A Frilling Birthday Gift


Aurelia gave me a lovely handmade gift for my birthday:

… this gorgeous woodwork vase with resin inlay from BDJ Craftworks in Austin.  I LOVE it.  She totally has me figured out, cause this is just the sort of thoughtful handmade gift I will love for years to come.

See the resin inlay? I think it’s so cool.

Here’s their Etsy shop if you’re interested in checking out more of their wares.  Thanks, Sista!

May 14, 2012 7:34 PM | Comments | Categories: For the Home, Handmade | Tags: , ,

I did it!


Well, everyone, I did it!

After four long, but amazing years, I am officially a Master of Divinity! Naturally, things are crazy right now amidst all of the celebrating, so I thought I’d share some pictures from mine and Lyle’s last barbeque at our home in Waco. Enjoy!

Remember Chansin, one of our FRILLING fashionistas?

Ikea fabric turned tablecoth

Remember Cristin? Another FRILLING fashionista!

Flowers from my garden


Happy Saturday friends!

May 12, 2012 11:58 AM | Comments | Categories: Lifestyle, Parties | No Tags

Frilling Friday: Four Frilling Things


1.  I have a new blog love.  Going Home to Roost is a blog about things I love, like simple living, handmade items and artwork, homegrown food, and a whole lot of inspiration. Plus, Bonnie is adorable. (Bonnie is not the dog.)


2. We now have chicks.  Guess which one is named Big’Un.  More will be joining the flock soon.


3. I made these gorgeous (vegan, gluten-free) Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies for Aurelia’s graduation celebration this weekend. I suspect they are not going to make it to the party.

4.  This ain’t just any old poochy belly.

:) xo


May 11, 2012 9:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Lifestyle | No Tags

Choc’ & Cherry Cupcakes


Happy Thursday, Y’all! Guess what? I graduate with my second master’s degree TOMORROW! I’m pretty excited and overwhelmed with all the change that is heading our way in the coming months.

Here are a few pictures to make your mouth water, inspired from a recipe in 500 cupcakes called “Choc’ & Cherry” cupcakes.

I made these especially for Fran’s husband, Jordan. It was his birthday last week while they were on vacation, and this was my attempt to make up for not giving him a call on his big day!

Imagine cupcakes from scratch, made with dutch-process cocoa and fresh cherries, splashed with Kirsch Liquor right out of the oven, with a homemade whipped icing, sprinkled with chocolate shavings, and topped with a chocolate covered cherry. YUMMO! You’d forgive me, too, right?

Fran gave me this bake-book years ago, and it has not disappointed! Y’all should check it out!


May 10, 2012 11:27 AM | Comments | Categories: Cake Jubilee, Food | No Tags

May is Nautical


It’s EBEW time! But first, I have a confession: I’m bad at nautical. I’ve never really gotten this look down. I don’t have any fun nautical hats or white blazers or high-waist shorts.  Mostly, though, I’m simply not drawn to the classic nautical colors: navy blue or red. I just don’t have a lot of these colors in my closet!

Red tee: Madewell, Striped tee: Urban Outfitters, Skinny Jeans: Banana Republic, Shoes: Old Navy, Bracelet: H&M, Bag: Urban Outfitters

Attempt two. You can’t say it’s not nautical! People always tell me this dress is cute,  but I never know how to best accessorize with it. Help! Any suggestions?

Dress: J Crew Outlet, Bracelet: H&M, Shoes: Old Navy

Funny story behind this dress. Last spring, I was on my way to Austin when I decided to stop by the Round Rock Outlets briefly. I had my dog with me, but I figured since it wasn’t really hot and I was only making a quick stop, all would be fine. So, I ran into J Crew, found this dress, tried it on, loved it, and obviously purchased it. I got back to my car only to find that someone had called animal control on me! I couldn’t believe it! After enduring a bit of a lecture and a lot of guilt, I drove home with my new dress. It has felt a little like blood money ever since! Don’t worry everyone, my pup is still alive and well!

Which look do you like best? Do you ever go nautical and have any tips for me? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Nautical | Everybody, Everywear

May 8, 2012 12:05 PM | Comments | Categories: Fashion, Outfit posts | Tags: , ,

Frilling Fashionista: Amber’s Handmade Creations


Today’s Frilling Fashionista is really a Frilling Creativista!  Meet Amber, crochet extraordinaire.  She has been crocheting up some accessory goodness lately, and I couldn’t wait to show you.   Some of my favorites are the fascinators she makes and wears regularly:

Here, her daughter models a barrette version…

B modeling a headband…

And a series of bracelets she’s been wearing and giving as gifts…

So cute, right?  The yellow one came to me for my birthday.  For the record I would just like everyone to know that I was the one who taught Amber basic chain and single crochet stitches waaaaay back when we were in college.  I take no credit for how amazingly her skills have progressed since :)

I know it isn’t winter anymore, far from it here in Texas, but I also had to show you the cute winter hats she makes.  This one was made for her kids’ pediatrician, who saw her son in a baby-sized one and wanted one adult-sized.

The aforementioned baby-sized owl version, modeled by Amber’s adorable baby son:

And a cute little girl’s hat with a pink rosette:

Hurray for handmade fashion accessories!  Amber, you seriously FRILL me.

BTW, folks: Amber is willing to make YOU a handmade accessory.  Send her a facebook message to inquire about designs and pricing.

May 7, 2012 8:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Frilling Fashionistas, Handmade | Tags: , , ,

Stuff We Love: Fran’s Summer Cosmetic Essentials


I’m on vacation at the beach! So it’s appropriate that I tell you about some of my favorite natural summer sun-friendly products….

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been researching and hunting for effective, chemical-free sunscreens for kids.  Well I’ve also been on the lookout for great products for adults.  So I thought I’d share a few of my summer cosmetic/suncare picks, which I’ve personally tested on me or my family and am pleased with.  Since I am the most sensitive-skinned individual I know and a stickler about all-natural products, I will only ever recommend products that are natural, chemical-free, fragrance-free (or scented with essential plant oils), and suitable for sensitive skin. This year I’ve also relied heavily on the Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep Cosmetics database, which rates products on a scale of 0-10 (0 being best, as in zero concerns) based on ingredient safety and product effectiveness.  Not sure why I think this matters? Check it out.

Ok, all that said, here they are:

SanRe Organic Skinfood Sparkling Aloe Day Cream SPF 30

I was looking for a light everyday moisturizer with at least a 30 SPF to wear under makeup, and after reading lots of reviews, this is the one I settled on.  So far I’m quite pleased with it, except for the price, which is a bit steep for such a small jar of product.  It gets very good ratings from the EWG, and good reviews from users.   It seems to do well for my combination skin and the dry Texas climate.  I don’t think I’d recommend it to someone with oily skin in a humid climate – it might be a little heavy in that case.  It’s completely safe, completely natural, and the US-based manufacturer seems to have good ethics.  This is not a waterproof product, so you’ll need a different sunscreen for water and sports….such as…

California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30

I’ve used this for a couple of summers now.  It’s a physical barrier sunscreen (titanium dioxide in this case), so yes, it’s a bit white when you first put it on.  I’ve found that is pretty standard for non-chemical sunscreens, and worth it for a superior sunblock with no potential allergens or unsafe ingredients.  This is a good standby sunscreen for babies and adults, very water- and sweat- resistant, although you do have to reapply periodically.  EWG doesn’t have a rating on this particular product, but California Baby’s other sunscreens are rated with a 1 (mainly for potential allergenic ingredients like lanolin), and I think the Super Sensitive is even better. Our whole family uses this.

Giovanni 2 Chic Leave-in Conditioner and Styling Elixer

I’ve been using this elegant leave-in product every morning to keep my curls hydrated and relatively frizz-free in the dry Texas climate.  It contains argan oil and keratin, and I’m very happy with the feel of it – it’s light and not oily, and doesn’t have a strong smell (I hate smelly products).  I put it on my dry-to-damp hair, concentrating on the ends.

Loving Naturals Clear Body Sunscreen Spf 30+

I actually like this sunscreen better than the CA Baby, but it’s slightly more pricy (only slightly).  It’s super smooth in application, doesn’t go on white, and has good water resistance.   Another major plus for me is that it’s got the #1 rank among sunscreens from Skindeep.  You’ll be able to recognize and pronounce every ingredient on the label. I’m pretty excited about this whole line of products, including…

Loving Naturals Clear Lips Sunscreen Lip Balm

I am allergic to chemical sunscreens, particularly on my lips.  If I accidentally use a lip balm or lipstick with chemical sunscreen in it, I wake up the next day with lips twice their normal size, blistered and cracked.  No fun.  So for years, I have stayed away from lip balms containing sunscreen.  Until I found Love Naturals, which contains natural zinc oxide, and doesn’t have any ill effects on my pucker.  It does apply a bit stickily, but it stays on forever and protects against chapping as well as sunburn.  I’m sold on this little tube, and have it tucked away in my beach bag.


I’m still looking for a relatively harmless waterproof mascara.  This one gets a ’2′ from Skindeep, which is prolly as good as it gets for waterproof, but I haven’t tried it yet…

Do you have summer products you rely on?




Staple spring dress


Happy Thursday friends! I have my last final tomorrow, and then in one week, I’ll graduate. Time is moving too fast!

Every year, I end up purchasing a couple of spring dresses from Target because they are always affordable and generally too cute to pass up. Last year that was the case, and it looks like this year there was no exception!

Chansin’s post last week inspired me to show you guys my basic, staple dress for this spring/summer. I love this dress for a few reasons. It is patterned which always adds more FRILLS. The pattern is done in navy, making the dress extremely versatile and easy to pair with other patterns/colors. It has pockets (love). I also love the fit at the chest and the length. In terms of functionality, this dress is perfect! AND it was under $20. Sheesh. I’m starting to feel like Target paid me in this deal!

Dress: Target / Scarf: New York & Co. / Belt: Vendor in Greece / Shoes: Urban Outfitters

This is just one of many ways that I have already worn this dress over the months. Maybe this summer I’ll show you a few of the other ways I have worn it. Until then, I hope you guys enjoy your weekend!

May 3, 2012 9:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Fashion, Outfit posts | No Tags

For the Love of White Skinnies


White skinny jeans are a staple in my spring wardrobe.  They go with everything and make any outfit look more springy.  I have had this pair for a bazillion years.  In fact, they are one of the first pairs of true skinnies I owned (remember when we called straight-leg jeans skinnies?).  I got them at PacSun, and have literally been wearing them for at least 5 years.  It makes me a little sad, because I know at some point my beloved skinnies will go out of style and become mom-jeans.  Yes, colored denim is all the rage last spring and this spring, but I think you can’t go wrong with white denim for spring and summer when it comes to versatility.

(jeans: PacSun a bazillion years ago / top: Ann Taylor Outlet / cardi: JCrew Outlet / sandals: dunno, got em at Dillard’s a bazillion years ago)

Oh, and check out the handmade earrings my friend Logan gave me for my birthday.  She made them herself :)

May 2, 2012 8:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle, Outfit posts | No Tags

Baja Tempeh Tacos


Mmm. YUM! Want to hear about a FRILLING spring/summer recipe? Fran turned me onto to these Baja Tempeh Tacos from Veganomicon a few years ago. They are absolutely delicious; it’s a real treat every time I make them!

Imagine marinated, grilled tempeh, avocados, homemade, vinegar-based slaw, and fresh lime crema. Fewer tacos are better!

Want the Recipe? Okay, but don’t let it fool you – these tacos are easy to whip up!

Baja Tempeh Tacos (serves 4-6)

What you’ll need:

Taco slaw:

  • 3 heaping cups shredded cabbage (I’m lazy and use the pre-packaged kind)
  • 1 carrot, shredded finely
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a few twists of freshly ground black pepper

Lime Crema:

  • 3/4 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 3 tbls lime juice
  • 2 tbls grapeseed oil or avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chile-Beer Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup beer, pilsner or ale style
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbls peanut oil
  • 2 tbls soy sauce (I use Bragg’s for a GF alternative)
  • 2 tbls lime juice
  • 2-3 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 (8 oz) package of tempeh (I double this)
  • 12-16 soft, corn tortillas

Prepare the slaw first:

  • mix all ingredients well in bowl (not metal)
  • cover the top of the bowl loosely with plastic wrap pressed down on the slaw
  • weigh it down with something heavy (can of beans, pickle jar, etc.), and refrigerate
  • allow slaw to press for at least an hour
  • squeeze out excess juice when ready to serve

Lime Crema:

  • blend all ingredients until cream and smooth
  • pour into an airtight container and chill for an hour

Marinade and Tempeh:

  • Whisk all ingredients and pour into casserole dish
  • Slice Tempeh into pieces
  • Cook Tempeh in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes
  • Marinade for 1 hour, flipping as needed
  • Cook in oven at 200 degrees on a greased grill pan OR in the skillet lightly oiled over medium high heat
  • Grill or fry each side for 5 minutes
  • In the last 30 seconds, pour on the remainder of marinade
  • Assemble tacos and enjoy!

What to do with the leftovers? When I make these, even after doubling the amount of tempeh, I am always left with extra slaw and lime crema. I have gotten into the habit of making a delicious salad so that these things do not go to waste! Here’s what I use:

  • spinach or romaine
  • slaw
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • crumbled tortilla chips
  • lime crema as the dressing

Yum, so good! I know these directions can seem a bit overwhelming, but it really is so easy to make. You should try it. You won’t be disappointed!


May 1, 2012 9:00 AM | Comments | Categories: Food, Recipes | Tags: , , , ,
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fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.