Monday, October 25, 2010

Glencara - $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway on Two of A Kind's Blog!

Based in Ireland, Glencara specializes in Claddagh & Celtic Rings and Jewelry since 1978. They are a family business, passionate about Irish & Celtic culture and the jewelry they create is based on Celtic design and symbolism, centuries old.

The Claddagh Ring is one of Ireland’s most popular rings and carries great symbolism - "Let love and friendship reign forever".

How you wear a claddagh ring is of great importance; if worn on the right hand with the heart facing out, your heart has not yet been won. If worn on the right hand with the heart facing in, you are in love. And finally the claddagh ring can be worn as a wedding ring if worn on the left hand with the heart facing in; two hearts forever joined.

I would love to win, being married to an Irishman, and thought I would share this giveaway with you!
For your chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Glencara, visit Two of A Kind, Working on a Full House's Blog!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Candle Care

Tips on how to get the most out of your candles!

  • For most candles, wicks should be trimmed to 1/4" (0.6 cm)before each lighting.  Do not trim tealights or 3-wicks
  • To avoid dripping, always place candles on a flat, level surface away from drafts
  • To heighten the gloss and/or remove scratches from candles, rub gently with a fine mesh stocking
  • Avoid placing candles in direct sunlight to prevent fading and warping
  • If black "carbon balls" build up on a wick, extinguish the flame and trim the wick for clean and even burning
  • Always remove debris, such as wick clippings, from candles and candle holders
  • Optimum burn time for pillar candles - burn for an hour for every inch of diameter (i.e. burn for 3 hours if pillar is 3" round)
  • After the candle is extinguished and the wax is still soft, gently "hug" the top edges of the candle inward and straighten any leaning wicks.  This will help the candle consume the wax more evenly on the next burn
  • Always use a snuffer to extinguish candles.  Blowing them out can change the position of the wick.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

8 Years....

It was 8 years ago today, but I will never forget that day.  The day I lost my father to pancreatic cancer.  We knew the day was coming, but it was still a shock when it happened.  He was diagnosed in Dec 2001, and was given 2 months to a year.  It was too advanced for any kind of treatment.  He lasted 10 months after the diagnosis.  He did not change after the diagnosis, which I've come to admire.  He lived his life as he normally did; smoking, gambling, and going out with friends.  He did not let his disease defeat him.

As I said, we knew the day was coming.  I just didn't know that it would happen so fast.  4 or 5 years prior, his best friend (one of my godfathers - I have more than one) battled cancer as well and was in the Cross Cancer Institute for about 3 months before passing away.  We visited many times.

My dad was admitted to St Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital on Thursday, Oct 17.  I wasn't able to see him on the Friday - at the time I was going to school full-time (just like I am now!) and then I worked 6:30-3:30 am.  It's something I look back on and regret not taking the day off because that was the day he lost his voice.  Saturday I went to see him, but I was tired from working the night before so I went home to take a nap.  I came back Saturday night and along with my mom and my brother, stayed the night.  However, Sunday morning his health took a turn for the worse and he had his Last Rites read.  It was a long, somber, tiring day.  My brother and I were hungry since we hadn't eaten lunch, so we headed to the Burger King a couple blocks away at around 7 pm.  15 minutes later, we got the call to head back quickly.  We ran back as fast as we could but it was too late.  My dad passed away at 7:20 pm, with only my mom in the room.  He had asked where we were (my mom read his lips) before passing away.

For the longest time, I beat myself up for not thinking of just picking up burgers and heading back.  I kept thinking that my mom was left all alone, and that we missed his last moments.  It's taken a long time, but I've learned to forgive myself.  I don't think of it as my mom was left alone, I think of it as my dad had someone by his side.  And we couldn't have known what time was his time. 

Of course, it's been a struggle.  After he passed away, I was so distraught I stayed in bed for the next month.  I didn't eat, didn't go to school, barely worked.  I didn't even noticed how much weight I lost until one of my mom's friends pointed it out to her.  I had dropped to 100 pounds.  You could see it in my face from my college grad pics; my cheeks were a bit sunk in (not my fave pics).  Days like his birthday, death anniversary, Father's Day are tough days.  One of the toughest days was the day I married my wonderful husband.  Even though getting married was the happiest day of my life, it was still tough not having him walk down the aisle.  I had my mom and my brother walk me down, which made it a bit easier, but I did not hear the music playing (the song I chose to walk to), I had people reminding me to smile.  I was just too busy concentrating on getting to the end of the aisle, though when I got there, I still burst into tears.  But he was there with me, as he's always there with me.

Just today, he played a prank on me!  I knew it was him because it's happened to me before.  Today, I found that my student ID (also my bus pass) was in my back pocket.  However, it was not in the plastic holder I always have it in, along with my SPC card.  I panicked for a minute but eventually found it in my jacket pocket.  I never take my ID out of that holder, but somehow it got separated.  That's my dad for you!

It's days like this that make me appreciate life and helps me focus on what I have, instead of what I don't.  I have a loving and supportive family, as well as good friends; what more could a person need?


I thought I would try my hand at writing about different struggles and hardships in my life.  All of these situations have shaped me in one way or another.  Maybe you'll be able to relate to it in one way or another.  Here is just a snippet:

What Did I Just Do?

By no means am I a writer, but I thought this might be helpful for my own sense of well-being (and maybe for some of you out there).

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Fish Out of Water!

Here I am, in my 4th and final year of university, and yet I still feel like the new kid.  Granted, this is my 2nd semester back after a 7-year break but still....I feel like I'm always one step behind.  At least my midterms are over (for now, I still have one more in November).

I don't know how other mature students feel, I just know how I feel.  Like when the professor says "You should've learned about ______ in your previous course" and everyone around me nods their head while I look like a deer caught in the headlights.  I try to think back but when your prerequisites are at least 7 years old, it's hard to remember unless you've actually used it.

And there's a few people who recognize me from last semester, but none of them are in my classes now.  It's a bit lonely (if you didn't know, I'm a bit shy when it comes to new people).  That's a big difference from when I was at Grant MacEwan the first time and now.  Then again, at that time I was in a 2-year diploma program where I spent most of my classes with the same people.  I guess that's one difference between college and university?

At least I only have 6 1/2 months more to survive to finally finish my degree that I started way back in 2000 (I hope).  Wow, that's a long time ago!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Balancing is Harder than I Thought!

I thought with the long weekend that I would be able to catch up on things, mainly school.  I was wrong! 

Friday night, I attended a surprise 70th birthday party for my godmother.  Craig was working, so I went with my mom.  It was fun, with the games they played, etc.  But my goodness was there a lot of kids running around.  And that led to the first question most people asked - "Any kids yet?" ("No, not yet.")  "Where's your husband?" ("Working") was the 2nd question.  Funny how that works out.  The response to the "No kids yet" was split into either:  "Why not?" or "That's good.  You're still young."  I prefer the latter, because it doesn't require a long explanation from me.

I had to get up early on Saturday for an appointment, but as soon as that was over, I headed back to bed and slept til noon.  I didn't do much on Saturday, other than relaxed and watch TV.  Even though I knew we had Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws on Sunday, it was at 4 pm so I thought I'll just study beforehand.

Well, Sunday didn't quite go as planned.  I slept in til noon (I love sleeping in!  The day should start at noon or 1 anyway.)  That gave me 4 hours til we headed to the in-laws.  I thought that still gives me time - wrong!  My mom wanted me to run errands with her and we didn't get home until around 3.  And even though I slept til noon, I was tired when we got home so I headed to bed until we had to leave.  Thanksgiving dinner was good, and we had a good time with the in-laws.
I slept in again on Monday, and put studying off until after Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  Talk about procrastinating!  And yes, I know it's better to study here and there instead of trying to cram the night before but that's just the way it turned out.  I spent 4 1/2 hours just studying for this morning's midterm - which wasn't all that hard - and still didn't cover all the material on the exam.  I woke up early today (only because Craig had work at 9; my midterm was at 9:30) and quickly skimmed over the remaining material.

Needless to say, I didn't accomplish anywhere near what I wanted to accomplish on the long weekend.  I know my priorities, but it just hasn't been working out.  You think by now, I would have school figured out but it's different this time around.  Last time, Craig and I were dating.  Now, we're married and the decisions we make have more of an impact.  I'm just glad he's been so supportive and realizes that a part-time job is a little too much for me to take on (even though it would help financially).  I'm still technically employed but I haven't had any hours for the last couple weeks.  Things could be a lot worse.  Slowly, I'm finding out what my limitations are - I wish I could do it all though.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top Partylite Products for September!

For those who are curious about what PartyLite items are popular!  The Top Candles in last month were:
  1. Iced Snowberries Universal Tealights - one of my faves!
  2. Ginger Pumpkin Universal Tealights
  3. Spiced Plum ‘Miracles Jar Candle’ Barrel Jar - Children's Miracle Network Candle!
  4. Iced Snowberries Votives - here it is again!
  5. Cinnamon Eggnog Universal Tealights
  6. Ginger Pumpkin Votives
  7. Fall/Holiday 2010 16 Piece Votive Sampler
  8. Holiday Spices Universal Tealights
  9. Cinnamon & Bayberry Universal Tealights
  10. Mulberry Universal Tealights
Click here for the rest of the list!

PartyLite Pre-Holiday Blow-Out Sale Update!

Just wanted to update you in regards to the Pre-Holiday Blow-Out Sale!  The following items are SOLD OUT!
  • White Gardenia Truffle Tealights
  • Frosted Pines Slim Hurricane Jar
  • Peppermint Magic Just Desserts 3-Wick Jar
With a $50 purchase, you can purchase as many of these holiday giftables! Click here for the updated list!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hosting Ideas!

I've started a promo on FB and thought I'd ask if you think it's a good idea and/or if it is something you would be interested in participating in. 

Does this sound like you?

I'd host a party but:
  • I'm busy, I don't have the time
  • my friends are busy and it's hard to get them together all at once
  • the days that work for me don't work for you, or
  • in some way, it's just not convenient
Despite all these reasons, I would still like to take advantage of the host specials/benefits!

Well, if this sounds like you, there are a couple options (that I can think of off-hand):
  1. Host a book/catalogue party!  I will provide you with everything you need - catalogues, order forms, scent samples, etc.
  2. The promo I'm trying out on FB!  I would hold an "online" party once or twice a month, where you can submit orders directly to me (via FB or email).  If total sales are $250 or more, I would randomly award the host offers/benefit to one lucky customer!  That would mean a minimum $62.50 of free products, plus a minimum of one 1/2 price item, along with the host offers! (available to Canadians only, sorry)
Let me know what you think about Option #2!  Do you like it?  Would you change it somehow?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Just finished reading Mini Shopaholic!

I bought the new book Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella on Friday and finished it 2 days!  Yes, yes, I probably should've been studying instead but once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.  It was like a glimpse into my future (minus the extremely rich mother-in-law).  In a lot of ways I can relate to Rebecca Bloomwood, her thought process and on a smaller scale her shopping habits and the way she justifies them (to herself, her husband, and family).  The need to shop, the high I get from buying something, anything!  *Which needs replacing - shopping is an expensive habit (even small purchases can add up).  I've been unsuccessful with finding a replacement that gives me the same feeling, but that's a discussion for another day!

Are you a Sophie Kinsella fan?  Let me know if you are or not, and why.  I love her writing because of the humour, the awkward situations her heroines find themselves in and the surprising ways they come up with to get themselves out of it.  Even though the situations are over-the-top, I can relate to them in one way or another.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yikes! A Midterm Already!

I was just checking what was scheduled for this week at school, and my first midterm's on Wednesday!  Already?!?!  It's only been a month!  And I've missed the majority of September with health issues =(

Stats, always coming back to haunt me....Guess I will be cramming from now until Wednesday and hope for the best.  Good thing I'm not scheduled at my part-time job - not to my knowledge anyway.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's Happening in October!

There's plenty of specials going on with PartyLite this month! 

Click here for October's Host and Guest Specials!

Since this month is Breast Cancer Awareness week, I will be donating 10% of all October sales to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation!  And why help only 1 cause when you can help 2! 

This is the Miracles Jar Candle in Spice Plum for $26 and for every one purchased, $1 goes to the Children's Miracle Network! With each purchase of our Miracles Jar Candle, Partylite will also include a lovely HOPE pendant as a gift for supporting this wonderful cause.  It makes a wonderful gift!

Also, there are some exclusive out-of-the catalogue items being offered from now until Dec 31!  Below are the exclusive Snowmen ScentGlow Warmers.  Frosty (Red) and Icy (Blue) are sure to be wintertime favourites!  You can get yours for $35 each!

The other exclusive item is the Large Change-O-Luminary ($55 each)!  It comes with removable, magnetic panels to suit every mood and season. It includes eight panels, two of each design: Couture, Cherry Blossoms, Snowflakes and Autumn.

There's also the Pre-Holiday Blow-Out Sale going on now until Oct 16!  With each $50 purchase, you can indulge in as many of the following holiday giftables as you like, without breaking the bank (while quantities last)!

Click here for the Pre-Holiday Blow-Out Sale details! 


I'm so excited that my blog is now up and running!  Thanks so much stopping by!  First off, I would like to thank Leah from Cutesie Blog Designs for designing my blog - she was very patient with me as I'm new to the blogging world!  I would also like to thank Lindsay from {meant to be} MAMA for her help and referring me to Leah!

Where to start?  Let's start with the name of my blog A Balanced State of Mind - the search.  Why you might ask?  I'm sure that all of us are searching for a balanced state of mind, I know I sure am.  Life's crazy and it sure has a way of overloading my mind!

I've been married to an amazing man, Craig, for a little over 4 years now and we've had our ups and downs.  This past year has been difficult healthwise for the both of us!  It all started in May, when Craig decided to play softball with his brother.  Craig played softball before but this was his first games in years!  It had been pouring so the ground was slippery and muddy.  The game ended when Craig injured himself.  We found out 2 days later that he had torn his hamstring (the bruise was black so I made him get it checked out).  That was just the beginning.

After his hamstring healed, we volunteered for the Edmonton International Track Meet in June.  During teardown, Craig had tripped over some fencing that blended in with the grass, braced himself with his arms and fell on the cement.  At first, I just thought he had scraped his knee and ripped a hole in his new pair of pants (which I gave him grief for).  2 days later, we found out he had displaced his right elbow and fractured his left elbow.  He had the entire summer off from work to heal, and I didn't have any classes, so we actually had the entire summer to spend together!  But there wasn't much we could do with both arms wrapped up and the left one in a sling. =(

And then there's me.  My stomach hasn't felt well since mid August and is still not right.  I've been to the doctor, the ER, and went for a couple of tests.  It's a suspected ulcer, but it hasn't been confirmed.

I'm also a full-time student in my final year in the Bachelor of Commerce program at MacEwan University, but I'm behind because of my stomach problems.  I also work part-time in addition to being a Partylite Independent Consultant (since Dec 2009).  So trying to juggle and balance all these roles has been difficult.  And I'm not even a mom yet!  Eventually, but I think we have enough to deal with right now.

Okay, I think I've rambled on enough.  So to sum up what this blog is going to be about is the adventures of a wife and a mature full-time student (some of the "kids" in my class are just...well "kids") who's trying to supplement the family income in any way, shape, or form, as well as tips on PartyLite products (decorating and care).  And maybe a giveaway here and there.  I hope you will find something useful from this blog, or at least something you can relate to!