Posted on

Fall Protection

Disclosure: This post contains sponsored links. 

No One Wants a Nasty Fall
When you work in an industry that involves high places, fall protection has to be a top priority. Fall arrest protection is necessary to ensure the safety of each employee, making it possible for everyone to breathe more easily. It’s a simple insurance policy. If you know there is a risk of falling, you have to do something to prevent tragedy. Equip staff members with the right kind of gear and it is less likely that anyone will be hurt.

Because I’m not a fan of heights & have literally no photos of anything height related. But I do have a pic of the Atlanta skyline taken last month.


Choose the Right Level of Protection
In some situations, a basic form of protection is all that is needed. A harness that is attached to a lanyard can be enough to secure an employee. However, there are those instances when life becomes more complicated. In many cases, individuals need to climb intense heights. Additional equipment is a must to keep them safe. Westech Rigging Supply is dedicated to offering a comprehensive selection of fall protection equipment that can rise to any challenge. Ropes, hooks, anchors, carabiners, and cable grabs are only a few examples of what is available to make workers feel more secure when they are taking to high places.

Enjoy the Convenience of a Kit
The last thing anyone should do is to sacrifice quality to save money. Fall arrest equipment can be expensive, especially when it is more involved. If you are a roofer, you will need an anchor in addition to a lanyard and harness. If you climb towers, you’ll need to have the ultimate level of protection. Turn to Westech Rigging Supply to find fall protection kits to suit the job. Don’t cut corners or spend more trying to buy each piece that is necessary to ensure you are secure. At the touch of a button, you can find one kit that contains exactly what you need. Remember that safety is key. If you or your staff members are going to keep working, make sure you are prepared. Westech Rigging Supply lists the latest in fall protection equipment, making it easier to do your job.

Full Disclosure: In accordance with the FTC’s guidelines, I am disclosing that I was financially compensated for writing this post. You may review my full Disclosure Policy here

Posted on

Jackpot Candles Review

Jackpot Candles aren’t just any other jewelry candle. Nope, there’s a twist.


They offer a large selection of candles and tarts in a multitude of scents and each one contains a little surprise inside.

But here’s the twist, you get to choose what your surprise is (pick from earrings, rings, and necklaces), and you have the option of selecting your ring size. Which is great if you’re like me and have man-hands. 

For me, choosing what I wanted was super easy. I’m a lover of anything cinnamon and an earring hoarder. So, I chose the Cinnamon Sensation candle (click here to see the candle I chose) with earrings as my jewelry of choice. Although, I was very tempted by the Caramel Coffee Latte scent. 

Less than a week after making my selection, my candle arrived. Not only was shipping super quick, but it was packaged very well. No chance of breakage here. Something that, as a constant online buyer/seller I can really appreciate. 

It took about 7 hours of burn time to reach the foil wrapped surprise in my candle, with me impatiently checking nearly every hour to see if it was visible yet. I had a really hard time restraining myself from speeding up the process and doing a little exploring, but I did. On their Tips page, Jackpot Candles actually recommends that you not do any digging for the hidden jewelry as it can cause your candle to tunnel or burn unevenly. 

There’s an upside to having to be patient: I was able to enjoy all of the cinnamon goodness for those hours.

Unlike a lot of other candles I’ve bought over the years, this one is strong. I could literally smell it in almost every room in the house. And since I was doing chores and milking goats during part of those 7 hours, every time I opened the door to come in I was met with a refreshing wave of cinnamon-ness that made me think of Christmas in February, snickerdoodles, and cinnamon lattes 🙂

Now, before I reveal my surprise, let me give you a little information about the candles and tarts:
They’re made in the USA.

They’re made from 100% natural soy wax, which means they have a clean burn that lasts longer than paraffin waxes. 

Soy wax is a renewable resource, so they’re sustainable. 

They are hand poured, and are made with a cotton wick, not lead. 

Each one contains a piece of jewelry worth anywhere from $15 to $5000. 

If your surprise is one of the more expensive pieces of jewelry and contains diamonds, they are conflict free. 

After 7 hours of burning, I finally reached the little foil wrapped package hidden inside. I blew the candle out, took a pair of tweezers out, and unwrapped my surprise.


And ta-da!


A pair of pink stud earrings. 

Included with each piece of jewelry is a little tag with an ID number. To find out how much your jewelry is worth, simply visit the Jackpot Candles’ Appraise page and type in the number.

I loved this feature, since it took all of the guesswork out of figuring out how much my jewelry was worth. 

My earrings were only worth $15, but they’re one of my favorite colors so I’m really happy with them!


You can visit Jackpot Candles’ website here

Or check them out on social media. . . .





Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services listed above complimentary in hopes that I would mention them on my blog. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines for reviews.
Posted on

Non-Fiction/Cookbook Review: Recipes and Road Stories

You may not kHanalena covernow this, but I’m a huge bookworm. Seriously, I could easily open my own library with all of the different books stashed here and there (thank God for kindle!). Add in to that a deep love of country and bluegrass music and good stick-to-your-ribs country food. 

So, when I was offered the chance to review Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with Sisters Caroline and Hannah Melby of the duo HanaLena, I jumped on it. 

Before we get to the book, here’s a little back story on HanaLena and their book. . . 

By the time Hannah was in the 11th grade and Caroline was in the 7th grade, the Melby sisters were touring the country in bluegrass bands, with Hannah on fiddle and Caroline on mandolin. Today the sisters are the front persons of a very popular Nashville-based country music touring band named HanaLena.

The sisters, who grew up in Starkville, Mississippi, performed from an early age—Hannah is now 28, Caroline is 24—evolving from bluegrass to progressive country as they perfected their songwriting and performance skills out on the road. In 2008 they won the “Best New Act in Country Music” competition at the Colgate Showdown in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville—and took home a check for a cool $100,000 presented by country music star LeAnn Rimes.

both singingDo they ever have some great stories to tell about coming of age on the concert trail! Recipes and Road Stories blends touching and rollicking road stories with an assortment of tasty recipes, and then tops everything off with plenty of exciting photographs. Also contributing recipes are friends they made on the road, including Rhonda Vincent, a 5-time Grammy nominee who has been called the “Queen of Bluegrass,” and Claire Lynch, who is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Association.

Recipes and Road Stories: From Life on the Road with Sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the duo HanaLena was published by Sartoris Literary Group in September 2014 and is available for sale on Amazon 



 Now, back to the book.

Written as a series of short stories told from each sister’s perspective in a loosely chronological order with photographs included, I found myself laughing, crying (I was honestly in tears after just a few pages – you’ll see why in a minute), and daydreaming about running away to join a bluegrass band. Even though I can’t carry a tune. 

I read along as the sisters transversed the country from New Orleans to Orlando to the Windy City of Chicago, growing as musicians, sisters, and as a band. And from prom night to performing at the historical Ryman Auditorium, Recipes and Road Stories, took me for a memorable ride with several well known musicians earning mentions. Just picture Tim McGraw and Faith Hill playing softball. Or how about Little Jimmy Dickens? I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting, behind-the-scenes peek into the fascinating world of the music industry.

And the recipes? Can’t forget about them, can we?

hanalena with instruments (1)At the end of each chapter are recipes submitted by those near and dear to the sisters. Appetizers, soups, side dishes, main entrees, and desserts aplenty (Inside Out Chocolate Cake, anyone?) are all featured. One of my personal favorites: The Cornbread They Never Told You About. Two words. . . . hilarious and delicious! I know, those two words aren’t normally used together, but trust me, they’re completely perfect in this case. If you’re like me, you’ll giggle like a fool and start getting out your cast iron skillet at the same time. 

Whether you’re a bluegrass fan or just a lover of good country cooking (or both, like me), I highly recommend this book.

Now, for a little special treat. . . . an excerpt straight from the book. Remember how I said you’l understand why I teared up, well, here it is:

Excerpt from Recipes and Road Stories:

A High Lonesome Cowboy Wedding Never to Forget

This is one of our favorite stories. It is dear to our hearts, but it is a hard story to tell for reasons that soon will become apparent.

It was a hot summer day in Mississippi.  We drove for hours from Nashville, down to Sallis, Mississippi, located outside of the “big city” of Kosciusko.  Once we arrived in Sallis, we turned down a winding, gravel road that led us to an old high school gym.

We unpacked our gear for what we thought would be a typical wedding.  What we didn’t know was this would be anything but a typical wedding, and it would probably change all of our lives a little, even if we didn’t know it at the time.

 We were greeted by a handful of handsome boys dressed in heavily starched white shirts and jeans.  They had matching tan cowboy hats to top off the outfit.  They helped us carry our sound equipment into the small, but inviting gym that had been transformed into a beautiful wedding venue.

The groom stepped up and introduced himself with a firm, good ole boy handshake that made you feel like the world would be in good hands with him.  The bride was a beautiful mother of five with a smile as wide and bright as if she had won the lottery.

We set up for the ceremony and got ready to perform.  But before the wedding began we all gathered around to say a prayer. It was a well-spoken and beautiful prayer, the kind that made you feel like God was watching over the couple at that very moment.

When the wedding began, we played “Ashokan Farewell” as the doors opened and the bride began her long walk to meet her husband at the altar.  As she began that journey, she was accompanied by one of her sons who walked at her side. Then after a few steps they paused long enough for another child to replace the first child—and so it went, the bride alternating her children so that each of them ended up walking her closer to her soon-to-be husband.

Something about the togetherness of that moment touched every heart in the room. The bride finally reached the spot where she would change her last name and hopefully her entire life.  On either side of the couple were a line of finely dressed boys and girls, each of whom was one of their kids.  I say “their kids” because I have never seen a family as close as they were on that day.  They didn’t point out whose children were their biological ones.  They were a family.  That is all they needed.

After the “I dos” and the every so anticipated kiss, they turned and walked down the aisle a second time, but now as husband and wife.  We played the reception soon after.  They cleared the chairs and got ready for a good ole time!  They had their first dance.  They looked at each other was with such compassion and adoration.  They somehow knew they were supposed to be there together at that very moment.

The bride and groom each danced with the children, one by one. During one song, the bride’s youngest boy walked on stage and pulled on my dress like you would expect any small child to do

when he wants to ask a question.  I bent down to listen to his request. It was the sweetest and saddest question I have ever heard.

“Would you play a song for my mommy and me?” he asked. “I haven’t danced with her yet and I am afraid she has forgotten about me.”

I hugged him and said you bet!

I’m not sure, but I might have stopped the song we were playing half way through to honor his request.  I was so touched by his innocence and his need to have a dance with his mom.  As I watched with awe, the bride came over and grabbed her youngest boy from the stage and held him close while she danced with him.  

After the last song was played and the last dance was danced, we loaded our instruments into the car and were ready to head home.  The boys in starch all came up and gave us their going away present; I believe it was almonds tied up in a red bandana.  We had the best time.  Before we left we got a big hug from the bride and groom.  They told us “thank you” as most people do.  But, they decided to tell us why this wedding was so special to them.  We knew a little background about them, but nothing prepared us for the story they told.

The bride had lost her husband a little while back.  She was left with five kids.  She was doing all she could to hold the family together, but it never seemed like enough.  One day she was praying for the Lord to send her a man that would love her and all of her children, and it wouldn’t hurt if he was tall, dark, and handsome.  She told God that the man would have to come to her, because she didn’t have any time to go out and search for him.

While she was on her knees praying, one of her daughters came looking for her and told her someone was at the door.  She got up with tears in her eyes and opened the door.  There stood a man.  He was tall, he had dark hair, and he was handsome.  He asked her if her husband was there.  He had known him a while back and heard he lived here.  She invited him in and told him of her late husband’s passing.  They talked for hours.  His wife had passed away as well.

Shortly after that meeting, they fell in love and got married.  God had answered her prayers.  He had sent her a tall, dark, and handsome man that loved her and all of her children, and she loved his children as well.

We left the old country place with tears in our eyes and a new-found appreciation for love and an acceptance of the mysterious way God works.  We traveled home in silence, reflecting on the life changing day we had experienced.

I wish my story stopped there.

A few months after their wedding, the mother of her five children and of his three, answered a knock at her door.  A man was standing there.  With a pained look upon his face, he removed his hat.  She knew something was wrong before any words were spoken.  He told her he regretted to inform her that her husband’s train had derailed, and that he had not survived the train wreck.

For the second time, her world fell apart.  She had to put aside her pain.  She had eight children to take care of now, so for the second time, she was forced to become strong.—Hannah 

And as a bonus – a recipe from their book, too:

Deep Fried Oreos
Courtesy of Cleek Farms, Kingsport, Tennessee. Host of annual Cleek Farm Corn Maze.
Write a review
  1. 1 1/2 cups milk
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (sift for best results)
  8. 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients.
  2. Heat oil. A deep fryer works great, but you don't have to use one.
  3. Dip the Oreo in the batter, place in fryer until golden brown.
  4. Remove, cool slightly, and apply sifted powdered sugar.
  1. This is a simple funnel cake mix.

Disclosure: I was given this book to read and review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Posted on

6 Great Light Fixtures You Can Buy Today

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that I was compensated for, but the following opinions about two certain decades and its aesthetics are entirely my own.

As a child of the 80s and 90s, there are many things that I love about both decades:

1) The Golden Girls (Obviously.)
2) Cabbage Patch Kids.
3) The Jerry Springer Show.
4) Dolly Parton movies.
5) Ronald Reagan.
6) Calculator watches.
7) Lifetime movies.
8) Nintendo.

But let’s face it, neither decade is known for being full of fabulous design elements. Fabulous at the time, sure, but now? No. Definitely not all that and a bag of chips. Case in point, this chandelier that my mother bought (and I helped pick out) a few years ago.

While this one was bought in the mid 2000s, it definitely has the whole 80s – 90s brassy, over the top look going on. So much so, that I’m convinced it had been sitting on the store’s shelves ever since then just waiting for some temporarily insane person (cause seriously, I had to be to pick it out. . .  and my mother, too, to go along with it) to come along and exclaim, “Why, it’s perfect!”

But I’ve woken up. Seen the light and all that. And as soon as I find the perfect replacement that we both agree on (and no brass!), it’s out of here. Gone like Donkey Kong. No more, no more, no more, no more.

In the meantime, check out these great ideas and inspiration from Crescent Harbor Modern:

6 Great Light Fixtures You Can Buy Today

Have your overhead lights been in place since the ’70s? It’s high time you replaced your old, boring fixtures with something more contemporary and stylish. The good news is that there are a number of amazing lighting options you can order online and have installed within the week. Here are just six ideas if you’re looking for better, brighter and more beautiful light.

1: 126C12 Soho by Varaluz Twelve Light Chandelier

With handmade piastra glass falling in a cascade around a dozen bulbs, this chandelier is sure to become a talking point among your guests.

2: D1428 Penbrook Floor Lamp by Haute Couture

Pixar, is that you? Accentuate any living room or den with the iconic curvature of this famous floor lamp.

3: 3174 Dichroix 4 Light Bar Pendant by Sonneman Lighting

Add a little flair to your kitchen with these multicolored bar lights that will look great over an island or set into the wall.

4: 113-42 Interior Two Light Pendant By Corbett Lighting

Bronze and iron swirl together to create this geometrically magnificent pendant light by the artists of Corbett Lighting.

5: Crystorama Lighting 1064 Traditional Crystal 4 Light Mini Chandelier

Perfect for smaller homes, this mini-chandelier offers all the brightness of its bigger cousins but for a fraction of the cost.

6: BW6023 Celestial 3 Light Wall Lamp by Trend Lighting

Shaped with wire and silver nickel, these power puffs live up to their celestial name by being both cute and otherworldly. They’ll look amazing in a child’s playroom!

If you’re looking for a new way to jazz up your interior design, these are just six lights for the job. Visit retailers like Crescent Harbor Modern to find even more.

Posted on

2014 Farm Goals.

This post is brought to you by BuildDirect. For more information, be sure to check out the BuildDirect reviews and check out their wikipedia page here

I know, I know, I’m really late getting this up. But better late than never, right? If you know me in real life, then you know that’s one of my personal mantras So, I’m a procrastinator, but I come by it honest. It’s totally in my genes – if only teachers during my schooldays would have taken that as an excuse. . .but alas they didn’t. Darn it.

So, here we go, since I’m finally getting around to it, here are the farm goals for 2014, and there are some big ones on here. Huge. Also, a couple of repeats from last year (you can see 2013’s goals here). . . hopefully old procrastinating me will actually get to them this year.

1) This is the big one. The Big Kahuna and Moondoggie all rolled in to one (have I mentioned that I was obsessed with 60s surfer movies growing up) and quite honestly a goal that I don’t expect to reach this year or even the next one. But it’s the most important one. . . . LAND.

That’s right, I want land. Lots of land (I totally feel like Bing Crosby right now, singing, “Oh give me land, lots of land. . . “. Also, a big fan of 40s crooners (Yep, I was an interesting kid).

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve outgrown our six acres. What used to seem like plenty of room to spread out and grow, is now creating problems. Don’t get me wrong, I love this land. I picked this property out at 17 years old, my grandfather bought it, and dreamed of us all living on it together with a our own farm animal menagerie. Granddad has been gone for five years, but he did get to realize his dream of moving to the country with us by his side (along with a very cantankerous goose named Liza Jane, who also sadly passed a few years ago – although, if you ask Hunter, he’s not sad about it.).

Back to the land issue. Our property consists of a narrow hilltop that stretches along one whole side, a (in certain places) fairly steep hillside, and of course, the flat land at the bottom of the hill. It’s located on the outskirts of Elba, AL. Now, if you don’t know anything about Elba (and let’s face it, if you’re not from here, you probably don’t), it’s official nickname is, “The City of Flowing Wells”. Unofficial nickname, that would probably be “Flood Town”. But I digress. Back to “The City of Flowing Wells.” And it is.

There are thousands of natural springs throughout the area, and I’ve decided that at least half of them must be located on our land. Not good. Along with those springs and our hillside, comes ongoing major erosion issues.

This is the latest spring to make its self known. It’s pouring from the newly caved in area pictured below.

The picture above was taken four days ago. It’s stormed since then, and I think you can guess what’s happened. It’s much, much larger.

And if you’re wondering, yep, I have my eye on three different properties that would be a dream come true. All with at least 100 acres (I’m practically salivating thinking about what we could do with that much land). Unfortunately, they’re all well out of our budget. But I can still dream, can’t I?

2) More fencing. Something that I’ve learned is always a necessity with farm animals of any type, and holds a permanent spot on all of our future Farm Goals lists.

3) Expand our garden more. This is an iffy one. Mostly because of my complete lack of a green thumb, but I’m getting there. Every year is an improvement. This year, along with the usual run-of-the-mill okra, peppers, tomatoes, corn, etc, there’s also a little packet of kohlrabi seeds. Still not exactly sure what it is, but I can google it.

4) Add more fruit and citrus trees. Last year, we added pomegranate, limequat, banana, kiwifruit, another variety of satsuma, a new variety of fig, and two new blueberry bushes. This year has started off great with the addition of three different kinds of pecan trees (finally!). I also want to add more blueberries, a lime tree, and a white peach tree. Not to mention, I still really, really want an olive grove. One day.

5) Add new breeds and/or colors. This is a complete repeat of last year. I still want to add Cotton Patch Geese to our flock one day. They’re a wonderful variety of geese that is currently listed Critical on the ALBC’s Conservation Priority List. Plus, they’re a breed that was developed in the South, and just like our Pilgrim geese, Rhodebars, and Legbars, they’re auto sexed. And you know how much I love auto sexing breeds! Also on the list of future additions is a new color of peafowl and guinea fowl. And for my mom, Tolbunt Polish.

6) More registered goats. Last year we were excited about the addition of Sammy, our Miniature Nubian buckling. Then, we added Brownie (a standard-sized Nubian), and she had our two girls, Luna and Clara. You might say, I’ve gone Nubian crazy. That’s in addition to regular old goat crazy and chicken crazy. They’ve become my favorite breed (whether they’re full-sized or in miniature form) with their talkative, sweet personalities, and their milk is the best. I definitely want to add more registered Nubians to our herd. 
7) Bees. Yep, bees are still on the list. But I’ll get to them one day. Eventually. As soon as I get over one pesky little problem. . . I’m a little scared of them.
8) A cow. Still on the lookout for the perfect dairy cow for us. Later on, (you know, when we have more land, that is) I also want to add a herd of beef cattle. Belted Galloways are at the top of our list, followed very closely by Scottish Highland cattle.  
9) Learn to make liquid goat milk soap. This one scares me a little bit because from what I’ve read it involves more calculations. Then again, cold process soap making was also a little scary before I tried it. 
Now, for a more personal goal. . . one that’s not at all related to the farm, other than the fact that the animals would miss us. At least, I think they would. 
10) A vacation. It’s been over a decade since I spent a night away from home at any place other than a hospital, and the same goes for my mother. So, I’m thinking a mother/daughter trip somewhere. How about London? Or Ireland? Maybe Edinburgh? Wherever we go, I think it’s a fantastic and very long overdue addition to this list. One that I’ve already started saving for.