Saturday, June 27, 2015

REVIEW: Scandle Candle Rejuvenate Blend Aromatherapy Body Candle 10 oz. Ceramic Canister

I love this candle!  It will definitely remain in my arsenal of products! My skin feels amazing.  Can't wait to share this experience with my husband.

You can get yours here:

So...I found myself jealous

I always thought that once I hit the 20 pound mark, people would notice and be in awe. I imagined a lot of:
“Are you losing weight?
“Whoa, how much have you lost?” 
“You’re looking good! What are you doing?” 

Here I am, a little over 20 pounds lighter than I was three months ago, and it seems like nobody is noticing my efforts.  This wasn’t really a big deal to me, until today.  See, I had actually gotten one of my friends to diet with me here and there.  So far, she has lost 11 pounds.  People have already started to ask her about her weight loss.  When I heard someone ask her how much she had lost and tell her how good she looked, I actually became jealous!  I couldn’t believe that I put in all this effort and lost all these pounds, but someone who only lost half the weight I have was getting all the attention that I imagined I would have at this point.

When I finally “checked in” with my thoughts, I realized how ridiculous they were!  First of all, my weight loss is not for the benefit of other people.  It is for MY benefit.  I want to be thin.  I want to be healthy.  I want to decrease health risks.  I want to be able to wear clothes without feeling like I had to carefully choose something that hid my imperfections.  Why was I looking for outward validation?  After all, it isn’t about what other people think about me, it is about how I feel.  Am I proud of myself?  Heck yeah!  I’m rocking right now!

Then I started to bathe my mind with the positives to neutralize these negative thoughts.  I mentally rambled a list of things for which I should be thankful.  My clothes are fitting looser.  Some are even hanging off of me. My stamina and endurance have increased. I can actually run up the stairs without feeling like death was sitting on my chest.  I can comfortably cross my legs!  I know many may not understand how big a deal that is.  Crossing the legs is one of those things that is just feminine.  I could barely do it.  When I would get them crossed, it would only be for a few minutes, as either my leg would slip off or it would be too painful and I would have to adjust my position.  So, yeah, this is a big deal to me. 

As I thought deeper, I realized that the negative thoughts that I allowed to creep upon me were completely wrong!  My husband has told me every single day how proud he was of me and how good I look.  Every time my Godmother sees me, she asks how much more weight I have lost, and bellows out a “You go girl!”  My mom, who (while she is my biggest supporter) is my biggest critic, has even commented on the weight loss.  Friends have even noticed when I posted a new picture on Facebook.  Somewhere along the lines, the compliments from those closest to me became background noise.  I had stopped being grateful and appreciative of this affirmation.  I’m sorry.  I love you! 

I felt so silly that I had to confess these thoughts to my friend.  She was amused.  “Tiffanie, are you serious right now?”  Unfortunately, I was!  “Tiffanie, you’ve obviously lost weight. I don’t say anything because I see it every day.  We have been talking about our accomplishments together.  I didn’t think you needed validation for something you already know.”  I felt even sillier than I had initially.  She also pointed out that my changing body was hiding under my clothes that were now baggy and suggested that I have my clothes taken in, since I didn’t want to invest in new clothes until I reached a goal. 

Had this been another time in my life, I would have allowed this one thought to develop into an avalanche of thoughts.  I would have found myself rolling downhill into the largest bucket of ice cream topped with caramel, nuts, and whipped cream that I could find.  Then, that bucket of ice cream would have melted into a guilt-ridden puddle that caused me to eat more garbage, until I became so discouraged that I turned right back to my old eating habits.   What would have happened then?  You guessed it!  I would have gained all of the weight back in a matter of weeks, and some of those pounds would have come back with friends.  I am extremely grateful that I am learning to neutralize my negative thoughts before they become a problem. 

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
                                                            Proverbs 23:7
It is so important to be aware of our thoughts.   There is a reason that God tells us to only think on those things are pure.  He knows how easily it is for us to allow our thoughts to create our reality.  A few more minutes in self-pity would have sent me into a whirlwind of feelings that would have eventually led to destruction of my progress at my own hands. 

How do you combat your negative thoughts?  Do you redirect them?  Do you reflect on the Word of God?  OR do you allow them to lead you down Destruction Avenue?  The single easiest way I have found to redirect negative thoughts is to find things to be thankful for.  If your heart is filled with gratefulness, there is no room for anything else.  Once I got so wrapped up in being thankful, that I found myself thanking God for shoelaces, so that I didn’t have to worry about my shoes coming off my feet in the event that I had to run.  There is nothing to silly or too little for your gratitude. 

Let us pray.
Father, it is with great humility that I come before You today.  I must first ask that You forgive me for the negative thoughts that I allowed to enter into my mind today.  In the same token, I want to thank You for the work You have been doing in me that allowed me to immediately turn my thoughts onto what is good.   Thank You for stopping what could have been an emotional train wreck in its tracks almost immediately so that I may continue to push toward my goals. 

Lord, I lift all that are struggling with negative thoughts, depression, and feelings of failure or inadequacy. I am pleading on their behalf that you give them a renewed mind.  Let the mind that is in Your Son, Jesus be also in them.   It is so easy to allow the things of this world to form our thoughts.  Forgive us for allowing distractions to take our hearts off of You and Your goodness.  Thank you, Father.  We love you.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you have found any value from it, please comment and share.   I love you!  Thank you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A timely message when there are cakes in the staff meeting

My job is big on celebrating birthdays! If there are 3 birthdays in the month, we have three cakes! If it is someone's anniversary, there is another cake! There are always pastries in the kitchen. We are overloaded with sugar and carbs! Right before going into the staff meeting today, I decided to do my Skinny School lesson on lunch. This message was timely! Here is my summary: We all mess up! That is simply human nature. Some mess up/fall off more than others. Your success is determined by the way tog handle those slip ups. The result of large slips is usually utter discouragement. So as soon as you slip with your eating and exercising, don't wait. Get back on track immediately! The emotional suffering that comes with being overweight is much harder than the temporary discomfort associated with working toward your health and fitness goals. Imagine how you will feel when you can feel comfortable in anything you wear. Imagine the freedom associated with not having to think about your weight all day long? Some may call you obsessed with your goals. What some see as obsession is simply discipline. People who criticize your discipline are trying to find comfort in their own laziness. Pray that they see the light like you have. There were 2 cakes!!!! No cake for me today. I am learning self-mastery. Sorry if it bothers you that while you're having seconds, I'm sipping tea.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

REVIEW: Coconut Oil Soap with Shea Butter, Olive Oil & Plumeria Essential Oils - Natural & Organic Ingredients By Soap.Club Handmade Bath & Body Skin Care Products With Moisturizing Lotion

I decided to try this soap because I have eczema  and dry skin.  This soap is said to help with dry and irritated skin.  It contains a lot of great ingredients, such as olive oil,  coconut oil, and shea butter. It is also organic. 

The first thing I noticed when this soap arrived is the smell.  The fragrance is amazing.  It sort of  takes you away on a mental retreat.  I love it.  The bar feels silky as well.  Upon using it, my skin was moisturized and refreshed.  The moisture actually lasted a lot longer than other soaps.  My eczema spots are starting to clear up as well.  In addition, it leaves you smelling nice. 

The soap in the bathroom at work dries my skin out very badly.  I actually took cut my bar of soap in half and put some in a portable soap dish so I could use it at work.  Now, I don’t have to walk around with ashy hands or use lotions and oils all day.

I never heard of prior to this experience, but I will definitely use them again. 

I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

REVIEW: Connoisseur's Inn Wine Bottle Stopper with Stylish Diamond Shaped Crystal Ball on Top

This wine stopper is absolutely beautiful!  It comes in a beautiful box that is ready for gift-giving.  The box is lined with a satin-like material.  The wine topper fits nestled right in the space that is crafted for it.  These details are extremely elegant.

The design of the wine topper is excellent.  It is magnificently crafted.  I especially like it when the light catches it the right way.  I attempted to catch a photo of the sparkle that is produces.  It’s so gorgeous.  I almost feel rich when putting this on top of a bottle.  It doesn't just fit a wind bottle.  It also fits other  750ml bottles.  My husband likes to use it on a nice bottle of cognac. 

This stopper does a great job keeping the wine fresh.  Lately, I haven’t been completing an entire bottle of wine.  The rubber rings make the wind topper fit snugly.  When you pull it out of the whine, you hear the “pop” sound that I love so much.   It also keeps our cognac from going stale.  We are happy.

I received a discount on this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.   

You can find your own here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why hasn't the scale moved?

Here I was, panicking!  It is almost the middle of the month, and I haven't lost gotten rid of one pound this month!  I couldn't believe it!  Then it hit me.  Almost every night, I have awakened and eaten a handful (or two) of  dry roasted peanuts!  Of course, I wasn't tracking this midnight eating. That means that every single day, I was going over on my calories as well as my carbs.  

I did some research and found that eating in the Middle of the night is called Nocturnal Eating Disorder .  If you find yourself doing this, it is important to do a check-in to make sure you are emotionally and physically healthy.  I know for sure my Nocturnal Eating is the result of stress and not taking time out for myself.  That changes today.  It is counter-productive to sabotage all of my hard work. 

It is  important to track every single thing that is going into your body.  If  you are serious about getting healthy, you will need to have real goals that you follow.  For me, I try to stay within 50 grams of carbs and 15-25 grams of sugar per day.  I do not know the carb and sugar count of everything I eat, and I definitely won't remember everything that I ate for the day.  I MUST track my foods religiously.  If not, I will be going over my goals.  Not only can I stall my weight loss, but I can gain as well.  

*Note:  With Nocturnal Eating Disorder, you are fully aware that you are awake and eating.  .  There is a similar eating disorder called Sleep-Related Eating Disorder.  Whit this particular disorder, you are not actually aware that you are eating in the middle of the night.  

Signs to watch for with both disorders are: 
  • Lack or appetite in the morning
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Noticing that things are different in  your kitchen (food missing, dishes out, etc.)

With signs of either disorder, you will want to consult your doctor.  These signs can be warning of a more serious underlying health disorder.  

I have had a full check-up and everything is perfectly fine.

REVIEW: Apalus Auto On/off Light Controlled Insect Trap, Smart Indoor Mosquito Traps,Mosquito Killer With Electric Vacuum Fan, LED Ultraviolet Light Bug Zapper,No Chemicals,Romantic Night Light

This Insect trap by Apalus says it is for indoor use. I wouldn’t particularly try it outside because outside is not as controlled an area as in the house. It appears that the low rating on this product is because the customers were using this product outside instead of inside. Outside is a wide open area.

The first thing I like about this bug zapper is the sleek design. Nobody can actually tell what it is. I also like the cool blue light. The touch button is cool as well. You don’t actually have to press a button. You just touch the power switch. The first touch turns it on hi, the second turns it to medium, the third turns it to low, and the fourth turns it off.

The instructions recommend that his product be used when it is completely dark in the room. That way, there is no other light to draw the insects. It is also recommended to not have any air blowing on it, as it could affect he function of the fan that draws the bugs into the unit.

I took it out the box and used it right away. I initially had some issues getting the top aligned. One side would go in, but the other wouldn’t. It took me a few minutes to be able to hold it level enough to get the unit put together correctly. A feature for improvement would be to put some stickers on it with arrows that tell you exactly how to align the unit.

I turned it on when I arrived home from work. There wasn’t anything flying around, so I didn’t expect anything spectacular. Surprisingly, there was a fly and some gnats inside the unit the next morning. I was so confused because there was nothing here.

This product comes with a small brush so that you can clean the insect carcasses out of the unit. I would suggest a brush that is a little bit larger. That is just a minor inconvenience though. The thing that I like most is that the fan makes sure that the bugs do not get back out. Once they are in this unit, they are there for good until they dehydrate and die. Also, it is nontoxic. I really worry about chemicals, giving that I have a toddler.

While I like to believe that I have ninja-like reflexes, I still fail to hit a fly before it moves. This is a much better solution. I don’t have to wait in the shadows, stalking a pesky insect. I can just sit back and relax, knowing that the insect will not be around very long.

I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Today's Delivery

I usually have small items delivered to work.  Well this is what I got delivered by UPS today!  I got another box from a courier, and USPS hasn't come yet.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It's Official... 20 pounds down!!!

That's right!  I started my journey at 190 pounds in March.  I am officially 170!

***Insert Happy Dance***

REVIEW: Silicone Soap Candle Making Fondant Tool Chocolate Mold Hard Candy Mould Ice Cube Tray Kit Party Supply

I actually got two of these molds. I got the stars set and the brain set. The silicon is food grade, so while it is good for wax, it is also good for food related projects. The first thing I did was try them as ice cubes. After washing the trays, I filled them with water and went to work. When I returned, I pulled them out of the freezer. I ran them under a bit of warm water before popping them out. It was very easy to get them out of the molds.

As you can see from the pics, two of the stars have some cute sticks. Those would be nice for swirling around in your drink when you do not want the ice to sit in your drink. The first thing I thought was that it would be nice to fill them with wine to swirl around in my drinks. I'm not sure how well you can see in the picture, but the larger stars also have a smaller star cutout in the middle. It is unbelievable how incredibly detailed the brain ice cubes were. Even after running these molds under water, they did not lose this definition.

After I finished playing with my super cool ice cubes, I remembered that I had some white chocolate chips. They were really cheap and when warming the chocolate, it never really became creamy. It actually got hard, but I decided to try it anyway. I put it into the molds the best I could, by trying to press it into the crevices. I put it into the freezer to set for just a few minute. Surprisingly, they still turned out well. They popped out of the mold pretty easily. Because the mold is silicon, you can pull on it a little bit to release the candy. They will still come out perfectly. They were still very defined. I can only imagine how nice they will be if I actually had better candy to melt.

Cleanup was easy as well. I sat them in some warm soapy water for a few minutes, then just rinsed them. They did not require any scrubbing or anything.

I received this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.


Review: Topwell® 5000Lm 3 Cree XML T6 LED Rechargeable Headlamp Headlight Torch Light Work Lights Headlamps with 2Pcs 3.7V 18650 4000mah Rechargeable Battery AC Charger and Car charger (Flat head)

My husband does plumbing. We thought this would be great for when he is in dark places. It is difficult to hold a torch to weld and a flashlight at the same time.

The first thing we noticed about this Topwell headlamp is that it is rechargeable. There are two rechargeable batteries that come with it. We have gone through so many batteries trying to light up flashlights and such. Often, the batteries are completely drained before we even use the flashlight. So when the time comes that we need to use them, we have to go to the store first.

This headlamp comes with two types of chargers. Why is that important? Well, imagine the power goes out in your house. You go to turn on your headlamp, but the batteries are dead. Obviously, since there is no power in the house, you cannot charge them in the house. BUT you can charge them in the car!!! You'll only need to charge them a few minutes if your goal is to go down into the basement to try to get the power back on. Great thinking, Topwell!

The light is extremely bright. The batteries were already charged upon arrival, so we did not have to charge them. The light is also adjustable. It has four different modes or your needs. It also fits a variety of head sizes because it is adjustable. My husband actually wears it over a hat.

I received this product in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. This review was developed after testing the product.