Wednesday, October 28, 2015

DIY Wine Bottle Candle

I love a good DIY, I really do... and I especially love blogging about them! 
But the truth is, about half of my DIYs don't work out the way they were supposed to, and they end up getting thrown away or shoved in a bin somewhere until I can think of a way to salvage it (this drives John nuts!).  Personally, I blame all the fake Pinterest tutorials out there. :)

Anyway, when I decided to try and make a wine bottle candle, I was quite skeptical about whether it would work... I mean really, how am I going to cut a wine bottle in half using water?! Well, believe it or not, I was absolutely shocked when this actually worked - and truth be told, I'm a little bit obsessed!
 
So if I have ever met you in person, you will probably be getting one of these for Christmas...


To cut the bottle, all you need is a glass scorer (you can buy one at Home Depot for $3).



(Side story:) John and I got engaged when we were 21, and I have been toting around our celebratory bottle of champagne ever since.  Having moved so many times, I've been tempted to throw it out, but I'm now glad that we kept it - it was the perfect bottle to turn into a candle!

Begin by using tape to mark off where you want the bottle to cut (I used washi tape, but painters tape or electrical tape will work too!).  Next, use the scorer and score the bottle where you want it to cut; as tempting as it is, do not go over your score mark - it should only leave a faint line!


Next, slowly pour boiling water over the score line - rotate the bottle to make sure it has been fully covered with the hot water (wear rubber gloves so you don't burn your hands!).  After covering the score mark with boiling water, immediately run the bottle under cold water. 
Simply repeat (2 or 3 times) until the bottle falls in half!


Like I said before, I was absolutely shocked when it worked!
If you have any rough edges, use a bit of sandpaper to smooth them out.


After you've cut the bottle, it's time to turn it into a candle! I wanted to use a wooden wick, but a normal wick will work too.  Using a hot glue gun, secure the wick to the bottom of the bottle.


Melt the wax according to the instructions for the particular type of wax that you bought - I used soy wax!  Once the wax is melted, add a few drops of candle fragrance (optional!), and pour into the bottom of the wine bottle (not filling totally to the top).


Let the wax harden and settle.  Once it settles it may be a bit uneven, so add a bit more wax to the top of the candle to smooth it out.


After the candle has completely hardened (give it a full night!), trim the wick and burn away!



The best part about these candles is that once you fully burn it, you can add a new wick and wax and burn it again as new!

Now I just need to collect more bottles... Here's to drinking wine and DIYing! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Apple Cider Mimosas

This recipe (if you can even call it that!) is so delicious and festive... and it is officially my go-to cocktail for the fall.  

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to blog about these apple cider mimosas (since they are so simple and there is not much to them), but I decided that their simplicity is exactly what makes them so perfect – who has time for a bunch of ingredients and a weeknight cocktail shaker?!


All you need is apple cider, champagne, and, if you’re feeling fabulous, a sliced apple and gold sprinkles to garnish the rim of the champagne glass.


Begin by rimming your champagne glasses with sprinkles – totally optional, but why not if you have it on hand?!


Next, fill the champagne glass about half full of champagne.  

By the way, I am a little bit obsessed over the single-servings of Sophia – I love the convenience of being able to enjoy a single glass of champagne without the pressure of finishing a bottle!


Then, fill the remainder of the glass with apple cider.  Garnish the rim with a sliced apple.


And ta da! It's fall in a glass :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Happenings!

I feel like my blogging game has been slacking since moving, but I guess that's what happens when you get busy (I love to blog, but it always seems like it is the first thing to get cut when I'm short on time!).  In effort to get back on the blogging train, here's a quick peek of what we've been up to!

**

Shortly after moving to Texas, Kelli and I made plans to get together for dinner! It was so great meeting her, and she is as sweet as they come - I feel so fortunate to already have a friend in the area!


Cheers to blog friends turned real life friends!


Part of getting settled in a new area is finding a new grocery store and learning the layout - I hate wandering!! I'm an in-and-out kind of grocery shopper, BUTTT I couldn't help but stop and admire the beautiful flowers that they were selling... can't go wrong with hydrangeas!


John and I have been so busy putting things together and unpacking, and we decided we needed a mini date night to Alamo Drafthouse which is a movie theater that serves dinner and drinks during your movie! We saw Bridge of Spies; John liked it, but I thought it dragged on a bit.  It was quite fun, and while it may not be for everyone (since people are ordering food throughout the movie), we had a great time!  


It rained nonstop over the weekend!  Despite the flood warnings, John and I ventured out to the outlet malls, and I'm not going to lie, I didn't mind how empty it was!  And I officially awarded John with the husband of the year award... I was dying for a soft pretzel, and John was willing to stand in the rain for me - now that's love. :) :)


The rain finally cleared up on Sunday, and John and I headed out for some delicious Mexican food at La Gloria... it was delicious and just what we needed!

Also!! The best part about all of the rain was that it really cooled down the air temperature.  I was able to (legitimately) wear a scarf and a vest - so there was no shame in my fall game!


La Gloria serves Mexican street food from different styles all over Mexico... this will certainly be a spot that we take people visiting from out of town! Tacos, tacos, tacos!! (Speaking of tacos, I've been looking for an excuse to use the new emojis; so this killed two birds with one stone - score!)




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake

You know those pins that have been sitting on your Pinterest board for absolutely forever?  
Well, this pumpkin spice pound cake is one of those for me.  I'm pretty sure when I was finally "invited" to join Pinterest four years ago, this was one of the first things I pinned!

And it just so happens that this dessert looks as festive as it tastes!



Since this recipe requires two rounds of baking, I cheated and used boxed cake mixes - but your favorite recipe from scratch will work just as well!

Begin by baking a loaf of pumpkin spice bread.  Remove from the oven 5 minutes before the recommended baking time.  Once baked, let the loaf fully cool - this is very important so that the bread won't crumble!



After the loaf is fully cool, remove from the bread pan and cut into thick slices.



Next, use a pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out pumpkin-shaped slices.



Put the slices back into a greased bread pan.  To hold the pieces together, I added a little extra sliver of pumpkin bread on either side.



Next, mix the pound cake batter and pour over the pumpkin cut-outs.  Give the pan a tap or two on the table to help the batter settle around the pumpkin cut-outs.  Follow the recommended baking time and temperature.



Once the bread is baked and cooled, pop out of the baking pan, add frosting (or not), slice and enjoy!





Looking for a second dessert?
Use the left over scraps of the pumpkin spice bread to make a delicious trifle!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rain Boot Maintenance

So it's forecasted to rain on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday... and I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit excited about it.  Living in Arizona you can't beat all of the desert sunshine, but it does come at the expense of wearing super cute rain boots - and I love my rain boots!

Anyway, in anticipation for the Texas rain, I broke out my rain boots and noticed that they had been blooming away in storage.  Blooming (which is a white film/powder on the surface of the boots), is a common characteristic of high quality, natural rubber.

While the blooming doesn't bother me much, I thought I would give my boots a good cleaning... the process was quite simple, and honestly, the boots look brand new again!



Begin by cleaning the boots with soapy water to remove any loose dirt.  Do not use hot water as this will dry the boots out.


Once all of the loose dirt has been removed, simply dab a little olive oil onto a cloth and buff the rain boots to remove the blooming.


I read a ton of reviews before cleaning my boots, and some said that olive oil does a good job with removing the blooming on the surface of the boots, but a few days later the bloom starts to come back.  To ensure the bloom would stay away for a while, I finished off the boots with Armor All Tire Shine ($4.50 from Target).


I was super impressed with how well the boots cleaned up, and honestly, they looked brand new!


If your rain boots have canvas, like these Burberry Clemence rain boots, avoid getting any olive oil or shine on the canvas.  To clean the canvas, simply take a damp cloth and clean the canvas starting at the top of the boot working your way down.


To finish, throw a dryer sheet in each boot, and store the boots standing up in a dry location (away from sunlight and heat as that will dry out the rubber).

Hunter Boots also sells an inexpensive boot shine and buffer, but if you're looking for an at-home remedy to clean your boots before heading out, olive oil is the way to go!  My high gloss Hunters had the most obvious improvement, but my matte Hunters looked much nicer too!

Now, here's to singing in the rain. :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall Bucket List!

Although the calendar season of fall is well underway, I’m just now catching up on all of the fun. 
Here is my bucket list for the season.


ONE  |  Fall Décor


Must. Decorate. For. Fall. 

Moving is exhausting, and other than my front door, I have not yet had a chance to break out any of my fall décor.  I hoping to do so this weekend, but we will see how it goes, considering the rest of our house is still in shambles.  If I do get around to it (fingers crossed), here’s some fall décor inspiration that I’m loving.



TWO  |  Lost Maples State Park

Kelli and I (and the hubbies) are making plans to head to Lost Maples State Park for a little Texas hiking once the maple leaves start changing colors.  I’m all about beautiful fall foliage, Texas exploring, and blogger meet-ups… so, if you ask me, this is a perfect bucket list item!



THREE  |  Apple Orchard

John came home from work this week super excited to tell me about an apple orchard that his coworkers told him about.  They have a pumpkin patch, you-pick apples, and a cider mill… this should be on my bucket list two times, because I am that excited!



FOUR  |  Bird Hunting

Bird hunting season is well underway in Texas, and I am on a mission to get Scout out into the field!  Wild bird hunting is not as common in Texas as it is in Arizona (because there is not nearly as much public land), but there are several hunting preserves that aren’t too far away that we have our eye on.



FIVE  |  Fall Baking

I am so excited to start baking in my own kitchen; and let me tell you, my fall baking list grows daily!  I have several recipes on my bucket list, and I am hoping to start knocking some out this weekend.  Here are a few recipes that I have my eye on!




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lust List: Fall Scarves!

One thing that I am absolutely loving about Texas is the fall weather. The highs during the day are still in the mid-80s, but the mornings couldn't be more beautiful - in the mid-60s... it's glorious.

My morning routine since moving consists of waking up, watering my plants (I've developed a longing for a green thumb!), enjoying some time with Scout outside, and getting a morning Starbucks before buckling down for a days worth of work.  

And a comfy scarf has become my chilly morning go-to.  John thinks it's ridiculous, but anything in the 60s is a bit crisp for me (you would never know that I grew up in the Midwest!!), and a scarf is the perfect finishing for a fall morning... not to mention I can easily ditch it by the time the day heats up.

So until I can start wearing jeans consistently, a scarf is going to have to be where it's at (and I'm not complaining!).
  
Here are 10 scarves that I've got my fall eye on.


10 Scarves for Fall



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