Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 11/26/2020

Making your own candles is a fulfilling endeavor to take. You’ll learn about the art of candle-making, get the chance to make something for your home yourself, and reap the rewards once you get to burn it and diffuse whatever (if any) fragrances you choose to use.

Many people are surprised to learn that it isn’t all that hard to make a candle. However, to make one that will burn well and smell nice can be tricky.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to make your own candle for your home.

Chandlery

In the times when households weren’t yet powered by electricity, candle-making or “chandlery” wasn’t just a fun skill to have--it was downright useful.

Since the earliest times in recorded history humans have been making candles. First from tallow, or beef fat, and then of beeswax and other animal-produced substances.

Today, however, the most common candle wax base is paraffin, due to it being the cheapest base. As a petroleum byproduct, many people are concerned with potential health risks of paraffin and have elected to use alternatives. The two most common are beeswax and soybean oil.

The wax base you choose is up to you, but you’ll likely find that soy is a good middle ground between quality and price.

Gather your supplies

Once you’ve decided on a wax, you’ll need to think about a few other ingredients--namely your wick, container, and any oils you’d like to add for fragrance. You’ll also need a way to melt the wax, such as a double boiler.

When it comes to wicks, it’s easiest to buy them pre-assembled. However, you can buy a roll of braided rope and tabs to make and cut them yourself. When cutting your wick, leave an inch or two extra so that you can cut the wick to the proper size later on.

In terms of a container you have several options, some of which might be laying around in your house at this very moment. You could reuse an old candle container, use mason jars or coffee cups, and most other heat- and flame-resistant containers. If you plan on making several, buying a pack of candle tins of mason jars online is an economical way to go.

Finally, you’ll need to choose some fragrances if you want your candle to smell like anything. There are hundreds of essential oils to choose from. However, they don’t all go nicely together. It’s best to do a bit of research and find out which oils make good pairs. Some examples: Cedarwood and bergamot, lavender and rosemary, orange and lemongrass.

Making your candle

Put water in the bottom of your double boiler and add roughly ½ lb wax to the top pan. Heat slowly until the wax melts, stirring and chopping up the larger chunks throughout the process.

Once the wax is melted, take your wick and dip the tab into the wax, then carefully press the tab into the bottom of your container. Use a pen or other tool to do this to avoid burning yourself on the wax.

Next, add your essential oils to the double boiler. A pound of wax typically requires only an ounce of oil. Then, stir it for a minute or so to distribute the oil throughout the wax.

Then, pour the wax into your container with one hand. With your other hand, keep the wick held in the center of the container.

Finally, you’ll need to keep the wick in the center of the candle until the wax dries. You can do this by tying or taping the wick to a pen or pencil and resting the pencil on top of the container so that the wick stays in the center.




Tags: fragrance   DIY   candles  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 11/19/2020

Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

Methods of oil diffusion

There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

Which oils to use

Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

Common pairings include:

  • Orange and peppermint

  • Lavender and lemon

  • Bergamot and patchouli

  • Basil and sage

  • Cypress and cedarwood

  • Lemongrass and eucalyptus




Tags: home   essential oils   fragrance   diffuse  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 11/12/2020

For those who want to conduct a successful home search, it is important to plan ahead as much as you can. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to get ready to pursue your dream home and speed up your house search.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you reduce the time it takes to discover your dream house.

1. Craft Homebuying Criteria

Homebuying criteria allows you to narrow your house search. Thus, if you make a list of home must-haves and wants today, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline your quest to find your dream residence.

You also should consider where you want to reside. Because if you can hone your home search to your preferred cities and towns, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence in no time at all.

2. Prepare a Budget

A homebuying budget is essential, especially for a buyer who wants to accelerate the property buying journey. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available that can help you put together a property buying budget.

Set up meetings with banks and credit unions in your city or town. Then, you can review a wide range of mortgage options and receive expert responses to your home financing concerns and questions.

It often helps to consider costs you may encounter during the homebuying journey too. From house closing costs to home inspection fees, you'll need to be able to cover various expenses as you try to acquire your dream residence. But if you start planning for assorted homebuying costs today, you can ensure that you'll have the funds available to cover these expenses.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to discover your dream home as quickly as possible, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do whatever it takes to help you accelerate your home search.

A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who is happy to assist you in any way possible. He or she will craft a personalized homebuying strategy for you and help you narrow your house search. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream residence.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will offer before you finalize your home purchase, either. A real estate agent can provide plenty of recommendations and suggestions to help you prepare for your home closing. Furthermore, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your house closing.

Ready to acquire your ideal house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, worry-free homebuying experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 11/10/2020

This Condo in Westfield, MA recently sold for $147,500. This Townhouse style home was sold by Julianne Krutka - Park Square Realty.


160 Hillside Road, Westfield, MA 01085

Condo

$147,500
Price
$147,500
Sale Price

4
Rooms
2
Beds
1/1
Full/Half Baths
**Buyer lost their financing, so you get a second shot at this awesome condo!**. Welcome to this delightful townhouse condo at Ashley Knolls! This two bedroom 1.5 bath townhome is sure to please! This one owner unit has been freshly painted throughout and all the flooring is brand new! Downstairs the flooring is luxurious vinyl plank...looks like wood, easy to clean and will last for a long time! Upstairs both bedrooms have brand new quality wall to wall carpet in a beautiful neutral color! This home is located in an 8 unit building where all the units are owner occupied. Right outside your front door you'll find two assigned parking spaces and directly outside your back door you'll find a private patio area for your outdoor enjoyment as well as an abundance of common yard space to enjoy as you will. This home also boasts a full basement for all your storage needs!

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Tags: Real-Estate   Westfield   condo   01085  
Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 11/5/2020

 Photo by Matt Chen on Unsplash

When you’re creating a landscaping plan for your home it is essential to design around the local climate and weather patterns. When you opt for plants that thrive in your area, you know they are well equipt to handle the seasonal changes specific to your location. This adaptation makes them easier to care for and less dependent on extra watering. It is especially important to integrate this kind of landscaping when there is some level of drought occurring where you live. 

What to Keep

Drought tolerant landscaping is a beautiful way to save on water usage. The good news is that creating a more drought-tolerant yard doesn't necessarily mean removing all of the plantings you currently have. 

Large trees are a great asset, plan on keeping those. Well placed trees provide shade for your home and garden which can be an energy saver all year long. Shade trees also allow a diverse variety of plants to grow comfortably and provides nesting habitat for birds and other native wildlife. 

A drought-tolerant landscape typically includes little to no grass. Grass requires regular watering to keep it green and thriving. Lawn watering can be expensive and seasonally limited by the town or city where you reside. Opting to replace even a section of your lawn with a rock garden or wildflowers is guaranteed to reduce your water bill.

What to Add

Focus on plants local to your area. These plants have evolved to handle the local climate and will have the best chance of growing with little to no input from you. In general, using rocks or wood pellets instead of grass for ground covering will serve you well. Try lava rock to cut down on erosion and help the soil retain more water. Install ground cloth under the rock bed or add mulch to curb weed growth and protect your native plants from insects. For an added boost for your plantings, add compost to your soil before the mulch.

Irrigation

An irrigation system could be a helpful addition to your landscape because it allows you to control where and how much you’re watering. If you have an irrigation system in place be sure to have it serviced regularly, especially if you have made changes to the plantings or green areas in your yard. 

If you’re considering installing a new system, an efficient option is a grey-water system. Grey-water irrigation allows for the reuse of water from your in-home sinks, washing machines, showers, and bathtubs to water your plants.

The right landscaping can boost your curb appeal and property value to the next level. Ask your real estate agent for their advice and professional landscaper recommendations in your area.