pumpkin pie candles

earlier this week i had the strong urge to craft something.  nothing too involved, but something that would make me feel accomplished at the end of my efforts.  so, i browsed facebook and pinterest in search of something fall-ish, seeing as how the new season is just around the corner.  come on, september 22nd!

i’d say after about a half hour of hardcore scrolling, i finally came upon the craft that i would attempt to satisfy my creative needs:  a homemade pumpkin pie candle!  i mean, how much more autumn can you get?  the financial and time effort seemed relatively beginner-level, so i made a list, grabbed my reusable bags, and headed out the door to gather my supplies.  i optimistically walked into the local binders art supply store, assured they would have everything i needed.  well, what do you know.  binders doesn’t offer candle-making supplies; the cashier told me i’d need to go to hobby lobby or michael’s to get that sort of stuff.  ah!  well, good thing there’s one right down the road from me.  discouraged not a bit, i drove right on down to michael’s and got everything i needed.  then, because i didn’t like the jars they had at michael’s, i moseyed into world market to find something cuter.  well, wouldn’t you know that they had just what i wanted!  i swear, world market is my soulmate store.  so, after finding a couple other things that looked like they would make me happy, i returned home with my purchases.

the first thing to do in this craft is prepare your oil so that it will be all pumpkin-infused.  this step was rather straightforward.  however, i highly recommend you follow davida’s instructions, which clearly state to not bring the oil to a boil, just a light simmer.  however, my patience was wearing thin when i saw no bubbles after about ten minutes, so i cranked up my stove to heat things up.  well, wouldn’t you know that the oil bubbled up (and nearly over) tremendously when i added the pumpkin pie spice.  oh, and i ruined a perfectly good spatula because the temperature was too high.  well, lesson learned…eventually i at last got the oil cooled off and put in a little jar to infuse for five days.

once the oil was infused, i was ready for the rest of the project.  i got the wicks all semi-attached to their jars, cute little raffia ribbons tied around them, and then got to work on melting that wax.  what i am going to advise here about the wax melting is this:  i highly recommend you use some older pots and spoons and ladles.  not that any of my kitchen supplies got ruined, but i had to soak the pot for a good two days just to try and loosen the wax so that i could actually wash the thing.

anyway, once the wax starts to melt (it won’t take long) go ahead and scoop out the liquid wax into your little jars.  i thought about pouring the wax directly from the pot to the jars but quickly reconsidered when i realized i only have two hands and probably needed four to truly do the job right.  besides, the ladle i have has little side spouts, so that made for easy pouring.

the only thing i will say that was difficult at this point was that i couldn’t really stir the infused oil with the wax.  the wax started clumping so quickly that the “ingredients” never really got mixed.  the result?  a funky looking candle, as you can see below.  now, am i proud of my craft?  well, of course!  i just hope that the lucky recipients of these cute little jars appreciate the homemade-ness of them.

regardless of my few mishaps, this craft was simple and fun and did awaken some fall sensations inside me.  once it’s officially autumn, i plan to bust out the scarves, soft boots, and psl’s immediately.  🙂

how to roast squash, by kelsey v

this story is about a girl named kelsey v who needed to roast some squash for an early office thanksgiving potluck.  prizes were going out to those cooks who whipped up the best dishes, so this little chef didn’t waste any time getting her winter squash soup ready.

step one?  roast some fresh squash for the ultimate autumnal flavor.  well, seeing as how this young lady had never purchased or prepared anything larger than a four-inch yellow squash in her life, she was in for a treat.  she perused the shelves at publix, picking out a sizeable butternut and dainty acorn.

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next, all she had to do was take a sizeable knife to those sweet squashes, lop off the ends, gut ’em, and halve them up for the pan.

that oven was all hot and bothered at 350 degrees fahrenheit, welcoming the squashes cut side-down with about a fourth of an inch of water in the pan.  things were going to get steamy!

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the kitchen filled with fall scents as the squashes roasted for a solid hour.  after checking their tenderness with a knife, they were declared perfectly cooked!  they cooled for a half hour, and then came the fun part.

those skins just had to go, so a spoon had services to provide.  the insides were mercilessly scraped out and chopped up and…

…dumped into a bowl for later use!  and she was scared?  they’re just little squashes!

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it’s in the air

we are three days into the autumn season, and i could not be more ecstatic.  over the years i have observed that i am exponentially happier in the fall and winter months, so you can be sure i welcomed the change in weather with open arms.

along with the arrival of fall comes all the things we love about this season:  pumpkin spice everything, apple pie scented candles, flannel shirts and fleece jackets, the list goes on and on.

speaking of lists, the internet has provided us with some humorous takes on our love of this season.  my personal favorite is buzzfeed’s stereotypical jab at white girls during fall.  you can bet i shamelessly admit to most of these things.  after all, i am a white girl, and i do love fall.

the most recent find, though, so sweetly provided by my friend andrew, is an unabashed exaggeration that depicts our over-obsessive nature with the season.  it’s full of language (be warned) and had me rolling on the floor.  when andrew sent me the link, he said, “it’s like if your thought process was infused with vulgar language.”  it’s uncanny how well he knows me, and it’s even more hilarious to try and picture me saying all those things with a straight face.

so, to my fellow fall-lovers out there, express your love for the season with all your heart, however you want.  there’s a reason we live for this time of year, and for those who don’t get it, buy them a psl next time you’re at starbucks.  you just might make them a believer.