Images of Christmas In Seasonal Splendor

Season’s Greetings!  I love that traditional greeting, and it seems a most befitting introduction to these Christmas images in seasonal splendor post.  Andy Williams serenades “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as I live and holiday, and by gosh, by golly it most certainly is.

images of Christmas

The sight and sound of traditional holiday colors, songs, decorations and displays delight, and these images of Christmas rich in traditional trimmings are a few of my favorite things.

wreath-on-blue-door

Victoria Magazine

As the holiday pace picks up, I remind myself it will come and go like the blink of an eye.  I make sure to fill the house with Christmas music, the slow cooker with scents of the season, and Dave the Builder’s Christmas cookie jar full of whatever cake mix cookie combination I come up with this week.  Most of all, I am making sure not to lose sight of the true beauty of and reason for the season.  That definitely brings to mind and eye images of Christmas in seasonal splendor.

blue-white-christmasAt Home In Arkansas

This holiday show and tell is a small sights of the season sampling of featured images of Christmas finery gifting gorgeous oohs and aahs. Enjoy!

atlanta-homes-and-lifestyle-home-facebookAtlanta Homes & Lifestyles

christmas-tradition

Southern Living

gallery-1474482085-clx1206food013There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.  Country Living

sl-foyerStunning!  ~  Southern Living

holiday-foyerStyle at Home for the Holidays

Christmas-cookie-shopSweets of the Season

cards-tray

Conversation Cards

peppermint-sticks-in-silver-cupsSimply elegant!  Good Housekeeping

christmas_trees_for_every_style_southern_livingChristmas Curb Appeal

Love your style!

On This Entertaining Day Of Christmas My Thoughtful Guests Gave To Me: Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

Holiday hostess gift ideas abound as we find ourselves deep in the holiday party and get together season.  Allow me to add a few more to the list.

Let’s Holiday Hostess Gifts Ideas!

greenery-wrapped-gifts

Better Homes and Gardens

Dinner Diaries

antique-sugar-set

dinner-diaries-hostess-giftR.S. Germany (19th Century) Porcelain and Hand Painted Sugar and Creamer   ~  Rogers & Hamilton Raphael Sugar Spoon ~  Antique Mercury Glass Pillar Holder ~  Dinner Diaries  ~  Metallic Rimmed Marbleized Appetizer Plates  ~ Ceramic Pineapple 

Elegant is a state of mind, and even the most casual of casual gatherings can be a stunningly elegant affair when a place is set for personal style at the head of the table.

green-wrapped-giftBetter Homes and Gardens

Holiday hostess gift ideas

Cocktails at Christmas

cocktails-for-christmas

Plantation Pride Red Gift Box  ~ Leopard Print Ice Bucket ~ Godinger Serenade Peanut Dish  ~ Cocktail Utensils Set ~  Caspari Wild Christmas Guest Towels

It’s beginning to look a lot like cocktails, and it’s always chic o’clock with these Cocktails at Christmas holiday hostess gift ideas.

ornament_giftDesign Sponge

Poker Night

casino-night-host-gift

Bicycle Playing Cards ~ Chocolate Gold CoinsGodinger Roulette 2 Piece Cheese Tray Set  ~  Assorted Snacks

Don’t forget the host!  Hit the jackpot with a game night themed gift for the host.

rosemary-crock

Seasons Greetings

“Seasons” Greetings!  I love the scent and the idea of a rosemary Christmas tree.  I would always use one at the antique shop during the holidays for the visual and aroma effect.  One of my best clients looked forward to holiday open house and what I called the annual Hopefully Classic Rosemary Rub.

What’s the Hopefully Classic Rosemary Rub you ask?

Gently rub the rosemary leaves with both hands for holiday good luck and health, and the fragrance from the tree stays with you- a holiday bonus. A Christmas tree shaped rosemary tree is festive function at its aromatic best.

blue-wrapped-gifts-carolyn-roehmCarolyne Roehm

Bon Appétit

bulldogScot Meacham Wood

bon-appetitMastering the Art of French CookingChristmas French Bulldog Tea Towel ~ French Bulldog Cookie Jar ~  Heritage Stoneware Cocotte by Le Creuset

Ooh la la cooks up the c’est si bon.  Whimsical works deliciously well in the kitchen, especially at the holidays.

black-and-gold-wrapped-giftsBetter Homes and Gardens

Tinsel and Teatime 

hostess-tea-giftTwinings Earl Grey Tea ~ Oro Porcelain Teapot ~ Stoneware Teacup ~ Jo Malone London Orange Blossom Home Candle ~ Ginkgo Gold Foil Notecards

In these hustling and bustling holiday times, taking a teatime out to relax with a cup of tea, author a handwritten note of greetings or thanks to a friend or client, or to enjoy the scent of a favorite candle in a session of aroma therapy is holiday highly suggested.

The key to a great hostess gift is one that reflects a sense of style and ‘with you in mind’ thoughtfulness.

Love your style!

The Mix and the Marvel: Home Bar Styling Ideas

Home bar styling ideas for a chic cocktail station go stylishly beyond a portable card table or kitchen counter space.  The home bar serves up more than just cocktails when the spirits, wine, bar and glassware and beverage accouterments is displayed on a styled cart, cabinet, accent table, bookshelf, inside an antique armoire or atop a mid-century modern credenza.

home bar styling ideasBetter Homes and Gardens

Let me expand on that thought.  A stylish home bar can begin with atop a portable card table or kitchen counter.  The mix and the marvel is in the decorative details, proportion and placement.

best-of-entertaining-pink-bar-51f779eb9ac35fe56bcf5f99-w1000_h1000Domino

Styling a home bar works off the same principle applied to styling a coffee table.   X marks the center spot- the prime location for a medium or low height object placement.  The “outer” areas balance the method with graduated heights  to continue the flow, theme and visual engagement.

leopard-ice-bucket

Leopard Print Wine Cooler

bookcase-bar


Now for a little housekeeping and the disclosure portion of this post:

As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links I have an affiliate relationship with and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale.  To read the disclosure policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure policy.


vintage-gin-vodka-bottlesVintage Gin and Vodka Bottles

modern-dining-room-minneapolis-minnesota-200612_1000-watermarked

Architectural Digest

newportcocktailshaker

Newport 18 Oz. Cocktail Shaker

Shaken or stirred?

bar-spoon-silver

festive-bar

A Festive Bar

black-bar-table

Traditional Home

rose-gold-drink-strawsStop me if you’ve heard this one.  A tabletop, a tray, and a spirited set up walk into a home bar.

waiting-on-martha-bar-trayWaiting on Martha

tablecraft-ct13h-13-chrome-plated-serving-tray-with-handles

the-curious-bartender-bookThe Curious Bartender

silver-pitcher

A Good Pour

Garnish your home bar with a hint of vintage whimsical.

decanter

Vintage Lionstone Madame Decanter

vintage-wine-decanter

Empoli Genie Bottle W Stopper

art-deco-ash-tray

Art Deco Ash Tray

Before many of us became smarter and healthier and the laws of the land changed, the ash tray was part of the cocktail bar landscape.  An Art Deco ash tray repurposed as a bar spoon holder makes a great conversation piece.

holiday-home-barBetter Homes and Gardens

Making spirits bright this holiday social season starts with the well-appointed home bar.  Cheers to the stylish home bar, stylish and responsible entertaining and the holiday sip and social season.

home-bar-styling-ideas

When you just love the look –

Holiday Cheers in Spirited Celebration Home Bar Styling Ideas

kelly-emerald-green-chest

Kelly Emerald Green 4-Drawer Accent Chest

nugget-lamp-blackVintage Gold Nugget Table Lamp

hiball-red-glass-1059s

Hiball Red Glass Set of 4

yuletide-holiday-pitcher-by-fitz-and-floyd-49-532Yuletide Holiday Pitcher

All wrapped up with a may I serve you bow on it.

cutting-board-h-and-m

Porcelain Tray

leopard-holiday-cocktail-napkinCaspari Wild Christmas

House cocktail stirrers, straws, mixology tools and accessories in vintage candy dishes.

vintage-candy-dishes-with-lids

Vintage Green Hazel Atlas Colonial Block Depression Glass Candy Dish Set

holiday-raffia-tree-13503Holiday Raffia Tree

dean-martin-making-spirits-bright

The art of the style courtesy of complementing statement pieces.

brass-bar-cart-lucite-candle-holder

Feasby and Bleeks- DecorPad

oil-painting

Santa Ynez Meadow Oil Painting

tabletop-bar-set-up-artMeagan Camp

flamingo-bar-coastersFla-ming-o!

flamingo-holiday-cocktail-napkin

Christmas Flamingo Cocktail Napkins

apartment-bar-cartApartment Therapy

The pineapple is the symbol of hospitality.

pineapple-decanterPineapple Decanter

rolling-card-kitchen-island

bleecker-bar-flask-oBleecker Bar Flask

hutch-barBetter Homes and Gardens

art-glass-pitcher

Art Glass Bullseye Pitcher

hickory-manor-house-regency-eagle-bevel-mirror-hm6313-tg

Regency Eagle Bevel Mirror

bar-cart-lucite-chair-leopard

Bliss at Home – Bloglovin’

antique-bar-setArt Deco Pink Elephant Shaker and 6 Glasses

Pops of color accent a repurposed garden table.  A gallery wall in perfect placement “garnishes” the look with a splash of drama.

bar-cart-1House Beautiful

loop-round-tray

Loop Round Tray

brass-bar-cart-stockedBetter Homes and Gardens

Louisiana lagniappe reflects a sense of home state home which reflects a sense of my personal style.

crocodilebottleopener

arthur-court-ice-scoopArthur Court Alligator Ice Scoop

Decorating with and displaying collected items that stand as memories from wonderful life and travel adventures.

restaurant-china-creamer

Restaurant Antoine Creamer

 I use a vintage hotel creamer as a jigger, and it never fails to start a “where did you get that?” conversation.

mid-century-modern-credenza-barDomaine

tiki-mug-hua-ka-i-42-ml-35

Thirsty Throwback Thursday Fabulous!

modern-cocktail-glasses

bar-cart-mad-menHow very Mad Men modern.

modern-7-piece-bar-mixologist-set-80800

Modern 7 Piece Bar Mixologist Set

bar-credenza

Apartment Therapy

I spied these deer leg accent tables at Target, and immediately thought they would be great to use as a drink table(s).

deer-leg-accent-tableDeer Leg Accent Table Silver

One is silver, and the other’s gold.

gold-deer-leg-tableDeer Leg Accent Table Gold

industrial-bar-cartRue Magazine

Appetizers mix well with cocktails.  Just add friends.

how-to-throw-a-rose-tasting-party-hosting-a-wine-tasting-party-charcuterie-plate-574eeb38a146deaf6ee084c8-w620_h800Domino

hmprod-1

In the City

renesse-highball-glass

Renesse Highball Glass

ralph-lauren-home-barRalph Lauren Home

jigger

penrose-bar-tool-31285

monica-wang-bar-cart

Apartment Therapy

walnut-case-1

Do You Like Nuts?

 Traditional Home

countertop-home-barBetter Homes and Gardens

gold-zebra-cocktail-napkins

Entertaining with Caspari Cocktail Napkins

cocktail bar tableBetter Homes and Gardens

Entertain these home bar styling ideas for a finished result that’s one part glamour, one part personal style and one part fabulous is now being served.

Black Friday Cyber Monday Finds Show and Tell

Holiday shopping season 2016 is in full on attention shoppers swing, and I am as guilty as the next savvy consumer who appreciates a fantastic deal. Since Places In The Home is all about the design and decorating show and tell, I thought an overview of the black Friday cyber Monday finds I snagged appropriate.

 

black Friday cyber Monday finds

 

Am I the only one who is totally confused about what day of the week it is? My Black Friday shopping excursion began Wednesday afternoon, and continued into the wee hours of Thanksgiving Thursday morning.  No sooner had I carved the bird, than the Cyber Monday sales were live and beckoning to me to get in on the savings. Spending a good deal (ha!) of time shopping online proved fruitful, but it also was the culprit in me kinda- sorta losing all track of time.

With all the black Friday cyber Monday finds excitement this deck the halls decorista may need a cocktail.  How is it no one ever seems to lose track of cocktail time?  Hmm.

See how I seized a design and decorating show and tell opportunity to share a pic of the self-serve cocktail bar set up for Thanksgiving.

bar

I shared with you all a post or two ago that I love to give and receive the gift of home.

kate-spade-boardsThrow a stylish kate spade cutting board my way with signature pops of color fun and it’s all good from there.

laundry-basketLaundry, shmaundry.   I purchased several of these to use as gift baskets. A fantastic price coupled with the potential for presentation wow factor is a Christmas gift home run in the making.

feast-board-carvingFeast your eyes upon the newest addition to the kitchen in Dave the Builder’s man cave.

utensils-holderPrice persuaded me to add this number to the shopping cart.  It may or may not translate to ooh la la lovely in person, but for the price I could not pass it up.

teak-boards-setHoliday dishes, baked delights and delectable appetizers make an impressive show when served or photographed on a nice cutting board. This cutting board trio will come in holiday entertaining and staging handy.

balloon-ornament

A long standing fascination with vintage or in the style of glass ornaments and hot air balloons came together with the purchase of this glass ornament.  glass-colored-ball-ornamentsBoth will be nice deck the halls additions to the French themed decorations soon to adorn the grapevine Christmas tree and dining room sideboard.

grape-vine-tree

Do you black Friday cyber Monday finds shop?  What holiday deals and steals did you find?

Love your style!

Holiday Kitchen Accessories That Make You Go Gotta Have It for the Holiday Decorating Season

Holiday kitchen accessories that make you go gotta have it is what’s cookin’ for the holiday decorating season.

vintage-kitchen-at-the-holidays

I am the kind of decorista whose love of all things house that make a home does not take a break over the holidays.  In other words, I like what I like, and the gift of home and holiday kitchen accessories is the gift that keeps on giving, cooking and decorating.  Black Friday kitchen accessories deals are kitchen kicking as we speak, type, read and source.  How do I know this?  As luck would have it, appliance crisis has hit Places In The Home over the last two weeks.

New washing machine.

New icemaker.

New cooktop.

Oven element burned out.

Dryer motor died.

The microwave, refusing to be left out of the loop, took great pains in causing Dave the Builder great pain this morning when it refused to cook, defrost or coffee cooperate.

cabinet-microwave

You bet your sweet bibby I’m looking for Black Friday deals!

Murphy’s Law showed up and zapped the s&*! out of the holiday budget, putting a Whoa Nelly! on the deck the halls spending.  No big budget, no big deal with these big on affordable style holiday kitchen accessories to decorate the holiday kitchen.

 holiday kitchen accessories

Spice up your holiday dishes and kitchen counter style with the Kryddig Wooden Spice Mill from Ikea.

kryddig-spice-mill-white__0146526_pe305469_s4

Kryddig Wooden Spice Mill

Copper in the kitchen is my kind of decoration.  I firmly believe you should cook and bake the holidays in good taste as well as in great style.

copper-measuring-bowls

San Telmo Measuring Cups

Farmhouse style mixing bowls in hobnail white because farmhouse style is a favorite kitchen element all year long. I purchased two sets of these for bridal shower gifts, and the brides-to-be loved the farmhouse chic look of these bowls.

mixing-bowls-hobnail

Tabletops Gallery® 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set

oh-what-fun-towelOh What Fun Flour Sack Kitchen Towel

red-kitchenaid-mixer

KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Mixer

Just bought this mixer from Target this morning- taking advantage of today’s pre-Black Friday 20% off selected kitchen items sale.  $31.99 is a super price for the KitchenAid 5-speed hand mixer.  The big daddy of stand mixers is also on sale today, coming in after discount at $199.99.  If you don’t get in on this sale today, Best Buy has a good deal going, too. Anyway you mix it, the price is Black Friday right, and the color is holiday happening! *** I do not receive one cent of compensation from Target or Best Buy for promoting these items or sales promos.  I simply like to share a good deal with you all.*** 

stand-mixer

KitchenAid Professional 5-Quart Mixer

Is it kitchen counter casual chic and holiday table finery?  The  Threshold™ Marble Salt and Pepper Shaker Set salt and pepper set is a decorative chameleon in the sense the set has a presence fit for formal-fabulous for casual chic.

marble-gold-salt-and-pepper-shaker-set

Threshold™ Marble Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

The Cooks 1.5 quart Slow Cooker is the little cooker that could and will replace the stove top method of filling Places In The Home with holiday scents for little holiday cents.

fruit-for-potpourri

I ordered the all year long appropriate color gold, but love the holiday patterns and new traditional holiday color choices.

small-slow-cooker

Cooks 1.5 quart Slow Cooker

kiss-dishHershey’s Kiss Crystal Kiss Candy Dish

Red and green wrapped Hershey’s Kiss candies signal sweet holiday candy tradition in our house.  My suggestion of the Hershey’s Kiss Crystal Kiss Candy Dish as a holiday kitchen accessories counter decoration holder for sweetener packets, sugar in the raw, sea salt or Hershey’s Kisses is a crystal clear reminder of holiday tradition, and that works beautifully in the holiday kitchen.

Love your style!

Home Sweet Holiday Home: Our Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

Home Sweet Holiday Home is all about our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes.  Delicious anticipation over our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes builds all year long, and inquiring minds and holiday appetites drive family and friends home to break bread and give thanks for these favorite thanksgiving side dish recipes.

home-sweet-home-holidays-blog-1

Our holiday dinner menu is influenced by traditional, new traditional, and regional Thanksgiving side dish recipes.  Family is well represented through the memorable dishes found on our Southern family dinner table.   antique-silver-salt-pepper-shakers

Here’s two of our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes full of Louisiana flavor for the season.

inseason564-2

Creole Baked Oyster Dressing

Ingredients

2 (16-ounce) containers shucked oysters, drained, liquor reserved
6 tablespoons butter
1½ cups chopped onion
⅓ cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Coarsely chop any large oysters.  Set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Remove 2 tablespoons butter and reserve.  Add onions, celery, and bell pepper; cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add sage, parsley, thyme, and garlic; cook 1 minute. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, bread, bread crumbs, lemon juice, Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper; stir until combined.  Add oysters and 1 cup of reserved oyster liquor; stir gently.  Spoon into prepared pan.  Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Bake, lightly covered, 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until bread is lightly browned and oysters are curled around the edges, about 25 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Louisiana Cookin’

asparagus-with-crawfish-hollandaise

Asparagus with Crawfish Hollandaise

Ingredients

2 pounds green asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup butter, melted
½ (16-ounce) package crawfish tails

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and add asparagus.  Top with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and brush evenly with basting brush. Bake until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add water to a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a stainless steel bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne.  Hold bowl over simmering water making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water, and whisk vigorously until volume of egg mixture doubles.  Slowly whisk in melted butter until sauce is thick and combined.  Remove from heat, and stir in crawfish.  Serve immediately over asparagus.

Louisiana Cookin’

sweet-potato-casserole-1

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup milk

½ cup melted butter

Topping:

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Combine first 6 ingredients. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over top.  Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and browned.  Serves 6 to 8.

Southern Food

tees-corn-pudding

Tee’s Corn Pudding

Ingredients

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (8-½ ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
½ cup 2% milk
1 can (15-¼ ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°.   In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in sour cream.  Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk.  Fold in corn.

Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Makes 8 servings.

Southern Living

favorite thanksgiving side dish recipes

Click on the links below for full recipe

Juniper-Marinated Mushrooms and Onions

Lemony Green Beans

Mashed Sweet Potato with Melted Leeks

Simply Scalloped Potatoes

buttermilk-cornbreadLook at that crispy edge perfection- the hallmark of Southern buttermilk cornbread.

Good cornbread is the base ingredient of great dressing.  I’ve enjoyed bread dressing, oyster dressing, and sausage dressing.  All are quite delicious in their own right, but our traditional holiday turkey dinner is not complete without Southern buttermilk cornbread dressing.  Here is my recipe for the cornbread:

Buttermilk Cornbread

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons oil

2 cups buttermilk self -rising white corn meal mix

1 cup self-rising flour

½ Tablespoon baking powder

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup milk

Directions

Set oven to 425 degrees. Preheat oven while preparing cornbread mix. Mix corn meal and flour into mixing bowl. Stir in milk and eggs and mix well. Batter should be a medium thick consistency. Thin by adding additional milk until desired consistency is reached.  Grease baking pan or oven safe skillet(preferably a black cast iron skillet) with 3 Tablespoons cooking oil. Bottom of pan or skillet should be coated well but not swimming in oil.  Place pan in oven to heat oil.  Once oil is heated, remove pan from oven.  Pour batter into greased pan. Return pan or skillet to oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Buttermilk Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients

crumbled cornbread

¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning, optional

*We are in a sage free zone here at Places In The Home.  If you want to add this seasoning/herb to the recipe, I suggest ¼ teaspoon sage.

1 medium bunch green onions, chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped

3 eggs, beaten

4-6 cups chicken(canned is fine) or turkey broth, or more as preferred

Directions

One skillet of crumbled cornbread will make approximately 6 servings. For dressing, crumble cooled cornbread by hand to a fine consistency with no lumps. Place crumbled cornbread in large mixing bowl. Add poultry seasoning, green onions, celery, beaten eggs and broth (½ cup at the time).  Mix well.  You want the consistency of your dressing to be soupy. Pour into lightly greased roasting pan or deep casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until top is lightly browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

enjoy

Thanksgiving Ideas That Take Home Sweet Home to Home Stylish Home

Stylish Thanksgiving ideas for gathering, decorating, entertaining, setting and feasting abound.  Home sweet home easily becomes home stylish home when thoughtful touches reflect your personal decorating style and grace your holiday home.

home-sweet-home-holidays-blog-1

Serving pieces in neutral colors paired with traditional and new traditional serveware sets an elegant holiday dinner table

dining-room-apartment-decorating-ideas-white-dining-room-51f77a079ac35fe56bcf5fc7-w1000_h1000Domino

Versatility is the perfect complement to both harvest and Christmas themed tablescapes.  My number one Thanksgiving ideas suggestion is to invest in pieces that stand the test of time and trend.  

marble-round-platter-c

Williams-Sonoma

Leopard love?  Blue and white porcelain accessories?  Purple pine cone place card holders?  Bring a sense of personal style to the holiday table.

thanksgiving-table-9House Beautiful

Simplify at least one or two holiday entertaining steps by opting for buffet-style dining and self-serve beverage stations.

4-small-space-entertaining-tricks-taupe-dining-room-51f77a019ac35fe56bcf5fc3-w1000_h1000

Domino

thanksgiving-bar

Lighting sets the tone and the mood, and a well placed table lamp(s) achieves the goal of impressive and relaxing entertaining.

pineapple

Apply the rule of KISS- keep it seasonal simple.  Fill a vase, jar or serving bowl with fresh produce.

walnuts-candles

Set out candles surrounded by pine cones, walnuts and seasonally chic cuttings.

thanksgiving-natural

Create a natural centerpiece focal point using acorns, antlers, pumpkins, and moss.

Thanksgiving Ideas

Set a colorful place at the holiday table with help from nature’s beauty.  I picked these full fall colors on parade maple leaves up in the bank parking lot this morning.  Inspiration is everywhere!

Love your style!

Making Louisiana Gumbo: A Lesson In Flavors From Home

Making Louisiana gumbo is what’s cookin’ in the Places In The Home kitchen today.  Our son wants to master the art of the roux and the flavor ya ya of my gumbo recipe.  The plan is to introduce his Canadian friends and co-workers to Cajun cuisine.  A lesson in flavors from home far transcends roux and filé.

output_dyhnht

“Cajun cuisine is a technique-driven cuisine, because it’s a very humble style of cooking.  It’s about what can you do with humble ingredients like onions, celery, bell peppers, oil, and flour.  How can you intensify flavors and create meals that are satisfying and hearty and make you happy.”

-Frank Brigsten

roux-gumbo

flour-sifter

Roux

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Heat oil in a black skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add flour in gradually, stirring well.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir/whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches a rich brown color, approximately 30-40 minutes. You must stir/whisk constantly to prevent the roux from burning.  Black flakes indicate burned roux, and burned roux tastes horrible.  If you burn it, throw it out and start over.

Start over?

Start over.

 It’s worth it.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo 

Ingredients

8  cups water

3 chicken bouillon cubes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 lb. package smoked sausage

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped onions

1  12 ounce bag frozen chopped bell peppers

3 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon fine black pepper, or to taste*

OR in place of salt and pepper season with 1 teaspoon Créole seasoning, or to taste*

1 cup white wine

cooked rice

Directions

Slice sausage into ½ inch pieces. Using a seasoned skillet for optimum taste results, cook the sliced sausage over medium-high heat until browned.  Transfer cooked sausage to plate lined with paper towels, allowing excess grease to drain.  Set aside.

peppers-onions

Place chicken breasts in Dutch oven or stock pot, add water, and bring to a boil.  Season for broth with ½ teaspoon celery salt ½ black pepper. Stir and reduce heat to medium low, cooking chicken breasts until done, about 1 hour.  Transfer chicken breasts from pot to large mixing bowl.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and add back to broth.

sausage-chicken-onions

Turn heat back to high and bring to boil.  Add prepared roux to broth and chicken mixture, whisking until roux dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium and add minced garlic, chopped onions, chopped bell pepper, bay leaves, chicken bouillon cubes, remaining celery salt and pepper (or Créole seasoning).   Carefully pour in white wine.  Stir to blend and incorporate.

boiling-gumbo

Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours, allowing all flavors to marry.  Remove bay leaves and skim any fat off the top of gumbo.  Add chopped green onions and continue to simmer for additional 5 minutes.

gumbo-file

Serve gumbo over rice.  Top with a sprinkle of filé, more green onions, and hot sauce to taste, if desired.  Gumbo is delicious on the first day, and flavor filled filé fantastic the next day.

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Holiday Hospitality Guest Room Essentials

Holiday hospitality guest room essentials in mi casa es su casa fashion fit perfectly into the ’tis the holiday company’s coming season.  Creating a comfortable home away from home guest room for visiting family or friends begins with holiday hospitality guest room essentials.

luggage

Our Canadian snowbird arrived home last week, officially kicking off the There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays party.  That suitcase is the ultimate holiday decoration.

“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends and family, Mr. Emerson.

guest-bedroom

The goal at Places In The Home is for our guests to need or want for nothing.  My darling Daddy welcomed guests with a heartfelt declaration “if we don’t have it, we will get it.”  Welcoming words for sure, and that is the objective.

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When Dave the Builder and I are overnight guests at the homes of friends and family, we consider the creature comforts furnished to be not only thoughtful, but guest room life savers.  Let’s take a look at my list of guest room essentials.

Guest Room Essentials

Topping the list of guest room essentials is space!!! Dresser and bedside tabletops and drawers cleared and ready for guests to clutter set out and fill is always appreciated.  To reduce the risk of scratching the top of a dresser or bedside table(s), simply place a plush bath towel or blanket on top of the furniture piece.

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wrinkle-releaser

Closet space complete with extra clothes hangers and a bottle of wrinkle releaser – thank you!

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Rack ’em up

I like to put out one or two luggage racks for our guests to utilize. Navigating the guest bedroom should not resemble an obstacle course.

Looking good, Billy Ray!  Feeling good, Louis!

The snowbird loves our long standing holiday tradition of watching the movie Trading Places on Thanksgiving night (Black Friday Eve).  I love the above line from the movie, and seize every opportunity to inject it into a conversation.  His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.

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travel

Wrap these welcome kits up and tie them with a holiday bow for festive gifting fun.

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Gift Your Guests with the Gift of Comfort and Hospitality

Festive faux or fresh flowers, a beside water carafe, extra linens,his and her slippers, charging station for devices, reading glasses, Kleenex, extra toilet paper, room and linen spray, a mini flashlight (to avoid things that go bump in the night like toes and kneecaps), extra blanket, a scented candle, note pad and pen and trinket tray on the bedside table and dresser top my holiday hospitality guest room essentials list.

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H2O-Cone-Night-Bottle-Set-aedd8bae-47f6-4086-8bbe-d65713c526e4_600The idea is to gift your guests with the gift of comfort and hospitality.

cinnamon-candleWhen I sourced this candle I could not help but think of the Benjamin Franklin quote my aunt from Florida modified, adopted and shares with us as she leaves.  Guests, family, and fish begin to smell after three days. Thank goodness for holiday humor and scented candles.

wifi-frame

Staying connected to the world wide web while connecting with friends and family is the business and leisure routine of daily life.  Holiday sales, where to go, what to do, checking emails and social media, tracking Santa’s route- when you need to know you need the password.  Frame a WiFi password printable for beside table display so guests can connect to your WiFi network.

Downtime is the Right Time

noisli

Noisli

Travel, especially holiday travel, can be a stressful event.  Enter Noisli. The Noisli app is a little peace on earth and goodwill toward traveling men and women.  Peaceful background noises promote a serene environment conducive to a relaxing sleep.

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A Good Read

Place a few best sellers, shelter magazines and the Good Book around the guest room for guests to enjoy.  A good read before bedtime can unwind even the tightest of clocks, and is proven reading often promotes a better night’s sleep.

holiday-reads

Guest Room Service

trayserving

A tray of hot cocoa and holiday cookies served in guest room service fashion is a holiday hospitality treat.  Little details pamper and please, and this bedtime treat always goes over big with guests.  Add a zing of seasonal deliciousness to hot cocoa with a dollop of flavored whipped topping, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, a splash of Kahlúa or a generous shot of Southern Comfort.  That’s my kind of nightcap!

decorated-doors-christmas-treesDecorated Doors Cookies

A bedtime sip and snack is a token gesture of comfort, or as we say in Louisiana, a little lagniappe.

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It’s the little touches that make them feel right at home sweet home for the holiday.

Love your style!