G. Tolley

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

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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

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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.
Grilled Pizza — July 29, 2017

Grilled Pizza

Just like the rest of the world, I like pizza. I’ve been wanting to make a pie for some time, and because it’s perfect grilling weather I wanted to make a grilled pizza. I wanted to make this really simple so that you could add to it at home with your favorite toppings. Since I never made a homemade pizza before, I’ll be using Mario Batali’s recipe from Buzzfeed.





  • 1¼ cups Warm water
  • 1/2 ¼-ounce Packet Active Dry Yeast
  • ¾ teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 ¾  cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • 1 cup Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Oregano
  • 1 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves, minced



  1. In a small bowl, take your warm water, yeast, and sugar and mix them together. Let the yeast activate for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients of flour and salt.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until the dough comes together.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it for 5 minutes. It should be smooth.
  5. Take your large bowl form earlier, and spray it down with cooking spray. Put the dough back in and cover it. In a warm area, let this rise for an hour and a half.
  6. Now that it has doubled in size, punch out the air. Divide the dough in half, and form two balls of it. Set them to a side for 15 minutes.
  7. Either with a food processor or a blender, liquify the crushed tomatoes, garlic, pepper, salt, and oregano.
  8. At this time make sure your grill is clean, and heat it to 400 degrees.
  9. Roll out the dough into 10-inch circles, and spray it with cooking spray. One at a time, carefully place the dough onto the grill. Grill each side for four minutes.
  10. Add the pizza sauce, cubed mozzarella, and basil leaves. Then put it back on the grill for 4 minutes to melt the cheese.
July Favorites 2017 + Playlist — July 26, 2017

July Favorites 2017 + Playlist

I know I say this almost every month but this month was really fast. Maybe because I’ve spent my whole month studying or traveling out of state basically every weekend. Really now that July is over, I’m counting down the days until the big move next month. If you haven’t already, after this go ahead and read last week’s post. There will be a few changes in my posting schedule for the rest of the year.


Montalbano Shampoo Bar



It’s a true fact that I have a lot of hair. As stated in my hair post, I have very thick, dry, wavy, and dark hair. I’m always trying out new hair products for extra moisture but ones that aren’t going to leave build up. There is nothing more than I hate than after rinsing my hair and being left with a noticeable buildup. When I was at the Lush store earlier in the month, I decided to try out one of their shampoo bars. It’s really weird the first time you use it because you’re just rubbing a bar on your head. It has a citrus and rosemary base that’s wonderful for clarifying hair. Plus, your hair will smell amazing afterwards.


Black & White Letter Board

http://www.joann.com/dcwv-home-10×20-black-white-letter-board-with-1-black-letters/15546484.html#q=message%Board Started=9


Like I said in the introduction, I’m moving out next month into a dorm. Slowly I’ve been picking up some decor items. Originally I was going to buy a felt letter board, but they are really expensive. This brand has three different sizes and comes in a couple different colors.


NYX Slim Eye Pencil in Seafoam Green


All over Instagram, I’ve been seeing super vibrant and colorful eyeliner looks. I’m not as daring as most girls when it comes to makeup, so I’m only going to use this to line my under eye. Originally I bought this for Halloween but kind of forgot I even had it afterwards. Because I have smaller hooded eyes, I’m always trying to find little ways to brighten them up.


Ikea Pillows- Hylle



This is another purchase I made for my dorm room. It’s just a basic pillow. Ikea has an amazing wide collection of pillows that fit all price points and firmness levels. This one is on the higher end of pillows at Ikea. I do spend at least 8 hours a night sleeping on it, so I think pillows are worth the investment. This style has a firm core with a cotton pillow outside.


Apple – 21.5″ iMac® – Intel Core i5 (2.3GHz) – 8GB Memory – 1TB Hard Drive – Silver


I’ve always dreamed about getting a Mac. Yeah, it’s not cheap, but it’s going to last me for my whole college career. Originally I was going to get a MacBook Pro, but I ultimately decided to go with the iMac. For classes, I’m going to use my Samsung Chromebook, but this will sit at my desk at home. I find myself doing better in classes when I have a designated workplace to do homework. I think if I had a laptop, I’d just do my homework in bed and get distracted more. Overall I love it. This is the newest model and the keyboard and mouse have fantastic battery life.


Special K Protein Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and the most important. If I had my way I’d eat french toast, bacon, and hashbrowns for breakfast every day. Truth is, that just isn’t healthy. A lot of people eat protein bars before a workout, but they are just an easy breakfast for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to eat the 20g of protein Thinkthin bars, but these are less dense and have a fewer chemicals.


July Mix

Turkey Basil Sandwiches — July 22, 2017

Turkey Basil Sandwiches

For this recipe, I decided to bake a whole turkey breast rather than buying deli meat. The smallest breast I could find was 3 lbs, so after I made these sandwiches I had plenty of leftovers. If you don’t want to make the whole breast just go ahead and buy a pound of sliced turkey meat.



  • 3 lb Turkey Breast
  • 4 tablespoons Basil
  • 4 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls
  • 4 slices Provolone Cheese
  • ⅓ cup Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • 4 tablespoons Basil
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon Pepper



  1. For at least 24 hours allow the frozen turkey breast to defrost in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a tin foil lined roasting pan, place the turkey breast in the center. Then add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and rub on 2 tablespoons of basil. Loosely cover it with a sheet of tin foil. My turkey breast took 2 and a half hours to bake, but you will know when it’s done when the center of it registers as 160 degrees. Let this cool down for two hours before carving into slices.
  3. Combine the mayo, basil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, and one tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl.
  4. Slice and prepare the tomato, then set to the side.
  5. In a skillet on a medium high heat, drizzle on the rest of the olive oil and toast the faces of the rolls.
  6. Spread a little of the mayo on the top bun. Then on the bottom bun add on about 4 oz of turkey, followed by some tomato and a slice of provolone. Put the sandwich together, and put it back in the skillet for a few minutes to melt the cheese.


GTolley.com Update — July 19, 2017

GTolley.com Update

I thought I’d update everyone about some changes on gtolley.com. First of all, you might have noticed the new timeline style layout on the website. The theme I picked out is Lingonberry by Anders Noren and is free on WordPress.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 11.04.02 PM.png

Since I do have a Premium account, I can customize the website a little bit. Currently, I’m using FF Market for headings and the default theme font for a base font.

Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 11.04.54 PM.png

Desktop and tablet users can also see the new palm leaf background, which I got from Creative Commons.Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 11.03.16 PM.png


Plus, I updated my logo this week as well. I did this by using my two favorite design websites, Canva and Picmonkey. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to add some custom CSS elements as well.

Next month I restart school, and I’m going to change my uploading schedule. At least for this semester, expect normal blog posts on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Monthly favorites will be included with the blog post on the 4th week. What will stay the same is each Saturday there will be a recipe uploaded here. Every once in awhile, I’ll post a random blog as well. 



Apple Pie — July 15, 2017

Apple Pie

I might have lied to you a couple weeks ago when I said that hamburgers are the most American food out there. Ask anyone, but nothing is more American than a homemade apple pie.


  • 2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, diced and chilled
  • ½ Ice Water

Pie Filling

  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 3 Gala Apples
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 3 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  1. In a standing mixer or in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Then using the mixing pallet or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it starts to form coarse crumbs. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time to form the crust.
  2. Divide the crust in half, and wrap them in plastic wrap. Put this into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Clean off and dice your two kinds of apples. (Feel free to peel off the skin if you want.) Add them to a large bowl, and combine with the cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
  4. Take one of your crusts out of the freezer, and roll it out to fit into the pie tin. Spray down the pie tin with cooking spray, then carefully put the crust into the pan. After this, pour in the apples and put this into the fridge.
  5. Either in a saucepan or a small skillet, melt down the butter on a medium-high heat. When melted, add in the flour and mix together to make a paste.
  6. Stir in the water, ½ cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Let this simmer on a medium heat for three minutes. While the sugar dissolves, keep stirring during this step. Remove from heat and set to the side. Stir every minute or so to make sure it stays smooth and doesn’t burn.
  7. Now take the other pie crust out from the freezer. Roll it out into 12-inch rectangles using a rolling pin. Then cut out 12 even strips.
  8. Take the pie out of the fridge, and on top of the apples lay on six of the strips. Fold back every other strip on itself, and lay down one of the other strips. Then fold the strips back up. Repeat this, but now use the other strips that weren’t folded back the first time, and add in another strip. You basically just weave the strips of crust together, but here’s a video reference.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK bLX AHbc
  9. Once the top crust is woven, slowly pour on the cooled down sauce on top of the pie. Make sure you get it around the edges and tap the pie onto the counter so that the sauce seeps down a little into the apple filling.
  10. Bake in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes, followed by turning down the heat to 250 for 30 minutes.