Team Tish 2015

I’m popping in with a rare Saturday post today for something completely off topic from DIY and home decor. But it’s my blog so I’ll post what I want. :P

In 2009 my great-aunt, Angie, passed away and among those she left behind is her daughter Tish. My family stepped on board to care for her, in particular my brother who has legal guardianship of her (he has a PsyD and is beyond qualified for this) and mom mother who is diligent about looking after her care and well being.

Tish lives full time at New England Pediatric Care, where she gets the intense care she needs. And NEPC is awesome. I mean so, so awesome. Every employee practically has a visible halo above their head. Which is why this is the 6th year in a row my entire family is fundraising for them.

team tish

Every year we walk for and with Tish, in honor of Aunt Angie, to fund raise for New England Pediatric Care and all of its’ residents.

Team Tish Collage

and every year my dog shows his butt to the camera.

ANYWAY- the whole point of this is me asking you to please consider making a donation of any amount (even $1!). Or a kind word of support. Or a thumbs up. Whatever. Anything you have to offer is appreciated. DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE.

Thanks so much!

(I’ll be back to regular posts on Monday, and I’ve got a great DIY build to share!)

Inspiration Friday

#InspirationFriday is a series of graphic quotes to lead you into the weekend. Feel free to pin, share, download for personal use, whatever- just please don’t sell them! See all of them HERE.

I have been listening to Diane Birch in my car pretty much nonstop this past week. And by “listening” I mean singing at the top of my lungs. I’m basically a Highway Superstar at this point. So here’s some of her lyrics to lead you into the weekend…

diane birch inspiration quote lyrics

And if you’re interested in some Stevie Nicks style soul, here’s the song where it came from:

How to Combine Leftover Candles

You know what’s a bummer? When your candle won’t burn anymore but there’s a ton of wax still in the jar. Turns out, it’s SUPER easy to melt down that wax and make a brand new candle- and really inexpensive too.

The only thing I had to buy for this project was candle wicks, and I got a pack of 50 from Amazon for only $9 (these ones). That’s less than half the cost of just brand new candle. Holler.

how to combine burned candle scraps  into a new candle

First things first, you need to get your wax melted. If you have a double boiler you can use that, but I do not so I had to to improvise:

  • Roll up 4 strips of tin foil and place them in a grid (like this: #) on the bottom of a sauce pan
  • Place your old candle on top of the grid, then fill the pan with water and turn the heat to medium
  • As the wax liquifies, you’ll be able to pick out the old wick with tongs so it doesn’t go into your new candle

While your wax is melting place your new wick in an empty glass jar and use a stick or skewer and some tape to center the wick and hold it still. 

  • Once all the wax is in your makeshift double boiler is melted down, pour it slowly into its’ new jar. (edited to add: I used old jars I had laying around- an alfredo sauce jar, a jelly jar, and a roasted red pepper gar. I am a hoarder.)
  • Let each layer solidify before adding a new one

how to melt down old candles and combine them to make new ones - an easy DIY craft project

A few tips:

  • The 3 wick candles were hard to pour out cleanly, so once the wax melted enough I popped it into into a glass measuring cup and finished melting it there, that way I could use the spout when transferring it to the new jar.
  • If you’re layering candle wax, you want the scents to go together. For my larger candle, I layered “snowflake,” “evening air,” and “pine” because they’re al nice outdoorsy smells that’ll blend into each other well.
  • Before throwing out the wick from the old candle, make sure you douse it in water. Because Smokey the Bear says so.

melt down old candles to form new ones - combine and mix candle scents

And that’s it! It’s so easy (and man, my house smells amazing now!). With the remnants from just one three wick candle, I made 1.5 new ones! Can you believe it?!

Valentine’s Day Thoughts & Things

This post is written in collaboration with Coupons.com, but of course all thoughts and ideas are my own. And actually, Coupons.com is a site I used regularly long before I ever talked to them about a collaboration so it’s kind of exciting to pair up now. :)

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Matt and I have been together for almost 6 years now, and have known each other for even longer. We’ve never really gotten into the idea of Valentine’s Day and usually just have a nice dinner at home, or a simple dinner and movie date out. Every now and then I get him a card and write something nice in it, but it’s nothing regular or expected. Last year I  just posted this on his Facebook wall and called it a day:

funny-valentines-day-card-iphone-1

via (and ps- everything in this Etsy shop is great and I’ve purchased from this designer several times)

More poignant for me is the idea of a day where we all just show kindness and appreciation for someone- anyone! This is the kind of sentiment I can get on board with. We’re not nice to each other often enough. You know?

I think a little something to show someone you care (a significant other, your kids, a friend, a teacher, a coach) is a great idea. Enter: Valentine’s Day Magazine on The Good Stuff by Coupons.comThis entire e-zine has great ideas for gifts and deals, and even a Coupons.com Valentine’s Day Sales specific page.
valentines-magazine-coverClick on the image to move trough to the whole e-zine, or access it HERE.

Oh my goodness you guys, there is so much good stuff in here (including a link on pages 2-3 to enter the Coupons.com Share the Love Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes with daily cash prizes of $100 for the winner and $100 for the winner’s friend – until 2/28!!!).

My favorite parts of the magazine, in addition to all the DIY projects, are:

  • Pages 12-15 are filled with movie suggestions for you to watch on Valentine’s Day. As a film professor, yes, I appreciate all of this and totally recommend you watch Before Sunrise (and every other movie in the series!)
  • Pages 18-19 have FREE printables for you to use as cards and on gifts!
  • Page 47 has a delicious looking sangria recipe!

So tell me- what do you do on Valentine’s Day? Or is it Gal-entine’s Day? Or maybe you just call it Love Day? … whatever it may be for you, I want to know!

FIT into the Home: a Word of the Year Update

In my word of the year post I talked about how I wanted to bring things into my home that fit my personal style and taste. I want to try not to be as wholly influenced by all the pretty images I see online and in stores and really focus on what like- which is more difficult than you might think.

Some areas of my house I feel like I’m hitting the nail right on the head, and others have a bit of a ways to go. One of my favorite spots, that I don’t share too often on the blog because it’s super hard to photograph, is my front entrance:

grey and white eclectic entry way

We enter the house through the side door, so this area is just sort of set up for show. This little spot is filled with so many things that are special. From left to right:

  • White bust is from Homegoods (about $50)
  • My thermostat is painted gray (with just acrylic paint) with a white thrift store frame  ($1?) around it
  • The scale is from my father in law, found abandoned where he works
  • The big wine jug was my great grandfather’s and the little is just a cheap Carlo Rossi wine jug (with all our change)
  • The trunk was from Target in 2003- it’s what I used to pack for college!
  • White bird cage is from my grandmother’s house
  • The awesome mirror is from the Habitat ReStore (about $25)
  • Spray painted and glazed storage chest is from the ReStore as well (how to is here)
  • The small gray frames are from my mom, and the canister is Missoni for Target a while back
  • Black mirror is from the Salvation Army (about $10)

I think the combination of everything just screams Stephanie Lives Here! I mean look at the up close of this mirror:

etched and layered mirror

Some of it is regular mirror, some of it is etched glass, some of it is shiny metal overlay. It’s so ridiculous and awesome. Definitely not for everyone, especially if you don’t have a strong fondness for the ’80s. ;)

front entry way styled simply

Overall, the floor and stairs are in shambles and… full disclosure …there’s totally a litter box to the right that is framed out of the picture and my pets’ toothpaste and toothbrushes are stored in that Missoni canister. But this area fits.

What area in your house fits you best? What’s your thought process for bringing things into your home?

Creative Spark Link Party (#38!)

Every Wednesday FOUR  blogs, Weekend CraftMy Paper CrazePlease Excuse the Craftermath and Two Purple Couches, join together to feature projects, provide a place for bloggers … and this week I’m hopping on board too!

The Creative Spark Link Party is the perfect opportunity for YOU to share YOUR projects and gain inspiration from other crafters who are linking up their own! PLUS, as a bonus, when you enter your projects into the link up, you could have your project featured by one of our blogs!

link party DIYLast week’s most clicked on linky was this thrift store bulletin board makeover by Pennies into Pearls:

Bulletin-Board-Collage-PinterestMy favorite 3 link ups from last week are….

This super inspiring round up of DIY pillows and poufs:

poufs_pillows_littleredwindow-01This crazy amazing DIY console table (with build plans!):

diy console table build plans blueprint

This delicious and sparkly round up of treats:

Gold-Glitter-Dipped-Peanut-Butter-Oreos-i-love-my-disorganized-life

Wondering how to link up? Here’s some details for you:

rules for the link partyLink up HERE: