Big Muddy Monster Homebrew Competition + Brew Fest 2019

We love craft beer! We went to the Big Muddy Homebrew Competition in Murphysboro, IL, and it was so fun sampling craft homebrews from all over Illinois and Missouri. This competition leads up to the Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest, in Murphysboro, IL on Saturday, October 5, 2019 (noon - 4pm). Excited to frequent the homebrew tent at the event next weekend!

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I’m so happy we had the opportunity to stop by and check out the 100+ Homebrew recipes that were submitted.

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10th Annual Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest 2019
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Check out the poster I created for the homebrew competition, below. The winner will have their beer recipe brewed at a larger scale, and is a huge honor! **NOTE - Contest has ended.

10th Annual Big Muddy Monster Brew Fest 2019

Goose Island Brewery - Chicago, IL

So, the Cubs just won Game 6, which means they are heading to the World Series! I just wanted to show Chicago some love and share a quick Chicago brewery visit with you! Goose Island is located at 1800 North Clybourn in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. They have quite a large selection of beer on tap, so whatever your taste, you'll likely find something. I definitely found that the more expensive beers were way, way more worth ordering - so, go for one of their Belgian styles or something barrel aged, and you are in for a treat! Below, you will see their Cuban Sandwich and amazing Onion Rings! 

Look at those Onion Rings!

Have you ever eaten Poutine? I had not even heard of it before this, but our friends insisted we order one for the table. WOW, that gravy was for real! It's a Canadian dish that consists of fries, topped in gravy, cheese, and a fried egg! And, the roast meat on the dish tasted incredible, like the best beef stew I've ever had.

Poutine at Goose Island Brewery

Love the food and food pairing recipes they offer on their website - the photos and recipes are super unique. 

beer at Goose Island

And, the BBQ Sandwich was also good! 

BBQ sandwich at Goose Island In Chicago

Photography Field Trip: Flamm Orchards

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. 

Peach Jam - Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL

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 :)

peach pie + ice cream - Flamm Orchards - Cobden. IL
Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL
Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL

Flamm Orchards already have lots of beautiful gourds and pumpkins!

Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL
Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL
Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL

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)

Flamm Orchard - Cobden. IL

Fall Favorites with Toad&Co

A little while back I visited a pumpkin patch and chose the most perfect pumpkin ever! I wanted to stop at Rendleman Orchards so many times, and was so happy I finally did! The season is about over mid-November, but during the summer and fall, you can visit their adorable shop, The Farmer's Market, and get apple cider donuts, amazing apple cider, all sorts of other food and gift items, and more. If you are looking for the best pumpkins in southern Illinois, look no further! You can pick your own, or choose one they have all ready for you at the shop. 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The best part about this day was the fact that I got to sport some Toad&Co clothing!  I have loved Toad&Co ever since they had a totally different name (Horny Toad). I found a pair of their shorts at some cool shop on one of our travels, and as soon as we got back home I ordered two more pairs. I have such a hard time finding shorts and pants that fit me properly, that aren't super short, but aren't unflatteringly long. Toad&Co came through for me, and I love them for it. 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

One of the items I am wearing here, is the Women's Printed Lean Leggings in Falcon Brown Print. These leggings have not pilled yet, which is amazing. Make sure to get your size, rather than sizing up. I am kind of curvy, so I ordered one size larger than I thought. These have a very forgiving fit, so just make sure you go with your normal size. The material is beautiful, I love the different shades of brown together, and the print is cute. They're very versatile! 

The shirt I am wearing is the Intermezzo Pullover, in Tyrian Purple. It has two pockets on the front, which I love, and a secret pocket that has a hidden zipper to keep small items like cash, cards, or a house key. This would be a great go-to shirt for a million different reasons. It's warm, but breathable, which is a must for me. 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I reached out to them a little while ago, to let them know how wonderful their items are, and they graciously sent me some things to review. I was extremely happy when the package arrived at my door. These clothes fit extremely well, and wow, are they well-made! No pilling at all, and I have been wearing them pretty regularly.

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Cabbie even helped me out, modeling for this project :) She really doesn't like the camera at all. We point the thing at her, and she looks away, or even just plain gets up and leaves. This day, I think she really had a lot of fun at the pumpkin patch, so she humored me for just a few photos.  

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I just love these clothes! They were perfect for a day out, picking pumpkins. 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

These leggings are great, super comfy and NOT see-through like some out there! I have worn them with my taller boots a lot, too, and they are so cute. 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Have you ever worn anything by Toad&Co? If so, comment below and let me know what you have! 

Toad & Co. + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Be sure to check out the Intermezzo Pullover, and the Women's Printed Lean Leggings. They go together so well, it's an outfit match made in Heaven! A special thanks to Toad&Co. for being so awesome! 

And, look for another upcoming post where I feature a few more of their items, soon! 

CHECK OUT TOAD&CO

Website - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest

Farm To Table // A New Market in Carbondale, IL

Last week, Carbondale saw the start of a new Farmer's Market! It's super close to our house, and it is organized by one of my friends, Courtney Smith. This market is super convenient because it runs from 4-7 pm on Wednesdays, which is right before I would be making dinner. We ate all of the veggies right after I got home from my market visit, and had an amazing vegetarian dinner of mashed potatoes, green beans, and raw carrots for the appetizer! The reason I named this post Farm To Table is because I spoke with a couple, from Homer Grown, who were vending at the market. They grew most of the vegetables pictured below, and they seemed so incredibly passionate about what they do. They knew so much about each and every vegetable and bean picked, and would even grow you something you request! 

Carrots
These organic carrots were so good! 

These organic carrots were so good! 

Fresh Carrots from Farmer's Market
Fresh Green Beans

We chopped off the ends of these green beans, and then fried them in 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, some chopped red onions, and one piece of bacon we had baked the day before for Bloody Mary's :) I didn't get a great photo of the potatoes, but we chopped up the red potatoes and white potatoes and boiled them with a little bit of salt and onion. After they were soft, I strained them, and added a splash of milk, more salt, and some butter. Just taste as you go, and see what you think tastes best. They were amazing with the beans! Beans (above) and Red Onions (below) from Homer Grown.

Red Onions From The Market
Red Onions

I also found myself some beautiful flowers from Flora Bay Farm. They're also from my friend Courtney, and she is great with floral arrangements. It's so fun to see what she grows each season, and I will definitely be making this new Farmer's Market a weekly thing! 

Bouquet from Flora Bay Farms
Bouquet
Flora Bay Farm Bouquet

And, some super fresh BASIL! What a beautiful smell :)

Fresh Basil
Catnip by Flora Bay Farms

Catnip by Flora Bay Farms

My Free People Reusable Shopping Bag and my market finds

My Free People Reusable Shopping Bag and my market finds

Garlic Scapes by Flora Bay Farm

Garlic Scapes by Flora Bay Farm

Isn't this the cutest Farmer's Market Stand you've ever seen? They built it and are proud that it helps identify the market to people who pass by and hope it makes them want to stop. Homer Grown has some of the best veggies around! 

Homer Grown Farmer's Market Stand

If you're in southern Illinois, please visit the newest Farmer's Market in Carbondale!! 

New Farmer's Market in Town!