DIY Aromatherapy Candle

A few weeks ago, I noticed I was feeling a bit more stressed than usual and was losing sleep because of it. Desperate to find a (natural) cure, I googled some ways that I could help myself feel more calm. It didn’t take long before something stood out immediately: aromatherapy.

The idea of aromatherapy was very intriguing – could certain scents really help me feel at ease? How could I introduce myself to these scents without being overwhelmed by how strong they can be? What’s waxy, smells good, and lights up a whole room? Oh yeah…a candle.

While looking around online for natural soy aromatherapy candles to buy, I noticed they come with quite the price tag. Feeling a little thrifty, I decided I was going to try to make my own. There are hundreds of homemade candle making techniques out there, so there was nothing to lose in giving it a shot. Besides, it looked kind of fun!

I decided that Lavender Vanilla would be the best aromatherapy scent for me, so I went on Amazon and ordered wax, oils, and wicks. Everything else I needed I had at home, so I was in the kitchen making candles in no time.

Here is a list of items you’ll need for your candles:

1. Natural Soy Wax Chips

2. Candle Wicks

3. Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil*

4. Vanilla Pure Essential Oil*

5. Large glass measuring cup, like this one

6. Pencil, pen, or chopstick

7. Glass jar (make sure you can easily reach the wick when it melts down)

*Feel free to use whatever essential oils you like

Once you everything you need to make your candles, it’s onto the fun part.

DIY Aromatherapy Candle

DIY Aromatherapy Candle

Go ahead and set up your jar before you start anything else. Wrap the excess wick around your pencil and place the metal tab in the center and flush with the bottom of the jar. You can use a little bit of melted wax to get it to stick to the bottom if you like, but I haven’t found it necessary (just make sure it’s in a place where it won’t get bumped!) Now it’s time to get cookin’.

There are fancier ways to melt the wax, but I just use the handy microwave (don’t judge me). First, fill up your jar with the wax chips so that it’s almost overflowing. That will fill the jar about 3/4 of the way once it’s melted, so make sure to compensate by adding about 1/4 of your jar’s worth on top of that. I heat the wax up for about a minute and stir it vigorously until the wax chunks slowly start to melt into liquid. I’ll pop it in for about 30 seconds more if it looks like it’s having trouble melting. You may have to play around with the amount of time you spend microwaving depending on the strength of your microwave, but make sure the wax doesn’t get too hot. It’s best to get most of the wax to melt by stirring.

Once the wax is completely melted, you can add the essential oils. This is the part that requires some trial and error – I like my candles strong, so I’ve learned you have to add a LOT of essential oil drops to bring them to that level. They may smell potent right out of their bottles, but they lose some of that once they mix with the hot wax. I typically add about 40-50 drops of lavender and 15-25 drops of vanilla to a 4oz candle, but I’m still playing with the amount. One day I will have it down pat!

Once you’ve added the drops to your liking, stir it up a bit and pour it into your glass jar while being careful not to move the wick around. Place your candle somewhere it will be undisturbed for 24 hours. Once a full day has passed, cut your wick, light, and enjoy!

As you can see, it’s a pretty simple and fun process. The lavender scent is relaxing and giving myself something to do also helps distract me from my stressful thoughts! I’m excited to eventually try mixing together different scents, but for now I’m going to stick with this combination.

Do you like making candles? What are some tips and tricks? Favorite aromatherapy scent combinations? Let me know in the comments!

DIY Aromatherapy Candle

The Midi Skirt

Being 5’1″, I never thought I’d see the day where a midi skirt ended up in my closet. I’ve always thought it was an awkward place for a skirt to end, and that it was only a flattering look on those 5’9″ and up. Well, surprise, surprise…I was wrong.

Society is always telling women what to wear. Short women shouldn’t wear this, tall women shouldn’t wear that…yada yada. The best thing you can do for yourself is to wear what you feel comfortable wearing. We tend to judge ourselves a lot harsher than the people around us do, so if you’re feeling confident in what you’re wearing that’s already an accomplishment in and of itself. Let the short girls wear cropped pants and the tall girls wear high heels if they wish.

Rant aside, I have been loving midi-length skirts. They aren’t too short to where you have to be weary on a windy day, and they aren’t too long to where they’re uncomfortable to wear on sweltering hot days. It’s also easy to dress them up or down, so they make for very versatile additions to your closet.

This particular skirt is from Urban Outfitters. I love the soft, breathable fabric and the buttons up the front. It’s perfect to wear with tanks, tees, and crop tops, so it’s definitely a summer staple.

How do you feel about midi skirts? Let me know in the comments!

The Midi Skirt

Minimal Eye Bold Lip

The warmer the weather gets, the less makeup I wear. Minimal makeup can look very fresh, so that could be why. Or maybe it’s just because there’s no use in applying a lot just to sweat it all off by the end of the day. Either way, you won’t catch me in front of the mirror for longer than 10 minutes over the summer.

Normally, I just like to apply a light gloss to the lips, but sometimes when I’m feeling frisky I reach for one of my bolder lipsticks and pair it with my very minimal eye makeup. Contrast is one of my favorite design principles, so it only makes sense that I would love it in “real-life” scenarios as well.

This lipstick is “Bumble” by ColourPop. Though I’m typically not a fan of their ultra matte formula, this color was too stunning to pass up. It’s the perfect bold lip for summer because it’s standout without being too dark.

Bold lipstick with a minimal eye is one of the easiest ways to go from a daytime look to a nighttime look. Pack it in your purse in the morning and you have instant glam-on-the-go when you’re ready to go out at night. Easy peasy!

How do you feel about a bold lip with minimal eye makeup? Yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!

Finding a Fitness Routine

Physical exercise and I haven’t always had the most stable relationship. Of course I have always been the disloyal one; I would go through phases where I exercised consistently, but I also went through phases where I didn’t exercise at all. It can be tough and disheartening to find a workout regimen that works for you, but it’s possible and necessary. Here are some things I’ve personally learned on my roller coaster ride with exercise.

Doing something is better than doing nothing.

While you will see the best results by being consistent and pushing yourself, it’s better to make small conscious efforts to get exercise than to not do anything at all. In fact, walking burns five times as many calories as sitting, so spending 15 minutes going on a walk instead of in front of the TV is already putting you at an advantage. Then of course there’s all the clichés like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the store so you have to walk longer, but hey, they’re only cliché because they work!

You don’t have to pay a dime.

If you don’t plan on being a professional bodybuilder or powerlifter, you don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to get the exercise you need. Bodyweight exercises are just as beneficial and can be very challenging, and there are plenty of free resources out there for you to utilize. My favorite classes I’ve ever taken are by a woman named Ali Kamenova on YouTube – she is absolutely amazing! Check out the plethora of exercise videos YouTube has to offer; there are all kinds of classes ranging from yoga to kickboxing to pilates, so you’re sure to find something. Pinterest also has a lot of great interval workouts, but personally I prefer having someone tell me (and show me) what to do!

Figure out what you enjoy doing.

Exercise doesn’t have to be torturous. If you find yourself feeling this way, it’s probably best to start small and find something you can tolerate. The best kind of exercise is when it doesn’t feel like exercise (at least for us lazy folk), so try and figure out what that means to you. Do you like to dance? How about going for a run? Do you need something to help you wind down, like yoga? Try a few different things and see if you can find something you’ll stick with.

Mix it up.

Don’t bore yourself to tears by doing the exact same thing every single time you work out. Not only are you risking becoming very disinterested quickly, but your body will get used to the movements and won’t progress as easily. I have my favorite yoga classes that I like to do, but I make an effort to mix in new ones regularly to keep myself motivated. My current routine consists of an alternating schedule: 3 days of yoga + 2 days of cardio interval training one week, and 2 days of yoga + 3 days of cardio interval training the next. Ok, I’ll admit that’s an ideal week, but it definitely keeps me on my toes regardless!

Make the time.

A lot of people think you have to dedicate a one hour block to exercise, and this is absolutely not true. If it works better to spread it out throughout your day, then do so! For example, I go on a quick walk every morning with my dog. When I come in, I pull up a 30 minute yoga video and do that. Once I’m off of work, it’s time to walk my dog again and we usually go for a longer one at night. And voila! There’s my hour’s worth of exercise. You can get a great workout in 15-30 minutes, but it’s all up to you to do it.

Don’t get discouraged.

Working out is hard. There are times when you feel fatigued and sore, but it eventually starts getting much more manageable. The moment you start focusing on feeling good rather than looking good, you’ll notice you progress much faster.

Being Grateful While Wanting More

We are all familiar with the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side.”  Of course in plain terms it means you want what you don’t have. As humans, we are always wondering What if? and placing ourselves in imaginary scenarios that we hope one day will come true.

Through our childhoods and even through adolescence, I think a majority of us go through a phase where we’re a little selfish and ungrateful. As we get older, we become more appreciative of the opportunities we receive and the things we have. Yet life is in a constant state of evolution; with everything changing all the time, it’s only natural for us to expect more is to come.

The list of things I have to be grateful for is not a short one. I can admit that without hesitation. There are many people and experiences in my life that have led me to where I am now that I am extremely thankful for, and I also understand my privileges. My life has been pretty good thus far, so it makes me feel a little guilty when I find myself asking: How can I still want more?”

My answer: Well, why shouldn’t you?”

I think we should all be striving to become better versions of ourselves. Life is all about experiences, so if you’re not trying to pursue your passions, teach yourself something new, or make an impact in some way, what’s the point? It’s no fun to keep the car in park when there’s an option to drive.

In fact, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about the future. Personally, I don’t want to look five years ahead and see myself in the exact same place I’m in right now. At this point in life, I want to always give myself long-term and short-term goals and consistently try to meet them. Continual growth is the name of the game, and you should always want the utmost success for yourself (and for those around you!) It’s just going to require some good ol’ hard work and determination.

Basically my point is just because you’re looking ahead to the future doesn’t mean you’re not grateful for what you have at the present moment. It’s always important to have a plan while still keeping in mind the people and/or experiences that have gotten you where you are. There is so much to be grateful for (like waking up every morning for instance), and yet there are also a lot of opportunities at our disposal that we should be taking advantage of. So stay humble, stay grateful, and stay striving to create the life that you want for yourself!