G. Tolley

Orange Chicken — September 16, 2017

Orange Chicken

I could eat PF Chang’s orange peel chicken every day. Instead of spending $20 on a meal, I recreated it at home. Unlike other orange chicken, it’s not deep fried so I don’t feel as bad when eating it.


  • 1 1/2 lb Chicken Thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup +1 tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1 cup Orange Marmalade
  • 1/2 cup Original BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Orange, zested
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil



1.) Marinate the chicken in 1/4 cup of soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Let this sit for an hour in the fridge.

2.) In a large bowl combine orange marmalade, a tablespoon of soy sauce, BBQ sauce, red pepper flakes, the zest of an orange, garlic, and ginger.

3.) Heat a skillet on a medium-high setting. With tongs, carefully put the chicken into the oil to fry it. (You must make sure you remove any excess marinade for the chicken.) Let this cook for five minutes, and flip the chicken over. Then allow this to cook for an additional three minutes.

4.) Pour the sauce over the chicken in the skillet. Lower the temperature to medium and allow this to simmer and thicken for four minutes.

Fall 2017 Makeup Routine — September 13, 2017

Fall 2017 Makeup Routine

My makeup routine is constantly evolving. I’m always up for trying new products and adding them into my daily regimen. I’ve compiled a list of my current favorite beauty items and why/how I use them.

Olay Original Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid


From the beginning of my makeup days, my mom always told me to make sure to moisturize before putting on makeup. Honestly, I will use almost any face lotion for this, but normally it’s either made by Olay or a generic version of it.


Clinique All About Eyes


On top of my moisturizer, I put on a thin layer of eye cream. I’ve been using this Clinique cream on and off for a couple of years, and I’ve just started using it regularly again. I have mega dry skin, so it’s important for me to moisturize before I put on foundation so it isn’t flaky. Plus, I’ve noticed in the past month of using this that my under eyes have become brighter.


Clean and Clear Persa-Gel


Besides from having dry skin, I have acne prone skin. I like using this for any zits that might of pop up overnight.


ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer- Green


I don’t know how well this primer works, but I’ve been using it a while now, and my foundation seems to not come off during the day.


Maybelline FaceStudio Master Camo Color Correcting Pen- Green


Recently I’ve discovered color correction. This Maybelline pen is just green colored concealer, but it masks red tones on my skin.


Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Foundation


I’ve always trusted Maybelline when it comes to my foundation. When I look for foundation I want a full coverage and a dewy look, and I get both of them in this foundation. I find this formula works pretty fantastic for me because it’s relatively easy to blend. I apply it with an Elf Foundation Brush (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/foundation-brush?dept=tools-single-brushes) and then buff that out with another Elf Powder Brush. (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/studio-powder-brush?dept=tools-single-brushes)


Maybelline Fit Me Concealer- Light


I originally bought this only because it had the same name of the foundation. I only need this for red spots and under the eyes. Again with this, I buff it out with the ELF powder brush.


Tone Correcting Powder


To set all of this so far, I use my Tone Correcting Powder from ELF. I do find it evens out my foundation and makes sure it doesn’t go anywhere during the day. If you haven’t figured out by now, I love ELF brushes, and I put this on with an ELF Complexion Brush. (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/complexion-brush?dept=makeup-brushes)


ELF Baked Highlighter- Gem


Though ELF says this is a highlighter, this is just a mega pigmented baked blush. I use ELF’s Powder Brush for this step. (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/essential-powder-brush?dept=tools-single-brushes)


FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter


Next up, I have the Master Strobing Stick. It’s super creamy, and I apply this to my cheekbones with the same ELF Powder Brush.


Maybelline FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter


I love my skin to be glowing, so on top of the Strobing Stick, I dust on this highlighter. Typically, I place this on my upper cheekbone up around my eyebrow. Again, I use another ELF brush, but I like having a little more control using an Angled Brush. (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/angled-blush-brush?dept=tools-single-brushes)


Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic Multi-Colored Custom Light Bronzer- Warm Beige


I try to add some color back into my face while also “trying” to add some dimension with this Physicians Formula Bronzer. For this, I use the Bronzing Brush from ELF. (https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/bronzing-brush?dept=tools-single-brushes)


Ulta Eye Crayon- Cheers

From here, I move onto the eyes. I guess Ulta doesn’t make this eye crayon in their in store brand anymore. Anyways, this color is called Cheers and was part of a holiday gift package. This texture is similar to cream eyeshadow, so my dupe for this is Smokey Quartz (http://www.ulta.com/cream-eyeshadow?productId=xlsImpprod5721070) from the Ulta collection. I wear this on its own or as a base for other colors.


Urban Decay Naked Smoky


Urban Decay’s Naked Palettes are a yearly splurge makeup item for me. Though my Naked 2 Palette is my favorite of the series, I get way more use out of the Naked Smoky. First of all, Black Market is almost an identical match to my eyebrows. I’ve tried several different brow powders in the last year, but I keep going back to this. The dozen shadow also makes almost any neutral smoky eye look.


Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Define and Fill Duo- Deep Brown


I only use the pencil half of this duo. The filling powder is ok, but it isn’t a direct match for me. The waxy defining pencil is dark enough to match the black powder from the Naked palette. It’s perfect for marking out my arches.


Ulta Automatic Eyeliner- Java


From there I line the top and lower thirds of my eyes. Personally, I prefer brown eyeliner over black because it’s more natural looking. This Ulta eyeliner is also slightly sparkly.


Urban Decay Perversion Mascara- Blackest Black


I’m not even 100% sure why I bought this mascara since I wouldn’t usually spend more than $6 on mascara. I like this mascara because I keep a good curl, but I will probably not repurchase this.


Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm- Woppin’ Watermelon


I almost never get out the door with lipstick on, but I’ve repurchased this colored lip balm several times since I first bought it in seventh grade. It’s not quite glossy, but it isn’t matte. Pro tip: Don’t leave it in the car on a hot summer day.

Baked French Toast — September 2, 2017

Baked French Toast

There is nothing more I miss when I’m at college than weekend breakfasts with my family and my dog Skip. This recipe is quite simple compared to regular french toast because you just have to pour it into a pan. Plus, you don’t have to waste your morning watching and flipping individual slices of toast.



  • 1 French Loaf
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Half & Half
  • ¾ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground


  • ½ cup Flour
  • ⅔ Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened



  1. Cube the bread into 1-inch pieces and place into a greased 9×13 pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients that you need for the toast, which are the eggs, milk, half & half, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  3. Pour this over the bread so it can soak overnight. Cover it and put it in the fridge for at least six hours.
  4. The next day, mix all the dry ingredients for the topping together. Then cut the butter into the topping with your hands until it crumbles.
  5. Sprinkle this over the top of the bread and bake for 50 minutes.
August Favorites — August 30, 2017

August Favorites

Now that August has passed, I’m officially in fall mode. Bring on the pumpkin spice lattes and long sleeves. Some of these items were featured in my dorm room tour, but now I’m going to be more detailed on why I bought them.


Classic Utility Shirt Jacket



Honestly, Old Navy has the most amazing sales out there. This year for back to school shopping, I picked out everything while I was in the store itself. Later, I ordered it online when they had 40% off with free shipping. I picked this up because I thought this shirt was different than everything else I own. It’s a bit too warm for it right now, so I’ll be wearing this more in a month when it cools down. It looks fantastic with the warm tones of my hair and can be layered or worn on its own.

Darley End Table – Threshold


If you read the last post on my dorm room, you probably saw my new side table. I’m kind of picky when it comes to furniture, and this might be the best purchase I’ve ever made. In this day and age of technology, I’m always on my phone. This means my phone is always dead. If you flip up the top panel of the table, it reveals a plug-in. It’s nice to have when I’m working late at night, and when I need to charge my laptop it’s already there.


MAYBELLINE FaceStudio Master Camo Color Correcting Pen


By nature, I have very red pigmented skin. My ELF green primer mutes the redness a little, but this is basically just green concealer. Either you can dab it on or put it on all over. On top of that, you need to layer on foundation to conceal the green. It works because, like many are aware of, green cancels out red on the color wheel.


Rolling Laundry Hamper



Though I love living in a dorm, the one thing I hate is doing laundry. Especially because your laundry room is on another floor. I have two of these hampers, one for wet towels and another for clothes. On laundry day, I just have to throw everything in the basket and go down the elevator.


Monthly Playlist


Leftover Burritos — August 25, 2017

Leftover Burritos

I could easily eat Mexican food for every meal for the rest of my life. Because I didn’t want to get groceries this weekend, I decided to raid the pantry for anything to make a meal. I had all of this on hand, but you might not. This is relatively mild, so you can add jalapenos to the filling or add your favorite hot sauce to the sauce I made.


  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 1 ½ lbs Pulled Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can Green Chiles
  • 2 teaspoons Onion, Dried
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika, Ground
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, Dried
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas


  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream



  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray down a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot to a boil, and cook the brown rice to the directions on the packaging. Once this is done, drain it and put it into a big bowl.
  3. Now stir in the shredded pork, cheese, Rotel, green chiles, onion, oregano, and pepper. Measure out about ¼ cup of this and add it to a tortilla. Roll it up and place seam side down into the dish. You should be able to put eight burritos into the pan.
  4. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Then stir in the flour to create a roux. Continuously whisk this for two minutes.
  6. From there, add the garlic and chicken broth. Allow this to simmer for five minutes while continuing to whisk it.
  7. Add remaining ingredients of cumin, salt, pepper, ⅓ cup cheese, and cream cheese to pot. By this time the sauce should be thick.
  8. Pour this over the burritos once they are done baking, and add remaining ⅔ cup cheese on top.
  9. Put the dish back in the oven for 15 minutes.


Dorm Tour/ Haul — August 23, 2017

Dorm Tour/ Haul

If you didn’t know already, I’ve moved out and I’m off at college. This week I thought I’d share my dorm room with you. Maybe if you’re going to college soon or heading back for the fall, you can find some inspiration from my room. The majority of what I bought I was able to find a link for most of the things. For some items I couldn’t find, I linked to similar items online. Also, I should say that I have an above average dorm room. My roommate and I got a two person private suite, which means we both have our own rooms. I included our shared living room as well.



Computer- Best Buy


Marble Sticky Note- Target


File Sorter- Walmart


Pencil Organizer- Target


File Organizer- Ikea


Marble Tape Disperse- Target





Poster-  Local Boutique





Poster Frame- Ikea


Everything else I already had 




Makeup Drawers- Walmart



Makeup Brushes- Target


Salt Lamp- Amazon



Ring Holder- Icing



Llama Bookends- Target


Mirror- Bed Bath and Beyond






Small Hamper- Target


Chair- Target



Rug- At Home






Mirror with Storage- Target



Memo Board- Hobby Lobby




Neon- DIY

Three Drawer Storage- Target ( They are inside)




Mini Fridge- Walmart



Dry Erase- Target



Dino Plant DIY


Small Canadian Flag- Disney World




Printer- Walmart



Step Stool- Ikea


Trash Can – Home Goods (It’s besides the step stool)






Comforter- Target


Sheets- At Home

https://www.athome.com/vintage-glamour-silver-peony-sheets-twin-xl/124207567.html#q=Twin+xl+sheets start=1

Mattress Topper- Bed Bath and Beyond


https://www.amazon.com/Best-Price-Mattress-Memory-Topper/dp/B01M2XJ6AG/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden &ie=UTF8&qid=1503172728&sr=1-2&keywords=mattress+topper+twin+xl+4+inch



Bird Pillow- Ikea




Blue Circle Pillow- DIY

Standard Pillow- Ikea



Body Pillow- Bed Bath and Beyond



Rest Pillow – Target



Blanket- Target





End Table- Target


Lamp- World Market




Lamp Shade- World Market


Fan- Target




Living Room


Black & White Pillow- Ikea



Blue Dot Pillow- Ikea




Shelf- Ikea



Baskets- Target

https://www.target.com/p/y-weave-medium-storage-bin-room-essentials-153/-/A-52672541#lnk=same tab preselect=50662750


Record Player- Amazon





Keurig- Target

https://www.target.com/p/keurig-174-2-0-k200-coffee-maker-brewing-system/-/A-17262041#lnk=same tab preselect=16934541

K Cup Storage- Target


Amazon Dot- Amazon


Microwave- Walmart


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-Beach-0-7-cu-ft-Microwave-Oven/20563927?variant FieldId=actual_color


G Mug- Anthropologie


Black & White Mug- Ikea



Lamp- Lowes







Coasters- Amazon

Tapestry- Online



Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade — August 19, 2017

Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade

Fall is quickly approaching, but with this drink you can have a little bit of summer all year round. I honestly love this drink because it’s refreshing and simple.


  • 1 Cup Ice
  • ½ Cup Strawberries
  • ½ Cup Pineapple
  • 1 Lemon




  1. Clean and prepare all the fruits. I like to cut off the top of the strawberries, but you can keep them on if you’d like. For your lemon, all you need is the juice.
  2. Add all of the ingredients into a blender, and set to a high setting to liquefy the concoction.
Apple Dump Cake — August 12, 2017

Apple Dump Cake

When I ask people why they don’t cook, they usually say something like it’s too hard or requires too much equipment. This is one of my mom’s favorite desserts, and it doesn’t need a mixer or even a bowl. What I like about this recipe is that it’s customizable to whatever fruit you want to use, but for this example I’ll be using apple.  


  • 2 cans Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter / 1 Stick


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your dish by spraying down a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Open your cans of pie filling, and dump them into the pan. You don’t want to drain any of the juices because that’s what will make the cake on the top rise. Make sure the fruit is evenly spread out.
  3. Sprinkle on the yellow cake mix, and on top of that add the brown sugar. Again, on this step, remember to spread it out.
  4. Cut the stick of butter into ½ inch slices. Then layer them on top of the brown sugar.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
Travel Bucket List — August 9, 2017

Travel Bucket List

Life is too short not to explore. The world is full of seemingly endless new places to discover, and it features a broad range of cultures and opportunities. This is why my parents took me on vacation while growing up, as they wanted to show me there is a world outside of small town, USA. This sense of adventure has always been inside of me. In a way, this is what fueled my interest in anthropology and my future profession as a museum curator. I’ve combined a bucket list of where I would love to go on vacation one day. I’m almost certain in the next couple of years I’ll be accomplishing a few of these.



Madrid, Spain

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.08.20 PM.png

I’d love to visit Europe, but who wouldn’t? I think I wouldn’t love London or Paris because they are overcrowded and just a little too touristy for me. Madrid is beautiful all year round and has breathtaking architecture. The only issue is that my Spanish skills are VERY rusty.


Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia.jpg

Ever since I was a kid watching the Crocodile Hunter, I’ve wanted to go to Austrailia. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be a fan of the outback, but I’d die just to spend a day hanging out at the harbor watching the ships come and go.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.11.19 PM.png

Much like Las Vegas, Dubai sits in a middle of a desert. The modern day cosmopolitan city has the world’s tallest building, has great shopping, and seems to know how to provide a good time.


Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas.jpg

In past years, Austin has turned into the hipster paradise of the south. One of the biggest hipster conventions in the world is held there every March and is called South by Southwest. I’ve always wanted to go to the week-long event that takes over the whole city. Hopefully one year it will be held during Spring Break so I can drive down with some friends for the week.


Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa.jpg

Name one other place in the world where you can see mountains, beaches full of penguins, and wild giraffes in the same day. You can’t!


Vancouver, Canada

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.17.17 PM

If you didn’t know already, I LOVE CANADA. Earlier in the summer, I got to visit a few spots in British Columbia, and ever since then I’ve been trying to persuade my parents to go back. For me, it’s perfect because it never gets too hot. Vancouver has incredible nature life, and the Canadian people are just the best.


Chicago, Illinois

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.18.40 PM.png

John Hughes’s films of the 80s made me fall madly in love with Chicago. Maybe it’s something about the endless skyscrapers, or something about me just wanting to visit the Field Museum. All I know is that Chicago is a must visit for me in the next few years.


Havana, Cuba

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.19.30 PM.png

It’s just crazy to think only 300 miles away from Miami, there is a place that was off limits for years. I don’t think I’d like to spend a whole week there, but possibly visit on a three-day cruise instead.


Seattle, Washington

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.20.21 PM.png

Another hipster hotspot is Seattle, Washington. I’ve been to Seattle once this summer, but only for four hours while driving to the harbor for our cruise. Just like Vancouver, I love the weather. Honestly, I love rainy days and it rains there almost every day.

Bacon Shake — August 6, 2017

Bacon Shake

Between me and my three best friends, we have a little inside joke which revolves around a bacon shake. The story is that one time at Color Guard camp I ordered a bacon shake from Sonic. Everyone was weirded out by it, but it was delicious. They don’t have bacon shakes anymore, but I wanted to recreate at home.


  • 1/2 lb. Bacon
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1-pint Heavy cream
  • 1 14 oz. can Sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 cups Milk


  1. To start this shake, we need to make some candied bacon. Preheat the oven to 400 F. On a tin foil lined baking sheet, lay out your bacon. Sprinkle on the brown sugar onto the bacon. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the bacon is caramelized. Let the bacon cool for an hour.
  2. In a mixer or large bowl, whip the cream until strong peaks form. Whisk in the condensed milk, vanilla, and maple syrup. Then fold in the sea salt and bacon.
  3. Pour this into a baking dish, and allow to freeze for at least 6 hours.
  4. After this, measure out about 4 cups of ice cream. Put this into a blender with milk, and pulse until it’s combined.