Central Louisiana Mardi Gras Mambo

Welcome to our Mardi Gras ~ Bienvenue à notre Mardi Gras!  Mardi Gras is all around Louisiana and our sister states, but this invitation is to a Central Louisiana Mardi Gras Mambo Places In The Home style.

Mardi Gras

Festivities to beat the jazz band fill Central Louisiana afternoons, evenings and weekends with something Mardi Gras to do.

mardi-gras-beadsKrewe parades roll uptown, downtown, and all along the Red River replete with throws of colored beads and doubloons, go- cups (we do love a geaux-cup), and trinkets raining down to revelers below satisfying the traditional Carnival call of “Throw me something, Mister!”


Alexa Pulitzer

What’s a go-cup (that’s geaux cup in Louisiana speak) you may ask?

Not to-go cup.  Go-cup.


a cup used to hold any beverage that one may take with them while they are out and about

Louisiana is a festival-celebration-events driven state.   Celebrating is in our DNA.  Humidity is always in the air, ergo the need for liquid refreshment.  When out and about you can guarantee (ga-ron-tee as Justin Wilson said) it is with beverage of choice in hand.


Throw me something, Mister!

Mardi Gras in Central Louisiana emphasizes the spirit of family, friend and neighbor.


We eat, drink, decorate, dance, promenade, stroll and second line on Garden District streets of brick during the Carnival season.  This is our taste of Mardi Gras world from the Twelfth Night (feast of Epiphany) to Fat Tuesday- a living it up in Central Louisiana c’est si bon celebration.


Gray skies never rain on our parade.  We know how to adapt and simply take the party indoors.


Decorating for Mardi Gras gives me an opportunity to put my French themed decor accessories and accents on Mardi Gras parade.


The purple, green and gold colors and oval design of a traditional King Cake serves up dining table centerpiece idea.



Centerpiece inspiration is everywhere, and the colors and design of the King Cake is as good a muse as any.


Taking inventory of items around the house and those plucked from a fantastic end-of-season clearance sale last year, I spied my Sportsman’s Paradise-Gulf of Mexico-coastal collection of shells, figurines and the like.  Winter is making me blue, so any and all opportunities to inject a bit of spring into my step and/or decor are welcome.  Shells and pelicans equal spring into summer perfect.


This gold pelican figurine is 39 years old- a nugget souvenir from our college days at LSU.  The shell is an oldie but a lovely as well.


The curated side of my brain and the decorating side of my brain merged to come up with a fabulous pairing.  There’s a baby in a King Cake, and there’s a Louisiana pelican in this shell of a Carnival inspired candy dish.


Our days of letting the good times roll in New Orleans ceased in favor of the local lagniappe Central Louisiana offers.  These days, home is where the Mardi Gras celebration is.

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A Most Fetching Friday: The Visual Power and Appeal of Animal Attraction in Decorating

Today’s A Most Fetching Friday features spaces that work like a charm to enhance a space accessorized with, fortify the visual power of, and confirm the appeal of animal attraction in decorating.



Charles Spada Interiors

The art of the vignette tastefully executed.


Southern Living

The above image from Southern Living exemplifies the decor hallmarks of the Southern home.  The mix and the marvel of the curated look anchors many a Southern home.



Architectural Digest

Eclectic elegance is alive and well done in Brooke and Julian Metcalfe’s Oxfordshire home.  Funky disco balls, a model of the Titanic and animal head wall decor juxtaposed with grand millwork and signature Florence Broadhurst wallpaper brilliantly work the room.



Animal Attraction in Decorating

Traditional Home



There is something so fetching about the visual power and appeal of animal attraction in decorating.




All in good taste and fetching style.

I hope you all have a most fetching Friday and a lovely weekend.

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Super Bowl Get-Together Ideas

A Super Bowl get-together is a tradition for the football loyal, and Super Bowl get-together ideas buzz is all around.  What team will you be rooting for to become victorious as Super Bowl LII champions?  Our beloved Saints were so close, but ultimately, defeat was to be.   I do not have a dog, Saint, Eagle or Patriot in the fight, so the focus of my Super Bowl get-together ideas is on what drives the party down the field to score a win for the movers, shakers and Super Bowl get-together partakers.

Scrumptious foods.

Halftime show extravaganzas.

Commercials of advertising gold.

The commercials have been known to be more must see tv than the game itself.  Super Bowl commercials make for interesting post-game observations and Monday morning quarterback conversations.  Country Living Magazine features The 50 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time.  Can you guess my favorite?



I’ve selected Super Bowl get-together ideas and items with comfort zone wow factor in mind.


Sleek style teams with full, rich sound with the VIZIO sound bar.  Enhance the entire Super Bowl experience by boosting the audio experience.  Comfortable seating options are essential game watching components and score big points in the comfort zone.


Toddman High-Back New Velvet Club Chair  ||  Crimson Red Eco Leather Club Arm Chair  ||  Isabelle Square Tufted Ottoman  ||  Eclipse Series Home Theater Recliner (Row of 2)


Comfort is the name of the game at the buffet, coffee, and decorative side table as well.  The America’s Plate-by-Plate Game Day Food Lineup infographic shows popular Game Day recipes pulled from Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Tablespoon websites.  Favorite game day foods in each state shows just how much Super Bowl game watchers love their game day snacks.  Sliders, tater tot casserole, cowboy caviar, stuffed mushrooms, root beer chicken and butter cake bars deliciously represent our sister states coast to coast, region to region.  Crab au Gratin represents Louisiana as the favorite game day dish.  Chicken and sausage gumbo rules the game day buffet table at our house, but I don’t believe anyone would object to a tray full of crocks housing individual servings of Crab au Gratin.

C’est si bon!


Crabmeat Au Gratin 


2 tablespoons butter

½  cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

2 teaspoons ZATARAIN’S® Creole Seasoning

Hot pepper sauce, to taste

1 pound lump  crabmeat


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low heat.  Add onion and parsley; cook and stir 3 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add flour; cook and stir until lightly browned. Slowly stir in milk; continue cooking until mixture begins to thicken.

Stir in ½ cup of the cheese, Creole Seasoning and hot pepper sauce.  Reduce heat to low; cook and stir until cheese is melted.  Gently stir in crabmeat. Pour mixture into greased 1-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble around the edges.  Makes 3 cups.



Play off team colors when selecting tableware, serving pieces, and home decor accessories to accent Super Bowl spirit.

Super Bowl Get-Together Ideas

Super Bowl get-together ideas and decorations need not be an exercise in difficulty or expense.


For a centerpiece, grab a vase or jar, fill it with vase fillers in team colors, add mascot appropriate embellishments, and let the centerpiece games begin.  Fill in the blanks with cuttings from nature’s arts and crafts store (your yard) or floral gatherings from the floral department at the local market.


Scrapbook paper makes great placemats.  There’s a time and a place for china, silver, quality linens and crystal glassware.  A Super Bowl get-together is not one of those times, in my humble opinion.


Football Field Scrapbook Paper – 12″ x 12″

Repeat after me my Super Bowl get-together ideas entertaining mantra:




You can find plenty of party items that fit the casual, comfortable and easy bill online as well as local dollar and discount stores.


Yep, that’s another point scored on the Super Bowl get-together ideas scoreboard.


Footballs Scrapbook Paper – 12″ x 12″

You can’t go wrong with items that avoid team colors or logos.   Granted, some Super Bowl get-together items are one-time use winners, but I like to buy some items that easily fit with other occasions and themes.

tablewaresFinger foods and disposable wares go with sporting events and concessions, so why not incorporate that theme into your menu and party decor?


Black and White Popcorn Boxes

I love this look!  These black and white striped popcorn boxes make a good call for serving popcorn, nuts, and party mixes.   Paper scoop cups with newspaper design add an extra! extra! snack all about it! fun to the food festivities.


Choice Large 7.5 oz. Paper Scoop Cup with Newsprint Design – 50/Pack

Menus will vary from Super Bowl get-together to Super Bowl get-together, but serving delicious food is the goal.

Soup.  Chili.  Beef stew.   Yes, please.

Fries.  Nachos.  Mozzarella sticks.  Onion rings.  Yum!


Pulled pork sandwiches.  Fried catfish and hush puppies.  Slow-cooker Southern barbecue chicken.  Creole French fries.  Ice cold beverages with just the right amount of fizz.  Mardi Gras King Cake.   What time do we eat?

Frozen pizza.  A large salad made from fresh ingredients.  Barq’sRoot Beer or Cocoa~Cola ice cream floats.  A drop by the supermarket spread made for good times and gathering friends.

Whatever works for you works best for your Super Bowl get-together. That’s the winning point of these Super Bowl get-together ideas.

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With Love and Style In Mind Valentine’s Day Gift Suggestions For Him and Her

The Places In The Home Valentine’s Day gift suggestions for him and her guide features objects of affection with love and style in mind.  Presenting your loved one with just the right gift or gifts on Valentine’s Day sets the tone for a grand and stylish celebration of love.


C’est bon Porcelain Mug

Topping the With Love In Mind Valentine’s Day Gift Suggestions for him and her guide is a delectable one- a Valentine’s Day breakfast for two.  Start your Valentine’s Day off on a delicious note.


Breakfast In Bed Equals Love Valentines Day 


Cooking for Two Cookbook

CucinaPro Heart Shaped Waffle Maker

CucinaPro Heart Shaped Waffle Maker

Serve it with love and kate spade new york style.


Rose Park 8″ Plate kate spade new york

Not a breakfast person?  How about a noontime nosh picnic built for two packed in a heart shaped picnic basket.

heart-willow-picnic-basketPicnic Time ‘Heart’ Willow Picnic Basket with Deluxe Service for Two

Roses are red, pink, yellow, orange and lavender, but what does it all mean?

Let’s find out, shall we?

Red = romance


Scented Soap Petals

Pink = love and gratitude


Chiffon Flower Cushion Cover

Yellow = friendship, joy


Antique Square Hand Painted Rose Plate

Orange = desire, passion

Orange-Rose-flower-pinOrange Rose Floral Pin

Lavender = love at first sight


Lavender Rose Cake


This With Love and Style In Mind Valentine’s Day Gift Suggestions For Him and Her gift guide is packed with a variety of options.  Options are good, and these pull back Cupid’s arrow and take aim at the heart of the Valentine’s Day matter.

For Her:


 valentine's day gift suggestions for him and her


 Candy Hearts Accent Pillow 


Rosé Chocolate Covered Strawberries 


Rose Gold Heart Appetizer Plate by Red Pomegranate


Jenna Rae Cakes


Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case Display

valentine's day gift suggestions for him and her

Coshine 10pcs Rose Gold Unique Mermaid Makeup Brush Set Cosmetic Tools Kits


Michael Kors Sexy Ruby


Estee Lauder Holiday Nights ~ The Red Lip


Kiel James Patrick


All About Us: For the Two of You 

For Him:


Love by Philippe Hugonnard Photographic Print on Wrapped Canvas


Estarer Canvas Leather Laptop Briefcase  ♥   Nell Arts and Crafts Pottery Table Lamp      Color-block Silk Handkerchiefs     Versace Men’s Eros Eau de Toilette Spray   ♥  Lizard-Embossed Leather Passport Case  ♥  Bulova  Men’s Chronograph Precisionist Bracelet Watch    The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm, Sandalwood     Derby Shoes    Bugatchi Graphic Socks   Le Creuset Deep Covered Square Marseille Pot  ♥  Colibri
Equinox Rollerball Pen


You Light My Fire Paperweight


Put a Little Sizzle In Your Valentine’s Day

I hope this With Love and Style In Mind Valentine’s Day Gift Suggestions for Him and Her gets your into the spirit of love and Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day shopping!

Love your style!


Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page. 

Saintsational Black and Gold Home Decor

The New Orleans  Saints are (were) back on the field in black and gold glory.  Saints fans, the Who Dat Nation, hope(d) the Saints (would) take the win and the spirit all the way to Super Bowl LII.   An edge of your seat roller coaster ride to the end zone game for sure, but victory was not to be.  I diligently worked on updating Saintsational Black and Gold Home Decor to coincide with the New Orleans Saints winning season.   An otherwise brilliant season came to an end this past Sunday, but I did not want this updated black and gold home decor show and tell to go to waste so sharing I am.  We might be dejected, but the black and gold home decor accents and accessories peppered throughout Dave the Builder’s man cave prove to be a stylish silver lining.

zebra-chairLouis XVI Giltwood Settee with Zebra Upholstery


Rio 2 Door Accent Cabinet
by John Richard

black and gold home decor

Black and gold home decor accessories make a stylish statement on all points.  Elegant meets modern meets focal point meets wow factor.


Regency Arm Chair


Gold Leather Butterfly Lounge Chair

Black and gold home decor accents and accessories are always stylishly in season.

Loren+Black+4+Drawer+ChestLoren 4 Drawer Chest by DwellStudio

contemporary-table-lampsCatalina Manhattan 3-Way Table Lamp


Apropos Table Lamp

transitional-living-roomKelly Hopter Interiors


‘Touch of Gold I’ Graphic Art on Wrapped Canvas


Kami Side Table by Safavieh®


Uttermost Myles Curved Accent Drum Table in Black/Gold

black-and-gold-book-decorModern Black and Gold Book Decor


Walrus Bookends

black bookcase

Linden Black-Gold Bookcase


Bischoffs Coffee Table

The look of classic sophistication is instantly achieved when black and gold accents become a distinct decor choice as part of  the color palette.



black-and-gold-fabricsHouse Fabric

Evening Romance II - Canvas Print Philip JensenEvening Romance II – Canvas Print
Philip Jensen


Inside Fabric


Black And Gold Draper Cube Table


Black & Poole


Glasgow Chandelier


Beaumont Lantern design by Currey & Company


wedgwood arris accent plate

Wedgwood Arris Octagonal Accent Plate


The Vintage Vogue Linea Coasters

Styling and decorating with black home decor pieces sets the tone for statement making appeal.


The extra added bonus of accentuating the space with gold accessories puts the accent mark on the power of gold glam.

black-gold-kitchen-accessoriesLuxe. Interior Design


Kian Velvet Directors Chair in Black Velvet design by Safavieh  ||  Mercer41 Bromelton Bar Stool  ||  Laurenza Steel Bar Stool by Willa Arlo Interiors  ||  Fuji Contemporary 31.5 In Barstool (Set of 2)


Fletcher 2 Light Globe Pendant by Hinkley Lighting 

Out with the old, in with the new!   A new lampshade offers an immediate style upgrade.

decorative lampshadesLamps Plus

Inspiration is everywhere, even on the football field.

Homemade Potato Soup

The flu is raging with a vengeance.  Dave the Builder has informed me seven of his coworkers are currently out with the flu, and the office air is thick with the scent of  Lysol.  We believe in doing everything you can to prevent catching the flu.  My one and only time to have the flu was an ugly, ugly experience.  I was out of commission for 6+ weeks with flu that turned to pneumonia quicker than I could say I don’t feel good.  Remembering that experience like it was yesterday, the Places In The Home household is in take charge mode to ward off the flu, including, but not limited to, brimming bowls of homemade potato soup.  Dave the Builder’s mom spoke of the healing powers of homemade potato soup, and who am I to argue with the wisdom of my mother-in-law?


I developed this rather uncomplicated to prepare and quite tasty recipe for homemade potato soup years ago when our son was in elementary school.  Sports, scouts and study schedules tend to dominate after school time, and the dinnertime hour gets pushed later and later more nights than not.  The kid, husband and mother-in-law loved it, instantly making it a classic family recipe.  Both cream of chicken soup and chicken broth hit the flavor notes with a little help from seasoning friends salt, pepper, onion powder and fresh parsley.  I have been known on occasion to add a heaping tablespoon of heavy cream to each bowl, and the crowd goes yum.


Homemade Potato Soup


6 medium to large russet potatoes

1 family size can cream of chicken soup

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup chicken broth

5 cups 2% milk

Fresh parsley, chopped

Heavy cream (optional)



Bake the potatoes at 400°F  for 1 hour OR microwave potatoes on full power  until tender.  Microwave cooking times will vary according to size and heating variance.  Let baked potatoes stand until cool.  Using a fork, press each potato in center, splitting potato in half.  Mash out the pulp and discard potato skins.


In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stir together the cream of chicken soup, potato pulp, salt, pepper, and onion powder.


Stir in the chicken broth and milk, stirring to incorporate flavors.  Bring to a gentle boil.


Lower heat to simmer, add chopped parsley, and simmer uncovered until soup is creamy thick, about 10-15 minutes.

pot-of-soupThis Dutch oven is 65 years old – a wedding gift from my aunt to my parents.  

If the soup becomes too thick,  simply add more milk until desired consistency is reached.

homemade potato soup

Enjoy and stay well.


The Essentials of Winter Care

What’s the weather like where you live?  Conditions in my part of the world leave a lot to be desired, calling for a little protect and pamper care and maintenance with the essentials of winter care.  I don’t believe there is a region, state, county or parish not feeling the wrath of winter this week into the weekend.  Nor’easter Grayson is fiercely gripping the East Coast in obnoxiously bitter cold conditions, and it ain’t pretty.


Bitter cold conditions aren’t only uncomfortable to deal with, they  wreak havoc with our skin.  We seek shelter in the warmth of our home only to have the dryness from indoor heat sources deny the skin of essential moisture.

Insult, meet injury.

This scenario reminds me of my trips out to Las Vegas.  At first, the dry heat is tolerable.  Three days in and my skin is screaming for the humidity Louisiana is known for.  In order to win the war against dry skin, you must be armed for battle.

essentials of winter care

My show and tell beauty regimen to defeat dry skin delivers soothing results and moisture rich relief without leaving an oily residue on the face, hands, body and feet.  Here is my list of the essentials of winter care.


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

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

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

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

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


Jacobean Style Cabinets Designed and Made by Artichoke

Always aware of the importance of staying true to the all things house that make a home topic, let’s look at ways to pamper and protect wood furniture, wood cabinets, and wood doors from drying out due to dry indoor air.

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

Oil-based wood conditioners are the essentials for winter care needed for protecting wood furniture, wood cabinets, and wood doors from drying out.  Applying a furniture oil such as Howard Feed-N-Wax or a quality lemon oil for fine wood penetrates wood and helps to retain moisture.  I do not suggest using an oil soap, wax or furniture polish that contains silicone.  Silicone based products promote build up and yellow discoloration, and therefore are not recommended.   Placement is also a consideration in preventing drying and fading.  Although often unavoidable due to design and space constraints, it is best not to place furniture near heating vents (drying) or in direct sunlight (drying and fading).


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

Don’t forget about pampering and protecting your leather home furnishings.  Leather is a natural product.  In order to maintain the natural beauty of the hide, I condition leather furnishings with leather conditioner at the start of winter.  Using a good leather conditioner will keep the leather soft and supple and the natural beauty of the  patina.  Leather Honey Leather Conditioner is my number one choice of leather conditioners.  It is non toxic, water repellent, controls mildew and leaves no oily residue.  I do recommend consulting the furnishings care label before using any conditioning product.


Leather Honey Leather Conditioner

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

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Knocking On The Door of 2018

Where did 2017 go?  I swear I blinked on January 1, 2017 and here we are knocking on the door of 2018.  New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing, but the plan for 2018 is to become brilliant at keeping a promise to self to appreciate more and more the value of time.

knocking on the door of 2018

Like most of the Lower 48, our New Year’s Eve and beyond forecast is for frigid temps and funky conditions.  I whined waited all Louisiana summer long for the arrival of Louisiana winter (basically what most of you call fall). Be careful what you ask for.  You just might get it.





Our Canadian snowbird son chuckles at our winter on steroids dilemma.  The newlywed couple is less than thrilled to be arriving back home from a sunny warm week in Mexico to home, sweet home Winnipeg and the blistering Canadian temps of -33°C /-27.4°F.

Ah, Grasshopper.  He, who chuckles first, chuckles coldest.


Edible provisions for our knocking on the door of 2018-New Year’s Eve-hunker down at home holiday weekend include Southern deviled eggs, pork tenderloin, oven roasted potatoes, the New Year’s Day traditional trifecta of black eyed peas, cabbage and buttermilk cornbread, several pots of strong Louisiana dark roast coffee, and a fresh carrot cake.

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

Great taste, good read.


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


I look forward with great anticipation to the beautiful and stylish things to come in 2018.  In vogue interior design and decor trends for 2018 run the gamut from terrazzo to color in the kitchen to velvet fabrics.  Gorgeous is in the forecast, and the look is hot.

home decor trends 2018

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

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