Friday, October 28, 2011

  Product Review & Giveaway: PartyLite

I can't even begin to tell you all how happy I am to finally be able to reveal what my giveaway and review are! Gina from PartyLite was kind enough to provide me with some fabulous PartyLite Products so that I could try out and review and she is even giving one of my amazing readers a $50 gift card to use on PartyLite Products! How great is that!?

Before I tell you how you can enter the giveaway let me tell you a little big about the the company and the products I got a chance to try out. I don't know if you guys know this but I am a HUGE PartyLite fan and have been for a very long time. Before I had Baby D her room was my "storage room" and I had a bookshelf full of boxes and boxes of candles! My favorite scent ever is Coconut Cove and I would burn it in votives, tea lights, jars, basically any form it came in. Obviously I would burn other scents too but that was my "comfort scent". I was never a huge fan of the pillars because I thought they would burn like all the other pillars you buy, you know, leaking down one side, burning unevenly, and the the biggest offense, somehow getting a hole in the side of the candle causing a huge mess on whatever you were burning the pillar in? Well, I finally bit the bullet about a year and a half ago. I decided to host a party and it was super successful. I had about $500 if not more worth of free product and at that point I said, "Let's do it! Let's try something outside of my comfort zone". So I used my free credits and purchased reed diffusers, pillar candles, aroma melters, aroma simmers, along with my normal jars, tealights, and votives.basically if it was from PartyLite and had a scent, I purchased it.

I was NOT let down. Ladies, how many of your husbands enjoy burning candles? I'm not gonna lie, there are mornings I wake up and my husband has lit the pillars on the kitchen table because "they smell nice" or "it looked nice", and he lights some tea lights at night in the cute holders I have around the house. Do you know why? Because they smell AMAZING and they are NOT overpowering. 

So when Gina and I spoke about the opportunity to do a blog giveaway and she told me she would give me some free product to review I was excited. I was excited to get some products that I was familiar with but she threw me for a loop! She gave me products that had come out just recently, you know, products I didn't even know existed because I had $500 worth of candles in my house (FYI, I still haven't depleted that stash...)

So what did I get?! 

How about an Iced Snowberries GloLite Pillar Candle.  This thing is truly amazing. The PartyLite technology left me floored. When you light this candle and it has burned down a little bit (I'm talking 1/4" people) the entire pillar glows. Let me say that again, the ENTIRE PILLAR GLOWS. It is lit up from the top to the bottom in a beautiful soft glow. The first time I lit the candle is wasn't dramatic or anything, it wasn't an instant the second time I lit the candle I made sure the entire room was dark and when I lit it...there was a nice soft glow from all around the candle. It was awesome. Now, I'm not going to lie to you, the scent wasn't that noticable. I think if you are burning a GloLite you are doing it more for the look than the scent. (I made sure the house smelled great by burning an iced snowberry votive near by). This candle is perfect for those of you planning a nice sit down dinner. A nice pillar garden with the candle in three sizes makes a great centerpiece.

What else did I get?  

This is Nature's Light by Party Lite in White Oak & Sandalwood. (I do believe that this is my new go to scent). What makes this candle so special? Well, first of all it doesn't have a traditional wick, it has a wooden wick that actually crackles as it burns. It's basically a scented fireplace in a jar. How cool is that? Not only that but the jar it comes in is unique and has a great texture. It looks and feels like wood grain to really give you the feeling of lighting up a log. I liked sitting on my couch, reading a book, and enjoying a glass of wine while this was on table nearby. The crackling sound is just too comforting to pass up...and a few times I caught myself just staring at the wick and ignoring my book (but not my wine!). I hosted another party a few weeks ago and I made sure that this was on my list of things to get with my free product (by the way, again, close to $500 worth of free product)!

What else what else what else?! 

I got to try out a scent from their new Forbidden Fruits collection. I got to burn "Fig Fatale" which was a HUGE hit at my show. These products don't even come in the standard blue PartyLite boxes, oh no, they come in black boxes with a beautiful and seductive font. If you want to seduce your hubby then I strongly recommend you pick up a catalog or log online and start looking into the Forbidden Fruits selection. Again, I won't lie, I found the Fig Fatale a little strong for my liking but I wanted to bite into the Perfectly Pear and Apple Allure. (Besides those two scents just fit me perfectly, I'm an elegant and classy girl next door..ha ha ha!) My sister in law, sister, best friend, and party guests ALL purchased the fig scent so maybe its just me who is extra picky? I already decided that I will be speaking to my brother in laws and helping them make a little seductive Valentine's basket for their wives using these candles which come in jars, votives, and large tea lights (and scents are also available in oil).

**Although I received these products free of charge it has not influenced my opinion in anyway. These thoughts, views, opinions, and random babbling are mine and mine alone. ***

So now to the fun stuff! How can you win!? It's super easy! You first have to follow me on Google Friend Connect, this is mandatory, if you don't follow none of the other entries will count. Leave each entry as a separate comment and I will use a random number generator to select a winner! 

1. Go to Gina's Site and come back here and tell me what you would purchase with your $50 gift card.
2. Like Giftedly-Outspoken on Facebook 
3. Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, Nov, 15th! 

That is all folks!! :)

Good luck and be sure to spread the word! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

  I hosted a party...and became a consultant!

So as some of you may have read on Twitter and my blog I hosted a PartyLite party last week and did pretty well (over $1500 in sales). This is the second party that I did for PartyLite and its the second very successful party that I've done. Both times the lady who did the show mentioned how I'd make an amazing consultant since I obviously know my PartyLite stuff. I just flat out said no both times.

This time my husband made me think about it, "Jenny, its something you believe in and you love. I think you'd be great at it..." again I thought about it. Then yesterday my co-worker called and we had a discussion on the phone and she says to me, "You know what, not only are you never wrong (hey I tried to convince here I've been wrong on a few occasions) but you make sure that people know why you aren't wrong. You always have the data to back it up. You would make a great sales person, let's see if we can get you out to California for a week to help me out!"

That was sort of the icing on the cake, or the nail that sealed the coffin or whatever lame ass expression you need to help you understand what I'm talking about. Last night I attended the Party Lite regional meeting and I met with a lot of women who were successful in what they were doing and who loved it. I decided at that point to just become a consultant. Because we'd already closed my show (most likely I'll have the orders from my show on Friday!) I couldn't get that "free kit". I had to buy my kit but the great thing is that I already bought so many things from the new collection I have a BETTER kit than the one you can purchase! (I got 6 items at half price from my sales PLUS 1 item at 50% off for hosting the show PLUS one item at 60% off for hosting the show...needless to say, I bought almost the entire catalog!)

So that just about sums it up. If you are in the Montreal area and are interested in hosting a show or doing a book show, please let me know. I have a few suggestions on how to have a super successful show and getting you TONS of free product without having to spend a penny of your own money! :)

By the way, the give away post will be coming probably on Monday!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

  Remember when I told you I'd be doing a giveaway!?

Well the time is almost here! My first SPONSORED giveaway! :) I can now tell you WHO it is but I won't tell you about the prize yet....

Gina from PartyLite has agreed to give me some amazing products for me to review and is offering one lucky reader something! ;) So stay tuned!  (Click the link above and have a look around and tell me if there is anything there you are interested in!)

FYI: The post should be going up next week as I have already received my free products to review and am in the process of using/reviewing/writing!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

  Totally Random Thoughts

I have a bunch of random thoughts flying through my head so I figured that maybe my blog was the best place to get them out.

So let's start shall we? Oh, you'll have to forgive me if this list is messed up or makes no sense. I am watching the finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

1. I'm really excited for BlogHer12. Dana and I are going to be rooming together and we were just texting trying to figure out what to do in the down time (if there is any) and who is on our list of "must meets". (Maybe one day we'll share that list but for now its just a surprise!) We need to figure out who to see, what sessions to be at, and hope we get invited to some parties. If we don't make the party list we won't be too sad. I mean, HELLO, we are in New York!

2. Last night I was playing Words With Friends and the person I was playing against told me that she actually follows me on Twitter and reads my blog. That in itself is not unusual, what is unusual is that they are NOT the type of person that I thought reads my blog. My blog doesn't usually appeal to the uber (do people still use that word?) conservative people, unless of course they read it to make fun of me or teach their children what NOT to become. I was really shocked. I told her that and she told me that while she was very conservative she liked the way I said what I felt. It actually made me happy to know that my blog can appeal to a variety of people...and I think that is kind of the point of blogs. Right?

3. Speaking of my blog I find it hilarious that the number one search term that lands people here from google is the phrase "letter to my exboyfriend". This is funny to me because that blog post (part of the letter challenge) doesn't actually have a lot of comments. It's one of the most read posts but least commented on. I wonder if people don't think its okay to talk about their exes on their blogs once they are in a new relationship or married. I don't believe that to be the case at all. My past relationships have shaped the person I am today, they helped me learn something about myself in relationships and I feel no need to hide that.

4. And since we are on the subject of ex boyfriends...My sister and I are doing two "parties". I am hosting a PartyLite party at my house and she will be doing a gold party. Basically you sell any old gold jewelry you have that you don't wear or you know, that earring that is missing its partner or that necklace your ex gave you? It's great. Sell your gold and use the cash to buy candles. Part 3 of that is "go to the casino". Anyway, I digress, so my ex boyfriend gave me a necklace and pendant. It had the island he was from as well as his initials on the back. His grandmother had given it to him. After we broke up I tried like 4 times to give it back to him and it never worked out for us. So now I am selling it. Well, I will give him until Sunday Oct 16th at 1:59pm to pick it up. If he doesn't get it by then I'll be selling it. Sorry buddy.

5. You know what has always confused me? When pro-breastfeeding parents keep on talking about the bonding benefit of breastfeeding. A blog post by Fearless Formula Feeder made me remember how much that expression irked me. I mean, what about the father? Does the father not get to bond with his kid? Does bonding not count unless a part of you is in a part of them? Or do father's only get to bond with their children after the age of 2 (or however long you decide to breastfeed?) Now, I'm not one to say anything bad about breastfeeding, I believe to each their own just feed your kid...but its really not fair to say that breastfeeding leaves you bonded better. My child was never breastfeed and I still understand her own special language and what each cry means (98% of the time). What makes people think that you understand your kid more if you breastfed? I dunno man, that just makes no sense to me!

So those are my random thoughts of the week...what are yours?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

  I'm Stressed!!!!

I am stressed and I hate it. I hate it with a passion. Being stressed leaves me cranky, forgetful and sometimes can wreck havoc on my face. Luckily for me the latter has not happened...yet. I'm still the cute fresh faced me.

Why so much stress? It's WORK! I am stressed at work, I forget things that are work related that are fairly (read VERY) important. It's not like me. One of the main reasons I was hired was because of my exceptional memory and attention to detail. Lately I find myself just forgetting to do things, things that should be on the forefront of my mind.

Just the other day I sent a shipment of something meant for California to New Jersey. Oops. It took me over 3 months to complete a file (a huge tedious mundane excel file with like 200 columns to fill in). I had a pile of papers waiting for my signature sitting on my desk for 2 weeks. I haven't submitted expense reports since's not that I don't care to do what I have to do its just that I have so much work to do that some things slip through the cracks. Of course the tiny tasks don't slip through the cracks, its the large tasks that do.

I'm beginning to feel jaded at work. I feel like I am doing the work of 3 full time employees when I am just one person. Our company seemed to just grow overnight and the work load became too heavy. Anyone who works closely with our office and saw what the girl before me did compared to what I do is completely blown away. I am (was) organized and efficient. What the frak happened? I don't want to use the excuse "baby brain" because D is now 18 months old. I should be back in the swing of things.

So my boss dragged me into his office today to inform me that he has been getting upset at my forgetfulness etc. Funny, I wanted to drag him into his office to tell him not only to I want or deserve a raise but I DEMAND one.....I somehow don't feel the timing is right now that I am being "scolded". I'm gonna be honest, I hate to hear that people are disappointed me in or that they feel I am not performing to my abilities. I hate it. I am a perfectionist...but this time I almost find myself not caring. I almost feel like saying "Hey, before you tell me that I'm forgetful etc why don't you sit at my desk for 3 hours and tell me how many things YOU can accomplish!"

So now to ask you some questions.

1. How do you keep yourself organized when you feel the world is about to swallow you whole?
2. How would you go about asking for a raise?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

  Travelling with Children

It's not easy to travel with children, especially if you are ALONE. You have to handle your child, your luggage, carry on bags, diaper bags etc. It's freaking stressful. When D was three months old we took our first flight from Montreal to Dallas. I was able to handle it pretty well, especially because my daddy flew to Montreal just to fly back to Dallas with me :) He toted D around in her bucket seat, I took care of checking us in and everyone at the airport was especially helpful when they saw D and passed us through customs quickly, let us board first etc. It was great.

Then D and I flew from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale. We did that trip on our own. The airport staff was great. Since I was travelling alone they helped me get thru security "Can I get that for you?" "Do you need help" were things I heard often. They were great. At one point I was struggling to carry D in her bucket seat and the diaper bag down the walk way from the boarding gate to the plane. A very nice business man asked me if he could carry something for me in order to help me out. He carried D in the bucket seat right to our assigned seats and even strapped her into the seat. He told me, "My wife used to travel with the kids alone and I know its hard. I hate to see a mother struggle." I thought that was sweet. He also helped me off the plane with baby D and made sure I had my stroller before he took off. I pushed the stroller a few feet before my husband magically appeared.

I have yet to make the jump to "international" travel (for some reason US/Canada isn't considered international). But if I were to travel outside of this continent I would make sure of a few things. One of those things would be the car seat laws. I know that that US isn't the most strict with their laws but its also not the most lenient. What are the laws where we are traveling? Are they completely absurb?

Example: I had a friend travel to Greece this summer. She informed me upon her return that the entire time she was in Greece her one year old (14.5 month) daughter was not in a car seat. That Greece's car seat laws are if the kid can walk they could be restrained by a normal seat belt. Uh? What?

So I did what any normal person would do. I googled the shit out of that. Google informed me that while Greece is great in welcoming kids they are horrible at protecting them and probably have some of the most lax car seat laws BUT they still exist. The law states that unless a child is 3 years old and 135cm that they can not ride in a car without proper restraints UNLESS in a bus or taxi. 3 years old?! Isn't that a little...ummm...not right? Man, here in Canada I have cousins that have kids that are 7 in still in booster seats due to their small size etc. 3. That is it in Greece. Three years old and you can be restrained by a seat belt that is made for adults. Sure, who cars if you get decapitated or squished by air bags....

I kinda of let it go. I pretended not to care but I can't do that. I do care. I care about my child enough to say "screw you Greece laws". Greece may say that by law a 3 year old can be strapped into a normal car seat but I'd rather follow the laws of where I'm from. You know, laws from somewhere more concerned with safety. Greece may be the birth place of democracy, philosophy, politics, math, science but they also get the crown for being the birth place of crazy driving, unmarked roads, horrible car accidents due to bad driving and unmarked roads.  Basically, its not a place I want my child to be sitting in a car completely unprotected.

I totally get that its hard to change the minds of older people from generations about certain things. My mom never had to be in a car seat when she was growing up in Greece and when she brought me home from the hospital in Montreal she was holding me in her arms, in the front seat of the car, smoking a cigarette. Uh, guess what. Times have totally changed. We don't get in cars with our children unrestrained, we don't smoke in our cars with our children, we dont sleep with our front doors unlocked either. Times have changed people.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm just smarter than that. I mean, as parents we don't really need laws to tell us what is acceptable and not right? Like, is there a law that says "Don't let your child drink bleach" I don't think there is (I could be wrong) but even without a law I know its wrong/not good. I don't need a law that says "Hanging a child upside from a ceiling fan is strictly forbidden." I kinda know that its not something you do.

So have you traveled with your child recently? Had you come across some laws or situations that you found completely insane?

(btw for all you rear facing fanatics, in Sweden there is a car seat that allows you to rear face until 55lbs!)

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