Olympics Inspired - Candy Flavored Vodkas!

I had a blast creating these 5 flavored vodkas, inspired by the 2016 Olympics! With 5 different types of candy, I created 5 festive flavors of infused vodka, and then created a cute label for the Vodka I used. 

#olympics #LWGcreates

Here is how I got the 5 flavors/colors. Note, I did use a teeny bit of food coloring in the black and green flavors, but the other colors turned out so vibrant. All you have to do is to divide 1-2 bottles of unflavored vodka into 5 jars with lids. In order to really infuse the alcohol, keep these in the fridge overnight, if you can. The longer you wait, the better! I also recommend using as much candy in the jar as you can.

BLUE: Blue Jolly Ranchers - BLACK: Black Licorice + Black Food Dye - RED: Cherry Jolly Ranchers - YELLOW: Lemon Heads - GREEN: Green Apple Jolly Ranchers + Lime Green Food Coloring

#LWGcreates
DIY Candy Colored Vodka

You could of course customize these fun flavors and colors for college or pro sports teams, holidays, and more! Let me know if you wind up making these, I'd love to see what you create. 

olympics cookie

Also, I grabbed this amazingly tasty Sugar Saucer Cookie from Longbranch Cafe, my favorite restaurant in Carbondale! 

Olympics Inspired!!
Candy Colored Vodka DIY

And, if you were wondering how I created the label on the bottle, I found 8.5" x 11" sticker paper at a local print shop, and printed a label I created in InDesign. I found the fonts on dafont.com - love that site! Go Team!!!

Share Your Passions + A Watermelon Keg Drink Recipe With Rémy Martin Cognac

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

#passiondefinedremyrefined #CollectiveBias #StLouisSweepstakes

I listen to music every single day. I much prefer music to television, and because I work from home I include music in my daily life. I am always looking for new music to love, or I will play something from one of my many favorite musicians. I love listening as I am crafting, which is one of my many talents. Recently, I have been creating beautiful dreamcatchers as party items for entertaining. Listening to music and combining my talents of crafting make for a relaxing and productive day. I created a fun and inspiring Girly Boho Summer Festival Themed Party décor item, which is a dreamcatcher. I created this while listening to my favorite tunes. You can see later in this post how to create these for yourself.

In honor of music festival season, and tons of great concerts happening in the St. Louis area, I also created a delightfully refreshing Watermelon Cognac Summer Sip Recipe - and then served it out of a watermelon keg! Everything turned out so well, so I hope you get a chance to try this drink recipe with friends while listening to good music.

Also going on this summer, you can enter to win a mentor for a YEAR (!!!), or meet Jhené Aiko! Read along to find out more. And, check out updates on Twitter.
5DB_9193 100.jpg
Learn more about this amazing opportunity on Twitter

Or visit their website!
let's get started!
win a mentorship

First, I wanted to start off by telling you a bit more about the mentorship that Rémy Martin Cognac is offering up.

To enter the sweepstakes, the Entrant must log on to his/her Twitter account and (i) follow @RemyRefined (if he/she does not already), and (ii) Tweet an image of Entrant showing their life passion and including the hashtags #RemyRefined and either #ChicagoSweepstakes, #DetroitSweepstakes, or #StLouisSweepstakes, depending on Entrant’s state of residence.

      Grand Prize (1): The grand prize winner will receive a mentor for one (1) year to help winner live out his/her passion and a check for $5,000 (“Grand Prize”).

      First Prize (15 [five (5) per location]): Each first prize winner will receive two (2) tickets to a Jhené Aiko concert on either August 12, 2016 for Michigan winners, August 16, 2016 for Illinois winners, or August 17, 2016 for Missouri winners, a meet and greet with Jhené Aiko, and a Rémy Martin gift bag (“First Prize”).

      Second Prize (30 [ten (10) per location]): Each second prize winner will receive two (2) tickets to a Jhené Aiko concert on either August 12, 2016 for Michigan winners, August 16, 2016 for Illinois winners, or August 17, 2016 for Missouri winners (“Second Prize’).

No Purch. Nec. Ends 8/31/16. 21+, IL, MI, MO only, Rules: RemyRefined.com

Cute Dreamcatcher Tutorial
#dreamcatcher
Cute Dreamcatcher Tutorial
Cute Dreamcatcher Tutorial

DREAMCATCHER INSTRUCTIONS:

MATERIALS:

Lace Fabric

Wooden Embroidery Hoop (I used a smaller one)

Cute Dreamcatcher Tutorial

Ribbon, Beads, Feathers, and Embroidery Floss

Hot Glue & Hot Glue Gun

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) Heat up your glue gun and let’s get started!

Cut a long strip of lace, which will be wrapped around the outer circle part of the embroidery hoop.

Glue one short side of the strip to the inside of the circle, then wrap the lace around the entire circle, glueing whenever you see fit.

2.) Now, cut a circle of lace a little bit bigger than the interior circle, and stretch the lace around the inner circle, glueing on one side, then glue straight across, then evenly stretch out the rest of the lace on the circle. (See Figure 2)

3.) Now, we will add the pretty decorations. Cut lengths of ribbon, and glue them inside the outer circle. Then, double over your embroidery floss, and tie it to the circle. Glue everything in place.

4.) I used a big needle on the embroidery floss to get the beads onto the string. I also glued marabou feathers to the ends of the string, then wrapped and glued more ribbon around it.

5.) I also tied embroidery floss around the glasses (tapered glasses would have been way easier), then added elephant charms and more beads. I love how everything turned out!

Read on to see how I made the watermelon keg and to get the drink recipe!!!


Watermelon Refresher Recipe
Watermelon Refresher Recipe

DRINK RECIPE / WATERMELON KEG INSTRUCTIONS:

Watermelon Refresher Recipe

MATERIALS:

2 Watermelons

Rémy Martin 1738 or Rémy Martin VSOP

Blender or food processor for watermelon

Large spoon to scoop out watermelon

knife to cut watermelon

Mint (optional)

Large Mason Jars (to mix drink)

Watermelon Keg Tapper

For The Keg Stand:

Cake Stand

Bowl To Hold Watermelo

 


INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) Cut a couple of inches off the top of your watermelon. I used painters tape to try and get a straighter cut.

2.) Scoop out insides of watermelon and blend the insides until it’s juice. Transfer to several mason jars (or other large container with a lid).

3.) For every quart of watermelon juice, add 2-3 shots of Rémy Martin.

4.) You can also add some mint and lime, if that’s your style! And to add even more summer flavor, this would be so tasty!

5.) MAKE THE KEG - Open your watermelon keg tapping kit, and follow instructions to create the keg.

6.) Set your new watermelon creation into the bowl, and set it all onto the cake stand.

7.) Fill the watermelon with your drink recipe, turn on some good tunes, and sample your new drink! Enjoy!

watermelon keg

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Rémy Martin 1738

Rémy Martin 1738® Accord Royal is the signature blend from the luxury House of Rémy Martin. Made from the most sought after grapes of Fine Champagne Cognac, 1738® is a tribute to almost 300 years of passionate commitment to time, tradition and respect of the land.

1738 Accord Royal is aged up to 20 years in French toasted oak casks to reveal a rich range of aromas and exceptionally round texture.

Rémy Martin VSOP

The world’s first and favorite Fine Champagne cognac

#1 V.S.O.P in the US

The art of blending hundreds of eaux-de-vie to renew the same taste every year and reveal the same signature style since it’s creation in 1927

Dominant notes of vanilla thanks to aging in large grain oak barrels. Fruity notes of ripe apricots, baked apple and elegant floral notes.

Watermelon Refresher Recipe
Watermelon Refresher Recipe
share your passions

Summer On-The-Go & Entertaining With Black Box Wines! - Plus 2 DIY Wine Party Tutorials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

I would like to share some adorable DIY party ideas for a cute summer party on-the-go with you today! Black Box Wines are the perfect summer party pal, because they are extremely portable. Black Box Wines are amazing for a camping party, that is a little bit more upscale. Why not add a little wine-tasting to your camp out!

Be sure to visit the Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more details about ways to entertain this summer.

These wines are eco-friendly, because the bag and box are recyclable! Black Box Wines taste good, and they are about half the price of bottled wines. Also, they can stay fresh up to 6 weeks, and contain 750 ml - the equivalent of 4 bottles. Imagine trying to carry 4 bottles of wine, which is way more to juggle than this one awesome box of tasty goodness! 50 gold Metals for quality can't be wrong!

A SUMMER PARTY RECIPE - WINE & CHEESE PAIRING SKEWERS

I love the idea of a wine and cheese party, but if guests can carry the appetizers around, it prevents anyone from being left out, or everyone having to hover over one plate of food. Instead, offer guests skewers, and a plentiful plate of meats and cheeses, and let them decide what they want! I also like the idea of having grapes and as many fresh fruits and veggies as possible. I liked using these cardboard food containers I got at a craft store. They hold so much, and are coated to avoid any messes. 

Cut up salami, summer sausage, and various cheeses and let guests use skewers to create their own Wine & Cheese Pairing Skewers!! 

Cut up salami, summer sausage, and various cheeses and let guests use skewers to create their own Wine & Cheese Pairing Skewers!! 

Let your guests choose their own adventure, and add whatever type of meats and cheeses they want! Less food will be wasted with this method, which saves money.

Let your guests choose their own adventure, and add whatever type of meats and cheeses they want! Less food will be wasted with this method, which saves money.

 photo SOCIAL HUB graphic.png Be sure to visit the Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more details about ways to entertain this summer.

FABRIC WINE GLASS MARKERS

DIY Fabric Wine Glass Markers #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) These are super simple and can be made for FREE! Just cut your fabric strips that are 12" long x 1" wide. I just freehanded these, but a rotary cutter could always be used.

2.) Now, to get the rough edges on the fabric pieces, pull them and stretch them as much as possible. Keep pulling from both ends until you get a more frayed look. 

3.) Tie the distressed fabric strips around the top of the wine glass stem, and double knot. 

4.) I found that cutting about 1" off of each of the long ends at a diagonal was best. That's it! 

DIY Fabric Wine Glass Markers #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)

WINE PARTY TIP! 

To ensure guests can reach the boxes of wine, elevate them onto something like a glass vase or metal box. This also adds visual interest to your party table. 

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)

DIY WINE SIGN TUTORIAL

Cute Summer Party Ideas! #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)

This little project came together so well! It was one of the easiest party decor projects ever. 

WHAT YOU NEED:

All you need is a few materials and about 15 minutes, and you can make this cute DIY Wine Sign! Perfect for summer parties On-The-Go!

All you need is a few materials and about 15 minutes, and you can make this cute DIY Wine Sign! Perfect for summer parties On-The-Go!

4 Galvanized letters - found at a fabric store, Birch Round (or Rectangle) - found at that same fabric store, and a hot glue gun with glue. Super Glue / Krazy glue did NOT work at all, just a warning :) 

1.) Plug in your glue gun, and begin to do a sample placement of your letters onto the birch round. This birch round actually has a twine hanger attached, but you can cut it off. 

2.) I found that the best way to securely attach the letters was to mark where each letter went with a dot of pencil, then apply hot glue and quickly re-attach your letters. 

3.) Glue all letters in place and you are DONE! This project only took about 15 minutes!

DIY Wine Sign! #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)
For a wonderful Summer On-The-Go party, consider providing your guests with Black Box Wines! Enjoy!
Cute Summer Party Ideas! #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias (Msg4 21+)

Cool Stuff To Do In Denver - Mostly Beer + Food

We recently stopped in the Denver / Lakewood, CO area for a few days on our way out to Arizona, and had a blast! Check out all of our stops below, and comment if you have been to any of these :)

Crooked Stave Brewery / The Source (Website)

This place was absolutely incredible! This building used to be an old steel factory, and it appears that they gutted it down to the bare bones. This building contains several different businesses with a communal and very open area in the middle. The ceilings are super tall, and there is natural light pouring in from everywhere. This sits in a rather industrial area, which is surrounded by lots of new apartment buildings and other breweries and restaurants, and of course a bit of construction. I would assume that this area of Denver will be finished in no time! 

Crooked Stave brews/creates mostly sour beers, which I am a big fan of these days. Their beers are definitely pricey, but worth a try! 

The Source - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Crooked Stave Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Crooked Stave Brewery - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Great Divide Brewery (Website)

We had passed by Great Divide on the way to Crooked Stave. In fact, it was almost right across the street. The thing that really caught our eye at this place was the massive amount of barrels on display (and in use) here. They have a really amazingly decorated barrel bar, which they decorated with lots of pieces of wood from past barrels. We had a good time sampling lots of different beers, and it was fun comparing all the different styles and flavors. 

The beers are decent here, and the prices are incredible. Their samples of regular beers are $1 for 3 oz, and $3 for their barrel aged and more rare stuff. 4 of us got out of there for under $20!

Sample Beers at Great Divide. 

Sample Beers at Great Divide. 

Our friends at Great Divide!

Our friends at Great Divide!

Some of the beers available at Great Divide.

Some of the beers available at Great Divide.

- Mockery Brewing (Website)

I'm sure this happens a lot, but as we were sitting in Great Divide, I saw yet another brewery in the back of the parking lot called Mockery Brewing. Another impeccably designed brewery, with a smaller yet very open feel, as well as copper and cool signage behind the bar. Their beers were only $5 each and very strong! 

The Wheat Around The Bush Boysenberry Wheat Wine 

The Wheat Around The Bush Boysenberry Wheat Wine 

- Wynkoop Brewery (Website)

This place was pretty nice. We sat on the upper level, which had about 15+ pool tables, and lots of nice open area. This place was a bit more expensive than we would usually go for, but it was a nice place to meet friends in downtown Denver. The exposed brick (which was a theme for literally every place we went in Denver), was just beautiful. I loved the photos they displayed in this building, by photographer Patrick Andrade. He uses tin type to capture modern brewers and their process. Learn more.

Wynkoop Brewery - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

- Denver Biscuit Co (Website)

My, oh my! What a great way to start the day! Everything on the menu pretty much revolves around these luscious biscuits, and they're amazing. I got biscuits and gravy, and I think everyone else got a biscuit sandwich of some sort. Each plate looked better than the last and I definitely hope to visit again soon! 

Denver Biscuit Co - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Denver Biscuit Co - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Denver Biscuit Co - Denver - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

While in Denver, we also checked out Teller's and Rock Fire Pizza. Both really great! 


And, we didn't stop there! Colorado has the absolute best beer selection of literally anywhere we have ever visited, so we found a few other places to find things to take home. Some of the places we would definitely recommend include: Mondo Vino, Grapevine Wine & Liquor - (make sure to check out the Beer Cave!!), and Applejacks near Lakewood. 

Coaltrain (Colorado Springs) (Visit Their Site)

Coaltrain (Colorado Springs) (Visit Their Site)

Keep up with our travels on Instagram {here}! We have lots more of this adventure to go...

Red Cocktail Recipes

I wanted to share a few cocktail recipes with you today in honor of the holidays! 

Red Drink Recipes

NAUGHTY ROUDOLPH

1/4 cup Mario cherries, pretzels, 1 C. Ginger Ale, 2 Cups Ice, 3 oz. Vanilla Vodka

HOLIDAY SANGRIA

Cut up fruit (Apple, Orange, and Strawberries). Mix 1/2 C. Brandy, 1 Bottle Dry Red Table Wine, 1/4 Cup Sugar, and 1/4 C. Water. Add cut up fruit and enjoy! 

STRAWBERRY HOLIDAY PUNCH

Mix together Equal Parts Ginger Ale and Cranberry Juice. Next, add a few scoops of raspberry sorbet, and some fresh raspberries, and optional alcohol. Enjoy! 

Raspberry Gin and Tonic Recipe With Berry-Infused Ice Cubes!

If you love a Gin and Tonic, this recipe is just for you! This drink is light, refreshing, and really goes down smoothly! This Gin and Tonic has a hint of lime, strawberry, and raspberry. And, these would be perfect for Valentine's Day or Date Night! For the ice cubes, in a heart-shaped silicone mold, I filled them up half way with frozen raspberries and chopped up frozen strawberries, then filled the rest of the way with regular water. They're so cute! 

Gin and Tonic - With Raspberry Infused Ice Cubes

RASPBERRY GIN AND TONIC RECIPE

Ingredients for 2 Drinks:

Begin by making your fruit-infused ice cubes, as instructed above. Once the ice is frozen, mix 4 oz Gin and 10 oz tonic water into a glass. Add about 1/2 tbsp of sugar if these are too tart for you. Feel free to also squeeze some lime juice into the glass, to cover up the gin taste a bit more :) Add the ice cubes (after the gin and tonic water so they retain their shape better), and top with a lime wedge.  The ice cubes quickly began to make the drinks a bit pink, which I love! These are so refreshing and I hope you LOVE them!!!