DIY: Holiday Floating Candles

DIY: Holiday Floating Candles #christmas #decor
‘Tis the season for holiday baking, making gifts, and of course getting creative with decorations for your home. I’m making up these beautifully simple Holiday Floating Candles to display at our family dinner table.

I first saw this idea on Bell’alimento.com. I fell in love with its simplicity and even had most of the supplies already on hand. All I had to do was snip some rosemary from my herb garden, get a few mason jars and tea-lights from my pantry, and buy some fresh cranberries from the grocery store!

DIY: Holiday Floating Candles #christmas #decor

WHAT YOU NEED:

• Wide mouth mason jars
• Fresh rosemary sprigs
• Fresh cranberries
• Tea light candles
• Ribbon & tag (optional)
• Water

DIY: Holiday Floating Candles #christmas #decor

Placed desired amount of rosemary sprigs into each jar. Then fill the jar with water about ¾ full. Then add desired amount of cranberries and set a tea light candle on top. Decorate each jar with ribbon and tag.

DIY: Holiday Floating Candles #christmas #decor

Personalized tags courtesy of Evermine.com

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable
Yesterday was our first day of winter weather here in Portland. We are in the process of moving at the moment, so today I decided to make a batch of my favorite soup to enjoy after a long, cold day of packing and moving boxes. I discovered this recipe years ago and have made it over and over again ever since. It’s my favorite soup to have on a cold winter night (like tonight) with a fresh loaf of crusty bread. The flavors alone will warm you to the bone.

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable
To make this soup, first chop up a sweet potato, onion, three celery sticks and two cloves of garlic. Then heat the olive oil in a large pot and throw everything in. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable
Next stir in the spices: Two teaspoons of paprika, and a teaspoon of each of turmeric, basil and salt. Then add in a generous pinch of cinnamon and cayenne pepper plus one bay leaf.

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable
Add in three cups of chicken stock (or veggie stock) and a tablespoon of tamari (or soy sauce). Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable
Add a can of garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes plus one chopped green bell pepper. Let simmer for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.

Tip: This is a great ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ soup so feel free to add in more veggies. I often like to add in fresh spinach or kale.

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable

 

Gypsy Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic and sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add in the spices and stir to blend.
  2. Add in the chicken stock and the tamari. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Then add in the bell pepper, garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

RECIPE: Gypsy Soup #autumn #vegetable

What’s your favorite soup to make on a cold winter day?

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles #holiday #christmas #handmade #gift

I love coming up with creative handmade gifts every year for Christmas. I first saw this idea for cookie-cutter candles on PopSugar.com and knew I wanted to try making some. My mom has TONS of cookie cutters, so I sorted through them, picked out my favorite holiday shapes and got to work.

WHAT YOU NEED:

• Metal cookie cutters
• Beeswax
• Crayons (optional)
• Metal-tabbed tea-light wicks
• Small saucepan
• Clean tin soup can
• Aluminum Foil
• Masking Tape
• Craft sticks (for stirring)

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles #holiday #christmas #handmade #gift

To turn a cookie cutter into a mold, you must first run masking tape along the edge of the cutter, snip the corners with scissors, and fold the tape outward so that the cutter sits flat on the foil.

Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water, then fill the clean tin can with beeswax and place the can into the saucepan creating a double boiler. Over medium heat, bring the water to a simmer and watch the wax as it melts using a craft stick to stir. If you’d like to add a color to your wax simply drop in a piece of crayon in your desired color.

Tip: If you want to make multiple color candles at once, use a different tin can for each color. You can fit 2-3 cans in the saucepan at once, melting all the wax simultaneously.

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles #holiday #christmas #handmade #gift

Place a metal-tabbed tea light wick at the center of each cookie cutter, then begin pouring your wax into each one. You’ll notice in the photo above that some of the wax leaked out of the tree cookie-cutter. This can happy very easily. I recommend pushing down on the cookie cutter while pouring the wax.

Tip: Pour a thin layer of wax into the bottom of each cookie cutter and let cool for a few minutes. Then fill them up the rest of the way. This will help prevent the wax from leaking out of the cookie cutter.

If the wax does escape, simply let it cool and break it apart. Then put it back into your tin can and melt the wax again.

Once the wax has completely cooled (1/2 to 2 hours), remove the masking tape and pop them out of their cookie cutters or you can leave them as is.

Tip: If you have trouble getting your candle to pop out of the cookie cutter, place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until they pop out easily.

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles #holiday #christmas #handmade #gift

I just love how my candles turned out and I can’t wait to give them as gifts this year! What are you making this year?

DIY: Cookie Cutter Candles #holiday #christmas #handmade #gift

RECIPE: Sweet Slumber Tea Blend

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs
I am a big tea drinker, especially on cold winter days when I want to stay warm. This tea is one of my favorites- a delicious herbal blend of chamomile, peppermint, lavender and roses. I made up a big batch of this loose leaf blend to enjoy this winter and also to give as gifts.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

To make this blend I first acquired the herbs I wanted for the tea. I always use high-quality, organic herbs purchased from my local apothecary. Mountain Rose is also a great online resource. Then I combined equal parts of the chamomile, peppermint, lavender and rosebuds in a small bowl and stirred to combine.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

There are tons of creative ways to package tea. You can simply fill a mason jar, or fill your own loose leaf tea bags, tie with some baker’s twine and add a cute tag.

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

Sweet Slumber Tea Blend #recipe #diy #herbs

Labels and tags courtesy of Evermine.com

I can’t wait to try making more of my own tea blends. Anyone have a favorite recipe they’d like to share?