The New Orleans Saints are (were) back on the field in black and gold glory. Saints fans, the Who Dat Nation, hope(d) the Saints (would) take the win and the spirit all the way to Super Bowl LII. An edge of your seat roller coaster ride to the end zone game for sure, but victory was not to be. I diligently worked on updating Saintsational Black and Gold Home Decor to coincide with the New Orleans Saints winning season. An otherwise brilliant season came to an end this past Sunday, but I did not want this updated black and gold home decor show and tell to go to waste so sharing I am. We might be dejected, but the black and gold home decor accents and accessories peppered throughout Dave the Builder’s man cave prove to be a stylish silver lining.
The flu is raging with a vengeance. Dave the Builder has informed me seven of his coworkers are currently out with the flu, and the office air is thick with the scent of Lysol. We believe in doing everything you can to prevent catching the flu. My one and only time to have the flu was an ugly, ugly experience. I was out of commission for 6+ weeks with flu that turned to pneumonia quicker than I could say I don’t feel good. Remembering that experience like it was yesterday, the Places In The Home household is in take charge mode to ward off the flu, including, but not limited to, brimming bowls of homemade potato soup. Dave the Builder’s mom spoke of the healing powers of homemade potato soup, and who am I to argue with the wisdom of my mother-in-law?
I developed this rather uncomplicated to prepare and quite tasty recipe for homemade potato soup years ago when our son was in elementary school. Sports, scouts and study schedules tend to dominate after school time, and the dinnertime hour gets pushed later and later more nights than not. The kid, husband and mother-in-law loved it, instantly making it a classic family recipe. Both cream of chicken soup and chicken broth hit the flavor notes with a little help from seasoning friends salt, pepper, onion powder and fresh parsley. I have been known on occasion to add a heaping tablespoon of heavy cream to each bowl, and the crowd goes yum.
Homemade Potato Soup
6 medium to large russet potatoes
1 family size can cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup chicken broth
5 cups 2% milk
Fresh parsley, chopped
Heavy cream (optional)
Bake the potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour OR microwave potatoes on full power until tender. Microwave cooking times will vary according to size and heating variance. Let baked potatoes stand until cool. Using a fork, press each potato in center, splitting potato in half. Mash out the pulp and discard potato skins.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stir together the cream of chicken soup, potato pulp, salt, pepper, and onion powder.
Stir in the chicken broth and milk, stirring to incorporate flavors. Bring to a gentle boil.
Lower heat to simmer, add chopped parsley, and simmer uncovered until soup is creamy thick, about 10-15 minutes.
This Dutch oven is 65 years old – a wedding gift from my aunt to my parents.
If the soup becomes too thick, simply add more milk until desired consistency is reached.
What’s the weather like where you live? Conditions in my part of the world leave a lot to be desired, calling for a little protect and pamper care and maintenance with the essentials of winter care. I don’t believe there is a region, state, county or parish not feeling the wrath of winter this week into the weekend. Nor’easter Grayson is fiercely gripping the East Coast in obnoxiously bitter cold conditions, and it ain’t pretty.
Bitter cold conditions aren’t only uncomfortable to deal with, they wreak havoc with our skin. We seek shelter in the warmth of our home only to have the dryness from indoor heat sources deny the skin of essential moisture.
Insult, meet injury.
This scenario reminds me of my trips out to Las Vegas. At first, the dry heat is tolerable. Three days in and my skin is screaming for the humidity Louisiana is known for. In order to win the war against dry skin, you must be armed for battle.
My show and tell beauty regimen to defeat dry skin delivers soothing results and moisture rich relief without leaving an oily residue on the face, hands, body and feet. Here is my list of the essentials of winter care.
Always aware of the importance of staying true to the all things house that make a home topic, let’s look at ways to pamper and protect wood furniture, wood cabinets, and wood doors from drying out due to dry indoor air.
Oil-based wood conditioners are the essentials for winter care needed for protecting wood furniture, wood cabinets, and wood doors from drying out. Applying a furniture oil such as Howard Feed-N-Wax or a quality lemon oil for fine wood penetrates wood and helps to retain moisture. I do not suggest using an oil soap, wax or furniture polish that contains silicone. Silicone based products promote build up and yellow discoloration, and therefore are not recommended. Placement is also a consideration in preventing drying and fading. Although often unavoidable due to design and space constraints, it is best not to place furniture near heating vents (drying) or in direct sunlight (drying and fading).
Don’t forget about pampering and protecting your leather home furnishings. Leather is a natural product. In order to maintain the natural beauty of the hide, I condition leather furnishings with leather conditioner at the start of winter. Using a good leather conditioner will keep the leather soft and supple and the natural beauty of the patina. Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is my number one choice of leather conditioners. It is non toxic, water repellent, controls mildew and leaves no oily residue. I do recommend consulting the furnishings care label before using any conditioning product.
Where did 2017 go? I swear I blinked on January 1, 2017 and here we are knocking on the door of 2018. New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing, but the plan for 2018 is to become brilliant at keeping a promise to self to appreciate more and more the value of time.
Like most of the Lower 48, our New Year’s Eve and beyond forecast is for frigid temps and funky conditions. I whined waited all Louisiana summer long for the arrival of Louisiana winter (basically what most of you call fall). Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.
Our Canadian snowbird son chuckles at our winter on steroids dilemma. The newlywed couple is less than thrilled to be arriving back home from a sunny warm week in Mexico to home, sweet home Winnipeg and the blistering Canadian temps of -33°C /-27.4°F.
Ah, Grasshopper. He, who chuckles first, chuckles coldest.
Edible provisions for our knocking on the door of 2018-New Year’s Eve-hunker down at home holiday weekend include Southern deviled eggs, pork tenderloin, oven roasted potatoes, the New Year’s Day traditional trifecta of black eyed peas, cabbage and buttermilk cornbread, several pots of strong Louisiana dark roast coffee, and a fresh carrot cake.
A glass or two of wine to toast the New Year and chase away the chill will top off our midnight revelry.
I look forward with great anticipation to the beautiful and stylish things to come in 2018. In vogue interior design and decor trends for 2018 run the gamut from terrazzo to color in the kitchen to velvet fabrics. Gorgeous is in the forecast, and the look is hot.
Here’s to celebrating your knocking on the door of 2018 New Year’s Eve in style. Happy New Year!
With only five days until Christmas, it’s beginning to look, taste, sound and feel a lot like Christmas.
In the spirit and the groove of the season, visions of holiday food, fun and festivities dance in our heads to the tunes of classic, traditional, rock, jazz, country and instrumental Christmas music.
A moratorium on talk radio and smooth jazz is in place in favor of my ‘Tis the Season For Christmas Tunes playlist on Spotify. The sounds of the season window is short at best, so we go all in December 1st through New Year’s Day.
Ho Ho Holly Jolly Santa sits holds court in the Places In The Home candy kitchen. I wasn’t sure this particular holiday vignette would translate, but translate it does.
Fresh, fragrant and fa la la la lovely – Christmas smells so good! A tradition of sorts dating back to the days of Hopefully Classic, Dave the Builder picks up a fresh rosemary tree shaped in the form of a mini Christmas tree on his Black Friday run. Fresh orange slices, ground cloves and bay leaves brought to a boil and left to a simmer- divine!
With only five days until Christmas, things are heating up in the Places In The Home kitchen.
Candies and cookies, and dishes, oh my waistline.
We’ll count calories in January, but for now we’ll feast upon traditional and regional holiday dishes in traditional tastes and colors of the season.
No respectable Southern cookie, candy and cake plate is without Kentucky bourbon balls, the quintessential southern Christmas goodie.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commandeered from Dave the Builders candy dish make a delicious addition to a cake mix sugar cookie.
Try, try as I may to deviate from a pastel palette of pink, French blue and winter white, the lifelong preference invariably wins out over traditional and new-traditional colors.
Walmart surprised and delighted the decorating and the savvy consumer side of my brain this holiday season.
I could not be more pleased with the presence and the price point of the tabletop pre-lit silver artificial tinsel Christmas tree and the Better Homes and Gardens holiday plate set.
We had a little “this never, ever happens here” excitement this week.
For a split second the Christmas Day forecast for Central Louisiana looked like we would need to break out the snow boots and snow booties.
Snow in Louisiana on Christmas Day?
Could it be that a miracle of snow on Places In The Home Street will take place?
Although it will not come to pass, the prospect of it could happen only adds to the excitement of a White Christmas.
I realize a gold picture frame with black and white zebras and a black and white photo of our son and his groomsmen does not necessarily qualify as a Christmas or holiday decoration, but leave it to me to find a way to incorporate it into an I’ll be home for Christmas theme. The Canadian snowbirds will not be home in Canada or Louisiana for Christmas, and for an excellent reason. The snowbirds are flying south as in the tropical south for a holiday honeymoon.
With only five days until Christmas I suppose I should push back from the keyboard if for only a day or three to enjoy all the season has to offer. May your holidays be merry and bright, safe and sound, healthy and happy and your heart always be Home for the Holidays.
beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Let’s take a look at the history of Christmas ornaments, shall we?
History shows the decorations used to trim and bedeck Christmas trees included white candy canes, fresh apples and pastries shaped in the likeness of flowers, hearts and stars. Garlands of glass beads, tin figures and the famous glass bauble made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner captured the eyes and the hearts of admirers. Artisans crafted the original ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts.
William DeMuth created the first American-made glass ornaments in 1870. American businessman F. W. Woolworth discovered glass bauble ornaments on his travels to Laucscha, Germany in the 1880s subsequently importing the Lauscha ornaments to the United States.
The F. W. Woolworth Company went national in 1910 with 1000+ stores introducing glass Christmas ornaments into its inventory. Over the 20th century, Woolworth’s would import 200,000 Christmas ornaments and top $25 million in sales from Christmas decorations.
Over the last decade, decorating the Christmas tree has become more than strictly a holiday ritual and more of a trip down memory lane starring Christmas ornaments notably in what Christmas means to me magnificence.
Small in size, but oh-so-large in representation of our individual style, personal interests, defining milestones, landmark events, choice destinations, memories of yesteryear; Christmas ornaments become delicate, shiny, glittery and wonderful winter wonderland pieces to add to or start a these are a few of my favorite things collection.
East Tennessee is our second home, and even though we will spend Christmas at home in Louisiana, the GSMNP ornament will allow us to be home for Christmas if only in our Great Smoky Mountains National Park dreams.
I fell in love with the Dagmara landscape printed glass ball ornament at first sight. Monochrome topography fittingly depicts a scene reminiscent of the homes, buildings and churches along the parish roads and bayous of Louisiana.
This year’s Christmas season is one of amplified joy and visual wonder, so much so it is growing increasingly more difficult to focus on routine tasks and duties. The plan is to wait until next week to pour the coals to Christmas-Holidays-New Year’s prep, plan and pretty. Believe me, once the floodgates open the all things house that make a holiday home holidaypalooza will take precedence over pretty much everything. Come to think of it, isn’t that exactly the point of the season of spending quality time decorating, baking, and Merry Christmas making with the ones you love?
Indications of what will be on-trend in the new year are beginning to appear on the pages of shelter magazines and social media feeds. The jury is not quite in with the final verdict, but I do like what I’m seeing. A softening vis-à-vis color, texture and pattern appears to be the consensus among informal interior design trend forecast 2018 postings. With that being said, let me share with you the Places In The Home informal interior design trend forecast 2018. As a FYI bonus, I’m including an enlightening and very interesting advice source survey showing the sources buyers turn to for interior design advice. Lest we forget to include a glimpse of the new tinsel tree my mother just had to have for Christmas 2018.
Where have we heard this before? In almost every what’s hot for the new year forecast prediction of the past few years. I believe we can confidently move brass accents from the on-trend column to the here to stay column. Warm tones invite a sense of cozy comfort to the metals mix, and home owners, apartment inhabitants, dorm room decoristas and Millennials alike continue to show a preference to home decor accents and accessories that convey a stylish degree of cozy to the overall look.
Holiday wishing you all a most fetching Friday and a lovely first day of December. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as we trim the trees and deck the halls in glorious bring the holidays home fashion.