Treating With Nutrish Treats From Rachel Ray + Road Tripping With Dogs Tips

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TreatingWithNutrish #NutrishPets #CollectiveBias

I found a new way to make my dogs behave better, haha! They absolutely LOVED these Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Dog Treats. Our two beautiful dogs had such a fun time helping me with this post, and planning and packing for our next road trip. I am excited to share some tips on Road Tripping With Dogs (and a puppy)! Our 8 year old Chocolate Lab has traveled nearly 60,000+ miles with us, and our recent road trip from southern Illinois to the Florida Keys was our Chocolate Labradoodle's first big road trip ever. Bringing these treats along with us helps immensely! They will do whatever we want when we temp them with treats, so I was so happy to incorporate these NUTRISH treats into our travels. 

Rachel Ray Dog Treats


Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Deli Cuts
Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Meatloaf Morsels
Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Pawsta
Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Savory Roasters
Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Burger Bites


1-2 Gallons of water

Dog Bed

Keep Collars on Dogs + Leashes Within Reach

Dog Treats

Dog Food In A Gallon Ziploc Bag 

Doggie Waste Bage

Dog Toys

Chewies Like Rawhides

I found these amazing treats at the Winn Dixie grocery store in Big Pine Key, FL. They had these two varieties, the Savory Roasters and the Deli Cuts. In fact, I've already gone back a second time to get more treats, the dogs love them SO much!!

Look for them where you purchase your family's groceries! 

NO artificial flavors or meat by-products!! This is extremely important to me.

Safely USA cooked with the world's best ingredients. 

Note: Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Treats are intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Please watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing. Break into small pieces for smaller dogs.

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: Scratch Beer Book Signing And Bottle Release

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...

scratch beer in ava, il

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

scratch beer in ava, il
scratch beer

Below, Aaron and Marika sign copies of their first book. It's always inspiring talking to these two. 

scratch beer in ava, il

More photos coming soon! Can't wait to share the rest with you. Visit Scratch online, on Instagram, or on Facebook. 

Puppy Updates! And a Serta Dog Bed Review

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. 

Cute Chocolate Labradoodle Puppy

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!! 

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

We Got A Puppy!

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! 

Chocolate Labradoodle Puppy!

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! 

Chocolate Labradoodle

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! 

A Cute Desk Decor DIY & Celebrate Back To College With Big Lots

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers. All opinions are mine alone. #BigLotsReady #CollectiveBias

I am here today with a cute DIY idea, and tips on how to design a space for a woman who is shopping for back-to college items, and wants to learn how to maker her space her own. My sister, Ellen is such a talented person. She is going to be a Junior at the University of Louisville, KY in the nursing program this Fall semester, and I couldn't be more proud of her! She will be receiving her BSN in no time at all! She is my complete inspiration for this post! She is so talented, and she is a gifted artist and designer. 

make your space your own
Ellen lived in a dorm her first year, and it was super cute. She did the best she could with the furniture she was given, but last year, her design style really had a chance to blossom. She moved into a beautiful house with some of her sorority sisters, and her bedroom was beyond adorable. Now, she is moving into a house with a bit more space, and I can't wait to see how she designs the place.

Read on to see more about the space I designed for a woman who is in college and needs a beautiful space to work! The directions for a DIY Background Inspiration Board are below.

Get tons more inspirations, and shop all of the Back-To-College items here. And, click around on the image below, it's shoppable!
Meet my sister, Ellen!

Meet my sister, Ellen!

I shopped at my local Big Lots for many of these items, and I could not believe hoe friendly and helpful everyone was! The main cashier knew exactly right where everything was, and I was happy to find so many of the items available in-store. I also found lots of items that coordinated with my coral and mint theme, so I grabbed a few extra items while there. Another option is to shop on, if you want an even broader selection of colors or want to see the entire line of back to college gear. 

Back To College Decor
Back To College Decor
Back To College Decor

No matter what your style, Big Lots has some super cute home decor items that will inspire a cute color combo, or even an overall theme to your new space, from college dorms, new apartments, or any work space. In addition to the items I featured here, Big Lots also has: mattresses, furniture, small appliances, bedding, sheets, pillows & throws. These items will fit into lots of popular decor trends, for both guys and girls. 

Back To College
iHome Power Bank

And, there were way more electronics than I could have imagined! They're all stocked up on items like extra battery packs for charging your phone and small devices (see photo, right), as well as cute headphones in literally every color imaginable. 

I also found a ton of other apartment/dorm/new place ready items like Ninja blender, lots of vacuums, toasters, pots and pan sets, plates, dishes, cups, silverware sets, and a good selection of curling irons, and other bathroom items. I always like checking out the beauty aisle, you never know what sorts of hair products, lotions, and even gift items for your new roomies! 

Back To College Decor
DIY your space

Rather than staring at a blank wall while you type away at your term papers, decorate the wall behind your computer with something cute and meaningful! All you need is some black and white photos. You can use your own photos and print them in black and white), or you can grab some from Tumblr, like I did! I used a bit of colorful twine and clear tape, to adhere the decor to the wall.


1.) Cut a length of twine and drape it in a wide U-shape across the wall, behind your computer. 

2.) Tape up the twine on both ends. Now, tape each photo to your wall with clear tape, then tape the twine down onto it, making it appear as if the photos are strung from the twine. 

3.) Add 3-D paper flowers (which I found at a craft store) - you can also make these from scrapbooking supplies that you find at Big Lots! That's it! A super simple DIY decor idea for your work space. 

DIY your space
make your space your own
Cute Back To College Decor Ideas
paper flowers

Also, creating varied heights on your work surface makes a more visually-pleasing look. You can use a candle holder, or a stack of books to create height, and then add a picture frame, vase full of flowers, or jars full of colorful candy to add inspiration. I also really love the idea of using a small candle holder or glass to hold makeup and makeup brushes. Keep the daily essentials at close reach! A mirror would also be a great addition to this design.

DIY your space
Cute Back To College Decor Ideas

And, a scented candle will definitely help keep your space smelling fresh, and could even help you concentrate! Choose a more relaxing scent for studying at night, and a more lively, fresh scented one like this Orange Lemon one, below. 

DIY your space

How will you decorate your new space this Fall? Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Bluegrass + The Farmer's Market

I have written about the new Carbondale Community Farmer's Market before, but this week, I was so inspired by the live music that Hey Honey played! I created this fun video to showcase how vibrant this market is, so check it out here, or on my YouTube channel! 

Visit the Carbondale Community Farmer's Market every Wednesday from 3-6 pm, next to the Town Square Market, at the 200 block of Washington Street in Carbondale, IL. You will have access to seasonal produce, meat, eggs, bread, hand crafted sodas, sandwiches, baked goods, and more. You can even pick up some dinner at the market from Longbranch Cafe (I had the most amazing Sloppy Joes this week), and you can bring something home to snack on, or use for your meals throughout the rest of the week. I always like visiting each and every booth to see what's in season! 

At The Market

Hope you can stop by the market soon! 

Cactus Pillow DIY

This is an amazingly awesome DIY project! Perfect to make for yourself, or to give to someone else. In this tutorial, I used a pillow form from an existing pillow (which was cheaper than buying a pillow insert by itself! I got a pillow that was on super sale at Hobby Lobby - I thought that was pretty great! 

Southwest Inspired Cactus Pillow Tutorial

My Step Mom was kind enough to take photos of a similar pillow, that I sent to my dad for Father's Day

DIY cactus pillow


Right click this image to save it, then print at 100%.

Right click this image to save it, then print at 100%.

- Pillow Form

- Solid Tan Canvas (or similar) material That will cover your pillow 1.5 times (I will explain below)

- Green Cotton Fabric (for cactus) - Note - Only 100% Cotton Material works, because you will be ironing it. 

- Fusible Webbing (the only kind I would EVER suggest would be Heat N Bond Lite Iron-On Adhesive. It's hard to see, but it's the paper-like material in the top right of the image, right. 

- Iron + Ironong Board

- Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors

- Printed out image of cactus, right. 

cactus DIY


1.) Iron canvas material if needed. Remove pillow case from pillow form, and lay it down onto the canvas fabric. Cut one piece the exact same shape as the pillow case - this will be the front of your pillow. Alternately, measure your pillow form, and use those measurements instead. 

- Next, to cut the back part of the pillow, you need two pieces to create the envelope flaps. 

- Using the same width as the front piece, cut a second piece of fabric about 1.5 times the length of the front piece. For instance - if my front piece measured 10" x 10", my second fabric piece would measure 10" x 15".

- Cut the long piece into two pieces, a bit off center, so one piece is longer then the other by a few inches. 

pillow DIY

2.) Next, you will create a nice hem line for the two back pieces. With an iron, fold down one edge of each piece (going horizontally), over twice. This will create a nice finished edge. Sew the hem line down a couple of times to secure it. Iron again, if you want. 

pillow tutorial
cactus DIY

3.) Now, let's make an applique!! 

- Trace the cactus shape onto the paper/smooth side of the fusible webbing material with a permanent marker.

- Cut out the cactus shape you drew, and iron it onto the green fabric. Like I mentioned before, only 100% cotton can be used for this! The green material I chose wound up being 10% polyester and got stuck to my iron, and melted! No fun!

- Cut out the cactus shape you ironed onto the green fabric, and peel the paper backing off of the shape. One trick I use, is to slightly score the paper backing, to start the "peeling" process :) 


cactus DIY

4.) Time to iron on the cactus. Fold the front piece of tan material in half and then half again, to find the center. Use this to line up your cactus shape. Then, iron the shape onto the front of the fabric. Iron the whole piece of fabric, and get ready to sew on the applique!

Cactus Applique

5.) Using a zig zag stitch or a straight stitch, sew all around the cactus shape. Tie any loose thread ends on the back side of the fabric. 

cactus applique

6.) Time to sew and construct the pillow case! This is such a great way to make a pillow case - it's removable and washable, too! 

- Pin the shorter back piece with the hem line going horizontally in the middle. Pin the front panel and the first back section together - right sides together. Pin, and sew around the edges. Clip loose threads.

pillow tutorial

7.) Now, pin the longer back piece up to the ones you just sewed. Line raw edges up, and again, pin and sew around the edges

cactus pillow DIY
cactus DIY

8.) Trim any excess fabric around the edges, and turn your pillow right side out. Iron, if you want, and you're DONE!!!

cactus pillow DIY
Cactus Pillow Cover

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you wind up making one of your own, please link to it in the comments below! Happy Sewing, friends!!

cactus pillow DIY
cactus pillow DIY
cactus pillow DIY
cactus pillow DIY