What Would Holley Wear: Staycation NYC Inspired

As much as I hate to admit it, it looks like staycations are looming in all of our galaxies.  Please don’t hate the messenger….because she has some really cute staycation outfits to share with you.   Just so you know, the original plan for this article was going to be about what to wear Memorial Day weekend in NYC.  We were so looking forward to spending the weekend with our son, taking in the city, and strolling through Central Park!   But back to reality….we actually spent this Memorial Day weekend at home.  That being said, I decided to make the most of it and wore some of the outfits I had planned to wear in the city.  Like Central Park, I have a feeling your backyard or courtyard is also a peaceful oasis….the perfect setting for a summer midi skirt and sandals.  FYI…you will definitely want to take a look at … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Staycation NYC Inspired”

Our Books of Summer 2020

Our Book Club is celebrating its third year!  We are 130 women-strong and I am thrilled with how we’ve pivoted to still meet through a virtual experience. I hope you will join us this summer as we read three fabulous new releases. You can find all three selections as well as how to join our book club here. First, The Herd by Andrea Bartz.  We are working with Andrea to see if her summer travel schedule works with our book club virtual gathering on Thursday, June 25 at 7 p.m. CST. NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED THRILLERS OF 2020 BY Marie Claire · Newsweek · The Boston Globe · HelloGiggles · Book Riot · PopSugar · CrimeReads · Bustle · She Reads The name of the elite, women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always in purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over one another to apply for membership to this … Continue reading “Our Books of Summer 2020”

Fried Chicken 101

Mother taught me how to make fried chicken. It’s actually very easy to do; it just takes a little planning and patience. Of course, she never measured anything, and neither do I for this recipe, but it’s super easy to make it up. First, buy a cut-up chicken – also called a “fryer” in the grocery store. It consists of two wings, two legs, two thighs, and two breasts. Alternatively, it’s cheaper to purchase a whole chicken and cut the chicken yourself, and you can save the bones to make chicken stock. Here a how-to video: Wash your chicken to rinse off any extra salt used to preserve the chicken until the sell-by date. This next step requires planning because you are going to soak your chicken in buttermilk overnight, which helps to make the chicken tender and moist when it’s ready to eat. This process is very similar to … Continue reading “Fried Chicken 101”

What Would Holley Wear: Quarantini Style

When is it considered too early to start drinking?  Asking for a friend!  That being said, this article is all about matching your outfit with your favorite adult beverage.  And I highly suggest you buzz on over to Mrs. Twist’s “quarantini” bar for delicious mixology recipes!    So let me start by quoting Garth Brooks:  “I’ve got friends in low places, where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away.”  It doesn’t get any better than a whiskey margarita…right?  So I’m thinking a fun flowy midi skirt is ideal for this drinking scenario.  Free People offers the ultimate in bohemian style with their embroidered midi dress….available in 10 colors!  But back to the margaritas….I’ll take mine on the rocks with salt! “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black-tie affair.”  So here’s the good news…in Texas, you can show up at any … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Quarantini Style”

Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl Muffins

Here is a twist on banana bread – Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl muffins. I had very ripe bananas on-hand and wanted to do something different with them. Plus, one of my very favorite breakfasts, when I go on vacation, is fresh-baked breakfast bread with fruit and a hot cup of coffee. Since I can’t go on vacation, and I had ripe bananas, I looked through my cookbooks to find something special. Cue Bake from Scratch – Artisan Recipes for the Home Baker by Brian Hart Hoffman. Three-hundred twenty-six pages of baking everything from cookies to pastries and everything in between. It will make the perfect gift for the novice to the pro baker. It’s from the writers of the magazine. The recipe is a little more effort than making banana bread, but it made about a dozen delicious muffins perfect for breakfast. The next time you host a coffee with friends, … Continue reading “Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl Muffins”

Let’s Gather for a Virtual Open House!

I hope you’ve read my big announcement this week that I am teaching virtual home and garden classes – Mrs. Twist’s School of Gracious Living. I have been thinking for a long time how I can share all the things my mother taught me with other women, somehow making a difference. I love to see a woman’s face light up when they learn something new. You can see a radiance of self-confidence.  That is what I am hoping to see with my passion project.  Here’s a brief video introduction, with a peek at my home office… Join me for a virtual sneak peek of my Gracious Living project – all schools must have an Open House – on Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m. CST.  We will gather in my kitchen and connect without limitations.  I will gladly welcome you into my home, while you stay safe in your space.  … Continue reading “Let’s Gather for a Virtual Open House!”

Quarantine Cocktails – the BUZZ on monthly cocktail subscription boxes

A few weeks ago, I shared a photo of our beverage center in our family room. I love built-in cabinets, probably because I am a kid of the 70s when built-in desks and bars were the rage.  During a renovation several years ago, I talked with our contractor about my idea for a beverage bar on an unused wall space in our family, and she thought it was a terrific idea. I sketched what I wanted, and off we went to make it happen. A nod to the retro cocktail parties is the smoky mirror backsplash. Mixing up a cocktail or an espresso on our bar makes me giddy. Since we are still practicing social distancing, our parties are now for two. We like to curate new cocktails and have a library full of mixology books. But sometimes what you end up with isn’t quite what you hoped.  I thought … Continue reading “Quarantine Cocktails – the BUZZ on monthly cocktail subscription boxes”

What Would Holley Wear: Pajama Style

In all honesty, this article was supposed to be about what to wear to spring parties, showers, and graduations.  As you know, all of these events were canceled….including our grandson, Evan’s, graduation from pre-school.  #SadLolley. So, when is it considered too late in the day to stay in your pajamas?  Asking for a friend!  On that happy note….show me a cute pajama set, and I’ll show you a reason to stay in them all day long.  I love/love/love Shop Bop’s selection of sleepwear.  And yes, they are on the pricey side, but if you’re staying in them all day or all week long, I’m pretty sure you’ll be getting your money’s worth.   Like a weighted blanket, a robe is a cozy way to feel safe.  And feeling safe is essential these days.  Don’t you agree?  BedHead Pajamas offers the perfect spring/summer robe in a blue or pink stripe.  We think … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Pajama Style”

Mrs. Twist’s School of Gracious Living Register Now

I am so very happy to announce my new passion project – Mrs. Twist’s School of Gracious Living. It’s been on my heart for over a year to share the talents my mother passed on to me, but I wasn’t quite sure how. I know I have my blog and podcast as platforms, but I thrive connecting with people on a more personal level. I contemplated renting a retail space or teaching in other people’s spaces, and then COVID-19 happened. For the last eight weeks, as I’ve sheltered in my home, I realized how much I love being and living in my home. My home fills my heart with joy and re-energizes me. Yet, I still want to connect with women.  We are all having to rethink our futures, turn those images on a slightly different axis, and create unique ways to stay connected. I’m inspired to curate an opportunity … Continue reading “Mrs. Twist’s School of Gracious Living Register Now”

What Would Holley Wear: To a Zoom Meeting

A new technology tool we’ve discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic is Zoom.  My Zooming has been with family, friends, and my book club.  But I know many of our readers Zoom for business meetings.  Which leads into….WWHW to a Zoom meeting! Here’s the deal….you are only seen from the waist up…right?  So let’s start with tops that pop.  If you want to be seen at your video conferencing call, wear a bright color.  Ann Taylor’s green top with puffy sleeves definitely makes a statement. I’m also recommending print tops…anything with vibrant colors or animal prints!  Did I hear someone say….bonus? It’s a balance…you want to be comfortable at home but also want to look presentable at your meeting.  There are so many great casual summer blazers that can be paired with jeans but are also conducive to Zooming.  A colorful striped blazer from Steinmart looks business-like when worn with white … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: To a Zoom Meeting”