Non-Holiday Candle Round Up

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

         So I have an obsession with candles, I have two other posts like this, from fall and winter of last year. I feel like I have certain scents that I like and it was very clear that my scent notes for fall are: Cinnamon, Pumpkin, and Caramel. In winter they are: Vanilla, Pine, and Peppermint. There are others, but those are the predominant scents throughout the more holiday or seasonally based candles that I don’t have out year round.

         It’s also against my lease to burn candles so I just have them everywhere in my apartment. There are a few that I don’t have in this post because they don’t have labels and I cannot remember where I got them or what their scent notes actually are. 

         I have been meaning to write this post since like May and then things got in the way, oops. So here we are about two weeks before I switch out to my fall candles because September 1st is the start of fall for me even though it will still be in like the 80s throughout the month. I would like some fall weather, but usually in Northwest Arkansas it doesn’t become fall until like mid-October. 

         So candles! 

         Y’all are going to see some repeated scents and by the end you will probably know which scents are my favorites. 

         Eucalyptus Spa: I got this one on sale at At Home and I really like the smell and the jar is super cute as well. I feel like I need to say in every section that I can’t burn these, one day, but that day is not today.

         Positive Vibes: This is the last candle I bought, I got it at HomeGoods and it was either this one or one that smelled like doughnuts, and I should have gotten both. This one smells like lavender and coconut. I will probably use this more as décor anyway. 

         Cactus Blossom: This is one of my favorite scents in my apartment and it’s from Bath & Body Works. I cannot describe what it smells like outside the scent notes themselves, which are lemon, coconut, and cactus flower. It smells like something else though, maybe the Soj De Janiro Bum Bum Cream body wash even though none of the notes are the same except coconut. It just reminds me of shampoo or something and I love it.

         Bergamot Waters: Got it at Bath & Body Works, I get a lot of candles there, at least I used to. Bergamot is one of those scents that is repetitive in my collection and I love it. 

         Eucalyptus Mint: Again Bath & Body Works, I love eucalyptus and that is such a hard word to spell so having to write it more than once is a pain. It’s just a light fresh scent that I love. 

         Paris- French Daydream: Back in the day when B&BW had city candles I got this one and London, I think I have a second London one somewhere but it’s not out in the apartment because I don’t have the room. It’s very lightly scented with freesia and sandalwood and those scents are pretty unique to that candle itself. 

         Bergamot Sea: Another Bergamot candle, that makes two or three now. Bergamot and lavender is pretty much my favorite scent combination and eventually I will find a candle that combines those scents. If anyone knows of one, tell me! 

         Pineapple: I got this one at HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx, I can’t remember which one, it has a pineapple die cut out of the top and I love the scent so much. I got it right after I moved down here and it’s been out in every place I’ve lived since I moved here. 

         Chestnut and Clove: It’s a fall scent, this is the only one that kind of escaped my fall round up last year. To be honest, I forgot about it. Oops.

         Piñon: This was a gift from a family friend, she got it in a fabfitfun box several years ago and I love how it smells. I also love the packaging, I am a sucker for good packaging and eventually I could reuse these jars for something else when I burn the whole candle out. 

         Coconut Island: I bought this one a few weeks ago at Yankee Candle because it was on sale and now it’s a bookend. I for sure use candles as bookends all the time. Another coconut scented candle should shock no one. 

         Beach House: Target, I got it at Target. The scent notes for this one are unknown to me because I can’t find it online. I bought it a long time ago and now it just acts as a holder for a painting for height. I like it and it’s a cute candle, I just wish I knew the scents. 

         Amber & Moss: HomeGoods, if I didn’t buy the candle at B&BW I probably bought it at HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx, this one reminded me of the Piñon candle just for the jar itself and I love the smell. It’s warm and comforting.

         So many candles so little time and that is all of them, or at least most of them in my apartment. I used to burn candles like every day when I lived in my parent’s house, but now that I am in an apartment I don’t want to have to pay the cleaning fee for the soot. One day I will be able to burn them, it’ll happen eventually. 

         I hope that everyone has a great start to the week and I will be back mid-week with another post. I think I already have that written, I think, if not it’ll get done. 

         So until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.

         -MJ 

A Fun Summer DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ

            So I actually did this DIY almost a month ago and I have been considering it for several months I was just looking for the perfect container to put it all in. Here I am with another almost quarterly DIY because I enjoy making things and sometimes I can’t find the thing that I want, so I have to make it myself. 

            I meant to write this post pretty much right after I finished the DIY, I did not. Oops my bad. 

            I love those beautiful terrariums with succulents in them, I cannot keep a succulent alive to save my life. It’s a problem and I can’t seem to fix it, so I figured, I’ll just use fake ones and roll with it. 

            This DIY isn’t even in my apartment, it’s still at my parents’ house because I haven’t figured out how to transport it safely, I should have thought of that before, but your girl is kinda of dumb sometimes. Then my dad told me that he really liked it so I am going to have to make another one just to leave there when I get a chance to get more succulents. He’s not a huge fan of art, but apparently he likes tiny succulents. I arrange flowers for my mom all the time so at least he likes something that I do creatively. I am going to tell you a short story about my father, this was a few years ago when he found out that I like to write books in my spare time and he asked me if I had any of them published. I looked over like I was looking at a camera on The Office and said no, but it’s a goal. You think that he would realize that if I published a book I would have told him!? I love my dad though and this is for sure a very story time moment at the beginning of this post. My bad.

            Back to the DIY because I rambled! 

Materials (what you gonna need): 

            Succulents: I got mine at Michael’s in like March, you can get them from Amazon or your fave craft retailor. Pick ones that you like, I stuck with a bagged package and one that my mom liked (I had to cut that one down off its stem so if you do this, make sure to have pliers, pretty much whenever you are working with flowers. pro tip: have pliers.)

            Moss: or some kind of ground cover. I used floral foam for my base and covering it in moss was the best option for me. You may recognize this moss from one of my Halloween DIY’s last fall. Next time I need moss I will actually have to go and buy more because I used the rest of it. Also this stuff gets messy to be prepared to have dust and particles of moss everywhere. 

            Floral Foam: It’s a good idea to have a base on these kinds of projects especially with the terrarium I chose. I got small blocks instead of big blocks and cutting them with a serrated knife tends to be the easiest. I used my mom’s bread knife, sorry mom. I cleaned it right away though. 

            Terrarium or container: I got this one at HomeGoods and I was so excited because it was only like $15. I wanted a glass and gold terrarium and this one just happened to be there so I grabbed it. You can find these pretty much anywhere anymore, I have seen them at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon. The completed ones in terrariums like this were what really inspired this project but I never liked any of them, so I made it myself. 

            Tiny Rocks: I was actually going to use rocks straight up out of the rock beds that are landscaping at my parent’s house, my mom said no. Luckily we had these river rocks that you usually use for vases in flower arranging and these were extras so I grabs a bunch dropped them on hot glue and that was how I did the little clusters.

            Time: This project start to finish probably took me 30-45 minutes, give yourself time to make it how you want it. 

Steps (procedure, directions, whatever you want to call it):

            -Gather your materials, that should always be your first step. Also get your hot glue gun on like right now. It’s going to take a few minutes to heat up.

            -Next step really is hot glue, get a good base of hot glue in whatever shape you want on a sheet of parchment paper (do not do it directly on any surface that it could burn, stain, or stick to) and drop rocks on it, do not put the rocks down and put the hot glue on top, it doesn’t work they just fall out of the hot glue when you turn it over. Putting them firmly in the hot glue seals them in. Make sure that you give them time to dry, they look like little islands and I wanted to have more substantial rocks and not just sprinkle them around. 

            -Now, get your terrarium and cut your floral foam to fit, you will probably need multiple pieces, I didn’t want mine all at one level so I cut them a little different for height. Some advice from me though, try and keep it as even with the opening of the terrarium as possible. 

This is the mess you can expect!

            -Cover that in your moss or ground cover, I am not here to tell you how to live your life if you don’t like moss, you could use all stones. Yes, I know that succulents grow in rocks and things, I like moss. It’s whatever makes you happy and looks good in the terrarium. 

            -Grab your rock formations and slip them in wherever you feel like it, use your heart. There is no formula for this, it is personal preference on how many rocks you put in or don’t put in. I would suggest at least some though. 

            -Put in your succulents! Arrange them how you want, I started in the center with the biggest one I had and then put the rest around it, I don’t know if I would start in the center again, I think I would start at the back and move forward because it did get hard to put things in. Every mistake is a learning experience right?

            -Take a billion pictures of it at every angle because you love it so much. Display it where you want, I have a spot for mine on the garden table in my living room window. I just have to get it home first. 

            I really enjoyed doing this project because while yes, I could have bought this from a store completely finished; that takes the fun out of it. I like crafting and having tactile crafts keeps my hands busy when I am not writing. If you want to buy something like this premade, cool, you do you. 

            Well I think that’s it for this one, I will be back mid-week with another post. I think it’s going to be my favorite comics, I have no idea how I am going to write that post; we’ll figure it out. I hope that everyone has a great start to the week. Stay safe, happy, and healthy. I’ll see y’all with the next one! 

            -MJ

Wall Décor Tour

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            It’s March, I think March of 2020 was like a week ago but here we are in March 2021 and I cannot believe that, but here we are no matter what. 

            I am super kitschy when it comes to art on my walls that I didn’t create, I love things on the walls though and I need to put more stuff up but I am waiting to move into a place that is larger than my apartment, like a house but that is just not in the card at the moment. Most of it I found at random stores; like Hobby Lobby, Target, and At Home. I know that there are probably thousands of people who have this same picture but that’s never really bothered me because it’s my style and while some it is unique I am still sometimes a basic white girl.

Llama(?) picture:

            It might be an alpaca and I really do want a black and white photo of an alpaca for my wall but again that will be eventually because I have not found one that I like on the internet or in a store to this point so eventually but not today. I found this one at At Home when I moved to Arkansas so it’s almost three years ago now and I really love seeing it every time I walk out of my bedroom. 

Quote 1:

            I also got this one at At Home and it’s on the wall directly across from my bedroom door so I see it literally every time I walk out of my bedroom and I love it, it just says ‘Don’t tell people your dream, show them’ and some days I need that affirmation.

Quote 2:

            This is in my office and it says ‘messy bun, getting stuff done’ I am a huge fan of typography in general and I found this also when I moved down here at Hobby Lobby and I have seen other people with the same sign. It doesn’t really matter if someone else has it because that’s how mass produced art works. 

London Skyline:

            I got this from Etsy several years ago, from a shop called artPause, in late 2016 because this came down from Indiana with me and I love it so much because London is one of the places that I desperately want to go. I wholeheartedly regret not going abroad in college, but here we are. The shop still exists so if you want to check it out go ahead because I really love the piece. I would for sure buy more art from Etsy because some of it so cool. 

            Small pause, I would put my diplomas here as well but there is some wall art that I won’t be sharing, my diplomas included and a poster or two that I have around my apartment because I don’t have to share everything.

Mask:

            My parents got this in New Orleans in 2015 and I love masks, my graduation party from high school was Mardi Gras themed and I have a bunch of masks tucked away in boxes all over the apartment and I have a few that I want to put up but they have to be shadow boxed and that hasn’t happened yet because I need help making the shadow boxes, this hung up in my room in Indiana as well and it is one of my favorites. I got one in New Orleans when I was there in 2017 that’s half metal scroll work and that one for sure will be up eventually but it really needs to have something around it that protects it.

            I have a few things around the apartment that are supposed to be on the wall but are on the floor because they are heavy and I cannot pound nails into the walls of my apartment so all of my honor cords, tassels, and graduation caps from undergrad will go up eventually but not now.

            Can we count things on my doors as wall décor? I’m going to anyway. I have a little banner on my office door and my bedroom door, the one on my bedroom door says ‘Follow your heart’ and it’s for sure for Valentine’s Day but it stays up all year except for Christmas and the one on my office door says ‘Heck yes’ and that also comes down at Christmas. I am working on one for my office closet door but that is a DIY kit from Target and I am going to be working on that at some point this week.

            I feel like I have more pieces but I don’t have to share all of them, some of them are my personal art, posters, and even my old cork octagons that used to hang above my desk, I moved my desk and they stayed so they are above the side piece that holds all of my book binders and things. I have a few prints from the Art Institute in Chicago but they need frames and that’s a project that I have asked my dad to help me with but that is an eventually thing.

            I have a lot of things on the wall, I used to have more including my Instagram pictures, an inspiration wall of quotes and stuff, and other things but that was in Indiana and times have changed since then. Décor is amazing and I really like some classy stuff and also some really not so much. I have things that need to be put up a London skyline that actually fell off the wall because it was too heavy for command strips, art that I have created, things that have been given to me, and other that I cannot hang at the moment, I will eventually but right now that’s not in the cards so what I have or now, will have to do. 

            Alright I will see everyone later in the week for another post so until then I hope that everyone has a great week!

            -MJ 

Christmas Candle Scent Round Up

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            I did a similar post for autumn and maybe I should have called this winter scents but let’s be real there are like four winter scent notes and I like all of them, vanilla, peppermint, cedar, and snow, whatever snow smells like. 

            I had a lot more holiday candles before we moved from Indiana but in an effort to not have to move so many candles because they are heavy I burned many of my holiday candles and I have yet to replace them so maybe this will be half scents of candles and the other half scent plugs of which I have two plug-ins in my apartment. I don’t know yet though so bear with me, let’s be real I never really know what’s going on, that’s just me as a person. 

            This post is probably going to be shorter than my autumn post with similar content but here we go.

Twisted Peppermint from Bath and Body Works, candle day was just a few short days ago and I of course skipped it because well I work during the week and I don’t feel like braving the mall in the evening this time of year, no thank you. I like the characters on this candle as well as the smell but for now it is going unburned on my bookshelf as part of a display of small stuffed animals.

            Evergreen also from Bath and Body Works, I love the smell of ever green trees and this one is great. I don’t really have much to say about this candle but I do really enjoy the scent and scents like it. 

            Several Bath and Body Works mini candles in Frosted Cranberry (pictured below), Fresh Sparkling Snow, and Fresh Balsam, I got these a while back actually when I was still working in Indiana during Secret Santa season, I bought some for myself while getting a gift for someone else and I haven’t burned them though I have had other mini candles from B&BW over the years and I have burned all of them. 

            My snowman candle holder, like my skull candle holder is from Yankee candle and I don’t actually know where all of my little votives are for this one the only one that I know where it is, is the one in the holder and that is North Pole. 

            Last but not least is my advent candle, I have had this one for probably 4 or 5 years now and I just don’t want to burn it, I know that burning candles is the purpose of candles but it’s the finality of it, besides I don’t actually have anything to put under it right now and I am still not allowed to burn candles so when I get a place that is really my own I will go back to purchasing and burning candles but until then they just hang out and are aesthetically pleasing. 

            Well I think that’s it for me for today, I know that this post isn’t long but they all don’t have to be epics in their own right. I have had a busy month and we only have one more week of school before break so there is always that to look forward to. 

            I will see everyone on Wednesday with another post but until then I hope that everyone has a great start to the week. 

            -MJ

Halloween/Autumn Décor

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            It’s October, how, how is it already October? My brain is still in March so there’s that but there is no way to stop the passage of time so here we are in the spookiest of months and I am excited. It’s the opening of the holiday season and Halloween is one of my favorites and I have been decorated for the holiday since early September because I wanted to feel some sense of normalcy and having a decorated apartment helps with that. The one problem with October is my fall cold, like clockwork I get a cold in the fall and in the spring when the weather starts to shift so writing this post was not at the top of my priority list which isn’t great but here we are none the less. 

            My Halloween plans this year are pretty much the same plans I have every year, sit on my couch with some candy or maybe some popcorn and watch a cute Halloween movie or two because I don’t like scary things. I don’t do the scary Halloween stuff, personal MJ story I was in 4H as a kid; it’s what you did in the corn fields of Indiana, I did girl scouts and 4H and quit both in middle school because I got tired of it, I think my mom got tired of it too but there’s that. So for 4H one weekend when I was in third or fourth grade we went to a corn maze and we were on the bus for hours, or it felt like hours to an seven or eight year old but the corn maze was fun and then at night there was a haunted maze and we had to go into it. My friend and I went into the corn maze and I don’t think I stopped screaming from the moment we walked in until we left. One of the performers who was probably in high school who jumped out at us as a zombie football player had to take his helmet off se we could see that he was just a person. Thanks dude you made my night a little better but to this day I can’t do scary things. I am pretty skittish, I jump at loud noises so in high school when all of my friends were going to haunted houses and telling me about them I avoided them like the plague. 

            None of that has to do with my decorations but I wanted to give y’all a glimpse into me because I feel like I don’t do that but the rest of the post is going to be about my décor, some of it I bought and some I made so bear with me. 

            The top of my bookcase in my office is full of pictures and stuff but for Halloween I added my cute little shadowbox DIY that was my last post and as someone who has devil horns I had to put them on my Vermont Teddy Bear that usually sports my Minnie mouse years but he gets my devil horns for the holiday unless I am wearing them. I am going to have a post about all of the fall candles I have amassed over the years but that is a post for later this month.

            Also in my office on my lower shelf I have some of my Halloween stuffed animals that I have had since I was a kid so of course they get to sit in here and hang out. 

            In my bedroom I have a tall vase full of small pumpkins and lights that I made a few years ago, I don’t remember if I ever talked about it when I was still making YouTube videos, I may go back to that someday but that day is not today, it was really simple to make and I got the idea from a magazine because they were selling something like that for a lot of money. I don’t really decorate my bedroom, don’t ask me why but I think it’s because that’s where I sleep and that’s really the only time I spend in there, I have some Christmas decorations that will go in there but I normally don’t have a lot of stuff in my bedroom.

            My living room is a different story, my table is full of things (that’s the feature picture!) and most of them are decorations, the pumpkin in the center was a DIY I did in 2017 for a video and I will eventually add more flowers to it, I did that to the one I gave my mom which is smaller but it has so many flowers on it and it looks super dope. The autumnal dachshunds I got from Target and I had to sew one of their legs back up because it was split and all of the ones they had in the store were but I love Target for holiday décor it’s always amazing. The little ‘Autumn’ metal sign should be on a wall but I don’t have anywhere to hang it so on the table it went. In front is one fake pumpkin (the maroon one) and on the left is a candle that I have never burned because I like the holder too much. 

            I also like arranging flowers, it’s a hobby of mine, at least it was for a long time and I want to get back into it but fake flowers are expensive, I mean they last for pretty much forever and I did this arrangement for my grandmother when she lived in the nursing home and she had it for a year in her room before she passed away. So it has a proud place in the fall on my kitchen counter but my kitchen is a mess and I don’t want people to see that so you get to see it atop something else. 

            All over my apartment I have pumpkins that my dad made, he likes to work with wood and has a full shop at their house and now that he’s retired he has a lot more time to actually make things for fun. I have all of them but one and the patterns are from Miesel’s if you know someone who likes to work with wood and wants to take time to make something super cute for funzies. 

            I have a bookcase in my living room that serves as a bar top as well (for someone who doesn’t drink I have bottles that I never touch and it’s…it’s a look) I have my sign board up with a cute little fall phrase and some candles because I love candles I really do and they make good décor. 

            I have pumpkins that I DIYed in my living room as well, I have one on my TV stand that says ‘One Bad Witch’ it was punny and I enjoyed it though if I could I would strip it all off and do it again because I messed up the first time.

            Next door to that I have one that I covered in rhinestones and oh my goodness I burned all of my fingers doing that and I would never do it again even though it’s so cute and I got the Maleficent dragon in a Funko Disney Treasures box when they still had control over it, man I miss those days. The squirrel next to it is something my dad made that I helped design because I made the joke of ‘desktop squirrels’, there is a bakery that has a tall one too that I helped design because sometimes we make a good team. 

            On top of the bookcase where I keep all of my trade paperback comic books (this should surprise no one) I have a little steampunk skull candle holder that I got at Yankee Candle a while back and the eyes look like they could glow in the dark, they do not which is disappointing. 

            One last place is my  entry table, I got the big pumpkin at HomeGoods last year because I wanted a big pumpkin for this table specifically. The ghost pumpkin lights up also but I normally never have batteries in them because I am terrible about even having batteries in my house let along the sheer volume I would have to have for all of my holiday décor, I got that at a little local place when I was in Indiana, and of course another pumpkin my dad made. Also because it is my entry table it also holds my house keys and one of my many masks because mask up for safety.

            There are other little bits around the apartment but nothing major and if I put in every little thing this post would be a lot longer and I think it’s long enough already. I love this time of year I love the leaves changing color and that sigh of relief that comes through the wind when the temperatures start to drop.

            I might do an updated Christmas décor when it gets to that time, which will probably be able Black Friday for me because I itch to put up my Christmas tree, though I just have a feeling that this year is going to be different. 

            Either way I will see y’all later in the week with another post! Have a good start to the week!

            -MJ