Eccentrics Roadtrip: Rendleman Orchards | Alto Pass, IL

Eccentrics Boutique is roadtrippin' to discover new and unique locations in our area! Since we are located in Southern Illinois, we have so many opportunities to take the scenic route. So this spring style photo shoot was captured among the apple blossoms at Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Illinois. We were in heaven among the lush flowers on the apple trees.

Our first outfit features our favorite white eyelet lace tank top and destroyed rolled cuff denim. It's feminine yet casual and ready for a day out shopping with the girls.

This next outfit features our favorite Scallop Back Tank Top and Blank NYC Destroyed Cuffed Boyfriend Denim Shorts. This is an easy breezy style for a day out running errands.

This stunning Multi Starburst Print Dress is what sunny days are made of! We adore the colors and unique print.

For a professional (yet surprisingly comfortable style) pair our favorite BCBGeneration Black Woven Sportswear Jogger Pant with a simple white blouse. These pants are so versatile. Wear to work and then throw on a crop graphic tee later for an edgy date night style.

The Pink Geometric Mulan Maxi Dress is definitely a staff favorite!! We love side slit and soft ruffle bodice. Wear alone or with a cute cardigan. Perfect for a day on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail!

We hope we've provided you with plenty of spring outfit inspirations! And don't forget to make a trip to Rendleman Orchards after harvest for their delicious fresh produce!! Just tell them that Eccentrics Boutique sent you.  ;)

Stay Stylish!

April 18, 2015 — Lauren Craig

15 Favorite Restaurants in Southern Illinois for Valentine's Day Dinner | Eccentrics Boutique

You don't have to cross the river to had a red hot Valentine's Day date! We have plenty of ahhhh-mazing local restaurants in Southern Illinois to satisfy any craving! We've compiled a list of our favorites for our local customers....and if you're not local, make a trip to the 618 area code. And stop by and buy something pretty while you're at it! ;) Read on for great foods and pretty pictures of the lovely Jordan and Jared!

15 Favorite Restaurants in Southern Illinois for Valentine's Day:

Global Gourmet - Carbondale, IL

Alongi's Italian Restaurant - Du Quoin, IL

Thai Taste - Carbondale, IL

Walker's Bluff - Carterville, IL

Mary's Restaurant - Herrin, IL

The Newell House - Carbondale, IL

Von Jakob Vineyard - Alto Pass, IL

Flame Grill & Bar - Carbondale, IL

Rare Chop House - Mt Vernon, IL

Yellow Moon Cafe - Cobden, IL

Seasoning Bistro - Benton, IL

Sao Asian Bistro - Marion, IL

Bella's - West Frankfort, IL

Tom's Place - De Soto, IL

Where is your favorite place to eat for Valentine's Day dinner?

Stay stylish!

Valentine's Day Date Ideas for the Daytime | Longbranch Cafe & Bakery Carbondale IL | Eccentrics Boutique

How long has it been since you and your love just spent a whole day together? With work, school, parenting, and other outside demands, it can be difficult to be 100% focused. Trust us, we know! So try to carve out time this Valentine's Day just for you and your loved one. Whether you get to snuggle up in the morning, take stroll with coffee in your hometown, or reserve a table for a fancy dinner. Find a way to show your significant other that they are your #1.

Jordan is wearing our new high waisted denim. For a retro style, she tied our Michael Stars top at the waist and added a pop of color with a skinny belt. She took a plain blush pink top to the next level with a bold statement necklace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of our favorite carefree daytime Valentine's Day date ideas:

 

Browse local thrift stores for a unique gift to surprise each other.

Grab coffee and light lunch at your favorite locally-owned cafe.

Take a stroll in your downtown to window shop.

Stop in a small business you've never visited before.

Take a selfie in a location that has personal meaning to your relationship.

Steal a kiss in a doorway.

Select your favorite dessert from a small bakery.

Go treasure hunting by hitting up some estate or yard sales.

Pick out some books and movies at the library.

Go to a student art show.

Check out local farmers markets.

Get crafty and do a project together.

Enjoy a local festival or wine/beer tastings.

Daydream about the future together.

Just enjoy each others company. Be silly and laugh together.

 

Our stylist, Jordan, is very excited to spend February 14th with her husband, Jared. Their favorite place for a light lunch is at Longbranch Cafe & Bakery in Carbondale, IL. Longbranch is a vegetarian and vegan cafe that prides itself in delicious handmade meals using locally grown and organic products. They support local farmers and strive to build community with staff and neighbors. That is definitely a business we can get behind at Eccentrics!

 

Special thanks to Longbranch Cafe & Bakery for letting us hang out and drink their delicious coffee!

14 Romantic Gestures on Valentine's Day | Eccentrics Boutique

2015 feels like it just arrived....and now it's almost Valentine's Day!! Not only is it the most romantic day...it's on a Saturday this year! So get ready to sleep in, snuggle up, and look cozy with your honey! Our stylist, Jordan, cannot wait to spend the day in her comfy Judith March "Wifey" top and leggings. View images from their adorable love at home photo session and read below on their 14 tips for romantic gestures on Valentine's Day morning.

14 Romantic Gestures on Valentine's Day {Morning}

1. Finish something on the hunny-do list. - Jared
2. Pick up his favorite KCup and have it sitting out ready for him. - Jordan
3. Bring her a smoothie in bed. - Jared
4. Make heart shaped pancakes! - Jordan
5. Sneak a gift beside the bed to be found in the morning. - Jared
6. Leave him a note in his office to be found in the morning telling him how appreciated he is. - Jordan
7. Make sure there are no sleep distractions so she can sleep in as long as she wants. - Jared
8. Take family photos with the red wax lips for all to wear. - Jordan
9. If your spouse isn't a morning person, join them in staying in PJ's and resting for as long as desired. - Jared
10. Pick out a scripture, poem, or special saying that relates to your love and hang it on the wall. - Jordan
11. Offer a foot rub. - Jared
12. Share in a time of thankfulness for one another. - Jordan
13. Clean up the breakfast dishes! - Jared
14. Set his phone home screen of a selfie of me and Ransom doing kiss-y lips for him. - Jordan

 

Their New Little Valentine

The love in our house has only grown this past year. Finding a spouse that you are crazy about to share your life with is a gift enough, but this past year we got to meet someone that we never knew would be able to pull such love out of us. He is awesome, he's adorable, and he is 6 months old. His name is Ransom and he's the greatest baby on the planet. Ok, we are a little biased maybe, but come on, just look at the kid! Parenting is no doubt about extremes. Extreme exhaustion, extreme emotion, extreme grossness, extreme amounts of bodily fluids, and extreme love. We couldn't be more grateful that a new member of our family is here for this Valentine's Day. We love you, our little Valentine!!

 

What are the romantic gestures you plan to do on Valentine's Day morning? Shop Jordan's look here: Judith March "Wifey" tee

 

Stay Stylish!

Creative Sparks: DIY Dipped Glitter Vase

Sometimes women just need craft time....full of creativity and lots of glitter! So we spent a day with the talented Jordan Sparks of LilyWhite Designs at her Southern Illinois studio. She taught up some clever DIY projects like these adorable glitter dipped vases! So read more to see step-by-step images of the entire {simple} process....then make one yourself!!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1. Any kind of glass vase

2. Mod Podge

3. Glitter

4. Tape

5. Paint Brush

DIRECTIONS:

1. Tape off your design.

2: Mod Podge over untaped areas.

3. Sprinkle glitter over the Mod Podge area.

4. Let dry.

5. Remove tape.

6. Ta-da!

ABOUT JORDAN SPARKS:

Jordan is the visionary behind LilyWhite Designs. She believes in reflecting God's creativity to the glory of HIs name. Jordan has serious style and an amazing ability to turn an average object into something incredible. Not only does Jordan create, blog, and design...she is a devoted wife and loving mother.

December 01, 2014 — Lauren Craig

I'm a Survivor: Susan Potts {Breast Cancer Awareness}

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are featuring one of our customers and breast cancer survivor, Susan Smith. Susan took time out of her busy schedule to share her story and show off our newest styles for the season.

My name is Susan Smith and I'm 46 years old. I live in Johnston City and have been a hairdresser for 25 years.

On December 31st, I had a routine mammogram and it never occurred to me that I could be diagnosed with cancer. After my mammogram, I was notified that there was a spot of concern and had a biopsy to determine if it was cancerous. On January 17th, 2013, I received the call from my doctor  saying my biopsy came back positive. I always heard of women being diagnosed but never thought it would be me . So when I went for my mammogram  that was the farthest thing from my mind .

When I received that call, I had to have her repeat herself. I could not believe what I was hearing . Then all kinds of emotions kicked in . How to tell my children was number one. Then I just thought " WHY ME? " After it sinking in,  I thought "Why not me? I'm not any better than any other woman. I CAN DO THIS!" I also felt God put me in this situation to be there for the next person so I can help them thru their journey. And I have had several women I have helped along the way.

I was stage 1 and it had not went into my lymph nodes.With that being said, because of the type of cancer it was, I had to do 4 strong rounds of chemo and then Herceptin treatment for a solid year every three weeks. I then had 33 radiation treatments .

My advice is to please, please, please get your mammograms!!  Also do self exams. Breast cancer is on the rise. Every 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed.

My advice to anyone battling this cancer is to stay positive, stay strong and only surround yourself with positive people. Make sure you have a good support team . Attitude makes a huge difference in healing .

Your life can change in a minute. I stay very proactive with my health.  I can honestly say I'm so very proud to be a survivor. I hope people can look at me and say I can get through this just like she did. I keep a smile on my face no matter what.  I fight like a girl!

October 15, 2014 — Lauren Craig

Role Model: Miss Mississippi USA 2014 Chelsea Reardon

Miss Mississppi USA 2014 Chelsea Reardon spent an afternoon with us at Eccentrics Boutique! She tried on some of her favorite outfits and we couldn't resist snapping a few pics! We also asked her a few questions to learn more about her!

Use 5 words to define yourself.

Definitely resilient, sensitive, driven, passionate and outspoken! 

What’s something you do every day that you love?

Something I do every day that I love-- Read the news!! I'm obsessed with politics and I love staying up to date with what's going on in the world.

Do you have any secret talents that most people do not know?

I love to write! I enjoyed writing short stories my whole life, and once I got in high school..I became the editor of my high school newspaper. Then I started writing as a guest columnist for my hometown newspaper in college. 

What’s your best kept beauty secret?

I put plain white toothpaste on a blemish to get rid of it quickly!

What is your favorite thing about Eccentrics?

I was so excited to see this fabulous boutique come to southern Illinois. I am originally from Murphysboro, but moved to Mississippi after graduating from SIU. There are a lot of boutiques down south, and I always thought how neat it would be for southern Illinois to have one, so I was so pumped to see it come to town! I love the atmosphere, the friendly staff and of course, the gorgeous clothes! 

What was the first pageant you entered? Did you win?

First pageant I entered- I started doing pageants as a little girl, and I got back in to them as a teenager. I found out about all the scholarship pageants in southern Illinois, and I entered them to help pay for school. I didn't win the first one I entered, but I knew I loved it and wanted to keep competing. I told my mom when I stepped off the stage of my first pageant that I belonged on the stage and I was going to Miss USA! Here I am...six years later and I accomplished my goal! 

What advice would you give for anyone wanting to compete in pageants?

DO IT! There's so much to gain from competing in pageants from confidence to networking to interview skills. I have loved every second of my journey in competing in pageants, and I would highly recommend young ladies getting involved in pageants.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself starting a family, working in the entertainment industry in Nashville and staying active as a spokeswoman for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a sexual assault victim specialist.

Outfit Inspirations with House of Rose | Eccentrics Boutique

Mandy Rose with House of Rose is back with more summer outfit inspirations! We have two different outfits featured: one focus on hot pink and another with contrasting black and white. Each outfit is bold in its own right....which represents Mandy Rose very well. Read on to learn more about our featured blogger and to see the stunning images from our photo shoot!

As a stay-at-home mother and entrepreneur, how important is fashion in your daily life?

Sometimes people think that because I work from home I don't get out of my pajamas. But the truth is, I have to get up, shower and get dressed in something fashionable or I feel like my day hasn't started! There is something about feeling good about the way you look that makes your work more productive. :)

What is your favorite part of working from home?

I love being in control of my own destiny. I can work as much or as little as I want. And it's funny because I work more now then I did when I had a full time corporate job. But the difference is? I love what I do now!

What inspires you and how does it impact your daily life?

Being in the blogging community I feel like I get inspired everyday from the women who I surround myself with. My business partner, Natalie {who founded Happy Mommy Box} is someone who inspires me daily. I often call her SUPERMOM. She has 3 little kids at home just like me and also runs her blog and online business. She shares her life as a mom and the fun things that she does with her babies makes me want to be a person. Even if it's just hanging out at the park...she exudes JOY  in everything she does...and that inspires me.

Do you have any secret talents that most people do not know?

I can roll my belly. Like a belly dancer. Bahahaha. Don't ask for a video.

What’s your best kept beauty secret?

Be yourself! I know that seems so simple, but I can't tell you how many times I have tried to dress or do my make-up like someone else and it just wasn't me. Once I finally realized that I had my own style...I embraced that! It's made me a whole more confident! 

What is your favorite thing about Eccentrics?

Besides the fact that the store is BEYOND adorable, I love that every time I go in there the stylists actually CARE about helping me. Especially Lauren... you can just tell how much she loves her business and she genuinely is a fashionista! Plus, I ALWAYS find something when I go in there. More like I find at least 5 things. Ha!

What’s something you do every day that you love?

Drink fountain coke. #oops 

No really, every day I get up and put on makeup. Not a ton of makeup, but powder, blush, mascara and lip gloss can make you feel 100 times more put together and it only takes 5 minutes!

What makes you happiest?

Being with my husband and kids and doing something spontaneous! We are prepping for a 2 week RV trip across the states and we currently have no plan for where we will stop. But, I love that our family can just pick up and go...knowing that it doesn't really matter where we are going or what we are doing because we are together...and that's all that matters! I love creating memories that will last forever!

 

Role Model: Mandy Rose with House of Rose | Eccentrics Boutique

We are so excited to feature Mandy Rose, author of House of Rose, on our blog today! If you are following her blog, you know that she is full of excitement and joy. If you haven't been following her blog...well...you need to start! It's easy to feel like she's your best friend before you even know her. Well, we just had to spend a day with Mandy and capture some pretty pictures of her wearing our hottest looks this season.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I'm Mandy, author of House of RoseDollars & Roses and Co-Founder of Happy Mommy Box. I'm a boy mom, fountain coke lover and diy wanna-be. I believe in celebrating motherhood & creating a fun place for women to BE INSPIRED, SHARE JOY & love one another.

As a mother of three boys, how important is it to dress up and feel feminine?

From two square in my living room to baseball in the hallway to dirt digging in the front yard, I am constantly surrounded by all things BOY. One of the things I love most about being a boy mom is being able to dress up all girly and pretty and having my boys say to me "You look beautiful mommy!"  There's nothing like a compliment like that from your sweet little boys.

Mandy grew up in Carterville, Illinois. She is now raising her family in her beloved small Southern Illinois town. Since we are also located in this friendly community, we knew this was the perfect location for a style inspiration shoot with this successful blogger.  So we grabbed a camera, lipstick, and a couple cute outfits.

What’s something you do every day that you love?

Drink fountain coke. #oops 

No really, every day I get up and put on makeup. Not a ton of makeup, but powder, blush, mascara and lip gloss can make you feel 100 times more put together and it only takes 5 minutes!

What do you love most about living in Carterville?

For those of you who don't know this about me, I was born and raised in Carterville and I never left. You may think that sounds boring, but I happened to love it! Small town life is just my thang'! This town is my home. The comfort and joy I get from knowing almost every person I see at the grocery store or gas station is something you can't replace.

We had such a wonderful afternoon full of laughter with Mandy! Which of her outfits is your favorite? Stay tuned for more collaborations with House of Rose!

Stay stylish!

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