30 days of thankfulness…


I have had so much fun participating in the 30 days of thankfulness.  What an eye opener it was for me.  We truly do have so much to be thankful for even when we feel as if we are at the bottom of the barrel. I encourage anyone to try this next year.  You will see all the wonderful things in your life and begin to feel silly for your bemoaning…I know I did.  So, here are my 30 days.

Day 1:

I am thankful for the unconditional love from my family and friends.

Through the many facets of my life, they have kept me strong, full of joy, supported tough decisions, and always had my back. I love you and thank you for loving me ♥

Day 2:

I am thankful for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not something that is given freely. To say, “I forgive you” is probably the hardest sentence you will ever say to someone. From plenty of experience, when I have said those three really hard words, the weight of the stress and hatred are lifted and I can begin to love wholly again. You CANNOT love wholly until you have forgiven those who have hurt you. If you have done the hurting, perhaps it’s time for you to ask for forgiveness. It’s freedom from bondage, I can promise you that.

I am thankful for all my trials throughout my life. Without forgiveness I would not be the woman I am today.

Day 3:

I am thankful for the love in my heart.

Yes, my heart gets shattered all the time due to broken promises, love not reciprocated, the trust between friends has been broken, etc… I wear my heart of my sleeve, as many would say. So, choosing to love with all my being does set me up for some heartache. However, the twisted web of my life has given me two options:

1. Love with all I have.

2. Be hardened from the hell that I have walked through.
I pick #1. Life is way too short to not love wholly. I have even learned, in my short 32 years, how to love my enemies. I have learned to be selfless and not selfish. I have learned to show love and how to receive love (which you wouldn’t think is hard, but for me, years ago, it was).My ultimate goal here on this planet is to make as many people as I can feel loved, worthy, and beautiful. So, with my heart full of love this morning and every morning, my wish for you is that you will spread your love to others as well. Let your light shine ♥
Day 4:
I am thankful for cloudy days.Growing up in Parkersburg, WV there were a lot of cloudy days.
I’m guessing, that since the day I was born, I learned to operate on not so sunny days. Where most people go into hibernation on cloudy/rainy days, I am full of life.On cloudy days; driving is better for me, taking pictures is better, taking walks through the woods are more refreshing, fishing is better, hunting is even better, because everything is quiet and there are no shadows to contend with, and I don’t have to wear pesky sunglasses.  Plus, there is nothing more magnificent than watching a storm roll in. Today, I am a blessed lady who gets to enjoy her cloudy day ♥
Day 5:
I am thankful for music.
I am pretty sure I came out of the womb singing. When I was little I would sing to the top of my lungs “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” to an audience of attentive cows on the farm. At the age of four I sang my first solo “Silent Night” in front of real people at my church. During my teen years I would sit at the baby grand, for hours, composing music. I sang through college and to date, still sing pretty well in the shower ha, ha. I’m thankful for my gift and today I was reminded why I love music so much.This week we are teaching the art of “songwriting” to kids in Wabash, IN. As I watched two of the best in the biz teach kids the “in’s and out’s” of the music biz, I realized how my life was all set up for this moment. I could write a book, using only songs, that represented every facet of my life. My parents instilled the gift of music in my life and for that I am grateful. Music is my therapy and love.

Day 6:
I am thankful for my right to vote.
I didn’t always feel this way. I thought Government was corrupt and my vote didn’t matter. One of those is correct. The other, people died to make it happen. As a citizen of the free world, it is my duty and great honor to vote for the people who I think are least corrupt.I pray for a Godly man who will uphold the Constitution, loves our County, respects our military, and is an honest man. Just read the oath and choose your guy accordingly.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.
“God bless this day, this County, and her people. GO VOTE!

Day 7:
I’m thankful for the Second Amendment.I am thankful that my dad, Jerry Piersol, taught me how to respect and use weapons from an early age. I’m thankful I can take care of my family if we need food or protection, which doesn’t seem too far out of the question.Today, I’m going to cry for our Country. I am going to love on those who mean the most to me. Then, I’m going to be proud that I am an American and will stand with the millions who are devastated over last nights unbelievable choice.
LORD, I ask for Your protection over our broken land. YOU are King above all, the protecter of my heart and soul. Amen.
Day 8:
Thankful for creative minds.
I hope a pray teachers won’t let their art programs go without a fight. Not every kid is a cookie cutter kid. We wouldn’t have the iPhone, electricity, or music if it wasn’t for those who were able to dream and have someone believe in them. Pay attention to your little munchkins to see if they are screaming to be challenged.
Day 9:
I’m thankful for new friendships.
Last night was incredible. After the show we came back to the hotel to have dinner and met up with a singing group from Pakistan. They had their drums and some crazy looking according thing going and Gary Chapman and Aaron Barker played their guitars. It was so awesome! They were teaching G how to sing their licks… which by the way, is VERY sacred in their religion. They sing songs that date back 750 years passed down through the generations. It was refreshing to be with them and feel their love and peace. Sweet people.Also, the amazing people who have put this whole outreach program together. We are honored to be a part of this and grateful for the new friendships formed.We are off to our last school today to teach.

Day 10:
I am thankful for being a dreamer.
I would rather dream all day about how to make a better future, than go through the motions everyday just to make ends meet. Don’t get me wrong, I try to live each day to it’s fullest, but I love to dream of what’s to come.I do wish that I could wake up some mornings from my dreams and really be living in them. How fun would that be?! I have been

able to do that on several occasions, like waking up on a beautiful island or waking up to the beautiful snow covered mountains of the Rockies. The one thing that is hard, is waking up without the people you love. So, I take the dreams I have of them as a blessing. God letting me have a few moments with the ones that I love and miss so much.
Day 11:
I am thankful for our Veterans.
Thanks to all who have fought for freedom. Thanks to the ones who loved our Country so much that they risked their lives for her. My prayers are with the families of those who have lost loved ones. May we all continue to fight for freedom, democracy, and love of Country. GOD BLESS THE USA!
Day 12:
I am thankful for my fur babies.
Dogs are the definition of unconditional love. They are never mad at me (unless I leave them for a long period of time. Then, they just give the dog sitter grief…sorry KJ). The sweet kisses they give me when they wipe my tears away (yes, I’m the sicko that allows them to lick my face). They are always happy to see me. They love to be loved on and return the love. They are the best snuggle buddies in the world!
Each of them have a different personality that keeps me on my toes. I love when they stare into my eyes, like they are trying to subliminally send me messages of what they are thinking. Bella talks to me as if she is human. Briley is very independent, yet she has a few humans that she just adores. She is super loyal and a good judge of character. Boo is ancient and is the sweetest baby, but she is also an instigator…don’t be fooled by her age. Anyway, I could go on and on about them. I’m so blessed to have these three crazy girls in my life. They make me laugh so hard and love even more.

Day 13:
I am thankful for my health.
Lord knows that I have not always been good to my body. The 16 years of cheerleading and horseback riding have started to rear their ugly heads. However, I am so grateful for the people in my life who encourage me to stay healthy and fit. A special thanks to, Natalee Moreschi, who whips my butt when she trains me, calls me out when I’m slacking, but she is

also my biggest cheerleader…love you, Nat ♥ Thanks to, Autumn Cleveland, for always posting something positive to get me off my butt and moving. You are an inspiration. Thanks to BodyRockTV for letting me fall in love with working out again. You guys and gals are appreciated so much ♥ Thanks to, Ilea Angaza, for teaching me about my body. I will forever be grateful for the books you suggested, they changed my whole way of thinking. Thanks to my daddy, Jerry Piersol, who always encouraged me to stay active and to work hard…it paid off.
Day 14:
I’m thankful for having enough.
Day 15:
I’m thankful for a good book.
Day 16:
I’m thankful for sand in my vibrams.
I never leave home without my vibrams, especially if I’m going to the beach. I love getting up early and taking a run on the beach to watch the sunrise. I NEVER get all the sand out of those shoes. I probably have several different Countries in those shoes ha, ha. When I put them on, after I’ve returned home, the sand is a little annoying and causes some blisters, but the sweet memories of where those shoes have been come rushing in.
Day 17:
I am thankful for having a heart that can love deeply.
Day 18:
I’m thankful for a spirit filled day.
Day 19:
I am thankful for makeup, or better yet, war paint.
I saw my girlfriend post this the other day and couldn’t believe I forgot about makeup! I LOVE dabbling in makeup. I have gone through some trying times with makeup, but I’m glad my skills have evolved through the years ha, ha. I love taking a blank canvas, in this case a face, and painting it into a masterpiece.
One, it makes my clients feel beautiful.
Two, I love helping people feel good about themselves.
When you feel pretty, your confidence is much higher. However, it doesn’t matter how much makeup you put on your face…If your heart doesn’t match your face, then you first need to figure out how to make your heart pretty. When the war paint washes off, what are you left with?

Day 20:
I am thankful for peace.
I lived most of my young adult life struggling to find peace. Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? Am I ever going to find a man who respects, cherishes, and loves me wholly? Am I ever going to get the chance to have kids? Do I deserve to have a good life? When I do get married, am I going to have a family that loves me like mine does? These were questions that consumed my every waking moment.
As I grew up and started checking these questions off my list, the one thing I had to do was surrender. I’m still seeking to find the best me, but I actually like who I am today. I am still working on finding out what I want to be when I grow up, but I am at least taking steps to my dream job.
I did find a man who respects, cherishes, and loves me wholly…that is rare.
Jury is still out on the kid thing, but there is always adoption and I would totally love to do that. Of course, I would love to be pregnant and go through the experience, but that may not be in His plan.
I have learned that I get to choose if I’m going to have a good life or not. My choices and attitude will determine my future. My relationship with my family has grown stronger. Was it what I had always dreamed it would be? Nope. However, I’m grateful that God has given me peace and grace.When I surrendered He gave me the tools to work through some ugly situations. I am forever grateful that He didn’t give up on me and showed me the way out of the hell I was living in.

Day 21:
I am thankful for my amazing grandparents.
Today, I get to see my grandma Nokes to spend Thanksgiving with her…blessed. She is 87 years old and is still traveling the world, playing golf, and attending her bridge games. She has taught me how to be a strong, independent woman. She taught me how to be a lady and how to throw a nice party. She always encourages me to keep singing and to compose music. She was an opera singer, so it’s only fair that I try my best to keep the legacy alive ha, ha. I’m surprised the shower has any glass left in it! Her husband and my grandfather, Roy, passed away 18 years ago from cancer. He taught me how to fish and drive like a maniac 😉 My favorite quote from him was, “You dumb nut”. This was a frequent quote that would come flying out of his mouth while he was driving like a wild man. He loved us so much.
I was lucky enough to grow up with my other set of grandparents, grandma and grandpa Piersol. I lived on the family farm with them and they were crucial to my upbringing. They were my second parents. Grandpa Piersol is 84 years old and still wrangles cattle daily, puts up hay, mends fences, and whatever else needs tending to on the farm. He taught me how to work hard, castrate a cow, clean a deer, put up hay, drink beer (ok, I would just steal the beer when they were putting up hay, but I loved the taste ha, ha), fish, hunt, run a power house, and anything that had to do with farming. In 06 we said good bye to my sweet grandma Piersol. She was weed eating and had a stroke. She was the kindest, most gentle woman. Soft spoken, yet mean with a shotgun. She taught me how to raise animals and eat them. She taught me how to raise a garden. She would always sit patiently through my endless plays I would make up and pretend that she was mildly interested. She would come to the fair and support me as I showed my hogs and horses. I miss her so much. What a great woman.
I couldn’t ask for better grandparents or role models. Thank you GOD for them ♥

Day 22:
I am thankful for the 102 brave Pilgrims that made the trek to the new world in hopes of prosperity and freedom from tyranny.
Giving thanks to God for their new life, new friends, new hopes, and good harvest.
~ As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgi

ving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”
.~ Abraham Lincoln finally heeded Sarah Hale’s request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.”
Day 23:
I am thankful for my haters.
While they sit safe behind their computers or talk ugly to others behind my back, they have no idea what gift they are actually giving me.They are giving me the momentum to be a better me, a better friend, better at my job, be more giving to others, love more and hate less. So, while the “haters” are living in a hell that they have created for themselves, bitter and negative… I am flourishing. So, for that, I thank you.
John 15:18-20
Day 24:
I am thankful for second chances.
We ALL have been idiots a time a two…I know I have been for sure. I have, what I thought, burned many bridges over my years to the point that I knew that those bridges could never be repaired. At those ashy moments, I honestly, wanted to scatter them and forget. My ego was too big to care. In fact, I got really good and forgetting. Then, when my ego started deflating and reality set in, all those ashes started collecting at my feet and I had a job to do. I had to start rebuilding the bridges (relationships) that I obliterated.
Starting with my surrender. GOD was the ONLY thing that was going to help fix my brokenness. I didn’t just snap my fingers or rub a genie lamp, I had to learn the beauty of being patient for HIM to give me the tools to forgive and how to be forgiven. We can all pretend that we are the victim, but we are not. We have all done things to hurt others and the only way to fix something is to put it in HIS hands…we are human after all and make terrible decisions. No matter how faithful you are in your respective religion, we screw up, plain and simple.
I then had to figure out a way to humbly ask for forgiveness from the many people that hurt me or that I hurt. For the first part of that, it was/is a very hard pill to swallow. There is nothing more relieving than looking someone in the eye and telling them you are sorry for _____ and to please forgive me for ____. After it is all over, you can’t imagine how much better you feel. More than likely, it was to a person that you loved deeply in the first place. How can you love someone and then intensely despise their existence? I do get it, because I have been there. The only thing that holding onto bitterness does is slowly hardens your heart. Free from the bondage of pain and hurt is the only way to go. We only have one life. What you do with it is your choice.
After I started sorting through the soot, one by one GOD placed me in situations where I was able to say my peace and ask for forgiveness. I was able to tell that person that I love them, cherish them, and only want what’s best for them. These second chances have been the sweetest gift I could have ever asked for ♥

Day 25:
I am thankful for being an encourager.
One thing I know I am good at is giving hope, good advice, I try my best to bring joy to those who are hurting, and without judgment… love on those who need it the most.I know that we are living in times where people are so divided, full of resentment, and have little to no self-worth. Why do you think that is? It comes down to morals…
People sleep around to fulfill a need of feeling wanted. All this does, in the long run, is kill your worthiness of ever having a good relationship. Who wants to be with a person who can’t commit and changes partners like summer underwear? You are better than that.
For the people who are full of resentment, you can only blame others for so long when you have to start looking deep into your own heart for some answers. We have all been hurt, used and abused in some way. Our feelings get beat up on all the time from the ones we love most. Is it fair…nope. Do we get to choose to stay bitter…yes. The only way to fix your broken heart is between you and GOD. Only you can choose joy. If you want to be a lifetime member of the Debbie Downer club, don’t expect to have many friends for long. Rushing straight into another relationship to find comfort and the feeling of being wanted will only last a short minute. You can’t just bring your bags full of trash through the front door of a new relationship and just expect the new person to simply understand. You have GOT to sort through your trash and stop hoarding the broken promises of yesterday.
As for the division in our world. That is simple. All people want to talk about is “tolerance”. That’s fine if you know what the word actually means. It is the capacity to endure pain or hardship. OR have sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own. Are you one that touts “tolerance” in all your passive-aggressive posts? Perhaps you should learn about tolerance and then learn about empathy as well. It is so much easier to love than to hate. It’s so much better to give than to take. Your life will be full of joy when you can change someone’s day with a simple smile or go out of your way to open a door for someone. Perhaps, help the elderly to their car and unload their groceries…there is ALWAYS time to help. We have to change our attitude towards each other before real change will ever happen in our world today. We have to start holding ourselves accountable for our own actions and stop blaming others. The BIG ONE is we have to start loving and respecting ourselves more.
Day 26:
I am thankful for my roller coaster life.
It amazes me that in one minute my heart can be bursting with utter joy and then the next minute my heart gets shattered into a million pieces. News alert…I am very sensitive or bi polar…jury’s out ha, ha. My pea brain can’t comprehend the bigger picture at times and I allow myself to get excited about things that are totally out of my control. Then, in those pensive moments of despair, the voice of reason cries out of the darkness, “MY PLAN IS BETTER…BE PATIENT AND TRUST ME”. Whew…trusting is hard at the bottom, but the sooner I trust, the quicker the chain lift will rise.
My whole life has been one long roller coaster. I am so grateful for the up’s and down’s. The down’s are usually not ideal, at that moment, but I know deep down I will be stronger because of them. As I get older, I am learning how to embrace the hard times. The hard times mean there is something GREAT getting ready to happen. Something so great that when I look back at that dip on the track, it was preparing me for greater glory.

Day 27:
I am thankful for the people in my life who keep promises.
Words are just words until they are put into action. To a fault, I want to truly believe that when a friend or family member tells me they are going to do something, no matter how big or small the task is at hand, they will follow through. After all, that’s all you have is someone’s word. It could be something so simple like meeting for coffee or as large as them saying, “I promise I’m going to quit allowing myself to be trampled on by men or women”. It is quite simple to keep your word. If you can’t keep that promise, just say so. It hurts worse when you don’t follow through and begin ignoring calls, texts, emails, or totally vanish because you don’t have the courage of your convictions.
I am so grateful for the people in my life that know the true meaning of keeping promises. If I’m in need of help, love, prayer, or trust…I know who I can count on. You know who you are and I thank you for being that person in my life ♥

Day 28:
I am thankful for the little benevolent surprises God places in my life.
I am a giver, plain and simple. I don’t give to gain some sort of recognition or humanitarian award. I give because that is what makes my heart smile.
This year I was accused of “my heart not being in the right place” by giving a sweet young girl all the things that she couldn’t have otherwise. Do you know how badly that destroyed me?? I loved that little girl and wanted her to feel good about herself and know that she would be taken care of. It’s a shame. However, after the initial hurt of it all, God, quickly restored my heart and off to giving I went.
There are many times in your life that you get so down on yourself because you feel as if you are the only one giving. It can drive you to the point of feeling worthless. A little secret my mama taught me. When you give, don’t EVER expect anything back from that person. Some people are just takers and if we helped fulfill a need for them, what does it matter if they don’t reciprocate? We haven’t lost one thing, if money is what you spent or gave. Just know, that the money spent, will come back to you 10 or 100 fold…It is HIS promise. I have seen it work many times. Don’t ever stop giving, even if you have been burned a million times.
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Day 29:

I am thankful for discernment.
I think in my previous life I was some wild animal of sorts ha, ha. I have this keen ability to know when something or someone is perilous to my life or my family. When I was younger, of course, I didn’t pay attention to this gift and let people walk all over me, steal from me, trust in liars, etc… I believe with my whole heart that’s why I was put through so many challenges…hard lessons I had to learn to be able to tap into this gift. I tell my family and friends I’m kinda like my pup, Briley.  I have a real good nose for spurious folk. I can pick a con artist out in about 5 minutes of our meeting. I have been wrong at times, but not very often. I’m thankful that I can weed these people out of my life before any danger presents itself to me or my family and friends. There are a lot of crazies out there. Peel the scales off your eyes and I bet you can tap into your discernment as well.

Day 30:
I am thankful for the incredible opportunities that are presenting themselves. YAY GOD!

Welcome to: Gift Giving 101


According to Wikipedia.org gift giving is defined as this:

A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. In many human societies, the act of mutually exchanging money, goods, etc. may contribute to social cohesion. Economists have elaborated the economics of gift-giving into the notion of a gift economy. By extension the term gift can refer to anything that makes the other happier or less sad, especially as a favor, including forgiveness and kindness.

Now that Christmas has vanished before our eyes and Valentines day is creeping upon us, this subject matter has been weighing heavy on my heart.  To me, gift giving is such an important part of life.  In the American culture, there is ALWAYS a reason to give or receive a gift. Anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, thank you’s, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines day, Mothers day, Fathers day, kiss your cousin day (just kidding)…you get the point. We love to celebrate life.

There are several different kinds of gift givers.

One being, the very thoughtful gift giver who puts a lot time into finding or making a gift to make the gift receiver feel very special.


There is the gift card giver, which isn’t a bad thing, but they probably don’t know what the gift receiver would like, and this is their way of saying, “I care, but have no idea what you want or need”.  When giving a gift card, at least make it creative. Example: I wish I was there to take you to lunch like we use to do on your birthday, so here is $25.00 to do so. Please know, I’m there is spirit. Love, Cassie.

There is the gift giver who buys a gift that they like for themselves, in hopes that the gift receiver will “share” their gift with them.

Dad won't share OUR present.

There is the last minute gift giver, which typically turns into whatever they see first…zero thought goes into the gift.  I feel, the last minute gift giver, is usually feeling pressured into buying something and doesn’t know the person very well.  This usually ends up with the gift receiver confused and sometimes in tears.  I would shy away from being this type of gift giver.  I mean, everyone knows when Christmas is…why must you wait until 11p on December, 24th to go shopping for your wife or husband?

Really honey?

Buying gifts can be such a daunting task.  Especially, when you don’t know the person that well.  You have heard the story over and over again about the terrible ugly sweater that Great Aunt Betty made you for Christmas. While this was very thoughtful, probably took lots of time, and you know so much love went into each and every stitch…it is totally something you would NEVER wear in a million years.  So you put it in the box to go to Goodwill.

Gee... thanks...Great Aunt Betty

You have been invited to a birthday party for a child, and have NO IDEA what to buy a two year old, especially when you don’t have kids of your own. While you are looking at isles full of toys, your head begins to spin. Do I buy something made in China?  Do I get a Batman or Spiderman action figure (because you know it matters)?  How much should I spend on a toy that is going to be trashed in two days or never even used?  Whatever you get, make sure it comes in a big box. They will wind up playing with the box more than the toy anyway.

Look at me mom!

Then, you have the dreaded holidays…this includes Valentines day, which is right around the corner, so that’s why I’m going to focus on this specific holiday.  I just LOVE to hear people complain about Valentines day…it cracks me up!

“It’s a made up holiday for Hallmark to make a gazillion dollars on LOVE.”

“I’m single and miserable”.

“My husband or boyfriend is sooo not romantic, so I would rather pluck my eyelashes out than hear about how everyone else had romantic evenings with their loved ones”.

The day that is suppose to be about love, is spent by many, curled up in a ball on the couch, watching sappy movies, with a box of tissues and chocolates, bawling their eyes out.  This, to me, is so sad.

For the singles, this should be a day that you go out and have a wonderful dinner with all your other single friends and LOVE the fact that you have so many friends who really love you.  You could even have a party at your place and invite all your single friends over for a yummy dinner that you prepared or have a pot luck dinner.  If you don’t have friends, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your life…seek some therapy.  ALERT THE MEDIA:  This is why you’re single.

For the ones who are in relationships…really knowing the person you “love” is what’s important.  Some women truly don’t want flowers or chocolates, but continue to get the same thing every year.  Some men don’t want a pair of silk boxers with hearts all over them, cuddled up to a stuffed bear…really what is a grown man going to do with a stuffed bear? It could be as simple as staying in and writing love letters to each other.  Perhaps you could turn your bathroom and bedroom into a spa. Prepare a meal together or go to dinner. If you have kids, include them in a really fun day and evening…heart shaped pancakes are a great touch or let them help you make a heart shaped cake.

Yummy and fun to make!

This day is about love, it’s that simple.  As cliche as it sounds, every day should be Valentine’s day.  There is so much pressure, shoved down our throats by the media, to create a honeymoon-like atmosphere, that we feel like failures if we don’t spend a ton of money.  All it takes is some thought.  First question, how can I show my lover that they are cherished?  Second question, should I plan the day, or should we do the planning together?  Third question, how much do you want to spend?

*You can use these same questions for anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas.

The best thing to do as a gift receiver is to start a registry (this goes for your kids too).  Wedding’s and baby shower’s have it down!  Most people start a registry and receive everything on their wish list, without duplicates.  Creating a registry can help the gift givers, who aren’t the best at picking out gifts for you, give you what you want or need.  Everyone wins!  Here are a couple of places where you can set up registries.  Obviously, most places do this now, all you have to do is go to their website and then let your friends and family know.  Easy greasy lemon squeezy.

* Some sites will have “wish lists” and some will just have “registries”, either way, set one up.





Williams and Sonoma


The Registry




I hope this has helped the ones who need a little help with gift giving.  Giving a gift should make the recipient feel special and loved.  Simplicity is sometimes the best and most memorable.  Happy Valentine’s day!

I LOVE you!

Creativity and saving bucks, continued…



This particular room was originally designed to be a play room for G’s kids.  Turns out they wanted to “play” in their own rooms after the house was built.  SO…it became a catchall room.  There was a TV, a dresser the TV sat on, an old destroyed cupboard, and a terribly abused ping pong table thanks to Matt and his rowdy friends (and G and his). This room is an overflow room for the guest quarters.  I was sick and tired of looking at this drab room and decided to make into a common room for guests to feel at home and to have some peace and quiet if need be.



Again, using items we already had scattered around the house, I spent under a hundred bucks.


First, I wanted to warm up the room and I’m currently obsessed with the color blue.  We have a nice oriental rug that has a ton of colors to choose from, so I picked an eggshell finish, La Fonda Villa Fountain (blue) color from Valspar.  Took off all the outlet covers, taped any hard edges (since a couple of the walls went straight into another color and the line needed to be perfect), filled in any holes with packed compound, and then sanded.


Note:  If you are putting a darker color over a white wall, you will need a tinted primer.  This only makes your job easier. Benjamin Moore paint has an excellent line of paint that will cover in one coat.  Reds are especially hard.  If you don’t use a primer or an excellent paint, you will be doing several coats to get it right…trust me ha,ha.


I took the dilapidated cupboard and decided to paint it and then antique the piece. By doing this I used a flat finish called Lunar Light (basically a very bright cream color). After that dried, I took an old rag and used Miniwax wood stain called Jacobean to wipe on the cupboard, then took a clean rag and wiped it back off immediately.  This process let the stain soak into the cracks and imperfections to give it that antique look.  I replaced the knobs with glass knobs and filled the shelves with simple decorations.




Due to our ceilings being eleven feet, it is super hard to find window treatments that will puddle at any store without having to special order them.  So I made my own.  I went to Jo-Ann’s and bought seven yards of dark red (another color in the rug) taffeta material, made two panels and bought a simple curtain rod.  Gary and I moved in a beautiful futon and a very large beanbag.  I bought three fun throw pillows and tossed over the back of the futon a crocheted blanket.



All I need to do is add some art to the walls and this room will be one of my most favorite rooms in the house.  It’s a perfect room to cuddle up and watch a movie.

Sassy Cassie’s Butternut Squash Bisque


Sassy Cassie’s Butternut Squash Bisque

Butternut Squash with Sourdough Bread Boule


  1. 6 tablespoons chopped onion (half of med. sized Onion)
  2. 4 tablespoons butter
  3. 2 good looking butternut squash
  4. 3 Cups chicken stock
  5. 1 Cup Apple Cider
  6. Black Pepper
  7. Ground cayenne pepper
  8. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  9. 1 TBS Minced Garlic
  10. Ground Nutmeg
  11. Olive oil

Turn oven on to 375.

Slice Squash in half and spray the open side with olive oil, then sprinkle with black pepper, cayenne pepper and 1 TBS minced garlic per slice.  Flip them over on a cookie sheet and place in heated oven for 45 min.

In a dutch oven, saute the onions in the butter until translucent. Add the chicken stock, apple cider and the roasted, skin peeled, seeds removed, squash.

*After squash is done in the oven the skin will be very easy to remove along with the seeds.  This process makes the squash so much more flavorful.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 min. or until squash is very tender. At this point add your nutmeg, more cayenne and black pepper.  By wafting you can smell exactly how you want it.  This is all a matter of your own preference.

Place the soup and 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese into a food processor, blender or even use a hand mixer, and blend till smooth.  Place back in dutch oven and serve into a sourdough bread boule.  I cut the tops off, and dug out a little bit of the bread to make a nice bowl shape.

You don’t need to serve it with anything else, because it is SUPER rich. You may even want to change out the cream cheese for some heavy whipping cream, sour cream, half/half, or milk instead.  For color, you can add two leeks on top crisscrossing each other.  Make it your own :0)  Enjoy!

Creativity can save you some bucks!


I spent the first four years of college pursuing the dream of being one of the greatest interior designers EVER.  Well…that didn’t  happen.  However, I still get to “try” and “pretend” that I am ha,ha.  “Sassy Cassie’s Collection”…no… “CC’s Design Studio”…no…”Chappy’s Interior Design” …nope.  OH well.  Without a financial backer to start my own interior design business, I have saturated the market of one, and have become my own personal interior designer.  Just like almost everyone else in America, we have had to cut back on spending.  Like spending money on beautiful persian rugs, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, OH and EVERYTHING out of the Restoration Hardware catalogues.  So instead of moping around because I can’t have the beautiful new things I want, I got busy.  FYI, T.J. Maxx and I have a very hot and heavy relationship at the moment.

In the next few posts, I am going to show you what I have done to turn boring rooms into something you can be proud of, without breaking the bank.  A punch of color on the walls, shinny pieces, beautiful window treatments, and fixing up old pieces of furniture that you thought, “hmmm…will the garbage man take that?”, are the only things you need to turn that ugly room upside down.  I did all of these projects under two hundred buckaroos.

When you walk into our house, the foyer is pretty grandiose.  To the left there is the dining room that is a piece of art…literally.  An artist painted a mural (walls and ceiling).  She basically brought the outside, in.  It is beautiful.  When you look straight ahead there are windows that look out at ridge line fading into ridge line…stunning view.  As you look to your right, you hear the record screech to a halt.  I don’t really know what that room was until this week.  The piano is in there and that’s about all I can say about that.  Bella, (our dog) decided she hated the skirt on the, what used to be a beautiful couch, and ripped it off…being picky as to which section though.  Not being able to afford having the entire couch reupholstered, I decided to get crafty.  I think Bella was onto something.  The skirt actually dated the beautiful olive green couch.  Snaps for Bella!

Thanks Bella!

I threw around some ideas and decided to run over to Jo-Ann’s and look for some inspiration.  The stars aligned and they were having a 50% off sale on all fabric that day! WOOT WOOT!  I snagged four yards of black taffeta, with a paisley design for twenty-seven dollars, and ran like the wind.

Gary helped me flip that bad boy over and I was scissors, staple gun (with LOTS of staples), measuring tape, fabric pencil, and some rockin’ jams, to contemporary couch bliss!

The flooring is a cream travertine so any type of depth would do that room some justice.  That’s why I went with black for the bottom of the couch and all my accent pieces that I will discuss in a bit.  The walls are done in a red faux finish.  So the olive green couch is the perfect compliment color.  The gorgeous onyx grand piano perfectly sits in the bay, floor to ceiling, windows.  There is an antique secretary shoved in the corner with a simple but elegant fireplace.  This room could be and should be AMAZING.  After all, we are in the music business.  The music room should be a place of inspiration.

After I measured, cut and stapled the taffeta around the entire bottom of the couch, it gave it a whole new life.  It gave it a sharp, elongated edge and tied in with the  piano so well.

Fabric stapled on

*When working with a patterned fabric, be sure to look at each piece of fabric you cut before placing it on the piece that you are working with, and check that the pattern is going in the same direction and is matched up with the previous piece you tacked on. Trust me this is a pain in the butt if you do not follow this.

I took the six terrible throw pillows off and replaced them with two rectangle black pillows for the arms of the couch.  I bought them at Ross for ten bucks a piece.  I felt the previous pillows made it look bulky, not to mention they were pretty ugly.  My mother had made me, years ago, a black faux fur blanket, with gold trim.  So I placed it on the back of the couch giving it more of an edge.

Moving onto the accent pieces…

As I scoured through the new Restoration Hardware catalog, I found a fireplace that resembled ours.  So I rummaged through my house, found a black and gold mirror and placed it on the mantle.   In the catalog it had a horse bust and some picture frames that accompanied the mirror.  So shopping I went.  I found some pretty black and gold frames at T.J. Maxx, placed in the frames pictures of my late Grandma Piersol and Grandpa Nokes.  As I always tend to wonder around T.J. Maxx I found a horse bust, just like the one in the catalog.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  I also found an area rug for a hundred dollars, that tied in all the colors of the room.  See why I love me some T.J. Maxx!


  • Here is some useless knowledge…A horse bust represents “wealth”.  A pineapple means “welcome”. Darts and egg pattern (typically seen on crown molding) represents “life and death”.

For the secretary…

I opened it up and will be placing a guest book with a chair I am currently redoing.  I am gold leafing just a plain old chair and using the leftover black taffeta to cover the seat.  It will be the “shiny” object the room needs.

See…you don’t have to spend a fortune on new things.  Take what you have and get crafty.  A staple gun, fabric, and an open mind will get you far.

To be continued…



Tiny weenie yellow polka dot bikini…YUCK


As the weather gets warmer, the clothes start to shed off of your slightly heavier, hibernated body.  You pull out that cute new bathing suit you bought at half price during the winter, ready to rock it out the first chance you have.  Then, comes “the” moment, that most all women dread…the first time you see yourself in that dental floss of a suit in the mirror.  You move side-to-side to see if there even is a better side, suck in your belly and jiggle your legs around to see just how much cellulite you do, in fact, have.  I hate this day…

The dreaded cellulite

Most of my young adult life, I did a lot of bikini modeling.  I had to be in tip-top shape 24/7, just in case I got that call to go do a photo shoot.  Perfect legs, bottom and stomach were the parts of the body that had to be flawless.

Back in the good old days

As a woman, you all know how hard that is to accomplish.  Our bodies are designed to be curvy and voluptuous.  After all, we are the ones who give birth to the human race.  However, there is a fine line between being “curvy” and being dangerously big.  Curvy, is when you still can see your toes when you look down but, have an incredible butt.  Big, is when you can’t see your toes.  Skinny, is when you can see your spine through your stomach.  We will always have cellulite, so it’s time to embrace that.

I just wanted to talk about this subject because I am trying to embrace the cellulite myself.  No matter how hard I work, it will NOT go away…at least like it used to.  For someone who could NEVER have one bit of cellulite on her legs…this makes me a little neurotic, as you can imagine.  If you are frustrated, just like I am, I have listed some workouts, eating regimens and suit accessories that will help you slip into that bikini without the fear of scaring all the people away at the pool.  I want you to be able to step out onto the pool deck with confidence.  You don’t have to weigh twelve pounds to look good in a suit.  Believe it or not, most men LOVE curves and pity the skinny ladies.

I have had a fabulous trainer and great friend for the last couple of years…Natalee Moreschi.  Talk about some inspiration…she is a crazy woman!  Jillian Michaels, doesn’t hold a candle to Nat…just saying.  Natalee and her hubby Anthony, compete in body building shows and win most, so they are extremely ripped up.

Natalee and Anthony after she won a competition.

I’m not really trying to do all that.  I just want a nice tone.  So, she put together an eight week workout and diet regimen that set me up to win.  Most diets these days, set you up to fail.  Most diets are all hard core diets, that once you’re done, you typically go back to eating the crappy processed food that you were eating pre-diet and gain it all back plus more.  This diet or what I like to call, “A life changer” does work.  You have to make up your mind that this is a change of lifestyle, not just for the moment.  Once you have decided this is what you really want…you are ready.  With that being said, there are truly a lot of heavier people who really love the way they look and kudos to them.  I just want to be able to run with my kids and puppies.  I want to be able to go on beautiful hikes without every bone in my body screaming at me.  I want to jump into that bikini and not feel like I need to be covered up for the sake of traumatizing a child.  This is not a daunting task.  It can be fun and a little bit of a science experiment, if you will.  It’s fun to watch the transformation of your body.  You are the only one that can control it.  Which brings me to this.  How many of you say you don’t have the time to cook meals?  How many of you say, it must be nice to be able to find time to workout?  How many of you say, I have children and a husband to take care of?  These are all excuses.  Truth is…you do have the time it takes to take care of yourself.  It takes more time to shove the family in a car and run through McDonald’s than it does to throw some chicken breast in the oven and steam some broccoli.  Plus, you get to sit down with your family and, oh I don’t know, talk.  No matter where you live, you can go do some brisk walking outside for 15 minutes in the morning and evening.  This is a good moment for either you and your hubby to get some alone time or bring your kids to have some one-on-one time with them.  If you’re at the ball field…take a couple of laps around the ball fields.  If it’s raining, go to the mall and walk or walk up and down the stairs in your home. There really isn’t an excuse, unless you are disabled, for saying I just don’t have the time.  Trust me, this was my excuse until Natalee had her way with me (ha,ha) and I don’t even have kids!  Living a healthy, active lifestyle only rewards you.  Your kids will appreciate it and your body will be grateful.

First…Water, Water, Water!

Distilled Water

I go to Kroger the first of the week and buy a gallon of distilled water and drink a gallon a day.  I refill the gallon every morning.  The best way to know how much water you should drink is take your body weight and half it.  This is how many ounces you should drink.

ex. 100 lbs.= 50 oz. of water.

The more water you take in, the less fat clings to your insides.  Water also strips away sodium, which is the cause of feeling “puffy”.

Second…Get your body out of starvation mode.

So, most of you probably think that eating less will help you shed those lbs…nope!  You must try and eat every three hours.  It’s not a four course meal but, a snack or protein shake in between bigger meals will help keep your metabolism working.  Here is what my day consists of…

Breakfast:  3 eggs whites, a piece of toast with smart butter and some fruit.

  • Alternative: One scoop of protein powder with 8 oz. of water and 1/4 cup dry oatmeal…shake and drink.

Snack (2-3 hrs. later):  sliced apple or orange.

Lunch: 3 oz. Canned tuna in water with brown rice and something green like green beans or broccoli. You can substitute chicken if you’re not a fish fan.

Snack (2-3hrs. later): Protein Shake

Protein Shake

Dinner:  Chicken or Salmon with lots of steamed veggies.  I will also make chicken or fish Kale salads with Balsamic Vinaigrette, almonds, minced garlic and some sort of Mrs. Dash seasoning.

*Mrs. Dash seasoning is sodium free and is really amazing on everything!

I stick to this diet for two weeks straight.  This strips my body of sodium and prepares my body for the next few weeks.  I don’t take a cheat day until the first two weeks are done. Then, and only then, do I give myself one cheat day.


Morning:  15-30 minutes brisk walking.

Afternoon (before dinner):  3 sets of 12-15 reps of sit-ups, push-ups and 3 sets of 25, walking lunges.

Then I finish up with another 15-30 minutes of brisk walking.

  • You don’t have to run to lose weight.  In fact, when you are in your lower heart rate zone, that is precisely when you are burning more fat.

Once you have completed your two week prep, this is when you should start rotating weights into your workout.  I do weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and still do  my a.m. and p.m. cardio on those days.  I will only do just cardio on Tuesday and Thursday.  Gives my body a break.  I only use light weights because I’m not trying to be a body builder.  I just like to have a little definition.  Try to get in five days of exercise, three at the least.

What in the world should I wear to the pool?

You probably have obsessed over what the celebs are wearing this year to the beach.  I can’t tell you how many news channels I’ve watched in the last week, with reporters obsessing over what Demi Moore or Ashley Tisdale are wearing to the beach.  Well…we are not these people.  I don’t know about you but, I don’t really want to spend $45.00 dollars on a beach bag or $200.00 on a bikini that I can make myself.  To me that is just silly.  So, I have done some cruising around to find the deals on great pool/beach stuff that will indeed make you look like a beach angel.

Target is my top pick.  $14.99 for the tops and $14.99 for the bottoms.  I love their selection because you can mix and match.  This is perfect for those who have a bigger top and smaller bottom or vice versa.  The big thing this year is having different colored tops and bottoms.  If you are a one piece person, Target really has some awesome choices.


When it comes to choosing your suits, it can be a little tricky.  Usually, the suit looks amazing on the rack but, if you aren’t the correct shape for the cut of suit it will, for sure, be a train wreck.  Here are my suggestions…

If you are slender with no butt or boobs, you can get away with wearing the side-tie  bottoms and a bandeau or triangle top.  Prints or frilly material are probably a good choice for tops and bottoms for you. You can also wear a one piece beautifully.  A bright short or full length sarong, medium shades, a little bit of a heel on your flip flops (to make your legs look amazing and to lift, what butt you might have, up) and a giant sun hat with a smaller beach bag are the perfect touches.

side-tie bottoms

Frilly top

wedge flip flop

Big Sun Hat

Full length sarong

Short sarong

If you have boobs and no butt, I suggest you go with side-tie bottoms and either a halter top, bra top or a triangle top that has underwire.  Stay away from horizontal stripes on the top, in fact, I would do a solid color on the top and a print with frills for the bottoms.  For your accessories, I would have a big sun hat, medium size shades, smaller beach bag, flip flops with a heel and a bright short sarong.

Halter top

If you have boobs and a butt, I suggest you stay away from the side-tie bottoms.  Those bottoms are made for ladies with no butts.  I’ve seen it over and over again, ladies with curves, wearing those bottoms and their cracks showing to the world.  That’s not very lady like.  I have a butt, so I know what I’m talking about.  Find a bottom that has a high-cut leg.  This will make your butt look amazing and your legs appear longer.  My favorite is a brazilian cut.  Some times you can even find a boy-short bottom that looks good too.  The only thing to watch out for, are the low riders.  They tend to not flatter bigger bottom ladies.  As far as tops for bigger boobs…halter or an underwire triangle top.  When choosing a print or color, I would go with a smaller print or a bright solid color.  For accessories, I would pair together a beautiful shear button down cover-up, medium sized shades, a giant sun hat, flip flops with a little lift, and a medium sized beach bag.

High cut bottoms

Boy shorts

underwire triangle top


If you have a butt and no boobs, I suggest you find a high-cut leg bottom and a bandeau or triangle top.  When choosing color or print, I would go with a solid color bottom and a fun, frilly top.  To accessorize, go with a beautiful shear button down cover-up or a full length sarong, big shades, big sun hat, flip flops with a little heel and a medium sized beach bag.

Bandeau Top (can be strapless too)

If you are a bit heavier, Look into a gorgeous monokini or a one piece.  Tankini’s can get a little tricky for anyone.  Just make sure that the top of the Tankini fits appropriately.  I would stay away from big prints.  Smaller prints or stripes (horizontal or vertical) are great.  Bright colors also look amazing.  Accessorize with a beautiful shear button down cover-up, big shades, big sun hat, smaller beach bag and a fun sparkly pair of flip flops.


  • FOR EVERYONE:  When trying on a suit, make sure it fits.  If it is pushing your fat up and over your bottoms, a.k.a. muffin top, it is to small.  If your top is squeezing your boobies into torpedos, it is not the right cut for you.

I hope this has helped jump start your rocking “beach angel” look.  No matter what size you are, you are going to look and feel amazing!  Good luck and have a fantastic summer!

Spring DIY projects, to love all summer long…


This spring, I have been in that “lets clean and fix up spaces” mood.  Gary, I am sure, cringes every time I tell him that I am going to “fix up” something… ha,ha.  Once I get a vision, I don’t stop until it’s done.  I love taking whatever old furniture that is laying around and giving it a new, fun life.

These are really easy and creative projects to spruce up an otherwise ugly or bare space.  These two projects are focused on two outdoor spaces around our home and random old furniture that I found to fill the spaces.



If you have old furniture hanging around that is intact but, needs a little boost, DON’T throw it away.  I know that most people want new modern pieces of gorgeous patio sets but, I’m telling you now that you can have just that without the thousand dollar hit to your wallet.

In the first picture, the balcony, I had a vision to make a little sitting space.  Perfect for morning coffee or an evening glass of vino.  On the other end of the balcony, we have a metal patio dining table, chairs with an umbrella.  So this sitting space would compliment the dining space perfectly.  We had some old rocking chairs that we left down by our fire pit to be blown away by storms or a random helicopter landing (thanks Keith and Ady).  We love the rockers but hardly ever use them.  They were in desperate need of some help.

Before the face lift

I was rummaging around the garages and found this beautiful little iron table.  It had been painted white at one time but, even that was almost all chipped off.

So I took these pieces, prepared them for the next step…paint.  Now, I am NOT afraid of color.  If you are a bit hesitant, I totally understand.  Since our house is stucco, it is a plain tan color.  So any type of color will do the house  justice.  The balcony dining table and chairs already had cushions, so I picked two colors off of the cushions to paint the rockers and table.

The rockers, I chose a color in the brown family called “Maple Shadows” by Benjamin Moore.  For the table, I chose a color in the red family called “Sweet Rosy Brown” also by Benjamin Moore.  The reason I chose to use Benjamin Moore is that this particular latex paint has a self primer in it so there was no need to use kilz to prime the furniture before painting…it’s always nice to cut your workload if possible.  I suggest using a latex paint for outdoor furniture because it will breathe with the furniture and it dries in an hour.  An oil base is good too, I just don’t like working with oil base paints…if it gets on something it is usually there forever.  Plus, you have to thin oil base paints to put through a sprayer and it takes forever to dry.  The next step is choosing what finish you would like.  I love shiny so I went with a gloss finish.

If you need to, sand your pieces.  I chose not to because I like a rough look.  I laid plastic down and flipped the rockers over, starting with the bottom side first.  Now, I use a sprayer instead of hand painting with a brush.  It cuts my time in half and leaves the paint very even.  I admit that I am not a very good hand painter.  The sprayer works wonders for me!

After I finished spraying the rockers and table, I jumped in the car and ran over to Lowe’s.  I picked out an outdoor rectangular rug that would fit the space nicely.  If you have a smaller space, a round rug would be my choice.  Breaking up the angles is usually a good idea. However, my space is a long wall, so I need something long to fill it in.  Make sure when buying a rug that you know just how big your pieces are.  If you’re like me, you like when everything fits on the rug.  Nothing makes me more disappointed than, when I get a rug home and the chairs don’t fit on it when they are pulled out…grrrr.  I played it pretty safe with the paint colors, so I wanted to pick out throw pillows that would make that space pop.  Gary and I talked about finding a little fire pit to go on the balcony but, the only ones we could ever agree on were five hundred dollars or more…NOT gonna happen.  So I found a beautiful pottery piece, called a fire bowl, that had all my colors in the glaze.  You place citronella gel fuel in the reservoir and ta da, you have a nice little flame that will keep the bugs away.  After the furniture pieces dried, I started placing everything in it’s place.  This is the end result.

On to the patio.

This space is my favorite place to be when reading a book or meditating/praying.  After I get all the plants planted, it truly is a secret garden.  Basically, what I’m saying is, don’t judge me because of the hideous dead plants you will see in the finished pic ha,ha.

We bought cheap patio furniture a couple years ago to fill in this space due to our house being on the market.  Anyone who is in the process of selling their home, understands the whole “staging” part.  The patio set was cute but, it was in desperate need of an overhaul.  Plus, I was ready for something bright and cheery to replace the dinginess.  This time I went to Home Depot and picked out a bright aqua color called “Jamaican Sea”.  For these pieces, I needed to use a primer.  I bought kilz and had them add an 80% tint to it so my top coat would only have to be applied once.  Again, I picked a gloss finish for my top coat.  As I waited for my paint to be mixed I walked over to check out the outdoor throw pillows.  I already had cushions for the set but, since they were white, I wanted throw pillows to tie in the blue color and add some more colors to the mix.  I also found a sweet rectangular flower pot to place on the table.

I used the same painting techniques with both the kilz and paint.  Start with the bottom side of the piece and finish with the top.

After the first layer of Kilz dries, I applied the top coat.  While the pieces were drying, I bleached and washed the cushion covers.  Here is the finished project!

Both of these projects combined, cost me $250.00.  I totally could have saved more money when I did the patio furniture.  I, stupidly, bought a gallon of kilz and a gallon of paint.  I didn’t even use a quart of either.  So, if anyone needs some “Jamaican Sea” paint, I have plenty left over ha,ha.

If you are ready for a change but can’t afford new pieces…Get creative.  The key is to find that one piece that gives you inspiration, like a throw pillow or even a flower pot.  Maybe you have a beautiful tree, that when it blooms in the spring, has a gorgeous color that you wish you could box up and keep forever.  Being creative does wonderful things for your head and your soul.   It’s a sense of accomplishment and you will have a new space that will blow your friends and family away.  I hope to hear of some projects that y’all have taken on.  Good luck and enjoy being creative!

P.S. Take before and after pics, I would love to see your projects.