Summer in New England

DIY Lemon & Herb Citronella Candles

Simple and easy DIY lemon & herb citronella candles are the perfect way to ward off summer’s unwanted biting insects.

It’s officially summer at our house when the sun begins to set and the yard becomes filled with our least favorite insect, mosquitos. They are a nuisance and force us to head indoors sooner than we are ready. With our property surrounded by wetlands, we will never be able to rid our yard of all mosquitos. However, these lemon & herb citronella candles may provide us a little sanity and a few more minutes outside!

Citronella Candles

This was my first time making DIY citronella candles. I can assure you, it will not be my last. These candles are unbelievably easy to assemble, smell divine, and repel mosquitos naturally.

Ingredients
Lemons & Limes

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Gather mason jars of varying sizes (or use all the same size). I like grouping these candles in 3’s with jars of all varying heights.
  • Round up a few floating candles. I used these.
  • Snip fresh rosemary sprigs from the garden. Fresh sprigs of lavender or basil would also work for this.
  • Slice lemons and limes. The amount of lemons & limes you need will depend on the amount of candles you are making & the size of the jar. On average, I used about 2-3 lemon slices and 2-3 lime slices per jar.
  • Purchase an organic lemongrass or citronella essential oil. I used this lemongrass essential oil.
DIY Citronella Candles
Floating Candle

How to make DIY Lemon & Herb Citronella Candles:

Fill your mason jars this way:

  • First start by adding the lemon and lime slices. I used about 3 lemon slices and 2 lime slices for the large mason jars and about 1-2 lemon slices and 2 lime slices for the small mason jars.
  • Add 1-2 springs of rosemary.
  • Fill mason jar with water until an inch below the lid rings.
  • Add about 20 drops of the essential oil. Take a butter knife or spoon and mix the ingredients in the jar carefully.
  • Place the floating candle on top.
Summer Tablescape

These DIY citronella candles will last up to 3 days before the fruit and herbs will start to go bad. However, you could add the fruit and herbs to a stovetop potpourri for a day or so before tossing! Stovetop potpourri is such a great use of old fruit & herbs. You can find one of my stovetop potpourri recipes here.

DIY Citronella Candles

Not only do these candles repel bugs naturally, but I cannot get over how beautiful they are too! How perfect would these be for summer entertaining?! These candles would be so gorgeous lined up down the center of a table for an outdoor dinner party. Or grouped together in odd numbers like I have here!

Summer Tablescape
DIY Candles

For a video tutorial on how to make these simple DIY lemon & herb citronella candles, visit my reel highlight on Instagram titled DIY. I would love to know if you make these! Tag me on social media or leave me a comment here and let me know!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.

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DIY Mother’s Day Gift & Tablescape

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, are you ready?! If not, I’ve got another Mother’s Day gift idea for you! Last week, I shared gift ideas from some of my favorite retailers, you can read that post here. However, this week I wanted to share with you an inexpensive and easy gift that little ones can help with and one that mom will love.

Fresh herbs planted in aged terracotta pots. Each Mother’s Day, I ask Dave for herbs to plant in our planter we have on our back deck right next to the kitchen. I love having fresh herbs all summer long that I can easily access while I’m cooking. I use them in everything from salad dressings to sauces to marinades for meat & poultry, and even ice cream! (You can find my rosemary ice cream recipe, here.) One of the other great things about growing herbs is the delicious scents that eminent from them and the wonderful aromas that fill our deck and kitchen!

Instead of gifting mom an herb in the ugly plastic container that comes from the store with the ugly plastic plant label…let’s make it special by transplanting the herbs into beautiful aged terracotta pots (that we aged ourselves!) and adding super cute wooden plant labels! I had aged terracotta pots a few weeks ago for our front porch (read that post here) and had such a fun time doing that, I thought I would age more pots for these herb gifts. Some other fun ideas to dress up a basic terracotta pots besides aging them would be painting with acrylic paints or decoupaging (littles would have so much fun helping with any of these techniques!). Aging terracotta is super easy technique I found on Liz Marie Blog.

Mother's Day Gift Idea
Herbs
Herb Labels

To age terracotta pots you only need a few things; organic garden lime, water, clay pots (for the herbs I bought 4″ pots), matching clay saucer, bowl for mixing, and a paint brush. To make the aging mixture, add 1 cup of lime to bowl and mix with 1 cup of water (ratio is 1:1). Stir until lime fully dissolves in water, mixture will resemble mud. To apply the lime mixture, use a paint brush to brush the mixture onto the clay pots & saucers, making sure to coat pot evenly. Allow to fully dry and if desired, apply 1 to 2 more coats (I applied 3 coats to the pots pictured here). That’s it!

Once your clay pots are fully dried from the aging process (should only take an hour or so) you can transplant your herbs into their new pots. You can use any herbs that you or mom like for this DIY. I purchased rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, chives, and mint. Note: You may need a handful or two of potting soil when transplanting (we like to use Miracle-Gro Potting Soil). Once you’ve transplanted your herbs, water in, and add the wooden herb tag. You can purchase the tags I used here (I also like these), or you can also make your own with popsicle sticks!

Mother's Day Gift Idea
Herbs in Terracotta Pots
Herbs

Your DIY herb pots are now ready for gifting to mom, how easy was that! Let’s not stop there though…

I took the herb pots and made a tablescape with them! If you’re hosting a Mother’s Day breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner this would be the perfect tablescape to display your potted herb gifts and then have mom take the centerpiece when done!

Mother's Day Tablescape
Herb Centerpiece

For this tablescape, I started by adding a runner to the center of the table. Then, I centered two of the herb pots in the middle of the table and the runner. I added three mason jars on either side of the herb pots using a large, medium, and small mason jars on either side of the centered herb pots with a votive candle inside each mason jar. I then added another two herb pots on either end of the table (other side of mason jars) to complete the center of our tablescape.

Mother's Day Table
Place Setting
Candles in Mason Jars

I kept the place settings simple for this tablescape with white plates, clear drinking glasses, and gold utensils. I used a napkin that matched the table runner which I then tied with a simple twine bow and inserted an extra wooden plant tag into each napkin.

Light the candles and your table is ready to celebrate mom this Mother’s Day!

Herbs as a Centerpiece
Mother's Day Tablescape

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


How To Naturally Dye Easter Eggs

Dyeing Easter eggs was one of my favorite Easter traditions growing up. We would dye the eggs and place them into a basket filled with green plastic grass. It was something I looked forward to each year, along with decorating our Easter tree with fuzzy chicks, plastic eggs, and painted bunny ornaments. We would go to the grocery store down the street from our home to buy a dozen white eggs and the PAAS Easter Egg dyeing kit to color the eggs. Then we would head home to hard boil the eggs before coloring. After the eggs were cooked and cooled (and after gagging a little from the smell), my sister and I would take the wax pencil that was included in the dye kit and draw shapes and patterns onto the eggs. We would then dip the eggs into the dye and watch the eggs turn fun shades of red, yellow, orange, green, and hues of blues & purples. Do you remember the small sheet of stickers that came with the dye kit, stickers you would stick to the egg after it was colored? Well truth be told, I never liked or used the stickers on the eggs! It drove me nuts that the flat sticker wouldn’t fully stick to the round egg. (You can see that my obsession in attention to detail started at an early age.) We would save the stickers for other craft projects, ones that didn’t include sticking stickers to round objects. Once the eggs were colored, my mom would eventually make deviled eggs, or egg salad, or creamed eggs on toast. Now the difference between the home I grew up in and my home today…you will not find any of those egg recipes in my house (we are not fans of hard boiled eggs)!

When my children were younger, I used to buy the same dye kits. However, in our home these days, we are more conscience of the food we eat, the cleaners we use, and the overall ingredients of the food or products we bring into our home and put into our bodies. I typically only purchase organic foods and all natural cleaners for our home. So this year, I decided to dye our Easter eggs with natural ingredients from foods/spices we already had in our refrigerator and in our pantry. We used red cabbage, turmeric, and beets to dye our Easter eggs which resulted in eggs shaded in beautiful spring pastels of blue, yellow, and pink. I think they look like oversized Cadbury mini eggs, don’t you?! There are a bunch of other natural foods & drinks that you can use to dye your eggs with too, continue reading to the end of this blog post for more foods you can use for dyeing. This dyeing process is easy and one I really enjoyed, and think you will enjoy also!

Before starting the dyeing process, I recommend preparing a working area to handle these highly staining dyes. They will stain everything from cutting boards, to clothes, to kitchen counters! Wear an apron or clothes that you are ok getting stains on. Cover your work area with a plastic tablecloth, old towels, or lots of newspapers and/or paper towels before beginning.

You will need one dozen hard boiled white eggs.

BLUE EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 1/2 head read cabbage (cut into 1/8 strips)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place sliced cabbage and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour mixture through a colander to remove cabbage; discard solids. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. (Note: Eggs will appear lavender after removing from dye. Dye will transform to a more blueish shade within a few minutes.) Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

YELLOW EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place turmeric and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil then remove from heat. Let sit until cool. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

PINK EASTER EGG DYE:

  • 1 medium beet (washed and quartered)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  1. Place beet and water in a medium sized pot over high heat. Bring to boil, then cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Pour mixture through a colander to remove beets; discard solids. Stir in vinegar. Your dye is ready for use.
  2. To dye, fill a mason jar about 1/2 full with dye, and gently lower in egg. Let sit for about 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove egg from dye and set on a paper towel to dry. Turn eggs occasionally so all sides dry, eggs are typically dry in about 15-20 minutes. Once mostly dry, wipe off any excess dye with paper towels.

Easter Egg Dyeing Tips:

  • Let eggs sit in dye baths for a longer period of time. The longer the eggs are in the bath, the deeper the colors will become (can even soak overnight in the fridge). For lighter shades, remove from dye bath sooner.
  • Be creative when dying your eggs and think outside the box. Dip half an egg in one color dye and the other half in another color dye for a two toned egg!
  • Rub a small amount of olive oil on your eggs for a little added shine.
  • No white eggs? You can use brown eggs too, however the dye colors will be more muted.
  • Use other natural ingredients to dye your eggs. Here are some other natural ingredients great for dying due to their high color pigmentation: yellow onion skins, blueberries, grape juice, parsley, avocado pits, spinach, carrot juice, tea, coffee.

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


Stamped Easter Napkins

Easter is a little over a week away, and that has me scrambling to get all of the Easter crafts, décor, recipes, and more that have been stewing in my head for few weeks out to you! Since I started this blog, I find myself with so many seasonal ideas and not enough time to share them all before the holiday is upon us. Easter is no exception! Today, I’ve joined some friends on an Easter blog hop to bring you more inspiration before Easter is in our rearview mirror. Continue reading to the end of this blog post for links to their blog posts and more Easter inspiration!

This week, I was inspired to create my own Easter napkins from something I saw on Pinterest, and I couldn’t love these napkins that I created more. If you’re looking for a simple way to elevate your table for this year’s Easter brunch, lunch, or dinner…this craft is for you! These stamped bunny napkins would be the cutest addition to your table, couldn’t have been quicker or easier to make, and look like you spent a small fortune on custom napkins for your home. This craft only requires five relatively inexpensive items and a small amount of your time but will make the biggest impact on your table whether you entertain your Easter guests with an elaborate tablescape or choose to host Easter dinner as less formal affair (more my family’s forte).

Here is what you will need to create your own stamped Easter napkins:

  • White Cotton/Linen Napkins – I chose these napkins with a lace edge.
  • Rabbit or Easter Stamp – I loved this bunny stamp, but any stamp would work!
  • Permanent Ink Stamp Pad – I used a brown ink pad, you could choose any color.
  • Ribbon – Use your favorite ribbon, this is the one I used!
  • Iron

To start this craft, decide upon the napkin that you want to add your stamp too. For our home, I purchased a twelve pack of white cotton/linen blend napkins with lace edge detail. I chose this napkin because I loved the lace detail along with the vintage style. You will want to find an inexpensive cotton, linen, or cotton/linen blend napkin you love and use that for your stamp. The important part is that you choose a napkin made of natural fibers to ensure your stamp will adhere. Here’s another napkin I love, or this one would be cute too!

Iron your napkins with the highest heat setting (with steam), removing all creases and wrinkles. You want to do this so that your stamp comes out neat and clean, and isn’t smudged or placed on a part of the napkin that is wrinkly. As you iron each napkin, move to a clean, flat surface. Cotton and linen can wrinkle very easily!

Once all of your napkins are ironed, keep off to the side. This next step is optional! In order to ensure that I was going to be using the right amount of ink on my stamp with the right amount of pressure, I took a scrap piece of fabric and on a clean, flat surface practiced stamping the stamp on the napkin. This way when I went to stamp my napkins, I knew how much ink I needed and how hard to press down on the stamp. If you are confident in your stamping abilities, you can skip that step! When you are ready to officially stamp your ironed napkins, take one napkin at a time, place on a clean, flat surface, place stamp in ink, then place your inked stamp on one of the four corners of the napkin. Make sure each stamp you press on each napkin is in the same location and at the same angle, that way all of the napkins are uniform. As you stamp each napkin, place off to the side to allow the stamp to dry completely, being careful not to smudge stamp.

Allow the stamp on each napkin to fully dry (about 10-20 minutes), then with a warm iron, iron over the stamp to seal and set it. Do not use steam when ironing over the stamp as this could cause the ink to run or spread on the napkin. Once you seal the stamp on the napkin, they should be safe for using and washing.

Your Easter napkins are just about ready for your table. The final step, is tying your napkins with ribbon for your Easter place settings. I decided to use an organic brown twine ribbon for these napkins. I liked the texture and color of this ribbon, with the bunny print and lace detail of the napkin. You can get creative with the ribbon you choose! There a multitude of ribbon choices from gingham, to striped, to extra wide, or even layer different textured or patterned ribbons together. Cut your ribbon in 12″ lengths. To fold your napkins for tying, fold the napkin in half by matching opposite corners together with the bunny stamp facing you at the bottom of the napkin (see photos below). Take one of your ribbon lengths and tie in a knot or a bow about 1/4″ down from the top of your napkin. Leave the ribbon tails as long or as short as you like. Always remember to finish the ends of your tails by folding the bottom tail in half, and then cutting an upside down “V”. Doing this will help to prevent your ribbon from fraying and leaves a polished end to your tail!

That’s it! Can you believe how simple and easy but absolutely adorable these napkins are?! I can’t wait to set these on our Easter table, but in the meantime, I styled these napkins simply on our kitchen table with a few carrot cake cupcakes, our white china, and an urn of orange tulips.

Interested in seeing a video tutorial on how to make these napkins? Check out this reel I shared on Instagram!

There is so much more Easter inspiration to be had! Check out these blog posts from my talented blogger friends:

Emily ~ LeCultivateur ~ SIMPLE EASTER DECOR IDEAS

Rebecca ~ Rouse in the House ~ DIY EASTER EGG DYE

Cynthia ~ Vintage and Grace Living ~ BEAUTIFUL SPRING EASTER TABLE CENTERPIECE IDEAS

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.


A Lovely Entrance

If you are like me and you don’t do a whole lot of decorating for Valentine’s Day, but want to freshen up your entryway or another corner of your home, this post may be for you! I love to have a warm, inviting entrance that welcomes family and guests as they enter our home. I update our entryway often for the seasons because; 1. It’s me, and I’m always changing everything; 2. The entrance sets the mood and the tone for the rest of our home; and 3. This is one of my favorite spaces to decorate in our home. This most recent styling of our entryway, is simple, welcoming to our guests, and I will not have to do much updating once the Valentine holiday is over (which means more time updating another space!). I was able to strike a balance of now (Valentine’s Day) and later (spring) with a few simple and easy touches in one of my favorite areas of our home. Once Valentine’s day is over, you can remove the heart wreath & roses, and you will be left with an already beautifully decorated entryway that will transition your home right into spring!

To update our entryway for Valentine’s Day, I only added two things. A homemade chunky knit heart shaped wreath and a bowl of fresh roses. That’s it! Both relatively inexpensive items but both make a big impact. You don’t need to add much (especially Valentine’s décor) to make your home “feel” like Valentine’s Day.

The chunky knit wreath was a craft I tried for the first time this year, and I had so much fun making it! It is so simple and easy to create, but looks like it took hours. If I can make this, anyone can! You just need a little patience, access to YouTube (if you don’t know how to knit like me), and just a couple supplies. I found the wool roving and the 12″ wreath frame on Amazon, both linked here. You can watch how I made this wreath on this reel on Instagram and for step by step instructions you can watch this video on YouTube (which is the exact video I watched). The pièce de résistance of this wreath is the beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon that I found on Etsy. I cut three lengths of the ribbon and tied them in a bow for fuller layered look. I love how this wreath looks hanging from a hook in our entryway. I also think it would be pretty hanging above a mantle! Looking for another easy and fun Valentine craft?! Check out this blog post on how to make a salt dough Valentine garland!

What flower reminds you of Valentine’s day? I think most everyone would say the rose! I added a small glass bowl of fresh pale pink colored roses to the shelf of our entryway. Fresh floral arrangements do not need to be complicated. You all know how much I love to put together floral arrangements, but sometimes a simple monochromatic arrangement is just as beautiful. If you are intimidated by putting together an arrangement of fresh flowers, this would be a good way to get your feet wet and to feel more comfortable! The amount of flowers you will need will depend on the size of your vessel. For this arrangement, I used almost two dozen roses. To begin, cut the stems of each rose so that just the flower is just sticking out of the vessel. Cut each stem the exact same size so that all of the roses are of even height (to do this I cut one rose the height I need and then use that rose as the guide for the other roses that need trimming). Finally, keep adding the roses to the vessel until the vessel is full. To keep your flowers fresh and long lasting; remove all leaves from the stems and change the water daily so that your flowers have a fresh drink of water each day. What I love about adding the bowl of flowers to this space is that I can easily change out the type of flowers each season or holiday. How great is that! For spring, Peonies or Hydrangeas could be added to the bowl for an easy, fresh, spring arrangement. For an arrangement that will last forever, you could certainly use faux flowers too!

I can’t decorate a space without adding a candle! The candle I added here is the Capri Blue volcano scented candle from Anthropologie. The scent is clean & fresh, and the vessel is gorgeous. I have the mini candle styled here. I also have this larger sized candle and I love this colossal sized candle too!

I added three framed botanical prints that will easily transition from Valentine’s Day right into my spring décor. This was my first time hanging framed prints on the wall in this space, and I love the result! We hung these framed prints to appear as if they were connected or one continuous piece. For the prints, I went to one of my favorite art print websites and purchased (from left to right), a 5×7 elder flower vintage print, an 8×10 white rose of york vintage print, and a 5×7 rosier de candolle vintage print. (To purchase these prints or any other ones you love from Paper House Print Shop, use my code ELEANORROSE10 for 10% off your purchase! Simply choose your print, select the size, and your printed artwork will arrive right on your doorstep.) I placed the prints in these matted frames from Target. These frames are inexpensive and will match any décor with the light stained wood, simplicity of the frame, and white matting. I think the framed neutral botanical prints look so pretty against the green olive wallpaper!

I hope this blog inspires to add a little Valentine’s Day décor to your entryway or any other space in your home! Remember, just a few simple touches are all you need to add the holiday of love or the season of spring to your home.

For more on the bathroom adjacent to our entryway, you can read this recent blog post and what inspired me to refresh that space for spring!

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our new “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I do earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!

I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LIKEtoKNOW.it.