Places In The Home For The Holidays Thanksgiving Style

Making a list and checking it twice, Places In The Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving style.


Oops- wrong holiday song but right holiday action.

Thanksgiving-kitchen-graphicThere’s no time like now to get into the planning mode.  Buy now what is on seasonal sale, markdown or clearance. My cabinets runneth over with sale priced canned goods, spices and the Thanksgiving staple of all Thanksgiving staples, chicken broth. Holiday checklists come in so handy. Hey, the Places In The Home Holiday Helper Checklist pdf download is available for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner planning convenience.

thanksgiving-serving-guideThank you,  Whole Foods Market!

 The world will not come to an end if the rolls don’t rise and the gravy is lumpy.  It may, however, if the turkey doesn’t defrost.  There’s a video from Taste of Home magazine to help with that!

Relax, turn up the tunes and let’s Thanksgiving.

Company’s Coming: Friends and Family

Now We’re Cooking!

food is memories

Placesetting-682x1024Absolutely love this place setting idea from A Place for Us

The ingredients list for a memorable Thanksgiving celebration works off the cornucopia concept.

la102862_1107_gold_vertMartha Stewart

The day should overflow with an abundance of love, food, family, friends and gratefulness.


It’s Places In The Home for the holidays Thanksgiving style season once again.  I’ll be posting new and updated all things Thanksgiving and Holidays posts over these home for the holidays weeks featuring home decor, side dishes, desserts, gift ideas, advice and fun facts for the it’s the most wonderful time of the year decoristas!

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Let’s Talk Thanksgiving Turkey

It’s T-17 days until the first leg of the holiday season, Thanksgiving.  Speaking of a holiday leg, are you thinking Thanksgiving turkey yet?   Local grocery stores are preparing large areas in the freezers for the arrival of  this traditional dinner star, and I’ve got my eyes out for the sale circulars. Timing is a big consideration in regards to the Thanksgiving turkey.  We time the purchase, defrosting, roasting and serving of the bird.

Thanksgiving turkeyvia

In this pre-Thanksgiving dinner calm before the storm period, I am utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information.  I thought I might offer a few suggestions to lend a holiday helping hand.  Let’s talk turkey.

Roasting the Bird

Roast/bake the turkey at 325 °F using the chart as a guide for approximate roasting times.  The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.


I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan.  Traditions rule in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did requires a granite ware oval roaster. It speaks holiday to me…

granite-oval-roasterGranite Ware Oval Roaster

 but I could be swayed by this copper roasting pan beauty.

copper-roasting-panSur La Table

Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand!  Equally as important as a well-stocked holiday pantry is a well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen.




A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.

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Planning For The Holidays

Now that the calendar has turned to November I am no longer under obligation to avoid the elephant in the room.  I’ve contained my excitement long enough.  By all accounts we are in the presence of the Holidays, and I’m ready to get the planning, decorating, baking, cooking and tablescaping underway!   I don’t know about you, but I would have no problem settling in, getting cozy and planning for the holidays in this gorgeous space.

Laurel Nestvia

Holiday oversaturation is something I guess we all come in contact with in one way or another.  I came to better understand the commercial aspect of holiday shopping when the subject of holiday open house planning and prep rolled around. A beautifully crafted holiday celebration complete with decoration and culinary delights does not just happen overnight. Planning and budgeting for holiday gatherings and celebrations begins weeks in advance. When the first leaf hits the ground so do my feet.  I’m running full speed ahead straight towards fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

red vases

I find what works best for me is to evaluate what decorative and tabletop items will transition beautifully from holiday to holiday.  Take color palette choices for example.  A red vase filled with black roses used at Halloween can reinvent itself as an appropriate accent in complementing holiday color on both the Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescape.  Another wonderful option is to go with gold and silver accessories for the all important touch of elegance. I refer to the metals as the holiday neutrals.  Orange goes a long way as a color consideration for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating, but have you noticed the different shades of orange being used in all forms of Christmas decorating?  Verdant, eggplant, mocha and curry are also finding a place on the holiday color wheel.

jars with printable labels

The Kerr jars I used on my fall tablescape will soon be filled with homemade pear preserves and a dual decorative purpose for Thanksgiving.  These chalkboard style fall food gift labels designed by Lia Griffith and hosted by are designed for your own text.  I’m giving the pear preserves in decorated jars as “I’m thankful for you” gifts, and the  labels will serve as the place cards for our Thanksgiving tablescape.  Click on the image below to download the PDF.

chalkboard labelsvia

Over the next few weeks I hope you will join me for the Places In The Home For The Holidays series.

home for the holidays

I will be featuring  new and classic posts full of  home decor accessory resources, ideas, tips, talking all things turkey, recipes and helpful holiday suggestions for feathering and decorating your home for the holidays nest.

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Welcome Holiday Guests Not Holiday Stress

Stress is the enemy of a holiday good time, and that we just can’t have!  From the planned casual holiday soiree to the not so planned we saw your lights on holiday surprise drop-in, these stock items can cut the stress, welcome guests, ward off the holiday bah humflubug, and make things festive.

wreath on front doorvia

Let me share with you some of the staples I keep on hand and filed under tried-and-true stress free holiday entertaining ideas.

holiday liquid soapsvia

Mingle responsibly.  It’s not only the holidays, but the cold and flu season as well.

votive candlesvia

Votive candles instantly add that cozy and homey feel to the setting.  I don’t know if it’s the warmth they exude or the soft glow, but votive candles create a relaxing atmosphere.  Stock up on these home decor and entertaining staples.

stress free holiday entertaining ideasvia

Put out the welcome mat.  Head off mud, slush and dirt at the door.

alton brown hot cocoa recipevia

Festive need not be expensive.  The package sells the product, and a festive presentation impresses the harshest holiday critic.  My darling maternal grandmother taught me through her gracious example.  She loved Lady Borden Vanilla ice cream- her signature dessert offering.  She lived alone, and with single serving sizes not yet on the market, the large container ice cream would often fall victim to  freezer burn.  What the ice cream lacked in taste was more than made up in serving presentation.  She always served two scoops of Lady Borden Vanilla in a Fostoria American glass sherbet dish accompanied by a sterling silver ice cream spoon.

Christmas beverage

A simple white coffee or decorative holiday mug from the dollar store filled with hot cocoa and garnished with a peppermint stick and marshmallows or red hot apple cider garnished with a cinnamon stick is holiday comfort in a cup!  I recommend this recipe for homemade marshmallows from Thomas Keller’s  French Laundry Cookbook and a fitting Christmas video featuring Dean Martin’s version of A Marshmallow World.

Marshmallows (French Laundry)


3  envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin

½  cup cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups corn syrup

¼  cup water

¼  teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dredging


In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for 10 minutes.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Pour boiling syrup into gelatin and mix at high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. Add vanilla and incorporate into mixture. Scrape into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with oiled plastic wrap and spread evenly. (Note: Lightly oil hands and spatula or bowl scraper). After pouring marshmallow mixture into the pan, take another piece of plastic wrap and press mixture into the pan.

Let mixture sit for a few hours. Remove from pan, dredge the marshmallow slab with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 12 equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar.

Yield: 12 large marshmallows

holiday cookies

These tastes just like….  Homemade?  Girl Scout Thin Mints?  Like the ones my grandmother used to make?   That’s the idea!  These holiday cookies pack a powerful please and can be picked up at Dollar General, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Target.

1, 2, 3, 4

Baby, it’s cold outside.  I pick up two or three at a time when they are on holiday special, usually for $1.99.  This little touch of  homey and cozy is a big hit with our guests as we celebrate the holiday moments of our lives. I remove the wrapper and replace it with raffia, attach a holiday gift tag, and place them in a basket.  The inexpensive fleece throws make a nice holiday “from our home to yours” parting gift.  Hand them out to your guests to ward off the chill while watching a classic holiday movie or hanging out  listening to holiday music.   Let’s not forget that a holiday playlist queued up and ready to shuffle is always a hit.   Holiday music video #2~ 

Holiday get-togethers as well as the unexpected drop in visit often turn out to be a stress free and fun time. Stock up, de-stress and enjoy!

Places In The Home For The Holidays: Dining Room Decorating Ideas

I like dining room decorating ideas that deliver year round, classic, and wow factor beauty. I believe these home decor accents and accessories will do exactly that.  The magnificent mix and match movement continues to gather decorative momentum, and why not?  It’s the sure cure for boring interiors. Ever wonder why a table setting set with mismatched flatware makes such a visual impression? Unique and unconventional styling, different styles and finishes paired together, and furniture placement never fails to catch the eye.


Lillian August Gatewick Host and Side Chair from Lillian August Gatewick Side Chair 


Hooker Furniture Sanctuary 4 Door Console from Wayfair

The ribbons, pears and pomegranates design of this early 19th Century Aubusson panel from art1 epitomize the grace of the French motif.

You can’t go wrong with gold-rimmed white dinner plates from Dollar Tree. Neutral, classic, elegant, and affordable- now that’s striking entertaining gold.

To keep the emphasis on elegant affordability, may I suggest the Hampton Forge Sophia 20 piece flatware set from Target (online only).


I view charger plates as the picture frame of the total place setting picture.



I like to use key decorative foundation pieces in neutral colors. It justifies the initial investment for quality pieces, and makes it easier to use those pieces from holiday to holiday.


 Beautifully shine a little light on your holiday celebration with the help of elegant and affordable table lamps in year round style.



Serving pieces are the jewelry of holiday dining tables, buffets, and sideboards. Add magnolia leaves and a fresh green garland and let the impressive holiday dining season begin.


One of the best parts of holiday decorating is decking out the dining room in the colors and decor of the season.

Love your style!

Service With A Style: Serving Trays With Style

Serving trays have been on my mind over the past few weeks. One tends to give quite a bit of thought to food and drink presentation as she finds herself up to her spices during the season of cocktail parties, holiday open houses, and treat trays for neighbor and friends.  When it comes to entertaining and presentation, I take a mental inventory of the formal or informal aspect of the occasion. Pulling out all the stops with the bells and whistles on the frou-frou presentation express is more in line with the treat trays given for corporate gifts than with the cookies, candies, and hot coffee industrial sized goodie trays prepared for Dave the Builder and his engineering c0-w0rkers.  You’ve got to know your audience and the serving trays with style that corresponds to said audience.

Serving Trays With Stylevia

These serving trays with style fall somewhere between festive, fun and fabulous. That latter point is beautifully made by this gold gator tray.



An all occasion choice that can be dressed up or dressed down, acrylic trays are a clear and chic choice.

acrylic-traysWest Elm


 Triple treats! Thomas Paul Bazaar 3 Piece Giraffe Serving Tray Set




Food, friends, fun and games- the Arcade Spinner lazy susan tray from UncommonGoods is a winner.


This trough style tray serves two purposes in my opinion, one as tray and the other as centerpiece.

trough-trayDot & Bo

These designer inspired serving trays from Bellissimo are fabulous by design and designer.



A toast to casual formality fittingly describes this set of La Maison Du Chiarello Wood/ Metal Serving Trays fit for a late afternoon sip and style spread.


Going coastal is always in season!  It can be twenty below outside, but the mood and the vibe will warm right up when coastal themed decor accessories come to meet, greet and serve good eats!


Food presentation is indeed an expression of artistic talent.

artist-palette-cheese-trayArtist Palette Cheese Tray

Fresh fruits with a farmhouse twist anyone?


Stack and serve with these antique-finish wooden trays from H & M.


Outdoor entertaining tablescapes and cocktail carts are made for the casual and fun look of galvanized metal. These galvanized goodies from Pottery Barn keep the mood causally chic.


Unique serving trays with style add yet another element of visual flair to the art of food and beverage presentation.

Love your style!

Home For The Holidays: Table Settings And Sideboards

Table settings and sideboard ideas are the topic of the final installment in the Places In The Home Home For The Holidays series. It’s holiday time, joy is in the air, and help is here.  If you have followed this series I hope you have gathered helpful hints, tips and decorative ideas.


Click to Enlarge Image thanksgiving-table-settting-guideThanksgiving Etiquette Table Setting Guide

 Mixing flatware patterns instantly puts a unique twist on old favorites.  Step away from conventional ideas of absolute matching and mix things up for the eye a bit.

Southern Living

Napkin folding arrangements are a tablescape work of art.


Tabletop space can become very limited when entertaining, especially at holiday time.  It need not be a problem if there is a sideboard or buffet available. Begin by editing the existing accessories in order to free up the space. I  am practicing what I preach, and now our sideboard is set and ready for our Thanksgiving desserts.

Additional china, drinkware and table linens can be conveniently housed as well as flatware.

House to Home

 Natural centerpieces of seasonal branches, nuts, or fruit dress the sideboard for the celebration.

Country Living

The always elegant sideboard bar serves as the perfect cocktail accessory for entertaining, especially festive holiday entertaining.  Eggnog anyone?

House Beautiful

It’s hard to argue the beauty of both this sideboard and gorgeous holiday decoration. Stunning!


I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you the Places In The Home Home for the Holidays series.  I hope the information proves useful during the holidays.

 Love your style!