Cosy Up For Autumn


3 angel tea light holder

Autumn is upon us again, it’s pumpkin spiced latte time of year. As the evenings draw in and the days shorten we naturally want to light up those scented candles, close the curtains and snuggle up in front the telly with a warm blanket and a tub of roses. It’s hibernation season, only we humans we aren’t allowed to sleep the winter away of course. We are transitioning, the leaves are tuning gorgeous shades of brown and gold in readiness to fall to the ground, just waiting to be walked over for that lovely Autumnal crunch.

I adore this time of year when we start the X Factor countdown to Christmas. It just makes me want to fill my home with flickering tea lights and adorn my dressers with strings of dainty fairy lights. It’s time to stock up on my Autumn favourites and make my home lovely and cosy for the coming season. Find out how I get cozy for Autumn…

Beeswax tealights spilling from a large jar

Tea Lights

Like most people, I always used to buy a big bag of cheap tea lights and wintery scented candles from the Range or Wilkos, fill up my tea light jar which sits on our dresser and they would go on forever. However, a few winters ago I became aware of the harm these cheap tea lights and scented candles were doing to the environment in my home. Not to mention the health of myself and my family, but also our two dogs who were also being subjected to toxins puffed out by these chemical laden candles.

Beeswax tealights stored in a jar

Choose Pure over Paraffin

Much the same as artificial air fresheners, reeds, plugins or any kind of artificially scented product we may use to keep our homes smelling sweet; how much thought have we actually put into the toxins we are introducing into our environment. Probably none, and I was as guilty as anyone else assuming it must be safe or they wouldn’t be available to buy, would they?

Artificial fragrances commonly used are produced in a lab and contain petrochemicals which are linked to increased cancer risk, birth defects and allergies. I’ve known about the dangers of artificial air-fresheners for many years and always avoid them like the plague, but what about scented candles, surely they would be fine? Not so.

Bees wax tea lights

Research shows that at least 75 percent of products which listed ‘fragrance’ as the main ingredient contained harmful phthalates. These nasty chemicals have been directly linked to hormone disruption, cancer, reduced sperm count and even possible fetal exposure to autism. I find it quite shocking that we are being exposed to unnecessary health risks by doing something as seemingly harmless as lighting a candle.

When paraffin is used as a base product it’s very harmful. As the tea light or candles burn they give off microscopic soot particles which can’t be seen but get into our lungs and is hazardous to our health. If you burn this kind of candle in the same place over a period of time you may see a sooty area start developing on the ceiling above, or on the surrounding surfaces.

I didn’t want to give up my cosy evenings or mealtimes with a tea light on the table so I looked around for healthier options. I started off with eco wax tea lights which is a soy based wax and I used those for at least one winter season. I’ve since left them behind as they are not always 100% chemical free. Some may have palm oil added which means they are not a ‘pure’ candle. Something else you might not think of – mass produced candles may have wicks containing lead or tin so you’re getting a double whammy of toxic waste to breathe. Healthy wicks are made from cotton or hemp.

Bee Good To Your Home

Finally, I discovered beeswax. These are the bees knees when it comes to the ultimate environmentally-friendly tea light or candle. They give off a soft honey scent and burn with a low, warm-coloured flame. They also do something remarkable when lit, they emit negative ions which gobble up the positive ions found in dust, mould spores or general pollutants and allergens found naturally in our homes. They may also help to reduce asthma symptoms due to their air cleaning quality. This makes for a much safer and healthier environment for your home. Occasionally I find a batch of tea lights may crackle a little whilst burning but I quite like it, it’s almost therapeutic to hear.

I adore beeswax candles, ok I’m slightly obsessed with them and wouldn’t use anything else now. They’re a little more costly at around £13.00 for 30 tea lights, but to me it’s worth it to safeguard our health. Buy yours on eBay here

Copper Wire Fairy Lights

Another love of mine are battery powered copper wire fairy lights. I buy them in Primark for a few pounds each. So dainty and delicate. The wire is pliable and you can wrap them around almost anything. They are a definite must-have in my home when the nights draw in.

One other thing I like to do it push them into a pretty jar and use it as a lamp, this just adds something a little different to the room. I use this idea in my daughter’s bathroom so that she has a soft glow in the corner if she needs to get up in the night. We love to save up small jam jars and decorate them with glass paint in seasonal themes for quirky tea light holders. Wind some craft wire around the top and form into a handle. It’s a lovely mummy and Lily thing to do! You can buy glass paints and other crafty bits from the Range and they are fairly inexpensive.

Pure Essential Oils

I don’t want to give up on some natural, seasonal fragrance around my home so I like to use 100% pure natural essential oils. I generally only use them throughout the Autumn/Winter season as I just love the Christmas scent, spiced orange/apple and cinnamon are my favourites. I like to sprinkle a few drops where they won’t damage the surface. When the decorations are out I sprinkle some oil onto the Christmas tree and on wooden decs’ the wood absorbs the fragrance and lasts longer. Occasionally I add a few drops around a tea light in it’s holder so as it warms, the fragrance is diffused into the air. Pure oils are easier to come by but always make sure they are 100% pure natural oil.

pure essential oils

Wax Melts

I have been known to use soy wax melts but again I’m dubious of these. I choose pure eco wax melts; naturally fragranced with essential oils and only use them sparingly. They can be quite strong and I’m pretty certain our dogs aren’t keen. Scented melts are readily available but can contain a mix of chemicals as mentioned earlier so watch out for those too.

If you love to visit Christmas fayres and markets you can often find a little eco wax candle stall but be sure to grill the seller on the ingredients used.

What are your Autumn favourites for the home? Hope you enjoy a healthily fragranced Autumn/winter season


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14 Comments

  1. October 2, 2017 / 10:57 am

    This is such a lovely post and I love the featured photo it’s so cute! I love candles, wax melts, fairy lights and everything cosy and I had no idea some of them could be so harmful! So I’m definitely going to be more wary of that now too. I love the idea of putting some essential oil on the Christmas tree, I bet that smells amazing.

    Ellie x

    http://elliesbitsofbeauty.com

    • Samantha
      October 2, 2017 / 11:44 am

      I know, it’s so tempting to buy all kinds of scented candles isn’t it! They really are so bad for us. Definitely try essential oils on the tree, I love shaking some over ours! X

  2. October 2, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Ah this post is close to my heart and conjuring up such cosy nostalgic feelings! I love scented candles but I’ll never go back to them. We use an essential oil diffuser now and mix up some gorgeous autumnal blends, orange, spice, pine. I’m going to check out Primark for the fairy lights, they sound lovely! Xx

    • Samantha
      October 2, 2017 / 11:49 am

      It amazes me that poisonous candles are so readily available and are sold everywhere. I’m still gobsmacked when I see people picking up air fresheners and plugins when I’m in the supermarket. I want to tell them not to but each to their own. Glad to hear you are anti anything artificial too! xx

  3. Louise Brighton
    October 2, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    I did not know that about candles! I love burning them and this will definitely make me think twice about the types of candles and tea lights I buy in the future. And great idea with the lights in a jar for your daughter’s room. I keep meaning to buy Freddie a night light but this idea sounds so cute! Thank you for sharing your fab ideas lovely! x

    • Samantha
      October 2, 2017 / 9:51 pm

      I don’t think it’s something you really think about unless it’s brought to your attention. Food for thought anyway ! Lily painted the little jar in the photo herself, it’s a cute thing for the children to do, make their own lamp! x

  4. October 5, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I love how cosy and autumnal I feel after reading this. I love candles and fragrances at home but I never knew about all the harmful chemicals in candles and freshness and it has got me worried about what I’ve been breathing in 🙁 there are so many eco friendly ones and I love the sound of the bees wax ones. Love the idea of putting lights in a jar and the essential oils in the tree, they’re fab tips that don’t cost the earth 🙂 xxxx

    http://Www.theheatherlee.com

    • Samantha
      October 5, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      Yes be careful with the candles you burn. I didn’t want to put a dampener on all the scented candle excitement that goes on at this time of year but so many don’t realise the dangers. Just wanted to get it out there! Glad you got some ideas from my post lovely. 😊xx

  5. October 6, 2017 / 10:51 am

    What a gorgeous and cosy post Samantha! Just makes me want to be under a blanket with a movie and some candles right now 🙂 But wow, I had no idea about how bad candles could be! I was just researching about buying some wax melts but now I know this I’m going to research properly so they’re not toxic! Thanks for making us Aware 🙂 Clare xxx | Clayaa.com

    • Samantha
      October 6, 2017 / 11:59 am

      Autumn really makes us feel all cosy doesn’t it! There are non toxic melts around if you have a look! Good luck and hope you have a healthily scented season 😊

  6. October 7, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    Such a cosy post! I love autumn so much and love burning candles but had no idea how bad they could be! This was so interesting to read about and I’m definitely going to look into it all more. I love the look of those tea lights you mentioned and I love a honey scent so I might have to give those a go instead 🙂

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  7. October 22, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Love everything about this post!! Makes me feel cosy just reading it!! Haha! I love candles at this time of year but I have to admit I am not great for checking what type of candles I am using and whether they’re natural or not….I’ll check next time I buy!! I love using essential oils too. I used to use them a lot and I’ve gotten out of it…no reason, I do want to get more. I tend to dab a bit onto cotton wool and pop it behind my radiator so when the heating comes on you get the scent. Also a tiny bit on a cold lightbulb too for when they heat up 😛 Oh and lastly, I pop a bit onto a piece of tissue and hoover it up 😛 (Not all at once I have to add!!! That would be a bit much, but those are ways I use them) Great autumnal post 🙂 xx

    • October 23, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      Ah yes, your tips reminded me, sometimes I dab some essentials oil on some tissue and lay it on the radiator. Works quit well doesn’t it! I’ve not heard of hooving it up though, sounds very different 😂 Dan would be like, why are you hoovering up tissue! Bend down and pick it up. Thanks for reading lovely! Xx

      • October 23, 2017 / 2:43 pm

        Hahaha! Purely because the smell of it goes through to the filter and out the vent 😂 xx

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