Cleaning and Repurposing Candle Jars

I’m a pack rat when it comes to things that can be repurposed in the future. I love to save old candle jars, tea tins, and jam jars because they’re perfect for holding little things like pens, change, buttons, cotton swabs, etc, etc (organization!). While tea tins and jam jars are simple to rinse out and reuse, cleaning out old candle jars isn’t quite so simple…

How to Clean Candle Jars

On Monday I tackled cleaning out my little collection of candle jars that can no longer be burned. You know a candle is done when it can’t hold a flame for more than a couple minutes. (By the way, I LOVE Anthropologie Blue Volcano candles, but am always disappointed with how much wax they leave behind. After the wick won’t burn any longer, I put them on a candle warmer and keep “burning” them until the wax loses its scent. When you spend $30 on a candle, you gotta milk it for all its worth!)

Here’s how I cleaned my candle jars:

Cleaning Candle Jars

How to Clean Out Old Candle Jars

First I used an old fork and spoon to scoop out most of the wax. It was really warm in our house when I did this, so I had no problem getting the wax out. If your wax is harder than mine was, you could set the candles on a warmer for a few minutes to loosen it up.

Cleaning Candle Jars

Next, I filled up my tea kettle and set it to high to boil. I put the jars on a cookie sheet and put a drop of dish washing detergent in each one.

How To Clean Wax Out of Candle Jars

I filled each jar with boiling water and let them soak for 40 minutes. You’ll see the wax bubble up to the top pretty quickly.

How to Clean Wax Out of Candle Jars

After they soaked, I cut the top of an empty gallon milk jug and poured the waxy, soapy water in the jug. Do not pour the wax down your sink!

Cleaning Wax Out of Candles

Next I took a paper towel and wiped out each jar, aiming to remove any wax or black soot left. Your jars will still be warm at this point, so be careful! I accidentally cracked one :(

How to Clean Wax out of candles

I then filled my sink with hot, soapy water, and in they went to soak for about an hour…

How to Get Labels off Candle Jars

And then I took them out, rinsed them, and peeled/rubbed off the stickers. The stickers on the Anthropologie candles and one of the Target candles left behind residue, which Goo Gone took right off!

Cleaning Candle Jars

And that’s it! Ready to use…

Repurposed Candle Jars

Holding flossing picks and cotton swabs in the guest bathroom…

Repurposing Candle Jars

Holding makeup brushes and earrings on the counter…

Repurposed Candle Jars

Collecting laundry room tips (all the change I find in Chris’ pockets!) and storing safety pins…

And I have big plans for the two blue Anthropologie jars once our master bathroom is complete.

Think twice before tossing those candle jars … you never know what knickknacks you can store in them!



Maternity Style 15 Weeks

15 Weeks Pregnancy Style

Indianapolis Fashion Blogger

Indianapolis Fashion Blogger

15 Weeks Pregnancy Photo

Vest — Maurice’s
Dress — Anthropologie
Shoes — C/O Gordmans

My lil’ bump popped out this week, and it’s looking more and more like a baby’s in there every day. I go to the doctor this afternoon for my 15-week appointment, and I’m looking forward to hearing the little one’s heartbeat again. Doctor’s appointments are incredibly reassuring when you go for weeks with little evidence that there’s actually a baby in there!

If it weren’t for my appointment today, I’d be super bummed Monday’s here. The weather this weekend was amazingly warm and sunny, and we spent as much time as possible taking it in. My parents came into town on Saturday and took us out to St. Elmo Steak House for dinner. St. Elmo’s is our most-famous restaurant around here … somewhere Chris and I probably wouldn’t go on our own dime. My dad received a gift card from one of his clients, and Chris and I quickly took them up on the offer to go spend it with them!

On Sunday, we all headed to an auction where I won a dresser that will double as a changing table for the baby’s room. It’s not much to look at now, but  we’re going upcycle it with some paint and new hardware. It’ll look like it belongs on a spread of Pottery Barn Kids once we’re through … or that’s my plan at least!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Maternity Style 14 Weeks

Indianapolis Fashion Blogger

Indianapolis Fashion Blogger

14 Weeks Maternity Fashion

14 Weeks Pregnancy Photo

Welcome to my first pregnancy style post! Truth be told, my bump is still itty-bitty and could be mistaken for a Chipotle food baby. But, when Gordmans asked me to team up with them for a $50 outfit shopping challenge, I knew I wanted to get something that would grow with me throughout my pregnancy. During my shopping spree, I was thrilled to discover Gordmans has a pretty big selection of maternity wear for great prices.

The silky polka dot blouse is Motherhood Maternity — and honestly, I think I’ll be wearing it long after giving birth! It’s cute and flowy and doesn’t look too maternity to me. The pants are also Motherhood Maternity, and while they’re still a little too big, I’ve been wearing them to work because my dress pants that don’t have any “give” are to the point where they’re uncomfortable to button. Because I found the pants on the clearance rack for a deep discount, I was able to get this whole outfit (shoes included!) for  less than $50! If you know anything about the price of maternity clothes, you know this is a steal!

If you’re a fellow pregnant lady — or just want to update your wardrobe for spring — you can see if you have a Gordmans in your area here. And be sure to take this coupon with you!



Some Special News…

Pregnancy Announcement Photo

I’m bubbling with excitement to finally share some special news with you all … Chris and I are expecting our first baby later this year! We are thrilled, obviously, and feeling blessed and ready for this next chapter of our lives.

It feels like I found out I’m pregnant ages ago. It was January 17, and I was only three to four weeks along at the time. It’s been torture keeping our special news quiet and waiting for a “safe” time to tell everyone. Of course, no time during pregnancy is completely “safe,” but I’m in my second trimester now and everything is moving along healthily.

We took the photo above the same day as this outfit, so way back in February when we were still swimming in snow. (Thankfully, spring seems to have arrived here in Indianapolis!) We framed a couple of the photos we took that day to surprise our parents with the news. It’s already obvious that this baby will be loved and spoiled by his or her grandparents, our family, and friends!

Speaking of his or her, we’ve decided to not find out the gender of the baby. We’re looking forward to being surprised on our little one’s birthday.

You may have noticed that my posts have slowed down and I haven’t shown my face on here in a long time — morning sickness and first trimester fatigue are no joke! But I’ve been feeling much better during the last week or so and am feeling much more energized and like myself every day. So, over the next few months, expect more posts, some maternity style, nursery projects, and more of the same DIY projects and recipes that you’re used to seeing around here.

Thanks for letting me share our news with you!

DIY Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

I used my day off yesterday to go to my favorite local flower shop and pick up some blooms for a floral arrangement. I wanted to make the arrangement in my new milk glass pedestal vase, which I found at the Salvation Army for a couple dollars after searching countless antique stores and shrift shops for the perfect one. I love how the colors in this flower arrangement turned out. I focused on yellow, white, and orange — perfect for springtime!

Without further ado, here’s how to make it!

What You Need

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Tools: water mixed with plant food, large bowl, floral foam, pedestal vase, floral knife and/or scissors

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Flowers: 2 stems white daisies, 6 carnations (I used 3 yellow, 3 orange), 3 tulips
Greenery: 2 myrtle, 1 stem pitt0sporum, 5 leatherleaf


Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

1. Cut the foam to fit your vase.
2. Fill bowl with water and plant food mixture. Set the foam on top and let it soak up the water and sink to the bottom. Don’t push the foam down into the water; this will cause dry pockets in the foam.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

3. Use knife to trim corners off foam.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

4. Green your foam a bit with pieces of leatherleaf.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

5. Add a few pieces from the pittosporum.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

6. Add long pieces of myrtle on each side.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

7. Separate all the daisy laterals.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

8. Space the daisies around the arrangement.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

9. Add 3 yellow carnations to one side of the arrangement.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

10. Add 3 orange carnations to the other side.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

11. Space tulips around the arrangement.

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

12. Fill in any spaces with extra leatherleaf, myrtle, and pittosporum. I even used leaves from the tulips as part of the greens!

Some beauty shots of the final product:

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

Pedestal Vase Floral Arrangement DIY

I’m pretty pleased with how this arrangement turned out! I’m hoping it inspires spring to warm up. We’re having snow this morning … ugh!

EXTREME Chocolate Brownies

King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

I had a hankering for chocolate on Sunday and settled on making these King Arthur Flour fudge brownies … and oh my, they were good. This is a great recipe if you like gooey and fudgy brownies that pack an extreme chocolate punch. The only change I made to the recipe is not including espresso powder, simply because I didn’t have any.

They’re seriously rich brownies and delicious with some cold milk. Chris doesn’t like chocolate (I know, I know) — and heaven knows I didn’t need to eat the whole pan myself — so I took most of the brownies to work where they disappeared very quickly :)

Favorite Shower Products

Our bathroom remodel is still a work-in-progress, and I’m really looking forward finally having a master bathroom that makes me feel like I’m staying at a nice hotel every day. Having a pristine place to pamper yourself is so important, but using products that make you feel great is just as essential! I thought it’d be fun to share what I use in the shower on a daily basis. It’s a mix of drug store and specialty products, but all are pretty easy on the wallet.

Favorite Shower Products

On my face:

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up! Exfoliating Cleanser – I use all Olay products on my face, from cleansers to moisturizers and anti-aging products. I use this wash once a day to every-other-day, and it has exfoliating microbeads that keep skin smooth.

On my body:

Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel – I’m addicted to Lush’s Rose Jam scent, and I love that you can trust the ingredients they use in their products. (Sadly, out of stock online)
Bath Junkie Oatmeal Milk Honey, Almond, & Coconut Exfoliating Salt Scrub – Every other time I shower I use this scrub in lieu of shower gel. It cleanses and exfoliates and smells SO good. You can customize your own scent at Bath Junkie, which is really fun and  you get to go home with a great product.
Pure Romance Coochy Conditioning Shave Cream – Silly name aside, I’ve been using this shave cream for years because it seriously helps reduce razor burn! I use it with Venus disposables.
Burt’s Bees Lemon Body Oil – I put this on after I’ve toweled off a bit. I love the fresh and light lemon scent, and it’s really moisturizing without leaving my skin oily.

Burt's Bees Lemon Body Oil

On my hair:

OGX Shampoo, Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo & Conditioner — I’ve only recently started using this, but I love how it smells. I’m skeptical any shampoo or conditioner really does what it says it will, but this one leaves my hair feeling clean and smelling fresh.

Have any favorite bath products I should try? I switch up what I use pretty frequently!

DIY Spring Wreath

Karin came over the other weekend for a little spring crafting session. We decided to make front-door wreaths, and after wandering around Hobby Lobby for an hour trying to decide what kind of wreaths, we finally settled on vine wreaths with silk flowers and wooden letters. Our wreaths turned out pretty cute, and they were so simple to make!

DIY Spring Wreath

DIY Spring Wreath

Supplies: silk flowers (we got cheap ones because they’d be outside), wooden letter (I got an H for my last name, and Karin got 2H for her unit number), vine wreath, white paint, paint brush, hot glue gun, wire cutters

DIY Spring Wreath

To make the wreaths, we simply painted our letters white, snipped the stems off the flowers with wire cutters, and hot glued the flowers and letters to the wreaths. We prearranged the flowers in the pattern we wanted, which made gluing them on easier. You may need to hold your wooden letter in place until the glue dries — otherwise you may have a hard time getting it to stick to the vine.
DIY Spring Wreath
After seeing these photos, I told Chris painting the front door needs to be a spring project. It looks awful!
DIY Spring Wreath
Even if the weather isn’t ready to commit to spring (more snow today…), my front door is ready for it!

Life Lately in Photos

Hermes the Cat

Hermes has been waking us up at 4am each morning this week. Good thing he’s cute.

Aloe Plant

Aloe ornament.

Vintage Sundresses

Vintage sundresses waiting for warmer weather.

Bath Junkie Body Scrub

I made my own scrub scent at Bath Junkie! Oatmeal Milk Honey, Almond, & Coconut.

Kitchen Gallery Wall

Kitchen wall.

Dresser Top Decorations

A special gift from Chris.

Comfy Slippers

Ready to retire these for sandals.

Homemade Waffles

Weekend waffles, always.

Hello there! I’m back from a little vacation from blogging. I wish I could say my time off was for glamorous reasons, but the truth is our bathroom remodel has been dominating our free time. We’ve run into a couple snags that have made the process more tedious than we predicted. Our house has been a disaster zone for three weeks now, but it will be worth it when we’re finished (I hope!).

Luckily, we have taken time to have a little fun! Last weekend we visited Chris’ family, and this weekend we’re heading down to Kentucky to visit mine. Time with family makes my heart happy :) What are you up to this weekend?

Hunter Boots with Dress

Indianapolis Fashion Blogger

Winter Dress with Scarf

American Eagle Scarf, Modcloth Dress, Lysse Leggings, Hunter Boots

Dress — Modcloth
Leggings — Lysse, 14 Districts Weekend
Boots — Hunter
Scarf — American Eagle
Leg Warmers — Kohls

If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that gives you President’s Day off, I am officially jealous of you.

But really, I have nothing to complain about because it was a really nice weekend. Chris and I watched a lot of House of Cards (can you BELIEVE the first episode?), cooked up some chili cheese etouffee, made some headway on our master bathroom remodel, and I slept a lot!  I also got my hair trimmed on Saturday, which is why I’m having such a good hair day in these photos. It won’t look this good again until I go back for another trim in eight weeks. You know how it is…

In other news, these Hunter boots have been a godsend with the insane amounts of snow we’ve had this winter. I wear them all the time — with jeans, dresses, leggings, and sweats. A lot of times I wear them to work and then change shoes once I get into the office. They’re lifesavers! Major thanks to my Mother-in-Law for giving them to me for Christmas!

Hunter Boots with Leg Warmers

Happy Monday!