Friyay Fit — Workout Wear

Bringing you a fun idea for kicking off the weekend!  This week we will dish on fitness wear. I don’t like to spend a lot on my workout wear, but I do want it to fit properly and make me feel good when I am wearing it.  I especially don’t want to be constantly tugging and pulling up my pants. Also, if I have to dash to an appointment or run errands after leaving the gym, I want to look stylish.  I’m sharing a few outfits from Old Navy Active.   They have wear for all kinds of activity — running, gym and studio and it’s my #1 source for purchasing new workout wear.

 

I have these Go Dry Compression Capri leggings and they are really comfortable.  The fit is slightly below the waist, but I feel like they hold everything in.

You can wear this with a pink, navy, green or black tank making it very versatile to go with other tops you may have already.

 

But, if you wanted to pick up a tank to go with the pants, I love graphic tees.  And, this one is adorable.

 

And, to finish the look this hoodie comes in pink, turquoise and black.  It’s lightweight, soft and not bulky so it’s perfect to put over your tank.  I took Miss Bee to the movies after a workout this week and the hoodie came in handy because the theater was freezing.

 

 

I think it is so important to feel pretty when you work out.  Don’t just put an over sized t-shirt over black leggings.  How can you see how beautiful your body is, or the definition in your arms you are working hard for if you are covering it all up?  If you want to feel dynamite on the inside, you also need to project that same image on the outside!

Easy Chicken Salad

It is so hot.  If August weren’t my birthday month, I would totally right it off along with September.  It’s nice to explore foods that don’t heat up the kitchen and make enough to enjoy for a few days.   We have been smoking chickens every Monday so we can enjoy chicken in different recipes throughout the week.  Smoked chicken is super tasty in Ina Garten’s recipe for Chicken Salad Contessa.  I have pinned it on my Salads Pinterest board here.

I like it with the grapes, but when I don’t have grapes on-hand, I’ll substitute with shredded carrots.  You could also use chopped apple.  I am not a nut-in-my-food person, so I omit the pecans and walnuts in the recipe.  Finely chopped almonds I might try sometime, because I love almonds.

In a bowl I mix the mayonnaise and sour cream, salt and pepper and the tarragon until it’s creamy.  Then add the halved grapes and the chopped chicken.  I toss it all together and keep it in a storage container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  It is very pretty served on lettuce leaves.  Add slices of cheese, yummy crackers and a sliced apple and you have a perfect summer weeknight meal.  It’s also really good to eat after a workout.

What Would Holley Wear: Go with the flow edition

Are you the type of person who can “go with the flow?”  I definitely can when it comes to flowy fashion.  

So two things I love about a flowy look

  1.  A flowy top always makes me look smaller on bottom…
  2. …and flowy pants and skirts are so comfortable!

Okay…let’s work our way from the bottom up.  Maxi skirts are my favorite go-to look for the summer. And the way I see it…the more fabric…the better!  Here’s a “Holley Style Tip”:   I like to tie one side of the skirt hem in a knot.  It’s a fun summer look, and all you need to add is a t-shirt and sandals.  If I don’t tie one side of the hem, I like for my maxi skirt to sweep the floor.   My maxis are usually floral or ethnic prints, and all I need to add is a t-shirt or a button down tied at the waist or an off the shoulder top.  Sounds a little bohemian…right?

I like to create my own swimsuit cover-ups.  A great way to do that is with a flowy maxi skirt.  Be sure to check out the white maxi skirt worn as a swimsuit cover-up on our Pinterest board.   All you do is tie a knot in the middle of the skirt, wear it over your swimsuit, add a pair of sandals and you will be poolside ready!  My cabana style this summer will be an orange maxi, worn over my bathing suit.  I will add a pair of black sandals, a woven black belt, a floppy hat with a scarf, and a wicker bag with black tassels.  Hmmm….maybe someone will invite me to a pool party!!!

I also adore flowy wide-leg pants.  There are so many to choose from, and they are a great way to dress up a summer and fall look.  A pair on our Pinterest board that would be perfect for a summer party are white pants worn with a black halter top….stylish and classy.  A great fall transition look is a pair of wide-leg army green pants topped with a white blouse and black belt. For fun and comfort, add a pair of black and white Converse sneakers, and for a touch of class, add a Chanel boyfriend bag.

Do you own a pair of culottes?  Start thinking of them as the “new capri.”  They are a great substitute for capris and shorts.  I purchased a pair of black and white striped culottes this summer.  They are a perfect look for luncheons and dates with my husband.  And unlike capris, culottes are a great look for the office too…just drape a sweater or blazer over your shoulder.  Wow…sounds like you are ready to get down to business!

Another great “go with the flow” look is a kaftan.  Remember the 70s when ladies wore them everywhere from bridge club to the grocery story? Though considered Morocco’s traditional dress, today’s kaftan, can also be worn as lounge wear.  And if you are thinking these brightly printed, lightweight garments are resort wear only…think again!  They can also be stunning evening wear.  Makes me want to book a trip to Morocco!  

My favorite flowy trend this season is dusters or kimonos. And I’m not talking about your Grandma’s duster.  I’m talking about beautiful flowy light weight wraps/jackets that are worn over jeans, shorts and dresses.  Two things I love about this trend:  they come in different lengths from floor length to a jacket length, and one size fits all.  The ones I love on our Pinterest board are florals, and sometimes they have beautiful detailed embroidery.

Looks like we’ve worked our way to the top!  There are so many fun and fabulous blouses and tops that will give you that “go with the flow” summer look!  I love flowy tops with an elastic cuff….a great way to keep your sleeves pushed up, and ruffles at the cuff are an added bonus. Another great summer style is flowy bohemian tops worn with jeans and shorts.  Be sure to take a look at Free People and Anthropology online for a wide selection.

 I hope this article will inspire you to add at least one flowy trend to your wardrobe.  Because one thing I know for sure….life is a lot more fun when you just “go with the flow”!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at holleywilliams1@gmail.com.

72 Hours in Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg, Texas is one of my favorite places to visit for a long weekend.  Mr. Bee and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with friends and I wanted to share with you all the fun!

First, I found this lovely house on VRBO to rent for the weekend. The Rustic Grape Guest House the ideal place to stay.  We stayed in the Farm House, a 1,500 square foot home with three bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a large open concept kitchen and family room with TVs in every room.  It was perfect for two couples to feel like they had their own private space (she has other smaller spaces to rent on the property, too).  The house welcomes you in with a big front porch with chairs and a daybed for reading or dreaming.  Nestled on 33 acres with cows, horses and views of the Texas Hill Country, you feel like you are the only person around. But, but you are conveniently three miles from downtown and along the 11 miles of all the wineries in Fredericksburg. Since the home is on the wine tour route, you can schedule door-to-door pickup to and from all the wineries you want to tour.  The owner, Lee, was great to work with, very responsive, accommodating and my deposit was returned within 24 hours of departure.

 

We arrived on Friday afternoon, checked into the house and had fun looking at all the artistic and personal touches.  Lee set out a complimentary bottle of wine and glasses on the kitchen table.  The kitchen was perfect for the dinner we enjoyed at the house that evening, and that large farm table beckoned us to play a card game of Liverpool Rummy as we sipped wine.

Before dinner we headed over to Barons Creek Vineyards for a tasting and wine appreciation class.  It’s a beautiful property with a wine tasting salon and condos to rent.

Saturday morning we ventured to the Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards.  Tastings are $20 and include six generous pours of wine. While we were there, we signed up for their wine club where you can receive quarterly shipments of wines selected by Dr. Becker and their Winemaker, free wine tastings at future visits as well as invitations to events.  Check it out here.

From there we visited Garrison Brothers distillery in Hye, home of the first and oldest legal whiskey distillery in Texas.  We signed up for their Sit and Sip tour and it was fabulous.  You learned everything from A -Z on how to make whiskey and the best part — there were several tastings along the way.  I highly recommend this tour, but make sure you book in advance for the tours, especially on the weekend. Our guys really liked this tour and it was a nice break from wine.

One fun part of the tour was the opportunity to purchase, dip and label a signed and numbered, limited edition single barrel whiskey.  Mr. Bee had fun going through the process with the whiskey maker on just the right technique.

At the conclusion of the tour we finished with a generous pour of whiskey to sip while we took in the view of the beautiful hill country.

After this, yes there’s more, we went to the best German restaurant in down town Fredericksburg — Otto’s German Bistro.  There are several German restaurants we’ve tried in the past with good reviews, but we wanted to try something different – German with a spin.

Otto’s German Bistro opened in July 2013, introducing farm-to-table German cuisine to the Texas Hill Country using local, organic produce. Their culinary team crafts a seasonally focused menu that highlights not only what you can find in Germany and Austria, but explores the Germanic cuisine of Alsace, Northern Italy and even Texas!   We started with a cocktail from their creative menu — The Evy with botanist Gin, hibiscus, lemon and bubbles.

We enjoyed our cocktails over some yummy appetizers of  Flammkuchen, a flatbread with creme fraiche, gorgonzola, kale, caramelized onions, seasonal greens, bacon lardons and sherry gastrique, and Brot und Butter, homemade beet jam with warm bread.  I have already been researching how to make beet jam.  It is something worth trying even if you don’t care for beets.  I loved how it was presented on a wooden board — slices of bread and the salt, pepper, butter and jam dolloped onto the board.  So simple.

For dinner, we all tried something different and each loved what we ordered.  I ordered Petrale Sole with celery root puree, kale and farro.  It was as delicious to eat as it was to look at!

We passed on dessert because we had bubbly and peanut butter truffles back at the house.  And, we were full!

The next morning we cooked a bacon and eggs breakfast and enjoyed coffee while taking turns in the hammock swinging in the shade under the massive trees.

Our last stop was Pedernales Cellars — named by National Geographic magazine as one of the Top 10 vineyards in the world to visit during the springtime.  We each enjoyed a glass of wine, sitting in the Adirondack chairs just taking in the glorious views of the countryside.

Then, like that, it was time to drive home.  There are so many more things to do in Fredericksburg and dozens of wineries to try, easily making this a week-long place for adventure. I’d love to go back in the fall when the weather is crisp and cool.  Just image being cozy around the fire with a big glass of wine.  That’s my idea of a getaway!

 

 

 

 

What Would Holley Wear: Sophie and Lolley Style

How does a fashionista celebrate her granddaughter’s 10th birthday?  Go to New York City, in style…of course! Actually, her daddy planned her surprise trip and asked me if I would like to join them.  Not to sound cliché, but it is hard to believe our little girl is turning 10 in August.

Here’s the deal…the trip was planned by her dad, and since Uncle Chris lives in New York, we put him in charge of coming up with a “stylish” itinerary!  So, in honor of Sophie, this week’s article is about how a 10 year old girl makes her debut in the Big Apple!  Plus we have tips on what to wear when you travel to the city in the heat of summer….and not look like a tourist!

So, what did I wear?  The day I left Fort Worth, the high was 102 degrees, so I decided to wear a summer maxi skirt tied at the hem, a white blouse, blue denim blocked heels, and a large Goyard tote.  And just in case it got cold on the plane, I draped a jean jacket over my shoulder.   Sophie made her NYC entrance wearing a gray striped mini skirt, pink ruffled t-shirt, complemented with an embroidered denim jacket, and of course she looked absolutely adorable!  NYC…ready or not, here she comes!  

After meeting Sophie and her daddy at their hotel, our first stop was at Greenacre Park…a beautiful park in midtown at 51st and 3rd with a 25 foot waterfall. Next, we made a quick stop at Uncle Chris’ apartment, and then went to dinner at Angelo’s pizza, followed by a frozen yogurt at Pinkberry.  For a fabulous end to Sophie’s first evening in NYC, we took a stroll down 51st to the East River for a beautiful view of the city at night.

 On Sophie’s second day, the first place we headed to was Eclaire’s…a fabulous bakery in midtown. Next, Chris scheduled a Circle Cruise to the Statue of Liberty. For this adventure, Sophie wore a blue popsicle print skirt, white ruffled t-shirt, white vest, gray sneakers and silver metallic shoulder bag. Holley (aka Lolley to Sophie) wore a yellow midi skirt, off-the shoulder blue chambray top, a gold woven wristlet, and blue denim espadrilles.  After the cruise, we headed back to Time Square for lunch at Stardust Diner (where Broadway singers entertain while you dine)!  After our fun lunch, we went to tour Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and the top of 30 Rock!  Our last stop was back in midtown to have yogurt at Pinkberry…again!  We’re on vacation….right?  

After a short rest, we were back out on the town and went out for Chinese food!  Sophie changed into an adorable orange and blue floral dress, complemented by her white denim vest, and brown sandals…all from Target.  After dinner, she and her daddy went to see “Wicked”….her first Broadway show!  Uncle Chris and Lolley skipped the play (we’ve seen it twice), and went to Raines Law Room, a fabulous upscale bar!  Lolley wore black culottes from Zara, an off the shoulder white top, black kitten heels, and to give the outfit a pop, she added a red bag.  

The next day was jammed packed, but first we started with breakfast at Sarah Beth’s, followed by a carriage ride in Central Park.  Sophie wore an adorable tulle skirt with emoji appliques from Target with a cute t-shirt from Justice, and her jean jacket….perfect for a day of touring.  Be sure to check out all the cute clothes for girls on our Pinterest board!  Lolley wore a floral maxi tied at the hem, a black boat cut top, black sandals, and added a denim jacket since it was cool out that day…a cute look that took her from a lovely restaurant to a day of sightseeing.  

 That evening Sophie was treated to a birthday surprise dinner at Max Brenner’s, and was presented with a “golden ticket” inviting her to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!”  The only thing better than our chocolate dessert was the outfit Sophie wore to the show…a blue floral midi dress with her embroidered denim jacket, a cute pair of boho sandals, and a darling mini silver shoulder bag from H&M.  Staying with the floral theme, Lolley wore a pair of Clover Canyon floral and striped pants with a black off the shoulder top.  Whew…who knew it would be this hard to keep up with a 10 year old fashionista?!?

Though, like all good things, Sophie’s first New York adventure had to come to an end and she, and her daddy headed back to Kansas on Sunday afternoon.  And Lolley?  Oh, she stayed in the city for a few more days of dining and diversions!!!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at holleywilliams1@gmail.com.

Keeping it Clean: Free Printable from Clean Mama

Since 2009, Clean Mama has been teaching people how to keep their spaces clean and organized with ease and style.  Her site is full of all sorts of resources — printables, schedules, products, and all the tips, tools and tricks to helping you achieve your homekeeping goals.  I follow her on Instagram and recently joined the 7-Day Simply Clean Start Challenge which helps you establish a cleaning routine. #cleaningismyjam

Her trick:  Focus on just one task a day Monday through Saturday.  By the end of the week, you’ve tackled your entire house.  For example, Mondays is bathrooms only -whether you have one or five, that’s all you do is clean the bathroom.  Tuesday is dusting (which is my LEAST favorite chore. B-O-R-I-N-G), and so on.  You can check it all out on her site and in her book Simply Clean which I plan to purchase with my $50 Amazon gift card I won from the gym for achieving an exercise goal!  Winning!

In the meantime, click here for Becky’s free August printable. During the summer Miss Phoebe has been earning her allowance doing housekeeping chores. Now, she can just use this list to see what needs to be done! Again with the winning!

Note:  I was not compensated for this post.  I’m just a fan of clean and Clean Mama.

The Saturday Breeze: Week of July 24

This week…I found a new dip recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten, and hosted our July Mrs. Twist Reads This book club. July’s book was Camino Island by John Grisham.  In keeping with the seaside theme in which the book takes place…we enjoyed everyone’s favorite cookie — Milano’s in Key Lime and Sea Salt Caramel.  Who can resist the little ruffled paper trays they come in?

And this Herb Dip from Ina Garten.  It’s from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa at Home.

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Pulse in a food processor and serve at room temperature.  I served it with cucumber spears and parmesan garlic pretzel chips.

After we reviewed Camino Island, everyone got to vote on the book for August.  I covered the books with brown craft paper and marked each one A. or B. Without revealing the title, I read the description of each and the majority won.

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvin.  “They say life can change in an instant… After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.”

Want to read along with us?  You can sign up here for free through BookMovement — a terrific site that helps connect people across the world to a community who love to read.  Even if you can’t join us, we can be the motivation to help you read more and disconnect from technology. At least that was my reason for forming our book club and so far I’ve read three books this summer.  Once you sign up you can find out what book we will be reading, when we will meet, see possible selections for the future, and receive email reminders.

Have a super Saturday!

What Would Holley Wear: Check Please!

“Check It Out” is a phrase that was popular in the 60s and 70s….meaning “this is so cool, you have to look at it!” That’s exactly how I feel about this week’s article and Pinterest board.  

 So, two things I love about checks:

…Checks look great on everyone, even guys,

…and they give a fresh vibe to a summer wardrobe.

Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.  What says fun more than a pair of checked shoes?  Whether you are wearing sneakers or high heels, this print will bring a whole lot of personality to your ensemble.  A pair of blue gingham bow slides by Jeffrey Campbell will add extra cuteness to any casual outfit. Think about wearing them with a pair of light blue jeans, white blouse, and a bandana tied around your neck. Another great look from J. Crew is a jacket worn with jeans and checked flats. Sounds like the perfect match to me!

With a pair of checked culottes or slacks add a white sleeveless pull-over top or a button down blouse tied at the waist.  All you need to complete the look are sandals or summer wedges, the perfect complement for your outfit.  My favorite summer go-to piece is a skirt, and there are so many cute checked ones to choose from.  A look I love on our Pinterest Board is a blue and white checked midi skirt worn with a blue blouse tucked in and a pair of red heels.  To give it a more casual look, I would tie the shirt at the waist and wear it with a pair of red sandals.  Banana Republic has really stepped it up a fashion notch as of late!  Their black and white checked midi pencil skirt is on my must-have list!

Okay, here a personal question: Do you have a checkered past?  I hope so, because that probably means you have some awesome checked pieces in your closet. There is nothing I love more than restyling a client’s wardrobe because there are so many ways to repurpose outfits.  A creative way to do that these days is with print mixing.  Checked pieces are a great way to try this trend.  I love mixing checks with polka-dots, stripes, and even florals. The main idea is to stay in the same color family.  

 

Are you looking for a way to liven up your office look?  Then, why not do it with a checked pattern. From dresses, skirts, and jackets, there are so many fun options out there.  A look that can take you from the office to a party is a black and white checked midi skirt worn with a white short sleeved blouse.  And remember, a

bright hued handbag always complements a black and white look. Another great office look is a gingham checked pencil skirt worn with a blue chambray blouse. Just drape a blazer or jacket over your shoulders.  And to all of that I say…check mate!

So now for the fun stuff…sundresses and off-the-shoulder tops!  These looks are great for summer patio parties or a vacation in a quaint beach town. I’m thinking Carmel by the Sea!

 

Though no matter where your destination is, all you need to add to your beach style is a cute pair of white sneakers, or a pair of pom-pom sandals. For some extra cuteness add a floppy hat and shades.  Doesn’t that make you want to book a beach vacay!  

But before you book your hotel and flight, be sure to “check out” our Pinterest board….you just have to look at it!!!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at holleywilliams1@gmail.com.

 

Summer Salad: Avocado Lump Crab Salad

It feels like it’s 120 degrees in Texas during the months of July and August.  A cold salad for dinner is a great option to keep you and your house cool.  But sometimes I get tired of the usual “lettuce and tomato” cast of characters.  Sunday after a day by the pool we enjoyed this refreshing seafood salad.  It was perfectly filling.

I have had Gina Homolka’s SkinnyTaste recipe for Avocado and Lump Crab salad pinned on my Pinterest salad board for a while.  It is very easy to make and keeps in the refrigerator for next-day leftovers.

AVOCADO AND LUMP CRAB SALAD

  • 1 medium Hass avocado (about 5 oz avocado)
  • 4 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 leaves butter lettuce (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine onion, lime juice, cilantro, tomato, olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt and fresh pepper, to taste.
  2. Add crab meat and gently toss.
  3. Cut the avocado open, remove pit and peel the skin or spoon the avocado out.
  4. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp salt and fill the avocado halves equally with crab salad.
  5. This makes 2 servings, place on two plates with lettuce if you wish and serve.

I chose to serve it along side some steamed shrimp, but you could nestle it on top of lettuce like she suggests.   Gina always lists the Smart Points and calories in her recipes, along with other nutritional information.  This serving is 5 SP, 178 calories and 9 carbs.

I have both of Gina’s cookbooks — the SkinnyTaste Cookbook and the Fast and Slow book.  Both have easy, doable recipes that are light on calories, but big on flavor.