Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Extend the Scent of Your Candles

This is one of my favorite little tricks that I like to do with all of my rather expensive Bath & Body Works candles. It will also work for other types of candles, like Yankee, Woodwick, etc. I am a little obsessed with having my house smell good, and my husband and I love to venture out to the mall and peruse the shelves of B&BW when they are having a sale on candles ($12 three-wick, anyone?).

Emptied B&BW 3-Wick Jar
I burn them like there's no tomorrow - especially now that they have all those yummy fall scents available. It makes me very sad when the last flame flickers out and the candle is officially done, especially when there's still a good half inch or so of heavenly scented wax left. So, to extend the life of the scent and get the most out of every candle I purchase, I follow these steps:

1. When the wick of your glass-encased candle can't be lit anymore, poor some boiling water over the wax of your candle. Watch as the wax melts and oozes to the top. Takes me back to the lava lamp days! This step is twofold: it also cleans the jar out so it can be used for something else (they make fantastic Q-tip holders, by the way). Let everything completely cool. A wax disc should be left floating at the top of the jar. Remove it, and repeat the process if there's still some wax at the bottom.

2. Save the discs of wax! I store mine in a zip-lock freezer bag.

A bag full of leftover wax.
I'm holding 'Winter', my all-time favorite!

3. Purchase yourself an oil warmer (sometimes they are called wax melters, burners, etc.). I got my latest one for a whole dollar at Dollar Tree. You will also need some tea lights, which I also purchase at Dollar Tree.

4. Whenever you have a desire to fill your home with a wonderful aroma, break off a chunk of your leftover wax, plop it on the warmer, and light the tea light. The house will smell wonderful in no time! And the scent-life of that $12 candle lives on!

Here's my cute Dollar Tree oil warmer with a
melted chunk of leftover wax in the top. 


Make sure you don't break off too much wax to be melted in your warmer, or you'll have a huge mess on your hands.

To change the scent, let the wax re-harden in the warmer, then stick it in the freezer for about 5-8 minutes. It should pop right out, leaving the warmer ready for a new scent!

I can get about three good 'burn sessions' out of each chunk of leftover wax when I use my wax warmer. After the third go round, I toss the hardened wax, and switch scents or break off another chunk from the original wax disc. For each leftover disc from the B&BW candles, I can get over 20 hours of lovely smelling burn-time in the warmer! Love that.

There you have it! I love to squeeze as much life as I can out of the products I purchase, and this is one of my favorite tricks that helps me do just that :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

30 Day Shred - Take Two

I completed most of the 30 Day Shred last summer, and have started it again this year. There is one big difference... my husband is doing it with me. Well, kind of. I have not been as consistent with it this time, missing days here and there. Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred is no joke. However, I don't feel like level one was doing that much for me this time around. Therefore I wasn't as motivated to stick with it 7 days a week, plus we have been super busy. I have lost about 4 lbs. in the first ten days, and have since moved to level two. The second level is making a difference! It is much harder than I remember it being, and I feel like I am going to see a bigger difference in my overall appearance than I did while in level one.

I am wondering why I am experiencing such a huge contrast between level one and two this go around. Have any of you ever revisited a workout routine only to see that it doesn't seem to be as effective as it was the first time? Do our muscles "remember" the moves, therefore not responding to the moves as they did initially? Interesting. I look forward to comparing my results this time with last.

Oh, and the husband. I literally can't believe he agreed to do it with me. He has missed more days than I have, but his schedule is a little different than mine, which causes him to miss. It is hilarious when we are both flailing around the living room, sweating and trying our best to keep up with the three ripped ladies on TV. Me, gasping for air and chugging water. He, muttering how Jillian must hate him. Our cat and dog sit on the couch and stare at us as if we are 50 shades of cray. Sweet P (the dog) always comes and stares at us in the face, giving kisses as always, while we try not to pass out during the 'cool-down' stretching portion at the end of each workout. We surely are a sight!

Want to check out the 30DS? Take a look at the level one workout on YouTube here. You can fish around the internet and eventually find all three workouts (I believe), but I grew tired of doing that, and purchased my own copy from Amazon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm Reading and Loving Wild by Cheryl Strayed

My mother told me about the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed a while back - back before there was talk of a movie. My family often goes hiking, and we love to read, so reading about hiking naturally came up. Wild is memoir, in which Strayed hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. My mom said I had to read it, and I am just now getting around to it. I usually make a promise to myself that I will read the book before seeing the movie for any of the book-then-movie scenarios, and I am trying to hold true to that promise with Wild. Honestly, I had forgotten about the book for a while until I saw a commercial for the movie. Then, not long ago, my mom mentioned that we should see it. I bought the book at Barnes and Noble right after that, wanting to read it before seeing the flick. My mom had mentioned that the book had some sad parts. She specifically referred to the main character's mother and a horse dying. Of course it affects me when human characters go through pain or pass away in a book, on TV, or in a movie. I shed tears at the drop of a hat, even during those touching commercials on TV. But why, must I ask, does it affect me so so much when an animal - a HORSE nonetheless, my beloved favorite animal - passes away in a storyline? I'm talking heart-breaking huge crocodile tears and the occasional sobbing episode. It kills me. I guess I can chalk it up to my love of animals.

Anyway,  I am a little over halfway through the book, and I have been dreading the part where the horse dies. The author discusses her mother's death early on in the book, so the tearful page-turning for that event is in my past (well, kinda - the author includes past memories of her mother throughout the book - cue more tears). This evening I took the time to read a bit, and came upon the horse part. Oh my. Pain-in-my-chest, can't-get-my-breath sobbing overtook me, complete with tiny dark gray puddles of mascara-soaked tears forming on my chest. How embarrassing. I'm just glad my husband wasn't home to hear it. My sweeter-than-sugar dog was all worried, and climbed up in my face to make sure I was okay. The more I read of the 'horse part',
the harder I cried. Tears blurred my vision, but they didn't obstruct the words on the page that told me that the horse was very similar to ones I have had, and had to say goodbye to, in my past. Oh connections - how powerful they are. Connections to the story, to animals, to memories, to the ones we love. This section of the book created some strong connections within me.

Ah, books. I love reading books. Especially those I can connect with, and those that I share interests with (especially horses). Don't get me wrong, the 'horse part' was moving for me, but other aspects of the book have been moving for me, too. I highly recommend this book, and can't wait to read more. That's the best kind of read, right?

Here's the book. I purposely purchased the one without the movie cover picture as I always do, even though there is a non-removable 'Now a Major Motion Picture' emblem on it. Is that weird?  :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

HAUL! Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Trader Joe's

Hi everyone! I hope summer is treating you well! I had the opportunity to have a day out with my mother and sister, and we hit up the mall for the semi-annual sale at Victoria's Secret. We also stopped by Bath & Body Works, and I ran by Trader Joe's a couple of days later. Check out what I picked up!

First, the VS goodies.

Here we have the Victoria's Secret Bronze and the PINK Party in Paradise Tinted Self-Tanning Gel. The bronzer is in stick form, and is very bronzy and very shimmery. I have been using this as a cream eyeshadow lately. It can also be used for legs, arms, etc. for date night or whenever. There is a TON of product, so I never really see myself using it all. I plan on using the self tanning gel when my summer tan begins to fade, which will kinda be a sad day... 

This is the PINK Ready to Party 2-in-1 Wash & Scrub, Island Rush Hand and Body cream, and Endless Summer Whipped Body SoufflĂ©. The scrub is nice, and it smells like a perfume to me. Not a very harsh scrub, but good for everyday use. The hand and body cream is nice too, great smell (described as pomelo & coconut water... yum), and probably won't last very long since I go through this kind of stuff like crazy. The body soufflĂ© has a texture like I have never seen before. It is definitely whipped - it has an airy texture that goes on the skin smoothly. Lightly scented with light moisture. This product is not greasy at all. 

Steal of the day alert! This is the full (or large?) size of the So in Love Eau de Parfum. I love this scent, and have owned it before. It is 2.5 fl oz, and smells like heaven! It is a very girly scent, which I usually don't love, but here, it totally works :) 

Next is the PINK Party in Paradise Beach Hair Wave Spray. I have no idea how this stuff will work on my stick straight hair, but I am hoping for the best! Smells beachy, and is described as exotic orchid and sun-kissed vanilla. 

Now for the Bath & Body Works goodies:

The. Best. Smell. EVER. I purchased the 3 wick candle in the scent Endless Summer earlier this past spring, and when I saw the hand soap in the same scent, I grabbed it up. It is the Deep Cleansing Hand Soap, and the smell is amazing! It is like a mini vacation every time I use it. I also grabbed a Peach Bellini foaming hand soap for good measure - this scent is always amazing as well. 

Here we have a Coconut Lime Breeze Shower Gel and Body Cream. These scents are my go-to summer scents, and with every whiff I am taken back to summers gone by... :) I also picked up another True Blue Spa Paraffin Super Softening Hand Lotion. This stuff is by far the best hand moisturizer I have every used. I picked it up in preparation for the winter months because my hands get soooo dry during that time of the year. 

Ah those luscious scents the B&BW has. I picked up my favorite summer candle, the Pineapple Mango one. This scent is indescribably good. Also grabbed a couple of Peach Bellini Wallflowers refills. My husband and I like to use these in our bedroom. A also picked up another Wallflowers refill in Mahogany Teakwood. This one smells like a good men's cologne. Ahhhh. 

Another scrub. Apparently I plan on being very exfoliated :) This one is the Amber Blush Golden Sugar Scrub, and the warm vanilla sugary smell reminds me more of fall or winter, so I will save it to use then.  

And finally, here's the one thing I picked up at Trader Joe's after seeing it on one of my favorite YouTubers videos a while back. CheckInTheMirror's Rachel Talbot liked it, so I thought I would give it a try. Check her out here. Love her!

 This is the Trader Joe's Coconut Body Butter. Smells delicious! My husband and I think that it smells like cake. I don't see this lasting very long, as it is a deeper moisturizer (which I like) and I plan on using it while on vacation. Texture is smooth and absorbs in nicely.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and also hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

FINALLY! Completing My Dish Collection... Almost

I was finally able to get out to Dillard's and take a look at the dish collection that we picked out when my husband and I got married. We've been married over two years... with an incomplete set of dishes! Gasp! We have been using a modge-podge collection of mismatched hand-me-down dishes, and honestly probably still will even though we have our fancy ones. We picked the Artimino Tuscan Countryside collection, and I fell in love with it when I first laid eyes the set! I already had a few pieces that we received as wedding gifts, plus a couple of peices I purchased since the wedding, but we still needed some. Lucky for me, Dillard's had a pretty awesome sale going on. Lots of stuff 50% off regular price PLUS an additional 50% off. This included the to-die-for cake stand that I drooled over when I was registering for the dishes way back when. I didn't even register for it then, because I didn't want to ask anyone to drop $120 for a cake stand. But today, I got to haul that baby home for $30. Yep, I nearly skipped out the door over that steal. I also tortured my loving husband by insisting he help me pick which three canisters to buy. Three large? Two medium and a small? One of each? Solid colors or the ones with print? He is such a champ, moving the various canisters around about 57 times to see what combinations I liked best. He's a keeper. Finally decided on the canisters, and also grabbed a few more salad plates that we needed, as well as a few mugs. The cake stand was the only one with the 50% off plus 50% more off deal, but the others were buy four get one free, so I feel like this shopping trip was a pretty good success. I'm still short a couple of peices, but I'll pick them up another day. Now to try and decide on where my new kitchen treasures shall live!

Monday, December 30, 2013


As the sun is about to set on another year, I have been thinking about all the events that this year has held. 2013 has been a wonderful year, and I'm so thankful and happy that the Lord blessed me and my family with the opportunity to experience and learn from it. I hope you and those around you have had a love-filled, positive, productive year. I hope that 2014 is full of peace, purpose, and grace! God bless!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sensitive Fly Spray

My Arabian gelding, B, is has very sensitive skin. I have to be careful what I put on him, or he gets these awful raw patches all over his skin... not pretty or comfy for him at all. He is also pretty sensitive to lots of sun, bugs, etc. His skin just has a fit. He enjoys staying in a nice cool stall on most hot days :) Anyway, after learning the hard way that regular old store bought fly-spray of various kinds doesn't work on him (well... maybe it kept the bugs away, but what good is that when it leads to big, oozing skin problems?), I scouted out recipes for 'sensitive' fly spray. After reading various recipes, I came up with what I now use. It works, doesn't hurt his skin, and is relatively cheap to make.

In a regular size spray bottle, I fill it a little less than half way with distilled white vinegar. Then I fill nearly the rest of the bottle with water. Next I squirt a little Ivory dish soap in, along with a dash or two of Avon Skin-So-Soft or citronella oil. Put on the nozzle, shake, and your ready to go!

Like I said before, it seems to work well, and it is so nice not to have to worry if it will cause my horses skin to break out. It may not last as long as the other types of fly-spray, but it seems to last me just fine through an all day ride!