Interior / Exterior Decoration

Product Review: healthy candle alternative

livingroom living area interior european white pale colors scandinavian style modern classic home self-portrait

With the holidays coming up soon, I was about to buy a new batch of tea lights. You know, the kind you get in a bag of 50 for 5€. Then it crossed my mind that the last ones I used smelled really bad. They literally smelled like car exhaust. I was pretty confused as to how that was possible. But then I realized that paraffin wax (which tealights are made of) is actually a petroleum byproduct. A quick search confirmed my worries. It turns out that paraffin candles are really quite toxic. Obviously, they’re not supposed to stink like the last batch I bought. But in a way I’m glad they were poorly made. Because – while they are usually treated to be odourless – they ALL pollute the air at home, and that lousy batch is what brought it to my attention. I just couldn’t believe how such a common and innocent looking household item could be such a health hazard.

As I was reading about the dangers of it, I stumbled upon this article: http://wellnessmama.com/22656/dont-use-scented-candles in which the author explains:

Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned (both are known carcinogens). In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes.

This was enough to make me throw all my paraffin candles in the trash! Honestly, I don’t think I will ever burn paraffin candles again. And apparently the scented kind is even worse, as it obviously contains additional crap. So, that’s when I found out about a healthy alternative: beeswax candles. I had heard of them before, but really didn’t know jack about them. It turns out that not only do they not pollute the air, they actually even purify it. Crazy, right? I’m not gonna get into a detailed scientific explanation, but here’s a great article that explains it all, if you’re interested (scroll down to “How beeswax candles clean the air”). Apparently, for some people, it can even soothe asthma and allergies.

So I just had to give it a try!

white home interior decoration tray wood red maple leaves yellow healthy beeswax candles tealights tea lights new purchase review

I wasn’t quite sure where I could possibly buy them. I really don’t know any store in my area that sells such candles. And while Etsy is my go-to alternative site, most items on there ship from the US, meaning that shipping cost is absolutely ridiculous. That’s when I randomly remembered a bunch of e-mails I had been receiving from a website that sells all kinds of eco-friendly products. I’m assuming somebody signed up on that website using my email address (Lisa isn’t exactly an original name), and so I’ve been getting all their promo mail ever since. I don’t know why I never bothered to mark it as spam. But to make a long story short: I finally checked out that site, found beeswax candles right away, and on top of that: it turns out they are located in Belgium, so shipping is super fast and cheap! What were the odds? So I placed my order on Friday and received my package on Monday :-)

beeswax natural candles tealights made in europe germany european german company licht blick review customer product purchase home interior kerzen-lichtblick.de naturlich hell

They sell 2 different boxes, both containing 7 beeswax tea lights. One includes a glass candle holder, the other one doesn’t.

I figured the point is to basically re-use the glass holder. And as I wasn’t sure how messy beeswax can get, I didn’t want to risk ruining one of my candle holders. So I purchased the pack that includes one.

open box beeswax natural candles tealights made in europe germany european german company licht blick review customer product purchase home interior kerzen-lichtblick.de naturlich hell

They are made in Germany by a small company named “Lichtblick“, so I’m happy to say that my money went to support our European economy!

glass holder hand size beeswax natural candles tealights made in europe germany european german company licht blick review customer product purchase home interior kerzen-lichtblick.de naturlich hell

closeup lit flame beeswax natural candles tealights made in europe germany european german company licht blick review customer product purchase home interior kerzen-lichtblick.de naturlich hell

They smell REALLY nice! The wax itself smells a lot like honey. Which isn’t surprising, since it’s wax made by bees … duh. But I still wasn’t expecting it to smell at all. Once the candle is lit though, there’s no honey smell whatsoever. And in fact, after a while, the air in the room literally smells like it’s been purified. I know, because I used to own one of those electric air purifiers when I lived in North Carolina. And that’s exactly what it reminds me of. So I guess it’s true that burning beeswax cleans the air.

The store I ordered these from is sebio.be. I’m kind of glad that someone mistakenly signed up on their site using my e-mail address, because that’s how I discovered them. And I have to say, I’m one happy customer! They even included two free lollipops to thank me for my purchase :-)

bio moments by cerdan sebio gift natural biomoments.com made in spain biomoments lollipops bio sebio.be website order free purchase goodies thankyou welcome customer review

bio moments by cerdan sebio gift natural biomoments.com made in spain biomoments lollipops bio sebio.be website order free purchase goodies thankyou welcome customer review

A quick search revealed that these 100% natural lollipops come from this company: www.biomoments.com and are made in Spain.

self-portrait bio moments by cerdan lollipop biomoments.com natural biomoments made in spain free gift sebio healthy beeswax tealights candles customer review website purchase order product sebio.be home interior white pale colors red maple leaves tray coffee table living room area ikea bench

Cheers to one more step in the healthy direction!

Happy Halloween 2015!

Whoa, it’s been two whole weeks since my last post. Crazy. Time really does fly by. I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween already. While I did slack off on exterior decoration this year (I seriously couldn’t be bothered), we do have a whole Halloween theme going on inside.

Halloween pumpkins ghost decoration coffee table tray living room area couch candle holders tea lights statue plant fake home indoor interior decor style

I picked up those pretty little red leaves this morning while walking the dog.

Halloween pumpkin tea light holders candles tray real leaves decoration home interior fall thanksgiving house decor

Matching lipstick and all.

Halloween self portrait home interior decoration white neutrals decor house style

halloween bedroom decoration white interior decor pumpkin fall fake plants clay pottery candle holder tea light statue

Even though this is going to be a nightmare to rake and clean up tomorrow, the yard is looking quite fabulous right now.

garden yard fall colors pretty beautiful yellow bright sunshine sunny weather sun blue sky shed trees

I hope everyone will have a nice Halloween weekend. I plan on stocking up on candy. Maybe if some kids come knocking at our door, there will be some left for them. I can’t promise yet!

Goodbye September!

Here are the very last pictures of this month! Goodbye September 2015 …


sunny september kitchen interior home sink window sun plants beige white light bright pale neutral cozy warm home decoration shabby chic

Can this amazing weather please stick around for another month?

aldi white potted plant green pot bubbles modern holes carved cheap porcelain angel thinking cute statue decoration home beige neutral home cozy sunny

The hydrangea is still alive after this Summer almost killed it! (as well as my lack of proper care)

hortensia hydrangea plant flowers autumn fall september sun light weather garden patio potted belgium europe outside yard outdoor sunny

The laundry is drying outside. Doesn’t happen often! This is nice!

belgium europe sunny weather september autumn fall yard garden outdoor outside sun light bright warm beautiful laundry drying

This is not.

insect europe belgium autumn fall green flying beetle wings winged antennas

So this is what a bad hair day looks like.

And the best little dog in the world.

chihuahua beige short haired smooth coat purebred breed breeder wolf wolfthedog

Or not.

chihuahua beige short haired smooth coat purebred breed breeder wolf wolfthedog

Sowing the seeds the love is finally up!

sowing the seeds of love thomas barbey framed home interior original belgium europe artist art photography black and white

Jules the cat is thinking: “Soon”

cat chihuahua dog home interior beige white living room sofa couch tv european scandinavian style pets

Wolf the dog has no clue.

cat chihuahua dog interior beige white home decoration european scandinavian style

Almost.

cat chihuahua dog pets home couch sofa house living room interior beige white tv getting along playing

But not quite! :-)

Feeling Better

Everything is starting to feel more peaceful at home now that Sam’s first birthday is behind us. I think the fact that the weather’s been so sunny since Thursday is probably helping. Nevertheless, this was an important milestone, and the chaotic pain and grief is starting to settle into something more steady and manageable. Granted, this whole grieving process has had so many ups and downs without any logic to it … I could very well face some more difficult times again in the future. But for now, I feel okay.

I’m back to putting some energy into our interior. Next on my list: to hang more frames on the walls. My “Sowing the seeds of love” frame by Thomas Barbey is already in place. I don’t know why I love this picture so much. And I can guarantee you I DID NOT pay anything near the prices listed on the artist’s website. Holy crap! I got it at a craft store in Greensboro, North Carolina about 10 years ago for less than $50, if I remember well. Looks like I got a pretty good deal back then. Now I was thinking “Blown Away” would go nicely together with “Sowing the seeds of love“, so I would have both Paris and London. But there’s no way I could afford it. :-( I didn’t even check out shipping to Belgium. I bet it would double the total. Oh well!

Meanwhile, Jules the cat is still the king of his imaginary castle …

european white interior cat pale northern europe scandinavian style walls curtains big antique cherry wood furniture dining room table chairs living room

We still haven’t figured out how he gets up there. He always seems to do it when we’re not looking!

julesthecat cat on top cabinet cupboard cherry wood dining room furniture cupboard white interior decoration europe european northern scandinavian style

home evening light julesthecat cat on top cabinet cupboard cherry wood dining room furniture cupboard white interior decoration europe european northern scandinavian style

Always staring at Wolf the dog … probably secretly plotting the perfect murder.

home evening light ceiling julesthecat cat on top cabinet cupboard cherry wood dining room furniture cupboard white interior decoration europe european northern scandinavian style

Anyway, September is almost over. It’s been bittersweet. It also made me realize how traumatic it’s been, as I can recall absolutely everything I was doing on most days of this month last year. It’s going to take many years before it all starts to fade, I think. I’m so thankful for the flowers and little keepsakes that people put on Sam’s grave this week. I didn’t think anyone was even going to remember his birthday. (my faith in people clearly needs to go up a notch).

And the sweet card I received from one of my best friends is still standing on the piano in our living room. It will all eventually be neatly stored into Sam’s box. Nothing gets thrown away. ♥

I miss Summer already

home portrait white interior black china cabinet chinese antique glass door house

Back to the same old routine with the same cold weather here. Brrrr. I had planned to decorate our coffee table with some cute Fall objects. But then decided I wanted to give our Summer items just a little more time before they go back in their box until next year. I added the cute little trinket box we bought in Croatia. It’s kind of kitsch and pretty at the same time. I’m in love with it. 💘

coffee table decoration home interior house living room neutral beige white ikea summer theme trinket vacation shells glass vase display tea lights candle holders silver croatia curaçao souvenir keepsake vacation

croatia trinket heart box keepsake souvenir shop vacation summer holiday porcelain metal map coast line cities gift tourist

croatia trinket heart box keepsake souvenir shop vacation summer holiday porcelain metal map coast line cities gift tourist

curaçao souvenir shop keepsake vacation holiday glass bottle container sand rhinestones stones shells cork cute trinket gift tourist

I also added the souvenir we bought in Curaçao several years ago. I’ve basically decided to rotate our decoration pieces. Gert likes to bring back stuff from each vacation, and I thought it was starting to look like one big mess. So I’ve stored them all by theme or season in different boxes, and I only put one theme or seasonal group on display at a time. Not only does it keep our interior cleaner, it also avoids getting tired of seeing the same crap all year round!