This little light of mine

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am candle obsessed.

I have a pantry full of candles waiting in the wings to be lit. But don’t take my word for it… Here’s a picture of a “few” of my 3 wicks.

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These are the from the bath and body works candle collection. I love these because they burn clean, smell fantastic and are very affordable.

I started my candle hoarding with these, but my all time favorite candles come from Anthropology.

This weekend while cruising through Anthro I found a new favorite I had to add to my collection. It’s from one of my favorite candle lines, Voluspa.

It goes by the name Saijo Persimmon and it smells ah-MAZING!

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Voluspa is one of my favorite candle brands. They are richly fragrant, they’re made of apricot and coconut wax so they burn beautifully, are packaged in beautifully patterned tins and they are also affordable.

If you like a fresh, slightly sweet and fruity scent, you’ll love Saijo Persimmon too! The peachy and red currant scents create a delightful party for my senses and make me happy while making my house smell glorious!

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“Just Because”

There is a saying, “Chocolates say, ‘I love you,’ Flowers say, ‘I’m sorry.” I think that can be a very accurate statement, but I think it sells flowers short. Flowers can say all sorts of things! They can even say nothing at all – and even then they are saying something. Case in point, “Just Because Flowers.”

I love getting “Just Because” flowers from my husband. I think it’s incredibly sweet and romantic that someone who is legally bound to me still wants to woo me and do little things to brighten my day, make me smile and remind me that I am adored.

“Just Because” Flowers are one of the best little surprises that can show up in your house and I’m so happy these little dandies showed up this week courtesy of my romantic and thoughtful husband. White roses, my favorite flower from my favorite Italian hunk! 😉

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OPI addict

They say the first sign of fixing a problem is acknowledging you have a problem. While I agree with that in most instances. This is not one. I understand I have a bit of a problem when it comes to my nail polish addiction, yet while recognizing that, I have no intention to do anything about it.

Something that feels so right, can’t possibly be wrong.

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I prefer to do my own manicures and over the years have developed a routine of painting them on Sundays and Wednesdays. I do take the occasional mandatory “polish vacation” where I dare to let my nails go bare for a few days. This is a necessary practice to let your nails go bare to absorb sunlight and oxygen to keep them growing healthy and strong. No one wants nails that are yellowing, dry, brittle or splitting. The polish vacation will keep you on the right side of those unsightly conditions!

My addiction to OPI was leading me to outgrow the baskets I had bought for my polishes. They were no longer fitting in them and so much to my neat-freak husband’s dismay, my bottles were popping up in other places of the house, mostly the coffee table in our living room and kitchen counters… and maybe in his bathroom… oh and the dining room table – you get the point.

Plus,  having them in a basket was beginning to present another problem. I was forgetting the colors I had and was starting to buy duplicates! And at $10 a pop, that can become an expensive mistake when you keep repeating it!

I fancy myself a problem solver so I had a job at hand! My solution – I needed a way that I could store, organize and maintain my polishes where I could see my inventory at all times and avoid forgetting colors I already owned. My solution – a nail rack fit for a professional!

This is now what happily hangs in my bathroom:

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Well to be fair, this was taken over the summer, they have multiplied a bit since then so there are no empty spaces… may be time for a second rack! See – problem solver! That’s me! 🙂

This rack has been an amazing addition, that keeps me and the hubs happy and keeps my duplicate problem at bay! (except for the times when I mean to buy a duplicate because I love the color so much…)

I got mine on amazon and it holds 96 bottles. If you want one too, here she is: bare nail rack

Happy Painting!!

Holidays with a Dutch Girl

Although you’d never know it by looking at me, I am one half Dutch. My tan and coloring are courtesy of my other half, Native American.

My mother and grandmother are full dutch and of the many important things they’ve taught me over the course of my lifetime, one of those things is that we Dutch have quite the sweet tooth and the means to satisfy it with some of our delicious recipes!

One of my favorite times of the year to be Dutch is December, for our delicious Christmas and New Years traditions. I’ll start with Christmas and Jan Hagel! (Pronounced “Yawn Ha-Hul”)  Even the sound of it makes my mouth water a little bit! It’s an incredibly delicious cookie that we bake this time of year and I always seem to forget just how much I love it until that first bite.

These are photos of the batch I baked this year at my apartment (before slicing them into small bars). And yes, as you’ll see in the second photo, I enjoy sipping on a gimlet while I bake and listen to Christmas music!

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It’s basically shortbread cookie on the bottom with sliced almonds and Christmas colored sprinkles on top! It tastes a lot better than you’d think! It’s like magic! 🙂

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And after Christmas comes NEW YEARS!

The Dutch have a fantastic New Years Tradition – it’s called Olliebollen and it takes like heaven in your mouth!

If I had to reduce said magic to the nuts and bolts, Olliebollen is dough that you make with raisins and deep fry then serve with powdered sugar. It’s ridiculously good, but not the best for your waistline so it is only made once a year, at New Years.

This photo is from the batch I made at my apartment last year, and does a good job illustrating the full baking process.

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This year I made them with my mom at my Oma’s house. Oma is the Olliebollen queen, but at 92 years young this year, we thought we’d let her hang up her wooden spoons and retire after what is probably 80 plus years of making them, and she passed the baton to us.

It was a fun  and special experience, bonding with mom over this family tradition, while the pro (Oma) supervised our every move making sure we were doing it right! haha! Followed by the Olliebollen Master herself trying and (more importantly) loving our finished product! (Big sigh of relief!) It was a Success!! And a great day I will remember every time I make these in the future.

Below is a photo of some of the ones we made at Oma’s house this year.

photo 4 Sooooo delicious! Now I just have to wait 12 more months to taste them again!

Holy Hair Miracle.

It’s a PERFECT 10 is more like it!

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So before I get into the magic of “It’s A 10” products, I feel that it’s important to mention that my older sister stole all the good genes from the pool and then I was born and got what was left over.

My ridiculously beautiful and (did I mention) older (sorry… youth is one of the few things I have on her…) has perfect hair (among perfect everything else). Yup, my sister is a walking talking Pantene commercial. Actually, she has the type of hair that advertisers photoshop Pantene ads into. Anyway, I digress. The point of this is that she has gorgeous, thick, shiny hair that accounts for 10 pounds of her 100 pound frame. I on the other hand, was not born with her Rapunzel like mane.

This product is a game changer if you’re like me and your hair falls on the more fine side. I might not have Chia-pet-thick hair, but hey my tresses will hold a curl with a rigor mortis death grip fierceness for days on end – so thanks for that!

Anyway, because my hair is on the finer side, I opt for their Volumizing line because it isn’t super heavy and won’t weigh your hair down. I discovered this product about a year ago (sorry I meant to tell you earlier, but went on a hiatus from blogging). After about 3 weeks of using I saw my hair stylist who has known me since she was about 3 or 4 and has been doing my hair for the last few years. The first thing out of her mouth was “What have you been doing differently?! Your hair feels so much thicker and healthier!” Then the next week I saw my colorist, and what do you know – she said the same thing!

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This stuff makes your hair ridiculously soft (and who doesn’t love that?!), it smells great and seriously you notice a big difference in a short amount of time. My hair was softer, healthier, more manageable and felt thicker in no time. I buy about 4 bottles of the miracle leave in treatment (my favorite product in the line) and 3 bottles of the Volumizing Shampoo every time I go shopping for it; partly because I’m a hoarder and partly because I’m just so obsessed with it. I totally recommend you try it for yourself, even if your hair isn’t fine and you just want to switch up your routine with a quality product! Happy lather, rinse, repeating, ladies!