Mundane Does Custom Candle Making in Cold Spring

Featured image Adobe Stock | ansyvan. All other photos courtesy of Mundane

Love burning a candle at home? Head to Mundane in Cold Spring to create a one-of-a-kind candle that’s unique to you.

Of all the candles in your collection, how many did you pour yourself? If the answer is none, it’s time to take up a new creative activity.

hand poured candles

At Mundane, a scent bar that opened in June on Cold Spring’s Main Street, customers can select fragrances, choose vessels, pour essential oils, and name their unique creations. Here’s how it works: Pick a seat at the bar and get acquainted with co-owner Alexandra McGill. Then grab a clipboard and start sniffing samples on the adjacent wall, writing down the ones you absolutely love—McGill will help you select scents that go well together. The aromas that wowed us? Black violet, lemon balm, earl grey, tobacco and honey, and clothesline. Then fill the jigger, pour into your container, and stir. The wax takes about two hours to set, so plan to do a little shopping or grab a bite. For store hours and more information, visit


Related: Find Your Perfect Match at Cozy Candle Shops in the Hudson Valley

Make These Easy No-Carve Pumpkins (or Funkins) With the Kids

Header photo: Adobe Stock / Iuliia. All other photos by Jenn Andrlik

With a few simple tools, you (and the kids) can create several decorative funkins to keep for many Halloweens in the Hudson Valley to come.

This Halloween or fall, use funkins, or craft pumpkins that you can use year after year thanks to their longevity. You can use a myriad of tools to create any design you desire. Here, we created a modern black-and-white-themed patch, but feel free to use colored paint or paint pens, pick up different colored funkins, or even carve the craft pumpkins.



Funkins (we used black and white in various sizes)
White and black craft paint
Painter’s tape
Paint pouncer or paint brush
White paint marker
Black permanent marker

Related: Get Festive Crafting These 6 Simple Fall Garlands

How To:

1. Start with a craft pumpkin or funkin from your local craft store. You can get them on sale now the closer it gets to Halloween. I used black and white ones to create a modern motif.

spiderweb funkin

2. To create the spider web funkin, take a white paint marker and draw vertical lines on the veins of the pumpkin. Then draw curved lines to connect them to create a web-like design. You may need to go over the lines twice to make them more pronounced.

striped pumpkin

3. To create a painted funkin, use painter’s tape and tape off the part you want to paint.


4. Take white paint and a paint pouncer or brush and paint the bottom half white. Let dry overnight before placing and styling around your home.

painted pumpkins

5. You can also take a white funkin, black paint, and a pouncer to create dots. Or use a permanent black marker to create a chevron pattern. The possibilities are endless!

Related: 3 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Table for Fall

14 Ideas for a Fall-Themed Wedding in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / Настя Дубровина

Planning a fall-themed wedding in the Hudson Valley? Let these romantic ideas inspire you as you decide upon the details of your big day.

By Samantha Garbarini and Sabrina Sucato

June weddings are nice and all, but, more and more, we’re loving romantic autumn hues and chilly nights for memorable nuptials. Luckily, the Hudson Valley is an ideal destination to host a fall-themed wedding, thanks to the multi-hued leaves and breathtaking panoramas of mountains and streams.

If an autumnal ceremony is what you seek, look no further than these ideas to help set the scene for your big day. Your guests will swoon over the thoughtful touches, and you’ll love the how the little details add up to create an unforgettable event for you and your special someone.

bridesmaids in matching plaid flannels
Photo courtesy of Uplift Photography

1. Skip the silk robes and do the bridal-party-getting-ready thing in cozy, mix-and-match flannel button-down shirts. 

Autumnal bridesmaid dresses
Photo courtesy of Sean Gallery

2. Choose bridesmaids’ dresses in an array of dusty autumnal colors.

fall-themed wedding shoes
Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

3. And add a pop of deep burgundy to your white gown with a pair of velvet pumps (like these Manolo Blahnik ones). Similar styles available here.

fall-themed wedding food
Photo courtesy of uplift photography

4. At cocktail hour, serve spiced cider, or offer a big bowl of apple cider donuts for dessert.

autumnal flower arrangement
Photo courtesy of Ulysses Photography

5. Work leaves in wherever you can, like this leaf-flecked arrangement bursting with autumn color. 

fall-themed wedding place cards
Photo courtesy of Ulysses Photography

6. They also set the tone nicely as place cards. 

wedding ring on fall leaves
Photo by Alicia Swedenborg

7. And work as the perfect backdrop to make the diamonds on your rings really sparkle.

Couples surrounded by fall leaves
Photos courtesy of Uplift Photography

8. And are perfect for those romantic just-married-kiss photos. 

fall-themed wedding arrangement
Photo by Joshua Brown Photography

9. Not into leaves? Go with a harvest-inspired arrangement featuring figs, berries, stone fruits, and citrus. 

moody dining table
Photo courtesy of Sue Kessler and Andrew Kelly of Christian Oth Studio

10. Keep it simple with red and orange flowers and a whole lot of candlelight. 

autumn table decor
Photo courtesy of Cappy Hotchkiss Photography

11. Or try something a bit more whimsical like seasonal flowers, apples, felt acorns, and tiny bottles of maple syrup.

Fall-themed wedding decor
Photo courtesy of uplift photography

12. White-painted pumpkins look super chic with silvery votive candles. 

Gold pumpkins
Photo courtesy of Sean Gallery

13. And gold ones make for fantastic place-card holders. 

fire pit at a wedding
Photo courtesy of Uplift Photography

14. With autumn’s chill in the air, finish the night with a roaring fire. 

Related: Pore Over These Pinterest-Worthy Wedding Pics From Red Maple Vineyard

The Hudson Valley Sips We’ll Be Seeking This Halloween

Adobe Stock / 5ph

The Hudson Valley’s spooktacular craft beverages give new meaning to the notion of a spirit guide during the region’s most haunted season.

By Sarah Daniels and Sabrina Sucato

Trick or treat? How about both? Leave the candy to the kids and spoil yourself rotten with these sense-beguiling, area spirits. (And if you want to tuck away some candy corn for later, we won’t judge you either.) Whether you sip them in cocktails or savor them straight, you’ll love toasting to the spooky season with these drinks once Halloween arrives.

Stoutridge Winery & Distillery: Empire Rye

Stoutridge’s Empire Rye, a straight rye whiskey, is all about local flavor from the Hudson Valley. While not exactly spooky, this traditional rye produced in Ulster County is deceptively delicious, thanks to a unique aging process that occurs in the Valley’s very own Quercus Cooperage oak barrels. It has wonderful notes of cinnamon spice, making it the perfect grown-up alternative to the much-hyped #PSL.

Albany Distilling Company: Awakened Spirit Vodka

Consider this your ultimate Halloween sip. Distillers at ALB blend Death Wish cold brew coffee — supposedly the strongest on the market, and created up in Saratoga Springs — with their signature vodka for a seriously unique libation. Just as the spooktacular name of the drink implies, this stuff is strong enough to jolt you out of any ghoulish state.


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Harvest Spirits: Cornelius Applejack

The method used to produce this applejack is just short of pure magic — curious, considering the drink emerged during a period of history in which witchy ways were hunted down. To make this Halloween-ready sip, the folks at Harvest Spirits distill their hard cider twice, then age it for five years in American oak ex-bourbon casks. The result is wicked good: apple-tasting with a hint of vanilla and a clean, spiced finish. It’s just as wonderful on its own as it is mixed into a cocktail.

Related: 3 Delicious Cocktails to Start Your Fall Off Right

6 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Hudson Valley Apples

Adobe Stock / Brent Hofacker

Had your fill of pie? Here are six other apple recipes you can make that are just as yummy that use Hudson Valley harvests to their fullest.

It was a beautiful day at the orchard. You gorged on cider donuts, and your trunk is filled with red and gold apples. You spent hours plucking these shiny, crisp pieces of fruit from twisted tree branches, but what do you do with this bounty now? After crossing a pie (with a fancy lattice top, of course) off your to-do list, consider these tasty ways to use up the extras.


Adobe Stock / Mizina

Resist the urge to dump in a ton of sugar, and easy-to-make applesauce is a Vitamin C-rich, in-between-meals treat—with a long shelf life. Simply core apples, chop them, and then simmer in a saucepan with water, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. At the dinner table, potato pancakes and pork chops also get a boost from the chunky spread.

Apple Butter

It will take a while (about 12 hours), but once you break down apples, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a slow cooker, you’ll have breakfast-elevating butter in which to slather ho-hum slices of whole-wheat toast.

Apple Pancakes

Adobe Stock / Jenifoto

Dice apples and fold them into buttermilk flapjacks for a cool, textural burst. Or, try a fall-perfect, deep-dish Dutch-style pancake, cooked in a cast-iron pan and laden with thick slices of the fruit.

Apple Potpourri

Transform your home into an aromatic Bath & Body Works with a DIY potpourri. Cut apples into paper-thin slices, put them on a baking sheet until they dry out for about 40 minutes, and then mix them with a crumbled cinnamon stick, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel, and vanilla oil to elicit a heady, autumnal perfume.

Related: The Native Apple Varieties to Pick in the Hudson Valley

Apple Infusions

Give vodka a sweet, tangy burst with a fruity infusion. Core and quarter a few apples (the more robust flavor you crave, the more apples) and let them mingle in a mason jar with vodka for three to five days, shaking the concoction about every eight hours. When it’s ready, simply serve on the rocks or with a splash of club soda for a fall-like tipple.

Apple Chips

Adobe Stock / Brent Hofacker

You’ve snacked on kale chips before, so try an autumn version. This snackworthy recipe is super simple. Cut the fruit into thin slices and then plop them onto a baking sheet. Top them with a crumbled mix of cinnamon and sugar, then slide them into the oven at low heat for about 45 minutes, until curled and crispy.

Related: The Best Apple Cider Donut Destinations in the Hudson Valley

Support Breast Cancer Awareness at These Hudson Valley Events

Adobe Stock / rawpixel

This breast cancer awareness month, honor survivors and ensure your own health at these events in the Hudson Valley.

By Julia Colombo and Claudia Larsen

October is the prime month for apple and pumpkin picking, but it is also the month that highlights breast cancer, the second deadliest cancer in women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease, an event that occurs once every two minutes. This calls for a need to find a cure and to make early detection a priority. Attend one of these Hudson Valley events happening this October to help raise money for cure research and boost awareness about this women’s health issue.

American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: Westchester

Manhattanville College, Purchase
October 16, 9:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.

The American Cancer Society holds annual walks around the country not only to promote awareness, but also to raise money and honor those lost to the disease. Anyone interested can register to walk and raise money in teams, with a business/company, or individually. Registration is available online or via phone (800.227.2345, option 2). Check-in begins at 9 a.m., and the 3.6-mile walk kicks off at 9:45 a.m. There will be a ceremony recognizing caregivers and survivors before the walk starts.

breast cancer
Adobe Stock / Andrea Obzerova

American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: Albany

Washington Park Parade Grounds, Albany
October 16, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

If you’re a northern Hudson Valley resident, head to this walk with the American Cancer Society. Beforehand, join activities like Zumba, live music, breast cancer informationals, speeches, and recognition for caregivers and survivors. Registration opens at 10 a.m., and the 2.5k walk steps off at noon.

Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Walkway

Walkway Over the Hudson, Highland
October 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

For this breast cancer awareness month, New York State senator Sue Serino partners with the Walkway Over the Hudson to host a free event during which participants can connect directly with local organizations offering a myriad of women’s health services. This event takes place on the Highland side of the Hudson River and is sure to be a great event for the community to gather, learn, and support one another.

breast cancer
Adobe Stock / Andrea Obzerova

“Maintaining Hope and Focus Through the Cancer” Workshop

Herbert H. and Sofia P. Reuner Cancer Support House, Kingston
October 23, 57 p.m.

This workshop, sponsored by Westchester Medical Health Network, aims to provide women with tips about cancer screenings and healthy habits and inform them on how to manage breast cancer if it comes their way. RSVP by phone (845.339.2071) or email (

MidHudson Regional Hospital Community Breast Cancer Screenings 

Redl Center for Cancer Care, MidHudson Regional Hospital, Poughkeepsie
October 25 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., October 30, 1-3 p.m.

One of the biggest parts of raising breast cancer awareness is promoting screenings, which is exactly what MidHudson Regional aims to do. For the two dates offered, free breast cancer screenings will be provided to everyone. Registration is required, so call (855.277.4482) to reserve a spot.

breast cancer
Adobe Stock / Andrea Obzerova

Free Breast Screening Day in Suffern 

Center for Breast Health at Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern
October 31

Good Samaritan Hospital offers an entire day of free breast cancer screenings to help raise breast cancer awareness for both insured and uninsured/underinsured women. To schedule an appointment, call ahead (845.368.5816 or 855.277.4482).

Related: What to Know About Breast Cancer in the Hudson Valley

5 Tips for a Foolproof Fall Wedding in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / ViDi Studio

Whether you’re planning a micro-wedding or a ceremony for just the two of you, here’s how to create your perfect autumn day.

When it comes to weddings, no season is more trend-driven—or more susceptible to unintentional kitsch—than fall. With so much seasonal symbolism to choose from—foliage, pumpkins, scarecrows, apples, cider, spice, burlap, cornucopias—it’s easy to go over the top and turn what was meant to be a festive occasion into a carnival. Here are some things to keep in mind for a fabulous fall wedding, micro-wedding, or elopement in the Hudson Valley.

Skip the Singing Scarecrows

Be whimsical if you like, sure, but unless you’re trying to purposely over do it by hosting your wedding in a pumpkin patch with singing scarecrows as escorts, you may want to go easy on the autumnal symbolism.

fall wedding
Adobe Stock / Phil Lowe

This doesn’t mean you have to institute an embargo on pumpkins and scarecrows. It just means you might want to err on the side of subtlety: Think a smattering of pumpkins and gourds rather than an avalanche. After all, the best practice for weddings is “less is more.”

Plan for What Fall Is, Not for What You Want It to Be

Fall is not just Halloween and Thanksgiving; the season begins with the autumnal equinox in late September. If you’re marrying in Westchester or the Hudson Valley in September or October (and, if you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about next autumn), the leaves may just be starting to change and the grass will still be mostly green.

Ulysses Photography
Photo by Ulysses Photography

You also have a more-than-average chance of having uncomfortably warm—or even hot—weather. Though you may have your heart set on crunchy leaves underfoot as your guests sip hot apple cider, they’re more likely to be fanning themselves in the hot sun and daydreaming about a cold iced tea or lemonade. Plan accordingly; you can change up the beverages to suit the weather!

If You Want “Quintessential Autumn,” Marry in October

While there’s no guarantee that you’ll have chilly, cozy, traditionally fall-like weather, peak or near-peak foliage times are at least somewhat predictable. If you want color, plan for the first to third week in October.

While an early frost or Indian summer is always a possibility, your chances of having at least some color are very good throughout the month, particularly closer to the middle. Even if it is warmer or colder than you’d like, you still have nature’s gorgeous backdrop to set the mood.

Opt for Rich Fabrics, Colors, and Textures

Regardless of the weather on your wedding day, it is, in fact, fall. A great way to acknowledge that and incorporate seasonal elements is with rich, gorgeous fabrics and deep, warm, and/or bold color schemes.

Adobe Stock / Max

Choose a gown with a coordinating cape, shrug, or jacket, or consider long sleeves in guipure lace instead of sleeveless. Go lighter on the tulle and heavier on the silk or satin with beading, embroidered elements, or appliques. Think plums, wines, burgundies, and deeper shades of other fall colors for the flowers, bridesmaid dresses, and décor. Add texture and seasonal touches to bouquets and arrangements with greenery, vines, twigs, branches, succulents, berries, and other rustic add-ons.

Serve Seasonal Food

You can never go wrong by serving what’s in season, particularly when it comes to produce—and particularly here in the Hudson Valley, where “nature’s bounty” is for real. October is traditionally the harvest season, but great food things start happening in September. Fall is a fabulous great time of year to go all out on food, whether you have a farm-to-table feast or individual charcuterie boards for guests. Meat, fish, poultry—all are appropriate.

fall wedding
Adobe Stock / Mythja

Richer and heavier sauces are welcome now, and fresh veggies such as corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, cauliflower, and squash are abundant. More complex entrees, if that’s your style, are great in the fall, as are soups and stews (save these for October or later).

Translucent and glazed wedding cakes (as opposed to heavily frosted or those with thick fondant) are big right now, and you can “autumnize” them with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate—or both. Consider a barista to serve foamy lattes, tea, cocoa, and hot cider, and ask your bartender to have some specialty fall cocktails at the ready.

When it comes to dessert, nobody says no to apple pie or apple cider donuts, ever. Pumpkin pie is better for October and November, but who says you can’t break with tradition? It’s your wedding, so plan, do, and serve what you love!

Related: Tie the Knot at the Hudson Valley’s Gorgeous Wineries

Decorate Your Hudson Valley Home With Feathers This Fall


In lieu of classic autumn leaves, opt for feathers in a myriad of colors for your Thanksgiving table, mantel, or just because.

People often think of leaves when they think of decorating for fall, but I prefer feathers for their texture, range of colors, and sturdiness (leaves can crumble even with just the slightest of touches). Plus, they’re an excellent option if you’re looking for décor you can use year after year.

Here are some of our favorite ideas for using the unexpected decorating elements in your autumnal décor.

Feather-Filled Centerpiece

Take a simple white pitcher and fill it with fall foliage, flowers, and feathers for a dynamic centerpiece for your table or entryway. This option is eye-catching with both real and artificial flowers.


Statement Art

Look for prints that are stylish enough to keep up all year round and can easily be downloaded and printed at home. I love the idea of framing the feathery artwork in a set of three in gold or rustic wood frames and putting them on display on a mantel.

African Juju Hats

Feathered Juju hats are an ever-popular design trend, and it’s easy to see why. They look fabulous hanging on the wall as a piece of art or clustered together to make a statement.

Gold Wire Feather Wall Décor

Delicate and sophisticated, this gold wire feather adds a bit of glitz and glamour to any room year round. It’s ideal if you want to add a bit of sparkle to your interior.

Gold feathers
Adobe Stock / finepoints

Gold-Dipped Feathers

Take colorful feathers and dip them in gold paint, then gather them in a centerpiece, string them onto a garland, use them as place cards, or sprinkle them around a table for a colorful tablescape. This is a fun DIY project to do with the older kids as well.

Related: 3 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Hudson Valley Table for Fall

This Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup Recipe Is Fall Comfort in a Bowl

Adobe Stock / mpessaris

Sweet potatoes and peanuts are the ultimate pairing when it comes to crafting the perfect cup of soup for a cozy dinner in the Hudson Valley.

This recipe appears in The Culinary Institute of America’s The New Book of Soups. As one of the world’s leading culinary schools, The Culinary Institute of America is one whose judgment we absolutely trust — this combination of ingredients makes for the ideal autumn comfort food.

Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

Makes 8 servings


3 tbs butter
½ cup chopped celery
1¼ cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
¾ cup chopped leek (white and light green parts)
3 cups sliced sweet potatoes (peeled)
1 qt chicken broth
3 tbs creamy peanut butter
¼ cinnamon stick
¾ cup peanuts
1¼ cups heavy cream
Salt to taste
2 tbs molasses
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Chopped peanuts for garnish


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A post shared by Danny Chapman (@its_yourkitchen)


Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, onion, garlic, and leek. Stir to coat evenly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, broth, peanut butter, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fully tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread peanuts in a single layer in a pie pan. Toast in oven until light brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Shake pan occasionally and watch carefully, as nuts can burn quickly. Let the peanuts cool, chop coarsely, and set aside.

Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Purée the soup and strain it. Return soup to soup pot and place over low heat. Add ½ cup of the cream. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm but do not boil.

Combine the remaining ¾ cup cream with the molasses, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. Serve the soup in heated bowls, garnished with the whipped cream and chopped peanuts.

Related: These Peanut Butter Chickpea Energy Balls Are the Ultimate Snack

3 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Hudson Valley Table for Fall

Adobe Stock / okrasiuk

The Hudson Valley’s Trim Queen offers up clever and stunning ideas for dressing your table for dinner parties and more this fall.

To celebrate the autumn season in the Hudson Valley, Westchester’s very own Trim Queen, Jana Platina Phipps, shares a few of her favorite ways to spruce up your fall table for any get-together.


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TrimQueen™ Jana Platina Phipps (@trimqueen) • Instagram photos and videos

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for a dinner party or simply want to add tasteful fall touches to your table, these ideas will help you dress up your space simply, yet elegantly.

Add a Touch of Gold

Adding some gold accents to your table is like adding that finishing touch of jewelry to your outfit that pulls everything together. The sparkle will unite all of your dining accoutrements and leave your guests trying to figure out exactly why your table is so gorgeous.

Adobe Stock / Vitalina Rybakova


  1. Wrap a gold ribbon around your cloth napkin and add a vintage brooch or gold tassel as bling.
  2. Use gold placemats down a table runner to unite the gold accents from the table.
  3. Tack the ends of a gold frog closure and use as a napkin ring.
  4. Contrast the gold with something natural, like seasonal greenery, berries, or flowers.

Related: 15 Fall Decorating Ideas From Great Country Homes

Play With Patterns

Mix many patterns on your table for a global yet relaxed elegance. Make sure there is a color that unites all the pattern—in this case, it’s orange. Or, use napkins with pattern to bridge the china to the textiles.


  1. For a contemporary look, buy a few yards of a graphic patterned performance fabric to use as your table cloth. You can hem the edges (or not, after a cocktail no one cares). Mix fancy china with more casual ceramics to create a high-low bohemian vibe.
  2. Add a runner that gives the table a center focal point and you won’t need placemats under your dishes.
  3. Use matching water and wine glasses so there isn’t too much visual chaos.
Fall table decor
Adobe Stock / Yailen

Create Levels

Copy an effective visual merchandising trick by using varying heights to give your table more surface area for serving dishes and room for a seasonal centerpiece.


  1. Use cake stands, even stack them, to create varying heights to allow for more room on your table.
  2. Add height to serving bowls and platters by setting them on flipped over saucers and small bowls.
  3. Use tall candlesticks to add a sense of celebration without taking up too much room.

Related: 15 Fall Decorating Ideas for Country Homes in the Hudson Valley