Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Everyone knows that I am in love with box services. There is something about getting a little surprise every month that makes it feel like Christmas all the time! My particular favorite - and longest running box subscription is Birchbox. I have received eleven Birchboxes, and so I thought it was time I share my experience with you. 

First of all a little information about what Birchbox is: 

When I see the bright pink box in my mailbox I get very excited! You can get a heads up on the Birchbox app once it ships and see what you are going to get, but I like to at least try and keep it a surprise. You can customize your preferences to your liking - whether you like makeup, skin care, hair products, or lifestyle products. It is also customized based on skin tone and skin needs if you choose makeup and skin care as sine if your preferences. 

Inside the pink box is actually one of my favorite parts - the adorable cardboard box that always has a colorful pattern on the inside. I have used these boxes for everything including organization in my bathroom cabinets, to hold my spices in on the kitchen counter, on my desk, and as gift boxes. When you can even utilize the packaging that is when you know you have something good. 

This past month was a really good month for me. I have used everything in the box, and there is not a single thing I did not love. Here is a little look into what I got for September: 

I loved the nude nail polish and the polish removing wipes, two things I used right away. 
These things are awesome, but what are my all time favorite items that I have received? You know- the ones I would buy the full size of. 

Here are the best of the best: 
1. Anastasia Brow Gel
2. Amika Peek Up Dry Shampoo
3. Whish Shave Cream 
4. Nail Rock - Velvet manicure (which I am wearing right now) 
5. Tua Forte Minteas (chai tea mints which are supposed to be "weight loss boosters". IDK if that is true but they were super tasty!) 

I highly suggest you go check out the products I listed above if you have never used them before. I use almost all of them every single day, and I would have never known about them if it was not for Birchbox. 

Remember: Birchbox provides samples of a mix between high end and low end products. The miniature sizes are perfect to just throw in your purse when you are on the go. And for every box you receive you rack up points that you can use towards the full sized item.

Birchbox is just $10 per month with free shipping. 

If you love trying new products then this is definitely the subscription box for you!
I personally can not wait for my October box!

xo. Casey

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Water

I can not call this a recipe post, but it is one of my favorite and most refreshing drinks that I have had. In the fall I am all about cinnamon. I love to put it in everything from deserts to drinks. This is probably the most simple way to incorporate cinnamon into everyday. 

This is just club soda, although you can use still water as well, sliced apples, and cinnamon. And that's it. It is refreshingly light, and gives the water amazing natural flavor. 

Cinnamon is used in a lot of detox waters very similar to this. Cinnamon works with your body to combat high fat meals which is why it is used to cleanse the body. It is why this drink makes you feel so good - especially after possibly eating corn dogs, lot's of beef jerky, and beer while at a fair. 

This is another drink that I happily call "fall in a glass" - it just never gets old. 
Sometimes the simplest things are the greatest things. 

xo. Casey

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Caturday

Excuse me sir, what are you thinking about in this picture? 

This weekend has been unseasonably hot - and amazing so far. I took off Friday and my boyfriend and I went to the Big E Fair and had the best time. We ate all the fun fair foods: giant corn dogs, snow cones, lots of pumpkin beer and angry orchard, and lots of free samples in the eastern states area. The Big E fair is one of my favorite things, and have gone that last five years. Can not wait for next year!

Today I spent the day apple picking with the family, in the heat, but it was fun none the less. I can not wait to bake some yummy apple goodies with my bounty. 

Who knows what tomorrow has in store - possible brewery tour? Whatever it is, I have a feeling it will top off this amazing long weekend perfectly. 

xo. Casey

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five, September Favorites

Can you believe that we are almost done with September already? I feel like it was just Labor Day weekend. Well, believe it or not it is that time of month again - Favorites Time. 

1. Fall. This one is obvious. And even though technically the first day of fall was two days ago, it is already my favorite thing. Fall is my favorite color - insert basic bitch comment here - But seriously, I love everything about fall: the cooler air, the leaves changing. And it is the first step into the holiday season. 

2. Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee. From Dunkin Donuts by the way - blasphemy I know. But I have gotten one every day since they have been out and I ain't stopping now... until gingerbread latte's return that is. 

3. Melissa Etheridge Radio on Pandora. This one is a little random but they play the best songs on this station. It is my go-to station while sitting at my desk at work to get me through the day. Girl Power all the way. 

4. Meatloaf. But not just any meatloaf - the superior meatloaf recipe on the back of the beefy onion soup mix box. Literally the most moist and delicious meatloaf I have ever had - and this is coming from someone who used to hate meatloaf.

5. Brooklyn Nine Nine. Okay, so keep this one on the hush hush from my boyfriend since I would get a big "I told you so" but this show is hilarious. We are only four episodes in and I am already hooked. Andy Samberg is wonderful as always - I still jam out to Lonely Island. 

xo. Casey

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple Cider Sangria

First of all - Happy first day of fall! 
I have a delicious and easy fall cocktail for you today in honor of one of my favorite times of year. As you know by now sangria is my drink of choice no matter what the season, so of course I had to come up with a yummy fall version. 

All you need to do is add equal parts hard apple cider (you could use regular cider for this as well), white wine, club soda, chopped apples, and cinnamon. You could also add some chopped pears to this - and if you are feeling really wild, a shot of brandy. 

For this recipe I used the Woodchuck Fall Harvest blend which tastes exactly like an apple pie. If you love cinnamon you will love this cider. For the wine I went with a Pinot Grigio because it is a really fresh tasting wine with notes of green apples and pear. 

I finished my glass off with a little sprinkle of cinnamon, the perfect finishing touch. A cinnamon stick would also be super festive

This drink is seriously fall in a glass, which is perfect because my favorite flavor is fall. 

xo. Casey

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Washi Tape Frames

One of my all time favorite decor items in an apartment or house are gallery walls. Whether it's in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom, they add so much to a space. It is an easy way to show off all of your favorite prints in a visually appealing way. 

The thing about living in an apartment however is you do not want to make a million holes in the wall by putting up a bunch of frames in each room. I especially did not want to make holes in our newly painted kitchen. I did however want to put up a couple really cute prints so I needed to come up with a way to hang them without doing any damage to the wall. 

That is when the idea of using washi tape to make colorful frames came to me. 
If you don't know what washi tape is, washi tape is a Japanese tape made from natural fibers - almost like a masking tape. It comes in all sorts of patters and colors, is super durable, and the best part of all: it comes off of your pictures and walls easily without doing any damage. Yes! You can find washi tape online or at certain craft stores. The possibilities are endless. You can use it for scrap booking, fancying up a door way or some cabinets, or in our case today - as frames

I created washi tape frames two different ways in two different rooms. 
In the studio, I didn't want to be too serious with it. It doesn't have to look perfectly symmetrical. The best part is if you don't like it you can pull it right off, no harm done. I like the way it looks a little messy with the two sides crossing, bringing a little dimension to the frames. 

In the kitchen I wanted to change it up a little bit. I added a little more to the design of the frame, and it really made the prints pop. It is super easy to customize the frames however you want. 

At only three dollars for ten different colors of tape, this is an easy and affordable way to add some color to your space. I know that I will be adding more prints to my galleries soon. 

xo. Casey

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Caturday

This guy is trouble, but he is just so cute you can't get mad at him. 
Even when he kills your flowers

I have a couple projects I want to accomplish today (which you will be getting a first hand look at in the coming weeks!) This will be accompanied with tons of breaks for watching movies and eating leftover pasta with vodka sauce. Snaps for creative and lazy Saturday's. 

xo. Casey

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Five, Fall Bucket List

As you know by now fall is my favorite season. I love the chill in the air and the smell of freshly fallen leaves. I am also more inclined to do way more fun activities then during the other seasons because let's be honest here - fall activities are the best activities. (Also, I will admit to you right here: I hardly did anything on my summer bucket list. Guilty.) 

But I decided to not let that deter me, and share with you my fall bucket list!

1. Apple Picking. I know for a fact that I will get this one done! Nothing is better than spending the day outside picking apples, eating apple cider donuts, and drinking spiced apple cider - and then going home and baking apple goodies of course! 
My choice for apple picking in Rhode Island? Jaswell's Farm in Smithfield. I mean, just look at those donuts, courtesy of their facebook page. swoon.

2. Make Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Pumpkin. I am going to let you guys in on another secret today: I absolutely love the new show Farmhouse Rules on the Food Network.It is such a feel good show. (I guess she is supposed to be the new Paula Dean?) Anyway, in a recent episode she went to a pumpkin patch, picked a pumpkin, roasted the pumpkin, and made a delicious fresh pie out of it. This is my fall-time goal - and of course I will share my take on the recipe with you!

3. Decorate for the holidays. I can start putting a check mark on this bucket list already! Did you check out my super simple DIY Fall Wreath tutorial on Tuesday? That is just the start. fingers crossed

4. Watch all my favorite Halloween movies. I want to spend chilly October nights cuddled up on the coach with some spiced apple cider watching my favorite Halloween movies with my favorite guy. Hocus Pocus is my all time fave.

5. Visit a corn maze. Highland Farm in Portsmouth has an 8 acre corn maze to get lost in as well as hayrides, pumpkin patches, and even Christmas trees. You can also pick up some fresh milk from their dairy farm. Sounds like a fun weekend date. 

I have a feeling my fall bucket list will be pretty successful - I am getting excited just writing it

xo. Casey

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Customizable Fall Wreath

I've said it before, but the most exciting thing for me about having my own place is the idea of decorating for the holidays. Now that it officially feels like fall outside I thought this would be the perfect time to get started! I knew I wanted to get a wreath for our balcony door to bring some festiveness into our living room. This was way more difficult then I could have imagined. Each craft store had super expensive (and pretty messy looking) wreaths - not what I was going for. I wanted something simple and clean. 

At first I toyed with the idea of buying a foam circle and attaching leaves, flowers, and other fun things to it to make one completely my own. This idea turned out to be way too expensive - to get what I wanted I would have to spend one hundred dollars on leaves and flowers. Thanks but no thanks. Just as I was about to give up I saw it - a wreath made out of lightly colored sticks woven together neatly. And it was the last one! I knew I had to grab it. I went back to the leaves section, picked up a couple of things, and realized that this wreath could be easily customized to fit all of the holidays coming up. 

But enough of my rambling - here's what I got. 

George was super helpful during the whole process obviously - he is just so crafty. 

It was super easy to weave in the leaves and little pumpkin that I bought through this particular wreath. I just needed to bend the ends a little, fluff up the leaves and that's it. 
It was so simple that I can not even call this a tutorial. 

I absolutely love how it came out. It is simple, and flows nicely with the rest of the room. I am excited to share with you how I customize it to fit the holidays within the next couple of months! George is excited for the chance to play with the leaves again

xo. Casey

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Simple (& healthy!) Buffalo Chicken Dip

Football season is officially a go which means sunday afternoons surrounded by friends, food, and beer. Tailgating food are usually a combination of three things: delicious, fried, cheesy. At least in my eyes. Well I decided to make one of my favorite cheesy dishes a little more calorie friendly without compromising taste. 

My super easy buffalo chicken dip only involves four main ingredients: chicken, ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce. Super simple. 

Grill your chicken and set aside. I seasoned mine with a little salt, pepper, and cajun spices. Mix ricotta cheese, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and chicken in an oven safe container. Place in the oven at 400 degrees and bake until bubbling. It seriously can not get any simpler than that. 

I used a home made siracha that my boyfriend brought home from work, but any of your favorite hot sauces would work with this. Eat with your favorite chips, and enjoy!

No matter what team you are rooting for ( J E T S JETS JETS JETS!) everyone will agree that this dip is a winner!

xo. Casey 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Caturday

Fall has officially rolled in here in Rhode Island! This chilly 63 degree morning has us bundled up under the covers watching the Food Network. Have you seen the show Farmhouse Rules? I love it! She makes delicious home cooked food, and it is one of those shows that makes you feel good. Little George is sitting in the windowsill enjoying the breeze. He seems to love the chilly air which means no cuddles for his mom. 
what else is new. 

I have been holding out for a couple of weeks, but I finally have my apple cider candle from Bath and Body Works burning. It smells so good! If you know me you know I have an obsession with Bath and Body Works candles, and whenever they have their 2 for 20 sale going on I just can not resist. I have a box of candles to burn including my absolute favorite, the leaves candle. Spoiler Alert that one's next. 

Since it is starting to feel like fall I think that now is the perfect time to start decorating for the season, so I will be hitting up places like Hobby Lobby and Michael's to get a couple things to make this place feel a little more festive. The one thing I was most excited about when moving in to my new home was decorating for the holidays. 

Lastly, I am going to take advantage of this chilly day and make a big pot of my chicken soup. It is one of my absolute favorite dishes, so I will be making enough to last a little while. I posted my chicken soup recipe last winter, and if you have been following Creatively Casey for that long then you know what my secret ingredient is - one small can of cream of mushroom soup. It truly does add a ton of flavor and a richness to your soup. 

Are you as excited about fall as I am? I love bundling up in my favorite sweater and scarf - It actually makes me more excited to go out and sieze the day!

xo. Casey

Friday, September 12, 2014

End of Summer Photo Diary

This summer went by so fast, but not without giving me a couple super amazing days with the people that I love. Here are a couple of my favorite moments for today's Friday Five

It's been real summer 14'

xo. Casey

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dill Pickle Recipe

As you know my boyfriend and I grew our first garden at our new home this year. Our garden was super successful producing tons of tomatoes, basil, hot peppers, and other herbs. The one thing that did not turn out so well however were the cucumbers. I am not sure what happened but they grew up to look like ugly little squashes with a thin neck and fat bottom. ha. My boyfriend thought about just ripping out the plant and calling it a loss but I decided "lets make pickles!". And so I did. 

I absolutely love pickles, and they are surprisingly super easy to make.

Begin by slicing your cucumbers however you wish your pickles to be whether it's spears, slices, or coins. Crush about four cloves of garlic and add them to the bottom of your mason jars. Then use about two teaspoons of dill seed and distribute it between the jars. Pack the cucumbers in the jars, but be careful not to crush them. 

You can add whichever spices you would like to your pickles. Black peppercorns or red pepper flakes would be awesome additions. 

To make the brine: Boil equal parts cider vinegar and salted water in a pot. I did about a cup of each. Pour the brine over the pickles until covered. Next, remove the air bubbles from the jars by gently tapping the jars on the counter. Place the lid on the jar and close it until tight. Let the jars cool at room temperature, then place in the fridge. 

Your pickles will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The longer you let them sit in the brine the more flavor they will have, so try your best to hold out before chowing down on these babies!

If you wish your pickles to be shelf stable you can process your pickle jars. Take a pot of boiling water, place the jars in the water, and wait about five minutes. Remove the jars immediately and watch the lid pop down. Processed jars will last about a year on the shelf. 

Processing pickles however can result in a softer texture. For crunchier pickles skip the processing step as I did. 

It is best to wait about 48 hours before you eat your pickles. I know, the wait is hard
trust me. You can use this same pickling process with green beans or okra (perfect additions to a bloody mary!) 

xo. Casey 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ricotta Toast

Sunday mornings are my favorite. Monday feels so far away - no responsibilities, just peaceful relaxation. Usually we like to go to a coffee shop or popular breakfast spot for breakfast on Sunday's, and one of the most popular items on every cafe menu right now is toast. Whether it is topped with mashed avocado, chickpea, ricotta, or jam - they are super super popular. And most of the time they can run up to six dollars for a piece of toast. Oof. 

It is one of the simplest breakfasts, usually low in fat and high in flavor which is why it is so popular. Being so simple there is no reason why I can not make this breakfast in my home with ingredients I already have on hand. 

All you need is some good bread and whatever topping you prefer. I topped my toast with some non fat ricotta cheese and honey. Simple and delicious! Paired with a cup of coffee and a breezy morning, it just doesn't get any better than this. 

I hope you have a relaxing Sunday as well!

xo. Casey

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday Caturday

James is working all weekend which is pretty extremely lame. So I am going to take this time to work on some really amazing content for you guys. The next couple months are all about the seasons changing, and the holidays are approaching fast. This means a lot more recipes, and DIY things coming your way. I have also been working hard to make the little spaces in my apartment shine and I am excited to share some more "From Apartment to Home" posts with you soon. 

On a side note, has anyone watched Candidly Nicole on VH1? It is seriously hilarious.
George enjoys it too - just look at that face. 

xo. Casey

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Five, Summer Shandies

Hi Folks! Summer time means one thing - summer shandies. or is that just me

A shandy is pretty much a citrus based beer, usually lemon or lime. They are light, refreshing, and perfect on a hot summer day. They don't weigh you down while you are spending the day at the lake or the beach. They are perfect, so I thought I would round up my favorites in today's Friday Five!

1. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. Also known as the fruity pebbles beer because it tastes like.. fruity pebbles. It is definitely my favorite of all the summer shandies. 

2. Shock Top Lemon Shandy. Another favorite, shock top has great flavor. Quick tip: Shock Top is always better on draft. Although equally delicious Shock Top is unfiltered which means there is some unappetizing sediment in the bottom of the bottle. 

3. Curious Traveler. A lemon shandy that has a mustache. sophisticated beer.

4. Narragansett Dells Shandy. Rhode Island beer meets Rhode Island icy treat. Although I was hoping for more with this beer (there was some serious hype) it does have an after taste of lemonade not just lemons, and it works well with beer cocktails which I shared in a previous post. 

5. Bud Light Lime. Technically not a shandy, but the absolute best beer to drink at the beach. 

What are your favorite summer beers? 

xo. Casey

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blu On The Water

As summer is winding down I wanted to share with you my choice for the official spot of the summer - Blu on the Water located in East Greenwich. Blu has great food, delicious drinks, and awesome music all summer long. Everyone is so relaxed there, enjoying the summer without a care in the world either on the deck or docked on their boats listening to the music. 

They have complimentary valet service and indoor/outdoor seating with three different bars outside on the deck. If a popular band like World Premier is playing you better get a table early or else you are looking at an hour and a half wait to get a spot outside. 

The food is pretty great too. The menu isn't too big, and I have tried almost half the things on the menu. I have never had a bad experience at Blu when it comes to the food. The mahi mahi fish tacos are awesome - huge pieces of mahi mahi with a mango salsa and guacamole. The Caribbean jerk chicken sandwich with blue cheese crumbles has become my new favorite item on their menu. Their clamcakes, lobster crab cakes, and muscles frites are awesome appetizers, and they have some of the best calamari I have ever had. You have two options, either the buffalo calamari which is fried and coated in buffalo sauce, or the Rhode Island style calamari with hot peppers and olives. My boyfriends favorite is the BBQ bacon burger. And do not forget to upgrade your fries to the truffle Parmesan fries- so good!

The drinks are pretty awesome as well. Although a little pricey, they are a large sized drink and are extremely delicious. If it is your first time at Blu I highly recommend the watermelon sangria- it is out of this world. 

Blu on the Water completely embodies summer time for me. As the summer winds down I will definitely be taking advantage of the couple weeks left I have to spend at blu before they close for the winter. 

What's your favorite summer spot? 

xo. Casey