Learn more about one of the tastiest drinks I've ever had!Read More
I am so happy to be featured as Linqia's May Influencer Of The Month! They've asked me share some of my greatest Pinterest Tips, and it's such an honor to be recognized. Learn more here!Read More
These strawberries are juicy red, taste delicious, and are only available for a short time during the early summer season. See the beautiful berries that were are so lucky to have here in southern Illinois.Read More
Check out one of southern Illinois' best greenhouses, and see all the beauty I found!Read More
Just a quick post sharing some of my most popular posts this week, calculated from Pinterest traffic. Pinterest remains my favorite and most popular social media sites, and being a visually oriented person makes Pinterest the perfect platform for me to share my vibrant images and delicious recipes.Read More
Well, this is my final post for DSW. It's been SO much fun creating a series of five posts for this project, and I am so proud to present you with this final outfit. I think it compliments these Over The Knee Boots so well. Last week, I styled these boots with a paisley printed dress and an Army style jacket. Now that the weather is a bit more chilly, and since I have been seeing these awesome jackets all over Pinterest, I went to search for one of my own!
I’m sharing #DSW in my life as part of a Designer Shoe Warehouse sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and content are my own. #MyDSW.
This time, I paired these awesome boots with an outfit I want to wear again and again! A beautiful, tan jacket, maroon skinnies with lots of stitching details, and a pale pink turtleneck sweater (with those fun shoulder cutouts). I would be SO warm in this outfit, it would definitely fight off the chill really well.
Find the Unisa Saranaa Over The Knee Boots in Charcoal Faux Suede on DSW.
Since the month is almost over, and the season change is in full swing, I wanted to look back at some of the posts that brought me the most traffic this past month.
I created so many fun recipes and ideas this past month, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you here on Lily The Wandering Gypsy!
Those posts gained me nearly 70% of my total traffic, which is so great! I love checking back to see what people are enjoying. Until next time!
We are so fortunate to have such an incredible place like scratch brewing company in southern Illinois. It's definitely a destination brewery, being in Ava, IL, which is about 25 or so minutes outside of Carbondale. It's well worth the scenic drive out there. On September 10, 2016, I visited their brewery, and captured a bit of their book signing, homebrewing day, and a bottle release. I brought home the Single Tree Hickory Sour, and the Spring Tonic (so good!!). We also have a bottle of the Black Trumpet Bier De Mars, but haven't broken that open just yet...
Their newly released book, The Homebrewer's Almanac, which contains around 15 recipes for their famous foraged beers.
"The Homebrewer's Almanacis a practical guide for those who are interested in incorporating fresh and foraged ingredients into their beer, written by the brewers of one of the country’s hottest new breweries. " - Amazon
Below, Aaron and Marika sign copies of their first book. It's always inspiring talking to these two.
Do you ever eat a food that literally transports you to another place? Perhaps you tried the best dessert in your whole life, that time you visited Hawaii, and any time you eat something made with lime, it takes you back to that very dessert? Well, these Outshine Fruit Bars in Lime do that to me. These bars bring a rush of taste and chill to my senses, making me think of the awesome food we ate while visiting Waikiki Beach, other places on Oahu, and all around Kauai! This is why Outshine Fruit Bars help me Live Life Brighter!
Where is your favorite place to escape?
Learn more about Outshine Fruit & Yogurt Bars here! They are made with real fruit juices and are non-GMO, which I find extremely important to the food I eat.
Find out Where To Buy these bars here - I found mine at Kroger, and I believe they are also available at Walmart and Kroger Banner Stores, like Fry's and others.
I also LOVE the Outshine Snacks Instagram Account, here. It's full of bright, inspiring images and you can also learn more about the brand's efforts to donate tons and tons of food.
These Outshine Fruit Bars in Lime taste super good. They are not overly sweet, they are tarty and tangy, just like something made with real lime juice should taste like. I also really enjoyed the consistency and texture of these fruit bars. If you are someone who likes frozen treats that taste like real fruit instead of those fake flavors, these are a great option for you.
Refreshing, lime after lime.
Made with lime juice
Excellent source of Vitamin C
No high fructose corn syrup
No artificial colors or flavors
No GMO Ingredients
Some of my favorite things about these Outshine Fruit Bars are:
Only 70 Calories per bar, 0g Total Fat per bar, and 25% of your daily Vitamin C.
This is one of my absolute all-time favorite dishes! I love any excuse to eat fresh tomatoes, and when the organic and local ones are heirloom, it's even better! I thought that using a mix of yellow and red tomatoes really gave this plate a more vibrant and special look. I actually created this recipe for the Burnt movie, to help promote their movie. Check out my Burnt project, on Pinterest HERE, entitled Food, Romance, Love.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 2 SERVINGS)
* 10-15 organic yellow and red cherry tomatoes (or other small tomatoes)
* Fresh Organic Basil (I found mine as a plant at the grocery store. Bonus points for ORGANIC!!!
* Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
* Olive Oil
* Balsamic Vinaigrette
* Salt to taste
Cut tomatoes into quarters. Slice mozzarella cheese with a knife, or create small pieces of cheese with your hands, and set aside. On a plate, drizzle a small amount of balsamic, like I did in the above images. Place tomatoes and cheese onto plate. Also top the plate with basil leaves, as many as you can handle! Drizzle some olive oil and salt over the top of the plate, and you are all done! I also like to serve this with an extra plate of small French bread slices and salami.
This would make an incredible snack, appetizer, or even a light meal! It tastes SO incredibly good, I hope you enjoy it! If you are also a Caprese Salad-lover, comment below to let us know.
I grabbed a sample of something really great at The Neighborhood Co-Op recently. This Energizing Grapefruit Smoothing Body Wash with Caffeine by Beautiful Nutrition is amazing! I am not usually one to use very scented products of any sort, but the smell of this body wash smells like someone just opened a real grapefruit right in front of you! I love the consistency of this too - it's more of a gel than anything, making it pretty concentrated, with a great lather, so you don't have to use a lot at once. I love it because it is super moisturizing, but does not leave your skin feeling slick, like there is a lot of product left over.
This product receives all 5 star reviews, all of them are highlighting similar benefits to what I found, it's really great!
I notice my arms and legs feeling more moisturized into the next day, even, without using any lotion. I would imagine that this is going to be a great product for harsh winter months, when you are craving soft skin, sunshine, and the smell of tropical fruit.
caffeinated and clean
"Skinny Whip™ is a rich, foamy, deeply moisturizing body wash that contains caffeine to smooth and energize your body for firmer looking skin as you shower."
"Studies have shown caffeine to be effective at delivering a smoother and firmer appearance of skin. The effectiveness of caffeine is dependent on the amount of time left on the skin prior to rinsing. Follow directions for maximum results.
Apply onto a puff and massage into skin using a circular motion. For best results, allow body wash to remain on skin for several minutes (up to 5 minutes) before rinsing."
Overall, I would recommend this product to anyone who loves the fresh scent of real grapefruit and also loves an ultra-rich body wash that does not leave your skin feeling like there is a bunch of soap still left on them. Find this body wash and other products by Beautiful Nutrition, here.
Porter turned 9 weeks this past Tuesday, and she is doing so well! She gets so warm when she sleeps that she has taken a liking to our A/C vents. She still loves to bite, but we have been working diligently with her to make sure she knows that biting is not good. I read that if puppies are biting a lot, you can kind of let out a yelp, and walk away from them, and almost immediately, they will realize that they did something wrong. It is really working well. I also like that the bed has a lot of support because of the couch design, and it seems to be extremely comfortable for them. They both fit in the bed, actually :) Really happy with this purchase!
I got her this awesome dog bed recently, too. It's the Serta Deluxe Couch Pet Bed, and I got it over the Serta Deluxe Cudler, because I thought she could grown into it. The Delux Cudler seems amazing for dogs around 45 lbs and under. Well, our Cabbie, who's is a full-blooded Chocolate Lab even fits in this bed we got! I know this bed is going to last for a vey long time, and also keep its shape. It's not memory foam, but there is a super thick piece of egg crate foam that you can unzip the bottom part, and just remove the foam, wash the pieces, and put is all back together.
Her hair is also getting so long, and she loves going on walks. The weather has been like 95% humidity in the 90s, but very, very soon, (like tomorrow), it's supposed to be getting cooler.
Also, we shot this photo of her a couple of weeks ago, but she has really grown SO much since even this photo! I will add more updates soon :) Porter will be helping me on a Halloween photo project soon too. Looking forward to sharing!!
Last week, spur of the moment, I drove out to visit Flamm Orchards, in Cobden, IL. I had been wanting to go back for a while now, and I even called ahead to make sure they still had peaches. The peach season has pretty much come to an end, and the apples are almost ready to be picked. It is still a million degrees and also a million % humidity right now, so I am glad I took advantage of the cooler weather we had this day. Heading into September, I always feel like it should be cooling down and feel like Fall, but it sure doesn't just yet. Soon, though! My fingers are crossed that I get to take way more of these Photography Field Trips around southern Illinois soon!
Here is one gem that we have in southern Illinois. It's super easy to get to, and the drive out there is gorgeous around sunset - rolling hills, orchards upon orchards of fruit trees, and just lots of green space. The day I went, the sky was bright blue with puffy, white clouds everywhere.
I bought a jar of this Peach Jam, and cannot wait to use it with puff pastry and fresh peaches. What a good time to test out this recipe! Below, you will see their peach pie, a la mode. I snapped a photo of someone else's dessert at the pickup window, but I bought myself a couple of brownies and a couple of slices of the best Zucchini bread I have ever had in my life! I got therm all to-go, and Bobby made an exception to not liking to even eat sweets, and helped me eat them :)
Flamm Orchards already have lots of beautiful gourds and pumpkins!
And, if it had been a little bit cooler out, I would have enjoyed this little outdoor eating area that Flamm offers. All of the flowers looked so wonderful! (below)
My latest shipment of e.l.f. Makeup has arrived, and I wanted to show you some of their latest items, which all work so well for Fall! As part of the e.l.f. Beauty Squad, I wanted to share the latest and greatest of what makeup they has to offer, so you can transition your summer makeup into Fall colors. Fall seriously can't get here soon enough!
The items featured in this post include:
Smudge Pot in Wine Not - this is a really deep shade of maroon, with a nice shimmer. It would be cute in a Fall Smokey Eye.
Kabuki Brush - the most reasonably-priced brush of this sort that I have ever seen. It's super soft, and you can tell this brush is going to last a very long time.
Mineral Pearls in Natural - These arrive packaged super well - and are super lovely. Adds a little bit of shimmer, and are the perfect shade!
And, the Mad For Matte Eye Shadow Palette - A good range of colors for Fall!
I have an awesome, tasty, and amazingly easy dessert idea for Labor Day festivities and beyond. Definitely want to admit that I did not make my own cupcakes, though - I got some delicious pre-made Red Velvet Cupcakes from our local Schnuck's grocery store, and also found the berries there too. But, the little special touches always make people smile, so you can recreate your own by simply adding some blueberries and raspberries to some cupcakes of your own. You could even grab the 3 ingredients on your way to a party, and decorate the desserts when you arrive! I also love how the seersucker fabric and little silver stars confetti makes for a patriotic yet elegant decor idea for any holiday that's red, white, and blue!
If you do want to make your own Naturally Colored Red Velvet Cupcakes, Food52 has an awesome recipe that uses beets (instead of red food coloring) - which is incredible!
NATURALLY DYED RED VELVET RECIPE FROM FOOD52:
For the cake:
- 1 cup beet purée, from fresh red beets (not cooked)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, not Dutch-process
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
Add the beet purée, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until very smooth.
Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the sugar, oil, and butter together in a large bowl until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and beet mixture to bowl, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide between the cupcake papers and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 20 minutes or more. Then, get the icing ready.
To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until fluffy and smooth, then add the crème fraîche. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar until just combined, then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy and smooth, making sure to stop the mixer and scrape down to the bottom of the bowl so everything is evenly mixed. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and salt. Enjoy!
I'm so happy to bring you another amazing post today, incorporating the Curel® Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. As the seasons change, humidity levels do too. This can mean going from 90% humidity, down to 50% in a matter of days here in southern Illinois, so it's best to get ahead of the game, and stay moisturized!
I also wanted to share a few tips on making your visitors and house guests feel right at home when visiting you! It's as simple as leaving fresh, new towels rolled up in a decorative basket. Also, provide guests with spa-like bath products, like the Curel® Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer. This is perfect for guests, because it smells amazing, and contains a water-activated moisturizer - perfect for any weather conditions. Another important tip is to help your guests stay hydrated (first with the Moisturizer, then with a welcoming array of fresh, chilled water, ready for them after their long travels. These are some ways you can add a touch of welcoming into your guests' experience while staying at your home.
I’m sharing #Curel® HYDRA THERAPY WET SKIN MOISTURIZER in my life as part of a Curél sponsored series for Socialstars™. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep my blog a beautiful place to showcase my work!
I also created this beautiful candle holder with a terrarrium I found at a craft store, white decorative sand, and a scented candle in a tin. I love how this turned out!! (see below)
Below, I used some flip-top bottle I found at a craft store, and this amazing, vintage glass bottle that a family member gave me. It's so pretty, and little touches like this will make your guests not have to even ask where they can find a glass - they will have everything they need some place in their room.
Learn More About The Moisturizer
Curél is debuting their new Hydra Therapy product which helps combat dry skin and helps you look your best during warmer weather and beyond! Be sure to check out Curél® on Facebook to get updates and to learn more.
Curel® HYDRA THERAPY WET SKIN MOISTURIZER is activated by water on freshly-showered skin and penetrates deeply into the surface to heal dryness
After showering, your skin cells expand, which provides an easy pathway for Curel® HYDRA THERAPY WET SKIN MOISTURIZER to penetrate into just showered skin, healing the moisture barrier where it counts and helping replenish skin’s ceramide levels
Curel® HYDRA THERAPY WET SKIN MOISTURIZER is not greasy or sticky and has powerful healing ingredients that restore the moisture barrier
Apply daily & experience the end of dry skin
I also love the colors I got to incorporate into this thoughtful set of images. The bright, white towels, rustic metal basket, white, decorative box with gold spots, the terrarium that features gold accents, and the pretty glass vases - the hints of metallics really shine nicely here. Love this color combo for a bathroom or guest room.
Have you gotten a chance to check out the Curel® Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer yet? Let me know in the comments below!
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We have been wanting to add a puppy to our household for a while now. We lost our dear, sweet Lily a little over a year ago, August 19th, and ever since then, our Chocolate Lab, Cabbie has been a bit lonely. It was alright with only one dog for a while, but we figured this was the very best time to introduce a puppy into our lives, because Cabbie needed a playmate! Last Tuesday, August 16th, we took a little road trip and picked up our NEW PUPPY, Porter!
We already had her name picked out, I was determined that I wanted a dog the same color as Cabbie. Porter, named after the style of dark beer, seemed perfect! It really took Cabbie a few days to get used to the puppy. Cabbie didn't really want much of anything to do with her at first. But, Bobby's mom came to visit us and meet the puppy pretty quickly, and Cabbie has been extremely interested in Porter ever since!
We of course, had to start an Instagram account for her, @TheImperialPorter :) It's going to be so fun watching her grow!
Currently, she is about 10 pounds, loves biting a LOT (which we are discouraging), is extremely good about telling us when she need to go out, and sleeps just as hard as she plays. She prefers lying on our pillows against the wall, and hates being disturbed while sleeping. Such a particular little girl who seems to always get her way She reminds me of a little living stuffed animal, and is extremely soft! I just love her crested fur on her head and curly tail, making her poodle qualities show way more than I could have expected! Cabbie is going to be a wonderful teacher for Porter, and we are so happy we have completed our little family once again!
I am so excited to share some of the latest and greatest from yandy.com! They offer a huge selection of bridal lingerie and it's all so cute! The colors and materials were all so inspiring! I even created a new distressed wooden surface, and I love how well it matched the lingerie so well! Yay for #mint, right?!
I found my all-time favorite accessory - the Cora watch in Purpleheart and Mother of Pearl, by JORD! I know I have blogged about these beautiful watches before (here and here), but I recently received a new, smaller style and love it SO very much!
The reddish, darker color of the Purpleheart wood is absolutely stunning, and is going to be great for back to school, fall, the end of summer, and beyond. I also love the unexpected sparkle of the jewels in the watch face. The other little nod to extreme attention to detail is the fact that the back of the watch face is made of glass, so you can see the inner workings of the watch! I cannot believe how nice these watches are, they're so well-made.
"Savoring something, however small, is why your style will always be revered, and rarely replicated. You'll love how the Purpleheart wood pairs with opaline Mother of Pearl to showcase the luxe nature of natural materials. Crafted to be adored, our Cora was created for you."
And, just for fun, enter to win $75 towards your very own Wood Watch! That is a GOOD DEAL!!!
This Cora Watch matches the boho styles so well! Whether you're pairing a cute button up 3/4 sleeve shirt with dark cropped skinnies, or wearing a cute dress, the watch will never look unflattering because its design is so streamlined. This watch is very comfortable, and really makes me smile when I wear it!
sapphire crystal glass
deployment buckle with push button
swarovski crystal markers
case width: 37mm
case thickness: 12mm
lug ends: 38mm
band thickness: 18mm - 22mm
band length: 211mm (they send extra links)
These watches make amazing gifts, too! My sister is already eyeing this one :) They are such good quality watches, that whoever is lucky enough to receive one will have it for a very long time. And, like I mentioned before, JORD wood watches come with extra links, just in case. There are SO many colors of these watches, so go ahead and check out the whole collection, here.
I had so much fun styling this watch for JORD. Check out all that JORD has to offer here!
I really love rooms that have white walls, wood floors, leather and wood furniture, lots of plants, and the pops of color in the room come from soft pillows, rugs, and blankets in Aztec prints and bright colors. My home isn't there just yet, but I am always SO drawn to those images!
While I did not shoot these photos, I wanted to share some of the newest home goods that I am helping to promote on Pinterest - The Citizenry.
In addition to the home goods that they offer, their blog provides a huge amount of inspiring content, like cocktail recipes, home decor ideas, inspirations, and travel-related posts.
OUR PHILOSOPHY (FROM THE CITIZENRY.COM)
"We believe our homes should be reflections of the journeys we take. Our personal spaces deserve designs with a soul, a story, and a purpose. It's why we travel the world to develop our exclusive collections of home goods. Country by country, we partner with master artisans, blending our modern style with their time-tested techniques.
By personally traveling to each country and using only local materials, we establish sustainable relationships with our artisans. From there, we sell directly to you online–there is no middleman. This is how we’re able to offer handmade goods, crafted with the highest quality materials, at more reasonable prices than traditional luxury boutiques."
WHY THE NAME “THE CITIZENRY”?
"We set out to build a company that celebrates the people behind our products. Our name is a reflection of the collective of individuals – artisans, designers, and dreamers – who rally together across cultures and continents to craft our collections. The Citizenry is our way of sharing these stories and products with you."