What Would Holley Wear: The Power of Purple and Lillybee Promo Code

While Holley’s away, enjoy a “best of” post for all you TCU purple fans with updated purple finds!

So, how do you get a man to wear purple (this is not a joke)?  The answer: Turn him into a TCU fan!  Everyone from Fort Worth knows the power of purple, and it has been said many of them even bleed purple.  Since purple is the University’s color, I thought it would be fun to talk about ways to incorporate purple into your fall wardrobe….even if you are not a Horned Frog fan.

So, two things you need to know:

…TCU’s colors:  purple – represents royalty and white represents a clean game

…and the purple hue adds instant drama or a pop of flair right where you need it!

Let’s talk about what to wear to a tailgate party and football game since it’s that time of the year. You can never go wrong with a purple and white TCU jersey and pair of jeans or shorts.  You may want to consider adding a little extra style with accessories, and a purple Goyard tote will even impress the college girls.  If you want to stand out in the crowd, think about wearing a denim midi skirt with your purple and white jersey tied at the waist….just add a pair of TCU cowboy boots.  Really…who wants to be a Plain Jane sitting on the sidelines?  Not me!

 

Are you an invited guest to one of the private suites at the Amon G. Carter Stadium this season?  Really?!?! That’s definitely a game changer, and you may want to think about taking your style to the next level.  A pair of black leather pants and a crisp white blouse layered with a purple trench coat would be perfect for a fall game.  

Or, maybe you just want to add a purple accessory. Then think about a purple handbag paired with black slacks, white blouse, camel coat, and nude pumps. Both of these ensembles can be dressed up or down…just be sure to ask your suite host what the dress attire will be.  

Besides TCU cowboy boots, there are so many fun purple boots and shoes to choose from this fall.  An awesome preppy look is a pair of purple Hunter boots…waterproof, practical for a rainy days on campus, and really cute.  I’m currently crushing on a pair studded purple Valentino heels. Not exactly realistic for my lifestyle, but a girl can dream…right?  A more practical look for me and my everyday style would be a pair of purple loafers or driving shoes.  I’m loving a pair of purple suede driving shoes by Tods.  They would look great this fall with a pair of black or dark denim jeans. 

Check out these adorable flats,  wedges and rainboots from Lillybee in all your school colors. They also have cross body bags. For Home with a Twist followers they are offering a special 20% off everything discount code HOME20 through October 31.  Think Christmas gifts and they have all school colors, not just TCU.

And for the gym and running around town, a cute pair of Nikes with purple trim will definitely put points on the style score board!  

Speaking of a “running around town” and a casual look, purple skinny jeans would be a great addition to a fall wardrobe.  Think about adding a creamy white blouse tucked in and, for a pop of fun, add a pair of animal print sneakers or booties.  We are loving Taylor Swift’s purple skinnies, worn with a camel jacket, green plaid scarf and shirt.  And if you are in to high-end designer style, you may want to copy Sofia Vergara’s look on our Pinterest board…Rag and Bone jeans, purple blouse, Yves Saint Laurent shoes, and a Prada bag.  Sounds royal!

Have you ever considered bringing some purple to the party?  Well, we think you should.  For a casual party look, a purple maxi worn with a denim jacket would be adorable.  And if you really want to make an entrance, a purple jumpsuit will absolutely score points!  An elegant party look is a purple printed kimono worn over slacks…a classy way to add nobility to your style.  The kimono trend just happens to be one of my favorite fall looks because it can also be worn as an everyday look over a pair of jeans.  This look will definitely take you into overtime!

Here are some new looks from Cabi this season – a gorgeous dress to wear with a denim jacket to the game, then out to dinner with the drapey sweater.  And, I love the two pullover sweaters — can’t you just see these with boots and jeans at a tailgate! Connect with Cabi stylist Stacy Stoltz to add these lovelies to your purple gear!

Wow!  Who knew there were so many ways to add luxury and nobility to your style with just one color?  Seems like there really is power in the color purple…right?   

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]

Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club – Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

It’s time for September’s Mrs. Twist Reads This selection.  This month we are reading Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs and here’s the twist – we are meeting at Commonplace Books!*

I hope you will join us on Wednesday, September 25 at 7 p.m. in this beautiful, new Indie-style book store in the Westbend Shopping center just off University Drive near TCU.  We’ll have sips and a sweet treat, plus you can browse all the lovely books and gift items.

Small Fry is a New York Times and New Yorker Top 10 book of the year.  Born on a farm and named in a field by her parents―artist Chrisann Brennan and Steve Jobs―Lisa Brennan-Jobs’s childhood unfolded in a rapidly changing Silicon Valley. When she was young, Lisa’s father was a mythical figure who was rarely present in her life. As she grew older, her father took an interest in her, ushering her into a new world of mansions, vacations, and private schools. His attention was thrilling, but he could also be cold, critical and unpredictable. When her relationship with her mother grew strained in high school, Lisa decided to move in with her father, hoping he’d become the parent she’d always wanted him to be. Part portrait of a complex family, part love letter to California in the seventies and eighties, Small Fry is a poignant coming-of-age story from one of our most exciting new literary voices.

If you are local to Fort Worth, feel free to join us.  Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our bookclub, 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.

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!

* Commonplace Books, is located across from Woodhouse Day Spa and Susie Cakes Bakery), 1701 River Run Unit 161, 76107, (817) 229-5773.  There is plenty of free parking in the garage.

What Would Holley Wear: How to Get A+ Teacher Style

My favorite 2nd grade teacher, Lindsey Leeman, teaches at the Academy of the Arts at Bransom Elementary in the Burleson ISD.  Lindsey recently asked me to share some ways to update an everyday teacher look.  

Accessories are key to giving an outfit that extra pop!  Since staying on budget is important, I’m sharing accessory ideas from Amazon Fashion.  With belts, scarves, and jewelry…Amazon has the latest trends and designer dupes. My favorite trend is layering necklaces, so I’m sharing two ideas from Amazon.  One is their 2 piece initial necklace and the other is their 3 piece coin pendant necklace. Don’t you just love a trendy teacher?  

When it comes to comfort, Tieks and Rothy’s are great for standing in all day and offer so many fun colors.  Speaking of an array of colors to choose from, Amazon has a wonderful selection of Sam Edelman shoes. Because comfort comes first, I’m recommending a pair of their ballet flats.  And because cuteness is a close second, a pair of their leopard print flats is anything but boring.  

If “A” is for apple…then “I” is for it-bag!  One of the best ways to up your style game is with a trendy tote.  Since blue is one of Bransom’s school colors, I’m suggesting a blue Stylesty shopping tote for Lindsey and her teacher pals.  BTW…it’s a designer knockoff from Amazon Fashion and comes in many school colors! To give it a preppy vibe…think about having it monogramed!  For monogramming in Fort Worth, we recommend Brown Bag Etc. at 2702 Hulen Street.

Clear and wooden bags have been all the rage and are perfect for teachers.  Be sure to check out the selection on our Pinterest board. I love how Vince Camuto’s clear tote with a dark cinnamon pouch can go classroom-casual or be dressed up for a school board meeting.  Without a doubt, a bamboo bag is a show stopper, and I think teachers, like Lindsey, deserve the limelight…don’t you agree?

Cardigans and blazers are two of my favorite fall trends and pair perfectly with slacks, skirts, or dresses.  We love how a cardigan adds polish to a jeans ensemble….ideal for a casual Friday and the weekend. A checked blazer will definitely add a cool vibe to your class room style!  Hmmm….sounds like someone is getting a check-plus!

Were you ever voted class favorite?  A popular Pinterest look I’m giving bonus points to features a striped midi skirt worn three ways….with different blazers, shoes, and handbags.  And just like teachers count on substitutes….so does your style. To change things up, think about substituting a denim jacket for a blazer. How classroom-cool does that sound?

Oh my goodness….did I just hear the bell ring?  I think that means it’s time to update your back-to-school style.  Besides…who doesn’t want to be a class act?  

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization, vacation attire, and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]  Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board.

Pumpkin French Toast Roll Ups

I follow Dixie Crystals Sugar on Instagram and they shared a recipe created by The Novice Chef for Pumkpin French Toast Roll Ups.  I had a loaf of white texas toast (which I never purchase but it was left over from a BBQ), and I had a can of pumpkin.  All the other ingredients are in my pantry.  My Saturday was set for these.

This is a recipe you can definitely get your children or grandchildren to help with — rolling the bread with a rolling pin, and dipping them in the egg mixture.  The filling was just enough for 12 roll ups.

These turned out perfect.  Not too sweet, you can definitely taste the pumpkin.  We didn’t serve them with syrup as the recipe suggests. I think they are sweet enough on their own without syrup, but Miss Bee suggested a dollop of whipped  cream would be nice.

Here’s the recipe and you can also find a video here on the Dixie Crystal Sugar website.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup canned plain pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 slices white sandwich bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • Butter, for coating skillet

Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.1
  2. In another dish, mix remaining 1/3 sugar and cinnamon, set aside.2
  3. Cut crusts from slices of white bread, and flatten bread with rolling pin.3
  4. Spread pumpkin pie filling on one side of each slice of bread. Tightly roll up the slice of bread. Continue for remaining slices.4
  5. In a shallow dish, beat eggs, and milk with whisk.5
  6. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat to coat inside of skillet. Dip each roll into egg mixture, and place in skillet.6
  7. Cook in batches of 4 or 5, turning until roll is browned. Dip into cinnamon sugar, and roll until completely covered. Serve immediately.

These are #Saturdaymorningapproved.

Fall is Coming Y’all – Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Hello, it’s fall y’all!  Well, technically not until September 22, but as soon as pumpkin hits the shelves at Trader Joe’s my happy season has begun.  I had my first PSL from Starbucks on August 28 – fall is my favorite!

This recipe from Crazy for Crust for Pumpkin Coffee Cake will be your new fall friend.  Here’s the thing, it doesn’t call for any eggs.  Don’t panic, it turns out fine (I was worried, so I wanted to offer you some reassurance).

Ingredients
For the Coffee Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used pastry flour)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pure pumpkin puree (I swear by Trader Joe’s organic canned pumpkin)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nonfat milk

For the Streusel
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch salt

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9×9” pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Stir in pumpkin, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk until mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix melted butter with 1/4 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir with a fork to
combine. Spread on top of pumpkin cake layer.
4. Bake 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted 2” from the side of the pan comes out clean.
5. Store covered on the counter for up to 2 days or freeze for up to one month

This recipe along with 400 other yummy recipes for breads and muffins can be found on my Pinterest board.  Please feel free to follow!

Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist — Are White Jeans Okay after Labor Day?

letI love it when readers send me questions!  Like this one…

“I would love to know… is it okay to wear white after Labor Day?” A.H. 

Back in the day, Mother (and the fashion/home decor police) had two rules — never more than one mirror per room; and never wear white after Labor Day.  Pish posh.

Fast forward to present day and to quote Madea –“Hallerlujah!” A resounding absolutely “yes” you can wear white 365 days of the year!  I consider white to be a neutral like black or grey.  It’s the perfect backdrop for any color.  Plus, in Texas where it stays close to 1,000 degrees until December, anything goes.  It’s not the color it is what you put with the white that makes it a seasonal outfit.

I went to Pinterest and found some inspiring ways to keep your white jeans in-play during the fall and winter.

white-jeans-and-sweat-shirt

White jeans with a lightweight sweat shirt.

For a cooler day, layer it with a blouse underneath.

Pair it with a skinny belt.  Animal print would be a perfect pop here.

For shoes either ankle boots or how about a fun pair of leather sneakers.

When you look at this do you say, “oh, that’s a summer outfit?”  No, probably not.  Take cues from the layers and the shoes.

white-jeans-with-coat

Next up, white jeans with a coat.

Look at how stylish she is and you can clearly see it’s chilly outside.  Again, take cues from the layers.

Black heels, a fun “Holley” style handbag, a long scarf wrapped around her neck and long coat. Add sunnies and you are good to go.

Look at the lace-up details on the ankle of the jeans.

white-jeans-with-leather-jacket

White jeans paired with a sexy, leather jacket.  The jacket keeps you warm so you just need a simple black t-shirt underneath.  Add a satchel, accessories and animal print sneaks.  Animal print is another year-round pattern that looks great with anything.

white-jeans-with-fringe-purseAnother look I love — pairing white with chambray.  Denim is a workhorse.  It’s like the crisp, white shirt Sharon Stone made iconic.  Chambray tucked into a pencil skirt or worn out with jeans (Holley would front tuck this).  A dark denim blouse would work here, too.

Add a duster sweater cardigan, fun shooties, a bold necklace and a fringe purse and this is the perfect date night look. Hot, hot, hot.

white-jeans-with-cargo-jacketLast look, this is perfect for running errands.

Long tunic top.  I love the style right now of the longer in the back tunic tops, shorter in the front.

Simple sneakers, a bucket bag and an Anorak jacket.  If you can find a jacket in camo fabric you will be on-trend.  The fun thing about a drawstring Anorak jacket is it helps to accentuate the waist. Tons of pockets for keys, chapstick, a snack and phone.

Fun sunnies and you will be boss for the day.

So, I hope this helps put aside any negative thoughts on the white after Labor Day rule.  It’s a myth.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • White jeans
  • Converse sneakers
  • Anorak drawstring jacket
  • A lightweight sweat shirt
  • A chambray shirt
  • Bucket bag or Tote
  • Something animal print — either shoes or a skinny belt

Now, go forth and be fabulous!  Mrs. Twist approved.

P.S.  This message was approved by Holley.

What Would Holley Wear: Five Favorite Brunch Spots

So earlier this summer I posted this on Tanglewood Moms:  Where are your favorite brunch spots around town? And without fail, “the moms” came through with great selections!

Let me start first with our go-to Sunday brunch place….The Kimbell Café.  Typically, this is where we go after church on Sunday.  And speaking of a work of art, an embroidered wicker handbag is the ultimate pairing for a lovely museum brunch.  Add a white skirt or dress, and checked flats to give your brunch style a vintage vibe! FYI….guess whose white bucket bag went to the Monet exhibit!

When brunching at a cosmopolitan museum, like Café Modern, abstract prints always add a touch of sophistication.  You can’t help but feel “modern” in an Anthropologie bold and graphic print skirt.  On Pinterest they feature it on two different models, both wearing it with a printed tee. And I have to admit, I just love how my mid-century bamboo bag complements the Modern’s architecture!

For a fun and active brunch, Pinstripes is the place to go!  I’m thinking something “striped” for this fun environment.  BTW….striped pants paired with bowling and bocce make for a great combo.  And just so you know, a pair of striped pants is “right up my alley”! Another fun bowling alley/brunch look is a rainbow striped top worn with white jeans.  Sounds like a “strike” to me!  

My favorite Monday brunch/lunch place is McKinley’s Bakery!  My new style obsession is paper-bag pants, which are so comfy and ideal for my Monday “MOW’s” delivery.   I recently purchased a pair of paper-bag khakis at Zara’s 5th Avenue store in New York, which go great with my rattan slides from J McLaughlin.  And one more thing…they pair perfectly with a slice of McKinley’s coconut cream pie…yum!  

If you had to “press” my husband for his favorite brunch spot that would be Press Café.  With its off-the-trail location next to the Farmer’s Market, and Johnny’s Bike Shop…it definitely has a laid-back California feel.  Anything bohemian is ideal for this setting….from floral maxis to a flowy kimono worn with jeans. How Cali-cool does that sound? 

And one more thing, whoever came up with the idea of “brunching” is a super hero….in my humble, yet accurate opinion!  Don’t you agree?

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization, vacation attire, and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]  Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board.

Three Binge-Worthy TV shows and Pinterest Popcorn Recipes

I really do try to balance my reading with my television watching.  But when I find a good series, it’s hard not to sit for hours on the weekend glued to my sofa, gripping a bowl of popcorn, and watching binge-worthy TV!

Here are three of my favorites…

Killing Eve.  This thriller series is on AMC and BBC America, but I watched the entire first season on Hulu.  It stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer – each are equally facinating characters. Disclaimer:  The villian kills about 2-3 people per episode in a variety of ways to suit her fancy, so use discretion when watching it.

Eve’s life as a spy is not adding up to what she had hoped it would be when she started. She is a bored, very smart, MI5 security officer who is very desk-bound. Villanelle is a very talented killer, mercurial in mood, who clings to the luxuries of her job. Eve and Villanelle go head to head in a fierce game of cat and mouse, each woman equally obsessed with the other as Eve is tasked with hunting down the psychopathic assassin. Sarah Barnett, BBCA president, says, ” `Killing Eve’ stands out in a sea of scripted stories as refreshingly entertaining and great fun.”

Why Women Kill.  This is a CBS-All Access production written by Marc Cherry from Desparate Housewives fame.  It’s a dark comedy detailing the lives of three women living in three different decades: a housewife in the 60s, a socialite in the 80s, and a lawyer in 2018, each dealing with infidelity in their marriages.  The clever thing is it’s the same house througout the entire show, but filmed with different set design for each decade.  I especially love the housewife Ginnifer Goodwin from the ’60s. Disclaimer: Don’t let the fact that this is a CBS show make you think it’s PG. There’s nudity and swear words.

Bosch.  I missed the train when it took off for this show six seasons ago, but I’m glad I finally jumped on it.  It doesn’t hurt that the main character is a hottie.  This is an Amazon developed series based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling novels. Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) is an LAPD homicide detective who pursues justice at all costs and loves to listen to jazz.  There’s five seasons available so you will have a nice long weekend spent helping Harry solve crimes.  The writers dedicate an entire season to solve one crime with a few addition storylines woven in from Connelly’s 20 books.  It has been renewed for a sixth season making it Amazon’s longest running series.

Now to finish off my post – I’ve rounded up some great popcorn recipes to nosh whilst you enjoy your binge cinema.

Oven Roasted Pizza Popcorn from the Busy Baker.

Spicy Citrus Popcorn from the Tasting Table.

Mexican Chili Lime Popcorn from Belle Vie

and something sweet with the MOST requested popcorn recipe on Pinterest – saved over 123,000 times —Salted Caramel Popcorn from Cookies and Cups.

I don’t know about y’all, but I am ready for cooler temps and movie nights outside under the blankets.  That won’t be happening for about another two months here in Texas! Let me know your favorite shows and I’ll add them to my queue.

What Would Holley Wear: Welcome to the Weekend

“I never look forward to the weekend”….SAID NO ONE EVER!   I love everything about the weekend! And since I just returned from a long weekend in New York, I’ve got some great city styles to share with you.

For the plane trip to New York, I suggest a blazer paired with slacks or jeans.  My favorite Pinterest pick features light blue jeans worn with a floral blazer and either sneakers, slides, or heels….you get to edit!  To get around DFW and LaGuardia, I wore espadrille loafers with white jeans, a light blue button-down shirt, and a pin-striped navy blazer.  Ready or not Manhattan….here I come!

Depending on where you are having dinner, a pantsuit is a great travel option.  Because here’s the deal…it’s the best transition from the airport to an upscale bar or restaurant.  BTW….Did you know short suiting is the latest trend? My style suggestion….a pair of paper-bag shorts paired with a white blazer, brown slides and a wicker bag….so city-chic!  

Since New York is an urban jungle, we think anything with palm leaves is ideal for street fair shopping or lunch at Tavern on the Green.   From dresses to jumpsuits, we’re “going bananas” over all the tropical choices on our Pinterest board. My street style “jungle” look was a pair of palm leaf trousers topped with a pink pin-striped blazer….“Keep Palm and Carry On!”

Our youngest son, Chris, lives in New York and works in the music industry. Friday night, he treated me to the Mostly Mozart Music Festival at Lincoln Center.  Though our first stop that evening was at The Yale Club for a fun summer soiree’! My suggestion for a “fancy schmancy” New York evening would be a slip dress or skirt….definitely “the look” for trendsetters!  

Chris and I love our museum time, so we often designate Saturday as “Museum Day”!  MoMA, The Whitney, and The Met….oh my! Anything black, tan, or white adds a cool vibe to museum browsing.  We are loving how a freelance stylist based in London styles a black and white polka-dot dress with a pair of Van’s sneakers.  White crops always look sophisticated with a black top, and when you add a black blazer…your museum style just became ultra-chic!

 “Eat, Pray, Love!”  Sunday in New York is an ideal church, brunch, and al fresco dining kind of day and pairs well with a maxi dress or skirt.  A photo that inspired my Sunday city look was a tiered yellow dress. Wearing a maxi skirt in the city with an off-the-shoulder top and strappy sandals definitely puts me in a “Weekend State of Mind!”  

Without a doubt, I always look forward to the weekend…especially when I’m spending it with Chris in New York…and wearing a cute outfit….of course!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization, vacation attire, and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected]  Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board.

My Heart’s in Two Places: Countdown to College drop-off – One year later

I know for many of you this time of the year is full of firsts and lasts.  It is an exciting time full of check-lists and shopping trips to Target picking out their 100th ruler and twin XL sheets for their dorm room. At the same time, when you let your heart and mind be still with each other long enough, there is a wave of sadness that the years passed you by so quickly – we were warned of this from the time they were placed in our arms, but we didn’t believe it.

Since seeing Miss Bee off to college last fall I can look back and say it was different dropping her off than I thought it would be.  First, you’re exhausted and dripping with sweat from the dozens of visits to and from your car to unload all the stuff your child is confident will fit in their tiny room. I remember thinking several days later after the realization she wasn’t away at camp, our “party of three” wasn’t the same. I felt this need to get a text from her every night before bed so I knew she was okay and at first she induldged me, but after the first week those texts stopped.  I didn’t protest.  I had to trust that God was taking care of her. That all the conversations we had about safety and following your instincts would kick in. I had to put pictures in my head of ponies, rainbows and friends that loved her as much as her parents do.

As the months moved ahead I found I actually enjoyed coming home to a quiet space where I didn’t have to cook dinner, ask about homework, or drive her anywhere for glue or tennis practice. I enjoyed the company of my husband.  If we wanted to skip dinner and just eat cereal we could. If we wanted to go to a weeknight movie we would. It was funny the first time she came home during Christmas she was totally perplexed that we had no snack food in the pantry, just enough food for the two of us in the fridge, and no meals planned. It blew her mind.

What I did observe during her visits home, which even though she attends school 15 minutes from our home we didn’t see her much at all, was a woman.  Full of ideas and new knowledge she was taking in from her classes. We had wonderful philosophical conversations at the table about the world we live in.  This summer we enjoyed going to movies, cooking dinner together and laughing.  This past year gave us “space” to find ourselves separate from our threesome.  Miss Bee still sees us as her parents, but we’ve moved more into an advisory role versus managers.  This past year has been full of trusting moments.  Dr. Benjamin Spock said it best, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” And with a little faith, so do your children.

I thought you might like to see my post from last year – our countdown to drop off.  God bless you in your new journey, whatever that might be.

August 8, 2018

Today is the day.  A day I have been prepping myself for since she said “yes” to going to college.  Full disclosure:  Miss Bee is going to college 15 minutes from home and also where I have worked for the past 21 years.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I were dropping her off hundreds of miles away.

But, this is my story.  For the past 18 years, my first thought of each new day has been her and the day we have ahead together.  My last thought at night, as my head hits the pillow and I drift off to sleep, has been of her and thanking God for the day He gave us.  We now will have new rituals and routines as I wake up in a house without her presence.

The way I have been approaching this day is similar to how I felt when I dropped her off for the first day of Kindergarten.  I am excited for her because she is ready for a shiny, new experience.  She is so pretty and has carefully shopped for new school clothes, books and dorm room decor.  And while all of that fills me with joy and excitement, the part pulling at my heart is leaving her to fend for herself.  Will she make friends, will people see how special she is, will she feel safe and treasured the way I have been trying to make her feel for 18 years?  What if she needs me and I am not there?  Like I did for Kindergarten drop-off, I’ll grab my muffin with other moms, smile, then go home.  I hope to choose happy. But, likely I will go home, stare into space, gaze into her empty room and cry.  Happy tears.

Follow me along today for an on-line journal of how the day progresses.  I’ll try to post at different times and let you know what and how we are doing.

We will start with yesterday…

Tuesday, August 7:

2 p.m.  Miss Bee texts:  “I want my last meal at (insert our address) to be Daddy’s homemade pizza.”  I responded with crying emojis.

6:30 p.m. Miss Bee wanted to see the movie Christopher Robin.    The very first movie I ever took her to see as Winnie the Pooh’s Springtime with Roo.  She was two. I cried then.  I cried again now.

9 p.m. She’s packing everything in the van for move-in tomorrow.

1 a.m.  Miss crawls into bed with me and sleeps.  We don’t spoon.  But I smell her and hear her breathing.  It’s like when she was little.

Wednesday, August 8:

6:40 a.m. Alarm goes off.  I kiss my baby and whisper in her ear I love her.

6:45 a.m. I bake her favorite coffee cake — I rename it “Off to College Coffee Cake.”

8:10 a.m. I kiss her goodbye and tell her I will meet her at 1 p.m. for move-in.

9 a.m. I write her a card to leave on her pillow after move her in…

“Wow!!  What an amazing, joyful journey watching you grow into the young woman you are today.  I admire your tender heart, your quick wit, your self discipline, your love for your family, friends and God, and your ability to see the best parts of all kinds of people.

I know it’s been a challenge to feel like you belong when everything is new.  But, if you are always true to yourself and you believe in yourself you will be just fine.

Being your mother has been the best thing I’ve ever done in life!  You make me laugh everyday.  Now, my heart is in two places — with you and at home.  You are never alone.  There is nothing we can’t solve together.  Life is not intended to be a solo experience.  I love you dearly.  You are going to soar! Momma”

9:29 a.m. Co-worker gives me a beautiful succulent arrangement and a card.  I cry.

11 a.m. My friend and personal trainer, Jess, stops by to tell me I am amazing and what an important person I am in her life and gifts me with the cutest flip flops that say Queen Bee.  I accept her compliments, and cry some more.

2:05 p.m.  Miss Bee was planning on checking in at 1 p.m.  Apparently she had more stuff she packed in Mr. Bee’s pickup so now we have two cars full of stuff.  Was supposed to meet me at my office, have a sandwich then walk over to check in to get her key card.  Instead, she and her dad went over without me.  I’m okay.  I’m happy in my air conditioned office right now. This plan saves her the embarrassment of me wanting to take selfies and tell everyone I know she’s my daughter.

2:26 p.m.  I get to eat my sandwich in her dorm room!  We are taking a load of stuff over now.  I’ll get pictures and share them on facebook. (Looking back.on this was highly ambitious).

3:30 p.m. Cancel the tuna sandwich. It’s locked in Mr. Bee’s truck. Of all days, he doesn’t have his phone with him. It’s hot. Why did I wear jeans? I’m in her room unpacking things. The heat was on. Did I say it was hot?

4:18 p.m.  I’m eating my sandwich. I don’t care if it’s rancid. Things are looking up now. Rearranging furniture. Miss Bee scolded me for making friends with her RA Olivia…and for offering an open invitation to our house anytime they want. I can’t help it.  I’m so hot. Maybe it’s a blessing so I won’t cry when I leave.

4:38 p.m. Okay, I think we’ve turned a corner. I rigged a fan up from my office so I think the temp might be dropping to 92 in here. Getting ready to make her bed.  Feeling good. No tears.

5:14 p.m. it’s still hot. I think with 700 people moving into the dorm all at once has shocked the system. Right now Miss Bee is applying faux marble peel and stick contact paper to her desk top. It looks super chic. I’m on her bed.  I was going to get out of their way and sit outside her room, but she insisted I stay on the bed. Positive gesture.  I think God makes you dislike moving in so you won’t focus on the end.

5:33 p.m. I think it’s starting to cool down, or maybe my brain is liquid and I don’t feel it.  Everything is put together and in its place. We are now hanging stuff on the walls.  Her theme is Boho chic. She purchased a gorgeous tapestry for wall behind her bed.  Crisp white linens and pillows on the bed.  I think I’ll get some fresh flowers for her desk.

She told me I could put anything I wanted to on the lightbox. She hung it up next to her bed.

6:45 p.m. We are exhausted. So we are seeking cool air, chips and salsa to build up our strength.  Then, it’s to Target for a few things and back for phase two.

6:55 p.m. This morning when I woke up I wondered if Mother would make her usual appearance on days like today (she appears as a cardinal).  On the way to the car, I heard her in the distance and suddenly she appeared right above us in the trees, singing the most beautiful song to Miss Bee.  It was a sign.  She will be fine…Mother’s got this.

7:45 p.m. At Target.  Asked Miss Bee if she wanted to pick out some flowers.  She said only if there were sunflowers – my daddy’s favorite flower.  They didn’t, but I made a mental note to find some for her this weekend.  I don’t have to look very far.  We have a whole bunch of them growing in the flower bed in our front yard.  The summer after Daddy died, sunflowers started growing everywhere and to this day, every summer, we see him in our garden.  This was his own doing, as we never planted any seeds.

8:30 p.m. We are back home packing up little things and a BIG fat fan for her room.  Lordy, I hope it’s cooler in her dorm room by the time Miss Bee makes it back there or she is quitting school.  I am going to say my goodbyes here at home.  I think the last little bit of time should be with her Daddy putting together a rolling cart.

I am really okay.  Better than I thought I would be.  I have spent the last 18 years preparing her for this very moment.  When God blessed me with a child after years of losses, I promised Him I would put my heart and soul into raising a woman He would be proud of.  With God’s help, Mr. Bee and I have met that goal ten-fold.  She’s ready.  I’m ready.  It’s time.

There’s a quote I love from Nanny McPhee…

“There is something you should understand about the way I work. When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.”

One last thing before she left was to say, “Can we have breakfast together in the morning, Momma?”  Yes, my darling girl.  Always.

8:39 p.m.  The End.