Forever Harry Connick Jr.

I have been a Harry Connick Jr. fan for all of my adult life. He has the kind of voice that never gets old for me… I could listen to him for hours. So when I was given the chance to review his latest album, That Would Be Me, I jumped at the chance to find out what he was up to. He seems to always be changing up his sound. He’s been in music since the age of 5, when he started in New Orleans, playing piano with some of the best jazz musicians that have ever played. Over the last twenty-five years he has been more than merely successful as a musician, singer, composer, songwriter, arranger, AND bandleader…he has set the standard in the industry. Add to that his career in movies, on T.V., and on the Broadway stage! I honestly don’t know how he does it.

For Harry’s latest release he is working with outside producers for the first time in 25 years. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that at first, lol. I’ve always loved what Harry does producing his own music. He certainly doesn’t need outside help, but if you’re going to get it, it might as well be from producers who have worked with the likes of Sam Smith, Adele, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift, right? What came of the collaboration is a fun album that, in my opinion is a different sound for Harry Connick, Jr., while still remaining true to his soulful, New Orleans roots. Take a quick listen to this preview…

One of my favorite tracks on the album is called “Like We Do”. It’s an upbeat song about marriage vows…”Nobody does ‘I do’ like we do.” I love it! It’s just one of those songs that makes you want to sing along and then go hug your husband. “I Think I love You A Little Bit” is a fun track as well. Oh then there’s “Every Time I Fall In Love”… what can I say, I’m a sucker for the love songs. And again, his voice is one of my all time favorite voices and this song really let’s it shine.

That Would Be Me is varied in it’s style. You’re bound to find something that you like on this album, so give it a listen! You’ll find it starting today on iTunes and

I participated in the That Would Be Me album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

DIY Candles.

I was compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own, as are all of my reviews. Thank you for visiting!

DIY Candles from Uncommon Goods at

I have been wanting to make my own candles for quite awhile now. I wasn’t sure how much wax to buy however, or which type of wax would be the best to use. Not only that, but when I went online to look at wicks and containers, the only options I saw to buy were large quantities in bulk, and I didn’t really want to purchase that many. I wasn’t sure if I was really going to enjoy candle making once I started, and didn’t want to be stuck with a lot of supplies if I didn’t. Lucky for me I found a way to make candles myself that took all of the guesswork out of the equation, a DIY Soy Candle Kit from Uncommon Goods.

DIY Candle supplies

The DIY Soy Candle Kit came with just enough of everything I needed, including clear instructions. It was perfect! It even came with lavender essential oil, which I was really pleased with, although I have plenty of that here at home, and many others to choose from as well, for future candle making endeavors.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

The instructions made this fun little project so easy, and really quick too! The part that took the longest was waiting for the wax shavings to liquify. Once they were ready, it took hardly anytime at all to pour the candles and place the wicks.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

While the candle wax was cooling and hardening I went ahead and completed the labels that came with the kit. I love that this kit came with printed labels with space for me to write my own name and the date that I made the candles! This gives such a personal touch if giving the candles as a gift, which I plan on doing. I think the gift receivers are going to love them!

candle lids

From start to finish, making my own candles with the DIY Soy Candle Kit from Uncommon Goods took about 24 hours. The actual candle-making part took under an hour from opening the package to setting the candles to cool (I know because I opened the box about 45 minutes before I had to leave the house to pick my sons up from school). The rest of the time was cooling time. So this is a fun and easy project which is made even easier by the fact that all of the supplies are completely ready to go! I loved it! You can find that kit and many more fun personalized gifts on their website.

DIY Soy Candle Kit

A little bit about Uncommon Goods… they are such a cool company! I was introduced to them years ago through their catalog, and it’s always a happy mail day when it arrives in my mailbox because it’s just so much fun to look through. Did you see my post on my Literary Scarf? It is from their Gifts for Women section of the website…so cute! You would not believe how many compliments I get when I wear that scarf.

One of the things that I love the best about Uncommon Goods as a company is that the “Goods” not only refers to the products that they sell, but also the work that they do. Because Uncommon Goods is an independently owned business, they are able to support causes that they believe in. With every purchase, they are proud to donate $1 to your choice of their not-for-profit partner organizations. Since they started their Better to Give program 15 years ago, they have donated over $1,000,000 dollars to charities around the world! That is amazing! And so is the work that the non-profits that receive that support are doing. Here are a couple of those organizations:

Women for Women International: Women for Women International provides survivors of war and other refugee women the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stable self-sufficiency. By creating a safe space to bring women together for learning life, business, and vocational skills, Women for Women International is helping women become independent. Their newly acquired skills not only benefit themselves, but also help build stronger families and communities.

Reach Out & Read: Reach Out & Read is a network of thousands of doctors and nurses working to promote early literacy, language skills, and school readiness to young children in all 50 states. Their methods of integrating children’s books into well-child visits and encouraging parents to read to their children help lay a foundation for early educational success. Reach Out & Read is out newest partner and we are thrilled that over 18,000 customers have already donated to this amazing organization.

Next time your looking for an fun project (like DIY Candles perhaps), or shopping for a gift, visit Uncommon Goods. Support a company that is doing tangible good for others and feel great about where you shop!

Discovering Oxford and searching for Alice.

I was compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own, as are all of my reviews. Thank you for visiting!

Just about two weeks ago my husband and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime, of our lifetimes at least. We hopped a plane or two and crossed an ocean to visit Ireland and England! Neither of us had ever been out of the country before, and got our first passports for this trip. In fact, mine arrived only 3 weeks before we were due to leave, which was cutting it a bit too close for my taste! Thankfully, it got to me in time, the kids went to spend a fun-filled week with the grandparents, and Tom and I went on a grand adventure.

One of the cities that we spent time in was Oxford, England, the city of dreaming spires. It is absolutely magnificent! The history, the architecture, and the tradition are awe-inspiring to say the least.

photo 4-9

Oxford maintains a bit of whimsy as well! Did you know that Oxford is the home of Alice? Lewis Carroll (a pen name) was Charles Dodgson, a maths lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford. His famous books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were stories that Charles told to the Dean of Christ Church’s daughter, Alice! Many of the locations in her adventures are based on parts of the college itself. So I went looking for Alice in Oxford and imagined where she might have wandered and played.

The first place was Christ Church Cathedral itself, which is just beautiful. Can you imagine a more beautiful setting to base story books on?

Oxford Uncommon Goods Review

The meadows across the way are populated with deer, and if you explore a bit you’ll find Addison’s walk, where C.S. Lewis liked to walk and think.

Some places were not so obviously found. On my adventure I took Alice with me everywhere I went! I wore my Alice In Wonderland literary scarf from Uncommon Goods Gifts under $50 page! It seemed like there wasn’t a place that could be more fitting to wear it. After all, Oxford is where her adventures started. The weather called for a scarf, and this was just the right thing to wear. The entire scarf is covered with text and images from the book-I love it! It was honestly just what I needed, and if my adventures had taken me elsewhere, I could have chosen from a few other literary scarves. In fact, if I were Alice, I might take a drink from that little bottle and shrink myself down so that I could play in the postcard garden found on this page (in Gifts under $25). How cute is that?

Uncommon Goods Review

Uncommon Goods Literary scarf review

There are other more obvious places to find Alice… she’s quite popular around this town. There’s a quaint little shop called Alice’s Shop where you can find just about anything Alice related, from stationary to jewelry, teapots to tea towels, and books to wall clocks. It really is a cute (very small) shop, and I would have taken a photo of the inside except that they were not permitted, so here’s a shot of me and my Alice scarf in front of Alice’s Shop.

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Alice's Shop Oxford

Oxford is truly an amazing town. It was hard to decide if I felt stupider by comparison or smarter by osmosis just walking through its streets. It seemed as if everyone there must be highly academic and have some grand goals for their lives. They’re in Oxford, after all! I enjoyed soaking in the sites; the bell towers, cathedrals, spires, canals, lovely old buildings, and eager young faces of the students walking or riding their bicycles past us. I wish we had allowed ourselves more time to explore.

Radcliffe Camera Oxford

Our next adventure takes us to New York City, where Uncommon Goods is based, coincidentally! They were founded in 1999 and are headquartered in Brooklyn, which we just so happen to be visiting during our stay. They’re actually based out of the historic Brooklyn Army terminal, which is so cool. They are such a unique, or should I say uncommon (lol) company, supporting and providing a platform for artists and designers to share their creative work. In fact, one of my friends just so happens to have been one of those designers who Uncommon Goods gave a chance to shine, so I know first hand that they do what they say they do. So if you find yourself in Brooklyn you might want to check in and see about touring because they offer studio tours… how fun would that be? Or just check out their website while you’re doing your holiday shopping.

We saw so much more than Oxford on our trip. I hope to get some photos of our adventures in Ireland posted too. I fell in love with Ireland, even more than I did England.

Have you traveled to Oxford or Ireland before? What is your dream vacation?