Heirloom Photo: Always the Center of Attention

I treasure this photo of me with Mother and Daddy.  It was taken in front of Julia’s fireplace (get her Spritz cookie recipe here).  Since I was just talking about her yesterday I wanted to follow up with this heirloom. It started out as a pic Julia planned to take of just Mother and Daddy in front of her fireplace.  I love Mother’s nubby zip front pantsuit and Daddy’s button cardigan and his signature cigar. Backstory:   I saw that I was being left out, ran over just as Julia took the shot. Cut to Mother’s laughing, “Oh, isn’t Melissa precious how she always wants to be the center of attention!”  And, then, look at Daddy. “Just darlin’ (actor note:  say with sarcasm).”  And this is how my childhood and adulthood have always been. #sheneverstops

Julia’s Christmas Spritz Cookies

My mother had the sweetest, kindest friends.  They took a genuine interest in me all through my childhood.  My parents would take me along to dinner parties and I could chat it up with anyone at the table.  One of her friends was my favorite.  Julia Johnson. She was like my personal playmate. I would go and spend the day at her home and we’d cook and play cards, ride bikes and she had the most fantastic trail mix in a milk glass jar on her coffee table.  She taught me how to shell pecans and make root beer floats.  I loved eating her pineapple chess pie.  She had the most beautiful toile wallpaper in her dining room.   One summer, we all went on vacation together in our motor home to visit Julia’s family in the Carolina’s and Virginia.  It was such fun. I attended Julia’s 90th birthday a … Continue reading “Julia’s Christmas Spritz Cookies”

What Would Holley Wear: A Holley Jolly Christmas

It’s Holley’s turn today to share ideas for what to wear when shopping for the perfect Christmas tree, how to wear a blanket scarf and stylish relaxed-wear for wrapping gifts and doing some on-line retail therapy. Grab a mug of cocoa and settle in for the delicious details. Okay, fancy galas are not for everyone and I totally get that. So, two things you need to know about me:  My favorite Christmas traditions are very casual… And, these really don’t require a “stylish” wardrobe.  Or do they? Let’s start with shopping for a tree.  Because of allergies in our family, this has not been one of our family traditions for years.  But, oh, I do miss the aroma of a real tree.  So guess what I do?  I go to a Christmas tree lot and inhale!  Yep, I just admitted I inhale.  For me, a big part of the holiday is … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: A Holley Jolly Christmas”

Oh, How Sweet: Creative Packaging for Your Baking

Lisa P. sent Mrs. Twist a question recently…” I need your fun ideas for gift containers for edible Christmas gifts. I usually use the traditional tins, but they are proving to be a bit pricey. I know you will have some great ideas for other options. I love to make lots of yummy treats to give away during the holidays. Less money spent on containers means more good stuff to eat!” I hear you Lisa — ditch the tins!  No one knows what to do with those tins after they are empty.  Mine usually sit at the top of the stairs until the next time I go into the attic to put them away for next year. So, I went to my tried and true for anything creative — Pinterest.  I’ve rounded up some cleaver packaging ideas that will surely make your baked goodies stand out when you deliver them … Continue reading “Oh, How Sweet: Creative Packaging for Your Baking”

Parchment Baked Chicken Four Ways

I saw this recipe idea on my Facebook feed recently and it reminded me of when I was little and Mother taught me how to make “Cowboy Hamburgers” — foil pouches filled with hamburger patties, sliced potatoes, carrots and seasoning baked in the oven.  Mother told me that’s how cowboys cooked their dinner.  Cowboys probably have access to parchment paper now making this a twist on a classic. I tried the tomato pesto chicken recently and it was really tasty — juicy and full of flavor.  The best part was no mess to clean up afterward.  Just toss the parchment in the trash afterward.  These would be perfect suppers for the busy holiday season.  I’ve provided the recipes below so you can get started on dinner tonight.  Enjoy! TOMATO PESTO CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 12×18 inches parchment paper or aluminium foil 1 chicken breast 5 ounces asparagus 1 roma tomato, sliced 2 … Continue reading “Parchment Baked Chicken Four Ways”

30 Days of Lists: December Edition

December kicks off a month of lists from 30 Days of Lists a fun website offering prompts to help inspire journaling.  I did it in September which you can read about here. December, next to November, is my favorite month for obvious reasons.  I will share with you throughout the month the list ideas and you can do it along with me. My Favorite Things About December: Putting up the Christmas tree.  Why I am excited about it this year is because my professional organizer friend, Elizabeth Jones, with Nest and Transformation, helped me to re-organize all my Christmas stuff last year so it’s boxed according to category.  If I want to decorate in phases, I can just go get the box marked “Entry Way” and decorate that area. Life changing!  Doesn’t make me dread decorating.  In fact, I may put up more than one tree this year!  Elizabeth is offering specials to … Continue reading “30 Days of Lists: December Edition”

What Would Holley Wear: Black Tie

It’s Holley’s turn today to share ideas for black tie and cocktail parties.   Fun fact:  The term “tuxedo” originated in the U.S. in the late 1800’s.  It was named after Tuxedo Park, a New York enclave for New York’s social elite where it was often seen. It’s that time of year…time to start planning for black tie and cocktail parties that is!  With the Jewel Charity Ball and other holiday parties soon approaching, it can start to feel overwhelming if you are part of that scene. So, two things you need to know about me:  I love beautiful gowns and cocktail dress …and I always were separates, even to black tie and cocktail parties. Though, before we talk about separates, let’s talk about a standout black tie and cocktail option.  If you want to be a show stopper, the main idea is not to look like everyone else.  Let’s “jump” … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Black Tie”

Gingerbread Project 2016: A Sweet Way to Celebrate the Season

My friend Jessica invite me to be a “celebrity” participant in her sorority’s 16th annual Cookies and Castles charity event benefiting Cook Children’s Medical Center. Since 2001, the Gingerbread Extravaganza, has become a holiday tradition cherished by many in Fort Worth.  Be sure to visit their website for more information or to purchase tickets to the event which kicks off this Thursday, December 1 with events for all ages — children, tweens and a ladies luncheon. I love a challenge, and of course the first place I went for inspiration was Pinterest.  Representing Home with a Twist, I wanted something special that told a story and represented me.  As soon as I saw this idea I went to work on my plan! Sugar and Cloth posted this retro gingerbread camper on Pinterest last Christmas.  I grew up going camping in my parent’s motor home and I thought this would be the perfect way to … Continue reading “Gingerbread Project 2016: A Sweet Way to Celebrate the Season”

Getting Ready for Guests — Home Tour, Checklist and Free Printable

We’ve made the food and picked out what to wear  Now it’s time to ready the space your guests will slumber after a delicious meal.  Here is the room I have created for guests when they come to stay… And an easy checklist to help you ready your guest room: 1)  Dust everything, including the headboard.  No one wants to sleep in a dusty room. 2)  Vacuum the floor. 3)  Put on clean linens and wash or put your comforter in the dryer with a laundry sheet to freshen it up.  Make sure there’s an extra blanket for guests that are always cold and fan for those who are always warm (that would be me!). 4)  Make sure the bedside table is equipped with a new box of tissues, bottled water, and a clock or device charger. 5)  Gather up toiletries like toothpaste, a toothbrush (my friend Kathy NEVER remembers her toothbrush), hand … Continue reading “Getting Ready for Guests — Home Tour, Checklist and Free Printable”