Chicken Chili with Cornbread Croutons


I am a huge fan of chili and I’ve experimented with recipes a fair amount, but I always come back to this same stellar red chili. It has a smooth red base with chunky tomatoes and hearty beans. I use ground chicken, but you can easily substitute with ground turkey or ground beef.



This particular time around I added cornbread croutons. I love a good crunch, and these are absolute perfection on top. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They soak up the chili and make every bite better, especially when the cheese slightly melts on top of them.


I bake the cornbread a day ahead and let it sit out. The day I am making the chili, I cube the cornbread and brown it up in the oven. You can use any box recipe you like or you can follow the recipe below.



If you are looking for a recipe to feed a crowd, something for a little football game coming up, or to win a chili cook off, try this recipe out. It’s a winner.


Red Chicken Chili with Cornbread Croutons

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet or yellow onions, diced
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can pizza sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • shredded cheese
  • cornbread croutons (see recipe below)

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add ground chicken and break up with wooden spoon. Cook through, addingseasoning salt, salt and pepper- you will add more to taste shortly. Once meat is browned, add tomatoes, pizza sauce, beans, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons and shredded cheese.

Cornbread Croutons

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom of and 8 or 9 inch square cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave (takes about a minute). Pour into a large bowl and add the milk and egg. Whisk until well combined. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once. Stir until the flour is moistened – batter will be lumpy and that is OK! Pour batter into the prepared pan. Spread out and smooth the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in refrigerator or better yet – let sit overnight.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut cornbread into cubes and put into a large bowl. Pour olive oil over and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer cubes to a silpat lined baking sheet, or just line a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden and crisp on the outside. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


Delicate Details for Valentine’s Day


Dainty gold jewelry is great for so many reasons. It looks beautiful, layers well, adds a little shine to any outfit, and is perfect for everyday. It also works for women of all ages and makes a memorable, cherishable gift – Valentine’s Day is around the corner!


You can find little gold (or rose gold or silver) pieces anywhere from Forever 21 to Etsy to Nordstrom because it is trending. And the glory is, there are beautiful options for any budget. I have linked my favorite necklace and a few earrings I recently picked up for less than $6 each. I’ve also gathered a selection for all the ladies on your gifting list.



Flower ear pins from Forever 21. Perfectly petite, sparkly and feminine.



Star pin earrings from Forever 21 – they are ear cuffs at a totally wearable length. Not the total crawler, but edgy and taking advantage of the current trend.

heart necklace // rose gold heart necklace // you can never go wrong with Tiffany’s necklace

cutest heart earrings // Ted Baker heart earrings // Pandora heart earrings

want bracelet list Wanderlust Bracelet // Ted Baker bracelet // Rebecca Minkoff bracelet // Follow Your Arrow Bangle

Arrow Ring

In case you missed it, see my favorite ring + where to buy link. If the man in your life needs a hint, send him to this post!


Soft, Dreamy PB Cookies


Ever feel like a cookie will make everything better? Yes? Ok good, me too. A batch of these heavenly peanut butter cookies have the ability to not only make everything better, but they make the future bright too. Because you know there are more to devour.


They are super soft, chewy and rich with peanut butter deliciousness. A perfect match for a glass of cold milk.



I need to stress the importance of doing the criss cross pattern. You have to. It’s how you know it’s a peanut butter cookie and is simple/fun to do. Just take the tines of a fork and press into the dough once, turn fork and press again.


Sprinkle with some regular good ol’ granulated sugar, bake, and eat. YUM.



Note: So I accidentally bought salted peanut butter at Traders Joe’s. Apparently the normal peanut butter we all use is unsalted. As I dumped the cup into my softened butter, I licked the spoon before putting it in the sink. YUCK. Salted peanut butter tastes, well, over salted. I feared the batch ruined. In an attempt to fix it, I left out the 1/2 teaspoon salt and all was right in the world. Cookies turned out fine. This note is in case you somehow buy salted PB. If you are allergic to peanut butter, I am sure a soy nut butter would work just fine in place of regular PB.

Dreamy PB Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar, for sprinkling
Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Use a cookie scoop (whatever size you would like) to measure out balls of dough, and roll with your hands to make perfect. Place on a silpat lined cookie sheet. Press down with a fork in a criss cross pattern and sprinkle with sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and refrigerate cookies for 15-30 minutes while oven is heating. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake! Unless you like crunchy cookies. Store in an air-tight container. Makes around 2 1/2 dozen with a medium cookie scoop.

Activewear – Tops

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Finding a sporty top + bra that helps you instead of hampering your workout is a challenge in itself. Is it tight but not too tight? Does it stay put if you are in downward dog? Does it wick sweat if you go for a serious run? SO many boxes to check. It can be exhausting. Here are my favorite picks that have helped me get motivated and get moving, and I hope they will do the same for you.



I found this workout top along with a comfortable sports bra at Target. It’s been on constant rotation because of it’s silky feel and the fact it stays close to my body, but doesn’t make me feel like every single ounce of my post baby belly is showing. It’s a racerback, comes in four colors and shows off strappy sports bras to boot. +++



I love these newbies to my sports bra collection, which has never been so pretty and fancy before. Strappy backs from Forever 21 add detail in an otherwise boring clothing category. I feel accessorized without jewelry.


There are many updated versions of sports bras on and they range from light to heavy support. I find medium support is perfect for a jog or run. The light versions are great for walks, yoga, pilates, or whatever work out doesn’t contain jumping jacks. Also perfect for short stints chasing after small children.


I prefer medium support bras and light when I can manage it. Its not that I like the thrill of a possible wardrobe malefunction, I just enjoy the comfortable snugness of medium versus super tight heavy support. Forever 21 has a lot of heavy support options if you prefer!


Having new work out clothes motivates and makes me want to get out there and sweat a little, especially since I didn’t have to waste a lot of energy finding the perfect pieces.

medium support sports bra (dark grey and teal)

low impact sports bra (light gray and teal)

low impact sports bra (white)

black and white striped sports bra – C9 from Target (in stores)

Racerback tank top

Also, here are my favorite work out leggings. High rise and fabulous. They don’t creep down during a run!

The Bag


I found my new carryall in a place I least suspected it. Okay, maybe I wasn’t completely shocked [because I love this store with all my heart] but I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Target. You read right. TARGET.IMG_3113


I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to bags. I like quality. I like superior details. I like Louis Vuitton. If I do buy an inexpensive number it’s at least a brand name at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, not off the rack at Target. But this one made me break all my rules –  a bag so deceiving, it looks like it came from Nordstrom. Or Saks or Neimans. IMG_3095


Now, sadly, the truth is out. But it wasn’t for nothing – I want you to have the bag too, and be able to spend all the money saved on something else. Maybe a pair of shoes to match your new bag. Or some earrings. Oh wait, I found those on a budget too…

Bag by Aldo for Target

Wild Rice and Chicken Soup


BEST SOUP EVER. I could stop the post now and just leave you with the recipe, but I will tell you why, at the very least.

If it is cold as Siberia outside, this soup warms your soul and gives you a happy, cozy feeling, making you kind of like super chilly days (*if you can eat this and sit by a fire). With hearty rice, tender chicken and colorful veggies, it sticks to your bones in a very good way leaving you full and content, perhaps even mesmerized by the fluttering flakes outside you were just cursing the arrival of. After having one bowl you can conquer the snow pile outside your door and everything will be ok.IMG_2197.jpg


Notes: The original recipe calls for mushrooms, but I personally dislike them. If mushrooms are your thing, you can add them with the cooked chicken just before you let the whole pot simmer. You can find wild rice at Trader Joe’s and I save time by picking up a rotisserie chicken.

Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Cook wild rice in the 4 cups of water for 40 minutes or until light and fluffy. Drain and set aside.

In a large dutch oven add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in chicken stock or brother and bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add cooked wild rice and half and half. Bring soup back up to a boil and allow it to heat through. Turn off heat and stir in chopped parsley. Ladle into large bowls and enjoy!


Sweater Love

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Let’s un-frump our sweater situation. Don’t get me wrong- I love a good chunky knit, but it’s safe to say we all have about 4 (or 10) too many in our closets. I actually found myself shopping for more a few weeks ago, but in my defense it finally got cold (…so you really can’t blame me, right?).


I went on a mission to find pretty sweaters that show bare shoulders, skin through lace and feminine detail because Valentine’s Day is coming up and it will probably be freezing in my neck of the woods. I need some sweater options. Success! Here are my favorite looks. Did I mention they are all under $30?


Express One Eleven gray crossover tunic with ruffle tank underneath similar to this



Cold shoulder sweater from Love Culture


Lace mohair sweater in black

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in white

faux leather leggings // madewell “flea market” jeans

Cheers to keeping toasty in pretty knits!

xoxo kari