Show Me Your Mumu

I have been following the brand, Show Me Your Mumu for a while now. I just love their aesthetic, and the overall boho vibe I get from their line of clothing. Check out Mumu on Pinterest

They feature lots of these beautiful Tunic Tops, one of which I wanted to share with you today!!! I got SO many compliments on this top. The Peta Tunic In Popsicle Python will definitely be my summer go-to, worn over a black tank top and cropped leggings, over a bathing suit, on a road trip, or at a music festival!

Show Me Your Mumu + LWG

Shown in this post, is the Peta Tunic, The Mumu Gold Bull Ring, and The Mucho Love Medium Notebook. This notebook has to be seen in person to understand just how detailed and beautiful it is. It looks completely hand painted, with lots of texture and even a bit of gold glitter paint mixed it.

Show Me Your Mumu + LWG

We shot these photos in Cave Creek, AZ, and also in Sedona, AZ. This tunic top is also great for warm weather, because it's breathable and lightweight, but not see-through. It does not wrinkle either!

Show Me Your Mumu + LWG

A very special thanks to Show Me Your Mumu for sending these products to me so I could share them with the world! 

Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG

This notebook is absolutely incredible! It would make an incredible gift for someone who loves to journal, or is an infinite list-maker :)

Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG
Show Me Your Mumu + LWG

Toad&Co And Our Road Trip Through Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree National park was one of the most incredible parks we have ever visited. We have been to  National Parks, and this one takes the cake! We also got incredibly wonderful light the day we drove through, so that was even more perfect than I could have ever imagined. 

The National Parks We Have Visited Include:

Saguaro, Joshua Tree, Redwood, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Hawaii Volcanoes, Yellowstone, Glacier, Badlands, Arches, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Zion, Shenandoah, Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, Olympic, Grand Teton!!! 

Aah, memories!! I was also super happy that I could bring along some new items from Toad&Co. The Gemma Dress is beyond amazing! Perfect for the warmer weather we experienced while in the southwest in March. It fits like a dream, has a stretchy drawstring waist, perfect pockets, and is made from a stretchy material that I just love. Learn more about the Gemma Dress here. This dress is amazing because the length is perfect. And, this is the only dress that I have worn on a windy day that stays put! Couldn't believe it, but it's completely amazing. 

I was so happy when I spotted the first Joshua Tree (in the first photo in this post)!!! Definitely the most unique and quite beautiful trees I have ever seen, and I love the look of them so much. Around that time, I also saw some of the first rock formations, which looked very smooth from far away, but were actually very rough, and very grippy - which is probably perfect for climbing. The rock shapes also seemed very conducive for climbing. 

I also brought along these Jetlite Pants, which were comfortable to wear for hours and hours! They were amazingly comfortable, and a bit of a higher waisted design, which has soft elastic. I could not believe how well these fit! And, if you wear them with a shorter cropped shirt, you can show off your cute silhouette in these whether you're road tripping, hiking, lounging, in the office, or shopping. 

We entered Joshua Tree from the entrance east of Coachella (by about 20 miles), and at first, all we saw were smaller yucca style plants, which looked like what I would assume Joshua Trees look like when they are young. No rock formations, and not much of anything, just desert. Then, we drove a little more, and the road started to snake around a bit more, and it was surprisingly 45 mph through most of the park. We began to see tons and tons of Jumping Cholla, which are all over Arizona, so that was pretty cool.

Bobby had backpacked in the park before I even knew him, and he told me about the amazing campgrounds, rock formations, climbers, and these mysteriously strange looking trees...Joshua Trees, but I still hadn't seen either of these things. We could begin to see mountains all around us and I was beginning to get super excited, because mountains make me happy :)

The Joshua Trees began to get thicker, and they basically took over the landscape, amongst these awesome rock formations, all at a bit of a distance, but very majestic. Like I said, the light was incredible this day, and we were in the park just before sunset. Stunning!!!

Thanks for checking out my road trip, and these awesome clothes from Toad&Co. Perfect for a road trip to just about anywhere! Have you ever been to Joshua Tree? 

Tips For Camping At A Music Festival (Or Anywhere) - A Complete Guide

Tickets are already on sale for many of the bigger summer music festivals. Coachella is happening very soon, too! I wanted to share some camping tips with you so that you don't have to worry about being that person sleeping under a tent that has fallen in on itself or gets a puddle of rain inside, rendering the whole weekend a "wash"! If you're looking for ideas on What To Wear To A Festival, check out this post here

MUSIC FESTIVAL TIPS

YOUR HOME BASE

A good tent is the first step to ensuring that you have a good night's sleep, and that your personal belongings are safe. I have never had anything go missing from my tent or campsite, but if you want to be safe, get a small lock for your tent zippers and DO NOT lose the key :) I also like to toss my cooler in the car or under the tent vestibule while I am off seeing music or away from the campsite. 

Also be sure to set your tent up properly. Make sure to set your tent up ahead of time in the yard a time or twi before the big weekend! My dream tent (above), is one you can stand up in, comfortably fits two cots, and has a bit of extra room for your clothing bags and food bin. You don't need to spend a fortune, but if you get yourself a better tent that that crappy $50 one from a big box store, you can keep it for years, rather than tossing it after the zipper breaks from your first use. 

An Ez-Up Shade Tent is incredibly valuable for its' shade factor. It's also a great place to stake out your camp site, and is like a little living room. Hang tapestries, and even set up your tent under it for lots of extra shade and sleep time in the mornings! Make sure to stake the tent down, so it isn't affected by wind. Sometimes, staking it down doesn't always help - a huge storm crumpled my Ez-Up like it was made from aluminum foil, because we had used the provided bolts to attach the top fabric part. So, just check the weather if possible. Most of the time they will be fine :) 


SIT PRETTY

Alite Monarch Camping Chair 

Alite Monarch Camping Chair 

A good Camping Chair is very important, since chilling at the campsite is a big part of a festival camping experience. Make sure it has a cup holder :) We love our Alite Chairs so much and they pack down so small. Make sure to stow these away when you leave your campsite though, they might just "walk away" if you leave them out. They weigh nothing and are super nice. 

A regular camping chair ($20 or so) will do just fine! And, feel free to bring a couple of extra chairs to sit around your campsite, to invite friends and neighbors over for a drink! 


SLEEP WELL & IN COMFORT  

A good sleeping bag is key to any good night's sleep. I have had my Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag from The North Face for a while now, and always fall sleep right away when I get into this thing. It's pretty warm, so if you're going to be at a festival that is also warm at night, bring a couple of flat cotton sheets and a lightweight blanket. Something that's washable preferably, and nothing that grandma made, it may get dirty or be used on the ground for a nap in the afternoon. 

GET A COT - It's not likely that you will be near a power source, so instead of a clunky air mattress that can easily pop, do yourself a favor and get a foldable cot. You will get the best sleep of anyone in your camp! Here is one cot option (shown below), and the ones we have are old school, from Go-Kot, but work super well. If you get good rest, then you will be a happy festival goer! 


Mesh Stuff Sacks - Sea To Summit

Mesh Stuff Sacks - Sea To Summit

SHOWER UP!

If you're lucky enough to be attending a festival with decent shower facilities, I would recommend bringing a mesh bag that you can hang in the shower with you, so that you can bring the essentials with you, and hang them from the shower bar or hook. I use these ones by Sea To Summit for every adventure and LOVE them! 

GoToobs are amazing! I take them with me on every road trip or camping trip, and they would hold more than enough shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and body wash for a long weekend festival! They're SO well made and you can even wash them in the dishwasher if you need to. 

DON'T FORGET SHOWER SHOES!

Foam flip flops are amazing as shower shoes, and then you can wear them at the site, or walking around to shows, if you wind up liking them. I absolutely LOVE my Teva Flip Flops, and can walk a long way in them, on many surfaces. They last forever, I get a new pair every year or so. 


FOOD & DRINK

A good cooler is the basis for making or breaking a festival. You can always buy food from vendors at a festival, but I absolutely try and avoid eating greasy, yucky vendor foods that make you feel so gross! Hey, the comforts of home are not always at hand, so eat and drink wisely :)

Most festivals do not allow glass containers, so plan accordingly. Don't bring glass bottles of beer, bring cans. Don't bring a glass bottle of liquor, pour it into a plastic container with a tightly sealing lid. Bring LOTS of mixers if you like mixed drinks. I would also recommend bringing a slew of airplane bottles of liquor, so you can easily bring them with you as you walk around to shows, and visit campsites! It's easy to find a mixer most of the time. 

DRINK TONS OF WATER!!! 

Other tips...

Keep your campsite clean! A few times throughout the day, and one of the first things you can do each morning is gather trash and food stuff, and toss it into a garbage bag. Lots of festivals are encouraging recycling (yay!!), and will provide a few clear trash bags for you to keep plastics and cans in. 

Have FUN!!! Enjoy :) 

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. - Gilbert, AZ

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Arizona Wilderness was one of the places we had really been looking forward to. They have pretty rare beers, and even though mine was expensive (unexpectedly $10! oops!!), it was very good! The Rim Country Framboise Noir (5.5% ABV) - Sour Red aged in French oak w/ wild foraged blackberries from the Mogollon Rim! YUM!

Bobby's beer was only $3, so they DO have a good range of prices. We got lucky, it was Taco Tuesday, so we got Pork Tacos, which were very juicy, dripping in fact. They had a good spice to them, and I definitely needed some food at this point!

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

"WE ARE GILBERT’S FIRST BREWERY!

For years we've dreamed of bringing together our two loves: The beautiful and diverse state of Arizona together with hand crafted, artisanal ales. While backpacking the wondrous depths of Arizona we forged ideas that would one day become Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Well, here we are! We will continue our endeavor into the remote beauties of both the Arizona Wilderness and Craft Beer.

Our belief is that beer is more than a beverage to guzzle on Sundays, just another beverage at the party, or cheap yellow fizzy stuff dad drank while wearing his dirty flannel shirts. Beer is culture and we have a true PASSION for this amazing beverage! Check out our food menu, as it was created to pair quite nicely with our fine ales. C’mon in and see what we are up to next!"

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
 
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Papago Brewing Co. - Scottsdale, AZ

Another stop on our quest for craft beer was Papago Brewing Co. 

LWG

We drove a little ways to get to this place, but it was really nice. We almost couldn't find it, because it was one of the few businesses still operating in this strip mall. Nonetheless, I am really happy we went! The food was decent too, not a huge menu but the Nachos with pork added were good, the Caprese Salad was fresh, and the Thai Chicken Wrap was great! 

Their food was a nice addition to the amazing beer selection! And, it is a bottle shop where you can have the bartender open any bottle in the cooler and drink it on sight! They also had quite a few beers on draught, including their own beers, 30 taps with various, rotating selections. I took a pick your 6 pack home. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We tried the Transatlantic Kriek beer from New Belgium / Lips Of Faith. It was amazing!!! Love the tart cherry flavor and the beautiful red color of this beer. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

THE BEER

"We feature 30 beers on tap. And every time a keg runs out, a different one takes its place. You will never see the same lineup twice. We also offer over 500 different bottled beers to drink on site or to take home. We love beers from all over the world, and you can choose from a wide selection of Belgian, German, and English beers from our coolers and on tap. But our pride and our specialty is kick-ass American craft beer. We love to drink local, and we love to offer the best of the best from microbreweries around the country."

The Thai Chicken Wrap, Potato Salad, and a Pickle. 

The Thai Chicken Wrap, Potato Salad, and a Pickle. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The nachos were also good. we added pork to them, and there were all sorts of good toppings. 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

About This Beer: "In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Old Beersel of Belgium have partnered to create TRANSATLANTIQUE KRIEK, a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with sour cherries. The 2016 edition of Transatlantique Kriek began life in the oaken vessels of Gert Christiaens’ Oud Beersel, a 130-year-old Belgian lambic brewery. After time spent aging in wood, Oud Beersel’s lambic was blended with tart cherries and shipped across the Atlantic to New Belgium. In concert with Oud Beersel’s cherry lambic, or kriek, we blended in a portion of our own sour Felix from our foeder forest, and created a golden brew to mix in, and round out, the engaging beer. The intense cherry nose leads to a pleasing tart, sweet flash across the palate. Crisp and effervescent, Transatlantique Kriek is a trip worth taking."

LWG
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

I thought it was really neat that families gathered here either before or after their kids' baseball games. I saw lots of families in Papago. 

5DB_0056 100.jpg
Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Lemon Sorbet Recipe And Video

So, we are here in Arizona for March, and the lemon tree at my parent's house was just calling my name! I decided to make my first YouTube video about a wonderful lemon sorbet recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

- 2 Cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (About 12 Lemons)

- 2 Cups Water

- 1 - 1.5 Cups Sugar (White Sugar or Cane Sugar). I used 2 cups and it was too sweet. 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Juice lemons, and make sure there are no seeds. Set aside.

Heat water and sugar in a medium saucepan, until sugar has dissolved.

Add lemon juice to sugar water, and stir until combined.

Pour lemon juice mixture into a Pyres or container with a lid, and put into freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight. 

When frozen, scrape the sorbet with a fork, and then serve! This sorbet will stay good in the freezer for about 2 weeks. 

Enjoy! 

Tune Up Cafe - Santa Fe, New Mexico

We headed further west after we left the Denver area, and stayed at a hotel about an hour from Santa Fe. We decided to grab lunch on the way through town, and so I Trip Advisored the highest rated restaurants in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

There were SO many to choose from, and I thought the Tune Up Cafe looked good. Well, it was!

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Their portions were huge, though, so we had leftovers for days following :) I would even recommend that two people split a dish here. I'd also love to try their breakfast foods, which I always regret not getting. 

And, even though it was pretty warm outside, I still got myself a hot chocolate. It was wonderful, probably the best thing I had that day. 

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

And, although the front part of the restaurant was packed and bustling, the back part was completely open. Looked like they had some pretty good beers on tap. 

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Bobby got his current go-to menu item, the Cuban Sandwich. Their fries were also pretty darn good. Just look at all of those layers of goodness! Ham, Swiss, BBQ Pork, Mustard, Onions, and Pickles...odd but incredible combo! 

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

ACROSS THE STREET...

I love the architecture of the homes in the southwest. The tan adobes and the washed out and faded colors that have been blasted by the sun for years. It's ALWAYS bright here, so bring your best sunglasses! 

Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
 
Santa Fe, NM - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

ALSO IN NEW MEXICO

- Hangar Bottle Shop in Albuquerque. This was a pretty small place, and had only been open 10 months, but they had a great selection for the size of the store. I wish we could have spent more time downtown, because it was really cute. Seems like there are a few great places to catch a concert, have dinner, or grab a drink in this college town.   

  

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...

Scratch Brewing + 4 Hands Brewery + Side Project Cellar

Well, we have headed west again, and this time we explored a few great places along the way. After we finished packing up the car, we headed to Scratch Brewing in Ava, IL. Next, we went to 4 Hands Brewery in St. Louis, followed by Side Project Cellar in the Maplewood part of STL. 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We generally just choose one or two types of beer to try, but this time we decided to try a flight of everything they had! I liked most of the beers they had this week, but they are always changing their menu. 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The place is pretty dog friendly too! Cabbie loved hanging out in the sunshine with us, and the weather was amazing this day! 

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

The hand made, rustic wood-fired pizza is also amazing. This one had STL made sausage, mozzarella cheese, and something that tasted like buttery garlic. YUM!!!!

Scratch Brewing - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

OFF TO ST. LOUIS...

4 Hands is another great brewery in the midwest. I had the Boysenberry Saison (which did not taste overly Belgian, luckily). I like the vibe of this place, even though it's sometimes kind of hard to get a beer. It was Saturday, though, and with the weather being that gorgeous, I knew there would be a good crowd. 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We also got the meatballs, which were also pretty good. We really liked one of the sauces, and we definitely needed a little something else in our stomaches, since the pizza from Scratch had been consumed hours before :) 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

They also give tours of their facilities, which they keep shiny clean. You can see the whole brewing area behind the bar, it's pretty cool! 

4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy
4 Hands Brewery - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

SIDE PROJECT CELLAR 

We have been wanting to check this place out for a while, and were so glad we did! This place was decorated extremely well, had a great atmosphere, and had a ton of rare beers. The prices were definitely up there, but we both got a foueder beer made by them, which was amazing. Wish I could have gotten more photos in this place, but it was a bit too dark inside for that. It really added so much to the awesome ambiance, though. Until next time!! 

Side Project Cellar - Lily The Wandering Gypsy

What To Wear On A Road Trip

It's so important to stay comfortable yet chic while traveling. I am not the type to throw on some loose fitting sweats and head out in public. I understand how comfy it would be, but there are also lots of items you can wear that look more pulled-together but feel amazingly comfy still! Here are a few ideas for you, that can span across multiple climates and beyond!

COMFY SHOES

I like to at least have a cute pair of sneakers, and I could not live without my Birkenstocks for any trip I ever take. I often like to have a pair of waterproof and lightweight flip flops, because they don't take up much room, and are worth the tiny space they take up! 

LOOSE FITTING TOPS

I tend to like to mix longer shirts with my comfy leggings, so here are a couple of ideas for you! And, they really don't look like they would wrinkle at all. 

 A COMFY YET STRUCTURED JACKET

While some denim jackets can be kind of constricting, if you find one that is lighter materials, or just worn in really well, put this great piece on over just about anything, and you will look like hot sh*t :) I always love a great jacket. I have also seen some great stretchy blazer style jackets that could also work pretty well here. 

A Perfectly Worn  Denim Jacket  

A Perfectly Worn Denim Jacket 

LOVE YOUR LEGGINGS

Of course, a couple of high quality pair of leggings will be your go-to pair of pants for every day you're in the car. Of course, please feel free to style them with boots and booties, sneakers, flats, sandals, and even a wedge heel! 

A LARGE PURSE & A SMALLER ONE

I always try to bring one large purse, so I can stuff my life's essentials into one place in the car. I love this leather bag, below, because it is well made and very roomy. I have made the mistake of bringing cheaper purses in the $20-30 range on road trips, and the lining always tears out, I am heartbroken, and have to toss the purse along the way! Good luck finding a cute purse in the middle of nowhere.

A Large Purse  is important. And, make sure it's nicer, maybe made of leather...

A Large Purse is important. And, make sure it's nicer, maybe made of leather...

A Smaller Purse  can be taken into a shop or a restaurant much easier than a larger purse. 

A Smaller Purse can be taken into a shop or a restaurant much easier than a larger purse. 

That's all for now! Are you heading anywhere soon? Let me know in the comments, below. 

Create + Cultivate Dallas!

Wow! Just got back a few days ago from Dallas, and I have all sorts of things to share with you. The main theme that the presenters, speakers, and mentors kept saying was to STAY AUTHENTIC. I love this because I have been completely under the impression that it is best to stick to one topic when blogging if you want to be successful. And, while this business model does work well for some, it is not the only way that you have to do things. 

The other super important take-away for me, was that I have GOT to develop a BUSINESS PLAN if I want my blog to be my full time business! (Which I do). So I already have a journal dedicated to this very purpose, and I cannot wait to share a bit of that with my readers along the way, throughout 2016. 

macarons

THE CONFERENCE...

Let me begin by saying that this was the most inspiring event I have aver attended. There were loads of fashion bloggers, creative women, adorable food and drinks, and great people watching! I didn't really realize the event was going to be mostly fashion influencers/bloggers, but it was great to see who is out there, and basically "who I am blogging beside".

They really did a lovely job decorating the Lofty Spaces, and every single inch of the place was like a perfect Instagram moment! 

Shopstyle

It was amazing seeing so many talented and motivated millennials who all want to run an online business or blog. There were people with quite a wide range of talents, as well as people who were at just about every stage of the game, from people who were just still conceptualizing their brand, blog, and business, to those who had been blogging for ten years, and were basically "social celebrities". 

Moxie McCoy was one of my mentors. 

Moxie McCoy was one of my mentors. 

SOME KEY NOTES...

Some of the important notes I took include:

- To be inspiring, you need to also be inspired! 

- Create a business that fulfills a need that people have. 

- Take intelligent risks.

- your business pan needs to allot for revenue gain and need to be sustainable.

- Stay authentic

- You need to have a MISSION DRIVEN BUSINESS.

- Keep your original mission in mind the whole time you run your business.

- To be an entrepreneur, you need two things - WORK ETHIS & PASSION. 

- Trust your voice

- You need a specific vision and voice.

- Curate, Collaborate, and Create

- Stay ahead of the trends

- Offline Interactions are even more important than those you are having online! 

- Speaking engagements can bring in more money than blogging alone. 

- Engage in platforms that facilitate communities.

 

NYLO DALLAS + PECAN LODGE BBQ

Wow, the NYLO Dallas was incredible! Really lovely rooms with tall ceilings and large bathrooms. 

Wow, the NYLO Dallas was incredible! Really lovely rooms with tall ceilings and large bathrooms. 

Pecan Lodge BBQ. YUM!!!!

Pecan Lodge BBQ. YUM!!!!

 

 

2015 Year In Review

I had an incredible year, last year, and I think it will be great to share all of the fun things with you. Sometimes, I think I am never doing enough, completing enough, scratching a line through enough items on my endless to-do list. Do you ever feel that way? I think this post will also be an amazing way to look back at all of the wonderful places we went, and things I accomplished throughout 2015. It is so important to share the things you are thankful for, and I am thankful for health, happiness, and all of the fun opportunities I had last year. Here's to another circle around the sun!!! 

2015 Recap

JANUARY

In late January of 2015, I decided it was a good idea for me to move over to a .com from my long-standing blogspot blog. I am still very happy that I chose to go to a .com! My previous blog was - http://lily-the-wandering-gypsy.blogspot.com/. Throughout the whole year of 2015, I had over 150,000 Page Views on lily-the-wandering-gypsy.com, and I am so happy about that!!! I also started my super popular Group Pinterest Board, called Inspire Me

I also created some pretty awesome things, like my Mixed Berry and Banana Smoothie Recipe, and this Beautiful Fleece Cowl Scarf


FEBRUARY

I had the experience of a lifetime in February when I went to Laguna Niguel, CA to speak at The Re/Code Media conference at THE RITZ (!!!) on a panel of "New Influencers". This was a monumental trip that you can read all about here

This month, I also ramped up my holiday-inspired posts by making a few Valentine's Day Posts. I had lots of traffic from my post about Beautiful Bacon Roses and still love them so much! Another super popular post was my Candy Heart Tutorial. I photographed some beautiful goodies from Brightly Twisted, too! I also started a blog called Bisque This! (which I later turned into Bisque-This.com). This definitely marked a point where I began creating some really nice recipes and posting them. 


MARCH

Some of the posts I made in March were these Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Rings, and the Tater Tot Horseshoe. We also created some gorgeous styled photos for Alice & Marie! We got out of the cold Illinois weather this month and headed out to Arizona!!! For some reason, I was silly and didn't post much about it on my blog...probably because of the complete lack of good internet while we were galavanting around in the desert? Who knows, but we had such an incredibly time, we are going back in March of 2016! I promise I will post more along the way this time around...PROMISE! 

The places we visited in March on our Southwest Road Trip include: Truth or Consequences, NM, Saguaro National Park, Cave Creek, AZ. Read about Utah Below...

Arizona
Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.16.10 PM.png
AZ
Arizona

AND ANOTHER THING...

Bobby and I also got to work on an amazing project for L'Oreal Advanced Hairstyles while we were in Arizona. I could not think of a more gorgeous place/backdrop for photos! View my portfolio here. I also created a Dedicated Pinterest Board, called Style It - Change It - Own It, which I had a lot of fun with! 

OFF TO UTAH

We had an amazing time doing each and every National Park in Utah - so glad we had a National Parks Pass. Zion National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Escalante, Canyonlands, Kodachrome Basin, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Moab, UT. What an unforgettable time!

Escalante National Park

Escalante National Park

Escalante National Park

Escalante National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park - Click To See Larger

Kodachrome National Park
Our Trusty Prius At Kodachrome! 

Our Trusty Prius At Kodachrome! 


APRIL

In April, the weather finally started to warm up here in Illinois, and I was creating even more content. I also started (another) blog for fashion-only, called She's So Chic (which I need to revisit pretty badly...). 

Bobby and I also created some more content and a Dedicated Pinterest Board for L'Oreal Infalliable Makeup. Another incredible and honorable projects that I was so happy to create.

I also created this DIY Daily Planner post, which remains my most popular post to date! I also created this Festival Ready Flower Crown, in honor of Coachella and Bonnaroo. 

I visited the Nashville Country Living fair with my mom and sister, and had a great time! 


MAY

Another fun month! I collaborated with Sony Pictures to help promote their movie, Aloha! We have been to Hawaii three times, so I thought this was a really fun and inspiring project. Check out the Dedicated Pinterest Board and Blog Post talking more about the project. I was also named in the Top 100 Pinners of 2015 by Daily Tekk. I also created this Tassel Earrings Tutorial, and photographed Emblem Eyewear Sunnies.


JUNE

In June, I created a great post for HelloSociety about my Top 5 Pinterest Tips! It was shared quite a few times!!! I also created another boho tutorial, showing how to embellish the cutest boots ever! I also created some adorable onesies, and took some photos at our amazing Farmer's Market, one of which was featured on the VSCO blog! 

Speaking of Farmer's Markets, Carbondale gained a new Farmer's Market this past summer, and they had a great selection of local veggies. And, check out my favorite Bloody Mary Recipe ever! 


JULY

This month, I worked with Nordstrom Rack to help promote their clothing on Pinterest! I created a new Tumblr site, called Wandering Gypsy Fashion Blog, to focus one site on fashion-only. I also photographed this organic lotion line from Ayushi Woods. We also gave a $100 Gift Certificate To one lucky winner! I also created this fun Raspberry Mint Spritzer Recipe


AUGUST - OUR BIG ROAD TRIP + MORE

Things heated up this month with an amazing collaboration with Ulta Beauty Hair & Cosmetics. I also created an amazingly delicious No-Bake Cheesecake Recipe, perfect as individual servings! 

 The second week of August, we took the biggest road trip we have EVER taken!!! Again, I did not really post much about this on my blog, but I promise to blog more on upcoming road trips, promise! 

OUR ROAD TRIP...

We spent about 6 weeks on the road throughout August and September. We visited places in Colorado like Glenwood Springs, Crested Butte, Silverton, Ouray, and Silverton. I got a few photos, but this was when Lily was having a really hard time, so it's very hard to even go back and look at photos from this time...We lost one of our very best friends on the trip, though, and I have still never felt the same without her. Lily the AmStaff will always be loved and I am happy she had such an adventurous life. 

Colorado!

OFF TO CALIFORNIA

Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Fun
Tahoe Fun
Tahoe Fun

San Francisco

San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco

Westport

Westport, CA + The Redwoods
Westport, CA
Westport, CA

OREGON

Waldport

Waldport, Oregon
Waldport, OR
Rogue Brewery

Cannon Beach + Portland

Cannon Beach
Portland

WASHINGTON

Olympic Peninsula - Kalaloch Lodge 

Kalaloch
Olympic National Park
Kalaloch

Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island

MONTANA + IDAHO

On the way back home, we drove through Ketchum, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana. 

Ketchum, Idaho
Missoula, MT
Missoula, MT

SEPTEMBER

Some of the photos from August actually took place in September, but this month, I wanted to feature the projects we completed in August and September. We worked with Bacardi (!!!), Missouri Department of Tourism, Emma Stine, and the FYI Network for their show Style: Unzipped. 


OCTOBER

Another pretty incredible month. While working on Halloween projects, I got an email from HelloSociety and Skype, asking me if I wanted to visit New York City (in a few days...), and help with a Skype Halloween Party for The Lower East Side Girls' Club! They flew me out, and then put me up in a (hotel). i had an amazing time and learned so many new things. Check out my tips for a great Halloween Party With Skype, and my trip to New York City! (Thanks, Skype!!!!)

I also created some amazing photos for Sony Pictures' movie, Burnt. This was one of the hardest projects I have ever done and loved learning so much from it. 

Burnt Movie
Burnt Movie

I also created a few photos for Toad&Co. 

Toad&Co.
Toad&Co.

NOVEMBER

Going back to loving to cook, I created a great Stuffed Squash Recipe, a 7 Can Soup Recipe, took photos of Fall Ice Cream Treats at Cold Stone Creamery, and also shot some gorgeous photos for Erin Pelicano Jewelry. Her work is beautiful! I also created this gift guide, and also shot a few photos inspired by e.l.f. cosmetics for their #PlayBeautifully project


DECEMBER

Wow, I did quite a bit this month! Christmas and the holidays were such a great inspiration for me, and I actually worked with Harley-Davidson! I think we got some great photos and I also made them a Dedicated Board. I also styled up a beautiful watch by JORD Wood Watches, made in St. Louis, just 2 hours from here. 


Whew! So, that's my last year in a big gigantic nutshell! I hope this inspires you, I know it will help me keep motivated to continue to create new things and travel to new places! 

This post was inspired by This Post from Inspired By Charm

Create + Cultivate Conference

I am super excited to be attending the Create + Cultivate Conference in Dallas, at the end of this month. I know time will fly, so I am trying my best to get prepared for it. The tickets have already sold out, so they are announcing the next location pretty soon. Looks like such a fun time, I cannot wait!


This conference also looked like a contender for next year - Thrive Blogger Conference. It is January 31, 2016. It costs about $150 for a ticket, which I am sure would be well worth it. It's held at The Embassy Suites in The Woodlands area of Texas.  

 

New York City!!

I had SO much fun in New York City last weekend. I was recently working a fun content creation project for Skype, where I shared my Halloween Party Tips and DIY Ideas! This was my first time to New York City (we did visit years ago for like 2 hours, but this was completely different...)

Pumpkins in NYC

So, the images I created for Skype can be found HERE. I had SO much fun creating some holiday content, as this was one of the first projects I have done of this nature. Halloween Tips and Tricks are some of my absolute FAVORITES, so I had a really great time! I also helped with a Pinterest Board (here), and I helped lead a fun, Skype Group Chat (search SkypeHalloween to find us!!). 

One of the best parts of this project came at pretty short notice. Skype personally invited me out to New York City, to help coordinate a Halloween party for The Lower East Side Girls' Club of NYC! Pretty incredible and practically unbelievable. What an amazing opportunity! I am still so fortunate I was the one chosen for this whole thing. I had an absolute blast, my hotel was amazing, I ate some of the best food in my life (and I've eaten food all over the country!!), met some wonderful people, and helped some really amazing kids have the Best Halloween Party Ever! 

 I also learned on this trip, that the earlier you get to the airport, the less stressful your whole trip will be! This really worked out so well, without really any problems!

Flying High...

DAY ONE - Sticky Rice Thai Food + Top Hops

Sticky Rice - NYC

View more photos from Day One, below! I ate at StickyRice, drank craft beer at Top Hops, and stayed at The Holiday Inn - Lower East Side (it was super nice and newly renovated). 


DAY TWO - LOWER EAST SIDE MURALS + ARIEL'S LATIN BISTRO + PARDON MY FRENCH

Lower East Side - NYC

Check out the slideshow, below, to see my mural sightings and awesome NYC food! If you're in the area, I would definitely recommend Ariel's Bistro for lunch and a $5 strawberry margarita, and Pardon My French for a super fancy date night. The whole Skype team was so wonderful to take me out for dinner and cocktails after the Halloween party.

THE SKYPE HALLOWEEN PARTY

So, the main reason I was there was, of course, The Skype Halloween Party at The Lower East Side Girls' Club! The girls absolutely LOVED the party, there was a DJ that played spooky beats, I hosted a craft table featuring Tissue Paper Pumpkins filled with CANDY. Once the candy ran out, the girls practically disowned me :) The whole party will be made into a couple of short movies that will feature yours truly for a short bit, helping the girls make pumpkins, and also myself chatting with influencers from YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram! It all went super well, and I had a blast! It was incredible giving back to the community in this way, and hopefully inspiring the kids!

Until next time! NYC, I really had fun, and hope to be back soon! A very special thanks to HelloSociety and Skype for helping make this project an absolute success!!! 

Missouri Department Of Tourism

Super excited about this recent collaboration with Missouri Department of Tourism! They even posted my recipes on their blog (here). They asked me to submit ideas and then images of activities someone would do in Missouri in the Fall. I immediately thought about all the times we have camped, fished, hiked, and road tripped to Missouri! Bobby used to go down with his family to camp in Missouri a countless number of times when he was younger, and he was the one who really showed me the beauty of the state. 

CHECK OUT THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM BLOG HERE

Here are a few of my favorite images Bobby and I created for this amazingly fun and nostalgic project! View all the images in my Portfolio (here). 

VIEW THE WHOLE PORTFOLIO HERE

Let's Escape To The Woods!
Camping Essentials

Whidbey Island - Langley, WA in September

Whidbey Map

Well, we are on one of our last stops of our BIG road trip, and this area is just beautiful! You can get a good taste of a small ocean-side town, that is not so focused around deep water ports, like some of the places we visited (like Port Townsend WA - where we hopped on the ferry, or even Newport, OR - where we visited Rogue Brewery). It's less fishy-smelling, that's for sure :)

I'm not saying we got the friendliest vibe from the people walking around the downtown area, or even at the place we hiked! We are generally friendly people and smile or wave at those who pass by us, but people seemed a little freaked out by this, and made sure to avoid even looking at us altogether. People also almost seemed bothered by us, and made sure not to move out of the way if we needed by them in a restaurant or on the sidewalks. Not sure why, maybe because we are about half the age of most of the people here, and maybe we look a bit out of place, but we don't live here, so we just take in all the beauty wherever we can. 

Don't get me wrong, we did encounter some very nice people, especially the store owners of three shops in particular, those being Kalakala Co. Mercantile, edit. gallery, and Music For The Eyes. See some of my photos from the stores, Whidbey Island in general, and Langley. 

KALAKALA CO. MERCANTILE 

Kalakala Co. Mercantile in Langley, WA

Kalakala Co. Mercantile was probably my favorite of all the places in town. It is owned by one or two girls, who are super hip and really creative! The who place is ridiculously hip, actually, featuring air plants, awesome t-shirts, beer and kombucha on tap, Washington-made chocolate and caramel sauces, and more! I grabbed a couple of can glasses with their adorable logo on them, and they also offer taster glasses, half-growlers, and full sized growlers, all merchandised with their name in the most fashionable way possible! I loved the art and ambiance in this place, and I wish we had been able to drink a couple beers here, and get a growler filled. Oh well, next time! 

EDIT GALLERY 

edit. was amazing! It's not a very big space, and everything in the shop is sleek and minimal. No clutter, here! You can find more minimal and masculine gifts here, mostly home goods. I really liked the Juniper Ridge Trail Soap, the cap was made out of a branch! SO creative! They have a small set of product photos on edit's website, but items are only available in-store, so be sure to make a stop by this amazing shop if you are in Langley! I wanted everything :) 

USELESS BAY COFFEE CO. & CAFE

Coffee!

Useless Bay Coffee Co. and Cafe is named after one of the bays on this island. This place was packed for lunch, even in the middle of the week. The burger was really good, and although they forgot my cheese (which was $1 for a slice, so you know I went ahead back and grabbed some...), it was done just right and the shoestring fries were a great compliment! The BBQ sandwich was also great, with lots of flavor, topped with semi-sweet coleslaw. The hot cocoa was pretty good, but more light and milky than the one I had from the Braeburn Cafe just yesterday. Still, a great place to grab breakfast or lunch, sit outside with your dog, and enjoy the beautiful sights and vegetation of downtown Langley. You can definitely grab a lot of different sandwiches or pastries to go here, too. Isn't the signage at this place cute?!

HIDBEY ISLAND AGATES + THE BEACH

The beach was right at our back porch! The Whidbey Island Agates were mixed in with the normal rocks and sand, and were definitely easy to spot. They ranged in colors from green to red, orange, blue-ish, and more! We even saw a huge Man-Of-War jellyfish, it looked like Amber. What a site! There were also tons of clam shells, still in tact, and super purple inside. We also saw playful sea lions, that Cabbie wound up really taking an interest in, and also crabs and jellyfish in the water. 

Our VRBO house was located in the Fox Spit area/neighborhood. We were RIGHT on the beach and water, and the sunsets were absolutely gorgeous! Cabbie LOVED being able to swim every day, and it was hard to get her out of the water. Such a difference between low tide and high tide, because when we arrived the first night, the water came right up to the property, and we could't even see a beach at all. The next morning, we had at least 3-4 feet of sand behind the house, and we were SO happy! There are such beautiful homes here, all looking like they belong in Coastal Living Magazine or something. The house we stayed in was a newer home, two stories, that both had great views of the water. 

Our Big Trip!

We have been having an absolute BLAST this past week on the first leg of our road trip. I have also been gaining lots of amazing followers on Flipagram, and you can see all of my stories here - 

I just love Flipagram! I have been an active member for less than two weeks, and I have had an amazing response from their community. I have been wanting to venture into making videos and multimedia projects for some time, and this app is the best way I have found to incorporate photos, videos, and music. They make it easy to share your story with the world.

Below, you can see some of my Flipagrams from our trip so far. If you have a company and would like mw to create you a Flipagram and share it with my followers, just contact me, or comment below! I would LOVE to work with you! 

AND HERE ARE A FEW MORE STORIES I CRATED

Have a wonderful day! See you soon!

Summer Fun!

I recently tried White Cheddar Skinny Pop, and Hubert's Raspberry Lemonade and I am in love!! They're actually a good combo for summer! I would definitely take this to the park or beach for a summer picnic. The flowers are from my new, favorite place near Carbondale, Chautauqua Bend Flower Farm

I also love this blanket by Domain, it's super soft and perfect for summer. I grabbed this bag from Sole Society a while back, and it has held up really great.

Those sandals, though! My favorite part of all of this is the Sam Edelman Studded Asbury Sandals. They're comfortable, very chic, and look amazing with everything I have paired them with so far. 

This popcorn  is addicting! 

This popcorn is addicting! 

What are your summer picnic essentials? 

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My Week In Images

We had a really fun time this past week and a half (give or take). We went to Louisville and St. Louis for two Mike Gordon concerts, stayed in great hotels, and drank our fair share of Bloody Mary's and Tequila Drinks :) I'd say that's a good start to "summer" if I do say so myself! 

Lily The Wandering Gypsy

We used to travel to way more shows a few years ago than we do now. When Bobby and I first met in 2005 (yes, this year marked TEN years, and I'm so happy!!), we used to go to concerts every weekend or two, mostly in St. Louis and Chicago. We would see bands like Widespread Panic (75+ shows!), and lots of bluegrass shoes, and attend lots of festivals every summer. 

We have been going to far less concerts lately. The music scene here in Carbondale just isn't anything that is sparking my fancy. We used to get a few good bands through the area (mostly bluegrass), playing at out favorite venue in town, The Hangar 9, but it seems like the better the music, the smaller the crowd. It's sad to see less than ten people attending a concert, I'm sure it would be hard to survive on ticket sales when there's no one there! 

It's also harder now to leave the dogs home with a friend watching them, with Lily not in her best health, and we do realize how expensive it gets to see a show for just one night. The hotel can easily be $100 + Tickets + Drinks = $$OUCH! So, now that we do these shows less often, they are even more special! 

A SHOW + BRUNCH IN LOUISVILLE, KY

The Mercury Ballroom in Louisville was a great place to see a show! 

The Mercury Ballroom in Louisville was a great place to see a show! 

Gordo Show was rockin'!!! So much fun!

Gordo Show was rockin'!!! So much fun!

We stayed right next to the Mercury Ballroom at The Hilton Garden Hotel The rooms were incredibly nice.

We stayed right next to the Mercury Ballroom at The Hilton Garden Hotel The rooms were incredibly nice.

We brunched at  Wild Eggs  in Louisville before we went home, their Bloody Mary was not super strong, but really really good. Hot Chocolate (below) was good, too!

We brunched at Wild Eggs in Louisville before we went home, their Bloody Mary was not super strong, but really really good. Hot Chocolate (below) was good, too!

Hot Chocolate - Wild Eggs in Louisville, KY
The second best waffle ever, second only to the  Passion Pie Cafe , in Truth or Consequences, NM. 

The second best waffle ever, second only to the Passion Pie Cafe, in Truth or Consequences, NM. 

ON TO ST. LOUIS

A couple of nights later, we headed to St. Louis to see the boys again! We stayed in the hotel right next to the venue, where the band also stayed, which is always cool. The Moonrise Hotel is also dog (and cat) friendly, and so we decided to bring the dogs along for some fun.

See, our dogs LOVE the Moonrise Hotel!

See, our dogs LOVE the Moonrise Hotel!

Round TWO, We had a little fun mixing drinks for ourselves before the show at The Pageant. 

Round TWO, We had a little fun mixing drinks for ourselves before the show at The Pageant. 

The Pageant is a place where we have been many times. It's usually PACKED beyond belief, which makes is hard for a short girl like myself to see the stage if we want to dance in the GA area, in front of the stage. But, we were pleasantly surprised to see the place less than half-full. This was one of the first times I have ever been able to get up to almost front row for my favorite band, ever! They put on such a good show, and the vibe of the crowd was also great, also not always the case.

SIGNED Mike Gordon Poster!

After the show, I visited the merch table and met the band. I even chilled with them for a bit, an experience I will never forget! The poster from STL was one of the best we have seen for Gordo, also, and were super happy to pick up two copies of the poster, and had Mike sign the poster that wasn't already up in the room :) Wow, what a fun night. 

AND MY BROTHER GRADUATED...

My brother also graduated high school and I am SO proud of him! He also turned 18 yesterday! Time flies...FAST

Graduation 2015
Graduation 2015
Graduation 2015
Graduation 2015
Graduation 2015

It was nice to spend time back home last weekend. Springfield (IL) has grown quite a bit. Their downtown area is much nicer than it was when we lived there about 10 years ago, and there are more small businesses downtown than there used to be. My mom visited the Farmer's Market, Urban Sassafras, Vintage Pop and the connected antique furniture stores, and Shabby Shack - a shop with hand painted furniture. We had a great time and I will post about those fun businesses soon! 

My Steller Stories!

I absolutely love the Steller Stories app! It is a super fun way to make a little digital scrapbook of images, videos, and text and the stories last forever. I love creating the stories for either vacations or places I visited, as well as DIY projects and recipes. You can only make them on an iPhone at this point, but they're really fun to create. 

I had a lot of fun putting most recent this story together, showing some of my favorite places to eat in Moab, Utah. Looking back at this, I realize we got to test out so much amazing food and drink, and it was so fun getting to know Moab for the week we were there. 

And, in this story about a day in Chicago, I loved placing text right over a video, making it feel like the intro to a movie! You can upload 20 images or videos at once when you are creating these stories, making it pretty quick and easy to be creative! I had such a fun time shopping in Chicago and exploring while the guys were at a Cubs game. 

Below, you can check out our time in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah! Wow, this place was incredible, and the park isn't crowded like almost EVERY other National Park we have visited! 

This Saguaro National Park story was a lot of fun. I love cacti and the beautiful aridness of the dessert. All the plants are shrubby, sharp, and so opposite of anything I'm used to from Illinois. 

We had a great time in New Mexico also! Truth or Consequences is a beautiful, tiny town, that is full of colorful architecture and a really fun vibe. You can see some of the food we ate as well. 

And, speaking of FOOD, here is my most popular Steller Story, about how to make peanut butter cookies. 

And, my very first Steller Story, ever, was this awesome post about Scratch Brewing in Ava, IL. This place is incredible, and you can learn a bit about it below. 

Check out all of my Steller Stories HERE. And, if you have a Steller account, feel free to leave the link in the comments below! Have a good day :)

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