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Light those fancy candles

I had a funny realization yesterday while puttering around the house.

We’re still very much in the unpack boxes stage and everywhere you look there are haphazard piles and boxes. I’m trying to find little areas to put together to make a tiny bit of sense of this place.

In the entry, I grabbed a lamp and framed art, a tray, a plant and my favorite candle to put atop a dresser. It is very likely that it will all end up elsewhere, but for now, it is nice to at least have some slightly decorated space in the house.

greenmoss That candle got me thinking …

I am afraid to light it.

Why, you might ask?

Perhaps you have the same candle issue.

I don’t like to light the candle because I don’t want to waste it. 

When I had this conversation with myself yesterday afternoon, I had to laugh and shake my head at my silliness. That candle (and a handful of others sprinkled throughout the house) is there to give ambiance and light and scent to the house and the only way for that to happen is for it to be lit!

I didn’t realize this was my unconscious thinking about candles but it is totally true. I have barely melted candles that I’ve had for years and hardly ever light them.

It was time to change my crazy ways.

So I grabbed my lighter, lit that candle and let it burn for over an hour while I was home alone.

And I enjoyed every minute of it!

copper We have another candle in the kitchen that Ryan brought home from our favorite boutique in the area. It is a fancy candle (read: not cheap) and my inclination is to not light it (and therefore not waste it), but I am forcing myself to anyway. It smells so good and adds twinkly light at night that feels cozy and calm. It will run out one of these days and we’ll have to go get another, but at least we are using it.

I haven’t always been a candle person. Sometimes the scents are just too strong or sweet or headache-inducing. When it’s the right candle, however, there is just something wonderful about having them lit.

Here are a few of my current + longtime candle favorites:

Favorite Candles for Around the House

Green Moss | Driftwood + Indigo | Tocca in Florence

Roam Los Angeles | Moonshine | Iowa Pine

Do you have a favorite candle? Do you light it or hoard it?!

60 Responses to Light those fancy candles

  1. Rachel December 7, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

    I love this! Can you tell me where your flower arrangement art is from? Thx!

  2. LeAnne Martin December 3, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    I love this! And yes, I can be a candle hoarder. And also journals. I have a gorgeous suede journal that I’ve had for years that I just can’t write in, even though I’m a writer. Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  3. Greta December 2, 2016 at 3:28 am #

    Can you share the source of this brass tray? I love this little vignette!

    • emily December 2, 2016 at 11:59 am #

      The tray is vintage :)

  4. Sona December 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    I dont understand what you do with this big candles when the wick is all gone, but LOTS of wax/candle remains in the jar unused. Can anyone help me with info in that regard? thank you

    • Relyn December 3, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      I have found that if you keep the wick trimmed low the candles burn more slowly and use up more of the wax.

  5. Carly November 30, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    Any candles by DW Home are amazing. The scent fills the room without being overpowering AND they burn forever and ever! TjMaxx and Marshals always have a ton of their candles for around $8 for a large candle…or you can buy directly from their website.

  6. Amy November 30, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    This made me laugh because I have the same issue with candles! Specifically the ones form Anthropologie. They smell SO good, they’re beautiful jars, and they’re pricey. So anytime I splurge and get one I end up not lighting it…
    I’m taking your advice and going to light my candles and enjoy them :)

  7. catherine chin schwartz November 30, 2016 at 8:32 am #

    Your artwork is lovely, the blog is wonderful. I stumbled upon it a few days ago while looking for holiday printables, and I will be back. :)

    • emily November 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

      Thank you Catherine!

  8. Jean November 29, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    I really enjoy candles. My husband, a fireman, frowns upon me burning them. So every third day when the kids go to bed, I pull out my stash and light a candle while I enjoy some silence and a glass of wine. Currently, I am enjoying the Good Tidings Scent by Antique Candle Works. Happy third day!

  9. Laura November 29, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

    I used to do the same exact thing…then I thought why? It’s not like they are going to quit making candles or I am going to quit buying them! I love candlelight and the scent throughout my rooms and they to enjoy it daily.

  10. Catherine E Martin November 29, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Candles are so perfect. They can lift your mood, relax you, take you back in time, just with a single burn. I have a small (SMALL) candle business in southern Vermont. I started making them just for me, but kept having friends wanting me to make them for them again and again. One tiny hint…if you don’t want to waste any of the wax pay attention to your first burn. If you burn it and allow the wax pool to reach the edge that makes the candles wax memory. From then on your burn will reach the edges easier. Its best to let it burn that way as frequently as possible, but the first burn is the most crucial. Then you don’t have wax build up on the sides that just never burns. Happy candle burning!!

    • Shana November 30, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      What’s the trick to getting the wax to melt to the edge though?

  11. Marley November 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    I completely agree Emily and have since changed my ways;) My family is very sensitive to candles, so finding one was quite the chore. LOL! Illume candles have been my go to candles because they burn clean and don’t overpower a room. The Balsalm and Cedar scent is AMAZING and feels like you are walking through the woods during a crisp snowfall. Nordstrom carries them as well as other retail establishments. Enjoy! :)

  12. Wendy November 29, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    Several years ago my mother-in-law game my husband a box of Christmas candles along with a note to put them out and to light them. While he was growing up she only lit a few candles and he was always wanting all of them to be lit. So we light all the candles. I am sensitive to fragrances and so we buy Ikea candles that are fragrance free. We have a candle holder in our fireplace and place the large pillar candles in it. No mess and we have a lovely glow from the fireplace.

  13. Beverly November 29, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    I usually buy tea light candles at IKEA. They come in packages of 100 for about $5.00. I place them all over the house. They burn for 4 hours and make any day special!

  14. Natalie November 29, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

    I used to be the same way and not want to light my candles, but then a friend came over and said, “Candles are meant to be lit!” I realized she was right, so now I light candles every single day!!! I love, love, love candles! I have several favorites but have to be careful as well that they aren’t too strong or I end up with a nasty headache.

  15. Caroline Evans November 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    I love refugee made candles from Preemptive Love coalition! Empower a refugee! This awesome organization equips refugee survivors of genocide and war as they work to rebuild their lives. http://www.preemptivelove.org

  16. Linda November 29, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    I have trouble burning candles because I feel like it leaves a soot residue on my cabinets. Any recommendations for candles that won’t do that!

    • Sharlene November 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

      Soy candles burn clean. I make my own. I just made some for small Christmas gifts with peppermint essential oil.

  17. Lori November 29, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    Sometimes I have the thought that I don’t want to waste them, but mostly I burn the candles! Love, love, love them!

  18. Traci November 29, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    Holy cow, you’re speaking my language, Emily! I love my candles and have a serious addiction to them…but for the amount I have, I certainly don’t burn them enough! My husband calls it a sickness. One of my all-time faves is a scent that a friend turned me on to over 15 years ago, by Circle E Candles in Fredericksburg, TX. It’s called “Bird of Paradise” and though a bit sweet, it’s sooooo nice! Even if you don’t like that one, they have a wonderful array of other scents, too—and they have monthly specials on different ones! Enjoy your candles!

  19. Anne Anzil November 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Oh Emily! I had the same feeling as you! I had a hard time lighting my candles (esp the pricey ones!). When I do, I love seeing the pretty glow and smelling the fragrance. I do it more often now…especially during the holidays! My favorite candles are Trapp.

  20. Stephanie November 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    I love, love, love the Capri Blue Volcano candle from Anthropologie! ?

  21. V. November 29, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    It’s kind of like china, right? We save it for special occasions or guests… but yolo so… burn them, enjoy them and make more with the remains of your “fancy” ones. I’ve made my own candles scented the way I like for awhile and it’s a simple and somewhat relaxing process — check out the tutorial on my blog, if ever you have some time to kill. Thanks for the post and the great reminder to enjoy the beauty in our everydays.

  22. Garden, Home and Party November 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    I used to be the same way about scented candles, but then I realized that I love the scent and if I’m not going to enjoy except for when we have company, I’m short changing myself.
    I rarely buy myself a fancy candle (too expensive) but I find TJ Maxx has a great selection and for a fraction of the cost.
    I love the little vignette you created for the entry. I’m looking forward to a tour once you have a few rooms viewer-ready. :-)
    xo,
    karen

  23. Sharon November 29, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    My daughter says I’m definitely an Aries, because of I love fire. One of my favorite sources for candles for every day is the Dollar Store! I’ve found Woodwick candles there, in a wonderful campfire scent, and a pine-scented soy one that I loved so much I bought all they had on the shelf.

    Sometimes, instead of having a fire in the fireplace, I set three or four candles on the hearth, for the ambience.

  24. Dee November 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Wow this is so funny, my sentiments exactly. I was always saving the candles and just recently started burning them. It’s silly to save them life is too short. Why not enjoy such a small pleasure daily? I have found some beautiful (packaging and scents) from anthropologie.

  25. TinaD November 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    I would love to be a candle person–pillars in the bedroom, votives ’round the bath–but I’m also a book person who’s had six houses in twenty years and never fully unpacks, so the romance, sadly, gets subordinated to the firetrap.

  26. Patty November 29, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    I do light candles because I have told myself…..you are worth it and you DESERVE it! There truly is just something so special about a lit candle and the aroma. This year I actually found a great tree scent at Menard’s, of all places. I always have to really smell those as some of them smell like soap, but this one passed the test and I grabbed enough to last through the holiday. Ahhhh…….

  27. Jessica November 29, 2016 at 11:50 am #

    HA, I hear you sister, I had the same realization about a year ago (I’d only light them if “company” was coming over or it was a special occasion) but realized I was buying them for ME and I need to light them! I work from home, so it’s an added perk to get to smell beautiful candles while I work. My recent favorite is Magnolia by Archipelago, but can’t wait to start burning Frasier Fir by Thymes (that’s my go to Xmas scent). Enjoy those lit candles! :)

  28. Sarah November 29, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Oh! Where is that vase painting from? I know I’ve seen it around your home previously but not sure where to find the source.

    Thanks!

    • emily November 29, 2016 at 11:49 am #

      I found it at a cute little shop while on vacation last spring. I don’t have a source for it!

      • Sarah November 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

        Ah thank you for the quick reply! I’ll have to see if I can test my google skills. ;)

        • Jessica January 5, 2017 at 8:33 am #

          Sarah, were you able to find a source for the painting?

  29. Kelly November 29, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    I used to feel the same way about candles, but after having young children in the house (and worrying my house smells like lingering poopy diapers), I now light them all the time. My favorite is the Trapp candle (especially Sexy Cinnamon, Fine Linen, or Orange Vanilla). It burns clean and the smell is not over powering, but it makes the whole house fragrant. I get a headache easily with cheap candles, so the extra money invested is worth it.

  30. Sarah November 29, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    I’ve always been afraid to even buy candles! Something in my head says I am literally burning money away. I thought those electric wax burners would be a good alternative but there’s just somethign about the flame and how the scent carries better…I think? It could be in my head. I’m just recently (as of this season) been wanting to buy more candles and realized Home Goods has some really nice ones too. I might need to splurge on that moss one though!

  31. Katie November 29, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Shauna Niequist wrote this post last year, and I have never forgotten it: http://www.shaunaniequist.com/burn-candles/ “Burn the Candles” has become something of a mantra for me. Kiddos art supplies, lovely candles, special ingredients… they are all meant to be used and enjoyed! Thanks for this timely reminder :)

    • Talia November 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

      Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  32. Anne Simoncelli November 29, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    this made me think of the line in the Erma Bombeck piece “if I had my life to live over…I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.” Here’s a link to the whole piece: http://www.kalimunro.com/If_I_Had_My_Life_To_Live_Over.html.

    • Victoria November 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

      I was going to quote Erma Bombek! There’s another story of hers about her funeral being the first time the wife wore the nightgown she ‘kept for best’

      Burn the candles!

      I get most of mine at TKMaxx (as it is in the U.K.), but The White Company do lovely candles. Their Winter fragrance is perfect, especially for Christmas.

  33. talia November 29, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    I do burn my candles, but can certainly relate/understand the “don’t waste” mentality. Having had some difficult financial times in my past has made an impact of how I use things. I am always reminding myself that there is plenty and that God provides. I also know when I have enough too, so paying an exorbitant amount for a candle simply won’t happen.

  34. Melanie November 29, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    My all time favorite is Bella – Island Moonlight from Target because it’s super delicious and only $10-$14 depending on the container you want it in! I burn them all the time!!

  35. Kerry November 29, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    DW Home candles!! The best. I light them right away. Not overwhelming scents but just enough. I have Christmas Tree scent lit right now. Christmas Morning is divine (new!). Tobacco Pipe is wonderful and hubs likes too. Pumpkin Spice was my fall fave. Really can’t go wrong with any of their scents.
    Online or TJMaxx

  36. Kim November 29, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    Emily, we too just moved into a new house, and I know exactly what you mean about having one decorated spot amidst the chaos in which for your eyes to rest. I just unpacked 2 candles that I may or may not have had for 20 years because they were too pretty to burn. My current favorite is a local Waco scent, Spice, and I burn a small votive a bit more often than I did in my hoarding days.

  37. Laura November 29, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    I love, love, love Iowa Pine!

  38. Ginny Mapes November 29, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    In Sweden during those long dark winter days, candles are always used. I hated to burn some of the lovely European candles, but the Swedish usually always burn candles at dinnertime. Try it, there is something totally relaxing about candle glow.

  39. Becky November 29, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    I have overcome this same fear! A great trick have learned is to never light a candle unless I’ve got enough time for it to melt evenly across the whole top. That way you avoid the ring of wax that can never be melted!

  40. Deborah Raney November 29, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    I’m glad some people are “afraid” to light candles because the source of all my candles—and I burn them daily, year-round—is garage sales, where I get chunky pillar candles for 50 cents, votives for a quarter, and sometimes, like last month, $45 candles, still in the box, never-lit, for only $1…all because somebody didn’t want to “waste” it.

  41. Casey November 29, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    I love the Capri Blue Volcano candle (sold at Anthropologie). It’s about $30 but the smell makes me happy. And because people know I love it I’m gifted it which means I have to burn it or else I’ll have too much stock!

    • Jill Randolph November 29, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

      This is my absolute favorite!

  42. Julia November 29, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Favorite candle? Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, and you bet I burn it. I didn’t spend that much money to just look at it.

  43. Jori November 29, 2016 at 8:42 am #

    I used to hoard my candles–now I burn them! I have a home office and it’s my treat to keep me motivated and in a pleasant environment. I buy them on sale and keep them in all sorts of seasonal scents. It’s an inexpensive splurge!

  44. Jennifer November 29, 2016 at 7:02 am #

    I used to feel this way – like my house had to be a certain level of clean to burn a “good” candle. But, since the the budget no longer has room for $30+ (really?!) candles, I’ve discovered that TJ Maxx and Homegoods have GREAT candles – many of the same brands I used to buy from swanky decor boutiques – for GREAT prices. I rarely spend more than $7 each and baby I burn ’em all day long :)

  45. Missy G. November 29, 2016 at 6:57 am #

    My favorite candles right now are WoodWick candles. I don’t have a fireplace, and these will kinda sorta trick my mind because they crackle when they burn. I have purchased them at Cracker Barrel before, but I discovered last year that my local outdoor store stocks them. Now I light them all the time!! Spicy and woodsy scents are my go-to, with Cinnamon Chai being my absolute favorite.

  46. Paulette November 29, 2016 at 6:02 am #

    One of the few businesses in our tiny town is the 1803 Candle Factory! So, yes, I have a lot of candles. Do I light them? Rarely. The wife of a firefighter does not burn candles!! Unless, of course, you are in the room with them!

  47. Claudia November 29, 2016 at 5:45 am #

    Emily, this post is right up my alley. I am a candle addict. Seriously. Between pillars, filled candle pots, skinny tapers, votives and battery-operated candles, I have dozens of them around the house. In the living room I light them almost every night while we read or watch a movie.

    We have four Luminara battery-operated pillars (two on the mantel, two in the dining room windows) that come on at the same time each evening and run for 5 hours (on a timer). They are so pretty and very realistic. A friend once came by the house when we weren’t home and saw the candles on the mantel and was very concerned that we had left the house with them burning!

    I have scented and unscented candles. My favorite scented ones are Vanilla Embers from Banana Republic in a pretty white glass container, Winter Forest by Williams-Sonoma that I only use at Christmas, Pomme de Pine from Plat du Jour (this is my favorite scent), and Sea Watercress & Chai Tea by Lucia. They are all fairly pricey, but so worth it. Last weekend I smelled a fantastic candle in a gorgeous container with a wooden wick … it was $54! For a candle! I may have an addiction, but I know where to draw the line.

    • emily November 29, 2016 at 10:38 am #

      Thank you for the recommendations! I’m going to check out your list.

      • Dana December 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

        Lucia has lovely candles! I also like the Watercress and Chai Tea and Goats Milk and Linden Seed in the spring/summer. Their Vanilla Bourbon and White Tea is my favorite in the winter, along with the Nest Holiday candle and the Soap and Paper Factory’s Roland Pine candle. Anthro has a vanilla and cinnamon one that I like as well.

        I realized I needed to burn them more often when I lit one the other day and my 7-year-old asked me if someone died. (In our family we light candles to remember loved ones on their birthdays). I know we could all use a little extra light in our lives, so why not burn the candles? Happy Holidays!

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