Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

During the holiday season, there is nothing I like more than having a large slice of pecan pie. I get it if you want to use your own crust recipe, but just to make my life a little easier I used a frozen crust.


  • 1 Pre-Made Frozen Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ cup Butter
  • 3 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped



  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Lay out the pie crust on the freezer.
  2. In a saucepan, melt down the stick of butter. Then combine sugar and corn syrup. Constantly stirring, mix the sugar and corn syrup into the butter until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat and add in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Pour the cooled sugar mixture into the bowl. Whisk this constantly so the egg doesn’t cook. Then stir in the pecans.
  4. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes.

Cranberry Meatballs

For the first time in years, I’m not hosting a huge Christmas get-together for all my friends. This year it’s going to be low key with a few girls over. Still, I am going to make a couple of snacky food for us to eat. Because I’m going with a holiday theme, I’m making a holiday version of party meatballs.


  • 2 14-ounce packages Frozen Meatballs
  • 1 14-ounce can Whole Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 17-ounce bottle Barbecue Sauce of Choice
  • ¼ Cup Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Worcheshire Sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Cayenne


  1. In a small saucepan combine the can of cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce. You want this to smooth out a bit and just start to bubble.
  2. Then mix in mustard, garlic powder, onion, Worchestire sauce, and Cayenne.
  3. For easy cleanup, put a slow cooker liner in the crockpot. Then dump in the meatballs.
  4. Pour on the sauce on top of the frozen meatballs. Put on the lid, and place them on a low setting. If you want to speed this up, either warm up the meatballs first or put them at high speed.
  5. After the meatballs have been in there an hour, mix the meatballs in with the sauce. Every hour or so, stir the meatballs so that each one of them is covered.
  6. Three to four hours later, the meatballs are ready to be eaten.

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Every spring my local museum would have a tea party. I’ve kind of outgrown that now, but I still think about these chocolate chip meringue cookies. Ever since I’ve started my blog one and a half years ago, I have been wanting to make meringue cookies. The issue was that the cookies always stuck to the pan because I didn’t have a silicone baking mat. Thanks to Amazon Prime two day shipping, I’ve learned to make my favorite cookie from my childhood just in time for the holidays.


  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 12-ounce package mini semi-sweet chocolate chips



  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °F. Lay a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet.
  2. In a clean bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat this until it’s thick.
  3. Adding only about ¼ at a time, slowly add the sugar into this gradually. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Carefully fold in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Using a spoon, drop little circles about the size of a quarter onto the mat.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven. Allow the cookies to cool in the oven for 30 extra minutes.


How To Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Once I finish up my finals this week, I will officially be in winter break mode. Meaning that I’m going to sleep at least 24 hours straight & finally catch up on TV shows. If you need a little extra push to get into the holiday season, look no further! I’m here to set you up with eight different ideas to put you in the holiday mood this season.

Decorate a Gingerbread House

About a week before Christmas, usually a few friends and I get together and decorate a gingerbread house. They never come out looking or tasting very good. It’s just one of those things you do every year, then throw away a few weeks later after it has collected dust.


Built Fire In The Fireplace

Even if you can’t burn the old yule log, you can at least pretend.


Watch Festive Holiday Movies

This step especially works well when you binge-watch five holiday movies back to back. I’m not a Hallmark Christmas kind of girl, but a few of my favorites that I watch year after year are Christmas Vacation, The Holiday, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.


Bake Cookies

Another tradition of mine is to bake way too many cookies to eat, but then eat them anyways. (Just kidding, but not really) Sending treats to your neighbors, friends, and coworkers is one way you can get on the nice list this year! I’ll link all my cookie recipes below!


Jam Out To My Holiday Playlist

Maybe this one is just a plug for you to check out my Spotify page, but Christmas music always puts me in a good mood. My family has a rule that we aren’t allowed to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Thanks to my roommate, I’ve broken that rule when we were jamming out to Last Christmas on Halloween.


Go Ice Skating

I might be skipping out on this one because I always fall on my butt.


Send Out Holiday Cards

In a digital day and age, it’s always nice to get something in the mail. Skipper & I rocked out my parents’ Christmas card last year.


Put On An Ugly Sweater

It doesn’t matter what religion you follow or if you’re super extra like me, but go put on the most hideous sweater you can find. Then go pour yourself a hot beverage, sit your butt down, and enjoy the end of the year with the people you love.


Happy Holidays,

G. Tolley

November Favorites

Goodbye November! IT’S OFFICIALLY THE HOLIDAY SEASON! Time to put up my tree, take a few finals for class, bake some cookies, and jam out to Last Christmas by Wham. But first, let’s get to my favorite things of this month.


Maybelline Master Glow Highlighter


I can’t believe it took me this long to jump on the highlighter train. I’ll basically try anything Maybelline comes out with, and once again they have come out with a hit. At least on my pale skin, this looks more like an orange-brown rather than gold. I’m not mad at this at all as it’s like a metallic bronzer on me. It especially looks great on the upper cheek up into the forehead.




Anyone who knows me personally or read my Canadian adventure post knows I love Canada. I hope in a few years my education can take me up there to grad school. (Fingers crossed!) As any semi-rebellious college girl does, I got a tattoo. Since I’ve turned 18, I’ve been thinking about getting one, but I wanted to wait to go with my friends. Fast forward to two weeks ago, they still haven’t gotten them. So I took matters into my own hands. That morning I woke up and thought “I think I’ll get a tattoo today”, so I did. I’ve kind of fell in love with the design on Ink Box, but instead of a temporary one from them I got one that isn’t coming off. Thank you so much, Jered! I love it!


Duck Boots


One thing that nobody tells you about going to college is that you need to wear comfortable shoes all the time. This should be a no-brainer, but I don’t ever listen to people’s advice. Even though all of my classes are fairly close, I do walk at least five miles a day getting around campus. Especially living in Kansas, you never know what the weather is going to be like. One hour it might be raining and the other you might be in 30 mph winds. So I decided it was time to turn in my heeled boots for duck boots. I’ve always like Sperry boots, but not the price tag. These shoes I found at Target are almost identical to the Saltwater style of Sperry, just without the logo on the back. They keep me warm with inner lining and keep my feet dry during wet days.


Essie Nail Polish- Bikini So Teeny

For the past year or so Essie has been my go-to nail polish brand. It’s on the higher priced side of drugstore brand, but in my opinion it has the longest staying power. I’ve always been terrible at painting my nails, so I still force my mom to do it on the weekends. Though it’s more of a spring color, I’m going to be wearing this all year round.


Thor: Ragnarok


Since Thor was introduced in the MCU, he was definitely my least favorite character. I’m not going to lie – he’s nice to look at, but his movies never hit home with me. This all changed at the beginning of the month when I saw Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve never laughed so much in a theatre before. The new direction that Marvel has been taking since Avengers 2 has been a blast! Taika Waititi’s vision for the God of Thunder is fantastic. The other two Thor films tried too hard to be grounded in reality and should have had more fun with it. From the first scene it basically just said we were going to embrace all the weirdness of the comics. By the way, it’s god damn funny. There is one scene particularly where Thor is telling a story about Loki turning into a snake, which I couldn’t stop laughing at. Never in a million years would I ever had thought to say that I liked a Thor movie more than Justice League. #shotsfired


November Mix

Pull Apart Bread

If I didn’t put off writing and studying for finals off to last minute, I would have made homemade bread for this. For the sake of my sanity, I just used a store-bought loaf of bread. But if you want to go the extra mile and bake your own bread, go ahead and try this easy french loaf recipe from genius kitchen. ( I promise if you take this for a holiday meal, you will be the MVP of that night.

bread big.jpg


  • One loaf of bread, not pre-sliced
  • 8 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Dry Ranch Seasoning Packet
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Meltdown the butter in the microwave or on the stove top. Stir in the garlic, ranch seasoning, salt, and parsley.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the bread into 1-inch diagonal strips. Don’t go all the way down as you don’t want to make bread slices. Then turn the loaf 90* and repeat to create a grid into the bread.
  4. Using a rubber cooking brush, brush on half of the seasoned butter into the cuts you have made. Then stuff the loaf with mozzarella cheese.
  5. To finish it off, brush on the remaining of the butter. Place it on the baking sheet, and completely cover the bread with another layer of tin foil.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the top tin foil and continue to bake for 5 minutes.

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Bars

I didn’t want to call this recipe a rice crispy treat because we are using cinnamon square cereal. I had something similar a few weeks back and wanted to see if I could make it at home. It’s one of those recipes where you don’t have to measure things out for say; you just have to eyeball what you are putting in..

creal bar big.jpg


  • 6 Cups Cinnamon Squares
  • 4 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 5 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon


  1. In a large pot meltdown the butter on a low heat. With a nonstick spoon or spatula, stir in the marshmallows. Continue to stir this until it’s smooth. Then add the peanut butter and cinnamon.
  2. Now that everything is combined, carefully fold in the cinnamon squares. Don’t be too rough on them so the cereal doesn’t break.
  3. In a 9×13 pan, spray down the edges with nonstick spray. Pour in the gooey mixture, and pat down the cereal to compact it.
  4. Allow them to cool down and sit for at least five hours.

Turkey Apple Cheddar Sandwich

One skill that I continually impress myself with is my ability to bake bread. While out at dinner with my roommate, I had this fantastic sandwich that I wanted to recreate. Though the bread takes a day to make, I think it’s worth it over store-bought bread. My bread recipe makes about 5 sandwiches.



  • 3 cups Self Rising Flour
  • 1 Packet Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries
  • ½ cup Walnuts, Chopped
  • 1 ⅓ cup Water


  • 1 Gala Apple, chopped
  • 2 cup Original Cabbage Coleslaw Mix
  • 2 tablespoons Dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • ½  cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2  teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Honey


  • 1 pound Honey Roasted Turkey Deli Meat
  • 5 slices White Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 cups Arugula


  1. In a standing mixer, mix together the flour, yeast, salt, cranberries, walnuts, and water. Using a paddle attachment or bread hoke, mix this together on a medium setting for two minutes.
  2. While still in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap. Let this sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Since there are no dairy products in this, it is fine sitting out.
  3. Later, preheat the oven to 450*F . Line either a dutch oven, circle dish with a line, or an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, and shape the dough into a ball. Place it into the pan and cover it. If you are using a cake pan, cover it with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid. Continue to bake it after that for an additional 15 minutes. Before making sandwiches with this, let it cool outside of the pan for an hour.
  5. In a medium-size bowl, mix with a spoon the chopped apple, cabbage slaw mix, cranberries, walnuts, greek yogurt, lemon juice, and honey.
  6. Slice the bread into roughly 1-inch slices. Lay on the turkey, cheddar cheese, the slaw, and arugula.

October Monthly Favorites

As we shift into the Holiday Season, I find myself asking where did the year go. Last month was crazy busy with school, which kind of explains why I’m uploading this halfway into November already. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun.


EyeStudio Brow Precise Micro Pencil


For the past year, I’ve been filling in my eyebrows using Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Define and Fill Duo in Deep Brown, but I finally finished using the whole pencil. Instead of repurchasing it, I wanted to try something new. If you read my makeup routine post from last month, you would know the Brow Duo was a direct color match for me. For about three weeks now I’ve been using the Brow Precise Micro Pencil. It’s the same great color and formula of the Brown Duo but in a thinner tip. This helps you control the product more, and the spoolie end helps shape the hairs.


Hoola Bronzer


The cult classic Hoola bronzer has always been on my wishlist. What kept me away was the thought of spending $30 on a single makeup product. I usually stick to drugstore brands because I like to try new products. While at Ulta I found that Benefit makes a mini version now. Even for a pale girl like me, this will give you a sunkissed glow (as long as you blend it out well).


Love Sweater


Actually, I bought this sweater a few months ago and saved it until the cold weather. If the past couple weeks are any indication, winter is coming. Right now it’s the right time to break out my sweaters for the year. The shirt itself is standard for Old Navy, but what makes it stand apart is the detailing on the wording. The inside of LOVE is made of red velvet. It’s just a cozy sweatshirt that’s going to keep me warm until spring rolls around.
American Vandal

Palm Party copy
If you caught my post from two weeks ago before it was taken down, or if you’ve seen the show, American Vandal might be the best TV series of 2017. It’s the true crime style of drama and turns it into a comedy mockumentary. American Vandal is about a high school senior who is accused of vandalizing his teachers’ cars. The eight episodes takes about four hours to finish. Personally, I think it’s best if you binge-watch them back to back which isn’t hard because it’s addictive. Once the mystery starts, you aren’t going to stop until you find out who sprayed the graffiti. The ending is fairly open-ended, leaving it up to the viewers to make their own decisions. However, they are making a second season.

Pecan Pumpkin Cake

I might have gone too far on this recipe. Pumpkin is a staple in the majority of my desserts in the fall. Instead of going the easy route for this, I decided to make my own pumpkin purée. As long as it takes to make it, it’s probably not worth it for the time you put in. But hey, you’ve got to try everything at least once! Plus, I guess now I have enough pumpkin to last me for two years. Anyways, this cake is rich and moist and doesn’t take too long to make (unless you make your own pumpkin purée like me).



  • 1 Can Pumpkin purée (about a five-pound pumpkin)
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Yellow Cake mix
  • 1/2 Pecans


  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, melted



1.) To make the pumpkin purée from scratch, first preheat the oven to 450* F.

2.) Cut the pumpkin into four equal pieces and scrape out the guts. Then remove the stem. From there, cut the four large slices into smaller pieces. Doing this will make sure they cook faster.

3.) Bake for an hour on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4.) Let the pumpkin cool for ten minutes before handling. Reduce the oven to 350*. Using a large spoon, scoop out the meat of the pumpkin. Leave the outside skin.

5.) In a food processor, purée the pumpkin until there are no more chucks. Allow this to cool for at least 30 minutes before cooking with it.

6.) In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the pumpkin purée or one 16 oz can. Combine it with the remaining cake ingredients of the evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, cake mix, and pecans. Pour this into a greased 9×13 pan.

7.) In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter to make a crumb topping.

8.) Evenly lay the crumbs on top of the cake, and bake for 35 minutes.