Happy New Year 2019

Ringing out the old year and ringing in Happy New Year 2019 in style with a performance of Auld Lang Syne by the legendary Rod Stewart.

Talk about classic style!

Robert Burns’ Scottish poem written in 1788 and set to a Scots folk melody, Auld Lang Syne is the traditional musical ode to New Year recollecting events over the year, thoughts of old friendships, nostalgia, old times, and days gone by.

As seen in the video, the long standing Scottish tradition is to sing Auld Lang Syne just before the stroke of midnight with everyone sitting or standing in a circle holding hands, arms crossed so their left hand is holding the hand of the person on their right, and their right hand that of the person to their left.

Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians popularized Auld Lang Syne as it became the traditional song of New Year played immediately after the ball drop in Times Square.

Guy-Lombardo

My sister-in-law, a staunch New Year’s traditionalist, rings in the New Year with a Happy New Year phone call to us complete with Guy Lombardo’s version of Auld Lang Syne playing in the background.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
for auld lang syne, 
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, 
for auld lang syne.

Dave and I wish each of you a very Happy New Year 2019!

May New Year 2019 bring you joy, health, blessings, happiness, good fortune, inspired projects, and beautiful surroundings.

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Merry Christmas 2018

Dave and I wish each of you a bright, blessed and Merry Christmas 2018.

Merry Christmas 2018

May you enjoy the beauty of Christmas in the presence of love, joyous occasion, bountiful blessings, delicious delights, and spectacular style.

We consider it an honor that you choose to spend time at Places In The Home, and we send you love from our home to yours.

signature

Pretty Pictures, Ribbons, and Busy Days Before Christmas

Pretty pictures, ribbons, and busy days before Christmas puts the wonderful in it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Busy times bring happy holiday times, so let’s get this party cracking.

let's-get-this-party-cracking

Is your Christmas list of things to do wrapped up with a big bow on it?  Mine is not as there’s still things to do, presents to wrap (Merry Christmas, fellow present wrapping procrastinators), goodies to bake and box, gifts to deliver, and halls to deck.

norman-rockwell-Christmas

I liken the last few days before Christmas to that of a fabulous performance, building to a crescendo of epic and joyous volume.

Music is an integral part of my daily routine, even more so when it comes to the holiday jingle all the way.  Traditional tunes make the playlist, but discovering new holiday songs and new arrangements of old favorites is a gift all its own.

smooth-jazz

I’m streaming Smooth Jazz JJZ on iHeart radio, loving the holiday songs from Dave Koz, Luther Vandross, Tony Bennett, Joyce Cooling, Rick Braun, Boney James, Gerald Albright, John Tesh, Diana Krall, Mannheim Steamroller, and the incomparable music from my friend, Chris Botti.

I don’t believe I’ve ever shared with you all how my fan to friend relationship with Chris Botti began.

Chris Botti-1

Dave the Builder and I were on our way to yes, you guessed it.  Las Vegas.

Part of the fun is in the pre trip prep, so before our trips out to America’s Playground I would stream the Las Vegas smooth jazz station (changed format, no longer a listener) to set the mood and the tone.

I learned from listening that the station was sponsoring and promoting an evening of smooth jazz set to air air on the local Vegas PBS station and hosted by Chris Botti.  I checked to see if we would be in town on the night it was set to air, and to my delight it was on arrival night.

Being a regular to Vegas coupled with the fact we would be in town eight nights, as my dad used to say, Vegas does not close.  I knew I wanted to watch the special, so I told Dave I thought I would spend the first evening in, order room service, and take in the show.

Dave confirmed he was not expected to do the same, trying his best to hide his thank goodness glee.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)

We had a small, but unhurried layover at Bush Intercontinental Houston.  Dave popped into a store for something or other, and I walked on down to the gate area.  I was half looking over my shoulder, half checking out our fellow travelers, when I noticed a guy walking by carrying a soft instrument case over his shoulder.

You know how when at first you don’t recognize someone, but after a few minutes you realize hey, that’s _________.  The hey, that’s ________ turned out to be Chris Botti.

When Dave strolled up to the boarding lounge, I asked him if he recognized the guy down at the end of the gate area.

No.  Who is it?

It’s Chris Botti.

Are you sure?

Yes, I’m sure.

Is he on our flight?

It took me less than a second to process the situation and put two and two together.  Smooth jazz American classic trumpeter extraordinaire, staunch supporter of PBS, hosting gig in Vegas this evening- yes, I do believe he is.

The boarding call for first class passengers goes out, and one Mr. Chris Botti heads that way.  When the boarding call for coach passengers rows this through that is announced here we go.

Upon boarding I spot the jazz man sitting in back row left window in first class talking on his phone.   Dave and I settle when fan to friend inspiration hits me.  I retrieve my printed boarding pass from my briefcase, turn it over, and write a note to one Chris Botti.  I spot the flight attendant and motion for him to come see.

“Would you mind giving this note to the blond hair gentleman in the back row left window seat in first class?”

The flight attendant was happy to be a player in my flashback to grammar school note passing caper.  I put in the note my plans to watch the special, and it would be among one of the more special dinner and a show-Welcome to Las Vegas evenings.

Not long after reaching cruising altitude, the flight attendant came by our row with a message.

“The gentleman said to tell you he would meet you in baggage claim at McCarran.”

Excited to say the least, I was looking forward to our impending face to face meeting.  Somewhere between the four corners and the ending of the movie, Dave the Builder announces “here comes Chris Botti.”

Chris came back to meet and greet, and thank me for my support of PBS and the smooth jazz artist community.

We gabbed for several minutes, met again and gabbed some more in baggage claim at McCarran.  Emails, conversations, and concert meetings find us here almost thirteen years later.

I hit the fan to friend jackpot for sure.

Christmas-Menu

Now on to the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menu at Places In The Home portion of the show and tell..

Our Christmas Eve traditional come casual, come comfortable, come hungry get together is super laid-back.  The menu is simple comfort food.

The no-fuss plan places me in the middle of the fun instead of in the kitchen all evening.

Been there, done that at Thanksgiving.

hamburger-pattiesWho doesn’t love hamburgers cooked low and slow?  This group surely does, and the requests to “make them like Reed & Bell” is one this cook aims for.

Reed-Bell-Drive-InJohn Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Reed & Bell Drive-In was a hometown hamburger and cold frosted root beer institution.  Reed & Bell hamburger patties had a crisp edge, and the top of the buns were lightly brushed with hamburger grease.

Delicious.

Yes.

Healthy?

Of course not, but see delicious.

Reading this post out loud to Dave, he reminds me Reed & Bell hamburgers ring super close to In-N-Out hamburgers.

They most certainly do, Dave.

Homemade potato salad is the side of choice accompanied by a platter of dills, gherkins, chips, bread and butters, assorted cheeses, red, green (Christmas colors), and sweet onions, sliced tomatoes, and fresh crisp lettuce.

Traditional Christmas Day fare is tradition.  Sliced spiral ham, Southern sweet potato casserole with walnut brown sugar crunch topping, seasoned green beans, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, and yeast rolls.

Traditional favorites of egg nog, fresh apple nut cake, walnut fudge, date nut roll, and almond peanut butter cookies round it out.

Southern-Living-50-years

Christmas came early to me when I received this fabulous surprise present from my darling nephew and niece-in-law.  Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture promises to be a good read and a lovely addition to the coffee table library.

blue-crystal-beads

Shiny and bright.

Christmas-colors

gold-angel

Do you treat yourself to a to me from me Christmas present?

Holy-Mary-Christmas-display

That’s exactly what I did this year when I found the Holy Mary statue at Paul Michael Company.

Holy Mary statue

dining-table-Christmas

The Canadian Snowbird couple sent pictures of the Christmas cookies they baked together for their holiday game night party.

I admit I am one of those moms who asks her son and daughter-in-law to take and send photos of the little things in their lives.

It’s the little things in their lives that add up to big memories in ours.

gingerbread-cookies

Pretty pictures, ribbons, and busy days before Christmas remind me the present is in the process, and the gift is in the giving.

Pretty Pictures, Pretty Ribbons, Pretty Busy Days Before Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear friends.

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Holiday Gifts For Home and Hostess

Local brick and mortar stores and the holiday sales they offer are calling my name.  As much as I have come to love the convenience and world wide web selections, there is still reason to holiday shop for certain holiday gifts for home and hostess live and in person.

woven-wrap

Better Homes & Gardens

Call me old fashioned but it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I retail with several hundred of my fellow local shoppers.

While I’m away from keyboard in pursuit of thoughtful and impressive gifts, allow me to share with you the holiday gifts for home and hostess currently in my online shopping cart.

leopard-objectLeopard Object

Color, texture, and pattern shines in the holiday gifts for home and hostess spotlight.

Cardinal Leopard Faux Fur Decorative Pillow

Spot accents and accessories in animal print chic are always in season.

snow leopard throwFaux Snow Leopard Fuzzy Throw

It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little sparkle, shimmer, and shine.

aqua-wrap

star-cz-earrings

White Cubic Zirconia Sterling Silver Star Drop Earrings

Holiday Gifts For Home and Hostess

Fashion jewelry, a fun faux fur wrap, or a classic fashion piece in seasonal colors as a hostess gift?

Absolutely!

Bijoux-Bar-Clear-Drop-earrings

Bijoux Bar Clear Drop Earrings

‘Tis the season for hosting and attending holiday celebrations, and that means dressing for the occasion in holiday style.  Deck the halls and then bedeck an ear, wrist, or neck in a little sparkle, shimmer, and shine.

Anne Klein cuff bracelet

Anne Klein Crystal Wide Cuff Bracelet

Natasha Accessories Beaded Cuff BraceletNatasha Accessories Beaded Cuff Bracelet

painting red finger nails

Flickr

What’s the first thing holiday guests see when they arrive at your home?

You.

Set your decorate for the holidays meter to dazzle.

The holidays only come around once a year, and I say seize the opportunity to paint the town red, accessorize in fabulous faux fur, and let your holiday style light shine.

faux-fur-wrap-black

Faux Fur Oblong Wrap

red-coat-faux-fur

Coeur de Vague Red Faux-Fur Open Shawl Wrap

A Christmas classic.

Duchess-KateHarper’s BAZAAR – Getty Images Stuart C. Wilson

plaid-tartan-skirt

Joan Rivers Regular Length Holiday Plaid Maxi Skirt

8pc Holiday Plaid Dinnerware Set

Peppermint Square 8pc Holiday Plaid Dinnerware Set

gift wrapped in fabric

Better Homes & Gardens

Nest Fragrances Holiday Classic CandleNEST Holiday Candle

silver-slipperWomen’s Falon Moccasin Slipper – Silver

Upholstered Ottoman

Upholstered Ottoman

My Life In Color Guided Activity Book

My Life In Color Guided Activity Book

Stylish accessories extend to our four-legged friends and family members.

Bow Tie Dog Collar Cat Collar

Lionet Paws Christmas Dog – Cat Collar Bowtie

Rae-Dunn-pet-dishes

Rae Dunn Pet Dishes

PawHut Raised Wicker Plush Faux Fur Pet Sleeping Couch with Cushion - Gray

PawHut Raised Wicker Plush Faux Fur Pet Sleeping Couch with Cushion

It’s the most wonderful gift giving time of the year.  Complete the home for the holidays sentiment with stylish and chic holiday gifts for home and hostess.

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Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Holiday decorating safety tips can come in holiday handy and gift you with peace of mind at this holiday decorating time of year.  There is now a direct link between holiday decorating safety tips and year round electrical safety in general.  We got a big lighting up the holidays shock last week which explains my radio silence last week.

Fire is the one thing I am deathly afraid of.  Let me share with you several situations and events over my lifetime that have caused and stoked this dreaded fear.

When Places In The Home was being built, a group of delinquents neighborhood kids set the entire order of roofing shingles on fire.  The sight, sound, and smell of the roaring pile of burning shingles scared me almost to death and scarred me for life.  I was three years old, I remember the scene vividly to this day, and it’s this event that set a lifelong fear of fire into motion.

When I was five years old, my precious great-grandmother lit her gas stove with a match.  She thought she blew the match out, but she did not.  Prior to lighting the stove, she had emptied a pot of melted hot grease into the garbage can.  You can almost be guaranteed that when a lit match hits hot grease, flame and fire is close behind.  With expert precision and quick hands to rival Drew Brees, Mama Two grabbed the flaming trash can, used her foot to kick open the back door, and ran with can in hand into the backyard where she extinguished the fire with a can lid.  Mama Two innocently marked me for life.

In 1974, my grandmother’s house suffered severe extensive smoke damage throughout from a lightening strike to a television left in front of a window in her kitchen.  The television burned up and through the floor.  My grandmother was on vacation in Florida at the time of the strike.  With no one home to notice, the television smoldered for several days.  Every wall, surface, furnishing and floor was completely covered and caked in soot.  The soot was so thick it measured close to one inch thick inside closed drawers.  Determined to face my fear, I insisted on going with her and my parents to meet the insurance adjuster for the initial walk through.  Horrible sight that only served to exacerbated my fear of fire.

My parents and I were at the original MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas on the day before the horrific fire in 1980 that killed 85 people and injured 650.  We were visiting with family who were guests at the hotel.  Thankfully, they all survived the fire.  They have rarely discussed the tragic ordeal with anyone for understandable reasons.  The details they have offered are as awful as one would imagine, and haunt me to this day.  Dave and I have been back to the hotel (now Bally’s) several times since, but I absolutely refuse to stay at the hotel.

My parents were staying at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1981 when an arsonist set fire to the hotel killing 8 and injuring approximately 200.  Tragic details with the less shared with me the better caveat.

Last week, our electrical panel-service-wiring placed a bulls eye right in the center of my fear of fire and plans for the holiday budget.  Two weeks ago I discovered there was no power to the master bedroom sitting and dressing area.  The A/C would come on (welcome to November in Louisiana) but the compressor would not kick on.  I called the electrician, he came out and replaced a breaker in the original and antiquated electrical panel, and power was restored.

service-van

Two weeks to the day same problem arises.  Call the electrician, he comes by that afternoon, and within thirty minutes three electricians, two city utilities supervisors, and one scared to death homeowner stood in our kitchen discussing how soon Dave the Builder and I could vacate the house.

electrical=panel

The electricians and supervisors got straight to the point; “Ma’am, your house is in danger of burning to the ground in its present state.  We are going to pull the electricity panel and the electrical service to your house is being disconnected immediately.”

Fire.

Electrocution.

Arc.

Rewire.

I’m usually strong- the “I’m a willow, I can bend” one in the group however, this was not the case in this particular situation.  I completely lost it in front of all parties present.  I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I cried worse than I did when my daddy died.

Straw, meet camel’s broken back.

I’ll spare you the details of shock, inconvenience, and scrambling to figure out how to pay for the unexpected heavy four figure expense (does anyone really have thousands of dollars stashed and saved for emergency home maintenance repairs).  Dave the Builder is a maintenance master at much, but electrical is not his forte.

My fear is fire.  His is being electrocuted.

I got it together, found the silver lining, peace of mind, and good will toward electrician men.  The new service is in, and power is back up and running, and it’s time to get back to normal (our normal anyhow).  All of this got me to thinking a post about holiday decorating safety tips may be as cathartic to me as it is useful to some.

live-Christmas-tree

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Christmas Tree Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

A real live Christmas tree is part of many Deck the Halls Decoristas Christmas tradition.  Safety takes first place over real tree beauty so let’s start there.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Christmas Tree Safety – National Fire Protection Association

Placement is key.  Place a live Christmas tree at least three (3) feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents, radiators, or candles.

Water a real Christmas tree daily to prevent or at least slow the drying out process.

good

tree-stand

 

bad

Use lights with the label of a recognized testing laboratory approved for indoor use.  A green holographic UL label means indoor use only, whereas lights with a red holographic UL label mean the lights may be used indoors as well as outdoors.

The look is lovely, but never use lit candles to decorate a Christmas tree.

Candle_on_Christmas_tree

Replace lights that are worn, have broken cords, or loose bulb connections.

Do not overload strands connections.  Use no more than three standard size sets of lights per single extension cord.

Christmas-tree-lightsDomino

When we were kids, one of the neighborhood families left their outdoor decorations on while away.  The way too old and unsafe big bulb Christmas lights decorating one of the Oak trees in their front yard snapped, crackled, popped, and caught fire.

clemco-outfit-big-bulb-Christmas-lights

The fire quickly spread and engulfed the entire home resulting in a total loss.  Don’t second guess decorations or discount warnings.  If your going to be away from home, turn off and unplug your outdoor and your indoor decorations.  Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed.

I don’t want to pour cold water on the holiday parade, but water and electricity do not mix.  Make sure to keep your hands dry and never, ever stand in water when touching holiday decorations or gadgets powered by electricity.

PutAFreezeWinterHolidayFires

NFPA

Warm and cozy times spent round the Christmas tree go perfectly with the holidays.

Kiel-James-Patrick-socks

Kiel James Patrick

For the many who use space heaters as a heat source, there’s a safe way to do so to ensure all is well.

Turn off and unplug space heaters when going to bed. Turn off or unplug space heaters when left unattended.

Use extreme caution to keep the three (3) foot radius around a space heater free of contact with any flammable item, combustible liquids, blankets, sofas, paper, toys, rugs, drapes, and soft goods.

Do not place a space heater on rugs, furniture, or countertops.

Never use extension cords or multiple plugs with a space heater. 

plugged-into-wall Better Homes & Gardens

Do not cut corners with worn out extension cords or Christmas lights. Never run an extension cord under rugs, carpets, or furniture.

santa-face

Vintage Christmas decorations bring back old memories, and more times than not come with the original wiring.  Check for frayed cords which run a high risk of lighting up the holidays in the call 911, the house in on fire kind of way.

Josh_Young_Holiday

Josh Young- Domino

Practice caution with garlands draped over a fireplace mantle or close to lit candles.

According to National Fire Protection Association, the top 3 days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.

candles  Pinterest

Do not burn evergreens, pine, gift boxes, or gift wrap in your fireplace.  Dry greens and cardboard act like tender- burning hot and fast.  The flames can quickly flare out of control, cause a flash fire, and send sparks out into a room and/or up the chimney igniting creosote deposits.  Make sure to keep the screen before the fireplace while burning a fire.

fireplace-main-entrance-hall

Wealden Times

Plan for safe indoor and outdoor holiday decorating with these holiday decorating safety tips.  Let’s all have a safe, stylishly decorated, and happy holiday season.

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Thanksgiving Day Simple Solutions and Suggestions

Almost here, never fear Thanksgiving Day simple solutions and suggestions is exactly what we’ve got going for today’s one week until Thanksgiving post.

Are you ready?

trio-of-cheese-ballsGood Housekeeping – Photography: Mike Garten

Simple makes a tasty appetizer plate, and a make ahead recipe for a simple yet impressive appetizer is an absolute appetizer must.  Thanksgiving day is a culinary marathon.  I don’t want to gloss over a step or course, nor do I want to give up one precious minute to the tedious or the trying.

Enter the recipes for a trio of cheese balls that can be refrigerated up to 2 days.

Guess what I’ll be doing the Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving Thursday?

turn-the-music-up-loud

I’ll be in the kitchen with my Now We’re Cooking Thanksgiving playlist turned to holiday volume whipping up a trio of cheese balls for Thanksgiving appetizers.

Everything Cheese Ball

¼ cup sesame seeds

2 tbsp. poppy seeds

2 tbsp. dried onion flakes

2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

¼ tsp. salt

2 8-oz. bricks reduced-fat cream cheese

Savory Dill Cheese Ball

1 8-oz. brick reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

2 tsp. lemon juice

Spiced Cranberry Cheese Ball

1 8-oz. brick reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

8 oz. goat cheese, softened

¼ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Directions

“Everything” Cheese Ball: 

Combine sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, black pepper, and salt.

With mixer, beat cream cheese with 2 tablespoons seasoning mixture. By 2-tablespoon portions, scoop and roll into balls. Roll in remaining seasoning mixture, pressing to coat.

Savory Dill Cheese Ball: 

With mixer, beat cream cheese, feta cheese, dill, and lemon juice. By 2-tablespoon portions, scoop and roll into balls.  Roll in 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill.

Spiced Cranberry Cheese Ball: 

With mixer, beat cream cheese, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and nutmeg. By 2-tablespoon portions, scoop and roll into balls.  Roll in 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped, pressing to coat.

Refrigerate cheese balls at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.  Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.  Serve with crackers or bread.

-Good Housekeeping

rustic-coaster

Tree Branch Coasters- Country Living

family cotton napkins sugarboo and coSugarboo & Co.

Give the cocktail crowd something to ponder with these Jane Howard cocktail napkins from Sugarboo & Co.

Thyme-Pear Gravy

Thyme-Pear Gravy

Use an insulated coffee carafe to keep the gravy hot and a burner ready to go for the next dish.   Pre-warm the carafe by filling it with hot tap water allowing to sit for a couple of minutes.  Empty out the hot water and add the gravy.

Thanksgiving Day Simple Solutions and Suggestions

The closest my iPad gets to the kitchen is the accent table in the dining room.  I’m still recovering from the great spill debacle of two years ago when Dave the Builder “cooked” my tablet with a spilled Dr. Pepper.

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa

Thanksgiving day is stressful enough without the extra worry of liquid vs. tablet.  Tuck your tablet into a Ziploc slider bag to protect it and worry no more.

ziploc-slider-bags-gallon

A scent of the season scented candle is a holiday greet the guests essential.  I don’t depend on pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to carry the weight of the waft throughout the house.

Yankee-Candle-Velvet-Woods

Presentation is key at the holidays.  A vintage ironstone bowl filled with ice and topped with pinecones is natural styling for chilling wine.

wine-on-sideboard

I love the unique styling and look created with a vintage bowl filled with ice and topped with miniature pinecones.

wine-on-ice

Miniature Pinecones

Miniature Pinecones

Tie a loose knot around the neck of a wine bottle with the ribbon material and color of your choice.  Tuck the stem of a pinecone into the knot and- voilà!- a befitting embellishment.

velvet-ribbon

Grab a marker and personalize take home boxes.  Another suggestion is to ask guests to bring their own containers to tote their take home Thanksgiving leftovers in.

take-out-boxes

Continuing the embellishment theme, tie a ribbon around the take home box and adorn with a house or cabin Christmas ornament with a from our house to yours card.

house-ornament-grosgrain-ribbon

As they say, it’s the little things that mean the most.

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We Gather Together Holiday Table Ideas

We gather together holiday table ideas help to set an impressive Thanksgiving holiday table.  Getting the look, style, balance, and theme suited to your holiday dining and entertaining scheme requires a certain amount of planning and prep, and that’s where these we gather together holiday table ideas come in.

home-holiday-heart

Design inspiration is often the driving force of my blog content, and I’m amazed at where it comes from at times.  Yesterday, somewhere between trying to locate what bedroom the cat was hiding out in and trying not to lose my religion over the cat and mouse game he loves to play with me, I stopped in the hallway to regroup.  Looking down the hall into the foyer, dining room, and kitchen in more than a glimpse and less than a stare, it dawned on me I truly liked what I was seeing.

Isn’t that the point of the design and decorating grand scheme of things?

I sometimes forget to just stand back and take in the look.  My vantage point allowed for a comprehensive viewing from foyer to dining room.

The vintage bamboo chandelier in the foyer.

The wallpaper selection.

The yet once again painted lantern pendant.

The decision to lighten up the dining room color palette.

The placement of artwork.

I like to try new things and new looks, but the traditional personal design style choices I come back to time and time again prove to be the ones I am most satisfied with.

dining-room-table-image

Stay true to your personal style and design, decorate, and holiday table set accordingly is advice I not only give, but practice.

holiday-fall-dining-roomSouthern Living

The absolute best holiday table ideas begin with a sense of you.  What suits your style, taste, and personal preference is what best fits the occasion and sets an impressive holiday table.

Dining-Room-Inspiration-Scandinavian-Dining-Room-Ideas

Scandinavian Dining Room

Create a backdrop with touches sure to resonate with the crowd.  Sure, most of us try to emulate moms-grandmothers-aunties side dish or dessert recipe- that’s a given.  I like to use decorative accents and tabletop pieces that make a shared memories, experiences, and regional commonalities connection with my guests.

Magnolia+Foliage+in+Glass+Vase

Magnolias in glass cylinders cover the Southern aspect of our holiday table.  Fresh flowers or an heirloom bowl filled with fall leaves native to your area set a home for the holidays tone.

wooden-candlesticks

Wooden turned candlesticks instantly become I remember these conversation pieces.

Antique Blue Transferware Platter

Antique Blue Transferware Platter

A handed down from generation to generation family recipe served in a handed down from generation to generation serving piece is wow factor certified and guaranteed to tug at the home is where the holiday heart is heartstrings.

crystal-water-bottle

The heirloom crystal water bottle makes it way from the china cabinet to the Thanksgiving table.

holiday-cocktail-glasses

Vintage Etched Coupe Glasses  ||  Plymouth Birds Double Old-Fashioned Glasses

Cocktail glasses in a similar pattern as the ones my dad served holiday spirits in, and goblets in the style of the ones my grandmother used at holiday time to serve her famous orange fluff salad in become a must have addition to the we gather together holiday table.

give-thanks-napkins-embossedGive Thanks and Celebrate Your Blessing Embossed Beverage Napkins

I don’t give a second thought to using paper cocktail napkins.  Rest assured, the holiday table ideas police will not be hauling you off to tablescape and place setting jail.

Chipmunk Courtship Beverage Napkin

Chipmunk Courtship Beverage Napkin by Paperproducts Design

I go with the best of both worlds option and use a traditional and a zippy paper cocktail napkin.

pinecone coaster set

Pinecone Coaster Set

The pinecone coaster set from the Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia line at Target is perfect for the holiday bar cart or sideboard.

velvet-trim-cloth-dinner-napkin

4pc. Velvet Trim Napkin

These 4pc Velvet Trim Dinner Napkins pair beautifully with the Gather, Merry, Joy, Peace Pewter Napkin Rings.

Napkin Ring Pewter - Set of 4 - Gather, Merry, Joy, Peace - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Napkin Ring Pewter – Set of 4 – Gather, Merry, Joy, Peace – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Holiday-Table-Settings-wooden-candlesticks

House & Home

Fresh pears in white bowls is a simple and elegant suggestion.  I pick up gold-rimmed white stoneware bowls from Dollar Tree and keep an eye on the produce section selection of seasonal pears.

pears-Thanksgiving

For approximately $2.00 per place setting you can add a fetching look to the Thanksgiving holiday table.

white-bowl-gold-rim

Gold-Rimmed White Stoneware Bowls, 7 in.

I take into consideration the cornucopia of styles among my decorista friends, family and readers when offering holiday table ideas.  Modern tiered layers of clear acrylic complemented by alternating negative spaces make up the ultra chic Collins Acrylic and Metal Taper Holder from Williams-Sonoma Home.

Collins Acrylic And Metal Taper Holder

Collins Acrylic And Metal Taper Holder

An impressive holiday tablescape does not have to be expensive or difficult to achieve.  Place the focus on folk, food, fresh, flavor, and fun.

My comical husband suggested I call this hosting tip “f” the holidays.

Holiday hosting humor is a fabulous stress buster. Dave is in charge of levity, and is brilliant at it.

We’ve still got the December holidays to decorate, entertain, and tablescape to and the holiday budget to manage.  Items that pull double duty justify the initial price of admission to the holiday tablescape party.  This is the exact reason I go with white plates with gold rims and serving pieces in November to December holiday friendly colors and patterns.

Holiday Table Ideas

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My Place Louisiana Appetizer Plates (Set of 4)

My Place Louisiana Appetizer Plates (Set of 4)

I’m embracing the home is where the holiday heart is theme with these Magnolia drinking glasses and Louisiana appetizer plates.

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Wood Pattern Plate Charger

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Gold-Rimmed White Stoneware Dinner Plates, 10.5 in.

The combination of a natural wood pattern plate charger gold-rimmed white dinner plates, and the look of vintage antique silver sentiment flatware makes a striking statement.

Antique Silver Sentiment FlatwareAntique Silver Sentiment Flatware

Make new serving pieces friends, but keep the old.

antler-serving-bowlTitus Aluminum and Wood Antler Bowl, 11″ x 9″

One is traditional silver, and the other, Millennial gold.

melrose gold serving bowlMelrose Gold Serving Bowl 

I love a holiday twofer, and a Merry Thanksgiving gift draw is a fun and giving family and friend activity to partake in at the end of the Thanksgiving meal.

For many years, Dave the Builder and I along with another couple and their daughter spent Thanksgiving week at Chicot State Park before the kids got to the age of I’m bored.

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Three bedroom, 2 full bath lodge with fireplace, satellite television, cellphone and WiFi service second to none, scavenger hunts, hiking trails, midnight runs to spot deer, owl and raccoons, stay up and sleep in as late as you want boring.

Not exactly what I would call roughing it.

Striving to keep things new, fresh, and in the holiday spirit, I came up with the hot cocoa and hat draw holiday kick off.  The moms would make hot cocoa, and the dads would light up the fire ring late Thanksgiving day afternoon.  While we were enjoying hot cocoa and getting back to nature, we would pass a hat around with each of our names in it.  Each of us drew a name from the hat, and the planning began. Friday when we drove into the neighboring towns to antique and Black Friday shop, each of us would buy a kick off the holidays gift for the person whose name we drew from the hat.

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Flickr

We set a $5.00 limit, and the rule was the gift had to be something the recipient talked about on Thanksgiving day or night.  Part of the fun was seeing how attentive and creative we could get with our gift selections.  A quick stop at the dollar store for a small Christmas tree, gift bags, and reindeer bells to ring round the campfire completed the process.

tinsel-tree

The kids loved it, and the big kids got into it as well.  Our kick off the holidays hot cocoa and hat draw gifted each us with a great memory.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

– Dr. Seuss

I’ve tweaked the tradition a bit, and now it’s the We Wish Family and Friends a Feast of a Happy Holidays Season favor gift give.

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Brass Wishbone Decor

Brass wishbone figurines stay in theme and make a lovely We Gather Together holiday keepsake.

walnut-decorative-boxDecorative Walnut Box – Silver – Threshold™

Dave the Builder votes for giving each guest a decorative walnut box and calling it the we’re all nuts favor.

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Wills 3-D Rooster 1.31-qt. Vegetable BowlWills 3-D Rooster 1.31-qt. Vegetable Bowl

Home is where the Holiday heart is, and ours beats strong here at Places In The Home.

Our holiday celebrations are all about honoring traditions old and new, making meaningful memories, sharing the holiday love with family, friends, and readers, and offering holiday table ideas, holiday decor finds, suggestions, stories, and sources.

Join me throughout the holiday season for all things house that make a holiday home.

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Design, Create, Greet, Announce, Invite, and Impress with Paperless Post

This post contains links to Paperless Post.  I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Places In The Home is in full-on this is not a drill, the holiday season is here mode.  When a shopping network host announced Christmas is less than two months away, it brought it all home.  This end of October-beginning of November week kicks off the whole let’s holiday plan and prep shebang, and I’m inviting and celebrating family and friends, thankful feasts and fêtes, seasoned and Seasons Greetings, ’tis the season of soirees and open houses, New Year’s Day supper, and happy birthday greetings with a little help from my friends at Paperless Post.

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Farmer’s Feast

paperless-post-farmers-feast-invitation-envelopePaperless Post is an online invitations, cards, and stationery platform. Begin the custom design process by creating an account.  Choose the occasion and from there peruse the selections of designs.  A wide range of distinctive designs, fonts, colors, backgrounds, shapes, and designers make it easy for you to create, design and send custom digital invitations, cards, and stationery for your business and/or personal needs.

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Christmas Foyer Card with Envelope – Paperless Post

Paperless Post has many cards free to send, and you can send a free card to up 200 email addresses.  Birthday wishes, save the date, dinner party, graduation, fundraiser, new address, game night, add your own photo, sympathy, charity event, birth announcement, girl’s getaway weekend, entertaining, sip and see free and fabulous.

Paperless-Post-TopiaryTopiary – Paperless Post

Premium designer cards require coins to send.  Coins are the currency used on Paperless Post to price premium design options and add-ons such as envelopes, liners, stamps, postmarks, logos, and backdrops.  As you go through the customization flow, the cost of your card per recipient will appear at the top right corner of the page.  Paperless Post never shows third-party ads on their website, in their emails, or on their mobile app.  Therefore, you do not have to use additional coins to remove ads.

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Pheasant Plumage – John Derian

An invitation to gather together with friends to eat, drink, celebrate, and be grateful for one another on the third Thursday of November is but a custom design and email list away.

paperless-post-friendsgiving-invitationGourd Times – Crate & Barrel

Holiday time is open house time, y’all!

A customized invitation to join you to celebrate not only fits the occasion, but reflects your personal style.

Paperless-Post-Magnolia-Open-House

Plumier (Welcome)- Paperless Post

Paperless-post-rifle-paper-merry-and-brightHoliday in the City – Rifle Paper Co. 

paperless-post-A Tuesday TippleA Tuesday Tipple by Charlotte Olympia invites holiday style to the holiday mix and mingle.

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The Lady It’s Cold Outside invitation is decked out in faux fur holiday finery for a festive evening of holiday spirits, decorating, and dancing.

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So sipping cocktails-Dino on the hi-fi-Cherries Jubilee-1960s throwback swanky.

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The Peas on Earth invitation is perfect for our Creole black-eyed peas and Southern buttermilk cornbread Peas on Earth, Good Eats for Luck New Year’s Day supper.

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Peas on Earth

A Louisiana birthday celebration deserves a snazzy and snappy birthday card.

Paperless post

Snappy Birthday (Nicholas John Frith) – Red Cap Cards

Design, create, greet, announce, invite, and impress friends, family, and clients with custom digital invitations, cards, and stationery from Paperless Post.  The design and send experience is as easy as email, the design result as elegant as it is exceptional.

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