clay catch-all bowl


Every morning I feel like I’m going on a treasure hunt for my keys. I never put them in the same place twice. They could be in my purse, clipped to the handle of my purse, on the bannister, on the counter under a bunch of junk, on my nightstand, the list goes on.

This is one of my morning routines that I’d like to see, well, less routine. I happened to pin this cute DIY jewelry dish on my pinterest board awhile back, and I suddenly realized that a little bowl on the bannister would be the perfect place to stash my keys.

So I picked up some crafting clay and away I went! This was my first time working with clay, and I have to say it was easier than I thought it would be but still somewhat challenging. Mostly because I’m a psycho OCD perfectionist and my bowl didn’t come out perfectly symmetric and I painted “keys” a little off center.

But as James reminded me, it’s the little imperfections in homemade items that make them what they are. I’ll probably have to tell myself that a million times before I get over it, but I’ll get there.


8 oz of white crafting clay

X-acto knife

Copper paint

Paint brushes

Rolling pin

Parchment or wax paper

Small & medium size glass bowls


1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.

2. Take the clay and knead it in your hands until it softens up, enough that you can shape it.

3. On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, roll out the clay to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. Note: The clay should be non-toxic, but the tutorial I used recommended using a rolling pin that was only used for crafts, not food. I took the advice and used an old fondant roller I no longer needed.

4. Take your small bowl and turn it upside onto the clay, pressing down slightly. Then, use the X-acto knife to cut around the edge of the bowl.

5. Remove the round piece of clay and gently lay it inside the medium size bowl. Try to place it inside the bowl so the edges are all even; make sure one side isn’t hanging down lower than the other.

6. Place the bowl in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. While it’s baking, the clay should sink down a bit until it begins to take the shape of the bowl and the edges curve up a bit.

7. After it’s finished baking, remove the bowl from the oven. Do not remove the clay until it is 100 percent cooled.

8. Once it’s cooled, gently remove the clay from the glass bowl. You should have a nice clay bowl to work with. Now grab your paint and a paint brush, flip the bowl over and paint the outside. Let dry for about an hour.

9. Flip your bowl right side up and paint the trim in the same color.

10. Take a smaller paintbrush and carefully write ‘keys’ on the inside of the bowl. Try taking a few practice strokes on a piece of cardboard or paper first if you’re nervous. Let it dry for an hour or overnight and your bowl should be ready to hold your keys in the morning.



flower wreath

A certain someone in my apartment is always complaining about how our neighbor is “beating us” because she has a wreath on her door for every season and we do not.

To correct this injustice in the world and put us on top, I decided to get crafty.

I saw this tutorial the other day and immediately starting brainstorming ideas for a DIY flower wreath. A trip to Michaels for supplies for another project gave me the extra little push I needed to do try it.

And now, I have a pretty peony wreath hanging on my door. I picked peonies because they’re my favorite flower. Michael’s had about six different colors, but I settled on the traditional pink, a peachy coral color and white. I think it’s perfect for spring and summer, don’t you?


Styrofoam wreath

Faux flowers


Wire cutters


Hot glue & glue gun


1. Plug in your glue gun and let it heat up. Make sure you’re using a surface that can get a little gunk on it, because the glue might leak out a little.

2. Use the wire cutters to remove the flower heads from their stems. Set the flowers aside. p.s. you can use any flower, in any color in any size. Combining different colors and sizes is totally fine, I just chose to do one type of flower and size to make the project simpler.

3. Take the ribbon and wrap it around the wreath so that it is completely covered. Glue the end pieces to the wreath and let them dry completely.

4. Put some hot glue on the bottom of the flower head, then place it on the wreath. Press down for a few seconds to make sure it sticks. Glue down any pieces that might be sticking up.

5. Continue placing and gluing the flowers down until you’ve covered the entire wreath.

6. Let everything dry for about 15 minutes, then hang the wreath on your front door (:

I might be a little biased, but I think our wreath is prettier than the neighbors. I would prove it to you but I don’t want to get caught taking a photo of my neighbor’s door.

P.S. If I were you, I’d try to find something a little thinner for the wreath base. The one I picked up is kind of bulky, and I think it shows. Maybe not when you’re looking straight at it, but when I was walking by the apartment I could totally tell it was super thick, so it didn’t lay on the door as nicely and barely fit on the hanger.

If I find a thinner solution, I might pluck those peonies off and recreate this wreath For now, I’m fine with it. Especially because I realize this P.S. has been a little on the OCD side, and I promised myself I would start trying to let those things go.



puppy treats

Jordy has always been extremely curious about the kitchen. He’s always poking  his nose around in there, trying to steal a little bite of whatever James & I are cooking up. I’ve even caught him jumping up and throwing his paws on the counter just to get a better look/chance to get a snack.

But James and I have been super strict about not letting Jordy have any people food. We’ve both seen the negative consequences of dogs who have been fed a diet of people food for too long and we promised each other we wouldn’t go there. Although he’s never been rewarded for his adventures in the kitchen, Jordy keeps coming back.

So I thought it was finally time to make something he could actually eat. You know, to make him feel better (:

I googled about 50 recipes for DIY dog treats and I settled on a pumpkin & peanut butter combo. Jordy had peanut butter once at the veterinarian’s office and he absolutely loved it, so I figured it would a safe bet. Plus, his current favorite dog treats have pumpkin in them.

Jordy knew instantly that these little treats were for him. The minute I held one up he started jumping up and down and running around in circles. It took me 5 minutes before I could calm him down. And every time I held up the treat, he would try to give me his paw to shake when all I wanted was to snap a picture! We’ve trained him well apparently, because usually he can’t get his treats without giving us a shake and a hi-five.

I’m pretty sure Jordy loved these. I didn’t get the cute puppy smile like the one he gave me to get his beloved rawhides, but  I could tell he was pleased.


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup of pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

2 eggs


1. Toss all the ingredients into a stand mixer and beat using the paddle attachment.

2. Once the dough forms, grab a handful of the dough and roll into a giant ball.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use your favorite mini cookie cutter to cut cute little shapes out. Full disclosure, I don’t have any mini cookie cutters and I didn’t want to run out to the store so I used a shot glass. I just turned it upside down and rammed it into the dough as hard as I could. FYI, shot glasses do not make great cookie cutters…

4. Place treats on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30 minutes.

5. Let the treats cool completely before giving them to your pup. Store in an air tight container.



so fresh vase

I couldn’t be happier that February has finally melted away and brought us into March, the bringer of spring! Granted, it’s still a crisp 22 degrees in Central Ohio, but I’m hopeful the sun will be shining a little more now and that the beautiful spring weather will be right behind it. Besides, we still have 15 more days until the official start of spring on March 20, so we’ve got time.

To get ready for spring, I decided to spruce up the apartment with this cute DIY vase and flowers. I was inspired by this frosted phrase vase tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.

Here’s how it went down


Glass vase

Krylon glass frosting spray

letter stickers

masking tape



1. Pick out a fun, catchy phrase for your vase and use the letter stickers to spell it out. (I went with so fresh because I didn’t think the suggested “oh la la” from the tutorial would go over well with the BF, and it seemed like a nice way to capture the spirit of spring.)

2. Use the masking tape to line the rim of the vase to create a nice, clean line after you spray.

3. Flip the vase upside down on top of some old cardboard or newspaper, and start spraying. Make sure to follow the directions on the can to spray safely and evenly.

4. Let the frost dry completely before adding additional coats.

5. Once your vase is completely dry, remove the stickers, toss your flowers in the vase and you’re done!

Some helpful tips: If you’re a perfectionist psycho like me, use a few strips of the masking tape to create guidelines for your letters. The tutorial from A Beautiful Mess suggests placing the stickers on some fabric before adhering them to the vase to make them easier to peel off afterward, I definitely would reccommend taking this extra step; it might seem silly but it really helped. And lastly, make sure when you take on this project that you have a well ventilated area to do it in. It was too cold for me to do this outside and I don’t have a garage, so I whipped this up in my bathroom. Although I opened the window to try to air the room out, my entire apartment smells like spray paint right now and my dog was acting pretty weird about it…

*Oh, and if you’re a serial flower killer (I have finally accepted that I am) you might want to go with some faux flowers. I’ve pretty much given up on keeping fresh and potted plants in the apartment because they all die horrible deaths before their time. I picked these flowers up from a Michael’s craft store.

I think it turned out cute (: and it brightens up my day to see pretty, pink flowers when I walk in the door every day.

life & love



My name is Emily, but you can call me Em.

I live in a tiny but cozy apartment with my boyfriend, James, and our handsome rescue pup, Jordy. And I work as a journalist for a small town newspaper in Ohio, where I get to meet all sorts of wonderful people and share their stories.

Basically I’m just your average 23 year old girl (woman?) barely out of college who is trying to figure her life out.

Every year, like millions of other people in the world, I try to set goals for myself. I won’t call them resolutions because that word makes me thing I’m taking something bad and trying to make it better. I’m already starting off with what I think has been a great life and trying to make it better, hence, “goals.”

My goals for 2014 are:

  1. Bake… like all the time: I’ve always loved baking and experimenting with different ways to decorate cupcakes and cookies. So this year, I want to try some new recipes and break my ridiculous rule of never trying the goodies myself and just eat a cookie every once and awhile.

  2. Take more photos: I convinced myself that what I really needed to inspire me to document my life was a “nice” camera. So I dropped nearly $400 on a camera that has seen a few days of action but has basically been collecting dust on the shelf. No more! I’m going to start bringing my camera with me every where I go and tell myself there’s nothing to be embarrassed about for taking pics of everything.

  3. Get crafty: I’ve always been obsessed with DIY blogs and wished I could make such wonderful little creations on my own. I’ve never been very creative on my own, at least not when it comes to the arts, but I’m damn good at following directions! So I’m finally going to stop dreaming about DIYing and start, you know, doing it.

  4. Get out and explore: A daily dose of anxiety has kept me from doing anything spontaneous or exciting in quite some time. I want to change that. I want to get out and try new things, see new places and make some new friends along the way. This might be my toughest goal yet. I already feel anxious just thinking about it…

  5. Dress better: I’ve never really had a “signature style” and I’m always wishing I did. So this year I’m going to try to find one and figure out how I can express my inner geek with a dose of professionalism and femininity.

  6. Start a blog & write more for fun: I can still hear my j-school profs saying “Blogging is the best way to get started,” “You should start a blog!” “Why aren’t you blogging?” While I understood the merits of starting a blog while in school, I always came up with an excuse not to do it. But my biggest deterrant was that I never knew what the hell to write about. But I think I finally figured it out… Plus I love writing, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten into the journalism profession. And I need an outlet where I can write for fun, instead of just under the newspaper deadline.

I want something to hold me accountable for my goals this year, and I think blogging about it might be the answer. Even if no one actually reads this, I’ll THINK people are reading it and that those people have expectations for new content!

So I’m going to write about my goals and all the fun ways I go about chasing them.

I like to think about this goal (maybe dream is more accurate) chasing as a new adventure in my life, which is great because I could use a little more adventure.

So off I go! I hope to learn some things along the way, and perhaps keep all of you entertained. Because after all, if you’re reading this, you’re coming along for the ride.

Wish me luck!