DIY | Rolled Beeswax Candles


This will be the third year for me to roll beeswax candles for our own enjoyment and to tie on top of packages for people we are giving gifts to.  It's amazing how festive they look atop a gift when they are tied with a bit of twine and have a sprig of greenery placed underneath them. :)

Now, you might be wondering why I'm publishing this post so far before Christmas.  Well, it's almost November and that's when we begin to make things for our Christmas season.  We dry oranges and make garlands to hang around our house.  We make cinnamon salt dough ornaments right before Thanksgiving so they are ready for our tree whenever we get one.  With that being said, I wanted to post this so you would have ample time to get your kit and start rolling.  ;)


I have yet to share the details of my rolled candles, and I get asked often enough about them that I wanted a post to lead people to that wanted to know more.  I buy a kit every year and the candles last me all season.  That's even when I use some for gifts.  

One thing I do to make them go further is to cut the sheets in half (down the width) so I have double the candles.  They are a bit smaller, but I don't mind and it actually fits my jars and candle holders better.  

Another thought... these are great for older kids to do.  I wouldn't let my 4 year old have at it, but my 8 and 10 year old certainly can do this on their own.  :) Again, it is something they can take ownership in and it makes them so excited to give the gifts to others.  These would be so cute in a sweet brown bag with some homemade Christmas cookies. They could be gifted to neighbors and friends.  So fun.  

These are the exact ones I use every year.  If you are more into a typical, dipped taper candle... try these. :)

Home | Living Room Update



Every once in awhile, whether by necessity or want, it's fun to change things up.  I used to love rearranging my room as a kid and I still love to make small changes now as an adult.  It makes things feel fresh and new, even if they aren't new at all.

Then, there are times where your family has outgrown your current sofa and you need more seating capacity in the living room.  Bodies are longer and heavier and don't fit on your lap anymore.  No rearranging was going to solve this problem.  This was the situation we were in when we decided to add another sofa to our living room.  While our old couch fit our family when the kids were babies and they all piled on top of us, that was not the case anymore.


I went searching for a sofa that would add some color and texture to our living room.  I knew I wanted velvet and in a rich, timeless color.  Late this summer, I stumbled upon Structube and their Emilie sofa.... and my jaw dropped.  It was exactly what I was wanting.


The velvet is soft and adds a bit of hygge to our space.  It's the perfect size to fit two to three bodies on it and still offer room to wrestle on the floor, or practice ballet spins.  We have it situated across from the linen sofa.  I love dueling sofas.  They make conversation easy and defines a boundary for the living space.  We will probably do some more tweaking, but for now, we are simply enjoying the new beauty in the room.



We also got this faux fur foot stool from Structube.  We like to prop our feet up and never have anything to prop them on... now we do. :) I loved the wire table because it gave me a place to put things, but also because it allowed light to travel through it.  It's an airy end table and fits perfectly next to the new sofa.  

Let me know your thoughts!  I know this is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but sometimes when you have had your eye on something for a long time (I.e. a velvet sofa), you just have to bite the bullet!

DIY | Beeswax Jar Candles


We (ahem, I) tend to fill our home with beeswax candles every fall and winter.  The soft yellow glow and sweet smell makes our early mornings and late evenings extra cozy.  Last year, I made some jarred beeswax candles as Christmas gifts and it was so fun to make them.  There's just something special about making something, instead of just buying.  :)


I will link the products I used both last year and this year for those who want to make some for yourself. :) It really is an easy process.  Tie the jar with some twine and a handmade label and you've got yourself a great gift for neighbors, teachers, or friends!


What you will need:


Rhythm | Afternoon Tea


Rhythms make such a difference for us, which is why I talk about them often.  We can be flexible, but there are things that create pillars in our days and as we transition from season to season.  

Afternoon Tea Time is something that gets lost when the warm months arrive and we spend all of our time outside, but at the first sign of fall, tea time comes back.  It's a simple ritual to have in that hard part of the day where the kids are working through being both tired and, maybe even, a bit bored.

Tea and cookies and chatter always makes the afternoon go better.  We usually talk about our morning and then about what the kiddos can do for the rest of the day as we slide into the evening hours.

  

I made a short video sharing how tea time gets prepped.  I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and make sure you turn up the sound... music is a very important part of tea time. :)

Seasons | Fall Diffuser Blends


I love that I can change how my home smells with just a few drops of essential oils.  I can take it from fresh and citrusy to pumpkin spice in no time... and leave all of the nasty candle chemicals behind.

When I started digging into the health benefits of oils I also noticed the bad effects of the chemical laden products I was using in my home.  Candles were the hardest thing for me to let go of.  I love how they smell and the flicker of the light was always so comforting and cozy.  :)


Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that diffusing has tossed out all of my candle woes and beeswax candles have satisfied my need for the flicker.  As we roll into fall, I wanted to share a few of my favorite fall diffuser blends.

Fall Wreath | Eucalyptus + Rosemary + Balsam Fir

Fireside | Vetiver + Cinnamon Bark

Flannel Shirt | Northern Lights Black Spruce + Stress Away

Holiday Hustle | Thieves + Lemon + RC

Orchard Stroll | Bergamot + Orange + Cedarwood

Pumpkin Spice | Clove + Nutmeg + Cinnamon Bark

Mulled Cider | Orange + Ginger + Cinnamon Bark

Thanksgiving | Thieves + Idaho Blue Spruce


See... it's fall in a bottle!  I hope you enjoy these blends.  Not only do they smell incredible, but they have so many health benefits, too!

Style | Fall Capsule Wardrobe


Three years ago, Mark and I made our fourth move into a cute, little ranch home. Prior to that, we had ample closet space in each home.  When we moved into our ranch home, we both shared a quaint master closet.  We didn't have much room for any extras, so I decided to seriously downsize my wardrobe.  I took everything that I either couldn't fit in, or that I no longer wore, to the thrift store.  It was a bit scary... what if I needed that black sweater ten years from now??? :)


That little closet in our sweet ranch home was the beginning of my capsule wardrobe.  Our current home, once again, has plenty of space in our master closet, but I still embrace the capsule wardrobe because of so many other reasons.  What started out as an "I don't have room" problem ended up solving so many other problems for me.

The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to have pieces that you love and can wear without much thought.  It's about combining and mixing and matching pieces in fun, unique ways.  When you wake up in the morning, you don't have to stand and stare into a closet of clothes that you aren't wanting to put on because your closet will only be filled with clothes that you do love and feel good in.  


With that being said, I'm working on my fall capsule wardrobe and I'm going to be participating in a fun "10 in 10" challenge.  It doesn't start for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to mention it now so you can get your own 10 in 10 pieces ready.  :) It isn't anything serious, but I'm going to share it in hopes that you might want to join me.  I have two other mama friends that are going to be doing it and we are sharing our "looks" on our Instagram feeds.  I am not a "fashion" blogger, but I am a mama that wants to look pulled together and not sloppy all of the time.  The capsule has really helped me to do that.


Here's how the 10 in 10 works.  You pick out 10 items in your closet (this includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes) and wear only those ten items for ten days.  You will mix and match them and see how easy it is to live with less when it comes to clothes.  Now, this 10 item wardrobe does not include things like bags, jammies, camis, or things like gym clothes.  We are talking about "real" outfits. ;)

Not only does having a capsule make getting dressed easier, but it also makes me want to get dressed.    I can grab anything from my closet, because I love it all and I know it all fits well (this was very hard for me to do when my body was still changing a lot after having kids, so make sure to let this be a fun thing and not a stressful one).  This challenge starts on October 22, so let me know if you will be joining me!  Tag me on Instagram or send me a message telling me you are participating.  :)

Homemaking | Recipes and Resources


This is Part II of my Meal Planning posts.  If you missed Part I... go here.

One of the keys to meal planning is having your tried-and-true recipes that you know your family will love.  It takes some time to develop that list, but once you do, it makes meal planning so much easier. Take a minute and try to jot down 5-10 recipes that your family always enjoys and then come back and read the rest of this post... :)


Another key is having your tried-and-true resources to go to in order to hunt down new/fresh recipes. That's where cooking blogs, Pinterest, and wonderful cookbooks come into play.  I enjoy flipping through cook books so much.  Pinterest is so helpful when I have certain ingredients in my pantry/fridge that I need to use up.  I just do a simple search in the Pinterest search engine using those key ingredients... and voila- a list of recipes pop up!


A few of my favorite cook books are:

 Feeding a Family.  Sarah is a mama of two little boys and her cookbook is arranged by seasons.  The recipes are different, but easy, and they don't require a bazillion ingredients. I received this one for Christmas last year and have enjoyed it every season since.   

If you are a cook that likes down home cooking and comfort food... Magnolia Table is the book for you.  I have made several recipes and we have enjoyed each one.  Most of these are a bit heavy for us to eat on a regular basis, but we do enjoy them from time to time.  I think it is a great book to have on hand in every lady's cooking arsenal.  

My Family Table is a great one to have for when you want to include delicious, healthy meals/sides into your meal planning.  These recipes have good ingredients and come together nicely.  This book is arranged according to types of meals/foods.  

And every cook needs a basic, stood the test of time cook book.  This is where the Betty Crocker cook book slips in.  I was given this one for our wedding and I have pulled it out countless times.  It has basic recipes that turn out every time and sauces, spices, and roux recipes.


Now to jot down a few of our favorite recipes for you to check out:

Soups-

Taco Soup
2 lbs ground beef
Yellow onion diced
Can pinto beans
Can corn
Can diced tomatoes
Large can/bottle of tomato juice
jar of salsa
2 packages taco seasoning

Brown beef with diced onion- drain.  Pour other ingredients into pot and add beef/onion. Let simmer.

Chili- this one is probably pretty self-explanatory :)



Other Recipes-

Tacos are a favorite and we eat them in one form or another every week.  Some weeks we eat them traditional.  Other weeks, I might make them as a taquito, quesadilla, or as a taco sweet potato.  

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are loved here in this house.  I will usually make a meat of some sort for my kids to eat along with the potatoes.  Mark and I simply eat the potatoes.  

My Eat and Savor Pinterest board...

Hamburgers are always a hit at our house.  I like to sauté mushrooms and onions to slather on top.  Or, maybe some sliced avocado and cucumber.  I usually make baked sweet potato fries and recently I baked these squash fries and they were amazing! I like to take the normal "boring" meal and jazz it up a bit so we don't get bored with it.  

We like to combine BLT ingredients with Chicken Salad ingredients and eat either on a whole wheat pita or inside of a lettuce wrap.  We've even been known to put a spoonful of the mixture on a slice of cucumber and eat it just like that. :). To make this you will need to combine:

7 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
2 cups of chopped chicken
Quartered grape tomatoes
chopped pecans
diced bell peppers
diced red onion
Mayo and Dijon mustard to taste
Maybe some "everything but the bagel" seasoning from Trader Joes

Lay on a bed of lettuce or inside of a pita!


I hope that helped get your cooking juices flowing.  Enjoy!