The Essentials of Winter Care

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.

winter-weather-chart

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.

essentials of winter care

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.

the-essentials

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy covers well, comforts and protects with the added bonus of a pleasing scent.

After trying all the rest I now have found the best foot cream in Gold Bond Softening Foot Cream.   For roughly $6 you too can crack the code of dry, cracked feet.

Night of Olay Firming Cream is both my night and day cream.   It’s that good.

L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream.  Love the scent, the feel, the results. This is one of only a few beauty products I have no problem splurging on.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E and Peppermint is a year round must have for chapped, dry lips.

artichoke.wood.cabinets

Jacobean Style Cabinets Designed and Made by Artichoke

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.

wood-conditionerHoward Feed-N-Wax  ~  Holloway House Lemon Oil

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).

leather-chair

Interior Designer Ninou Etienne of FusionD as featured by Design to Inspir

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.

leather-honey-leather-conditioner

Leather Honey Leather Conditioner

Winter can be brutal.  Pamper and protect with the essentials of winter care.

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Knocking On The Door of 2018

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.

knocking on the door of 2018

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.

winter

Cold.

Dreary.

Ugly.

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.

grill-gifts

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.

deviled-eggsDuke’s mayonnaise is the preferred mayo of many a Southern cook and chef.  Southern Living explains our love of the stuff, and why it is the preferred mayo of test kitchens in the article Why Southerner’s Have an Obsession With Duke’s Mayonnaise.

Great taste, good read.

dry-black-eyed-peas

A glass or two of wine to toast the New Year and chase away the chill will top off our midnight revelry.

champagne-bar

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.

home decor trends 2018

Here’s to celebrating your knocking on the door of 2018 New Year’s Eve in  style.  Happy New Year!

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With Only Five Days Until Christmas

With only five days until Christmas, it’s beginning to look, taste, sound and feel a lot like Christmas.

Five Days Until 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.

Sitting-Santa

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.

vintage-Santa-mug-lights

A wisp of whimsical paired with a spot of vintage in the spirit of bygone days fits perfectly into our Christmas motif.

rosemary-tree

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!

boiling-oranges

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.

rice-dressing

No respectable Southern cookie, candy and cake plate is without Kentucky bourbon balls, the quintessential southern Christmas goodie.

bourbon-balls

reeses-peanut-butter-cup-dishReese’s Peanut Butter Cups commandeered from Dave the Builders candy dish make a delicious addition to a cake mix sugar cookie.

Reese's-sugar-cookie

dining-roomTry, 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.

ornaments-on-tree

Christmas-tree-2017

Walmart surprised and delighted the decorating and the savvy consumer side of my brain this holiday season.

Christmas-plates

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.

Christmas-dessert-plates

We had a little “this never, ever happens here” excitement this week.

snow-showers-prediction

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-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.

Christmas-figurines

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.

groom-groomsmen

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.

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Treasures On The Tree: Christmas Ornaments

it's

 

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.

peach-german-ornament

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.

Germany-glass-ornament32° North

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.

christmas ornaments

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.

decorated-tinsel-tree

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.

Snow-Great-Smoky-Mountains-National-ParkGreat Smoky Mountains National Park  ~  Photo by Nick Yarnell

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.

ornament-smoky-mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

ski-winter

Load ’em up and let’s hit the slopes memories.

ornament_ski_gondolaSki Gondola 

Winnipeg- JetsWinnipeg Jets

The newlywed Canadian snowbirds eat, sleep and drink all things hockey, namely, the Winnipeg Jets.

Jets-games

This one’s for y’all or  celui-ci est pour vous tous.

ornament-hockey-puck

Instead of the traditional our first Christmas ornament denoting the happy couple’s first Christmas together as man and wife, I thought I’d go in a different direction.

pizza-food-truck

The food truck was a huge hit at their wedding reception, and a food truck ornament serves as an appropriate token of their make it our own style.

ornament-food-truck

Christmas ornaments somehow become more than objects of beauty, they become ornamental objects of ourselves and treasures from our lives and the lives of those we love.

Houmas HouseHoumas House

Now for an array of Christmas ornaments celebrating the food, music, landmarks and culture of Louisiana  and ones that capture the essence of the there’s no place like home for the holidays sentiment.

ornament-landscape

Dagmara Landscape Printed Glass Ball Ornament

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.

Flying_pelican_grand_bayBrown Pelicans

cloisonne-Louisiana-state-ornament

Kitty Keller Designs Cloisonne State of Louisiana 

The announcement of Ultra Violet as Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 coordinates with the holiday color fest.

2018-Pantone-Ultra-Violet

A splash of non-traditional color livens the look, and complements the colors featured in the all I want for Christmas Limoges oyster plate and oyster ornament.

Limoges-oyster-plate

Hand Painted Limoges Plate With Sea Oyster Shell Decoration

ornament-oyster

Old World Christmas Oyster with Pearl Glass Blown Ornament

Beignets_and_Café_au_Lait_at_Café_du_Monde,_New_OrleansBeignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde

Beignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde is a delicious New Orleans tradition.

ornament-coffee-beignets-cafe-du-monde

Coffee and Beignets New Orleans Christmas Ornament 

Our pets are members of our family.  Sadie the black Labrador Retriever and Beau the white German shepherd keep our nephews company on the hunt.

Sadie-black-lab

pet-ornaments

German Shepherd

white-German-shepherd

Creativity and color make up a large part of my day, every day.

french-artisit-oil-paint-palette

French Artist Oil Paint Palette

It’s a color your world Christmas.

ornament-artist-paletteOld World Christmas Artist’s Palette Glass Blown Ornament

The piney woods are well-represented through adorned packages in shades of blush, gray, and gold wrapped to impress.

pink-holiday-gift-wrapping-ideas

Decorate your Christmas tree as you would your home- with a sense of you.

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Informal Interior Design Trend Forecast 2018

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?

Yes, Virginia, it is.

Victorian-Santa-Postcard-GraphicsFairyThe Graphics Fairy

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.

tinsel-tree

Lavender

Move over Millennial Pink.  Lavender is slated to be the new color du jour.

Jackye-Lanham-design

Cottage Charming Renovation and Decoration by Architect William B. Litchfield & Designer Jackye Lanham

Brass Accents

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.

brass-accents-kitchenHeidi Caillier Design

alaina-kaczmarski-home-holiday-decor

Everygirl Co-Founder Alaina Kaczmarski Holiday Decor

Velvet

If you want to achieve a sense of drama through rich and elegant texture, may I introduce you to velvet.

velvet-setteeTriangle Interiors

Berkus-Kravet-Velvet19th-century Bench Upholstered in Kravet Velvet 

Back in Black Kitchen

The black kitchen is slated to be back in black vogue.

Can’t wait to paint my kitchen walls and/or cabinets black fabulous or forget going to the dark side fail?  Do tell.

benjamin-moore-kitchen-jet-blackBenjamin Moore
Cabinets:  Jet Black 2120-10
Walls: Vapor AF-35, Regal Select Pearl

Buyer FYI

From the November 2017 edition of Home Accents Today:

Inspiration is everywhere, and an online consumer survey conducted by Furniture Today of 1368 respondents shows the sources buyers turn to for interior design advice.

Informal Interior Design Trend Forecast 2018

interior-design-graphic

*Includes vintage shops, other magazines, and friends

Interesting.  Very interior design trend forecast 2018 and interior design advice survey interesting.

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A Most Fetching Friday: In Glorious Bring The Holidays Home Fashion

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday greets the first day of December in glorious bring the holidays home fashion.

fetching-definiton

bring the holidays homeShare a Coke

tree-farm-Canada

garland-wreath-front-doorNine & Sixteen Home

Christmashousetour2014livingroomflockedtreecraftberrybushChristmas Home Tour by Craftberry Bush

Christmas-amaryllis-vase

H&M

Christmas-foyer

House & Garden

Shiny Brite Christmas Ornaments

holiday decorated sideboardTG Interiors

pine-cones-garland-ribbon-greeneryVeranda

small-Christmas-treeLancaster Home & Holiday

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.

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Places In The Home Hostess Gift Ideas Holiday Edition

Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals are an excellent vehicle for hostess gift ideas.  The ’tis the season soiree and holiday dinner party highlights the festive spirit of the season, and is the most wonderful time of the year for the holiday hostess to pull out all the stops.

retro holiday party

A gift of holiday hospitality expresses thoughtful appreciation to the hostess (or host).  Entertaining what special token of ’tis the season appreciation to gift the merry hostess or host is a scroll away with the Places In The Home Hostess Gift Ideas Holiday Edition.

hostess gift ideas

I sourced ginger jar ornaments and even went as far as to post the image, note the source, and hit the update button.  That is until I checked out the clearance sale at Lamps Plus for a blue and white ginger jar lamp.

happiness-blue-white-table-lampFelicity Blue and White Double Happiness Table Lamp

Turns out the ornaments are more expensive than the lamp.  Ginger jar ornaments shine in the holiday hostess gift ideas spotlight for roughly 30 days.  The Felicity Blue and White Double Happiness Table Lamp on the other hand shines 365 days in the hostess gift ideas~home decor spotlight.  How’s that for hostess gift ideas holiday gift giving happiness?

Louisiana-cabin-print

Cabin Canvas Art Print

Hostess gift ideas that work of a central theme such as one that features items native to your corner of the world is a fun and unique way to emphasize the home for the holidays spirit.

River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana CuisineRiver Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine

The look and the taste of take me home Louisiana river roads and bayous is year round present in a Louisiana lagniappe gift trio of a rustic Cabin Canvas Art Print, River Road Recipes cookbook, and gold alligator salt and pepper set.

2-piece-gold-alligator-salt-and-pepper-set

Gold Alligator Salt and Pepper Set

These whimsical Dapper Animal appetizer plates are stylishly dapper indeed.

dapper-animal-salad-platesDapper Animal Plates

Stylish accessories for dresser or desk gets the hostess or host gift job done.

Haircalf Storage Box

 Large Haircalf Storage Box

broyhill-tray

Small Haircalf Tray

 French finial fabulous gift gorgeous with a lovely price point.

scroll-finialsPenelope ~ Francis Finial Accent Pieces

Farmhouse style remains a favorite theme to work with to build your hostess gift ideas upon.

Delano+Farmhouse+Share+0.5+qt.+Kitchen+Canister

Delano Farmhouse Canister

farmhouse-theme-hostess-gift

Dave the Builder wonders aloud why I am sourcing dirty Wellies as a hostess or host gift.

welly-boots-planter

Oh you silly man, it’s a  Welly Boots Planter.  “Hey, I like that!”  Hopefully, the host or hostess will give it a green thumbs-up too.

green-curl-wreathWood Curl Green Square Wreath

On sale and on trend, the Wood Curl Green Square Wreath from Pier 1 Imports hits the holiday high notes of year round indoor or outdoor color, pattern and texture style.  Pop the holiday color with a fabulous bow for a super good look!

scottie-dog-cookie-jar

 

Ceramic Scottie Cookie Jar

Cookies for Santa, hostess, and pet lover alike.

scottie-dog-shortbread-cookiesWalkers Shortbread Tin, Scottie Dog

tartan-plaid-appetizer-plates

philosophy-pure-grace-duophilosophy thinking of you pure grace duo

Scents and sentiments to melt away holiday stress.

soap-petalsFloral Bouquet Soap Petals, 20-Piece

The gift of gold is in style all year long.

lips-pillow

OLIVER Velvet Lips Pillow

decorative-round-mirrorDecorative Round Metal Feather Mirror

gold napkin ringsSaro Lifestyle Classic Design Napkin Ring ~ Set of 4

the-art-of-the-bar-cart

Cheers to the holiday hostess and host and the art of the bar cart.

Rhum-Agricole-bottleRhum Agricole 

alligator-wrap

All things house that make a home becomes a smarter and easier proposition with the Amazon Echo Dot  2nd Generation.

Amazon-echo-dot

Hands-free and voice controlled ability controls lights, electronics, thermostats, garage doors, and sprinkler systems.  Call or message anyone hands-free with your Echo device.  The built-in speaker works on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, the ultimate sous chef in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer.  Connection to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth to your preferred music library is the selling point for me.  

fleetwood-mac-rumours

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Classic tunes stand the test of time and rocks the holiday soiree.

Eagles-Hotel-CaliforniaEagles~ Hotel California

Holiday gatherings with friends and gifts that express love, thanks and appreciation enhance the spirit of the season!  The gift really is in the giving, and spending holiday times with good friends is always in season.

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Happy Thanksgiving My Dear Friends

Happy Thanksgiving my dear friends.  I count your friendship, loyal support and continued readership among the things I am grateful for.

Saturday-Evening-Post

Family will gather together here at Places In The Home to enjoy each other’s company, a Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional trimmings guaranteed to please, and the Southern comforts of home we’ve come to love and appreciate.

family-gathers

May love of family and friends, health, the comforts of home, appreciation of beauty, and wealth in all of these richly touch and bless your life each and every day.

family-noun

Happy Thanksgiving!

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