Stella, May I know how you properly light candles?

1:52 PM Unknown 0 Comments

It's Tutorial Tuesdays and in my effort to try and keep the food posts on this day to a minimum, here is my post on how to light candles. I know it's a little silly to read about, but hear me out. Have you ever experienced a bad candle? You know when it just won't stay lit or the candle is lighting unevenly? Well I have and so I sought out how to perfect my candle lighting skills.
This is a fresh, new candle I have been hoarding for a few years now. It was a limited edition White Barn Lily Pond Candle. The bottom label says: The calming fragrance of a water garden is conjured up by light touches of water lilies and musk. That's quite a long winded way of saying water lily and musk. Nonetheless I do like it. It's one of the stronger scents from the brand that fills the whole room.
One of the best things to know whether of not a candle with have a strong scent when burned is to smell the lid instead of the wax side. It's something I heard from a video, but it stuck and has been a good marker to check different candles. I could not tell you the amount of times when a candle sounds amazing but there was just no payoff in scent when I take it home. So smell the lids!
Always trim the wicks! This isn't actually a tip as it is in the instructions, but I never used to to this. This keeps the wick trimmings from getting into the wax pool and makes for a cleaner burn. The easiest way to trim the wicks is with a nail clipper. It's perfect for getting into candles. Remember to trim or clean the wicks before you light each time.
These are also the jars I used for the upcycle candle jars post. Click here.
I like to use long kitchen matches. Although as you can see, I still had to use three matches for this candle. If you have never trimmed your wicks before you will also find them lighting faster too! Now just sit back and enjoy the fragrance!
The biggest tip I have for lighting candles is to wait for the wax to be liquid from wall to wall. What I mean is to have a clear layer of liquid wax pooled. This will ensure that your next burn will burn at the same rate. I used to think I had a problem with how the wicks were too small for the candle and then I was never able to burn the entire jar. I would be left with a tunneling effect and a lot of unused wax. I thought it was the wick being too small, but I have found that it is because there too much wax and the wax is drowning the wick. Sometimes when I first burn the candle it still never melts the wax near the walls of the jar (even after a few hours), so that's when I bring out cotton balls. By carefully dipping the cotton into the liquid wax, the cotton balls will absorb the excess wax. Then when you burn your candle, the wick should have more room to light properly.

And that's all my tips to how to light a candle. It started off as a silly post, but I think there is some useful information in this albeit lengthy post. Come back tomorrow for the update with the planner dilemma! (Can you spot the planner in the pictures?)

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Stella, May I know how you score deals at Target?

4:30 PM Unknown 0 Comments

 Of course you may! The best deals are always found at the end caps. In each section of the store (kitchen, home decor..) there is a dedicated end cap full of clearance items.
 The items will be mismatched and they should be marked with a clearance sticker. But don't think that's the last stop! Especially if you like the product, you should always take whatever item to the price scanner. Sometimes it will ring up lower!
These cute mules were marked down from $34.99 to $10.48 on the tag. It didn't scan any lower at the price scanner, but it did on the cartwheel app! Target has this separate coupon app that adds additional savings to selected items. I always use it as there is almost always a 5% savings on Target's own brand (Market Pantry, up&up). The app has a scan feature that makes it super easy to check if any of your items has a corresponding coupon. When I scanned these shoes they were 25% off! That's just too good of a deal to pass up!
This post has nothing to do with Target, it's just some tips I use whenever I shop there. Also this weekend I had my first comment! I'm sorry it took me a little too long to respond (as I didn't see it), but I promise to do better! Comment below with your favorite Target tips!

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Stella, May I inquire about some of your favorites this fine Friday?

11:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! Today's Fiddle-Faddle Friday post is just about sharing some of my favorite highlights this week. 
First, we made ice pops! We found these reusable silicone ice molds at Ikea! Mister made this real quick concoction with frozen strawberries and lemonade. It turned out pretty tasty but just a little too icy. We are still trying out some recipes/ideas so look out for a post soon for that.

Little Oswald has found a new spot in your tiny home. Which is quite the feat as our place is incredibly small. (You already know we don't have a kitchen...) He made himself a hammock by squeezing in to the curtains and creating a little space to hang out. In the picture the curtains are gray and the blue velvet is the chair he's perched on. It's so adorable! It took us awhile for us to find him the first time.
 
Little Popcorn has also been finding new spots. Well he seems to be joying the little pine shavings and nestled himself comfortably. The only thing is I think he may be having a reaction to it. We have taken it away for now and going to wait it out to see if the pine shavings are the culprit. Some hedgehog owners use pine shavings as the bedding so it's a little odd to find that ours would be allergic to it.

That's it for now! I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

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Stella, May I know how was your first time at a Renaissance Faire?

8:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! I will say it was a lot of fun! It's like part shopping and part entertainment, all set during a time where they talk with "ye." The employees are all very kind and constantly asking whether or not we were having fun. As you can see we didn't dress up (as this was pretty last minute decision), but it was very interesting to see those in full-on costumes. There are always a lot going on at every corner. 
 Shopping: Cat puppets that perch on your shoulder! This was really cool as you can control them in your hand and watch them move on your shoulder. There are also a lot of other different creatures and of course dragons!
  There are a lot of souvenir shopping to do and this is where it gets a little pricey. These are artisan pieces and they are priced that way. There are a lot of shops so I would suggest shopping around before making a purchase. A lot of the shops also hold your items to the end of the day, so if you didn't find something you don't need to lug is around everywhere.
 This is a puzzle ring unsolved. It was one of the few things we considered getting but we didn't end up finding one that we liked.
 Entertainment: Free juggling school! This is one of the few free activities to do. The others are Maypole Dancing, Knighting Ceremonies, and a Petting Farm!
The petting zoo has a UNICORN! Say hello to Kyra!
There are also rides that cost $2-5. What was interesting is that those are all human powered!
 Joust Show! We didn't get very good seats (as you can really see the dust kick up in this picture), but it was fun to cheer and watch horse riding tricks. The seats you see in the elevated section are premium $10 seats. Those you want buy ahead of time as they were sold out by the time we got there. It's a very short show (less than 30 minutes) so having great seats staked out beforehand wasn't worth sitting out in the sun.
Wheel of Death show was probably my favorite! It's a one man show and he does is all without talking. Kind of. I don't think we were a very cooperative audience so he called us out, but it was a lot of fun!
 There was also a live demonstration of glass blowing. He really goes into detail explaining each step. It was a fascinating and educational demonstration I would definitely recommend. Plus he does one at the top of every hour, each time making something different.
 How cool are these Wizard Orbs (walking sticks)? This was a separate walking stick booth, not made by the man in the previous photo.
 Fire eating shows. This is the Knotty Nauticals and they will go right up to you and eat fire!
Lots of fun masks and ears to try on. 
And become an elf for the day! 

Tips: 
Get there early! The street going into the festival only has only lane for each direction and traffic starts right before lunch. I suggest getting there before lunch to beat the traffic! 
 Come hungry! There are so many food choices and at reasonable prices. These are ribbon fries. They sounded cool, but they weren't super tasty.
The famed turkey leg was just $7! The one downside with the food is that the drinks are where it becomes expensive. Bring a water bottles. This is probable one of the few times where I suggest the disposable water bottles as there weren't any fountains to refill at. 
 Or buy a drinking horn! There are also a lot difference chalices to drink out of. 
Bring hand sanitizer, that is unless you really want to live it up like the Renaissance. The privies are all portable bathrooms without sinks. Be warned! It is kept pretty clean though. 
Bring sun protection! The festival is outdoors so stay protected! 
Good walking shoes. The festival isn't a big compound, but you will be walking back and forth a lot, especially if you are trying to catch a lot of shows. 
Pick up a free show schedule/map at the entrance. There is always something going on wherever you are. A lot of the shows have several showings each day so you don't feel like you are missing anything. (Jousting, Wheel of Death, Fire Eating, and the list goes on.) Just make sure you pick out your favorites and go during show times! Also a lot of stores have demonstrations you can watch that aren't listed in the show schedule. (glass blowing, coin minting, weaving, leather making, spinning) 
Leave a little early. Just like other theme parks exiting will be a slow moving process as the festival closes. We left about an hour early and avoided all the people leaving at the same time. I would say leave by 5PM to avoid the traffic. 

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I used the coupon code: smi to get the group rate and I wanted to share that with you. Georgia Renaissance Festival will be opened through Monday for Memorial Day! 

links: garenfest.com coupon code: smi

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SMI Renaissance Festival

2:42 PM Unknown 0 Comments

 Of course you may! This was a fun weekend activity and here are some snaps of what we saw! Come back tomorrow for a full post of what we did and some tips!
So me and Mister have been binge watching House and there is an episode set at a Renaissance Festival. Then there was a commercial that just kept airing about the Celtic Weekend at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. But what made us finally decide to go was waking up early for a Saturday and with nothing planned. We bought our tickets online and trekked our way there! It's only a thirty minute drive from the city! 
 We didn't really know what to expect, but we knew we might be speaking funny and enjoying a simpler way of life.
 Dunk the maiden the water!
 Jousting!
 Masks

Oil Lamps

Horns and Ears
The Georgia Renaissance Festival runs every weekend through June 5. This Memorial Day weekend they are also opened on Monday! I used the discount code: smi to get tickets for $15.95 (reg. $22). Come back tomorrow for a full post on what we did at the Renaissance Festival. 

links: garenfest.com (discount code: smi) 

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Stella, May I know how you have s'mores without a campfire?

12:49 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! If you haven't noticed by my lack of outdoorsy and camping pictures on this blog, then I should let you know I am not one to go camping. So it was hard to have s'mores. The only time we used to have them was when we went to the beach. They are certain beaches in SoCal that have fire pits (Huntington and Laguna Beach).
It was probably an insatiable urge to make me try to make s'mores at home, but at least it turned out good! Today's Tutorial Tuesday is super simple, but if I didn't see someone do this prior I would be amazed and then wondered why I never tried to make it at home. Since we had hot chocolate  and cheesecake ingredients on hand, all this tutorial is is assembly!
Break up the graham crackers and smear on some Nutella. Why Nutella? Well why not! If you are used to Hershey's bars then you are in for a treat! Not only do you get the tasty Nutella/hazelnut goodness, but you don't have to worry about having it toasted enough to melt the chocolate. It is a spread after all. I should also mention that if you haven't gone beyond Hershey's bars, then do try some other chocolate bars. Reese's? Snickers? After you spread on some chocolate top them off with marshmallows. That'at another bonus for using a spread instead of a bar. The spread allows the marshmallows to glue on and they won't go rolling anywhere. If you are experiencing  flying-off-marshmallows, then try slicing them. The insides of the marshmallows are sticky enough to use as glue. Then just stick it in the toaster oven and toast!
Watch them closely, as they do burn rather quickly. Another tip: if your graham crackers are a little stale, then toast them first. This little step revives those soft, chewy crackers up! Don't those little squares look delicious? Top them off with another square and you have yourself a simple dessert you can whip any time of the year.

link: hot chocolate cheesecake (Tutorial Tuesday next week!)

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Stella, May I know why your favorite legume is a pea?

2:22 PM Unknown 0 Comments

 Why of course you may! I find that you either like peas or don't and in our little home, it's me that loves peas and Mister that doesn't. However since peas are one of the easiest things to cook, it is very simple for me to throw in a couple of peas to a dish after I've served up Mister's plate. If we have a pasta dish (a super common occurrence), I would plate up Mister's meal then toss in a handful of frozen peas and then serve me up!
The ones above are some fresh peas. Remember when we found a new market recently with the fresh crawfish? Well Mister spotted some fresh peas! Still in the pod! This is probably the city (more like suburban) me talking, but it was super exciting!
Peas are a cool-season crop and mostly grown all year round. After doing a little research, I found that they are mostly green, and occasional yellow. However there are rare occasions when they are purple! I am now going to be on a search for the purple peas..
Most of the time I just toss in peas at the last minute of any dish. Just gently heat them the heat from the dish and serve. It's a easy step to add in some vegetables to any dish. With fresh peas, the most common preparations are boiled or steamed. Then seasoned with butter, salt and pepper. It's also common to flavor peas with spearmint! I'm not the biggest fan of mint in savory dishes, but maybe one day I will try it. 
Another macro shot of the shelled peas.. They look so pretty!
By the way, these are garden peas or English peas. There are also other varieties. Sugar peas, snap peas, snow peas... If you aren't very fond of peas, because of that mushy taste I urge you to try some fresh peas! They aren't mushy at all, well as long as you don't over cook them. Add some in your casserole or pot pie or salad or anything really!

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Stella, May I know what you got in your first Play by Sephora box?

8:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! This is my continuance of my slow venture of beauty on Stella May I and this goes without saying I brought out Popcorn to help me with the unboxing! (He is protecting our privacy.) When Sephora announced they making sample subscription boxes, I signed up pretty much immediately. And sadly I have been on wait list until last month when I finally got the invitation to join! Play by Sephora is a $10 a month beauty subscription service that offers 5 samples (+1 fragrance). What makes this one different than other beauty boxes is that all of the products are going to be found in Sephora stores. When I signed up for ipsy (aka myglam) and birchbox, I was introduced to brands I have never heard of. Which is a good thing to discover new products and brands, but sometimes (a lot of the times) I would befuddled as to why it was included in the box. I would just not be impressed by them. For today's Fiddle-Faddle Friday, I will be unboxing my first Play by Sephora box! 
When you first open the box you have the card that give you a bonus 50 beauty insider points and a in-store one on one tutorial. 
Popcorn then went to hide... He doesn't want to see what's inside the box. 
The box itself is pretty sturdy and considering these are just samples inside, it's packaged well. The box is black and white striped, just like their store bags! 
There is also a poster of the products included. It's nice they include descriptions of what each product is and a little background of the brand. It would have been nice to know the prices of the full sized items. 
All the samples are inside this "collectible bag." It's a pretty nice bag and I would use it for traveling. It's much better than the ipsy bags since my biggest complaint with those are that they were always the same size so by the time you have a couple of boxes you buildup a couple of the same bags. 
As promised, 5 deluxe samples and a fragrance. 
First up is Originis Maskimizer spray (.05 fl. oz.), Clear Improvement mask (.1 fl.oz.), and Drink Up Intensive mask (.1 fl. oz.). This is basically three samples! (well really tiny ones) The spray is what I am most excited for. It's supposed to prime your face for masks. I just don't know how much this tiny sample will last. 
Second is the Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair deep conditioning mask (1 oz.). This is a pretty good sample and I think I could get at least 2 uses out of it. My hair is like waist length these days so that's pretty generous! 
Thirdly is this Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (0.34 fl. oz). This is one of my favorite moisturizers, so I am happy to have one for traveling. It's both hydrating and brightening. I always notice that my skin is brighter and smoother the next morning. 
Fourth is this adorable Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi (.05 oz). Bite just recently released this new line of lipstick to replace their beloved luminous creme line. It's said to be creamier and have better pigments. I'm not quite brave enough to wear this shade, but the formula is nice and comfortable. 
Fifth is the Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram (.001 oz). This is so tiny! The point is also very fine, which might be nice if it were an eye pencil, but as a lip pencil it's too small. The color is a warm neutral color that would be good for every day. 
Here are swatches of the two shade. That bright pink of the Bite lipstick is making the lip liner a little dull. It's too bad that the colors aren't made to be worn together. 
Lastly we have the bonus item, the Atelier Cologne in Orange Sanguine (no size stated anywhere, but it is one of those tiny vials). For a bonus item this is packaged really nicely. It comes in a parchment bag and is sealed with a sticker. 
Inside the bag you have a nice postcard and the tiny vial of perfume. This is a pretty fresh scent and I don't think it will last very long on the skin. So I suspect I will need to reapply it often as it will wear off pretty quickly. 
 The back of the postcard.
And that's all that's inside the box! I say I am pretty impressed with the box. This is a sample subscription, so expect samples. It's a nice medley of hair, makeup and skincare. 


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