Latest Posts

Easy Ground Beef and Vegetable Soup in The Slow Cooker

Summer was back, but it’s on the way out again! Here’s an easy beef and vegetable soup to warm you up when the temperatures drop. It’s a cool weather favorite around our house! My grandma used to make this soup on the stove top, but I love the ease of throwing everything into the slow cooker so I can set it and forget it!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (11.5 ounces) V8 juice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups frozen green beans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste or approximately 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Elbow macaroni (optional)

Prepearation:

In a non-stick skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain. Stir in salt and pepper. Transfer to slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf. Enjoy!

* I often boil macaroni and add some to the soup when serving. My kids love it that way!

 

A Thanksgiving Day Roundup: Hostess Gifts, Recipes, Wine Pairings, and More!

It’s almost here! A day for family, friends, football, and FOOD! Also know as Thanksgiving. This is surely one of my favorite days of the whole year! I absolutely love the food and the time with family and friends! It’s an all day event for sure starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, followed by football games, the big meal, and ending the day with a classic holiday movie and another round of turkey 😉 And all day the house smells heavenly!

If you are still looking for some Thanksgiving day inspiration, I have rounded up a few things from around the Internet to help make your Turkey day a success! Tablescapes, hostess gifts, movies, and more!

Hosting Thanksgiving at your house and looking for some decorating inspiration? Some top designers share their tips at My Domaine.

Going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving this year? Need a Hostess gift that isn’t wine? I love these 10 Affordable Hostess Gifts at Apartment Therapy!  

Photo via Anthropologie

Recipes galore and other Thanksgiving tips can be found at Kitchn. 

Photo via Kitchn

You can find some great tablescape inspiration over at The Spruce! I really like #12, the modern organic tablescape! This Rustic and Refined setting is great too!

Photo via The Spruce

White, red, bubbly? Need a little help with Thanksgiving day wine pairings? Check out this post!

The kids’s Table doesn’t have to be boring and blah. Give the kids a special table of their own with another one from The Spruce! Heck, the adults may want to sit there too 🙂

Photo via The Spruce

Skip the store bought pies and wow them with your baking skills with these homemade pie recipes from Country Living.

Photo via Country Living

Last, but not least, when you’re done with football watch a classic Thanksgiving day movie! I found a great list at Esquire. An all time favorite of mine is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that your day is filled with family, fun, laughter, and blessings!

Trending: Velvet Crush

Fall has come and gone, but I heard it’s coming back again in just a couple of days! It’s time to bring a little fall fashion into your home! One of the biggest trends this season, not only for clothing, is velvet! And it’s not hard to see (or feel) why. This luxe fabric instantly makes a room look more expensive and it feels divine! Ahhh, velvet! It makes everything seem just a little more luxurious. With it’s regal good looks and unsurpassed softness, it’s hard not to love it. Velvet is chic, stylish, and timeless.

You can add velvet to your home in a number of ways, like pillows, sofas, throws, and accessories. And there are colors of velvet to suit just about anyone’s taste and style. Adding velvet doesn’t have to be super expensive either.  There are so many pieces of small-scale furniture and accessories out there, so no need to invest in a huge (and expensive) velvet sofa. Unless you really want to 😉

Like a melting pot, velvet has a lot of different looks. The variation depends on either the characteristics of the fiber used or its construction.

Velvet Varieties

Linen velvet. Linen velvet has thin striations and a nubbiness to give it a textured, dry appearance. Unlike heavier wool velvets, linen velvet is cooler on the body and has a more casual aesthetic.

Silk velvet. Silk velvet is the epitome of indulgence. Usually considered the finest of material for velvet. Once you run your hand along silk, you’ll never forget it. It is an experience. Silk filaments act like little prisims and reflect the light, which is why it has a pronounced luster. Silk velvet tends to have a “wet” appearance.

Mohair. Mohair velvet is made from the hair of Angora goats. It is the least susceptible to crushing or matting, and is often used in high-use commercial applications.

While mohair velvet is durable, it’s not as shiny as silk and synthetics like rayon. Mohair velvet has a subtle glow rather than a marked sheen. It’s also quite thick, so it has limitations on smaller components, like upholstered arms and welting.

Ready to take the plunge? Keep scrolling for some velvet inspiration for your home!

Add a pop of color with a velvet footstool!

Go glam with a footstool in a muted tone.

Mackenzie Bailey in Houston

Toss some neutral toned velvet pillows on a chair for an instant update!

Makenzie Bailey in Houston

Add a velvet bench to the entry or end of your bed.

Photo via West Elm

A vibrant blue velvet chair is sure to make a statement!

Photo via Wayfair

In the cooler months switch out your usual duvet for a velvet one!

Photo via Nordstrom

One of my favorite colors, teal blue velvet really pops in a neutral room!

These velvet pillows from West Elm are an easy way to add a touch of velvet.

Photo via West Elm

A velvet desk chair makes for a comfy place to sit.

Photo via Domino Mag

A pale velvet sofa on a natural wood base is so bohemian…

Photo via Poppy Lane

Spruce up your dinner parties with velvet dining chairs!

Photo via West Elm

Cozy up to a velvet lounging chair and just relax…

Is It The Most Wonderful Time of the Year or Is the Crazy Train About to Arrive? We’re Here to Help!

Is it really true? Did October just fly by and now we find ourselves in November already?! You know what that means. HOLIDAYS! The most wonderful time of year 🙂 It’s time to start decorating the house, entertaining guests, going to parties, shopping, and traveling among other things! All while we juggle our usual day to day activities that are already jam packed. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!! But, I’m not always the best at managing my time in the most productive of ways when there are so many things to juggle. And, what about enjoying the holiday season? Enjoying the holiday season, not just getting through it, is so important.

Ever wish you could have the gift of time management before all the festivities get underway? LOOK NO FURTHER!

I’ve enlisted the help of friend Jessica Modad. I met Jessica through a networking group I’m part of here in Houston called Women Helping Women Network. Jessica is a strategic life and productivity coach and is going to share her top tips on enjoying, not just surviving, the holiday season in a balanced manner.

So, here’s the lovely Jessica to share her tips.

Oh boy! Angela, I hear you and I am here for you and your fabulous readers.

Hi! I’m Jessica, a strategic life and productivity coach in Houston.   (www.jessicamodad.com)

These are just a few things that I’ve heard from clients and workshop participants over the years when it comes to the “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Holidays are:

Hard

Expensive

Frustrating

Overwhelming

Maddening

Time consuming

C-R-A-Z-Y

Some of these same words came out of my mouth a few years ago.

Let me take you back to 2007 I was unloading the car PACKED with gifts from our family members for our children. Exhausted. Hangry, overwhelmed, and then a sick feeling came over me..Is this what my kids will expect from the holidays year after year?!

Enough was enough. The next year we had a family meeting, and took one baby step toward a kinder, gentler holiday season, which included slowing down, taking care of each other, and the brilliance of handmade gifts. No more overcommitted schedules, or holiday frenzy. After changing just one thing our lives were altered, forever.

I want the same for YOU.

STOP whatever you are doing.

Take a breath. Now, imagine making a new choice. A new decision about how you approach the holiday hustle.  Give yourself permission to re-label December’s festivities as:  fun, easy, relaxing, peaceful, joyful, comfortable, or dare we say, luxurious?

Here are 6 ideas to get the party started:

  • Redefine the Hustle – Create a plan for how you want to feel and what really matters this year…what did you love about last year? What could you have done without? Take 10-15minutes answering these questions and save your self a ton of TIME, MULLAH, and ENERGY. Need a little help getting started? Head over to jessicamodad.com and download your free Make it Matter quick start guide.
  • Get Cozy with Your Calendar – There are things that you have probable already committed to or invitations that you know about and have not put on the calendar. Its time to face the music. If something is not aligned with your new holiday vision, politely decline or say “No”. When presented with opportunities to gather and make merry, refer to your calendar. First.
  • Rethink Gift Giving – During the holiday this is one area that can quickly get out of hand. With teachers, siblings, aunts, uncles, co-workers, in-laws and hostesses its no wonder last year Americans adults spent over $800 on average when it came to gift giving last year according to the National Retail Federation, and this year sales are projected to “increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion” That doesn’t even include auto, gasoline, and restaurant sales, yikes!
  • Don’t go at it alone – Start recruiting your support system now. With all the jobs to be completed… shopping, decorating, gift wrapping, house cleaning, fetching last items from the grocery, and ferrying out of town guest to and from the airport its no wonder we are exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled and ready to explode by the time holiday festivities come around. Call on your friends, spouses, kids, college students or outside help to assist as you tackle all of those important jobs.
  • Create Blackout Dates and Times – Just like the airlines, you have the right to make certain days or times of the day off limits for commitments. Trust me, if you only change one thing this year, give yourself and your family the gift of commitment-free downtime. One word of warning…protect these dates with your life. I promise, you will be tempted to fill them…don’t. Then, watch the magic happen.
  • Have FUN! I don’t think this last tip needs an explanation, haha!

Phew! That can seem like a lot to do. Take a moment and play with just ONE thing. Get your family involved and see what shifts happen this year.

And, as always, I am here to help and support each of you. Find me easily at jessicamodad.com.

I’m curious…what’s one thing you do that makes your holiday run smoothly?

Cheers!

Jessica

Wow! What great words of advice Jessica has just given us! I think we can all implement a few, if not all, of Jessica’s tips this holiday season. I know I’m going to try. So, if I tell you “no” to something in the next 60 days you’ll know why. It’s not you, it’s me 😉 just trying to find some balance in a hectic holiday schedule…

XOXO – Angela

 

 

Sunday Post: 4 Finds From Around The Internet This Week

Lessen your chance of colds and flu in the winter months with Vitamin D! With less daylight hours and donning more clothes comes less sunlight exposure and with less sun exposure comes lowered Vitamin D levels being produced naturally by our bodies. I personally use a Vitamin D and Vitamin K liposomal spray, but here are some other ways to get your daily dose.

The Best Ways to Boost Vitamin D in Winter

I’m always excited this time of year when I see pomegranates in the grocery store! Especially when the seeds are already removed for me 🤗 Removing them can be a little tedious and messy. But once they are out you can use them on salads, yogurt, oatmeal, desserts, or on whatever you want. My favorite way is just eating them on their own. They ar full of healthy benefits! Check it out on Style Craze.

30 Amazing Benefits of Pomegranates for Skin, Hair, and Health

My scarves are finally seeing the light of day now that the temperatures have dropped! I love my infinity scarves, they are a no-brainer. But what about the other “traditional” scarves? I found some ideas on Who What Wear that gave me some inspiration. Hope you find some inspiration too 😊

15 Ways to Tie Your Scarf This Fall

Do you take good care of your feet? I must admit, besides getting pedicures I rarely give them much thought… I noticed the other day that they weren’t looking as “youthful” as they once did and I got a little bummed. I do what I can to keep my face looking youthful and it’s time my feet get some love to. Hopefully it’s not too late! My feet and I still have lots of places to go 🙂

Here’s what I found on the Life Extension website about taking care of our feet.

Revitalize Aging Feet 

Have a great week!!

Cook This Weekend: 5 Slow Cooker Recipes For Fall That My Whole Family Loves

Yea! It really feels like fall in Houston this week and this weekend is supposed to be even cooler! When the temperature drops it’s the perfect time to get your slow cooker (crock pot in the south 😉) out and make some warm, comforting soups, stews, and other dishes that you might not cook in the warmer summer months. I love the ease of cooking a meal in the slow cooker. After a little prep while the kids are at school you can set it and forget it from 5 to 8 hours depending on the recipe. It makes dinnertime, and cleanup, a breeze. Oh, and don’t forget the aromas that fill the house throughout the day!

Below I wanted to share with you some of mine and my family’s favorite fall and winter slow cooker recipes. Really I cook some of these year round, but when the temperatures dip they are way more pleasing! Just this week I made the red beans and rice and the taco soup. Today I’m throwing the lentil soup together for a chilly evening with my hubby and kids watching the Houston Astros in the World Series! Go ‘Stros!

Please feel free to share in the comments section at the end any recipes that you and your family love. I’m always looking for new ones!

Lighter Red Beans and Rice from Iowa Girl Eats

Photo via Iowa Girl Eats

Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew) from Skinnytaste

Photo via Skinnytaste

Taco Soup from Paula Deen

Photo via Food Network

Lentil Soup from The Apron Gal

Photo via The Apron Gal

Slow Cooker Beef Tips with Rice

Photo via Southern Bite

Sunday Post: 5 Finds From Around The Internet This Week

It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Houston as a cool front is blowing through. I actually like mornings like this. Makes you want to linger in bed a little longer. I opted to get up and make some coffee and enjoy the sights and sounds of the storm. Hope you have a great Sunday and enjoy this edition of the Sunday Post!

This first one I’ve been thinking about for a while. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase! I probably can’t undo the damage done from sleeping on a cotton pillowcase all my life, but changing now MUST be better than never starting! Do you use a silk pillowcase?

4 Reasons Why You Need A Silk Pillowcase

There’s just 9 days until Halloween! Grab some popcorn and a cozy blanket and get ready to be spooked with these scary movies! A friend to watch with you is probably a good idea too!!

The 25 Absolute Best Halloween Movies to Watch Right Now

Do you try to eat organically as much as possible? Then why not give organic wine a try! While I am not going to give up completely on my favorite red wines, I have wanted to find a good organic option. I recently tried the Bonterra Merlot. It’s barrel aged in oak and pretty good! I will definitely swap out my go-to wine occasionally for Bonterra organic. Here’s a list of organic wines you might want to try out. Please leave a comment if there is one you’d highly recommend.

12 Best Organic Wines for Every Occasion

I love using my slow cooker (aka Crock Pot in the south) year round. It makes dinner time sooooo much easier. I also love the recipes over at Damn Delicious and can’t wait to try this one! I’ll just make sure to burn some extra calories at the gym the day I make it since it has heavy whipping cream 😉

Creamy Garlic Chicken and Veggies 

Do you use makeup sponges. I have always used those inexpensive, drugstore, beige wedges. You know the ones! Lately though, I keep seeing all these makeup sponges in weird shapes, bright colors, and higher price tags. Is it time I make a switch? Do you use any of the ones shown in the following article?

19 Makeup Sponges For a Flawless Face

15 Dog Friendly Restaurant And Bar Patios in Houston

The official start to fall has arrived and we are finally experiencing more pleasant temps in Houston! Ahhh…..Patio weather! Those fleeting couple of months where us Houstonians actually want to sit outside and enjoy the beverage of our choice, some grub, and people watching.

Who better to invite for dinner, or brunch, and drinks than your dog? Don’t you think he (or she) would love to join you on a patio somewhere, drinking something cold, and mingling with other dogs and dogettes! Who can say no to that face!

Thanks to the foundation of Paws on Patios in 2010, Houston restaurants can obtain city permits to allow dogs at outdoor tables. This initiative finally put Houston in line with other Texas cities that already had a similar permit program in place. Woof woof!!

You love your dog, don’t you? Take that puppy out for some fun! Here are some Houston area restaurants and bars that welcome your furry friend. Just check ahead with these establishments to make sure their dog policy hasn’t changed. And, if you have taken your furry friend to a local restaurant or bar in Houston that’s not on the list please let me know in the comments section at the end!

Axelrad: Midtown Area

Photo via Just Vibe Houston

Cottonwood: The Heights Area – bar food, live music, games

Photo via Houston Press

Hugo’s: Montrose Area – inviting with regional Mexican cuisine

Photo via Houston Press

The Black Lab Pub: The Montrose Area

Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette: Galleria area

Tiny Boxwoods: West University Area

Photo via Mr & Mrs H

Backstreet Cafe: River Oaks Area

 

Photo via Good Eats Houston

West Alabama Ice House: Upper Kirby Area

Buffalo Grille: Memorial Area and West University Area

Photo via Eater Houston

Barnaby’s: Memorial, River Oaks, Heights

Photo via Eater Houston

Presidio: The Heights Area

Photo via Houston Business Journal

Balls Out Burger: The Heights Area

Photo via Balls Out Burger

Kirby Ice House: Upper Kirby District

Photo via Yelp

Boheme: Montrose Area

Photo via Houston Chronicle

Kitchen at The Dunlavy: Near Downtown/Allen Parkway

Photo via Yelp

 

 

Sunday Post: 5 Finds From Around The Internet This Week

I am always running across things on the Internet that I think to myself, “my friends may like to see this”. All to often I’ll forget so I’ve decided to start sharing some with you on a weekly basis here on the ANGELA edit! So grab your coffee, relax, and take a moment to see what I’m sharing this week. I hope you enjoy this new feature!

If you haven’t decked out the house for Halloween yet, or you are still in the decorating mode, check out these mantle decorating ideas at Apartment Therapy. I’m loving the Glam Goth look!

Your Halloween Mantle 3 Ways: Modern, Glam Goth, and Classic

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Like to cozy up to a good book? It’s not too late to get your scare on before Halloween! Check out Career Girl Daily for some spooky reads. Stephen King, anyone?

5 Seriously Creepy Books Perfect for Your October Reading List

While it’s not cold outside yet, it’s never to soon to be proactive about staving off the flu or colds this winter. Hello Glow has some tips to help!

5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

Photo via Hello Glow

I love finding good pork recipes, you know “the other white meat”. We can only eat so much chicken… The other night my daughter even proclaimed “chicken again” 😉 I love the recipes over at Skinny Taste and this pork recipe sounds yummy! I havent tried it yet, but it’s on my list of things to try this coming week!

Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce

Photo via Skinny Taste

While the cooler temps are a time to change our wardrobe selection, it’s also the time to rethink our nail polish choices! Want to know what the trending colors for Fall 2017 are? Read on! I’m loving #2!

7 Best Nail Polish Colors You Need to Be Wearing This Fall

Photo via Cosmopolitan

8 Clever Features To Add To Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether your building a new home, doing a complete renovation to an existing home, or just remodeling the kitchen, there are a few things you may want to add to make your kitchen more efficient and give it some flair. And, an upgraded kitchen is not a waste of money! Along with bathrooms, kitchens offer the best return on your investment if you go to sell your home.

There’s so much available, and many of those tempting options may also be expensive. The first order of business is deciding what you can afford and what you cannot. Make a wishlist and do some research.

To get you thinking here are 8 ideas for your upgrade wishlist. Keep in mind that these items are nice to have – not essential…

1. Drawers in the end of the island. So, there is usually “dead space” at the end of most kitchen islands. Why not put it to use with a couple of deep drawers like these. It’s the perfect place to store any number of things, like pots and pans, bowls, kitchen linens, and more. Really the options are endless!

Photo via Service Central

2. A drawer within a drawer. I love this idea! It’s such a great use of space for all your cutlery. And, it’s just really cool!

Photo via Kitchn

3. Built-in cutting board. No more scrambling to find a cutting board when it’s built right in under the countertop! Even better if it is just above a pullout trash can. Cleaning will be a breeze as you just chop and slide the remnants into the trash can below. Then just wipe down the surface. I totally want this one in my new kitchen!

Photo via Houzz

4. Charging station drawer. If your house is anything like mine there are tons of personal electronic devices and phones that need to be charged at all times! And, if you are anything like me, you don’t like seeing the tangled mess of cords strewn throughout your house. Just looks messy to me. This built-in charging station drawer just may be the answer to looking more tidy and keeping those cords all in one place. Yes please!

Photo via Pinterest

5. Microwave Drawer. While most homes microwaves are built-in to an upper cabinet, a trend lately has been to place your microwave lower, below the countertops. I for one, love this idea. I think it lends a cleaner look at eye level when it is tucked away. An added bonus is that the smaller kids in the house can get to it, as long as they know how to use it 😉

6. Toe kick storage. You can never have too much storage space in the kitchen and this one is brilliant! Who thought of this!? This is such a great use of space for platters and other “flat” items. Think table linens, holiday dish towels that you don’t use year round, rolling pins, and even those cute beverage napkins you take out for parties. Really the options are endless.

7. Hidden warming drawer. This is one of those features that I don’t think much about until I am entertaining. But when I am entertaining I wish that I had one! Don’t you just hate when you are preparing food for a larger group and some things are ready before others, but you still need to use your oven to cook? Well, problem solved! Place the items that are ready first in the warming drawer until you finish cooking everything else! Nobody wants cold bacon!!

Photo via Dacor

8. Spice drawer. Keeping your spices near the stove is ingenious. While it may just be a short walk to the pantry to get the spices you need, it sure would be nice to have them handy right by the stove! And if you have a cooktop these babies can probably go directly underneath! If your so inclined, put them in alphabetical order 🙂

Photo via Service Central

So, what do you think? Do you have a favorite? Do you think you’d like to add any of these to your kitchen or do you have any of these currently in your kitchen that you would recommend to others? I’d love to hear about it!