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Game Day Ready // Best Ever Chili + Football Fashion

October 24, 2017


Erin Schrader

Football season is in full swing and if there was ever a sport to love, it is this one. I mean sure the game of football itself is okay, but the food and the fun that this sport brings along with it makes it that much better. I love that it allows for plans every Saturday and Sunday, even if that plan is sitting at home on your couch stuffing your face full of jalapeno cheddar cheeseballs formed into the shape of a football….

Shawn and I recently hosted the LIY team and their spouses for a fun night at our house for football, food and fun. It was our first time doing something as a team with our men and because the guys were involved, we figured the easiest way to make sure everybody enjoyed themselves was to center it around sports, chili and that same jalapeno cheddar cheeseball I mentioned earlier. Thankfully, I think it worked. Everybody came in their best Colts getup [paying our Indiana respects] and we settled in for a delicious dinner and laughs, lots and lots of laughs..

When planning not just the menu, but what to wear and how to serve the food in a way that made it look like I knew what I was doing on the hosting front [spoiler alert: I don’t] I turned to Macy’s for a one-stop shop which made it all sorts of easy. If you aren’t aware, Macy’s has an amazing selection of both NFL fan gear and the most adorable serving ware and other home goods on the planet. If it’s okay with you, I’d love to share a glimpse into our evening complete with two amazing recipes that you’ll want to make ASAP and our game day outfits. Football has never looked or tasted so good.

Let’s start with the very most important thing – the guests and our outfits. Obviously. We’ll start with not necessarily the guests, but with us – the “hi welcome to our house! come in! wine anyone? the bathroom’s that way! oh, ignore the smoke, it’s from the oven, NBD! so glad you’re here!” hosts. 5th & Ocean Women’s Indianapolis Colts Rayon Raglan T-Shirt [true to size, wearing in small] // Lucky Brand Brooke Jeggings [true to size] // Converse Women’s Chuck Taylor Shoreline [true to size] // Shawn’s shirt: ’47 Brand Men’s Indianapolis Colts Gym Issued Retro Tri-Blend Shirt [true to size]

Shawn and I both clearly like to represent when it comes to our team. Nothing like shouting from the rooftop who you’re cheering for, ya heard? The best part about both of these shirts? They’re so soft you can go straight from the game to bed, no changing needed. We like to call that versatile.

Next up, Becca [Creative Director] and her husband Matt. 1.state One-Shoulder Tie-Detail Top [true to size // Dooney & Bourke Indianapolis Colts Ruby Mini Satchel Crossbody // Matt’s shirt: Nike Men’s Indianapolis Colts Legend Logo Essential 3 T-Shirt

Becca being the little trendsetter she is, opted for a less obnoxious approach to show her loyalty to the team but rather came dressed to impress in the appropriate team colors with a tiny smidge of team logo all over that Dooney & Bourke purse which may just be the cutest football accessory I have ever seen. Definitely a football look I’d repeat.

Last but not least, Steph [Strategic Analyst] and her husband [who also happened to be my boss for the better of six+ years], Dave. Maison Jules Plaid Shirt [true to size] // Dave’s shirt: Nike Men’s Indianapolis Colts Legend Staff Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Again, Steph went with the “I like the Colts, but I don’t need to live, breathe and die the Colts” approach with her outfit which was this super cute plaid shirt in all of the right colors.

Once everybody arrived and was photographed [normal protocol for parties, I know] we went right to the heart of the party – the food. On the menu for the evening was chili, mac and cheese, buffalo chicken sandwiches, jalapeno popper cheeseball, chips and salsa, brownies and a few other goodies! Don’t worry, the recipes are coming. Like I had mentioned earlier,  Macy’s has the cutest serving ware and I was pumped about being able to use my new soup bowls that I had picked up from there.  They not only look fabulous in my glass kitchen cabinets thanks to their cute little sayings but they hold SO much soup, which if you’re anything like me, you like a lot of soup. Speaking of soup, are you ready to feast your eyes on the best ever chili recipe?! I found this recipe here and it is now our household go-to. I promise your guests will absolutely love you for it.Here’s the recipe [I highly recommend you make stat]:

Best Ever Slow Cooker Chili

Servings 12 people


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow or Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped optional
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 46 oz Tomato Juice
  • 28 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 16 oz Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 16 oz Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed


  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Transfer the meat to a bowl. Drain excess grease from skillet, but do not clean.

    2. Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, green pepper, garlic, parsley and jalapeño peppers (optional) and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

    3. Add the meat-veggie mixture to the slow cooker along with the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream, Fritos, green onions, whatever your heart desires! 

Next recipe you don’t want to miss out on and is key for any football gathering or tailgate, this Jalapeno Popper cheeseball, first seen here. A real beauty, isn’t she?

Jalapeno Popper Football Cheeseball


  • 16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, chopped divided
  • 1/2 cup Diced Pickled Jalapenos
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 oz Bacon Crumbles
  • 1/3 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp Parsley
  • 2 Jalapeños, chopped optional
  • 1 Slice White Cheddar Cheese
  • Pretzels


  1. In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, garlic powder, salt and 2-3 TBSP chopped green onions and mix well. 

    2. On parchment paper [I used Glad Press N'Seal] scoop mixture out and shape into a football with your hands. Simply pinch the sides and shape into your best looking football! 

    3. Put into the refrigerator to harden for 15 minutes or so. 

    4. While your cheeseball is firming up, toast the panko breadcrumbs on the stove over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until golden. 

    5. If using additional jalapenos, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos and finely chop. 

    6. Remove the cheeseball from the refrigerator and cover with toasted panko, remaining green onion, parsley, bacon crumbles and fresh jalapenos. 

    7. Complete your football by slicing the white cheddar cheese into slices. One long slice for the center and smaller slices for the laces. Place the long slice horizontally along the center of the football and then place the small slices over top. Enjoy! 

Add in the easy extras – chips and salsa, brownies from a box [I simply used vanilla cookie frosting to create the laces], candy in the team colors and BAM, your party is d-o-n-e. The Cellar Whiteware Words Chip and Dip SetThe Cellar Large I Could Have Eaten That PlatterArtland Oasis Galvanized Tin 4-Piece Picnic Caddy Set

Last thing on the list to do? Sit back, relax, pop the top on a cold one and enjoy the game with your friends! And that my friends, is how to throw the easiest, most delicious, fashionable football party on the planet. Game on!  photos by tina herschberger photography 

Shop all of the items in today’s post easily below —

Disclosure: Thank you to Macy’s and Shopstyle for partnering on today’s post.

share this with your best girlfriends:

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Your house looks so darn cozy! Would you mind sharing a link, if available, for the galvanized try that you have your flowers/pinecones on? Everything looks amazing.

    • erin says:

      I had purchased that from a local craft show and I don’t even know who the vendor was, so sorry!

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