DIY Wedding Favours – Soy Candles for under a dollar

Wedding favours.

In recent years it seems that the expectations for favours have swayed away from those little baggies of candies towards things that your guests will actually hold on to and, ideally, use. My friends have been creative in this respect for both shower and wedding favours.

Some of my personal favourites – from left to right: homemade pickles, bath salts, monogrammed shot glass, and monogrammed stemless wineglass

Of course, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create fabulous favours! After an afternoon with a friend where we discussed every favour we’d ever received, I fell in love with the idea of candles. I consulted all of my crafting friends on candlemaking, and while none of them had ever done it before, we all felt confident that we could make it work somehow. I then brought the idea to Scott, who said:

“Awesome, I love candle making!”

After two plus years of dating he still surprises me.

As it would turn out, Scott had helped his mother and sisters make candles – fairly elaborate ones – and was well up to the challenge of making these work for our wedding favours.

We took to the internet and found an online supplier for soy wax (which burns a little cleaner than the regular paraffin variety and comes in easily manageable pieces).  We decided to put together a small order to make just 50 candles and see if they were the right fit for our 100 person wedding. After our first 50, I am pleased to say that we will be ordering the remaining wax immediately and finishing our favours before the beautiful summer months.

Our supplier – Canwax - a soap and candlemaking retailer in Hunstville, Ontario, offered incredibly reasonable prices and a fast shipping time. We ordered 2′ diameter by 1.5′ deep tealight cups, soy wax, seafoam coloured dye blocks and wicks to complete the project pictured below.

Each candle cost us just under a dollar to make and will burn for 8-10 hours! Budget friendly and practical!

Please note: this is not intended as a tutorial for candlemaking – please refer to supplier instructions and warnings before trying your own.

 

We had a blast making these – they are quick, easy, and pretty. Our next step will be to decide how to package them as favours.

For more information on soy candle making, check out the tutorials below:

Claire K Creations provides an excellent guide to soy candle making in the microwave.

Candle Science did this great YouTube video on soy candle making – this is what we based our method on.

Stay tuned!

<3 L

Reviewing books is caring

I love writing book reviews. I can’t wait to share my thoughts and impressions with other readers. I can’t wait for my friends to have a copy of my newest favourite in their hands!

So you won’t be surprised to hear that…

I review books before I finish reading them.

All. the. time.

I’ve been told that this is a big no-no, but I can not figure why.

Have you ever been reading something just amazing that you couldn’t wait to talk about with your BFF?  Something that reminded you of someone? Something that you just needed NEEDED to get off your chest? It’s human to share – to unload, download, upload or whatever-you-may-call-it.

It’s kind of like a preview.

A sneak peek.

A desperate plea for someone else to share in your excitement. Your awe. Intrigue. Anticipation. Enthusiasm.

In that moment – before the story ends. Before you have to smile without revealing the best part. Before you blurt out your take away message.

Since I stopped blogging, one of the things that I’ve missed most has been sharing my impressions of new books. When I read something new and fantastic I want to get it into the hands of everyone near and dear to me.

Take that as you will, but sharing really is caring.

So I’ll never wait for the end of a book to share. I might not even wait until the end of the first chapter! Judge away super readers.

If that’s really a thing.

Stay tuned for more book reviews readers.

:)

My Latest Adventure… <3

Hi folks!

Sorry for the long silence.  It turns out that working full-time takes a toll.  Oh yeah – I’m now employed full-time at a company directly related to my field of study.  But that’s not my biggest news…

My next big adventure? Marriage.

Scott and Laura

There’s no way around being a bit annoying on this one – but I’ll be a married woman this October! And with a wedding comes lots of wedding prep. At the urging of my dearest friend, I want to share this fine time via my blog.  Because it’s just one more transition in a life filled with changes.

Actually, I mostly just want to share cool DIYs and inspiration leading up to the big day with the friends and family.  Really girly stuff.

So, dear reader, you are formally invited to share in my wedding planning. Right here on Transitionelle.

<3

Adventures on The Island: Victoria Park

Summer has finally reached Prince Edward Island, bringing ice-free tides and a constant stream of tourists. Oh, and beautiful summer weather. To celebrate the emergence of such luxuries as the opening of Cows ice cream stands, Scott and I have begun to explore our new province with childlike enthusiasm.

Our first stop worth blogging?

Victoria Park, Charlottetown, PEI.

Since this park is so close to home, and offers a number of fields and hiking paths, I expect to spend a fair amount of my summer here. It’s the perfect place for a picnic or game of Frisbee, and has a distinct British feel to it – minus those nuts who bring “disposable barbecues” to the park. It’s a slice of city-dweller paradise.

There are a number of plaques and signs to read about the history of the Prince Edward Battery and the military presence on the Island since its colonization in 1720. It’s interesting stuff – and the cannons are worth checking out as well.

The day that we chose for our adventure was far too windy to enjoy a lot of the parks charm, but we’ll be back and I’m sure I’ll be able to provide a more enthusiastic review in weeks to come. I hear it’s the place to be on Canada day.

Our on the boardwalk

Out on the boardwalk

The Prince Edward Battery

The Prince Edward Battery

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Free binoculars to view the harbor – this might have made my day… so many lighthouses to see

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You could get right up close to inspect these old cannons.

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I couldn’t resist – but must add that I did not climb the cannon.

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Such a lovely place to enjoy a stroll

Check back for more Prince Edward Island adventures in photos.

Happy Weekend.

A Cat Called Bella

As mentioned, my boyfriend and I recently adopted two cats. They’re three year old sisters named Maddie and….

Bella.

Yes… we have a cat named Bella.

Bella's heart.

Bella’s heart.

No, we aren’t Twilight fans – but lately we’ve been drawn into discussions of Stephenie Meyer, her impact on literature, and her characters as role models for young women. All because we decided to keep our cat’s original names.

Maddie on the left, Bella on the right

Maddie on the left, Bella on the right

{Quick aside: I’ve actually been impressed with some of the discussions that our cat’s name has lead us to – most of which have been far more sophisticated than “Oh Twilight, ewww”. Lively debate seems to spring up around the series instead of a witch-hunt for fans}

So why did we keep their pre-adoption names? 

It all comes back to the day we met them.

We went to the shelter looking for kittens, but instead were drawn to a sweet white kitty who was staring at us from between the bars, purring wildly.

Just look at that little face!

Just look at that little face!

We couldn’t resist a cuddle, so we asked to visit with her and her adorable tuxedo-coated sister. Of course,  she let us pick her up and laid back in our arms like a baby, eyes closed in perfect trust. The perfect little cuddle-bug.

While she checked out the cat room, we called Bella’s name only to have her ears perk up and her return for more cuddles. It was heart warming. Her sister, Maddie, was pretty wild, but she allowed us to pick her up in turn. For a few moments at least. And even Maddie’s ears seemed to perk up when we called her by name.

Maddie is known for piling toys up so we can play

Maddie is known for piling toys up so we can play at our leisure

Since we’d visited the shelter with the intention of  scoping out some kittens, we left empty-handed. But the thought of two sweet sisters clung to us, resulting in many long conversations about the cats, our ideal cat characteristics, and the lives we want them to fit into.

Fifteen or more years of companionship is quite a commitment!

After a few days of talking, two more shelter visits, and dozens of visits to the Humane Society website, we knew that these were our cats. So our choice was made – and we couldn’t be happier.

Our story is just one of thousands of happy new beginnings for older shelter pets. If you are ready for a pet, I encourage you to consider an older individual – or a pair of siblings. You’ll have a better idea of the personalities that you’re bringing home.

We are so fortunate to have found two friends who are as cuddly and gentle as we’d imagined, and still mischievous and playful as a younger pet. They’ve found a great home with these two cat lovers.

And what post would be complete without some heartwarming photos?

This photo demonstrates the kind of personalities we're dealing with. Maddie loves to be your shadow and watch incessantly with her big green eyes, while Bella is a snuggler who is comfortable in any scenario.

This photo demonstrates the kind of personalities we’re dealing with. Maddie loves to be your shadow and watch incessantly with her big green eyes, while Bella is a snuggler who is comfortable in any scenario.

Maddie in all her tuxedo glory. I wonder if she'd be open to a bow tie...

Maddie in all her tuxedo glory. I wonder if she’d be open to a bow tie…

Their favourite activity - staring out the patio door at that tag thing on the propane tank as it dances in the wind.

Their favourite activity – staring out the patio door at the tag-thing on the propane tank as it dances in the wind.

And, one small video of Bella playing…

The Road Ahead

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The road ahead is appropriately blurry – crossing the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick into my new home province of PEI

My life has been in transition over the past few months.

I’ve recently made of the biggest moves of my young adult life. I’ve picked up from my home in New Brunswick and relocated to the tiny province of Prince Edward Island. It’s been a chaotic couple of months, but I am happy to say that I’m finally settled into Anne of Green Gables territory.

I’m well on my way to becoming a proud Islander.

The move here has lead me to a new employment pool – with many opportunities to pursue a career in Biology. I have been overwhelmed by the community spirit and encouragement that complete strangers have offered since my arrival. Everyone has been so incredibly helpful. And I have put myself to work networking in a place that has a booming biotech industry. It’s only a matter of time now.

So look for updates in the future. I’ll be sharing adventures from life on the Red Island, more tips and tricks for job seekers, a peek at my DIY exploits, book reviews for what ever piques this twentysomething’s interest, and plenty of stories about the new feline additions to my family. Can’t wait to get started.

I’m so glad to be home.

Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect…

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Adorable fox photos

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Plenty of water photos – with and without massive quantities of ice

New books to review

...and my two new best friends

…and my two new best friends

How to Pick Up Where You Blogged Off

Last week I convinced myself that Transitionelle was finished.

At my wits end.

At my wits’ end.

I haven’t updated it in months. I’ve all but lost my following. And I want a fresh start.

Or… do I?

Why not continue to use this blog to follow my adventures in twenty-something life?

What if I used this blog to fill in the gaps of my resume? What if I wrote out all the whys? What if I use this blog as one more tool on my search for my dream job?

What if I used this blog for other projects? To share my writing? Or to display tidbits of inspiration?

I can’t quit Transitionelle!

Are there rules for restarting your blog? Not a chance! It’s your blog – your voice – and you have the power to restart your blog at any time. So why not now?

Here are some tips for restarting your blog:

  • Feeling inspired? Use that rare opportunity as an extra push to get yourself going!
  • Delete all of those old drafts. Seriously, don’t let those dark clouds hang over you. Delete and move forward.
  • Just write something. Anything. Do a 10 minute free-write on any subject. Get those juices flowing. And post something new. Now that it’s out of the way, blogging isn’t so scary.
  • Write 10 post ideas. Now you have 10 ideas! Go with them.
  • Rethink your message to be. What was your reason for stopping? Do you still want your blog to follow the same direction, or do you want to move off on another tangent? Read just and go with it!
  • Reconnect with your best blogging buddy. Ask him/her for a little extra push – I’m sure they’ll be glad to see your posts again.
  • Consider your blogging schedule. Do you want to hold yourself to blogging every day? Or are you more of a ‘when inspiration strikes’ type? Figure out what works for you.

Don’t forget to ask yourself why you quit blogging. What obstacles may stand in your way? And how will you overcome them?

Other posts worth reading

Blogger Sentral suggests locating new blogging trends and getting on board. You’re starting over, so why not catch a new trend?

Darren Rowse at Problogger suggests taking a look at your old posts – get inspired by your personal or fan favourites and go from there.

Ninenines has a great guide to improving your blog content, looking at everything from design to SEO.

Happy Blogging :)