Friday, September 19

Fashion Friday: The Great Outdoors

Lately it seems to be the perfect temperature outside! Constantly in the 70's and low 80's, hiking weather has never been better. Be sure to take the time to soak up all the sun rays, this is what fall is all about! Sunny days are interspersed with sprinkling rain, it isn't too hot or too cold, and the sky seems to just erupt with so many beautiful colors as the leaves change. The official start of fall comes on Sunday, so we can officially stop talking about 'transitioning into fall' and simply embrace the beautiful season.

Jeans: basic denim; Shoes: H&M;  Necklace: Lou Lou'sShirt & Sweater: ElementHat: San Diego Hat Co.

If you are going to be running around outside you are going to want to be comfortable and have an easily removable sweater or cardigan. We are now in the season of cold mornings, warm afternoons, surprise rains, and chilly evenings! Be sure to wear flats, no heels, for better adventuring and breath in the fresh scent of pine trees and bright yellow flowers. For more pictures like this be sure to check out Jamie on Instagram (@browneyelovely)!

Wednesday, September 17

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Green Chile Stew

One of the things I've truly come to love since moving New Mexico is green chile stew. It is one of the very best fall/winter foods I've ever come across. I even like it better than apple pie, so you know that I'm serious.

The problem with green chile stew is that its not exactly a breeze to make. I normally go to restaurants to fulfill my cravings. For example, go check out this 'easy' green chile stew recipe. 1 hour and 20 minutes of prep? Maybe on a weekend, but a week night? Who's got that kind of time? Sometimes, though, going to a restaurant just isn't an option and whether that's because you don't live in New Mexico or because you've got three sick kids and can't leave the house, I've got a solution for you.

When I was in Whole Foods the other day I stumbled across this little gem and I got pretty excited. Ask my Hubby if you don't believe me, I think I may have gasped quite loudly in the store because I've been looking for a green chile stew in stores since September hit. You can order it on Desert Garden's website if you don't live in an area that sells green chile products.

Don't forget to add chicken (or other meat of choice) to give it some umph. If you have the time to cook and shred chicken, that's definitely best. If you are running low on time you can grab a pre-cooked chicken like I did. I found mine at Costco in a two pack.

There isn't really any prep work. Through everything but the chicken in 6 cups of water, bring to boil, add chicken and simmer for 35 minutes. Thankfully simmering doesn't require any work. I'll be the first to admit that green chile stew doesn't really look appetizing, but it smells and tastes AMAZING! It does have a bit of zing, but it's no where near jalapeño hot, it rests kind of in between the lands of no spice and so hot it hurts. Plus, eating chile gives you endorphins. If you are having a down in the dumps, no sun, winter blues kind of day then I guarantee this will pick you up. Not to mention it clears the sinuses, so be sure to stalk some of this before cold season starts.

I know, I know. Guys, I did soup two weeks in a row. What can I say? I love soup, it's finally cool outside here, and I'm obsessed with fall. I promise to do something different next week. Or at least make the soup from scratch.

Monday, September 15

Literary Libations: Mojito Movie Night

I was given Skinnygirl Mojito as a PR sample, all opinions are my own.

If you've been reading my blog long enough, you might remember that mojitos are my very favorite cocktail, ever, on the planet. After my post a couple weeks ago in which I mentioned that I couldn't find Skinnygirl Mojito in any of my local stores, they were kind enough to send me two bottles! Of course I was thrilled, I love all the Skinnygirl cocktails I've tried so far and I love mojitos.

As with all Skinnygirl cocktails you can simply pour and serve, which is great if you need a quick pick-me-up, but I think all mojitos deserve a bit of flare! I filled a tall glass with ice, four lime slices (one half of a lime), a couple torn up mint leaves, a sprig of mint for garnish, and finally topped it off with a straw. Delicious, not to mention super easy. The best part? For a re-fill all I did was top up the glass with more Skinnygirl, no extra work required!

While a good cocktail is always great with a book club discussion or a relaxing night with a new novel, this week I matched my mojito with a movie night! Hubby and I cuddled up, grabbed some chips 'n' salsa, and he grabbed a beer and I grabbed my mojito before settling down for a little bit of comedic horror with the 1996 classic, Scream (currently on Netflix). I know we are a bit behind the times, but this was the first time Hubby and I had seen this movie. Hubby thought it was pretty tame, which, honestly, it was. For someone who generally refuses to watch scary movies, this was about reaching my threshold for scary. Nonetheless we both enjoyed it and I have a new appreciation for the caller ID on cell phones.

I recently came across two websites that are perfect for Netflix recommendations. I like Netflix a lot, but sometimes it's hard to determine if a recommended movie is going to be complete rubbish or a new favorite. To eliminate some of the guess work I recommend checking out Newsday and Complex.

Friday, September 12

Fashion Friday: NY Fall Fashion

As New York's fall fashion week comes to close, you can be sure one thing will be buzzing as much or more than the designer clothing: street style! Jamie (instagram: @browneyelovely) has put together a super chic woman-about-town outfit that is perfect for celebrating fashion week and welcoming fall.

Glasses: Kenneth Cole (similar here & here); Dress: H&M, sold out (similar here); Coat: H&M; Necklace: Lou Lou's, sold out (similar here); Shoes: Vince Camuto, sold out (Similar here)

All of the pieces compliment each other perfectly. The dress has a high collar and longer sleeves which, in other circumstances, may have come across as matronly, but the short skirt and open back quickly combat that notion. Layered with a thin jacket it is perfect for early fall days when the sun still shines, but evenings and breezes can quickly cause temperatures to drop. The in-style heels work that dress, but you can still wander around town with ease because the high ankle strap gives them the illusion of having a higher heel than they really do. Add a sweet statement necklace and a bold pair of rims and this look is a well-rounded masterpiece that's simple to create.

Wednesday, September 10

Ridiculously Practical Meals: Chicken Noodle Soup

Have you experienced any chilly weather yet? There's been a definite drop in temperature here, although I couldn't really say that it's even cool yet. Highs have been in the 80's rather than the 90's, which is a very welcome change. Occasionally a high of 75 will come along and that means a cool evening! Cuddle weather is approaching, which also means pulling out cozy sweaters and warm soups.

I recently discovered Bear Creek Chicken Noodle Soup, perfect for a cozy week night it is both delicious and easy! You will need: 1 packet of Bear Creek Chicken Noodle Soup, and 8 cups of water. That's it! Bring the water to a boil, stir in soup packet, lower stove top heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It really doesn't get easier than that.

They claim that their soup is just like your favorite homemade bowl. I don't know if I'd go quite that far, you could tell that the vegetables had been dried by their texture, but for a dried soup mix it was exceptionally delicious. I plan on stocking up on a variety of the soup flavors before fall really kicks in that way I can pull out an easy, yet delicious meal in minutes; a Godsend when you've had a long day at work. You can find their soups in Kroger stores, Target, and most local grocery stores. If you live out in the middle of nowhere, you can even order it off of Amazon! Bon appétit!

Tuesday, September 9

Say Hello!

Cards are from the Anna Griffin collection at Target

I recently bought some cards with a blank interior. I plan to use them to send quick hellos to family and friends, let people from my everyday life know that I care, and generally remind those I love that I love them! Its so rare to get a bit of snail mail today, especially for no reason. Do you want to join me in sharing some joy?