Happy Halloween!

The husband and I put a mediocre amount of effort into our costumes this year. He is an avid hunter, so naturally his closet is loaded with camo gear. I suggested he put that on and be, well, a hunter and I'd be his "trophy rack!" Yep, I cut a slit in my own camo shirt and slapped on some iron-on letters that spelled out "trophy rack" on the front... almost. I forgot the "h" in trophy but didn't feel like going back and fixing it, so tropy rack it was. Just makes it more memorable, yes? ;)

Here's us at the party:

And a gorier version for Halloween:

Have a spook-tacular holiday!


{My Recipes} Sunday Football Chili

Sundays like this are the best. The weather is just cloudy enough to make you feel cozy inside, football is on the TV (Go Dallas Cowboys!), a pumpkin candle is burning so it smells like fall and dinner is slowly simmering away in the kitchen. There's nothing to be done except what you feel like doing. So I thought it'd be appropriate to share a quick and easy chili recipe that's hearty, filling and super delicious!

First, be sure you've got the game on, of course. This is my view from our kitchen:

Then put your meat in a large saute pan with no more than a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or organic coconut oil, letting it get good and browned. I used one pound of ground turkey instead of beef to change it up a little and give us a slightly healthier, calorie-smart meal.

While the meat cooks, set out all your ingredient to add to the chili so it's easy to dump everything in: 

two cans red kidney beans
one can pinto beans
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
two cans of diced tomatoes (one was Rotel with cilantro and lime, the other diced fire roasted tomatoes with garlic)
few dashes of Worcestershire 
few dashes of Cholula hot sauce
a sprinkling of dried red chili pepper flakes (add more if you want it spicier)
1 teaspoon of dried cilantro (again, add more if you want more heat)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
salt & pepper to taste

Next, dice up a white or sweet onion and toss it in the pan with a teaspoon or two of EVOO. Be sure to gently scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the leftover flavor from the meat. (You can also add a diced bell pepper if desired.)

Then combine everything—meat, onions, spices, tomatoes and beans—into a large pot or slow cooker. If you're going the stovetop route, cook on medium high; and for the slow cooker, cook it on the high setting. 

Let the chili simmer away for 2-3 hours, then serve in large bowls topped with shredded cheese and a side of your favorite crackers. While dinner cooks, don't forget to set the table!

Happy Sunday, y'all!


{Daily Pics} Hunting & Accessories

Top to bottom:

1.) The husband's last hunting excursion with our white lab, Shiner. Pheasant season is nearly here!

2.) A new fall setting for my kitchen table, with a Texas-style faux leather runner.

3.) Getting ready for a rehearsal dinner in Dallas sporting a cool necklace I snagged at Target. Have plans to reinvent a similar design using silver and turquoise for my Etsy shop.

4.) A fantastic Jessica Simpson bag I scored at Stein Mart for $25!!! Love the shape, size, color and texture. And psstt... they are still available! Currently 50%, plus another 20% off if you print out the coupon available online. This weekend only!

5.) Homemade pot roast. Yum.

Have a good weekend! 


{Fashion} Breaking out the Boots!

Just a quick outfit picture to share with you... albeit from my camera phone along with loads of laundry, a messy floor and an unmade bed in the background! Ignore all that, will you? Thanks.

Anyway, I'm wearing a breezy top I picked up at Target recently, and on the clearance rack no less. To complete my perfect it's-not-quite-cold-enough-for-a-sweater-but-it-is-for-boots outfit, I love my skinnies from Charlotte Russe and my favorite English riding boots—which I bought years ago from a thrift store I can't recall, and had resoled last fall after wearing them out while living in Scotland.

And since we're on the topic of fashion, check out this wowsa turquoise necklace I put together for my Etsy shop yesterday:

Oh yeah, bring it on. I like 'em big and bold - can you tell!? The holidays are right around the corner, so keep an eye on my shop for new wares that make great gifts!! (Wink, wink.)

Happy fall!


{Recipe Challenge} Peach-Whiskey BBQ Chicken

Oh. My. Gosh.

You know when you finally sit down to partake in that meal that you've never had before but you're hoping it's as delicious as it smells? And then when you actually do take a bite, it nearly surprises you with how exceptionally divine it tastes?

That was me and this recipe. I'm tellin' ya... best one I've ever made. And I'll willingly give up the creds, since it came from Pioneer Woman's kitchen.

{Photo from Pioneer Woman}

In her blog post chronicling the recipe, she heralds the peach-whiskey barbecue chicken as one to make when you want to impress your guests who have wandered all the way into town and ended up at your casa, and are gazing up and down the place with an observant eye. Well, slap-some-flour-on-me-and-put-me-in-the-fryer, she was right. I took some photos as I was cooking to give you a sorta guide on how to put it together. Pioneer Woman's pictures are much more delish, but if you wanna know what it's like from a, uh, non-glamorous foodie pictorial angle, then scroll on down. ;)

I set out most of my ingredients so I could be prepared since the sauce is done in several consecutive steps. Used BBQ sauce I had in the fridge, and a cheap-o bottle of peach preserves. I only made about 1/2 the recipe size but still used full bottles of sauce and preserves, which left me with lots of extra sauce to spoon over mashed potatoes. 

Don't cry when you're chopping those onions. They can't feel a thing, I swear.

I did brown up my chicken thighs in some organic coconut oil, to "healthify" the oil and butter called for in the recipe. And I did not use bone-in thighs, my chickens were boneless. Sexy.

Yup, it looks like a lot of onions but pour 'em all in your pot anyway! 

Here's my onions after getting nice and brown, with a teeny bit of caramelization going on. Then I poured in the whisky and stirred while it condensed a little.

My pot with the BBQ sauce and peach preserves added, as well as some hunks of garlic. Mmm mmm, come to momma.

I wanted to serve carrots as a side, so to save time I boiled both them and the potatoes together. No, it doesn't make your taters taste like carrots and no, it doesn't make your carrots taste like taters. Just pluck out the carrots a couple minutes before the potatoes are done since they cook faster.

The sauce was to-die-for. Literally, it was one of the most wonderful things I've ever tasted. Think about it: chicken, barbecue sauce, whisky and peaches. It's the perfect combination of all the great flavors of Texas!

*Note: I drained and smashed my potatoes up when they were done boiling, then added a couple pours of 2% milk, a slab of butter, garlic powder, Lawry's Seasoning Salt, cracked black pepper and a dab of sour cream. The carrots are simply sprinkled with Lawry's.

Ready to amaze your mouth? Get the ingredients and step-by-step printable instructions here. And don't say I didn't warn ya!


{Home Decor} DIY Autumn Banner & Wreath

Howdy y'all! I guess I got into the fall spirit more than I thought because I ended up making my own autumn banner to hang on the mantle as well as a DIY autumn wreath that's pretty as a peach and hangin' above my front door as we speak.

Was inspired by this blog post and this one for the banner, then adapted it a teeny tiny bit to make it my own. Let's proceed, shall we?

First, I picked out the cupcake liners I wanted to use. (Both of these designs are from Hobby Lobby.) I trimmed just a little bit off the edges of the zebra ones, and about half the width off the "boo" liners, creating two different sizes that fit neatly on my flags.

While at Hobby Lobby, I also picked up some scrapbook papers in various fall designs. I traced a 7" by 7" square, using the edges as two sides of my square, then on one line drew a dot in the middle (that'd be 3.5" for you mathematically challenged folk, like yours truly!). From the dot, I used my ruler to draw a straight line into one of the corners then did the same on the other side, creating a triangle. Then cut!

Once I had my triangles cut, I wanted to cut an additional piece of non-matching paper to run as a border across the top of each triangle. I placed a triangle on the paper I wanted, and traced the diagonal sides about an inch long. Then I connected the sides with a straight line across the bottom and cut that out and glued it across the top of my triangle. (If you're having trouble visualizing this, just scroll to the pictures of the finished product below and it'll make more sense!)

In the meantime, I had spray painted some chipboard letters black to spell out "autumn." I also drew white circles on card stock that matched the shape of the middle of the cupcake liner and used those as a background to make the letters pop. Similar to the other bloggers, I used a black permanent marker to rub ink around the edges of the white circles. Then I Elmer glued everything on one layer at a time: larger cupcake line, small cupcake liner, white circle and letter!

Finally, I punched a hole on the sides of each flag at the top and strung them with twine to suspend them from my mantle.

Ta-dah! Festive, don't you think? My husband said it looked like a party. Ain't he sweet. :)

PS - the other blogs said this was like a 20 minute craft, but I'll be gosh honest and tell ya it took me nearly an hour! I did it while watching TV, so it wasn't a big deal.

Now on to wreaths!

And this couldn't get any simpler. 

I bought a grapevine wreath from Hobby Lobby for $5 and some fall-looking ribbon that was 50% off, so I think it ran me 3 or 4 bucks. I also picked up some fall picks with things like pumpkins, leaves and acorns on them, which were also 50% off, so no more than $2 or $3 apiece.

I wrapped the ribbon all the way around my wreath, then stuck the ends into the branches to keep them secure. Then I stuck the decorative picks into the branches as well, arranging them to create a sort of cluster at the bottom center that flourished out just a bit on the sides. Done!

Told ya it was easy!

Let's take a look at the whole front porch...

...and again, from a little further away. 
(Because I'm a nerd and it felt good to be outside in the sun.)

Speaking of being outside, I popped out to say hello to the doggies who were busy playing in the backyard. I kinda managed to group them together for a shot of all three, but Reese (the puppy) needed a little help sitting still. I empathize. Photo shoots are so annoying.

This right here will always be my baby girl, though! Jersey is an amazing dog and I love her so much. I think it's pretty safe to say she loves her momma, too. :)

Y'all have a great Tuesday and stop by again tomorrow for my fabulous rendition of Pioneer Woman's peach-whisky BBQ chicken. Quite possibly one of the best meals I've ever made...


{Daily Pics} Face Time!

Here are a few of my favorite things right now... plus, my first video "hello" at the end!

From top to bottom:

1.) Halloween bat candle in the Pumpkin Patch scent from Bath & Body Works. They're on sale right now for 50% off making them $9.75! I love the fragrance, it's not too heavy and perfectly fall.

2.) The peach citrus body collection, also at Bath & Body Works, is on sale now as well. I put together a little gift package for a friend of mine and stashed them in a decorative wine bag from Michael's $1 bin.

3.) New pewter Antler earrings I purchased recently on Etsy for my Halloween costume this year. It'll be, uh, different.

4.) Another Bath & Body Works purchase and new favorite: CO Bigelow Organics No. 605 lip shine in Golden Peach. The sheen is just right for me and the flavor isn't too bad either. ;)

Now get ready for a little face time with my first in-person video! 
And have a "peachy" weekend. :)

{Giveaway} The Winner!

And the winner of my three-bracelet giveaway is..... (drum roll)

She is actually a good friend of mine and I'm so glad to be sending her three of these Rockin' Bead bracelets!

Still want some for yourself? Hop on over to my Etsy shop and grab a few!

Thanks for playing y'all!


{My Recipes} "No More Bore" Chicken

You know those days when you just can't figure out what to make for dinner? And, almost inevitably, the only thing in your fridge or freezer is a package of chicken? But you've already had chicken nine different ways and it pains you to even consider how else to cook it without being redundant, flavorless or too complicated.

Fret no more! This recipe is just for those days. It's super simple and involves a total of six very common seasonings, which includes a lemon, your salt, pepper and olive oil! Kick boring to the curb. This chicken's days are numbered.

"No More Bore" Chicken

2-3 chicken breasts, sliced in half width-wise to form cutlets
1 bunch fresh spinach, cut from stems
1/2 package grape or cherry tomatoes, washed (about 25, if you want an exact number!)
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1 package microwaveable frozen brown rice
1/2 cup salsa, any kind
1/4 cup shredded cheese, any kind
2 lemons
Crushed red pepper
Garlic powder
Salt & pepper (I prefer to use grinders)
EVOO or organic coconut oil
Wax paper
Meat pounder

Serves two.

1.) Slice up your lemons, halves work fine.

2.) Set out all your seasonings so they are handy throughout the recipe.

3.) Melt about 2tsps of the coconut oil (or heat your olive oil) in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat then add sliced onions. Let them sweat and begin to brown slightly, about 6-8 minutes.

4.) Meanwhile, place your chicken cutlets between two sheets of wax paper and use the meat pounder to whack each piece a few times to thin them out (be sure not to jiggle breakables off the counter in the process!).

5.) Add your tomatoes to the onions, adjusting heat as necessary to ensure they begin to breakdown a bit within a few minutes.

6.) Place your cut & washed spinach in another large pan, with a drizzle of olive oil or 2 tsps of coconut oil. Season with juice from 1/2 lemon, a smattering of sea salt and two shakes of garlic powder. Cook over medium-high heat for no more than 10 minutes, leaves will wilt down but you want to take them off the burner before they lose all of their bright green color. 

7.) Add your chicken cutlets to the tomato & onion mix. Season with juice from a full lemon and sprinkle with desired amount of salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes. 

8.) When the opaque whiteness begins to creep toward the middle of the chicken, it's time to flip. (I like mine a little caramelized and browned.)

9.) While chicken is cooking, microwave your rice (about 4 minutes). Pour into a bowl and mix with the cheese and salsa.

10.) Time to plate! Spoon out a palette of rice and top with two pieces of chicken, tomatoes, onion and a bit of juice from the pan. Add a side of spinach, then squeeze remaining lemon half evenly over your plates to add a bit of fresh zest.

Enjoy your non-boring chicken dinner!
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