Tidbits Of All Things House That Make a Home Information

Today I am sharing tidbits of all things house that make a home information.

A design, decorating, dish and detail show and tell resource of information is what drives us here at Places In The Home.

And away we go!

and-away-we-goJackie Gleason

In a recent survey of home decor consumers, the colors blue and purple top the list of color preference when selecting the decorative throw pillows to decorate their humble abode with.

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Consumers tastes and preferences also trend toward patterned throw pillows.

Buster-kittySir Kitty Kat

Fleas drives me crazy.   What a swing in subject matter, but into every household an unwanted guest of the bug species will creep in.  We’ve been fortunate over the many years of our pet ownership to only contend with fleas inside the house once.  That is until last month when I noticed we had company.  Sir Kitty Kat aka the culprit gifted the entire house with fleas.  Flea bombing the house with unwanted chemicals was out of the question, and calling an exterminator would be an option of last resort. After conducting a quick google search for help, I decided to go with a natural, safe and inexpensive alternative.

borax information

Is 20 Mule Team Borax a detergent booster or is it a miracle flea be gone treatment?  It’s both!  I used 2 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax over a 2 week period.  Patience and persistence paid off.  We treated Sir Kitty Kat with a topical flea treatment under our veterinarian’s advisement.  Kitty was scratching to take up residence outdoors for a few days, and admittedly I was happy to oblige him.  I purchased a plastic storage container, a broom, rubber gloves and a box of disposable face masks from the dollar store.  You’ll need two(2) new empty vacuum cleaner bags- one to use during treatment and a fresh new one for after treatment.  Perform a discoloration test by selecting a small area and applying the Borax to rule out the possibility of discoloration.  I only treated the carpet, rugs and floors with the Borax.  I did not use it on fabric or upholstered furniture.

What You Do:

Fill the storage container about 3/4 full per room with 20 Mule Team Borax.  Lightly dust floors, carpets, and rugs with Borax along baseboards, under furniture, in closets.  Use the broom to work the Borax into the carpet.  The Borax dries out the fleas and larvae.  I let the Borax do its thing in the carpet for one week.  Overkill for sure, but we were on a flea killing mission.  Vacuum up the Borax, discard the vacuum bag into a garbage bag and immediately place outside, and pop in a new vacuum bag.

diy_table_runner

I’ve got the hem tape thing down to a science!

I’ve been called a lot of things in my lifetime, but seamstress is not one of them and rightly so.   All those years ago in high school home economics class I aced the cooking part of the semester.  Sewing cooked my goose.  I come from a long line of no-sew seamstresses.  Button detail and hem tape I’ve mastered, but that’s it for my sewing prowess.

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Pincushion curiosity struck while staring at the tomato pincushion that was my mother’s mother’s mother, trying to decide if I really needed the button to be on the pant and not in the drawer.  After consulting with the fountain of information guru that is Google, the what and the why a strawberry is attached to the tomato pincushion mystery was solved. Emory powder is the filler source for the strawberry. The powder is an abrasive, and serves as a cleaner of rust and sharpener of pins and needles.

Glad that’s answered.

I was on pins and needles.

crazy-chocolate-cake

Crazy cake is crazy easy and crazy good.  Do you ever look at recipes and projects and wonder if they really are that easy, that tasty and worth the effort?  You now have it on good authority that this easy peasy crazy cake is.  One pan and no eggs- I love this concept.

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups cold water

Directions

Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan.  Make three wells. Pour oil into one well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third well.  Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  To frost or not to frost.  That is the question only your personal preference can answer.

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I did not frost the first chocolate crazy cake and it was delicious.  I did frost the second chocolate crazy cake with Duncan Hines Salted Caramel frosting and it was scrumptious.

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Choices and caramel make the world go round.  Tidbits of all things house that make a home information does too.

Love your style!

15 Years Later: Never Forget 9/11

9/11/2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks waged against our nation on September 11, 2001.  9/11 will forever be a day steeped in raw emotions.  Sheer disbelief. Shock. Fear of the unknown and sorrow of the now known.  We watched and listened as graphic carnage and deliberate decimation unfolded before our eyes in real time with no filter, no delay button, no censorship.  I wandered out loud my God, is this our new normal?

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The Sept. 14, 2001, cover of TIME

I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday, but I will forever remember every detail, every phone call, and every emotion I experienced that fateful September Tuesday morning in 2001.  I bet you do too.

9/11 flag

9/11 will forever remain the day our nation felt a collective numbness out of shock and sorrow for the innocent and the innocence killed in the terrorist attacks.  Gladys Knight’s beautiful version of “The Way We Were” and the haunting lyric “Try to remember the kind of September When life was slow and oh, so mellow” never fails to turn my thoughts to the morning of September 11, 2001.

What’s too painful to remember we should never choose to forget.  Never Forget 9/11.

“In time, perhaps, we will mark the memory of September the 11th in stone and metal — something we can show children as yet unborn to help them understand what happened on this minute and on this day.

But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we’ll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day. We will remember where we were and how we felt. We will remember the dead and what we owe them. We will remember what we lost and what we found.

And in our time, we will honor the memory of the 11th day by doing our duty as citizens of this great country, freedom’s home and freedoms defender.”

George W. Bush

The World Will Always Remember 9/11

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National September 11 Memorial South Pool

Evil acts tested the stamina, fortitude and resilience of our nation, her citizens, the brave men and women of our military, police, fire and medical departments and city, state and national officials.  We are a changed world.  We may carry and live with the scars, but one thing is certain- The United States of America will never be broken.  Bumped and bruised, but never broken.  We mustn’t allow that to ever happen. Together we are better.

pentagon-memorial

We are the United States of America.  We differ from one another on many points, views and opinions, but when all is said and done, we are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  Strong. United. Free.

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Flight 93 National Memorial

Through trying times and the best of times, Dave and I never lose sight of our freedoms and how proud we are to be Americans. May God Bless this great nation we call the home, The United States of America.

Simple. Elegant. Fall. Seasonal Updating With Fall Decorating Favorites

I am ready to get the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites ball rolling.  Postings of home decor and fall decorating ideas from several hundred of my blogging and social media friends confirm fall fever is going around.

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Let the brisk mornings-cinnamon flavored-pumpkin decorating-colors on parade-sitting on the front porch-spice tea sipping-football tailgating afternoons-sweater wearing-sock feet snuggling with the one you love-crisp evenings spent in front of a fire pit season commence.  While we’re on the subject, let me ask you this.  Fall or Autumn.  What say you?

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Now to the seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites portion of our show…

I’ve been looking “foyer” to this seasonal update for quite some time. The wallpaper I selected for my Mother’s Day gift (Mother’s Day 2015) is finally up where it belongs.  Getting this wallpaper project to completion and fall coming to Louisiana have something in common. It seems to take forever.  I learned a long time ago that patience is a virtue in the pretty on a penny process.  Count the looking “foyer” to fall wallpaper project and estate sale chandelier makeover as the first seasonal updates of the fall 2016 season.

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We are ginkgo a gogo for fall decorating.  Inexpensive is good, but free is better.  Using natural elements in your seasonal decorating plan gifts the eye with the beauty of the season.  Simple. Elegant. Fall.

Cotton_boll_nearly_ready_for_harvestCotton Boll

Seasonal updating with fall decorating favorites is _________.

A.  Fun.

B.  Easy.

C.  Affordable when you use natural elements found in nature’s arts and crafts store and decorate with items that you already have, collect, love, and reflect your personal style.

D.  All of the above.

Multiple choices factor into the decorating scheme of things.

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Cotton bolls placed in and around collected sea shells is a match made in memories from my childhood heaven.  Cotton fields remain an integral part of the fall harvest scenery in our area.  A farmer friend with acres and acres of cotton fields generously supplies me with several bundles of cotton stalks for my fall decorating needs.  Another good friend supplies me with the dried hydrangeas and eucalyptus bunches perfect for fall arrangements in another fall decor essential, the dough bowl.  Good friends bearing gifts are rewarded with the house special, a fresh apple nut cake.

Fall Decorating

An accidental placement of this antique chair in the foyer and the light of a late afternoon produce an effect worth keeping.

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Maybe it’s the lighting, the off-center placement, the new wallpaper or the combination of all three, but I love how it all works together. Ambience plays a significant role in interior design and decorating, and light is at the control.

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I’ve noticed the change in the color of the afternoon sun.  It is white bright, full of nuance as it streams through the window panes and French doors to shadow dance with colors, patterns and textures.

sun-on-rug

Simple. Elegant. Fall.

Love your style!

 

A Most Fetching Friday

fetch·ing

/ˈfeCHiNG/

adjective

adjective: fetching

attractive.

synonyms: attractive, appealing, sweet, pretty, good-looking, lovely, delightful, charming, prepossessing, captivating, enchanting, irresistible

Today’s fetching Friday pays tribute to the incomparable Prince.

Prince

via

A master musician, composer and brilliant force of talent, Prince leaves a commanding impression upon the world of music and pop culture.

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Boss Fight

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House Beautiful

I will forever remember watching his first appearance on American Bandstand. Absolutely spellbinding.

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Better Homes and Gardens

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paisley

With great edge, purple and paisley panache and a keen understanding of the mechanics of superb showmanship, Prince was in a class all by himself.

purple-credenza

Domino

As the words of the song note, nothing compares to you.

Fun Facts For a Fabulous First Friday of February

We’re heading into a what can only be called one absolutely fabulous first weekend of February. The weather looks to be nothing less than perfect for a February weekend, Mardi Gras parades are rolling on the river and Super Bowl 50 is on tap for Sunday. I couldn’t help but notice all of the on this date in history and fun facts for a fabulous first Friday of February listed on the calendar in my planner. History gets busy in the second month of the year. February celebrates National Black History month, the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony and President’s Day.  February fascinates with its every fourth year twenty-nine day month, and February 2016 will, in fact, add a leap day to the calendar.  Happy Birthday in advance to the leaplings in our readership.  February is also American Heart Month.  Ladies, are you decked out in red for National Wear Red Day®?

Go Red for Women February 2016

Red does seem to be the color of the month.  Valentine’s Day certainly confirms that suspicion.

Kirschevia

Did you know that February is National Cherry month?  Tart cherries contain anthocyanins, compounds that contribute to the tart flavor, deep color and health benefits.  Research shows tart cherries may lower the risk of heart disease and promote better sleep.

640px-Necco-Candy-SweetHeartsvia

NECCO Conversation Hearts were created in 1866.  NECCO produces 100,000 pounds of candy hearts each day making Sweethearts the best selling Valentine’s Day candy.  The company adds about twenty new sayings to their classic candy conversation hearts every year.

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A little bird told me fresh flowers are on Cupid’s Valentine’s Day gift list.  It’s also that time of year when winter pansies and camellias beautifully bloom.

purple-pansies

To help fresh flowers last longer follow this recipe:  Dissolve two tablespoons each of sugar and white vinegar in a quart of warm water. Another alternative is to mix one part lemon-lime soda with three parts tepid water. Make sure to change the water mixture every other day.

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Happy 12th Birthday Facebook! Facebook began as a private website for college students, but soon the word was out, the party grew and here we are all liking, friending and sharing. Facebook logs in with impressive numbers. The social networking site has 1.59 billion monthly users.  That’s a lot of friends.

101934-050-B182738Evia

Music and television history was made on February 9, 1964 when 73 million people gathered round living room televisions to The Beatles performing live on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Five unforgettable songs later and the American music world would never be the same. “All My Loving”, “Till There Was You,”  “She Loves You,” I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” rocked the world of teenage girls and sent the American music scene into an out of this world orbit.  Thank you John, Paul, George, Ringo and Mr. Sullivan.

I hope you enjoyed these fun facts for a fabulous first Friday of February.

Love your style!

A Very Happy New Year 2016

Dave the Builder and I will be raising a glass to you as we toast the arrival of 2016.  Here’s to A Very Happy New Year 2016- a fabulous year for us all abounding with peace, joy, love, health and great style!  Thank you for your support and loyal readership.  Cheers!

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Love your style!

 

 

Mom, You Should Let Your Readers Know What’s Going On

“Mom, you should let your readers know what’s going on” reads the text I received this morning.  The reason for an absence of Thanksgiving week posts and Happy Thanksgiving wishes is not without reason. Black Friday came a week early to the Places In The Home family.  My darling Daddy passed away suddenly Friday, November 20th and our family is reeling in grief.  The keyboard hasn’t exactly been on my mind over the last few days, but you all, my dear readers, have. This larger than life man was a powerhouse personality who touched many lives beyond the pillars of home and family.  He helped me to not only fine tune my life and character, but he helped me with this year’s Thanksgiving table.  I don’t really feel like sharing that post and pictorial now, but I do love this picture of his place card.

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Our holiday table settings will be reduced by one only in physical presence. Daddy would be the first one to encourage me to carry on with life and the life lived within our home.  I believe the life lived within the home comes alive through personal style and taste, and that belief stands stronger today more than ever.  His life lived within our community, our circle of family and friends and our home proclaims character and exemplary personal style forever lives here.

I love you Daddy.

Love your style!

 

 

With Heavy Heart

With heavy heart I offer sweet hours of healing prayer of comfort for the Charleston shooting victims’ family members, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal “Mother Emanuel” church and its members, community leaders and citizens.  We are a nation in mourning reeling in grief and dealing with the aftermath of hate.

The_steeple_of_Emanuel_African_Methodist_Church,_Charleston,_SCEmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME)

I initially typed the words no pretty pictures today, but how inaccurate those words are!  How beautiful the signature steeple of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is as it points toward the heavens in architectural wonder and historical significance.  As it has and will continue to do, the steeple of Mother Emanuel forever stands tall as a beacon of hope.

prayers-for-Charleston

The resolve to love, coupled with determination of spirit and great fortitude, testifies to the strength of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation.  May God bless, comfort and keep you all.

The Silver Lining Companion Guide: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer

More than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.  This fact hit home when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999.  Allstate is on a mission to help every woman diagnosed with breast cancer by offering a free Silver Lining Companion Guide, helping them and their families through the experience unfortunately too many of us have to endure. Navigating cancer is a scary and overwhelming process, and so much comes at you at one time. To have a resource available that offers realistic advice, hopeful insight and questions answered in a been there, done that format lifts the fog somewhat.

The Silver Lining Companion Guide Cover (English)

My mother’s cancer was caught early through her yearly mammogram.  Let me repeat that, caught by yearly mammogram. Breast cancer can be cured, especially when the cancer is caught early. The abnormality in the mammogram was detected by an extremely competent radiologist to only be dismissed by the surgeon who would be performing the biopsy.  A biopsy is the procedure to remove and evaluate a tissue sample for the presence of cancer.  Dr. No Bedside Manner Whatsoever sternly informed my mother she was wasting his time and her money.  Intuition and insistence stood firm against ignorance.  After all, no one knows your body better than you.  Honest and practical words speak a truth of informed encouragement.

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I firmly believe cancer is a family affair, and that it does take a village and a family to educate, promote healing and support, support, support. Cancer is not for sissies. As crucial to the fight of survival as expert medical care is, attitude plays a significant role in this incredible fight for life.  The lifelines, practical matters and silver linings found in the book thoughtfully address concerns, answers questions ranging from what to take to appointments to what to ask your plastic surgeon before implant surgery, and offers healing advice .  I wish we would have had this insightful to the process resource guide available to us fifteen + years ago.  The Silver Linings shared in the Companion Guide do not take away the confusion, pain and emotions that often come with a cancer diagnosis, but they do provide the balance, perspective and hope needed to get through the difficult times. From diagnosis to ringing the bell of I kicked cancer’s butt, knowledge and support arms the soldiers, sustains the supporting troops and encourages the soul of the cancer crusader.

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Allstate, through its ongoing efforts to support the wellbeing of women, is distributing the Silver Lining Companion Guide as a free resource to everyone impacted by breast cancer.  The Companion Guide includes practical tips, important information and inspiration.  A Spanish language version of the Companion Guide is also available to accompany the English version currently being shared with women nationwide.  I invite you to visit Allstate.com/SilverLining to download the free guide and learn more. The Guide is also available for pick-up at select Allstate agencies nationwide.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.