d | i | y // credit given - Gift Bag

So, even though I’ve been MIA for quite some time due to technology issues. I can’t leave you completely empty handed. So currently I leave you with this fun DIY project.

I’m sharing this project now, thanks to Yours Truly G of a d|i|y Gift Bag. This time of year, especially, there’s lots of gift giving and wrapping! What a perfect way to use your extra newspapers (since the weekly papers are almost doubled inside due to Holiday Ads) and get a creative, fun & cheap holiday bag! You can even tailor make your bags to fit whomever your gift is for! Sports section, fashion, art, community, comics, etc. There’s a lot of options when designing this fun, reusable and recycled Gift Bag!

Hope you enjoy!

be creative!

Dear anyone in the World who reads this:

So sorry for not visiting more frequently. My computer crashed, and basically well this is my first chance with a computer since that happened. A lot has changed and I’ve made lots of projects. Hoping to be able to take some time next weekend to get them updated with pictures and stories! yay!

I’d say this weekend other than, it’s my BIRTHDAY weekend! Which only means great things and a weekend full of Celebration for me! So, hopefully we will all be speaking again soon.

Be natural.

5 Things I’m gonna Try // d|i|y edition

Since I’ve mentioned many times I’m becoming more and more interested in Do-It-Yourself projects I’ve actually formulated a list I am going to try out. I’m kind of excited about gathering supplies and making first attempts. I’m just hoping they turn out as pretty as they look in my head. I’m not gonna show pictures right now, but rather attempt to explain them in the simplest way possible. The pictures will come, of course, after the completed project! (I hope!)

1.  Wreath. If you’re a frequent visitor of Pinterest (like myself) there are dozes of Do-It-Yourself holiday, season, or family wreaths to make. I find all of them quite charming as I’ve always loved wreaths. I got this love from my Grandma who was quite handy at making Holiday wreaths, specifically Christmas ones. She was also quite good at making Spring Wreaths with little birds on them. Regardless, I want to start making these charming pretty door decorators for seasons and family.

2. A second attempt Candle Jar Center piece. If you’ve frequented this blog, you can see below where I wrote about my first d|i|y experience making these little candle jars for a centerpiece of my coffee table. For a first attempt they weren’t bad, my any means. But they also weren’t that great. Haha, being my first try, there was bound to be mistakes and mess ups, which only means I’ve learned more for my second attempt!

3. Christmas Frame Decor. This one’s a bit harder to catch on to, but also a frequent project of Pinterest. It involves a cute little frame, some cloth background a few holiday decorations inside. I’ll leave this one to your imagination :)

4. Monogram Personalization. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed the huge draw towards personalized Monograms. Giant metal, wood, or plastic letters that have something to do with who you are, your family surname, etc etc. I, myself have also enjoyed these letters, and since my last names unique, I want to get something with a “U” made soon!

5. Wine Cork Art. Ironically, my mother actually got me hooked on these! Being the expert travelers of the world and regular wine vineyard visitors (& wine drinkers!), they have collected a pretty large amount of wine corks. Most of them all dated with location under neath. (My mom was pretty good about getting that done early). She’s made a numerous amount of wall decor, table center pieces etc for their home, that are so cute and attractive looking it’s hard not to love them!

I’m stopping at five. I have a habit of over booking myself then deciding not to do anything. So I’m going to stop here and hopefully you’ll see these five projects soon and I’ll be able to share them with you!

Create something beautiful today!

eats // Chili Pie.

This is a recipe I stumbled across and it completely intrigued me. I wanted to try it instantly, and boy, it was delicious! It can be done various ways. You don’t have to make this “version” of chili, you can actually just make the topping and use you’re own left over chili. It’s easy to make and takes only 20 minutes!


  • 1lb Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
  • 2 TSP chili powder
  • 1 15ounce can of Kidney Beans, drained
  • 1 14.5ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3/4 cup of jarred salsa (your choice!)
  • 1 box of corn bread mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar

The How To Part:

  1. Remove the casings from the sausage and discard.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400degrees.
  3. In a large skillet, crumble sausage and cook until there is no more pink showing.
  4. Drain off the fat.
  5. Add the chili powder and continue to stir for about 1 minute.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, and salsa and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the corn bread mix, egg and milk. Whisk together until the corn bread badder forms.
  8. Add the cheese. (now, if you know anything about me or read this blog often, you’ll know I don’t measure cheese…so put however much you like in there, or follow the recipe.)
  9. Stir badder until cheese is mixed thoroughly.
  10. Transfer the chili into a 9X9inch or 11X7inch baking dish.*
  11. Top the chili in the baking dish with the corn bread mixture. You’ll need a spatula or spoon to spread it around across the chili.
  12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. 
  13. Enjoy!

*I added a layer of cheese in-between the chili. I spread 1/2 of the chili mixture in the dish then topped with cheese then added the rest of the chili before topping with corn bread. It was delicious!

Chili Pie

See, told you it was super simple! This is an easy quick meal night when you don’t have a lot of time. When the pie had finished baking, I also topped it with some more cheese and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. (I told you, I love cheese! I don’t follow suggestions when it comes to cheese!)

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

eat well, live well.

Five Things I Love Most in Life // beginner’s edition.

Well, I guess it’s that time to dive into it. I’ve debated blogging for years, started about 18 million of them and then walked away because I found it stressful. Which is ridiculous if you really think about it. When most people start blogging they do it for fun, for a craft for a hobby. I guess I felt obligated for some weird reason. Well, the good news is, I no longer feel obligated and feel free enough to write whatever.

So, I’m taking a lesson from one of my beautiful favorites, Elsie Larson, who suggests all new bloggers list the Five things they love most in life. This allows you to connect with like minded people, share your interests and, as she suggest, shows what your blog will mainly be about. So, here’s my attempt at the Five Things I Love Most in Life…my beginner’s edition (also should be mention, they’re in no particular order!)

1. My Pup. <3 I’ve had Miss Ludo Phyllis for about a year now. She’s over a year old and still the most adorable little pup in the world. I’ve realized more and more how attached I am to her, and I love her! She makes me smile and always loves me, and I guess that’s the best part about having a dog!
Ludo Phyllis.

2. My family. Now, the pictures below represent my family as a whole. I have my family, you know the ones you grew up with, brothers, sisters, moms & dads. That family is pictured directly below minus a few people. I grew up with a big family, so missing out of this picture of my parents, would be my Brother, Will, Sister, Amy, and Sister, Jeny. The little girl is my brother’s first born, Conner. Super funny. Not too mention the other 3 nieces and 1 nephew and the surprise on the way that are not in this picture. 

This picture symbolizes my “other family”. The Lake Family. We’ve attended summers at the great Lake of the Ozarks for as long as I can remember. There’s lots of wonderful memories coming from that place and the people we’ve shared all those memories with have basically become like family. Granite, this picture is all girls, so we’re missing a few husbands, and some parents from this picture, but they truly are family, and I wouldn’t have it without them.
The Girls.

3. Adventures. I have always had an adventurous heart. Day dreaming about great explorations and always having this urge to “climb something” when younger. I’m not sure what it is, but something about the great outdoors, camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, etc. Really excites me and pumps some adrenaline. Now, as I went through college, I admit I got really bad at enjoying this great side of my personality. I ignored it, and I show it. But, the excitement never left, and I’m determined to get out and see the world before I’m gone from it. This picture however, is from China. <3 I love everything about it, and I wish to go back some day!


4. Cooking. I’ve always admired chefs, but recently I’ve discovered “anyone can cook” (yes Ratatouille taught me something). Not that I was ever really bad at cooking, but now I’m experimenting trying new things and figuring things out trial and error, which is really all cooking is if you really think about it. I’m excited to learn more, and hopefully maybe one day, take some culinary classes!

Cooking & Baking.

5. d|i|y & crafty things. I’ve recently developed a sense of love for blogging, crafts and Do-It-Yourself items. I find myself constantly thinking of home improvement ideas and coming up with ways to do them myself, cheaply. It’s kind of fun and thrilling after awhile. I’m not a super artsy person, which is why I’ve always strayed away from trying. However, I’m learning it really doesn’t matter. Most of these crafts are simply and fun and can look nearly gorgeous with a few bits of color and hot glue. So I’m researching more and trying things myself. There’s a picture of my first attempt below in a previous post, it’s by no means perfect, but the point was I tried and learned a few bits of trial-and-error ideas.

So there you have it folks, the 5 things I love most in Life! You should try it, list of the five things you love in life, it might actually take some thinking!

enjoy the day!

Curls today.  (Taken with instagram)

Curls today. (Taken with instagram)

diy // first attempt - Candle Jars.

I’ve always been a long time reader of blogs, especially Do-It-Yourself style blogs. As well as, a long time watcher of Do-It-Yourself shows. The whole idea really inspires me to make something with the many materials I have around me and in my very own home! However, I’m not really artistic and I’ve never really been good at art and creating things. Maybe it’s patient maybe it’s just literally skill, I’m not sure. But I attempted something I saw on Pinterest and kind of adapted it just slightly.

I collected my supplies, empty jars, spray paint, painter’s tape, candles, and various fillers. The idea wrap painter’s tape around empty jars I had collected and then spray paint the jars, after they dried, rip the tape off of them and you’d have a neat design. The next step was to fill the jars with 1 candle each with any filler you like. I chose, a bag of mixed beans, coffee beans and unpopped white popcorn.

The original idea did not include painter’s tape, but rather ribbon so their clear glass lines were smaller, and spacious.

I spent the afternoon taping jars and spray painting them outside. I realized pretty quickly after starting to spray painting that the project didn’t really need a thick coat of spray paint but rather, so little that the “paint” was basically still small dots, not a smooth filled in service. Unfortunately, I realized this after painting them completely whole with two coats. I didn’t realize it was that thick until removing the painter’s tape. Plus, I was spray painting outside, which for good ole Springfield, MO was windy, so it probably didn’t help my project.

I allowed the jars to dry for an hour before removing the tape. As I said, I did coat my too much, but that’s ok. I also learned that you must make sure the paint, or the ribbon for that matter is pressed down completely, or spray paint can leak through the gaps and bubbles of the tape on the service leaving for messy dots in areas that should be clean glass.

For a first attempt, I feel as though I did pretty good. They turned out the way I liked em and they were definitely in my style, as they sent as a center piece of my coffee table.They certainly don’t look horrible, and I am certainly pleased with them as my first attempt.

I will totally be trying this again, after saving a few more jars of spaghetti sauce and pickles and other such foods!

review // Halloween Open House Party.

Well the weekend has come and gone, hope you all found time to relax. That being said, my weekend wasn’t horrible, but not fantastic either. See, in the grand scheme of things called life, I’m just at a point in my life where I can afford to host nice get-togethers with friends and have “open houses” where friends can just come and go as they please. Needless to say, this excites me majorly because I’ve always had a secret desire to be a great hostess. To have family parties, holiday parties and summer cook out parties, etc etc. I’ve been eagerly waiting when it was an option for me. So, since the time was now, I decided now was as good a time as any to begin.

So Saturday morning I did some shopping, got the house organized and cleaned, and spent the afternoon cooking/baking. (Well, most of it was baking). I was very excited about the evening, made all my dips, got the cookies finished and then arranged the kitchen so food could be easily accessible and presentable. Honestly, it was quite fun for me!

The table looked like this:

There was more on the counters by the sink, but this was the only picture I snapped before changing.

Now, normally someone wouldn’t want to brag about this, because well techinically its embarrassing and frustrating for the person all in one. But, it happened to me and I don’t have any issues with sharing it. Sometimes, we accept our failures, clean up and move on, while learning from them.

That all being said, no one came to my party. Yes, it’s a blow and kind of a smack in the face after people said they would come, or come by, but it’s how it happened. Despite how it made me feel personally, it is what it is. Around 11:03pm I kind of packed up some things, changed and went to bed feeling totally defeated and slightly embarrassed. But, it’s ok.

Things happen and we can clearly never control it. So, I’ve slept off my personal feelings, and shaken off the dud of a party and have made a list of a few things for next time, because yea I totally plan on trying again.

Improvement List - Throwing a Party Edition:

  1. Plan plan plan. Probably the most foundational and most obvious. But, I won’t lie there was some serious procrastination on my part about this. Plan in advance, plan menus in advance, and plan on invitations in advance.
  2. Talk about this with your invitees, whether friends or family as soon as you know the exact date. This may sound weird, but everyone is busy with a loaded “To-Do” list for their own personal lives. Schedules, appointments, soccer games, family events, work, school, etc etc etc. Our lives are busy and endlessly keep us moving. Knowing this allows us to plan in advance (restating rule #1) and in a friendly way, “warn” our friends we’re planning an event.
  3. Send out invites. I’ve always loved snail mail! I think its a lovely way to reach your friends and family for a party because, well most people think its out of date. Our mailboxes get over full with advertisements, junk mail, bills and random postcards. However, can you honestly deny that when you open your mail box and there’s a personalized envelope inside from someone you personally know you aren’t just a bit excited? I AM! I love mail, especially personal mail. Sending out invitations, real paper & ink invitations is a good way to grab some attention too.
  4. Plan your menu in advance, and purchase ingredients as you get closer. Now, technically in my budgeting for the month I had worked it to pay the way I did. However, it would have been nice to be slowly purchasing ingredients to make sure I was ready.
  5. There’s no such thing as too many dips. I love dips, and they are super easy and fun way to feed your guest some snacks. I present three at this party, however I think there could have been room for more - if the party was successful.
  6. If the party is a dud again, accept it, it is NOT a reflection of you.

So, this is the small list I’ve come up with as to what happened Saturday night. It was embarrassing and completely hurtful, but it happens and needless to say I have no idea what was going on in anyone’s night and there could have been some valid reasoning. However, I’ve accpeted the outcome, and cleaned up the house and am now ready to try again. There’s something planned for December 2nd, so I am hoping this will be an excellent second attempt!

Hope you find something encouraging from this post!

pre-eats // Halloween Open House.

Today’s pre-eats simply because, well I’m so excited I feel the need to share all of it now! None of it’s even made, or really even bought for that matter, everything’s happening tomorrow. And that would be, our Halloween Open House.

We had thought about a Halloween Party, but come on, a house party on the same night as Springfield’s Halloween Pub Crawl? It’d hardly be successful. Mostly due to the fact that the even which will take place tomorrow down town in Springfield, MO is the largest Halloween Costume Party in Missouri and the largest Pub Crawl in Missouri. So needless to say, people go to it. But in attempts to not battle the crowds, the roommates and I have decided to have a little party ourselves. Or rather, and Open House.

We’re using the term “Open House” for the sure fact that we’re telling our closest friend and family around that our doors are open for the evening. Starting at around dinner time, our lights will be on, our doors will be open and we’ll have food on the table. We wanted to encourage our friends to come and go at their leisure and stop by on the way to dinner, or on the way to Pub Crawl or after either! We were hoping this would ensure more visits from our friends, and more chances for good conversation and a Happy Halloween!

So, we made the plans, made the lists and set the menu. Now all we need is tomorrow to get here, people to dress up, and the evening to begin.

I’m pretty pumped about this menu, granite, it’s not healthy really at all. But, it’s delicious and I love dips! I could write a whole section just on dips is kind of ridiculous. You bet I’ll be sharing them. But…for the time being…

We’re starting with this dip. A Classic.
Rotel. Simple easy, we’re just adding a bit of meat!

Next we’re going to enjoy some Calico Dip.

If your tastebuds have never experience Calico Dip. Get to your local grocery store now. Better yet, find someone who has the recipe. I’ll share it after tomorrow. But, it’s simple, easy and taste and made with fresh ingredients.

Finally, another great classic, French Onion Dip. (we’re not talking store bought tubs here - home-made style French Onion Dip.)

Two ingredients and you’ve got a classic dip whipped up in minutes.

Finally, for the sweet treat side of Halloween, we’ll be devouring some pre-made Pillsbury Pumpkin/Ghosts/Bat cookies. Ok, laugh all you want, but anyone who tries to claim they do not like Pillsbury simple break-n-bake sugar cookies with the solid color designs on them that change every season, is a liar. They’re delicious and necessary every holiday season. But, outside of those…

We’re having Pumpkin Cookies - With the Icing this time!

Ohhhh happy day. I am super excited about all of this. I just hope my food turns out the same way!!! Regardless I’m excited for a full day of baking and sharing afterwards.

Have a Happy Halloween Pre-Weekend. I’m sure you’ve got plans if you’re celebrating this year, Enjoy It!