Thursday, November 27, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Through BrandBacker and De Nouveau Review, I had the chance to receive and test a set of Old Factory candles.  I thought I'd share the review with you here, as well, so you have the chance to enter the giveaway.

These candles come in a variety of themed sets, including Happy HolidaysNew Born BabyCoffee ShopFifty ShadesFresh and CleanHigh as a KiteSpa DayMan CaveVacation, and Romance

On the day I was asked to choose which set I wanted to sample Omaha had its first snow, so it seemed like a no-brainer to choose the Winter Wonderland set.  It arrived a few days later and that night I burned the Hot Cocoa candle while I packed.  That might have been a mistake, because it set the bar so high for the others.  I've never really thought about using chocolate as a scent in my apartment, but I love it.  I particularly love that the scent lingers after the candle stops burning.  
On one of the product pages I read these candles are great for small rooms or, if used in a larger rooms, you should use two of the candles as the scents included in the kit are intended to be complementary.  In my studio apartment, one candle does the job wonderfully.  The scent is present without being overpowering. 

The First Snow candle is a fresh, clean scent that is nothing special but certainly isn't bothersome.  Roasted Chestnut is the perfect addition to the scent, bridging the gap between the nearly edible Hot Cocoa and the more sterile Fresh Snow.

The candles are on sale now on Amazon.  Especially with the holidays approaching, I think these sets would make wonderful gifts.  You can treat yourself by entering to win a free set below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway Even though I received this product complimentary, these opinions are entirely my own.   

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Moving and Other Musings

In a month I will officially be living in Utah again, and I have mixed feelings.  I'll be happy to be around family and no longer have to miss big events in my nieces and nephews' lives.  I'll be happy to once again have girls' nights with my sisters and stay way too late at their houses.  I'll be happy to have David back as a movie buddy.  I'll be happy to live with my parents for awhile, saving money to begin repairing the last three years of financial disaster.

At the same time, moving back to Utah feels like a reversion.  That's indicated in the way I say "moving back."  I'm worried about giving up on the growth I've worked for since moving away from Utah.  I love my family, but I don't always like who I am around them.  I like independent Omaha Wendy far better than I like fourth child obnoxious Wendy.  Simply put, I have some reservations about moving home.

Nevertheless, the time of my departure is quickly approaching.  I've been slowly selling off items I don't want to pack up and shipping off items I've already packed.  (If you have unneeded boxes lying around, I'll take them off your hands!)  Last week I formally gave notice to my firm of my November departure date, which made reality set in.

When I'm not working or packing, I really do very little else with my time these days.  I watch a lot of tv and I don't even feel bad about it.  I've had a charmed couple of months where my stress generally stays at the office.  I don't miss the constant nagging feeling I had during law school and bar study--that feeling that always surfaced any time I tried to relax, telling me I should be using the time to study and learn.  Of course I never want to stop learning and improving, but I'm giving myself a pass for now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Good Life

Photo: The Life I Need
Every so often life just seems good.  The superstitious side of me wants to knock on wood after typing that, but all other sides of me want to bask in the moment and just tell you why I'm happy.

To begin with, it's fall.  That alone is enough to get the corners of my mouth turning up.  Nebraska weather has been uncharacteristically fantastic lately.  Our summer was mild, and the last week has fluctuated between window-down and sweater weathera perfect range if you ask me.  With fall comes one of life's greatest joys: college football.  Again, I don't want to jinx things, but so far this season really has been a thing of beauty.  Exhibit A: Taysom Hill.  Exhibit B: Penn State's post-season sanctions being lifted.  Exhibit C: 3-0.  Exhibit D: Taysom Hill.  I'm not naive enough to think going undefeated (for either team) is a probability, but you can bet I'm going to enjoy watching these teams this season.  That's guaranteed.

Something else that's been keeping a smile on my face lately is the abundance of BABIES.  It's like everyone I know got together and decided to have a baby this summer.  And good for them!  Because seriously.  So.  Many.  Babies.  As you all know, I absolutely adore being an aunt.  After last week I'm up to 11 "real" nieces and nephews and am quickly accumulating honorary nieces and nephews throughout the country.  It's such a blessing to see so many people I love embrace their roles as parents, and I'm grateful they let me be a part of their babes' lives.

It's been hard to be away from family and friends for all of the excitement, but I'm really grateful for the friendships I've been able to strengthen as a result of staying in Nebraska a bit longer.  After graduation, a lot of my closest friends moved back to their respective homes.  It's weird to be left in the Midwest without them, but I've grown a lot closer to some of my other friends, particularly a couple of girls in my ward.  I've really appreciated making memories that involve chasing the Northern Lights and becoming utterly obsessed with new tv shows.
As a nice little cherry on top of all this happiness, David comes to visit later this week.  This will be the fourth straight year he makes a trip out to Nebraska in the fall.  I'm always so grateful for his willingness to take the time and money to come see me.  Makes me feel like a spoiled little sister!

I hope your life has been equally joyful and rewarding these last few months, but if not, just remember: "Whatever your circumstances, this can be your season of strength."  (Barbara B. Smith, "A Season for Strength," October 1983 General Conference).  I hope you all find joy in the journey.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Anniversary

Despite its title, this post is not aimed at congratulating my sister and brother-in-law on seven years of marriage (though I will quickly say, Happy Anniversary Jess!).  Instead, I'm taking this time to reflect on another important anniversary: the day I moved to Omaha.  This morning I launched Timehop and read with fondness the tweets chronicling my arrival in the city.

I've been saying this a lot lately, but I'm going to miss this place.  Of course I'll be happy to be closer to my family come the end of the year, but the Midwest will always occupy a place in my heart.  The people here are friendly without being intrusive.  The lightning storms are breathtaking.  There are more restaurants than I could have possibly tried in my three years here.  And while I think the Husker fanaticism is the byproduct of some ethanol-based brainwashing, this place loves football, which I can appreciate.

I've enjoyed my independence here.  I like having a place that's all mine (which I think stems from being one of six children).  I brag about this as if it's a personal victory.  I'm excited to spend these next three school-and-bar-free months enjoying parts of Omaha I didn't have time to see before.

I'll miss Beauty Brands and Wheatfields.  I'll miss the rain and the trees.  I'll miss Gigi's Cupcakes and my job.  This has been an incredible time in my life.  And while I'm anxious to read the rest of my book, I'll be sad to finish this chapter.