February 28, 2013

National Chili Day

I've talked about my 3-Bean Chili before ... but I had to share it again with a few updates! If you're looking for a great way to celebrate National Chili Day, then this recipe will sure to be a crowd pleaser. It also goes beautifully with my recipe for Cheddar & Chive Cornbread. Enjoy!

3-Bean Chili

1 large onion, diced
5-8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 sm. can diced green chiles
1 quart beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can small red beans, drained

This is all about personal preference, and it is so important to season in doses and taste as you go. I eyeball this every time, but here are the approximates:

1-3 Tablespoons chili powder (all according to your preference of spiciness)
1-2 Tablespoons cumin (large handful or two)
2 teaspoons oregano (handful, crushed)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt*
1 teaspoon pepper

In a large stockpot or dutch oven (I use one of my large Le Creuset ovens), saute the diced onion in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, but do not overcook the garlic! Add stock, making sure to scrape any brown bits from the pan. Add the green chiles, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and beans and bring to a low boil. Add tomato paste, and all seasonings to taste, adjusting as necessary.** Cover and allow chili to simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When ready to serve, offer shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro or green onions & crushed corn chips (either tortilla chips or Fritos) as garnish.

* Depending on the saltiness of the stock & tomatoes. I use at least 1 Tablespoon salt, however, I will adjust as necessary.
** For those wishing to add meat (either ground beef or turkey), brown 1-1/2 lbs. meat in a separate skillet, drain excess fat, and then add to the chili before covering.

February 27, 2013

Wear It Wednesday: The Natasha Necklace

In my wardrobe, statement jewelry is a necessity. When I find a designer who designs pieces that embrace that idea, coupled with a classy, luxe aesthetic, consider me hooked!

Cue: my sincere love for all things Julie Vos.

For me, Julie Vos is that "must have one of everything" collection. I'm not kidding ... there is not a piece I do not love! So you can imagine my over-the-moon excitement when this gorgeous, coral + gold statement necklace, known as Natasha, came to live with me.

Here's what I love: for such a substantive piece, this necklace feels solid, but does not wear or feel heavy - and the detailing + bold color make it a perfect day-to-night necklace. Win, win!

xx JN

P.S. Keep your eye on Wear It Wednesdays - more favorites from Julie Vos to come!

Blazer: Anne Klein (thrifted) / Shirt: Dobby Dot Button Down by LOFT / Denim: Curvy Straight by LOFT / Necklace: Natasha c/o Julie Vos / Lips: Pro Longwear in Prolong by MAC

Photographed by: James Newman (via iPhone + Instagram)

February 19, 2013

Beyond Yoga

I was recently introduced to Beyond Yoga, and my lovelies, I'm sold.

Not only does Beyond Yoga offer chic activewear with luxury at its core, but also is a brand authentically focused on keeping every woman's figure in mind. Flawless, right? With Gwyneth Paltrow as one of the brand's many celebrity fans, it made perfect sense when her e-commerce company, goop, collaborated with Beyond Yoga to create a 2-piece activewear set during the holidays.

Now that my foot surgeon has said to "resume normal activity," I cannot help but focus on getting back to my physical routine. For me, that routine translates to strength training and yoga practice - which also translates to filling my shopping bag with some of these Beyond Yoga treasures:

As I say so often, embracing a lovely lifestyle begins with living our best life. Between honoring our health, pursuing our best form of exercise, and slipping in to luxury comfort at the same time - we simply cannot go wrong, my lovelies. I am so excited to see what spring has on the horizon!

xx JN

February 14, 2013

Love, Love

Sending so much love to you all, my lovelies! I hope you've taken time today to remind yourself how loved you are, that you're the best Valentine you could ever give yourself, and without you & all that you bring to the world, the world wouldn't be what it is right now.

Happy Love Day!

xx JN

February 13, 2013

They Deserve a Vote

If you were tuned in to President Obama's State of the Union last night, I think we would all agree that one moment was particularly full of emotion:

Mr. Newman & I were both choked up (this is an issue we are passionate about to begin with), and then it occurred to me, "What in our lives deserves a vote?"

That idea doesn't automatically equate to a "yes" vote. The vote very well may be a "no." However, to vote requires action - it is about standing up and showing up. Exercising your voice. Being heard. Standing strong. Believing in something.

In as much as our politics deserve politicians who take action on behalf of the people they represent, we, too, must take action on behalf of the betterment of our own lives.

After all, indifference serves no one. Maybe that means putting the chips down and voting "yes" to take better care of ourselves. Perhaps we need to vote "no" on allowing negative energy in to our lives.

I'm making my ballot - are you?

xx JN

February 11, 2013

Hooray for Hunter!

Between the rain, sleet, ice, snow, 8" slush puddles, and everything in between, I must loudly profess my utter devotion to my Hunter Boots.

I have had two other pairs of all-weather boots ... yet used to stand and stare at the lovely ladies and gents (... and children) who donned those infamous wellies in fabulous colors with their perfect socks.

As any big City girl can attest, what we display south of our ankles, in all actuality, must have the durability of Goodyear tires with the amount of walking, schlepping, climbing, and gallivanting we do on a daily basis.

As I'm always trying to pinch pennies and get the most bang for my buck, I finally gave it some thoughtful consideration: "Is it worth spending $135 on a pair of wellies?"

In as much as you wouldn't drive your Volvo around on a spare tire (donut), why wouldn't I invest in a pair of boots that were going to carry me through thick (snow) and thin (rain)?

So I did it. Last Fall.

And I ain't ever looking back!

Listen, when I did my research, Hunter Boots are far more than a trendy fashion statement. Originated in 1856, these boots were so durable they were manufactured for the British Army in both World Wars. Not to mention His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty the Queen each granted Hunter Boots a Royal Warrant.

Clearly, my lovelies, they know how it's done.

The next time you're about to attempt to cross a puddle that is two feet wide by leaping in your stilettos, heed my advice: embrace the Hunter in you. If I was able to get away with wearing them to the Tents this weekend at Lincoln Center, I promise you, there's no need to think again.

After all, you're going to feel childlike joy when you splash in walk gracefully through those slush puddles!

xx JN

Note: Hunter Boots do tend to run big, so downsize. For example, I traditionally wear a 6-1/2 - 7, and I purchased my Women's Huntress Boots in a size 6 without any issues. Also, the Welly Socks are worth their weight in gold - especially when you're ready to traipse through the snow!

February 4, 2013

Au Naturale

I'm currently in search of some new bath towels. Not only did I find some I simply love over at Serena & Lily, I think I may be inspired for a complete bathroom makeover! Aren't these neutral colors so chic and serene? Talk about the perfect escape after a long day.

February 2, 2013

Lemon Quinoa Tabouleh

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With both Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck in agreement that Spring will be here in short order, I am already looking forward to citrus, tomatoes, fresh herbs and leafy greens!

Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this naturally gluten-free gem of a recipe, bursting with color to the eye, and certainly as colorful to the palate:

Lemon Quinoa Tabouleh
courtesy of The Diva Dish


1/2 c. dry quinoa
2 c. vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, diced
2 c. spinach, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro*, finely chopped
1/4 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced


Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
Dash of salt and pepper


1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. 

2. In a large saucepan, soak the quinoa in the vegetable broth for about 15 minutes off the heat. After that, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium-low and let quinoa simmer. Stir every so often, and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes, just until the liquid absorbs. With a tiny amount of liquid remaining, remove the quinoa from heat and cover. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, cilantro, onion and garlic. Add the chickpeas and stir until everything is combined. Once the quinoa is cooled, add quinoa to the mixture.

5. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, olive oil, agave and spices together. Pour dressing over the salad mixture, and mix until well combined. Gently mix in the tomatoes and avocado. Allow flavors to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.

*For those who do not care for the taste of cilantro, flat-leaf parsley is a perfect substitute!