vegetarian football chili

If your husband is anything like mine, this time of year you are pretty sick of sports.  We're usually still playing baseball in October (because the Cardinals are so awesome) and then of course there's football!  I try to get excited when I care - I do love the Cardinals, and I like to cheer on my alma mater, the University of Illinois.  Mostly though, I stick to cooking the game time food.  Chili is my specialty, and if you're looking for a still-hearty vegetarian version, this is my favorite!  

Vegetarian Crockpot Chili

What you'll need: 
1 lb of frozen veggie crumbles
1 giant can Brooks hot chili beans
2 minced jalepeno peppers (I don't de-seed mine, but I like it spicy!)
1 can of rotel, original
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder

Make it: 
I keep this pretty simple.  No pre-sauteeing, no fancy slice and dicing.  It all cooks perfectly in the crock pot, so it isn't really necessary!  
Thaw your veggie crumbles in the microwave, and then add EVERYTHING to the crockpot.  

Keep it on low/simmer all day if you're throwing it together before work.  Just make sure it simmers for at least 4 hours.  

Ladle into soup mugs, top with cheddar cheese, and serve!  


what i want wednesday/morning stars

It's pretty dreary here today (and COLD) so I'm thinking this starry scarf would be the perfect thing to brighten up my outfit.  You can buy it for me (or yourself...) here!  


friday link love

Anyone have any fun plans for this weekend?  It's our one year anniversary Sunday, so we have an exciting evening of Chinese takeout and a movie on the calendar, and that's pretty much it!  

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week, to kick off your weekend: 

For better empathy, read more fiction, apparently.    

The most genius idea.  A grilled cheese party!  

Been wondering how to wear your ankle boots with jeans?  This is a great solution.  

Making these Saturday night, perhaps?  

A pretty good weekend motto.  


diane keaton is awesome

I'm always on the lookout for interesting people to follow on Pinterest or Twitter, and after I saw this article from PaperMag.com, I had to check out Diane Keaton!  

I was not disappointed - she is as awesome as you would hope she'd be!  

She tends to ask for picture submissions for her Pinterest boards on Twitter, but the best part are her honest remarks about them all!  After a photocall for "beautiful men" she commented 
"christopher walken...underrated beauty, and a heart breaker."  Who knew?  
Her Twitter bio says she is a "lucky actress, friend of Woody Allen....visual explorer, serial renovator, and dumpster diver."  

You can follow her on Twitter here & Pinterest here.  


what i want wednesday

I feel like one of those things I'll be forever searching for is the perfect liquid eyeliner.  

I have strict criteria: 
Dries quickly.  
Easy to handle.  
Makes a thick or thin line.  
Easily "flick-able" for a cat eye (that's a technical term.)  
Lasts all day.  

I haven't actually TRIED the Tom Ford Eye Definer pen, because of it's hefty price tag, but all evidence points towards it being the winner.  If Into the Gloss says its the best, it usually is.  

You can get it here, and pick me up one too while you're at it!  


100 calorie pumpkin bars

I got the itch to bake something today, and since it really felt like autumn when I stepped outside with the pups this morning, I went for something seasonal.  

These were really yummy, but not in a decadent dessert kind of way - more like you would feel okay eating them for breakfast!  Which I will most likely do tomorrow morning.  

What You'll Need: 
1 1/2 cups Whole Grain Unbleached Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coconut oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 tbsp agave
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup baking stevia or 6 stevia packets
Cream Cheese Frosting 
(take these measurements x 1.5 for thicker frosting, but they jump up to around 150 calories then)  
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Set out the cream cheese to soften, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

2.  Whisk together flours.  Mix wet ingredients, including pumpkin.  

3.  Add 3 tbsp brown sugar and stevia to wet ingredients.  

4.  Mix wet ingredients into dry, and spread into a baking pan.  I used a 9x11, but honestly I think a 9x13 would've worked better. 


5.  Bake for 18 minutes.  You'll know they're done because your house will start to smell like Christmas.  

6.  For the icing, whip together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and softened cream cheese.  

I like to spread the icing over the bars when they're still  a little warm, that way it melts a bit and spreads out evenly.  

Stick them in the fridge for an hour to firm up, and then serve!  


get me dressed/birkenstocks

I know, Birkenstocks.  But listen, they are SO COMFY.  Garance & Natalie like them too.  And I love a shoe that takes an outfit into an unexpected place, as Birkenstocks pretty much ALWAYS do.  Especially when I start wearing them with camp socks, which is probably where this is headed.  

wearing: jacket - forever21, dress - target, birkenstocks - macys


friday link love

I hope you all have wonderful weekends planned!  I have yoga teacher training every day but when I get out of class at 4 Saturday, I have a lovely dinner with family on the calendar, and a Sunday evening of absolutely nothing at all.  I'm also going to try to squeeze in time to finish the new Stephen King book (it's a sequel to the Shining!) during the daylight hours.  It is so incredibly scary, but SO good.   

I don't have kids yet, but when I do I'm sure I'll be glad to have filed this away.  

Very true, most of the time.  Also this.  

I'm right in the middle (25), but apparently your late twenties are awesome.  

I'm really into natural iPhone amplifiers, rather than electronic speakers.  This one is definitely on my wishlist.  

The MOST adorable Halloween costumes.  

Want to meet influential people?  Apparently you should just throw lots of dinner parties!  

Speaking of dinner, this sounds like the perfect thing to make Sunday night.  


stlfw/blogger's day out

Last Friday, the lovely creators of the app Muzio were kind enough to take the bloggers of St. Louis Fashion week on a little day tour of our city!  I live here, of course, but many of the bloggers from out of town had never visited before.  And of course, I was happy to play tourist for a day!  

I'm ashamed to say, it was my first time visiting the St. Louis Art Museum.  I was pleasantly surprised!  The museum had some awesome pieces, and the one above was my very favorite.  

Afterwards we popped over to Scape, a gorgeous restaurant in the Central West End where we were treated to champagne & french macarons.  

This is what every table looks like when you're out with bloggers - littered with fancy cameras and champagne!  

We moved on to the gorgeous city library, newly renovated and situated right in the middle of downtown.  I love libraries, but I'm always sort of intimidated by how huge this one is, so I rarely come, but it is SO beautiful.  

And of course, a few outfit shots where we finished up - at the Arch!  A tour of St. Louis wouldn't be complete without a stop at our most famous landmark.  

i wore: black leather shorts and pumps - h&m, lace blouse and necklace - jcrew, sunglasses - rayban


what I want wednesday

Hey guys, 

Remember that time I told you yesterday I wasn't going to blog all week?  Well, I missed you.  Then I got the idea to do a "what I want Wednesday" series, featuring just one great item each week, and I couldn't wait to get started.  

ESPECIALLY once I saw these: 

I mean, am I right?  

The best part is, they're $43!  Get them here, from Forever 21 (a copy which always has surprisingly cute and comfortable shoes, a promise!)  


a little break

Hi everyone, I just wanted to explain the radio silence around here since Saturday, and give you a heads up.  I will be taking this week off from blogging, due to the fact that I am 

a) sick with a sinus infection, yuck


b) slightly behind on work from taking time off for fashion week

Quality is so important to me on this blog and I'd really hate to post anything that I wasn't super duper excited about, or that felt rushed!  I'll be back next week with (gasp!) an actual outfit post, and lots of other lovely things, including recaps of our bloggers' day out in St. Louis and a recipe.  
Have a lovely week!  


friday link love

Happy Friday!  I hope you all have something wonderful planned for this weekend.  
I have lots of events for St. Louis Fashion Week, and then a Sunday of nothing planned.  Until Monday, here are some of my favorite things from this week!  

There's a reason why the smell of old books is so wonderful.

Every coffee drink, explained.  (I'm kinda ashamed to admit I had NO IDEA what an Americano was until last year.)

What a beautiful dress!

Did you know that Stephen King just came out with a sequel to The Shining?  I just got it from the library yesterday, and I can't wait to start reading it.

Things Anthropologie tchotchkes would say if they could talk.

The cutest flats (for $26!)

stl fashion week/industry night

Yesterday's show at Windows on Washington was most certainly the highlight of STL Fashion Week!  I have to say, it was the first show which left me really excited about fashion.  I was so invigorated by the entire presentation - there was so much energy in the room, you could feel it.  

I'm getting a little ahead of myself though....

To help us get the big day off to a good start, Dimvaloo, an activewear store in St. Louis hosted a yoga event in the park.  

I LOVE yoga, as all my longtime readers know, so I was really excited that this was on our fashion week agenda.  Dimvaloo was a wonderful host.  They gave us these amazing water bottles  (which have the time marked on them, so you'll drink enough every day!) and a seriously good yoga mat.  I couldn't help but show off a bit once I realized how good and grippy it was!  

That night, we all headed to Windows on Washington for the Industry night show.  

The venue has this gorgeous Chihuly glass fountain in the entryway.  

Bluebird boutique had their models doing a funky little routine.  They moved positions like robots every once in a while.  

I loved these vintage styles from Suzanne Lay, and their hair was so perfect for the looks.  

The runway show kicked off with a few words from Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week.  It was a huge validation for the St. Louis fashion community to have her present, and just really neat to get to see her in person.  Of course, I totally chickened out on actually introducing myself, but still very neat to be at the same event!  

There were lots of gorgeous looks, but I thought I'd just show you my favorites.  

Wai Ming's collection was minimalistic and sexy, in a sophisticated way.  I could honestly say I'd wear almost all of it.  

Jennifer Chun's collection was sporty and feminine at the same time.  I really loved the matching sets.  You could definitely see her previous work experience with Derek Lam & Michael Kors coming out in her aesthetic.  

Eva Franco gets five outfit shots, because she was my very favorite!  Her girly prints had so much life.  Best of all, she encouraged her models to smile and wave, and why shouldn't they?  I think it sells the clothing so much better than a sullen stare.  

Now, don't forget to head out to support Fashion's Day Out on Saturday - I hear there are some pretty amazing deals to be had!  


the real deal/hunter boots

In a world of fast fashion it can be really easy to forgo quality in favor of quantity.  

I love switching it up every once in a while, especially in the case of trendier items (ahem), but that doesn't mean that there aren't certain items where you should just choose the original, quality option.   We're taking price out of it here, because when you take it down to things like value & cost per wear, these things don't really count as expensive anymore.  Hence the column title: 

"The Real Deal"

First up: Hunter Wellington Boots.  

I had a long fight with these things.  I even owned a pair of, admittedly, very pretty black Coach riding-style rain boots.  But they just weren't doing it for me!  I put it off, every year, seeing all the girls at Bonnaroo and Jazzfest rocking them on the rainier days while my feet stood in the puddles of water that had formed inside my cowboy boots.  

Finally, this year when my mother in law asked what I wanted for my birthday I broke down and just said "I really want some army green Hunter rain boots."  I felt weirdly spoiled asking for them - it isn't that $140 is such an insane amount of money.  I've certainly owned shoes that cost more.  I think it's the fact that they're made of RUBBER and rainboots seem to be available for cheaper just about everywhere else.  But those other versions don't cut it, and this is one of those occasions where you just have to go for the real deal.  

Go on, get them here, you'll thank me later. When it's raining, and you aren't only dry, but you look damn cute.  


on getting dressed up

Outside of maybe one night each weekend, I spend most of my life in Lululemon workout wear. 
That's probably why I have REALLY enjoyed having a reason to get dressed up for all the STLFW events.  It's fun to put on makeup every day, fix my hair, and have it actually matter what I look like.  A definite treat for this work-from-home yoga teacher.  

Once it all ends this Sunday, I don't want to go back to my pajama dressing ways!  Post fashion week, I'm going to make an effort to step it up even on days when all I do is run a few errands. 

Plaid seems like the perfect way to accomplish that.  It's super easy to layer - ever notice how grocery stores have like 5 climates within their confines?  Also, I find that the best plaid shirts come from thrift stores, and were broken in to ideal softness by the previous owner.  

Got any favorite plaid shirts I should pick up that I can't find at a thrift store?  I feel like Madewell's boy shirts may have that market cornered.  


kung pao tofu

I know, it's been pathetically long since I've last posted a recipe!  I cook every night, but sometimes like any bad blogger, I forget to take pictures.  Not today, though - this my friends, is a really good one.  

I'm sure some of you have husbands who can cook, yes?  Well, mine really can't.  I mean, he can boil veggies and put a salt & peppered piece of fish on the grill, but I tend to feel a little guilty about letting it come to that.  With all the STL Fashion week events happening, I'm not home during dinnertime much lately so I was on the hunt for a foolproof recipe I could make and leave for him.  

Kung Pao Tofu

What You'll Need
1 package extra firm tofu
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tbsp ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 lb bag mixed asian veggies
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Get Cooking!  
Press your tofu.  I have a very scientific method of laying the tofu between paper towels and plastic wrap, and piling heavy books on top.  If you own a tofu press, by all means use it!  

Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Once pressed, cut the tofu into cubes and toss with 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and the sriracha.  Bake in a single layer on the sheet for about 15 minutes.  

The tofu should come out looking about like the second picture.  Nicely browned on the edges.  

Set the veggies to steaming.  I use a stovetop method, but you can always use a steamer or simply microwave them with a little water.  

While that's going on, warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and sautee until it's all soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the mirin & vinegar and simmer until they start to reduce a bit.  Then add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce.  

Once the sauce begins to thicken up again, add the tofu and toss to coat.  

Here, you have two options.  If you're making this at dinnertime, divide the rice and veggies between 5 serving plates and top it off with the tofu & peanuts.  If you're making it at 3 in the afternoon so that your husband will have something to eat for dinner, separate the rice, veggies, and tofu into Tupperwares and leave reheating instructions on the counter!  

stl fashion week/style in the loop

Say hello to my husband, smiling at a fashion show.  Never thought you'd see the day?  

Well truth be told, Style In the Loop was so fun, it wasn't hard to keep him grinning.  Also, there may have been beer.  

Darrell was pretty into playing photographer all day, and snapped these awesome pics of some U City Loop landmarks.  The statue is Chuck Berry, a St. Louis native, and his restaurant of choice, Blueberry Hill.  He still plays shows there in the "Duck Room" venue, from time to time.  

I'm a bad blogger and didn't take any outfit pics, but Darrell got sneaky while I was chatting with some friends we ran into!  

I wore: wedges-steve madden, suede shorts-forever 21, tee-anthropologie, hat-asos, bag-billabong.  

This cute puppy was in the Project Runway show Saturday night, so now he's an STL Fashion week celebrity.  

We were lucky enough to see looks from some of St. Louis' most talented designers.  Check out their STL fashion week profiles here!  

I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's events.   
If you haven't yet, make sure to get your tickets to Project Design: STL's Emerging Designer Contest!  

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