Read more below about how Home with a Twist was born!
Growing up, while most children played with Lincoln Logs and rode bikes, I designed menus and wedding invitations with crayons, and led make-believe “docent” tours of my childhood home. The youngest of four with a 12-15 year difference between my oldest sibling and me, I accompanied my parents to cocktail and dinner parties. I learned from a very early age the art of small talk, how to mix a Shirley Temple, and set a beautiful table, and that asparagus jello is terrible and should never be served to humans. Like humorist Will Rogers once said, “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met.” All my childhood practices fostered my creativity and desire to meet new people and seek joy even on an ordinary day.
I loved spending time in the kitchen with my mother. Her meals weren’t fancy, but they were tasty. Many of her “best of” recipes I prepare today – cheese grits, chicken divan, chocolate sheath cake, and jello salad just to name a few of my favorites. She also loved curating a beautiful and welcoming home and as a result hosted many functions – ladies’ luncheons, Bible studies, and holiday parties for friends and the employees of our family business. I have vivid memories of our home filled with friends embracing, food cooking on the stove, and laughter bubbling through the halls. I learned so many life lessons from my mother – the most important — to always make people feel special when they visit your home, leaving them with fond remembrances so they can’t wait to return.
Mother passed away in 2013 and I launched Home with a Twist in her honor sharing with you everything she taught me, but with my own modern spin. I love food, entertaining, gardening, decorating, curating vintage mid-century finds, healthy living, and fashion. I have a passion for helping women, in particular, bring out the best in themselves through my experience and teaching. During COVID I led, with great success, virtual cooking and hospitality classes where guests joined me in my kitchen without having to leave the safety and comfort of their homes. I’ve also offered small, experiences with students, in my home, where we re-imagine the traditional “dinner party” concept.
In 2022, I retired from my 25-year job as an event producer to pursue a dream job in Ogunquit, Maine managing a bed & breakfast. For two seasons I dove head-first into the hospitality industry where I managed the day-to-day operations of an eleven-room historic Inn. I met some amazing guests who became friends. I also learned a lot about resilience, and finding my voice, and I gained a newfound appreciation for my strength, emotionally and physically. Having finished my time in Maine, I am happily retired diving back into my passion for blogging now as a full-time business. I have so many dreams and goals for Home with a Twist and I look forward to sharing them with you in the days to come.
The top five fun things about me:
Cake is my spirit animal, especially white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I’ve been known to order my own birthday cake so I can get it just right.
I adore vintage anything – lamps, fabrics, ricrac, blue hobnail, pink Jeannette, and milk glass to name a few.
My name in Greek translation means honeybee. My siblings named me when they disapproved of the name my mother proposed. I waited five days in the hospital with my mother, with no name, until Melissa was selected.
I love cats. Like Will Rogers, I never met a cat that didn’t instantly like me. I also have a cat named Trevor who wears bowties. He has an extensive seasonal collection.
I am a professional napper. I must have a nap every day even if just for 30 minutes. You know how you charge your phone, well a nap keeps me charged, healthy, and affable. My family appreciates the latter.
Enjoy looking around my website. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have a question about hospitality, a recipe, decorating, or just to say, hello!