A couple of weeks ago during California’s cold snap, I was looking for a lunch recipe for the week. The winter temperatures had me craving something warm and filling. I like to make a large batch of something healthy yet tasty and bring it to work with me – it makes it easier to have a week’s worth of lunch ready instead of throwing it together every morning when I am inevitably running 15 minutes late. I love chili, but I didn’t think meat would store well for more than a couple of days, so I decided to make a vegetarian version of my own chili recipe. Enjoy!
1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney or pinto beans (your choice), drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
¾ cup vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth if you don’t have the veggie on hand)
1 tsp. cider vinegar
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Be sure to lower the heat if the onions are browning – they should just soften. Add garlic, stir for one minute. Add bell pepper and squash to the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
Once veggies are cooked, add chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic salt and pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly,then add both cans of beans, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, cider vinegar and Worcestershire. Stir well. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes (I let mine simmer for about 40 to bring out the flavor). Adjust seasonings to taste.
This is a pretty quick way to make a healthy chili, and it will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Feel free to play with the recipe – add mushrooms or carrots or another favorite veggie, add or substitute the spices according to what you like, and swap your favorite can of beans.
Bring along a whole wheat roll or some corn tortilla chips to help fill you up. If you like chili you are sure to enjoy this recipe – coworkers were telling me all week how good it looked and smelled!
Over time, our lives and our closets can get bogged down with things from the past. As a professional stylist, I know how important it is to shed the trends of seasons past and focus on what’s hanging right in front of you. It’s a daunting task indeed, but the benefits of cleaning out your closet should inspire you to TRY IT! Imagine waking up each morning and knowing instantly what you want to wear for that very important presentation. You can go into your closet and see all that you have and you can even mix and match to create a number of fun, new and stylish outfits. If one of your New Years resolutions was to clean out your closet and step up your style in 2013, then this year will be the year that you should actually do it!
Since this is a big project, it’s important to enlist help – whether a good friend with an unbiased opinion and (of course) great fashion sense or an expert who can really see all the potential for your closet as well as suggest ideas for maximizing it.
It’s also important to make it a FUN experience – turn on some tunes, maybe pour yourself a glass of wine, and grab some snacks...this could take awhile.
Cleansing, Editing & Styling Your Closet
When I work with clients, I like to start with the items that they’re already questioning (be it the fit, cut, style, color, etc.) so we can get through those quickly. Often times, we’ll find gems in this pile around which we can create a number of new outfits. Most will likely be quickly donated.
Go through your wardrobe by category (sweaters, blouses, pants, skirts, etc.) and pull out all your items. Try them on. Inspect them. When was the last time you wore it? Why haven’t you worn it? Would you wear it now?
If it’s something you haven’t worn in a while but you feel like you would still wear it, try to create 2-3 outfits around the item right then and there. Take pictures to document the outfits. If you love your new looks, it’s a keeper. If you’re indifferent, it’s time to move on.
Make note of what you have multiples of – white tees, black cardigans, black pants, etc. Find the pieces that are the best quality, shape and condition and keep those. Donate the rest. And make a note that you want to find replacements for some of these items, but in COLOR.
Throughout the process it’s important to be ruthless. Take no prisoners! If you want to streamline your style and your morning routine, it makes no sense to keep pieces that will only confuse you as you’re getting ready. You should only own pieces you LOVE and that make you feel fabulous … even your boring black pants!
Finally, it’s time to find your old pieces a new home. If it’s a piece that you’ve had a hard time parting with because it’s good quality, designer and still in good shape but it just isn’t your style anymore, I bet there is a good friend who pops into your head who would LOVE it. Some items might also be a good fit for Ebay or a consignment store (if it’s current season, on trend and in saleable condition). Finally, I guide my clients to donate the rest to their local battered women’s shelter or Dress for Success (as opposed to Goodwill) to be sure that the clothes go to those who really need them. BONUS: you get to keep on giving well after the Holiday season is over!
Comfort, dryness, durability and style are important characteristics for women’s workout clothes. The best workout clothes are designed to work with the natural curves of a woman’s body for ease of movement during all styles of exercise. Bright colors and different fabrics can make workout clothes more appealing than the traditional T-shirt and shorts. Ladies, it’s OK to be cute while working out. In fact, I suggest it. Here are 10 of the best workout clothing items.
The saying is true: no pain, no gain. But nobody ever said you have to look dumpy while working out. Try some of these stylish yet functional workout looks and you’ll turn heads while you tone up!
So you have built up one hell of a wardrobe. You’ve spent a considerable amount of money to stay up on trends. Unfortunately, over time things deteriorate or get lost in the shuffle and what was once a hot look is now just...messy. Say it with me: "Messy is not an option." To keep you looking collected and classy we’ve picked some products that help with organization and maintenance.
1. Sock Cop Clips
Okay, you can file this under random but useful. Sock Cop Clips lock your socks together before you wash so you won’t have to go hunting around for a match later. A cute idea and a definite time saver, you can find these handy clips at the Container Store. Your mismatched sock collection will thank you!
2. Forever New Fabric Wash
Hot new man but same old panties…#notthebusiness. Of course we recommend buying new “unmentionables” regularly, and when you do it's important to care for and maintain them properly. Forever New has the perfect kit for washing delicates which includes a lace wash bag and gentle, organic fabric wash. Keep your Vicky Secrets--and your man--around even longer.
3. Purse Organizers
If you could add up all the time you spend digging around in your purse and use it on other things, you’d probably have time to learn another language or take up belly dancing. Save yourself some time and aggravation and buy a purse organizer. I purchased one recently from the container store and I love it. It not only gives you a pocket for everything, but helps keep the shape of larger purses and makes switching between purses easier.