What Would Holley Wear: Garden Party Style

Can you think of a better introduction to spring and summer than a garden party?  I can’t! From tea sandwiches to beautiful spring ensembles, it’s one of those traditions us Southern girls keep close to our hearts.  

When I decided to write this article, I reached out to my P.E.O. sisters to see if they would be willing to participate.  Our lovely hostess was Susan, and her beautiful home and garden was the perfect garden party setting. The ladies came dressed to the nines!  Floral scarfs and dresses were definitely on-trend, and our president, Mel, wore a beautiful floral scarf complemented with a monogram brooch….so classy!  Some of the ladies wore their finest pearls and others donned beautiful hats. Be sure to take a peek at all the party photos on our Pinterest board!

Dresses and hats go together like peanut butter and jelly…right?  We are loving the selection of hats from J Crew, Tory Burch, and Tuckernuck.  A floral yellow maxi dress paired with a straw hat is perfect for any outdoor soiree’.  Another Pinterest board favorite is a burlap dress with a scalloped hem, trimmed with red embroidered flowers.  And the best part is the watermelon picnic basket handbag. Can’t get any cuter than that…right?

And speaking of baskets….A tisket, a tasket, a woven leather basket full of berries from Kate Spade is the perfect accessory for any spring/summer occasion. Wicker and wooden handbags are definitely this season’s “it bags”.   We think J McLaughlin’s bamboo clutches are the perfect bag for parties, luncheons and resort wear. Another favorite is the black wicker honey pot bag from Frances Valentine. Ready for a spring fling?

To give your garden style a casual vibe, you can’t go wrong layering a denim jacket over your shoulders.  For the P.E.O. garden party, I wore a pearl enhanced denim jacket over a white blouse tied at the waist with a bright yellow skirt and blue denim blocked heels.  To add additional flair to my ensemble, I carried a wooden handbag with a navy bandana tied to the handle. BTW…the jacket was a gift from Susie, a dear P.E.O sister.  

Denim and chambray are the perfect combo for lace and florals.  Don’t you just love mixing casual with fancy? Think about wearing a denim jacket over a floral dress….and be sure to add a cute bag and sandals.  I bet you love eyelet and lace too….though it may seem a little dressy for a casual outdoor party. No worries…just wear a denim jacket with a lace dress or a chambray blouse with an eyelet skirt.  How casual and fancy does that sound?

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again…you can never go wrong with black and white!  There are so many fun options on our Pinterest board, and we are especially loving black and white stripes.  Sundresses, pants, and skirts….oh my! White lace dresses complemented with black accessories will definitely dress-up your garden party style.  At the P.E.O. party, everyone was crushing on Ann’s white eyelet dress accessorized with a straw hat and statement earrings…so garden chic!

So here’s my definition of a garden party:  A beautiful garden complemented by a really cute outfit, a few adorable accessories, delicious finger food, and most importantly…your friends and sisters!

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.

Mrs. Twist Reads This: Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Our February book club selection is Bonfire by Krysten Ritter.  You can link up to our club’s page to sign up for a free membership to our book club through Book Movement.

Here’s the synopsis of the book…

From actress, producer, and writer Krysten Ritter, a gripping, tightly wound suspense novel about a woman forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption
 
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small-town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’s biggest scandal from more than a decade ago, involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game”—it will threaten reputations, and lives, in the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote rural town of just five claustrophobic square miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.

We are meeting on Tuesday, February 27 at 7 p.m. to review the book.  And as always, there will be sips and bites to enjoy as we discuss.  Have a booking loving friend?  Bring them along!

Happy reading!

Hosting a Man-Party

Dirty DougMy husband turned 60 this week.  I didn’t want his milestone birthday to go without a fun celebration.  As an event planner, I have made such wonderful connections with professionals who have also become friends. I assembled this village and they helped me to knock it out of the park with a super fun man-party.

Looming over this party has been our never-ending pool project.  I won’t go into the long details, but needless to say even though this pool and patio renovation has been going on since February, our pool builder told us the pool would not be ready in time for the June 11 party.  Once I got over the fact that the pool wasn’t going to happen — we moved ahead with a pool side party, without the water.  Everyone reassured me the reason they were coming was to celebrate Doug.

My wonderful friend, Karen, with Applause Catering prepared a Nantucket-inspired menu full of all of Doug’s favorites.

applause catering sign

lobster rolls

 

quinoq jars tablescape

halloumi cheese

Next,square ice every party needs a good cocktail.  I hired Sourced Craft Cocktails to prepare a special menu of mixed drinks, wine, craft beers and Prosecco. They deliver all the bar ware, simple syrups, perfectly curated square ice, and premium liquors right to your door.  The mixologists kept everyone happy throughout the night — and named a special drink just for the guest of the honor — The Dirty Doug — featuring Tito’s Vodka.

cocktail menu

The hand-lettering was done by Cleggraphy Designs.  Megan water colored each of the menu cards and cocktail menu for the bar.  This added the perfect touch.

Bryan Long Flowers provided the elegant tablescape that reflected the perfect backdrop for a poolside gathering.   Tons of candles, seashells, lanterns, hanging lights, and a few florals mixed in kept it elegant, yet masculine, too.

Bryan Long peonies

shells on tablecandles and shellsflowers on bar evening time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hanging lightsWe finished with a sweet ending of Sweet Lucy’s Pies.  Lindsey makes the best pies!  All of Doug’s favorites — mini strawberry-rhubarb pies, and handheld Parker Peach fried pies.

strawberry pies

What pool party would be complete without a shot of everyone in the pool! Our party favors were “I made a SPLASH at Doug’s 60th!” floaties and beach balls.  God has really blessed us with amazing friends and it was the perfect night to recognize how special we think they are to us.

pool party

My friend Kathy said, “Leave it to Melissa to have an amazing pool party without a pool!” Take lemons and make lemonade.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot

This is how my friend Cindy normally looks.  I love hanging out with her.  She’s fun, kind, and we laugh about everything.  She’s the”he dropped his Prostate” friend.

Today was our annual cookie baking day.  We hang out at her house, bake cookies for all the people we’re gifting for Christmas.  She usually feeds me something yummy for lunch and we burn a few batches of baked goods because we’re distracted with laughing.

Well, today was a little different.  Cindy called and said she was sick with a cold.  Her head hurt, she couldn’t breathe.  What should she do to get better before her birthday wingding on Saturday.  I told her to sit tight, I’d be over in a jiff with my pot — just the thing that would cure her right up.

This is what Cindy looked like when she opened the door.  Girl, she needed help.

So instead of whipping up a batch of these little Christmas miracles

We stood over her sink doing this

If you’ve never used a Neti Pot, you’re missing out.  It is the BEST thing for colds and allergies.  They sell them in any drug store.  Their purpose is to rinse out your sinuses clogged with, well mucous.  Sorry.  I said it.  I don’t like that word.  They are the number one best defense against sinus infections.  Makes the perfect Christmas stocking stuffer for that special someone!  Smile.

And I made an emergency run for this

which you can only purchase from behind the counter after presenting your photo ID, birth certificate and electric bill, swearing on the Holy Bible you won’t sell or distribute the meds to others.

At 3:59 p.m. I got a report that Cindy was doing great.  I’ve saved another life.  Until tomorrow’s adventure.

Instead of Making Cookies, I need your Pot

This is how my friend Cindy normally looks.  I love hanging out with her.  She’s fun, kind, and we laugh about everything.  She’s the”he dropped his Prostate” friend.

Today was our annual cookie baking day.  We hang out at her house, bake cookies for all the people we’re gifting for Christmas.  She usually feeds me something yummy for lunch and we burn a few batches of baked goods because we’re distracted with laughing.

Well, today was a little different.  Cindy called and said she was sick with a cold.  Her head hurt, she couldn’t breathe.  What should she do to get better before her birthday wingding on Saturday.  I told her to sit tight, I’d be over in a jiff with my pot — just the thing that would cure her right up.

This is what Cindy looked like when she opened the door.  Girl, she needed help.

So instead of whipping up a batch of these little Christmas miracles

We stood over her sink doing this

If you’ve never used a Neti Pot, you’re missing out.  It is the BEST thing for colds and allergies.  They sell them in any drug store.  Their purpose is to rinse out your sinuses clogged with, well mucous.  Sorry.  I said it.  I don’t like that word.  They are the number one best defense against sinus infections.  Makes the perfect Christmas stocking stuffer for that special someone!  Smile.

And I made an emergency run for this

which you can only purchase from behind the counter after presenting your photo ID, birth certificate and electric bill, swearing on the Holy Bible you won’t sell or distribute the meds to others.

At 3:59 p.m. I got a report that Cindy was doing great.  I’ve saved another life.  Until tomorrow’s adventure.

“Sir, you dropped your prostate”

These are just a few of the funny things that happened this weekend as neighbor bee Cindy and her hubs, Mark, traveled with Mr. Bee and me to Canton, Texas.  The first weekend of every month, vendors of all kinds set up their wares on miles upon miles of space in this sleepy little town. 

As I was brushing my teeth the night before (many a great idea is developed from me being in the shower or brushing my teeth), I was trying to think of a way to make this field trip engaging.  I came up with the idea to have a boys vs. girls scavenger hunt.  I briefed the group over pancakes at Cracker Barrell and upon arrival in Canton off we went.

When you found the item, you had to photograph it for proof.  We had two hours to find the items then meet back up for lunch to see who had won.

1.  An orange bowl or cup

Thanks Tupperware
2.  A Cigar Store Indian
Cindy and I spotted this as soon as we entered the grounds. 
We thought for sure the boys wouldn’t see it.
Ironically, this was the first item that popped into my head while flossing. 
Apparently, they saw it too because it was the same exact photo.
3.  An oil can
The lady with one tooth remaining in her mouth said she just sold item #4, the bird cage…
#5 A Stop Sign

I had to be pretty clear with the boys that this had to be a sign for sale, not on a pole. Note:  The people in the photo were negotiating with the seller to buy ALL their mermaid decor.  Maybe they were thinking about opening a Red Lobster.

Next to last on the list, #6 a fire hydrant.  Cindy and I cheated on this one.  We said it had to be an non-working fire hydrant for sale.  Since Mr. Bee and Mark never read my blog, we’ll never be exposed.  It was a real one.  Cindy suggested we photograph it with the crap leaning against it to make it look like an antique.


Ended up we tied the game.  #7 on the list, Cotton Candy, which I thought would be plentiful in this land of trash to treasure was no where to be found.  I should have put batter dipped grilled cheese sandwiches on the list, because they were everywhere.
Along the way I did spot this treasure that I wish I purchased for my office at work…I could have put it on my desk.

We lasted until about 3 p.m., then we had to leave because our internal organs were melting.  Oh, here’s the part about the man’s prostate…

Cindy and I were walking along and a man walked in front of us with his purchase.  I noticed that the price tag fell off.  I said to Cindy, “That man’s price tag just fell off, I wonder if we should tell him?”  Cindy got this real worried look on her face and starting looking all over the ground.  I’m like “what are you doing?”  She said, “I thought you said that man’s prostate just fell out on the ground, and I was looking to see where it was!”  Oh, my gosh.  We laughed for about an hour.  I finally said, “honey, if his prostate had fallen out, I think he would have known it.”  I can just see me calling 911 and asking Cindy to “secure the prostate” until medical personnel can arrive on the scene.

There was a lady that was chit chatting with friends and her arm looked like it had just been bitten by a shark.  Cindy tried to describe it to me, because I missed it. 

Sweating and shopping can be fun.