Monthly Archives: February 2015

Lemon Peel Candy – DIY Tutorial

February 26, 2015



When I was growing up, we had the most beautiful mature citrus trees in our back yard. Two different kinds of oranges, grapefruits, pomegranates, and… lemons. I loved nothing more than to run out back and pick an orange right off the tree – always so juicy and sweet. But lemons we used mostly for lemonade. Imagine my joy when last summer we bought a house with three young citrus trees out back! *happy dance!* As they bloomed I will admit I was more than a little bummed that my dreams of fresh oranges were crushed at the arrival of tiny lemons all over my trees. Womp womp.

So when life gave me lemons I went on a quest to use them to make something delicious! I’ve now used them for everything. Cleaning the stubborn white flaky stuff out of my kitchen sink, skin care, and these tasty tidbits I’m about to show you how to make. And the best part? Not a single bit of the lemon is wasted! And they’re totally easy!



 Here’s what you need: 

2-3 organic lemons

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

Medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan


Begin by cutting the lemons in quarters. Juice the lemons into a bowl. After all the juice has been squeezed out, pull the membrane out and throw it away. You should be left with just the quarters of the peel, and the lemon juice.

Slice the peels lengthwise into strips, I like to cut them about 1/8″-3/16″ wide because I find this makes the best consistency once the candy dries.

Once all the rinds are cut, place them all in your sauce pan. Cover with water and bring them to a boil, then drain over a bowl. This is your “lemon water”. When you use orange peels you can usually get away with draining only once or twice, but lemons I like to boil this way 3-4 times. Taste the peels after each boiling – once you are satisfied with the flavor, move on to the syrup bath.

Make a simple syrup by combining 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer the peels one more time in this syrup, this time removing them from the heat once the pith (the white squishy part) is clear.


Here’s where you decide if you want dried candies, or to save them in the syrup (think over ice cream, or pancakes YUM!) For peels in syrup just pour the entire syrup and peel mixture into a canning jar and refrigerate.

For dried candies: Lay the drained peels out to dry. If you live in a humid climate you may need to dry them in a warm oven, but here in Arizona the counter does just fine. When they are dry, shake them in a bit of sugar and voila. Candies! I store these in canning jars as well, but any air tight container will do just fine! Don’t forget to save the syrup! Keep scrolling for more on how to use the cast offs 😉 These make an excellent garnish, or even an organic sweet treat!


Ok – so now you have yummy candies, some lemon water, lemon juice, and some really tasty simple lemon syrup. *disclaimer* I’m totally not responsible for how many times you will lick the spoon from the syrup. It’s that good. I use my lemon water (the first water bath your peels were boiled with) in the crock pot with chicken, a splash of your lemon juice, and a bit of pepper to make a really easy lemon chicken recipe. The possibilities are endless, really. And all from a couple of lemons! 🙂

The syrup makes a great base for home made buttercream frosting! Use the syrup in place of water, and a quick bit of the lemon juice along with your butter and powdered sugar. The cupcakes you see at the beginning of the post are yellow cake with lemon frosting, topped with the lemon candies and a dusting of powdered sugar! Good luck eating just one!

Love and Light, 


Word of the Year – 2015

February 12, 2015

If you ask Oxford Dictionary’s editors what the WoTY is, they will tell you it is symbolic of the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year” usually chosen in the final quarter. In 2013 the word of the year was “selfie”. Oh yes, that’s a real word now, in a real dictionary folks! Let that sink in for a minute. But first, let me take a selfie! Ok ok… Bad pun. I know. But bear with me. Let’s chat a bit about why taking this concept and tweaking it just a bit is the most amazing concept for goal setting I’ve ever known.

 Instead of a New Years resolution I chose a single word to represent my year. This means a few really awesome things for me. No resolutions to promptly break or unrealistic goals being set.  I’m a naturally rebellious person, and by rebellious I mean if I have to do something, I don’t want to – even if I want to.  It helps keep me on track without being confined by say “this year I’m going to avoid processed sugar”, and then along comes Thin Mints to rain on that little parade! (little flashback to 2014 there) Can I get a hell yeah?? Also it’s very universal. And inspirational. And just downright awesome.

So what does this magic word do then? Well – it’s more guideline than rule and more growth aid than restriction. It’s a concept I’ve seen other makers use as well and honestly, I love this! I can consult this word in my personal projects, business decisions, or interactions with people. I’ll use it to help me to realize hidden potential and instead of the negative “I can’t” or “I’m quitting _____” that a resolution generally is centered around.

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When I sat down to chose my word for this year, I knew I wanted something that was already important to me but maybe I could make myself integrate into all these aspects of life a little bit better.  My very favorite book of all time is Walden, by HD Thoreau. In that book there is a quote that has always hung in our home and has always been very important to me. It reads “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”  BINGO. Live deliberately. Break that down to deliberately and from there it’s just taking action and keeping it in mind!

Does this mean I always make the perfect choice? Or that I am always right? Nope – sure doesn’t.  It just means that everything I do is done consciously, or deliberately. Did I DELIBERATELY eat 14 Thin Mints? Sure did!  Did I DELIBERATELY chose to write this blog, and open up a vulnerable part of my life to all of you? Sure did! Deliberately means not falling victim to my own subconscious and everything I do is done with purpose. And you know what? It’s done wonders for my business direction, my personal relationships, and even my relationship with food and my fitness goals.




The best part? It’s totally not too late to get started with your own word for 2015! I just recently participated in a super fun Valentine’s Swap through Craft Junkies. My swap mate knew about my word and sent the most thoughtful gift and I just have to share! That totally awesome hoop art up there is such a pretty reminder for my creative space. (Side note: check out her shop here!)

So what motivates you? What do you want to bring into your life this year?  I’d love to hear from you!


Love & light,


Hello Friends!

February 10, 2015

Hey, you there!

Thanks so much for stopping in at my new blog! I want to give you an idea of who I am and what you can expect to read about here at The Caribbean Gypsy. First and foremost, I’m Kendace. An adventure loving, bi-coastal mama to two amazing kids who are experts at pushing their mom to the brink of sanity. I’m a maker of wonderful things, a yogini, and wearer of a million other hats that I can’t wait to share with the world. (Sometimes this is literal. Really. I LOVE me a good hat!) This is me! *waves* – I was born in Arizona and spent my formative years exploring the desert by way of horseback, kayak, and backpack. I love nature – all of it.


Family is so important to me, so you’ll see them from time to time as well! We travel a lot – I mentioned we are bicoastal. We spend part of our time in sunny Phoenix, AZ and the rest of our year in the sunny and rainy region of Humacao, Puerto Rico. Both amazing places – both beautiful in their own right. Both very much feel like home. My daughter is 10 and my son is turning 5 in March. My partner in crime is my adorable boyfriend. Here’s the whole gang on one of our trips to Old San Juan. If there’s one photo in my library that displays their personalities – this one hits the nail right smack on the proverbial head.


About twelve years ago I started working with leather. It is an obsession bred by necessity while working with horses. I made bridles, halters, saddle bags and many more items that I needed and didn’t always have immediate access to. When I moved back into the city and all of my horses found new homes, I hung up my tools for a while and started sewing again. Last summer, I found a way to bring those two worlds into one and join them with my own free spirited style. This buckskin purse is my best selling style from my Fall 2014 lineup.

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At the beginning of January I debuted a line of active wear. I drafted each of the patterns and I had select the fabric combinations to create interesting and unique styles that are just as much “function” as they are “form”. Practicing yoga means I need something that moves with me, and not against me. Something close but not constricting, and comfortable. Here’s a little peek at one of those designs!


I have some awesome things to share and I really hope you will enjoy them. My intention is to post information about not only the products that I make (But there will be plenty of awesome behind the scenes stuff on that as well! ) but also about the things I am passionate about: Yoga, fitness, healthy cooking, traveling and adventures, DIYs and tutorials, and information about other awesome indie makers. I love networking, so please feel free to reach out and contact me about collaborations or just drop a note to introduce yourself! Don’t forget to subscribe, so you can join me on my blogging journey!

Love and Light,