Blog Archives

Pic of the Week.

Completely hyped on fall candles, per usual.

Completely hyped on fall candles, per usual.

Well, it’s the second day of fall, and call me basic, but yes, ’tis the season to embrace every single little thing about the outdoors — even when there’s not really fall-like weather.

In honor of my favorite holiday, I started my stockpile of fall-scented candles weeks ago, and even made a chili (recipe coming soon) over the weekend. I just love everything about fall; the colors (not only in nature, but in fashion), the ever-so-slight chill in the air, and even though it’s a signal that the year is coming to a close, I always get a sense of renewal during the fall months.

So far, I’m trying to step away from so many pumpkin-scents (although I can’t totally deny the symbol of the season) when it comes to my candle selections, and find a few different ones that still make my apartment festive and cozy.

And while I love a good Yankee Candle just as much as any great homemaker, I like to find candles that have strong scents, but are less-expensive. A candle is literally just burning, so I aim for $5 or lower in my hunt for candles.

The large jars, by Main Stays, are from Wal-Mart, and were just $3.50 each, while the smaller mason jar candles are from Dollar Tree, making them just $1 each (and they burn for a decent amount of time). The larger candles are in Fall Fruit Cornucopia, Harvest Leaves, and Mulled Cider, while the small jars are both in Pumpkin Pie.

I also purchased a candle warmer for my office, since we aren’t allowed to actually light candles. The candle warmer melts the wax in any glass jar candle, and lets off the scent, while remaining flameless. I’ve had it in my office for a week (using the Fall Fruit Cornucopia) and I absolutely love it!

Here are some other fall scented products I’ve come across in my continuous hunt:

What festive scents are you filling your home or office with this fall?

Fresh Friday: Hypnotic Poison.

Nice nails.

Nice nails.

Thank God it’s Friday, right? Well, it’s actually Fresh Friday ’round here, and today we’re profiling Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. I have always admired Dior fashion, but of course, have never been able to afford it — but I’ll enjoy the samplings of perfume while I’ve got them!

Looks like an apple...

Looks like an apple…

Sephora describes Hypnotic Poison as, “Mysterious and mesmerizing, extravagant and bewitching, Hypnotic Poison is a magic potion for modern times. Audacious and profoundly feminine, the fragrance is an unsettling harmony, a fusion of contrasting olfactory facets.”

It has notes of Bitter Almond, Caraway Spice, Sambac Jasmine, Cinnamon, Tuberose, Vanilla, Musk, Mosses, and Jucarunda Wood.

Hypnotic Poison came onto the scene in 1998, and is known for its heavy vanilla scent. A simple glance at some online fragrance forums (yes, those exist) and you’ll see that users have noticed a difference in the scent they bought in 1998, and 2011, and then another difference in 2014.

I haven’t seen anything “official” about Dior changing the formula of the original scent, but if you’ve smelled it before, you might want to spritz a little on before purchasing, as users are saying the “new” version isn’t as complex as the original —sad day if you loved it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I sprayed this on — it’s very warm, and delicious smelling, like something in the oven (seriously). I sprayed in on around 8 am, and at 2pm, it’s still smelling wondrous.

Other cool ways to experience Hypnotic Poison by Dior: Shower gel, Deodorant, Body lotion

WYSK: Joan Rivers.

Joan, in complete glitz.

Joan, in complete glitz.

I know I’m a little late to the party on celebrating the life of the one and only Joan Rivers. Originally, I was going to use this edition of WYSK to talk about my two favorite Total Dives: Nikki & Brie Bella. But I changed my mind, and decided to talk about a different kind of diva.

I have always been a Joan Rivers fan, but a few weeks ago, I got in a bit of trouble at work when I said some things on my (personal) Twitter feed that (allegedly) a lot of my coworkers didn’t appreciate. It was not the first time I’ve been reprimanded for my mouth (or my writing).

I was told I should be ashamed to even show up to work.

For about five seconds, I wondered if I should be ashamed. But then, I thought of Joan. I woman who answered to no one, and would never let someone (no matter who) tell her how to feel. And no, I’m not ashamed, nor am I apologetic.

Joan Rivers was the only woman to ever host The Tonight Show, and as she was described in Nell Scovell’s article for Vanity Fair, she was undeniable. She was also: hilarious, glamorous, daring, giving, hard working, and bold.

“When people hate me, that’s good,” she told the A.V. Club. “They know I’m there. You’re not a chorus kid. Remember inA Chorus Line, she’s having trouble and he keeps saying, ‘You’re standing out,’ and she’s trying not to? They hate me? That’s good.” 

—Joan Rivers, for Time magazine

There are so many accomplishments behind her, it’s difficult to remember them all — she was a comic, a writer and an author (12 best-sellers), an actress, a designer, award-winner, a fashionista (changing the red carpet game forever with the question: who are you wearing?), and a reality television star.

I’m certain there will never be anyone quite like Joan — and I’m thankful for her. Even though she hated being called a pioneer, we can never have enough powerful women to look up to.

I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.

—Joan Rivers

Pic of the Week.

Grillin' on the beach.

Grillin’ on the beach.

As I write this, I’m sitting in Native Cafe — one of my favorite spots along the Gulf, right in Pensacola Beach (I just ordered a stack of peanut butter pancakes, if that helps at all).

This morning, I had to say goodbye to my two best friends, and goodbye to a vacation we’ve been looking forward to for a better half of the year.  The other ladies had to head out earlier than me, since they live in Indiana and I’ve got a shorter (4 hour) drive to get back home.

Pensacola Beach holds a special place in my heart — while it’s not an expensive place to visit, it’s not home to many fancy restaurants, it’s really just a beautiful beach… and it’s where my friend and I spent weeks every summer, growing up, and now, as adults.

And so, last night, we capped off our long weekend with something I’ve always wanted to do — host a beach bonfire. Believe it or not, it took a lot of planning, and even some paperwork (for the permit)… we pulled it off and were able to sit around a fire, with waves in the background, and s’mores on-hand.

And while I do love the beach, and I love being away from my work-life, what I love most is knowing that I’ve got people in my life to share these moments with. The situation isn’t always ideal — I wish I lived closer — but we’ve made it work, even if it involves day-long drives on someone’s end.

There’s not a lot of people that I know that would do it.

And so, cheers to the summer — it’s been adventurous, and really, really great!

Fresh Friday: Sel Marin.

The sea... bottled, only glamorous.

The sea… bottled, only glamorous.

Aloha! Since I am spending this Fresh Friday with my toes in the sand (jealous, much?), I wanted to feature a beachy scent this week — and it just had to be Sel Marin by James Heeley.

Sel Marin is described as “An afternoon standing on the docks during a clear spring day, the salty sea spray refreshingly hitting the skin” …ahh. Nice, huh?

Barney’s describes Sel Marin as, “Both breezy and aquatic, Sel Marin perfectly captures an early summer’s day spent at a quiet cove, a place absent of all fruity tropical oil smells and distractions. A refreshing blend of lemon, Sicilian bergamot, sea salt, seaweed, vetiver, birch and cedar.”

Sel Marin is a fragrance for men and women, with a base of Cedarwood, musk, and leather; midlle touches of sea salt, moss, and algae; and top notes of lemon (shout out), Italian bergamot, and beach leaf.

James Heeley is a fragrance designer, and he’s got quite a collection — which I will discover here — that ranges in scents from Bubblegum Chic and Hippie Rose to Ophelia and Menthe Fraiche.

The winner is commenter #3, Shannon! Let me know if you want the red/white blue hat, or the green one!

Dating With Myers-Briggs.

I'm an INTJ...

I’m an INTJ…

We use all sorts of tools — from horoscopes and compatibility tests (Which Harry Potter character are you?) to discover what our perfect match is going to look like. Does it work? Perhaps, but I’m still trying to figure it out.

At work, my coworkers and I completed a Strengths Finder test to determine our top five strengths. Not only were we required to discover our strengths and share them with others, we were also asked to post our results on our office door, so that others can learn how to better work with us. I’m not kidding.

In case you’re curious, here are my top five strengths: 1. Strategic (seeing patterns), 2. Responsibility (taking psychological ownership), 3. Futuristic (fascinated by the future), 4. Focus (guided by a clear destination), 5. Input (likes to add information to “archives”).

Basically, I’m awesome.

While I don’t know if “finding my strengths” helped me or my coworkers when it comes to my job, it’s always interesting to find out more about yourself, and those around you. One of the more popular tests that can explain your personality is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As it is described on their website:

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

Once you take the test, you’re given a set of four letters that help describe your personality. I’ve taken the test several times and I’m a clear INTJ. Here’s what that means:

Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance – for themselves and others.

So what do personality tests have to do with dating? Well, once you’ve pegged yourself with a set of letters or numbers, or even aligned yourself with certain characteristics, there’s always going to be another set of traits that complements yours — the question becomes, does that make for a perfect relationship?

I will always think that certain traits do complement one another; though I’m not sold on the whole “opposites attract” thing. I found this website called Mass Match, and this is what it said about my Myers-Briggs compatibility:

  • Best types for a relationship: ESTJ, INTJ, ISTP, ENTJ
  • Possible types for a relationship: INTP, INFJ, INFP, ENFP
  • Least likely types for a relationship: ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTP, ESFP, ISFP, ENTP, INFP, ENFJ
  • Percentage of the US population: 3-4%

I was shocked to see that I could match with another INTJ, but equally saddened to see that only 3-4% of the US is INTJ. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND A MATCH? Maybe that’s why I’m still single…

End of Summer GIVEAWAY!

Farewell, summer...

Farewell, summer…

I know we still have (technically) another few weeks of summer left, but tomorrow I’m leaving for the beach with my two best friends, to bid another summer adieu.

Although I didn’t find love this summer, it was a good one — and fall is really my favorite time of year. Perhaps this fall will bring me some luck in the love department. Either way, I’m counting down the days until my book release — September 22 — the official start of fall!

I want to continuously thank you all for reading my blog, my column, listening to me rant and whine as I continue on my search for true love, and happiness within.

And so, with that, I’m giving away one of my Bitter Lemon TRUCKER HATS (#CatLady) — I’ve got a green one and a red/white/blue one that the winner can choose from!

Here’s how to enter. Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite memory from this summer. Post the comment by Thursday morning (anytime before noon central time) and I’ll randomly pick a comment/writer to win a trucker hat.

Can’t wait to read all of your memories — happy commenting!

Pic of the Week.

LOVE getting my own books in the mail!

LOVE getting my own books in the mail!

Saturday, the mailman dropped a delivery that made my WEEK — a box of my books arrived!

I work really hard on all of my books, but I still get really nervous and excited all at once when the box arrives. For Lemon Drops, I really hoped the cover looked as great in-person as it did online… and no worries, it looks beautiful!

After drooling over the books while standing in my kitchen, I grabbed a copy and got into my bed, curling up to read it as if I hadn’t just spent months writing it.

Weird, sure.

I write, edit, design, publish, and sell all of my books on my own, and it’s a great deal of work. Granted, it is a labor of love, but it takes time and energy. When I first started doing all of this myself, I thought it wouldn’t be as satisfying if I didn’t have a big, fancy publisher and a team of marketers around me — but I’ve found that it’s all pretty exciting, even when I’m doing it on my own.

Maybe there will be a day when I’m not doing it on my own. But for now, it’s pretty cool, and I’m going to bask in it.

Be sure to visit the blog tomorrow, for a GIVEAWAY (!), and all kinds of fun surprises as I count down the days until the digital version of Lemon Drops is available. Order the printed version here

Fresh Friday: Lola.

So pretty!

So pretty!

I know what you’re all thinking — “Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there…” — No? Well if you weren’t thinking it before, now it’s going to be stuck in your head all day. But you know what? I’m okay with that because the Fresh Friday scent this week is Lola by the one-and-only fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

Who needs real flowers?

Who needs real flowers?

Nordstrom describes Lola as, “A modern free spirit with an irresistible attitude. Lola is an intoxicating swirl of rich layers, wrapping the skin in sensuous florals blooming with a signature note of fuchsia peony. Playfully alluring and irresistibly tempting.”

There are notes of grapefruit, peppercorns, pear, fuchsia, geranium, peony, rose, musk, tonka bean, and vanilla.

This perfume arrived on the market in 2009, and a lot of women I knew gave it a try and absolutely loved it — it does have a lot of different notes going on, so I can see how it appeals to many people — however, I will say that I don’t love this perfume. I don’t hate it, but it’s not my favorite (I am not paid to write these reviews, so I can be 100 percent honest, as always).

Others have described Lola as warm, similar to Marc Jacobs’ Daisy, sexy, chic, gorgeous, and balanced.

Other cool ways to try Lola by Marc Jacobs: Body lotion, Body cream, Mini rollerball

When an Ex Gets Married.

Poor girl.

Poor girl.

Ugh. Getting the news about an ex getting married (especially when you’re still single) can be a bitch. I can’t speak for everyone, but even when I didn’t have feelings for the person anymore, it’s still rough news to get.

All of my exes are married, except my most recent (although he might be, who knows?). My very first boyfriend, Adam, was also the first one to get married. He proudly married the woman that he cheated on me with — lucky her, right?

Even though it had been years since we dated, I was devastated when I got the news. He was my best friend in high school, before we finally dated in college. He was my first love, and I definitely pictured us walking down the aisle. It was difficult for me to picture him sharing that moment with anyone else.

But he did, and I of course, stalked all of the photos online when I was ready. And as hard as it is for me to admit it, the pictures were beautiful.

After that initial pain, other exes that got married hurt me less. I don’t know if it’s because I cared less about them, or because I was older, and now it seems like everyone is getting married.

A guy I dated for years got engaged just a few months after we broke up — and my jaw hit my office floor when I got the news (I saw it on Facebook and then Googled it). Not only did I find out he’d been cheating on me for years, but now he was getting married. I wasn’t jealous — the poor girl was marrying an asshole.

But I did feel like a failure. I really wanted to marry him when we were together, and he kept telling me marriage wasn’t in his plan. Little did I know that it was in his plan, he even had a ring, but the plan didn’t involve me. I felt like an idiot.

So what do you do when you find out an ex is getting married and you’re pissed? The first thing you should do is figure out why you’re upset. Did you really want to marry him? Was he truly the right guy for you (hint: he wasn’t)? Or are you actually mad that he’s happy and you’re not (he’s not really that happy)? Are you worried you’ll never get married or find love?

Chances are, you’re upset at something that has very little, or nothing to do with your ex. Now is the time to figure out what it is and how to change it. In the meantime, it’s totally okay to grab a bottle of wine (or three) and host a chick flick marathon and/or burn all remaining photos of him you’ve got stashed under your bed.

Living well is the best revenge.

—George Herbert 

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