Sharing the Christmas Cheer

Time is short on this Friday before Christmas, but there’s always time for sharing the Christmas cheer.

vintage-style-gift-bagsChristmas on sale emails get my attention at this time of year.

I sourced, shopped, and scored these Simplicity vintage gift bags at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and they are so super vintage style cute.

Christmas-potpourri

Apples, lemons, cinnamon sticks, whole coves, and bay leaves brought to boil and set to simmer fills the house with the scents of Christmas.

poinsettiaBrothers bearing gifts of poinsettia in winter white and Christmas red kick off the week before Christmas gift exchange.

porcelain-Christmas-tree

This year’s Christmas decorating is less extravagance and more emphasis on special touches rooted in memories, provenance, and simple I love that beauty.

angel-wings

oranges-cloves

Oranges and cloves remind me of my great grandmother’s house at the holidays.

cloves-oranges-cedarHer uncomplicated approach to Christmas decorating translated into a unique style all her own and adorned in understated grace.

bottle-brush-Christmas-trees

I conducted a Christmas tasting trial run while the kids were home.

Hands down, this cranberry fig cheese ball took top honors in the holiday appetizer category.

cheese ball

Cranberry Fig Cheese Ball

Ingredients

8 ounce block cream cheese softened

8 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

½ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup fig preserves

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning, optional

½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese to soften.  Add shredded mild cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, Worcestershire sauce, fig preserves and chopped parsley.  Mix all ingredients together to blend.

cheese-ball-ingredients

Form cheese mixture into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 4 hours or even better, overnight allowing cheese ball to firm up.

cheese-ball-form

Once firm, unwrap cheese ball from plastic wrap.  Roll the cheese ball in Creole seasoning and chopped walnuts to cover.  Serve with snack crackers of choice.

Santa-figurine-on-table

Sharing the Christmas cheer is the best part of the holiday season.

I’m spending this weekend in the Places In The Home test kitchen churning out cakes and cookies for family, friends, and neighbors.

After all, it is the most wonderful and tasty time of the year, the present is in the process, and the gift is in the giving.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and love from me to you at this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

love your style

 

 

 

Festive Finery For Christmas Fetching Friday

Today’s festive finery for Christmas fetching Friday comes to you in the spirit of it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

fetching-definiton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is the time of year for decking the halls in elegant, traditional, vintage, casual, and the like finery.

hg-ven-house

House & Garden

tassel wreath

One Kings Lane

Christmas fetching Friday

Better Homes & Gardens

mirror above benchThe Glam Pad

hg_puseyhouse

House & Garden

Absolutely vintage style fabulous.

farmhouse-holiday-entry

Country Living

wreath-in-window

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Designer Darryl CarterDesigner Darryl Carter

flocked-Christmas-tree

Veranda Magazine

 JOSH YÖUNG DESIGN HOUSE

Josh Young Design House – Domino

It’s the most wonderful and beautiful time of the year.

I hope you have the opportunity to witness firsthand the beauty and magic of the season’s festive finery on this twelve days until Christmas fetching Friday.

love your style

 

Home For The Holidays Christmas Decorating Ideas

Ho Ho Home for the holidays Christmas decorating ideas are all around. Inspiration reigns supreme at anytime of year, but it’s especially motivating and visually captivating at Christmastime.

Gardner Architects LLC

Gardner Architects LLC

Genius and gorgeous Christmas decorating ideas are well worth repeating and reproducing.

Christmas crafts citrus

Country Living Magazine

Uttermost Samuelle Wooden End Table

Uttermost Samuelle Wooden End Table

burlap base faux Christmas tree

Holiday Time Green Fir Tree with Burlap Base Christmas Decoration

Hammered copper continues to catch my eye as a classic color, texture, and pattern decor choice.

Hammered Copper Party TubHammered Copper Party Tub

Marketed as a party tub in its original retail form, I see the Hammered Copper Party Tub from World Market as a classic container extraordinaire for housing a tabletop Christmas tree, fresh greenery, or rosemary tree.

DIY Dried Citrus Garlands

DIY Dried Citrus Garlands

A string of Christmas charm awaits in a fragrant DIY dried citrus garland like this one from Honestly WTF.

dried-orange-slices-bay-leaves

Olive Green: 2-ply Waxed Polyester Cord, ~ 1mm, pack of 25 feetOlive Green: 2-ply Waxed Polyester Cord, ~ 1mm, pack of 25 feet

cinnamon_large

decorative tassels beige

Hobby Lobby

Dried oranges, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and decorative tassels strung together in a repeating pattern produce a simple yet elegant Christmas through winter decoration for a tabletop, mantel, banister, and Christmas tree.

tassels-on-door-knobHouse Beautiful

Small touches take the ordinary to holiday extraordinary.

Entertaining goes with the holiday season, and this recipe for white Christmas punch and ice ring mold is Christmas decorating ideas easy and elegant.

holiday_hosting_bar

Ballard Designs

Buff Concrete Planters

Buff Concrete Planters

Well-done home for the holidays decorating ideas do not have to be costly to be remarkable.

Balsam Mixed Greens Fresh Wreath

Balsam Mixed Greens Fresh Wreath

pears-Thanksgiving

Pears paired with fresh greenery and placed in a decorative urn housing bottles of your favorite holiday beverage on ice becomes a festive beverage  holder focal point.

Christmas decorating ideasHouse & Garden

early-20th-century-antique-french-carved-cane-seat-side-chairs-a-pair-4369

Early 20th Century Antique French Carved Cane Seat Side Chairs- a Pair

Christmas decorating ideas often entail a project, and this wonderful pair of early 20th century antique French carved cane seat side chairs are sitting pretty ready to be purchased, primed, and painted in Modern Masters pale gold metallic interior paint.

Wait a minute.

Aren’t you the one who preaches against painting antique furniture?

On the whole I am, however, in certain decorating situations and with certain pieces, a coat or two of matte metallic in a designer color is pure paint project perfection.

Pale Gold Water-Based Matte Metallic Interior Paint

Modern Masters Pale Gold Water-Based Matte Metallic Interior Paint

Neutral-toned antiques and quality antique reproductions layers a space in  softness.

snowy white Christmas French armoire1

Midwest Living

Ethan Allen Legacy Huge French Armoire

Ethan Allen Legacy Huge French Armoire

Vicknair Distressed Rocking Horse Wood FigurineVicknair Distressed Rocking Horse Wood Figurine

Hanging a wreath(s) or greenery bunches from the top of a door (armoire, cabinet, exterior) with ribbon adds a custom touch to your holiday decorating presentation.

cedar-berries-oranges-feathers

The wider the ribbon the better, so I like to use a ribbon that is at least 2½” wide.

wide red velvet ribbon

Determine the placement of where you want the wreath to hang on the door.  Measure the distance from the top of the wreath to the the top of the door.

Double that measurement and add three inches to it.  This is the length in inches to cut the ribbon.

Loop the ribbon under the wreath’s center, bring up the ends to meet, and position over the flat top of the door.

top of front door

Press a flat head thumbtack into the center of the ribbon to secure.

Festive kitchen

House & Home

Antique French Hanging Plate Rack, circa 1700s

Antique French Hanging Plate Rack, circa 1700s

printed table runner

Printed Table Runner

Christmas decorating ideas

large pine cones

Pinecone Ceramic Salad Plate Set of 4Pinecone Ceramic Salad Plate Set of 4

vintage-bulb-christmas-craft-centerpiece

Country Living

DIY retro bulb centerpiece is popping with color and memories of Christmas past.

You’ll need a small round Styrofoam ball and a strand of vintage or vintage style big bulb Christmas lights.

To make the centerpiece cut off the bottom of the Styrofoam ball so it will sit properly.

Philips 50ct Christmas LED C3 String Lights MulticoloredPhilips 50ct Christmas LED C3 String Lights Multicolored

Use a hot glue gun to attach the Christmas lights to the top and sides of the ball.

Be very careful handling the hot glue gun and the glass bulbs.

Ornaments on High

Better Homes & Gardens

A box of Shiny Brite ornaments keep with the appeal of vintage at the holidays.

Adorning a chandelier with vintage or in the style of vintage ornaments is a home for the holidays Christmas decorating ideas classic that is  delightfully elegant in presence and simple to achieve.

Shiny Brite Signature Flocked Vintage CelebrationShiny Brite Signature Flocked Vintage Celebration

Ho Ho Home for the holidays Christmas decorating ideas for decking the halls in Christmas decor and finery time is here.

For those of you beginning to deck, do show and tell with us.

For those of you whose halls are decked and ready to impress, let the decorating continue.

You can never have too much Christmas!

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Spooktacular Halloween Decorating Suggestions

Spooktacular Halloween decorating suggestions come alive at 101 Inspiration Lane for the decorista who dares to bedazzle house and home in haunted fashion destined to thrill and delight the eye.

abandoned house

Can’t you just here the creaking floors?
Go ahead and click on the sound effects to set the mood.
I dare you. 

The National Retail Federation reports those of who decorate house and home for Halloween will spend $2.7 billion (that’s billion with a b, folks) on Halloween theme home decor items.

Another interesting tidbit of retail information is the total spend for 2019 is expected to be the third highest in the history of the survey.  The top record for Halloween spending belongs to Halloween 2017 when spending came in at $9.1 billion.

Halloween-decorating-suggestions

That’s a whole lotta spooktacular Halloween decorating.

*Halloween Decorating Suggestions Tip*

At first sighting of the cute, scary, and practical Halloween (or any holiday) decorations and tablewares that speak Halloween party must-have to you is the time to buy.

Decoristas plan, prep, and purchase party goods earlier and earlier each year, and as they say, you snooze, you lose.

Same goes for ordering from sites with a 10 day to 2  week order to delivery time.

night owl

Flickr

Halloween is a prime time for showcasing your decorating creativity.  Front and back doors, windows, fireplace mantels, staircases, accent furniture, porches, lawns, gardens, patios, and sidewalks become prime players in a game of Halloween decorating dress-up.

Rather it be a pair of jack-o-lanterns,  garden statues fraught with frightful air, or a lavish display in spine-chilling style, affordable is the trick and eye-catching is the treat.

Halloween decorating suggestions

Garden statues easily and eerily stand fabulous as centerpieces for the Halloween feast table or bar cart.

 

Owl Decoy Scarecrow Rotating Head Hunting Decoy BirdOwl Decoy Scarecrow Rotating Head Hunting Decoy Bird

 

The Cathedral Gargoyle Statue

The Cathedral Gargoyle Statue

Is it me, or does this Cathedral gargoyle statue favor the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz?

flying-monkey-Toto

A delightfully frightening piece of classic cinema that still freaks me out.

wood chip wreath orange 15.5″ Wood Chip Wreath

Seasonal, special event, and holiday decorating can wreak double, double toil and trouble on one’s wallet; reason numero uno why I like to source and suggest items that can pull double decorating duty.

The wood chip wreath featured above is an example of a decor item that can do just that.

raven

 

The fiery orange color pairs well with an artificial black raven crow for Halloween either as a door or wall decoration or a centerpiece.  When the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, it now becomes a fall into Thanksgiving decorative accessory.

bat-mantle-Halloween

Martha Stewart

 

vintage-brass-owl-andironsEverything But The House

birch logs

With a nip in the Halloween night air, a fireside ghost story chat well suits and sets the tone of the evening.

ghost stories

Target

Incorporate costume accessories into your Halloween decorating scheme.

costume accessories

red apple fruit pin

 

crooked witch hat

Crooked Witch Hat

Place a trio of witch hats over a trio of battery operated flameless candles to create bewitching luminaries.

ombre pillar candles trio

Sit it upon gathered black tulle and adorn accordingly.

black tulle fabric

 

Victorian-style-felt-top-hatVictorian Black Top Hat

Place a top hat atop a pumpkin or pair with a magician cape.

magician cape

GOLDSTITCH Full Length Deluxe Adult Cape Cloak Costume

 

pumpkin hat 3

Feathers, a glitter masquerade mask, or a spirited headband make excellent accessories for a no carve pumpkin option.

black-plume

Glitter Black Domino Mask

Glitter Black Domino Mask

pumpkin-top-hat-headband

 

pumpkin_top_hat_headband4

dripping candles

Flickr

Ambiance is an essential component in the entertaining equation.

antique style dripping battery operated taper candles1

Flickering battery operated candles cast a (safe) spell and shadow of mystique.

candle-spool-holders

Washington Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall

Use vintage bottles and/or wooden thread spools as candle holders.

Goodies discovered in antiques and vintage shops produce a Halloween fright night right out of central casting.

clear pumpkin cloche jar

Recycled Glass Pumpkin Cloche

Dim all the lights is not only a Donna Summer disco hit, but my lighting rule for an enchanting evening.

The soft glow of string lights in your favorite color placed inside a clear glass pumpkin jar with lid or under a collection of clear glass pumpkin cloches is a simple yet elegant lighting option.

 

straw wreath

Is it a candle ring or a DIY Halloween wreath?

I won’t keep you in suspense- it’s what you want it to be.

Using your preferred Halloween color(s), wrap a straw wreath with decorative mesh or burlap ribbon.

Spray paint is another way to go, and comes in a wide range of colors complementary to the fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas color palette.

 

spray paints

This Halloween decorating suggestion hocus-pocus focuses on getting more bang for your buck out of items you can use on one or more occasion or holiday.

red-black-mesh

Pin the mesh or ribbon to wreath to secure.  Straight pins can be removed as can the material.

This frees up the wreath to be used for another project.

straight-pins-red

Complete the look with faux flowers, and depending on how tame or terrifying you want it to be, you can add boa feathers, flecked spiders, plastic snakes, masks or rats, skull heads or skeleton hands.

 

faux red mums

boa feathers

Halloween-wreath-embellishments

I get so excited about spooktacular Halloween decorating suggestions that I lose my head.

Resin Headless Jack O Lantern DecorResin Headless Jack O Lantern Decor

dry-ice-jack-o-lantern

Halloween spiders

Mama Places In The Home stopped by today, and wasted no time sharing with me her startled, spooked, fright and delight over the flecked spiders nesting on the dining chairs.

fake-spider

The potion for the proper blend of Halloween haunt is a spot of spooky style mixed with a touch of back in the day tradition.

jack-o-lantern-Halloween-decoration

Michaels

creepy hand goblet

Spooky Skeleton Hand Plastic Goblets

Turns out I hit the Halloween decorating jackpot on last week’s dollar store run.

Skulls, flecked spiders, a black feather boa, and a pack of pumpkin picks made their way to Places In The Home.

skeleton-headPlastic Halloween Skull

skeleton-head-decoration

The Halloween aisle(s) at your nearest dollar store is a Halloween decorating ideas treasure trove.

5-ct. packs of pumpkin picks

The idea is to use the pumpkin picks as cocktail and hors d’oeuvre accouterments.

Halloween-themed-wines-liqueur

 

1 Gal Glass Skull Beverage Dispenser1 Gal Glass Skull Beverage Dispenser

cinnamon-water

Cinnamon water is what’s on the fall-October-Halloween beverage radar.

This stove top method brews and steeps the flavor and color of the cinnamon.  Begin by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to 2 cups of water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow concentrate to cool before adding to cold water and ice.

I discovered the cinnamon concentrate is also delicious in hot or iced tea.  The concentrate becomes more potent over time, so you may want to taste test as you go.

 

fornasetti-style-pillow-1

 

My Halloween decorating suggestions thinking cap was on tight when I placed an order for several of these pillow covers to tuck into Halloween party favor bags.

These pillow covers are in the style of a famous Italian designer, and a quick eBay search usually results in a super deal with free shipping.

fornasetti-style-pillow-2

Fun, frightful, and fabulous Halloween decorating suggestions offer affordable ideas and easy tips ready to help transform your home into the spooktacular showcase it’s sure to be.

Love your style!

Forty Days To Go: Countdown to Fall

Dog days, excessive heat warnings, and the fact I’ve had all the summer I can stand brings on this countdown to fall.

its-August-time-to-get-out-your-fall-decor

Pinterest

It may be too soon for some to even remotely entertain thoughts of fall, but for those of us who love the fall of it all let the countdown to fall begin.

And Halloween.

And Thanksgiving.

And Christmas.

Yowza.

Anticipating the joy of witnessing the changing of the leaves, trying out a new recipe featuring apple and spice and everything pumpkin nice, tailgating times, fairs and festivals weekends spent in quaint little country towns, Thanksgiving gobble and gather, and Christmas spent with the ones you love celebrations is what makes September through December the most wonderful time of the year.

Incorporating natural elements into your fall and holiday decorating scheme brings the beauty of the season to the table, mantel, door, or wall.

persimmons

Persimmons

figs

Pinterest

Leaves, branches, nuts, fruits, and berries easily create a look that is fresh, seasonally appropriate, visually impressive, and easy on the decorating budget.

fall-leaves-arrangements

Better Homes & GardensFlickr

Magazines, newsletters, emails, and social media postings are getting in on the countdown to fall.

This image from a fall feature in Country Living Magazine epitomizes understated elegance.

The warm color palette, neutral accents and accessories in two by two placement, and the DIY magnolia leaf swag (instructions below) come together in decorative harmony.

diy magnolia garland

Country Living Magazine – Photo by Bjorn Wallander

Magnolia Leaf Garland

Measure the length of the mantel- door-wall where you plan to hang the garland, including an estimation of how many loops you plan to hang.  Add a half foot to a foot more, per loop, to your final measurement.

Gather the magnolia leaves.  It will take approximately 25 leaves per each foot of garland.

Flip the magnolia leaves over to the brown/gold side.  Take two leaves and put them together with their front sides facing.  Wrap floral wire around the stems. Repeat this step until you have multiple paired sets of leaves.

Cut heavy twine to the length of the space measurement and add another foot.  Start at one end of the twine and begin adding leaves.  Tie the first pair using a simple knot.  Continue to add the pairs by looping the twine under, over, and back around stems to secure in place, pushing them right up against the first pair.

Repeat until the garland is complete, tieing an overhead knot around the final pair.

-Country Living Magazine

Gold Taupe Bias-Cut Dupioni Silk RibbonGold Taupe Bias-Cut Dupioni Silk Ribbon

Finishing touches magnify the decorative detail.

demijohn decorative bottle 1

Crated Vineyard Demijohn Decorative Bottle
Lucas Bottle

leaves-in-demijohnJoanna Gaines – POPSUGAR

Forty days to go, my fall loving friends.

countdown to fall

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Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Holiday decorating safety tips can come in holiday handy and gift you with peace of mind at this holiday decorating time of year.  There is now a direct link between holiday decorating safety tips and year round electrical safety in general.  We got a big lighting up the holidays shock last week which explains my radio silence last week.

Fire is the one thing I am deathly afraid of.  Let me share with you several situations and events over my lifetime that have caused and stoked this dreaded fear.

When Places In The Home was being built, a group of delinquents neighborhood kids set the entire order of roofing shingles on fire.  The sight, sound, and smell of the roaring pile of burning shingles scared me almost to death and scarred me for life.  I was three years old, I remember the scene vividly to this day, and it’s this event that set a lifelong fear of fire into motion.

When I was five years old, my precious great-grandmother lit her gas stove with a match.  She thought she blew the match out, but she did not.  Prior to lighting the stove, she had emptied a pot of melted hot grease into the garbage can.  You can almost be guaranteed that when a lit match hits hot grease, flame and fire is close behind.  With expert precision and quick hands to rival Drew Brees, Mama Two grabbed the flaming trash can, used her foot to kick open the back door, and ran with can in hand into the backyard where she extinguished the fire with a can lid.  Mama Two innocently marked me for life.

In 1974, my grandmother’s house suffered severe extensive smoke damage throughout from a lightening strike to a television left in front of a window in her kitchen.  The television burned up and through the floor.  My grandmother was on vacation in Florida at the time of the strike.  With no one home to notice, the television smoldered for several days.  Every wall, surface, furnishing and floor was completely covered and caked in soot.  The soot was so thick it measured close to one inch thick inside closed drawers.  Determined to face my fear, I insisted on going with her and my parents to meet the insurance adjuster for the initial walk through.  Horrible sight that only served to exacerbated my fear of fire.

My parents and I were at the original MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas on the day before the horrific fire in 1980 that killed 85 people and injured 650.  We were visiting with family who were guests at the hotel.  Thankfully, they all survived the fire.  They have rarely discussed the tragic ordeal with anyone for understandable reasons.  The details they have offered are as awful as one would imagine, and haunt me to this day.  Dave and I have been back to the hotel (now Bally’s) several times since, but I absolutely refuse to stay at the hotel.

My parents were staying at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1981 when an arsonist set fire to the hotel killing 8 and injuring approximately 200.  Tragic details with the less shared with me the better caveat.

Last week, our electrical panel-service-wiring placed a bulls eye right in the center of my fear of fire and plans for the holiday budget.  Two weeks ago I discovered there was no power to the master bedroom sitting and dressing area.  The A/C would come on (welcome to November in Louisiana) but the compressor would not kick on.  I called the electrician, he came out and replaced a breaker in the original and antiquated electrical panel, and power was restored.

service-van

Two weeks to the day same problem arises.  Call the electrician, he comes by that afternoon, and within thirty minutes three electricians, two city utilities supervisors, and one scared to death homeowner stood in our kitchen discussing how soon Dave the Builder and I could vacate the house.

electrical=panel

The electricians and supervisors got straight to the point; “Ma’am, your house is in danger of burning to the ground in its present state.  We are going to pull the electricity panel and the electrical service to your house is being disconnected immediately.”

Fire.

Electrocution.

Arc.

Rewire.

I’m usually strong- the “I’m a willow, I can bend” one in the group however, this was not the case in this particular situation.  I completely lost it in front of all parties present.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I cried worse than I did when my daddy died.

Straw, meet camel’s broken back.

I’ll spare you the details of shock, inconvenience, and scrambling to figure out how to pay for the unexpected heavy four figure expense (does anyone really have thousands of dollars stashed and saved for emergency home maintenance repairs).  Dave the Builder is a maintenance master at much, but electrical is not his forte.

My fear is fire.  His is being electrocuted.

I got it together, found the silver lining, peace of mind, and good will toward electrician men.  The new service is in, and power is back up and running, and it’s time to get back to normal (our normal anyhow).  All of this got me to thinking a post about holiday decorating safety tips may be as cathartic to me as it is useful to some.

live-Christmas-tree

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Christmas Tree Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

A real live Christmas tree is part of many Deck the Halls Decoristas Christmas tradition.  Safety takes first place over real tree beauty so let’s start there.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Christmas Tree Safety – National Fire Protection Association

Placement is key.  Place a live Christmas tree at least three (3) feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents, radiators, or candles.

Water a real Christmas tree daily to prevent or at least slow the drying out process.

good

tree-stand

 

bad

Use lights with the label of a recognized testing laboratory approved for indoor use.  A green holographic UL label means indoor use only, whereas lights with a red holographic UL label mean the lights may be used indoors as well as outdoors.

The look is lovely, but never use lit candles to decorate a Christmas tree.

Candle_on_Christmas_tree

Replace lights that are worn, have broken cords, or loose bulb connections.

Do not overload strands connections.  Use no more than three standard size sets of lights per single extension cord.

Christmas-tree-lightsDomino

When we were kids, one of the neighborhood families left their outdoor decorations on while away.  The way too old and unsafe big bulb Christmas lights decorating one of the Oak trees in their front yard snapped, crackled, popped, and caught fire.

clemco-outfit-big-bulb-Christmas-lights

The fire quickly spread and engulfed the entire home resulting in a total loss.  Don’t second guess decorations or discount warnings.  If your going to be away from home, turn off and unplug your outdoor and your indoor decorations.  Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed.

I don’t want to pour cold water on the holiday parade, but water and electricity do not mix.  Make sure to keep your hands dry and never, ever stand in water when touching holiday decorations or gadgets powered by electricity.

PutAFreezeWinterHolidayFires

NFPA

Warm and cozy times spent round the Christmas tree go perfectly with the holidays.

Kiel-James-Patrick-socks

Kiel James Patrick

For the many who use space heaters as a heat source, there’s a safe way to do so to ensure all is well.

Turn off and unplug space heaters when going to bed. Turn off or unplug space heaters when left unattended.

Use extreme caution to keep the three (3) foot radius around a space heater free of contact with any flammable item, combustible liquids, blankets, sofas, paper, toys, rugs, drapes, and soft goods.

Do not place a space heater on rugs, furniture, or countertops.

Never use extension cords or multiple plugs with a space heater. 

plugged-into-wall Better Homes & Gardens

Do not cut corners with worn out extension cords or Christmas lights. Never run an extension cord under rugs, carpets, or furniture.

santa-face

Vintage Christmas decorations bring back old memories, and more times than not come with the original wiring.  Check for frayed cords which run a high risk of lighting up the holidays in the call 911, the house in on fire kind of way.

Josh_Young_Holiday

Josh Young- Domino

Practice caution with garlands draped over a fireplace mantle or close to lit candles.

According to National Fire Protection Association, the top 3 days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.

candles  Pinterest

Do not burn evergreens, pine, gift boxes, or gift wrap in your fireplace.  Dry greens and cardboard act like tender- burning hot and fast.  The flames can quickly flare out of control, cause a flash fire, and send sparks out into a room and/or up the chimney igniting creosote deposits.  Make sure to keep the screen before the fireplace while burning a fire.

fireplace-main-entrance-hall

Wealden Times

Plan for safe indoor and outdoor holiday decorating with these holiday decorating safety tips.  Let’s all have a safe, stylishly decorated, and happy holiday season.

love your style

 

Styling Tips For Rearranging Home Decor Accessories

It dawned on me last week as I was dusting (the all things house that make a home chore I love to hate) the bookshelves in the not ready for blog sharing time den could greatly benefit from an update-an edit-a rearrange.   That started a I’m tired of-I’m bored with-I don’t like that chain reaction.  An inspection of shelf, space and tabletop ensued, and the conclusion reached is I’m ready for a rearranging home decor accessories change.

Did you hear that?

That’s Dave the Builder breathing a sigh of relief as I assure him no painting, wallpapering or furniture moving will be involved in this most current update to our decor.

Oh, it’s coming, but more on that down the redecorating road.

It’s amazing how easy it is to stave off decor staleness by simply  rearranging home decor accessories upon the shelves and tabletops of home sweet home.

built-in-bookshelf

I’m decorating to the oldies with the soulful sounds of Dionne Warwick and The 5th Dimension.  The music is from 1967, but the look in this traditional ranch doesn’t have to be.  I’m doing my decorista best to de-1967 this traditional ranch one project, one space, one rearranging home decor accessories at a time.

paint-samples

Stained woodwork works for some spaces, but this den is not one of those spaces.  Dave the Builder suggested I give the stained woodwork a chance. I did and have for eight years.

Eight years.

That’s a lot of mulling it over.

This future project is on the fast track to the back burner due to prior “real job” commitments.   Dave’s schedule is full through October, and although painting the den bookshelves tops my at home project list, Dave’s projects pay the bills.

Good and stylish things come to those who wait.

Isn’t that how the saying goes?

rearranging home decor accessories

New cabinet hardware is a must, and let me tell you why.

built-in-cabinet-knobs

Changing out cabinet hardware is an inexpensive update, an install I am ridiculously brilliant at, and delivers instant visual gratification.

elephant-figurine

Move it here, move it there.

Take a look at the look created.

Assign each shelf a focal point accessory and work from there.

To the left, to the right, to the center-no two shelves or vignettes are created equal.  Style each shelf with objects of varying sizes and heights to create flow, balance, and to perfect the art of visual interest.

staged-bookshelves

Feature items close to your heart, interests, and memories.  The rule of you effectively applies to decorating and should be beautifully evident throughout your home.

antique-baby-rattle

This tarnished treasure sterling silver baby rattle is a four generation keepsake.  It tells the story of past, present and future family members and reads like a compelling novel.

porcelain-dogs

My taste in decorative porcelain figurines has gone to the dogs.

staffordshire-dog

When I bought this color rich portrait last year, I knew I wanted it and knew the perfect place to hang it would present itself.

portrait

I marked the spot today.

nail

One of the best buys at an antiques auction is when you luck up on a box full of old books in relatively good shape.  I purchased a box of sixty (60) books for $30 all in.

Another example of a fantastic deal discovered and purchased at auction.

modern-library-collection

I still love the wallpaper in the foyer, but this Orchid has seen better days.

Orchid-foyer

A meyer lemon tree could work, but I’m also considering the very trendy fiddle leaf fig in my rearranging home decor accessories scheme.

dwarf-bare-root-meyer-lemon-treeDwarf Bare Root Meyer Lemon Tree

Trendy isn’t normally an appealing notion, but I really like the look and am up to the challenge of keeping the thing alive and kicking.  Domino has a good article on fiddle leaf care  Everything You Need to Know About the Fiddle Leaf Fig.

fiddle-leaf-fig

Ficus Lyrata, Fiddle-Leaf Fig Floor Plant 

Small lamps, sconces, picture lights or a collection of all three will light up the currently lighting deprived shelves.  I’m treading lightly (ha!) with this decision being ever mindful too much of a good thing can cast a particularly unattractive shadow.

bookshelf-white

Verandah House

Rearranging home decor accessories upon the shelves and tabletops of home sweet home is what I’m doing on my summer vacation.   The look is updated and everything old is new again.

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Summer Simple Suggestions In Chic Summer Style

Note to summer:  We’ve got a lot of irons in the summer campfire.  Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.

summer simple suggestions

Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.

best-of-summer-Southern-Living

It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.

heavy-equipment

Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.

This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.

dug-up-sidewalk

Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.

sago-palm

We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.

Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.

Sago Palm Care

Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.

I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.

Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.

Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.

In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.

shattered

If it’s not one thing, it’s this.

Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.

The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.

One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.

Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.

edison-string-lights

CB2 Edison String Lights

Did someone mention summer soiree?

Why, yes.

I did.

It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.

We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.

Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.

If Ina Uses It

I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.

The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning.  Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.

grill

Better Homes & Gardens

Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking.

Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch.

Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil.

Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.

charcoal-chimney-starter

Country Living

Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter.

Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking.

I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well.  When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid.

Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾  full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.

chimney-starter

Weber® Rapidfire® Chimney Starter

Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange.

Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.

As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?

Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling

ina-garten-sliders

Sliders

Ingredients

2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)

1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces grated Gruyere

12 small Brioche buns

4 ounces baby arugula

3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients.  Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.

When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking.  Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid.  Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.

Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.

Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion.  Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

~ from Food Network

hot-dog-1

Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix.

Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.

fried-chicken

Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table.

Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.

smores-fixins

Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation.

I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation.

A pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots from the dollar store become individual s’mores supply pots.

Vintage Hershey's Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.

plum smoothie pop

Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table.

A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two.

Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.

basket-hydrangea

Woven Wood Picnic Basket

Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.

I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for  a super easy, super cute centerpiece.

You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.

No garden or flowers on the homestead?

Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.

mini-watermelon

Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum paired with Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.

corn-centerpiece

Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.

ironstone-tureen

Antique White Ironstone Tureen Cookson Chetwynd Small Serving Dish Bowl

 

summer-serving-pieces

4pc Indoor Outdoor Gingham Napkins  ||  Lyndsay Stripes Cotton Table Runner  ||  Design Imports 18″ Square Farm Fresh Stripe Napkin (Set of 4)   ||  Striped Fete Buffet Napkins in White (Set of 4)  ||  Chambray Fringe Napkins, Set of 4  ||  Basics Watercolor Check Napkins in Navy (Set of 4)

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

Gingham Napkin 4ct - Black/White - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Gingham Napkin 4ct – Black/White – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Summer Simple Suggestions for Refreshing Treats 

Summer is fun, but summer is hot.

Delicious and easy frozen treats of the leaded and unleaded type make a big splash with guests.

plums

Plums

Plum Smoothie Pops

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 lb. assorted plums

8 tsp. fresh lime juice

6 oz. plain yogurt

Directions

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.  Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth.  Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes.  Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

~Country Living

popsicle-outdoor-throw-pillow

ENVOGUE Indoor/Outdoor Popsicle Pillow

Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg?   These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.

frozen-treats-postage-stamps

USPS

Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing.

Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension.

Prosecco grapes is another winner.

These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.

prosecco-grapes

Prosecco Grapes

Ingredients

2 lb. green grapes

1 bottle prosecco

4 oz. vodka

½  cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes.  Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain in a colander and pat dry.  On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.

~Delish

original-bomb-pop-frozen-treat

Inspiration is everywhere!

Huber+Popsicle+Throw+Pillow

I saw this VW Bus throw pillow and immediately my thoughts went to summers spent camping with my childhood friend and her family in their VW Bus.

VW-bus-summer-throw-pillow

Louisiana is a long way from the California coast, but the Gulf Coast is a fun place to sand, swim, sun and sing we’ve been having fun all summer long, Louisiana style.

The Beach Boys definitely make up the soundtrack of summer.

he-beach-boys-greatest-hitsThe Beach Boys – Greatest Hits (Capitol) (CD)

My final summer simple suggestions tip is as follows:

Don’t sweat the details.

The simplicity of summer is an easy theme to work with and makes a great backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

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