504 Main by Holly Lefevre: 2015
twitter facebook instagram bloglovin google plus pinterest youtube

Monday, December 14, 2015

My little girl has been nicknamed "Little Miss Christmas Spirit." She LOVES everything about Christmas...and while I am a little bah humbug myself, I have to admit her enthusiasm is contagious. So, I have decided we are doing everything to instill and encourage this sweet Christmas spirit in her and hope it catches fire in the rest of us. We started off by attending The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (Austin, Texas). My husband really wanted us to go last year, but time ran out...however, this year we had the amazing opportunity to attend the Trail of Lights on a Preview night and it was amazing! There is nothing like a good (and that's an understatement) holiday light display to get you in the Christmas spirit!
Austin Trail of Lights

The Austin Trail of Lights began in 1965. It was much smaller in scale and was called a "Yule Fest." Last year over 400,000 people attended the Trail of Lights and it has established itself as a beloved Austin holiday tradition. Here are just a few facts I found fascinating about the #TrailofLights:
1. There are over 1 million light bulbs on the Trail of Lights.
2. It takes an estimated 15,000+ man hours to assemble the trail.
3. It takes an estimated 5000 hours to disassemble the trail.
4. There are 3,309 lights on the Zilker Park tree.
5. The Zilker Park tree is 155 feet tall, making it the worlds tallest man made free-standing tree.

Here is some great information about planning your trip to the trail.
(Please eexcuse the clarity of my photos...I need to brush up on my nighttime photography a lot!)

I have seen photos of previous years and thought it looked pretty, but seeing the Trail of Lights in person is an Throughout Zilker Park is an amazing trail full of Christmas and holiday cheer. 

Tunnels of lights...

Homage paid to Austin's bat population...

Displays or cherished childhood favorites sponsored by local businesses....

Trees wrapped in lights making a magical scene...

There are Ferris wheels and carousels...

And a whole lot of family fun!

The Trail of Lights is open from December 8 through December 22. Through December 15, admission is free, and then tickets are reasonably priced.

For all of you local Austinites or those visiting the area, You may want to consider upgrading to a ZIP pass. The Trail of Lights ZIP Fast Pass, presented by HomeAway, gives you front of the line access to enter the trail at 6pm (One hour before it is open to the general public). You also have access to Kringles Kantina and HomeAway ZIP Lounge for cookies and cocoa. Passes are required for ages 6 and up. Please see more information here.

The Trail of Lights is hugely popular and the ZIP pass can enhance your experience. When we attend getting in early and being able to walk around without crowds made the experience so much more memorable.

Because this event is so popular, I highly suggest you go prepared. Check out the Trail of Lights "Plan Your Trip To The Trail" page. Also consider using the FREE app Metropia to navigate your way through the Trail Of Lights. Use their special customization for planning your visit, including how to avoid road closures and crazy parking situations.

Wherever you live, I encourage you to get out and see some lights and catch a little Christmas spirit!
This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
disclosure: my family and I were invited to a Blogger Preview Night. Experiences written about are my personal opinions.
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, November 20, 2015

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Randall's 

Are you ready for the holiday festivities? I know when this time of year rolls around I am always looking for easy appetizers and desserts for on-the-go entertaining and last minute social engagements. Easy to me means a few ingredients, a couple of shortcuts, and can be made quickly with minimal prep. Well, this Blue Cheese Cranberry Pull Apart appetizer fits all of those requirements!

Holiday appetizer baked in a pan

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Buying Christmas gifts for my teenage boy is hard work! He has aged out of toys...well sort of, now he wants those very expensive electronic toys! LOL! It takes some thought to find smaller, affordable gifts that make him happy and make me happy. Of course, if I was going for "mom happy" there would be a vegetable-of-the-day club membership, a book, deodorant, and new socks, but you can imagine how well that would go over! Well, I think this year, I have collected a few affordable and necessary, "teenager-approved" items all nicely packaged in a Mason Jar!
This gift in a mason jar has a dual function: It is a drinking glass after he opens the gift!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Saturday, November 14, 2015

While my mind has already jumped ahead to Christmas....I took a moment to come back to November and create a quick and simple GIVE THANKS Banner for Thanksgiving...or if I would have planned better it could have been for the entire Fall season.

The banner is pretty darn easy. You need to be able to paint, cut and glue. You can do that, right?

Now since Thanksgiving is right around the corner...let's get crafting!

  • 2 1/2 yards Jute Webbing, cut into 7" lengths. It comes in black and red. I used black for this project.
  • I chose to use black. This is available online and at fabric stores, usually in the upholstery section. I purchased this at Hobby Lobby.
  • Paint.
  • I used American Multi-Surface Satin in Paprika (DecoArt)
  • Pouncer.
  • This works better than a brush for stenciling. If you don't have a pouncer, a foam brush would be my next choice.
  • Lettering.
  • I used American Simple Script Stencil. I use this stencil ALL THE TIME!
  • 3 yards basic twine.
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun 

Make It!
  • Cover your work surface...On occasion the paint will bleed through the burlap.
  • Cut the Jute Webbing into 7" lengths. 
  • You need 11 pieces.
  • I like to notch my banners. At the center mark up about 1". Then cut from each side up to the 1" mark. OR mark up 1", fold the rectangle in half and cut while doubled.
  • Stencil. 
  • Place some paint on a paper plate and then pouncer the pouncer into the paint. Use part of the plate to tap off excess paint.
  • About 1/2" up from the notch on the bottom of the banner piece, place the bottom of your stencil (centered horizontally).
  • If you are not experienced with stencils, take the time to tape the stencil down to keep it from moving.
  • I just hold mine with one hand.
  • Carefully pounce the pouncer loaded with paint all over the stencil.
  • Carefully remove the stencil.
  • Wipe the stencil clean to ensure the paint does not smear onto your other banner pieces.

  • Cut a length of twine 3 yards long.
  • Lay it across the table.
  • Turn on the hot glue gun to heat up.
  • Lay the letters out in order. Place a blank banner piece between GIVE and THANKS
  • Fold over the top edge of each banner piece about 1/2" to 3/4" 
  • Place a line of hot glue in the fold and up the sides and across the edge.
  • Place the twine in the glue in the fold and then fold over the top to sandwich the twine between the layers.
  • Repeat until you are finished.
  • I work with my letters upside down.

Now, just decide where you want to hang it, make a loop on each end of the twine and decorate!

Do You decorate for Thanksgiving?

This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I am really not obsessed with Christmas ornaments...well, maybe I am. A couple of weeks ago I made those A-dorable Rustic Wood Christmas Ornaments and now I seriously cannot stop thinking of ornament ideas...and what's better than incorporating photos of your kids, pets, family and close friends into homemade Christmas ornaments?!!!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I live in a house full of cookie monsters. I love baking cookies, but seriously cannot keep them in the house...gobble, gobble, gobble! These M&M Oatmeal Cornflake Cookies have that same problem - vanishing - stolen by the cookie monsters! They are sweet and crunchy with a hint of chocolatey goodness!

M&M Oatmeal Cornflake Cookies are the perfect blencd of sweet, crunchy and chewy.

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Sunday, October 25, 2015

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to make ornaments with my kids, my parents, whoever happens to stop by. Did I lose you with Christmas talk already? No! No!...don't go away, I know its a wee bit early to chat about Christmas, but if you start now, you can create a bevy of beautiful handmade ornaments and make beautiful memories at the same time. The ornaments we have made over the years are my favorite ones to hang on the tree.

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, October 23, 2015

I made these DIY Magical Floating Ghosts for my son's first grade Halloween party. He's 14 now...so yeah, sometimes it take me awhile to get around to sharing my ideas (I did not even know what a blog was back then!). They kids loved these little ghosts. I still have the ghost my son made in first grade and my daughter was playing with it...so it was time to revamp it and share!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Let's get something straight...I love to bake -  I have always been a good baker. Cooking, on the other hand...well, it has not come naturally...and my family is P-I-C-K-Y. I find myself making the same things over and over and they get bored and I get frustrated...BUT I do have a few tricks up my sleeve and this Flavorful Slow Cooker Chicken is one of them!

I am not a big meat-eater (which is like a sin in Texas) but my family, especially my husband needs his meat for every meal. I continue to test and try different recipes to find combinations of flavors that he (and the kiddos like)...and this super flavorful slow cooker chicken is a "winner, winner, chicken dinner!"

  • 1 Whole chicken, with all the stuff inside removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (ow regular oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced (Optional)

Make it!
  • Mix the softened butter with all of the spices, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  • Remove the insides of the chicken, rinse it and pat dry
  • Breast side up, gently use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat.
  • Use your fingers to place the butter mixture between the skin and meat all  over the breast and into the wings and drumsticks (as best you can).
  • Place 1 cup chicken broth into the slow cooker.
  • Turn slow cooker on "low."
  • Place chicken in slow cooker, breast side up.
  • Add the onion to the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 4-5 hours.
This chicken is so moist and tender...it literally falls apart as you remove it from the slow cooker, which is fine by me...no carving!

I make this chicken all the time and it works so well with our busy schedules. We use it in salads, serve it with rice and pasta, and in chicken tacos! Whew! Everyone is happy!

You can also play around with the spice combinations - add more or your favorite...and it is amazing when some preserved lemons - they add a richness to the dish.
Adding preserved lemons to your favorite dishes brings new life to them.
Now go grab and chicken and make dinner tomorrow easy peasy!

This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I am seriously obsessed with tote bags. I always have been. I NEVER carried a backpack in school...I always had a tote bag. Now I use them for everything, and they are perfect for shopping, the library, toys or whatever you need toted somewhere!
Heat Trasnfer Horse tote bag made with the #Silhouette
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, October 5, 2015

I LOVE Fall. The weather is amazing and it is finally time to bake with my favorite flavors - nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin...and gingerbread! So I had some (very ugly) bananas begging to be made into bread, but felt the need to give this banana bread a Fall twist by adding the flavors of gingerbread....and a few chocolate chips (because they make life better!).

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Once upon a time I lived in a quirky beach town where I could do just about anything I wanted to my house. Now I live in a new HOA-governed community and  I cannot paint my door crazy colors or have lots of "treasures" hanging out  on my porch...so its a good thing I love wreaths...because that is one way I can always personalize my entrance. And I do love a gorgeous wreath!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers. All opinions are mine alone. #ReadySetSnack #CollectiveBias

After school time  - no any time - at our house is crazy busy. There are always new papers to fill out, new notices to read, homework to do, schedules to organize, activities to attend. Even with the craziness, I do have (thankfully) at least three givens everyday: The kids want a snack, they want it to be a "treat," and they want a little down time before starting homework. Well, they are getting their wish, and I am getting mine too -  a quick go-to and sometimes on-the-go snack! Now, add in some fun activity time and the rest of our day is complete.

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, September 14, 2015

I have always been obsessed with tassels. I really cannot even begin to tell you how much I love them - on shoes, pillows, blankets, jewelry...everywhere and anywhere. Since I moved to Texas, I have been Tassel-less...but not anymore! I have decided to theme my Fall decor around tassels, and here is where I am starting...DIY (easy) Yarn Tassels.

How to Make an EASY DIY Yarn Tassel

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I love to entertain and am always looking for ways to make the whole eating-drinking-mingling process easier. I will tell ya, that if my party numbers are small enough I will use "real" (as in not disposable) dishes, but when the party gets larger or has a lot of kiddos or is by the pool, I find these DIY Paper Food Trays come in super handy for serving snacks, chips, and other goodies!

Paper Food trays to DIY

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Monday, August 31, 2015

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Rubbermaid. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

For my kids, back to school means early mornings and homework. For me, it means early mornings and packing lunches! Well, let me be honest, I will not be bragging about my ability to pack lunches. However, that is changing. At the high school, my son can spend between $8-$10 on lunch...every day (ouch)! On the other hand, my daughters lunch is less expensive, but she likes her food "a certain way." So this year, I am sending them off with a healthy Salad Bar On The Go packed up in a Rubbermaid Lunch Blox.
Need a nutritious lunch on the go? Rubbermaid Lunch Blox has you covered. #BloxOff #IC

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Friday, August 28, 2015

This family of mine LOVES pasta. I LOVE veggies (and they sort of do...sometimes..depending on the veggie). So what better way to give them the pasta they love and make mom happy than with a Perfectly Delicious Vegetable Pasta Salad. Not only is this salad packed of of nutritious veggies, but it has the heartiness of ultragrain quinoa pasta, tossed with your favorite dressing and kissed with some freshly grated Parmesan. This pasta salad is so versatile - it is great for lunchboxes, dinner on a warm evening, and a crowd-pleaser at picnics and barbecues (Labor Day is fast approaching!)
Toss up a Perfectly Delicious Vegetable Pasta Salad for lunch or a party.

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I vividly remember wanting, wishing to be a mermaid growing up. My daughter has the same wish and thanks to this opportunity with Fin Fun Mermaid Tails, my little cutie has transformed into a gorgeous mermaid.

Anyone can be a mermaid!

 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We really love ice cream in this house. I used to exercise only so I could eat ice cream (makes sense, right?). After making Mocha Mud Pie for the family, I felt inspired to make MORE ice cream pies. I have been feeling very traditional and nostalgic, and so what better "old Fashioned" flavors to put into an ice cream pie than a BANANA SPLIT! Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, banana, hot fudge, whipped cream, cherries - whats not to love!

Traditional banana split flavors come together in a pie.

I did some research on what exactly was in, or on a banana split. I did not know that pineapple and strawberry toppings, along with marshmallow was a part of the traditional banana split! Did you? I took a few modern liberties with my ice cream pie, but it absolutely tastes like a luscious decadent banana split!

Sliced bananas are the perfect finishing touch

NOTE: You have to work quick if you live in a hot area - it is ice cream, after all! Be prepared, have your ingredients ready and your work surface prepped. If I can make this pie in the heat of a Texas summer, you can manage it too!
Ice cream and bananas are the star of this dessert.

  • 4 cups Vanilla ice cream
  • 4 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 4 cups Strawberry ice cream 
  • 1 Package Vanilla Wafers
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (or less..or more!) Hot Fudge Sauce 
  • 3 medium bananas, sliced
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Marshmallow topping
  • Optional
    • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
    • Mini Vanilla Wafers
    • Pineapple (sundae) sauce
    • Strawberry (sundae) sauce
  • Food Processor
  • Wood spoon, spatula
  • Pie Tins or cake round (I used the 9" round cake pans in the Cake Boss 5-Piece Bakeware Set )
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Knife
  • Optional: Ziploc bag (with tip cut off) - similar to a DIY piping bag.

place cookies in the fod processor

NOTE: MY daughter said she would like to try Oreo Cookie Crust next time. If you want that recipe head over to the Mocha Mud Pie I posted the other day
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Place about 45 Vanilla Wafers in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs.
  • Melt butter in the microwave (in a microwave safe dish) for about 30 seconds.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter together and mix thoroughly.
  • Place the cookie crumb mixture into the pan and press down and onto the side of the pan to create a crust. I use a small glass bowl to press the crumbs down and up onto the sides firmly.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in the 350F oven.
  • Remove from oven and let cool completely
THE FILLING - do this THREE TIMES, Once for CHOCOLATE, once for STRAWBERRY, and one for VANILLA ice cream

Once the pie crust is cooled...
  • Let CHOCOLATE ice cream soften slightly, just so it is spreadable, and spread into the bottom of the pie crust
  • NOTE: I discovered this as I put my last layer of ice cream (Vanilla) on the pie and realized that next time I will do this for each layer.
    • Place softened ice cream in a gallon size ziploc bag
    • Snip the tip off and add the ice cream to the pie crust in a swirling motion. Start on the outside edge of the pie crust and circle your way into the middle with the ice cream.
    • Then spread smooth with a spatula.
  • Return pie to the freezer to let the chocolate set/harden up (essentially you are doing this if you want to achieve "clean" layers of ice cream in the pie. If you don't care about the layers appearing clean and even...keep on going!)
  • REPEAT above steps with STRAWBERRY Ice Cream.
  • REPEAT above steps with VANILLA Ice Cream.
  • Return to freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight)
chocolate and strawberry ice cream
  • The ice cream part of the recipe is complete. You can see the edges of my pie are showing some chocolate. The bananas will cover it...or use mini Vanilla Wafers!
Now it is time ot make th epie look pretty!

  • Just prior to serving, slice the bananas and place them all over the top of the pie.  
Slice three bananas into 1/4" thickness.
  • Heat the hot fudge and drizzle it over the bananas.
Bananas and chocolate are perfect together.

NOTE: It was SUPER HOT the day I made this. I did return the pie to the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up - it makes it much prettier and easier to cut.

Serves additional whipped cream and a cherry with each piece.
  • Use 1-2 Tablespoons of Marshmallow topping on the plate. I made a circle with the back of the spoon. Set the pie in the center of the marshmallow topping.
  • Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry. It might be fun to set out some pineapple, strawberry, and marshmallow toppings to let your guests complete the banana split pie masterpiece! 
Extra toppings make this pie more decadent.

What's your favorite ice cream dessert?

if you like this recipe, be sure to check out the Mocha Mud Pie recipe! 

Mocha Mud Pie Recipe
This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
 photo arrow.pngCONTINUE READING

blogger template