Comfy shoes, chicken chili, and good books

comfy shoes, chicken chili and good books

Happy Sunday, everyone!  I just love this time of year for reading and relaxing…it is truly a time for comfy shoes, chicken chili and good books!

I purchased these comfy shoe-slippers at Rockport on sale in the fall and I have loved them…they are so warm and I can walk the dog or to the mailbox comfortably in them.

Also, if you love someone who tends to have cold feet, these comfy shoes would be a great gift.

They are still on sale!  Just check out: Women’s TruTech Veda Moc Slipper at Rockport…one of my favorite shoe brands!


Comfy shoes, chicken chili and good books

Leigh Ann makes this delicious, easy-peasy White Bean Chicken Chili.  It is a perfect cozy time of year for it.

Here is what you need to know:

Leigh Ann’s Easy White Bean Chicken Chili

2 lbs. Chicken Breasts

2 14 oz cans of chicken broth

2 8 oz. jars of Joe T Garcia salsa picante (or your favorite one)

2 pkgs (2 cup size) shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

2 Cans (15 oz) Great Northern Beans

2 cups frozen corn (she likes Baby Shoepeg gold & white)

Cut the chicken into bite sizes and cook in olive oil or bacon drippings.

(she also recommends our local grocer, HEB’s marinated fajita chicken cooked slowly for two hours at 275 degrees and then shredded for the chili…also use these juices as the broth)

In a soup pot, combine cooked chicken with broth, salsa, and corn and simmer for minutes.

Next add the cheese and stir well until melted.  Next add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with a favorite garnish such as the tri-colored tortilla strips, diced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, sour cream or more cheese.


Comfy Shoes to Chicken Chili to Good Books

To me there is no better way to relax in the winter than with comfy warm shoes…a fire in the fireplace and a good book.

Recently, one of the readers asked what I am reading?

Comfy shoes, chicken chili and good books

I love reading all types of books, but particularly auto-biographies.  

 Hayley Mills has almost been like a sister.  I feel as though we have grown up together in many ways.

Some memories from childhood are so clear and this is one of them.  A dark theater with a huge screen (to me) and the overwhelming feeling in side my chest when the movie began.

Pollyanna was the first movie in a theater I remember going to see…in fact between family and friends, I know I saw it 11 times in theater.

As a child, I would act out the scenes with neighborhood girlfriends under a big weeping willow…such fun memories. We even had a dress similar to the one she wore to the fair.

The tree behind the book in this picture is my own Pollyanna-tree…to me it looks just like the one in the movie and has grown up to the top of our two-story house.  

I have always thought about the movie when I walk on to this balcony and I am so thankful that none of my children attempted to climb out on to it in order to escape the house.

One of the reasons Hayley wrote the book was to tell her story about Walt Disney.  She realized upon visiting in California that no one currently working for Disney actually knew the man.

She adored him as a father-figure… gentle, happy, kind, diligent and driven to succeed.

Comfy shoes, Chicken Chili and good books

And she was devastated upon his death in his 60s, much like the devastation expressed this week by the cast of Full House upon an unexpected death of Bob Saget.

Though the book is very honest about the struggles of growing up in entertainment, she also depicts a bit healthier woman (than other child actors) who survived from the protection of Walt and a large family.

Her relationships with her sister, Juliet Mills (Hayley’s precious “Bunch”) and her brother are still strong.

But, she takes the reader on a journey of discovery to find out who she really is.  I will not share all the details.  I loved it that she also loved The Beatles as much as I did and even went on a date with one.  Hmmm, I am tempted to say…read the book.  But, I would like to share her final thoughts about Pollyanna, because I believe this is how the movie powerfully impacted me:

“There is no doubt that playing that character at such an early age had a lasting influence on me.  It made me aware of the importance of seeing the positive. It’s not always easy.  We all face the struggle to know ourselves and to find the courage to truly be ourselves. When you learn who you are, you learn self-respect, and with that comes the potential for real love.”   – Hayley Mills, Forever Young

Comfy shoes chicken chili and good books

As I promised, Alexander Hamilton is the next good book read.  I have started it!  So far, Chernow has taken Alexander from birth to his education in New York.  It is well written and so far very interesting.

His life was destined for greatness and I never realized how much he had to overcome to get there.

Thank you for asking about what I read…. I love to read.   I actually read a little bit of every thing from history to sappy romance novels.  

Comfy shoes Chicken Chili and good books

It is so nice to have a slower time during the year.  To sit by a fire…read a good book…and ponder the world about us. 

 I know so many of you are much colder than I, but embrace it as a positive.

You know…play the Glad Game!  (Do you know what I am talking about?)

Stay warm and I hopefully will see you tomorrow…..


By Pamela Lutrell

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  1. As I told a stranger in a store recently where we were looking at books, I get nervous when I’m finishing one book if I don’t have another ready to start. I well remember Haley Mills in her Pollyanna and Parent Trap roles. I was not aware of her autobiography, but it certainly sounds interesting. Leigh Ann’s soup sounds tasty too, and this next week of colder weather, and even possible snow in South Georgia would be the idea time for a good soup. Thank you for sharing daily.

  2. Oh my goodness…the Glad Game! I haven’t thought about that in years! I saw Pollyanna when I was a girl, too, and I have to admit I was a little obsessed with Hayley Mills. I just loved that movie and the positive message it gave. Not having the happiest childhood I found comfort in that story. Thanks for sharing and I will definitely be reading that one!
    Have a relaxing Sunday!

  3. Oh, Pam, I loved Hayley Mills also! We loved to share “old movies “ with our girls while they were growing up, and they loved her movies too. One of their favorites was “Trouble With Angels”. Her book is on my reading list so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day!

  4. I love how you are embracing the winter, knowing that some of us are colder. Yes, that’s true (16 degrees yesterday), but this season has its lovely moments. There is nothing like a walk in a beautiful park on a truly cold day, or a slightly warmer but blustery one. The trees might have ice and sparkle and crackle. The sky can be the glowing color of pearls, or the deep turquoise of the desert. The park is not crowded, but there are always darling dogs in bright plaid winter jackets being walked, snow or shine.

  5. Thanks for sharing your current reads. I am also a big fan of biographies, history, and historical fiction though I sometimes dip into lighter fare. I just finished The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, about the pack horse library project in 1930’s Kentucky and the blue people of that same region. It was a fascinating intersection of two topics I’d known nothing about. Currently I’m reading The Taking of Jemima Boone, so I’m still in Kentucky territory, but in the times of the Revolution. With regard to Haley Mills, I was in love with the movie Parent Trap, and especially drawn to her Western experience and life with her father on the ranch. That house became my dream template, and luckily I was able to have a facsimile of it for a time. 😉 Happy Sunday!

  6. Thanks for Leigh Ann’s chicken chili recipe! It sounds delicious! I’m going to try cutting it in half though since there’s only two of us. It should be easy since all the ingredients come in twos. I imagine that it freezes well too. I’m all for easy! Enjoy this beautiful winter day!

  7. Oh Pam…I was the greatest fan of Hayley Mills too! Must find her autobiography…..Just finished reading a cute book for our book club “How the Penguins Saved Veronica” by Hazel Prior. Much better than I was anticipating.
    And this Chicken Chili sounds wonderful–it would be perfect right now in New England. It’s freezing up here.
    You stay warm too…….I think we are all in winter mode right now.

  8. I am a voracious reader. My go to books are usually light mysteries, but one of my goals for this year is to broaden my reading list. I do like autobiographies & well written biographies, not the gossipy ones, & Hayley Mills’ book sounds like a good one. I am currently reading a book on creative journaling, as other goals are to journal more & improve my writing skills.

    1. I like the sound of creative journaling! Years ago I read mostly mysteries. Now you have me wanting to pick one up again. Thanks Becky!

  9. What a delightful post today, Pam.

    Hayley Mills made any film a fun adventure. I will have to read her book!

    Thank you for sharing Leigh Ann’s recipe. It’s definitely winter here in Ohio and I truly enjoy recipes that warm “the soul” … soups, stews, roasts and so on. Not a big fan of cold weather, but I do love winter food.

    We are expecting lots of snow tonight so I’m going to eat well and read!

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