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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Treasures On The Tree: Christmas Ornaments



beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Let’s take a look at the history of Christmas ornaments, shall we?


History shows the decorations used to trim and bedeck Christmas trees included white candy canes, fresh apples and pastries shaped in the likeness of flowers, hearts and stars.  Garlands of glass beads, tin figures and the famous glass bauble made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner captured the eyes and the hearts of admirers.  Artisans crafted the original ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts.


William DeMuth created the first American-made glass ornaments in 1870.  American businessman F. W. Woolworth discovered glass bauble ornaments on his travels to Laucscha, Germany in the 1880s subsequently importing the Lauscha ornaments to the United States.

Germany-glass-ornament32° North

The F. W. Woolworth Company went national in 1910 with 1000+ stores introducing glass Christmas ornaments into its inventory.  Over the 20th century, Woolworth’s would import 200,000 Christmas ornaments and top $25 million in sales from Christmas decorations.

christmas ornaments

Over the last decade, decorating the Christmas tree has become more than strictly a holiday ritual and more of a trip down memory lane starring Christmas ornaments notably in what Christmas means to me magnificence.


Small in size, but oh-so-large in representation of our individual style, personal interests, defining milestones, landmark events, choice destinations, memories of yesteryear;  Christmas ornaments become delicate, shiny, glittery and wonderful winter wonderland pieces to add to or start a these are a few of my favorite things collection.

Snow-Great-Smoky-Mountains-National-ParkGreat Smoky Mountains National Park  ~  Photo by Nick Yarnell

East Tennessee is our second home, and even though we will spend Christmas at home in Louisiana, the GSMNP ornament will allow us to be home for Christmas if only in our Great Smoky Mountains National Park dreams.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Load ’em up and let’s hit the slopes memories.

ornament_ski_gondolaSki Gondola 

Winnipeg- JetsWinnipeg Jets

The newlywed Canadian snowbirds eat, sleep and drink all things hockey, namely, the Winnipeg Jets.


This one’s for y’all or  celui-ci est pour vous tous.


Instead of the traditional our first Christmas ornament denoting the happy couple’s first Christmas together as man and wife, I thought I’d go in a different direction.


The food truck was a huge hit at their wedding reception, and a food truck ornament serves as an appropriate token of their make it our own style.


Christmas ornaments somehow become more than objects of beauty, they become ornamental objects of ourselves and treasures from our lives and the lives of those we love.

Houmas HouseHoumas House

Now for an array of Christmas ornaments celebrating the food, music, landmarks and culture of Louisiana  and ones that capture the essence of the there’s no place like home for the holidays sentiment.


Dagmara Landscape Printed Glass Ball Ornament

I fell in love with the Dagmara landscape printed glass ball ornament at first sight.  Monochrome topography fittingly depicts a scene reminiscent of the homes, buildings and churches along the parish roads and bayous of Louisiana.

Flying_pelican_grand_bayBrown Pelicans


Kitty Keller Designs Cloisonne State of Louisiana 

The announcement of Ultra Violet as Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 coordinates with the holiday color fest.


A splash of non-traditional color livens the look, and complements the colors featured in the all I want for Christmas Limoges oyster plate and oyster ornament.


Hand Painted Limoges Plate With Sea Oyster Shell Decoration


Old World Christmas Oyster with Pearl Glass Blown Ornament

Beignets_and_Café_au_Lait_at_Café_du_Monde,_New_OrleansBeignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde

Beignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde is a delicious New Orleans tradition.


Coffee and Beignets New Orleans Christmas Ornament 

Our pets are members of our family.  Sadie the black Labrador Retriever and Beau the white German shepherd keep our nephews company on the hunt.



German Shepherd


Creativity and color make up a large part of my day, every day.


French Artist Oil Paint Palette

It’s a color your world Christmas.

ornament-artist-paletteOld World Christmas Artist’s Palette Glass Blown Ornament

The piney woods are well-represented through adorned packages in shades of blush, gray, and gold wrapped to impress.


Decorate your Christmas tree as you would your home- with a sense of you.

Love your style!


Places In The Home: In The Spirit of The Twelve Days of Christmas

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.

twelve days of Christmas

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).

Okay, I’ve got it.

This is mama.

This is mamaw.

And that is mama two.

There’s only one mama, silly.

Alas, the intended became the literal, and a lovely Christmas story to boot.


On the seventh, eighth and ninth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me

melted butter, sugar and spice


fresh coconut, fresh apples and fresh Louisiana pecans.


On the tenth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me

the sending to and receiving from neighbors, friends and family Christmas cards of season’s greetings.


On the eleventh day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me

twelve days of Christmas color, texture and pattern.


On the twelfth day of Christmas my idea of true Christmas traditions sent to me

friends who are the jewels of life.


Merry Christmas, friends!

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Our Home For The Holidays

Happy Holidays friends!  We are T-3 to Christmas 2015, and the joy of the season is electric by way of white Christmas lights and treasured traditions.   Welcome to our Home for the Holidays where the theme of comfort and simplicity is well represented.


Our tour is of the dining room and the part of the foyer decked for the holidays. The dining room, a forever work in progress, has seen several design and decor changes in 2015, and will continue to see more in 2016.  The walls are devoid of artwork (the piece you see in this photo is part of the kitchen gallery wall) and the style jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision on accent rug vs. hardwood floors.  The dining room isn’t the only space getting a makeover.  My Mother’s Day gift from our son was paying for the new wallpaper I fell in love with at first sight but took several months to decide if I really had to have it. Turns out I did. Dave the Builder began the project, but real life obligations and unexpected circumstances stepped in and halted the foyer beautification project.  Patience is not only a virtue it is a necessary tool of the trade in design and decorating.


On the Monday before Christmas, my true love gave to me.  A single Santa leopard-ing


and a Christmas goose in the foyer displayed in front of the new zebra wallpaper sitting pretty (pronounce it prit-tee and it rhymes with tree.  Get it?  Partridge. Pear Tree).


A  holiday table centerpiece of magnolia leaves and holly is indeed so Southern, so holiday, so easy and so beautiful.



Bob’s Sweet Stripes as swizzle sticks and crystal finial ornaments as wine charms? You bet!


I purchased these vintage mini framed Madonna prints for my kitchen gallery wall.


Inspiration is everywhere.


The subject matter is holiday appropriate, and the petite size of the framed prints sealed the DIY deal.  Napkin rings it is!



I have collected Victorian inspired Santa Claus figurines for years.  Due to the epic move aka the gift that keeps on giving, combining two households into one and the renovation of my childhood home into our new to us home, most of my Santa collection now resides in climate controlled storage.  These inexpensive stand-in Santas have no great provenance or famous artist signature assigned to them, but I do love the colors and facial features of these old world replicas.


A picture is worth a thousand words, and this perfectly imperfect image serves as a visual reminder of my personal design and decorating philosophy.  Perfection, style and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The life lived within a home comes alive through personal style and taste, and there is nothing more gorgeous than a home that beautifully illustrates personal style lives here.  Design and decorate it with a sense of you!


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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A Seasonal Blend Of Old World And Modern Day Holiday Decors

Christmas In Provence and Eastern Europe comes to life through the pages of Art & Décoration and Campagne Decoration.  These wonderful publications feature two stunning homes in their holiday issues.  The first of these features takes the reader on a private tour of the Chateau d’Ansouis.  Steeped in history and dating back to the thirteenth century, Château d’Ansouis overlooks the village of Ansouis and the valley of the Aigues.

Ownership of Château d’Ansouis has shuffled through the centuries. Owned since the tenth century by the powerful house of Forcalquier, the medieval fortress was next sold to Ansouis Zosimus-Elzear-Louis, Duke of Sabran in 1836.  Elzear de Sabran and his wife Delphine. Honorably devoted to the causes of the poor resulted in Elzear being canonized and Delphine beatified in 1369.  In January 2008, Gérard and Frédérique Rousset-Rouvière acquired Château d’Ansouis and a refined renovation soon began. Designer Jean-Jacques Bourgeois was brought on board and the beauty is in the details now more than ever, but especially at the holidays.

The arms of Sabran with diamond points grace the entryway.  Lanterns and candlelight greet visitors in quaint and quiet splendor reminiscent of old world charm.

Soft candlelight in the stone stairway from the rows of candles, lantern, and wall table festively light the way to summer, the terracotta statue standing in the niche on the landing.


An exquisite interpretation of the list of thirteen traditional Provencal Christmas desserts is represented in grand detail.  Mandarins, candied fruits, dates, dried apricots, chocolate and fresh grapes sit beautifully displayed between crystal candelabras atop a marble top buffet.

Eighteenth century antiquities set the tone for holiday dining with a festive, yet understated tablescape.  After midnight mass on Christmas Eve, a gourmet meal of  roasts, turkey and wines from Provence precedes the famous thirteen desserts.  The thirteen desserts stand in remembrance of the Last Supper with Jesus surrounded by his twelve apostles.  The Murano glass chandelier is stunning, as is the mantel and eighteenth century Rocaille.

The Grand Salon Rocaille, the 18th-century style of plaster-work featuring elaborately stylized shell-like, rocklike, and scroll motifs, is ranked among the best of Provence.  The painted almond green walls are original to the decor.

Excuse me while I gain my composure after swooning over what I can only describe as an armoire cupboard.  The contrast of the rich walnut armoire and original green patina of the interior cupboard is a Provincial design masterpiece.

Christmas en Provence are very traditional gatherings of  family and community. The celebration begins with a vigil of songs, hymns and stories and concludes with gifts being handed out. The Big Dinner is a meatless meal held before midnight mass on Christmas Eve.  The traditional table is set on three white tablecloths removed successively during the meal and adorned with three large white candles which represent the Trinity.  Copper utensils and Moustiers earthenware shine as characteristically French features of an understated, utilitarian beauty.

The second feature has us shifting gears from historically traditional to whimsical wonder represented through warmth, color, and texture.  This nineteenth century mansion of Slavic origin stands amidst a village in the north of the Ile-de-France. The dining room crystal chandelier and glass mercurisées reflect the reds, metals, and magentas of the holiday decor. My eyes immediately widen in decor amazement at first glance of the magenta branches on the mantel and the Reindeer skin draped garden chairs.

‘Tis the season for color, texture, velvet, silk, ribbons, embroidery and florals.

A lone display works as the perfect compliment to the whimsical decor~ a Christmas cuckoo clock with mushroom glass mercurisé.

Accessories inspire the gift of creativity.

Old world and modern day traditions at Christmas, both celebrated and decorated in other parts of our world, fittingly represent history, culture, and design.  The beauty, joy, and traditions of the season translate well.

Love your style!





Château d’Ansouis photo source: via

Nineteenth century mansion photo source: via



The Christmas Ornament Express

Finding Christmas ornaments to express individuality and to keep through the years is another tradition in the making. Christmas ornaments somehow become more than objects of beauty, they become ornamental objects of ourselves, times gone by, and treasures from our lives and the lives of those we love. I think of my favorites as the ornamental pages from the dictionary of me.

The beauty of copper for the chef in all of us. Sur la table: $6.96 each

 Spectacular colors and vision reminiscent of another Star so bright. Starry, starry night: $12.50

For the festive fashionistas and style mavens, an Origami Star Ornament in classic houndstooth pattern brings style to the tree. $9.75

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store  does its part to keep us in Heels and Holidays. $135 complete set of seven(7).

An original design and unique in presence is this  handmade spun cotton bull terrier ornament by Old World Primitives. Spun cotton is a craft that dates back to the late 1800s with origins in Germany. Dressed to impress in an ensemble of hand dyed light blue crepe paper pants with a white crepe paper waistband. This gent is impressively embellished with three sky blue seed bead buttons, and carries a real mini pine cone. He is tea stained which gives him an antique appearance, and completed with a reproduction Victorian paper scrap bull terrier dog face. The bull terrier dog ornament is approximately 4 1/2″ tall, and each are signed and dated. $28

Joyeux Noel and festive French frivolity. Antique reproduction Pierrot from French Garden House: $22

Created by noted floral designer Matt Wood, the crystal-encrusted Williamsburg® Set of 4 Regency Egg Ornaments  are regal reminders of  the motif  of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Collections,  and currently used in the holiday displays at the Williamsburg Inn. Frontgate exclusively offers the hand painted, mouth-blown set of 4 glass ornaments. $69.50

The iridescent blue-green colors unique to the unmistakable beauty of the peacock are well represented in this one of a kind ornament.  Gray Cat Ornaments: $24.75

May all your Christmas wishes come true with this handmade 24 karat gold plated wishbone ornament from Lunares Home : $15

The beauty of nature and an old-fashioned Christmas is captured in this handcrafted pinecone-textured mercury glass ornament in antiqued copper.  Crate & Barrel: $2.36

Christmas ornaments range in varied themes, materials, and meanings. The evolution of their beauty over the years only serves to benefit the stylish wonder they bring to so many of their admirers.





O Christmas Tree! Your Designer, Luscious, Unique, Vintage, Fun, Funky, Classic And Bare Branches Delight Us!

Exceptional and inspiring Christmas tree decoration ideas are wonderful by-products of holiday decorating.

House & Home

These unique interpretations of the season speak magnificently for themselves, and hopefully offer unique and inspiring Christmas tree decoration ideas.

Christmas Tree decoration ideasBallard Designs

On the first day of Christmas…

Ornaments inspired by nature adorn the branches of a pear tree uniquely positioned in this formal living room.


All wrapped up in gray silk and delicate delight.

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 

Dressed to impress for the season.

dress form Christmas tree

Polished Polish perfection in glimmering shades of gold.


Martha Stewart 

Victorian inspired in winter white and pretty pastels.


Charlie Brown, your grown-up Christmas tree is beautifully displayed in Traditional Home.

Traditional Home

Apple’s chief design officer, Sir Jony Ive, and industrial designer, Marc Newson create Christmas wonder at Claridge’s.


 All I want for Christmas is a pop of color.

House to Home

Vintage collections upon the tree and shelves-

Traditional Home

Cookies, ribbon candy, and gumdrops along with strings of popcorn and cranberries evoke memories of Christmas past.

House Beautiful

Lemons with gold cast a pristine presence and natural beauty.

lemon-christmas-treeMidwest Living

Pencil trees in pairs and pattern.


Traditional Home

There is something so festive about monkeying around in a pink room.


Tobi Fairley


Ritz Carlton 

A glowing review for this circa 1946 photograph of Charles Eames, designer extraordinaire, with a Christmas tree made of molded plywood chair legs.


All that glitters is gorgeous, grapevine and gold gilt.


 Festively flocked and perfectly perched.


House and Home

All the colors of the festive foyer accessories are represented in this tabletop Christmas tree.  Less can be so much more.


In all its traditional regal red and gorgeous gold glory.


Traditional Home

Pages as leaves, words as inspiration, simplicity as beauty.


Fresh greens, candlelight, and a skirt of apples eloquently convey the message step into Christmas!

Traditional Home