VIP Paints Candle-Making Class

For my birthday in October, I asked Nate if I could buy a Groupon for us to go to a BYOB candle-making class, and he said yes!

So we recently headed to VIP Paints–with a six-pack of Anti-Hero in hand. The studio is really intimate, with artwork on the walls and shelves filled with paintbrushes and supplies just waiting to be used. The tables were already set up when we arrived with mason jars and wicks, wick holders and thermometers, and more.

Our instructor was great–helpful, informative, and kept the class moving along in a fun, relaxed environment. First, we picked out our candle color and scent as the waxes were heating up. I went traditional with light purple with a lavender scent, while Nate chose hunter green (manly!) with a citron mandarin scent. We dropped the colored chip into the hot soy wax and waited for it to warm. Then, we each poured in a shot glass full of our scent, mixed it all together, and waited for the temperature to cool to 100 degrees.

Once cooled, the soy wax could be poured into the mason jars. An important part of this step was making sure to keep the wick straight. The color lightens as it hardens, and we were very pleased with our new candles! Had to wait 48 hours for them to fully harden, though, to ensure they were ready before using them.

Would I do this class again? Definitely, and I recommend it to you, too. It’s not difficult, yet an extremely fulfilling project. I love candles (one of my favorite gifts to give and receive), so it was nice to see how they’re made to see if I could possibly make them myself. I also haven’t explored Pilsen all too much, so it was a fun way to get out for date night (there were friends and groups in our class, too) and support a local business.

What comes with date night? Dinner, of course! Our experience at DeColores restaurant coming soon…

VIP Paints
1907 South Halsted





Car Research at the Chicago Auto Show

Friends, I have never been to the Chicago Auto Show. I’m not really “turned on” by expensive, flashy cars, and I thought that’s what you did there: take pictures of yourself by expensive cars (haha, I totally did that when I went!). But I never thought of the Auto Show as a place to look at all of options of cars you could lease/buy…until now.

Nate and I leased our car right after we got married, and our lease is up in October (can’t believe it’s been almost three years!). We decided to use our day off for President’s Day wisely by going to the Auto Show to see what cars we both like.

There’s no other way to break this down, so I’m just going to say it: I like all of the bells and whistles on a car. It’s kind of like an apartment: when you have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, and garage parking, it’s hard to reverse that. For me, I love navigation (I get a bit turned around without it!), heated seats, and I’ve grown dependent on a backup camera (best invention for city dwellers). Nate is taller than six feet, too, so we need a car that has enough leg room and his head isn’t too close to the roof of the car!

There’s a lot to think about financially when you’re looking for cars, but for our research, we wanted to focus on what we were comfortable in. It’s funny, when you crunch the numbers, you may find that once you add some bells and whistles, your Ford is just as much as your Lexus.

So we arrived at McCormick Place right when the show opened, and we walked. A lot. And sat. In a lot of cars. Big and small, sedans and SUVs, Fords and BMWs. And, funny enough, Nate and I were mostly on the same page about the cars we liked.

Some of my favorite cars from the Auto Show were (in no particular order):

1. Volvo S90
2. Volvo XC70
3. Lincoln MKZ
4. Jeep Grand Cherokee
5. Cadillac SRX
6. Ford Escape
7. Subaru Outback

(The last two were a little snug, but I like them!)

There were other cars I liked, but the back seat was so small, it just didn’t make sense for us. And we didn’t sit in cars we are most familiar with (to save time). Nate also loves trucks, but I’m not sure it makes sense to have a truck as our shared car in the city. One day, Nate!

Overall, the Auto Show was a really cool experience. It’s kind of expensive (don’t eat there unless you want a $6 hot dog), but it will save us a lot of time and energy not having to go to every dealership. They also have a lot of activities, like test driving vehicles, photo booths, pinball machines, demonstrations (the Mustang one was cool. And loud!). And there were a lot of people there to enjoy it, so go early.

I’ll keep you posted what we end up with in October. Who knows, maybe we will buy our car if it works out. Only time will tell.

Chicago Auto Show
McCormick Place
2301 South Lake Shore Drive