Why Choose Soy Over Paraffin Wax Candles

J&L Decor, a handmade home decor company out of Montana, sent me a lovely handmade Lavender and Vanilla Scented Soy Candle to try out recently, along with some enlightening info about why they chose to make their candles using soy wax.


Lauren Cox, the co-founder of J&L Decor, recently wrote a post about Soy vs Paraffin Wax and why soy is the better choice:

*Article summarized: Paraffin is the most common candle out there right now, and you see them in many big corporate stores like Walmart and Target. Why? Paraffin wax is cheap to buy which makes it cheap to turn into candles.
But paraffin wax is not necessarily the best choice since it is known for stirring up allergies and having a very smokey burn. For this reason, J&L Decor chooses to use soy wax instead. Read on to learn more about paraffin vs. soy and the benefits of burning a cleaner all-natural wax.

What is Paraffin?

Paraffin wax is a byproduct of crude oil refinement and the smokey burn is due to the incomplete combustion of carbon resulting in soot. In fact, most candles made from paraffin wax contain high levels of toxic benzene and toluene found when burning the candle. Both of these are carcinogenic toxins also found in diesel fuel fumes and are what can trigger allergies as well as cause respiratory issues. Since soy wax is a vegetable oil based product, you don’t have to deal with that oily petro-carbon soot you get when burning paraffin wax. This soot is the black slick you find all around the top of the container after burning. The candles can also leave soot on walls on furnishings and is hard to get off.

What Are the Benefits of Soy?

  • Soy candles burn longer – The average burn time on an 8 oz. paraffin wax candle is approximately 35 hours. Soy candles normally burn about twice as long as paraffin candles.
  • They are also easier to clean up – since soy is made from vegetables rather than being a refined gasoline by-product, all you need is soap and water to clean up wax spills.
  • Soy holds fragrance longer because the candles burn slower.
  • They burn clean, no sooty residue!

Is There a Drawback to Using Soy?

Only in appearance- soy candles have slight flaws that paraffin candles do not have. The soy expands and contracts with the change of temperature and can leave air bubbles in the jar. They often have a frosted or orange peel appearance. But these little imperfections do not affect how the candle burns.

Soy Candles from J&L Decor
Soy Candles from J&L Decor

So for a cleaner burn, longer burn time and more fragrant candle, the choice is clear- Soy candles are the way to go!

Want to try one for yourself? Check out the selection at JandLDecor.com

As for my candle, the lavender vanilla scent reminded me a bit of fresh laundry, but I think that’s because I use a lavender vanilla scented fabric softener. I lit the candle and after about 30 min. the scent filled the room and made its way around the house, so I can attest to the highly scented claims being true! And after letting it burn for a while, I blew it out and there was no sooty black ring around the candle. I stuck my finger in the cooling wax to see if it felt different and it was oily and didn’t dry and harden right away like paraffin. I dripped a little on my desk and it easily wiped up with soap and water.

I never knew there was much difference in the wax candles were made from, so it was interesting to learn about the soy wax. I am definitely a fan now! No more trying to wipe the soot off the tops of candle holders. 


How to Use a Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser

A lot of moms these days seem to be getting into oils. I’ve been into essential oils since I was a teenager working in a hippie shop that sold oils and part of my job was to educate myself on all the different oils and their purposes. So I’ve always had a bottle of tea tree stashed away for disinfecting and a bit of lavender for soothing. I’m not new to this.

What I am new to is the nebulizing diffuser. At the shop we had a stone you put drops on, some little sticks soaked in oil, a heated lamp type thing and one that used water. I was recently sent an Ionic Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser from Utama Spice and I really like the concept! No water, no heat – just pure pressurized air is used to disperse the oil into the air so it’s not diluted or changed in structure.


The Danau Satu has a light color wooden base and custom-blown lead-free glass top and looks great sitting next to my desk. It has a low-energy cycle with a 120 minute pump auto shut-off and fully adjustable dial to instantly fine-tune the mist intensity. It also has a pretty mood light inside the glass.

It’s very easy to use- just remove the little spout at the top and add drops in the hole. I started with 6 drops to test it out, then added more when I was sure I liked the scent. You can fill it all the way to 1/4 inch below the inner glass tubes, but you don’t want to overfill it.


When you switch it on, you will see the glass fill up with a mist and the mist will start to come out of the directional spout. You can then adjust the amount with the dial.

The Utama Spice website has a helpful video on cleaning your diffuser, which you should do every so often to prevent build up, and when you want to switch to a new oil.


So that’s it! Pretty easy! Just put drops in, turn it on and go. Make sure you don’t lose the dropper things that come with the diffuser because otherwise getting liquid (after cleaning) out of the glass ball is tough. If you watch the video, you’ll see how they turn it on its side and use the dropper to suck it out.

I’m really enjoying my new aromatherapy enhanced workspace!

Healthy Homemade Remedies for Pregnancy Headaches

Today’s post is by Kayla from the lifestyle blog OurStart.com. I had a lot of headaches when I was pregnant (and still get them) so I thought her idea for an article about natural headache remedies would be helpful for both myself and my readers!

Healthy Homemade Remedies for Pregnancy Headaches

Your body goes through a lot of changes while you’re pregnant. Some of those changes will cause an increase in the number of headaches you get. Unfortunately, while you’re pregnant you need to be careful with the medications you take, which can make it difficult to get a handle on your headaches. That’s where natural and homemade headaches remedies come in handy. Having an arsenal of natural and homemade remedies you can rely on for headache relief during your pregnancy can make a world of difference. Here are four natural and homemade headache remedies you can use while you’re pregnant.


Relax with a Hot Cup of Tea

If you’re suffering through a pregnancy headache, sit down and relax with a hot cup of tea. This tea will take that headache pain right away. Place 1 teaspoon each of chamomile and lemon balm, and a half teaspoon each of fennel seeds and lavender into a mug. Fill the cup with hot water and steep for about 15 minutes. Drink while still warm.

Add Some Honey to Your Milk

Pregnancy headaches can make it difficult to get the sleep you need. If your headache is keeping you awake, reach for a glass of warm milk. However, to make the milk a powerful headache reliever, add a dash of honey and cinnamon. This relaxing milk concoction will help you soothe your headache so you can get to sleep.

Soak in a Warm Epsom Salts Bath

When you’re dealing with a pregnancy headache, all the muscles in your body can get tight and achy. When that happens, you need to get relief fast. You can do that by soaking in a warm Epsom salts bath. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add about one cup of Epsom salts. Soak in the tub for about 20 minutes. If getting in and out of the tub is difficult, be sure to have someone there to help you.

Increase the Amount of Water You’re Drinking

You might not realize this, but getting dehydrated during pregnancy can cause problems, including headaches. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches during this pregnancy, it’s time to increase the amount of water you’re drinking. The best way to make sure you’re getting enough water is to keep a bottle of water on you at all times. Another way is to fill two-liter container with water each morning and place it in the refrigerator. Once the container is empty, you’ll know you’ve had enough water for the day. If the taste of plain water is a problem for you, try adding fresh fruit, such as berries, watermelon or lemon slices. You can also add fresh cucumber slices to your water for a fresh new flavor.

lemon water

Don’t let pregnancy headaches slow you down. Use the natural and homemade remedies provided here to give you quick relief. Natural and homemade remedies are a safe and effective way to combat headache pain during pregnancy. If your headaches become more severe, be sure to speak to your healthcare practitioner.


bio picKayla Clough is the email specialist at OurStart and is a recent graduate of Eastern University in PA where she majored in Marketing and Human Resources. Kayla loves all things fashion, her golden retriever Max and coffee. When she is not working, you can find her binge watching Sex in the City and baking her latest find on Pinterest.

Social Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OurStart

Blog: https://ourstart.com/


Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with Weighting Comforts Blankets

I recently got to try out a unique weighted blanket from Weighting Comforts. They sent me the CoolMax style in light grey. I requested this version because I’m in Florida so I was worried I’d be too hot otherwise. They also come in soft cotton and snuggly flannel versions.


The idea behind the blankets is that they increase serotonin and melatonin in your body, which helps you relax, feel more calm and fall asleep much easier. They are recommended for people with anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, restless leg syndrome and depression. I’ve always had a bit of anxiety and sometimes it keeps me awake at night. I tend to toss and turn and wiggle my legs around.

The blanket is impressively heavy! It’s comprised of many little pockets filled with weighted beads made from a non-hazardous PVC compound. It’s a nice size too, and easily covered my king size bed from side-to-side.


At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I tried it directly on me, like a regular blanket cover. It was just too much. Then I noticed a card had fallen out of the package and on the back was instructions on how to use the blanket. It always helps to read the instructions! The card says to give it a week before deciding if you don’t like it. And if you don’t, they have a great 30-day return policy.

The Instructions:

We recommend trying the blanket for ONE WEEK  in the following ways:

  • Place the weighted blanket on top of your comforter, covering your whole body from chest to toes.
  • Use the weighted blanket on top of your sheet, with no comforter.
  • Place the weighted blanket only on the lower half of your body.
  • Place the weighted blanket only on the upper half of your body.
  • If you have a feeling of anxiety with the blanket on you, take a deep breath and remind yourself, “I can remove this blanket at any time.” Some people find it takes several nights to adjust to the weight.
  • Consider exchanging for a lighter weight blanket.

It took a little work to find the right way to use it for me. My perfect combo is over the covers, just on my lower half. It calms the urge to fidget and flop around while drifting off to sleep, and makes me feel a little more secure and snug. I find even just from the knees down makes a difference. When I wake up in the middle of the night and find it has bunched down at the end of the bed, I’ll stick my feet back under it and fall right back to sleep.

You can learn more at WeightingComforts.com, and visit their social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest