Happy Thanksgiving – Quotes of Gratitude

Thank you for this past year of loving support for my blog and newly launched podcast.  I sincerely appreciate all the sweet comments you leave for me each day.  Here are some beautiful quotes of gratitude to reflect on the day.  Happy Thanksgiving. #seekjoyineveryday

Kahill Gibran, The Prophet, 1923
“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.”

Oprah Winfrey, What I Know for Sure, 2014
Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you feel least thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life—this I know for sure.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything, 2006
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”

Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, 2012
“Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.”

Stephen W. Hawking, New York Times Magazine Interview, 2004
“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, 1994
“My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I’m grateful for it the way I’m grateful for the ocean.”

Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon, 1984
“I think that real friendship always makes us feel such sweet gratitude, because the world almost always seems like a very hard desert, and the flowers that grow there seem to grow against such high odds.”

Helen Keller, The Open Door, 1957
“It has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me…if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me.”

William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1623
“They do not love, that do not show their love.”

 

 

Source: Unto Us, So much is given:  9 Quotes about Gratitude by Tom Blunt. Signature Reads.

Mrs. Twist Says This Podcast Episode Five: Love, Loss, and Cranberry Martinis

Episode Five of the podcast is live here and on most channels where podcasts are heard.

The first part of the story, as most of my podcasts start with something personal, is an honest look at loss, love and my journey to be grateful each and every Thanksgiving.

I share the recipe for Mother’s fabulous Sweet Potato Delight, which Miss Bee will be making for the first time on her own this year – I am taking a break from cooking and I am SO EXCITED!

Here’s the video I mentioned on the hilarious Friends episode over Ross’s dismay that someone ate his “Moist Maker” sandwich.  I gafaw at this every time I see it.

Then, I talk about Ina Garten and her new cookbook Cooking Like Pro.  I have managed to collect most all of her cookbooks – she has ten.  In her book Make it Ahead she shares “Ten Make Ahead Tips” when hosting a dinner party.

While we are on the subject of Ina, I shared her recipe for Cranberry Martinis which I am serving to guests on Thanksgiving as my welcome cocktail.  I cooked the cranberries and orange rind last night on the stove and the house smelled like a citrus grove.  You then pour into a pitcher of vodka and let it sit in the fridge for a few days to infuse.  Serve over ice with triple sec and POW! it’s a Thanksgiving miracle!

Let’s see, I think we finished up with some fun ice breaker activities you can play with guests to create conversation and connection.  I’ve got 81 Ice Breaker ideas posted on my Pinterest board here.  I’m especially enjoying the “This or That” versions.

Thank you for the blessing of your readership.  I hope you feel the love today.  And remember, seek joy in everyday.  #joiedevivre

Mrs. Twist’s 12 Days of Gifts — Google Hub and Carl the Snowman

Thirty four days and counting until Christmas. I’ve got a great list of ideas to share with you for gifts – at least I would love these under my tree!

Gift One:   The Google Hub.  I love my Hub.  I am team Google, so everything in my house is compatible with my Samsung devices.  If you love iPhone, there’s a home device out there for you.  I purchased Hub from Target for $149 and since I have a Target Redcard I saved an additional 5%, plus free shipping.  It took less than two minutes to set up and sync to my phone.  Housed in my kitchen,Hub has access to my calendar for the day, my contacts, can scroll through my photos, and is voice activated.  I walk into the kitchen in the morning to make my coffee and I say, “Hey, Google Good morning.”  Hub replies back “Good morning Melissa, here’s your schedule for the day” and then shows a five minute top world news video for the day and shares the weather forecast.  When my hands are full cooking I can ask Hub to look up a recipe on my Pinterest or find a video on how to cut a mango.  If you know someone on your list that loves to stay organized, this would be the perfect gift.

Gift number two:  Carl the Snowman from Kate Weiser Chocolate.  This cutie was named as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2018. Carl the Snowman is a dark chocolate hollow figure filled with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows.  Heat up a pot of milk, place Carl in the pot and watch him slowly melt into hot cocoa for the entire family!  He comes with a recipe card for two version of hot cocoa (traditional and thick and creamy).   There are less than 6,000 less to sell and a two snowman limit per order so be sure to snag Carl fast before he melts away.  I picked up one for our Christmas Eve gathering. What a perfect hostess gift!  Carl sells for $38.

I’ll be back next week with more gift ideas.

What Would Holley Wear: Balenciaga in Black

“Balenciaga alone is a couturier in the truest sense of the word…the rest are just designers.”  Coco Chanel

FRANCE – CIRCA 1927: Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972), spanish couturier. France, 1927. LIP-12272. (Photo by Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

The Kimbell Art Museum did it again!  They brought a once in a lifetime art exhibit to our city….“Balenciaga in Black.”  This stylish exhibit explores the creative genius of Spanish fashion designer, Cristobal Balenciaga. You can view his masterful pieces from the Galleria Collection and the Balenciaga archives at the museum’s Piano Pavilion now through January 6.   

Since the color black served as the guiding principal for the legendary dressmaker, we were inspired to follow his lead.  Like his Galleria Collection, let’s start with black cocktail dresses and party styles. Our favorite Pinterest board pick is a lace dress with layers of ruffles at the hem designed by Oscar de la Renta.  You will definitely want to view some of the gorgeous black cocktail dresses from Neiman Marcus on our Pinterest board!

To give your all-black style a contemporary vibe, we suggest wearing a pantsuit.  An “uptown girl” look on our Pinterest board features a black pantsuit complemented with a lace blouse.  For a sophisticated party look, we are loving black leather pants paired with an off-the-shoulder sweater….just add purple heels for a pop of color and a little sass!  Ready or not party season…here we come!!!

Haute Couture:  The definition of “haute” is…fashionably elegant or high class, and “couture” translates literally from French as dressmaking.  If you are planning to attend this year’s Jewel Charity Ball and want to look fashionably elegant, we suggest a black evening gown.  A gorgeous dress from Nordstrom’s by Eliza J features a lavish satin bow elegantly draped over the single shoulder of a luxe black-velvet gown.  And we are sharing more “high class” styles on our Pinterest board.

Orlew Lauger, Kimbell Art Museum docent, recently gave our P.E.O. chapter a private viewing of the Balenciaga collection.  To pay tribute to the master, our members wore black to the luncheon and tour. My ensemble included a pair of black waxed pants, a black blouse with bow cuffs, and a black blazer….all complemented with black booties and handbag.  And of course…our P.E.O. chapter members saluted Mr. Balenciaga in a most fashionable way!

Though wearing all black is very elegant, it can also be worn in a casual way.  How comfy are a pair of black leather leggings, sweater, and jacket matched with black sneakers? And for a pop of fun, add a black and white checked scarf! We are also loving a black teddy-bear jacket worn with leather pants and black Nike’s.  With black you can easily achieve a casual, yet classic look!

Considering the amount of time, money, and skill allotted to each piece, “haute couture” garments are also described as having no price tag.  That being said, I highly recommend you visit the Balenciaga in Black Exhibit, because without a doubt….it’s priceless!

 

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

What Would Holley Wear: Grateful, Thankful, Blessed

This year, John and I are celebrating Thanksgiving twice!  First we celebrated in Kansas City with Andy and Melissa, and our four grandchildren (ages 1 to 11).  And next week, we head to New York to celebrate with Chris and our New Jersey cousins. Spending time with family….it doesn’t get any better than that!  

Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving early in Kansas but we also celebrated Eli’s 1st birthday and Pop’s 65th birthday!  When we are with our grandchildren, comfort is more on my radar than style.  My KC Thanksgiving/Birthday weekend style consisted of jeans, sweaters, and flat boots.  From playing on the floor with a 1 and 3 year old to playing cards with a 9 and 11 year old….I make sure my style is always “grandmother friendly”!  By the way…guess who loved their birthday cake the most?

I am loving all the striped sweaters, ponchos, and wraps in stores and on our Pinterest board.  For our Kansas Thanksgiving dinner, I dressed up my “comfy grandmother” look a bit by wearing gray jeans with a creamy white turtleneck complemented with a striped poncho.  With my snakeskin boots from Zara, I was ready for “turkey-time!” Be sure to take a look at all of the fall/winter striped sweaters and wraps on our Pinterest board!

 

Fall floral dresses and skirts are another great look for a Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends.  We are loving a floral dress from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale on our Pinterest board. With a pair of black suede booties, it makes for the perfect fall/winter ensemble.  Wanting to add a pop to your holiday style? Then think about wearing a statement blouse or sweater with a floral skirt and boots!

Next week we are heading to New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with our son, Chris, and our New Jersey cousins.  We have dinner reservations at Jasmine’s in mid-town. Yep….we are having Chinese for our New York Thanksgiving dinner!  Since I’m loving this season’s suede and leather skirts, I plan to wear a brown faux suede midi skirt with a grey turtleneck sweater and my black Eileen Fisher moto jacket.  And one more thing….I’m pretty sure my outfit will pair perfectly with Peking duck and sparkling wine!

For the remainder of our New York trip, we will be busy sightseeing and doing a lot of city walking.  The key wardrobe factor here will be flat knee-high boots. Plus they will go great with everything I’m taking…my suede skirt, jeans, and a pair of faux leather pants.  Our Pinterest board features so many cool city looks to copy from boots to leather pants and skirts. I’m especially loving a pair of leather pants topped with a wool rust coat layered over a white sweater and worn with flat booties!  How New York-ish does that sound?

After celebrating my favorite holiday twice this year with family….I’m reminded how “grateful … thankful … and blessed” I am.  With that, I would like to share a thanksgiving toast with each of you….“may your lives be filled with both thanks and giving!”

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

Monday Motivation: Eleven Things to do on Sunday and Shipt Coupon Code

One of my favorite things, as I approach the weekend, is knowing I am going to have free time to relax and make my own schedule.  Sunday, in particular, is a day I want to make sure is free of commitment so I can mentally prepare for the work week ahead.  When I came across this post for “Eleven things to do on a Sunday to prepare for a better week” I knew I wanted to share it with you in my mission to help make Monday the best day of the week — not your least favorite.

Here’s a recap (for the full article visit here and you can also find it on my Pinterest board).

  1.  Create a to-do list writing down everything you need to get done for the week.
  2. Once you know what you need to do prioritize your to-do list so you accomplish what’s most important first.  The rest is easy which will give you confidence to complete the remainder of the list.
  3. Go grocery shopping for the week.  Or, in my case, I use Shipt grocery delivery.  I make my list at Target (depending on your area you have several grocers to choose from), send it to Shipt and they do the shopping, delivery and drop off on my kitchen counter or porch.  Here’s a coupon code to use for $50 off your annual delivery fee (with unlimited deliveries as long as they are $35).  I haven’t been grocery shopping in over two months and it’s been a huge time saver.  You can also use their service to have groceries delivered to a friend or college student.
  4. Spend time decluttering.  I go through unopened mail, tidy up the house, take out the trash, stack up books and magazines from my weekend reading.
  5. Do meal prep.  This is when I place my Shipt delivery order for the week.  I have my groceries delivered on Monday after I get home from work and I have everything I need for meals for the week.
  6. Do laundry.   No one wants to run out of underwear mid-week and the weekend is a perfect time to look through your closet to determine what you will be wearing based on what you have put on your to-do list.  Have a funeral to attend on Tuesday, make sure your dress is clean and pressed.  This is also when I put on a new set of clean sheets for the week ahead.
  7. Clean out your email inbox.  I delete, delete and delete all those emails I don’t need or have already read.  Also sort into folders to save important emails for later reference.
  8. Get outside.  Right now it is cool in my area and I have really been enjoying sitting on the patio, sipping coffee and reading books.  Hazel loves to go for walks with me on the weekends because we aren’t rushed to get home.
  9. Take a look at your budget.  Do your mobile banking, check balances and make deposits for the week.
  10. Get enough sleep.  Weekends are perfect for napping — my favorite hobby.  It’s not indulgent to take naps.  There’s a whole lot of science out there to support the important of getting rest.  I think of a nap equal to how we re-charge our devices:  It’s necessary to operate.
  11. Enjoy the time off.  Monday will be here before you know it.

What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend?  Have a great week ahead!

Mrs. Twist Says This Podcast: Episode Four

Episode four of the podcast is live and available here or on most apps where podcasts are found (iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Podcast Addict, etc…).

This week on the podcast I am sharing memories of holidays spent at our family farm, five great questions to ask if you conduct job interviews, how I started a successful bookclub through BookMovement, a fabulous cocktail recipe and the value of focusing less on things being perfect for Thanksgiving.

Here’s the link to the podcast Safe for Work (look for August 13 episode).

Want to join our Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub — you can sign up here and go here to see what we are reading this month.

The Apple Cider Bourbon cocktail is from Style me Pretty here .

You can also read here how I am outsourcing my Thanksgiving food this year to spend more time doing nothing.

I love to hear your comments on the content — and feedback on what you’d like to hear more of.  And subscribing to my podcast on your preferred channel helps me to gain more listeners.

Here’s to seeking joy in everyday!  Thanks for listening.

Mrs. Twist Reads This Bookclub: Bitter Orange

This month Mrs. Twist Reads This bookclub is reading Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller.

From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them―Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she’s distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors’ private lives.

To Frances’ surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we are meeting Thursday, December 6 at 7 p.m. for appetizers, sips and discussion.  If you are looking to join a bookclub, I promise you will love our group.  I started this bookclub in May 2017 because I wanted to spend more time reading and less time using technology.  We’ve read 20 books and have 80 members, many who live around the country and just want to be a part of a community of women who read!  It’s thrilling to see this for sure.  The best part is that many of the authors we read have enthusiastically joined us via FaceTime or in person to chat about their books.

So, how do you join us?  Go here to Book Movement and set up a free account.  It gives you members-only access to our book club page to see the latest book we are reading, receive email invitations to upcoming meetings and create your own personal queue of books you want to read on your own.  Maybe you can finish 2018 reading Bitter Orange with us!

What Would Holley Wear: Fall Crops and Culottes

This week we are sharing our favorite ways to wear fall/winter culottes. Once a spring and summer look, culottes have made a big come back and now work year-round.  

Want to give your culottes a “too cool for school” vibe?  Then think about wearing them with a leather or denim jacket.  Two fab Pinterest board looks show camel culottes paired with a leather jacket…one dressed-up with heels and one worn casual with sneakers.  An ultra-trendy style shows a pair of camel culottes with a white turtleneck sweater topped with a denim jacket. And for an extra pop, they added snakeskin booties!   How cool is that?

I have to admit…I’m loving all the fall leather culottes.  For a sophisticated seasonal look, you can’t miss with layers of brown leather…jacket, culottes, and booties.  Another classic look on our Pinterest board shows a pair of black leather culottes topped with a camel sweater and coat.  And my favorite board pick is definitely a striped sweater and black leather culottes.

Doing a double take?  Then take a look at a cute pair of khaki culottes shown two ways….one with a black sweater and one with a white sweater.  Basically, they swapped out the tops, shoes, and handbags….an easy switch-a-roo! There are so many ways to wear black culottes!   One Pinterest board feature shows black culottes with an adorable cropped sweater with elbow patches. Another classy look matches black culottes with a gray turtleneck and knee-high boots.

Looking for the perfect fall transition style?  Then look no further because the answer is denim culottes.  Show me a pair of frayed denim culottes, and I’ll show you one of this season’s “it” trends!  For a casual weekend look, wear a cable sweater with your denim culottes. When the weather starts turning a bit cooler, adding a vest, sweater, and boots will do the trick.  To up your “casual Friday” style, think about wearing a blazer or trench coat with your denim culottes…a bonus for sure!

What’s your favorite fall color? One of my fall favorites is olive green, and I’m loving a Pinterest post featuring olive green culottes, printed t-shirt, leather jacket, and sneakers.  To give a pair of green culottes a dressed-up vibe, top off your outfit with a leopard print coat! Another way to incorporate this fall color into your wardrobe is with an olive green vest.  A long vest worn with white cropped jeans and an animal print clutch is a great intro to fall. And remember….white after Labor Day is the norm these days!

Did you know that culottes make for a great party look?  One way to accomplish this is by wearing them with a blouse or sweater with statement sleeves.  Style star, Olivia Palermo, never misses a fashion beat. Her black culottes matched with a white statement blouse tell me one thing….the beat goes on!  And fashion maven, Jenna Lyons, marches to the beat of her own drum as well. She creatively styles white wrap culottes two ways….one with a sheer pearl embellished top and another with a white off-the-shoulder top.  Drum roll please!

From Labor Day throughout the winter season, culottes are now considered a fall/winter fashion staple.  And I don’t know about you, but I just love how an old classic has become a new trend!

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

Newsy Tuesday: These three ladies are making my Thanksgiving

I’m planning my Thanksgiving menu and since I am working more hours this year, I know that I won’t have as much time to cook.  So big news — I’ve hired out my sides and pies!  This is big because not only do I love to cook, but I love my recipes.  However, I’d rather trade the time and effort of cramming in the cooking for a leisure, relaxed holiday.  There. I said it.  And, I am happy.

However, Mr. Bee will still cook his turkey. And the recipe we love to use comes from my sweet friend and super talented hair stylist Mandy Hancock (who is a #bossbabe and owns a super chic salon called Prominence Parlor).

She shared her secret with me a few seasons ago and we never looked back on our turkey prep.  It’s moist, flavorful and delish.  Here’s her recipe:

Mandy’s Holiday Cheer Slow Roasted Turkey recipe!! 🤤

Rub some olive oil all over the bird, season generously with garlic salt and creole seasoning. Garlic cloves and Cheer Beer go in the cavity (fill til it starts to barely spill out). Roast it, breast up, at 500* for 20 min uncovered. After 20 min take out, turn bird breast down then cover tightly with foil and slow roast at 200* for 45 min per pound!!! Don’t expect to be able to slice it though, it will literally be falling off the bone!! Use the juices as brown gravy! Your house will smell soooo good all night and morning!!! I always take all the leftover juices, neck, giblets and carcass and boil it down to make make an insane broth too. OMG sooo good!

*do the math on how long your bird needs to cook first! Big birds can take a long time! I always do mine overnight so it’s perfect by Thanksgiving lunch at noon 🧡

**Shiner Holiday Cheer Beer packaging has changed from this photo but the beer itself is the same!

Now for the sides, my niece is making the mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  Miss Bee put her foot down that she’s making Mother’s sweet potato delight, plus Dorcas Reilly’s famous green bean casserole.  However, I am having my favorite place, Hurley House, make their cornbread dressing and cranberry relish.  Oh, and I snagged a pan of her cinnamon rolls to eat while I watch the Macy’s Parade.  Call 817.349.8934 to place your order.

On to the pies, I have ordered from my favorite pie gal, Lindsey Lawing of Sweet Lucy’s Pies.  On my list are Pumpkin, Pecan, Chocolate Chess and Buttermilk.  Dear Lordy, her pies are so good and frankly better than mine.  Connect with her through Facebook to place your order.

I am so excited to delegate this out.  It will be the first Thanksgiving Miss Bee is home from college and I want to spend as much time as possible hanging out with her.  I’ll still allow myself the chance to set a stunning table, wash my crystal and shine the silver, but the time someone else is taking to make my meal perfection is a gift I plan to savor.

What’s something you can delegate this holiday?