Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles

Three Best Soy Candle Scents to Eliminate Pet Odor

Soy Candles at HomeJessica Snively

As the proud mother of three cats and one dog, I have to admit that my home often smells like there are, indeed, four animals living it. Lucky for me, as the owner of Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles, I make soy candles and burn them nonstop all day every day to help combat my animals' disgustingness.

You could always opt for some Glade Plug-Ins or Febreeze, but I prefer the natural alternative of lighting soy candles to keep my home smelling fresh (of course, for accidents on rugs or furniture, I pull out the Arm and Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Remover). The cheap scents in household sprays give me a headache and make me feel claustrophobic—is that just me? 

So what candle scents are best for eliminating pet odor? Here are a few of my favorites. You can't even tell that one of my cats (it's Cobra) semi-regularly pees on one of my arm chairs!

1. Lemongrass Basil

There's a reason why so many household cleaners smell like lemon: it is one of the best scents for eliminating odors. Lemongrass has the same effect. It instantly freshens the room and neutralizes bad smells. 

2. Market Days

Scents that feature citrus oils are especially great at getting rid of bad smells, and Market Days is a refreshing, citrus combination of blood orange, mango, red currant, and sandalwood, making it a great candidate for squashing pet odor. 

3. Lavender Lemon

Lavender Lemon packs a double punch, as both lemon and lavender are both highly effective in neutralizing odors. I keep a Lavender Lemon candle burning all day on a shelf next to the litter boxes, and it makes me feel so much better about my life. 

Learn to Make Soy Candles with a Candle Making Kit

NewJessica Snively

Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles is now offering soy candle making kits

The candle kits contain everything you need to learn to make soy candles, including the supplies, instructions, and tips on creating your own signature fragrance. 

The kit comes in a smart little solid pine box, making it an ideal gift for your favorite crafter or DIY enthusiast. 

What are the benefits of soy wax? For starts, it's sustainable and it burns longer and cleaner than traditional paraffin wax candles. 

Photo by Michelle Klosinski. 

Photo by Michelle Klosinski. 

THE KIT INCLUDES

  • Instructional booklet
  • 5 lbs. 100% pure soy wax
  • 5 1 oz. bottles of soy-based fragrance oils
    • Green Clover and Aloe oil
    • Lemon oil     
    • French Vanilla oil     
    • Cedarwood oil   
    • Lavender oil   
  • 25 cotton-core wicks
  • 25 wick stickers

You just need to provide your own fun containers. (For reference, this kit contains enough wax to fill 5 standard mason jars or 25 glass votives.) Make a candle in your favorite vintage mug, farmhouse mason jar, or even a tea tin.

One of my favorite parts of running Milton and Margie's is scouring thrift stores in search of the perfect kitschy mug or classic midcentury glass. I'm most excited when I find glass cowboy boot beer mugs—they just make me happy. So get out there and find your glass cowboy boot! 

Photo by Michelle Klosinski

Photo by Michelle Klosinski

If you'd like to supplement the kit, take a Dabble soy candle making class with me at Paperish Mess or Eye Spy Optical (both in Chicago). You'll learn to make soy candles while sipping cocktails and gabbing with other crafter-types. What else do you need for a good time? 

dabbleCandleMaking

 

 

A Day Without a Woman

Find Milton and Margie'sJessica Snively

March 8th is A Day Without a Woman, and Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles wants to stand in solidarity with women everywhere by donating 25% of sales to Planned Parenthood

I believe that women's health is at the center of women's rights, and that makes the survival of Planned Parenthood essential. I, like their 2.5 million patients, have gotten health care at Planned Parenthood, and want all women to have access to their services. 

Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub DIY

DIY, Essential OilsJessica Snively

I am obsessed with this pink Himalayan salt scrub. Personal confession alert: My legs tend to be incredibly dry—Chicago winters—and I get a lot of in-grown hairs on the outsides of my upper thighs—probably because my jeans fit like sausage casings—and regular lotion just doesn't do anything for these issues. But ever since I started using this pink Himalayan salt scrub, my legs are smooth, soft, and free of bumps, and, most importantly, they're not itchy due to dry skin. They kind of look like the inhumanly shiny legs of celebrities on late-night talk shows (but, like, fatter—and I'm okay with that). It smells amazing and will leave your skin with a bright, youthful glow.

This DIY salt scrub recipe is super easy, and you just need a few ingredients and about 10 minutes. 

DIY Pink Himalayan Salt Scrub Recipe

Ingredients

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and simply stir them with a metal spoon, and boom! You have an incredibly hydrating sea salt scrub. I store mine in a mason jar with a metal lid. If you don't use it frequently, store it in the refrigerator to make it last longer. It's gentle enough to use every other shower or so, and I especially like to use it while taking a bath with my DIY lavender and rosemary bath salts and burning a Lavender Lemon soy candle. Enjoy!

essentialOilsPinkSeaSalt

Happy Valentine's Day: Free Shipping on Orders of $50 or More!

Find Milton and Margie'sJessica Snively

To help you celebrate Valentine's Day (or, really, Galentine's Day), we're offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more at Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles all throughout February.

Use discount code FREE50.

We have some pretty romantic scents (if we don't say so ourselves) for our soy candles, such as Dusk and Wild Rose, and the fun boozy scent Gin and Tonic that will set the scene for a girls' night in.

Looking for a Valentine's Day gift for a guy? Snag some beard oil and beard wax to help him look sharp for your hot date. 

duskValentineSoyCandle

Lavender and Rosemary Bath Salts DIY

DIY, Essential OilsJessica Snively

Those of you who know me well know that I am a filth-person who doesn't bathe regularly. But when I do, I go all out. I get like 12 soy candles going and break out my DIY pink Himalayan sea salt scrubYoung Living bath and shower gel (I add lavender and rosemary oil to it—my personal favorite combo), Young Living Art skincare collection, and my DIY bath salts. Post-bath I slather my entire body with Sweet Simple Living's Pretty Legs cream and recite a prayer to my overlord Young Living (jk ... maybe).

But that's enough of my blathering; let's just get to the DIY bath salts recipe. It makes the room smell like some swanky spa, and because it's made from epsom salts, it soothes sore muscles and tired feet. You can get a bag of epsom salts at Walgreens or Target for around $5. 

DIY BATH SALTS RECIPE

  • 2 cups of epsom salt
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of rosemary essential oil

Mix them together in a large bowl, and there you have it! Easy. I use the entire 2 cups for one bath. 

To up the relaxation quotient, light up a Lavender Lemon soy candle (or 12). 

diyBathSalts

Hot Toddy Recipe with Apple Cider

DIY, Soy Wax Candle ClassJessica Snively

If you, too, are foolish enough to live in Chicago, you already know what I'm going to say: IT'S SO COLD. PLEASE, SOMEONE, ANYONE, HELP ME! My apartment/studio is a frigid punishment with tile floors that might as well be an ice rink. Does this sound familiar? I guess my point is that the only way to escape is through man's merciful numbing elixir: booze—and more specifically, warm cocktails. 

To loosen winter's grasp, I've worked up a hot toddy recipe, and I've been sharing it at my Dabble Chicago candle-making class Make Soy Candles, Drink Hot Toddys to give folks a little added motivation to leave the house on these cold days. It's not your traditional hot toddy recipe, as I've modified it with apple cider (my students and I have been calling them Moddy Toddys, because that's super cool). The cider makes the drink a bit sweeter and more velvety, and really only monsters don't like hot apple cider. So here's to making winter a little more bearable.

RECIPE

  • 4 oz. whiskey
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 gallon apple cider
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon
    (This recipe makes about 4 servings.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine the whiskey, cinnamon sticks, apple cider, and honey in a large pot. 
  • Heat to a low simmer.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the juice of half the lemon. 
  • Cut the remaining half of the lemon into wedges to use as a garnish. 
  • Enjoy!

SOY CANDLE PAIRING

To further warm up your space, I recommend pairing this hot toddy recipe with a soy candle. To complement the whiskey-based cocktail's notes of oak, lemon, cinnamon, and honey, I suggest pairing it with a woodsy and sweet soy candle, making Vanilla Tobacco an ideal match. 

 

Last-Minute Christmas Gift: Learn How to Make Soy Candles

DIYJessica Snively

Maybe your girl friend is really hard to shop for, or maybe you haven't had time to shop this holiday season because you've just recently escaped the underground laboratory of a mad man who's spent the last seven years treating you as a lab rat in his unthinkable medical experiments. I don't know your life, and I'm certainly not judging you for not having your gifts all purchased and neatly wrapped under the tree.

I'm here to help. Instead of making a last-minute trip to the mall, you can give the gift of knowledge, experience, and booze through my Chicago soy candle making class on Dabble: Make Soy Candles and Drink Hot Toddies

howtomakesoycandles

Throughout the two-hour class at Paperish Mess, I teach folks how to make soy candles from start to finish, and send them home with their very own handmade soy candles in the containers of their choice. To spark on creativity (and further motivate people to leave their homes in January and February—life is hard), I'm serving complimentary hot toddies. 

Here are some students basking in the glory of their candle creations:

candleDabble

And here's an especially chic lineup of containers. When I saw these, I felt like a proud mother who had only just given birth. 

soycandles

Perhaps best of all, if you register for a Dabble class during the 12 Days of Dabble, you'll be entered to win some amazing gifts and experiences. Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles is contributing a little something to the contest, so keep an eye out here!

 

Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade in Chicago

Shops We LoveJessica Snively

Looking for some last-minute holiday gift ideas? Whether you're looking for handmade gifts for men or women, this handmade holiday guide has you covered. And best of all? Each of these goodies is handcrafted in Chicago by some of my favorite local makers. I promise you that any of these gifts will be better received than a gift card to Block Buster. 

Wines of Chile: Love Wine, Love Chile

Jessica Snively
winesOfChileCandle

Recently, I had the immense pleasure of traveling to Dallas to lead a soy candle-making and wine-pairing workshop for a bunch of bad-ass food and wine blogger babes at Wines of Chile's event Love Wine, Love Chile.

The event was at Studios 1019, a verdant event space filled with lush greenery, soft natural lighting, and a soothing waterfall wall instillation. At one point, a little corgi came trundling into the room—he's the owner's pup and they live in the building. I thought about kidnapping the owner and somehow blackmailing her into trading lives with me, but then I got too drunk on Chilean wine to do anything. Oh, well; there's always next time. I mean, look at this. 

IMG_2811.jpg

After everyone mingled and took copious amounts of photos for their totally baller Instagram accounts (see Wright Kitchen, Chicago Food Authority, and Grapefriend), they gathered at my station. I taught them how to make soy candles in reused cut wine bottles, and brought scents for them to pair with their favorite wine. Because my palate is cool with Franzia, I knew I would need some help in making the right wine selections, so I worked with Master Sommelier Fred Dex, an expert in Chilean wines. We made some downright dreamy candle and wine pairings, which you can drool over here.

IMG_1417.jpg

The next station was gift wrapping with Brittni Mehlhoff of Paper and Stitch, a bright and modern DIY and styling blog. She taught the ladies how to make adorable denim wine bags accented with pom-poms, and then my head exploded because everything was around me was so perfect and inspiring.

paperandstitch

As though we weren't drinking enough wine and eating a bajillion appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates and blue cheese and apple quesadillas already, we moved onto the wine and food pairing station. I can now say that I know some things about wine! Who knew you should consider the food's color when pairing it with wine? I sure didn't. But now I'm ditching the box wine and frozen pizza and only consuming Chilean carmenere with rack of lamb. They also recommended serving rosé at Thanksgiving, and that made me nod enthusiastically. 

cheesePlate

Lastly, and perhaps the most gorgeous part of the event, was the Instagram studio. It was a sun-drenched room filled with rustic yet modern cutting boards, flatware, cloth napkins, and floral arrangements that would make Martha Stewart feel a gnawing sense of jealousy and shame. I already miss that place so much that I'm crying right now.

instagramStudio

The entire day was such a blast, and I'm back in Chicago feeling more inspired and enthusiastic about my work than ever. Also, I've fallen deeply in love with Chilean wine, so I'm probably going to drink a lot more now. Oops!

 

 

Pair Wine with a Candle to Be the Ultimate Host

Jessica Snively

Typically, foodies and wine connoisseurs suggest that you burn only unscented candles when you're hosting a dinner party so that the fragrance doesn't overpower the smells and flavors of the foods and drinks you're serving. But with the right pairings, you can actually light up a soy candle to work with those smells and flavors. This was very good news to me, because I have three cats and a dog and, therefore, I would never invite anyone to my apartment without burning at least 10 soy candles (for real). So which candles smell best with wine?  

To find out, I traveled to Dallas for an event by Wines of Chile to lead a candle-making and wine-pairing DIY. I taught some bad-ass food and wine bloggers, including the immensely talented Brittany Wright from Wright Kitchen, how to make candles in cut wine bottles. And, of course, we sipped and learned about loads of delicious Chilean wines. (See a roundup of the event).

chileanWine

Because I knew absolutely nothing about wine before attending this event—other than the fact that I think it tastes good and it can get me drunk—I teamed up with Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer to devise some dreamy candle and wine pairings. Here's what we came up with:

wineCandlePairings

1. Vanilla Tobacco Candle and Chardonnay

Milton and Margie's Vanilla Tobacco scent is a rich blend of vanilla, tobacco, cedar, and sandalwood, which complements the smoothness and buttery flavor of chardonnay. Together, they make for a sensual duo that would be ideal for a date night. Fred hashtagged this pairing #smellthesexy, which is both uncomfortable and hilarious.

2. Deck the Halls Candle and Sauvignon Blanc

The Chilean sauvignon blanc we paired with the Deck the Halls features green flavors that almost taste like green peppers. The grassy, peppery flavors are balanced out by tropical and citrus fruits, which make it a natural fit for Deck the Halls, a blend of raspberry, grapefruit, lemon, clove, and pine. This citrus notes and pine scent really brought the zesty green pepper flavor to the forefront, which I might have otherwise missed.

3. Citrus Cranberry and Pais

Pais is basically packed with aromas of juicy red fruits, like raspberries, cherries, and other red berries, and a hint of orange peel, making this the obvious choice to pair with Citrus Cranberry, a blend of cranberry, pomegranate, and orange. Fred noted that pais, central to Chile's wine industry, is totally on-trend right now, so pick this pairing if you want to impress your friends with your hipster wine knowledge.

citrusCranberryWine

How to Cut Wine Bottles Like a Complete Champion

DIYJessica Snively

If you've ever logged onto Pinterest, you've definitely seen some DIYs for cutting wine bottles. There are about a million different tutorials out there, and I've tried many only to fail miserably. So I got a Kinkajou, and now I can cut wine bottles like I'm the Michael Phelps of bottle cutting. It's $49.99, which is maybe a little pricey, but if you want your bottle-cutting projects to turn out nicely, it's more than worth it. 

"Bottle cutting" is actually a little misnomer, because you never actually do any cutting. The Kinkajou works by etching a score mark around the bottle, and then you apply hot and cold water to make the top half of the bottle magically fall off (it's some kind of science process, but I'm pretty simple). 

The Kinkajou comes with great instructions already, but I'm going to share some of my tricks and photos of the process so you can be a champion, too. (Full disclosure: I am not being paid by Kinkajou to write this post. I just truly love the product!)

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • Standard Kinkajou bottle cutter kit (this includes the Kinkajou cutter, two silicone separation ties, a glass finishing tool, and three pieces of silicon carbide sandpaper (80 grit).
  • Goggles
  • Canvas gloves
  • Old towel
  • Wine bottles

PREP

First, wash the bottle and peel off the label. I know there are sometimes super cute labels that you'd want to leave on, but it just works better without them. If you wanted to go the extra crafty mile, you could always very carefully peel off the label and then re-affix it with some Modge Podge when you're done cutting. 

Right before beginning, don your goggles and gloves as though you are a scientist or Walter White's assistant.

STEP ONE: SCORING THE BOTTLE

To score the bottle, you'll use the Kinkajou bottle cutter. Slide that baby on with all three handles in the "up" position. Once you've gotten it to the correct height on your bottle, tighten the screws and then press the two side handles to the "down" position. You want it to be tight enough so it doesn't slide down, but just loose enough so you can easily turn the bottle. Then press the blade wheel handle to the "down" position, and make sure you can still rotate the bottle.

Carefully rotate the bottle, making sure the Kinkajou stays level. When you get back to where you started, if your lines meet up, you will hear a "click" sound. This means you've succeeded! If your lines don't line up, you won't hear the "click" and you'll know that you've ruined your bottle for all time—forever and ever. 

And that will probably happen a few times, but don't worry about it. This is the trickiest part. I recommend practicing on a discard bottle a few times to get it right. Before doing it, I practiced making the score marks multiple times on one bottle to get a good feel for it, and it definitely paid off. 

While you're doing all of this, it's a great time to heat up a pot of boiling water, which you'll need for step three. 

STEP TWO: SEPARATING THE BOTTLE HALVES

Here's the fun part! Now that you have your perfectly aligned score mark, place the two silicon separation ties about a half inch above and a half inch below it. Put your old towel in the sink to catch any stray shards of glass. 

Carefully pour the boiling hot water around the score mark for about 30 seconds, and then alternate with cold water. (You might need to repeat this step a few times if you have an extra-thick wine bottle). Eventually, the bottle will break off perfectly along the score line!

If it's not quite perfect, use the glass finishing tool to break off any pieces of glass that are sticking up above the score line. If the glass breaks below the score line, you'll sadly have to scrap the bottle and start over. This will probably happen a few times, and it's very frustrating. But stay positive! I believe in you! 

STEP THREE: SAND THE RIM OF THE GLASS

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To get a nice, smooth rim (one that won't make you bleed profusely), sand it with the 80 grit sandpaper. I recommend getting the sand paper a little bit wet—this cuts down on the dust and seems to work better. 

You did it!

Now go forth and use your cut wine bottle as a drinking glass, vase, or even a soy candle! If you would like to learn how to make soy candles, sign up for one of my soy candle making classes

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

Essential OilsJessica Snively

As I said earlier this week, I will never tire of pumpkin spice. It's the quintessential fall scent created from the tears of joy of pumpkins. Sadly I can not burn one of Milton and Margie's pumpkin spice soy candles while I'm sleeping, so I created an essential oil blend to diffuse on those crisp fall nights. 

THE RECIPE

  • 3 drops cardamom
  • 3 drops clove
  • 3 drops nutmeg
  • 2 drops tangerine

Enjoy!

Note: I am a Young Living essential oils diehard, but if your friend gives you a bottle of Now clove essential oil (she realized she hates clove!), you don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

The Classics Never Go Out of Style: Pumpkin Spice Soy Candles

NewJessica Snively

Hang onto your hats, folks, it's pumpkin spice season—that cinnamony time when lattes, donuts, and even hair-dos turn orange (re: #pumpkinspicehair, for real). And you might have guessed it: Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles isn't even a little bit tired of the pumpkin spice craze. I'm over here sipping pumpkin spice ale while wearing pumpkin pie lip gloss as I make batches of pumpkin spice soy candles in sweet vintage mugs. And all the action is fueled by eating bowls of Pumpkin Spice Cheerio's. If only there were a pumpkin spice La Croix flavor.

Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle

The rich, cinnamon-infused scent just smells like home to me, and I didn't even grow up in a home where anyone made pumpkin pies. Milton and Margie's Pumpkin Spice scent is a rich blend of pumpkin and cinnamon with top notes of ginger and orange, balanced by the sweet aromas of brown sugar and vanilla. 

New to Milton and Margie's: Introducing Carmen

NewJessica Snively

Say hello to Carmen, Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles candle-making production assistant! She joined me in early September, and has been vital in helping me fill orders for Target and keeping me sane while I paint hundreds of cans. She plays a mean violin as a concert violinist for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and rumor has it she has some really sweet dance moves. To help you get to know this gem of a human, I asked her a few questions: 

What is your passion?
Music! Haha, of course.

What is one of your favorite pieces of music?
Barber's violin concerto. It's beyond beautiful, and Barber as a composer has such a unique voice!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I've been working on the same (unfinished) novel since I was 12.

What do you like most about Chicago?
The variety of vibe from neighborhood to neighborhood—I love how it can feel like you're in a different city just two blocks away.

What is your favorite neighborhood?
Lakeview!

Do you create art or crafts on your own? If so, what was the last thing you made?
I made my own planner with a blank notebook. I like that I can collage in it, and it helps me get stuff done!

What is your favorite Milton and Margie's scent? 
Cedar Campfire

Would you rather be the star of an awful reality TV show—some Kardashian-level nonsense—or be required to watch awful reality TV for three hours every day for the rest of your life? If you fail to watch the requisite amount of TV, one of the Kardashians would Tweet rumors about you.
I WOULD RATHER BE THE STAR, HANDS DOWN!! Though, the show would be very boring.

What would your show be called?
The Musician and the Medical Student.

New! Jewel Collection Soy Candles in Reused Cans

NewJessica Snively

Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles has always embraced bright, bold colors, whether it's with our can candles or candles in vintage pieces, which is why I'm very excited to unveil the new line of soy candles in vibrant jewel-tone colors: the Jewel Collection. Each can is hand-painted in an eye-popping gemstone color and accented with gold- or silver-leaf polka dots.

These versatile little beauties complement a variety of design schemes, including modern, eclectic, and Scandinavian, to name a few, and make a splash on mantles, dining room tables, and shelves. 

CINNAMON CLOVE IN RUBY RED

UP NORTH IN SAPPHIRE

WILD HONEY IN CITRINE

Milton and Margie's Is Hiring!

NewJessica Snively
miltonAndMargiesHiring

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Milton and Margie's Soy Wax Candles, a handmade candle company in Chicago, is looking to hire an enthusiastic, efficient, and detail-oriented production assistant to complete various tasks related to the candle-making process. This would be an ideal position for a college student or someone looking to earn some extra money.

Responsibilities

  • 5-10 hours per week
  • Packing and shipping orders (you must be able to lift 30 lbs.)
  • Assisting in making and packaging candles
  • Assisting at craft shows (occasionally)

What's in it for you?

  • $10 per hour
  • Working in a relaxed, fun environment shared with cats and a dog
  • Learning candle-making and the ins and outs of running a small business

If you're interested, send your resume to miltonandmargies@gmail.com.