Monday, March 19, 2012

Candle Re-Making

I had a few old candles that could no longer burn well, but had enough wax left to want to keep.  I read somewhere that it was easy to melt down candles and pour them into new vessels, so I gave it a whirl.
Here are the supplies you need for your new candles: Wicks and wick clips, pliers to crimp the clips and some tape to hold the wick over the jar with a pencil.  You'll also need either new jars or clean and reuse the ones you are taking your old wax out of.
They also sell some kind of wax to stick the clip to the bottom of the jar, but all you need to do is dip it into the hot wax before placing it in the jar.
I melted the wax in its original glass container in one small pan on medium heat, and large chunks of an old pillar candle in a glass bowl over a pan with an inch of water.  Don't let the water boil, it should just be at a low simmer in the pan.

Here is the candle starting to be re-made.  I reused this candle jar since it had Christmas decorations on it, and I was using green, red, and white wax.

I had so little red wax left that the other colors overpowered it!  I ended up mixing together a different green shade and a cream shade for the top layer, thinking it would be lighter green- it unfortunately turned out brown :(  It was my first time doing this, so I'll know better for next time.

The finished first candle, ready for December :)

The second candle I simply filled with plain white wax- my sister decorated this dollar store candle jar years ago for a party favor, and it still looked so cute I decided to reuse it too!

One tip I would offer:  Don't use plastic to melt or pour the wax- all the glass bowls I used cleaned up nicely, but the plastic measuring cup I used to pour the melted was was a pain to clean!  I got it all out, but scratched my Pampered Chef measuring cup in the process :(

New Candles for very little money!
Happy Candle Making

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Day of Hearts

On Valentine's Day this year I had fun creating heart-shaped things during our normal daily living.  Some snapshots:

What says love to a guy more than heart-shaped bacon?

My little display of everything pink and Valentine's Day related that I could find:
The water bottle wasn't meant to be a part of the display

Some sugar cookies-something I've been craving, so I had fun making them and indulged in a few- I could feel the difference in my energy level and mood, though :(

I tried to recreate this beautiful and healthy Greek yogurt-dipped strawberries from Pinterest:

 This is how they REALLY  turned out- kind of hideous!  The yogurt wouldn't stick to the strawberries at all.

Plus, they were rock hard and impossible to eat.  I plan to attempt consumption again after some thaw time.
But, they were redeemed because I used Greek Coconut yogurt, yum!

I hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Crayon Hearts

I found inspiration for these on Pinterest (as usual) and started collecting old broken crayons destined for the garbage.

The Pinterest post I copied

I was about to give up the idea because I didn't want to spend money and time to hunt down silicone heart molds, but then I stumbled across some heart ice cube trays in the Target dollar spot (I think they were $2.50).  Then it was ON!

I love a bargain.  I am my mother's daughter in a lot of ways (but she is the bargain QUEEN).

So, since these cheap molds were not silicone as far as I could tell, I wasn't sure about their heat limits.  I cut the crayons in much smaller pieces and used my toaster oven around 150-200 degrees and it worked just fine.

If I did this again though, I would fill the cups even more.  The crayons are pretty thin and won't last too long.  At least they're cute!

Recovering a Chair Cushion

Last week I walked over to the computer and suddenly noticed the worn-out fabric on the thrift-store chair I bought a year or two back for around $5.  I had always intended on painting and recovering it, but it never happened.  Finally the fabric was in bad shape so it motivated me to do it out of necessity!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spring Felt Flower Yarn Wreath

I felt like making a new wreath a couple weeks ago as I was home with sick kiddos, so I found some inspiration from these two pictures:

I liked the yarn wrapping and while shopping at Goodwill one day, I happened to find a ball of tan yarn and decided to use it to try making one of these.

The process was pretty simple:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Awhile ago I made these Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes.  They were pretty delicious.  I hope to make a healthier version soon (with maybe some almond meal, whole wheat flour, ground oats, things like that to replace the white flour, and of course our favorite stevia!).  I'll let you know if I get around to it.

Did you know that you can replace buttermilk by adding lemon juice to regular milk to sour it?  Just use about 1T per cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes before using it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

UltraSimple Diet Week Results

The week before this last week I was following Dr. Mark Hyman's UltraSimple Diet.  I wanted
Fresh Salsa with Corn, Black Beans and Jicama
something that was kind of a cleanse and this diet was not only allergy-free, but it spelled every step out for me!  It told me what to eat, when, even down to supplements to take and a special stress-relieving bath to take (with epsom salts, baking soda, and lavender).
The first day was fine, I adjusted to the food and wasn't hungry.  I was craving sugar though.
The second day was more difficult as I had a headache and sluggish digestion (detox symptoms).
The next few days I just kind of got into a groove, although my digestion never really did normalize despite his many recommendations to help that (he's very thorough).
By the sixth day, I found myself craving things like avocados and nuts, which were limited on the diet.  That night I decided to go ahead and have a couple spoonfuls of refried beans, which I was craving!  Instead of sugar!  I was amazed that I thought eating beans was a "binge."  Of course they have fat (and not the right kinds; vegetable oils are being linked to heart disease- not butter and lard like everyone thinks) but they still aren't the worst choice out there.
So, after the weeklong diet my results were great!  I lost 4 pounds and about 6 inches all over my body (I measured my waist, hips, bust, thigh, arm and neck).  I was pleased with the results and so far have kept them off.
We have been still avoiding sugar, but I can tell too many carbs is doing the same things to me as before (affecting my complexion, and bloating which I didn't notice before are two examples).  So I have a good guideline and goals for going onward!