Chilled Black-Eyed Pea Salad

The Places In The Home summer salad series continues with a chilled salad recipe perfect for summer.  This recipe for Chilled Black-Eyed Pea salad will not disappoint.

Chilled Black-Eyed Pea Salad


2 cups dry black-eyed peas

6 cups water

1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon fine black pepper

1 medium bell pepper, chopped

1 celery rib, finely chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

½ cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 ½  teaspoon sea salt


Wash black-eyed peas. Drain black-eyed peas and place in a deep pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.

Drain off the water, add fresh water and return to burner.  Add powdered chicken bouillon flavor, garlic powder, and pepper.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and cover with slight vent.  Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender.  Drain off water and place peas in a large mixing bowl.  Allow to cool.

Chop bell pepper, celery, onion, green onions, tomatoes, and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk  together mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.  Season with sea salt and additional pepper to taste.

Pour into the vegetables and gently fold all ingredients together.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

I like a little salad with my pepper.



A West Coast Treat, A Turquoise Chair, A Designer’s Tips, And One Sensational Tenor: A Dallas, Texas Vacation

Do you trip report?  I like to keep the fun and memories of a memories of a getaway alive with a trip report.  Long before Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I was reduced to archaic methods of recording and reporting trip buffoonery.  A 35mm camera, a honking huge video camera, and a written trip report got the job done.  I definitely don’t miss the the video camera, kinda still like the pics from my 35mm camera, and will keep on keeping on with the trip reports.

Dallas, Texas vacationCity-Data

After running across pictures from our trip to Dallas last year, listening to one of my favorite singers on Spotify, and getting a big old Texas kick out of the new Dallas on TNT,  I’ve got memories from last year’s Dallas trip on my mind.

American Airlines Center

Our son called from the Great White North to inform us he was coming home for a visit.  We will now be three for the trip over to Dallas to see the performer I refer to as  “the voice”  in concert at American Airlines Center.


The son quickly informed the mother he would be sitting this one out- the concert, not the trip.  In spite of how health conscious and diet minded he is, he had his taste buds set for a west coast treat recently new to Texas. More on that later.


“The Voice” is the incomparable Josh Groban.


On our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Las Vegas,  I had the pleasure of being introduced to the beautiful song “February Song” by Josh Groban.


Chill bumps!  When he announced he would be touring in 2011, I kept my eye out for the dates.  I zeroed in on a Dallas, Texas vacation, waited for the tickets to go on sale, and starting planning the trip.


The concert was fantastic!  The pictures not so much, but you get the general idea.

I discovered a love of turquoise cowhide chairs while we were in Dallas. When in Rome and Dallas, as they say. While watching Good Morning Texas, I learned Vern Yip of HGTV’s Design Star and Bang For Your Buck was in Dallas on a promotional tour.  Our schedule was not permitting me to attend, but my ever handy notebook and pen got an early morning workout.  I sipped strong Texas coffee, paid close attention, and jotted down his home decor advice, suggestions, and tips.


From my notes :

Design don’t: do not buy things in sets.

Trend: vintage salvage.

Hot colors of summer 2011 will be turquoise and honeysuckle.

Curtain lengths should hit the floor.

Hang pictures at eye level.

Good interior design and home decor information. I knew I liked that turquoise cowhide chair.

California based In-N-Out Burger was the reason for our son’s excitement about our Dallas trip. Yes, they are that good!  One of our favorite Saturday night Vegas traditions was seeing the show Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay, followed by a gourmet dinner fit for a dancing queen and her man at In-N-Out Burger.

Our trip to Dallas satisfied our son’s In-N-Out Burger craving, marked seeing Josh Groban live in concert off my bucket list, and gave Dave the Builder the opportunity to brush up on his tour guide skills.  Load ’em up! I’m ready to hit the holiday road to the Big D again.



Lovely Lantern Light Fixtures

Dream House StudiosWhether brilliantly hanging  in the center of the room, strategically and stylishly placed as an accent, or on top of a lamp post, lovely lantern light fixtures remain classic and elegant home decor choices for interior and exterior spaces.

flame street lampPinterest

Traditional Home

A red pineapple lantern and lacquered Italian armchairs make an excellent argument for the ever popular pop of color.

Home Bunch

Stairway to flawless elegance.

jj locations

Tobi Fairley strikes interior design gold, and black, and white, and red, and red-orange.  Color combination divine!

Traditional Home

An antique round pedestal center table becomes a stunning muse for the iron foyer lantern.  I really like the look of the lantern, and the way it is hung slightly lower than a conventional hanging height.

House Beautiful

Dream House Studios

Dream House Studios

Copper. How I do love thee.

Traditional Home

The crowning glory of this look  is without a doubt the lantern chandelier.


Style at Home

Three lovely lantern light fixtures all in a row add such unique detail to this outdoor space reminiscent of classic Hollywood, cocktails at the pool, and lush gardens.


Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

The neutral palette and wide crown molding complement the dark finish of this hanging lantern.


Hayburn and Co

Lantern chandeliers easily conform to any decor.  A lovely and logical explanation as to why they remain a popular home decor choice.



Chicken Salad,Tomato, Peach And Avocado Stacks With Peach Puree

The summer salad series rolls on with this delectable dish.  Chicken Salad, Tomato, Peach and Avocado Stacks with Peach Puree is a fresh, light and made for summer days dish.


Chicken Salad, Tomato, Peach And Avocado Stacks With Peach Puree


For Chicken Salad:

4  skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1-1 ½  teaspoons teaspoon salt

1  teaspoon fine black or white pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

4  teaspoons celery seed

½ – 1  cup  mayonnaise

For Peach Avocado Salad:

6  medium peaches, peeled and chopped

zest of  1 lemon or 1 orange

1-2  Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1  Tablespoon honey

3  medium avocados, diced

3  Roma tomatoes

3  green onions, chopped

fresh parsley

salt- I prefer Kosher or sea salt.

fine black or white pepper


For Chicken Salad:

Place chicken breasts in large pot. Cover with water.  Add salt,  pepper, onion powder, and 2 teaspoons celery seed.  Bring to boil over high heat.

Lower heat to medium-high and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until completely done with no red or pink.  Add more water if needed. Remove chicken from water and place into large mixing bowl.


Use a knife and fork to shred chicken. For a little zip of fresh, I like to add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Now it’s ready for 2 teaspoons celery seed and any additional salt and pepper to your liking.  Begin with stirring in ½ cup mayonnaise to coat chicken. I always begin with only ½ cup mayonnaise, and add additional if needed.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve cold.

For Peach & Avocado Salad:


Peel and chop peaches. Stir together peaches with  fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add ½ cup peaches and 1 Tablespoon honey together in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Season with Kosher or sea salt and fine black or white pepper to taste.  Peel and dice the avocados. Chop the green onions and fresh parsley, and slice tomatoes.  If you want to stack the layers in a rounded presentation, an empty tuna can thoroughly washed and with the top and bottom lids removed is a great round form.


For the first layer, arrange tomato slices, green onion, and fresh parsley on chilled plate.  Lightly pepper to taste.  For the second layer: spoon 2 Tablespoons peach puree around the tomatoes, green onions and parsley.


Next, top tomatoes, green onions, and parsley layer with  2 Tablespoons diced avocados and ½ cup of the chopped peaches. Sprinkle with Kosher salt to taste.  Add ½ cup chicken salad and top with desired amount of green onions and chopped fresh parsley. Repeat steps for each individual serving.  Serves 6.


Street Cred & First Impressions: Create Curb Appeal

Interiors float my boat, but it is crucial to the overall design to create curb appeal.  What is the first thing seen by neighbors, guests or potential buyers?  The back of the house may be the brains, but the front is the decorative brawn.



Summer seems as good as time as any to spruce things up around the old homestead.  Let’s look at a few big impact, small investment ways to create curb appeal around the old homestead.

create curb appeal

Shut the front door fabulous is not difficult or expensive to achieve. Painting an existing front door is a sure way to create curb appeal.  Color guarantees instant paintifcation will come knocking.


Erica Burns Interiors

A decorative entry door kick plate, door bell, house number display, and door hardware

curb-appeal-brass-kick-plateBetter Homes and Gardens


The Pineapple is widely regarded as a sign of hospitality.  Let welcome ring!


P2 Design

Knock, Knock!  Who’s there?  Theodore!  Theodore who?  Theodore knocker is beautiful!  A door knocker is a great way to enhance the look of an exterior entry door.


A new or refreshed mailbox will garner street cred aka curb worthy attention.  Spray paint is the power tool to keep stocked in your DIY home projects toolkit.  It has the power to affordably transform items into stylish home decor. There are at least 50 shades of flat, gloss or metallic gray and other colors that can invite a pop of color to the street party.


Sarah Berry – DecorPad

I want to share two inexpensive outdoor planter ideas that will add color and unique individuality to your front porch and walkways.  First up- clay pots painted with spray paint.  Bright pops of color go so well with your annuals, perennials, herbs or ferns.


Your favorites will stand out against the backdrop of a clay pot painted with chalkboard spray paint, flat, hammered, gloss or metallic spray paint.



Curb appeal is not strictly a spring or summer consideration.  As seasons change, so do outdoor decor options.  I like to suggest items that make the transition from season to season while sparing the pocketbook.

Beachcrest-Home-Meriden-Indoor-Outdoor-Throw-PillowMeridian Indoor/Outdoor Pillow

Bright colors with a whimsical twist take to a summer color palette, but they also keep beautiful company with the deep, rich tones of fall outdoor accessories.


Creslow Outdoor Throw Pillow

Toss an outdoor throw pillow in seasonal colors here and plant a full of fall color croton there, and you’ll effectively and affordably warm up the place without missing a beat.


Exterior lighting adds ambiance, direction, and safety to an entryway. Solar walkway lights, landscape lighting, hanging lanterns, and sidelights can be found at home improvement and discount retail stores in a large variety of finishes to coordinate with the style flow you are trying to achieve.

Dering Hall

Shutters and trim hardware frame windows in additional exterior wow factor.   


Southern Living

Love the look of board-and-batten shutters trimmed out with forged iron shutter dogs!


There’s no better time than curb appeal o’clock to put a fresh coat of paint on the brick, soffit, fascia, shakes and shutters.  Weekend paint party, anyone?


First impressions are lasting impressions.  Small investments to the front of the house that create curb appeal will bring impressive results and big returns.

A Home Decor & Remodelista Show & Tell: Apartment Guide Your Picks Your Place Sweepstakes

I received an email asking me if I would like to spread the word to my readers about the Apartment Guide Your Picks Your Place Sweepstakes. Sure! What home decor aficionado~home remodelista wouldn’t love to further their home improvement knowledge, and the chance to win a $10,000 grand prize?   The sweepstakes focuses on home improvement, and features weekly prizes to help both experts and beginners update their spaces. One lucky winner will also receive a $10,000 grand prize.  I think this qualifies as a newsworthy home decor show & tell!

Is your place in need of a style update?  Apartment Guide has partnered with TV host and design expert Kim Myles for the second annual Apartment Guide “Your Picks. Your Place.” You can enter now for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes to go towards your own selections for your home. You can visit YourPicks. and vote daily for your favorite room design.  From now until August 14th, you can enter to win the $10,000 grand prize or one of eight weekly $250 prizes. The site will feature four different room designs every two weeks.  By voting, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of eight $250 weekly prizes to go toward your own selections for your home.

Also, throughout the sweepstakes Kim will be sharing budget-friendly and easy-to-implement decor ideas. Below, I have included her top 10 tips for renters.

Small Investment, Big Impact:

Top 10 Design Tips for the Commitment-Phobe from Kim Myles

1.  Use fabric and wallpaper in unexpected ways by framing and hanging pieces to add pops of color and interest to bare walls.

2.  Add a big rug to inject color and pattern into a space.  Don’t be afraid to put carpet on top of carpet.

3.  Divide a room and add color using a folding screen that can also provide extra storage space behind it.

4.  Transition your dining area for a dinner party using items on hand.  Empty wine bottles and tapered candles can become a DIY candelabra, and flowers or leaves from the outdoors can become instant centerpieces.

5.  Choose foundation items like couches in neutral colors so that you can update your decor easily over time with patterned pillows, colored accent chairs and unique wall art.

6.  No headboard? No problem. Create your own using a stenciled canvas or a reclaimed item like an old mantle.

7.  Hang shelves from a single bar installed near the ceiling to minimize wall damage and take advantage of vertical storage space.

8.  Mirrors should be in everyone’s decor tool kit. Cluster groups of smaller mirrors together on a wall to add glamour without the investment of a big piece.

9.  Make furniture work to live in your space.  Choose items that provide extra hidden storage and users, like storage ottomans that double as coffee tables, sleeper sofas and bookcases with bins.

10.  Create a floating wall by hanging a floor-to-ceiling curtain from a rod hung from the ceiling, and just one foot out from a bare wall.  Fill in the space with shelves or large items such as bikes.

Our son called this week with exciting news- he signed the lease on a house. I remember how excited we were when we leased our first house, which eventually we purchased. Good times!  Kim Myles Top 10 Design Tips is timely and good information.

Take a look at the Your Picks. Your Place. Sweepstakes if it piques your interest.  Good luck, and if you do enter and win, please share it with us!






Disclosure:  I have not been compensated in any way for this post.


Introducing New Finds & Keeping Old Favorites: Stylish Decor With The Accent On Decorative Chairs

As styles and tastes change, it becomes important to update favorite posts. Parts of this refreshed post are taken from the original one written last October featuring decorative chairs.

accent chairsPeriod Living

I thought about doing an entirely new post, but I still love some of these accent chairs as much today.  No need to throw out the baby with the bath water.

accent chair Traditional HomeTraditional Home

Accent chairs are my home decor weakness. I get all giddy over a good chair.  Unique accent chairs are like a classic piece of jewelry that stunningly completes an outfit.   It can be one particular feature of an accent chair or the total package that classifies it as unique. The form, upholstery and custom features may work together or stand alone to create the lure of home decor attraction. I like an accent piece with style, purpose and function.  Accent chairs characterize all three, and are a nice way to update and complement a space.


Wild Chairy

I am wild about the line of chairs from Wild Chairy.  Andrea Mihalik’s imaginative designs and use of fabrics brilliantly transforms salvaged vintage furniture into must have works of art.


The acrylic Marilyn arm chair from Global Views took fall market by storm. Gorgeous!

bergere chairEloquence

Putting together my latest presentation gives me the opportunity to indulge my chair obsession.  I thought I would share with you a selection of extravagant, unique and stylish finds for your viewing pleasure.  The Amelie Rose Bergere by Eloquence is a timeless style.  The Gray Hemp tufted upholstery and washed white wooden legs edify a neutral palette, and will definitely complement any decor.

George I pine chair


The look and the provenance of this George I Pine stained hall chair, circa 1720 from the estate of  the late Dodie Rosekrans is flawless. The set of eight was included in the Sotheby’s auction of the collection of Mrs. Rosekrans.


MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market outdoor chair is fabulously funky and elegantly eclectic all in one colorful chair.


Black and white houndstooth is a classic and distinctive textile pattern. The traditional elegance of black and white houndstooth is a stunning complement to this Ball and Claw English wing chair from 1stdibs.  The chair is rather Mad Men with a pinch of traditional form and a dash of modern flair.

anthropologie wing chair

Oly Studio gets the wow factor right with their hand carved Sophie lounge chair.  The faux zebra used is a stamped hide and has natural variations and markings.

oly studio zebra chairKathy Kuo Home

Antique white chalk finish and nail heads complete the flawless design features.  Gorgeous!

Jesi Arm Chair by Ebanista

Rattan and wicker chairs are a decorative chameleon in the best of ways. They have the ability to fit in with traditional, modern or vintage decors.

rattan-dining-chairsRestoration Hardware

I like this option for a home office or study.  The  white wash finish of the Isabelle club chair from Noir does not read too neutral nor does the burlap fabric.

club chairf

Nailheads accentuate the patina of the wood and add a classic finishing touch. I’ll take two, please.

sandblasted white chair

The wow is in the character and the details of the hand-carved Rajasthan Chair in sandblasted white. The finish is light yet deep-very complementary to farmhouse chic style, the ooh la la factor, and the decorative oomph.


I call this set the Vanessa Williams chairs because I went and saved the best for last.  It comes in as the best for one reason and one reason only- unique details. Unique with fabulous function puts the stylish accent on accent chairs.