Resolutions You Can Keep

I no longer believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve developed the mindset: If you have a will, you find a way, if you don’t, you find an excuse. I spent too many years making resolutions that I just didn’t keep, but in my experience, I have learned that the best resolutions to keep for yourself are ones you can actually complete and receive immediate gratification.

Here are my tips to help you resolve to be a better you, and actually see results.

  1. Clear your closets! I’ve read of a tip where you flip your hangers around and any hanger still flipped after six months, get rid of the item. This is a great idea, but I don’t have six months to wait around. So, I go through my closet, and let’s be real here, you know what you do and do not wear. Get rid of those clothes that are taking up drawer and hanger space and donate to charity. I always donate mine to the Vietnam Veterans of America. You can even schedule an appointment for them to pick-up online!
  2. Change your bills to get delivered to your email. I hate checking my regular mailbox and it’s full of bills. One, I hate bills (who doesn’t), and two, I hate having to shred so much paper. Think of the trees! What I do now is write in a calendar book every bill on the due date, and when I get paid, I pay them and check it off on the calendar. Get yourself a calendar book!2015-12-31 00.02.39.jpg
  3. Throw away Christmas Cards. I know, I sound like a Scrooge here, but the season has closed, and the sentiments will be remembered. You don’t need to keep your fridge cluttered with cards. (Ok, you can save the one from grandma.)
  4. Clean out your refrigerator. This is always a daunting task in my household. Nightmares of Chinese take-out from goodness-knows-when linger in the depths of the cavernous drawers, but before you start growing a science experiment, get rid of stuff you don’t use and give it a good cleaning.
  5. Start grocery shopping online. This not only saves you time, but you are less likely to buy random stuff. For example, I broke my own rule and went to the supermarket today and threw in Oreo Creme Filled Chewy Chips Ahoy. It seemed like a great idea, until I got home and ate a row. Frank, my husband, quickly dislodged the rest from my grip and threw it in the trash. If I was shopping online, I would not have been tempted to waste $4 on it…or, I should say “waist.”
  6. Choose your hobbies wisely. It’s great if you love to do a million things, but spreading yourself too thin will still stress you out. It’s hard to be great at 100 things, but you can definitely pick 1 or 2 to master. Plus, hobbies are often expensive. Carve your year cleaner by picking what you really love.
  7. Clear out your old inventory. This works for everyday or for small business owners. Sure, it may hurt to sell your stuff at a dirt-cheap rate, but you’re not making any money by allowing it to rot on your shelf. This goes for items you don’t need or want – get to Ebay or Amazon and sell your stuff.
  8. Sign up for Amazon Prime. Seriously. It’s only $99 for the entire year, and you get FREE UNLIMITED two-day shipping on nearly everything, access to awesome music, movies, photo storage. It’s the best of the best. You can also share it with up to four family members. Heck, I even buy my deodorant on prime!
  9. Resolve to treat yourself to one small luxury. Whether that’s a piece of chocolate, a candle, a designer soap, a video game, just give it to yourself guilt-free…but not every day.
  10. Finally, pick up the phone and call the people you love. Even if you have to schedule it in your new handy calendar, just do it. It’s been proven that talking to your friends and loved ones not only boosts your relationships with them, but brings you greater health benefits. Be thankful we have a new year by spreading your love!

Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy, and Organized New Year!

How to Discard Wax from Wax Warmers

Candle Moments Candle Care

  1. Place up to 3 soy wax tartlets in your warmer, turn on, and enjoy!
  2. Be safe by keeping wax warmers away from children and pets. Always place your wax warmer on a heat-safe surface. Never leave your switched-on wax warmer unattended. Be sure to switch off your wax warmer if you’re leaving the room. Liquid wax is hot and should never be touched.
  3. It’s time to change your tartlets when you can no longer smell them (after being fully melted for one hour). Three Candle Moments’ soy wax tartlets should maintain their fragrance for about 12-15 hours of melt time. (Some scents will last longer than others.)
  4. To discard old wax: Wait until completely cool, use a sharp utensil* to create a crack throughout the full center of the wax. Use the utensil to start carving the perimeter of the wax. Wax should lift out in chunks by leveraging the utensil underneath the wax. Discard old wax in trash. (*An old butter-knife works perfectly, but do not use any utensil used in eating or cooking.)
  5. Do not discard liquid wax in drains. The wax will quickly solidify causes blockages, and it is not environmentally-friendly.

For information on how to use electric wax warmers, please visit our original blog post here.

What does Love smell like?

We’re not the type to push new holidays way before they’re due, but Frank and I have been sitting down and thinking about what we could offer you as we come into the Valentine’s Day season. I guess we’re extra-excited because Valentine’s Day 2016 will be our one-year wedding anniversary, and we want to make sure it’s perfect for you and for us.

For certain, our goal is to capture moments of Love, and to understand that, we know there are so many different types of love:

  1. Love between romantic partners
  2. Love between family
  3. Love between friends
  4. Love between pets

We’re not even hitting the icing on the cake – we know that, but we thought we would consider the basics first.  Here are some new fragrance offerings we plan on launching in the next couple of weeks:

  1. Strawberries & Cream Fragrance
  2. Strawberries & Champagne Fragrance
  3. Coconut Fragrance
  4. Fruit Loops Fragrance

We seem to gravitate to sweet and fruity when we think about Love. I also think about chocolate.

We’ll also be offering a new limited-edition 8oz candle container, to add a bit of elegance to your gift-giving.

8 oz Anchor Elite JarSmall Accent Cover

As we head to our crafting kitchen to design new candles for you, we would love your input and feedback on what Love smells like to you. We want to hear about the perfect moment and gift that expresses your love, whatever that love may be, so we can turn it into your perfect Candle Moment.

Christmas Birthday Joy!

Today is my 32nd birthday! Today is Christmas! Today, I’m not writing to inform you about anything, but instead, to be gracious for everything and hope you will find as much joy this holiday as I have.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to be thankful…for example, a broken refrigerator, a cracked and leaking roof, a messy home (all of this currently happening to me), but we must stop and remember the joy. I got everything and more this Christmas, and much of it has to do with you!

I married my best friend and soul-mate, Frank, this year!

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I turned my crazy Crisco candle-making into real candles! (Yup, you’re looking at my original Crisco prototypes).

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We opened Candle Moments and met the most amazing group of people ever. You, our customers, are fun-loving, exciting, joyful, and have the greatest sense of humor. We love bringing joy into your homes, but we love talking to you even more. (Meet our friend, Jackie, who was Candle Moments’ first fan!)

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We created some wonderful memories with our friends and family, just by not being afraid and saying YES!

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We made our family proud, and they never failed to help us; our gratitude for this is infinite. My mom and dad helped us with EVERY show. They never missed one.

I got to meet BATMAN!

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For the first time in my life, I painted. I created soap and scrubs. I wrote. I allowed myself to be as creative as I was when I was a child. I chose to make my work second, and my love and passions first.

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I went to the Bahamas on my honeymoon and I swam with dolphins!

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I cooked…a lot…and I ate just as much, but I chose not to hate myself for it.

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I watched Netflix. I bought an Amazon Echo. I donated platelets, plasma, and blood. I saved animals. I danced when everyone was watching. I sang…when no one was listening (for the safety of others). I left dishes in the sink, laundry in the machine, and my bed unmade. I waited until the last minute. I made sure I said thank you. I read, I listened, I studied. I taught a class I love. I paid attention to moments.

This Christmas and birthday, my only wish is for you to find joy in every moment.

With love,
Kristen

What makes a good quality candle?

I was recently reading Reddit and came across this post on the sub-reddit “Candles”:

Capture2

There are several factors to consider when determining the quality of the candle:

  1. Type of wax. It depends on your personal preference, but the main choices are soy, paraffin, and beeswax (some people mix). (Our company uses soy because we are certified vegan and cruelty-free by PETA).
  2. Wick type matters because there are cotton wicks, lead/zinc wicks, and wood wicks – also preference, but I would recommend cotton or wood, as you don’t really want to inhale the fumes of metal burning. You should also consider the diameter of the candle with the wick. If you have a candle with a diameter over 4 inches with one wick, it’s possible the wick may not be powerful enough to create a full melt-pool. A quality candle will have a larger wick or multiple wicks dependent upon the diameter of the container.  Also note, in single-wick candles, is the wick centered?
  3. Quality of scent throw is important. Are you looking to scent a room, a floor, or just looking for ambiance? A good chandler will be honest with you about hot or cold scent throw (hot is while burning, while cold is in the jar/pillar).
  4. Type of fragrances used to scent the candle. Was the candle made with phthalate-free fragrance oils?  Are the fragrance oils of ultra quality?
  5. Does the candle have a warning label? Another sign of a quality candle is a label with clear burning instructions and warnings. These can be generic, but as long as there is a label.
  6. Container quality. While some candles may come in fun, fancy containers, it’s important to note what the container is made of. Sometimes candles made with cheap, or low-quality glass, could explode.

No matter where you choose to buy candles, a quality candle company will have an explanation for why each choice is made, and be very honest and clear about ingredients.  It’s always advised to ask questions!

Aromatherapy and Migraines

Over 10% of the population, including children, suffers from migraine; that estimates to about 3.19 MILLION people in the United States! As a migraine sufferer, and with friends who are also migraine sufferers, we are always searching for more information about migraines.

Migraines are far more than “just headaches.” People with migraines often suffer from photo-sensitivity (sensitivity to light), aural-sensitivity (sensitivity to sound), nausea, dizziness, as well as the inability to work or engage in activities. It’s fair to say that when a migraine strikes, it takes its toll.

Since beginning work in the candle-making business, many people come to me asking questions about aromatherapy and essential oils, especially pertaining to health-related issues. I am not a certified aromatherapist, so I do not feel comfortable offering information; however, I am very fortunate to know aromatherapists who were willing to share information on this topic, as well as me compiling information from various sources. (For source information, please click directly on the links of citations. As an English teacher, I take scholarly research seriously, so I can assure you the materials I am citing are quality.)

*Please note that this is just a compilation of information and sources. This is NOT medical advice! The information provided here should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, or evaluation of any medical condition. *

Christine Given Laureano Founder and CEO of Ba6 Botanicals, is a certified aromatherapist.
“I start by looking at the underlying symptoms and causes. Inflammation is a biggie. I’m not a migraine sufferer, but I understand there are different types/severity of migraine. Chamomile & Lavender are great because they are anti-inflammatory, and nervines (ease nerves). Peppermint is another good one – cooling effect, it’s an analgesic and a nervine. I also understand that taking magnesium (well, calcium & magnesium together) helps.”

According to a study by the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran; and the Department of Physiology, Münster University, Münster, Germany,  it is suggested that “the inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.”

Peppermint Essential Oil has also been published as aiding in the relief from migraine symptoms, particularly with nausea, as stated in an article published by the Research Institute of Agroecology, Michalovce, Slovak Republic and the Department of Ecology, Prešov University, Prešov, Slovak Republic. This was also shown in a study by Facultad de Ingeneria, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Gorriti 237 (4600). San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina.

An article published by C. U. Shah College of Pharmacy, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Juhu Campus, Santacruz (West), Mumbai demonstrates that micro-inhalation of Eucalyptus Oil may also effectively relieve some symptoms associated with migraine.

The Journal of Medical Hypotheses discusses how Chamomile (specifically German chamomile) Essential Oil may have therapeutic effects on migraine because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The fact is that there have not been many studies for the use of essential oils to treat migraines, with the exception of Feverfew. Feverfew was a fad treatment in the 1970s for migraines, but since then, quite a number of studies have disproved the effectiveness of Feverfew. Source 1, Source 2 Because of the fairly recent resurgence of aromatherapy, there still needs to be more work done to make sincere, conclusive statements about efficacy.  With that said, I recommend you speaking to your doctor about the aforementioned essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint in part of your journey to a healthier, happier well-being.

Why Buy Handmade?

In a world that’s increasingly shrinking because of technology, there’s an over-saturation of commercialism and access to products. You could scour sites like Amazon and eBay and literally find almost anything and have it shipped to your front door. With so much availability of products from around the world, why should you consider buying handmade, local goods?

Here are a lucky-seven reasons why you should buy handmade:

  1. You support an artist who clearly put time and love into his/her craft.  You’re not just buying into profits, you’re buying into an entire process from conception, to manufacturing, to marketing, to distribution, all likely from the same person.
  2. You’re buying into purity. People who create handmade goods aren’t aiming to nickel-and-dime you. They’re entirely responsible for their formulations, so they are seeking the purest, most natural, highest quality ingredients available.
  3. You’re purchasing from a consumer and a creator. Makers are their own worst critics and are constantly testing and retesting their own products, as well as using their own products, to ensure quality.
  4. You’re supporting the environment. Hand-crafters aren’t using giant machines which emit noxious chemicals into the environment. They’re not testing on animals. They’re not polluting by searching for chemical alternatives.
  5. You’re distributing money into your local economy, which grows and supports you and everyone around you. Your makers are likely buying many of their resources locally, so when you buy from a maker, you’re doubly impacting your local economy.
  6. You are sustaining belief in the American dream. Your makers are often people working two jobs, stay-at-home parents, students – by supporting these people, they, in turn, will continue to contribute and grow, thus creating conscious citizenship.
  7. You’re buying from real people who truly care about your reaction and satisfaction with their product. Your concerns are personal to them; they sincerely want you to be happy because it’s going from their hands to yours.

Fabulous Shea Butter

Our botanical world is comprised of not only everything we need to survive, but brimming with wonderful extracts to enhance our health and beauty.  One of these amazing trees, originating in the African desert, is the African Shea Tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) or referred to as the Karite Tree. 

The African Shea Tree bears fruit, and once this fruit is dried out, the nut is crushed and separated, creating shea butter. Because the butter derived from the nut is naturally full of triglycerides (fats), it has been used as a food and cosmetic resource for millenia. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians would use shea butter on their skins and hair as a moisturizer and UV protector from the sun, as it is naturally around 6 SPF.

Shea butter extract is a complex fat that in addition to many nonsaponifiable components (substances that cannot be fully converted into soap by treatment with alkali) contains the following fatty acids:oleic acid (40-60%), stearic acid (20-50%), linoleic acid (3-11%), palmitic acid (2-9%), linolenic acid (<1%) and arachidic acid (<1%).[11]

Shea butter melts at body temperature. Proponents of its use for skin care maintain that it absorbs rapidly into the skin, acts as a “refatting” agent, and has good water-binding properties

When looking up the botanical INCI name for shea butter, you should find the Latin taxonomy as Butyrospermum parkii, but it should be noted that the updated findings (as of 2013) is that the new classification of the African Shea Tree is Vitellaria paradoxahowever, it seems that the INCI has not yet updated their records. What to take away from this? Don’t be concerned if you’re reading labels and it says either Vitellaria paradoxa or Butyrospermum parkii, both are correctly referring to shea butter.

Shea butter is an emollient. It has vitamin A, E and is highly compatible with skin. Because of its high levels of these antioxidants, shea butter is an excellent protector against free radicals. It’s important to protect ourselves from free radicals to maintain our physical balance and chemistry. Long -term effects of free radical exposure have proven to “adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases.” To protect ourselves from free radicals, we must include a beauty regiment rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A and E, which shea butter possesses, and it’s also important to increase our fruit and vegetable intake. Remember, true beauty always starts on the inside!

When purchasing shea butter, there are generally two options, there is raw, unrefined shea butter, which is usually yellow in color and has a distinct smell – the smell is not generally unpleasant, and many people may enjoy it, but if you’re using it, be aware of the scent. Unrefined shea butter is also less pliable than its partner, refined shea butter.

Pure Organic Unrefined Shea Butter

Refined shea butter has often been through a manufacturing process which mechanically cracks the seeds and eliminates the color and odor. There is a myth about the quality of unrefined shea butter being better quality compared to refined. The truth is in where you make your purchases. If you purchased refined shea butter from a reputable manufacturer, such as Essential Wholesale, there should be little to no reduction in the properties of the shea butter.

Candle Moments uses shea butter in all of our products featured in The Body Spa Collection because we understand and believe in the wonderful properties of this fabulous, vegan, natural, and cruelty-free derived emollient.

BODY spa

Jojoba Oil – For a Natural, Healthy Beauty Routine

What is jojoba oil?

Jojoba (purported ho-HO-ba) oil is a herbal concentrate of the seed of the jojoba tree (Simmondsia chinenis). Technically speaking, it is not really an oil, but instead a wax ester. Why do we give it a second thought? Since out of the majority of the mixes in nature, this wax ester is the most like human skin oil (sebum). It is speculated that applying jojoba to the skin can “trick” the skin into believing it is delivering enough oil, therefore balancing face oil production.  Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, which means that it is specially formulated so as not to cause blocked pores.

Advantages of Jojoba Oil

  • Because it’s concentrated, it won’t evaporate.
  • It is speculated, however not yet demonstrated, that in light of the fact that jojoba oil is so like human skin oil, it can “trap” the skin into supposing it has delivered enough oil and in this manner parity oil generation.
  • Extremely steady – Jojoba has a very long shelf life and resists rancidity.
  • It’s very light and easily absorbed into the skin.
  • The natural assortment is free of pesticides, GMOs, and is reasonably cultivated.
  • Jojoba oil moisturizes the hair, adds nutrients, and stimulates the scalp.

Because of the value of Jojoba Oil, and the difficulty in sourcing it, Jojoba Oil can be very expensive.  Consider looking for products which already use Jojoba Oil as you continue a journey to a more natural, healthier beauty routine.

 

The Triple Scrubby can be found at Candle Moments’ website, or it can be purchased at I Heart Dancewear, our Retail Partner.

 

Holiday Tips and Gratuities

It’s the season of giving, and yes, that means dipping a little further into your pocket, but it’s that feel-good-sacrifice. You have your standard gratuities that you already expect to give: Waiter/waitress, bar tender, food delivery, stylists, but who else should get a little something, and what exactly is appropriate? Holiday etiquette can get a little hairy, and it’s confusing to whom, and how much, we should be offering.

I have created a list of the services and/or people you may forget about during the holidays (but shouldn’t), with some appropriate gift suggestions.

  1. Your postal worker. As the inscription reads on James Farley Post Office in New York City states: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” And so, it’s a kind an appropriate gesture to offer a gift to the person who brings your awesome Candle Moments orders.  Appropriate gifts include: ChocolatesWine, Gift Card, Coffee.
  2. Your child’s teacher(s). If your child is in grade school, one nice gift to the teacher is a wonderful gesture. If your child is in middle or high school, there are many teachers – you don’t need to buy a gift for every teacher, but a small gesture such as a card is always appreciated. If your child has a teacher who was particularly helpful, or whom he/she loved, then a gift is a great idea.  Appropriate gifts include: Starbucks Gift Cards ($10 is a perfect amount), Candles, Mugs, Chocolates.
  3. Your newspaper delivery person. More likely than not, your newspaper delivery person is incurring more expenses than you believe – such as a bag to keep your paper dry during the rain, and rubber-bands. Cash is the best option here. The rule of thumb is $10 for weekend delivery, $20 for daily delivery, and $25 for long-standing delivery (4+ years).
  4. The secretary at your job. He/she is usually pivotal in making everything run smoothly in the background; a little gratitude goes a long way. As for gifts – see #2, teachers.
  5. The secretary at your doctor’s office.  This applies if he/she squeezes you in, or seems to make the whole process easier for you – otherwise, there’s no obligation there. Same as #2 and #4.
  6. Your child’s babysitter. Gifts should be level with age of the babysitter, and how much he/she does for you. Cash is appropriate here, and should range in the ballpark of hourly wage. Equivalent of 2 hours for sitters who are 19 and younger, 3 hours for older sitters, and more if the person goes out of his/her way, or has been with you for many years.
  7. Your housekeeper. This should really be a given, and again, is dependent upon several factors: Job well done, length of service, level of trust. Cash is appropriate here, too, and should go between 1/2 day to 1 day of service.
  8. Your job’s custodian. If this person works hard to keep your space clean, it’s a great gesture to give a little something. A bottle of wine is perfect.

Remember, gifts don’t need to be extravagant to leave a lasting impact; when it comes to the extras, it really is the gesture that matters. When considering who to buy gifts for, think about anyone who has provided astounding service, or who has truly made life a little easier for you to live.