Nov 24

Summer Scented Candles

BeachSummertime is typically a hot season so it would only be appropriate to burn the lighter summer candle scents. Afterall, no one is in the mood for pumpkin pie, heavy berry scents, or Winter aromas when it is close to 100 degrees outside. Many of the popular scented candle companies, such as Yankee or Slatkin & Co. will release lines of candles that compliment the season. I have found if you are looking for some wonderful summer scented candles, you will probably find some that are fruity, light, and perfect for hot summer day!

Some of my favorite summer scents include the fruity ones such as: strawberries and cream, vanilla lime and lemon pie. As opposed to the heavy fall scents, these are light and have a very refreshing feeling to them. One of the summer-themed candles that I am enjoying right now is Orange Dreamsicle. This is a combination of a light orange scent with vanilla ice cream. It reminds me of being a child and waiting for the ice cream man, which is what summertime is all about!

Along with the wonderful fruity scents of summer, you can also find some fresh, clean scents. These are scents such as Beach Walk, which is described as a combination of salt water, tangerine and orange blossom. Again, it is about being transported to some of the best parts of summer, such as visiting the beach or the shore. Another popular clean scent, is something like Fluffy Towels. This would incorporate that wonderful fresh from the dryer kind of scent with a combination of lemon, lavender and lily. It is all about the light, and refreshing scents that are not too heavy.

Another popular idea is to take summer-appropriate candles and make them themed, such as a boardwalk or carnival collection. In collections like these you may find scents such as: candied apple, root beer float, down on the boardwalk and walk on the beach. All those wonderful delights of carnivals and strolls on the Jersey Shore boardwalk are brought to life through these sentimental scents!

Personally I purchased a summer scented candle earlier this year, and completely fell in love. It had notes of caramel-glazed popcorn, taffy, apples, and sweet cream. The combination instantly transported me back to all the summers I would spend in New Jersey visiting my grandparents. It is amazing how simple scents can do that, and that is what finding the perfect summer candle is all about!

Nov 24

Unity Wedding Candles

Illuminating Unions: Different Unity Candle Wedding Ceremonies

unity candleIn recent years, the unity candle wedding ceremony has grown to be a popular way for couples to symbolize their unity. But this tradition in the making currently has many variations, which is not a bad thing, because this way you can customize this ceremony to fit your tastes without worrying about breaking any wedding mores.

Probably the most popular unity candle ceremony is the one in which the bride and groom light two tapers and then take their individual tapers and together they light a middle one. In this ceremony, the individual tapers can be lit at the beginning of the wedding and then the middle one can be lit at the end to signify the two coming together as one. You can also do the entire ceremony at the end of the wedding if you do not want your individual tapers to get too drippy. After this ceremony, you can blow out the individual tapers to symbolize that you are giving your whole self to your loved one, or you can leave them lit to show that you are committed to your partner but still retain your individual qualities.

The unity ceremony is also a great way to involve significant family members into the wedding ceremony. This is an especially lovely way to include any children that the couple might have. What happens is that the children light the individual tapers and then the couple takes those candles and light the center one with them. This is a beautiful way to symbolize the unity of the entire family. Sometimes couples like to include older relatives in this way as well, letting the mothers or grandparents light the individual tapers.

Some couples like to let the entire audience in on this ceremony by providing them with tapers as they enter, and then at the designated time, lighting the first guest’s candle, and then letting that guest light the next one’s, and so forth. Once everyone’s candle is lit, the bride and groom light the center candle.

Many couples also like to have what is called a family candle in their wedding. The family candle can be lit either during the wedding or at the reception. In this event, there are several candles surrounding a center one. The family members light their individual tapers and then, together, light the center one.

There are many ways to perform this ceremony, and you can even come up with your own variation, in any case – it is a great way to include special people into your wedding and a lovely way to symbolize the love of two coming together as one.

Understanding the Unity Wedding Candle Ceremony

Sometime during the 1990’s, the unity candle ceremony became a big part of weddings, and while it is a fairly new practice, dating back to around the 1970’s, it is becoming more and more popular. Because it is so new, however, couples are still unsure of exactly what it is. And since it is so new, it is still being formed and defined, which adds to the confusion. The youth of the unity candle ceremony lends it to many possibilities; this is a part of the wedding ceremony where you can have a little freedom since it is not set in stone. What is true is that it is a lovely way to symbolize the union of two people or two families.

The actual unity candle has three tapers or three wicks, and the ceremony consists of the lighting of two side tapers, and then the lighting of the middle one with the two side tapers. The question of who lights the individual tapers is up to you to answer.

This is a way to not only bring two individuals together, but also a way to represent the union of two families. And for this reason, many couples choose to have other family members light the individual tapers. One popular version of the unity ceremony is to have the mothers light the individual tapers, and then the bride and groom use the tapers to light the middle taper. Couples who have children often have their kids light the individual candles to represent the union of two families. Sometimes, the grandparents are asked to light the tapers. And of course, if choosing between all these different family members is too difficult, you and your spouse to be could simply light the individual tapers yourselves.

Another thing you will want to consider is when the individual candles will be lit. On one hand, you could light them at the beginning of the wedding ceremony and then unite them at the end. While this is lovely, sometimes the tapers melt down quite far during long ceremonies and can look messy at the end, so if your ceremony is going to be a long one, you may want to wait until the end of the wedding ceremony to perform the entire unity candle ceremony.

You will also want to plan out what to do once the middle candle is lit. In more traditional ceremonies, couples extinguish the individual tapers to signify giving up their individual lives to become one. Some couples, on the other hand, prefer to keep the lit to symbolize that they are coming together as one, but without losing their individuality.

While the ceremony is truly a beautiful way to bring the union of two together, it is a good idea to check with your minister or rabbi (if you are getting married in a church or synagogue) before scripting it into your ceremony. This is because some religious leaders, especially stricter Catholic and Jewish ones, will not include the unity candle into a wedding ceremony because it is not a part of the traditional litany. If you can plan it into your wedding, I am sure that you and your guests will find it to be a meaningful and lovely way to demonstrate the purpose of the most special day.

Nov 09

Preparing for Advent: Creating an Advent Wreath

Advent WreathCandles and religion have gone hand in hand for centuries.  Even after the invention of light bulb, churches around the world still light candles for the services.  Candles have for centuries been used to mark special occasions and Advent is no different.

In fact, Advent is so connected with candles that the Advent wreath has 4 candles and some have a fifth candle in the center.  Each candle has a special meaning and each one needs to be lit on a certain day.

Advent is known as the season when the King is coming. For this reason, purple has been the traditional color that is used for the Advent wreath since purple is considered the color of royalty.  On an interesting note, purple was chosen as a royal color simply because the dye was one of the most expensive dies available.

But back to the Advent wreath, which has 3 purple candles and one rose colored candle.  Each candle represents a countdown to the coming of the King and it also has a symbolic meaning.  The first purple candle means Hope.  The second purple candle means Love.  The third candle that you light is the rose colored candle and it means Joy.  And finally, the fourth candle and third purple one means peace.  The candle that rests in the center of the Advent wreath should be white and it represents Christmas Day.  The fifth candle is completely optional.

Okay, you are probably sick of this little history lesson, or would that be religious lesson and you probably want to get to the main focus of this article, to make an Advent Wreath of your own.  Like all my crafts, this candle craft can be very easy to do and requires very little know how before you begin.

What you need:

  • Three Purple Taper Candles
  • One Rose (pink) Taper Candle
  • One White Pillar Candle (optional)
  • A candle holder ring (the wire frame type that is used for floral arrangements)
  • A ring of evergreens that will fit the ring (you can use fresh or fake)
  • Floral Wire
  • Optional:  You can make the evergreen ring yourself but you will need:
    • Fresh Evergreen branches
    • Floral Wire

Directions:

  1. Take out the candle holder ring and remove any of the tags from the store.
  2. Pop on the ring of evergreens and secure it with floral wire for safety.
  3. Place the four candles in each holder.
  4. Place the white pillar candle in the center of the ring.

And there you have an Advent wreath.  See, I wasn’t lying when I said that it was fast and simple.  Of course, if you decide to make your own evergreen ring there are a few steps that you need to do, which I have gone over below.

  1. Take out the candle holder ring and remove any of the tags from the store.
  2. Arrange the evergreen branches around the holder.  Make sure that they cover it completely and you like the design.
  3. Take the floral wire and attach the evergreens to the candle ring.  The best way to do this is to find a start point for each sprig of evergreen.  So at the first candle holder, tie on the end of the evergreen sprig.  Leave that sprig and move onto the next holder, tying on another sprig of evergreen to the next holder and so on until you have four sprigs hanging out from each of the holders.
  4. Next, secure one of the evergreen sprigs in the middle between two holders, move to the next sprig and repeat until you have secured them all.
  5. Lastly, secure as close to the tip as you can while still maintaining a nice look to the ring. Repeat until all the sprigs are attached.
  6. Add more sprigs of evergreens to spots that need them.
  7. Place the four candles in each holder.
  8. Place the white pillar candle in the center of the ring.

When you use your Advent wreath, you will light a purple candle on the first Sunday of Advent, the second Sunday of Advent you will light two purple candles; the one you already lit the week before and the second one.  The third Sunday of Advent, you will light the two previous candles as well as the rose candle, and on the fourth Sunday, you will light all the candles except the white one.  The candle in the center represents Christmas so you don’t light it until Christmas Day.

Now you have an Advent wreath that everyone will want and you will find yourself making some last minute Advent wreaths for gifts.

 

 

Aug 24

Yankee Candle Fall Fragrance Preview

Yankee Candle Pumpkin Spice

Yankee Candle Pumpkin Spice

It is the middle of summer, and Yankee Candles has already released its Fall Fragrance Preview line of candles. In this line of candles you will find all the delicious scents of Autumn that will remind you of Thanksgiving day, Halloween and baking pies with grandmother! It may seem too early for these now, but the scents sound intriguing and I’m excited for them.

The first candle that I tried was the Apple Pumpkin. It is described as a candle with scents of home-grown apples, pumpkins, clove and ginger. I found this candle to be heavenly with spicy aroma and just enough sweetness. I can see burning this one on a Fall day and really enjoy it! The only reason I am not burning it yet, is because it is still summer and too hot out for this rich, Autumn scent.

The next Fall Yankee candle I tried was Caramel Pecan Pie. I found this one to smell so delicious that it made me crave a piece of pecan pie! It is described as buttery goodness with walnuts, caramel and pecans. I found this one to be very sweet and it seems like it would be a great candle to burn in a kitchen around the holidays.

Another fun and interesting scent I found was Harvest Welcome. Harvest Welcome has the intention of bringing all the smells of Autumn into one candle. I think they have succeeded with the notes of pumpkin mixed with the brisk Autumn air. This is a lighter scent that will remind you of being outdoors in November with the smell of the crisp leaves and spicy pumpkin. This seems like the perfect candle to have burning next to a fireplace or on a mantle.

Season’s Blessings is a sweet candle that has notes of pear, plums, grapes and spices. This is sort of a warm fruit salad that will leave scents of cardamom and cinnamon in the air. This seems like a very pleasant candle that anyone could enjoy! I have actually been burning it through the summer as it does not seem too rich.

Finally, another Yankee Fall candle scent that I had to try was Whoopie Pie! Yes, this was made to be like those old-fashioned treats of long ago. The scents mingles creamy vanilla frosting with rich chocolate for a decadent treat. I found this one to be too rich for me as I typically do not enjoy chocolate scented candles.