the cooler

i’ve been keeping this craft a secret for the past three weeks and i am here to finally reveal it! for my boyfriend’s 21st birthday i painted him a cooler. i am not greek but he is and i have been so excited to finally make him one! if you like a good craft, this is a project for you! i’ve searched so many pinterest, tumblr, and blog pages over the past three weeks for ideas i’ve realized that you can make a cooler for almost any event. i will definitely be making another one over the summer and probably one for me too! they’re just so cute!!


what you need:

  • a whole bunch of acrylic paint
  • sandpaper
  • mod podge
  • paintbrushes
  • tissue paper
  • spackle
  • sharpies (i used about six for the whole project)
  • primer paint (i used gesso, super cheap at michaels for a lot of it)
  • a sealer (krylon matte or glossy spray works well)

how to prep:

1. sand your cooler until it doesn’t feel rough or look shiny anymore.

2. this is optional but i filled the grooves with spackle to make it easier to paint.

3. let the spackle dry for about two hours and then cover the entire cooler with gesso or your primer. let dry for 24 hours.

how to paint:

1. use painter’s tape to get the lines on your surface perfect and then paint the entire surface your background color.

2. to get your images or words to look perfect, print them on computer paper and then trace them onto the tissue paper with pencil.

3. transfer your image onto the dry painted surface with sharpie by tracing once again. if you don’t let the surface dry, you will ruin your sharpies. i ruined about four.

4. paint and add in your details.

5. let the entire surface dry when finished for about an hour and then seal with mod podge before moving on to another surface.

how to seal:

1. once finished, do another two coats of mod podge, getting everything. this is important. it helps keep the sides not only glossy but also adhered together.

2. spray with your sealer and let dry for 24 hours.

this project is not for the faint of heart. it took me about two weeks to complete with the painting and drying and all that jazz but it was absolutely so much fun. i’ve found a whole new love for painting and cannot wait to do another one! i hope these tips and tricks help you and feel free to ask any questions in the comments – i’m sure i’ve already run into that problem and can help!!

happy painting!

xo, Samantha


cheesy broccoli chicken rice bowls

hello bloggers!

after a whirlwind weekend that was certainly one of the best in awhile (boyfriend, football, movies, cookies), i was left yesterday feeling exhausted. but today i’m back with a recipe (!) of something incredibly delicious that i’ve had for the past two days. yes, in a row. it is so good and so easy and can be adapted so many different ways. i made mine with chicken but i’m sure shrimp would be just as yummy, or you can go completely meat free and not sacrifice any taste at all!


cheesy broccoli rice bowls
serves 1

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 chicken breast (or anything or no meat!)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (i used colby jack on sunday and cheddar yesterday, both awesome)

1. boil water for your rice and broccoli. heat oil in a small skillet for the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. prepare the rice and steam broccoli for about five minutes or until bright green and tender. cook the chicken all the way through.

3. drain broccoli and then return to pan, add in chicken and your cheese, stir and then place the cover on the pan for about a minute. add in the rice and stir again, covering the pan for another minute.

4. serve into bowls and top with a little cheese, enjoy!

the quality of the photo is bad and i am totally to blame for that. once 7:00 rolls around i’m no hope for having patience to take a picture and not eat! i loved this meal and it is definitely going to be a weekly one because it is so filling and warm on the cold nights we’ve been having! i hope you enjoy!!

xo, Samantha

whole foodie

confession: i’ve been a snackaholic lately. i don’t know if it is the cold weather, the cozy blanket on my couch, or the abundance of good tv that demands to be watched but it has been hard to say no to my pantry lately. this happens to me every single year and i know it has to do with halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas all being right around the corner. once that calendar hits november, all of my good eating habits will hit the fan. 

thankfully, i’ve been able to find some snacks that are actually good for you and don’t lack on flavor. at least i can salvage that part of my diet and save the unhealthy stuff for starbucks specialty drinks, homemade cake pops, and the abundance of good italian food waiting for me at home. here’s what i reach for when i have a snack attack:


  • popcorn – the best of salty and savory. this satisfies the need for a crunch without the calories that come with a bag of chips. my favorite way to eat it? air popped with sea salt and m&m’s mixed in or boom chicka pop from whole foods.
  • strawberries – i usually buy two cartons a week on mondays and immediately wash and cut up an entire carton and stick it in my fridge. having fruit and veggies already prepped makes it easier to reach for since it’s already done.
  • dried mango – i always keep this in my bag. its so yummy and you don’t have to feel bad about it if you’re buying the kind without the added sugar and preservatives. i stock up every time i go to trader joe’s.
  • coconut chips – these are salty sweet and satisfying enough that you only need a few. again, trader joe’s, gotta love ya.
  • steamed edamame – SO GOOD. my absolute favorite and it takes a long time to eat so you’re digesting slower and not getting hungry again as quickly.
  • tazo zen tea – an on the go favorite. this has been my go to at starbucks for the past month and with virtually zero calories, it is perfect. a tall fills me up for hours and the added metabolism boost doesn’t hurt either. 
  • pinterest balls – i actually have no idea what to call these but if you’re on pinterest i’m sure you’ve seen them. i make them at the beginning of the week and eat them when i need an extra energy boost. just combine 1 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup of honey, and 1 tsp of vanilla – roll into balls and stick them in a tupperware in the fridge. they last for about a week.


eat well, live well.

xo, Samantha

medicine cabinet confessions

something is so intriguing about hearing about other people’s beauty routines. there is no doubt that if i come across a blog post about something like this, i’m going to sit there and read the whole thing….and then probably drop a good twenty dollars at cvs. while i love to try tried and true favorites of others, i’m actually really picky about my own beauty routine. here’s a roundup of my faves.


bumble and bumble surf spray – my hair is super long and to be honest, just kind of weird when i let it air dry and don’t do anything to it. surf spray adds a certain messiness that is pretty enough to wear up or down. plus it smells like you just walked out of a hawaiian hotel room, score!

bare minerals flawless definition mascara – in high school whenever me and my friends would get ready together, one of my best friends would always call me spiderman because my eyelashes are so long. this adds the right amount of definition without too much volume and it doesn’t clump either!

clarisonic – my grandmother got me hooked on this bandwagon and i haven’t stopped since. my clarisonic is my baby. it leaves your skin feeling impossibly soft.

purity by philosophy – the only face cleanser i’ll use. it’s extremely gentle on my dry skin and takes off makeup too! (hope in a jar is also a dream with this, the best duo out there.)

nars orgasm blush – the hype is real and this is the best of the best. it is sparkly and shimmery and perfect for everyday.

eos lip balm – confession, i actually almost ordered a pack of five of these on ebay one time. i’m obsessed with the sweet mint, if i was still six and hooked on lip smackers i might have actually eaten the entire thing.

my favorite place to shop for beauty essentials is ulta, it is literally the costco of beauty. also i cannot give enough compliments to the benefit brow bar! i’m on the hunt for a good hand moisturizer that doesn’t smell too strongly. my hands are already dry! if anyone has any good recommendations please let me know!!

xo, Samantha

friday things

okay guys i’ve been a bad blogger and i am very truly sorry! but i do appreciate you all stopping by this week even with my lack of posting, i love my followers and a great big thank you! it has been a crazy week and i’ve finally accepted the fact that a “midterm week” is a straight up myth in college. how about a “midterm EVERY week?” 

but on to the fun stuff because it is FRIDAY! 

one . vsx


[have you ever been to victoria’s secret sport? because if not, i encourage you to hop in your car and spend this friday night shopping! i went to an event for CHAARG last night at our vsx and i probably would have bought the entire store if i got my paycheck today instead of next week. need good workout pants? look no further than the knockout.]

two . pumpkin whoopie pies


[julia of lemon stripes posted these on her blog this past week and they are definitely on my list of things to make! my boyfriend is coming in for next weekend so i’m excited that he gets to be my guinea pig for what’s sure to be pumpkin-y, cream cheese-y goodness.]

three . playlist

[do y’all like country music? if yes, keep reading; if no, keep reading. i have discovered the king of fall country playlists. actually, my boyfriend did (credit where credit is due), but seriously this is amazing. check it out here. also, i’m obsessing over kip moore lately. crazy one more time? such a pretty song.]

four . hunters


[madly in love with these. via nordstrom.]

five . words


[saw this on pinterest earlier and i thought it was so perfect. find your fit, do what makes you happy, live the life you want to live, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.]

have a great weekend! i’ll be back next week with hopefully some yummy recipes! and finally unveiling the craft project that i’m obsessing over! what are you up to this weekend? i’ll be cheering on my buckeyes and my red sox tomorrow all day long!

xo, Samantha

8 things every happy woman should have

happy columbus day! i hope you all enjoyed your long weekend if you were lucky enough to have the day off! i, unfortunately, did not. i don’t think ohio state believes in days off….or fall break. but at least i was lucky to have a relaxing weekend!

today’s post is entirely inspired by emily from cupcakes & cashmere. emily’s blog was the first i ever started reading and if you haven’t checked her out, i suggest you follow that link right on over to her site. she’s the one that inspired me to want to start blogging!

today she posted a list of 8 things every happy woman should have and i thought it would be fun to share my answers as i encourage you all to do so as well! the questions are fun and funny and definitely make you realize oh, i do have a favorite this and that!


1. a go-to drink

daytime – grande iced coffee, half and half, two pumps of classic sweetener // nighttime – whiskey sour

2. a go-to karaoke song

wagon wheel – old crow medicine show

3. a uniform

i don’t leave the house without my pearl earrings, cape cod bracelet, claddaugh ring, and drop pearl necklace. i’m usually wearing dark wash jeans, riding boots, and a boatneck striped 3/4 sleeve shirt to match.

4. a hair stylist they love

marylou conti at dimaje

5. an exercise routine

barre or yoga 3x a week, 42 minute cycle 2x a week

6. a hobby

i absolutely love writing. i could spend all day with an open word document, a good playlist, and lots of iced coffee.
on the same note, crafts. all kinds.

7. a best friend

i’m lucky enough to have known my best friend since i was five years old and grow closer to her every single day. she oohs and ahhs and cringes when necessary and knows me better than i know myself sometimes. love you, m.

8. a healthy sense of self

surrounding myself with positive people as well as learning to rely on others when necessary, along with eating clean, whole foods make me feel my absolute best.

i hope i’ve encouraged you to make your own or think about your own answers! here’s to another great fall week!!

xo, Samantha

friday things!

one . everything is perfect when you’re a liar


[okay so i’m just about finished with is everyone hanging out without me? and i need opinions. has anyone read this by kelly oxford yet? or should i just go for bossypants by tina fey?]

two . jcrew factory


[this shirt must be mine and at $21.00 how can i not? i can just see the coral being the pop of color under my navy vest! also, jcrew factory is 50% this weekend in store and online so shop til you drop!]

three . melanie


[my best friend’s study abroad blog was featured on the abroad guide today! if you want to learn a little more about how life is in spain go check her out! she gives a funny, just detailed enough account of her studies travels. you can read her blog here and her interview with the abroad guide here!]

four . gossip girl


[every single episode of gossip girl is on netflix and i am undoubtedly coming down with some yucky fall cold so you know where i’ll be spending my weekend! i highly recommend to have at least a few hours if you’re going to start watching! you will without a doubt want to up and move to manhattan, max out your credit card, and find your bestie in the form of S (or B!)]

five . words


[this is the cutest, i want to get it printed and frame it on the little table by my doorway as a reminder every time i leave my apartment!]

i hope you all enjoy your (long) weekend! mine will be spent doing a serious craft project which i absolutely cannot wait to unveil! what are your big plans this weekend? let me know!

xo, Samantha