Holley’s Mother’s Day Tribute

When it comes to moms, I was blessed with the best.  So, in honor of my beautiful mother, I’m dedicating this article to her.

With sewing being one of mom’s many talents, I give her the credit for instilling in me a sense of fashion.  My favorites were the dozens of church dresses she made for me when I was growing up.  For today’s church lady, one of J McLaughlin’s spring dresses paired with a wicker bag is a great way to show off your Sunday best.  And from Mother’s Day photos to springtime occasions, Anthropologie’s mother-daughter capsule is sure to bring joy!  

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“Could someone pass the rolls, please?”   In our family, mom is known for her outstanding cooking and her impressive collection of Southern Living cookbooks….just as sacred as the family bible.  Speaking of cooking, Anthropologie has cooked up the cutest selection of aprons….almost makes me want to start cooking again.  If you are looking for a special gift for your mom, their feminine dish and tea towels are a thoughtful gift for any culinary aficionado.  

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style

Lake Ouachita in Arkansas is where our family spent our summers.  I especially loved all the cute short sets mom made for me to wear at the lake.  Talbots’s short selection should be a mainstay for your warm-weather wardrobe.  My pick is their timeless Bermuda shorts in colorful solids and fun prints.  And their summer pull-up shorts do double duty…wear them to run errands or as a swimsuit coverup.  

Back in the day, bridge club was a big part of mom’s social life.  From her bridge skills to her entertaining flair, mom hosted bridge club with style.  It’s so easy to look stylish in a pair of classic Talbot’s pants…ideal for any bridge or Mahjong game.  From their pink gingham crops to their green floral pants…I’m loving all the ways to style them.   Though, just between you and me….I think mom’s bridge club was just a little bit about bridge and a whole lot about lifetime friendships.

So, to my mom and all the wonderful role models in my life….I’m sending Happy Mother’s Day wishes and blessings!  

 

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].  

 

Keeping Up with the Joneses Perfect Spring Finds

Nestled in the middle of the Villages of Camp Bowie Keeping up with the Joneses is a well-curated little shop featuring American-made ladies’ clothing and accessories. Selections are classic and timeless. From casual to cocktail, all items are personally selected by owner Judy Jones Rotzoll with the socially active Fort Worth woman in mind.

Being a part of the community and supporting other local, woman-owned businesses is important to Judy. She proudly features many locally woman-owned and designed lines, and firmly believes in quality over quantity, taking take pride in providing customers an easy and enjoyable shopping experience.

As we safely gather with friends, so many celebrations are planned for spring.  Judy has lovely dresses perfect for coffee on the patio, a garden wedding, or a gorgeous bauble for Mother’s Day.

I popped into the store recently because I wanted to try her line of Jaye’s Studio Day Dresses. Remember, the “housecoats” from our grandmother’s day? Well, the day dress is the modern-day twist on the most comfortable dress you will ever wear.  You had me at hello with the blue and white chinoiserie fabric and front pockets. The neckline is just right for a beautiful beaded necklace like this one. The fabric feels like pajamas. When the hot weather arrives and stays, this dress will be my go-to for sure. I think she may try to bring in the pink and white version, too.

The store is filled with fun dresses all in colorful prints and flattering styles.

Can’t you see this navy blue dress with red embroidered flowers on the patio of Joe T’s with an icy-cold margarita?

And I love the raw edges of the Chatham blue and white striped dress worn with a Cara Brown Designs Owl Necklace.

Another retro twist is Judy’s collection of woven bags – they totally remind me of Doris Day.  I couldn’t resist taking home the round bag with a removable strap. It’s lined in a bright green palm print just like the wallpaper we had in our front entry in my childhood home on 4617 Meadowbrook Drive.

Click the photo to see the handbag selection

Maybe you need a pretty bauble to update your spring wardrobe? I think jewelry gifts are a lovely gesture for a new mother or for a friend you haven’t seen since before the pandemic to let them know how much you missed being together. Judy carries my favorite designer – Lorren Bell. You will see in many of my photos sporting his cotton ball pearl bracelet. Look at his latest statement necklace filled with pearls and gold shells. If you are planning a beach getaway this necklace will look gorgeous with a white flowy dress.

Another new designer Judy carries is Loren Hope. Inspired by history and moved by artful and meticulous design, Loren Barham founded Loren Hope in 2005 with the goal of reconnecting the modern-day jewelry industry with the vintage jewels that excited her as a child.  I adore the XO studs set in 18K gold. Can’t you see these as a sweet morning of graduation gift waiting by the coffee?

Maybe you need a quick gift for a hostess or housewarming. Judy has kept me supplied with gorgeous pillows for the seasons.

Click the photo to shop home decor

One of my favorite ways to curate a tablescape that tells a story is with interesting finds like the handpainted oyster shell jewelry dishes and blessing beads.

New to Judy’s store are these stunning orchid greenhouses designed by Fort Worth artist Emma Moorman. Emma began working with glass while studying abroad in Italy. You must come into the store to see the intricate design. The orchid houses are truly a one-of-a-kind gift.

Stay social with Keeping up with the Joneses on Instagram and Facebook where Judy posts new store arrivals and event announcements. If you see something you can’t live without, give Judy a call (817) 995-0787 and she will gladly hold an item for you to try on. Plus, the Black Rooster and The Lunch Box are next door so you can meet a friend for lunch after you shop!

Mother’s Day Monogramming

I adore monogramming. And from the look on my mother’s face circa the 70s, she was smitten with her monogrammed wedge pillow!

Monogramming is truly the most meaningful and thoughtful gift you can give someone. It shows them you took the extra step to put that special touch on their present. I also like to use monogramming in my home decor. From towels to sheets and even monogramming the back of a chair. The options are limitless. I kicked off a fun series this week on Instagram – Mother’s Day Monograms showing some of my favorite grammers out there. I’ve found a few ideas on Pinterest, too. It’s not too late to get your items to the monogrammer in time for Mother’s Day or graduation.

Etiquette on monogramming – Not sure where to start? Mark and Graham have a great article on all the combinations you can create for your monogram. Since my last name is hyphenated I take a broad stroke on the creative license with how I choose to tackle this conundrum. Sometimes I will use MAW but lately, I have started using an A and W intertwined.

Shuler Studio. My friend Tara introduced me to this quintessential source for print and monogramming fonts.  This would be my first stop if you are considering a custom monogram unique to you.

Hive Porcelain is my latest crush. I could scroll for days on their site looking at all the ways you can use a monogram.

Look at this stationary!  It’s called “breath of fresh air.” Can you imagine receiving a note like this in the mail?

For someone who bakes, a monogrammed cake stand would be a forever keepsake. Think of all the celebrations and passing this down through the generations.

I think a set of monogrammed porcelain coasters would make a perfect wedding or housewarming gift.

I found some more inspiration from my Pinterest board on monogramming.

Monogrammed ribbon is so pretty on a gift or for a wreath on your front door. The Classic Hostess used the ribbon for an Easter basket.

Photo credit The Classic Hostess

Monogrammed napkins are gaining popularity again. You can find some new cloth napkins on Amazon or vintage napkins at estate sales. I’ve rounded up some helpful links below. Most monogrammers will charge around $10-12 per napkin so it is an investment, but one I think worth the expense. It really makes a statement on your tablescape. I suggest you start with a set of twelve white napkins and a neutral thread color like white, grey, or taupe.

Consider investing in one set of towels and sheets reserved for guests, or maybe just for the powder room. Monogrammed soaps are lovely in a bath. I received a set as a thank you gift recently and they made me swoon.

I’ve gathered up finds below to help you with your shopping. Just click on each photo for source links.

Click the pic for Amazon and Target finds to monogram
Click the pic to shop monogrammed gifts.

Who knows – you might just make giving monogrammed finds your signature gift!

Lemon Lavender Muffins

Now that we can start safely hosting small groups of friends, I love to find different recipes that delight the senses — bright colors in the fruit and vegetables, and the scent of lavender, citrus, mint, and rosemary, and the taste buds, too.

Lavender is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness.  I enjoy diffusing lavender while I am getting ready for work in the morning especially if I anticipate a busy day ahead.

Phoebe in an English Lavender Field

I found this recipe for Lemon Lavender muffins from A Pinch of Yum. I didn’t take the time to prepare these in advance to try them first, so I was a little nervous to experiment on a new recipe (Mother always said, “never serve your guests a recipe you haven’t tested yourself first.”)  Hoorah, they were a success!  You could definitely smell and taste the blend of lemon and lavender.  They weren’t a fluffy muffin, more like tea bread consistency.  I think next time I might make them in a loaf pan rather than a muffin tin to see how they turn out.

I purchased organic lavender buds from Amazon.  You zest and juice a whole lemon then make a lemon-lavender infused sugar for the batter and to sprinkle on the tops of the muffins after they are iced.

A Pinch of Yum – Lemon Lavender Muffins:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds
  • 1 lemon – juice and zest 
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk (I used almond vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (more or less) Almond Milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse the sugar, lavender, and lemon zest in a food processor until smooth. The goal is to break down the lavender. Set 1/4 cup aside.
  3. Beat the 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and eggs until fluffy. Beat in honey, almond milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients gently until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared muffin tin (I just greased mine, no liners). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and the tops spring back when you touch them.
  5. Whisk ingredients together for glaze. Pour a spoonful over the top of each muffin and sprinkle with reserved sugar.

Note from Mrs. Twist:  This batter is super thin and chunky from the butter.  This worried me because I am used to a batter consistency that is thicker.  But, it didn’t seem to affect the outcome so push forward.

These muffins would be lovely wrapped up in cellphane with a sprig of lavender and a ribbon to give as a gift or lovely gesture.

 

Spring Skirt Trends

There is nothing like a midi or maxi skirt that makes the transition from spring to summer so easy!   What Would Holley Wear has all the spring skirt trends for spring.

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

So, let’s start with something fun….like a polka-dot skirt.  If you are looking to connect the dots, look no further than a Mango brown polka-dot skirt.  They feature it with an adorable matching top and I’m loving it with a blouse and belt.   And speaking of connecting the dots…don’t you think  Nordstrom’s polka-dot handbag is spot on? 

Looking for the perfect party skirt?  Whether the party is on your patio or at a fabulous resort, an embroidered maxi skirt makes an exotic statement.  Anthropologie gives us two bold choices with a yellow or green embroidered skirt.  These beauties can go casual paired with a t-shirt or deliver the ultimate party look when paired with a matching tank or a flowy blouse.

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

Ruffled and tiered skirts are major trending this spring and summer.  For a fun resort look, an Anthro floral ruffle skirt is extra flirty!  If you love tiers as much as we do, you’ll love Ro Garden’s three print blue tiered skirt.  Wear it belted with a woven clutch and add a festive bracelet from the Accessory Concierge.  

Looking for a blue jean replacement?  Then look no further than a denim skirt.  We think an H&M pencil skirt should be a wardrobe staple.  To give it a preppy vibe, pair it with a striped tee topped with a cashmere cardigan.  For a fresh look in denim skirts, Anthropologie’s tiered midi or button-front pencil skirt will add a  little extra style to your preppy look!  

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

Do your summer plans include taking a walk on the beach?  With a botanical print….an Anthropologie maxi is all about looking chic-at-the-beach.  And don’t you think their multi-print ruffle skirt matches perfectly with a Lowe’s ruffle raffia bagMara Hoffman’s wrap skirt in a multi-color palm print also gives a tropical feel.  To round off your look, wear your skirt with a cute pair of sandals from Saks.  

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

With so many flirty and festive skirt options, I kind of think we’ve got this spring to summer transition thing figured out!  Don’t you?  

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].  

 

How to Date Your Wardrobe Live Interview with Heather Newberger

After a year of wearing sweat pants you will want to join me next Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. CST for a fun evening of cocktails and girl talk as I interview Heather Newberger, stylist and author of her new book How to Date Your Wardrobe: And Other Ways to Revive, Revitalize and Reinvigorate Your Style.

I think we can all use Heather’s down-to-earth philosophy right now to reclaim our personal style. If you hate what you having hanging in your closet let’s get to the bottom of the why.

During our live conversation on my Facebook and YouTube Channels, Heather will share invaluable lessons, tips, and advice, to help us define our personal style in a whole new way, by enhancing not just how we look, but how we feel.

Get ready to throw away all those old tired rules. Forget outmoded advice like dressing for your body shape or that a brand name is always better.  Heather teaches how to build a closet that reveals who you are.  Following her advice, you’ll learn to define what you like and be able to choose clothing and accessories that express the best parts of your inner self.  Best of all, you’ll find new ways to love every piece of clothing you own.

You can watch the show LIVE two ways either on my Home with a Twist Facebook page here or on my YouTube channel here. Post questions in the comments for Heather to answer during the show. The event is free.

I hope to see you!

What is a GrandMillennial? The History of a Salt Cellar

I spent my Saturday organizing – one of my favorite hobbies and also, for me, a terrific way to relieve stress. I am three weeks away from finishing graduate school and to say I am a little stressed might be an understatement. I took a break from reading and dove into organizing my party closet.  I am so glad I did because I sorted and organized my serving pieces and glassware finding things I forgot I had.  I thought it might be a fun way to share with you the entertaining pieces handed down to me by my mother.

Photo credit One Kings Lane

But, first, are you familiar with the term GrandMillennial? Journalist Emma Bazilian with House Beautiful magazine wrote a wildly popular article on how young women in their mid-20s to late 30s are embracing monogrammed linens and scalloped lampshades, skirted tables, Mosser jadeite, and artful hand soaps a traditional style with a nod to their grandmothers. Hence, the term Grandmillennial was born – a fresh take on what they’ve known all their lives. Even though I am well outside the age range for a Grandmillennial I have embraced everything my mother taught me with my own modern style – including decorating. So does this make me a GreatGrand Millennial?

It’s so fun to follow Grandmillennials on Instagram hunting for and selling vintage finds I already have in my party pantry. It’s inspired me to get out those things and use them. When I found my collection of salt cellars I thought it might be fun to share the vintage pieces in my collection and consider new ways to use them for today’s modern living. Cooks use large salt cellars in the kitchen to easily add a pinch of salt and other seasonings. For this post, I am referring to small individual cellars designed for a guest’s table setting.

A salt cellar typically holds salt, but I have also filled them with ground pepper.  Salt cellars can be either lidded or open and are found in a wide range of sizes, from large shared vessels to small individual dishes. Styles range from simple to ornate or whimsical, using materials including glass and ceramic, metals, ivory and wood, and plastic. My cellars are designed for individual servings about the size of a large ice cube.

The use of salt cellars is documented as early as classical Rome. They continued to be used through the first half of the 20th century; however, popularity declined with the introduction of free-flowing salt in 1911, and ultimately disappeared entirely when replaced by salt shakers.

When mother hosted a formal gathering I loved helping her fill the tiny cellars while she taught me how to properly set the table. Typically, the cellars come with tiny silver spoons for guests to use for seasoning their food. For modern use, I think larger cellars would be fun filled with red pepper flakes and olive oil for dipping bread. Or how about sprinkles for ice cream! Depending on the size wouldn’t they be sweet as holders for earrings or rings on a pretty mirrored tray on your vanity?

If you want to have a set to try this set from Amazon is adorable and comes with tiny spoons.

I’ll be back soon with more inspiration.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Click the pic to shop.

Growing up I remember my mother loved the convenience of Betty Crocker box au gratin potatoes.  When I started cooking on my own I wasn’t in love with the salty flavor from the boxed mix. I couldn’t tell you the last time I made them from scratch. We roasted a chicken over the weekend and I had a craving for potatoes, so I decided to open one of my Ina Garten cookbooks and found her recipe for Potato Fennel Gratin Potatoes. I changed a few things leaving out the fennel because I don’t like the taste of licorice, and I substituted the Gruyere cheese for Jarlsberg.

Why did I substitute the cheese? I love the flavor of Gruyere. It’s a smooth, slightly sweet, and salty melting style of swiss cheese. But, it’s also expensive because it ages six months if not more. One 4-0z block is $9 and I needed 8-oz of cheese. I Googled substitutions for Gruyere and decided on Jarlsberg, a rich buttery, slightly nutty cheese.  One 8-oz block was $8. I am really happy with my changes. These potatoes were amazing.

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The best way to make sure your potatoes cook evenly is by slicing them thin and of the same thickness. My most favorite cooking gadget is my OXO Good Grips Complete Grate and Slice set. Mr. Bee gifted me this and I use it all the time. The best part is that it stores all in its own measuring box to save space.   The set comes with a mandolin (straight slicing) blade which makes slicing the potatoes a breeze.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes (modified version of Ina Garten’s recipe)

  • 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled (4 large potatoes)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 ½ cups grated Jarlsberg cheese, divided (½ pound)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 10 x 15 x 2-inch (10 cup) baking dish.

Put the olive oil and butter in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan and sauté the onions over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender.

Thinly slice the potatoes by hand or with a mandoline. Place them in a large bowl with 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 2 cups of Jarlsberg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the onion mixture and mix well.

Pour the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press down lightly to smooth the top. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and ½ cup of Jarlsberg and sprinkle evenly on the top.  Bake for between 1 and 1¼ hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved.

Amazon Spring Favorites

When we think of springtime, the word that comes to mind is refreshing!  And with Holley’s amazing selection of spring styles at Amazon, there is no excuse not to refresh your wardrobe!

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

A classic French look is a pair of jeans, a striped tee, and a trench coat.  Such an easy look to copy with one of Amazon’s trench coats and striped t-shirts.  So, who can meet for lunch at la Madeline?  And even when it’s raining, one of Amazon’s colorful trenches will brighten up your day!  

An Amazon blazer is another great way to dress up a denim.  My favorite is their white double-breasted blazer with gold buttons here or here so stylish with blue jeans, a white tee, and their two-toned loafers.  We’re also loving how a navy military style blazer paired with a printed t-shirt and jeans gives a trendy vibe.  

It’s definitely time to transition your winter handbag to a fun spring bag.  For a stylish springtime look, bamboo bags are so on-trend.  Amazon has so many fabulous choices….and without the designer price tag.  Trust me on this one…whether you choose one of their rectangle or round bags, the compliments will never cease.  

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

When it comes to spring, an eyelet shirt is the perfect match for a blazer and jeans combo and so cute paired with a skirt.  We’re smitten with an Amazon flowy top with dramatic eyelet sleeves….which comes in white or black.   One of their oversized shirts is so versatile….wear it belted, as a swimsuit coverup, with jeans or as a dress.  Any way you look at it….Amazon’s got you covered here, here, here and here.

Click the pic to shop Holley’s style.

Make that a maxi please!  A maxi skirt paired with a t-shirt or button-down tied at the waist or belted has spring style written all over it.  From a striped preppy skirt to a floral bohemian maxi, their choices seem to be endless.  If you want to add a little spring to your step, you will love Amazon’s wildflower loafers and embroidered mules.  Check our Pinterest page for more styles.

Isn’t it refreshing to know you can update your spring wardrobe with just one little Amazon Fashion click?

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].  

Mrs. Twist Reads This Book Club – The Lost Apothecary

I am super excited about our April book club selection The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. I picked this book back in January before its release earlier this month. Something about the storyline and the buzz made me think this could be a winner. And the winner it is!  The book is already a NYT bestseller, and is named Most Anticipated of 2021 by NewsweekGood HousekeepingHello! magazine, Oprah.com, Bustle, Popsugar, Betches, Sweet July, and GoodReads! Join us virtually Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. CST as we welcome Sarah who will join us for conversation and cocktails! When you register on my book club page at BookMovement, you will find a delicious cocktail recipe waiting for you to download, and make the night of our gathering.

A forgotten history. A secret network of women. A legacy of poison and revenge. Welcome to The Lost Apothecary…

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile, in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters, and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance, and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

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.  Once you register you will have access to the Zoom code in the description of this month’s selection.

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!  Happy reading!