The Season of Advent

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. This year Advent begins Sunday, November 29.

During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward to anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.

Growing up in the Methodist church it was always a treat to see the lighting of the Advent candles each Sunday.  Something about jewel-toned candles and the smell of the wax candles still brings back fond memories.  This is the traditional representation of the Advent wreath:

I rounded up some clever ways to celebrate Advent – including a shopping list here for all my favorite Advent calendars available. You’ve got plenty of time to place your order and open the first door to reveal the treasure inside.

Here are some other ideas for a twist on the Advent candle…

And, there’s always the Advent calendar which teaches people of all ages to join with the church in anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ–the true meaning of the Advent season. They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties from traditional to modern.  Miss Bee enjoys getting one each year that she can lift the numbers and a piece of candy is inside. Some calendars focus on doing a new activity each day with the family or acts of service for someone else. Be sure to visit my LiketoKnow.it here for inspiration.

There are all sorts of fun twists I found to create your own. I’ve pinned them to my “Feeding my Soul” Pinterest board.

Ann Voskamp has a “Night before Advent” activity on her blog full of fun games and activities to do with children including a printable Advent calendar.

And here are some more examples of clever ways to put together an Advent calendar.

Adorable Woodland Inspired Advent Calendar using an over-the-door organizer. livelaughrowe.com
Don’t you just love brown paper bags!

I purchased this “Christmas Countdown” from Target years ago.  You can slip these downloadable activity cards and candy inside each pocket.

How do you like to celebrate Advent?  Do you have family traditions passed down through the generations that are special to you?  I’d love to hear them so be sure to leave a comment!

What Would Holley Wear: Giving Thanks in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

We celebrated Thanksgiving early this month at a vacation mountain home in Broken Bow, Oklahoma…perfect for our family of 9.  We also celebrated the oldest and the youngest birthdays…Pop’s 67th and Elias’ 3rd!   Be sure to check out all the photos on our Pinterest board!

Ping-pong, billiards, and indoor Snowball fights…oh my!!!  Playing pool and ping-pong were super popular with the big kids (ages 11 to 67).  A snap-up pullover from Abercrombie paired with leggings is ideal for indoor activities.  We’re also loving a look from “The Everygirl” Pinterest board….leggings and boots from Nordstrom’s topped with a camel turtleneck and Abercrombie Sherpa jacket.  All you need to add are indoor snowballs.

Click the picture to shop Holley’s style.
Amazon Toggle Vest – click to shop

Playing outdoors, roasting S’mores’ on the fire-pit, and enjoying friendly corn-hole competitions were some of the outdoor activities we enjoyed.  Layering with a vest is ideal for this scenario.  If you’re tall and long in the torso, my recommendation is LL Bean’s long pack-away vest.  If you are partial to a waist-length vest, Amazon’s toggle vest is super cute and preppy.  To give your vest some extra style…wear it over a plaid shirt and cable sweater with jeans and hiking boots.   

 From an easy hike searching for crystals to more challenging hikes…there are trails for everyone in the Ouachita Mountains.  Hiking boots definitely make a difference when you are on a difficult hike.  Back Country, offers the best in hiking gear.  Their Merrell waterproof boots are perfect for a day of hiking!  A Madewell backpack is another great option for mountain hikes and easily transitions to your everyday style.  

Click the picture to shop Holley’s style
Just click the pic to shop Sophie, the Taco Queen’s look.

Games, movies, and comfort food mean one thing as far as style goes….ultra-comfy.  Sophie, age 13, is our family’s self-designated “Taco Queen”!  So of course we celebrated “Taco Tuesday” in honor of the queen!  She looked adorable in a taco t-shirt from Amazon Fashion paired with plaid sleep pants from Target….as did her three brothers in their comfy Target pajamas.  

So something I’ve learned in 2020…even though change is inevitable, with it comes immeasurable blessings.  Something to be thankful for….indeed!  

The Williams Clan Thanksgiving 2020

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].  

Setting the Table for Thanksgiving Three Ways

I love to set the table for Thanksgiving. I thought it would be fun for you to decide which of the three I styled you most think I should use for my dinner table this year.  Most all of the pieces came from my party pantry and are either vintage or not new to me. The only purchase I made to put these place settings together were the flowers from WholeFoods – other than Trader Joe’s one of my favorite places for unexpected varieties and colors of flowers.

First – Very Vintage

This is Mother’s wedding china. Mother and Daddy’s wedding anniversary is in November so I think this is a special way to honor my parents during the holiday.  I paired it with Cherry Brandy roses in a fluted vintage vase. The linen placemat and napkin are vintage, but new to me. My friend Mary Lane from TCU messaged me one day and said she had a collection of linens – placemats, napkins, and table runners purchased in British-owned Hong Kong in the 70s while she and her husband lived in Japan. The embroidery is exquisite. I am so thankful Mary gift me with such treasures. The crystal glassware is also from my mother’s wedding registry. The pattern is so delicate.  The silver pieces were from my mother’s friend Marion whom she knew since my mother was a young girl. I am not sure where the hobnail pitcher came from but I love it and I thought it would be perfect for a personal iced tea serving or creamer for the china cups and saucers. I picked up a set of place card bud vases at Magnolia Home in Waco. Here is something similar. I found a place card with mother’s name on it – a sentimental touch.

Place setting two – Mood in Blue

I love blue, so I had to find some way to do a classic and sophisticated setting. I used my white everyday dinner plate and topped with a piece of bavarian handpainted china that belonged to Mr. Bee’s mother. I added blue glassware I purchased several years ago during a visit to Sister’s house in New Mexico.

I purchased two small topiaries from Amazon here and placed them in a blue and white cachepot topped with reindeer moss. I placed a velvet pumpkin in the center for contrast against the blue border of the accent plate. It adds personality. I added a vintage linen white napkin folded in a triangle and topped with the same silver from the Very Vintage photo. I think it would be fun to collect vintage salt and pepper shakers so each guest can have their own set, like the cream and gold birds in the photo.

For a place card consider using childhood photos of your guests. I bet you can’t guess who is in this frame? I like how the gold roses on the frame highlight the golden edges of the plates.

Finally, we have Textures of Fall.

This place setting features my collection of Johnson Brother’s Friendly Village. Mother already had a set and she inherited her mother-in-law’s collection, so I have a pantry full of these cherished dishes. When I was little I used to stare at the images on the plate and imagine riding on a wagon through the snow.

Don’t be afraid to mix your plates. You can see I have a green glass plate on the bottom, then a square salad plate, topped with a small fruit dish. I tucked the golden linen napkin under the dish holding the oranges. Of course, I had to add whole cloves to the oranges – remember when we used to do this when we were little? It made the table smell just like fall. And I love the pop of orange. The eucalyptus sprig came from the flowers. I filled a vintage green drinking glass with flowers – which you could do for each guest. I used my Pioneer Woman flatware. It all sits atop water hyacinth placemats. This place setting brings in color, texture, and scent.

What is your favorite of the three? I hope this inspires you to bring color, nature, and vintage touches to your Thanksgiving table this year for #HolidayswithaTwist.

It’s a Wrap Party! Gift wrapping and cocktail class

Just in time for the holiday season, join WirrWarr Wraps and Home with a Twist for a morning filled with festive champagne cocktail mixing and swoon-worthy gift wrapping.

Cassie Kruemcke, the creative genius of WirrWarr Wraps has a truly unique sense of style and a one-of-a-kind wrapping technique to share with you. You will finish the class with new wrapping and bow making skills to garner all the oohs and aahs, making you the very next resident Wrap Star.

Melissa Austin-Weeks, your merry hostess from Home with a Twist, will kick off the morning with a delicious sip – a Mistletoe Twist.

Registration includes Cassie’s signature gift wrapping (three sheets) and guide to sources for ribbon and other embellishments to purchase for the class, and the cocktail recipe.

Check out all of Cassie’s creations on her Instagram here.

Register here.  Registration is very limited so don’t delay.

The Merry Cook – Fun gifts for the kitchen

Let’s get cooking helping you find beautiful gifts for the chef. I’ve rounded up things I would love for Santa to leave me under the tree.

An Apron – Last January my besties and I traveled to Arkansas to Euna Mae’s Kitchen Store.  Be sure to check out her website. She stocks her store with the loveliest bowls, kitchenware, care packages, and linens. We bought pretty much one of everything while we were in town. I love this year’s Christmas apron. Every southern gal needs an apron.  Her red cotton holiday apron would be lovely with a monogram.

For the tea and coffee drinker.  I love the sound tea kettles make when they sing!  Sometimes you just want a really good cup of tea that a Keurig just can’t make. This white tea kettle from World Market will go with anyone’s color scheme.  If she loves teas and Hallmark Christmas movies, she will flip over their branded Christmas Tea.  And I adore these good vibes mugs. I have the “Living my Best Life” mug and it’s perfect. Can you imagine her putting these all out on a tray and serving cocoa or tea?

Okay, this is my favorite. Gift her with a custom tea towel with a vintage recipe. Maybe it’s her Grandmama’s Pecan Tassies or your Mother’s Chocolate Cake – whatever her favorite is, this will be a lifetime treasure. You can do a printed version in her original handwriting or they will screen print it. I am addicted to cast iron. I fact, be sure to join me this Friday for a virtual castiron cooking class I will be teaching for Jabo’s Ace Hardware. Read about it here. This gorgeous white Dutch oven from Target is not only beautiful it’s affordably priced. And if you have a Target red card you earn an additional 5% off!Wooden cutting boards. They are so popular right now in decorating magazines. Propped up on your backsplash they add such a French-cooking flair to your kitchen. This set of three is handmade by Chase Vintage on Etsy so you would be supporting small business. And, they can be divided into three separate gifts.

 

Last, this cheeseboard set cannot be beaten.  You could elevate it with a few boxes of crackers, a block of sharp cheddar cheese, a few green apples, and a gorgeous bottle of wine. That would make a fantastic gift.

Be sure to visit my LiketoKnow.it site for all these links and tons more #HolidayswithaTwist gift ideas.

Mother’s Sweet Potato Delight

I post this recipe every year and many of you have told me it is now part of your Thanksgiving tradition.  My mother would be thrilled!  Sweet Potato Delight is a dish Mother and Sister Bee have served for many years at our Thanksgiving table.  I love it and the meal wouldn’t be the same without it. In fact, Miss Bee always has it at the top of her “wish list” too.  It’s almost like dessert with the buttery, crumbly topping.

Sweet Potato Delight

1 large can of sweet potatoes (I usually double the recipe)

Heat potatoes and juice and mash thoroughly.  If you want to bake sweet potatoes ones you can, but this tastes just as good.

Mix together:

One stick of melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of evaporated milk

2 beaten eggs

Combine all of the ingredients and pour into a buttered 9×13 dish.

Top with the following mixture:

1 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of flour

1/3 stick of melted butter

1/2 cup of chopped pecans

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.

Apparently, I don’t mind my food touching.

Jabo’s Ace Hardware Virtual Girls Night In

Join me this week as Jabo’s Ace Hardware kicks off its weeklong Virtual Girls Night In! Each day features fun speakers, workshops, drawings, and a raffle.
Meet me virtually on Friday, November 13 at 6:50 p.m. where I will be showing you how to make a yummy S’mores dessert in the cutest mini cast-iron skillets you ever did see from Lodge Cast Iron. All events are free and you receive a 10% store purchase coupon. In return, Jabo’s donates 10% of your purchase to Cook Children’s!
Click here to register and learn more.

Perfectly Paloma: Gifts for the College Girl

This week while Holley is taking a little vacation, our social media intern Paloma is taking over with her fabulous gift ideas for the college girl.

Santa shopping can get hard as the kids grow up. Shopping for college girls? Even harder! I’m here to give you the lowdown on what’s hot, what’s not, and what every college girl would be thrilled to find under the tree on Christmas morning. I’ve split up the gifts into categories: things to splurge on, some wardrobe essentials, and stocking stuffers. Let me take you through my College Girl Gift Guide!

If you’re looking to splurge, accessories are where it’s at. I’m talking about shoes, bags, and jewelry. Instead of splurging on fancy clothes that may go out of style, gift your college girl some accessories that will last a lifetime and will always be on-trend. This red Gucci crossbody is stunning and so classic. It will add a pop of color to any outfit! If red isn’t your color, then this black Rebecca Minkoff will surely do the trick. Now, for shoes. Golden Goose is always trending and in style, and this hightop version is adorable with cheetah accents and blue laces. They may look hard to style, but they can go with any and every outfit. Tory Burch and Gucci sandals are perfect gifts even in winter! These fan favorites are practical, yet still designer. Lastly, Uggs are back! These black mini Uggs are perfect with any loungewear outfit and on-trend. And these cheetah slippers are adorable- you know my love for animal print!

Wardrobe essentials make the perfect gift as well. I’ve included clothes, accessories and some beauty. Your daughter will be obsessed with these Agolde jeans (size down!) and this black Free People puffer coat. Of course, you can never go wrong with sweaters and graphic tees as well. Free People and Urban Outfitters are the perfect places to shop for these on-trend items. This black leather jacket from Topshop will surely compliment every outfit and will become your college girl’s cold-weather staple. Loungewear and pajamas have been a necessity this year, and have become their own trend. These graphic sweatpants by Boyslie are taking the internet by storm (hello, TikTok!) and your college girl will love them. Add on this Champion hoodie and Def Leppard graphic tee and she’ll be Instagram ready.

Lastly, some random finds and stocking stuffers will top off the best Santa delivery of all time. These RayBan sunglasses are adorable and flattering on everyone. Sephora has some amazing gift sets right now, and this Drybar bundle is complete with a blow dryer, brush, and their best products! Hair accessories are all the rage, like these headbands, scrunchies, and claw clips. Is your college girl obsessed with her phone? This multi-pack of extra-long iPhone chargers and adorable leopard phone case will become her new favorite tech accessories. Finally, top off the stocking with some gold jewelry: these tiny gold hoops are perfect if your college girl has multiple ear piercings, and this gold Baublebar ring is adorable in a stack on her hand. Layered gold jewelry is trending, so gifting her multiple pieces to layer and stack will be perfect!

Follow me on LikeToKnowIt to see and shop all these ideas. Happy gifting!

My Favorite Hair and Makeup

Having more time at home I have added a few things to my hair and makeup routine I just have to share because, well, they are game-changing. And, some of these things will make great Christmas gifts.

Hair –

For several years I have been using the Revlon One-Step hairdryer. One of my besties, Mary, sold me on it.  It not only dries your hair, but it styles it as well. For me it’s a timesaver in case I don’t want to take the extra step to curl it. The secret to the outcome of your hair is sectioning it with these clips. I start at the bottom and work my way up.  I also live by this Oi Oil to smooth out my hair after I blow dry each section. I use about two drops to fight frizz, and add shine and softness to my hair. A bottle literally lasts a year.

Photo: The New Yorker

One problem with my hair is the lack of volume on the crown of my head. The last time I got a haircut (I’ve only had two haircuts since the pandemic and my normal stylist Mandy has been on maternity leave since March), the stylist suggested using Oprah’s favorite Valoom. It’s kind of like a crimper. You section pieces of hair and starting at the roots you crimp the hair. The clamp looks like a waffle iron and it creates volume pockets. The first time I used it I wasn’t sold, but then I watched this YouTube video, practiced, and oh, my. It really does make me look like Mary Tyler Moore!

Makeup –

Pretty makeup results will only happen if you are religious in your skincare routine. I started using Savor Beauty in March and my skin has never looked better. The first time I used the products I messaged Angela, the founder, to tell her “I just moaned out loud washing my face!”  She replied back, “Best message I’ve seen all week!”

Founded by Angela Jia Kim and inspired by her mother’s Korean heritage the products are hand-made in small batches and certified organic. I literally feel like I am getting a spa treatment every morning to start the day and in the evening before bed.  Take a look at their website. I love the pumpkin and raspberry serums, the rose-oil spritz, the caviar eye cream, and coconut cleansing oil. And they send you samples with every purchase.

The other thing I can’t live without is this BlendSmart2 Makeup Brush. It’s on Oprah’s Favorite Things. It’s a battery-operated motorized brush that gives you the look of an airbrushed makeup application. It comes with three brush heads so I use one for my Laura Mercier foundation, Bobbi Brown blush, and Laura Mercier loose powder.

The eyes are the window to the soul.  Two things I cannot live without eyelashes and eyebrows. My daughter turned me onto Ardell accent lashes and the clear lash adhesive. I wore eyelash extensions for about a year but I got tired of the upkeep and expense, and when they were removed, I had almost no lashes left. What has grown out are so small, I needed a supplement so I looked like I had eyes. Second, eyebrows. As we age our eyebrows thin out and lose their pigment. Do not go to all the trouble to make up a beautiful face and leave your eyebrows naked. I love Brow Wiz by Anastasia of Beverly Hills.  Keep your peepers focused on the day with these Lapis blue gorgeous specs from Warby Parker.  I love their high quality, affordable price and that for every pair I purchase, they give a pair to someone in need.

Last, as you walk out the door (or into the next room) add a pop of the most perfect red on your lips from Bobbi Brown – Harlow Red. I swear this red looks great on everyone. I like that it’s a lip pencil that gives a nice matte finish and has great staying power.

Buzz over to my LikeToKnowIt to see all the above and more good stuff.

What Would Holley Wear: Fort Worth Fall Fieldtrips

There’s nothing like a fall field trip to lift your spirits!   So this week, I’m sharing four of my favorite hometown outdoor destinations and what to wear.

Just in case you haven’t heard…the Ft. Worth Zoo was recently voted the #1 zoo in the country.  Lions, tigers, and bears…oh my!  An adorable Amazon animal print sweater paired with jeans and boots is perfect for a day at the zoo.  To give your athleisure style a little kick, wear a pair of animal print sneakers.  From Golden Goose to DSW’s sneaker selection…you’ll definitely be taking a walk on the wild side! 

 

Don’t you think something floral sounds perfect for a field trip to the Botanic Gardens?  A green floral midi skirt and a long-sleeve tee from Other Stories paired with a felt hat make for a great garden style combo!   Combat boots or “clunkers,” look adorable with skirts, dresses, and jeans.  For a stroll through the Japanese Garden, a cute pair of floral combat boots will definitely elevate your botanic-style!

Oh, how I love an outdoor market!  You too?  My hometown favorite is the farmer’s market at Clearfork.  From jeans and long sweater combos to a sassy Target outfit….take a look at all the great options on our Pinterest board.  We’re also loving a burgundy Barbour jacket from Nordstrom’s….just add a bouquet of fresh flowers.  If you’re looking for a fun family photo op, you’ll love the pumpkin-shed at Clearfork’s trailhead…next to Press Café.   

 

My husband and I love dining outdoors at the Kimbell Café’s courtyard.  Checked blazers are perfect for museum dining….a cool and casual look with a sophisticated vibe.  Something covid-safe and free to do on a lovely fall day….take a stroll around the museum district.  My pick for a sculpture-stroll would be a jeans and sweater ensemble topped off with a camel coat.  

Visit LikeToKnowIt for shopping links

Thank you Fort Worth, for keeping us safe!  Now, all we have to do is get some fresh air, wear our mask….and of course be stylish!    

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].