I’ve been following Homesick Candles for a while now, and obviously was DESPERATELY awaiting the release of their Delaware candle. (How could I not? It’s so on brand for me!) It finally came out, so it took about 3 minutes for me to enter my payment information and hit “purchase.” Less than 48 hours later, I had it in my hands!
Before I even got the candle out of the packaging, I could smell it. Seriously, it is so fragrant and smelled so good. The Delaware scent is “hints of Delaware strawberries, the Delaware River, and sandy beaches.” As an “expert” on all things Delaware, I’m not sure these are 100% the most iconic scents of Delaware (maybe the River, but uhm, it’s a REALLY bad smell), but they sure do make a nice candle, so I won’t complain!
Another thing I really love about the candle is the aesthetic. I love that the candle is a neutral ivory,the jar is clear and the label is subdued and classic. I’ve already sat it in my dining room and my living room and I know it will work well in other parts of my house as well.
The list of states is pretty extensive and Homesick Candles even has different options for different parts of California. If you’re like me and hail from a less populated area, keep your eyes and ears out – any remaining states are under development!
If you just adore your home state the way I do, don’t just stop at a candle. There are so many great “state” home decor items that I just cannot get enough of! I didn’t do very much clothing shopping (as in none) in the Nordstrom sale a few months ago, but I did get a set of these Delaware stemless wine glasses. They’re really beautiful and a subtle way to give a nod! I think they’d make a great housewarming or wedding gift as well.
My roommate also brought home this perfect wine stopper for me a few weeks ago when he had stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Like Target, BB&B is one of those stores where you walk in for one item, but realize you need about a dozen more that you can find in the “under $10” or “as seen on TV” sections.
My collection of Dela Darling Delaware Decor (say that 5 times fast!) is still growing, but I’d love to add the throw pillow and gold foil print shown below soon!
Although I do pull a fair amount of recipes off of Pinterest (follow me here and you’ll see how many I’ve really pinned and tried!) I love using a tangible cookbook. They just look so pretty stacked or shelved in your kitchen or dining room and it can be so nice to just sit and page through looking for a great new recipe to try!
Of course, all the single ladies (and guys) will understand the struggles I face as so many cookbooks really don’t focus on my needs AT ALL. Here’s what I look for in a cookbook:
Quick recipes – TBH I don’t want to spend 4 hours every night preparing my dinner. I’m good with an hour or so as long as that can feed me at least two dinners and one lunch.
Simple recipes – I’m not saying it has to be 3 ingredients or less, but it’s best if I generally have 90% of the ingredients on hand and the terminology isn’t too complicated. I don’t have the patience to cook like Julia Childs every night!
Reasonable portions – It’s nice to find recipes that are good for only two servings since I’m just one person, but it’s also good to find recipes that are good for more, especially if it’s one that freezes well (hello crock pot recipes!).
Delicious – Should this really be something I have to say?
Let’s get to it – the good, the bad and the ugly of my cookbook obsession! (Really just the good, the very, very good.)
I picked this guy up at Costco last weekend for $12.99, but you can get it on Amazon for only $12.35! I haven’t made anything yet, but am planning on whipping up the “Pan-Seared Chicken with Creamy Garlicky Wine Sauce” for dinner sometime this weekend. I’m excited to really work my way through it for a couple of reasons. One, they look so appetizing and two, 30-MINUTE ONE-POT MEALS. Seriously, I can be done cooking and cleaning up in less than 35 minutes. I don’t play when it comes to amazing things like this!
I can’t lie to you guys: I bought this book because the cover was SO CUTE! Also, clearly the marketing team knew who they were talking to because the subtitle “A Single Girl’s Guide to Cooking with Style & Grace” couldn’t be more fitting for my cooking goals.
I think this is a great book for true beginners because it does a great job of defining so many terms and helping you understand how to stock your pantry and how to “whip up” simple things at the last minute out of staples. It also gives you recipes with only a few servings (think 2-3 depending on how much you actually eat), which is pretty cool for the single ladies (or single dudes). My favorite recipes in this book are the salads. I often find I get really uninspired by lettuce and The Little Black Apron has some really great ideas of how to dress up your greens and some great vinaigrettes you can make just a few servings of!
You know I had to go for at least ONE super-trendy, totally-in-right-now cookbook! Chrissy’s book uses a ton of whole, fresh ingredients and usually I’m pretty familiar with everything on the list. My favorite in her book is the “Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Almonds;” honestly, it’s a pretty simple recipe, and uses ingredients I usually have around or love to eat, but wouldn’t normally throw into one dish. This is why I need cookbooks though – to help with the inspiration!
Y’all know I love a good set it and forget it crock pot meal, especially now that it’s cooling down and we’re heading into fall and winter. There’s not much that can beat the smell when you walk into your house after work and you can tell that your dinner is ALREADY DONE. Seriously, whoever came up with crock pots, I bow down to you. Also, whoever came up with crock pot LINERS, you’re equally as great. You have made clean up a cinch! I promise, they are totally worth the $$$. Anyway, this crock pot book does a good job of utilizing ingredients you have on hand and the recipes are super easy.
On my List:
I have a few other books that I don’t LOVE quite as much, but there are also a few that I’ve got my eye on…
Ina Garten is one of those totally aspirational chefs. When I watch any of her shows, I’m just thinking, “I see now; I just need to harvest my own wheat/vanilla/oranges/EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT. Then I’ll be able to make perfect gourmet meals in 15 minutes while also cleaning my house and traveling to foreign countries. I’ve been doing it all wrong with the store-bought variety.” Props to Buzzfeed for the amazing Barefoot Contessa listicles: 1|2|3
Spoiler: I am 75% Barefoot Contessa. I’m shocked it’s that much!
Basically I just love Stanley Tucci and I feel like his cookbook would be pretty good. I think there should be an audio version to go along with it, so you can listen to him explain the recipe as you’re reading it/cooking.
Clearly I have not kept up with my “I’m not going to follow the and post every day!” Ahh, such is life. I was really hoping I’d have the time and mentality to get it done, but with my housewarming party on Saturday and traveling last weekend for my nephew’s birthday, I just couldn’t find the time or motivation to sit down and write, so here we are! My plan from here is to complete the challenge, but Blogtember may have to blend into Blogtober…
That being said I think I’m going to try to keep in order of the prompts, so today would beeeeeeeee “What are you up to currently?”
Ladies and gentlemen, currently I am up to complete and utter chaos!
Y’all, lately I have been working a lot. I always say that we don’t have a busy season in my line of work and while that’s true, it means that any and all seasons can be unpredictably busy. Over the last year my boss has gone after and won a lot of cool projects, but now it’s time to pay up in blood, sweat and tears (okay, it’s mostly sweat…).
My Odyssey of the Mind team practices will start up next week and I am so excited to get back into it. We’ll be doing the balsa wood structure problem again this year and I’m really looking forward to the fresh start with a new team (okay, six kids are the same and there will only be one new kid). It’s something I look forward to all week and it’s nice to be able to participate more fully in my community.
My housewarming party is this weekend! I’ve been looking forward to it for a while and ordered the cutest invitations. Like all good things though, there’s a big but, and the but is…I have 50+ (I actually am now thinking this number is closer to 75+, ayiyi) people coming to my house on Saturday expecting food, drinks and fun. It’s going to be a great time, but has taken a lot of planning, coordination and delegation on my part.
In other news, my roommate moved in! I wasn’t sure how I’d actually feel once he got here (I definitely got a little used to living alone), but so far it has been amazing! We really don’t cross paths very much because we’re both so busy, but the rare 20 minutes to an hour we spend together every couple of days is really fun!
Nutmeg and I have been going to puppy kindergarten to get her all trained up! She will graduate from level 1 next week, but I’ve decided to start level 2 the same night, so she’ll move right into 1st grade. My dad and his latest addition Uno will be in the same class, so I’m hoping this gives Nutmeg and Uno a chance to bond. Also Nutmeg was spayed last week; isn’t she the cutest in her cone of shame?!
Last weekend I did a quick one night/28 hour trip down to DC and Williamsburg for my nephew’s 3rd birthday party. It was a great time and I love that he’s at such a fun age right now. It’s awesome!
What have you been up to? Do you feel like your summer is simmering down or you fall is gearing up?