Classic Chili Recipe

Today I am sharing my mom's classic chili recipe.  I thought for sure I had shared this recipe on the blog before, but when I went to look it up when making my grocery list, I realized I hadn't.  

This is the chili my mom made for us growing up.  Eating a bowl definitely takes me back to those nights sitting around the kitchen table.

It's your classic red chili with onions, beef, tomato sauce, beans, and of course, seasonings.  It comes together in just a bit over an hour, and the most of that time is spent with it simmering away on the stovetop, giving you a bit of your evening back, while making your house smell oh so good.  And it's absolutely perfect for these chilly, rainy days we have been having!

Classic Chili

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 46 oz. can of tomato juice

3 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

2 16 oz. cans light red kidney beans

Brown meat & onion.

Stir in tomato juice, chili powder, cayenne red pepper, and paprika.

Heat to boiling.

Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

Drain & rinse beans.

Add to chili, heating for 15 minutes.


Weekend Recap: Whirlwind Trip Home

Hey there, long time no blog!  I am still struggling a bit on the blogging consistently front, but hopefully you all will bear with me on that!

This past weekend I took a quick trip home, and was back in St. Louis again in just over 24 hours.  The reason for the trip was to hang out with my parents and my nephews.  The boys were staying there for a few days, and I couldn't say no to the opportunity to see them, and be an extra set of hands to help out my parents.  Bonus, I got to see my grandma, too!

Some of the highlights...

My youngest nephew is talking SO much, and he even says 'Em' now!  It comes out more as 'Eh', but I will take it.  Definitely close enough.

We had some dance parties...the boys are quite the country music fans.  Plus a little 'wheels on the bus', and 'pumpkins on the gate' thrown in there, too.

As I mentioned, my grandma visited for a few hours, too.  I miss her hugs so much, but I am so happy to be able to see her in person.

Even though it was chilly, we did get outside for a bit.  This tree had all the fall colors going, and it was nice to get that fresh air.  Plus we had to check out the Halloween blow up next door.  I feel like more and more people decorate the outside of their houses for Halloween and it's so fun!

We attempted to check out a local drive thru fall fest, but the line was long and we all were getting a bit too hungry to wait.  I think we made the right choice, because it sounded like people were in line for hours!  

I always eat well when back home - my mom made her chicken noodle soup for lunch (and pumpkin squares!), we had my favorite local pizza, Mario's, for dinner and to go with eggs and bacon Sunday morning, we had houska for toast.  If you aren't familiar, it's a Czech bread that has raisins and sliced almonds in's so darn good.

And just like that, I was headed back to St. Louis.  I did normal weekend stuff when I got home, and got to watching some Hallmark Christmas movies.  Countdown to Christmas started this weekend, and my DVR is already full with a few new movies, as well as some of the old ones I haven't seen before.  The end of the evening came all too soon.  

Ready or not, the new week is here, and it's going to be a busy one.  But hopefully a good one, too.

Linking up with Lindsay.

Prime Day Purchases: 2020

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

With Amazon Prime Day continuing today, I thought I would share the few purchases I made yesterday. 

Digital Thermometer - $15.  Once COVID hit, I realized I didn't have a thermometer.  I have obviously been a little slow on the take to get one, seeing as we are 8 months into this, but I figure better late than never!  I originally saw this on Andrea's blog, added it to my wish list, then added it to the cart when saw that it was a Prime Day Deal.  It has a ton of good reviews (in addition to Andrea's), and at $15, I felt it was too good to pass up. 

 Air Fryer - $79.99.  This isn't a Prime Day Deal, but it is on sale.  At the time I bought it, it was $20 off, which has changed just a bit, because as I type this, it's $16 off.  I had been wanting to try an air fryer for awhile, and this one caught my eye when I saw that it was a Prime Day Deal in red.  It was sold out when I saw it, but I figured since it was still on sale I would give it a try!

Levi 721 High Rise Skinny Jeans - Prices range with color/size.  I purchased these jeans during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for twice the amount.  They have since become my favorite jeans, and I thought it might be a good idea to have two pairs to spread out the wear and tear.

I am still pretty new to Prime Day...I think this is the first time I really shopped it.  I think it can be pretty overwhelming, given all the different deals to be had.  But there is also a ton of coverage, so that definitely helps!  While there are a bunch more accounts, the three I kept checking back in with throughout the day for updates on deals were: 

1) The Babbling Blondes (local gals!)

2) Honey We're Home

3) Lindsay's Sweet World

Did you make any Prime Day purchases yesterday?  If you found a good deal, I'd love to hear about it!

Linking up with Lindsay.

Favorite Crockpot Recipes: 2020

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I am a big fan of my crockpot - I feel like it makes life so much easier.  Even if the full meal isn't made in the crockpot, at least a portion of it is, which again, makes life so much easier!  I have a good amount of go-to crockpot recipes, and I feel like I add at least one or two more each year...hence the reason it feels like I do this post each year!

If you are in the market for a good crockpot, I upgraded mine this year.  I was having issues with my old one running extremely hot, and this KitchenAid one was said to be the most consistent heat-wise, exactly what I was looking for.  Plus, the price was right, coming in about mid-range (found the best price at Bed, Bath & Beyond), and more so with the 20% coupon that always seems to be available there.

Here are my favorites:

Beef & Noodles.  This one comes from my childhood, and is probably the first crockpot recipe I ever made!  My mom got me and my brother these little crockpots when we were in college (he may have been just graduated) and at the time, I think this was the one thing I knew to make in it.  That crockpot has been a work horse over the years...I still pull it out when I don't need my big one!  But back to the recipe - this is so darn easy, you only need a handful of ingredients and it is absolutely perfect for a chilly evening.  To be honest, I eat it year round...sometimes you need a little comfort food even in the heat of summer.

Crockpot Shredded Chicken.  If you have any recipe that needs shredded chicken, this is a great way to make it.

Shredded Crockpot Buffalo Chicken.  I have been making this recipe for years.  It's the easiest thing - literally 3 ingredients.  You can scale it for a larger group, making it great for a get together.

Andrea's Pulled Pork from Mix & Match Mama.  Another delicious and ridiculously easy recipe.  And so versatile.  It's perfect in a sandwich, by itself, in a quesadilla, served over rice...the options are plentiful!

Easy Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken from Half Baked Harvest.  While you may need to stock up on some ingredients you don't use on a regular basis (unless you cook Indian food often!), it's completely worth it for this recipe.  It's warm and comforting and just so good.  And the smells are amazing, too!

Chicken A La King from Mix & Match Mama.  I love the peas and corn mixed in with this chicken.  And you can't skip the biscuit part...everything together is just so darn good!

Persian Inspired Herb and Beef Stew with Rice from Half Baked Harvest.  Somehow this stew is both hearty and light.  You are eating comfort food, that is for sure, but it's not too heavy at all.  I would recommend getting those squeeze herbs to make this recipe just a bit easier.  And if you are cooking for 2 or less, I would recommend halving it - it makes a ton!  
If you have a favorite crockpot recipe, please send my way!  My friend Jess, who blogs over at Roots Out West, just put together a post that compiles reader favorites...definitely going to be giving some of those a try!

Linking up with Lindsay.

Friday Favorites: Family, Running & Nordstrom Sale Items

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Hi there, happy Friday!  My mind is still blown that it is already October.  Even though we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, time does not stand still, that is for sure!

Going to keep it short and sweet today - here are some favorites from the week...

1.  Phone calls with my brother.  If you have read here for long, then you know how incredibly important my family is to me.  I talk to my brother on a relatively regular basis, obviously sometimes more than others depending on what each other has going on, but still pretty regularly.  Usually it's over FaceTime, because then I get to see my nephews.  Which I absolutely love, because, duh, I love those boys SO MUCH!  But every so often we talk, just the two of us, and it's nice to catch up and talk about different things going on.  We had one of those calls this week and it really was one of the highlights of my week.  And made me very grateful that we have that type of relationship with each other!

2.  Running.  For the past few months I have been slowly but surely getting back into running.  This week I finally graduated myself from the walk + runs on the Peloton app to doing a fun run.  I still walked a tiny bit, but the majority of the time was spent running, and it felt like a great accomplishment!  

3.  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale items back on sale.  Nordstrom has quite a few of the items I purchased during the Anniversary Sale, back on sale right now.  

Topshop Stripe Crewneck Sweater (on sale for $40.80).  When I ordered this sweater, it was more on a whim than anything.  I didn't have high hopes for it.  Well, I was wrong!  It's incredibly soft, incredibly warm, and soooo pretty.  I will say, while the name of it says crewneck, it's more of a mockneck, which you can see in the picture.

Steve Madden Nadalie Pointed Toe Bootie (on sale for $69.90).  I purchased these in black earlier in the year.  I feel like they have a really classic look.  I like the fact that the heel is wrapped - just adds a little something extra to the overall look of the shoe, and makes it easy to dress up!

Steve Madden Kaylah Pointed Toe Bootie (on sale for $79.90).  I broke these booties out for the first time this week (big outing at Target!) and can't wait to wear them again.  The notch adds some interest, and also I think some comfort to the shoe.  Another classic option I plan to wear for seasons to come.

Steven Madden Feather Genuine Calf Hair Loafer (on sale for $44.98).  I have always liked the loafer trend, and a good leopard print shoe.  These are really comfortable, and fit extremely well.  I feel like some loafers can hit funny, and then bend and gap oddly when you walk, but these hit at the perfect spot on the top of the foot and don't gap like that all.  The sole is super cushy, too.  I wore them out this week (another big outing - the eye doctor!) and like with the booties, can't wait to break them out again!

Levi 721 High Waist Skinny Jeans (on sale for $68.60).  Ever since I bought these during the sale, I have not worn another pair of jeans.  They are super stretchy, more like a jegging material which makes them ridiculously comfortable.  Another thing that makes them really comfortable is the high waist.  It truly is high waist, so there will be no need for tugging on them, or adjusting the waist as you move around.  Really, really, really love these jeans.

On the blog this week:

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.  

October Goals & Habits

September was my month to get back on track with goals and habits - here's how I did...

September Goals:

1.  Clean out bathroom closet.  Check!  This one took no time at all, and had me wondering why I hadn't done it sooner!

2.  Clean out / organize dresser drawers.  Check!  

3.  Purchase diffuser and essential oils.  Check!  I purchased my oils through Lindsay, who was super helpful.  I was looking for fall scents, she steered me in the right direction, and also helped me pick out a diffuser from Amazon.  So far I am really liking the oils, and already have a running list of more I would like to add to my collection!

4.  Source bathroom decor.  I made a small bit of progress on this one.  I did decide what towels I will be getting, I am just waiting for a good sale before I hit purchase.  Still need to figure out everything else, but that's something! 

5.  Clean Keurig.  Check!  I was worried there for a second that I broke it, but thankfully it just needed to be unplugged for a little bit.  I went through quite a few plain water cycles to ensure the vinegar was all out, and I think the machine wasn't quite ready for the constant usage in such a short amount of time, haha!

September Habits:

1.  Drink 4 YETI's of water.  I can't quite say this has become a habit once again...still need a bit more work!

2.  Meal plan by Thursday night.  Another one that needs a little bit more time...Friday's are grocery shopping day, and I still find myself figuring out meals that morning to make my list.

3.  Asleep by 9:45 on weeknights.  This has really become a habit in the last month.  So much so that it is coming off the list!  I have been really cognizant of the time in the evenings and making sure that lights are out by 9:45, if not earlier to be honest.  

4.  Spend 15 minutes a day on personal email.  I started out relatively strong on this one, but it didn't last too long.  Still need a bit more time!

5.  Water window sill plants every other day.  The plants are doing really well!  I have been pretty darn good with watering, and the one I was nursing back to health has really started to grow again.  Super happy about that!

All in all, a really good month I would say!

This is what I hope to accomplish in October...

October Goals:

1.  Source bathroom decor.  Take two on this one!  

2.  Clean out closet.  I have started to run out of hangers, which is a clear sign that some cleaning out needs to be done.  

3.  Start Christmas shopping list.  It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than 3 months away.  I want to get started on my shopping list, both planning out all who I am buying for, as well as some gift ideas.

4.  Winterize porch & backyard.  It's getting to be that time of year when the pots are emptied, the hose unhooked, and the furniture gets put away until next year.  Depending on the weather, I might keep the furniture out, but it's definitely time to say good bye to the flowers.

5.  Buy a new vacuum.  I have been in the market for a new vacuum for months, if not longer.  However, purchases like that tend to overwhelm me because there are soooo many options.  Mine is getting really bad, though, and it is time to buckle down, do a bit of research, and make a dang decision.  Any recommendations, please send my way!        

October Habits:

1.  Drink 4 YETI's of water.  

2.  Meal plan by Thursday night.  

3.  Spend 15 minutes a day on personal email.  

4.  Stay off social media until after my morning workout.  Social media can be such a time suck, and I find my mornings go so much smoother if I don't get on for a 'quick scroll'  

5.  Walk outside 3 days a week.  I've gotten away from taking afternoon/evening walks, and I want to get back to it.  I see such an improvement in my wellbeing when I take the time to get outside and walk.  It's going to be more and more tempting to just cozy up on the couch after work as it gets cooler outside, and darker earlier, but I want to make sure I take that time to get outside and get fresh air.       

Do you have any goals/habits you have set for October?

Linking up with Lindsay.   


Recent Amazon Purchases: September 2020

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Here's what I ordered from Amazon in September...

1.  Collected: City + Country, Volume 1 by Sarah Richardson.  I have been a Sarah Richardson fan for years, and didn't realize she had new design books out.  At just over $12, I hit purchase rather quickly.  I feel like there is inspiration in this book for everyone, and would be a great add to any home library.

2.  Essential Oil Diffuser.  I took the plunge this month and ordered some essential oils.  I wanted more fall/Christmas scents, so I just ordered a few to try, and then opted to get a diffuser from Amazon.  If you are in the market, Lindsay helped me decide which scents to get, and on the diffuser, too!

3.  Command Strips.  I went to go hang something on the wall, and realized I didn't have enough Command strips.  Amazon had them here in two days.  I like to get the large size, then cut down if need be.

4.  Just Feed Me by Jessie James Decker.  My cookbook obsession is alive and well.  I just got this last week and while I have thumbed through it, I haven't had a chance to cook anything yet.  I plan to soon, though!  Some of the reviews I read online where that the recipes were 'simple', 'basic/generic', 'all Pinterest recipes'.  And while many of the recipes are 'basic', that's one of the reasons I like the cookbook.  It's very approachable, and unintimidating.  There is nothing like getting a cookbook, reading through the recipes and feeling like there is nothing you will make because the ingredients are a little too foreign, or the cooking style is a bit too outside of your comfort zone.  This is not that type of cookbook.  I think I will find some good 'everyday' recipes from this one!

5.  The Return by Nicholas Sparks.  Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors, and when I saw he had a new book coming out, I pre-ordered it.  I have a few library books to get through first, but I am quite excited to get to this one!

6.  True Comfort by Kristin Cavallari.  Two recipes in, and a slew to go!  I am a big Kristin Cavallari fan, and was super excited to get this cookbook.  Comfort food that is on the healthier side?  Sign me up!  As I mentioned, I have already tried two of the recipes, and they were delicious.  I have a bunch more marked, too.  Between her two cookbooks, this one is definitely more up my alley.  I am a Midwesterner through and through...give me all the comfort food!  Highly recommend!

Linking up with Lindsay.