The traveling Places In The Home duo is home sweet home, and as much as I love a good getaway, there is no place like home. Prior obligations and work schedules clipped our wings to a certain time extent, so our escape was of the closer to home statecation to North Louisiana variety. Making a vacation observation and sharing details of our summer getaway will be a two-parter with the first installment a celebration of the red, white and blue.
Vacation Observation #1
Don’t believe everything you read or hear about a decline in patriotism and the celebration of the American flag. Seeing is believing, and on our statecation getaway we treated ourselves to a self guided tour of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood.
Architecturally magnificent on all fronts, the homes of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood happened to be decked out not only in detail, but in 4th of July-proud to be an American style and colors. Here, let me show you.
I love the Southern comfort lives here ambiance and patriotic porch set for a red, white, and blue summer holiday.
Vacation Observation #2
North Louisiana mirrors the landscape of East Tennessee (another favorite vacation getaway destination). Tree-lined streets of the Historic South Highlands neighborhood wind and weave through a semi-hilly fashioned parkway. Mark this corner cottage in a dreamy creamy shade of yellow as a model of southern charm.
Several squeals of glee pierced Dave’s eardrums, more than a few oohs and aahs perhaps became a few too many, and an insane amount of unabashed architectural envy dominated the evening’s conversation.
What can I say?
Architecture is my thing.
Towering pines and oaks shade the yards and boulevards. Vintage street lights evoke nostalgia of days gone by.
Architectural juxtaposition promotes a dramatic effect and a desirable address.
Vacation Observation #4
An afternoon drive through a historic neighborhood between shopping destinations and dinner reservations inspired, confirmed and renewed. It’s not a day at the beach or one spent in the desert or the mountains, but it’s one of our favorite things to do at home or on vacation. The food, the landscape, the architecture, the terrain, the dialect-you can learn so much from your travels. Inspiration is everywhere.
Old Glory is once again displayed from the oak tree in the front yard of Places In The Home. The tree is cosmetically worse for wear since the tornado, but is still the optimum spot for the flag to be displayed. Patriotism with flying colors is alive and well at Places In The Home. Happy 4th of July to all of you. Celebrate in style and let freedom ring!
New Year’s Eve celebrating and entertaining. Are you in?
Maybe it’s much too early in the game,
Aah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s Eve?
Ella asks it and revelers answer with a chorus of festive New Year’s Eve celebrating and entertaining. As for Dave the Builder and me, hardcore party animals we are not, we throw a respectable ringing in the New Year open house in at home style with a few family members, close friends and beloved neighbors.
These Stud Balls from West Elm hit all the right New Year’s Eve celebrating and entertaining and decorating notes- color, presence, size, price, studs and reusable. No West Elm near you? No problem. Spray paint meet Styrofoam balls. The holiday clearance sale is the decorista’s best friend. Hit up a holiday clearance sale and pick up string lights and/or lanterns. Intermingle the lights and flameless LED battery operated candle filled lanterns- don’t you love the convenience and safety of the flameless candle? I haven’t used a real candle for luminary purposes in years. Flameless LED battery operated votive and tea light candles give good style, eliminate safety concerns and unless the battery(s) die they stay on.
Line the walkway and entrance to light the New Year’s Eve night and to illuminate the glam-o-rama look.
A sand timer makes the perfect centerpiece and sidekick to a bottle of New Year’s Eve bubbly.
Zebra salad plates from Pier 1 imports stand in style as zebra appetizer plates for the occasion.
New Year’s Eve party favor boxes found on clearance at Target. Fill with white and gold paper shreds, Camellia blackeye peas, and copper jingle bells (a great take on traditional noisemakers). Slide a glitter noisemaker under the ribbon and you’ve got a festive favor. Fill the bottom of Dollar store clear candle holders with black decorative sand and add a flameless votive and glitter noisemakers.
Jingle All the Way into 2017!
If decorative sand is not your filler of choice, fill the candle holder about ½ way up with Camellia blackeye peas.
Add to that gold chocolate coins or fortune cookies.
Luck, money, tradition and lagniappe. Here’s the stars of our pork and beans Louisiana Lagniappe New Year’s Eve midnight buffet. We ring in the New Year and the dinner bell.
Back to ringing in the New Year with friends, family and neighbors- we are a casual group of revelers. The closest thing to black tie required at our what are you doing New Year’s Eve gathering will be these Tuxedo and Cheese and Crackers appetizers. Get the recipe from Kitchen Mason.
In the spirit of The Twelve Days of Christmas, true Christmas traditions and because twelve is the exact number of photos that turned out to be share worthy, I present to you the Places In The Home Twelve Days of Christmas.
On the first day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
vintage inspired aluminum Christmas wreaths and shiny and bright ornaments kinda sorta just like the aluminum Christmas tree, color wheel and Shiny Brite ornaments my maternal grandmother had. It’s all in the accents and accessories details.
On the second day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
the patience prayed for and the grace granted to find the beauty in everything and everyone.
On the third day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
an old world Santa figurine ornament in shades of yellow, cream, brown and glitter gold that cost next to nothing, and one I would not take a million dollars for. Well.
On the fourth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
a Christmas centerpiece rich in throwback tradition and vibrant colors compliments of nature’s beauty and the neighbor’s grown with love grove.
On the fifth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
the aromatic trio of one orange, one bay leaf and a generous sprinkling of ground cloves soon set to simmer and scent.
On the sixth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me
a craving for a family must make and bake at the holidays family tradition, Mama Two sugar cookies. The story of how her name came to be is almost as iconic as her family famous Christmas cookie recipe.
The name I assigned to my great-grandmother was born out of a childlike understanding. Our holiday destination point was set for the great state of Texas to spread holiday cheer and to introduce my great-grandparents to the newest addition to the family (me). My mother and grandmother took advantage of the over the bayous and through the piney woods, to great-grandmother’s house we go travel time to coach me into calling my great-grandmother “mama”- the term of endearment she had always gone by.
The story goes my mother tried her best at introductions and association in terms she assumed best suited for a toddlers scope of understanding.
This is mama (pointing to herself).
This is mamaw (pointing to her mother).
And this is mama, too (pointing to her grandmother, my great-grandmother).
Season’s Greetings! I love that traditional greeting, and it seems a most befitting introduction to these Christmas images in seasonal splendor post. Andy Williams serenades “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as I live and holiday, and by gosh, by golly it most certainly is.
The sight and sound of traditional holiday colors, songs, decorations and displays delight, and these images of Christmas rich in traditional trimmings are a few of my favorite things.
As the holiday pace picks up, I remind myself it will come and go like the blink of an eye. I make sure to fill the house with Christmas music, the slow cooker with scents of the season, and Dave the Builder’s Christmas cookie jar full of whatever cake mix cookie combination I come up with this week. Most of all, I am making sure not to lose sight of the true beauty of and reason for the season. That definitely brings to mind and eye images of Christmas in seasonal splendor.
Don’t forget the host! Hit the jackpot with a game night themed gift for the host.
“Seasons” Greetings! I love the scent and the idea of a rosemary Christmas tree. I would always use one at the antique shop during the holidays for the visual and aroma effect. One of my best clients looked forward to holiday open house and what I called the annual Hopefully Classic Rosemary Rub.
What’s the Hopefully Classic Rosemary Rub you ask?
Gently rub the rosemary leaves with both hands for holiday good luck and health, and the fragrance from the tree stays with you- a holiday bonus. A Christmas tree shaped rosemary tree is festive function at its aromatic best.
In these hustling and bustling holiday times, taking a teatime out to relax with a cup of tea, author a handwritten note of greetings or thanks to a friend or client, or to enjoy the scent of a favorite candle in a session of aroma therapy is holiday highly suggested.
The key to a great hostess gift is one that reflects a sense of style and ‘with you in mind’ thoughtfulness.
Holiday kitchen accessories that make you go gotta have it is what’s cookin’ for the holiday decorating season.
I am the kind of decorista whose love of all things house that make a home does not take a break over the holidays. In other words, I like what I like, and the gift of home and holiday kitchen accessories is the gift that keeps on giving, cooking and decorating. Black Friday kitchen accessories deals are kitchen kicking as we speak, type, read and source. How do I know this? As luck would have it, appliance crisis has hit Places In The Home over the last two weeks.
New washing machine.
Oven element burned out.
Dryer motor died.
The microwave, refusing to be left out of the loop, took great pains in causing Dave the Builder great pain this morning when it refused to cook, defrost or coffee cooperate.
You bet your sweet bibby I’m looking for Black Friday deals!
Murphy’s Law showed up and zapped the s&*! out of the holiday budget, putting a Whoa Nelly! on the deck the halls spending. No big budget, no big deal with these big on affordable style holiday kitchen accessories to decorate the holiday kitchen.
Spice up your holiday dishes and kitchen counter style with the Kryddig Wooden Spice Mill from Ikea.
Farmhouse style mixing bowls in hobnail white because farmhouse style is a favorite kitchen element all year long. I purchased two sets of these for bridal shower gifts, and the brides-to-be loved the farmhouse chic look of these bowls.
Just bought this mixer from Target this morning- taking advantage of today’s pre-Black Friday 20% off selected kitchen items sale. $31.99 is a super price for the KitchenAid 5-speed hand mixer. The big daddy of stand mixers is also on sale today, coming in after discount at $199.99. If you don’t get in on this sale today, Best Buy has a good deal going, too. Anyway you mix it, the price is Black Friday right, and the color is holiday happening! *** I do not receive one cent of compensation from Target or Best Buy for promoting these items or sales promos. I simply like to share a good deal with you all.***
Is it kitchen counter casual chic and holiday table finery? The Threshold™ Marble Salt and Pepper Shaker Set salt and pepper set is a decorative chameleon in the sense the set has a presence fit for formal-fabulous for casual chic.
Red and green wrapped Hershey’s Kiss candies signal sweet holiday candy tradition in our house. My suggestion of the Hershey’s Kiss Crystal Kiss Candy Dish as a holiday kitchen accessories counter decoration holder for sweetener packets, sugar in the raw, sea salt or Hershey’s Kisses is a crystal clear reminder of holiday tradition, and that works beautifully in the holiday kitchen.
Home Sweet Holiday Home is all about our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Delicious anticipation over our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes builds all year long, and inquiring minds and holiday appetites drive family and friends home to break bread and give thanks for these favorite thanksgiving side dish recipes.
Our holiday dinner menu is influenced by traditional, new traditional, and regional Thanksgiving side dish recipes. Family is well represented through the memorable dishes found on our Southern family dinner table.
Here’s two of our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes full of Louisiana flavor for the season.
Creole Baked Oyster Dressing
2 (16-ounce) containers shucked oysters, drained, liquor reserved
6 tablespoons butter
1½ cups chopped onion
⅓ cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Coarsely chop any large oysters. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Remove 2 tablespoons butter and reserve. Add onions, celery, and bell pepper; cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sage, parsley, thyme, and garlic; cook 1 minute. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, bread, bread crumbs, lemon juice, Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper; stir until combined. Add oysters and 1 cup of reserved oyster liquor; stir gently. Spoon into prepared pan. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Bake, lightly covered, 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until bread is lightly browned and oysters are curled around the edges, about 25 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
2 pounds green asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup butter, melted
½ (16-ounce) package crawfish tails
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and add asparagus. Top with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and brush evenly with basting brush. Bake until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add water to a large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a stainless steel bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Hold bowl over simmering water making sure bottom of bowl does not touch water, and whisk vigorously until volume of egg mixture doubles. Slowly whisk in melted butter until sauce is thick and combined. Remove from heat, and stir in crawfish. Serve immediately over asparagus.
Combine first 6 ingredients. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and browned. Serves 6 to 8.
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 package (8-½ ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
½ cup 2% milk
1 can (15-¼ ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk. Fold in corn.
Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Makes 8 servings.
Look at that crispy edge perfection- the hallmark of Southern buttermilk cornbread.
Good cornbread is the base ingredient of great dressing. I’ve enjoyed bread dressing, oyster dressing, and sausage dressing. All are quite delicious in their own right, but our traditional holiday turkey dinner is not complete without Southern buttermilk cornbread dressing. Here is my recipe for the cornbread:
3 Tablespoons oil
2 cups buttermilk self -rising white corn meal mix
1 cup self-rising flour
½ Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup milk
Set oven to 425 degrees. Preheat oven while preparing cornbread mix. Mix corn meal and flour into mixing bowl. Stir in milk and eggs and mix well. Batter should be a medium thick consistency. Thin by adding additional milk until desired consistency is reached. Grease baking pan or oven safe skillet(preferably a black cast iron skillet) with 3 Tablespoons cooking oil. Bottom of pan or skillet should be coated well but not swimming in oil. Place pan in oven to heat oil. Once oil is heated, remove pan from oven. Pour batter into greased pan. Return pan or skillet to oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Buttermilk Cornbread Dressing
¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning, optional
*We are in a sage free zone here at Places In The Home. If you want to add this seasoning/herb to the recipe, I suggest ¼ teaspoon sage.
1 medium bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
4-6 cups chicken(canned is fine) or turkey broth, or more as preferred
One skillet of crumbled cornbread will make approximately 6 servings. For dressing, crumble cooled cornbread by hand to a fine consistency with no lumps. Place crumbled cornbread in large mixing bowl. Add poultry seasoning, green onions, celery, beaten eggs and broth (½ cup at the time). Mix well. You want the consistency of your dressing to be soupy. Pour into lightly greased roasting pan or deep casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until top is lightly browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Stylish Thanksgiving ideas for gathering, decorating, entertaining, setting and feasting abound. Home sweet home easily becomes home stylish home when thoughtful touches reflect your personal decorating style and grace your holiday home.
Serving pieces in neutral colors paired with traditional and new traditional serveware sets an elegant holiday dinner table.
Holiday hospitality guest room essentials in mi casa es su casa fashion fit perfectly into the ’tis the holiday company’s coming season. Creating a comfortable home away from home guest room for visiting family or friends begins with holiday hospitality guest room essentials.
Our Canadian snowbird arrived home last week, officially kicking off the There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays party. That suitcase is the ultimate holiday decoration.
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Friends and family, Mr. Emerson.
The goal at Places In The Home is for our guests to need or want for nothing. My darling Daddy welcomed guests with a heartfelt declaration “if we don’t have it, we will get it.” Welcoming words for sure, and that is the objective.
When Dave the Builder and I are overnight guests at the homes of friends and family, we consider the creature comforts furnished to be not only thoughtful, but guest room life savers. Let’s take a look at my list of guest room essentials.
Guest Room Essentials
Topping the list of guest room essentials is space!!! Dresser and bedside tabletops and drawers cleared and ready for guests to clutter set out and fill is always appreciated. To reduce the risk of scratching the top of a dresser or bedside table(s), simply place a plush bath towel or blanket on top of the furniture piece.
Closet space complete with extra clothes hangers and a bottle of wrinkle releaser – thank you!
Rack ’em up
I like to put out one or two luggage racks for our guests to utilize. Navigating the guest bedroom should not resemble an obstacle course.
Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!
The snowbird loves our long standing holiday tradition of watching the movie Trading Places on Thanksgiving night (Black Friday Eve). I love the above line from the movie, and seize every opportunity to inject it into a conversation. His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.
Wrap these welcome kits up and tie them with a holiday bow for festive gifting fun.
Gift Your Guests with the Gift of Comfort and Hospitality
Festive faux or fresh flowers, a beside water carafe, extra linens,his and her slippers, charging station for devices, reading glasses, Kleenex, extra toilet paper, room and linen spray, a mini flashlight (to avoid things that go bump in the night like toes and kneecaps), extra blanket, a scented candle, note pad and pen and trinket tray on the bedside table and dresser top my holiday hospitality guest room essentials list.
The idea is to gift your guests with the gift of comfort and hospitality.
When I sourced this candle I could not help but think of the Benjamin Franklin quote my aunt from Florida modified, adopted and shares with us as she leaves. Guests, family, and fish begin to smell after three days. Thank goodness for holiday humor and scented candles.
Staying connected to the world wide web while connecting with friends and family is the business and leisure routine of daily life. Holiday sales, where to go, what to do, checking emails and social media, tracking Santa’s route- when you need to know you need the password. Frame a WiFi password printable for beside table display so guests can connect to your WiFi network.
Travel, especially holiday travel, can be a stressful event. Enter Noisli. The Noisli app is a little peace on earth and goodwill toward traveling men and women. Peaceful background noises promote a serene environment conducive to a relaxing sleep.
A Good Read
Place a few best sellers, shelter magazines and the Good Book around the guest room for guests to enjoy. A good read before bedtime can unwind even the tightest of clocks, and is proven reading often promotes a better night’s sleep.
A tray of hot cocoa and holiday cookies served in guest room service fashion is a holiday hospitality treat. Little details pamper and please, and this bedtime treat always goes over big with guests. Add a zing of seasonal deliciousness to hot cocoa with a dollop of flavored whipped topping, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, a splash of Kahlúa or a generous shot of Southern Comfort. That’s my kind of nightcap!
The celebration countdown to 4th of July party ideas is on. Allow me to take this opportunity to express a very big thank you in patriotic colors to the Earth, sun, moon and calendar year 2016 for the three-day weekend we have to celebrate Independence Day.
The big blogging plan to share with you pops of 4th of July party ideas for your copying, ordering, and/or purchasing consideration fizzled out like a firecracker with no pizzazz. An area wide internet outage hit the Places In The Home neighborhood last week, and with it went my connection to the world wide web. That’s two internet outages in one month, but’s who’s counting?
Meet Jeremy, the at&t man with the get you back online ASAP plan. Jeremy, your good deeds and expert skills are greatly appreciated. You’ve got a well deserved three-day weekend coming your way.
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The Willow Swingaswan is a stylish throwback to the hanging chair glory days of the swingin’ 60s & 70s. Just add a decorative pillow, a refreshing beverage or summertime treat, a good read and you’ve got yourself a rest and relaxation haven for the 4th of July three-day weekend.
Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup.
Whisk together half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight container. Freeze 2 hours before serving.
A star spangled theme is instantly recognizable as the traditional theme of 4th of July celebrations.
In keeping with tradition, the American flag meets and greets neighbors and friends, but I opt to decorate with items such as fabric and serveware in a broader range of holiday patterns and colors.
The activities, food, sports, colors and celebrations generally associated with the summer months give great inspiration. Pick a favorite as your 4th of July party ideas theme foundation and go 4th from there.
Wallpaper and fabric closeouts can be a great source for affordable and stylish patterns to use as tablecloths, table runners, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.
Handbag charms as napkin rings? Absolutely! I picked up six of these long fringe handbag charms on clearance at Rue21 for $1.20 each to use as napkins rings and parting party favors. Love the look, the price and the dual purpose. Blooming blue hydrangeas from the yard of a very generous and giving neighbor will star in the centerpiece arrangement along with a trio of small American flags. Simple. Affordable. Appropriate.
Our star spangled celebration menu takes a celebratory cue from the best part of the summertime bounty- fresh from the farmers market fruits and vegetables. I am entertaining the thought of developing a recipe for s’mores cake to debut over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Fresh beans, roasting marshmallows, and bursts of color on the table and in the sky. That’s how we snap, crackle and pop a 4th of July party in the USA at Places In The Home.
These 4th of July party ideas place an emphasis on fun, easy, delicious, stylish, and affordability. Celebrate smart, safe and stylish this 4th of July holiday weekend.