The Tattoo Decision

Okay, so yesterday I decided to take a HUGE leap and get another tattoo. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not new in the poking needles section. I have a long quote on my back, 4 lines of Roman numerals on my ribs and a semi-colon on my wrist (to signify suicide awareness and Crohn’s/colitis).

But I made an impulse decision to get a big mandala tattoo on my arm and I absolutely LOVE it. Of course, it’ll still take time getting used to it and everything since it’s so gigantic and the first tattoo I can see at all times. But I don’t regret it one bit.

I feel tattoos are the parts of people that show their inner self. They are pieces of art that are portrayed on the body to show everyone their raw, beautiful creations. My tattoos mostly represent my past experiences and my family. The quote on my back is the quote on my mother’s tombstone and the Roman numerals are my family birthdays.

This tattoo means the circle of the universe and everything in it. For even more inspiration behind this, I got the idea from the song Wildflower by Tom Petty.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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Make Your Own Homemade Candles… WITHOUT WAX

So back in December I had a “yolo” moment (you only live once, words spoken by Drake) and decided to sign up for a three week volunteer trip to Ecuador next summer. Well, I decided to put a down payment of $700 on the trip, without really thinking about how I was going to actually pay for the final total. Let’s look at it this way, I’m a full-time student living paycheck to paycheck, on my own, working a decent job but, also love to use money on entertainment and food. I had to find a way to raise some money so I could play with monkeys in a rural village and hike some wicked volcanoes.

During hours of research, I came across a YouTube video where the blogger created candles for a very cheap price, WITHOUT WAX!

Instead, she used a shortening called “Crisco”. I calculated how much all the products would cost me and felt like I was over the moon. If I sold a small candle (250mL) for $5 and a large one (500mL) for $8, I would make double the profit! I was so ecstatic to start. Luckily, my dad was kind enough to help me in the kitchen because I’m not the best chef in the world dealing with a stove and hot material. SO without further a-do, my step-by-step to making some cheap but cute candles.

Jars:

I buy all my jars at the Dollarama close to my house. Usually I’m able to find a pack of 3 Mason jar knockoffs for $3 ($1.00 a bottle). They are the exact measurements I need and also so adorable!

Use of Crisco:

Small candle (8oz or 250mL) – need ½L of Crisco for each jar

Large candle (16 oz or 500mL) – need 1L of Crisco for each jar

Fragrances:

I actually buy all my scents from Walmart in the candle section, usually named “wax fragrance”. I love this so much because they come in ah-maze-ing smells (apple pie, fresh linen, cinnamon, lavender, etc) and only cost $1 each! They are quite small bottles, but work amazing with my jars!

Small candle – need ½ bottle of fragrance for each jar (so 1 whole bottle will fit 2 small candles)

Large candle – need 1 whole bottle of fragrance for each jar

Wicks:

I found that buying wicks at Michaels or another craft store were so expensive for what I get, so I went on EBay and ordered 50 6” wicks for $4.00! They are a little big for my small candles, but cutting them in half doubled how many I have to use.

Extra Pretty Things:

Lastly, I buy some sparkles and ribbon to decorate my candles (totally optional). You need very small sparkles in order for them to stick to the side of the jar, but if you add a teaspoon amount before adding the wick or liquid, you can put the lid back on and swish the sparkles around. After making the candles, I tie some ribbon around the rim of the jar, and make a little bow to add some OOMPF to it.

WHAT TO DO:

I’ll explain using a large candle because that seems to be the easiest measurements.

SO this is my plan of beginning to end to making a homemade candle:

  • Grab a 500mL jar and add a teaspoon amount of sparkles, add the top and swish around
  • Glue gun wick to the bottom of the jar, try shooting for the center
  • Place the stove on medium heat and put a large pot halfway full of water on top
  • I go for the double-broiler method so I use a large measuring cup (Pyrex) to add my Crisco
  • With 1lb of Crisco, I add the Pyrex cup into the boiling water and start stirring the contents until fully melted
  • Once Crisco is fully liquid, remove from heat and let cool (but not too much, I usually take the temperature and find the perfect time to add fragrances is at 140 degrees Celsius)
  • Add the full bottle of fragrance to the liquid, stirring frequently (smells so yummy)
  • Pour the contents into the jar, and secure the wick with a pencil and some tape
  • Let it solidify for a few hours and ENJOY!

Sorry I’m not the ultimate best at explaining how to make this little craft. Some of you are probably looking at this with your mouth open thinking “uh what the heck”. I apologize, I tried my best but it’s definitely easier to look at a video and see exactly what they’re doing. So if you didn’t quite get what I was putting down and what to try the candle making out for yourself, I suggest going to the YouTube search engine and typing in “Homemade no wax candle”, a video by Lisa Pullano. It’s so fun and easy to do (plus extremely budget friendly!!!). I was able to make a few hundred dollars for my trip using this method, especially since lots of moms, as well as my girl-friends LOVE candles and sparkly things (I had to keep a few for myself because I loved them so much!).

Hope my friendly bloggers and readers have a great week full of copious amounts of coffee but hopefully stress-free!