Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to make soy candles~Great Guest Post

I love this post. This was originally posted by my friend Krista on couponfreestuff.com. But she graciously shared it with me so I can pass the great information on to my loyal readers. Get crafty and enjoy! Remember to always craft at your own risk!

Krista has been making soy candles for a little over 10 years now. Wow, time flies when you're having fun. At one time I used to make and take them to craft fairs and home parties but she has just became so busy that it isn't possible anymore.  She still makes them but just when someone (friends and family) requests them now.  She makes jar candles, votives, tea lights, pillars, floaters and car fresheners.  She has done centerpieces, gift baskets and even shower favors.  My favorite thing is making candles in baby food jars in the scent of baby powder and tying them up with pastel ribbons.  They go over great at baby showers.  Wedding showers I have done wine and champagne glass favors in the wedding colors as well. Great ideas for you to do for showers!

Krista says: I started making my own candles when I realized just how much I was spending on Yankee candles as I was addicted.  My husband bought me a Yankee candle for my birthday about 10 years ago.  It was one of the big ones with 3 layers of different apple scents.  This candle cost 30$!!  But I thought, Oh well, it's Yankee.  I lit the candle as soon as I opened the gift and let it sit on my dining room table.  About 4 hours later I went by the candle it had gone out and the wick had melted down into the wax. 

It was so buried, I could not retrieve it.  I took the candle to the Hallmark store where my hubby bought it and was quickly told, they do not refund or exchange candles for any reason.  So I had a candle that my husband spent 30$ on that I could not even light.   I went to Michael's and bought some wicks and some glass jars.  I went home and chipped the wax out of the Yankee candle and remelted it in an old pot. ( would not recommend this again unless you are going to throw the pot out).

I hot glued the wicks into the jars and re poured the wax into them so I could at least enjoy what he paid for.  And my passion was born.  I had recently heard a lot of buzz about soy candles and started to investigate.  I quickly found some supply companies, spent a small fortune at first to get started and after trial and error and l a lot of sweat and tears, I had my recipe down pat!!

Now, unless you know you are going to make huge quantities of candles for yourself or gifts etc  or are going to sell them, I suggest starting out small.  It is definitely more cost effective to buy in bulk, but why waste money if you are not sure this is something you are going to keep up with.  I, myself, even though I don't sell as much anymore, still keep a huge supply of everything on hand as it is cheaper to make my own  for my own home because we go through a lot of candles.  especially the Odor eliminator candles( which are my fave and have a cherry scent and even get rid of cigarette odor).  DID YOU KNOW SOY CANDLES ARE NON-CARCINOGENS!!  every other wax has cancer causing agents in them, the worst offender is GEL candles, I do not allow these in my home  ever!!  as the gel  burns and evaporates, it never quite loses its gel quality and adheres to the nasal membranes and lungs like a leach.  Soy candles burn cooler and even if you stick your finger into a pool of liquid wax as its burning, it will not burn you.  Soy wax can be cleaned out of carpet with hot water and soap.  Try that with paraffin wax.

Ok, here is what you will need to get started making your first few candles....
Remember I am starting you off small. Later in the post, I will tell you where to get your supplies.

Buy about 1 pound of soy wax flakes
1 or 2  one oz liquid colors ( I would start with 1-2 just to see)
1 bag of wicks ( now depending on the size candles you are going to make, will determine what wicks to buy.)  if you are going to make small glass ware candles  use CD 12 or CD 14
if you are making them the size of jelly jars, use CD14 or CD16   if you are using glassware that has more than a 3-4 in diameter across, use CD 22
Glue gun
Scent oil.  Now this gets tricky.  I would decide on 2 scents you like and buy the small 4 oz size bottles.
a melting pot ( again buy the small one until you are sure)
and old pan
a old metal spoon
and old glass or ceramic plate you will never use again except for candle making.
 food scale


Plug in glue gun
Fill your old pan about a 1/3 of the way up with water and put on medium heat to start boiling.
I suggest starting off with small glassware at first just til you get the feel for it because unfortunately most candle making is trial and error.
put about  2-3 oz of wax into the melting pot then put melting pot into water pan ( acts like a double boiler) while the wax is melting,  use a dab of hot glue on the bottom of the wick then press into place centered in the glassware.  be careful, hot glue is just that, HOT!

Now candle making is not an exact science , I don't care what anyone says, There are so many variations that you cannot even calculate them all.  altitude, gas or electric stoves  etc.

Most candle making books and websites will tell you that each wax has to be brought to a certain temp and use a thermometer blah blah blah.. In ten years, I have never used one and won't start now.

When the wax is completely melted, take it off the heat.  it works best to sit the pot on a hot pad or trivet.  your ready to add your scent.  the general rule is to use 1 oz of scent for every 3oz of wax.  I use an old shot glass for this.  some scents are normally stronger than others like vanilla is a much lighter scent than say, apple, so you may have to use just a tad bit more of a lighter scent.  Be careful though until you have some experience under your belt.  the scent is an OIL. and if you use too much in a small candle especially, when you light the wick and the wax gets liquid , the excess oil can float on top and burn.  I always suggest for the first few candles you make, never leave them unattended, & do not place anywhere that something is above them such as a cabinet.

Don't be freaked out if it does ignite ( even after 10 years, it has happened to me, especially when I let the hubby help out and he goes scent crazy)  simply  pour a glass of water over the candle. 
One thing to remember with soy candles, less is more!! Soy wax automatically holds and releases scent better than any other wax.  If you find that you have not scented your  candle enough, just add a little extra the next time.  Don't expect perfect candles when you're just starting, heck don't expect perfect candles every time even when you have been doing it for ten years lol.

Now it is time to add color.  The liquid color is the easiest to work with.  you only have to add a drop at a time as it can become dark quickly.  if you are using a color such as red, add a drop , stir, and let a drop from the spoon dry on the ceramic plate and see what the color is.  if it is not what you are looking for then add another drop and so on.

When you have the scent and color where you want it, you are ready to pour.  if the wick is way too long in the glass, simply trim it with scissors but make sure you leave at least a half inch above the glass, as a beginner maybe leave an inch.  pour your wax slowly as the other hand holds the wick so that it won't fall into the wax.  do not fill the glass all the way to the rim , leave a little breathing room.  Now you can buy wick holders on line or in stores but I always improvised at first.  I used a pen or pencil laying across the top of the glass to steady and center the wick.  make sure it is in a place on your counter where no one will bump it or try to move it.  If the wick dries crooked, it stays crooked.

Drying time varies with the size of the candle but if you are making a small one with 3 oz of wax, general rule is about 3 hours for complete setting. You do not want to move a candle until it is all the way dry.

As you get more adept at candle making, you can experiment.  I mix scents, layer candles etc.
If you are going to layer, make sure each layer is completely dry before adding the next.

I hope you have as much fun making candles as I do  and below is a list of retailers and websites to help you out!!  HAVE FUN!

 I use a lot of canning jars like jelly jars, Biglots has these but usually seasonal so check at local grocery and ACE hardware stores  I even get them at yard sales.

Michaels   I suggest the store as the website does not offer much.  Micheal's is great for small glassware and usually has coupons in their ads.

Lone star candle supply    below I will post individual links for the different supplies

soy wax  this soy 135 is the best and easiest to work with

CD wicks  this is a sampler pack of different sizes.and they come with the wick pins attached

liquid dyes  start out with 1 oz bottle til you try them

fragrance oil  again start off with the 4oz bottles til you try them

Glassware, I suggest using old candle glass you may have around the house or getting some from yard sales or thrift stores while you are practicing.  cheap is always better to make mistakes with.

After you have gotten a little more practiced and decide you want to venture in to molds etc,  just drop me an email and I would be glad to help.  officegirl70@yahoo.com

Leave me a comment and telling me what you like to do when you get crafty! I usually do small Mother's Day projects. What do you do?

Couponfreestuff( Krista Lafave) and Dina Demarest of My UnEntitled Life is in no way liable for any mishaps that may occur from candle making.  You are starting a new craft at your own risk.  There are always dangers involved when using fire, hot wax etc. I suggest using the utmost care at all times and to remove any distractions while you are crafting.  Keep lit candles away from children, pets and anything flammable.  Do not leave burning candles unattended ever.  This post is for informational intent only.  I am in no way affiliated with Yankee and the opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my experience.  It is not meant to deter or deflect anything from yankee company.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#Win the HP Omni 27t series!

Coupontrade.com and HP partnering together to offer the biggest giveaway event so far! HP Omni 27t series including Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, Norton Anti-Virus, keyboard, mouse, 3 Care Pack House Service, Windows 7 Home Premium. What an awesome prize! You know you need it.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Mission Cardstore #Giveaway $75 amazon card for you and $25 for a friend

It's that time of year. People are graduating, getting married, having showers and so much more. I know this week alone I've needed 3 cards (2 graduation and 1 bridal shower!) They carry all the cards we need and so much more.  If you are in need of birth announcements? Cardstore.com has a great deal right now! Get 10 FREE birth announcements for every 10 you buy at Cardstore.com! Use code: CCG2507, Valid thru 5/31/12

 Now for the Giveaway!!

Grand Prize: $75 Amazon for you $25 Amazon for a friend!

About Our Sponsor: Cardstore

Cardstore.com, owned by American Greetings®, is a personalized greeting card retailer with over 9,500 products to choose from. Customers can personalize greetings, invitations and announcements, adding their own photos and messages to create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for every occasion. Cardstore.com offers greeting cards from more than 50 brands and artists, including Papyrus, Taylor Swift, Hello Kitty, Kathy Davis, Someecards, Zelda Wisdom, Amy Smyth, Nobleworks and more, plus, we’re adding more each month! Plus they have no minimum order size and can mail cards directly to the buyers’ recipients. You can find Cardstore on Twitter and Facebook.  

Here's How You Enter:

The Giveaway will open up on Tuesday 5/22 at 12:01 am EST and Close on Friday 5/25 at 11:59 pm EST. 1) Start at the Rafflecopter Giveaway form. 2) Complete the Mandatory entries. 3) Work your way through the links, entering contests at each blog as you go. These contests each have their own rules and end dates. 4) Complete additional entries towards the bottom and come back for additional daily entries!   That's it! You have successfully entered this awesome giveaway! Side note...It's not mandatory that you enter all the giveaways at each blog. However, doing so not only increases your chances of WINNING the other prizes, it increases your chances of WINNING the Grand Prize! Mission Giveaway started with the $100 Story where with $100 several people received the help they needed. We are on a mission to help people! We have gathered a group of bloggers that want to make a difference. Together we are the Mission Giveaway Group! To inquire about becoming a sponsor, please contact Amee or Dawn at missiongiveaway@yahoo.com for details. Take a look at our Media Kit to see what Mission Giveaway has to offer. Are you a blogger that would like to participate in Mission Giveaway? Find out how you can join us.  

The amazing Blogs participating in the event this week are:

Slop Swap|Madame Deals|Coupon Crazy in Kentucky|Drugstore Divas|Klippin' Krazy Koupons!|A Savings WOW!|My UnEntitled Life|Moms Living Thrifty|Freebie Spot|More 4 Mom's Buck|All About the Mommies|The Interrupting Cow|Mama Bee Does|the ABC kidZ|Mark Your Savings|Family, Love & Other Stuff|Giveaway Bandit|Meg's Moxie|Tammilee Tips|The Centsible Family|Money $aving Michele|Deal Hunting Diva|Wheel n Deal Mama|Baby Costcutters|Whirlwind of Surprises|Stretching Your Budget|Shopper's Haul|Momondealz|Coupons For Your Family|Utah Coupon Deals|Making of a Mom|Pixie Dusted Homeschool|Insights by April|Saving More Than Me|Couponing to be Debt Free|Mommy's Money Saving Obsession|

 Check out how entrants would pay it forward this week and enter your own comment:

Wait for the rafflecopter to load and then enter! 

  . a Rafflecopter giveaway

and don't forget to enter my other giveaway to give you a better chance at winning this one!
Enter my iPad 3 giveaway!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer vacation ideas #gocentraljersey

We're thinking of where to go on vacation. I have never been to the East Coast and was looking at going to the Jersey Shore. But then I researched and found out how much there is to do in Central New Jersey. We love to take family vacations and there is so much for a family to do there. Here are the things that we have decided to do when we visit.

1. Liberty Hall Museum~ reviews of this museum tout it as a true American treasure. The Museum takes us down a walk on History Lane. It's a great place to find out about New Jersey's history.

2. Revolutionary War Sites in Perth Amboy has the Proprietary House The Royal Governors Mansion. You can also visit St. Peters Episcopalian Church which is the oldest church in the state (built 1698) and was used as barracks for the British troops in 1776. We love to study war and the history in this state is simply amazing. When you visit the Bluff you can see the site where a British ship fought with the colonists on shore. You can even see the Bill of Rights Arch which honors the fact that New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.There's a George Washington statue and a replica of the Liberty Bell.

3. In June there is a 5k and a Royal Ballet going on in Central Jersey. I would love to see the Royal Ballet. I will make sure to schedule us to be there when that is going on. How cool!

What a great place to visit. If you're a homeschooling family or a family that just loves history Central Jersey is definitely a great place to visit. Make your plans to go there soon! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who needs $25 to Old Navy? #idratherhave $25 for Old Navy!

If you won what would you purchase? I'd get this shirt and something for my kids. I love Old Navy and my children do too. I know I can always find something that my kids or I need from that store.

This is a 24 hour flash giveaway. It expires at midnight tonight! So get going and enter to win.

5/16 $25 Old Navy egift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In a Pikle Review and #Giveaway

I got the most amazing bag in the mail the other day. It's the In a Pikle bag. My In a Pikle bag has the most amazing stuff in it.

Every In a Pikle kit contains:
Pikle with Starter Pak Contains:
  • 1 exterior cover of your choice
  • 4 double sided clear bags
  • 1 hand sanitizer pen
  • 1 spot remover pen
  • 3 individually wrapped antibacterial wipes
  • 1 credit card size mirror and floss combo
  • 1 pair of tweezers
  • 1 pair of fingernail clippers
  • 2 emery boards
  • 1 travel size sewing kit
  • 1 retractable mini scissors
  • 1 24" tailor tape
  • 3 hair bands
  • 5 rubber bands
  • 5 bobby pins
  • 5 safety pins
  • 5 paper clips
  • 1 phillips head mini screw driver
  • 1 straight head mini screw driver
  • 1 mini pen
  • 1 "In A Pikle" sticky notepad
  • 10 adhesive bandages
  • 1 package travel tissues
  • 1 pill box

This kit has everything you could ever need. I have already used it to get me out of a pikle. My son needed a band aid after playing and then we went out to dinner and used the hand sanitizer to wash the kids hands. You should not ever be in a real pickle when you own this bag. It is awesome! I put it in my car so that I am never in a pickle. Here's an example bag/kit.

So, to get you out of that pickle who here wants to win a bag? You know you do. It will officially make you super mom of the ball field/dance class/etc. You will never be without. You can also purchase additional inserts/packages to use as well. They come in many pretty colors and styles. Make sure you visit them (you have to on the rafflecopter) to see all the cool styles and different kinds of inserts. You can't go wrong! Don't forget to enter to win.

For my readers who can't wait for the giveaway there's a great promo for you! Enter myunentitledlife as a coupon code at checkout and receive 10% off your order. This code expires 45 days from today.

You will need to do 2 things at checkout..

1)  Let us know that they saw us on YOUR blog when asked "how" they heard about "In A Pikle"

2)  Enter this assigned code to receive the discount.

**For the drawing, the free "In A Pikle" bag will be a "SWEET" - Chocolate Brown with Polka Dot. This shows you the style you can win!

Please see the style at:  http://inapikle.com/Sweet-Pikle.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#Orgreenic Pan Review and #Giveaway

I was so excited to do a review and giveaway on the Orgreenic Pan. I used it quickly the other night, right after I received it, to make tacos. It was a dream to use...well you know I was cooking so dream may be a bit of an overstatement simply because I consider it work. lol

I sauteed the onions first using my Orgreenic pan. After they had been cooking for a bit I added some water to soften them up. Added my ground turkey and black beans and seasonings and cooked until ready to eat. They were some really yummy tacos. I loved that I didn't have to add any grease or butter to the pan to make these tacos.

It was quick and easy and I loved the ceramic Orgreenic pan! Here's the description of the pan from their site.  OrGreenic™ Kitchenware lets you cook healthy food safely and quickly. Because of its super hard, durable all natural ceramic coating, Orgreenic sears in the juices and flavor of your food without releasing toxic gases. And, you don't need to add high calorie oils and butter! Now you can boil, bake, braise, steam, sauté, or fry without adding any oil, grease or fat. Best of all, absolutely nothing sticks to it! Just run the sauté pan under water and it wipes clean. Foods never stick so you never scrub!

Here's their youtube video.

Check out their website at www.orgreenic.com and their blog.

Wouldn't it be great for you to  to win one? Enter the rafflecopter below and I hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers

1st degree or 2nd degree Murder

There's a trial going on in my town right now and it just went to the jury. They decided on 2nd degree murder and 15 years for killing someone and not bothering to even try to get them help. There was talk of this on facebook the other day. A friend of mine couldn't understand why killing a person only gets them 15 years in jail just because they didn't intend to stab her repeatedly with a knife. Really, who understands that? What I hate...is that I know the difference between first and second degree murder because I was part of a murder investigation and attended the trial.

You know as your life goes on and you're without your best friend because of someone's immaturity and rage you begin to see things differently. It's little things. This fact stood out to me so much this week. I don't want to know what the difference is between first and second degree murder. I shouldn't even have that knowledge...I'm not a lawyer. But I do and I have the anxiety to prove it.

I often think maybe I'm not normal. Then I think of all the things that have happened in my life and wonder how I even leave the house. I cope pretty well. I am normal but I do have higher anxiety then most. Things bother me. I've always been an over analyzer, over worrier, over thinker. I mean before I bought a house I had a list of things a mile long that the house had to have. No swimming pool so my children don't die, couldn't be close to the interstate so my child won't be kidnapped and taken out of state, had to have 3 kids so that if 2 of them died I would still have one. Who thinks like this?

People who've experienced loss think like this. People who look like me think like this. I. AM. NORMAL. Yeah, I'll just keep telling myself that!

PS The difference between first degree murder and second degree murder is premeditation. Did they set out and show us that they very well intended to murder that person. In my situation, yes they did. The one my friend was talking about she did not set out to do it. In the end we lose someone we love do we really care what their intent was? No, we just want our loved one back.

Monday, May 14, 2012

#missiongiveaway #Win $50 for JCPenney's and one to share!

Find the best deals for online stores from Couponchief.com. They have a search feature for the particular store you are shopping at. They also allow you to submit a coupon code you have found. What a great way to help your friends! Don't forget to set up email alerts for your favorite stores. You have no excuse for not saving money when you use Couponchief.com.

Grand Prize: (2) $50 JCPenney eGift Cards

Win 1 for you and 1 for a friend!

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Here's How You Enter:

The Giveaway will open up on Tuesday 5/15 at 12:01 am EST and Close on Friday 5/18 at 11:59 pm EST.

1) Start at the Rafflecopter Giveaway form.

2) Complete the Mandatory entries.

3) Work your way through the links, entering contests at each blog as you go. These contests each have their own rules and end dates.

4) Complete additional entries towards the bottom and come back for additional daily entries!

That's all you have to do! You have successfully entered this awesome giveaway! Side note...It's not mandatory that you enter all the giveaways at each blog. However, doing so not only increases your chances of WINNING the other prizes, it increases your chances of WINNING the Grand Prize!

Good luck!!

Mission Giveaway started with the $100 Story where with $100 several people received the help they needed. We are on a mission to help people! We have gathered a group of bloggers that want to make a difference. Together we are the Mission Giveaway Group!

To inquire about becoming a sponsor, please contact Amee or Dawn at missiongiveaway@yahoo.com for details. Take a look at our Media Kit to see what Mission Giveaway has to offer.

Are you a blogger that would like to participate in Mission Giveaway? Find out how you can join us.

The amazing Blogs participating in the event this week are:

My UnEntitled Life Meg's Moxie|Madame Deals|Coupon Savings In The South|The Coupon Sweeper|Mama Bee Does|Clippin 4 A Cause|The Mommy Island|Organic Mommy Today|This Flourishing Life|Makobi Scribe |Coupons with Q|Stretching Your Budget|Coupons For Your Family|Money $aving Michele|Making of a Mom|A Thrifty Diva Surviving Mommy Hood|Utah Coupon Deals|Moms Saving Money|Happy Home and Family|One Sleepy Mom|Royalegacy Reviews and More|Parent Palace|Super Frugal Stephanie|Family, Love & Other Stuff|Moms Living Thrifty|More 4 Mom's Buck|Heavenly Savings|All About the Mommies||Shopper's Haul|CENTSABLECOUPONLADY|

Check out how entrants would pay it forward this week and enter your own comment:



Mission Save with CouponChief

Giveaway Starts 5/15 12:01 am EST
Ends 5/18 11:59 pm EST
Wait for the Rafflecopter to load then enter below.

Colonoscopy day

We have had a long hard road with my dad.  In a way he reminds me of this rock wall. Old and stubborn while still standing!  I still worry about him every day.

My dad's health is still really not very good. Every time he goes under anesthesia I fret that he won't come out of it. After the colon cancer he had last year we know he'll go under once a year for that colonoscopy. However, each time he does I am planning his funeral in my head. Anxiety is a wonderful thing right? Ugh.

He has had it rough. His kidneys have been trying to fail for the last 3 years. He's had lung cancer, heart attack, stroke, colitis, colon cancer, brain surgery for trigeminal neuralgia and we were told 3 different times during a 6 month stint in the hospital that he wouldn't make it through the night. What an amazing will to live he has. Another procedure behind us for a year. I'm looking forward to taking him to Florida to the beach with his grand babies this year. It will be his first time down with us.

I'm so thankful another procedure is behind us. I pray for no more procedures for the rest of the year! The man with 9 lives gets up and walks again! Thank you God.

iPad Mania #Giveaway 6/4

Welcome to the iPAD May-nia Giveaway!
We are giving away the latest iPad to one lucky winner!
Bay Area Mommy has partnered with BeeSavy and some awesome bloggers to bring you this exciting giveaway for the most-coveted tablet out in the market!

BeeSavy is your digital personal shopping assistant that pays YOU for serving you! BeeSavy scours the internet to make sure you get the lowest prices on the products you want at the stores YOU love. The best part? BeeSavy gives you cashback on your purchases! Sweet! Check out their site to learn more!

To get a chance to win, enter using the form below.

The first entry is to sign up for BeeSavy by clicking here