homemade beeswax candles DIY

how to make beeswax candles

January. The sun sets early in the day and there is a chill in the winter air. It seemed the perfect time to try candle making. 

I had stacks of vintage jello tins on hand, and I found classic glass teacups for .50 at a local thrift store. After doing a bit of research I discovered that traditional paraffin candles are petroleum based, potentially toxic, and simply not the best to burn in one's home. So I decided to work with beeswax. I read that when lit beeswax candles clear the air and are a good choice for allergy sufferers. 

beeswax candles DIY

Beeswax Candles (makes 6-7 small candles)

1/2 lb beeswax (I used half of a 1 pound bar)

2 cups palm oil shortening

Vintage jello mold tins and teacups

Lead-free natural candle wick 

6-7 thin pencils 

Candy or candle thermometer 

Double boiler or similar (I used a glass measuring pot in a larger pot with water)

stage1_process.jpg

Set wicks in bottom of each candle dish and twist tops around pencils to hold in place. Simmer water pot + beeswax pot on medium low heat. Stir frequently. Beeswax should melt around 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow temperature to exceed 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. Once wax is melted add 2 cups of palm oil shortening, stir until melted. The shortening prevents the candles from cracking once hardened. 

Carefully pour wax/shortening mixture into each candle dish. Adjust wicks to be centered in dish. Immediately wipe out cookware before beeswax hardens. Allow to cool for at least 24 hours. Trim wick to about 1/2" tall. 

tea cup candles DIY

This was my first attempt at homemade candles and they turned out beautifully! When buying your wick buy a smaller wick for small candles. Large wick for large candles. Wick size does matter, I used a medium size and they burn well. I opted to leave them free of fragrance. The beeswax gives off a slight natural honey smell.

vintage tin candles

I hope you give candle making a try! These were simple to create and would make sweet gifts or decor pieces at a wedding or baby shower. 

ps || never leave a candle unattended! 

how to encourage screen-free time

how to encourage screen-free time

We live in a generation of screens. They have a strong appeal to our children: from apps to television to computer time. And it is not all bad. Our children complete part of their homework on the computer, and relaxing after school is a good thing. So what is the balance? I believe providing boundaries with screen-time will teach lessons of self control to our children. And it might just influence adults too. 

Here are a 6 tips that work in our family:

Use visual tools

Without a doubt our two kids crave screen-time. For our child on the autism spectrum, he finds screentime predictable and calming. We use a visual timer and charts to give parameters for his screen-time. And he appreciates the rules and predictability. 

Be a good role model

We can be a trigger for our children. My kids play contentedly until they see me clicking around on my iPhone. Consider making screen-free time a family affair. Meal time is also an excellent time to practice this.    

Try screen-free rooms

Keep the playroom exactly that: a room for play. Bedrooms are rooms for sleep. We keep our television in the living room where we can watch things together and can monitor what our children watch. 

Plan activities

On a nice day visit the park. Take a picnic, bikes, and enjoy the fresh air. Gloomy day activities could include a children's museum visit, library visit, dollar store shopping, bowling, or an indoor playground. 

Rearrange toys

Pull out unused toys from the closet. Place board games at floor height for children to pull from. And books! Place stacks of books around the home. We keep our library books in a Pepsi crate on the first floor. Bedtime books in their room, activity books in the playroom.

Clear the family schedule

Our kids play the best, independently and together, when they are well rested and have free time. Not just an hour of "lets play now then hustle to the next activity" but actual large chunks of time to relax.

How does screen-time look in your home? I would love your thoughts!

how to season a cast iron skillet

how to season a cast iron skillet

I gazed at our skillet for months. I questioned which shortening was best. Which directions were best. How would it cook? (I overthink things. Obviously.) 

My husband's Mom, Grammy, helps manage an adorable thrift store in their town. With every visit we make way to the thrift store to explore treasure. Over the years we have purchased books, a mirror, toys, and this vintage cast iron skillet. Made by Wagner Ware, it was produced between the 1930s and 1950s.

So last night I finally seasoned the skillet. And you know? It was so easy. I cooked with it today and it worked beautifully. (and so much better than a modern nonstick skillet..)

seasoned cast iron skillet recipe

How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet

Set oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Place large cookie sheet on bottom rack. Wash and dry skillet. Coat skillet well with shortening (I used an organic palm oil vegetable shortening).

Flip skillet upside down in a rack above the cookie sheet (the cookie sheet will catch the drips) Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and cool inside the oven. Once cooled, wipe with paper towels.

Quick tip // Once you have seasoned your skillet, do not use soap. After cooking quickly wipe skillet with a towel and rinse with hot water. 


That is it! Do you cook with cast iron? 

the new bathroom color is.... Gentlemen's Gray!

Benjamin Moore Gentlemen's Gray

Benjamin Moore Gentlemen's Gray

Thank you SO much for your input last week regarding the new paint color for our bathroom. Your votes were tied for Palladian Blue and Gentlemen's Gray. Palladian Blue is beautiful and soft, and I decided it was too safe for my vision of the space. I plan to use it in our children's bathroom.

That left two options: Galapagos Turquoise and Gentleman's Gray. Galapagos Turquoise is gorgeous, But I think we would grow tired of it in a year or two. I want a color that will stay on our walls for 5+ years. And that left gentlemen's gray. It is bold and moody, yet still in the classic navy family.

benjaminmooregentlemensgray.jpg

So here we go! I purchased my brushes yesterday. Excited to start painting! (ps I'll share my progress on instagram!)

Friday Thoughts + Links

  North Carolina, along with the rest of the country, is cold this week! We drive by beautiful rescue horses every day covered in blankets. Driving by this peaceful scene in the middle of our day adds much joy!

 

North Carolina, along with the rest of the country, is cold this week! We drive by beautiful rescue horses every day covered in blankets. Driving by this peaceful scene in the middle of our day adds much joy!

A quick update on the bathroom color! So far your votes: 5 for Gentlemen's Grey, 5 for Palladian Blue, 4 for Galapagos Turquoise, and 1 for Mindful Gray. I am leaning toward a polished nickel light fixture (more ideas on the 1/2 bath pinterest board) and hope to find a unique mirror at the Depot this weekend. Will pick the final paint color next week!

And favorites from around the web. Have a wonderful weekend!

I love coffee. And this printable from Gilmore Girls is perfect. 

Children don't need more things. Do you agree? 

Yes, please! This cranberry almond salad

Free calendar printables for 2015!

Because winter is my least favorite season: good survival strategies

A simple and modern pegboard cross stitched heart

goodbye boring beige, hello color! a bathroom remodel

We moved into our new home in North Carolina 6 months ago. The rooms are functional but I am SO eager to add personality to each room. The half bath is small and is the perfect place to start!

halfbathroombefore.jpg

The goals are: new paint, a mirror, light fixture, faucet and accessories (more on the accessories soon!). Right now we are lack contrast between the white sink and the beige walls. And beige is boring. I am leaning toward to an aqua, teal, or navy. In our previous home we used all light grey. It was beautiful but am looking for something fun and different this time.

S. Williams Mindful Gray | B. Moore Galapagos Turquoise | B. Moore Palladian Blue | B. Gentlemen's Grey Sources: 1. Decor and the Dog 2. Decor Pad 3. 12 Oaks 4. So Happy Home

S. Williams Mindful Gray | B. Moore Galapagos Turquoise | B. Moore Palladian Blue | B. Gentlemen's Grey

Sources: 1. Decor and the Dog 2. Decor Pad 3. 12 Oaks 4. So Happy Home

After picking up paint swatches yesterday, I narrowed it down to these 4. Galapagos Turquoise is my husband's favorite. The swatch looks a bit darker than online. I also really like Palladian Blue. It has a soft grey-blue-green tone and I think it would also go nicely in our childrens' bathroom upstairs.

I would love your vote! Please pick your favorite and leave a comment!