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Essential Painting Supplies for Beginners

Painting is an extremely rewarding hobby, but it’s also incredibly involved. A lot goes into the breathtaking masterpieces we find on museum walls. Getting started isn’t impossible, however—you just have to know where to begin. Before you can try your hand at painting, you’ll first need the proper supplies. Regardless of the type of paint you choose to work with, many of the items you’ll need are the same—in fact, you can likely find most of them at your local art supply store. We’ve made a handy list of essential painting supplies for beginners.

1. Paint

You don’t necessarily have to splurge on your initial haul. Starting with a limited selection of paint colors is economical and a great learning tool for beginners. Start off with a few of the basics and take some time to familiarize yourself with the medium.

2. Brushes

Do some research on the brushes you’ll use. What you buy will depend on the type of paint you’re working with, as well as on the subjects you intend on rendering. Some people work almost exclusively with large brushes, and other people prefer smaller ones. You may want to get a variety as you decide on what works for you. Look at what the bristles are made of, and don’t skimp on the quality. Bad brushes can result in the bristles coming off into your paint.

3. Canvas

While you experiment, buy some flat canvas boards and play around. Get a selection of budget-friendly canvases—we don’t recommend starting with ones that are overly large. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with color and hand movements, you can move on to a higher-quality surface.

4. A Palette

A palette isn’t usually an expensive investment, so we recommend buying a few. Get one a touch on the larger side so that you have room to mix your paint. Palettes with lids are useful for oil paints or watercolors, as you can use solvents to reactivate your leftovers later.

5. Graphite Pencils

You may want to do a crude sketch on the canvas before you begin painting. Some painters also plot out their artwork on regular paper first. Graphite pencils are a favorite of many artists because, depending on the softness of the lead, they’re easily erasable.

6. Lots of Rags

Between cleaning brushes, wiping off your hands, and protecting furniture, you’ll want to have a decent amount of rags on hand. Some painters opt to use paper towels, but reusable materials are more economical in terms of future costs as well as consideration for the environment.

7. Varnish

When your painting has fully dried—keep in mind that this can take months for oil paintings—you’ll want to paint over it with a protective coat of varnish. This will protect your work from aging and unsightly cracking.

5 Best Pizza Places in Schaumburg

Whether you need to refuel after a great day of shopping or you just have a hankering for some Chicago-style pizza, don't worry about driving into the city. Schaumburg is the area’s haven for a taste of the signature slice. Read on to find some of the best pizza places in Schaumburg.

Get a Taste of the Old Country

Take your family to the Old Town Pizza Co. and eat until you can’t any more. This amazing pizza place is known for their deep-dish pizza that tests the heftiest of appetites. Many people also love their perfectly portioned thin crust pizza that has just the right amount of toppings and crunch from the crust. No matter what kind of slice you’re looking for, Old Town Pizza Co. is the place to stop.

Grab a Slice from Mama’s Table

Deliciousness is synonymous with Mama Maria Pizza and More, so let this pizza transport you to an Italian dinner table with Mama Maria. Choose from thin crust, hand tossed, or deep dish and add a mountain of the best toppings. Grab a small pizza for a quick bite, or grab an XL for your entire team. No matter what you decide, it will be amazing!

Taste a Little Slice of Sicily 

This pizza will whisk you off to Italy—Little Sicily Pizzeria and Bakery embodies old country flavors. Their amazing pizza will hit the spot if you just want to grab a slice for lunch or you need a choice for dinner that pleases everyone. Many people say you have to try the double dough, but any option is great.

Discover “The” Chicago Deep Dish

For many, Lou Malnati’s is the quintessential Chicago pizzeria, and for good reason. Lou’s has an amazing selection of pizza crusts and toppings. You can create almost any combination of flavors that taste delicious. When it comes to deep dish specifically, Lou Malnati’s gives you all the cheese you can handle—maybe even more.

Discover “The” Chicago Deep Dish, Again 

If you don’t believe our last entry is the best Chicago deep dish, then you may believe Giordano’s is. Giordano’s food speaks for itself. With remarkably fresh toppings and the warmest, gooiest cheese in their pizza, you’ll be in nirvana. They lay the cheese on so thick you might not make it through two slices—good luck getting through a whole pie!

The Best Restaurants with Outdoor Dining in Schaumburg

As summer presses on and the weather continues to get warmer, you want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Take your meals outside and make the most of the summer sun at five of the best restaurants with outdoor dining in Schaumburg.

Westwood Tavern

For a more high-end dining experience, head over to Westwood Tavern. Every dish on the menu is made from scratch, so diners can rest assured they’re getting the highest quality food possible. Westwood Tavern also offers a custom wine list and tables with built-in beer taps, making it easy to pair your delicious dinner with the perfect drink. This restaurant has a beautiful outdoor patio with two fireplaces, so you can enjoy your dinner and drinks cozied up beside a roaring fire.

Kuma’s Corner

Burgers take center stage at Kuma’s Corner, but we can guarantee you’ve never had burgers like these. Their burgers are piled high with a variety of delicious ingredients such as poached pears, chicken tenders, and Belgian waffle strips. Kuma’s Corner even has a burger of the month: June’s featured burger has pimiento goat cheese, fried green tomatoes, and applewood smoked bacon. Diners can enjoy their burgers on the outdoor patio while sipping on locally brewed beers and listening to local musicians.

City Works

One of the best places for outdoor dining in Schaumburg, City Works is the perfect place to spend a fun Friday night. This eatery and pour house offers over 90 craft beers on tap, and their outdoor patio features two bocce ball courts. When you’ve successfully dominated your friends in a game of bocce, you can order a delicious dish off the menu, which features classic American food with a modern twist. Try the filet mignon sliders and ahi tuna tacos, or stop by for brunch—served every Saturday and Sunday—for the perfect way to start off your weekend.

Wildberry Pancakes and Café

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather and take your brunch outdoors this weekend. Wildberry has a lovely outdoor patio where diners can soak up the sun while sipping a hot cup of coffee. Their menu features an extensive list of delicious breakfast dishes, from pancakes to omelets to crepes, so everyone in your party can find something they’ll love. If you’re not in a breakfast mood, you can also order a savory salad or sandwich along with a fresh fruit smoothie.

Get Building: A Guide to Chicago’s Legoland Discovery Center

Fun for parents and kids alike, Chicago’s Legoland Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind attraction with guaranteed smiles, learning, and laughter. The next time you plan a fun-filled outing, check out everything Legoland has to offer. From its location to an activity rundown, here’s everything you need to know before you go.

How and where you can buy tickets


There are two ways to buy tickets. You can either opt to buy them at the door, or you can purchase tickets online. Tickets bought at the door cost a little more, so be wary. If your family is full of Lego-fanatics, you may want to buy some annual passes. It greatly lowers the price for repeat visitors, and you’ll also get some great discounts in the Discovery Center.

Where it’s located


Good news for those in Schaumburg—the Legoland Discovery Center is located right in The Streets of Woodfield. It’s a breeze to find, just look for the giant Lego sculpture outside the building. Once you find it, the interactive fun can begin.

All about the attractions


With all the logistics figured out, it’s time to check out the facility. Unsurprisingly, you’ll see a lot of Legos. From the life-sized Pirate Adventure Island to the jaw-dropping Miniland, there’s no end to what you and your kids can gawk at. There’s a total of 12 attractions, two of which are exciting rides suitable for kids.

Interactive activities


While there are many things to look at, there are just as many attractions to play with. There are, of course, a plethora of Legos to build to your heart’s content. This allows for some fun free-play with more Legos at your child’s fingertips than they’ll know what to do with. Alongside this traditional play, there are also the rides. For magic-obsessed kids, there’s the mystical Merlin’s Apprentice Ride. If they’re more into knights and princesses, Kingdom Quest is sure to entertain.

Guide to birthday parties


A birthday party at the Legoland Discovery Center is surely an ultimate dream for most kids. With the right planning, you can make it come true. The center offers a comprehensive birthday party package, which includes admission, food and beverages, and Lego models for each guest. The next time your kid is bouncing off the walls with energy, go somewhere outside the norm. Equal parts educational and interactive, there’s an abundance of reasons the Legoland Discovery Center is a great destination. Best of all, it promises hours of fun for both you and your child.

7 of the Best Jewelry Stores in Woodfield Mall

Woodfield mall is a great one-stop-shop for all your high-quality jewelry needs. To help you navigate through the many incredible options, here’s a run-down of seven of the best jewelry stores in Woodfield Mall.

PANDORA

Location: Upper Level, JCPenney Wing


PANDORA is an international Danish jewelry manufacturer. Its stores offer a beautiful selection of timeless earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, and, of course, their signature charms. All their affordable jewelry is hand-finished and made with high-quality materials.

Kay Jewelers

Location: Upper Level, Grand Court


Committed to quality and craftsmanship, all the diamonds at Kay Jewelers are carefully hand-selected. They import more diamonds than any other store in the U.S., so they can offer customers the largest selection of diamonds at incredible prices.

Zales Jewelers

Location: Upper Level, Grand Court


For over 80 years, Zales has proved itself as a reliable provider of fine jewelry. Today, they’re one of the worlds largest and most trusted jewelry manufacturers. Proving their commitment to customer satisfaction, Zales allows customers who are unsatisfied with a jewelry purchase to return it within 30 days.

C.D. Peacock

Location: Lower Level, Grand Court


Established in 1837, C.D. Peacock offers unique, luxury jewelry creations designed to withstand the test of time. Their location in Woodfield mall also provides full-service jewelry repair and custom design options to provide you with the perfect piece.

Rogers & Hollands Jewelers

Location: Grand Court, Lower Level


Rogers & Hollands Jewelers is the largest family-owned and operated jewelry store in the U.S. They offer a diverse selection of diamonds, gemstones, and pearls with customizable jewelry options to make all of life’s milestones special.

Fali Jewelers

Location: Lower Level, Grand Court near Starbucks


This family-owned business has been in the jewelry industry for over 25 years. In addition to a wide selection of breathtaking diamond rings and pendants, their full-service store also offers jewelry cleanings and repairs. You can even trade in scrap gold for credit toward store merchandise.

Alex and Ani

Location: Lower Level, Nordstrom Wing


With the environment in mind, each piece from Alex and Ani is made with recycled materials and eco-conscious processes. Their unique line of jewelry and accessories incorporates powerful symbolism to help customers express their individuality and share their positive message with the world. All products are made in America and carefully designed by Founder, CEO, and Creative Officer, Carolyn Rafaelian.

5 Spas in Schaumburg for Your Next Pampering Session

Schaumburg is overflowing with enough shops and great food to keep one going all day. After a long and fulfilling day of shopping, anyone is sure to feel exhausted. And what could be better than ending the day with a relaxing spa experience? Visit any of these spas in Schaumburg and their experienced professionals will help you unwind and feel like your best self.

1. Asha SalonSpa


This Aveda lifestyle spa is a luxurious paradise where visitors will find their stress immediately melt away when hit with the famous Aveda scent. The spa’s employees use natural products that you can feel good about, and you’ll walk away already planning your next visit.

2. 224 Massage


Open seven days a week, this spa’s professional staff have several years of education and experience under their belt. They provide every kind of massage that you can imagine and are even willing to work with clients to find the right experience to fit their budget.

3. Onsen Day Spa


Catering to clients of all ages, this full-service spa offers the ultimate experience, including facials, nail care, body waxing, and more. All the Onsen Day Spa employees are friendly and eager to provide guests with a high-quality visit that will keep them coming back.

4. Mind and Body Care


Mind and Body Care offers not only the best suburb spa services but a variety of others as well. Alongside massages and facials, they also offer laser treatments and permanent makeup. Furthermore, this spa offers a variety of specials, so check their website for any current deals.

5. Mario Tricoci


Mario Tricoci salons are an icon when it comes to skin and hair care. The eponymous owner, Tricoci, got his start in 1977 at the Woodfield Mall, but over the years has opened several locations and schools across Illinois. Since then, his salon and spas have gained a reputation for the care they provide to their guests. At Mario Tricoci, you’re sure to receive the service you deserve.

Activities for Your Next IKEA Date Night

IKEA is more than a shopping experience. It’s not your average big box store that you can duck into for a gallon of milk before hurrying out again. It’s something you mark on your calendar, making sure to budget out an adequate amount of time. Considering the many activities the store has to offer, you may want to visit it the next time you take your significant other for an exciting night out. To help you out, we’ve created an itinerary for your next IKEA date night.

1. Bring a Map


You may think that your navigation app has made the paper map obsolete, but the old tool still has its uses. IKEA often borrows names for its furniture from real places—for example, their carpets are named for locations in Denmark, while their dining sets are named after spots in Finland. Bring along a couple of maps and see if you can pinpoint the areas for which the furniture is named.

2. Have a Scavenger Hunt


It takes a while to get through IKEA, especially when you’re seeking out specific objects. Look through an IKEA catalogue and try to hunt down certain pieces of furniture that you see in the book. Don’t ask employees for directions, of course—that would be cheating.

3. Start a Cooking Show


When you gaze upon all the clean counters and shiny utensils, you’ll feel like Rachael Ray at Christmastime. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be on a cooking show, now’s the time to find out. Bust out the smartphone and make a short video showcasing your best TV host personality. Who knows—maybe a talent agent will be shopping not only for a mixing bowl, but also for their next hit.

4. Have a Romantic Dinne


IKEA is synonymous with meatballs, but the store offers other delicious treats as well. Set out that fake candle and treat your date to a romantic dinner they won’t forget. Make it a lavish meal with several courses ranging from shrimp to apple cake. Wait to eat until you’ve built up an appetite from all the shopping. A good meal is the perfect way to end a perfect date.

Fun Family-Friendly Activities in Schaumburg

Schaumburg is known for its incredible restaurants and momentous shopping mall, but it’s also home to some amazing destinations that the whole family can enjoy. These are some of the best family-friendly activities in Schaumburg.

Atcher Island

Atcher Island is the perfect summer activity the whole family can enjoy. This tropical-themed water park will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a beautiful Polynesian paradise. It includes water slides, a children’s spray ground, and a circular drop slide.

Schaumburg Boomers Stadium

If your family is more athletically-inclined, they’ll surely love watching a baseball game at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium. Built in 1999, the 17-million-dollar stadium serves as the location for all the Schaumburg Boomers’ home games. It has a capacity for over 7,000 fans, and includes 16 luxury suites, 200 bleacher seats, and a large lawn area.

PAC-MAN Entertainment

PAC-MAN Entertainment is a unique establishment, loaded with incredible family-friendly activities. It includes a bowling alley, an 80’s-themed gaming lounge, and incredible shared dining options that everyone can enjoy. Gaming systems include multiplayer games, high-tech simulations, and throwback arcade classics.

Medieval Times

Visit Medieval Times, and travel back to the middle ages with your family. Set inside of an 11th century Spanish castle, you and your family can watch epic brawls and jousting matches performed by brave knights while dining on medieval-themed meals.

The Water Works Indoor Water Park

Rain or shine, there is never a bad time to visit The Water Works Indoor Water Park. This park includes three water slides, a water playground, a rapid water channel, and a whirlpool. Entrance to the park is only $8 for children and $10 for adults.

Legoland Discovery Center

Highlights from the Legoland Discovery Center include a Kingdom Quest laser ride, a Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, 10 LEGO build and play zones, and a 4D cinema. Families may also enjoy viewing some miniature versions of Chicago’s top attractions made entirely out of LEGOs.
These kid-friendly activities in Schaumburg are sure to provide fun and entertainment for the whole family.

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