Category Archives: Blog

Bloggy Friends Chime In – 30 Conference MUST Haves

It’s Blog Conference Season, and that means lots of packing and traveling. I asked my fellow bloggy friends to chime in on their MUST haves to survive and thrive at a blogging conference. Below is what they had to say.

1. Business Cards. One of the bloggers took this a step further and said you should bring business cards with your photo on it. I personally don’t have my photo on my cards, but I can certainly appreciate the appeal

2. Comfortable shoes. Another blogger said sneakers. I often wear sneakers for the bulk of the conference and flat dress shoes for the after parties.

3. Battery packs – hell yeah! You can’t always get to an outlet, so having back up batteries is a great way to keep your phone working in the meantime.

4. Cardigan/sweater – ohmigosh yes! Even in Florida when it’s 90 degrees, you bring a sweater because of how frequently conference rooms are FREEZING!!! BRRRR!!!

5. Phone charger – yep, for when you finally CAN plug it in!

6. Pen and pad of paper or notebook. I personally love Caitlyn Connolly’s method of note taking at conferences – she takes notes in the front of her notebook, and makes to-do lists based on aha moments at the conference in the back of the book. How cool is that? I totally have started using that idea for classes and seminars I attend.

One blogger suggested using notebooks with a hardcover back so that you can keep taking notes even while standing up. This is a great idea because some sessions get so full you won’t be able to sit to take notes!

7. Courage – YES! Some people are massive introverts, and talking to strangers all day can be hard. But, bloggy friends, you’ve got this! We’re all here to work together towards the common goal of boosting our personal brands.

8. A sense of humor – a few bloggers offered this as a must have and I whole-heartedly agree. In fact, you should have a sense of humor with EVERYTHING you attend. It’s like Van Wilder said, “You shouldn’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”

9. A willingness to learn – I confess I struggle with this one sometimes. I have a bad habit of feeling like I’ve heard many lessons before. However, I’m going to try to take in the lessons anyway at this year’s conferences because as Marie Forleo says, just because you have heard it all before doesn’t mean you’re implementing anything. And, you might hear it a different way this time that makes the knowledge-bombs finally click!

10. Your brand pitch perfected – I loved this answer! As we meet with new brands and potential clients, we must be able to spill our pitch at a moment’s notice. It could be the difference between walking away from a conference with an additional client, or walking away empty handed.

11. Slippers for the hotel room after walking on your feet all day long – Um, yes! I’ve been known to tote fuzzy socks too!

12. Your phone – Definitely. How are you going to be live on social and keep up with the picture taking without your pocket computer? Don’t you know how much sponsors LOVE when we Tweet, Instagram and Facebook live and tag them?

13. Freedom to be me – Absolutely. You have to bring the internal sense of freedom to be yourself. No one can give you permission to do that, and if you fake being something else, people will see right through it. Besides, if people don’t like you for you, that’s alright. Many conferences attract a WIDE variety of bloggers. This means that SOMEONE there will be your perfect bloggy friend. I promise.

14) A pair of slippers that fits in your bag – Yep! I love this too. I’ve seen more and more women toting foldable shoes in their purses at conferences when the “sensible shoes” and high heels become too much to wear!

15) A list of companies you want to connect with. This is GOLD! I love this answer because it gives you a game plan of attack in the craziness of a conference. Most conferences list their sponsors ahead of time, so this arms you with the knowledge you need of who will be on site that you might be able to chat up and/or work for or partner with.

16) Backpack to hold stuff – Yep, I’ve been known to carry a backpack in lieu of a purse many times for the sake of saving my back and shoulders. Though these days, I roll around a collapsible cart so that I don’t have to carry anything at all.

17) Water and your own refillable water bottle – Sadly, water sitting around in conference rooms can get pretty gross. And then, we drink it. That’s why I agree 110% with this conference must have.

18) Gum/mints – fresh breath and less likelihood that you’ll cough in the middle of a session – I’d call this conference must have a win-win!

19) Focus on why you are there and the goals for the conference – I love that my bloggy friends included so many mindset must haves in this list. Don’t you?

20) Wall charger and a long charging cable – it’s no secret that large conferences mean long distances between seats and wall outlets. Longer cords might help you sit while charging.

21) Positive attitude, a smile and confidence – Yes, yes and yes!

22) One blogger said she brings gifts for her acquaintances – I have personally done this at a conference before. It’s a fabulous way to connect/reconnect with bloggy friends or to show someone you’ve never met before that you care.

23) Travel-sized wipes – Yep, and I’ll add to this hand sanitizer.

24) A lumi light for better selfies – I don’t think I’d call this a must have, but if you have the money for this, more power to you! Then again, fashion bloggers – I would EXPECT them to have these!!

25) Business casual clothes – you have to be comfortable at a conference. Don’t dress up too much.

26) MacBook Air/ipad/tablet – enough said

27) Business purse

28) My own coffee or tea – LOVE! Call us snobby if you like, but it’s better to bring the things you want to drink, than overpay for hotel beverages!

29) Snacks like trail mix or granola bars – agreed. Sometimes there’s no good snacks to choose from, or worse – no snacks at all!

30) An extension cord and power strip – I like the idea of a power strip so much, I might add it to my packing list going forward!

Now, I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my bloggy friends? Did we miss anything? What are YOUR conference MUST HAVES? Leave a comment below, and tell me about it.

HUGE thanks to the following bloggers who helped make this post possible:

Michelle Snow of http://zengrrl.com
Tracy Shaw of http://www.havingfunsaving.com/
Amy Freeman Courage of http://www.AmyLFreeman.com
Kristin Alongi of http://www.suitsandsneaks.com
Pickett Krayniy of http://www.seasonalmemories.com
Tiffany Haywood of http://themrstee.com
Danay Escanaverino of http://danay.net
Marian Kicklighter of http://siliconvalleymom.com
Edith Tapia of http://www.cuponeandopr.net/
Maggie Lamarre of https://www.cascadeavenue.com/blog/
Krayl Funch of http://anappealingplan.com/
Tia Smith of http://penniesinmypocket.com/
Denise Mestanza-Taylor of http://deniseisrundmt.com/
Andrea Wolloff of http://andreawolloff.com
Heather Bridges Montgomery of http://heatherslookingglass.com
Caitlyn Connolly of http://livesweatsleeprepeat.com/
Liza Tolisano Ford of http://www.addictedtosaving.com/
Erica Acevedo of http://thecrumbycupcake.com/
Cricket Plunkett of http://cricketsconfections.com
Caroline Williams of http://carolinescooking.com
Betty Ann Besa-Quirino of http://asianinamericamag.com
Betsy Cohen of http://happylicious.com/
Nancie McDermott of http://nanciemcdermott.com
Bess Auer of https://www.flblogcon.com/
Emerald Barnes of http://www.sweettartbeauty.com

#B4MH May is Mental Health Awareness Month – Bloggers for Mental Health Awareness

On December 27, 2016 my father died by his own hand. There is no doubt in my mind he suffered from mental illness. But, because of the stigma that clouds the minds of so many even today, he feared seeking help for this illness because he worried what other people would think of him. He was a very proud man, and he couldn’t cope with the idea that folks would “talk” if they learned he went to a mental health professional to get help.

I don’t talk much publicly about the sadness that plagued me before I left home. I rarely discuss how terrified I was of my father, or that I feared from the age of 9 he would take his own life. And, even writing this post, I know there are some people that will be annoyed, bothered, and/or possibly pissed off at me for writing about this. I can’t care about that anymore though. Why? Because the stigma associated with mental health and discussing mental health issues is BULLSHIT! And, by speaking up, perhaps things can change.

If my father had not been so damn afraid of how people would view him, I think he could have relinquished his pride just enough to seek help. I think my life and the lives of my other family members could have been better, more peaceful. And yes, I think he might be alive today.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

There Is No Shame In Seeking Help

I am in therapy. I see a therapist once a week, and I have since January of this year. Before my father’s death, I saw one online because I just needed an unbiased person to listen to me, and help me cope with issues I was dealing with. I’m not ashamed of this. I understand the importance of working through my crap so that I don’t go down the deep dark path of depression that ultimately lead to my father killing himself.

Please know that NO – I do not have suicidal ideation, but I did have a dark period where I thought about it. No, I do NOT condone what my father did, but as much as it hurts me, I understand it. I can see how a person can go down the rabbit hole of sadness, and get down so deep that they can’t see the light anymore. I can actually understand how easy it might have been to go to such a dark place that you feel the only way out is death.

And, that’s why I want to shout from the rooftops that the second you feel yourself going into a place of despair -CALL SOMEONE! GET HELP! YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE PAIN ALONE!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

You may be wondering, why speak up now? Because I didn’t have the courage to before. I too was wrapped up in the fear of what others would say. My dad’s death jolted me, and made me see so clearly how different things could have been. I wish I could go back and tell him I was seeing a therapist, and that I was working with people that were helping me so that maybe he would feel he had permission to as well.

I wish I hadn’t bought into the stigma of working with mental health professionals meaning you were crazy when I was a child. Looking back I can see several moments where I could have stood up and said something if I hadn’t been so scared. But, I can’t go back. What’s done is done.

I couldn’t save my father’s life. Perhaps in all honesty, even if I HAD spoken up,  I never could have saved his life. But either way, now that my mouth is open, I’ll never stop myself from saying this again – If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness, even if you just suspect it – INTERVENE! DO SOMETHING! SAY SOMETHING! GET HELP!

Resources for Mental Health Assistance

Here in Tampa, if you are in crisis, you can call 2-1-1 to be directly connected to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.  If you’re outside of Tampa Bay, 2-1-1 will still connect you to someone local who can help. As per United Way’s website “2-1-1 is a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need.” You can also check out MentalHealth.gov as a starting point for additional or other help.

Above is the last family photo of me, my sister, my mom and my dad as far as I know. This was their 30th wedding anniversary. I threw a surprise party for them. What people don’t see in the photo is that there was a lot of sadness, anger and heartbreak behind the smiles in this image. In fact, most people have no idea when others are in pain.

We put on brave faces and go into the world harboring our pain, suffering in silence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to have help for our mental struggles. We don’t have to face the sadness alone. Again, I implore you – If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness, even if you just suspect it – INTERVENE! DO SOMETHING! SAY SOMETHING! GET HELP!

This post was written as part of Bloggers for Mental Health Awareness. Brittany from Clumps of Mascara got a bunch of us bloggers together and inspired us to take a stand and help normalize mental health concerns, illnesses, and discussion.

Please, please, pleeeeease keep spreading the word. Share this post with the hashtags #BloggersForMentalHealth or #B4MH to help spread the message anywhere and everywhere across the net. By speaking up and making it “okay” to talk about, perhaps we can save lives, and make countless others a little easier.

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The Fastest Way to Make a CUTE Dry Erase Board

This homemade gift was Pinspired! It’s a homemade dry erase board. All I did was get 5X7 frames from the Dollar Tree and then added a piece of lined notebook paper and a hot glued flower off a $1 bouquet from Wal-Mart. To complete the gift give the recipient a black dry erase marker! Simple and cute!

Would this not make an adorable addition to your gift for Mother’s Day? You could make a DIY basket filled with awesome homemade goodies

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Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Angelina Allerton

Yay! It’s Bloggy Friends Spotlight Day!!!! I’m so excited to present today’s Bloggy Friend- Angelina Allerton!!! Angelina is the sparkly babe behind Run.Chew.Sparkle., and she is a whole bunch of fun! I think you’re just gonna love her. So, let’s jump right in, shall we?

Check out her deets:

Name: Angelina Allerton

Your blog:  Run.Chew.Sparkle.

Can you tell me about your blog? I write basically about my life and life in general..my life that through running, which I don’t do a lot of. Eating, healthy and sometimes not, and living a life filled with some extra sparkle.

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? Blogger

What’s your niche? Lifestyle

Is your blog making you money? No, but would love to dabble more into that

How did you get started? My boyfriend inspired me to start so I can show the world me and to inspire others and follow along with my journey

What are your must have tools to run your blog? Laptop and cellphone

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Just start. Grab an idea and just run with with it

Where can we find you on social?
Instagram
Facebook
Snapchat angelinaa1888
Twitter

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently? Nope

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors? Nanci at thiscrazylifeofmine (note from FamousAshley – I love Nanci too! And, she was my FIRST Bloggy Friend Spotilight. Check it out here)

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?  Tampa Bay Bloggers

What are your plans for the future of your blog? Just keep writing and being me with it

Back to me, Famous Ashley lol – YES! Keep being you Angelina! And girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl! I can totally help you with monetization. Let’s do dranx and discuss! In fact, I think I’ll do a few posts here on my blog about monetizing. Bloggy friends, leave me a comment below and chime in if you want some of those types of posts.

Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Jessica Spivey? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

How to Make Flower Pens – Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

Materials needed:

– non-spring ink pens
– fake flowers- I got mine from the Dollar Tree
– hot glue gun
– scissors/wire cutters
– floral tape

How to Assemble:

1. Snip a flower off the bunch using scissors/wire cutters leaving about a quarter of an inch of the stem
2. Hot glue the stem to the top of one of the pens (for extra stability I usually add more glue to the side of the pen from the top to the end of the quarter inch stem)
3. Start from the top of the pen, begin wrapping the floral tape until you get to the end of the pen. There is a divot at the end of the pen before you get to the in part- that is where I typically stop. (Hope that makes sense)

4. Voila! You’ve got a flower pen. For added flair I’ve seen gals take a bunch of these pens and place them in a flower pot filled with marbles.

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Coming Soon – The 2017 Food Wine Conference! 5/19-5/21

There is an event I’m so insanely excited about, and it’s just a couple of weeks away. If you haven’t guessed by the title, it’s the 2017 Food Wine Conference.

You can Score $50 off your tickets with code AshleyG

The Food Wine Conference, if you’ve never been before, is an exciting weekend that “brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands.”

This year will be my third year attending, and I’m thrilled to say that not only will I be attending, I’ll be speaking on a panel with my fellow bloggy friends Tracy Shaw of HavingFunSaving.com and Caitlyn Connolly of LiveSweatSleepRepeat.com

Learn more about our panel here.

I’m also a brand ambassador again this year, and that’s good news for you if you want to attend because with my code AshleyG you can score $50 off!!!


I’m looking forward to seeing all of my bloggy friends of old, and making new ones too. And, I’m looking forward to staying at the stunning Rosen Shingle Creek Convention Hotel which has hosted this event since its inception.

I’ll be posting about the conference again next week because I’m entering two recipe contests, and I am stoked to reveal the recipe I came up with.  Hint – it’s dessert!

This event is always a good time, and I can’t wait for it to be here. If you have been considering attending, I strongly suggest you join us. And, don’t forget to use code AshleyG when buying your tickets! See you all at Food Wine Conference on May 19 through the 21!

Now, I want to hear from you! Are you coming to the conference? If so, leave me a comment below and tell me what you’re most looking forward to at this year’s event?

Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Jessica Spivey

I can not even believe this is already spotlight number 4 and that today is the last day of April. Where in the actual heck did the last 4 months of 2017 go, amiright?!? It’s like I blinked and tomorrow is May! Anywho – let’s go ahead and get right into today’s Bloggy Friend Spotlight – Jessica Spivey!!!

I met Jessica in the Tampa Bay Bloggers, and if you haven’t guessed by now I’m featuring as many of my local bloggy friends first before I start going nationwide and ultimately international. I’m biased, and that’s allowed because my city, my love, my blog! So there. LOL! Still, I love sharing every blogger’s spotlight, and outside of Tampa is coming soon – so if you want in on this, fill out the form here! Okay, back to Jessica.

Check out her deets:

Name: Jessica Spivey

Your blog: Tampa Mom Runs

Can you tell me about your blog? I write about anything related to Tampa, being a mom and running – with a sprinkle of Disney! (side note from Famous Ashley – my favorite post Jessica does is a weekly feature called #DisneyTipTuesday. Each Tuesday Jessica reveals a cool insider tip, trick or travel hack for all the Disney things. I love it, love her, and if you check out her blog – I’ll bet you love her too!)

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? WordPress

What’s your niche? Lifestyle

Is your blog making you money? Some random play money

How did you get started? I started to blog after we found out we were pregnant as a way to share our journey with family, most of which lives far away. After a miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy, it was time to loose the baby weight and Tampa Mom Runs was born. I started running and sharing my journey with others.

What are your must have tools to run your blog? iPad, iPhone and new Sony camera

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Pick a unique name that really explains who you are! A cute saying can be your tag line, but make sure that your name is something clear and concise!

Where can we find you on social?
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have started with GoDaddy hosting and not on WordPress.com

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors?
Caitlyn of LiveSweatSleep

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?
I google it! If I can’t find the answer there – I throw the question out to our local Tampa Bay Bloggers for help!

What are your plans for the future of your blog? Keep it forever. As my blog as evolved, I have become a certified Social Marketing professional through HootSuite and now run several social media accounts for local businesses.

How frikkin awesome is Jessica? I think she’s pretty darn awesome. In case you were just skimming (we all do it, it’s cool) – I want to repeat that Jessica does social media for local Tampa businesses. In other words, if you need some help with your social media management- I highly recommend checking Jessica out!

Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Robert Yaniz? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

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Bloggy Friends Spotlight – Robert Yaniz Jr.

Bloggy Friends Spotlight number 3!!! I would have posted one last Sunday as Sundays have apparently become my Bloggy Friends Spotlight day, but…Easter. lol. I mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again – the plan is to make this a weekly spotlight unless I get LOADS of responses, and then we might go up to two, three or even four times (so naughty…growl!) a week depending on the number of bloggy friends piping up. I love sharing your spotlights, so if you want in on this, fill out the form here!

Alrighty….now onto TODAY’s Bloggy Friend – This time it’s a dude!!! (Yep, and the crowd goes wild!!!) I’ve known this blogger since I was 16. Yes, really. In fact, we met at AMC Theatres when we both worked at the Veterans 24 location. We went to USF together. Go Bulls! Then, we would hang at a lot of karaoke bars here in Tampa, and sing our hearts out. I even took his engagement photos and photographed his wedding. We go way back you guys… Tear…Gimme a second guys, gettin all nostalgic like….(sniffling behind my computer. where the f%&* are the tissues?!?)…

Okay! I’m fine now. Robert is what I would call a pop-culture major with a specialization in movies. Like, he would KILL the categories of music, television and movies if we were playing a trivia game. He knows more about these thangs than we have time to get into, so you just need to check out his website and learn his awesomeness for yourself.

Check out HIS deets:

Name: Robert Yaniz Jr. (side note from Famous Ashley – the cool kids know him by his nickname – or stage name if you will – of Rob Fox…just sayin..)

Your blog: Crooked Table

Can you tell me about your blog?  I write reviews, podcasts, video and other articles relating to the entertainment world (but mostly film). (another side note from Famous Ashley – he actually wrote a few articles for me when I pretended to be an editor in chief of a local mag, but that story is for an evening of drinking. And currently, we both do ghostwriting for the same company because we’re both cool writers like that.)

Do you post on WordPress, Blogger or Something else? WordPress

What’s your niche? Entertainment

Is your blog making you money? Random play money. I write for several other sites, and Crooked Table serves as my “home turf” in that it gives me the freedom to create my own proprietary content and develop my own voice independently from my paying gigs.

How did you get started? “Crooked Table” was a name that I randomly came across while brainstorming a novel idea with a friend, and the phrase stuck in my mind for years before I did anything with it. Early on, the site (at first, thecrookedtable.com) was designed as a hub for writers, but eventually evolved into my own entertainment-centric blog, since I’ve been obsessed with movies since childhood. Now, the current version of Crooked Table focuses on “The world of film from a fresh angle.” Evolution in action, I say.

What are your must have tools to run your blog? My MacBook Pro is my everything. (yes FCC, that’s an affiliate link. Girl’s gotta eat right? Get off me! Pft!!!)

What advice would you give to someone just starting their blog? Be true to yourself. Focus on a topic that you’re truly passionate about because that passion will fuel you to stick with it for the long haul. Making money and gaining a following is great, but the real reward of blogging is the personal fulfillment you get out of the time you invest in the project.

Where can we find you on social?
Facebook for my writing
Facebook for Crooked Table
Twitter
Tumblr
LinkedIn

If you had it to do over, is there anything you would have done differently? I would have started the current form of Crooked Table earlier and dreamt bigger years ago!

Who do you consider your bloggy mentors? I wouldn’t be where I am now without writing for Screen Rant in the early-2000s. That team was a big part of helping crystallize my decision to pursue film blogging and criticism more aggressively.

When you have a blogging question, where is the first place you go for the answer?
Google! Just keeping this honest.

What are your plans for the future of your blog?  Since Crooked Table is so inextricably tied to who I am, it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking it over. It’s very personal in nature, at least right now. But I definitely have big plans for growth, as far as both written and media content. The Crooked Table Podcast continues to evolve, and I’m planning on getting back into making videos soon as well.

Is there anything you would like to add that you think people should know? More than anything, I try to be genuine in all my endeavors. I don’t so much as tweet something unless I 100% believe in it, and I hope that attitude is reflected across all of the content on CrookedTable.com. That’s one of my highest priorities.

How frikkin cool is Robert? I think he’s pretty damn cool. I strongly suggest you check out his awesomeness online, and follow him on his social channels.

Did you miss the last Bloggy Friends Spotlight on Tracy Shaw? If so, I forgive you because you can still check it out HERE!

Don’t forget – I’d love to profile you too, so if you wanna be in on this -fill out the form here!

Stay tuned for our next Bloggy Friends Spotlight! Until next time, may your page views be high, and your blogs be monetized. Big virtual hugs Bloggy Friends 😀

Upcycled Candles – Give Your Old Candles New Life

If you are anything like me, you have lots of candles like the photo above. You burn them and then just before all the wax melts and evaporates, low and behold the darn wick is gone first. Well, I have found a fun idea to upcycle those little pieces that are leftover and end up with a bunch of jars and candle holders you can use for a future craft project!

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult

Materials:

– All of your candles that have a little bit or a lottle bit of wax left
– New wicks for your “new” candles
– Candle holders for your “new” candles. You’ll have to guesstimate what size you need for these based on how many candles you have to upcycle.
– A Pot that’s about 2 quarts
– Scissors
– Tongs
– An old fork you don’t care about potentially ruining (maybe consider getting a free or cheap one at a thrift store or garage sale???)
– Paper towels
– Oven mitts
– Glue Dots
– Patience!

How to Assemble:

The first thing I did was I picked two empty candle holders that I had for the upcycled candles I was going to make. I then took two new wicks that I got from my craft store and used some glue dots to affix them to the bottom of the inside of the holders. This is what they looked like before I added any wax to them:

Then it was time to melt the wax in the “old” candles.

I took the 2 quart pot and filled it about half way with water and then set it on my burner. I set the burner to high until the water was boiling then dropped the heat to medium. One at a time I did the following:

1. Take the “old” candle and using an oven mitt or tongs hold it in the hot water. (Be careful to make sure that water doesn’t go into the “old” candle!!)
2. Once the wax in it melts pour the wax into the “new” candle holder. If the wick from the “old” candle falls in fish it out with the fork and place it in the garbage.
3. Set old candle holder back in the boiling water for a few seconds.
4. While it’s still hot carefully hold it with the oven mitt covered hand while placing paper towels inside with tongs and wiping out any leftover residue. Set aside the old holder and discard the paper towel with the residue.

I repeated this with the next several jars and candle holders until I ended up with these:

Make sure you clip the wicks down to a quarter of an inch before burning them. Any bigger and the flame could get too big for comfort and be a fire hazard.

Once I cleaned out all the old jars and old candle holders I had all of these:

Before using any of the old jars and candle holders I ran them through my dishwasher. So, now I have two “new” candles and several glass pieces I can do other new crafts with!

Hand Painted Salt Shakers

Paint some salt shakers to match your friend’s or family’s kitchen! It’s so simple to do.

Materials:

– The color of your choosing of Folk Art Enamels Paint
– Q-tips
– Glass salt shakers
– Assorted brushes
– A cookie sheet
– An oven
– Styrofoam Plate
– Rubbing Alcohol

Instructions:
1. Clean the exterior of the Glass Salt Shakers with rubbing alcohol.
2. Pour a little paint onto the Styrofoam Plate and paint any image you want onto the glass.  Don’t paint the bottom. Let it sit to air dry 30 minutes.
3. Pour another color of paint onto the Styrofoam Plate. After letting the first layer dry paint additional colors on top of it. For example-in the above photo I painted the pink flowers first and let it dry before adding the the centers of the flowers in yellow. Let it sit to air dry an hour.
4. Place a cookie sheet into a COOL oven and place the air dried painted Salt Shakers onto the cookie sheet.
5. Close the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees. Then set a timer for 40 minutes.

**DO NOT open the oven while baking the glass and DO NOT open the oven until the oven is completely cooled down. Doing so could cause the glass to crack and/or shatter when the air outside the oven hits it.
6. When the timer goes off turn off the oven immediately and leave the item in the oven until it is completely cooled down.
7. Once the oven is cooled down voila! You have hand painted Glass Salt Shakers!