Tour of a Relaxing Master Bedroom

I thought you might like a little tour of one of my favorite spaces in my home – the master bedroom. I know sleep experts say you should only use the bedroom for sleep and sex, but I treat my bedroom as a living space. I enjoy spending time in my room sipping coffee, reading, watching television, studying, writing, and creating just like I do in other rooms in my home.

I recently enlisted the help of Sarah Calk with SadlsDesigns to make new pillow coverings to freshen up my space – since we are apparently going to be spending A LOT of time at home. I spied a beautiful antelope fabric on her Instagram feed and reached out to see if she could make some Euro shams and a long bolster pillow with leftover fabric from a reupholstery project. I am so happy with how it turned out. Sarah does great work – she learned all her sewing skills from her mother. Please contact Sarah at [email protected] for inquiries.

I love how the navy and light blue play together. It’s fun to mix patterns and colors. And yes, I have a lot of pillows (eight decorative pillows and four-bed pillows for sleeping; yes that equals twelve) on my bed – much to Mr. Bee’s dismay. Men will never understand the importance of pillows!

And, of course, I adore monograms. I got that from Mother.  I had these linen Euro shams monogrammed in an oversized script font by Red Dog studios.

The nightstands belonged to Mother. After Daddy passed away she asked for my help in redecorating her bedroom. The French Provincial dressers were dark brown and lovely, but I asked her if I could paint them with Annie Sloan chalk paint to give them a feminine, shabby chic look. I love how they turned out. Every once in a while I think about painting them in cream, but I just love the blue.

On my last trip to visit my sister, I found the mid-century gold ball wall decor in an antique shop and thought it would be perfect above the bed between two small mirrors. I love the mix of the gold wall art and silver bedside lamps. It’s totally okay to mix your metals. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy.

I pulled together most of my blue and white collection and styled a lovely cream bookshelf. I gathered up all the books in the house in varying shades of blue – even cookbooks – and put them on the shelves among my collectibles. The effect is cohesive and inviting.

Here is a photo of Mother and Daddy from my niece’s wedding. Such a sweet photo of the two of them.

The stack of books belongs to Mr. Bee. They are a nod to his love of his English heritage. Nestled on top of the books are three vintage glass paperweights. Pro tip: A good rule of thumb in decorating is to cluster things together in odd numbers like three and five of something.

Every home needs a built-in. One of the projects I helped Mother with was to design a built-in desk and glass-front cabinets for all her treasures. We installed bubble glass in the doors and lighting so the inside illuminates to showcase the contents. Lots of storage and drawers for files and linens.

The desk is a perfect spot for writing notes, or writing on my laptop.

And lastly, every room needs a good chair for reading and watching television. I found this chair and ottoman at Pier-One several years ago. I love the tufting and feminine lines.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

What Would Holley Wear: Live Like a Local

You’ve seen the signs when visiting a picturesque resort town…. “Live like a Local!”  But did you ever think you would be longing to experience that in your own home town?  For me…that’s Fort Worth, Texas.

Famous on the Northside is Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican restaurant.  Three things you need to know…they only take cash, people go there for the margaritas, and their beautiful patio is where the action is!  Ft. Worth designer, Sheridan French, is the queen of colorful and spirited prints.  Her stunning dresses, skirts, and tunics are perfect for this famous hometown patio….keeping it local y’all!     

The Kimbell, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and  The Modern Museum of Art are world-class art museums…an incredible gift to our community.  From the classics to contemporary, Fort Worth offers art that speaks to everyone.   So what would Holley suggest you wear to a world-class art museum?  She’s loving a voluminous Mara Hoffman dress paired with plenty of personality.  Also ideal for museum browsing is an Anthropologie abstract tunic….and Picasso approved!  

 

If you’re looking to spot local celebs.…the Kimbell Café is the place to be.  Dramatic pants are ideal for this ultra-chic café environment.  For a luxe look, Etro’s mix-print trousers complemented with Cult Gaia clear slip-ons will definitely elevate your café style.  Also think about treating yourself to artesian-made jewelry from the museum’s gift shop!

 

From Bass Performance Hall and the Fort Worth Symphony to Cliburn Concerts….Fort Worth’s performing arts rival any big city’s.  To give your concert style a virtuoso vibe…a black and white ensemble is the way to go!  If you’re looking for a little “treble”….Chico’s black and white geometric striped pants are ideal for a symphony matinee.  For an evening Cliburn concert at the Renzo Piano Pavilion…a polka-dot bubble skirt will definitely put your style center stage!

Did you ever think you could find so much joy rediscovering your hometown?  And don’t you just love “living like a local”.….with style, of course?

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].  

Master of Your Grill – The Best BBQ Dry Rub

Mr. Bee has perfected the best BBQ dry rub and we want to share his recipe with you!  It’s especially good on pork ribs and brisket.  We keep a jar full of it for the moment we are in the mood to smoke meat. To save money, purchase your spices in bulk at Whole Foods or Central Market. If you by them already bottled in the grocery store you are paying for the container and labor, rather if you buy them in bulk, your spices are probably at their freshest. Let’s your ribs rule!

Mr. Bee’s Best BBQ Rub:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 black pepper

1/4 cup chili powder

1/4 cup paprika

3 TBL Tumeric

1 TBL Garlic Powder

1 TBL Onion Powder

*optional add 1-2 tsp of Cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch.

Mix thorough and store in an air-tight container.

What Would Holley Wear: Vacation Outfits That Require Zero Travel

Hey there….is that a little umbrella I see in your drink?  Good for you!  Because that tells me you are in vacation-mode!  Though most of our trips have been canceled, that doesn’t mean our vacation style has to be.  Right?

The first trip we had to cancel was our annual summer trip to Aspen.  We were so looking forward to mountain views and a cooler climate.  Since it tends to be very cool in early June in Aspen, for me, that means wearing jeans day and night.  I like to wear mine with a blazer and my orange Robert Zur loafers.  Veja sneakers paired with jeans and a J Crew linen blazer are ideal for a mountain town stroll.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our NYC summer trip.  Though, I do have a New Yorker insider tip to share:  To “live like the locals”.…a weekend brunch is a must!  Oh me, oh my….we are loving all the beautiful printed midi and maxis from Farm Rio.  From florals to prints….think about giving your NYC inspired brunch style an exotic twist!  And be sure to browse our Pinterest board!

Another trip we were sad to cancel was to Santa Fe in mid-July.  From restaurants and shops to dozens of art galleries, Santa Fe exudes an artistic ambiance.  Just as sophisticated as a Santa Fe art gallery, the William Campbell Contemporary Art gallery in Ft. Worth is second to none.  Did you know nothing complements art more than an all-white ensemble?  From white peasant dresses to sophisticated pantsuits, we’ve got the perfect gallery browsing look for you!

Our son, Chris, had planned to treat me to a birthday trip to upstate New York in August.  According to him, a lot of small towns in the Catskills have a hippie vibe.  So let’s talk about how to rock hippie staycation style!  I’m currently loving a relaxing jean outfit….striped t-shirt and a long sweater complemented with Birkenstocks.  A way to dress up your Birkenstocks is by replacing your jeans with a flowy midi or maxi skirt.  Can someone say….Hello Woodstock?

Hmmm…now I’m starting to wonder.  Do you think it’s the outfit that make us feel like we’re on vacation or the cute little umbrella in our drink?  

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].  

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.  After a day by the pool try this refreshing seafood salad.  It is 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 alongside some steamed shrimp, but you could nestle it on top of lettuce as 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.

What Would Holley Wear: Beach Bags and Cover Ups

Even if your beach vacation was canceled, that’s no reason to ditch your cute beach style.  Don’t you agree?  And here’s some good news…the bags and cover-ups we’re featuring are perfect for staycations and running errands!

I’m all about a pool party-look that doesn’t require a bathing suit!  You too?  We are featuring an amazing selection of tunic tops on our Pinterest board.  Roller Rabbit’s white floral tunic exudes romantic boho charm and pairs perfectly with white cropped pants.  Know what you call a mini tunic worn over a swimsuit or by itself?  A “beach dress.”  That being said, we think Anthropologie’s bold floral mini is the ideal pool party/beach dress.

Like tunic tops, a maxi dress will take you from a backyard pool party to running errands around town.  Don’t you think a white maxi complemented with a straw hat gives a cool vibe?  How cute does the “Fashion Bug” blogger look strolling with her kiddos, wearing a white maxi trimmed in red embroidery?  Plus, we think her Chanel tote definitely gives her mommy-style a luxe vibe?  

When you hear someone shout, “cannonball”…does that bring back fond memories?  So, I have to ask…what’s your “cannonball” style?  You know what I’m talking about…a cute pool outfit that’s splash-friendly!  You can’t go wrong with a sarong!  Your “cannonball” look is guaranteed to pop with a Farm Rio sarong in a bold print mix with plenty of tassels.  Without question, a sarong takes splash-proof to the next level!  

The second thing to add to our “two things” list is a wicker tote or beach bag.  Wicker totes are perfect for the beach or poolside, but did you know they also look great with a summer outfit?  We are smitten with embellished beach bags.  From Matches Fashion to Shop Bop…pom-pom and tassel beach bags never looked so enticing!  Plus, they do double duty when paired with an everyday summer outfit.  Be sure to browse our Pinterest board to see a variety of wicker bags and totes.  

Oh my goodness…it makes me so happy to know you didn’t ditch your cute beach style! 

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]

Our Book Club Welcomes Author Sue Monk Kidd

We are in for such a treat this month – best-selling author, Sue Monk Kidd, will be joining us virtually on July 30 at 7 p.m. to discuss The Book of Longings, our selection for this month’s read. You will not want to miss this. So, pick up your copy and start now – it’s really good.

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.

Be sure to save the date – Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. CST. Check our membership page on Bookmovement for the Zoom access code.

Not a member of our book club?  Even 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 the books we are reading for the summer.

New to Zoom and not quite sure how to use it?  Here is a helpful printable walking you through the steps to create and use Zoom like a pro. Be sure to remember to practice Zoom “netiquette” during our meeting.

No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join us!

School of Gracious Living – Let’s Meet for Cocktails

Let’s have cocktails!  I am excited to partner with Sledge Distillery for a fun cocktail class.

Sledge Distillery is a local family-owned business in Tolar, Texas.  Mark’s father, John Walter (Dub) Sledge, grew up in Hood County on Fall Creek. He was the second oldest boy in a family of eleven. When the uncles got together on the creek, Dub would help make moonshine.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Dub and his uncle were drafted and he was sent to Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. It wasn’t long before Dub put his learnin’ to good use. He accumulated materials to make a still and used mess hall scraps and fresh fruit to concoct high demand shine allowing him to sell or trade for anything they needed.

When Dub returned from war, he married Kathryn Massey who didn’t put up with drinking, dancing, or smoking. She agreed to marry him but his ways had to change and making moonshine would be at the top of the list!  He agreed, they married and raised three children who didn’t know him as a moonshiner although the stories lingered. When Dub passed away, his son, Mark, found his WWII recipes in his war chest, bought a still, and set out to recreate the family legacy which you experience now through our products.

We will start our happy hour learning to craft a Texas Sunset cocktail using Sledge’s famous whiskey, and hear how they craft and create their recipes. While we are sipping cocktails, I will teach you how to make Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts perfect for happy hours and gift-giving. Invite your favorite friend to join you!

If you’d like to be a part of the fun, please visit my store here and register. Space is limited and the registration deadline is July 21.  Don’t like whiskey? You can substitute the cocktail with vodka.  And, if you’d rather sip a mocktail, have a fun evening, and make my mixed-nuts recipe, then you can sign up, too. We’d love to have you.

Let’s gather, learn, and create!

What Would Holley Wear: Summer Porch Style

Who doesn’t love to gossip with friends on their front porch on a lazy summer day?  Add a tray of pimento cheese sandwiches and a pitcher of iced tea….and I’m all in!

So the way I see it…one of the good things that have come from the pandemic is visiting with neighbors from our front porches.  Which makes me wonder….what’s your porch style?  We think a ruffled gingham midi or maxi skirt is ideal for hanging out on the porch!  And could there be anything cuter than coordinating mommy/daughter dresses?  We don’t think so.…and perfect for sipping lemonade!  Be sure to “check out” our Pinterest board!

 

Don’t you think a porch is the idyllic setting for entertaining…especially a screened-in porch?  The Trellis House B&B in Ogunquit, Maine serves breakfast and happy hour on their inviting screened-in porch….and you can count on Bentley, the house dog, to join you!  For a beach town vibe, a striped sundress pairs perfectly with B&B porch style.  We’re loving how a Charleston blogger shares her joyful porch style posing in a rainbow-striped dress and then in a skirt.  Porch party for one….your table is ready!

Have you ever been invited to a porch party?  I bet you would be a great hostess…and so stylish!  Don’t you think a festive CeliaB midi dress embellished with rick rack would be absolutely adorable?  For the best bag match….add a handmade Columbian bucket bag inspired by the colors of the rainbow.  And can’t you just imagine your man sporting a blue seersucker blazer with a bow tie and pocket square to complement your dress?

Since we’ve all saved a fortune on canceled summer vacations, I’m thinking we should splurge on a wicker picnic basket.  Lucky for us, Mark & Graham has a great selection….the ultimate in preppy picnic style!  Speaking of preppy, Kiel James Patrick have put polo shirts back on the style map!   As you might expect, they look fetching with shorts but also consider wearing one with a midi skirt.  Looks like someone’s “too preppy for their shirt…so preppy”!

From porch parties to porch style….I hope you’re enjoying these lazy summer days and getting reacquainted with your neighbors!  

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]

Summer Self-Care: Buzzworthy Manicure Supplies

Self-care is so important, but especially during these strange, surreal times of COVID.  Here is a helpful article from the Mayo Clinic with coping tips and strategies. I have not entered a hair or nail salon since March, so I am trying to provide my own full-service experience. I wanted to share with you two products I’ve recently discovered that have changed my life and put a smile on my face!

First, Color Street nail strips. Someone gave me a sample about a year ago and I was impressed with the long-lasting results. When a friend hosted an on-line “nail bar” recently, I thought I’d order a few sets.

Color Street is 100% nail polish strips that provide base color, and topcoat in every strip with the bonus of no drying time. The colors are vibrant, the finishes glossy, and they easily adhere to the nail instantly. The nail polish strips keep their good looks up to 10 days, and they’re easy to remove with any nail polish remover.  I applied the French manicure set nine days ago and they still look amazing – and that is with swimming almost every day! It was super easy to apply them. I just did it while I was watching Murder, She Wrote (yes, thank you COVID).

Starting today, I am hosting my own Summer Self-Care “nail bar!”  Follow this link to shop. There are several deals right now including BOGO on the French manicure sets. I have already ordered another set, and I may order more because I can get the look of a French manicure for $14 ($7 with the sale)! They are also offering buy three – get the fourth set of your choice free.

If you place an Early Bird order by Saturday with my Color Street stylist Jolene, she will pay shipping and tax. After Saturday, if you order online with the Buy 3 Get 1 Free, Jolene will throw in a free set on the house! It’s like getting five sets for the price of three! 

Okay, let’s switch to toes. Let’s face it – pretty toenails are like jewelry. They really elevate your sandaled feet. I purchased the Poppy, a universal nail polish bottle handle which makes it so much easier to paint your nails, and a pretty shade of pink from Olive and June when they were running a 20% sale. Once I tried the polish, I was hooked. It is the most amazing, long-wearing polish I have ever tried. I went back and bought the Everything Box, again with the 20% promotion. While I mostly use the polish for pedicures, when I gave myself a manicure, I was able to go about six days before I noticed a chip on my fingernails. The color above on my toes is Sweet & Gracious.

If you have a birthday coming up, this would make a great gift for yourself.  I definitely have had more time to think about the nice things I can do for myself.  Pretty nails always elevate the mood!