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?  :)