Monday, April 27, 2020

Easy and Delicious Doughnut Recipe

"New mysteries. New day. Fresh doughnuts."
~ David Lynch

Our art director for Victoria plans the most wonderful crafting and culinary projects for her children, and when she shared photos of doughnuts that her family made for their Friday morning breakfast, I knew immediately that I could not let the weekend pass without trying out her recipe. Using refrigerated biscuit dough makes this a super-easy endeavor, and a simple glaze adds the perfect finishing touch. Read on for the details!

Easy Doughnuts

Makes 8

Vegetable oil, for frying
1 (16-ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough*
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk

1. Fill a frying pan to a depth of approximately 2 inches with oil. Heat over medium-high heat.

2. Open can and separate biscuits. Using a small round or heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut center from each biscuit.

3. In batches, add doughnuts and holes to pan, cooking until golden, about 1 minute per side. Remove to paper towels to let cool slightly.

4. In a small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over warm doughnuts and holes, and serve immediately.

*We used Pillsbury Grands! Southern Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits, and I plan to use Grands! Flaky Layers Buttermilk Biscuits next time.

These easy and delicious doughnuts made for a quick and satisfying quarantine breakfast before we gathered for Sunday morning worship in the living room. Over time, I look forward to experimenting with different biscuit doughs, glazes and toppings. Please let me know if you have a favorite combination to suggest!

"Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table."
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

As Seen in Victoria Magazine

As a longtime reader of Victoria before I had the privilege of joining the editorial staff, you can imagine my delight at finding some familiar faces in our current issue. Our team has enjoyed bringing fashion features back to the pages of the magazine, and you are certain to love the romantic billows showcased in the May/June story "Lasting Impressions." Christian was out of town when this photo shoot took place last summer, but you will spy Mary Ashley, Emma and Carson on the third spread and then the girls on the following page. A subscriber from Texas reached out to ask if these were my children, so I am wondering if anyone else recognized these cuties?

What a lovely opportunity for my three and our other models! Find the May/June 2020 issue, absolutely brimming with gorgeous content, on newsstands or at

"Beauty is a nectar which intoxicates the soul."
~ T.C. Henley

Monday, April 20, 2020

Among the Wisteria

"In pale moonlight
the wisteria's scent
comes from far away."
~ Yosa Buson

Honestly, I took it really hard when last month's trip to the beach was cancelled. I needed to sit with this news for a while before saying it aloud, but Carson has enlisted with the army and was scheduled to leave for basic training in March. With his departure date looming and Christian heading off to college soon, I could see the sands of time with all four children slipping out of the hourglass and was heartbroken to lose what was possibly our last opportunity to get away together. But these past few weeks with everyone home have brought their own sweetness with family meals, game nights, and plenty of singing, laughing and teasing. The slower cadence has allowed me to really savor each moment. And although I didn't get the seaside pictures I had originally envisioned taking to mark this end of an era, as we settled into the new normal of quarantine, God draped our trees with wisteria and gave us a golden sunset, allowing me to capture a few more precious memories of these babies that I will hold in my heart forever.

Carson's departure date, originally rescheduled for late July, has been moved to today. Although it has been difficult to think about him leaving the nest, I am grateful that we were given a little more time with him and understand that he is eager to embark on this new adventure. I ask for your prayers as Carson begins this new chapter of his life. During this transition, how thankful I am for precious moments captured among the wisteria.

"When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses."
~ Joyce Brothers

Saturday, April 18, 2020

An Easter Table Abloom in Pink and Yellow

"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there."
~ Clarence W. Hall

With this year's celebration of Easter taking place at home, I looked forward to creating some special memories around our table. During my grocery shopping for the occasion, I was so pleased to find lush pink roses, sunny yellow tulips and snowy white hydrangeas. Arranging these pretty flowers in favorite wire birdhouses offered a subtle reminder that beauty can always bloom, even during a season of confinement due to quarantine. Enjoy these glimpses of spring loveliness!

"It is the hour to rend thy chains,
The blossom time of souls."
~ Katherine Lee Bates

Friday, April 17, 2020

Easter at Home

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born."
~ Alice Freeman Palmer

This time of quarantine has brought a range of new experiences, including its share of challenges and blessings. For us, celebrating Easter together has been one of the loveliest opportunities. We have traveled over the holiday weekend for many years, making some wonderful memories along the way, but I must confess that I have often looked forward to the day when we would gather again around our own table. Although I never pictured us spending the entire holiday at home, the sweet simplicity of setting the kids' Easter baskets in the kitchen, worshiping with our church family via livestream, and then stepping into the dining room for lunch gave a relaxed pace to the festivities. We were a bit more casual in dress this year, but I still wanted to commemorate the occasion with photos in our yard. Here are a few of our favorites, including the traditional pairings of Carson and Mary Ashley hugging and of Emma holding Christian. You may notice that the boys are sporting mustaches in these images -- a bit of quarantine entertainment!

" 'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Family Moments from Our Grand Getaway

Last month, we slipped away for a few days of leisure at one of my favorite escapes, The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Point Clear, Ala. We missed our annual visit last summer, so for months before our family vacation, I dreamed of strolling the gardens, lounging by the sea, and riding bicycles around the idyllic property.

Joe and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary, so this trip offered a lovely observance of that milestone.

Throughout the summer, the house has seemed to swell and shrink as Carson came home from college but then different children leave for camps and other trips, so we took full advantage of having all four available for a weekend away. I'm always happiest to have all of my babies together!

This trip was also special in that Carson's sweet girlfriend, Mallory, joined us for all of the fun.

Mallory shares my love of beauty, photography, and afternoon tea, so I knew that she would enjoy the Queen of Southern Resorts. She was a lovely addition to our group and appreciated all of the amenities just as much as I thought she would!

Emma was so little when we made our first trip to The Grand years ago, and now she is a teenager -- and taller than big sister Mary Ashley!

I love and adore these three girls!

And I'm so grateful for each moment spent with these precious four.

And to think, it all began 25 years ago with these two! 

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful."
~Abram L. Urban

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter Memories

"Awake, thou wintry earth --
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!"
~ Thomas Blackburn

Easter weekend found us traveling to Searcy, Arkansas, to celebrate the holiday with Carson at Harding University. During Spring Sing, an annual competition of social-club shows, he dazzled us while performing with the hosts and hostesses as part of the ensemble.

Mary Ashley's expression pretty well sums up our feelings to be reunited with our favorite college guy. Having all of us together, I could not stop smiling myself!

Joe's parents joined us for this trip, so we were able to introduce them to Harding. It was so special having three generations together on campus.

We were also able to celebrate with sweet Mallory, who is dating Carson. These two dated in high school and were best friends for a while before getting back together this year. She is a freshman at Harding, and we absolutely adore her!

Campus was in full bloom, and the kids patiently indulged me in taking family photos. They know that I look forward to this all year and cherish every image of my chicks! Here are some more of my favorite images from Easter Sunday.

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born."
~ Alice Freeman Palmer

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