Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Zoe Walter Candles

I’m totally going to self-promote here for a second: did you know that I make soy candles and sell them on Etsy? I started this hobby after taking a soy candlemaking workshop and then getting a kit so I could make my own candles at home. I came up with the idea to make candles in twelve scents, one inspired by each month of the year, and all are available on my Etsy store, Zoe Walter Candles.*

So if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day gift, why not order a candle or two from my Etsy store? Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14 this year so there’s still time to get your order in. You can purchase a candle that represents Mom’s birth month, her favorite month, or even a set of candles for her favorite season. I don’t currently have a ton of inventory because I make small batches of three candles at a time, so get ’em while you can.  🙂

Zoe Walter Candles May Soy Wax Candle

You can always find my candle shop through the link in the menu bar at the top of each page here on my blog. Or go ahead and favorite my shop directly on Etsy for easy access. Happy gift shopping!

*I named my store after our two wonderful cats!

Introducing My Etsy Shop: Zoe Walter Candles

Happy December! On this first day of the month in which the holiday season really kicks in, I’m excited to announce that I have opened a handmade soy candle shop on Etsy called Zoe Walter Candles! Where did the shop name come from? Well, I pretty much pulled a Brick Tamland “I Love Lamp” by looking around and deciding to use the names of our two cats, Zoe and Walter.  🙂

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Handmade soy wax candles solidifying

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DIY Candles: Soy Candlemaking Kit

716H2cD7qML._SL1500_Back in May I took a soy candlemaking workshop at Brooklyn Candle Studio, which I highly recommend if you live in NYC and have any interest in candlemaking. Before the workshop I had started looking into soy candlemaking kits because I definitely wanted to try this at home; I found kits on Grow and Make—the same folks from whom I got my lip balm kit—and a whole mess of kits on Amazon.

When I attended the candlemaking workshop I got a workbook that listed some recommended kits and suppliers, and one of the kits I’d been considering was on the list. SOLD! (Not really, because I got it from my mom as a birthday gift. 🙂 ) Continue reading

Bread Baking: A Solid First Effort

Lately I’ve been in the mood to make food from scratch. I feel like when you do this, it helps put you in better touch with what you put in your mouth, and it also gives you a better appreciation for all the work that goes into quality cooking and baking. For example, a couple weeks ago I was all MUST MAKE PIZZA DOUGH FROM SCRATCH! So I tried, and I failed so hard that we had to run out and buy frozen crusts from Whole Foods at the last minute because we getting hangry. (I blame the yeast that I used—it was a bad batch that didn’t rise, even though it was a year from its expiration date.) I now have a much greater appreciation for pizza that’s done right—dough seems like a simple thing to make, but it requires plenty of finesse and, of course, the right ingredients.

I didn’t let the #pizzafail get me down, though. I got on a MUST BAKE BREAD FROM SCRATCH kick, and—Spoiler Alert!—this time it worked out pretty well. Here’s a peek:

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DIY Marbled Jewelry Trays from Brit + Co

I’ve been eyeing Brit + Co‘s marbled jewelry tray DIY kit for awhile now, and I finally broke down and ordered it last week. The kit is $25, but you can get $10 off your first order from the website by signing up for their newsletter, which I did, obviously.  🙂 So with the $4.99 shipping, this DIY kit only cost me $19.99. They offer a variety of colors; I went with blue.

The kit arrived as a very nicely packaged box with an instruction card:

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Homebrewed Kombucha: Batch Two!

I just bottled our second homemade batch of kombucha made with our Kombucha Brooklyn home brew super kit, and it’s a great one! This batch fermented for ten days, and it has a nice bready aroma. It’s more sour than our first batch (which is all gone, BTW!), but in a good way. And man…look at this fucking SCOBY:

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Homemade Lip Balm: Grow and Make Kit

Recently I’ve been interested in DIY projects and wanted to try making my own lip balm. I’m a full-fledged, card-carrying lip balm addict and always have to have something on my lips. As you know, I have a ridiculous stash of lip products; there’s at least one balm within arm’s reach in each room of the apartment, and I usually have two or three options in my purse—at minimum.

Because I’m constantly re-applying lip balm, I decided it would be a good idea to make my own so that I have control over the ingredients that go into it—especially considering I probably ingest a full tube at least once a year (ew). I did some hunting on Amazon, and I found a Portland, Oregon-based company called Grow and Make that sells a variety of DIY kits including lip balm, candles, soap, and more. I selected their Exotic Flavors Lip Balm Making Kit with Tubes which cost $24.95 on Amazon (you can also order directly from G&M’s website, but I happened to be ordering some other stuff from Amazon at the time). The kit arrived in a nicely packaged little box:

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Homemade Kombucha Update: Bottled!

We started tasting our kombucha the weekend before last and decided to let it continue to ferment for a few more days so it’d turn a little less sweet. But it has shaped up to be a very tasty treat! This past Saturday, we bottled our kombucha to allow it to go through secondary fermentation for a few days before we leave town later this week.

First, I removed the old + newly formed SCOBY and put it into a jar along with 1.5 cups of our very own homemade kombucha. This jar went into the fridge and will serve as the starter for our next batch! You can see the jar with the SCOBY on the left in this photo:

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A Kombucha Home Brewing Update

Our first ever batch of homemade kombucha has been a-brewing for a week now, so I took photos this morning in order to share its progress. The liquid is cloudier than it was when we first mixed it up:

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DIY: Home Brewing Kombucha

IMG_4346A couple weeks ago, my husband and I took a kombucha brewing class at Kombucha Brooklyn—we were gifted tickets to the class over the holidays. And we loved the class! So much so that we bought a Home Brew Super Kit to try out for ourselves.

What is kombucha? The simplest definition is that it is fermented tea. Kombucha contains probiotics, which we all know from watching yogurt commercials are good for the gut. According to Kombucha Brooklyn’s website, the drink “nourishes your body with compounds that detoxify, energize, support your immune system, streamline your digestive system, clarify your skin, prevent disease and elevate your mood.” Sounds pretty promising, right? I don’t believe that it’s the cure for all that ails us, but I would think that drinking kombucha in moderation on a regular basis might indeed have health benefits.* I have not been a regular kombucha consumer in the slightest so this is all pretty new to me, but I’m excited to get started with this unique beverage.

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