Budget Friendly Candles? Yes, they exist!

Growing up, I’ve noticed more and more I am definitely my mother’s daughter. I have become obsessed with candles and all things that make my apartment smell good! We all know that Yankee Candles can run anywhere from $10.00 – $35.00 for one candle. As much as I wish I could afford to splurge on them all, I’ve found a better alternative that not only beats the Yankee Candle prices, but smells just as delicious, if not better!

Ashka Candles have been in business for about 2 years, and are only getting bigger and better!  Not only am I proud to support their business that happens to be located in my local hometown of New Philadelphia, but they are also two women who have taken their dream and made it reality of owning their own successful business.

Photo Courtesy Ashka Candles

I put the candles to the test against the Yankee Candles for burning duration and scent. Ashka candles burnt longer and had a scent that lasted longer and filled up my apartment with the smells of fresh linen and coconut lime.  Their candles range in price of $1.50 for a tart to only $10.00 for a 12oz candle! They have about every scent you can imagine.

Photo Courtesy Ashka Candles

All of the candles are 100% soy which give the candles their longer burn time.  Ashka uses no additives and all of their wicks are zinc free which leaves no soot residue after they are burned.

I recommend these candles to anyone and everyone. Ashka ships anywhere in the US. They fit in my candle obsessed budget and are great for gifts as well!

Clementine Oil Candle

We have been seeing these Clementine Candles popping up all over the place lately.  Have they intrigued you as much as they have me?  Apartment Therapy and Pinterest have been boasting videos and “How-To’s” for awhile now.  After seeing this over and over, I knew I had to try it on my own to see if it worked and was as easy as they say.

First Step, ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • Orange (I used a naval orange even though clementines are what are frequently displayed)  
  • Paring Knife (or any small knife that you can agilely handle)
  • Fire of some sort

Cut the orange around it’s circumference, careful to only cut through the peel; don’t slice the orange in half.  Carefully slide your thumb under the skin, turning the orange and you separate the peel from the fruit.

Once the peel is mostly pulled from the fruit, the next step is to completely remove it.  Again, carefully pull each half off.  One half will have a hole at the top and the other will contain the white, septum-like part of the peel that goes up through the middle of the orange.  IMPORTANT: Do not sever this!  You need this septum to act as the wick of the candle and it MUST stay intact.

I tried to be fancy by cutting a diamond into the half with the hole.  Not much of a success.  But, it is important that you cut the hole larger as this is where the heat/smoke will escape through.

Fill the half with the wick about a quarter full with the olive oil.  Make sure to fully saturate the wick.  The oil is necessary to keep the candle burning so make sure you have enough but not so much that the wick is submerged.

It might take a few tries to get the wick lit.  It took me about 3 minutes of constant trying.  Don’t give up, it will light!  If you are still running into trouble, try to oil up the wick again and then give it another whirl with the fire.

Place the half with the hole on top of the lit portion and Voila!  You have an Orange Candle!

This candle can only burn while it has oil.  Constantly monitor it to make sure there is enough oil to keep it lit!  Also, don’t be a fool and walk away; fire does burn houses down, remember?

Demonstration Video from Apartment Therapy.

Air Plants

Earlier in the year, my Step-Mom bought and hung some air plants in her home.  I loved them immediately; they really struck me as incredibly ethereal and unique.  These air plants, or Tillandsia, have been popping up frequently in home decor magazines and boutiques.  I have even seen some being sold in a chic, little shop on my street for $60.00+ dollars when mounted in the glass orbs!

Photo courtesy of West Elm.

Never fear, you do not need to spend $60.00 or more on these little celestial displays.  The plants can be purchased at a local nursery or online.  A couple of sites that will ship to your door can be found here and here.  You can buy your display/orb/case on these sites as well.  But I suggest going to Michaels, Home Goods, or online shops by googling “Hanging Terrarium” or “Terrarium Orb”.  You can find some for $8.00-$15.00.  I even suggest checking out thrift stores, antique stores, and yard sales.  You could get away with some of these for an unbelievably low price.

They can be suspended, grown on a piece of wood, or used as part of your table display!  They are incredibly versatile.

Photo Courtesy of LivBit.

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Photo Courtesy of Floral Grubb Gardens.

I prefer them suspended.  You can hang them with whatever works for you; string, twine, fishing line, etc.  I recommend mounting them at different heights to give a more dynamic, whimsical look.  I envision them in an office, powder room, or kitchen but they truly would look beautiful anywhere!

Photo Courtesy of LivBit.


Although they seem like they are an arid, self suffient plant, they do need attentive care.  See here and here for suggested care instructions.

The Barcelona Chair

Photo courtesy of Knoll

The Barcelona chair is arguably one of the most recognized pieces in the Interior Architecture world, let alone the furniture industry. Designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929, this symbol of modernism has been on the forefront of design for decades. Originally created for placement inside the Barcelona Pavillion at the Universal Exhibition, it has lived on as a stand-alone icon for nearly 100 years.

At first glance, it strikes one as a product of the Bauhaus movement. Although it was created during the era’s philosophy of practicality, usage and impeccable design for the common man, this piece radiates a different concept; albeit clean and streamlined, it is anything but common. Conspicuous without being terribly loud, the Barcelona chair emits absolute contemporary aristocracy without pretentiousness.

American furniture manufacturer, Knoll has the pleasure of holding the sole rights to this monumental icon. Keeping with Mies van der Rohe’s original fabrication practice, the chrome-plated steel frame and leather upholstered body are still crafted by hand to this day. A statement piece in a class of its own, the Barcelona chair will be forever lusted after across the globe.

At $8,000.00 a pop, where else can we find Bauhaus-Modernist-Mies van der Rohe inspired pieces? Below are some options.  Initially speaking, they still seem expensive but relative to the situation, they are highly discounted.  Remember, they are replicas and “inspirations” of the real thing.  It cannot be promised that the quality will matched.

“Mies van der Rohe inspired – Barcelona Chair Reproduction” $1,029.00

“Exposition Chair” $999.00

“BN Chair by Nuovo” $699.00