Monday, January 18, 2021

Crafty Sunday: Homemade Candles ♥

Hello Friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend.  

Yesterday morning I took a few hours and did a craft I saw online a few weeks ago.  

Homemade candles 

I did it with votives and tarts that I've had forever but haven't burned.  If you're like me you have a stash of candles that for one reason or another are collecting dust.  

You can also use candle scraps from used candles.  You know all that wax that is left at the bottom?  

Perfect for this craft.  

My stash of random candles : ) 

I don't use a tart burner that much anymore but I love the smell of some of these.  

I chose candles that have similar scents.  These are vanilla & cinnamon based.  

Melt them down in a double boiler.  I used a glass measuring cup so it would be easy to pour.  

Choose your vessel.  Mason jars, jelly jars, candy dishes, tea cups.... whatever you like 

I picked up a package of candle wicks on Amazon.  I think it was 100 wicks for about $6! 

You can also use items to embellish the candles.  I used some dried flower petals, dried orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.  All things I had in my craft box  : ) 

Use a clothes pin or pencil to steady the wicks as you pour the wax.  I did one color at a time, letting each one set before I poured the next layer.  

It was fun to see it all come together. 

**Also note that you can add essential oil to the melted wax for more scent, but since my candles were already scented I didn't do that.  Next time I might add a few drop just to enhance the scent a little, but I was very happy with how they came out ** 

Once they are set trim the wicks and you are done! 

I think I'll save this one for Valentines Day 

I think it will be fun to experiment with colors and scents.  And the best part is once the candle is burned up I can reuse the jar and dish.  I hope to make new candles every season using up the rest of my stash as well as scraps for the all the big jars I have burning.  

We have candles burning here everyday and it's nice to know nothing is going to waste. 

So that's how I spent my Sunday.  What were you up to?

Have a great day, friends!  I'm off to warm up with a coffee and check in with some of you online.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

Friday, January 15, 2021

Weekend Plans ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday! 

It's been a week, hasn't it?!  I for one am glad it's Friday! 

My weekend plans don't include anything too exciting, however I'm excited....does that make sense?  Tonight we are having a breakfast dinner, which is always comforting.  I'm planning homemade chicken soup for Saturday night and maybe takeout out on Sunday, followed by cards.  We've gotten into a habit of playing cards after dinner and it's been fun.  
A new ritual that we are all enjoying. 

Tomorrow I'm going to work on a little craft project and fingers crossed it comes out well, I'll share with you on Monday : )  

Sunday is my chores day and although it sounds daunting I actually really enjoy it.  Cleaning, puttering, baking, etc.  John asked me to make more bread so I guess that's going to be a weekly thing.  I don't mind though. Like I said, kneading the dough is like therapy.
(and who doesn't need a little of that...)

It's a three day weekend here so we also get Monday off! Yaaay!  I wasn't super productive this week but I'm not beating myself up over it.  It happens.  Sometimes (actually all the time) self care is more important than checking things off a to-do list. I finished season 3 of Cobra Kai and that took precedence this week. I'm not gonna was epic! Now I have to endure the torture of waiting for season 4. How did we ever do this on a regular basis with TV shows before Netflix?
Now I need a new show to binge. Suggestions? 

What are your plans this weekend?  If they include curling up on the couch with a blanket, book, and hot beverage, I'm right there with you.  If they include getting outside for a 10 minute walk in the sunshine to breathe some fresh air into your lungs I'm also right there with you : ) 

Have a wonderful day friends!  Enjoy your weekend, whatever it may bring.

TGIF!!! xoxo 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Lazy Daisy Cake ♥

This recipe is for all you coconut lovers out there and I apologize if you are reading this and you hate coconut because coconut is the star of this cake.

I love recipes that feel very old fashioned and this cake is one of those types of recipes.  It's from a little recipe book called The Recipes We Grew Up With.  It was put out by Taste of Home Magazine which I subscribed to for many years after a friend gave me a subscription for a wedding gift.  I still think that was a genius idea!  

As a young 24 year old bride who knew very little about cooking it was very helpful : ) 

Anyway.....  Every since Christmas we are finding it very hard to curb our dessert habit.  Last week I made an orange bundt cake as a way to gently ease out the habit...come to find out I was indeed FEEDING the habit.  We require something sweet after dinner.  

It's just the way we are 

Rummaging through my pantry my heart sank when I discovered I was out of chocolate chips!  But I did find a bag of coconut and that reminded me of this little vintage style cake.  At least that's what I call it.  I used to make it for brunches and haven't done that in a while.  

Mental note: bring back brunch 

The cake part is a nice smooth vanilla cake and the topping, which you add after the cake is baked, is coconut, melted butter, and brown sugar....put under the broiler for a few minutes until it turns into caramelly goodness.  

My mind says "aren't we supposed to be being good?".... but my heart says "please pass the cake".

And I always follow my heart~ 

Here is the recipe straight from the little book if you want to give it a try : ) 

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 tbls butter or margarine

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high until thick - about 4 minutes.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture. Beat on low just until combined.

Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter melts. Add to batter and beat thoroughly. (The batter will be thin.) Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly.

For Frosting:
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
2 tbls half-and-half cream
1 cup flaked coconut

Blend all ingredients well and spread over warm cake.

Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Let cake cool before cutting.

Sooooo gooood!!! 

A delicious treat to cozy up with any time of day.  

Eventually I'm going to have to start posting some healthy recipes on here.  I know that!  I think it's safe to say it won't be in January! LOL

Have a great day friends! Xx 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Morning Thoughts ♥

 Good Morning Friends.  I hope you all had a cozy weekend.  We are now in that weird place in January when the holidays are over and its just winter...cold, frosty, winter.  Nothing to look forward to except Spring, and we've got a long way to go before that happens.  So I'll embrace the darkness with candles, blankets, TV shows, and hot drinks.  It's not so bad  

Tonight I'm making a roast chicken dinner and tomorrow I'll make stock with the bones.  This week is going to be bitterly cold so soup is definitely on the menu.  I saw online a friend of mine used egg noodles instead of pasta in her chicken soup.  I've never seen that before and I want to try it.  Honestly, there are million fancy soup recipes out there, but nothing beats good old fashioned chicken soup.  They don't call it medicine for nothing.  Am I right? 

This weekend I baked some bread.  Not out of necessity, but for enjoyment.  This little loaf took over 24 hours from start to finish.  I enjoyed the slow process of it.  Checking on it, kneading it, watching it rise, and then finally baking it. 

It's like therapy : ) 

Maybe that's what January is all about.  Slowing down and enjoying the process of things. 

It doesn't always have to be a race.  

It was delicious by the way.  Here is the recipe I used in case you want to try it.  It's very basic and the bread comes out perfect every time.  Crusty on the outside, light and doughy on the inside.  Everything you want in a homemade bread.  You just have to be patient.

I wish you the best week you can possibly have.  It's not going to be perfect, but nothing is.  Look for the small things that bring you joy.  Like bread....with real butter of course!

Happy Monday Friends! xoxo

Friday, January 8, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!

Joni Mitchell once sang "I wish I had a river to skate away on...."  I think we've all felt that way this week, haven't we?  Looking out my back porch, it's certainly temping.  As if things couldn't have gotten any more stressful, this week happened.  Come on just started.  

We need you to do better for us 

 As part of my new years goals I am actively trying to bring more cozy into my home.  Never a better time to feel the comforts of home, am I right?  I got this blanket as a Christmas gift from a dear friend and I love it.  It's like she read my mind : ) 

Plaid makes me smile 😊

If you happen to follow me on Instagram forgive my repetitiveness because I've been gushing over this diffuser all week.  It was a Christmas present to me from ME.  I've always wanted one.  I liked the pretty design on this one and the light changes colors which is nice.  

I'm a newbie at the whole essential oils thing but I'm learning fast.  The scent fills my bedroom and is so nice.  I've been putting it on at night while I'm getting ready for bed and by the time I hit the pillow the aromatherapy has kicked in : ) 

I'm starting with this oil.  It's a lavender blend.  It is supposed to promote calmness, ease anxiety, and help sleeping.  It's light - not overpowering at all.  I really love it.  The diffuser has a timer on it so I set it before I go to bed and it will automatically shut itself off after I fall asleep. 

If you own a diffuser, what oil scents do you diffuse?  

I'm looking forward to trying different ones. 

First read of the year!  I've always wanted to read this!!  Come to find out I've been living a Hygee lifestyle my whole life.  This little book just validated it.  I've found my

Honestly, I'm loving it and it has some great ideas 

This week also garnered some major comfort food.

~Yum ~ 

My friend Kimmi gifted me with a delicious organic tea that taste just like a creamy cup of caramel nut coffee!  I kid you not!  It has all the health benefits of tea, but taste like coffee.  (No it doesn't taste like dandelions....don't worry.)  I've been having a cup every afternoon and it's something I truly enjoy. 

Update: the plants are doing well.   
We are 8 days into the new year and I've haven't killed any yet so that's progress.  I currently have 3 plants that need to be repotted.  This week I am going to get some potting soil and give it a try.  Say a prayer (not for me, for the plants!).  I don't have a green thumb, but I'm trying to be better : ) 

I don't venture out of the house too much these days, but thankfully my hair salon has very strict safety measures in place so I do feel safe getting my hair done.  I'm trying to keep up with it just in case they shut down completely.  

Whew! Feeling much better 💖

My plan for this evening.... it's been a long week!  Tonight's take out will be from our favorite Italian place down the street because I'm craving their meatball sub.  It's nothing fancy, just something about it that hits the spot. 

Also I have to ask.... have any of you been watching Cobra Kai on Netflix?  It's so bad it's good!  If you don't know what I'm talking about, then check it out.  If not purely for 80's nostalgia.  It's the binge I needed this week. 

Yes, its what you think it is.... 30 years later! 

I have plans to do some baking this weekend and I want to make a big pot of soup for the week as well.  I downloaded a notes app on my phone and I've been keeping track of what I buy at the market when I food shop.  It helps me plan out my meals for the week and once I make something I can check it off the list.  I'm loving it because this way I can remember everything I bought and nothing goes to waste.  Just another little step at getting myself organized.  

Now it's time for me to get some "work" work done so I can get on with my Friday plans (see above!).  

Have a peaceful weekend my friends.  Stay safe and I'll be back here on Monday! xo 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Orange Bundt Cake ♥

Hello Friends! 

Week one of the year is well underway.  How's it going for you?  So far so good over here.  It's always a little tough to get back into the swing of our everyday routine after the holidays. We all have holiday hangovers.  Especially John.  He's doing remote school this week.  He's got a nice shirt on top and plaid pajamas on the bottom.  He's not ready to go back yet and I don't blame him : ) 

{Side note, I don't know where he gets that from.  It's not like I've ever done that during a zoom work meeting....never...}   

Over the weekend I cleaned and did a little organizing which make me feel like I was off to a decent start.  I cleaned out our file cabinet.  Not the most glamour job but something that had to be done.  Whoever said we are living in a paperless environment has never met my file cabinet.  I'm trying to be better though.  Is it really necessary to have cell phone bills from 2016?  I don't think so.  
The purge has begun! 😀

Let's hope I can keep this productive pace.  We're only 6 days in! 



I had left over oranges in my fridge after making my garland so I decided to whip up a little tea cake.  I felt a tad guilty making a cake the first week of January when everyone is trying to get rid of sweets in the house and be healthy.  But let's be real...that's not who I am : )

I did forgo the glaze and sprinkled powdered sugar instead.  That's up to you.  It was a decision I may have regretted but I'll never admit it (or make that mistake

Nonetheless, this is a delicious little cake.  It's perfect when you need a "little something" after dinner or mid afternoon.  Nice with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a book.  It's a cozy cake. 
And I'm all about the cozy lately.  

You don't want to skimp on the zest.  It's what gives it that extra orange kick.  I also find it quite satisfying to see little flecks of orange in the cake.  It's so good.  

I hope you love it 

The recipe comes from I Knead to Eat.  Here is the link to the recipe in case you want to make the glaze.  She also has some great tips on making bundt cakes!

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from about 3 oranges
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5-6 tablespoons orange zest from about 3 oranges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients, and lightly whisk until combined. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes until lightly golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Cool completely on baking rack.
Sugar or glaze to your hearts desire! 

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 
It's been lightly snowing here all week.  These are the January days I think about in July. 
Cold, dark, frosty, but ever so warm inside.
See you on Friday! 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

2021: Starting Fresh

Hello! Welcome to my first post of 2021!  : ) 

Can you feel the shift?  It's a time of new beginnings and a fresh start.  I love January for that very reason.  Wiping the slate clean and setting goals for the new year.  

I learned a long time ago not to have unrealistic expectations so I set my bar low.  That way I can only improve.  

This past year was trying on all of us.  My mental health suffered, as I'm sure yours did too.  It was emotional, scary, confusing, and at times....just unbelievable.  One of the things I need to work on this coming year is repairing some of that damage.  The world is coming to terms with last years events.  Not that it makes it any better but we are more equipped and hopeful that better days are ahead.  We are changed people though.  For me, it wasn't just the pandemic, it's the everyday anxieties I suffer from that were exacerbated by the pandemic.  

Taking more time for self care is essential for me to function.  That means doing more things I love to do: reading, crafting, napping, cooking.  All things I do anyway, but I want to me be more intentional with my time.  Not stressing over things and caring for myself the way I care for others .  I don't have to be busy every second of the day.  Breaks are good. And I don't have to worry about something that may or may not happen in a month or two.  Worrying does nothing (this is coming from an expert worrier...).

Being a positive person is not always easy.  Don't let pretty Instagram photos fools you.  We are all struggling.  

When I look back on the times when I was most happiest in my life I remember doing things like yoga, mediating, and really taking care of myself.  Dinking lots of water with lemon, eating well, sleeping well, journaling my thoughts, and going outside every night to look at the stars. Over time I've fallen off those things. Sometimes I feel very jaded.  Like caring for myself doesn't matter as long as I have a hot meal on the table every night and the laundry is done.  Life experience has taught me taking care of myself does matter.  No one cares about a hot meal if the person who made it is hot mess.  

I'm trying very hard to change my attitude toward certain things. To be honest, I'm not always happy with certain aspects of my life.  Is anybody?  But looking on the positive side, I'm a very lucky person.  I need to remember that.  So, what does this all mean?  It means for the new year my goals are getting back to certain habits that make me feel good.  Because when I feel good, I'm a happier, less stressed out person. 

I'm not going to say I'm going to do yoga everyday or read 100 books this year, because let's be honest, that's not happening!  But I will say I'm going to make more time for reading.  Maybe one book a month.  That's not an unrealistic expectation.  I'd like to do more crafts.  I pulled out some of my old (and dusty) Martha Stewart books.  Just flipping through them make my heart happy.  I remember being so crafty years ago. It was a nice time in my life.  Being proud of something you made by hand should not be underestimated. Getting outside everyday for some fresh air is essential.  Especially during a pandemic.  I've always known this but it's time to get off the couch.  I really love fresh air in the more walking is on my list!  

When consciously trying to change my mindset towards certain things it's super important for me to remember to not care about what other people think.  I know it's a cliché but it's so true.  Falling into a comparison trap or wonder if others approve of things I say or do is not healthy.  Sometimes I really need to distance myself from those thoughts.  I think the walks with fresh air will help that situation.  I remember a friend telling my once that it's "ok to say NO".  Meaning you don't have to say "YES" to every request or invitation just to make other people happy.  She also said you don't need an excuse or an explanation either.  Just do you.  I love that.  Also on the list. 

And lastly, I'm in the process of revamping our living space.  Bring more hygge into my home while at the same time purging things I don't need and trying to be more minimalistic.  After I put all my Christmas decor away I only brought back half of the stuff I originally had out. It instantly felt cleaner and less cluttered.  I've been reading that a less cluttered space is good for the mind.  It's a work in progress but so far it's working.  I'm also trying to bring more natural elements into my home.  Like this dried orange and sage garland I made yesterday.  The process was therapeutic and I love the end result.  Doing more projects like this will not only bring me the natural decor feel I'm looking for, but also give me a chance to exercise my craft skills.  It's a win win.  I'm feeling better already.

There's more personal goals that I won't bore you with, but I will say I am setting a schedule for myself and this little blog of mine.  I hope to actively post here three times a week - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  It could be a recipe, a craft idea, a weekly wrap up,  a random thought, or just a "no words" photo.... but I will be here so check back every week for my musings.  We'll navigating into this new year/new world together.  

I'm also working on revamping my YouTube channel so stay tuned for that.  I have lots of video ideas coming your way soon. 

So what are some of your 2021 goals?  I would love to hear them! :)   

Wishing you all a happy and healthy year ahead! We've got this!! xoxoxo