting something diabolical, and I feel that blasted wild hair.  Then I am self-conscious about it until I can get to my office and dig out the crappy pair of tweezers I keep on hand for just such an occasion and try to yank it out.  Do you know how frustrating subpar tweezers are in times like that?  When ALL YOU WANT TO DO is rip out that nasty chin hair by the root?  I get irrationally angry about not being able to pull out that hair.  I cannot rest until it is gone.  It literally drives me crazy.

I’ve defuzzed my upper lip for awhile, and I’ve recently moved to depeachifying my chin fuzz just to try to kill that one follicle that makes the wild hair.  It does no good.  My chin will be absolutely flawless, and that ONE WILD HAIR will show up.  I hate it.  I think I’m going to have to get it zapped.  I just want it GONE.

First world problems, I know.  If this is the worst thing going on in my life at any given time, I will absolutely take it.  Perspective, and all that.  It’s just a constant reminder that ultimately, the battle against aging is one we will all lose.  Yes, I know I’m cynical.  It’s one of my more endearing personality traits.

I think I’m going to start a little Botox funding account, though.  Just in case.

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Put A Ring On It {Diamond Candles Review and Giveaway!}

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Katelynn at Diamond Candles about the possibility of reviewing one of their products and hosting a giveaway.  To which I replied…

I have entered a few Diamond Candles giveaways over the past few months but was never lucky enough to win one.  Now I had the chance to get my very own Diamond Candle AND give one away to one of you lovelies!  I see no negative side to that deal.

A little bit about Diamond Candles:  the products are 100% soy, natural, and eco-friendly.  The rings inside each candle could be worth $10, $100, $1,000, all the way up to $5,000!  The soy used in Diamond Candles is grown right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A., specifically in North Carolina where the company’s headquarters is located.  The wick is even made from 100% cotton.  Each candle comes in a sturdy glass container that can of course be reused when the candle has been completely enjoyed.  So start to finish, this is a product that I felt good about using and will definitely purchase in the future.

Not only do you get a quality candle, but you get the added fun of a surprise piece of jewelry!  The rings are purchased wholesale, and obviously a good portion of them will be in the $10-$20 range; can’t put a piece of fine jewelry in every single candle!  But that’s what makes this such a compelling business concept.  The anticipation of finally unwrapping your piece of jewelry and seeing what you get can be such a rush.  It’s like that feeling you get when you buy that lottery ticket that you think could be The One, or when you sit down at the blackjack table with a stack of chips at the casino.  We all love that feeling that there could be a chance we hit it big.  That’s what keeps us coming back.  Every time the Powerball jackpot hits a certain amount, we all rush to the store to get that lottery ticket.  You hit 21 at the tables?  You keep on going!  Or at least I do, because when you get on a hot streak it’s hard to stop.  🙂

I had a really hard time deciding what flavor of candle to order.  There are so many great options, and when you factor in the luck of the draw with the ring inside, it puts an added element to consider when making a choice.  Since we are gearing up to head into fall, I thought a nice earthy autumn scent would be best.  I narrowed it down to Chocolate Truffle and Cinnamon Roll, and then asked my husband to break the tie.  He went with Cinnamon Roll.  Got it all ordered {super easy to navigate the website and ordering process} and it was delivered on Monday.  I could not wait to get home and try it out!  I got sidetracked by a fender-bender on the way home from work, and my Diamond Candle went flying from the seat to the floor without breaking, so I can confirm that the container is sturdy and would probably survive a small drop or bump onto the floor.

After I got settled in at home, I fired that puppy right up.  The Cinnamon Roll scent is very pleasant, and more spicy than sweet.  It didn’t completely overpower the room, just provided a pleasing cinnamon ambiance.

It probably would have taken a few more hours to burn down to where the ring was located, but of course I have no patience.

I also love gifs.  In case you haven’t noticed.

So instead of being a good girl and waiting until the candle had burned down far enough to get the ring out, I waited only until the was was soft enough to dig around in, and went after that sucker with a pocket knife and a pair of tweezers.  It had to be done.

I would post the picture of the ring packet after I dug it out, but I noticed that I have a strand of my hair in the photo and I feel kind of icky about hair after it has fallen out of my head, so I assume that others out there have the same feelings and I want to spare you from having to see one of my nearly two feet long hairs all over your computer screen.  You’re welcome.

So after I dug the ring packet out of the candle, it was time to see what sort of pretty came with my Cinnamon Roll candle.  The rings are very well protected inside the candle.  In addition to being wrapped in foil and glued to the side of the glass, they are also sealed in a protective plastic bag underneath the foil.  This keeps the ring from getting wax on it and from getting scratched up when you pull out the packet with tweezers {or dig it out with a knife like I did}.  🙂

Very pretty!  It’s definitely one of the $10-$20 rings, but I think it’s really pretty and very sparkly.  Purple is actually the color that looks best on me, so I wore my ring to work the next day with a purple shirt that matched perfectly.  And if one of the lower level rings is this pretty, I can only imagine what the pricier rings might look like.  It is definitely intriguing and I can see myself adding many more Diamond Candles to our household.

But what about you?  Have you ever wanted to try a Diamond Candle?  Well, today is your lucky day because one winner is going to get their very own Diamond Candle for FREE!  Just enter this Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to score your own Diamond Candle.  This giveaway ends at midnight on September 12, and I will announce a winner on Friday, September 13!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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State of the Weight Wednesday {On…. Whatever Day It Is}

Okay, so it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve even paid attention to this ol’ blog of mine.  Sorry, blog.  I still love you.  But as is typical when I go a long time between posts, life has been a little crazy for the past couple of weeks.  Big C started Pre-K and Little C moved up to Early Preschool {OMG really?}.  So we’ve been busy getting them ready for a new school year, getting uniforms and shoes, going to orientations and teacher meet-and-greets.  Big C also started playing tee-ball and we’ve been going to practices on the weekends.  Tennis is picking back up for me and Z has started running, so between corralling youngsters and trying to fit in workouts at night we are all pretty much spent.  Work has been steady so it’s hard to blog on my lunch break because I never know if I’ll get to take a long enough break.

On top of all that, strep throat is ravaging its way through our household.  Someone at work had a child with strep a couple of weeks ago and brought him into the office, so of course it found its way right to me.  I haven’t had strep since I was a kid, and it is absolutely awful.  I woke up this past Sunday feeling like I had been run over by a garbage truck.  I literally did not move from the couch the entire day except to go to and from the bathroom.  Monday wasn’t any better.  I had to call in sick to work and drag myself to the minute clinic to see what was going on.  Oh, I also got my monthly-ish visitor that day in addition to the strep diagnosis.  I got some meds and stayed in the bed all day.  Then Z got home from work and I looked at the mail he brought in with him.  One piece of mail for me….

Hooray!!!  😐  So Monday was pretty much a giant crap sandwich.  Fortunately I felt well enough to go back to work on Tuesday, even though my throat was still really sore.  It hurt to swallow ANYTHING.  Even water.  Today is the first day I’ve actually been able to eat without being in a ton of pain.  I’ve spent the last four days really hangry.  I tried to eat some softer foods and protein shakes, but it just hasn’t been the same.  So I’m glad that my eating will be back to normal soon.

One of the perks of being sick, I guess, is that I still lost weight even though I didn’t really exercise as much as normal.  I got in two hours of tennis last Thursday, and on Friday night Z and I went to Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, for a date.  If you ever have a chance to go to a place like this, DO IT.  It was the most fun I have had in a long, long time.  We were there for an hour and I was completely soaked with sweat by the time we left.  It is basically just a giant building with wall to wall trampolines.  And trampolines on the wall.  So awesome.  There were two dodgeball courts, a foam pit, and basketball goals for dunking.  It was such a fun way to exercise.  We both could barely move the rest of the weekend.  Then the sickness struck and I really didn’t feel like moving.  I just got back on the treadmill last night for a solid 3 miles and it felt so good.  I am really happy that my body seems to be craving exercise now.  I felt like a sloth the past few days.  But all of that is hopefully over for me and I can get back to my workout routine.

So, the weight loss.  I lost three pounds this week and one pound last week, which puts me at a total of 24.5 pounds.  It took me a couple of weeks to break through that 20-pound plateau good and proper, but hopefully I’ve kickstarted another nice round of weight loss.  With tennis starting back up and feeling well enough to exercise again, I’m hoping to keep plugging along and maybe, possibly, lose another 5 pounds by the end of September.  My weight loss challenge is wrapping up in two weeks, but hopefully we will jump right back into another one like we did at the beginning of the summer.  I really like having group support and accountability, in addition to weekly challenges and goals.

I honestly feel really good about the way I’m going about this.  I’m making small positive lifestyle changes that I can maintain.  I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of anything.  If I want to eat something, I eat it.  Now, this might make my weight loss slower than those who are able to make drastic changes in their diet and exercise level, but I just can’t.  I don’t have time for Crossfit five days a week.  I don’t have time to prepare all organic perfectly balanced paleo gluten free vegetarian meals or the money to order a weight loss food system.  Sometimes we’re going to go to Chick-Fil-A.  Sometimes I’m going to crave a burger from Grindhouse.  But the difference is that I am now better informed and able and willing to make better choices for myself when we do hit up that fast food place or go out for a delicious burger.  If I want that milkshake?  I skip the fries.  Bacon and cheese on my burger?  Just get water to drink and plan for some extra time on the treadmill.  It’s all about balance and making sure that the pendulum swings both ways equally.

Goals for this week are to get back into my exercise routine and eat more.  I’m trying to slowly build back up to eating now that my throat isn’t as swollen and painful.  I’d love it if those three pounds didn’t creep back on.  🙂  Five pounds in six weeks.  I think that’s reasonable and absolutely doable, don’t you?

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