Fall picks

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As Autumn begins, I look forward to all of its simple pleasures. One of my favorite activities is visiting our local apple orchard. Our family has gone apple picking every year since I was a child, and every year I feel the same jolt of exhilaration stepping out of the car. While engaged in the simple act of gathering apples, I experience a rich sense of harvest. I breathe in the sweet, crisp, leafy combination of the morning and the orchard, and all the years come back to me.

When I get home and put the kids to bed I find myself leafing through old photos and recipes, I search for that elusive nineteenth century novel I swore I was going to finish last Fall, and I make myself a hot mug of apple cider with allspice. Apples, pumpkin pie, old books; scent memory and emotional memory are inextricably linked together. We all have little reminders of this at different moments in our lives, but for me Autumn and Winter are two of the most powerful seasons for these kinds of associations.

This fall, we introduced a new scent called Hearth which combines cedar wood, with sweet amber and leather. It conjures up that first cold evening curling up by the fireplace. Another new scent is our Vanilla Noir, which combines a creamy Madagascar Vanilla with soft woods and musk; this one always reminds me of baking with Mom in the kitchen. And last but not least, our Pumpkin candle with its warm notes of harvest pumpkin, spice and herbs always cheers me up after a long day.

Introducing: NEW Vanilla Noir Candle!

Vanilla Noir is the next new scent in our Linnea’s Lights Fall lineup and we are so excited to share it with you. Vanilla is such a classic and comforting smell bringing me back to when I was growing up and helping mom bake in the kitchen. Over the years though, I’ve come to understand the complexity of the vanilla bean and it was important to me as we developed our first vanilla candle to keep it sophisticated, sensual and dynamic.

Vanilla has long been one of western civilizations’ most essential flavors, first discovered by Central Native Americans. Our new Vanilla Noir candle is infused with creamy and exotic Madagascar bourbon vanilla, intertwined with soft woods and musk… the perfect finishing touch in any home.

Available for purchase, Fall 2012. What does Vanilla remind you of?

Introducing: NEW Hearth Candle!

Summer is fantastic, isn’t it? The sun, the outdoors, it’s all great, but I have to say there’s something beautiful about the cooler months. During Fall and into the holiday season my home becomes my sanctuary. I live for the hours when I’m free to curl up on the couch and let the warmth of the fireplace engulf me. The smell of the embers are so enticing and relaxing. It seems to lure the rest of my family away from their rooms and down the stairs to the comfy couch and me. That scent is home to me.

With my new few posts here on the blog, I wanted to give you a closer look at each new candle we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. Production is in full swing here and the studio smells divine!

This fall Linnea’s Lights is introducing a new scent named Hearth. For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature. On brisk nights, find comfort in hearth and home. The candle’s scent will linger throughout your whole house creating a loving and warm environment. Smoky & captivating cedar wood is kindled with sweet amber and leather accords to welcome you.

Available for purchase, Fall 2012. Which season do you look forward to most?

Announcing our NEW Fall/Holiday 2012 Candles!

At Linnea’s Lights we put so much heart and time into each individual candle and the scent that accompanies it that it makes us so happy when we finally get to share our new creations with the public. We were thrilled to have the chance to tease our new candles at The Markoff Group’s Holidays in July preview event. This year we showcased our newest Fall/Holiday 2012 scents: Hearth, Holiday Spice, and Vanilla Noir.

Each candle is unique, and puts a fun twist on everyone’s favorite seasonal scents. The welcoming scent of Hearth entices you with its smoky and captivating cedar wood that is kindled with sweet amber and leather. Holiday Spice has a warming aroma that makes you want to spend your nights tucked beside the glow of its warm regal blend. We’re also introducing a spin on a classic vanilla with Vanilla Noir, a creamy and exotic Madagascar bourbon vanilla, intertwined with soft woods and musk.

We can’t wait till the holidays and hope you celebrate yours with a new Linnea’s Lights candle.

NEW! Hearth ~ For centuries, the hearth was considered an integral part of a home, often its central or most important feature. On brisk nights, find comfort in hearth and home.

NEW! Holiday Spice ~ Pomegranate, tart cranberry, spicy clove with a touch of warm cinnamon & white spices. Holiday Spice will also be available as part of the limited-edition Holiday Gift Set along with Forest Fir and Winter mini votives.

NEW! Vanilla Noir ~ Vanilla has long been one of western civilizations’ most essential flavors, first discovered by Central American Indians.

Stay tuned here and we’ll let you know just as soon as these become available for purchase. What do you think of the new scents and which ones will you be bringing home?

Favorite Fall recipes & inspired scents

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Besides the colorful foliage, another thing I look forward to in Fall is breaking out my favorite recipes and sharing them with family and friends. It’s become such a tradition that some of my recipes have even found their way into an inspired food-themed candle like French Pear (inspired by an apple-pear crisp I’ll mention below) and Pumpkin! The pomander candle is one we’ve based on our Swedish family tradition of scoring oranges with fresh cloves to perfume the house for the holidays. They can be put in a beautiful bowl or tied with red ribbon and hung around the house, and the smell is captured perfectly in our wax rendering!

Right now, we’re making lots of soups with seasonal vegetables to keep warm on chilly days. We are also baking pumpkin bread (both regular and gluten/dairy free versions to accommodate my daughter’s gluten allergy) and enjoying hot apple cider. I also just made a delicious apple pear crisp created by one of our favorite cooks, Ina Garten!

I thought you might like to see some of my recipes and I’d love to see yours as well! Here are a few of our favorites:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter or vegetarian substitute for non-dairy
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour, blend
  • 1.5 cups white rice flour,1.5 cups sorghum flour, .5 cups tapioca starch, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease a bread pan. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well after each one. Add Vanilla and pumpkin and mix until well-blended. In a separate bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Be careful not to over-mix. Pour into prepared bread pan and bake one hour to one hour and ten minutes. ENJOY!

And here’s the recipe from Ina Garten that I used to make the Apple Pear Crisp. I used the gluten-free flour mix above in place of the multipurpose flour for Gluten Free and substituted the vegan butter for real butter. It is delicious! I also reduced the amount of sugar in the apple/pear mix to half because the fruit should be nice and ripe.

I hope you enjoyed this quick visit to our country kitchen and bon appétit! 

Linnea’s Lights gets wick-ed for Halloween

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The leaves have started to change and it’s finally beginning to feel like Fall. The kids are throwing around the cutest Halloween costume ideas and I’m happy to be thinking about ways to decorate the house for the occasion.

For this I turn to the professionals at Martha Stewart and see what D.I.Y. projects the family can work on together to make this home a Haunted House! This year, I’m loving these adorable vampire and bat pumpkins, petrified potion displays (which remind me of some of the beautiful bottles we use in the studio), and these “shocking” silhouettes which will fit perfectly above a cluster of our Linnea’s Lights Pumpkin candles!

Want a little help readying your home for the festivities? Pick up a Pumpkin candle of your own here and get crafting!

Fall Weekend Midwest Getaway Idea

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The changing seasons always make me feel ready for a new adventure and a weekend trip this Fall sounds just perfect! Keeping it short and sweet is key, with the kids in school and so much holiday prep happening in the studio. Some friends recently recommended Nappanee, Indiana, settled on the edge of north-central Indiana’s Amish Country, and I’m thinking a family getaway is in order.

Nappanee has a philosophy centered on the phrase “Embrace the Pace”, which I just love. Horse-drawn wagons are a common sight, which the kids will get a kick out of, while Nappanee’s downtown has shops and restaurants housed in historic buildings. Family-owned shops are in abundance too, which is always refreshing and Amish Country and the free Quilt Gardens Tour are two more big draws to the region.

While we’re there and looking to break from Amish tradition, I’ve heard good things about La Fogata. Mexican food will be perfect for lunch or dinner and its colorful atmosphere is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

For other great Midwest getaway ideas, check out sites like Midwest Living for inspiration. Do you have any getaway tips or planned trips? I’d love to hear about them!

Pre-Fall musings

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It feels like just a second ago I was picking up my kids from their last day of school and already it is almost time to send them back. This must be what they mean when they say “time flies when you’re having fun”. Though we don’t want to admit it, summer is winding down and it’s time to break out the backpacks and prepare the fall coats. Especially with the high temps and humidity this summer, I know we are all looking forward to Fall with much cooler and cozier temperatures.

As much I love summer, I look forward to the time when the leaves start to change and the air is crisp. Inspired by the changing seasons, we have come out with a Fall line of candles with some luscious scents for any occasion. In this season’s collection we have a wonderful variety guaranteed to warm up your homes with fragrances like:

Pomander Allow this rich blend of orange, clove and spices to tickle and intoxicate your palette.

Pumpkin Burn this earthy, autumnal scent to purify and perfume any room.

Amber Appealing to the romantic in all of us, indulge in this ancient and irresistible scent with our rich amber candle blended with Egyptian musk.

Pomegranate The deep red and luscious scent is as seductive as it is powerful.

Exotics Gift Set This special set includes Amber, a clean, purifying fragrance; Bamboo, a sultry and exotic aroma of Asian spices, grassy notes, citrus, lavender and cyclamen; and Cashmere, infused with the warming scent of patchouli, Persian limes and a touch of vanilla.

Each 9oz. candle retails for $30 and the gift set retails for $32.

What are you looking forward to this Fall?

Pumpkin

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We can’t believe how Halloween snuck up on us this year! We’re busy getting ready for the season here in Indiana, planning our Halloween costumes and carving pumpkins for display. Growing up, we’d make a day of it. Lynn let us choose our own pumpkins, and she’d help carve them around the kitchen table. But the brilliant orange pumpkin isn’t just good for making pies and jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins were long used by Native Americans as an antiseptic to cleanse and purify the body, though now I love roasting the seeds with spices and the pulp with fresh potted herbs to create beautiful, seasonal meals at home surrounded by family. Now in candle form, burn this earthy, autumnal scent to purify and perfume any room.

Carve out a place in your home for our limited edition Pumpkin Candle, available at Candles Off Main.