Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All Is Right With The (candle) World


Thank you so much to Melissa (the life saver) for finding and helping me to fix the problem. I owe you big time, hon.

You will also notice that I've added some stock items to the web site. Purchase these for fast delivery!

More updates coming soon :D

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shopping Cart Problems

Just a short little note to let you all know that I am aware of the current issue with the shopping cart. For some reason, it is suddenly logging off every time you navigate to a different page.

I'm working on it, but this may take me some time. Please do not be alarmed if you are temporarily unable to access Lights & Scents, or if weird things happen as you look around. This is just me playing with the code. Please feel free to e-mail me or call toll free at 866-488-0693 with any ordering needs or questions.

I deeply apologize for this inconvience and assure you I am doing everything in my power to get it fixed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Is Upon Us

It is currently 79 degrees and sunny outside my window. Be that as it may, it is still the first day of fall. I've noticed many a pumpkin and gourd at the farmer's market and in the stores. Colorful fake leaf arrangements, corn stalk bunches, hay bales and mums are strewn all over town boding of cool weather, apples fresh from the orchard, apple cider simmering on the stove with cinnamon sticks and cloves, football and the last bonfires of the season. Also telling me that I'd better get my butt in gear!

As a merchant, I am well aware that I need to plan for seasons before they arrive. It's simply something I am not at all good at. I'm very much a "live in the moment" kinda gal. I'm also an infamous procrastinator. Those two traits don't work so well in a seasonal business such as candles. I've struggled with this issue now for 12 long years. You'd think I'd learn, wouldn't ya?

Obviously, I haven't. It's now the end of September and I've suddenly realized fall is knocking insistently at the front door and I have nothing to offer the hungry throngs. Um, OK, you're all supposed to be hungering for candles upon candles to fill your homes with warmth and light during those long cold fall and winter months. (Ignore the 79 degree sunshine, please!) So, I now have a belated plan. I made the decision over the summer to start offering stock candles along with my traditional custom creations. My "plan" at the time was to build up stock and have it all added to the web site by the time school started. See how well that plan worked for me??? I have a few items made and listed on my alternate sites at and It is so very much not enough and not what I had planned all those many warm months ago. Ah, well. This "live in the moment" gal can cope with that and make the best of the situation.

Here now are my promises to you. Hold me accountable, please!
  1. Before the end of the week, add to my web site the candles that I have prepared. INCLUDING the five new scents that have been sitting on my work bench for two weeks without pictures taken or listings created. UGH!
  2. Before the end of next week, create fall inspired votive candles, take pictures AND post them on all my web sites.
  3. I will then clean up the storage shelves in the work room and move items to a clearance sale page that will be available by Oct. 1st. I really must get rid of all that clutter and make room for new products.

Ooops! I think I just let something slip ;D Hmmmmmmm, whatsoever could I have up my sleeve???????

Now it's your turn to show me a little love, to motivate me to list these awesome candles, to FORCE me to feed your hunger for warmth and good smells for those cold winter months:

BLOG SPECIAL: Place an order on my web site or by phone, mention that you read my blog, and you get FREE
ground SHIPPING. Offer expires Oct. 31, 2008

Follow your own little light, be happy and buy candles :D

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Going To Be A Good Day

You know how you can tell, immediately upon waking, that the day will be a good one? Today is definitely one of those days. After two days of 90* humid weather, I awoke this morning to cool (almost cold!) breezes. The bugs were still chirping and singing, birds were starting their day and the soft glow of a golden sunrise was coming through the window. But that's not the most important part. What REALLY told me that today would be good was the smell of coffee brewing! WOO HOO!! I actually remembered to set the coffee maker last night. Ahhhhhh

It's the first full day of school for us, and everyone actually got up on time. There were no fights for the bathroom or curling iron. No lost make-up and only one minor tantrum over an unwashed shirt that we were supposed to "just know" she wanted to wear today. Life with two teenage girls and one point five baths can be quite challenging, but this morning was bliss. And cooooffffeeee

I remembered to start the wax melter this morning, too. I am batting 1000! And I actually have candles to make! You have no idea how exciting that is after the absolutely D E A D summer I've had. I actually have a queue!! That has been unheard of these last couple months. And I'm not the only one. Pretty much everyone that I've talked to, in all types of industries, has had a very slow summer. Hopefully this increase in business will keep up for fall and winter. Oh yea, and there was coffee!

Did I mention my kids are back in school. Aahhhh, blissful. There is absolutely no sound of "What Not To Wear" or "Spongebob" coming from any room of my house. Our over-hyper one year old puppy is exhausted after a long weekend in the kennel, so he's sleeping under my bed. I've got one stereo on. Count them . . . one! Although my kids and I like the same radio station, I've usually got competing iPods going . . . along with the over-hyper pup, What Not To Wear and Spongebob. BTW, I'd like to take a moment to thank Mike and Amy for sending a new and highly annoying squeaky toy for Rascal.

I'm starting to digress. Let's get back on track. More good day tidings. I actually remembered to start a crock pot dinner for the kids tonight that smells wonderful. Added bonus!: Sweet Home Alabama came on the radio as I was making said dinner. (I'm a southern girl at heart) PLUS, it's Russ and my anniversary today so I get to go out for a very nice dinner. Looking forward to some fresh seafood, nice wine and an absolutely evil dessert. YUM

All in all, it's going to be a good day. Now, where is my coffee cup . . . .

Friday, August 15, 2008

I've Been Cooking

The last couple of weeks have been insane busy, and I haven't had much personal time. Yesterday I decided to take a "personal" day and get to some cooking I've had on my to-do list for quite a while. Yes, I am one of those weird people who consider cooking to be fun and relaxing. It doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer, nor does it require me to be secluded in the basement work room. It was a beautiful day full of sunshine and cool breezes coming through the window. (YEAH! I have a kitchen window now for those breezes to come through!) Let's just say it was PERFECT!

First on my list was my friend Melanie's zucchini bread. Now, I've eaten Mel's zucchini bread many times and must say it is SUPER NUMMY. This was the first time I've made it myself. It's OH so easy and OH so yummy and smells OH SO GOOD while it's baking.

The recipe makes 2 loaves, but I decided to make one loaf and 24 mini muffins. Both turned out amazingly good. The mini muffins were done in 20 minutes, but that was on convect bake so it may need adjusting in a conventional oven. I also found the Pampered Chef Ultimate Mandoline to be a life saver when grating the zucchini. If I were doing more I probably would have pulled out my food processor with the grating attachment, but it didn't seem worth the trouble or mess for only two zucchinis.

You all have to try this recipe. Thanks Mel, for sharing!

Melanie's Zucchini Bread
2 C zucchini (peeled and grated)
3 eggs (well beaten)
1 C vegetable oil
2 1/4 C sugar
3 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 C chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Mix together first 5 ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Sift (I whisked) flour and remaining 5 dry ingredients together
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix well, adding nuts last if
  4. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and bake at 325* for 1 hour. Allow loaves
    to cool before removing them from pans.

Other optional ingredients that I didn't try this time, but Mel
suggests: 1 C mini chocolate chips, 1 C raisins.

Next on my list was salsa to use up some of the tomatoes I'm being buried under. I love making salsa. There's no real recipe, just start chopping up fresh ingredients. Add this or that, and voila, you have salsa. Needless to say, I've never made the same salsa twice.

This time, I decided to try my hand at mango/avocado salsa in addition to regular tomato. Oh did it turn out scrumptious! It is a bit thicker and creamier than I would like, largely due to the avocado, but it tastes awesome. I may try topping some chicken breast with it. Hmmmmmm . . . . Again, no real recipe. I just combined mango, avocado, onion, jalapeno, a few tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro and salt/pepper. I did end up blending it with the hand blender just a bit, to help it meld together. But still leaving it chunky. Yum! Definitely give this a try if you like a sweet/spicy salsa.

I do find that some are unsure as to how to purchase mango and avocado. Mangoes do come in different colors, so don't judge solely on the color. The type we have here should be mostly red and yellow, but must important is that they are somewhat soft when squeezed. Oh, and if you have never tried grilled mango, most definitely give it a try. YUM!

If you've not worked with avocado, give it a try. I'm a dork, I know, but I find avocados to be sooooo cool. Look for ones that are completely black and slightly soft when squeezed. When you open them up, the insides are sooooo soft and buttery. And OH that beautiful color!

Then, for dinner we had Stuffed Tomatoes. This was a Rachael Ray recipe that was ok. It's a good base, but I definitely have to play with it. What do you all think? What to add???

Rachael Ray's Stuffed Tomatoes

1/4 c wild rice

8 large tomatoes (mine were really large and I used 6. Still had filling left over)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, coarsely chopped (used my faves, baby bellas or craminis)

1 lb ground chicken (I used ground beef 'cause that's what I had and it needed to be used)

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

1/2 c sour cream

1 bunch dill, chopped (about 1/2 c)

salt to taste

  1. Prepare wild rice according to the package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, cut a 1/2 inch slice off the top of each tomato. Scoop our and discard the seeds, most of the flesh and excess juices. Place the tomato shells on a baking sheet and set aside. Preheat oven to 350*
  3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 mins. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 min longer. Add the ground chicken (beef) and cook until cooked through. Stir in the smoked paprika. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked wild rice, sour cream and dill. Add salt to taste.
  4. Stuff the rice mixture into the tomatoes. Brush the outside of the tomatoes with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and season lightly with salt. Cover loosely with foil and bake until the tomatoes are tender and the filling is hot, about 25 mins.

Personally, I found the dill to be too much and I would probably add some of
the tomato innards to the meat. I'm also thinking some grill seasoning
would have been a good add for the ground beef. What do you all

I froze some green beans, too. But that's boring. All in all, it was a productive day. We topped it off by going to downtown West Bend to watch the band Northern Room play at Music on Main. It's pretty cool. The city blocks off the downtown area and brings bands in to play in the little park area. There are food tents and the shops stay open. People mill about on the street and bring chairs to sit and listen. Sadly, this was the last week for this summer. I'll miss it.

I'll leave you now with this final thought . . . MAKE THAT ZUCCHINI BREAD!! Oh, and take the poll at the top of the page. I'll explain why in my next post. :D

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is it REALLY almost August???

Where, oh where, has the summer gone?? Every year it seems to fly by faster. Could it be because my kids keep me running? Or perhaps it's me running from volleyball to softball to bonfire to yet another party. Ah, I love summer.

Suddenly, my calendar is telling me that tomorrow is August. Ugh! That means I have to start thinking about school shopping for the kids, helping ChildA get her college aps done. Tennis starts for A next week, ChildB starts volleyball the week after, and I'm sure FurBabyC will be happy to have his all day nap times back. I hate going back to schedules.

Although it will be 90* for the next week or so, I have to start thinking about fall candles. Oddly enough, I'm very ready. I love seeing all those bright summer wedding candles flowing out the workshop door with their shades of fuchsia, orange, lime and lavender but I'm honestly ready for some deep autumnal hues. Already I'm seeing deeper shades of purples and sage/olive greens.

Beyond weddings, I have some exciting new ideas for the upcoming months . . . but you'll have to wait until summer is done. I'm trying to eke out as much sun-loving fun as I can, which means I'm in the workshop as little as possible. Stay tuned to learn more about the stock candles I plan to add to my website, along with an interesting (and fun!) collection. Ladies, you don't want to miss this one!!

For now, I'm off to take B to volleyball camp, play in my garden for the afternoon, then watch my Friend Doug and his band The Music Venders play at Music In The Park tonight. Bring on the beer and wine!!!