From the Trip Report Archives: Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi is a pack a bag, set the GPS, and let’s get out of town for a day or weekend destination that offers everything from festivals to shopping to art to dining to distinctive mixology to antiquing to gourmet cooking classes.

Jaunting over to this small Mississippi town for a quick getaway from it all is right up our alley.

With a few months still to go until vacation time, reaching back into the trip report archives is my tried and true cure for the are we there yet? blues.


Impressive architecture, antiques shops, mint julep and tiny biscuit lunches at the Carriage House, refreshing cocktail hours, and laid back evenings seal the travel to Natchez deal.


Louisiana to Mississippi rural highways, byways, and parkways give credence to the travel credo always take the scenic route.

cows on levee

Cell phone images of interest along country roads less traveled capture the scene and the herd.


I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve gone to Natchez for a festival, a pilgrimage, to celebrate a milestone, or simply to getaway.

However, some trips do stand out more than others for one reason or another.

old river bridge

Photos from our past Natchez trips will not be appearing in this post due to the following:

It’s 98 degrees in the shade here in Central Louisiana.

Rooting around in a climate controlled storage unit to locate the box they may be in is not my idea of hot fun in the summertime, n’est-ce pas?

I’ll do my best to make this an easy follow with the help of borrowed, credited, courtesy of, and sourced photos rich in travel detail.


Natchez gifts the eye with stunning views of the swift and sprawling Mississippi River and contrasting elevation levels.

Natchez–Vidalia Mississippi River Bridge

Natchez–Vidalia Mississippi River Bridge

Crossing over the Natchez-Vidalia bridge is its own we’re not in Louisiana anymore moment.



Our self-guided driving, riding, and walking tours of Natchez have resulted in the discovery of impressive architecture, outstanding architectural details, off the beaten path and under-the-hill gems, and fascinating people.

Speaking of off the beaten path gems and fascinating people, let’s take a travel show and tell detour for a few paragraphs for the simple reason I like telling this story.

Friends of ours invited us to join them in Natchez for the 1984 Spring Pilgrimage.  We booked the guest house at Ravennaside for our party of four, packed our bags, and headed east.

The guest house option works best for us.

You get the bed and breakfast experience with the extra added bonus of privacy.


The owners of Ravennaside at the time, Mr. and Mrs. John Van Hook, kept with the vision and intent of the original owners, Mr. and Mrs. James Fleming, for Ravennaside to be a home for entertaining.

Upon check- in, Mr. Van Hook gave our group a tour of the house and a rundown of the schedule of events planned for that evening and the next morning.

Guests were invited to mix and mingle on the veranda over cocktails and appetizers beginning promptly at 5: 00 pm.

Everyone was encouraged to introduce themselves and indulge in lively conversation and strong libations.

My friend and I took a seat on the large rattan couch, exchanging hellos with our fellow seat mates.

Karen immediately struck up a conversation with the group sitting next to us.

I, on the other hand, was taking a moment to study the interiors, the architectural details of the space, and the cast of characters in attendance at this rather unique gathering.

A quick elbow nudge from Karen brought me back to reality.  She leaned in to tell me the scoop discovered while engaged in casual cocktail chitchat.

Turns out our fellow day drinkers happened to be a group of editors from Southern Living magazine.

southern living magazine 1984

Thirty-five years later and I can’t for the life of me remember a single name of the three ladies or the single gentleman in their group.

Time has a way of doing that.

That late Saturday afternoon spent Southern sippin’ is by far one of the best travel memories in our Natchez, Mississippi travel repertoire.

Around Town



Longwood Rotunda

Longwood Rotunda – Flickr


The Parsonage

St. Mary Basilica

St. Mary Basilica


Front Parlor of Rosalie Mansion

streets in Natchez

Sights, Streets, and Sidewalks

Natchez Brewing Company

Natchez Brewing Company


Natchez Brewing CompanyPizza Lab–  Photo by G. Douglas Adams

Natchez claims a spirited aura when people, places, and things get to stirring after dark.

Natchez Ms sunset

Sunset in Natchez



Charboneau Distillery

Charboneau Distillery

King’s Tavern, circa 1789,  is the oldest standing building in Natchez.  The tavern is believed to be haunted after an expansion to the original building in 1930 revealed the skeletal remains of two men and one woman hidden in a wall behind the main fireplace.

King's Tavern

King’s Tavern

As the story goes, Richard King, the founder of the tavern, had a mistress named Madeline.  Madeline disappeared without a Natchez trace soon after Mrs. King learned of the illicit affair between Mr. King and Madeline.

King's Tavern historical marker

King’s Tavern Historical Marker

The finger of speculation pointed straight in the direction of Mrs. King when it was learned she had hired two men from the under-the-hill area of town to murder Madeline.


King’s Tavern 

The plot thickened upon the discovery of a dagger in a fireplace located in another room of the tavern.

Post House Menu

Madeline’s true fate remains a mystery, and although based strictly on legend and folklore, it is widely believed the ghost of Madeline resides at 613 Jefferson Street.

Stanton Hall Entrance Natchez

Stanton Hall

My first trip to Natchez was in the summer of 1982, and I knew when I left I would be back for more sooner than later.

Fall’s crisp temps and seasonal colors on parade frame the scene for a made-to-order getaway, so back to Natchez we went in early November.


Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

When I learned you could tour and bed & breakfast in many of the historic antebellum homes throughout Natchez my curiosity was piqued.

I booked a block of two night stays at Linden, Stanton Hall, and Twin Oaks, and we were off to the races.


Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

Linden and Stanton Hall hit the hospitality high note, but Twin Oaks, circa 1832, was the property we absolutely fell in love with all those years ago.

Homochitto Street

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Patel

To say the charm quotient overfloweth at 71 Homochitto Street is an understatement.

Our host for many visits over the years was Dr. Homer A. Whittington, a true Southern gentleman if there ever was one.

Ever the gracious host, Dr. Whittington had a distinct and memorable way of making you realize you were experiencing the very best of what Southern hospitality is all about.

We fell in love with the guest house at Twin Oaks.  What we would do or where we would dine when we were in Natchez may have been up for debate, but there was never any question as to where where we would stay.

Dr. Whittington joked he ought to just give us our own key to the guest house.

We always felt right at home and a part of the Twin Oaks family.

Unfortunately, the guest house did not age well through the years, and was torn down when Twin Oaks was sold.

The present owner, Regina Charboneau, puts her own unique spin on private accommodations and Southern hospitality as well.

I’ll elaborate more on this in an upcoming blog post.


Back in its B&B heyday, the guest house at Twin Oaks was located at the far end of the gardens just past the staircase to the left of the chapel.

Packed with period antiques and oodles of privacy, the guest house at Twin Oaks was our kind of bed & breakfast.

I’d say the square footage of the guest house came in around 1000 square feet under roof.


This is not an interior photo of the guest house master bedroom, but I wanted to use it to give you a visual idea of the period furnishings.

Light paint colors complemented the dark brown finishes of the period pieces.

Now remember decoristas, this was 1982.


Candlelight Yellow by Glidden

Couple that together with the Southern Antebellum theme, and a yellow and green color palette it is.

Tranquil Light Green Glidden

Tranquil Light Green by Glidden

A modern bathroom suite and kitchen struck the right balance between old and new.

The full kitchen and fully stocked fridge addressed the what’s for breakfast issue, and the entertainment center churned out the contemporary music of the day.

On top of all that, there was a large working fireplace and a private courtyard that provided all the comforts of home and them some.


On the last day of the trip, we stayed around the guest house for most of the afternoon.  The plan was to go to the Post House (currently King’s Tavern) for a farewell to Natchez dinner later in the evening.


Double Eagle Coffee

Coffee and chicory pairs well with a brisk fall afternoon, serving as the beverage of choice at the guest house coffee and cocktail hour.  Dave added a generous pour of Bailey’s to his coffee to spike up the flavor and warm the bones.


Celebrating the moments of our lives in fika fashion over several cups of strong coffee, we found ourselves slightly buzzing from the combination of caffeine, Bailey’s, and the pure excitement of being out of town.


The parking area for guests was at the opposite end of the courtyard.  The roosting of what seemed to be thousands of birds in the bamboo trees lining the entire back of the courtyard produced a loud and eerie soundtrack.

One would think in our comings and goings that at least one of us would have noticed the large garden statue standing at the far end of the courtyard.

You would think, but we did not.

With a brisk breeze kicking up and the gift of dipping fall temps, Dave thought moving the car closer to the guest house a good idea.  I told him I was almost finished getting ready, and I would meet him at the top of the stairs.

The front door of the guest house was made of solid wood, and was as wide as it was tall.  A high pitch squeak at mid open (or close) let you know someone was coming in or going out.

Between the squeak and a strategically positioned full length mirror serving as my make-up mirror, I had both an audible and visual heads up of who was coming in and out of the guest house.

Call it a prehistoric version of the Ring doorbell.

All of a sudden the door swings open so fast it doesn’t even have time to squeak.  Dave is in a whiter shade of pale frantically locking the door behind him.

I immediately ask him, “what’s wrong?”

“There’s a headless something or someone standing in front of the car.”

I recall his exact words at this point in the conversation were “I’m not sh#&!ing you.”

Normally the calm, cool, sober and collected one in our party of two, my initial reaction was to diffuse without discounting Dave’s fear.

“Tell me exactly what you think you saw.”

The story goes like this:

When Dave walked up the stairs to the driveway he saw what he thought was Dr. Whittington sitting in his study.  He decided to walk by the study window and wave good evening to Dr. Whittington.  Turns out there was no one in the study, so Dave continued on down the driveway to the parking area.

He describes the details, telling me the birds roosting in the bamboo trees is deafening loud this evening, and the previously mentioned fall winds had really began to pick up.

He proceeds to further set the scene.  The closer he gets to the guest parking area, he is 100% percent sure he sees the aforementioned headless something or someone standing in front of the car

I give him a look of sure you do.

It’s the look I’ve perfected over the years.

Louisiana Girl T shirt

“Do you think perhaps the Bailey’s infused coffees are having their way with your eyes, Dave?”

“I know what I saw, Darleen.”

Facing your fear is the only way to conquer it.  Taking these words into account, I decide to see what we’re working with here.

Much to Dave’s “don’t open that door” objections, I opened the front door to better assess the situation.

About the time I opened the door the wind gusted and the sound of the birds roosting in the bamboo hit a crescendo.

Doo-doo-doo-doo, Doo-doo-doo-doo

twilight zone

Looking down the courtyard through over caffeinated eyes, I too see a headless something or someone standing in front of the car

I couldn’t shut and lock the front door fast enough.

Dave gave me his I told you so look- the look he’s perfected over the years.

There was no two ways about it- we were going to dinner regardless of what or who was standing by the car.

We both opened the door for a second look, and yep, it was still there.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson analyze the situation, and devise a game plan of how to get to the car and defend ourselves from the forces of headless evil lurking in the night.

Dave comes up with the plan.  He told me to grab the pair of candlesticks on the mantle.  “You take one, and I’ll take the other, and it’ll be two against one.”

silver plated candlesticks

Dave addressed my concerns over the post battle condition of the candlesticks.  They were not antiques, and I was familiar with the brand and the retail store where a replacement pair could be purchased from.

Dave concluded we would simply replace them and throw a Ben Franklin Dr. Whittington’s way if the candlesticks fell victim to battle.

The adrenaline was flowing, we were both armed with decorative accents, and I had a fierce craving for Post House Chicken Cordon Bleu.

Let’s do this.

We carefully locked up the guest house and headed up the stairs.  There was no point in slow walking the inevitable, so we picked up the pace and our candlesticks prepared to beat our way into the car.

Cue the roosting birds, the swirling winds, and the building fear.

The closer we got to the figure, reality came into clear view.

Oh, there was definitely a headless figure at the end of the driveway.

At least we got that part right.

There, standing in front of us in all its courtyard art glory, was a life size concrete garden statue.

Without a head.


Myddelton House Garden
A Dead Ringer!

Failure on our part to notice the statue from the get-go resulted in two complete dumb asses spending the last hour plotting a defense that entailed beating the living daylights out of an inanimate objet d’art with a pair of decorative candlesticks.

It took a second to catch our breath and process what just happened. Dave wasted no time looking around to see if anyone saw us.

The man does have his priorities.

Fortunately for us our reputations remained intact.

I waited to comment until we pulled out of the driveway.  I didn’t get an entire word out of my mouth before Dave shut it down with an overly emphasized three word reply.

You.  Did.  Too.

Goodness knows I would have loved for this to have been kept just between the two of us, but nooooo, Dave.  In record post-trip return time, you could not wait to turn our antics into an amateur stand-up comedy show and tell complete with animated gestures and language, exposing our self-humiliation for all the world (well, our family and friends) to know.

We’re all about the show and tell.

One thing is for sure, there’s never been a dull moment in our Natchez, Mississippi travels.

Even when we opt to slow down the pace, enjoy the moment, and roll with the flow of the river, the days and nights are never dull, and that’s why we consider Natchez a favorite getaway destination.

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Curb Appeal Projects

What you hear about weather in the South is true- wait five minutes and it will change.  Turns out the buckets of rain threatening the weekend held off making it possible to tackle a few curb appeal projects.

Curb Appeal Projects

Repainting the rockers on the front porch has been a long time coming.  Dave the Builder made the call, I selected the paint, and here’s rocking proof  of our current curb appeal project in progress AND that semigloss and gloss finishes do tend to dry darker.

wet-paint-rocking-chairCaution: Wet Paint

Behr Grassy Savannah is the current star of our curb appeal show.

The color is I see shades of gray-green-brown perfection.


Behr Grassy Savannah N340-5 Semi-Gloss Enamel Exterior Paint


Soffit, facia board, and box end repair is the project Dave the Builder loves to hate.

Rotting (from tornado damage) soffit and facia is not only an eyesore and curb appeal deal breaker, it can allow squirrels and goodness knows what other varmints to gain entry into the attic.


Dave won’t win any fashion awards, but what he does get is big time brownie points in the honey do division.


Now that we’ve got the boards replaced, it’s ready for paint time.

house exterior front

We are seriously contemplating a total exterior refresh beginning with painting the brick which will be a rather large project over many weekends.

I played with paint color wheels, charts, and swatches Friday night into Saturday morning.

If we do this, I’m leaning towards Benjamin Moore Simply White for the bricks, Behr Grassy Savannah for the cedar shakes, and Sherwin-Williams Pure White for the soffit, facia, and columns.


Another change will be changing out the painted wood shutters for louvered vinyl exterior shutters.

Sanding, scraping, priming, and painting the existing louvered wood shutters every two to three years (Louisiana heat and humidity takes no prisoners) is becoming tiresome and expensive.

Vinyl exterior shutters can be cleaned with soap and water and can be painted when and if needed.

Tauba Copper Finish MailboxTauba Copper Finish Mailbox

Nine years in and I’m still happy with the copper mailbox and address plaque.

1-Line Wall Address Plaque

1-Line Wall Address Plaque

The mix of metals with classic design and form creates curb appeal wow factor.

2e Architects

2e Architects

Classic curb appeal notables include wicker furniture and Boston or Kimberly Queen ferns displayed in decorative urns and/or hanging baskets.



The woven wonder that is wicker is one tough broad that gets better with age.

All Weather Wicker Capistrano Outdoor ArmchairAll Weather Wicker Capistrano Outdoor Armchair

modern French facade

Michael J. Siller Interiors

The shutters.

The lanterns.

The hardware accents.

The landscaping.

This is how we curb appeal.

And how lovely is the Spanish artichoke finial?


Spanish Artichoke

Patrick Ahearn Architect

Patrick Ahearn Architect

Jay Blue Sherwin-Williams

Jay Blue from Sherwin-Williams

monogram H door knocker

Monogram Letter H Door Knocker – Brass by Michael Healy Designs

Thomson Cooke Architects curb appealThomson Cooke Architects


one  ||  two  ||  three  ||  four  ||  five  ||  six


I have it on good authority that a three day holiday weekend is upon us.

Three day weekends and captivating images come together to inspire curb appeal beautification projects.

Kadlec Architecture + Design

Kadlec Architecture + Design


Island Architects

Island Architects

Thomson & Cooke ArchitectsThomson & Cooke Architects

First impressions make lasting impressions.

Curb appeal projects lead the way to big returns, impressive results, and beautifully welcome style home.

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Happy New Year 2019

Ringing out the old year and ringing in Happy New Year 2019 in style with a performance of Auld Lang Syne by the legendary Rod Stewart.

Talk about classic style!

Robert Burns’ Scottish poem written in 1788 and set to a Scots folk melody, Auld Lang Syne is the traditional musical ode to New Year recollecting events over the year, thoughts of old friendships, nostalgia, old times, and days gone by.

As seen in the video, the long standing Scottish tradition is to sing Auld Lang Syne just before the stroke of midnight with everyone sitting or standing in a circle holding hands, arms crossed so their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right, and their right hand that of the person to their left.

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians popularized Auld Lang Syne as it became the traditional song of New Year played immediately after the ball drop in Times Square.


My sister-in-law, a staunch New Year’s traditionalist, rings in the New Year with a Happy New Year phone call to us complete with Guy Lombardo’s version of Auld Lang Syne playing in the background.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
for auld lang syne, 
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne.

Dave and I wish each of you a very Happy New Year 2019!

May New Year 2019 bring you joy, health, blessings, happiness, good fortune, inspired projects, and beautiful surroundings.

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Let’s Get Growing: Spring Herb Day

Fairs, exhibitions and festivals benefiting the preservation of historic sights, homes and buildings spring up this time of year.  One such local institution held its spring herb day sale-a-bration over the weekend.  The scent of fresh herbs gets the spring herb day let’s get growing excitement going.

spring herb day

Get Outside by Robert Palmer is the tune of the day and a dandy one indeed to spring herb day to.


My herb love grows where my rosemary, mint, and thyme grows.


I’m discovering the many uses of mint past its herb status of required greenery in the Southern garden color palette and glass of sweet tea.


From Better Homes & Gardens:

Mint, Mentha

Herb, perennial

Part sun, sun

From 1 to 8 feet

Mint is easy to grow.  The fragrance of mint will vary with variety as will the taste.  Fresh or dried, mint is a broad range herb used to season beverages, desserts, soups, vegetables, and meats.


Chives ~  Serata Basil  ~ Rosemary  ~ Dolce Fresca Basil  ~ Thyme  ~ Parsley

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis

Herb, perennial, shrub


From 1 to 8 feet

Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen of Mediterranean origin, an herb that pairs well with poultry, pork, lamb, fish, breads, vegetables, tomato based sauces, soups and infused oils.  French and Italian dishes especially benefit from the robust seasoning.  Rosemary plants thrive in hot and dry climates.

I am seriously entertaining the thought of using this carrot planter as the focal point of my indoor herb garden.


Carrot Flower Plastic Pot Planter

The smell of fresh herbs goes well with the ooh la la factor, and is stylishly accomplished with a rattan wall planter and a Les Fine Herbes kitchen towel.


Rattan Wall Planter


Quest Green Kitchen Towel

Better Homes & Gardens gift the gardener an array of free garden plans. I’ve selected three herb garden plans to share.  Click on the link below each image to download the garden plan of choice for your spring herb day planting needs.

classic herb garden plan

Classic Herb Garden Plan

colorful-herb-garden Colorful Herb Garden Plan

Italian herbs

Italian Herb Garden Plan

I used to have a friend who actually thought Ina Garten’s name was In the Garden.

In.  The.  Garden.

You can’t make this stuff up folks.

Ina does love her garden.  On a recent repeat episode of Barefoot Contessa Ina plans, prepares, plates and presents a surprise dinner for Jeffrey in the garden.  The principal of kiss, keep it stunningly simple, set the scene and the table.


The Bridgehampton Florist  on Instagram

Nature Innovations Oak Log Planter

Nature Innovations Oak Log Planter

Clear glass hurricane lanterns,  pillar candles, ferns from the garden, white garden roses, and planter  made a simple yet elegant garden style show.

How keep it stunningly simple is that?


Ina Garten Garden ~ Pinterest

A search and source session for the hurricane lanterns Ina Garten uses came up empty handed, but look at what I did find.   Being born, raised and living the outdoor living life in Louisiana, the word hurricane typically is not equated with beauty, but this gorgeous hotel glass hurricane with rope and burned copper detail is a beauty!

Hotel+Glass+HurricaneHotel Glass Hurricane

Delicious dishes and stylish settings get the taste party started.  A sprinkle here, a dash of that, and a generous serving of it’s all in the details indisputably takes the look and the flavor from ordinary to distinctive.

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This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.



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.

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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.


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.


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.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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Taste of the Holidays Spice Rub

Celebrating Thanksgiving begins two weeks out at Places In The Home.  Our family mosaic now includes new additions of a daughter-in-law, a niece-in-law, and a great nephew.   The gang’s all here, just not all at the same time.

The more the merrier.

A lovely sentiment to holiday celebrate, entertain and gather together to.


The home for the holidays welcome mat is out from October to January.

hello-foyerBetter Homes & Gardens

The first holiday decorating and entertaining oops of many (because what would the holidays be without some kind of snafu) involves a breakdown in china pattern communication between me and my brother.  Turns out the china pattern in his china cabinet is not Autumn by Lenox but Lace Point by Lenox.  Sherlock Places In The Home is on the case, determined to solve the mystery of the missing Autumn china.


Table setting, decorating and menu delegating abounds.  Roasting the turkey for Thanksgiving is in my wheelhouse.   Prepping, roasting, carving and serving the bird is a grand undertaking and a one-time only main course event.   For that reason, the other two we gather together meals will feature boneless chicken breasts and pork tenderloin, respectively.

turkey-platter-cracker-barrelWoodland Turkey Stoneware Platter 

Presently in recipe development mode, Southern pecan sweet potatoes wrapped in puff pastry will make a culinary debut as the new holiday side dish.  Also new to the holiday menu is a spice rub with the herbs, spices and flavors of fall-autumn-the holidays-Louisiana-home.  You get the idea.

taste of the holidays spice rug

I tried the spice rub out on boneless, skinless chicken breasts last week.  Dave the Builder gave the spice blend 5 out of 5 forks.   I, on the other hand, thought the rub a tad too hot with pepper, and readjusted the amount from 1 Tablespoon to 1 teaspoon.  You can add to, but you can’t take away from.  There’s the rub.

spice rub

Taste of the Holidays Spice Rub


2 Tablespoon minced onion

2 Tablespoon dried thyme

2 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 bay leaves


In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together.  Store spice rub in an airtight container.


Begin by patting each chicken breast or the pork tenderloin dry with a paper towel.  Coat meat with the Taste of the Holidays Spice Rub.  Lightly drizzle olive oil over tops of each chicken breast or the pork tenderloin.

For Chicken Breasts:  Bake uncovered in a preheated 350° oven for 35-45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F.

For Pork Tenderloin of approximately 1½-pounds:  Roast uncovered in a preheated 425° oven for  20 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature registers between 150º -160°F.   Let the tenderloin rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


A Most Fetching Friday Wedding Show and Tell

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday is a wedding show and tell; a post near and dear to my heart.  With permission from our son and his lovely wife, I want to share with you, my reader friends who are like family, select photos from the wedding of Jade and Jackson.

Wedding Show and Tell

The venue, the ceremony, and the eats, drinks and be married festivities made a wedding celebration on a September evening an event to remember.


The Groom


brideThe Bride




Toasting a perfect union.





Best wishes to the bride and the groom!

Wishing you all a most fetching Friday.

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