mason jars

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Project 19/52: Mason Jar candles

By |August 28th, 2013|52 Projects, crafts, decorating, DIY, How To|

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Three of my besties are moving into new places, and I thought candles would be the perfect housewarming gift. Candles are one of my favorite decorations- they are beautiful and functional! Like most other things I like, I set out to DIY it.  I wanted to start basic, so even though this pin looks amazing, I opted to try basic pour candles.

I ordered wax and wicks on Amazon- hooray for Prime- and when it arrived I had to laugh at how giant 5 lbs of wax actually is! Steve thinks I’m crazy. I melted the wax down in the microwave for two minutes, and mixed in Gardenia scentI also purchased on Amazon. Gardenias are one of my favorite flowers. My grandmother has a gardenia bush outside of her house and she would pick one for us to have on the road when we left from visits. The smell is so distinct and sweet, and reminds me of her- I love it!  I decided not to add any color to the wax because gardenias are white, and because they are gifts so I wanted to keep them color neutral so they worked in my friends new homes. If you want to add some color, the easiest way is to add some crayons. Literally- grate up that old Crayola and toss it in the wax until you have the desired color!

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After your scent and/or color is mixed in to the melted wax, set the wick by putting a little wax on the bottom and sticking it to the bottom of the container. Ideally you can let it dry enough to hold steady before pouring the wax in. After you have poured to the desired depth, center the wick and secure it in place with whatever you have around the house- pencils, chopsticks- anything to keep it from moving. Then it’s a waiting game. Once the wax dries you may get a little sinkage around the wick. Not sure if sinkage is a real word- but I’m going for it. Just pour in a little more wax on the top and it will cover it up nicely.

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 Then cut the wicks to the desired length, and enjoy your homemade candle!

love and candy,

lindsay

Pickling for (real) beginners

By |August 26th, 2013|52 Projects, cooking, DIY, How To|

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I love pickles and have been planning on trying to make my own for some time now. I bought some pickling tools, mason jars, and even a book on pickling. After way too much research ( I blame graduate school) I started feeling less inspired and more overwhelmed. There were so many techniques and recipes- it was just too much. So I took a deep breath and decided to just go for it. Instead of choosing from one of the 5.2 million pickling season recipes, I picked up pre mixed pickling spices from Sprouts. For some reason this made the whole thing less stressful! I also couldn’t decide between using regular white vinegar brine or apple cider brine, so I tried both!

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It was super easy, and a lot of fun to try out. If you want to give it a whirl. It’s super easy- I promise!

Ingredients:

1. 8 Persian Cucumbers: quartered

2. 2 Tablespoons of pickling spices

3. Brine: 1 cup of water and one cup of vinegar (white or cider)

4. 3 Tablespoons salt

 Directions:

1. Put pickling spice in mason jars, and pack in cucumber quarters. Make sure there is half an inch of room between top of cucumbers and lid.

2. Prep the brine: put vinegar, salt and water in a pan and bring to a boil.

3. Pour brine into mason jars until they cover the cucumbers. Seal immediately

4. Let the jars cool to room temperature, label and put in the fridge for at least 48 hours.

ENJOY! These pickles will keep for about 4 weeks.

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love and candy,

lindsay