Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

Quick and Easy Steps to Making Your Own Candles

I enjoy DIY projects.  But, I should explain I do not enjoy projects that have too many moving parts or require too much work on my part.  So, if you ever see me share a project or a recipe, you can be sure of two things.  It will be quick and it will be easy. Today’s DIY is no different.  I will confess this isn’t the first time that I have made my own candles.  But, it literally was back in 2008.  And, back then I was making them as gifts, so I rarely enjoyed them myself.

Fast forward to this summer, as I was making my summer bucket list.  I tried to come up with projects that I thought the kids would be excited to be a part of.  Now, I know you are probably thinking kids and hot wax, but I promise I did that part all myself.  So, let’s get started.

Moving Parts aka Things You Need.

Moving Parts

  1. Glassware of Some Type
  2. Microwaveable Soy Wax
  3. Candle Wicks with Metal Base
  4. Plastic Mold Sealer (to secure Metal Base)
  5. Straw or Pencil
  6. Fragrance
  7. About 10-15 minutes

I used Mason Jars, because… well I love Mason Jars.  The Microwaveable Soy Wax was Quick and Easy.  The directions on the packaging shown in the first picture.  Indicates that it will take up to a minute to melt.  It took me about 3 minutes to get it all the melted.  I have a Microwave that I don’t use to cook in so I used that for this project.  I am mentioning this because, of course you probably don’t want tomorrow’s left overs smelling like wax.  But I am sure if you give it a good wipe down right after you would be fine.  Candle Wicks, this is one of those things where you will have choices galore.  This go around I used the Soy Wicks with the tabs.  But, if I was to do it again, I would do the braided wicks, because I like the way that they burn better.  And, I would probably go for the simple white wicks just for a cleaner look.  I used a small piece of the Plastic Mold Sealers to secure the Metal Base of the Wicks.  This is not something you have to do but, I feel better knowing that when I start pouring the wick will stay in place.  My favorite part and the reason I made the candles in the first place is the fragrance.  But, I am going to warn you fragrance is NOT CHEAP.  And, if you want a noticeable scent.  You may want to pour between 3-4 bottles of 1 oz  Liquid Candle Fragrances into the melted wax and stir well, for even distribution.

OK, so that explains all the things you will need EXCEPT for the Pencil or the Straw.  Now the first time I did this, I bought longer wicks, so I simply attached the Metal Base and tied the remaining wick around a pencil centered on top of the jar to keep it centered.  This time the wicks I purchased were shorter was shorter, so hubby “jimmy- rigged” it.  My Mommy would always tell me necessity is the Mother of Invention, and she would be right.   He came up with the idea to puncture a hole in a straw and thread the wick through it and then center it on top of the jar.  I was skeptical, but he was right.. hes good with these things.

Making Candles

So there you have it, go forth…and make some great smelling candles.  Not to mention how impressed all your friends and family will be.  I find that these candles are always a most welcome Hostess Gift.  With the holidays coming up, it’s something to consider.  Slap a Personalized Sticker on here or dress it up with a ribbon or two.  Don’t say I never told you anything (smile).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

 

Advocating for your Child’s Future

Advocating for Your Child's Future - Does your Child require an IEP? Do you need to know what lies ahead of you? Be an advocate for your child's future with these tips from a fellow IEP Mom.

Being a parent is the hardest job that I have ever been entrusted with for all the obvious reasons.  There is no manual, no two children are the same, my normal way of creating templates that I can repeat mindlessly doesn’t work here.  All the ways that I can work smarter rather than harder in other roles, can not be applied to this job.  I learned very early on that parenting was just not a job that I could prepare for. I bought everything on the suggested nursery list, and tried to anticipate any need I felt that they would have before they arrived.  But… still there were just things that could not be anticipated .

It is often said that a parent is a child’s first teacher and also their first example of God’s love.  Both scary sentiments, if you ask me, but equally true.  And, as such it is our responsibility to advocate for them and their needs.  I don’t often talk about my daughter and her speech and educational challenges, and I think most people keep these things within the family.  But, recently the thought occurred to me that there are parents who do not advocate for their children because they are afraid, embarrassed, uncertain and unaware of the resources that are available to them.  And I don’t know, maybe I would have felt this way too if I was not surrounded by knowledgeable friends and family who were able to point me in the right direction.

Even though my daughter is just 11 years old, I feel like we have already been on quite a journey together.  At an early age she was diagnosed with a Significant Speech Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder.  She has been in Speech Therapy since she was 3 years old and has had an IEP since the 1st grade.  I know first hand how hard it is to accept that your child has a delay or special needs that make her different.   But, once you come to peace with this, the world is literally your oyster.  Now, I won’t lie to you and tell you that the sea will part and the mountains will crumble.  You are in for an uphill battle, but one that is possible and even if progress is slow, one that can be rewarding.

  1.  Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  What I mean by that is,  be an expert on your child.  Don’t allow anyone else to tell you what will work for him or her.  When my daughter started school, she was VERY VERY VERY shy.  Now, I am sure that you are thinking that most Kindergartners are.  And, that is true.  But, in her case, it took her a while to warm up to strangers.   And, I knew that.  So I let everyone who would be working with her know that.  She would also get frustrated when she was trying to express herself and others could not understand, and any kind of aggression towards her, made her shut down.  So I made all of that known.  In fact, call me a  “Helicopter Mom” if you like.  But, I would literally write a letter to the teachers at the beginning of the year to make sure that they went into the new school year knowing just who she was and the best way to reach her.
  2. Be diligent in your pursuit of services.  It is the public school systems responsibility to see to it that your child is educated.  You might think ok, well I can leave that there.  Wrong.  You can not.  There are seven different recognized learning styles.  Knowing which ones work  best for your child can improve both the speed and the quality of your child’s education.  That being said, If the arrangements that are set in place for your child are not working it is your responsibility to seek out a situation that better suits their needs.  The key to this is being involved enough to see the red flags.  For example. even though IEP’s are pretty common now a days, you may  have to request that your child be evaluated to determine if he or she needs one.  The meetings can be long and tedious, but it gives you an opportunity to both get your concerns across and work with those who come in contact with your child to make sure that he or she has the accommodations that she needs.  Extra time for testing, a Small Group Setting, or  Additional Study Skills just to name a few
  3. Build a team.  I was beyond lucky when it came to my team.  And, I don’t just mean the people who interact with your child at school.  But, a support team, I had my Mom, my sister, and my husband who I felt were all equally vested in my daughter’s success.  And then as fate would have it, the very first Speech Therapist that the school paired her with was hand picked by God.  She was able to pull my daughter outside of herself and give her some of the confidence that she was lacking by helping her with her speech and by her sweet and encouraging nature.  In addition to that , she was the gentle hand that guided the team at school that worked with her.
  4. Be both forgiving and flexible.  For me this was a new experience, so I say be forgiving because you are learning as you go.  But, even if this is not your first time at the rodeo, no experience is going to be the same.  And, sometimes the goals and milestones you put in place originally, will need to be revamped and changed, or even thrown out all together.
  5. Accept limitations.  As I said before things may not move as quickly as you would like, and that could be as far as how quickly your child is learning and making strides.  Or, it could mean how long it takes to get additional testing done or to receive additional  resources
  6. Don’t Give Up!!  This is the most important point that I will make in this whole post, because it is a frustrating process.  It is hard to see your child try and fail, and be discouraged.  It is hard for you not to become emotionally drained on their behalf.  Or to stop yourself from feeling like what you are doing is not yielding results.  But, you have to stay strong because you are the only one who can fight this fight for them.

” WHAT LIES BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES BEFORE US ARE TINY MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIES WITHIN US.”   rALPH WALDO EMERSON

Get Ready for Back to School with these Free Personalized Binder Covers

Back to School Binder Cover Blog

As always, summers around here don’t seem to last.  There are literally just 16 days left until the start of school here in Atlanta.  So, I am in full Back to School Planning Mode, much to the chagrin of my little ones who are still very much in “lounge mode”. Most of our School Supplies have been purchased, and the only major thing we still have to do is clothes shopping.  I don’t know how it is at your house, but for me, my Middle School-er is the hardest shop for.  She after all, has strong opinions on her look and fashion in general.  Who knew??  I thought I had a few more years, lol.

Last year, I made a Binder Cover for her and somehow I ended up having to make one for most of the girls in her class.  We had to have the whole discussion about volunteering Mommy’s services.  But, they were such a big hit, that I added a few to the blog right before School started last year and they, to this day are one of most downloaded and shared items.

And, you know I am all about a freebie.  So this year, I gave you a few more options.  Five Funky & Fancy Binder Covers for you to choose from and Personalize for your little ones.  To Download – Right Click on the Picture – Save.  You can choose to hand write their names and grades or if you choose to edit it via the computer.  You will be able to open this document in pretty much any program, since I made it a JPEG image.  If you like these and decide to download and use please share your pics on Instagram with the hashtag #spbacktoschool.

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Colorful

Colorful

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Blue Bubbles

Blue Bubbles

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Counting Sheep

Counting Sheep

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Pink Hearts

Pink Hearts

FREE Download Back to School Binder Covers Fanciful

Fanciful

  • All content (copy & images) are copyright protected and property of Stage Presents, unless otherwise stated. All designs are for personal use only.  You may NOT use photos or designs for commercial purposes, unless otherwise stated on the terms of the actual design.  Please do not redistribute.

Our Differences are What Make us Stronger.

In these uncertain times that we live in, I have often wondered if I could  change something in my world what would it be?  And, I am always brought back to to the same thing.  I wish that I could rid my world of hate and all of its byproducts, bigotry, racism, terrorism, crime, division, etc.   I am often floored by the fact that a country that was built on the premise of being a Melting Pot, despises those people who make it so.

Remembering Our Differences Are What Makes Us Stronger

The quote on the Statue of Liberty reads:

“Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Quote by Emma Lazarus

These words grace the Statue that stands on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor.  They were meant to be welcoming to the masses.  This country was founded on the backs of immigrants and slaves.  People that came from all walks of life.  Our differences were supposed to be what made us better as a nation, what set us apart.  Most people who willingly migrated to this country did so with the hopes of finding religious freedom, a better opportunity, pursuing a new dream. With all of these noble intentions, I wonder how we got so far away from what was originally intended.

No-Hate1

Photo Source:

I cry for my children who even though they are growing up in the 21st century still live in a world crippled by enmity.  I cry for their futures, because even though we have come a long way.  We really haven’t come as far as you would think.

This blog has been sitting in my pending queue for some time now. But, I know that no matter how hard I try to write words that are politically correct, I will most likely still offend someone here.  But, being quiet has never really been my way. for that matter, neither has being PC.  That being said I just hope that someone, somewhere, will read my words and have pause.

For me,  my wishes and my dreams still mirror to this day, that of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I hope that  “…my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  And, not by their assumed character but by the mental and moral qualities distinctive to them.

“IT IS NOT OUR DIFFERENCES THAT DIVIDE US.  IT IS OUR INABILITY TO RECOGNIZE, ACCEPT AND CELEBRATE THOSE DIFFERENCES.” – AUDRE LORDE

Subscribe Today for July’s Exclusive Content

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It’s July and the summer is whizzing by.  By now, the kids are deciding on whether they are bored enough to head back to school.  But, there’s still at least a good month or so left for us in the South.   So we are hanging out to the very end.  This month’s content is a little late getting out to you because of my impromptu Hospital Visit, but we have some great Exclusive Content for you this month –  Available Now for all Subscribers.

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When Life Forces You To Rest

When Life Forces You To Rest - Recovering From An Injury  - stage-presents.com

So … last week life knocked me square on the as@!  Whatever I had planned and charted was not going to happen….  It started with a spider bite and went all down hill from there.  The bite triggered an abscess, which triggered an infection which landed me in the Emergency Room being prepped for Surgery.  The whole experience was excruciating, uncomfortable and inconvenient.  But, it was also quite humbling for me.

I take a lot of pride in feeling like I have control of this thing called my life, knowing all the while that it is a very fickle thing.  I try my hardest to plan as far in advance as I can.  Considering everything the kids have to do, appointments that need to be made, things that have to be purchased, etc.  But, when something like this happens all of those things get swept by the wayside.  We live by our routines.  So much so that on our way to the Emergency Room, my youngest  was concerned that if Mommy was going to the hospital, “Did that mean that we weren’t going to have our Friday Chicken Wings.?” (LOL, as long as she was worried about me, right?)

So after spending four days in the hospital, and being released to go home under the care of  a Home Health Nurse, I being of unsound mind and body, assumed that with a little rest I would be able to resume life as I knew it.  After all, I think that we never realize how much we do to keep things running smoothly.  Well, I am here to tell you that nothing would be further from the truth.  My body was tired… is tired.  The medication that I am on triggers very ANGRY.. and debilitating Migraines.  Small amounts of activity leave me completely tuckered out and I have to rely on the kindness and generosity of my entire family.  Something which I am not sure that I am loving, but am well aware that I should be. (Shout out to them, especially my darling husband, who has stepped up and taken the reigns.)

They always say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.  I have never liked that statement, but it couldn’t be more true of this situation.  From a less WOE IS ME point of view, this situation however horrific can be seen as a wake up call for me.  I have mentioned here before that I am a diabetic, and I have not been doing a good job of keeping my numbers under control.  And, now, i have no choice, as it is paramount to me healing quickly and without incident.  You would be surprised what you can do when you have no choice, and when your husband is not playing.

Bare with me, I may not be posting as frequently as I would like, but I will be working my way back.  Have you ever had an injury that forced you to your knees?  What advice would you give for working your way back?  Consider sharing it with us in the comment section below.