listen: style and grace lists

isthisthingon_titleI love listening to people share their beloved recommendations, so naturally I’m excited to share our latest episode on Style and Grace, our February Lists!  If you’re not already subscribed to the show, click here to visit us on iTunes (we’re in the Google Play store, too!) and check out our favorite things to use, watch, listen to and (sort of) read from this past month.  As a bonus, we also chat about the Academy Awards show, including – yes – the big mixup.

I am so enjoying this creative outlet and hope that it brings some light, joy, style and grace to your week.

Share your favorites from February in the comments!

xo, mh

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the oscars are on sunday!

oscars_titleThe Oscars are on Sunday!

Naturally, I started thinking about viewing party essentials — even though I’m not hosting nor attending one this year. It’s a busy weekend in social settings so by the time Sunday evening rolls around, I’m envisioning a full R & R scene: snacks, sweats, wine and lots of blankets.

That truth doesn’t stop me from dreaming up a stellar menu fit for the occasion along with a few fine touches to set the mood. Instead of mocking up some fake version of what I’d do, here’s a curated list of my favorites from around the web by people who have it together! This list is made up of things I’d do, so it’s not completely random.

First, the food.

snacks_crafts_truffes popcorn

Try some of my simple party/snack food recipes: chocolate truffles with sparkling sugar sprinkles; meat and cheese platter; chocolate covered strawberries; popcorn.

img_9525If you’re feeling charming, get inspired by Food52’s nine recipes inspired by this year’s nominees.

img_8625If you’ve got a few friends coming over, this would be the perfect event for a fabulous bruschetta bar (Gaby has all the best ideas!) and ice cream sundae bar (my humble example, above).

Also, incorporate a fun game like BINGO, which is perfect for any sort of viewing party.

Cupcakes and Cashmere has a great printable set available here (and seen above), and I’ll probably be playing along.

The Every Girl and TheSkimm have ballots available to make predictions and keep track. You can take it to the next level by inviting participants to throw in a dollar amount or by providing movie-themed prizes.

And hey, before you roll your eyes at the plethora of beautiful viewing parties found around social media right now, remember that it’s all about the experience.  Perhaps that means just a few great bars of chocolate, your favorite wine and popcorn. Keep it simple and fun – this is the movies after-all!

TALK BACK: How will you be watching the Oscars? Any predictions?  Who are you excited to see?

xo, mh

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at the table {long weekends}

atthetable

Can I get you a drink? Some coffee or tea? A glass of wine? Grab a seat, there are snacks on the table. Make yourself at home. I’m so happy you’re here!

Three-day weekends are my favorite.  There’s so much more room for being productive and relaxing.  What a dream!  Since I had some extra time last weekend, I thought it was a good time to sit, sip and share a bit.

Here’s what’s happening around here, right now:

Listening: New music (for once!) from John Legend, John Mayer and Ellie Holcomb. Plus a lot of podcasts!
Drinking: Warm lemon water. Have you heard of all the benefits?  SO many.
Loving: The New York Times on Sundays. I bought my first one in at least eight years and am looking forward to making it part of my routine.  #nerdalert
ReadingThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for a book club
Watching: Big Little Lies premiered this week and I cannot be more excited! I subscribed to HBO Now just for this series because I loved the book so much. Are you watching?
Planning: Nothing immediate (for once) but lots coming up this summer, including my brother’s graduation, my cousin’s first baby and my 30th birthday.
Cooking: Lemon chicken and veggies – thrilling, I know.
Dreaming: About warm weather and salty air … typical for late February. And writing more, definitely dreaming about that.

TALK BACK: How’s your week going?

Thank you for joining me at the table today. Let’s do it again soon!

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on the march {a late post}

This post was originally written on Sunday, January 22, 2017. 

This was a historic weekend in our country and I don’t want to let it slip by without marking it with hope.  No matter what you think about the president, one cannot ignore how great America is when you scroll through the images and listen to the speeches from around the world at yesterday’s marches.  You can’t read about the peaceful, unified groups of American humans representing a myriad issues that deserve equal attention and justice without feeling like we might just be a part of the best country in the world.

Watch six-year-old world-changer Sophie Cruz encourage a sea of protestors in Washington, D.C. with love and power.

We have work to do.  For Sophie, for my nephews and nieces and future children.  For my mama and grandmas who lived in a different time than this, who may just have prayed for the day when we can rise and gather and march for kindness and equality for all people.

While I did not physically join the local march, I was surely in tune with what was happening.  Before the marches were announced, I scheduled our first IF:Table small group of 2017.  I listened to the rally in D.C. while I prepared my table for a strong, diverse group of women that would join me.  I experienced no shortage of emotions while I whipped eggs into a frittata, sipped coffee, sliced oranges and burnt the bacon.

Before we ate and talked about this month’s topic, which was isolation and a move to gather regularly, we prayed.  We prayed for each other and our brunch, for our friends and members of our community locally and worldwide participating in this momentous civil protest.

There is so much more to say and to write. But I wrap this post with renewed hope and an urge to keep talking.  Let’s keep talking and listening to our neighbors and friends and colleagues.  Let’s be better for each other, for our country and for the world.

I post this one month later because it still matters.  The Women’s March is now a global movement.  I’m still listening and reading and now, more than ever, I want to learn about it all.  

xo, mh

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update: my green[er] beauty routine

greenerbeauty_titleYou can read about how and why I originally choose green beauty in my post here.

I’m not a beauty professional nor an expert in green cosmetics.  However, I’m a consumer just like most of you reading this, and I always appreciate like-minded recommendations and curated information.  Maybe my story will encourage you or at the very least, you’ll have a conversation piece for the workroom, and perhaps have new products to try out or suggest to an allergy-ridden friend.

Before I share part of my new routine, I should ensure you that I still stand by the products I posted two years ago.  I’ve written a little here about the products that I found worked for me.  I used them for several years with success, without breaking the bank.  Most of my first green go-to’s were affordable and easy-t0-find.  They work well and served my family well.

Recently though, I had to make more changes.  Not because there was anything wrong with products that I was using, but due to my body’s reaction to very specific ingredients.  The things that have a negative affect on my skin are not all bad like preservatives–though I have learned about one that is still used in “clean” products that I need to avoid–but includes things used for natural healing.  I’m thankful for testing and dermatologists.

This batch of products is part of my new haul and my green alliance is now a health-related essential in addition to being my preferred lifestyle.  Fortunately, while not inexpensive, most of my new list can be purchased at Whole Foods and Sprouts markets.  A few are available at my local Target store.

The following products, mostly vegan and made without phenoxyethanol or chamomile flower extract, are currently working for me:

I’m still shopping for: makeup foundation, body cream and lotion.  If you have any suggestions along the lines mentioned above, please let me know in the comments or email me at xomodernhousewife@gmail.com.

My goal is to put this out there in case someone else is overwhelmed by the surprise of new allergies, sitting up at night desperately sifting through pages and lists of scientific terms and information, looking for any hopeful sign that you might one day feel glamorous in your skin again. I’m with you!

*NOTE: This post is not sponsored and these brands have no idea who I am.  I’m just an allergy-ridden consumer that wants to share what is working for me.  :)

xo, mh

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