It has become important to me that I figure out which things make home feel like home, and then stock them. It’s especially important that I do this before I come down with the flu and am stuck at home, too feverish to make soup, let alone go out for cough syrup and tea lights.
I have found that, at minimum, I need three things at my disposal when I am home sick (and also not sick): a bunch of candles, the perfect tea, and plants. Lots of plants.
Home Necessity: The Perfect Soy-Based Candles
About a month ago I gutted my second bedroom (which had previous lives as a storage space, my dog’s room and a guest room) and turned it into…my space. A safe space. I imagined tens of candles…but I don’t have tens of candles, or candle holders. When did that happen?
- Eco-friendly Paddywax candles were the subject of one of my very first posts, actually, and over the last three and a half years their commitment to ethical collections has continued. The ECO Green Collection uses upcycled wine bottles and feels very old-world to me. You can buy the collection at their website or by searching for the Paddywax ECO Green Collection on Amazon.com.
- I have a crush on Chilanthropy. Five percent of their sales go to environmental charities and their crafted scents are imaginative (think moss, or mexican chocolate). You can purchase Chilanthropy’s candles at their online store, or try your luck waiting for a sale on Sneakpeeq (which is where I originally found them).
- Skeen’s silkscreened pillar candles stunned me when I saw them lit, but I didn’t realize until today that their tapers are silkscreened, too. The entire Skeem collection is available at their website, as well as at an online boutique called Careful Peach.
Home Necessity: The Perfect Tea
The perfect tea is subjective, and for me, it’s dependent on time, place, how I’m feeling…but here are a few of my current favorites (subject to change):
- Mighty Leaf Tea is the only not-loose-leaf tea I admit to drinking (though they offer loose leaf, too). Loose leaf is generally of a higher quality, but bagged is great if you’re in a pinch, only having one cup or just sick with the flu and so not interested in whether your water is the perfect temperature for finicky whole white tea leaves. Mighty Leaf uses all organic teas and packages their individual tea pouches in biodegradable bags. They support sustainable farming and long-term prosperity for their growers. You can find pages and pages of Mighty Leaf items on Amazon.com (on sale, even!) or on Mighty Leaf’s website; my favorites are Orange Dulce and Chamomile Citrus.
- If you’re in Seattle, get thee to Remedy Teas. They have over 150 organic teas you can smell and taste and taste again before buying exactly what you need. In fact, I’m going to reach out to a friend to suggest a tea date right now…maybe we’ll have a cup of white peony or jasmine blue (berry)…or my very first favorite, Genmaicha.
- The Loose Leaf is one of the best-rated tea shops on Etsy, and it’s smart to trust those on Etsy. For my first order, I’d choose a classic oolong or, in the spirit of the new year, a weight loss tea.
Home Necessity: Greenery (A Whole Lotta Plants)
For this part, I’m going to direct you to find your local nursery. (Shout out to the West Seattle Nursery!) Ask which plants are native to your area and, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, those that are easiest to care for. (I’m horrible with flowering plants.) If the above link doesn’t have a location for a nursery near you, use Yelp.com or find a farmer’s market – they’ll be able to direct you to one.
All of my plants are hand-me-downs and strays: my bamboo stalks survived a floral arrangement I received eight years ago; a few leafy greens were housewarming gift; others came from a family friend’s house after she passed away – she loved plants and it really bothered me that I could only take a few.
Plants aren’t that difficult if you know what they need. Mine all get watered once a week and have their soil changed when it starts to look…off (it’s only happened once so far). I can’t tell you how much having them has added to my home, so if you can get to a nursery and find the social courage to chat with someone who really knows plants, I guarantee you won’t regret it.