Aunt Heart

Inspired by Heartcease Higgins

Our Aunt Heart Tunic & Bloomers

I can’t say exactly WHAT made Heartcease Higgin’s house my favorite place in the world… It could have been her bathroom: pearly pink bathtub, frilly curtains with eyelet trim, magical oil-filled melting balls in translucent shades of red and blue, soaps in happy shapes of birds and seashells; the scent of lilac… Maybe it was her kitchen: sun streaming through lace curtains; caramel cooking on the stove; dining table squeezed next to a mirrored folding door that concealed a washer, dryer and countless art supplies; the scent of slightly burned pie crust in the oven… Her living room? It was a mix of humble furnishings and fine antiques- a rusty pink velvet love seat with wooden arms and legs, a crochet pillow, stained concrete floors before they were commonplace. Aunt Heart’s home was a reflection of her– full of happiness and hazy light, brimming with comfort.

She was sister to my grandmother (making her our great aunt in actuality) and she seemed elderly to me- even as a child. Her lily white skin and hair, a huge smile, gentle voice and unending patience made her seem like a real life angel. In her younger years, she was a school teacher. In later years, she taught us Hawaiian songs & dances (quite exotic to her Louisiana protegé). I still hum that tune so many years later… “We throw our nets out into the sea.. and all the `ama`ama come a-swimming to me– Oh, we’re going to a Hukilau… huki huki huki Hukilau”...

Aunt Heart’s kitchen was a little girl’s dream come true. Siblings, neighborhood friends, cousins- anyone within reach- was welcome at anytime… and she let us cook. More than that, she taught us to cook (mostly dessert which was our shared favorite meal). We made pies (see recipe below), candy, cakes and caramel frosting from scratch. On every formica surface were spatulas, glass mixing bowls, thermometers and little water glasses for testing caramel. Side note: When bubbling and browned melted sugar is dripped into water and remains in droplet form, caramel can be pulled from the heat. Bet you didn’t know that…

Aunt Heart hosted art classes from her kitchen table and dubbed me the Chief Assistant. She aided in the production of countless plays, movies and short stories. Her brick fireplace was the central backdrop to more Sunday luncheons, Easter extravaganzas and costume parties than I can count. Aunt Heart nurtured the very creativity that formed who I am today.

In my memory, she will always be ruffles and lace… sweet, soft, dainty and utterly comfortable. She was a home away from home. While we can never capture her essence in an article of clothing, we do hope our little dress and tunic evoke a nostalgic feeling for you and that in a very small way- a part of Aunt Heart will live on forever.

XO~

Sarah (clearly, I was her favorite, too)

Wedding Day

The beautiful bride

Heart in Spain

1964 Aunt Heart in Spain (far right)… look at the cute little Spanish dresses!

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Mimi (of Mim’s Attic); Aunt Heart, Sally (aka: Honey, aka: our mom), Gigi all in one picture!

Aunt Heart as we remember her...

Aunt Heart as we remember her…

recipe

Her FAMOUS chocolate pie recipe! In her own handwriting.

Aunt Heart’s Chocolate Custard Pie

Crust:

  • 1 and 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 level tsp salt (plus a little more)
  • measuring cup filled with 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 1/3 cup milk

Dump oil/milk mixture into flour/salt and mix with hands until it forms a ball. Split in half  and refrigerate (reserve 1/2 for later). When ready, press into pie pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (watch until it browns). Remove and let cool.

Filling:

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla

In a double boiler, heat condensed milk and milk over medium low heat. In the meantime, make a paste with cocoa powder and egg yolks. Add to milk mixture and stir continuously until a pudding-like consistency is formed. Pour into cooked pie shell and refrigerate overnight. Top with whipping cream. Enjoy!

Scenes from our Aunt Heart Inspired Birthday Party

stair climbing

Birthday escapees

cake walk

Cake walk…

presents

Birthday gifts!

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Shannon & sweet Naomi; the girls survey the scene; ready for cake

 

who is your hometown hero?

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Who is your hero?

I met mine in May of 1998. He was fresh from Basic Training and I was coming out of my freshman year at LSU. A series of odd events brought him to my dorm room on the very day I was packing up for the summer. It took one afternoon to convince me that I’d found “the one”. I have really great instincts. We were married in September of 2003, had our first baby in September of 2004 during flight school in Fort Rucker, AL. In 2008, he was deployed to Iraq, where he remained for a year (missing the delivery of our third baby and his first 6 months of life– read more on that here). We recently celebrated the birth of our fifth child- and while he is no longer in the army, he’ll  always be my hero.

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Even being a former military wife, I’ll never fully understand what our hardworking soldiers go through in times of war or separation-  or that well of strength deep inside that draws them to military service in the first place. I do, however, understand the network of heroes who are left behind: the husbands and wives and children of those servicemen and women… the ones who didn’t necessarily choose a military life- but proudly, humbly, bravely follow their soldiers to lands unknown.

So in addition to the amazing men and women who are willing to fight and die for this country, we applaud the lesser-known heroes in trenches of their own: the tired mom who fixes toilets, mows the lawn and remembers to take out the trash… the anxious dad who drives carpool, braids hair and bakes cupcakes for class, the child who puts one foot in front of the other every day- a weary smile on his face. Our military families are the backbone of this country- and we all owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

Having said that, W.D. Wolf wants to honor a hometown hero with “Hometown Firecracker” outfits for his or her family. So, who is your hero? Leave your nominations here. Please tell us a little bit about your favorite soldier, military spouse or family- and what makes them so very special. We will select and announce the winner this week.

Love,

Sarah & Shannon

2014: party time!

Long time, no see! Let’s start the new year with a new party dress–perfect for any celebration your imagination can concoct!

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And of course we have so many other exciting things in the works this year! We are getting ORGANIZED the old-fashioned way (pen & ink) thanks to this blog post by Val Marie Paper

We bought the Emily Ley Life Binders  (below):

2013 Shay Cochrane

And the 2014 Power Sheets by Lara Casey.

Shannon and I are so excited about the future of this company- we have been so blessed (we have to pinch ourselves daily) by our AMAZING customers and the crazy growth spurt we had in 2013. Please follow us on facebook to keep tabs on our secret sales & giveaways- you all know how quickly the dresses go once they’re loaded! Right now we have a share-to-win featuring our Joyce Party Dress, 25 custom thank-you cards, and a darling cowl by Well Dressed Toddlers!

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Promise to blog more this year!

XO~

Sarah

Almost picnic time…

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We are so excited to launch the W.D. Wolf Picnic line- designed with emphasis on vintage style, simple sweetness and playful fabrics that maintain our subtle, soft aesthetic.

April 26 is the big day– we’re giving away 13 “Petit Four” dresses to our fine facebook fans (visit our page to see them and read all about it) and introducing a few others that we know you’ll love (like the charming “Bake Shop” dress seen here)!

If you haven’t already, like our page on Facebook to receive the latest updates, deals and giveaway opportunities!

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“French Lavender”

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This fanciful little dress seems to have crossed over- the Taylor Swift of children’s clothes. Loved by fans of smocking, non-fans of smocking, mothers, grandmothers and little girls. We really could not be more pleased with how it turned out. And it looks even better on a child than on the rack! Round 2 of pre-orders is taking place right now on our website, so get your orders in! Shipping early July.

http://www.welldressedwolf.com/pages/pre-orders

dreaming of provence…

lavender

We couldn’t be more pleased to preview this darling little number! It is so different than typical smocked dresses out there. This one is ethereal. simple. natural… The colors and fabrics of  “french lavender” create the sweetest juxtaposition- a simple tan cotton bodice evokes images of burlap while the wispy lavender tulle adds a fairytale twist. Let this dress carry you away all summer long (and into the fall with the addition of tights!).

“French Lavender” will pre-order March 8 through March 11 via the Preferred Pre-order Program. Sign up now if you haven’t already: http://www.welldressedwolf.com/collections/pre-orders .

Estimated to ship in early June.

daydream: the josephine maxi-dress

20130217-192231.jpgYards of peach cotton voile with shimmering gold accents and metallic braid detail make this dress simply enchanting. Outdoor pictures in this stunner will be utterly magical. Preferred Pre-Order Program- keep your eyes opened! This pre-sale is coming soon!

Here’s a sneak peek of the newest Maddie, too. Sweet, subtle plaid voile (in the softest pastels) and nostalgic satin ribbons (reminiscent of a May pole) make this dress a must have for your child’s spring/summer wardrobe.

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well dressed kitchen: inspiration board

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A break from our regular children’s programming to discuss home decor!  We are planning to break ground on our new home THIS MONTH! That means I need to get my creative home decor juices flowing. I’m the creative type, but my husband can’t even pretend to share my enthusiasm without a real visual aid, so here’s what I’ve got in the works: custom ivory cabinets (floor to ceiling), Virginia Mist brushed/honed granite (that looks just like soapstone), two banks of windows for plenty of natural light, an eat-in farmhouse table/island with loads of seating, stainless appliances, grey/green trim, microwave cabinet and island base. Oh– and three custom pendant lights with mercury glass shades, antique brass fittings and reproduction copper twisted cord (AMAZING!). The lighting will allow me to more comfortably mix metals (appliances, faucet and farmhouse sink in stainless; cabinet pulls and hinges in antique brass).

Now I am excited.

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