September 29, 2014

DIY: orange citrus soy candles

It's candles - PART DEUX!  I'm a bit of a candle junkie.  You can always find me rummaging through the sale section at Anthropologie looking for pretty and aromatic candles.  I have them in almost every room in my house and they make any hanging out/chillin/snuggling/cozying up moment even better.  Books are better, movies are better, a cup of tea is better, conversations are better with a lit candle nearby!  You get the point.

Homemade candles are actually pretty easy to make.  Sure, they're no luxury Diptyque or Voluspa candles but they surely do the job for everyday lighting.  

I had some leftover soy wax and essential oils from our DIY mosquito repellent so I decided with fall coming fast and furious it was time for some more candle-makin fun.  I'm a fruity scent kinda gal (versus heavy floral scents that make me dizzy) so I used this sweet orange essential oil to add to the wax.  It's light and citrusy and perfect.  For containers, I mixed things up by using a floral printed mug, a decorative drinking glass and vintage jar.

You can find all the supplies and instructions here at our Part Uno Lavender Soy Candles post.  Here's a little tip to reuse all your cool containers.  After the candle has burned to the bottom, simply reheat the ceramic/jar in a pot of simmering water until the leftover wax melts down.  Using an oven mitt or towel to handle, pour the remaining wax into a plastic sack or other container that you can throw away.  Wash the ceramic/jar in hot soapy water.  Viola!  Use again.

xoxo, NB

September 22, 2014

EAT: egg and farro salad bowl

Happy Monday, World!  After weekend recovery usually includes a healthy meal for me - without meat if possible.  I know, for all you meat-eaters this may sound like torture but trust me it's not really that bad!  Try it for one meal and you might just like it.  Throwing in hearty, hot ingredients also helps to make it feel more like a meal and less like a boring salad.  

This egg and farro bowl also has cooked okra (one of my fav veggies), tomatoes and mushrooms.  Throw in any veggies that may be your favorite - grain salads make a great base for just about anything you want to toss in there.  And of course we can't forgot the almighty powerful and delicious FRIED EGG.  It makes anything better.


- 1 pkg. farro
- arugula, spinach or your favorite salad, washed
- 1 egg
- cherry tomatoes, washed
- okra, washed and sliced
- shimeji mushrooms or your favorite mushroom, washed and cut
- olive oil
- fresh lemon juice
- chives, washed and sliced
- sesame seeds
- coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper


- Follow the directions on the package to cook the faro.  Set aside.
- Place the tomatoes, mushrooms and okra on a baking sheet (or separate ramekins). Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the okra is cooked all the way through.
- Use some olive oil to fry the egg in a frying pan.  Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the bowl.  Toss the faro and arugula/spinach/salad in a bowl with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Place in a bowl as the base.
- Layer on the tomatoes, mushrooms and okra.
- Season with chives and sesame seeds.

xoxo, NB

September 14, 2014

DIY: cord camera strap

New gidgets and gadgets call for fun add-ons and accessories.  That cool case or touch of detail that makes it all your own.  This year I decided it was time to invest in a new compact camera for travel.  And although the stock camera strap it came with was alright (eh), I wanted to change it up to give it a little...UMPH (?).  I went with a fun black and turquoise cord and love the pattern and pop of color it adds to the camera.  Choose whatever rope/string/pattern that strikes your fancy and whip up your own camera strap!


-  3 1/2 ft (about 1.2 yards) of cord rope (JoAnns, $7)
-  Twine (JoAnns, $4)
-  2 clasps (Amazon, $8.99 for 30)
-  Craft or super glue
-  Toothpicks (optional)


- Loop one end of the cord through the bottom loop of the clasp.  Fold over about 3/4 of an inch of cord and use the twine to tie it in place.
- Next, using the toothpick (if needed) place some craft or super glue down the backside of the cord (the length of the piece that is folded over).

- Start wrapping both ends of the twine downwards around the cord until the folded over piece is completely covered.  Use glue to secure the ends of the twine down.  You can also dab glue along any areas that look loose.
- Repeat the previous steps for the other end of the cord.  And viola!  Clasp that bad boy on and you're all set.

Happy snapping with your new camera strap!
xoxo, NB

September 11, 2014

WEAR: fall favorites

jumpsuit: Zara // vintage leather sleeve case: Jisoncase Macbook Air // watch: Dan Wellington Classic Sheffield Lady  // rings: H&M // mug: Botanical Musings Anthropologie // skincare: Jessica Wu // scarf: Herringbone Scarf Zara

When the weather is teasing you with occasional cool temps but it's not quite time to whip out your cold-winter favorites just yet, getting inspired to dress appropriately can sometimes be a losing battle.  Here we have some transitional essentials to help you come up with some easy, breezy looks. Extend the life of your Macbook with a classic vintage leather sleeve. On the other hand (arm, ha), extend the life of your sleeveless outfits with a soft, fun scarf.  Keep it classic and fun with a statement watch and stackable rings. Enjoy tea time with a botanical musings mug. And last but not least, we also included skincare to repair your skin from the summer sun and keep you moisturized for fall.  

September 4, 2014

EAT: super greens hummus

Get ready to get your healthy on with this lean, mean, SUPER GREENS HUMMUS!  I originally saw this on one of our fav food blogs, HonestlyYum and wanted to give it a try because of all the really healthy greens that are added in here (spinach and arugula!).  I made a small addition with some avocado - mostly because avocado makes everything better (right?). 

If you like/love hummus this is definitely worth a try - why not add nutrients in whenever you can?  It's also really easy to make as you're really just blending everything together in a food processor.


- 2 cans (15oz) of garbanzo beans
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 cup of arugula
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1/4 cup of cilantro
- 1/4 cup of diced green onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste


- Peel the skin off of the garbanzo beans (this helps create a smoother hummus).  Not a huge deal if you don't have the time to.
- Blend the spinach, arugula, avocado, cilantro and green onion in a food processor.
- With the food processor on, stream in the olive oil, lemon juice and then garbanzo beans.
- Season to taste.
- Place hummus in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and another sprinkle of black pepper.

Happy Hummus-ing!
xoxo, NB

September 2, 2014

DIY: all natural mosquito repellent

Hope everyone had a fantastico Labor Day weekend!  Although summer is winding down I plan to milk the warm weather for as long as possible.  I really love being outside (unless I'm melting away in 100 degree weather) but I'm a major mosquito magnet.  Whether it's the scent of my skin or hormones or whatever other unlucky reason, mosquitos basically swarm me any chance they get.  I'm the type that gets bit through leggings even (aggressive little suckers)!  So as you can imagine bug sprays and wipes are a must for me in the mornings and evenings when I happen to be outside.  

Instead of dousing myself in harsh chemicals (not to mention the ill effects of inhaling that stuff), I decided I needed a more natural way to repel mosquitos.  This little potion I made was really easy and actually worked!  It uses essential oils to keep the insects and bugs away so it smells heavenly and turns you into a walking aromatherapy vessel at the same time.  Smell better while repelling mosquitos?  Uh, yeaaaaahhhhh!

Mix the below ingredients together in a glass spray bottle.  Pure essential oils can deteriorate or permeate other materials so you'll want to use glass.  I used a 4oz bottle, Amazon: $4.89.

- Fill 1/2 of the bottle with distilled water or boiled water.

- Fill the rest of the bottle (almost to the top) with Witch Hazel.  This helps the ingredients mix together since oil and water will separate.  I got mine at Target: $1.99.

- Add 1/4 tsp. of vegetable glycerin.  This helps the mixture adhere to your skin.  I bought a large size for some upcoming projects (stay tuned!), Amazon: $12.59.

- 15-25 drops of essential oils.  You can use a mixture of different essential oils including peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus, clove, lemongrass, lavender, rosemary, tea tree.  I bought an essential oils sampler kit so I'd have a variety to choose from, Amazon: $18.99.

Happy frolicking outdoors!
xoxo, NB