April 6, 2011

Two Bean Turkey Chili

I’m always looking for meals that are easy to prepare (because duh, I’m busy like everyone else), hearty (because I need to fill up my eternally hungry German boy), and healthy. Not only does homemade chili meet these requirements, but I can make a lot at one time to hopefully last a few days. Like most of the meals I make, I tend to change this recipe based on what we’re in the mood for and what’s on sale. If ground chicken or beef is on sale, I’ll substitute it for chicken. If we’re in the mood to eat vegetarian, I’ll add more variety, like black beans and chick peas. Any way it’s altered, chili is always delicious comfort food.


Two Bean Turkey Chili

1 large onion, diced

1.25 pounds of ground turkey

1 large can (or 3 smaller cans) of kidney beans

1 large can (or 3 smaller cans) of pinto beans

2 28oz cans of petite diced tomatoes

1 package of McCormick 30% less sodium Chili Seasoning

4 cups of water


Shredded cheddar cheese

Diced onions

Nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat sour cream


In a very large pot, sauté diced onions for 5 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently.

In the meantime, open and drain the cans of beans, and open the cans of tomatoes.

Add the meat to the pot, stirring frequently until brown.

Once the meat has browned, add the beans and tomatoes to the pot, as well as the chili seasoning and water.

Let the chili simmer until you are ready to eat.

Top with the toppings of your choice and serve with rice, chips, or bread.


April 5, 2011

I’m dreaming of a.. white kitchen

When we start looking to buy our first home, Derek and I both know that neither of us wants to purchase something that is “move-in ready” or “recently renovated”.  We are excited to make it our own, from top to bottom, even if that means weekends spent hammering away and a few days without running water.

I can’t wait to have a bright and airy, white kitchen. One of my favorite places to find home design inspiration is a website called Houzz. After making an account, you can save pictures to “ideabooks”. Pictures of everything from kitchens to kids’ rooms are added frequently by designers. Here are just a few of my favorite white kitchens..


capitol renovation eclectic kitchen
2009 Showcase Home on Park Alley traditional kitchen
Wm. F. Holland/Architect/projects traditional kitchen
Traditional Kitchen | ELLE Decor traditional kitchen
kitchen 4 traditional kitchen
kitchen 2 traditional kitchen
Kauai Residence - Hawaii contemporary kitchen
willow decor mls greenwich home listing contemporary kitchen
Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional kitchen
KitchenLab traditional kitchen
New American Home Kitchen contemporary kitchen
hhbradys ideabook kitchen eclectic kitchen
March 28, 2011

Sweet as Honey Baby Shower

Click HERE to read the first part of this “Sweet as Honey” series, a housewarming party designed by Kori Clark of Paper & Pigtails.

Obviously all this talk of honey has this song stuck in my head..


Like every good party, this one begins with an invitation that sets the tone. This one is from Minted. I love the sweet bee detail on the wrap-around labels, and matching thank you cards are available.


This cake is the centerpiece of this bee-themed baby shower, complete with marzipan bees buzzing around. Martha Stewart gives a photo tutorial of how to make this adorable bees here. Find a beehive cake mold online, like this one from Nordicware.

via Martha Stewart


These bee cookies can be ordered from Baking for Good, a bakery that donates 15% of every purchase you make on their site to the cause of your choice. The causes to choose from include nonprofits such as the ASPCA, FirstBook, Pencils of Promise, and Keep America Beautiful, and community movements such as Smart is Cool, and Kick-it. Head on over for the full list, as well as information about each cause.

via Baking for Good


Serve hibiscus-honey iced tea since the mommy-to-be won’t be drinking alcohol. The recipe is from Martha Stewart. Extra points if you serve it in a beehive-shaped glass dispenser.

via Martha Stewart


via Camille Styles


Give jars of honey as favors to thank guests for coming to celebrate the arrival of the baby!

via Martha Stewart

via Creative Baby Shower Ideas


Complete the look of this baby shower by using burlap table cloths, white china, and loosely arranged flowers.

via Divine Decorating Results

I love this idea for a baby shower because its pure and sweet, without being overly “themed”. My friend Sonya will be having a baby girl in July, and I think this will be perfect for a “meet the baby” shower.


March 28, 2011

Sweet as Honey Housewarming Party

I can hardly believe that in exactly 1 month and 3 days, Derek and I will be saying goodbye to the apartment that we’ve called home for 3 years. It will be sad to leave, but I am so very excited for this new phase in our life. We’re not yet sure whether we’ll end up in DC, Richmond, North Carolina, or somewhere else entirely, but one thing I know for sure is that we will be throwing a housewarming party. We’re hoping to live closer to our families, and I think a housewarming party is such a great way to encourage friends and family to come back and visit often.

This “Sweet as Honey” housewarming party was designed by Kori Clark of Paper & Pigtails. I spotted it on the Hostess with the Mostess blog and it is just filled to the brim with creative inspiration.






All photos by Courtney Vickers Photography.


I also think that this theme would make for an especially sweet, gender-neutral baby-shower. Stay tuned for that inspiration in the next post!

March 25, 2011

DC Brunch Wedding Reception

I saw this wedding by Amelia Johnson Photography on Style Me Pretty this week (a must read by the way) and just had to share. I’m kind of obsessed with brunch, mostly because I love mimosas.




All photos by Amelia Johnson Photography

The stack of crepes as the wedding cake is such a great idea! See the rest of the wedding here.


March 25, 2011

Love, always


This pretty little email arrived in my inbox the other day, and I couldn’t resist checking out the J. Crew Weddings & Parties new arrivals.

Here are my favorites:


Marquise Gown


Toscana Ball Gown


Parigi Gown


Ludlow Tuxedo


Ludlow Suit


Girls’ Romy Dress

March 23, 2011

A Proper Table Setting

I spotted this table setting diagram a back on With Style And Grace. It’s a beautiful reminder of what goes where and I think it would look great framed.


via With Style And Grace

March 19, 2011

Wedding Trend: Succulents

Nothing says ‘modern organic’ better than succulents as wedding decor. Used either in lieu of or in combination with flowers, they can be grown before the wedding and replanted after. A sweet idea would be to grow them at the Bride and Groom’s childhood homes, and replant them at their new home as husband and wife.

Here are a few unexpected ways to use succulents in your wedding:

photo by Mary Swenson via Project Wedding


photo via The Knot


photo by Aaron Delesie via Green Wedding Shoes


photo by Stephanie Williams via Green Wedding Shoes


I’ll leave you with some images from one of my favorite weddings of all time seen on Style  Me Pretty here and here. I love it for its modern, sophisticated, and organic aesthetic that is so elegant and chic. Succulents are used everywhere, together with white orchids. And that cake! Even Derek loves that cake. All photos by Jasmine Star.


Have a great weekend!

March 17, 2011

Green for St. Patrick’s Day


May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
-Irish Blessing-

I’ll never forget purposefulness with which I always wore green to school on St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t want to get pinched!

With pinching in mind, I put together the perfect outfit for a grown-up St. Patrick’s Day.

Bailey 44 California Dreaming Dress


Stella & Dot Garden Party Chandelier Earrings


Stella & Dot Bardot Spiral Bangle in Gold

March 17, 2011

For a Rainy Day

My friend Susan and I have been talking about getting rain boots for months. Probably almost for years by now. I was going to go the frugal route at get these from Target, but I was hesitant after reading some bad reviews. They are exactly one fifth of the price of Hunter Wellies, but if I have to replace them more often or if they tear at the least opportune time (like when its actually raining), then that doesn’t make sense, right? I’m was also tempted by the very chic  Hunter for Jimmy Choo version on sale at Saks, but fortunately they sold out before I could do damage.

I love all the different color options, but I think I’ll be boring and stick with black.

I was also worried about the height of the boots, since I’m not that tall. But I figure, if Nicole Richie is tall enough to wear them, I am too.

I love this last image of Angelina Jolie wearing Hunters in red in one of my favorite movies, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I can’t wait to have some of my very own!