Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's that? & a free picture!

On my last trip to the beach I saw this down the beach.
(click on the picture to see a bigger picture) 
From where I'm standing, and the fact that my glasses are in the car, my imagination kicks in.

Is it a whale?
One washed up on the beach in Ocean City the day before!

Maybe it's a shark or dolphin...  I hope not

What if it's a body??  OMG I'd probably close down my business if it was. 
Maybe not, but I'd probably stop investigating when I can't make out a shape.

Before I even take stick to sand I walk down the beach to check it out.

What was it?
It was part of a tree, of a HUGE tree!

Kind of looks like a turtle or a Komodo dragon or an alligator!

I'm thinking about offering this one as a print without the web address of course. 
 Make sure you check MY SHOP to see if I did.

Now to the freebie.  
I do not have permission from the Giants, so that is why it's free.
Plus I'm a BIG Giants fan, so I just like to spread the love!
Feel free to share it, but please do not remove my web address!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Did you miss the fact that I'm a Jersey Girl?
 Buy that necklace here MY SHOP

Real Jersey Girls root for the Giants!
(even if they're misnamed the NY Giants, stadium is in NJ folks!)

My cousin's husband (Eagles fan) said the Giants were LUCKY to win
I don't agree.

When your quarterback gets sacked 6 freaking times in a game
and you still win

Sounds like determination to me.

Toughness defined right there.

So I just want to say GO BIG BLUE!
Let's show the Patriots we can do it to them again & again & again!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

That's Evil - Tomslitehouse Candles

Husband: "It smells like someone is making cupcakes. Is that one of the tarts?'
Me:  "Yep."
Husband: "Tell Karen I said that's evil."

Who is Karen  & why is she evil?  Because I was burning her Red Velvet Cake tart when Mike said that.

Karen is the proprietor of Tomslitehouse.  A Belmar, NJ based Soy Candle making company. She's evil because her Red Velvet Cake candles and tarts smell exactly like someone is making cupcakes, EXACTLY.  Oh and both Mike & I are back doing Atkins and it was creating cravings!

I first found out about Tomslitehouse on Facebook. I'm not sure how I found out about them, but I'm a big fan of shopping at local businesses so I started following her.  I finally got to meet Karen at a Toms River craft fair in early December 2011. I was selling my beach writings and she had a lovely display of candles.  When it grew quiet, I left Mike in charge of my stand and walked over to introduce myself to Karen.

My house would never smell the same again!

Before I get into reviewing all the scents I have (and I have a bunch) I want you to read this I copied from her site, it's written by her husband, Tom.

The story of how this store came to be is a story of perseverance and renewal. To make a long story short, Karen, my wife and our resident candle maker, is a breast cancer survivor. Like many people who go through chemotherapy, Karen sought a daily ritual that relaxed her and lifted her spirits. During one visit to her oncologist, she mentioned she burned a lot of candles; that they were helping her get through her ordeal. Her doctor said “I hope they’re soy!” We had never heard of soy candles until that very moment, but when he explained about the chemicals in paraffin candles, our passion and, then, our business venture began. Karen went to classes to learn how to make soy candles; we began by giving them as gifts to friends and family members, and then started selling them at local craft fairs. They were a big hit and we’ve been at it ever since. That was five years ago and we’d never go back to paraffin candles…ever!
 Learning that paraffin candles have been linked to breast cancer was enough to get me to toss out all my paraffin based candles!  I quit smoking for my lungs, might as well as get rid of paraffin for my hooters!

My first purchase was a Honeysuckle candle.  Years ago I had purchased a Honeysuckle candle from one of those overpriced shop-at-home candle companies and fell it love with it, but I have never been able to find it again, until that day when I met Karen.  The second I opened the jar, I knew I had to have it.  As soon as we got home from the craft fair I lit it and it was perfect.  Better then I remembered the other one smelling, and better for my health!

A few weeks later Karen & I ended up doing another craft fair together.  This time I had my 10 year old son Jared with me.  He spend quite a bit of time smelling the scents at Karen's booth.  Before we left he asked me to buy him a candle.  I figured he'd want chocolate or a candy type smell.  Nope, he want Ruby Red Grapefruit.  (This kid also asked for a memory foam pillow for Christmas!) I'm not big on grapefruit because I'm not a fan of sour things.  This candle won me over.  It is a clean fruit smell but not a fruit-Y smell, if that makes any sense.  It smells like grapefruit without smelling like something made to smell like grapefruit.

At this same craft fair Karen was burning a tart called Fraiser Fir. I kid you not, it smells exactly like a Christmas tree.  Shortly after the show I contacted Karen to buy this from her.  I had a fake Christmas tree and wanted the house to smell like I had a real one.  This fit the bill.  A family member said to me "your tree is so fresh, it smells great!" I had to show her the tart burning on the stove!

I also picked up Macintosh Apple that day.  Folks, I kid you not, this smells EXACTLY like an apple, again, without smelling like it was made to smell like an apple. I'm actually burning it as I write this and I'm looking for the plate of apples (and peanut butter, gotta have peanut butter with apple slices). I'm probably going to over use the term "clean smell" but it really is a nice clean crisp apple scent.

Then I entered a contest on their page and won a whole fricken bunch of tarts.

When I opened the package and saw two different lemon flavors I wondered what was the point.  Lemon is Lemon.

Yeah, I was wrong.  The Lemon Cheesecake is a sweeter creamier lemon smell, where the Lemon Drop smells like I just dusted with Lemon Pledge.  And yes, that is a good thing because I LOVE Lemon Pledge.  And when your house smells like it's clean, somehow it looks cleaner too.  Ok, maybe not, but if you do a surface cleaning and then burn a Lemon Drop tart or candle, your family will think you worked harder then you did!

It looks like melting butter!

The Apple Jack & Peel is a different scent then the Macintosh Apple.  Burning it makes it smell like an apple orchard in my house!

Fireside piqued my interest.  Is it going to smell like I'm sitting at a fire?  It smells homey but I couldn't quite figure out what it was.  Then I read the description
A pleasant vanilla and hot embers type with notes of charred woods of birch, pine and cedar and a musky, balsamic, ambery-vanilla and sandalwood dry down.

Yeah, that's it, Balsamic, birch, pine, cedar, ambery-vanilla and sandlewood, that's totally what I was thinking.  LOL whatever combination she came up with, it's wonderful and smells warm. Great for a snowy cold night if you don't have a fireplace, and I don't. 

Gingerbread Brulee, are there gingerbread men dancing around my house?  That is what it smells like!

All in all I am very happy with every scent I've gotten from Tomslitehouse whether I bought it or won it.

She sells her scents in different sizes & as both tarts and candles.  Her big jar candles can be refilled for a reduced price, which is awesome.  I also like that when I'm done burning one scent, I can pour the melted soy back into it's container, wipe out the tart burner & change to a different scent.  No big clean up involved.

Oh and for how far from the candle or tart can you smell it, I would have to say it depends on the scent.  I feel that certain scents stand out differently then others.  The Apple ones, the Lemon , Honeysuckle, Fraiser Fir, Grapefruit and the Red Velvet Cake can be picked out in every room of my 1500 sq ft, 2 story house.  The Fireside makes the house smell great without being a specific scent.  I'm hoping to pick up a vanilla scent soon so see if it is similar.

So go forth & check out Karen's site and buy some candles or tarts.  I recommend it and your boobies will be grateful!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Tree on the Wall

Now that we're out of foreclosure & will be staying in this house until our younger son graduates high school in 2018, it's time to redecorate!

Honestly, when we moved in here 10 years ago, I only half decorated.  The kids were little and we had other things to do. 

Then things got bad, and we took everything down figuring we were going to have to move & it may have had to happen in a very short time frame.  But like I said, now things are better & we're staying.

BTW I'd like to just add a side note.  If you are in NJ and need the very best foreclosure lawyer, go see Bill Penkethman.

OK back to decorating.  

We had the stairs completely redone a few years ago.  The guy did such an awesome job, they look beautiful!  He did the stairs & the railing, not the trim on the sides, so I'd like to eventually replace some of that.  But more importantly, the walls are bare (and dirty, need to wipe them down).  I've been thinking about what I want.  

At one point I was thinking of something with books at the top of the stairs. I saw somewhere that someone made a faux fireplace out of hard cover books. I thought that was a great idea, but then I remembered I'm in a house full of males & dogs, so putting something like that at the small area at the top of the stairs is probably a very bad idea.

Now there is a trend of vinyl wall clings.  I really like the idea.  I bought this from Amazon & put it on the wall in my tiny half bath. (stock picture from Amazon, my bathroom is green)

It's really cute. I put it down by the baseboard like in the picture above. BUT I'm thinking if I can find a frame big enough I'll white wash it & then move the whole thing up the wall.  My half bath in tiny, maybe 4x4 so decorations have to been on the less loud side.  

This made me think of the vinyl tree wall clings. I did a Google image search and saw some great ones.  I loved some of them, but decided I want to paint it.  So I looked around at the different ones & found one I like and would work.  It's going to go in the corner and branch out on both walls.  

This is the image I drew to see if I could do it.

I like the way it came out, so the next step is to figure out colors, and what kind of paint I need to use and to draw it out on the wall.  I cheat and draw it in chalk first then paint.  
Yes, in the tree trunk is a heart with mine & Mike's initials, and yes that will be in the finished product as well.

Then when it's all said & done, I'm going to hang pictures from ribbons to make it look like they're hanging from the branches.  
I will do another blog when I actually get to work on this one!

Update 1/23/12  I did the tree yesterday.  It needs another coat or two of paint, but looks awesome!  Check back for a step by step blog!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Available as a print

I took a series of pictures with the Live Laugh Love

I'll be offering them as prints ONLY, very shortly. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Another Coming Soon!

Lots of things being worked on.  Trying to decide if this should be a necklace or a bracelet?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cabs are HERE!

I did this beach writing back in the summer before they started filming season 5 in Seaside. I don't think it made it in the house for filming, but we'll see!

It's #jerzday!


No food, no drink after midnight tonight.

I might be a bit of a bitch tomorrow.  

I'm having a steroid injected into the herniated disc in my neck tomorrow.  I have to be at the surgical center at 11:30 and can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight tonight. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense since I'm having a local!

Anyway, wish me luck or send me good thoughts because I'm done with being incapacitated. I'd like to be me again..

but then again I am a bitch...  oh well bit of a catch 22 I guess LOL

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Low Carb Redeux, Day 1

Breakfast of Champions!!

Coffee, water & a protein shake!

If we're not facebook friends, you probably missed my learning that the blender blade thing fits on a mason jar.  

So instead of lugging out the blender base & the HUGE glass thingy (pitcher?) you can put all your mixin's in a mason jar & blend away!  I suggest holding down the mason jar when you put it on the blender because it's much lighter then the pitcher, but it works.  AND you're only making 1 thing dirty!

Really it's like having a magic bullet!

I used it on NYE to blend up some coconut rum, frozen pineapple & some ice and it was pure perfection.  Except it was coooold so I dug out my ice cream cozy. That is the black fuzzy thing on the right.  My friend Kami makes them.

Get your own here


She calls them Ice Cream Koozies, but they fit perfectly around a mason jar too!

I do have one problem.. Someone, I won't mention any names, but he's the other adult in the house, some how managed to do this to the seal for the blender.

Where do I get a new one?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Full Disclosure

I haven't talked about my weight loss recently... and it's because I've been gaining some of it back. 

It all started when the symptoms of what I now know is a herniated disc in my neck, started show it's self.  In July I went through a period of time where I thought was either having a heart attack or a panic attack.  I still feel that way sometimes but now I know it's all side affects of the herniated disc. It was a scary time. 

I quit smoking too in early July, and was put on steroids for a week, so that added to the initial gain. And I would have been fine with that initial 5 to 7lb gain.  But I think now I'm somewhere up to around 15 or 20lbs gained. I won't weigh myself, at least not yet (waiting until I feel like I'm losing again).  But I have measured and I've gained at least an inch in each the 4 major areas.  Some of it is due to the gain, some of it is due to being unable to exercise. 

On Friday January 6th I'm having a steroid injected into the herniated disc.  I'm hoping that will alleviate the symptoms enough so that I can at least start walking again.  

So today, after a trip to so see Chipwrecked, I will start my food prep for the week and grab my copy of DANDR and get this fat burning machine back into gear!