November: A Month of Abundance

Every November I relish in reading Ann Voskamp’s books.  She’s a New York Times best selling author and I’ve written about her before.  You may be familiar with her last two books:  One Thousand Gifts and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. This year Ann is launching a new book The Broken Way:  A Daring Path into the Abundant Life.  She has so much good information and tons of freebies you can download from her website.  With each of her books she always provides free study guides and something I really enjoy – monthly calendars.  The November calendar kicks-off the season of Thanksgiving and starts November 1 with a simple task — jot down three gifts you are thankful for, then reach out to three people who have made those gifts possible. Simple.  Thankfulness is not costly and doesn’t require gift wrap.   Ann’s writings are especially important … Continue reading “November: A Month of Abundance”

Thanksgiving Entertaining from the Target Dollar Section

I stopped into Target recently to make a return and of course any credit I received went toward something else in the store.  First stop:  The “Dollar Section.”  Oh, my.  Lots of entertaining goodness for Thanksgiving.  I couldn’t believe the cute stuff. Packaging your leftovers… This little set comes with four pie slice boxes with doilies and twine.  Even if you didn’t use these for leftover Thanksgiving pecan pie, stock up and give friends slices of pie and a bag of Trader Joe’s pumpkin spice coffee as hostess gifts during the holidays.  You could even add a vintage fork from goodwill or an estate sale. How about these leftover bags? Tuck everything down inside and take a meal to a neighbor that can’t get out.   Know someone who has to work on Thanksgiving day?  Take them leftovers so they have something special to eat during or after work. Okay, these … Continue reading “Thanksgiving Entertaining from the Target Dollar Section”

Tuesday’s Treasure: The Magnolia Journal

The premier issue of the Magnolia Journal arrived in my mailbox on Friday.  This is another labor of love from Chip and JoAnna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper fame.  I restrained myself to save it for Saturday morning coffee on the patio.  My friend Susan suggested I share my review.   I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I will just share a few things I really liked about the magazine. First, about 10 years ago or longer, there was a publication from the editors of Southern Living magazine called Cottage Living.  I loved that magazine because the articles were relatable with ideas I could duplicate pretty easily on my own.  Sadly, that magazine is no longer in circulation.  The Magnolia Journal reminds me a lot of what I miss in a magazine — beautiful photography and articles that are relevant to my style of entertaining and hospitality.  Something I … Continue reading “Tuesday’s Treasure: The Magnolia Journal”

My Best Friend’s Baked Chicken Tacos

I am going to be your very best friend when you make these for your family…because they are SOOOO good.  I came across the recipe on Pinterest and I think they are going to be a frequent dinner — Miss Bee loved them, ate it all and went back for seconds. The recipe is really easy and calls for the Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Taco Shells… Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 pound cooked chicken, shredded 1 (1 ounce) packet Old El Paso Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning 1/2 cup onion, diced 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomato, drained 1 (4.5 ounce) can Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles 10 Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Taco Shells 1/2 (16 ounce) can Old El Paso Refried Beans 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded Your favorite toppings- sliced Jalapenos, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce Instructions Preheat oven to … Continue reading “My Best Friend’s Baked Chicken Tacos”

What Would Holley Wear: Grandmother Edition

It’s Holley’s turn to take over the keyboard today…sharing tips on how on how to be “One Hip Grandma” in the fashion department… Talk about twist, this week is definitely a “fashion twist” for me!  Why?  Because we are babysitting our 18-month old grandson for a week.  This is exciting and scary at the same time…not because of the baby but because of me.  What will I wear all week?  I will be trading in ladies luncheons, shopping trips, and committee meetings for playdates, train rides and a trip to the zoo. So, two thing you will need to know about me:  I’m a Grandmother to three precious children  I don’t dress like a Grandmother (or at least that’s my goal) That being said, I have learned over the past nine years how to dress in my own “grandmotherly” way when I am with my three grandchildren. We spend a … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Grandmother Edition”

Wednesday’s Weave: The Great Pumpkin

I had a fun work weekend taking a group of ladies to Fredericksburg for a wine tasting.  Did you know Fredericksburg is in the Top 10 Best Places in the WORLD for wine tasting?  We visited alot of great wineries and I came home with several bottles to enjoy during the holidays. One of the places I really like to make sure I stop into is the Wildseed Farm. Fields of cosmos and sunflowers greeted us as we pulled in.  In addition to an extensive nursery of fall flowers and a gift shop, they had a wide selection of pumpkins to choose from.  I wanted to share some snaps of the newest varieties of pumpkins out there.  I love seeing a twist on the traditional pumpkin. I am really into grey and white pumpkins this year.  Don’t you know there is a farmer out there scratching his head and telling … Continue reading “Wednesday’s Weave: The Great Pumpkin”

The Art of Modern Calligraphy

Calligraphy is defined as “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner.”  This penmanship style has been around for hundreds of years, but has seen a resurgence in popularity recently with a modern twist. I had the chance to take a modern calligraphy class recently with Molly from Poppy Cox, Inc.  This was the real, honest to goodness calligraphy using a nib — a sharpened point dipped into a pot of ink!  Molly had each person’s place set with their own personalized pumpkin and hot pink clipboards with all our practice pages. She reviewed the basics and started us with the pen.  Here we are practicing holding the nib in our hand. Can you see the tiny metal tip – that is supposed to spread out as you apply the ink to the paper. Molly sent us home with a supply kit filled with the basic tools and a few of … Continue reading “The Art of Modern Calligraphy”

What Would Holley Wear: Steal Her Style

It’s Holley’s turn to take the keyboard over today to share tips for shopping on a budget.  Here’s Holley’s secrets to shopping on a budget… People’s Style Watch magazine has a section called “Steal Her Style.”  They feature a celebrity wearing an expensive outfit and then show a less expensive way to copy it.  Since imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, why not copy these celeb-looks at real-people prices?  Though I never exactly copy a look, I do get inspiration from Pinterest and fashion magazines.  But the main thing you need to know about me is that I always shop on a budget. Today, a lot of women shop and order online from ASOS, Stitch Fix, directly from stores and other fashion websites.  For some people, that saves time but to be honest, I still like to go into stores and try on clothes. The stores I like to … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Steal Her Style”

An Apple(Pie) A Day…

I bought a bag of the best apples recently during a trip to Trader Joe’s.  They are called SweeTango.  Introduced in 2009, they combine the best of Honeycrisp and Zestar.  Who knew?  I just thought they were pretty and tossed them into my cart.   They were crunchy, juicy and crisp. There’s alot of good information on their website about the apple story and a library of recipes – including apple, cheddar, bacon, pecan sticky buns.  I feel a project coming on. This got me to thinking about all the apple varieties, what is the best for just plain eating and those that are suitable for baking.  Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has over 100 recipes using apples and this cute Guide To Apples. Then this made me hungry for apple pie. Can you see the snowball effect of this?  I didn’t want a huge pie, so I decided to look for a recipe … Continue reading “An Apple(Pie) A Day…”

What to Pack for a Conference

This summer I went to a blogging conference.  Believe it or not, I usually don’t make time to think through what I am going to pack and just willy-nilly throw things into a bag and go.  Before I started running a household, I did make time for this.  In fact, Mother always taught me to make a list, by each day, of what I would wear, including shoes and accessories.  But now, most of my energy is spent making lists for Mr. and Miss Bee while I am away, cleaning and making sure the house is perfect when I leave.  This time, because I knew I would be meeting new people, networking and spending time out of my room in workshops from morning until evening, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to be prepared and comfortable. This post is more about essentials than what to wear, but I will … Continue reading “What to Pack for a Conference”