Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop - 7 Wonders

This week I was particularly inspired by one of Mama Kat's writing prompts. The prompt is to list my life's Seven Wonders. Describe the most amazing 7 things I've seen with my own two eyes.

I've read one other person's blog post on this, and they were a big world traveller...having been to Paris and described wonderful beautiful things in Europe. Well, my Seven Wonders aren't quite as grand as all that. I haven't travelled quite as much as some folks, although I hope to one day. Most of my wonders actually are in my own backyard, believe it or not!

1. Blowing Rock, NC
I don't mean the town itself with all the shops and touristy stuff, although that is a great place to visit and shop. They have a shop that makes the best homemade fudge in the whole wide world! I am talking about the actual rock itself. It is NC's oldest attraction since 1933. It is a HUGE cliff over 4,000 feet above sea level just above Johns River Gorge 3,000 feet below. Blowing Rock got its name because the wind actually blows UP there! You can throw something off the cliff and the wind will blow it back up to you. It is the craziest thing you've ever seen! The view from the cliff is absolutely spectacular, it will take your breath away.

2. Lake Junaluska, NC
I don't think many people know about Lake Junaluska outside of the United Methodist Church, but it is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I posted pictures back in June in a post entitled On The Road Again  There is a walkway along the shoreline lined with rosebushes called the "Rose Walk" that is absolutely breathtaking when the roses are all blooming.  Ducks wander around the lake and come right up to you looking for food.  It is a serene, lovely place to visit, nestled in the NC mountains near Maggie Valley and Waynesville.

3. Cape Hattaras Lighthouse Outer Banks, NC
The Hattaras Lighthouse is legend.  Almost everyone knows about this lighthouse, and with good reason.  It is truly beautiful.  Climbing to the top is a chore, that's for damned sure, but once you get to the top it is SOOOO worth it!  The view from the top of that lighthouse is just absolutely gorgeous!  You can see for miles up and down the beach.  Several years ago, they had to move the lighthouse several  hundred feet back from the shoreline due to erosion, it was amazing how they did it and you can still see the path that it took and where it used to stand.  Had it stayed where it was, it would have ended up in the ocean.

4. Atlantis Resort Nassau Bahamas
I got to go here on an excursion when the Hubs and I went on our cruise in August.  It was our dolphin excursion, Atlantis has a dolphin sanctuary there and we got to swim with the dolphins.  We also had access to the rest of the resort and that place is HUGE!  There is so much to see and the resort is absolutely gorgeous.  The statues they have sprinkled all over are just breathtaking, not to mention the aquariums they have there - I believe there are about a dozen.  It is the most amazing place.

5. My wedding day to hubby
This was one of my Seven Wonders just because it was the most beautiful and perfect day of my life.  I wasn't nervous or stressed about the wedding at all, I was probably the calmest bride ever.  I guess it's because I just knew that I was marrying the right person for me.  I didn't care if the ceremony went perfectly or if the reception was perfect.  I wanted to enjoy my wedding day, marrying my best friend - and that is just what I did.

6. A standing ovation...just for me
I wrote about this last month when I wrote about the death of my classmate, Laura Jo who passed away my senior year of high school.  In order to deal with her death, I started writing and journaling and one night I wrote a song.  I was in a band at the time with some of her cousins, and played it for them one night.  They really liked it - we weren't sure if we would ever get the chance to share it with the community however.  In the spring, a Battle of the Bands was planned and we ended up playing a set for the event and I was able to share my song with the community that had lost this special person.  Everyone was so touched, I got my one and only standing ovation for this song - I was already emotional from singing the song for them, seeing them all standing up for me just sent me over the edge.  It was beautiful.

7.  The Biltmore Estate - Asheville, NC
I visited the Biltmore Estate several years ago with the Hubs while we were still dating.  We went up for the weekend one February for Valentine's.  It was one of our first overnight trips we took together, so it was super romantic and sweet.  Biltmore is the largest private residence in the United States, built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt.  It is absolutely breathtaking to walk through this home, with 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces!  The basement has a swimming pool, bowling alley, gymnasium with changing rooms, servants quarters, and kitchens. 
Some of the items they have on display in the house are just amazing, the furniture, and to my recollection there was a chess set there that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.
The topper, is the grounds and gardens that surround the estate, which in the spring is gorgeous and in full bloom.  They have a full winery which you can visit and sample all of the wine made right there on the grounds.  Hubs is not much into the wine, but we all know I am! 
Our trip back home was a little harried, an ice storm started as we drove down Black Mountain - which is a very steep drive.  White-knuckled the whole way, but we did finally make it down and home safely without loss of limb.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Glass Dharma Giveaway Winner!!!!!

Noreen, please send me an email at so that I can let you know how to collect your gift certificate.  I'll need to hear from you soon, or choose another winner so I can get this awarded to someone.  Thanks a lot!!!

Sorry I'm a day late with announcing our winner, but the winner of the $25 Glass Dharma gift certificate is.....



Noreen, email mme at and I'll let you know how to collect your gift certificate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prefense Non-Alcohol Sanitizer - Product Review and Giveaway!!!

Sponsored by

So sorry I am late on this, but the winner of this giveaway is.....SOMER!!!!

Email me at and we'll get you hooked up!!!

How many different kinds of hand sanitizer do you think are out there?  Dozens?  Hundreds?  How many of them are alcohol based?  How many times a day do you have to reapply?  If you're like me, I have a bottle on my desk at work, some at each sink at home, and a bottle in my purse that I take everywhere.  All of the ones that I can find are alcohol based and all dry my skin out like crazy.

Well, it is time to throw out the Purell at work, the bottles at my house and the bottle in my purse. Prefense is really the way to go with hand sanitizers.  I was sent a 1.5 oz bottle to try, which is just a great size for my purse.  It dispenses in an easy, rapid foam application.

Prefense is water based, not alcohol based so it does not dry out your hands.  Most other sanitizers are very heavily scented, usually to cover up the alcohol smell.  Prefense has a very light scent, which is nice since I am sensitive to strong scents. 

The best part, Prefense lasts for 24 hours, or 10 hand washings!  You do not have to re-apply time after time.  The formula adheres to your skin and forms an antibacterial barrier that stays whether your skin is wet or dry.  It has even been tested against strains of Staph Aureus, including drug resistant MRSA. 

Prefense also has a Silica complex in its formula that actually moisturizes your hands, as opposed to the usual hand sanitizers that dry you out. 

Other hand sanitizers, because of the alcohol base are toxic and flammable.  Prefense is safe and non-toxic, so it is safe even for your kids to use. 

Now for the giveaway!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.