Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad

Eating meals outdoors always seems to lift my mood and the weather has been so nice dinner alfresco.  I love the smell of meat cooking on the grill while sipping a good glass of wine.  I’m sharing a recipe I found on Pinterest for Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad.  The recipe originates from Cafe Delites and if you don’t follow her blog you should.  In fact, I am sure you have already seen many of her recipes on Facebook.

The best thing about this recipe is that the marinade is also the dressing for the salad.  You prepare it, then use half for the chicken and pour the other half into a bowl or dressing bottle.

Marinade — plenty of fresh ingredients
Marinating chicken

While the chicken marinates in lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh herbs, I prepared the salad.  Instead of plating everyone’s portion separately, I decided to plate it from one big platter.

Starting with romaine lettuce, then avocados, cucumber, red onion and tomatoes.

Tip:  Always let your grilled meat sit on the counter for at least 5-10 minutes to allow the internal juices to set which keeps the chicken moist. Slice the chicken and arrange on top of the salad platter. Drizzle remaining dressing over the top.

I served it with a bottle of Pedernales GSM 2014 from Pedernales Cellars that I picked up in Fredericksburg during a wine trip I took last fall.  This Rhone-style blend incorporates Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache from their estate Hill Country vineyard and partner vineyards in Texas. Described as a “medium-bodied blend brings together the diverse character of these three varieties into a fantastic balance that delivers aromas of raspberry, fennel, mushroom, and molasses. This is a rich red wine with significant oak and a soft finish.”  It really is one of my favorite wines to sip in the evening.

So if you were wondering what to make for dinner, this salad and wine along with a good crusty warm french bread would be the perfect way to celebrate spring.

Be sure to follow my Pinterest salad board.  I have over 150 recipes for fresh salad inspiration.

What Would Holley Wear: Book Club Chic

I’m happy to announce, I recently joined the “Mrs. Twist Reads This” book club.  The good news is….you can be a member even if you live outside of Fort Worth. How awesome is that?  For more info on the club, visit this link to join.  

So the first official “Mrs. Twist” book I read was The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.  It’s one of those books, you can’t put down. And though there is no book club dress code, I still think it’s fun to pair an outfit with a book.  You too? Since the setting for The Family Upstairs takes place in England, I’m thinking a lovely floral midi or maxi dress will complement this page-turner.  And just like a beautiful English garden, we are sharing a stunning selection of floral dresses on Pinterest.

I actually started reading a few of “Mrs. Twist” book selections before I joined the club.  The first one I read was Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes. This is a story about four American women who bond in Italy.  Can someone say…hello Amalfi Coast! Just as inspiring as the book is style influencer, Julia Engle’s, photos of her coastal Italian vacay.  If, like me, you’re interested in copying expensive Italian designer dresses….go to Streetvova.com.  

Next, I read, The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle.  With last year’s lemon inspired prints, I thought this had to be divine intervention.  So first, enjoy a slice of lemon cake from Euna Mae’s! Next, take a look at a bold lemon print skirt from Chic Wish on our Pinterest board.  All you need to add is a white tee and espadrilles. But truthfully, any yellow print will inspire you to read this book.

 

I have many friends who are avid readers, so when one suggested, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelli Estes, I knew I would love it.  The story’s mystery revolves around an elaborately stitched piece of fabric. So I’m thinking Cabi’s navy botanical kimono would be the perfect pairing for this book (Mrs. Twist owns this Kimono BTW!).  And just like a kimono, a beautiful kaftan adds elegance to your stay-at-home style.

Hmmm….I don’t know about you, but coordinating my outfit with the book I’m reading….makes me love reading that much more! 

Be sure to join us tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. CST for book club via Zoom here. We are meeting virtually to discuss Lady Clementine, the true story of the first lady of Great Britain and wife of Winston Churchill.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, and wardrobe consultation.  Be sure to check her Holley Williams Style on Pinterest.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

Finding Your Fit – Get Creative With your Fitness Routine

I had just started getting into my groove of an exercise routine that was working for me. I set a minimum of three days a week of exercise with the goal of five days for the win.  I learned that my best way to achieve this is to take my gear with me to work, change at the end of the day into my workout clothes and go straight to the gym from work – do not pass go for home! My friend/trainer Jess made fitness cards for me with a daily workout already planned to take the guesswork out of it. I walk into the gym and know immediately what my plan is. Boom. I was on a roll.

Enter CoVid19. I made the decision to stop going to the gym – even though the staff was doing a great job of keeping it clean and reminding guests to clean machines after use. I decided to be safe and work out from home.

Enter the change of routine. I have my cards, but I don’t have a treadmill to get my heart rate up. I was really enjoying the 20-minutes of jogging, then my 20-minute circuit, ending with 10 minutes of jogging. I felt great. Now, I am finding other ways to get my heart rate up.

Plan B. Jess made me cards for patio workouts using the hula hoop, medicine and stability balls, and a jump rope. So, hopefully, I can get into this like I did a workout at the gym. I have to say that this morning it was fun to workout poolside. I ran laps around the pool with Hazel and if you watch this YouTube video, you too can master the Hula Hoop aka – the waist whittler.

My Pinterest fitness board features over 500 ideas. Pick three new things from this board every day to mix things up so you don’t get bored. Also, I just signed up for Chris Freytag’s Get Healthy U to access on-line videos for only $20 for the entire year. She has all sorts of resources other than fitness videos – things like recipes and articles, and I like her because she is a 50-something woman like me. I can also stream it from Roku.  Since I have a TV on the patio, I can pull up a video and do everything from a 10-minute upper body workout to Yoga, to a step routine.  Use offer code ChrisGold20 for an annual Gold membership of just $20 (normally $149).

I have been enjoying daily walks with Hazel. Yesterday, we took a completely different route and it was so much fun exploring a new area of my neighborhood. I shoot for at least a 3-4 mile walk. You could try a walk and then add a 10-minute session on either your upper or lower body.

The point is this – do something. Yes, I agree this is a very scary, weird time in our lifetime. But taking good care of yourself is something you have total control of.  Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Your first wealth is health.”

The Hemline Podcast – Living CoVida Loco Episode!

Wow!  What a difference a week can make.  Our country has come to a screeching halt due to CoVid-19, and we are all learning to traverse life’s journey on a different course. I hope you will tune into this special edition here.

Establish a routine:

I will be the first to say that lounging around my house in my pajamas is my favorite past-time. But, it’s important to have a routine – if children need it, so do adults.  If you are telecommuting from home, establish a good-for- you routine.  Set your alarm to get up in the morning. Make your bed (here is a terrific reason why making your bed every morning sets the tone for your success for the day). Get dressed (I’ll switch to yoga pants).  Include exercise in your routine. Since my gym is closed temporarily, I am working out at home on my patio and taking Hazel for walks. Have a lunch hour. This is a perfect time to pull out a pretty un-used journal in your stash and use it to track your work progress, make notes, keep schedules, and so on.  Here is a great article on the importance of establishing a routine.

Support Small Business:

This week I supported small businesses. I posted on social media about Hurley House yummy cinnamon rolls. I bought the cutest planter and plant from Stayin’ Alive Succulents to brighten up my home office. It’s a ceramic typewriter filled with a snake plant. I bought a super cute mid-century modern nesting end-table set from Fort Worth the Wait. And, I did all of this from my home!

 

How to Make Disinfectant Wipes:

I am always so curious what starts a frenzy and how. Who decided toilet paper would be the hot item for the pandemic!? Do you think the toilet paper industry is thinking the same thing? And, then there’s our trusty hand sanitizer runner-up. Since, both are either missing from the shelves or have been price-gouged, let’s try to make our own disinfectant wipes.

Here’s the link to the cleaning wipes how-to from One Good Thing. You can also check out all my other cleaning tips inspiration on my Pinterest board here. I guess the good thing we can say after all this is over, our homes and businesses are the cleanest they’ve ever been!

Bake Bread:

Behind toilet paper, and Chlorox wipes – loaves of bread are missing from the grocery shelves, too.  However, I would bet money that yeast is still plentiful. How about using this time to make bread? If you’ve never made bread before, now is the time to try it out. There are lots of great recipes in cookbooks (when was the last time you sat down with a good cookbook), or there’s always Pinterest. Visit my Pinterest board for Bread and Muffins  inspiration. Creating something like bread is cathartic; the feel of the soft bread in your hands is like velvet, and the smell as it bakes is relaxing. Here is a great basic white bread recipe with a video from the Pioneer Woman to get you started.  If you’d rather use your bread machine give this recipe a try. Get out a big stick of butter, jars of jams and honey and get the family at the table for something homemade.

Read or listen to a book:

Lastly, we will NOT meet for book club on March 25.  However, I will do a Facebook LIVE session and we can do a virtual meeting to discuss Lady Clementine. Read about my Mrs. Twist Reads This book club here. It’s free to join.

Want a fun way to read bedtime stories with your children, and you can listen, too? Actor Josh Gad is reading online via his Twitter page every night during the CoVid quarantines.  Read more about it here.

You can find The Hemline Podcast on all streaming stations – Player FM, Spotify, Stitcher, Listennotes, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to play your favorites. And, remember #celebrateeveryday.

What Would Holley Wear: Spring Animal Prints

“I’m so over animal print,”….said no stylish person ever!  The good news is animal prints are considered a neutral print and perfect for all seasons.  And though it seems we are mostly stuck at home, let’s have some fun with our quarantine-time by talking about all the fun ways to wear this fabulous print!

Shop Bop shares its party style with a wonderful selection of animal print blazers.  Pair one with black wax-coated jeans and sandals for a sophisticated soiree (if it hasn’t been canceled).  An animal print kimono can be dressed up or down. Dillard’s offers two versions that are perfect for spring transition.  Wear them now with jeans and slides and later with cropped pants and sandals.  

We’re loving all of the colorful animal print options available this spring, especially a yellow snake print skirt from Bloomingdales.  It would look adorable with a white blouse tied at the waist, complemented with white Sam Edelman slides from Nordstrom Rack. Drum roll please….a turquoise leopard skirt paired with a contrasting yellow clutch and flip-flops wins the prize for cutest print mix!   Don’t you agree?

  Are you that fashion girl that likes to “grab the tiger by the tail”?  Lucky you because tiger print is the new “it” print. We are “going wild” over two midi skirts from Shop Bop…one styled with heels and one with sneakers.  A tiger print blazer paired with jeans is the perfect complement to spring…just add a t-shirt. And be sure to take a look at all the choices on our Pinterest board!

My next question…do you love wearing black and white?  If you do, you are going to love our zebra print options.  My absolute favorite is a zebra print shirt dress from Mango….great for work or leisure.   A pair of wide-leg zebra print pants is ideal for a party on the patio! Last but not least…Staud’s zebra print handbag wins our vote for the best bag match.  

An adorable spring transition look on our Pinterest board features a leopard print dress topped with a denim jacket.  For a luxe look, they pair it with a Chanel bag and Gucci sneakers. This look can easily be copied for a fraction of the cost.  Just trade out the high-end designer bag and sneakers with copies from Amazon and pair with a Calvin Klein cheetah print tiered midi dress from Dillard’s.  How awesome is that?

And just one more thing….if these fashion tips are making you “roar”…that means you are ready for spring and summer animal prints!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, and wardrobe consultation.  Be sure to check her Holley Williams Style on Pinterest.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

Happy Sloppy Joe Day – March 18

Source: Pioneer Woman

March 18 is Sloppy Joe day!  Fun fact for conversation at your next cocktail party; Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa cafe as a “loose meat” sandwich” in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe.

Here’s an awesome recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  I have made it for my family and it is devoured every time. I substitute the beef with ground turkey for Miss Bee’s preference.  Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry, so this is the perfect comfort food right now as we are together at home.  Your kids will love helping you prepare this dinner, and they will think you are so cool because you know who invented the sandwich!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Kaiser Rolls
  • Butter

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard it.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls, topping with a slice of cheese if it makes your skirt fly up. Serve hot with potato chips or tater tots.

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Lady Clementine

It’s time for a new book for the Mrs. Twist Reads This book club.  This month’s selection is Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict.

From Marie Benedict, the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room! An incredible novel that focuses on one of the people who had the most influence during World War I and World War II: Clementine Churchill.

In 1909, Clementine steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack, shoving him in the direction of an oncoming train. Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill will save her husband.

Lady Clementine is the ferocious story of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, the story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies.

Due to the social distancing, we will be meeting virtually through Zoom on Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. CST. Download the Zoom app on your phone and create a free membership. You can also access Zoom from your desktop computer here. Zoom allows us to see each other while we discuss the book, so it will be a fun way to connect.  If you are a member of our book club, check your email inbox for the Zoom invitation link.  If you would like to join us, please email [email protected] and I will send you the access code.

Photo credit: Christina’s CucinaEven if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our book club, membership is free, through Bookmovement.  By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading.  Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books.  Friends are always welcome.  Be sure to visit our Bookmovement page to see what we are planning for April – hint: It involves the best selling book, a movie and S’mores poolside!

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women spending more time reading and less time using technology.  Join our movement!

Sister’s Strawberry Bread

Spring and summer say strawberries.  Storm Farms in Arlington is a great place to pick your own berries.  And this link from DFW Child lists all the local farms for other produce and “farm to fork” inspiration.

I love this recipe from my sister for Strawberry Bread.  It’s the perfect pink color, affords just the right touch of sweet to a salad plate, and is lovely with a cup of coffee or tea.  And, since this recipe makes two loaves, you can share with a friend to make a beautiful gift wrapped in cellophane and a bow.

Sister’s Strawberry Bread

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups thawed, sliced frozen strawberries (a one-pound bag)
1 cup of vegetable oil
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans (optional, I usually omit because I’m not a nut-in-my-bread person)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, strawberries and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ones and combine them. Add pecans (optional) and blend well. Pour into two loaf pans prepared with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.

It’s yummy on its own, or sandwich two slices between soft cream cheese. To make it into a dessert, pile with fresh strawberries (just picked from the farm), a dollop of whipped cream and a sprig of mint.  Strawberry Shortcake with a twist!  Enjoy.

What Would Holley Wear: Classy Girls Wear Pearls 2020 Edition

A few years after my first “Classy Girls Wear Pearls” article, people continue to ask…“Are pearls still in style?”.  So here’s my answer: As long as Chanel designs clothes, jewelry, and accessories embellished with pearls…they will always be in style!  

Though something new since my 2017 article are pearl headbands.  I recently saw a TCU coed wearing one with her t-shirt and cutoffs.  But here’s the deal…they can also be dressed up and are the perfect complement to your party style.   Pearl barrettes are another way to add a little sass to your style. And if you wear three or more…consider yourself tres-chic!  

From Chanel to Zara and all the copies in between, pearl belts complement jeans, dresses, and skirts.  Dolce Gabanna is known for its opulence, and their pearl enhanced heart belt is no exception. Amazon’s pearl butterfly belts are great Gucci knockoffs….for a major savings! 

Handbags with pearl adornments just keep getting better.  The ultimate this season is a Chanel flap bag! But the good news is there are so many affordable options as well.  I have a sneaky little feeling that a pearl bag strap from Amazon Fashion will become your bag’s favorite new accessory, and it definitely gives a “classy girl” vibe!

If you’re interested in something “over the top,” a blazer or jacket with pearl embellishments is the way to go.  And we think blouses and sweaters with pearl buttons are beyond classy. Another way to give your look a Channel-ish vibe is with a pearl brooch.  Just so you know, brooches can be pinned anywhere. For a stylish twist, pin your brooch on a cuff…or a pocket…or a bow…or on your shoulder. So chic and so classy!    

FYI…stacking bracelets has been a trend for some time.  But if you want to give your stack a little extra classiness, add a strand of pearls.  And think about dressing-up your Garmin or Apple watch with a pearl bracelet….techy and classy!  

Doesn’t it make you happy to know pearls are still in style?  From headbands to brooches, everyone loves a “classy girl who wears pearls”!  

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, and wardrobe consultation.  Be sure to check her Holley Williams Style on Pinterest.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

What Would Holley Wear: What’s in my Suitcase

When we go to Kansas City in the winter, I definitely make a few adjustments to my travel style.  The main idea is to stay warm and comfy…in a stylish way. Of course!

So let’s talking about what I packed for KC.  Most times this means taking a few surprises to the kiddos (our four grandchildren).  The big hit on this trip was a game I purchased at Target called “Shut Ya Mouth”….guaranteed to cause belly laughs!  Thank goodness Southwest Airlines will let you take 2 bags at no extra charge.  

 So what did I pack?  Okay let’s be honest…it was three degrees when we landed.  To save room in my suitcase, the first thing I did was layer.  My cold climate travel style tip is this: If it’s bulky…layer and wear it on the plane.  Also, if I’m going someplace that’s cold, I always wear boots on the plane. This helps save room in your suitcase as well.  And always pack a pair of warm gloves…definitely a cold climate necessity.  

This trip I wrapped up in an animal print scarf from Target and layered it over a white shearling-lined coat.  I also wore a turtleneck sweater, jeans, tights, gloves, and boots. FYI…a cool way to update your boot style is with a pair of combat boots.  And for a boho vibe, pair them with a midi skirt or dress.

Just like my outfits, I kept my sleepwear comfy and warm too….soft animal print pajama bottoms and shearling-lined moccasin slippers were my night-time jammie style.  ASOS offers a wonderful selection of pajamas and slippers…so be sure to take a look at some we are highlighting on our Pinterest board.

For a walk to the local neighborhood park, a pair of leggings and a long-sleeved top from Athleta work perfectly…all layered over tights.  To add a little flair to your athleisure style, wear a colorful pair of Nike sneakers. If you are looking for a sleek sneaker look, a pair of Sorrel’s metallic puffer sneakers will be ideal for you!

The main thing is to be comfy and stay warm when you are packing for a weekend visit to a cold climate.  And be sure to stay stylish…because everyone loves hanging out with a cool grandmother!   

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, and wardrobe consultation.  Be sure to check her Holley Williams Style on Pinterest.  Contact Holley at [email protected]