Rewined Candle Company Tour

Happy Spring!  It’s FINALLY here…and hopefully sticking around for a bit!  My sister works for a local Charleston company called Rewined Candle Company.  They create wine-scented candles in repurposed champagne bottles and sell them all over the country.  And they throw candle making parties!  I got to go to their launch party for their spring scent, Mimosa, last week with Loo.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Not only did I get to eat, drink and be merry with the locals, but I also got a tour of the factory, AND got to make my very own Mimosa scented candle to take home!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

It all starts off with champagne bottles.  Rewined Candles takes empty champagne bottles from local restaurants and cuts the necks off using a wet saw.  {it’s noisy and messy, so they didn’t have the saws going during the party, so you’ll have to take my word for it!}.  The necks are recycled or reused at parties as food labels.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Labels are {very} carefully applied, and each scent gets its own colored seal.  When the process is complete, a candle maker inspects the candles and signs off on the label and the candle is shipped out.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Different fragrances are perfected in giant vats, creating signature wine scents…some of my favorites are Pinot Grigio and Reisling.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Then the wax {made from natural soy} and the fragrance {essential oils} are mixed and poured carefully into the wine bottles around a wick.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Apparently, mixing wax can be a very messy process!  Yes, those are shoes stuck to the wall….

The candles in the picture above are from a separate line, called Produce.  And they are scented like, well, produce!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

The wicks are trimmed and the candles are boxed up, ready to ship to the Historic Charleston City Market, or store locations around the world.

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

And the sweet smell of orange and champagne that lingered home with me was the perfect way to start Spring!

Rewined Candles Launch Party for Spring Scent: Mimosa - Palmettos and Pigtails

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Pete the Leprechaun

Pete the Leprechaun came to cause St. Patrick’s Day mischief again last night.  He came last year and was much more destructive with artwork on the mirrors, tracks all over the place and trick candy.  This year, we lucked out because he wasn’t quite as sneaky!  He did leave some awesome clues that led the girls through a St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt {while getting them ready for school too!}.  They were thrilled!

Pete the Leprechaun caused St. Patrick's Day mischief! - Palmettos and Pigtails

The clues led them all around the house, encouraging them to do their morning chores before going to the next location.  I’ve never seen them get dressed so fast!

Pete the Leprechaun caused St. Patrick's Day mischief! - Palmettos and Pigtails

And although the clues led to mini pots of gold {yellow M&M’s}, the real jackpot was the girls being happy and ready for school on time!  They got to enjoy magical green pancakes and green milk {it poured white….how did that sneaky leprechaun do it?}

Pete the Leprechaun caused St. Patrick's Day mischief! - Palmettos and Pigtails

But Sneaky Pete did manage to cause some trouble too…like using our restroom {without wiping his feet first!},,,

Pete the Leprechaun caused St. Patrick's Day mischief! - Palmettos and Pigtails

And somehow he managed to corral all of the baby dolls into a green cushion fort.  But good news,  Millie and Jayna were able to rescue all of the babies, before stomping on the “fort” cushions!   Which again, made me happy, because I was able to cross off “fluff and rotate couch cushions” on my March Cleaning Calendar!

Until next year, Pete!

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{Preggo Files} 7 New Dad Tips

Hi there new dads!  Well, maybe you are not quite a rookie…you may even have 19 kids and counting.  Even so, I thought I’d give you a little cheat sheet on how you can score some major brownie points with your mama-to-be.  Even the veteran dads need reminders, right?

7 New Daddy Tips from Palmettos and Pigtails

  1. 1.  Mama-to-Be has no clothes.  Really.  Just go with it…her body is changing again {yes, it’s different than yesterday’s body} and she feels insecure.  Tell her she looks beautiful {preferably in any location other than when she is pouting amongst a huge pile of maternity clothes!} constantly, and take her shopping.
  1. 2.  Mama-to-Be is hungry.  No, wait. She’s thirsty.  No, wait.  She has to pee.  No, wait.  She fell asleep.  Remember that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.  Prop up her feet and don’t make fun of her if she’s snoring.
  1. 3.  Mama-to-Be can’t find her keys.  Or her phone.  Or her marbles.  It’s not her fault she forgets everything….all her smarts are going to your brilliant child that she is growing.  So if you see her keys or phone laying around, take a mental note as to where they are, so you can remind her later where her marbles are.
  1. 4.  Mama-to-Be’s feet hurt.  And her back.  All the time.  Offer her a no-strings-attached back or foot massage and you’ll be her hero.  She may even remember come bedtime, to thank you…probably not though {see location of marbles}.
  1. 5.  Mama-to-Be is tired.  And tired means grumpy and on edge.  She may even be irrational {gasp!}.  Odds are, she probably realizes that she is being ridiculous, but doesn’t have the energy to own up to it.  So help a Mama out.  ANYTHING you can do around the house will help.  Whether it’s doing the dishes without being asked, taking over dinner-making or bathing the kids {those low bathtubs are killer on big bellies!} before putting them to bed will be greatly appreciated, and help Mama’s mood.
  1. 6.  Mama-to-Be has a headache.  Maybe, maybe not.  But she probably doesn’t have the same “drive” as usual.  She’s tired, she feels uncomfortable, and unattractive even.  Add that to her heartburn and itchy belly and lovin’ may just be out of the question.  So give her more free passes than usual, and let her sleep.  Better yet, give her a foot rub and then let her sleep!
  1. 7.  Mama-to-Be is nesting.  She doesn’t feel in control of her body these days, so she wants to concentrate on preparing for baby’s arrival.  Which means her time on Pinterest {and her bill on Etsy}, is about to go up!  She definitely has her own ideas {which may change daily} about what she wants in baby’s room, but will appreciate if you take an active part too.  So take an interest in decor, pin some baby food recipes, go shopping for strollers with her, or at the very least….listen and validate her ideas!

 I hope you enjoyed my New Dad Tips!  Please share with the men in your lives!

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Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguin – FAIL

Last week we got snowed in.

Snow Day South Carolina Style! from Palmettos and Pigtails

Three whole days of school off for that.  And I was at the tail end of a terrible cold…just sick enough still, that I didn’t feel like dragging the kids out anywhere.  So we invited some friends over and had a three-day long playdate.  And that kind of hard-core playing requires a snowy-themed snack.

I had seen these adorable frozen bananas way back when on pinterest, and pinned them for a rainy snowy day.  So, I thought they would be a cute, and easy snack to make for the kiddos, atop a “snowy” mound of vanilla pudding.

Frozen Banana Penguins

{Thanks to Reading Confetti for being a way-better banana dipper than me!}
 

Cute, right?  Just melt a little chocolate, dribble it on and stick candy eyes and candy-coated sunflower seeds for beaks and feet.  Easy, right?

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

I had all of the ingredients on hand.  I am an expert at melting chocolate {don’t believe me?  See my cake pops!}.  I double-checked and all of the kids liked bananas, chocolate, and candy.  So, what happened?

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

This was one of the messiest food projects I’ve done in a while.  The chocolate just rolled down my bananas, refusing to cooperate on magically becoming a head, wings and tail.  My eyes slid down the chocolate faces, creating “skid marks” on the pearly white bellies of my penguins.  And the sunflower seeds were smaller than my pregnancy ogre fingers, and ended up with chocolate all over them!

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

Not to mention the chocolate solidified the bananas to the plate, so when I tried to dole out the penguins to the hungry masses, all the chocolate broke off.

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

And this little guy decided that he wasn’t going to succumb to the embarrassment that tried to be my snack, and refused to get up at all!  And why didn’t anyone remind me that vanilla pudding {aka, my “snow} wasn’t really white, but yellow?

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

Needless to say, the only kid that devoured her snow-day snack was my disposal of a daughter, Jayna.  Millie insisted on inspecting hers and taking the penguins apart before nibbling.  But not before melting the chocolate in her little hands and wiping it all over her “snowman” shirt {from her winter pageant at school!}.

Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguins -FAIL from Palmettos and Pigtails

 And the neighbor kids?  They wanted nothing to do with my concoction!  The ultimate Chocolate Covered Frozen Banana Penguin FAIL!

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Girls Night Out!

Last weekend I stole a couple of hours out with my closest girlfriends to attend a sewing class at Five Eighth Seams.  They are a local fabric and sewing store that I simply adore!  They have fabulous, classic southern prints and a whole wall full of adorable patterns.  And recently, I’ve discovered the sewing classes that they offer {including a Mom’s Morning Out, Beginner’s Classes and Kids Sewing!}.

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

The shop is sew cute {hehe}, with finished patterns decorating the walls, stacks of buttons and racks and racks of glorious fabric.

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

We had some serious beginners in our little class, so I was ecstatic that our instructor Stacy was very patient, and did a great job of fixing all of our disasters!

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

The class was only $25, was two hours of us chatterboxes socializing and laughing, included fabric to make two infinity scarves, and included instruction and endless patience from Stacy!  Good deal!

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

We even had a little extra time to make a couple of extra scarves for our kids.  I’m planning on posting a tutorial next week for the scarves, so stay tuned!

Girls Night Out at Five Eighth Seams - Palmettos and Pigtails

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Winner, Winner..Fish Fry Dinner

Congratulations to Marilyn, who won our Bunyoni Blankies giveaway!  Thanks to all of our new readers and to everyone who participated in this fun contest…..I have a hunch there will be more baby/kid-themed goodies coming your way!

I just want to remind you that Holly still has her discount up for us on her site, www.bunyoniblankies.com.  Just type in PALMS at checkout for a 10% discount!

Bunyoni Blankies , a Giveaway from Palmettos and Pigtails

We had a quick reprieve from the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been having, so our neighborhood gang decided to take advantage of the sunshine, 60′s and holiday on Monday to take the kiddos to the zoo and then finish out the holiday weekend with a fish fry.  Here’s some highlights!

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What did you do over the three-day weekend?

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Saving Money with Organized Meal Planners

Every  January, millions of people make New Year Resolutions.  And by every February, most of those New Year Resolutions have already been forgotten!  I am not a “resolution person.”  Sure, I want to start off each new year fresh and all that, but I don’t write down goals or anything.  But, I know a lot of y’all do!  And I know that Be More Organized and Save Money are two hugely popular goals.  So I thought maybe I’d create a post to help you out with that a bit.

One of the ways our family got out of debt last year, was by saving money on groceries.  We became organized in our meal planning, purposeful in our buying and ended up saving hundreds of dollars each month.  I used to clip coupons like a fiend.  I used a site called Southern Savers, which lists all of the grocery store adds and coupons in one place, so you could scan your store’s add each week, and click on links that would automatically print the coupons for the items on sale.  This site is           Ah-mazing.

However, it still took a lot of time to plan out exactly what we were going to eat each week, using the corresponding sales.  Then, we discovered eMeals.  This magical site emails you a week’s worth of dinner plans {all that take about 30 minutes or less to make} and grocery lists based on your local store’s weekly add.  So, they create a weekly meal plan around what’s on sale for the week.  Out of 7 meals emailed a week, we usually eat about 5….adding in a leftovers night and a eat-out night.  And the grocery lists average $80 a week {which also include staples, like Olive Oil, that you probably already have, so the budget ends up being under $80 a week for 4-6 people!}.


And eMeals is only about $5 a month.

And that’s without my super-awesome hook-up.  If you click on any of the links or pictures in this blog post, and type in DINNER15 at the checkout as a coupon code, it will take 15% off your bill.

eMeals Clean Eating Plan 15% off code from Palmettos and Pigtails

eMeals has tons of meal plans to choose from {and you can try out the different plans if you’d like!}: Clean Eating, Organic, Paleo, Vegetarian, Slow Cooker, Low Carb, Low Calorie, Gluten Free, Gourmet, etc.

Back to my story.  So, we use eMeals each week to plan our meals around the sale items at Publix {our grocery store}.  I still go onto Southern Savers to look for coupons for those items on my list that are already on sale {so I can get most things for under .50!}, to get the absolute lowest prices for my weekly trip to the store.  And I keep track of it ALL on my weekly meal planner.  Here’s what it looks like:

Meal Planner from Palmettos and Pigtails

{Click on the picture for a closer look}

Next to each Meal #, I write the day of the week that we’ll be eating that meal.  In the blank square below each Meal #, I write the name of the meal {on the eMeals printout, it lists ingredients needed and directions on how to make it…the eMeals grocery list is on a separate page}.  Then I list any staples and ingredients that I’ll need to buy that week below in the designated spots. eMeals also has breakfast, lunch and dessert options that you can add to your meal plan.  We don’t currently use any of those, although we probably will add the lunch choice next school year when Jayna will eat at school each day.

The combination of the meal planning worksheet and eMeals ensures that we eat at home most nights of the week {thus, saving our wallets and waistlines!}.  And even if we end up not using one of the meals one week, I know I have all the ingredients on hand…so we eat it the following week!  Hope this plan jump starts your year into saving money, eating right, and being organized!  Happy New Year!
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Happy Holidays 2013!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you and your families are having a wonderful holiday season!  This week, our whole family rolled into town to celebrate with us.  So you’ll notice that the blog’s gonna be quiet through the New Year, while I spend time with the family!

So, see you next year!

Christmas Picture 2013

Merry Christmas!

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Polar Express Train Ride

After keeping you in suspense all of last week, I’m ready to share with you about our weekend adventure!  We took a weekend vacation to Bryson City, North Carolina to ride the Polar Express Train Ride through the Great Smoky Mountains.  And it was awesome!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

We rented a cabin with our good friends for the weekend, just outside of Bryson City.  So we spent the day on Saturday hot-tubbing, eating, playing games and exploring the town.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, Sunday evening, we all got dressed in our jammies and got ready to ride The Polar Express Train Ride.  The pajamas I made for the kids were a huge hit!  {In fact they’ve enjoyed them all this week at school Christmas parties and pajama days!}.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

I swear Amelia liked hers too….she was just too busy pitching a fit to be bothered with pictures.  {And she will soooooo thank me someday, when she sees this post as a teenager!}

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Can you tell I made her pants first?  I then decided that the big girls’ pants needed more leg room and more ruffles!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna tells me she feels like “posing” when she wears these pants.  Success, I’d say!  Do you want to make some of these pajamas for your kids?  Click here to learn how to make the pants, here to make the cuffs and ruffles, and here to make the appliquéd shirts.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

After we were all dressed, we headed into town and waited to board the train.  It was cold…but worth the wait!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

We even had time for a heart to heart with Santa {#1}…Millie was still busy crying…so Jayna relayed her wish list to Santa for her.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Once we boarded the train and started up the mountain, we were served hot chocolate and cookies by our own personal chefs {and train guides}, Cookie and Poinsettia.  The kids also got to sing carols and dance in the aisles.  They were kept busy and happy, while us adults marveled at the picturesque scenery of backwoods North Carolina…use your imagination!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The train conductor walked around and punched our golden tickets….no indicative words punched, but still fun!  And then the hobo walked around and shook hands with the kids.  Finally, we reached The North Pole.  And although some bahumbugs had complained on the “reviews” page of the website about the “lame” lights on houses…the kids thought the little town that portrayed The North Pole was magical, and I thought Cookie and Poinsettia did a great job of telling little stories about which houses each of the reindeer and elves lived in.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And at one point, the train even stopped because there were “reindeer on the track.”  After much “shooing” and “move!-ing” from the kids, the train was on it’s way again….but B spotted a special guest who had gotten on the train!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

Santa {#2} walked up and down the aisles and talked to each of the kids, giving them each a bell and sharing North Pole secrets or knock knock jokes.

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

He was just the right combination of mysterious and mischievous to make Jayna light up!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

And make Millie giggle {from afar}!

The Polar Express Train Ride and DIY Pajama Reveal from Palmettos and Pigtails

The entire way home we sang Christmas carols and rehashed the evening.  It was a fantastic experience!

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P.S.  Here’s my official review of The Polar Express Train Ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad:  Fantastic!   Some ADULTS might see it as a little lame, but as far as I was concerned, it was ideal for KIDS under 7ish….and the more the parents got into the caroling and the hype, the more excited the kids seemed to be.  The hot chocolate was good, and not too hot!  And the cookies were nice and big, although a teeny bit hard.  We took the 5:00 ride on December 15th…the wait to board the train was cold, and pretty hectic.  Not a whole lot of organization, and had a whole lot of over-zealous parents who “cut” in the messy lines, even though it didn’t matter in the end and there was plenty of seating!  You’ll want to have the kids sit on the left side of the train {that would be the opposite side of the train than where the doors are located}, as that’s the side that The North Pole will mostly be on, and where Santa will wave from.  It was light outside when we got on the train….so lots of “interesting” scenery for the adults to look at while the kids danced in the aisles {think cars in the river, scrapyards, trailer parks, etc.}. But on the way home, it was dark….not a whole lot of lit up houses, but it didn’t seem to matter because we sang the whole way home.  We sat in coach and paid $30-something to $40-something each for tickets {kids and adults}….and it was fine, totally worth it.  But we were next to the next “class” up of car, and it seemed like they got a lot more “stuff” {mugs, lanyards, etc.}, so I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be worth upgrading one class of seating?  Overall, fantastic experience!  And wonderful, fun weekend away with friends!

Some Special Pictures

As you know, a couple of weeks ago, we had our family photo session down at Boone Hall Plantation.  It was a lovely afternoon, and we had such fun taking the pictures.  But {sneaky, sneaky me!}, we took some additional photos that day that I’m finally ready to show you!

Pregnancy Reveal Photos from Palmettos and Pigtails

Get it?  We are pregnant!  I’m about 17 weeks along now, and finally ready to share with you, my beloved readers, that we will be expecting our third Little in the middle of May!!!

Pregnancy Reveal Photos from Palmettos and Pigtails

This was the pregnancy reveal picture that we sent to our immediate families to tell them the happy news!  The girls are SO excited!  The way we told them, was at the shoot as well.  I gave them a present with “clues” inside {a baby bottle, a pacifier, and the ultrasound picture}, Millie was more interested in playing with the pacis, but Jayna saw the picture and knew what it was immediately….but it took her a minute to realize that it was OUR baby!

Pregnancy Reveal Photos from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna: “It’s a baby in the picture”

Me: “Yes, that’s the baby that’s in my belly….you are gonna BOTH be big sisters!!”

Jayna: “FOR REAL?!?!”

Millie: {Oh crap….}

Pregnancy Reveal Pictures from Palmettos and Pigtails

But overall, so excited!

Pregnancy Reveal Pictures from Palmettos and Pigtails

So, now you are in on the secret.  And now you know why I have been so inconsistent posting…. Ha!  Bear with me through May, as we navigate being pregnant with two Littles, plus a major craft show coming up, and…. well, life in general!

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