‘Tis the Season for Christmas Crafting…

I know what you’re thinking.  “It was 90-friggin-degrees today in Austin, Whitney”, you say.  “It’s not even Halloween yet, for goodness sake! There is absolutely no way it’s time for Christmas crafts.” I get it.

But, I’m sorry to tell you this, you’re wrong.  It’s totally time for Christmas crafts.  Here’s why:

1.  Depending on what you’re making, it’ll take you the next few months to get it finished.  stocking

My family and I are big fans of the Bucilla felt ornament and stocking kits.  Every woman in the family has her own stash of beautiful, handmade, colorful, kid-friendly ornaments.  The vintage ones that our grandmothers and great aunts made are hotly disputed among the grandkids and cousins – and with good reason, as you’ll spend a pretty penny finding the vintage ones on auction sites nowadays. (Click “continue reading” to see more!) Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Christmas Crafting…”


Three ways to make iced lattes at home


On our recent trip to Chicago, I got a wee bit hooked on a daily iced latte from Starbucks every morning. However, once we got home, I came to the sad realization that we didn’t have a live-in barista and unless I wanted to start shelling out $5 a day on a more permanent basis for my chilly cuppa joe, I’d need to learn how to make it at home.

Luckily, the hubby is something of a coffee connoisseur.  We’d already been buying really great coffee–whole bean, organic, fair trade, locally roasted–in fact, it’s the same stuff all the independent local coffee stores are using, and we just buy it from the source.  Turns out if you start with a great product, making a fantastic drink does not require special barista training: there are three easy ways I’ve found to make an iced latte at home. Click “continue reading” to see more! Continue reading “Three ways to make iced lattes at home”

The World’s Best Chicken Salad Revealed

Being a proper Southern lady, I love chicken salad.  Put it on a sandwich, on a green salad, with a few Wheat Thins, or just eat it by itself – delicious.

And my family has passed down over the years what I consider the absolute best chicken salad recipe out there.  The chicken salad is the center piece of my family’s annual boat trip, and while weather cancelled the trip this year (60 degrees in Austin in September?? brrrr!) it didn’t cancel the chicken salad feast.

So, at the risk of revealing a closely-held family secret, here’s my recipe for the world’s best chicken salad.


Adventures in Soapmaking or “What to Do With All This Wax”

Beeswax Lavender SoapAs you may remember from a few weeks ago, hubby and I completed our first honey harvest a few weeks ago.  Since then, I’ve had all the leftover wax from the six frames we harvested sitting in a large tupperware container on my counter.

Finally, last night, after having cleared the Tivo of anything interesting, I decided I’d go ahead with our first use for the wax: soap. If, like me, you are thinking of making soap for the first time, allow me to let you in on a little secret:  you can spend hours researching supponification and how to handle lye so as to not horribly disfigure yourself, or you can just use melt and pour soap bases. Continue reading “Adventures in Soapmaking or “What to Do With All This Wax””

Weekend Trip to Chicago

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The Chicago skyline from the steps of the Shedd Aquarium

This weekend, we finally concluded Weddingpalooza-2014 with a friend’s ceremony in Chi-town. We also managed to sneak in a few touristy outings and meals, so I hope you enjoy the recap.

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First of all, we stayed in the W Chicago City Center, which bore the expected modern cool of the W brand.  Our bed appeared to levitate with blue lights coming from the floor, while the geometric wallpaper mirrored the 3D wallpaper found in the elevators. Only bummer: look out the window of that upgraded Fabulous level room, and you’re staring at the L train, my friends.  The loud, constantly-running L train.  (Click “continue reading” to see more!) Continue reading “Weekend Trip to Chicago”