Where did 2017 go? I swear I blinked on January 1, 2017 and here we are knocking on the door of 2018. New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing, but the plan for 2018 is to become brilliant at keeping a promise to self to appreciate more and more the value of time.
Like most of the Lower 48, our New Year’s Eve and beyond forecast is for frigid temps and funky conditions. I whined waited all Louisiana summer long for the arrival of Louisiana winter (basically what most of you call fall). Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.
Our Canadian snowbird son chuckles at our winter on steroids dilemma. The newlywed couple is less than thrilled to be arriving back home from a sunny warm week in Mexico to home, sweet home Winnipeg and the blistering Canadian temps of -33°C /-27.4°F.
Ah, Grasshopper. He, who chuckles first, chuckles coldest.
Edible provisions for our knocking on the door of 2018-New Year’s Eve-hunker down at home holiday weekend include Southern deviled eggs, pork tenderloin, oven roasted potatoes, the New Year’s Day traditional trifecta of black eyed peas, cabbage and buttermilk cornbread, several pots of strong Louisiana dark roast coffee, and a fresh carrot cake.
A glass or two of wine to toast the New Year and chase away the chill will top off our midnight revelry.
I look forward with great anticipation to the beautiful and stylish things to come in 2018. In vogue interior design and decor trends for 2018 run the gamut from terrazzo to color in the kitchen to velvet fabrics. Gorgeous is in the forecast, and the look is hot.
Here’s to celebrating your knocking on the door of 2018 New Year’s Eve in style. Happy New Year!
Holiday wishing you all a most fetching Friday and a lovely first day of December. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as we trim the trees and deck the halls in glorious bring the holidays home fashion.
In between Thanksgiving menu plans and the long holiday weekend Christmas is coming preparations, Thanksgiving tastes, tips, this, that, observations, recipes of need to know info have caught my eye and piqued my interest.
In this holiday season, it seems many long time home decor bloggers are currently embracing the less is more quality over quantity aspect of holiday decorating, present company included. The if one looks good then umpteen will look fantastic approach to decorating is one way to go, but without balance or cohesiveness present this is a difficult look to pull off. Failure teaches a valuable lesson- one I learned rather quickly in my early interior decorating days. Remember the 80s? I don’t miss the decade of excess in any shape, form or what where we thinking fashion. I much prefer understated with a twist- a visual curve ball of sorts. The interior design and home decor choices displayed throughout the 1854 cottage of Joe and Evelyn Adams strike a stunning pose of color balance, period contrast and charming personal style.
Have you planned what you’re cooking for Thanksgiving yet? Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker from Food52 can help you do just that. Answer a few questions, select recipes from the collection, and make your personalized menu. http://f52.co/2AuieQG
Cooked in a ranch butter sauce and topped with crispy onions and bacon,thisBacon Ranch Green Beans recipe from Dinner at the Zoo puts a spin on the green bean casserole of holiday table tradition. Full recipe details here: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/bacon-ranch-green-beans/
There’s appetizers and then there’s Baked Brie with Maple Caramelized Apples and Spiced Praline Bacon. Full recipe from Allrecipes here: http://spr.ly/6004D6kT0
Places In The Home is in full-on Thanksgiving Home for the Holidays mode. Pre-planning broadens the window of time between Halloween and turkey day, and although I’ve pre-planned the stuffing out of my Thanksgiving decorating, time is tight. Here is the extent of my Halloween decorating. Happy Halloween!
All things in full-on Thanksgiving Home for the Holidays mode slides right into the home for the holidays motif. A play on words World Series style.
I love planning the Thanksgiving tablescape, sideboard decor, scrumptious sides and delicious holiday desserts. Searching for lovely tabletop finds that capture the essence of the holiday rivals that of decor and menu planning, designing and developing.
I’m seriously considering setting a place at our Thanksgiving table for the guys and gals of USPS, UPS and FedEx that serve our neighborhood route. We see them more than some of the family members who will be breaking holiday bread with us, and they come bearing parcels and packages.
The Places In The Home Thanksgiving table is being set with a trio of china patterns. Starring as the simple yet elegant dinner plate set is the Grace pattern from Pier 1. Autumn by Lenox makes a first time appearance to the Places In the Home Thanksgiving table compliments of my brother. The ex-wife left, the Lenox did not. Holiday desserts will be served on vintage ironstone dessert plates of unknown pattern.
Today’s Home for the Holidays inspiration gallery features Thanksgiving dishes of traditional and new-traditional pattern and color combinations for your holiday tablescape consideration.
Holiday hospitality guest room essentials in mi casa es su casa fashion fit perfectly into the ’tis the holiday company’s coming season. Creating a comfortable home away from home guest room for visiting family or friends begins with holiday hospitality guest room essentials.
Our Canadian snowbird arrived home last week, officially kicking off the There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays party. That red suitcase is the ultimate holiday decoration.
“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Friends and family, Mr. Emerson.
The goal at Places In The Home is for our guests to need or want for nothing. My darling Daddy welcomed guests with a heartfelt declaration “if we don’t have it, we will get it.” Welcoming words for sure, and that is the objective.
When Dave the Builder and I are overnight guests at the homes of friends and family, we consider the comforts of home furnished by our hosts not only thoughtful, but guest room life savers. Let’s take a look at my list of guest room essentials.
Topping the list of guest room essentials is space!!! Dresser and bedside tabletops and drawers cleared and ready for guests to clutter set out and fill is always appreciated. To reduce the risk of scratching the top of a dresser or bedside table(s), simply place a plush bath towel or blanket on top of the furniture piece.
Closet space complete with extra clothes hangers and a bottle of wrinkle releaser, thank you.
I like to put out one or two luggage racks for our guests to utilize. Navigating the guest bedroom should not resemble an obstacle course.
Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!
The snowbird loves our long standing holiday tradition of watching the movie Trading Places on Thanksgiving night (Black Friday Eve). I love the above line from the movie, and seize every opportunity to inject it into a conversation. His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.
His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.
Wrap these welcome kits up and tie them with a holiday bow for festive gifting fun.
Gift Your Guests with the Gift of Comfort and Hospitality
Festive faux or fresh flowers, a beside water carafe, extra linens,his and her slippers, charging station for devices, reading glasses, Kleenex, extra toilet paper, room and linen spray, a mini flashlight (to avoid things that go bump in the night like toes and kneecaps), extra blanket, a scented candle, note pad and pen and trinket tray on the bedside table and dresser top my holiday hospitality guest room essentials list.
The idea is to gift your guests with the gift of comfort and hospitality.
When I sourced this candle I couldn’t help but think of the Benjamin Franklin quote my aunt from Florida modified, adopted and shares with us as she leaves.
Guests, family, and fish begin to smell after three days. Plan accordingly.
Thank goodness for scented candles and holiday humor.
Staying connected to the world wide web while connecting with friends and family is the business and leisure routine of daily life. Holiday sales, where to go, what to do, checking emails and social media, tracking Santa’s route- when you need to know you need the password. Frame a WiFi password printable for beside table display so guests can connect to your WiFi network.
A bedtime sip and snack is a token gesture of comfort, or as we say in Louisiana, a little lagniappe. A tray of holiday or anytime of year sips and snacks served in room service fashion is a hospitality treat.
A mug of hot cocoa goes well with the holidays. Add a zing of seasonal deliciousness to hot cocoa with a dollop of flavored whipped topping, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, a splash of Kahlúa or a generous shot of Southern Comfort for a 21 and over spirited nightcap.
A relaxing cup of decaffeinated sweet cinnamon spice herbal tea. Little details pamper and please, and a bedtime treat always goes over big with guests.
It’s the little touches that make them feel right at home sweet home for the holiday.
The celebration countdown to 4th of July party ideas is on. Allow me to take this opportunity to express a very big thank you in patriotic colors to the Earth, sun, moon and calendar year 2016 for the three-day weekend we have to celebrate Independence Day.
The big blogging plan to share with you pops of 4th of July party ideas for your copying, ordering, and/or purchasing consideration fizzled out like a firecracker with no pizzazz. An area wide internet outage hit the Places In The Home neighborhood last week, and with it went my connection to the world wide web. That’s two internet outages in one month, but’s who’s counting?
Meet Jeremy, the at&t man with the get you back online ASAP plan. Jeremy, your good deeds and expert skills are greatly appreciated. You’ve got a well deserved three-day weekend coming your way.
Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.
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The Willow Swingaswan is a stylish throwback to the hanging chair glory days of the swingin’ 60s & 70s. Just add a decorative pillow, a refreshing beverage or summertime treat, a good read and you’ve got yourself a rest and relaxation haven for the 4th of July three-day weekend.
Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup.
Whisk together half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight container. Freeze 2 hours before serving.
A star spangled theme is instantly recognizable as the traditional theme of 4th of July celebrations.
In keeping with tradition, the American flag meets and greets neighbors and friends, but I opt to decorate with items such as fabric and serveware in a broader range of holiday patterns and colors.
The activities, food, sports, colors and celebrations generally associated with the summer months give great inspiration. Pick a favorite as your 4th of July party ideas theme foundation and go 4th from there.
Wallpaper and fabric closeouts can be a great source for affordable and stylish patterns to use as tablecloths, table runners, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.
Handbag charms as napkin rings? Absolutely! I picked up six of these long fringe handbag charms on clearance at Rue21 for $1.20 each to use as napkins rings and parting party favors. Love the look, the price and the dual purpose. Blooming blue hydrangeas from the yard of a very generous and giving neighbor will star in the centerpiece arrangement along with a trio of small American flags. Simple. Affordable. Appropriate.
Our star spangled celebration menu takes a celebratory cue from the best part of the summertime bounty- fresh from the farmers market fruits and vegetables. I am entertaining the thought of developing a recipe for s’mores cake to debut over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Fresh beans, roasting marshmallows, and bursts of color on the table and in the sky. That’s how we snap, crackle and pop a 4th of July party in the USA at Places In The Home.
These 4th of July party ideas place an emphasis on fun, easy, delicious, stylish, and affordability. Celebrate smart, safe and stylish this 4th of July holiday weekend.
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!
Tryptofantastic turkey times make the holiday celebration go round. With the holiday countdown on for Thanksgiving it’s all about how to cook a turkey. Being prepared for the gather round the table holiday celebration with a bird done to absolute golden perfection is the Thanksgiving holiday way to go.
Last minute does not work well in the grand scheme of turkey thawing. Since the majority of supermarket turkeys are sold frozen, prepare to thaw. Figure 1 to 1½ pounds of turkey per person when purchasing the bird. As tempting as it may be to leave the bird out on the counter to expedite the thawing process, don’t. Always defrost a turkey in the refrigerator. Why invite a problem to the party? You don’t need or want the hassle of food poisoning. Take into consideration the temperature setting of your refrigerator. This factors into the defrosting process. A frozen turkey needs 1 day in the refrigerator for every 4 pounds of turkey. No ice crystals=a defrosted turkey.
Now, let’s say Thanksgiving Day comes and you’ve followed the above rule but the turkey did not cooperate and the bird is still frozen. Then the bird needs a soak. Place the uncooperative turkey in a kitchen sink filled with cold water. Soak the bird 30 minutes per pound to thaw; changing water every 30 minutes. Remember to practice safe turkey prep & handling. Clean and sanitize all the surfaces and utensils that come into contact with the uncooked bird and its juices. Wash those turkey covered hands thoroughly with soap and warm water!
Prepping the Bird:
Remove any contents from the turkey cavity. Remove the clamp from around the legs. Remove the extra skin from the neck area. Tuck the wings up under the turkey bottom to prevent burning. Some people stuff the turkey and now is the time to do so. If you do stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time. It is advised by the USDA to keep the wet and dry ingredients separate. Keep wet ingredients refrigerated until time to use. Do not mix the wet and dry ingredients until time to fill the turkey cavities, filling loosely. Immediately cook the turkey. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. Rub butter, margarine, or oil of your choice under the skin of the breast area, over the legs, and the turkey undercarriage to promote browning. Place turkey breast side up on rack in your roasting pan and secure legs with kitchen twine. No rack, no problem.
Rub turkey with seasonings of your choice such as salt, pepper, basil, garlic, thyme, Creole seasoning, etc…
I usually add a stalk of celery cut into three equal parts and ½ peeled and sliced onion or 2-3 cut green onions. Add 1 ½-2 cups of lightly salted water to roasting pan to keep the turkey moist during baking. Chicken broth or white wine may be substituted. Cover with roasting pan lid or a foil tent for first 1-1½ of roasting.
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.
Resource: USDA Food Preparation and Inspection Service
I do not baste our turkey. I find opening the oven door frequently allows the oven temp to swing and adds more time to the roasting. Sufficient prep and seasoning will keep the turkey moist. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving for easier carving.
Turkey breast dries out easy due to the fact lean breast meat cooks to done quicker than the legs and thighs. Options abound. You can separate the breast from the whole turkey and cook the bone-in breast separately or opt for my personal favorite way to combat dry turkey- simply roast a turkey breast. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. “Dry” the skin of the turkey breast by patting with a paper towel. Give the outer skin of the turkey a generous rub down with butter. Season the turkey breast with salt and pepper or Tony Chachere’s Famous Original Creole Seasoning. Rub the seasonings into the skin of the turkey breast. Place the turkey breast, breast-side up, into the roasting pan. Roast the turkey breast at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 160 degrees F.
In a spray bottle combine 1 quart (4 cups) warm water, 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon borax and ¼ cup undiluted white vinegar. You can also add 1 tsp. of essential oil such as rose, lemon, orange, or lavender. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and cleaner however, I don’t suggest using this on granite or marble countertops.
Carving the Bird:
Place the bird on a carving board or reliable surface for carving, breast side up with the legs facing away from you. Position the carving fork in the lower part of the breast to hold the turkey steady as you carve.
Let’s move on to the drumstick/ turkey leg. Pull each leg to extend them away from the body and slice between the breast and the drumstick. Move the leg backward to loosen it away from the socket, cut away from skin and remove. Repeat on the opposite side.
Arrange and plate as you like. Here is a Louisiana Lagniappe recipe for your holiday turkey consideration. C’est si bon!
2 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. celery salt
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 medium turkey (about 12 to 14 lb.), giblets and neck removed from cavity
1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack on lowest position. In medium bowl, combine paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Set aside 2 teaspoon spice mixture for remoulade. To mixture in medium bowl, add butter and 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine.
Pat turkey dry; arrange breast side up on rack in roasting pan. Tuck wings behind turkey. Gently separate skin from breast and around sides of turkey. Brush spiced-butter mixture inside turkey, underneath skin and all over outside. Stuff cavity with green pepper, onion, garlic and celery; tie legs together with twine. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour 2 cups water into bottom of pan. Roast 2 hours. Loosely tent turkey with foil. Roast 30 to 45 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165 degrees F. Remove foil; let stand 20 minutes before carving.