Mrs. Twist Reads This – Our Fall Books

We are excited about our fall selection of books. Here’s our lineup so you can put all our meetings on your calendar now. We are still meeting virtually via Zoom. Tuesday, October 27, 7 p.m. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. Where do you see yourself in five years? Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers. She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content. But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is … Continue reading “Mrs. Twist Reads This – Our Fall Books”

What Would Holley Wear: Autumn Whites

Of course, you wore whites all summer and soon you’ll be wearing winter whites.  But have you thought about introducing whites into your fall wardrobe? An easy way to transition is with white jeans.  A look I’m partial to is white jeans paired with a camel blazer, coat, or cardigan…basically anything in camel.  A classic trench worn with white jeans is so chic.  A bit more casual, but just as stylish is a long camel sweater coat paired with Sorel boots and a ranch hat…perfect for roasting s’ mores.   Please don’t put your white shoes in storage just yet.  White mules are so on-trend for fall, which makes it so easy to repurpose a spring/summer pair.  For the ultimate in luxe…a pair of fur-lined white Gucci mules are so chic, and to save money, try Amazon’s version. We’re also smitten with Sam Edelman’s white mules. No matter what kind of … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Autumn Whites”

Brown Butter Streusel Apple Pie

Since the pandemic, our neighborhood HOA hosts food trucks once weekly. It’s been such a nice relief to look forward to a dinner prepared by someone else. This past week a vendor sold produce. I couldn’t resist the pile of golden delicious apples in a basket. I brought them home and made a pie over the weekend. Here’s the recipe from Bakefeed. It is really good. A twist on the traditional apple pie. I am sharing the recipe with you below. Don’t be overwhelmed with the length. It’s worth the extra time. Apple Pie with Browned Butter-Oat Streusel Ingredients Deep-Dish Piecrust Dough (recipe follows) 6 to 8 medium (840 to 1,120 grams) Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons (24 grams) cornstarch Browned Butter-Oat … Continue reading “Brown Butter Streusel Apple Pie”

Dr. Laurie Santos’s Five Favorite Coping Tips

Let’s be candid. I haven’t made a “C” since I was in 6th grade  – and that was in volleyball. I remember telling Coach Chrisman – “how can someone make a “C” in P.E. if they try? I show up here every day, wearing this terrible gym outfit and give it my best even though I hate this sport.”  He just blinked at me, not knowing how to respond to a 12-year old girl who speaks in complete sentences. Fast forward, I am taking the most challenging class of my MLA pursuit – Freedom of Speech. I am learning a lot, but I can definitely see how my left brain is frustrated with this topic. While I still have an “A” in the class I have made C’s on the last two quizzes, despite all the studying I have done. It’s driving me mad I tell you!  I can completely … Continue reading “Dr. Laurie Santos’s Five Favorite Coping Tips”

What Would Holley Wear: Her Favorite Fall Trends

“Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles; wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings; these are a few of my favorite things.” Since autumn is my favorite time of the year, it goes without saying….I have more favorites to add to my list!  So this time, let’s start with utility jackets.  They are considered essentials this time of year and complement our Texas fall style.  A waist-length utility jacket pairs perfectly with a fall floral dress or skirt.  And long utility jackets go great with jeans, cargo pants, and joggers.     Speaking of joggers….they are ideal for the quarantine environment we are living in.  If you are working from home, these comfy pants are great for an afternoon stroll and even for a zoom meeting.  Remember, your colleagues only see you from the waist up….so just add your utility jacket, … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Her Favorite Fall Trends”

Hot Golden Fall Punch

I found this recipe years ago, 30 to be exact, from the Junior League of Austin cookbook. I love to serve it in the fall when I host parties, especially as a pre-Thanksgiving sip before we sit down for our meal. A fun and unexpected, way to serve your punch is setting up this hot punch in a percolator on your front porch with a tray of fall mugs and cinnamon stick stirs.  When guests arrive they will smell the spices from their cars and instantly enter your home with mugs full of happiness. They will never forget your hospitality, for sure! Hot Golden Fall Punch 4 cups of unsweetened pineapple juice 1 12 oz can of apricot nectar 4 cups of apple cider 1 cup of orange juice 2 cinnamon sticks 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp whole cloves Pour juices into electric percolator*.  Place the remaining ingredients in the … Continue reading “Hot Golden Fall Punch”

Pie 101: My Six Essential Pie Baking Tools

We are entering the pie season, everyone!  Think of all the fall flavors – pumpkin, pecan, apple, oh my! If you love pie and want to learn how to make a delicious, flaky crust but have been afraid to try – join me this Saturday, October 10, 10:30 a.m. for a hands-on pie crust class. We will take a short break to let the crust chill, and you can register for part two, where I will teach you how to make my mother’s Buttermilk Pie. It’s THE best y’all! Regardless if you learn your pie skills from YouTube or me, there are some basic tools you will need to bake pies like the British Baking pros. Here are my Six Pie Baking Tools: What kind of pie pan do I need? I have done the work for you. Research says the two best types of pie pans – are either … Continue reading “Pie 101: My Six Essential Pie Baking Tools”

What Would Holley Wear: Fall Favorites

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.  Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens.  Brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.” So speaking of “a few of my favorite things,” this week I’m sharing a few of my favorite fall trends!  I never thought I would say this….but let’s start with masks.  I recently discovered designer knock-offs at Pro Tailors on Overton Ridge.  From Gucci to Chanel copies, you will definitely be on-trend sporting a “designer-ish” mask…and tell them “Holley sent you”.  You will also want to check out Old Navy’s selection of masks in fall colors on our Pinterest board.   Fall Florals are next on my list, and they’re the perfect introduction to fall.  While it’s still warm outside consider wearing a floral dress with mules, and on chilly days pair them with booties.  A great look to copy from our … Continue reading “What Would Holley Wear: Fall Favorites”

How to Use Cook Books as Home Decor

For years I stored my cookbooks on a shelf in my pantry.  In the last several years, I transformed my formal dining room into a “lady’s lounge.” It’s a quiet and inviting space for reading or gathering with friends. I put two large bookshelves from World Market on one of the walls and decided to display not only serving pieces, and cake pedestals, but also my cookbooks. Cookbooks are much more than reference books, they are works of art. They make perfect coffee table books. Sometimes I like to just prop cookbook on a stand on the counter in the kitchen to inspire me with a photo of beautiful cupcakes. Or, I will stack several on the kitchen counter with a plant on top. One trick for organizing your books is to sort them by color. I take off the book’s jacket and file the cover away if I decide … Continue reading “How to Use Cook Books as Home Decor”

How to Make Your Home Smell Clean

As the weather gets cooler, I think we all want to treat our homes to a good cleaning from being cooped up from the summer heat.  I love to make a batch of homemade three-ingredient stovetop simmering potpourri to fill the home with the smell of clean. Slice one lemon, add three rosemary sprigs, one teaspoon of vanilla, and enough water to cover.  I let it sit on the stove at a low simmer.*  It fills the house with the smell of the soaps you purchase at Williams-Sonoma.  I usually have all the ingredients on-hand, especially the rosemary from the garden. You could also use oranges or cloves. And here’s a time-saver from PureWow for the upcoming holidays regarding cleaning — fake a clean home!  “A deep clean would be lovely, but you’ve got 45 minutes, woman. The most important thing you can do: Clear every counter and tabletop of clutter and … Continue reading “How to Make Your Home Smell Clean”