Last Minute Halloween Decoration Ideas

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Halloween is one of my favorite events to celebrate with the kids, but somehow it always seems to sneak up on me! This year I’m scrambling for last minute decorations, and you can’t beat Martha Stewart for inspiration…

Since we always have plenty of candles around (imagine that!), a go-to craft is carved pumpkin luminaries. Here are some easy instructions, along with a few other ideas for outdoor Halloween decorations, to help inspire:

http://www.marthastewart.com/274309/outdoor-halloween-decorations/@center/276965/halloween#270128

Happy Halloween!

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.

Recipe for the Perfect Thanksgiving

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Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving. The smell of turkey, the sweet yet perfectly tart cranberry sauce, the flavorful stuffing, classic pumpkin pie and the assortment of irresistible desserts… these are all things I adore and hold close to my heart. But what I love the most about Thanksgiving is that I get to spend quality time with family and friends as we share a three-course meal, swapping stories over a helping of warm turkey and a generous serving of gravy and fresh cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving is an important day for my family and I as we reflect upon the past year and give thanks for all that we are blessed with.

What am I thankful for? I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity to make my living doing what I love through Linnea’s Lights. To kick off this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner, I am planning on lighting our signature Pumpkin candle to set the holiday mood as the family and I start our holiday prep. Which scent will you be enjoying in the background this Thanksgiving?

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!

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.

We Won!!!

LL BOM

Linnea’s Lights has been nominated – please vote!!!

Linnea's Lights has been nominated for the 2nd Annual Best Off Main Awards in the following categories:

Off-main-award-2009-100  

Best New Fragrance – Pumpkin

Best Soy/Vegetable Wax Candle

    

The Best Off Main Awards were created to honor the best products in home fragrance available on the market today.  The awards are based on a voting system that is open to the public.  Voting is open until Wednesday, November 4th.  You can vote as many times as you like but only once per computer.  They will announce the winners on Friday, November 6th as they kick-off our Grand Opening and 4-Year Anniversary Event.

To place your vote, go to 2009 Best Off Main

We encourage you to pass this message on to your friends, relatives, co-workers, Facebook Fans, Twitter followers and anyone else.