Wednesday, February 27, 2013

wedding wednesday: shoes for the bride

shoes for the bride

shoes are a girl's best friend... that and dogs. forget the diamonds. 

i really lucked out in the shoe department for my wedding with the vintage nina peep toe pumps you see in the photo above. they actually served as my "something old" and belonged to the great aunt of a dear friend of mine. they weren't too high of a heel so i was able to get around in the yard with no issue (our wedding was in my parents' backyard). comfort is key as you are on your feet for the majority of the day. 

i got pretty daring as the night drew on and the dancing commenced. i ended up changing into some sky high navy blue suede platform peep toes (this tends to be the opposite of what most brides do) when i changed into my reception dress. i figured if the shoes are gonna show, they are gonna be stunners.

speaking of stunners, if i had to do it all over again, i would be thinking about these pretties below.

wedding shoes

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

coconut curry carrot + sweet potato soup

oh boy, that's a mouthful. literally. this soup is tasty, tasty, tasty. really, it had me at curry. i made this soup for a dinner party over the weekend and it certainly did its job of opening up the evening on a high note. we paired this soup course with a sparkling wine and the flavors melded smoothingly well. not only is this a great dish for entertaining as it can be made well ahead of time, it is superb for any regular ol' evening spent on the couch in your sweat pants.

>> vegan coconut curry carrot + sweet potato soup <<


1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch chunks
3/4 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp mild red curry paste
1/2 Tbsp curry powder (optional)
dash of cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
2/3 cup red lentils
6 cups low sodium vegetable stock (can use chicken as well)
1 14oz can light coconut milk
Salt and pepper


preheat oven to 400 degrees. line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. add the carrots and sweet  potato chunks to the pan. toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown.

meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. add the onion, and ginger and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. add the garlic, a dash of salt and pepper, spices, and curry paste. saute for two more minutes. next add the stock and red lentils and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender. 

once lentils have tenderized, add the coconut milk, roasted carrots and sweet potato to the pot and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. next, transfer pot contents in batches to a blender to puree until smooth. i skipped this step and used our handy, dandy immersion blender right in the pot instead. it worked beautifully (this is one wedding gadget that gets a lot of use in our house). season to taste with salt and serve.

makes 4-6 servings.

recipe adapted from meal planning 101thanks kindra for your foodspiration.

Monday, February 25, 2013

strappin' on a camera strap

camera straps
!mo camera strap

never miss out on an opportunity to accessorize. that's what they say, anyway. i have come to realize that as a blogger (a new one at that), i am finding myself trolling along more and more with my camera in tow. i am so over the nikon strap in all of its yellow and black glory. time for an upgrade, people.

i could get all diy up in this place and make my own, or...better yet, scoop up one of these beauties. it takes so little time to just punch in a dozen or so numbers and have a nice tidy package arrive in the mail a few days later. normally i am up for a diy challenge, but march is coming quickly and there is much to be done (more on that later) with little time to spare. i am determined to have a new strap for our spring break trip to california. so, to the internets i go.

i just might have to go with the plaid barn strap....just too good to pass up and it has polka dots to boot!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

the IT list... February 22, 2013!

the IT list
  • Laura Wears is rocking shades of yellow and blue for a super stylish work day! Pop over to check out her fabulous pants! (find Laura Wears on Twitter!)
  • Seersucker + Saddles is using her go-to spring staple to dress down a pretty frock! Head over to find out what versatile piece every closet needs for the warming weather! (find Seersucker + Saddles on Twitter!)
  • Undeniable Style mixes stripes and plaid for cozy, yet polished, look complete with tons of layering! So Cute!! (find Undeniable Style on Twitter!)
  • Miss Top Ten Image elevates her look with one colorful accessory that pops off of her neutral outfit! It's all in the details! (find Miss Top Ten Image on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic looks gorgeous in pink and red and does it for a steal! Her entire looks rings in under $40 - definitely a must see! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • The Second Best mixes camo and leather for a killer combination! Perfect for date night with a little edge! (find Second Best on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation trades in her little black dress for a little blue dress! An amazing change of scenery from a favorite closet staple! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Little Bit of Wo.We shows us seven ways to style a gorgeous sequin skirt! Everything from date night to errand running - tons of ideas here! (find Little Bit of Wo.We on Twitter!)
  • Rose a la Mode is rocking denim on denim with a few extra layers to stay warm! Add in a great pair of boots and a beautiful bag and this is on cute look! (find Rose a la Mode on Twitter!)
  • Pretty Preened is brighting up the winter mood in pretty shades of pink! The best part... this look is pocket-book friendly! (find Pretty Preened on Twitter!)
  • A Fine Line rounds up her favorite coffee and tea accessories for all of you caffeine lovers! This one will definitely have you reaching for a mug! (find A Fine Line on Twitter!)
  • It's a Darling Ensemble is doubling up on her favorite pattern - polka dots! Pop over to see how she pulls it off!
  • Sweetie Pie Style goes for a classic look in denim and white and adds in a bit of fun with a hint of neon! Love this budget-friendly look - definitely one to recreate! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is dreaming of spring and taking inspiration from a pretty pastel room! Pop over to check out the outfit and room looks that this living room inspired! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here

Thursday, February 21, 2013

strawberry blush

pink for spring

pink peplum topoutfit details:
bcbg pumps <<clearance $15, tjmaxx>>
vintage clutch <<gift from husband>>
togua nut ring <<similar>>
charlotte russe necklace 
forever21 peplum top
forever21 striped tee
thrifted it jeans

wisconsin appears to be getting another dose of winter. lame. spring can't come soon enough. i am so over the cold, snow, and snotty-nosed students. on a brighter note (literally), this outfit appears to be cheering things up a bit. thank goodness for fashion. it fixes everything. well, most things. you just can't be in a sour mood when decked out in pink.

the best part of this outfit...the price. we here at pretty preened really do try to be conscious of our budget (husband sometimes needs reminding). husband and i really do what we can to live for experiences and not really for "things." the things we do procure tend to be pretty, yet pocket-book friendly. this outfit is no exception. the whole thing...yes everything, cost under sixty bucks. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

wedding wednesday: band vs. dj

ahh, the age old question band or dj, band or dj. some couples struggle with this choice, we however did not. don't get me wrong, i love music, but husband and i knew we could party like rock stars and keep some pennies in the bank while doing it. i have enjoyed many a band and many a dj at many a wedding. either can be done really, really well...and of course you have the other end of the spectrum. both can be bad, real bad.

we chose a dj over a band for a few good reasons. money would be the first. djs are nine times out of ten more cost effective than bands. we even offered to pay cash and received a chunky discount for doing so (do this with a lot of vendors... you would be surprised how many will take you up on it). our djs played music at our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. they even provided a sound system and audio necessities for the ceremony.  it was a total package deal.

this leads me to my next point. we got a lot of bang for our buck with the amount of tunes our djs played over the expanse of our wedding day. the variety of music was key to set the tone the tone for the evening. we had our hands in the music mix and were able to choose genres, musicians and specific songs for all points in the evening. our dj had a wonderful online system for setting up our choices. most importantly, we had a very specific do not play list. they graciously obliged.

>> some of our music selection <<

prelude: a ton of vitamin string quartet
processional: the piano guys- a thousand years
recessional: stevie wonder-signed sealed delivered

cocktail hour
variety of indie and folk music

big band, croonies and oldies

first dance: ryan adams- i love  you but i don't know what to say  (amazing song!!)

father/daughter: tim mcgraw-my little girl
**chosen by my dad (so sweet and really brought on the tears in many. i still well up when i hear this)
mother/son: louis armstrong- what a wonderful world

these openers lead into some oldie, but goodie classic wedding jams...and it got progressively more popular and louder as the night progressed. we finished the night with frank sinatra's: new york, new york  (we got engaged in nyc!) 

i swear...husband and i barely left the dance floor. it was just as we had planned. my last piece of advice is to make sure you check out a specific band or dj prior to committing. the djs we chose played at a wedding we attended, so we knew they were good people. husband and i were also particular about having a dj that wasn't annoying with the mic or overly talkative. our dj was very receptive to this and performed just as we requested. they even left us with a parting gift that evening...a collection of cds with all the songs from the entire day. score.

happy dancing.

Monday, February 18, 2013

sweet potato quinoa cakes

i love a good cake, and not necessarily of the baked variety. from crab to salmon and everything in between... if formed in a round patty and grilled to a golden brown it suits me quite well. this recipe is no exception. the combination of flavors in this dish is simply sensational and the cakes are healthy to boot!

i tried my darndest to get this recipe complete before the sun dipped behind the trees, but alas, i was unsuccessful. poorly lit and frankly, crappy photos couldn't keep me from sharing this recipe though. you really must make this...seriously, trust me on this one. it is super easy to prepare as well! we laid our sweet, savory and some what nutty cakes (from the quinoa) on bed of mixed greens with goat cheese and a sprinkle of pepitas (pumpkin seeds). to top it all off, a spicy and tart blackberry salsa. divine.

>> sweet potato quinoa cakes <<


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2/3 red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/3-1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

mixed greens
goat cheese


heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoons olive oil. add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until potato is soft. remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. using your hands to bring it together, form equally-sized patties. heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. add cakes and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. place cakes on a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle with goat cheese. top it all off with a bit of blackberry salsa and you are set. makes about 10 cakes.

>> blackberry salsa<<

12 oz. bag of frozen blackberries (fresh will work wonders too)
1/3 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced (we used canned jalapeno)
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
the juice of 1 1/2 limes
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.

recipe was adapted from one found at how sweet it is...thanks Jessica! please visit her site...her photos  are brilliant (unlike mine) and will give you a true taste of the beauty in this dish.

Friday, February 15, 2013

the IT list...Friday, February 15th!!

the IT list / pretty preened
  • Laura Wears effortlessly mixes masculine and feminine along with a pop of spring color! So cute! (find Laura Wears on Twitter!)
  • Good Life breaks down a spring trend that is reverting back to a classic color combo! Pop over to check out this must-have and see her top picks! (find Good Life on Twitter!)
  • Seersucker + Saddles shows us her best casual valentine's day look and boy is it good! A must see if you are still planning your V-day date - or any date for that matter! (find Seersucker + Saddles on Twitter!)
  • Undeniable Style is rocking head to toe denim and pulls it off seamlessly! Head over to take a few hints on how to pull this look off yourself! (find Undeniable Style on Twitter!)
  • One Hundred Inspirations goes royal with a versatile Kate Middleton bump look that is sure to please! The best news? The entire look is under $90!!
  • Miss Top Ten Image shows us how to stay chic even in the cold and rain and it's all about layering! Fur vest, anyone? (find Miss Top Ten on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic rounds up her all of her favorite sunnies for under $25! With spring on the way, now is the time to stock up! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • The Second Best is trying out Target's latest spring collaboration with Prabal Gurung! Pop over to see how she is making her pretty frock work for winter, too! (find Second Best on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation takes it back to the basics with simple pieces that look amazing paired together! Love this look! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Little Bit of Wo.We recreates a look from Pinterest that involves a fabulous chevron skirt - it is a serious stunner! (find Little Bit of Wo.We on Twitter!)
  • Rose a la Mode keeps it simple in plaid and black - a great way to incorporate winter patterns into warmer temps! (find Rose a la Mode on Twitter!)
  • Pretty Preened restyles her gorgeous reception dress (complete with feathers!) and makes it work for a special V-day bruch! Such a good idea! (find Pretty Preened on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style gives us tons of tips on how to wear the color of the year! From what colors to pair it with to how to try it without commitment, it's all here! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East has recreated a neutral bedroom with tons of personality into a room and outfit look! Lots of good buys here! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy day + ode to husband

i am a sucker for valentine's day.... though not in a way one might normally think. growing up, valentine's day was a big deal in our household. we are talking big big. no matter the day of the week, my parents would wake us up early and gather my brothers and i around the table for a grandiose valentine's breakfast. this was always accompanied by red themed gifts found at our dining spots. valentine's day was yet another opportunity for my parents to show us how much they loved and valued us for the individuals that we are.

because of this tradition, there has never been a valentine's day where i have grumbled and moaned if i found myself sans a man to share it with. i always welcome this day with great fondness as i think back to the yearly family breakfasts filled with pancakes and chocolate. now that we all live apart, my family is beginning to start new holiday traditions.

this year, for the first time ever... i get to have this day as a wife to quite frankly, the world's most kick ass man. i know, yuck.... get a room, blah blah save the mooshy, gooshy stuff...nobody wants to hear it. yada, yada. whatever, it's true. so there. today i share with you my ode to husband. being the blogger that i am, i guess it just may be in my nature to bring my pda viral. so here goes. beware of the nerdiness to come.

p.s. editor is not allowed to see this post prior to publishing so please feel free to ignore any undetected grammatical errors. feel free to ignore it all, whatever floats your boat.

>> ode to husband <<

crying during movies is that thing you do
your generous heart always open

spending long jaunts fixing your hair in the mirror
i stopped judging long ago

the master of friendship on call at a moments notice
lucky to call you my bestest

a man of routine who still conjures up a surprise
amaze me you manage to do

a faithful man with a heart of sparkle and gold
what did i ever do to deserve you

a son, a brother, a doting husband
can't wait for you to become more

thank you for being you
while loving me for me

-your wife

no plans to quit my day job anytime soon for the luxurious life of a poet.

happy valentine's day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

wedding wednesday: restyle the dress

polka dots and feathers
feather skirt

i have been dying for an opportunity to rewear my reception dress. when we got married, husband and i agreed that every year on our anniversary (that is every year we remain the same weight...not sure how long that will last) we will get all fancy in our wedding garb and hit the town. during our one year wedding anniversary coming up in june, husband (and hopefully yours truly as well) will be in spain on a trip with students. there is no way i am lugging the dress overseas...though that would be romantic.

instead, i opted for a little restyle challenge for our annual valentine's day tradition. since we have been together, husband and i have celebrated the holiday of love by filling our bellies with a three-course brunch of french delicacies. no better venue for a little feather action. my dress worked its sartorial magic as it breathed new life as a skirt under my winter layers. i did some major shopping in my own closet to come up with this lovely combo. my only wish would have been for the weather to was pouring rain and dreary. i am talking buckets, people. white backdrop for an ivory skirt wouldn't be my first choice...but, we work with what we got.

feather skirt
outfit details:
wedding dress worn as skirt
forever 21 polka dot blouse
j.crew kimono jacket
thrifted stole
vintage clutch
franco sarto heels

some more feather fun.

feather skirts / pretty preened

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

case of the mondays

clawfoot tubs

 source 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

yesterday was one of those mondays. it was one you just wish could have been an extension of the weekend. another day, perhaps one dedicated to relaxation and unplugging from all electronics. i need to be better at that. since starting the blog, i am starting to feel like my phone and computer have been new appendages that tail me wherever i travel. (husband is likely to agree) i am trying to find the balance....maybe one of these tubs could help bring that.

in fact, we just might be the lucky new owners of a clawfoot tub! the house that we will be closing on in march (fingers and toes still crossed) has a teeny tiny bathroom with a glorious old clawfoot tub. i can't wait to get my hands on it and spruce it up with a coat of paint and such.

relaxation is soon to come. and by soon, i probably mean in a few months.

Monday, February 11, 2013

banana, blackberry + ginger baked oatmeal

baked oatmeal

this weekend, husband and i craved a brunch bite that deviated from our daily green smoothie. i poked around in the fridge and pantry and scrounged together ingredients for this outstanding oatmeal recipe. i changed it up a bit from the original recipe found at the family kitchen, but the result was equally as praise worthy and even more healthy. the flavor combination is rather delightful and this one will certainly be put on repeat.

>> banana, blackberry + ginger baked oatmeal <<

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus more for top
big pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups almond milk (cow's milk will work too)
1 egg
3 tablespoons greek yogurt (can substitute butter)
2 large bananas
1 1/2 cups blackberries (we used frozen)
sugar in the raw for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8” square baking dish (we used a 10" x 7" dish) with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, ginger, spices, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg, and greek yogurt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Slice the bananas into the prepared baking dish so that they cover the bottom. Cover bananas with a third of the berries. Spoon in the oat mixture. Press the remaining berries into the oats, and sprinkle top with cinnamon.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling vigorously and the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle with sugar in the raw and cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Friday, February 8, 2013

the IT list...February 8, 2013!

  • Laura Wears is playing with winter patterns and serving up a little plaid on plaid! Such a lovely menswear inspired look with all of the right feminine touches! (find Laurea Wears on Twitter!)
  • Good Life brightens up a winter day with her new go-to colorful neutral that works in every season! Pop over to see how this classic color is the perfect backdrop for any look! (find Good Life on Twitter!)
  • Seersucker + Saddles looks so chic in tennies and jewels for a cold, snowy day! A must see for styling those running shoes!(find Seersucker + Saddles on Twitter!)
  • Undeniable Style is bringing the 90s back with a little grunge but of course glams it up with a little leather! This is the ultimate in causal chic! (find Undeniable Style on Twitter!)
  • One Hundred Inspirations recreates a simple and classic Reese Witherspoon look for under $110! Head over to check out where the pieces are from!
  • Miss Top Ten is making some BIG changes in her life and saying stylish through them all of course! You must see her fabulous blue accessories! So cute! (find Miss Top Ten on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic is channeling Princess Kate and put on her most ladylike frock that is perfect for tea with the Queen... or a day in the park! The best part? She rented the dress!! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • The Second Best is keeping it simple and letting her (amazing!) accessory take the spotlight! Pop over to check out her cute and colorful bauble! (find Second Best on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation lets it flow in one of the season's hottest trends! Paired with jeans and flats, this look is comfortable and cute! Love! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Little Bit of Wo.We shows us three ways to wear a two-toned blazer - work, date night and weekend! Pop over to pick out your favorite look and grab a few tips! (find Little Bit of Wo.We on Twitter!)
  • Rose a la Mode is out to dinner with the family in an outfit that the girls AND guys approve of! That's a win-win if you ask me! (find Rose a la Mode on Twitter!)
  • Pretty Preened tried out a new mix of patterns and knocked it out of the park! Plaid and leopard must be a match made in heaven! (find Pretty Preened on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style rounds up 7 sweet treats to add a quick and easy spring fix to your wardrobe! The best news? They are all under $25!! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
  • Second Street East is taking a cue from the warming weather and recreating a room and outfit with bright blues and pinks! Tons of great finds! (find Second Street East on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.

For more information on how you can be involved - click here

Thursday, February 7, 2013

time to buy: winter coats

winter coats on sale

<< c.wonder coats are an additional 50% off the price above with a discount code found at their site >>

shopping is best suited for the pocketbook of a budgeter like me during the tail end of a season. as the post title states, now is the time to procure a little winter coat action for next year. winter outerwear sales tend to go through to the end of february so you better hop to it if you are in the market.  if you happen to live in the midwest like we do, you might even still get what feels like a full seasons wear out of it. it never ends here in wisconsin.

when buying for a season a full 8-10 months ahead of time, i typically try to purchase classic, more streamlined looks. this is not the time you see me jumping on a trend bandwagon. if it suits you, go right ahead. get crazy. sales certainly do lead us to do nutty things. 

the pretties you see above have been hovering around my radar. now all i have to do is choose one...or two. don't tell husband.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

wedding wednesday: diy flowers

flowers...  a detail not to be overlooked, but one where you can certainly cut financial corners. yep, you guessed it...we did our own flowers for our big day. this "we" included help from some of our green thumb family and friends. we kept it simple, but really couldn't have done it without their help...we would have stressed our socks off. i am telling you, do not take this on if you stress out easily (trust me you have enough to worry about) and don't have helpful hands available that you can trust to take on this challenge. 

being the control freak that i am, i was adamant about making my bouquet and the two boutonnieres knowing that these would be the most photographed floral pieces. i did research prior to (nerd alert) taking on this ordeal and followed the directions for creating a bouquet here and an example of a boutonniere here. we did this all a day ahead of time and the bouquet and boutonnieres lasted beautifully in a refrigerator.

we kept most of the flowers in the white/ivory family with touches of yellow and greenery. this made flower shopping a cinch as we travelled from costco to local grocery stores to collect our bounty. for the bouquet, I wanted to make sure i had a good base of hydrangeas for fill to create a base to build from. it worked smashingly well. i was more than pleased with the result. as for the tabletops, we filled milk glass vases with the flower varietals. once the wedding planning process began, my mom and i started thrifting milk glass and found most vases for under 2 bucks. they were a lovely addition to our simple table decor.

wedding flowers are a major wedding diy to take on...but the benefits far outweigh the added stressors they bring on. that is what this lady believes, but trust me not everyone agrees with my craziness. my big your homework, keep it simple, and practice if need be. we estimate that we saved between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars by doing it on our own. boom. i'll take it.

good luck with it and happy arranging.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

plaid + leopard: you betcha

image sources 1 2 / 3 / 4 

this week i took to the fashion blogging scene to give myself a little sartorial jumpstart. time to liven it up for the work week, folks. in my book, fashion is all about mixin it up and taking risks. the beauties you see above do both with class and ease. i can't help but fall for the plaid leopard combo. check out my workwear take on the trend below. husband calls these my pajama pants. i call them cute, but that's just me.

 merona ankle pants <<target in-store clearance... 8 bucks!>>, jessica simpson leopard wedges <<similar>>, 
target chambray shirt <<old>>, thrifted banana republic boat neck sweater,
thrifted bomber, forever21 triangle necklace <<similar>>, bauble necklace- can't remember

following pretty preened on twitter yet? get at that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

veggie quinoa chili

vegetarian chili

we here at the pretty preened household love ourselves a good one pot meal. i enjoy taking the time to make "miracles" in the kitchen, but some days quick and easy is all i can manage. in the winter months, this means chili...and lots of it.

when we like something we tend to stick with it. this often results in frequent recipe repeats. husband and i (well, i should say mostly i to remain truthful... though husband is the best sous chef on the market) made this meal twice in three weeks. the extra super bonus is that this chili is chock full of nutrients and is incredibly healthy... all without sacrificing taste. make this chili... (seriously, do it!) you and your insides won't regret it. i should warn you though, this recipe makes a huge batch. thankfully, it freezes well if need be. 

to all of my fellow carnivores out there, you won't miss the meat... i promise.

>> veggie quinoa chili<<

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 small-medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini or two small, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3-4 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3 1/2 plus 1/2 tablespoon ground ancho chili pepper by penzeys)
handful of chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste 
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional...we like is spicy, so we add quite a bit)

our toppings: low fat greek yogurt, jarred jalapeƱos and chopped cilantro 
(take out the yogurt and this recipe is vegan)


in a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat. add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. stir in the carrot, celery, and peppers. cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. add the chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper, zucchini and garlic and cook for about another 5 minutes.

next add all the beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. stir in the cooked quinoa and salt and black pepper the chili to taste. we tend to go heavy on the fresh black pepper. simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. stir in chopped cilantro and serve with toppings of your choice. yields about 8-10 servings.

recipe adapted from

while you are at sure to follow pretty preened on pinterest!

Friday, February 1, 2013

the IT list... February 1, 2013!

  • Laura Wears dresses up a puffer vest with a few styling tricks that takes her look to the next level! Definitely one to recreate! (find Laurea Wears on Twitter!)
  • Everything but Ordinary shows a little love to our friends with feathers in an adorable casual look that is ready for just about anything! So cute! (find Everything but Ordinary on Twitter!)
  • Good Life proves that neon is here to stay even in the dead of winter! She is staying cozy by piling on the layers for a fun look that holds its own in the wind and snow! (find Good Life on Twitter!)
  • Seersucker + Saddles gives us a spring preview when taking advantage of a little warm spell! Her skirt is to die for - a must see! (find Seersucker + Saddles on Twitter!)
  • Undeniable Style is shooting for comfort but definitely isn't throwing style out the door! Pop over to check out this effortlessly chic look with a 70s vibe! (find Undeniable Style on Twitter!)
  • One Hundred Inspirations recreates the ever so stylish Julianne Hough's casual LA look on a major budget! A complete outfit for under $115?! Go check it out!!
  • Miss Top Ten is keeping it classy in a little black dress and letting her accessories do all of the talking! So chic! (find Miss Top Ten on Twitter!)
  • My Thrifty Chic threw practicality to the wind when she found a little black cape to the tune of $4! Pop over to see where she found it and what other steals she is sporting! (find My Thrifty Chic on Twitter!)
  • The Second Best found an adorable peplum top at one of her go-to stores and is giving us tips and tricks to get the most of our money when shopping! (find Second Best on Twitter!)
  • A Fashion Fixation is ready for spring and showing a hint of bare legs! This is the perfect look for when mother nature gives us a little tease with those warm temps! (find A Fashion Fixation on Twitter!)
  • Little Bit of Wo.We is bringing a little color to her winter wardrobe and mixing it with one of the season's must haves - dots! Pop over to check out this adorable look! (find Little Bit of Wo.We on Twitter!)
  • Rose a la Mode has found the perfect pair of wallet-friendly white jeans and you'll never guess where she found them! If you are in the market, you can't miss this one!(find Rose a la Mode on Twitter!)
  • Pretty Preened reworked her mom's wedding gown into an amazing little white dress (with feathers!) for her reception! It is incredible! (find Pretty Preened on Twitter!)
  • Sweetie Pie Style is looking ahead to spring and brings us affordable options for this season's must-have footwear! Pop over to find out where to grab a pair on the cheap! (find Sweetie Pie Style on Twitter!)
the IT list is brought to you weekly by Jill of Good Life and edited by Michelle of Second Street East.
For more information on how you can be involved - click here

Pin It button on image hover